The fourth season of Stranger Things gifted us with the best stories from the Upside Down so far. The electrifying penultimate season is one (if not THE) best runs of the show due to many things: the return of Hopper, Will’s unrequited love for his best friend Mike, the scary reveal that Vecna (aka 001 or Henry Creel) and a revival of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.”
But probably one of the best things about season four is Eddie Munson (played by Joseph Quinn), the alleged cult leader of Hawkins, Indiana. If there’s one person we want to probably marry (apart from Steve Harrington), it’s Eddie. Stranger Things 4 introduced us to this lovely metal head who is devoted to Metallica, an expert in Dungeons & Dragons and a professional evader of problems.
Initially, Eddie from Stranger Things could have been yet another Billy Hargrove. He was a drug dealer and his friendship with Dustin Henderson threatened the fan-favorite bromance between Dustin and Steve. He could have been hated from the start. But for many reasons, the misfit and nerd in Munson won over audiences.
So, why is Stranger Things season 4 better with Eddie in it?
Why Eddie Munson is the Best Character in Stranger Things
Eddie Munson was the edgy senior who seemed to have no plans of graduating from Hawkins High. He declared 1986 to be his year (after failing to graduate during the previous years) and he made sure that everything he did would be worth his while.
Despite joining the season later than the rest, Eddie showed off his uniqueness and likeability, which set him apart from the other characters. Even fan-favorite Steve couldn’t catch up with Eddie’s quirky character and dramatic character development. On top of that, his love for metal music resurrected our love for 1980s metal, as well. He made us want to learn how to play guitar and other musical instruments.
As the season progressed, audiences fell in love with Eddie’s relatable hesitance and reluctance, his compassion and his genuine personality. He is the epitome of what Stranger Things is all about: the best heroes are those who come from the most unlikely of places.
Need more convincing? Here’s why Eddie Munson is the star of Stranger Things season 4.
His Iconic ‘80s Rock Style
One of the first things you’ll notice about Eddie is his style. He has one of the most iconic looks in the show since it perfectly captures the culture of 1980s rock and roll. His denim vest, tight pants, black accent pieces and long curly hair remind viewers of the ‘80s list of rocker icons.
According to the stylists of Stranger Things, Venom and Iron Maiden inspired Eddie’s aesthetics. In fact, Eddie’s name is a nod to Eddie the Head, the mascot of Iron Maiden’s albums.
He Had Great Chemistry with Chrissy Cunningham
In the first episode of the season, Eddie meets up with Chrissy Cunningham, one of the most popular girls in high school. Despite being a well-loved member of the campus, cheerleader Chrissy struggled with anxiety and visions (the latter due to Vecna’s curse). To ease her mind, she meets up with Eddie for a drug sale.
They might have been on different ends of the campus food chain, but Chrissy and Eddie had great chemistry during the sale. Their meet-up was probably one of the sweetest and most wholesome exchanges in the series.
Eddie senses her anxiety and playfully teases her for not remembering him from middle school. They both share their misconceptions of each other and laugh off how they aren’t exactly mean and scary. Eddie comforted her in his special way.
Even in her last moments, Eddie was with Chrissy. He tried to wake her up from the curse (hence the TikTok famous “Chrissy Wake Up!” song). When he failed, his guilt over her death had him honoring her when he was about to play “Master of Puppets” in the Upside Down.
If there’s anything else we should be mad about, it’s Eddie and Chrissy being robbed of more screen time together.
His Realistic Reaction to Danger
In most horror and science-fiction films, characters seek out danger at nearly every turn — which isn’t realistic. Even characters in Stranger Things do the same. As a result, fans find themselves yelling at their screens, and scolding characters for putting themselves in danger.
Eddie is different. He’s who we’d probably be if we were faced with monsters.
After witnessing the murder of Chrissy, he runs away out of fear. Since her body was discovered in his trailer, he ends up the primary suspect in the case. A man on the run, Eddie refuses to get involved in anything that will clear his name or to find Vecna (the person behind Chrissy’s death). His realistic response is a fresh change in a show where the characters are always eager to seek danger.
Eddie proves that you can be fearful and brave at the same time.
His Adorable Friendship with Dustin
Dustin gains another bromance when he forms a sweet bond with Eddie. The latter becomes an important role model for Dustin as he starts high school and becomes a member of the Hellfire Club. The pair is both avid fans of Dungeons & Dragons. They’ve also both suffered from teasing and bullying.
Eddie and Dustin share an adorable moment when the former play-fights with the younger one and tells him to never change. Dustin is the only one to witness Eddie’s death at the hands of the demobats, which crushes him. However, he honors his friend’s memory by praising his heroism to his uncle.
He Defied Prejudice
The main characters and the rest of Hawkins doubted Eddie’s innocence when it came to the Vecna murders. He was an outcast and a freak, which is why the people easily labeled him a satanic leader who killed for pleasure. No matter what he said or did, he was already judged because he was different.
However, Eddie is different in the best way possible. As a metal head of the ‘80s, fans expected him to be homophobic or chauvinistic, but he wasn’t. He initially dismissed Erica Sinclair’s talent in DnD but eventually accepts her. He lets Nancy lead the team. He becomes friends with Robin. He loves his art, but he is considerate.
Eddie subverted expectations and became the safe space of outcasts everywhere.
He Performed an Awesome Guitar Solo
Music is always an important factor in any Stranger Things season, and that was emphasized during the show’s fourth season. While volume 1 gifted us with “Running Up That Hill,” volume 2 finished the season with Eddie giving a performance of a lifetime. To draw the attention of the demobats, he played Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” in the Upside Down.
Eddie’s performance was so memorable that Metallica themselves were impressed. To thank him for the reviving “Master of Puppets,” they gave actor Joseph Quinn his own signed guitar.
He Died a Hero
Throughout the fourth season, Eddie struggled with his guilt of leaving Chrissy after she was murdered. He also kept saying that there was no shame in running. Repeatedly, he claimed that he can’t ever be a hero. But when a hero is needed, Eddie saves the day.
And he proved that when he didn’t run away and faced the demobats himself. We might have lost Eddie but we gained a hero.
Eddie might not be the best person in the eyes of the Hawkins community. But for the fans of Stranger Things, he is the best gift a show could ever give (and take away) from us.