Our exclusive report from last Thursday, that Linda Hamilton had joined the cast of Stranger Things' Season 5, has been confirmed by Netflix.
Cinema’s best Terminator-killer is heading to Hawkins, and we were the ones who broke the news. Last Thursday, we exclusively reported that Linda Hamilton of Terminator fame was joining the cast of Stranger Things‘ Season 5, and Netflix confirmed our scoop over the weekend. The streamer confirmed Hamilton’s casting at the fan event Tudum, where the star’s video message was introduced by her frequent collaborator Arnold Schwarzenegger, and then posted the announcement to Twitter.
One thing that remains a mystery is exactly who Linda Hamilton will play in the final season of Stranger Things, though Netflix’s tweet is a tantalizing clue. As you can see above, the photograph of Hamilton appears in black-and-white and is upside-down. The very fact that the picture is upside-down suggests some kind of connection to Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower), and the photo being black-and-white could suggest someone from the past.
It’s possible Linda Hamilton is playing another villain in Stranger Things. Perhaps an ally to Vecna, or maybe even a past victim. One possibility is that she’s playing Vecna’s mother.
Jamie Campbell Bower’s character emerges as a major villain — perhaps even the major villain — in Season 4, but so far, all we’ve seen of his life before he becomes Vecna is isolated to his time in the Hawkins Lab as One.
If Linda Hamilton is playing Vecna’s mother in Stranger Things, this would actually fit with the show’s penchant for naming its bad guys after Dungeons & Dragons villains. When the young heroes first reference Vecna in Season 4, they aren’t uttering a name created by the Duffer brothers. Vecna is, in fact, a villain who appeared in D&D‘s Greyhawk campaign setting as far back as 1976.
In Greyhawk, Vecna has a mother named Mazzel before his transformation to undeath, and it’s Mazzel who teaches him how to wield magic. The government of the fictional city of Fleeth executes Mazzel for witchcraft.
Considering Vecna’s powers in the Netflix series — and the covert operations funded by the United States government in the story — if Linda Hamilton has been cast as the Stranger Things answer to Mazzel, it would be a fitting choice.
That’s just speculation, of course. For now all we know for sure is that Linda Hamilton will appear in Season 5 of Stranger Things. Her addition makes her the latest in a long list of stars whose casting acts as a nostalgic callback to the 1980s.
Other celebrities known for their work in the 1980s who have appeared in the series — in both major and minor roles — include Sean Astin, Robert Englund, Cary Elwes, Paul Reiser, Matthew Modine, and of course Winona Ryder.