**Spoilers lay ahead so if you haven’t watched Stranger Things 2 yet, please go back now! You have been warned! **
Steve Harrington. The bad boy with the rad hair in the first season who famously spoke the words “beer is good.” The same Steve Harrington who, along with his not so great friends, slandered Nancy is now one of my favorite characters of Stranger Things 2. I know, I know. I couldn’t believe I felt this was at first either!
We first see Steve as a huge, how do I put it, asshole who slowly starts to redeem himself towards the end of Season 1 when he helps Jonathan and Nancy defeat the Demogorgon. His character could have played out the way Billy’s does on screen, but it was the complete opposite. In his scenes with Billy, it was as if he was almost fighting with his former self, like a physical representation of his growth. The Duffer Brothers and Shawn Levy in an episode of Beyond Stranger Things say Joe Keery, the actor who portrays Steve, had a lot to do with how the character developed. I’m sure glad he did. I believe Steve always did have good intentions in the first season, but it was always overpowered by him trying to fit in and be the cool guy.
In the second season, we see this once bad boy become a father figure to Dustin and fill the role of protector to the rest of the gang through their trials of trying to save Will and close the gate once and for all. We see him go above and beyond for Nancy and he even goes to dinner at Barb’s parents’ house. My heart even broke for him when Nancy said their love was “bullshit.” He is willing to risk sacrificing himself so the kids would be able to stay safe and in my opinion delivered some of the best one liners of the season.
I am so excited to see what his character is like for the third installment because I honestly don’t think Stranger Things would be the same without him and his developed character traits and his newly formed relationship with all of the kids. Hats off to the writers for taking such a hated character and turning him into someone we all wish to protect.