Stranger Things inspires 600% search increase for Dungeons & Dragons

STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Stranger Things is many things: supernatural thriller, slice-of-life drama, ’80s pastiche…but the best thing about it might be the way it’s super-charging interest in select pieces of pop culture. The most recent fourth season featured songs from ’80s artists like Kate Bush and Metallica, exposing them to a whole new generation of eager fans. It’s also done the same thing for the table-top role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.

To be fair, Dungeons & Dragons didn’t really need the help; there was already a big surge in interest in the game thanks to the pandemic, back when people were stuck in their homes and searching for ways to pass the time. Still, the data is convincing. According to, Google searches for “how to play Dungeons and Dragons” shot up by 600% since the first seven episodes of Stranger Things season 4 dropped on Netflix on May 27. Searches for “Dungeons and Dragons starter sets” went up by 250%.

The characters on Stranger Things have always played D&D, but the game got a renewed focus in season 4, when Mike and Dustin (and kind of Lucas and Erica) joined a D&D crew called the Hellfire Club run by beloved newcomer Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn). And speaking of Eddie, some of these surging searches relate to him. Beware SPOILERS below.

Who is Kas in Dungones & Dragons?

So, interestingly, in the last 30 days, searches for “Kas Dungeons and Dragons” have increased by 950%. What does that mean?

The show has a long history of naming villains after creatures from D&D. First there was the Demogorgon, then the Mind Flayer, and most recently Vecna. But while the Demogorgon and the Mind Flayer are monsters, Vecna is a guy, an evil wizard who has become a sort of dark god within the mythology of D&D. And in that mythology, Vecna has a right-hand man named Kas.

Kas is a vampire who wields a sword and a shield covered in spikes. Eventually he turns on Vecna and defeats him. There’s a fan theory going around that Eddie — who died in the season 4 finale — might be revived and turned and made to fight against his former friends as Vecna’s lieutenant, only to turn on his new master in the end.

We have no idea if anything like that is going to happen, but it’s fun to noodle. We’ll see in 2024 or whenever the fifth and final season of Stranger Things comes out.

Next. House of the Dragon is a “dark…complex…very human” story. dark

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