Why ‘Stranger Things’ could do without Will Byers
(Credit: Netflix)

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Why ‘Stranger Things’ could do without Will Byers

Essentially a nostalgic love letter to the enigmatic eighties by the showrunners, Matt and Ross Duffer, Stranger Things has rightfully become a pop-cultural phenomenon since its inception in 2016. While paying homage to Stephen King’s world of adventure and mystery, the series also incorporates elements of the sci-fi genre, renewing interest in the same.

Starring Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, David Harbour, Joe Keery, Noah Schnapp, Winona Ryder, Sadie Sink, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin and others, the series is a dream concoction of every child’s favourite adventure sequence. It includes deadly monsters, interdimensional travel, supernatural elements, telekinesis, dysfunctional families, corrupt officials and heroic kids.

Ahead of the release of the highly anticipated fourth season, which will arrive in two parts — the first volume will premiere on the 27th of May, 2022, and the second volume will release on the 1st of July, 2022 — we at Best of Netflix have been taking a look at some of our favourite (and not-so-favourite) characters on the show. Today’s agenda is to find out what makes Will Byers one of the show’s whiniest and most annoying characters.

Portrayed by Noah Schnapp, Will Byers is a part of the much-coveted Party, Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair and Dustin Henderson. Together, the quartet play Dungeons & Dragons in Mike’s basement, go on cycling adventures and go trick-or-treating during Halloween together. Will lives with his mother, Joyce and elder brother, Jonathan, in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana.

The main conflict of Stranger Things starts with the disappearance of Will Byers. After an intense D&D session at Mike’s, Will races back home on his bike when he is attacked by a humanoid-like monster with petal-like teeth later called a Demogorgon. He is taken to the Upside Down where he desperately tries to communicate with his family and friends. While most of the town believes that Will is dead, Joyce and his friends do not give up.

Eleven discovers that Will is alive, and Joyce Byers and Hopper save him. However, their joy is short-lived as Will appears to be possessed. While he tries to conceal it from the others, he eventually cracks. His family and friends later exorcise Will.

For the first two seasons, we pity Byers. He is the driving force behind his friends and family uniting against the corrupt scientific malpractices in the Hawkins Lab, as many people endanger themselves to save him. While being stuck in an interdimensional loop of horror, Byers is undergoing a struggle of his own.

However, even after he is rescued, he still faces rampant bullying and alienation. Despite his strife to return to normality, the students at school are vicious and call him the “zombie boy”; he gains solace in the arms of his friends. Annoyed by constant coddling and overprotectiveness on his family’s part, Will falls down the slippery slope in season two when he is subjected to mind control and memory loss by the Mind Flayer.

However, in season three, he becomes super annoying and almost becomes the living epitome of the Peter Pan syndrome. Often referred to as the refusal to grow up, Peter Pan Syndrome is often found in troubled teenage boys who struggle to cope with adult responsibilities. Having been subject to an abusive childhood prior to his uncouth father’s abandonment, Will has a lot of demons to deal with. He finds an escape in the fort he built with his brother, Castle Byers, well into adulthood. Having undergone a traumatic experience during his time in Upside Down, Will is wary of the real world and does not want to grow up.

As a result, he becomes exceedingly annoying in season three. While his friends are gradually moving on in their lives, forging relationships and talking about adolescent problems, all Will wants to do is play Dungeons & Dragons. Will refuses to let his friends vent and would rather continue their childhood tradition of playing the game in the basement. Afraid of the unknown, Will’s puny mindset refuses him to accept the welcome changes in his life. His traumatic past, along with the inability to acknowledge time’s passing, leads to an unbridled fear in Will’s mind which often leads to an awful lot of self-victimisation. However, Noah Schnapp is brilliant and deserves applause for making us hate a character with so much passion!

Although by the end of season three, he appears to have matured, we hope Will’s annoying side does not return in season four.

Since the Byers leave Hawkins with Eleven towards the end of season three, season four will see El and Will in a Californian high school where El is said to undergo bullying and alienation. If Will stands up for her, we will try and look past his whiny attitude.

Else, you will incur our wrath again, Will Byers- one of the very few Stranger Things characters to have an entire subreddit dedicated to expressing their disdain for his attitude!