The world of Stranger Things is a dangerous one filled with monsters and government conspiracies. But it is also filled with interesting characters, some of whom have become beloved by fans, while others are fun to hate. But when it comes time for fans to bid farewell to a character, there can be mixed emotions.
For some of the characters’ exits from the show, audiences were not on board. Whether they think it was a weak end or undeserving of a fan favorite, they push back against it. In other cases, whether it is a hero or a villain, the exit feels well-earned and fitting for the character.
Updated on May 24th, 2022 by Colin McCormick: Stranger Things season 4 is nearly here and fans are already nervous about which characters are going to make it through the season. Whether it is a good guy making a final farewell or a villain exiting the show, there are certain expectations that fans have. Some of these character endings satisfied those expectations while others have fallen short.
Given how much has happened since the first episode of the show, fans might not remember who Benny is. But this kindly restaurant owner was actually the first person Eleven meets after escaping from Hawkins Lab. He immediately takes her in, feeds her, and tries to help her.
However, when the shady operatives get wind of where Eleven is hiding out, they show up and quickly murder Benny. After being such a nice and caring person, Benny deserved more than to die so unceremoniously.
Eleven has experienced so much pain in her young life and that continues when she is finally reunited with her mother. she finds Terry in a comatose state after being subjected to electroshock therapy.
Elven is able to track down her mother in season 2, and using her powers, she is even able to connect with her mind. But the last that is seen of Terry, she is still trapped in that memory of losing her daughter. It is a heartbreaking way to leave a character who means so much to Eleven and fans want to see her finally find some peace.
At the end of season 3, Hopper is trying to shut down the gate to the Upside Down. Running out of time, he makes the brave sacrifice, telling Joyce to blow the gate up which seems to kill him as well. Hopper had become one of the most beloved characters on the show, so his death would have a huge impact.
However, this is an end that the fans quite literally rejected. They immediately began suspecting that Hopper was not really dead, which was further teased by the mention of the mysterious American in the finale’s post-credit scene. In the end, fans were proven right as Hopper appears in the first teaser for season 4.
Dr. Brenner is a very interesting villain in the first season. He is the mysterious overseer of Hawkins Lab and the man who helped train Eleven to access her powers. He is willing to kill and sacrifice people to keep his project secret, but he also seems to care for Eleven in his own twisted way.
Given the creepiness of him as a villain, fans really wanted to see him get his comeuppance. However, the last time he is seen is a brief shot of him getting attacked by the Demogorgon. Fans felt it was an anticlimactic end and with no confirmation of his death, many suspect that he’s still out there.
After playing the lovable hobbit Samwise Gamgee in Lord of the Rings, fans were thrilled to see Sean Astin join Stranger Things in season 2. Once again, he was quite lovable as Joyce’s new love interest, Bob. He was a bit goofy but very caring, so much so that some suspected he was a secret villain.
Bob ended up proving all of those skeptics wrong by remaining a good guy until the end. After risking his life to restore power to the lab so the heroes could escape, Bob looks like he’s going to make it. But then he is attacked and killed by Demodogs right in front of Joyce. It was a brutal end to a really likable character who deserved better.
After discovering a slug-like being in his trash, Dustin makes the questionable decision to keep it as a pet. He names it D’Artagnan, or Dart, and feeds it candy bars. Before too long, the creature grows and reveals itself to actually be a Demodog.
Despite the fact that Dart kills Dustin’s cat, it proves to be much friendlier than the other Demodogs. Even in its grown form, it recognizes Dustin and doesn’t attack him. He makes for a sweet pet for the team, which makes it quite sad when dart dies along with the other Demodogs.
Barbara is introduced in the first season as the best friend of Nancy Wheeler. She is a fairly straitlaced high schooler who is worried about the direction Nancy is heading in. Yet she is a good friend and even accompanies Nancy to a party at Steve Harrington’s house.
While Nancy and Steve are inside, Barbara is out by the pool where she is suddenly attacked by the Demogorgon. She was later seen being terrorized in the Upside Down and eventually killed by the Demogorgon. This one really angered fans as they felt it was a cruel fate to a nice person who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In another great example of the show having fun with 80s pop culture, Grigori is an obvious Terminator homage, serving as a human villain for the third season. He is almost inhuman in his strength and relentless pursuits of the heroes.
Grigori provides a great nemesis for Hopper, and the two men face off in the finale as Hopper attempts to destroy the device keeping the gate open. Hopper eventually gets the upper hand and throws Grigori into the device, ripping him apart in a fittingly gory end for a great villain.
Given how evil Dr. Brenner is, fans immediately didn’t trust Dr. Owens when he shows up in season 2. It didn’t help that he was played by Paul Reiser, who so memorably played the treacherous Burke in Aliens.
It was eventually revealed that Owens was working for the government and hiding a lot of secrets. However, he also was genuinely concerned with the well-being of Will Byers. Eventually, he proves to be a selfless hero himself and leaves Hawkins as someone Hopper trusts.
The Demogorgon is a monster that escapes the Upside Down and starts causing chaos in season 1. Given what the heroes will have to face in the later seasons, the Demogorgon is pretty lightweight but still made for an effective threat.
In the season 1 finale, the young heroes are being chased by the Demogorgon in their school. When it looks like they’re doomed, Eleven unleashes her powers, pinning the monster to the wall and disintegrating it. There is something so cool about seeing this little girl stand up to a fierce monster.
Alexei is another character who is initially hard to figure out. Joining the third season of Stranger Things, he works with the Russians and is eventually kidnapped by Joyce and Hopper. While it seems at times that he is ready to turn on them at any moment, he turns out to be a pretty nice guy.
The more Alexei is introduced to American culture the more he gets sucked into and seems ready to ditch the bad guys to become one of the heroes. But as he is having the time of his life at the summer fair, Grigori shoots him. His death hit fans hard, showing how quickly he managed to make a big impression.
Billy was an easy character to hate right away. The step-brother of Max, he was a total jerk and bully to everyone. It makes total sense that he was made the villain in the third season when he becomes possessed by the Mind Flayer.
However, this storyline also allows some other sides of Billy to be revealed. His sad backstory of losing his mom makes him more sympathetic, which leads to his final moment when he resists the Mind Flayer long enough to save Max before being killed. It is a worthy redemptive end for a complex character.
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