With Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 officially out and most fans having watched the newest episodes by now, we’re left with little to do between now and the time Stranger Things season 5 airs than theorize about what could happen next or how the show could end. The latest Stranger Things theory suggests a significant connection between Karen Wheeler (Cara Buono) and Vecna.
Games Radar reported on the theory, linking it back to a TikTok video outlining Karen Wheeler’s possible familial connection to Jamie Campbell Bower’s big bad. Since then, the theory has caught on like wildfire and spread across Reddit, Twitter and other online forums.
But what exactly is this theory concerning Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Holly and Nancy’s (Natalia Dyer) mom? Could it be true?
Stranger Things theory: Is Karen Wheeler connected to Vecna?
The theory is that Karen Wheeler might be Vecna’s sister, Alice Creel. As we know, Vecna is actually a man of many names, including 001, Peter Ballard and Henry Creel. We saw Henry and Alice together as children briefly in a flashback and it is believed that Henry killed his sister along with his mother. However, what if Alice did not actually die?
Why do people think it’s possible? Well, it started with the marketing for Stranger Things season 4. The character posters included Karen Wheeler, which is interesting since Cara Buono’s role has been pretty small in all four seasons thus far, she’s not listed as a series regular, yet she is the only minor/side character to have gotten her own character poster.
Even the newcomer, Enzo/Dmitri (Tom Wlaschiha), didn’t get one yet he had significantly more screentime than Buono did in season 4.
Even more interesting is that Karen’s poster includes the Creel house. It makes sense that the posters for Nancy, Steve (Joe Keery), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Erica (Priah Ferguson) and Robin (Maya Hawke) all have the Creel house since they’re the group in Hawkins and they spend a significant amount of time there, but why is Karen included in the mix?
It’s not just the poster either. At the end of season 4, episode 9, fans thought Karen’s reaction to the “snow” or Upside Down ash in Hawkins, felt a little too knowing, as if perhaps she was aware of the shift or change occurring around her. Plus, out of all the minor characters and parents (besides Joyce) Karen is the only character to have a little more going on in the show, such as her minor sub-plot with Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) in season 3.
It just seems like Karen might have a more significant role to play before things are all said and done. Maybe she’s not Alice Creel, but it certainly appears like Karen has something else going on or hidden. And if she is Alice, what better way to blend into Hawkins and lay low than by marrying some boring and safe like Ted Wheeler?
What do you think of this new Stranger Things theory and what it means for Karen Wheeler?