[Warning: This article contains MAJOR spoilers for Stranger Things Season 4 Part 1.]
Stranger Things Season 4 Part 2 drops Friday, July 1 on Netflix. And its trailer just may be one of the best we’ve seen all year. There’s far too much to try and unpack from the two-minute video (Steve death hints?! Joyce trapped in the Upside Down?! Eleven blowing up the secret lab?!), but one part that sticks out the most features Eddie Munson.
First, Joseph Quinn‘s D&D-loving, heavy metal-obsessed 20-year-old high schooler is seen grabbing an electric guitar from the Upside Down version of his home. Later on, he plays that guitar on the roof of his Upside Down trailer. The brief moment has already inspired fan art, but it has us wondering what the heck he’s playing!
Music has always been a key player in Stranger Things (the soundtracks for each season are full of deeply satisfying throwbacks), but it’s never been more important than in Season 4. As fans well know by now, Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” saves Max (Sadie Sink) from being killed by Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) in Part 1. Now that the gang has cracked the code on how to save Vecna’s would-be victims, it seems all but certain that Eddie will be playing something on the roof to save someone from certain doom.
That’s just the basis of this theory. To figure out what he’s playing, we have to answer these questions: Who needs saving? Why is Eddie saving them? What song would he play to save either himself or someone else?
One solid guess is Steve (Joe Keery). Not only does the trailer imply Steve could die in Part 2 (Maya Hawke‘s Robin tells him she thinks they may not survive the fight, and the trailer is rather Steve-heavy — maybe because it’s his last one? We desperately want to be wrong!), but Part 1 also established a budding friendship between Eddie and Steve.
While investigating with Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Robin, Eddie told Steve he made unfair assumptions about him when they were classmates. Eddie also confesses he’s never felt very brave. Plus, he’s been the Hawkins scapegoat all season long, being blamed for all of Vecna’s murders, telling us he may get the chance to be the hero. And there’s this tweet:
AT ALL COSTS!!! pic.twitter.com/qabjmpy0y1
— Netflix (@netflix) June 29, 2022
Even Netflix admits Steve needs protecting! So what song would Eddie play to save Steve? Stranger Things needle drops tend to be recognizable songs. “Running Up That Hill” is a relatively deep cut for the show, and we’re only calling it that because Gen-Z viewers (a massive part of the show’s fanbase) likely heard it for the first time watching Part 1.
Given that, plus everything we know about Mr. Popular Steve Harrington and the Black Sabbath-loving Eddie, Steve would never be saved by Eddie’s taste in music. The season is set in March 1986. A mainstream song of the time that you know Steve would love? Toto’s “Africa.” In fact, we know Steve likes the song (released in 1982) already, because it plays during a Steve and Nancy scene in Season 1 — the scene where he’s helping her study with flashcards. You know, the same flashcards she finds in her Upside Down bedroom in Season 4. It also marks one of their first kisses. With all of the heavy hints of a rekindled romance between Steve and Nancy this season, it’s not far off to imagine “Africa” having a special place in Steve’s heart, making it prime saving content.
Another possibility: Eddie’s saving Will (Noah Schnapp). Will survived for a week in the Upside Down in Season 1. To comfort himself, he sang his favorite song, The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go.” There are also hints that Vecna is what took Will all those years ago, from the telepathy seen in those moments to the human-like figure approaching him in the street.
It seems like the whole Hawkins gang will end up in Vecna’s territory in the finale, so it’s not far off to think Will could end up in danger upon returning given his connection to the cursed place. “Should I Stay or Should I Go” also has an instantly recognizable guitar riff, and Will needing saving again would give the character a more interesting plot than he’s had all season (and could lead to a reveal about his painting that hasn’t been mentioned since the first Part 1 episodes).
Schnapp may have hinted at Will back in the Upside Down on Instagram. In a May 27 post, the actor shared behind-the-scenes photos, one of them showing him “harnessed up.” Could that harness have been used to make Will float, like the other Vecna victims? If so, his favorite song would certainly do the trick.
Now, moving on to the next theory. Could Eddie be saving everyone? Perhaps he’s fully embracing his hero moment by creating a distraction atop his trailer to pull Vecna (or other Upside Down monsters) away from his new friends. If Eddie believed he was sacrificing himself, we think he’d either play one of his favorite songs or a song that’s already relevant to the season’s plot.
An Eddie rendition of “Running Up That Hill” would be killer to see in this moment. And perhaps it being remixed in the trailer is more than just The Duffer Brothers playing into the song’s resurged popularity. Plus, he’s literally “running up that building” to get on top of the house, like Bush’s lyrics say.
— Stranger Things 4 (@StrangerNews11) June 27, 2022
And now, for the final theory. If Eddie is playing his last long, we can’t imagine him playing anything but Black Sabbath, or at least songs from two of its members, Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio.
Black Sabbath was the band that represented the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, the time period that inspired the character. Eddie mentions his love of the band and Osbourne in Part 1, and his denim jacket has a massive Dio patch on the back; the Dio merch, as revealed by costume designer Amy Parris, was gifted to the show from Dio’s estate. (Dio replaced Osbourne as lead singer in 1979.) And Quinn listened to heavy metal on a loop to prepare for filming.
If this is the last song Eddie could ever play, our best guesses are either Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” or Osbourne’s “Crazy Train,” because of Eddie’s love of the band, the songs’ release dates (1970 and 1980, respectively) and lyrics, and the fact that they’re instantly recognizable.
If we had to put money on it, we’d say Eddie is playing “Iron Man,” as it’s about a man who travels to the future and witnesses the apocalypse, but no one believes him back in his time, so he kills them all. One of the band’s most iconic songs, Osbourne’s shows are considered incomplete by fans until “Iron Man” is performed.
Tell us that doesn’t fit perfectly! Cast your votes for what you think Eddie is playing in the poll below. And if you think we missed something big, tell us your theories in the comments section.
Stranger Things, Season 4 Part 2, Premieres Friday, July 1, Netflix