Friday, December 30, 2016

The Five People You Meet in Hawkins

In July 2016, Stranger Things flew triumphantly into the world and into our hearts. There were, of course, the characters that you love immediately: Will, Dustin, Eleven... and then there are the characters whom you love even more because they wormed their way into your affections without you even realizing it. You may have started out indifferent to them, disliking them, or even hating them, but by the end, you'll be curled up in a fetal position crying desperately as you just wish for them just to be happy.

Today, we honor those characters: the five people you meet in Hawkins.

Spoilers for Stranger Things.


Joyce Byers
At first you may doubt Joyce Byers. Because who can talk to their son through a string of Christmas lights?

This woman can.--(source)

However, you'll soon discover she really can talk to her son through lights. Soon you'll be weeping that she can't find Will, and you'll beg the show writers to please, please, let her suffering stop.

And then it does.


Kinda.


For now.


When you first begin watching Stranger Things, you may not think much of Joyce. You may think badly of Joyce (just like the entire town of Hawkins, Indiana--this woman cannot catch a break). But ultimately, at the end, you'll be wishing Joyce Byers was your mom too.

Except when she does that witch impression.

Jim Hopper
At the beginning, Hopper is kind of off-putting. He's got one of those personalities that makes you want to run away. Except at some point, you end up kind of liking him.


Then, you love him.

Then you're crying because his daughter died and his heart broke, and it's just too much for your heart to handle.

And at the end, you're SCREAMING AT YOUR TELEVISION because HE'S BEING TAKEN AWAY BY THE BAD GUYS?!?

IS HE OKAY?! Somebody tell me!

It's a wild journey.

Jonathan Byers
Socially awkward loner with a camera is how I would describe Jonathan Byers (and also me). So maybe that's why I didn't like him at first. No, I was actually just wary of him, but I really shouldn't have been.


You can't really blame me for being wary--the whole taking pictures thing came across a little creepy. And it still does. But over the course of Stranger Things' eight episodes, I learned that Jonathan is fiercely protective of his mom and brother. I learned that Jonathan freaking Byers has a heart of gold. And you will too. By the end, you will want him to be the king of everything.


Nancy Wheeler
Much like Jonathan, I was wary of Nancy too, even though I shouldn't have been.

She is not threatening at all.--(source)

I didn't know whether we were supposed to like her, hate her, be scared of her, or all three.

Or sympathize with her, which I definitely do now.--(source)

But then there's this moment where you realize that Nancy's just terrified and needs a hand to hold.


And then she grabs a bunch of monster-hunting stuff, even when Jonathan is skeptical, and you realize: she's kind of a badass.


And then you know she's definitely a badass.


And then you want to be her.

Be more like Nancy Wheeler.

Steve Harrington
Unlike the others, I flat-out disliked Steve Harrington.

Sorry, dude.--(source)

I thought he was annoying and a creep. (I also 100% believe he is Jean-Ralphio's dad, but that is neither here nor there.) Simply put, I thought he was kind of a jerk... until...

Until he's just as annoyed by his friends as you are.


Until he wipes "Nancy is a slut" off the movie theater marquee.

Until HE BUSTS ON THE SCENE WITH A BASEBALL BAT.


He doesn't have a clue what's going on, yet he successfully wards off a freaking Demogorgon. He could have tucked tail and ran, but he didn't. He chose to stay. And I... I think that's beautiful. *wipes a tear*


These five characters, along with their TV show, have captured me heart and soul. Until season two, I'll just keep aspiring to be as strong as Joyce and Nancy, admiring Steve Harrington's character development, and wondering where on earth (or in the upside down...) Eleven went.

Who is your favorite character in Stranger Things?

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