‘Stranger Things’ star clears up the mystery of why Vecna targeted Max

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Image via Netflix

Vecna, quite possibly the scariest villain in all of Stranger Things, has been on the warpath in season four, as the so-called dark wizard from the Upside Down has been making like Freddie Krueger and killing teenagers by playing on their fears and nightmares. While the unlucky Chrissy (R.I.P the shortest-lived fan-favorite yet) was his first victim, Vecna quickly turned his attention to Max, with episode four centering on the gang’s attempts to save her before it was too late.

But why did Vecna specifically hone in on Max out of all of our Hawkins heroes? These kids have been through a lot in their lives, so it’s not like they’re short on trauma. Speaking during the Stranger Things panel on Day Four of Netflix’s Geeked Week, star Sadie Sink explained why she thinks Max ended up on Vecna’s kill list, emphasizing how the character’s intense grief over the loss of her brother, Billy, put a target on her back. As Sink put it:

“You kind of learn in the season that he targets people that are in a real [bad] place, and Max is obviously one of those people. Just with everything with Billy, so she was kind of like the perfect target. But I think she was a little bit, I guess, stronger than the others through the help of her friends and everything, so she had an advantage.”

Of course, the real reason Max became Vecna’s victim was because creators the Duffer brothers and producer/director Shawn Levy wanted to showcase Sink’s talent and really allow her to get some meaty material to work with this season. Levy has previously remarked that episode four was the kind of heavy drama they’ve wanted to give the actress since they first hired her to join the ST cast back in season two. Co-star Winona Ryder has even predicted she could be the next Meryl Streep.

Whatever the reason Vecna decided she would make such a tasty treat, all we know is we’re glad Vecna did choose Max, as it resulted in the world remembering how awesome a song “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush is. The track even re-entered the charts, thereby giving the British singer her first top 10 hit in the process. If Vecna had instead targeted, say, Dustin, we probably would’ve had to listen to a lot of The Never-Ending Story theme again.

Stranger Things 4 concludes with two super-sized episodes that are arriving on Netflix this July 1.