Stranger Things: the Soteria in Vecna’s Neck
In Stranger Things season 4, Dr. Brenner implants a device into Henry Creel’s/001’s/Vecna’s neck. This device prevents the boy from using his powers. This device is called a “soteria.”
After all, as Vecna says in S4 Episode 9, Dr. Brenner is not the monster; he is just a weakling who likes to control those who have the real power.
So the soteria stays in 001’s neck for years, and Dr. Brenner uses it to control him. But then one day, Creel helps Eleven escape. He feels an affinity for her. Because Eleven has natural empathy, she takes the soteria out of Creel’s neck. Unfortunately, this frees him to use his powers and go on a murdering rampage, killing almost everyone in the compound.
So that’s what a soteria is from Stranger Things. Why is it called a ‘soteria’? What other information is out there about the soteria machine? I decided to do some research of my own.
Soteria in Greek Mythology
In Greek mythology, Soteria was a spirit of “preservation from harm” (source: Wikipedia). So if you look at it from Dr. Brenner’s perspective, the name makes sense. Of course Dr. Brenner called it Soteria! It’s a device that keeps Henry Creel from killing everyone in sight! In other words, soteria preserves the hospital staff from harm.
But actually, I have another theory. According to the same Wikipedia page, “Soteria was also an epithet for the Goddess Persephone.” That’s huge.
Soteria is Persephone
You may need a brush-up on your Greek mythology. Lucky for you I’ve got you covered.
Hades, the god of the underworld, grabbed Persephone and tried to make her queen of the underworld. Hades held Persephone hostage down there until Demeter, her mom, let all the plants die. Finally, Zeus, her father, demanded that Hades let her go. But unfortunately, Persephone had already eaten some underworld fruit, a pomegranate.
So they reached a compromise: half the year, Persephone could vibe with her mom above ground. While she was there in the normal world, plants would bloom and flourish. This part of the story is meant to explain spring and summer.
But then for the other half of the year, Persephone had to go spend time with her husband, Hades. During these months, all the plants died again. This is meant to explain autumn and winter (Source: Wikipedia).
What does soteria mean in Stranger Things?
In Stranger Things season 4 episode 9 — the final episode — Vecna is defeated, but he manages to kill Max.
In other words, Vecna is like Hades, and Max is like Persephone. When Vecna finally kills Max, she goes to The Upside-Down, the whole sky turns red, and all the plants and flowers turn gray and die.