Warning: The article contains spoilers for Stranger Things season 4.
Stranger Things season 4 has shaken fans to their very core with countless plot twists about Vecna's identity and Eleven's earliest nightmares and surprise character growth. One of the most entertaining aspects of the show is the carefully crafted characters with varying degrees of deliberate evolution, considering Eleven and The Party are no longer kids anymore.
The collective genius and strength of the Stranger Things gang have brought them to victory many times, yet the individual flaws of each character tend to create exceptional stumbling blocks for their growth. Season 4 truly highlighted the character flaws of many iconic heroes and villains, whether Eleven's hero complex or Dr. Brenner's obsession for control. While some were able to overcome their fear-based flaws, others remain in their weaknesses in agonizing cliffhangers.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Eleven - Hero Complex
As the star of the series, Eleven has undergone some extensive character growth since her beginning. Season 4 dived into the various trauma that she has experienced, which painted a clearer picture of both her fears and deepest desires. At the hands of Dr. Brenner, Eleven has been a pawn in something much bigger than herself, yet she is relentlessly relied on as the solution, which created a hero complex in her mature years.
RELATED: 10 Fan Reactions To Stranger Things Season 4 Vol. 1
Eleven was forced into physical and psychological manipulation from an extremely young age. Granted her powers are extraordinary, but the immense weight of the responsibility to save the entire town of Hawkins, again and again, would burden any protagonist. The losses experienced in the Season 4 finale, and more so the lack of victory, left Eleven in a limbo state of disappointment and inadequacy.
Mike - Projects His Insecurities On His Relationships
Mike and Eleven are one of the most beloved duos in Stranger Things. The tenderness and the character growth that has been evident in their relationship seemed to be unshakeable until season 4 came around. Mike was shown to be shying away from Eleven which made her feel even more isolated than she already was in her new home.
Throughout all the turmoil the Surfer Boy crew experienced in their efforts to locate Eleven, Mike pinpointed his insecurity of feeling inadequate and unnecessary to the heroine. Addressing his biggest flaw, he countered it by showing his devotion and support for Eleven. The misunderstanding, that almost tore the couple apart, was successfully communicated and brought them even closer as a couple when they were reunited.
Jim - Guilt Of The Past
For the majority of season 4, Jim was stranded as an abused prisoner in Russia. At his lowest point, when he had been recaptured, tortured, and made a candidate for sacrifice, he shared some of his most tragic memories. Due to circumstances beyond his control, he was unable to have a family, which made him feel fickle in past and current relationships.
He regretted the times he pushed the people he loved away, and at moments, he felt he had been too controlling over Eleven. Although he was always trying to do what he felt was best, he realized some things were more important than his pride. Jim was finally able to shake the guilt from his past and regain hope, which fueled his triumphant return back to Hawkins.
Will - Inability To Communicate Emotions
Fans have a few theories about the internal struggle that Will is clearly going through during season 4. Every time he tries to communicate or face a situation that he has strong feelings about, he shrinks away in tears. This inability to express his emotions keeps him from the closure and happiness he could experience if he communicated with Mike and his friends openly.
RELATED: What The Patronus Of Each Stranger Things Main Character Would Be
Will was able to have some bonding time with his brother, which helped him to see that he does have an ally who he can always rely. Though he never followed through with his implied desire to tell Mike how he feels, Jonathan successfully assured him with support and love. As Max showed in season 4, isolation can be extremely dangerous, so Will is safe from that for now.
Max - Self-Loathing
Max Mayfield proves to be one of the greatest MVPs in Stranger Things season 4. Her willingness to sacrifice herself as bait for the nightmare-inflicting Vecna further proved her devotion to her friends and the safety of Hawkins. In her various encounters with Vecna, fans were shown how intense her misery and self-loathing truly were since her brother's death.
Since Billy's death, she isolated herself and continued to feed into the darkness that was encompassing her heart and mind. It wasn't until she opened her heart that she was reminded by Lucas and her friends that she had things worth fighting for. She overcame her flaw and gave everything she had to not only survive but save the lives of everybody around her.
