This article or section reveals details from the third season. Read at your own discretion...
|This article is about the Mind Flayer's victims. For the episode, see The Flayed (episode).|
The Flayed are the various men, women and children of Hawkins who fell under the Mind Flayer's possession, as well as swarms of possessed rats and animals. The first person to be Flayed was Will Byers, in 1984, when visions brought him back to the Upside Down to eventually become possessed by the Mind Flayer. In 1985, the number of Flayed increased after the part of the Mind Flayer trapped in the human world awakened and possessed hundreds of rats, as well as Billy Hargrove. Billy began kidnapping people of Hawkins and bringing them to the Brimborn Steel Works, where the Mind Flayer would possess them. Eventually, The Flayed, they were summoned in masses to the Steel Works, where they were melted down into flesh and organic matter, congealing together to form a beastly new incarnation of the Mind Flayer himself.
A normal possession or "flaying" of someone would be as followed: The Mind Flayer in its pure form would use a part of itself to create a small smoky tornado, which it would send down to the ground to engulf a person. Then, the gas would propel itself into that person, leaving them frozen and helpless until the possession is complete. However, when there isn't enough Mind Flayer gas to possess a human like this, it adapts by possessing small creatures like rats and exploding them, and then using their melted flesh and organs to create a new body for itself. Then it will form small tendrils out of its flesh its body to place over a victims mouth and gush Mind Flayer gas into their body, a less extravagant form a possession that doesn't use as much Mind Flayer.
After this, the human or creature would remain itself for a while, but overtime they would become more and more possessed by the Mind Flayer until barely any part of their original self remains.
The Flayed possessed a Hive Mind, not unlike that of creatures like bees or ants, being controlled by the Mind Flayer and lead by Billy Hargrove, their primary host. The Flayed were known to display the same intense aversion to heat shared by both the Mind Flayer and everything else connected to its Hive Mind. When one Flayed gets hurt, all the Flayed feel the pain, which is perhaps one of its weaknesses.
When needed, the Mind Flayer can infuse the Flayed with supernatural strength that the average human does not possess. You can see when this is happening to a Flayed because their veins will glow black with the Mind Flayer gas. An infused Flayed also have an invulnerability to damage that would kill or seriously injure the average human, such as being thrown through a wall or intentionally hit by a speeding car.
Becoming a Flayed caused a radical dietary change in both the “diseased” rats and in humans, as the Mind Flayer forcibly overrode normal bodily wants and dietary palates in favor of the desire to consume chemicals, most often poisonous ones. This was first observed with the rats’ consumption of Doris Driscoll‘s fertilizer, and later shown to carry over to humans, as both the infected Driscoll herself and the infected Holloway family were shown to be consuming chemicals (Doris was eating her fertilizer and the Holloways were “guzzling” cleaning products). The members of the Party theorized that the cause of this chemical consumption, a behavior noted to have been absent from Will Byers during his possession by the Mind Flayer, was because of the now-isolated monster’s desire to induce some sort of a chemical reaction inside of its hosts in order to make a new substance. Another theory proposed, this time by the older teens, was that perhaps the reason the Flayed were capable of subsisting on poisonous chemicals was because they were only poisonous if the consumer in question was human. It is also highly likely that caustic reactions associated with this chemical consumption by the Flayed either caused or aided in their violent explosive transformations into the amorphous blobs of biomass which this portion of the Mind Flayer would use to create his new physical form.
The Flayed retained higher brain function, due to being possessed humans, but were not as resistant to the Mind Flayer’s control and influence as Will Byers was in 1984, being almost completely subservient to the Entity, with only an exaggerated version of their previous personality remaining. However, Billy Hargrove, at the very least, was noted to have an “activated” and “deactivated” state, which former host Will was able to feel due to his ability to sense the Mind Flayer’s presence, and to also be able to show a degree of restraint, as he warned Karen Wheeler to stay away from him and attempted to convince his stepsister Max to release him from the sauna and pleaded with her that he was being used, prior to being activated amidst this pleading and attacking her. The Flayed also developed an intense psychological attachment to the location of Brimborn Steel Works, the lair of the Mind Flayer, with Doris Driscoll showing symptoms of distress when separated from it for an extended period of time, and the infected hosts being shown to congregate there when not blending in with their previous normal lives.
List of Flayed
- Will Byers (Formerly)
- Billy Hargrove
- Heather Holloway
- Doris Driscoll
- Tom Holloway
- Janet Holloway
- Bruce Lowe
- “Diseased” Rats
- Other unnamed Hawkins Residents
|The Upside Down|
|Locations||The Upside Down • The Gate • Hawkins • Hawkins National Laboratory • Public Library • Portals • Hawkins Middle School • Hawkins Tunnel System|
|Entities||D'Artagnan • The Demogorgon • Demogorgon (species) • The Mind Flayer • Slug-like creature • Hawkins Tunnel System • Vines • Hospital Creature • The Flayed • The Flesh Thralls|
|The Flayed||Billy Hargrove • Heather Holloway • Bruce Lowe • Tom Holloway • Janet Holloway • Doris Driscoll|
|Visitors||Joyce Byers • Will Byers • Eleven • Steve Harrington • Dustin Henderson • Barbara Holland • Jim Hopper • Max Mayfield • Bob Newby • Shepard • Lucas Sinclair • Mike Wheeler • Nancy Wheeler|
|Miscellaneous||Upside Down Egg • Dungeons & Dragons • The Void • The Keys|
|Articles may contain spoilers.|