According to makeup artist Amy L. Forsythe for Stranger Things, Eddie’s infamous tattoos did not truly portend his demise in season 4.
The idea that Eddie’s tattoos portended his demise has been definitively refuted by Amy L. Forsythe, the season 4 makeup artist for Stranger Things. When Stranger Things on Netflix first launched in 2016, it rapidly established itself as one of the most popular pieces of original programming on the platform. Season 4 of Stranger Things, which debuted in two parts earlier this year, set several records for viewership. Stranger Things is presently the most watched English-language show on Netflix, with season 4 alone accumulating 1.4 billion viewing hours from streamers in its first 28 days, in addition to being nominated for 51 Emmys and 4 Golden Globes.
Eddie Munson, the popular metalhead played by Joseph Quinn, was first introduced in season 4 and soon rose to the top of the fan favorites list. All of the Stranger Things characters have an unique ’80s aesthetic, but Eddie is the only notable one who has longer hair, silver rings, and several tattoos. Eddie’s tattoos have spawned a lot of fan theories, many of which claim that they prophesied his death in the season 4 finale, despite the fact that they were only briefly discussed and very infrequently visible given Eddie’s wardrobe.
In addition to a demon puppet being controlled by an imaginary hand, Eddie has tattoos of a wyvern, a demon skull, a spider, and, most significantly, a swarm of bats. The fact that Eddie played Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” on his guitar in the season 4 finale before being devoured alive by demonic bats appeared too perfect to be a coincidence to many viewers.
Forsythe claims that while Eddie’s fate coincidentally matched his tattoos, this was purely accidental in an interview with Insider. However, the puppet and bat tattoos did connect back to the show in very different ways, according to Forsythe, who claims that they were more intentionally picked to match with a metal aesthetic than for particular storyline reasons. The puppet tattoo was really a nod to Vecna, while the bats were a nod to Steve’s personal battle with the demobats. Here is Forsythe’s whole justification:
“The puppet-master tattoo was a nod to Vecna — how he controls people and pulls them up from the ground. I had no idea ‘Master of Puppets’ was going to be played… The bats definitely were pulled from 1. heavy metal, and 2. knowing subconsciously that Steve would be getting in this bat fight. I didn’t know what a demobat looked like yet, and I was going back and forth with my tattoo artist because we needed some filler, just a splash of something. And I was like, ‘What about bats? Five or six of them, and make them look like the ink is dropping out a little bit.’“
Although Forsythe acknowledges that given Eddie’s clothing, she wasn’t even sure if the tattoos, which were part of his metalhead image, would be seen on screen. And although Eddie’s tattoos are mainly hidden by his leather jacket in several situations, his puppet and bat tattoos are still visible. Although some fans perceived this look at Eddie’s tattoos as a sign of things to come, and they would in fact serve as hints to Eddie’s terrible end, everything was just a coincidence.
Ironically, many Stranger Things fans have begun getting tattoos of Eddie’s design since his valiant death. Fans have given Forsythe’s tattoos a new significance that the show’s makeup team never intended, even though he had no idea how they would perfectly complement his plot. While Forsythe said she was aware that fans would identify strongly with Eddie, she claims she was unaware of the lengths to which Stranger Things fans would go in order to take a piece of their favorite character with them and to add new meaning to tattoos that were initially merely fashionable.