Jamie Campbell Bower has spent a great deal of time breaking down his character’s journey from Henry to Number One to Vecna, and while he acknowledges that they are all the same person, he notes that Henry’s anger at the world has grown over time of time has increased. “When we first meet young Henry, he goes through this journey of isolation,” Bower explained, “being removed from his own society and feeling strangely lost and growing up in a world that he sees as full of lies.” and misunderstood.”
“Then he ends up in Brenner’s custody,” Bower continued, “with Brenner having to suppress that person because they’re too powerful and won’t listen to him. But who of us here on this planet wants to be told all the time what to do, how to behave? No one. Nobody wants that, especially when you have power. This resentment is building.”
According to Bower, Henry’s resentment reaches new heights as he tries to win El over to his cause. “This box is unlocked. That heartache and that experience bubbles to the surface,” observes Bower. “He presents the truest version of himself [to El] … and then [El] sends [Henry] until his death at the end [Season 4, Episode 7]. At that point, he’s left alone again to stew in that anger, and that’s all there is. Everything he believes in now has been corrupted… That’s all he has left. Every hope, every dream he had is dead… It’s his goal now.”
But while El may have been Vecna’s true target for much of Stranger Things season 4, his list of enemies has greatly expanded and his grudges have reached new heights by the end of the last episode. Hinting that this could mean Vecna gets even scarier in Season 5, Bower teased, “If you thought he wasn’t mad before, he’s mad now.”
Every episode of Stranger Things Season 4 is available now on Netflix.