[Ed. note: This post goes into detail about what happens to Eddie Munson in Stranger Things 4.]
Oh Eddie Munson, we hardly knew ye. Though audiences were introduced to Eddie in Stranger Things 4 as an Upside Down Doof Warrior and a sort of D&Douche leading the Hellfire club, he quickly captured the hearts of fans, making his untimely death at the hands of Demobats all the more shocking.
It’s a fate that not even Joseph Quinn, the actor who plays Eddie, really appreciates — particularly since he died a hero but leaves behind a legacy of villainy, at least as far as Hawkins residents stirred up by the Satanic Panic of it all believe. But Quinn points out that it’s a sign of Stranger Things continuing to come into its own.
“I don’t think it’s very fair. But I think it kind of fits into the rest of the theme of the season — it’s more adult, it’s brutal, it’s more frightening, and it’s this kind of sense that life isn’t always easy,” Quinn says. “You feel like it’s more mature. And whilst we’d all like Eddie to become celebrated and get the hero’s death he deserves, I think it’s kind of classier storytelling.”
Though Eddie was a newcomer to the Stranger Things world, he fit into the show’s larger focus of outsiders in every form. A metal-loving, pot-dealing, D&D-playing nerd, Eddie had a bit of a chip on his shoulder that made him an easy target for the town to latch onto as a villain. But as the main cast of characters know, his death was nothing short of valiant: absolutely shredding “Master of Puppets” by Metallica on top of a trailer in the Upside Down, and charging into battle to keep the bats away from Steve, Robin, and Nancy’s battle with the Vecna.
While it seems like Eddie could’ve simply played guitar to make noise, rather than expertly soloing through the guitar riffs of “Master of Puppets” at length, Quinn is glad his character went that route.
“I got some texts — a couple of quite elusive texts from the Duffers asking if I played guitar. I said yes, and got no reply,” Quinn says. Then he got the script for the final two episodes and had to start practicing “a lot.” But ultimately, when it came time to shoot he felt ready in more ways than one.
“We were still quite deep in the throes of the pandemic and it still felt kind of scary. But I remember there was a really lovely atmosphere on set because it felt like the first time the crew and myself [were] in an environment where there was live music being played […] and we were playing ‘Master of Puppets’ in the Upside Down! That doesn’t happen every day.”
“I don’t think there’s very many worlds where a Metallica concert wouldn’t feel ridiculous as a crescendo to a season. [Here] it feels totally earned, and it feels silly, but it feels right and inspired. And I felt so lucky to be able to have a part in it.”
Stranger Things 4 is now streaming on Netflix.