Jonathan - Fear Of Confrontation
Jonathan had one of the most relatable flaws of all the characters which held him back from telling Nancy the truth about his future plans. His fear of confrontation paired with feeling unworthy fed into a growing rift between him and the girl he loved. Although he would sacrifice himself for family and friends, he had a difficult time committing to Nancy long-term.
RELATED: 10 Quotes That Prove Steve Was The Smartest In Stranger Things
Jonathan's weakness is countered strongly by Steve's desire to marry and have a family with Nancy. The inner turmoil that both characters have regarding Nancy fuels that drama-filled love triangle that fans crave. As shown in the character growth of each individual, if Jonathan doesn't face his fear, he's likely to lose Nancy in the mere future.
Eddie - Self Victimization
Eddie swooped in and stole the hearts of many fans as the eccentric antihero. Up until his courageous end, Eddie had a tendency to victimize himself which fueled his disdain for authority figures, high school, and anything else he deemed was holding him back from his full potential. As a super senior and a social outcast, Eddie felt that the world was out to get him which became a stark reality.
Eddie's tendency of running from danger instead of sticking up for himself fueled the town's narrative that he was an evil sadist, who was murdering his peers. He was a victim in many ways, but it wasn't until he viewed himself as a hero that he peaked as a character. His powerful growth is shown in the finale when he sacrificed himself to save not only Dustin but also the town of Hawkins.
Jason Carver - Hatred Fueled Bigotry
Jason evolved into one of the best antagonists in Stranger Things from out of nowhere. His persuasive power of speech and charismatic nature gave him power that no high schooler should be able to muster over an entire town. Throughout season 4, Jason singled out the Hellfire Club to be the ones responsible for the murders in the town. Jason's bigotry and blindness to the real problem were boosted by the true 80s mindset of "Satanic Panic."
Everything that was either too complex for people to understand or out of the social norm was labeled as evil. Drowning in the grief of the loss of his girlfriend, Jason desperately clung to the narrative that Eddie and his friends were the targets he needed to take out in order to re-establish order in the town. Unfortunately for Jason, his biggest flaw led to his own gruesome death.
Peter/One/Henry/Vecna - Thirst For Power
There are countless fan theories about Stranger Things season 5 that revolve around Vecna's future role in the series. The enticing flashbacks and coinciding story plots of both Eleven and Nancy and the gang discovering Vecna's true personality had fans on the edge of their seats. Even at an extremely young age, Peter's obsession and thirst for control turned him into a literal monster.
Just like Eleven, One was used and abused by Dr. Brenner, who tried to manipulate the boy's powers into his own personal weapon. Peter's character growth only excelled deeper into evil as he transformed into the terror-inducing Vecna. His future is unsure, but seeing as Eleven is prepping for war, season 5 will hopefully address whether Vecna's flaws will turn into strengths or be his downfall.
Dr. Brenner - Obsessive Need For Control
Dr. Brenner finally met the sticky end that fans have been rooting for since season 1. His overbearing practices of complete manipulation and control of countless victims have made him one of the most despised villains in the series. Brenner's greatest flaw of feeling the need for control has both made a superhero out of Eleven and a supervillain out of One.
Despite the moments that he made it seem as though Eleven was successful in getting through to him, Brenner fed into his natural tendency to lie and manipulate to get his way. Even in his last moments, he was doing everything in his power to have complete control over Eleven. Brenner's flaw was fatal, and Eleven never gave her abuser the closure he selfishly asked for.
NEXT: 10 Fan Reactions To Stranger Things Season 4 Finale, According To RedditShareTweetEmail 90 Day Fiancé: How Jenny's Style Has Changed Since Marrying Sumit Related Topics
- stranger things
Ashleigh loves to be entertained whether that be by going to the theater or staring into a campfire. She has many interests that include traveling, writing, trying new recipes/hobbies, and starting a family someday. Ashleigh loves all animals-especially baby ones.More From Ashleigh Stephens