Stranger Things is the Netflix show that has been all over the news (and our TV screens) as the second season was released back in October. If you’ve been living under a rock, it’s a nostalgic sci-fi/horror series focuses on four young boys and their involvement in a multi-dimensional investigation. However, it is one of those shows you really need to see (and not just read about) to fully appreciate. It is a fantastic show and one of the very best Netflix Originals ever offered by the streaming giant.
As you could probably guess, a show as good as this one is full of amazing characters. While some may get more screen time or be more important to the story than others, that doesn’t always mean they are more interesting. This article will take a look at who I believe are the 10 best characters in the first two seasons Stranger Things, and why. With so many amazing characters, it was difficult to choose only ten, so apologies if your favourite isn’t on the list!
10. Jonathan Byers
The oft forgotten Byers brother is one of the nicest characters on the show. Despite being a bit creepy at times, he has been a rock in the Byers household throughout all the craziness of the first two seasons of Stranger Things. He is a bit of an awkward guy and definitely an outcast, but has proven himself to be very important to the storyline at times. He seems like an overall good guy who wants the best for everyone. He deserves more praise for his role in helping everyone around him, from his brother to Nancy to Joyce, and everyone in between. With his romantic interest in Nancy being a big storyline going forward, we are excited to see what happens.
9. Lucas Sinclair
While he might not have as much going on as the other three members of his party, Lucas is still a fan favourite. He is a very quick-witted boy and is extremely loyal to his friends — he would do anything for them. He is also great at providing a bit of a foil for the others, as he can often be the voice of reason for the friend group. His character didn’t progress a lot in season two (except for a bit of a romance growing between him and Max), Lucas is still one of my favorites. No matter what it takes, he will always be supportive of his friends. And I appreciate that about him.
8. Joyce Byers
While she comes off as a little bit crazy at times, the character of Joyce Byers is a great one. She could have given up the search for her son in Season One, but even after a body was found that resembled Will, Joyce never gave up hope. She has shown herself to be a fearless badass on many different occasions and will go to great lengths to protect her family. She has always been there for her kids and refused to back down from anything, especially anything that is threatening her boys. Sadly for Joyce, she lost her new companion Bob this season and it seems as if the writers of this show are content with Joyce never really being happy, as she is always dealing with some sort of hardship.
7. Will Byers
Will was hardly included in Season One, since he was lost in the Upside Down for almost the entire time. But in Season Two, things changed dramatically. Will was given much more screen time and his character development was truly amazing. His acting throughout the season was top notch and very captivating to watch, especially the scenes he was possessed by the Shadow Monster. Whether he was Normal Will or Possessed Will, it was great to see him finally get a chance to be a bigger part of the story instead of just being the “missing kid.” He is the heart and soul of Stranger Things so far, because if there were no Will and his experiences, there would be no show.
6. Mike Wheeler
Mike was, without a doubt, the star and main character in the first season of Stranger Things, but surprisingly took a bit of a back seat to other characters in the second. He is very upset about losing Eleven, and spends most Season Two wallowing in self-pity. That leads him to be a jerk to his friends, especially when the newcomer Max comes around. However, the friendship between Mike and Will grows stronger during the season, and it was very noble of Mike to be so helpful toward his ailing friend. He is the unofficial leader of the group and has the heart of a lion. I am excited to see what kind of role he plays in Season Three, and what might happen between him and Eleven.
5. Steve Harrington
Steve Harrington is a very interesting character in the show. For some parts of Season One, he comes off as the bad guy — a cocky jock who mistreats women and generally only cares about himself. But there are always explanations or misunderstandings for his bad behavior. When Season Two rolled around, we really get a better introduction to the character of Steve. He truly got redemption in Season Two, as he goes from a high school bully to someone who helps those in danger — including the people he loves, like Nancy and her family. He even became a bit of a mentor for some of the boys in Seasons Two, while he barely interacted with them at all in the first one. Look for Steve to continue to be an amazing character in Season Three (they already wrote in a good excuse to keep him around Hawkins, despite being a college-bound senior). Don’t be shocked to see him try and win back Nancy Wheeler.
4. Jim Hopper
Jim Hopper is a polarizing character, since sometimes I love him and sometimes I hate him. Overall, he is one of the most stoic and brave characters on the show, while also having an overemotional side at times. Hopper is the Hawkins Sheriff and routinely goes above and beyond the call of duty to serve and protect his people. Clearly still traumatized by the loss of his daughter before the events of the show, he ends up acting as a father figure to the children at times, and basically adopts Eleven in Season Two. While not every choice he makes is a good one, and he messes up from time-to-time, he always means well and wants nothing but the best for the town of Hawkins and everyone who lives within its confines.
3. Dustin Henderson
Simply put, Dustin is an absolute joy to watch in Stranger Things. He is always doing or saying something hilarious and is the source of a ton of laughs in an otherwise serious show. However, he is also much more than simple comic relief. He is incredibly brave and risky, and doesn’t hesitate to jump into action to help his friends. He is also a wealth of knowledge about seemingly everything (including mythical creatures) that has helped the gang with solving their supernatural problems on numerous occasions. Also, his hair is amazing, even after he takes Steve’s silly advice on the products.
You just knew Eleven had to be high up on this list. In Season One, she is a very mysterious and powerful character that we still don’t know much about. In Season Two, we learn much more about her and her past as a twisted medical experiment. She becomes much more relatable by the end of it all. Eleven is a somewhat terrifying character, given her immense power and inability to control her emotions. She was instrumental in both seasons in helping the entire city of Hawkins from being overrun by the Upside Down. She will likely continue to have a huge role in the show going forward and I look forward to seeing her use more of the badass powers to help out the greater good.
1. Bob Newby
To me, there is no better character on Stranger Things than good ol’ Bob. When we first meet him, we feel there might be something slightly “off” about him and his relationship with Joyce Byers. However, over the remainder of Season Two, he earns our trust as he tries to fit in with the hectic Byers household. Newby was incredibly kind and very instrumental in helping Will through the second season. And to top it all off, he ended up losing his life while saving every other character in the process. He is easily the nicest and most likable character in the show. Bob is an absolute hero and will be sorely missed in the upcoming seasons of Stranger Things. We can only hope there will be #JusticeForBob in the future.