The global pop culture phenomenon that is Stranger Things is officially expanding beyond its streaming confines and into other media. That’s mostly taken the form of a renewed appreciation for Kate Bush, but there are plenty of callbacks, references, and minute details to get lost in this season.
That includes quite a few references to heavy metal and the adjacent “satanic panic” that took over the Midwest of America during the mid-1980s. One of the newest characters from season four, the drug-selling and D&D loving leader of the Hellfire Club Eddie Munson, has quite a bit of fandom towards the heavy metal of the day, including one specific band heavy on fantasy and mythology: Dio.
Throughout his appearances this season, Munson is seen wearing a denim vest with a T-shirt of Dio’s 1984 album The Last in Line sewn onto the back. Since Eddie is on the run nearly the entire season, he doesn’t get a lot of costume changes, making the Dio shoutout a key part of establishing this new character. So when the show wanted some authentic merch for Eddie to rock, they went straight to the estate of late frontman Ronnie James Dio.
“He’s a fan of wizard metal, he’s a fan of Dio. He’s a fan of Metallica,” costume designer Amy Parris explained in a recent interview. “Actually, Dio was a popular band in the ‘80s, and we reached out to the estate [of the late Ronnie James Dio to source a band shirt]. His wife is in charge of his estate and offered to send us vintage T-shirts, which was such a dream.”
“I love Eddie. I think Eddie feels so real,” Parris added. “And he’s wearing one thing because he’s in that outfit the whole time, so I really focused and zeroed in on making sure everything in that outfit was authentic.”
The Dio estate confirmed their approval with a tweet that celebrated Eddie’s metal head bona fides. Eddie’s entire look, complete with silver rings and long hair perfect for headbanging, is sure to be an early frontrunner for Halloween Costume of the Year. It’s just nice to hear that the crew put some serious thought into the smallest of connections – when you have each episode granted a $30 million budget, there’s no reason not to spend it making things as authentic as possible.