Why Eddie Munson Is the Most Important Metalhead of 2022

Eddie Munson Flickr
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Stranger Things is one of the most important shows to come out of 2022. 

Along with other Netflix series gaining traction, being transported back to Hawkins, Indiana in 1986 had kept fans glued to their televisions to see how the gang was going to go up against series baddy Vecna. 

While everyone and their mother might be talking about Kate Bush after ‘Running Up That Hill’, Eddie Munson is one of the best things to happen to metal so far this decade. 

A fan favorite throughout the season, Eddie earned his stripes as one of the more rebellious members of the Hawkins gang, proud to be one of the nerds playing D&D in the Hellfire Club (itself a reference to the legendary Chris Claremont run on X-Men) and blasting heavy metal whenever he could. 

This isn’t by accident either. The Duffer Brothers have done their homework on what Eddie was supposed to be, and he looks like the perfect metalhead from the moment that he comes on screen, from his cutoff jeans to the patched-up vest he rocks.

While the show had flirted with bringing in metal music here and there like ‘Runaway’ by Bon Jovi in season 2, they were still treading water before the leader of the Hellfire Club kicked down the door. 

Eddie came at the perfect time, giving metal proper representation when the genre was going through its first real golden age in the ’80s.

Taking place right when thrash metal started to really hit, Eddie represents either what metalheads were or the kind of guy that metalheads you would want to be friends with back in the day, from being an absolute monster on guitar to the fascination with the more mythical side of life as Dungeon Master in the gang’s D&D campaigns.

It would have been easy for Eddie to be a caricature for most of this season, but he’s actually the ideal version of what metalheads were like, looking to have some fun with heavier music and poke fun at some of the straights who get offended by it. 

The most endearing part of Joseph Quinn’s performance comes in the last few episodes when the gang is scrambling around his room for any ‘real’ music to help the situation and Eddie screaming, “this is music,” when his Iron Maiden tapes are called into question. Even if you didn’t have to worry about monsters trying to kill you like they do in Hawkins, many metalheads have had a moment when friends or family want you to listen to ‘real’ music.

Just before his tragic end, Eddie gives one last performance that would make any metal fan proud, performing Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’ in the Upside Down as demonic bats swarm around him. The scene itself looks like a badass metal album cover, and Eddie is the one person that actually lived it. 


There might have been some fans that gatekeeping fans of the show, seeing Metallica take off after the last episode has exposed potential new fans to the world of metal. After the episode aired, streams of ‘Master of Puppets’ went up exponentially, increasing streams of the song by 400%

From Metallica, listeners are now going further down the rabbit hole, getting into bands like Slayer and Anthrax because of how much they loved hearing ‘Master of Puppets.’

It hasn’t gone unnoticed in the metal community either, with Metallica showing support for the Hellfire Club and even bringing Eddie Munson actor Joseph Quinn to their HQ to jam for a little bit.


So aside from corners of the Internet that take pleasure in gatekeeping, Eddie Munson might be one of the biggest gateway drugs for fans of metal, helping fans go back and dig up the classics before sinking their teeth into some of the heavier stuff. It might seem strange seeing metal at the top of the charts for the first time in a while, but more exposure to the genre is never a bad thing. 


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