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Stranger Things’ Eddie Munson: An Unexpected Surprise

Since 2016, Stranger Things has been making waves, gaining fans, and making for good television. This show has an ensemble of characters that has warmed the hearts of us, the viewers. I’ve had my favorite characters, such as Dustin and Erica, but there was one this past season who became a favorite. That character was Eddie Munson, which was an unexpected surprise.

Hawkins seems like a place not too far from home.

With an ode to the 1980s and teens growing up in the unsettling and unexpected, we’re left to wonder what else could be next especially coming from the Upside Down.

A screenshot of Eddie Munson wearing a Hell Fire Club Shirt and putting horns on his head
Screenshot of Eddie Munson from Netflix’s Stranger Things

This year’s different. This year is my year. I can feel it. ‘86 baby!

-Eddie Munson

Intro to Eddie

Eddie was born in 1986 in Hawkins, Indiana. His guardian is his uncle Wayne Munson, and they live in Forest Hills Trailer Park. Eddie’s look is reminiscent of Eddie Van Halen. Eddie was in a band called Corroded Coffin. Originally, he was supposed to graduate from high school in 1984, but in 1986, he was in his senior year for the third time. He is the leader of his Dungeons and Dragons club aka The Hellfire Club, which had some of our Stranger Things faves Dustin, Lucas, and Mike.
Eddie shows his dislike for jocks and conformity in his first intro to the audience. This stems from the stereotypical cliques in high school.

First Impressions

I’ve been a fan of Stranger Things for some time. I’m always curious to see what new characters Stranger Things will bring in. I was introduced to Eddie when Dustin and Mike wanted to talk to him about missing their Dungeons and Dragons campaign to be there for Lucas’s basketball game.

In this instance, Eddie is a metalhead, he plays D&D, and he would be considered an outcast. Many people in the school thought if you played D&D, you worshiped Satan. This assumption taps into the very real Satanic Panic that happened in the 1980s.

With his response to that and his rant about an article he read in the paper, I was kind of annoyed.

Normally, I’m all for calling out hypocrisy or shaking things up a bit, but in a way, he reminded me of the guys that liked to cause trouble. It rubbed me the wrong way in the episode. Even when he mentioned why Mike and Dustin had to be there, I was pretty meh on him.

Eddie Munson Collage

Okay, so I was wrong

The next time I see Eddie, he is meeting with Chrissy Cunningham, a cheerleader at Hawkins High. They were friendly with each other in middle school, but their different social circles changed things between them. For me, this is when the way I viewed Eddie started to change. At first, he seemed surprised that Chrissy wanted to meet him, which I understood considering their social circles at school. She was the popular cheerleader and he was the outcast.

Chrissy had gone to get drugs from him, and he started to do things to make her feel comfortable, sharing things with her and mentioning his band. He also invited her to a future show. There was real chemistry between the two, and I’m a sucker for a good romance. I liked the spark so much that I would’ve loved for them to have something by the end of the show.

I spoke too soon

Chrissy stops by Eddie’s place for something stronger after the basketball game. While he searched for the “Special K,” poor Chrissy was put under Vecna’s spell, and she was killed in front of Eddie. He tried to wake her up before then, but she was the first victim, and in turn, Eddie ran.

From that point on, Eddie spends the rest of the season hiding and becoming friends with the gang as they know this has something to do with the Upside Down. I grew to like him more and more as time went on.

Eddie wasn’t perfect. He was flawed, and he admitted that. He points it out multiple times, even when it comes to running away from his problems. His relationship with Dustin seemed to soften him up. Dustin saw him as a big brother. Their bond warmed my heart, and he fit right into the gang trying to solve this mystery and clear his name.

As we know, watching Eddie grow and become better—even deciding not to run away from the bats in the Upside Down—would lead to his death, a death that most certainly had me in tears. I was devastated. Eddie had great character development in the episodes he appeared in.

He was treated differently and blamed for things he did not do. He was blamed because he was different and just like many things, people would rather fear something than try to understand it.

Screenshot of Eddie playing Master of Puppets by Metallica
Screenshot of Eddie playing “Master of Puppets” by Metallica

I didn’t run away this time, right?

-Eddie Munson

Eddie Munson, An Unexpected Surprise

It took me a week to not feel sad about Eddie’s death. When I feel that attached, it means he was a well-written character. Under that tough exterior, was a sweetheart, who was sensitive and had good taste in music. He was charismatic, and if you were ever considered an outcast in school, you related to him.

Eddie got to play “Master of the Puppets” on his guitar in the Upside Down before his untimely death, and as badass as it was, it still made me sad that his name wasn’t cleared. He was blamed for the deaths of Chrissy and the others Vecna killed during Season 4, which is another tie-in to the outcasts being blamed for things and for teens being accused of murder during the ’80s, as well.

As much as I would love to have him back, sometimes a great character is just there for a short time to fill our hearts with some emotion. Eddie did that, and he did it well.

While I didn’t expect to love his character as much as I did, his personality and bond with Dustin softened me up and unexpectedly took me by surprise. Eddie left a mark on me and many others, and if he had been a friend of mine, I would say just as he did to Dustin.

“Never change!”

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Written by Katrina

Katrina is a writer, podcaster, Youtuber and a wrestling backstage correspondent. She loves wrestling. So much so that during the Thunderdome era, she was a frequent visitor. When she isn't being sarcastic or laughing at memes, she is reading a good book. She also enjoys binge watching crime shows, anime, horror movies or watching her favorite matches. Katrina also is an award-winning author, writing under the name Kay Blake. She has a YouTube channel called In Kat We Trust, and a podcast called Kickin' Back with Kat where she interviews wrestlers from all over.

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