Stranger Things | Vecna ​​design inspired by two different HBO series

Stranger Things’ last resident villain, Vecna, was inspired by two other TV shows – and fans might be surprised at the vastly different shows that influenced the character’s terrifying design.

Barrie Gower, the prosthetic makeup artist behind Vecna’s look for the series, revealed the unusual influences behind the character’s appearance.

Speaking exclusively to, Gower said: “We were approached by an incredible producer called Iain Paterson and the brothers – the Duffer brothers. They approached us in 2019 – towards the end of 2019. They came into contact and said they had this character they wanted to create for the new season, and they wanted their own iconic villain.”

He went on to explain that the team behind Stranger Things drew inspiration from two of HBO’s biggest hit shows that Gower himself worked on.

“And they were big fans of the Night King, a character we created for Game of Thrones. And also, I had worked, at the time, on HBO’s Chernobyl – on all the radiation burn victims .

Vecna ​​in Stranger Things 4 Courtesy of Netflix

“And I think they were looking for something that looked and felt and textured almost similar to some of that makeup – but to have that iconic presence, kind of like the Night King.”

Vecna, a sentient creature aligned with the Upside Down, began life as a human named Henry Creel. But young Henry later discovered that he had psychokinetic abilities and could alter the perception of others. This led to some unbearably bad deeds, and Vecna’s presence in Season 4 of Stranger Things marked the arrival of a villain unlike anything the show had seen before.

Rather than trying to replicate Gower’s efficient creations in previous shows, it naturally made sense to approach the man himself when it came to creating Vecna ​​- and that’s exactly how his involvement in Stranger Things was born.

“So I think in their early discussions when they were talking about the brief and saying, ‘We want someone who’s very practical, and who’s going to have a presence on set, and is going to be prosthetic makeup, and something in the sense of a character like the Night King’.

“I think they were like, ‘Well, why don’t we approach the guys who did the Night King?’ So I think that’s how we had a shoo-in there.”

Vecna ​​is a truly terrifying presence, so we’d definitely say the right choice was made – although in this case it seems even Dragonglass or Valyrian steel won’t help in the fight against him…

Additional reporting by Huw Fullerton

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Stranger Things 4 Part 1 is available to stream on Netflix, with more coming July 1. Seasons 1-3 of Stranger Things are now available on Netflix.

Check out our guides on best series on netflix and the best movies on netflix. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.

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