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A D&D Error In Stranger Things Season 4 Has Fans Arguing

Demogorgons, Mind Flayers, and Vecnas, oh my! These are just some of the terrifying villains that Netflix's smash hit "Stranger Things" has introduced viewers to. For the uninitiated, these are disturbing entities that emerge from the Upside Down to terrorize Hawkins, Indiana. However, for fans of the popular role-playing game "Dungeons & Dragons," these villains are old hat. 

"Stranger Things" creators the Duffer Brothers have been inspired by the lore of "Dungeons & Dragons" and have regularly introduced elements of the game into the show, beginning with a now-classic villain — the Demogorgon. Since best friends Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Will (Noah Schnapp), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) are avid fans of the "Dungeons & Dragons," this is naturally their touchstone and is how they come up with names for their foes on the series. The appreciation for the game is one of the show's strengths and creates a recognizable landscape for fans. 

However, the show's general faithfulness in its representation of the game is what made it so jarring when some fans on Reddit noted a startling discrepancy in the super-sized "Stranger Things" Season 4. Could it be so that the Duffer Brothers actually made a mistake in their own world?

A basic D&D term is misused

Season 4 begins as a love letter to "Dungeons & Dragons" when viewers are given a look into Mike and Dustin's ongoing campaign. However, fans on Reddit found an oddity when they noticed a significant error from a supposed expert. New "Stranger Things" character Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) is the Hellfire Club's Dungeon Master but somehow, he gets a basic piece of information wrong.

"Mike and Dustin bring Lucas's sister to Hellfire and Eddie questions her about her DND credentials. He asks her for her class and level, and then jokes she's a level 1 Dwarf," explained u/cippopotomas. "But Dwarf isn't a class, it's a race. The entire show is based around D&D and this is like 101." At first glance, this seems like an obvious mistake. Dwarves and elves are races where classes use titles such as rogues or paladins. Though some agreed with the Redditor, others delved deep into the history of "Dungeons & Dragons" to find an answer. 

Redditor u/Roverboef noted that "Dungeons & Dragons" game versions aren't so cut and dry, giving a concise history on the forum. "As many old players from the 70s and 80s will tell you, people just mixed all sorts of different materials together. Maybe you only had the 1981 version of the Basic D&D Basic Book, the 1983 version of the Basic D&D Expert book and an Advanced D&D Monster Manual and some Modules." Beyond that, of course, the creators are entitled to some creative liberty.

The Duffers aren't exactly married to accuracy

Certain aspects of "Stranger Things" are not entirely percent accurate — nor should they be. The Netflix series is for entertainment, and some additions tell a better story. This was even the case for the new big bad of the season, Vecna. In a conversation with Tudum, the Duffer Brothers explained why Vecna is different in "Stranger Things."

"We come up with a monster that we want in whatever season we're doing, and then we flip through the D&D Monster Manuals looking for, 'What would [the kids] be referencing here' In this case, it was Vecna, who really wasn't a character until the '90s," Matt Duffer admitted. Though it was anachronistic, the Duffers weren't about to let that fact get in the way of a good story.

In the end, it certainly paid off. Vecna feeds on the pain and suffering of its victims, meaning there's no better hunting ground than a high school. A clear allegory for teenage trauma, Vecna is an inspired enemy to help the "Stranger Things" kids transition into young adulthood and makes an excellent addition to the show's roster of villains.