An unlikely clique of oddball kids finds themselves in the heart of a mind-boggling exploit, uncover hidden abilities, and finally have to defeat an evil force. Let’s play Harry Potter on Stranger Things! Since the advent of season 1, fans have constantly drawn parallels between Stranger Things and the Harry Potter series.
With the recent wrap of season 4 for the popular Netflix show, a barrage of bizarre fan theories has been flooding in. Since the beginning of time, several great shows and films have taken inspiration from previously created masterpieces. Some call them references, while others term those homages. Regardless, with so much content being produced every second, thematic similarities and repetitive character tropes are bound to exist. And you can say the same about Stranger Things and the Harry Potter series.
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Is Will Byers actually Harry Potter?
One should not underestimate the eagle-eyed observations of avid fans. Since the beginning, viewers have observed similarities between Will Byers and Harry Potter. A unique mind connection with the main antagonist. Attempts to close their minds and control their thoughts to avoid manipulation AKA Occlumency. A strong sensation when the evil force is close by or getting stronger, i.e. Harry’s scar and Will’s neck tingles! These are some similarities that fans have pointed out on Reddit over the years.
Reddit is a beautiful place to go down the rabbit hole of fan theories. And truth be told, many of them fit perfectly and make sense. A popular theory believes that Will is Vecna’s Horcrux. Fans are speculating about a final showdown similar to the one Harry and Voldemort have in Deathly Hallows Part 2. This may hold true considering the connection Will seems to share with Vecna and how he can feel the villain’s presence and condition.
Stranger Things is possibly an American Harry Potter
Apart from the major theory mentioned above, there are many similarities between characters from both worlds. For instance, Max and Ginny are alike, not just in appearance (red hair), but also act as catalysts to move the narrative forward. Ginny, a supporting character, gets possessed by the memory of Tom Riddle and opens the Chamber of Secrets. In the same way, Max, friends with the core group, is the first one to interact with Vecna.
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Speaking of the evil force himself, Vecna’s character has been compared with numerous characters from movies as well as mythology. One of the most common parallels is that of Vecna being a lich-king. Also popular is his comparison to the dark lord, Voldemort himself. From the physical resemblance to Tom Riddle to the transformation into a grotesque-looking monster, it’s undeniable. They also have almost the same supremacist ideology.
Another fun comparison is The Nina project, the ‘Pensieve’, and Riddle’s Diary. All these elements act as vessels of memories that take you down a labyrinth of past occurrences. They are a perfect tool to set exposition and manipulate the user under the guise of knowledge. Even the Duffer Brothers, the show creators of Stranger Things, compared it to Harry Potter.
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The Duffer Brothers reference Harry Potter
Back in 2017, CinemaBlend, when asked about the conflict between Mind Flayer and Eleven, Matt duffer replied, “It’s a little bit of the Harry Potter thing, in terms of ‘oh this is the one person who can stop me?'” While this might just be a fleeting statement by the showrunner, it gave the audience a way to develop their fan fiction.
Accurate or completely far-fetched, fan theories are probably the best way to wait out the release of the new season. Perhaps, there’s a Dumbledore counterpart hiding in Hawkins! Tell us your speculations in the comments.