One who doesn’t abide by the accepted social norms and behaviors becomes a freak, an entity to be scorned at. Eddie Munson, was that freak for most students of Hawkins High, especially for his arch-nemesis, Jason Carver. “Stranger Things” Season 4 introduces us to the eccentric personality of Munson, his inhibitions, his fears, and the world that he had created for himself. He was not one of those people who would just stay quiet and be bullied; instead, he believed in rebellion. Eddie’s journey and experience had taught him that staying quiet doesn’t do any good. Life becomes even more miserable as a bully never realizes that he has done something wrong. And this human behavior is not specific to any one region but holds true for any part of the world. There are individuals who like to go out, they like to interact and meet people, they like to express themselves, and they do a lot of other extroverted activities that are generally kept within the ambit of normal behavior. But then there are kids who prefer the opposite, those who relinquish the accepted behavior for something that comes to them naturally.
A problem arises because these so-called misfits are often the minority in most situations. They are told time and again that their behavior is grossly weird and that something is wrong with them. When a child at a brooding age does not get the validation that is so much needed for his self-confidence, he either alienates himself or makes his situation even more miserable by trying to be what he is not. In either of the scenarios, he does not get spared from the shrewd remarks of society. What the majority doesn’t understand is the fact that how much damage that one comment, those few words could do, and could shape the personality of a child. Eddie Munson knew that if he and others like him had to survive, then he would have to build a community of the outcasts, and he did just that. No doubt people still looked at them as lunatics, but at least they could find some solace and respite in each other’s company and didn’t have to look for constant approval.
Eddie Munson: The Most Metal Ever
Jason Carver was the captain of the basketball team and the most popular student at Hawkins High. Things were not the same after Will, and his family relocated to California, with Eleven. Max used to keep to herself, and Lucas desperately wanted to revamp his image. He believed that in order to get out of his miserable situation, he and the others should try to be a part of Jason’s group. Lucas had started playing basketball and hanging out with the cool kids. Mike and Dustin, on the other hand, stayed true to their impulses. For them, the Hellfire Club was everything. They delved into the fantasy land of Dungeons and Dragons, and Eddie Munson was somebody who had given them an identity and a sense of belongingness. After reaching the school, the kids were exposed to the harsh reality of the world, and that’s when Eddie came to their rescue. Eddie lived with his uncle, Wayne Munson, in Forest Hills Trailer Park.
When Chrissy Cunningham approached him, he was as astonished as Jason Carver was, when he got to know that the former went to meet Eddie through Lucas, at the end of “Stranger Things” Season 4. Vecna had possessed Chrissy, and everybody blamed Eddie for her death. Carver believed that Hellfire was a satanic cult, though time and again, Lucas tried to make him understand that it was merely a harmless D&D group. Eddie was hiding at Reefer Rick’s home, while Jason and the whole of Hawkins had launched a manhunt for the satanic killer. Eddie was scared for his life, but never even once did he think to abandon his city. A city that always mistreated him, that never gave him respect or validation. He knew about the impending doom that the residents of Hawkins were unable to see. He had seen it with his own eyes. He wanted to help Chrissy, but seeing her body getting disoriented was such a nerve-racking ordeal that he just ran away from the scene. When Steve Harrington jumps into the Lover’s lake to look for the gate that led to the Upside down, Eddie knows that the future of Hawkins was in their hands because the others didn’t even understand the nature of the threat. He now knew that the Upside Down, Vecna, Demogorgon, the Mind Flayer, and everything else that Dustin had told him was not a mere figment of his imagination. Though Eddie hadn’t done anything wrong, he had an iota of guilt buried somewhere deep inside his subconscious. He had grown to like Chrissy and see her vulnerable side, which made him feel that the most popular cheerleader at Hawkins High was also dealing with a lot of issues, and like him, she had a side that she never showed anyone.
Is Eddie Dead Or Alive?
Eddie Munson had presumed all his life that he could never be the protagonist of his own story. He had learned to keep his darkest emotions to himself, as he knew that nobody could understand him. When Nancy, Steve, Robin, Dustin, and others formulate a plan to kill Vecna, then Eddie very well knew that he had to play a secondary role, and that Steve was the protagonist of this story: the hero who would save their beloved city. Eddie was the kind of person who was done proving his worth to society, and so he was not worried about not being a hero in the eyes of others. He didn’t care what they called him behind his back. What he truly cared about was how he perceived himself. He was unhappy with himself as he was not able to face the world and tell them that he didn’t kill Chrissy. He ran away like a coward. His conscience didn’t approve of his actions, and he wanted just one chance to rectify everything.
Henry, Dustin, and Eddie had to distract the demobats so that Nancy, Robin, and Steve could enter Henry Creel’s mansion and kill him. In Upside Down, Eddie finds a guitar in his own trailer. He stands on the roof and starts playing “Master of Puppets” by his favorite band, “Metallica.” He roared like a warrior in the deep, dark abyss. It was like a battle cry where Eddie proclaimed that he was not going to go down without a fight. He had launched an all-out assault to help his beleaguered city. The Demo-bats came in their direction, and both the boys quickly went and hid in the trailer. Dustin notices that the bats have started penetrating inside the trailer. They had no option but to return to their realm. They were no match for the terrifying creatures that were wreaking havoc.
Dustin escapes the upside-down dimension and asks Eddie to quickly do the same. At that moment, something unlikely happens. Eddie Munson refused to jump. He knew that if he could distract the bats for a few more moments, it would give Steve, Nancy, and Robin some more time. Dustin knew, looking at Eddie’s eyes, that at that moment, he didn’t care whether he lived or died. Dustin frantically shouted at Eddie to not commit any foolish acts. But Eddie had made up his mind. He goes outside the trailer, takes his bicycle, and rides towards glory. The bats attack him, injure him, and start sucking the blood out of him, but this time, Eddie does not run away. His act of valor bought time for others, but he ended up losing his life. Eddie faced his fears and dared to live—one last time—before he took his final breath. Dustin also came back to help his friend, but he was a tad bit too late. Eddie chose his fate and met death head-on. He didn’t give into his fears this time and hopefully found some solace that he had always been searching for. Dustin was heartbroken, and back at Hawkins, he told Wayne Munson that his nephew sacrificed his life so that his city and his people could live. Though Eddie Munson met his fateful end, his legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of those few who knew him, and for whom he made Hawkins High a better place to be.