With such a well-established character lineup, any new character joining the crew on Stranger Things has a nearly impossible task of becoming just as beloved to fans as legacy characters. As each season grows more complex and favorite characters face greater perils, that challenge only becomes more daunting. Season 4 shows Eleven confronting her past, Dustin stepping into a leadership role, and Steve Harrington being so very … Steve Harrington. This season also brought the Stranger Things death count even higher.
But one new character from season 4 really stands out. From the moment Eddie Munson traipsed across the screen in the first episode of season 4, it was clear that the audience was in for a treat. Here are our top 10 favorite moments brought to the screen by the leader of the Hellfire Club.
10. Eddie’s Initiation – “Chapter Two: Vecna’s Curse”
Dustin, Max, Steve, and Robin find Eddie hiding out at Reefer Rick’s lake house. Following a tense greeting, Eddie tells the others that they won’t believe what happened to Chrissy. He tells them about her grisly death and says he knows that he sounds crazy. Dustin tells Eddie about the Upside Down and the evils that it unleashes in their world. Together, Dustin and Eddie realize that the evil Eddie witnessed was a result of dark magic, just like the villain Vecna in their Dungeons & Dragons campaign. In this moment, Eddie is brought into the fold and becomes part of the team keeping Hawkins safe from the horrors of the Upside Down.
9. Watergate – “Chapter Six: The Dive”
Despite being a fearless leader in Dungeons & Dragons, Eddie openly laments his tendency to run away when trouble is afoot. The four older kids head to the center of Lovers Lake and when Steve is pulled back underwater by an unseen force, Nancy dives in after him with Robin right on her heels. Recognizing that he would be the one left behind, Eddie follows them. Although he insists that he did not want to be the coward left behind, jumping into a dark lake containing a portal to another dimension is nothing short of brave.
8. Chrissy’s Supernatural Death – “Chapter One: The Hellfire Club”
Eddie spends much of the season looking back at Chrissy’s death in his trailer as a moment of weakness on his part. Up until her untimely demise, Eddie had done nothing but try to help her. From the moment he found Chrissy entranced in his living room, Eddie was concerned and frightened. He yells at Chrissy to wake up, telling her, “I don’t like this!” When Chrissy starts to levitate, Eddie panics like anyone would. Following her gruesome, supernatural death, Eddie makes a run for it.
7. Befriending Steve – “Chapter Seven: The Massacre at Hawkins Lab”
As the four older kids traverse the Upside Down, Steve and Eddie find themselves walking together. Eddie had experienced belittlement and bullying from people like Steve much of his life and had come to relish his own position as a social outcast. Eddie told Steve that Dustin had insisted that Steve was a great guy, and that Eddie had initially found it challenging to believe that he was “actually a good dude.”
After seeing Steve’s courage when he dove in the lake and fended off the Demobats, Eddie had to admit that Dustin was right about Steve. Eddie is open to seeing people differently than how he initially perceived them. This is perhaps one of his greatest strengths, especially given that this is not a courtesy most in Hawkins extend to him.
6. Eddie’s Introduction – “Chapter One: The Hellfire Club”
Viewers first meet Eddie in the cafeteria as he discusses the misconceptions about Dungeons & Dragons with the other members of Hellfire Club. Hopping on the table, Eddie loudly reflects on how society will accept people in band, that like parties, and that play “a game where you toss balls into laundry baskets.” Mike and Dustin request that Eddie postpone Hellfire Club due to Lucas’s championship basketball game. Demonstrating a perfect balance between threatening and charming that only Eddie could possibly master, he charges Dustin and Mike with finding an alternate for Lucas.
5. Acceptance of Lady Applejack – “Chapter One: The Hellfire Club”
Following a string of dead ends, Dustin and Mike ask Erica Sinclair, Lucas’s little sister, to serve as his alternate. Staring down the young girl, Eddie and the rest of the Hellfire Club are amused and skeptical. When Eddie asks if she is a level one dwarf, she snaps back, telling him her rank and class. She asks him, “So, we gonna do this, or we gonna keep chitchatting like this is your mommy’s book club?”
