In the fourth season of ‘Stranger Things,’ almost all characters encounter radical changes in their lives. Hopper (David Harbour) is trapped in a Russian prison. Joyce (Winona Ryder) lives in California with her family and Eleven. Jonathan and Nancy struggle with big decisions regarding their future. Without her powers, Eleven faces relentless bullying. And it seems that Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) has developed a crush on his best friend, Mike (Finn Wolfhard). If that has made you wonder whether Will is gay, here is what you need to know. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Is Will Byers Gay?
Will’s sexuality has been a topic of much speculation since the third season when he and Mike have a brief falling out. In season 3 episode 3, titled ‘The Case of the Missing Lifeguard,’ Will becomes irritated with Mike and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) as they keep bringing up their respective former girlfriends, Eleven and Max, during a Dungeons and Dragons game and angrily walks out of the basement of the Wheeler family, prompting a fight between him and Mike. Much to Will’s astonishment, Mike declares that it’s not his fault that Will doesn’t like girls.
According to Schnapp, the audience is free to interpret the scene in whatever way they like. For him, it underscores the loneliness of his character. “All his friends have girlfriends and they’re out dating, and he just wants to have fun with his friends,” he told The Wrap. “You see in Episode 3, he just wants to play D&D in the basement, and now all of his friends have girlfriends and they are dating. And it’s kind of, when you hear Mike say that line, it’s really up to the audience to interpret it. I kind of just interpret it like he’s not ready to grow up and he doesn’t really want to move on to dating and relationships yet. He still wants to be a kid and play in the basement like he did in old times.”
In season 4, the interactions between Mike and Will have a fascinatingly awkward aspect to them, at least initially. Will becomes agitated at Mike for not corresponding with him as much as Eleven. He even prepares a painting for Mike but hasn’t yet mustered the courage to give it to him. A May 2022 video from Netflix México, where Harbour, Ryder, McLaughlin, and Wolfhard offer their views on fan theories, seems to shed light on the plans that the series creators might have with these characters. “If you’ve been watching the show you should know that Will is…not interested in El,” Harbour remarks, responding to a fan theory about a possible romance between El and Will. “He’s interested in someone else in the group.”
Wolfhard echoes the sentiment, “Yeah, you’ll see soon…who he’s interested in,” before Harbour adds, “He’s very interested.” Considering the plot of the first volume of the fourth season, they are most probably speaking about Mike here. We will likely get a more definitive answer in the last two episodes of the season, which will begin streaming on July 1, 2022. In season 4, Will has significantly matured. Although he and Mike argue about the lack of correspondence at first, both later apologize and resolve the issue.
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