The final matchup is coming, and everyone can feel it. Henry Creel and Eleven are on a collision course that has been a long time coming in the series, as their initial battle saw Eleven cast Henry into the Upside Down, which appeared to be a formless pocket dimension that nearly tore him apart. It would appear that over time that he adapted to the Upside Down and used the power he possessed to make it a dark mirror of Hawkins, creating shadowy semblances of every feature, and either creating or manipulating various organisms to his needs. The fact is that Henry was powerful before he was exiled to the Upside Down, and his power only grew as he learned how to adapt and evolve to his own surroundings. Now, years later when has finally mastered his surroundings and, possibly, sent probing attacks into Hawkins to see how far he could push. It feels easy to say that he didn’t recognize Eleven right away once she defeated the Demogorgon and then the Mind Flayer, but it’s easy to think that he started to realize who was defeating the attacks he’d sent.
This is a lot of speculation to be fair, but it’s still easy enough to think that Vecna/Henry would have realized that Eleven was alive and had increased in power when she defeated the Demogorgon. But it would appear that if he did notice that he had no designs on challenging her until the third season. It’s very easy to think that through the Mind Flayer Vecna found a way to rob Eleven of her powers, which would sway the advantage to his side once again. One has to imagine that it would be kind of frustrating to be cast into another dimension by a young girl that was powerful but not nearly as experienced in its use. That alone would keep him reaching forward to try to test Eleven until he could take her full measure, and could find a way to neutralize her.
The fact that Eleven now has her powers back makes it clear that she’s not bound to go down without a fight, but one still has to wonder who is going to be standing by the end. It’s already been deduced, whether accurately or not, that someone will be dying in the coming episodes, and that it’s bound to be tragic. But the battle between Vecna and Eleven is bound to be the deciding factor as to whether or not Hawkins is going to survive since Vecna has made it quite clear that he has no qualms about killing people and leaving their bodies to be found later. What’s even worse about this type of attack is that no one who hasn’t been a part of the weirdness is bound to believe. That leaves Vecna wide open to keep committing as many atrocities as he likes, while Eleven has to either ignore these deaths or do something to stop them since her power alone is what’s going to stop the man that at one point was the only friend she had in the lab where she was raised.
That connection isn’t going to matter when the two finally meet again, but it is interesting to think that Vecna might be contemplative and want to talk a bit, perhaps to throw her off her game and gain another advantage by unsettling her a bit. But this fight is going to be one that will pit two insanely powerful individuals against each other in a manner that will rip apart whatever landscape they happen to be in at that time. It does feel that it will depend on where the fight takes place when it comes to what type of damage will be done, and what kind of advantage each combatant will have. It sounds natural that Vecna would have the advantage in the Upside Down, while Eleven might have a slight advantage in the world that many recognize. But to be realistic, it’s easy to think that Vecna’s powers will only increase if he decides to cross the barrier, and Eleven will need all the help she can get when it comes time to brawl.
If nothing else has convinced the people of Hawkins that something is wrong with their town, seeing the indistinguishable evidence of the Upside Down with Vecna’s arrival would do the trick. Of course, if he crosses over and is more powerful than ever, Hawkins might cease to exist after a while unless Eleven and her companions can do something to stop the twisted character from wreaking havoc on their home. Given that season five has already been given the green light, one can assume that this will either be anticlimactic or a fight that won’t end with one encounter. But it’s going to be intense, and insane without any doubt.