Vecna has bene terrorising Hawkins in the new season of the hit show (Picture: Netflix)

After months – no, years – of anticipation, the first volume of Stranger Things season 4 has hit Netflix.

The new series sees the gang join forces once more and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) to regain her powers to fight a humanoid creature going by the name Vecna that threatens the existence of humanity as we know it.

Fans of the series will have to wait until July 1 for the second volume of the hit series to see whether the group can conquer their new foe.

But who is Vecna? And who plays the ghoulish new villain?

Warning: This article contains spoilers from Stranger Things season 4 – you’ve been warned.

Who is Vecna?

Vecna was first introduced in the trailer for Stranger Things season four, but the humanoid creature wasn’t referred to by name.

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However, Netflix confirmed that they had been dubbed Vecna, a name that stems from Dungeons & Dragons, the game frequently played by the gang.

Other names used to refer to monsters in Stranger Things have previously also come from DnD, including the Demogorgon and the Mind Flayer.

Vecna is a monster that operates from within the upside-down, preying on the residents of Hawkins.

His identity is one of the most closely guarded secrets surrounding the season, with it being revealed in the dramatic volume one finale.

In the seventh episode, The Massacre at Hawkins Lab, while Vecna possesses Nancy it is revealed that he is Henry Creel, Victor Creel’s son who fell into a coma after using his psychic powers to kill his mother and sister.

Henry is placed under Doctor Brenner’s care as number 001 and later goes by the name Peter, working as an orderly in Hawkins Laboratory.

We find out that it was Henry who orchestrated the massacre at the lab in a bid to free Eleven from Doctor Brenner’s grasp, but the pair clash when Eleven discovers the atrocities he has committed.

As they fight, Eleven opens the first gate to the Upside Down, and Henry is catapulted into it, slowly transforming into Vecna as he journeys further into the unknown realm.

Looks like the gang could be facing their most terrifying foe yet (Picture: Courtesy of Netflix)

While speaking to IGN, the creators of the show the Duffer Brothers explained that ever since season two, they had wanted to introduce an antagonist similar to the villains from the horror genre they grew up with, including Freddie Kruger, Pinhead, and Pennywise. Enter: Vecna.

‘What you’re seeing here is 90% practical [effects]. And Vecna, throughout the season, is 90% practical. We wanted a presence on the set that our actors could react to, whereas in Season 3, they were reacting to a beach ball,’ said Ross Duffer.

‘We wanted something there that we could actually film, and I just think that that makes this villain scarier and more real and tangible and we’re just really excited for people to see him this season.’

Who plays Vecna?

English actor Jamie Campbell Bower is beneath the makeup (Picture: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

The new villain is portrayed by Jamie Campbell Bower who has previously appeared in the likes of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and the Twilight saga.

Jamie has been described as a method actor, and while speaking to Variety he discussed the lengths he went to in order to transform into his character both mentally and physically.

He said: ‘I wouldn’t speak to anybody outside of the Stranger Things world for at least four days before filming anything.

‘I would find myself doing some pretty wild stuff. If anyone saw me walking around the streets of Atlanta at 2 o’clock in the morning talking to myself, they would understand.

‘I was just bringing up a lot of anger, particularly for Vecna.’

Where does the name come from?

The name Vecna comes from an anagram of Vance, the surname of fantasy author Jack Vance, whose written works provided the inspiration for the magic system used in Dungeons & Dragons.

Regarded as being one of the most fearsome villains in the game, Vecna was a powerful wizard, before becoming an undead creature known as a lich.

The New Creature name is Vecna, he’s a Creature from Dungeons & Dragons that was rumored to be in Stranger Things for a long time. #StrangerThings #StrangerThings4

— Iron Wolf 🐺 (@IronWolfNet_) April 12, 2022

Vecna is typically seen missing his left eye and his left hand, both of which are magical artifacts.

The second episode of Stranger Things season four is titled ‘Chapter Two: Vecna’s Curse’. Ominous indeed.

More: Netflix

When is Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 released?

The second volume will drop on Friday July 1 – which will consist of two feature-lenght episodes, being the season count tonine episodes in total.

Volcume one of Stranger Things season four premiered on Friday May 27.

Stranger Things season four volume one is now available on Netflix.

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MORE : Stranger Things season 4: Millie Bobby Brown and Noah Schnapp shut down speculation surrounding Will’s sexuality

MORE : Stranger Things 4: What is Dungeons and Dragons?

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