Stranger Things showrunner Shawn Levy directed the third season episode that ignited a theory from fans about Will Byers (Noah Schnapp).
After an intense Dungeons & Dragons meeting in which Will feels out of place with his best friends, Mike (Finn Wolfhard) yells at him in frustration: “It’s not my fault you don’t like girls.” While he meant it more that Will didn’t want to grow up, his comment was more spot-on than that.
“Mike is referring to them being at different stages of just pubescent development. It’s not specific to sexual orientation or anything,” Levy said in an interview with EW of that scene. “But ever since then, a lot of these questions have come up.”
A few more signs indicated that Will had a moment to come out in the final episodes of Season 4 of Stranger Things when Volume 2 hit Netflix on July 1.
However, the time has not come. Although there is evidence that Will might actually be gay.
The first can be seen in Episode 8, “Papa,” in the back of a Surfer Boy pizza van. Mike rants about his girlfriend, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), not needing him anymore. Will then shows his painting with his friends, where Mike leads the D&D crew in the fight against the three-headed dragon.
Mike thinks he’s receiving a pep talk from Will, but it looks more like a covered-up confession. He states that Eleven is “so lost without you. She’s so different from other people, and when you’re different, sometimes you feel like a mistake.”
In addition, he says if she was fending Mike off, it was likely because she feared losing him. “If she was going to lose you, I think she’d rather just get it over with quick, like ripping off a Band-Aid,” he states. It’s so much like what Will was doing to Mike.
The second – a more sentimental moment – happens in episode 9, “The Piggyback,” when Jonathan approaches his brother in Super Boy Pizza, saying, “I feel like you used to come to me more for help or to just talk.”
“I miss talking to you. I, like, really miss it.”
He talks to Will and says precisely what he needs to hear: “I don’t want you to forget that I’m here, and I’ll always be here, and I love you. And there is nothing in this world – absolutely nothing – that will ever change that.”
These “hints” were under scrutiny after viewers perceived them as a way for Will to slowly push his identity to the surface.
“Sometimes I think it’s just scary to open up like that, to say how you really feel, especially to people you care about the most,” Will told Mike in episode 5, “because what if they don’t like the truth?”
Before Volume 2 was dropped, Levy said in an interview with EW, “Without getting into where we go late in season 4, I guess I’ll just say that there aren’t many accidents on Stranger Things. There is clear intention and strategy and real thought given to each and every character. So, if you came away from Volume 1 feeling those breadcrumbs of plot and character, it’s probably no accident.”
In a separate interview with EW, The Duffer Brothers also hinted at some sort of “big character emotional reveals and payoffs.”
Ross Duffer said: “What we’re excited about in those final two [episodes is] that it’s not just the story coming full circle, but all of this character stuff is going to come to ahead because there’s a lot dangling that we’re going to try to resolve in those last four hours.”
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