Smiling and clearly impressed, Eddie extends his hand to Erica, welcoming her to the Hellfire Club. When Erica’s roll wins the campaign, Eddie is just as pleased as everyone else, saying, “That’s why we play,” before taking a sweeping bow toward Erica. Eddie once again shows that he is open to changing his mind about people and looking past their outward appearance.
4. Kindness Toward Chrissy – “Chapter One: The Hellfire Club”
Eddie meets Chrissy Cunningham, the most popular girl at school, in the woods for a business deal. He quickly picks up on the fact that Chrissy is on edge and puts her at ease with his winsome personality. They discuss how they both have felt they were losing their mind at times, and how the other person is not scary like they thought they would be. Eddie reflects on when they first met, and makes Chrissy laugh despite the struggles she is clearly having.
Eddie had spent much of his life being an outsider, but when people take just a little time to get to know him, they find he is funny, empathetic, and kindhearted. Even with the most popular girl at school, Eddie is fast to set aside his preconceived notions and sees who Chrissy really is at heart.
3. Bonding with Dustin – “Chapter Eight: Papa”
The group prepares to attack Vecna in the Upside Down. Dustin and Eddie, charged with serving as diversions, create shields with blades sticking out of them to fend off the Demobats. Dustin jokes with Eddie about heading into “bat-tle,” and in response to his silly pun, Eddie tries to tackle Dustin. As the two laugh and wrestle in the field, Eddie puts his hands on Dustin’s face and looks at him.
“Never change,” he tells Dustin. He makes Dustin promise not to and is reassured when Dustin tells him he wasn’t planning on it. Viewers had previously learned that Eddie did not have a close relationship with his own father. Despite this, Eddie is a steadfast and inspiring father figure to Dustin, whose own dad is not in the picture.
2. “I didn’t run away this time, right?” – “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback”
As the Demobats attack the trailer, Dustin and Eddie realize they have to run. Once Dustin is back safely on the other side of the portal in Hawkins, Eddie realizes that he is about run away again. Thinking back to Chrissy and thinking of their friends that are still counting on them, Eddie cuts the rope back to his trailer. He tells Dustin that he is going to buy more time for their friends and exits the trailer, jumping on his bike and leading the Demobats on a chase. When Dustin finally gets back into the Upside Down, Eddie is fighting off the Demobats.
Dustin runs to Eddie’s side and finds him fatally wounded. Eddie asks Dustin, “I didn’t run away this time, right?” He tells Dustin that he has to look after the lost sheep in Hawkins the way that Eddie looked after Dustin. Before he succumbs to his injuries, he tells Dustin he loves him and Dustin is able to tell Eddie he loves him too. Eddie’s courageous sacrifice distracted the Demobats long enough to keep the rest of his friends in the Upside Down safe.
1. “The most metal concert in the history of the world.” – “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback”
Before Eddie’s heroic sacrifice, the plan had been for him to create a diversion for Steve, Nancy, and Robin. Eddie and Dustin fortify Eddie’s trailer in the Upside Down before Eddie grabs his guitar. He asks Dustin if he is ready for “the most metal concert in the history of the world,” and the two boys head up to the roof. Dedicating the song to Chrissy, Eddie plays “Master of Puppets” by Metallica on his electric guitar as the red lightning of the Upside Down rages on in the sky.
This instantly iconic moment tells viewers everything they need to know about Eddie. He bravely puts himself in harm’s way for his friends and the safety of Hawkins despite how everyone there has treated him, he lovingly dedicates the performance to Chrissy, and he absolutely delivers on his assertion to Dustin that he was about to put on the most metal concert in the history of the world.
With an easy charm and fiery intensity to him, Eddie was a source of amusement immediately. As season 4 progressed and viewers saw all the nuances that made Eddie who he was, he only became easier to love. With his ability to see people for who they really are, his authenticity to himself, and his personal evolution and courage, the loss of Eddie so soon after viewers met him was heartbreaking.
Eddie’s fans can take solace in knowing that he easily created one of the most iconic moments in the entire Stranger Things series with his rooftop metal concert and can hope that his legacy will live on in his friends.
What are your favorite Eddie Munson moments? Keep the conversation going over at side.show/geekgroup, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!