This article or section reveals details from the third season. Read at your own discretion...
|“||It's just, I know I can be a jerk like him sometimes, and I do not want to be like him. Ever.||”|
–Max expressing her feelings to Lucas, November 4, 1984
After her parents' divorce and her mother's remarriage, Max and her family moved from California to Hawkins, Indiana in October 1984. As the new student at Hawkins Middle School, she started forming a friendship with Lucas Sinclair, Dustin Henderson, Mike Wheeler, and Will Byers. Eventually, Max discovered the paranormal happenings in her new town. Max would go on to help her new friends burn the hub of the underground tunnel system, distracting the Demodogs so Eleven could close the Gate. A month later, Max attended the Snow Ball with her new friends.
In 1985, she and Eleven formed a strong friendship, bonding over their relationship problems. However, Max soon discovered danger from the Upside Down had returned to Hawkins, as the Mind Flayer had possessed her stepbrother, Billy Hargrove. Max helped her friends battle against the Mind Flayer, who was seeking revenge on them for defeating it the previous year. In the battle's conclusion, Billy sacrificed himself to protect Max and her friends. Three months later, Max said good-bye to Eleven and Will as they moved out of Hawkins while Max continued to mourn the loss of her stepbrother.
Max had beat Dustin Henderson's high score on Dig Dug at the Palace Arcade under the name "MADMAX". Later that week, Max was dropped off at Hawkins Middle School by Billy for her first day. Max was introduced to her new class by Mr. Clarke. After school, Dustin, Lucas, Mike, and Will followed and watched Max while she was skateboarding. She noticed and left a note for them that reads "Stop Spying On Me! Creeps!"
Lucas and Dustin were both interested in Max and invited her to come trick-or-treating with them without consulting Mike. When she joined them on Halloween, Mike was upset about her presence. The next day at school, Dustin included Max in the group when he showed them a new creature he had found – a pollywog-like creature Dustin had called D'Artagnan. When the boys started to discuss that the creature could be related to the Upside Down, they refused to tell Max about the events of the previous year and asked her to leave the room. D'Artagnan later escaped and Max tried to help them find the creature. She met Mike in the gym, where she confronted him about not being included in the group. Unbeknownst to her, Eleven had been watching them both and used her powers to fling Max from her skateboard out of jealousy.
When Max became tired of being excluded from the Party, Lucas met her at the arcade. He told her everything that had happened the previous year, including the Demogorgon and Eleven. Max did not believe Lucas' story. Later, Lucas arrived at her house, telling her to come with him so he could prove to her his story was true.
Max and Lucas met with Dustin and Steve Harrington at the junkyard where they were hunting for D'artagnan – who Dustin now believed was an adolescent Demogorgon. However, the group encountered more than one of the creatures and were surrounded by them. When Max saw one of the creatures through the window on the roof, she screamed, causing Steve and Lucas to come to her aid, as she finally realized what Lucas told her was true. Before Steve could fight the adolescent Demogorgon, all of the creatures suddenly retreated.
The four of them regrouped with everyone else and learned about the Mind Flayer that was infecting and controlling Will. While Joyce sought to free Will from the Mind Flayer's influence, and Eleven went to close the Gate at Hawkins lab, the others were left in Steve's care to keep them safe. Mike, Lucas, and Dustin wanted to head into the Upside Down-infected tunnels and start burning them to cause a distraction to help the others. Steve refused to allow it.
Max's stepbrother Billy arrived at the house, looking for Max after she had sneaked out of the house. Angry that his step-sister had been keeping secrets, he attacked Lucas and nearly beat Steve to death. Max, finally standing up for herself, used a spare sedative to subdue her stepbrother, echoing her stepfather's words and ordering Billy to leave her and her friends alone before he blacked out. Taking Billy's car, they took the unconscious Steve and drove out to the tunnels. When Steve woke up, he agreed to join them in the tunnels where they doused the tentacles and tendrils in gasoline and set them alight. By drawing away the Demodogs from the Gate, they bought Eleven more time to seal the rift.
On December 15, Max attended the Snow Ball. As her mother helped her with her hair before leaving, Max glared at Billy, reminding him of her warning. At the dance, she and Lucas danced together and shared their first kiss.
Personality and traits
Max is a tomboy, having many interests that some wouldn’t consider "conventional" for a girl during the time period. While growing up in California, she displayed no interest in things like press-on nails, perms, nor getting a tan. She greatly enjoys skateboarding and is skilled at arcade games (such as Dig Dug), being proficient enough to achieve the top scores. She also displays a slight interest in horror films, having dressed as Michael Myers for Halloween. Max has some driving experience and was able to drive her brother's car fairly well.
Due to moving to Hawkins and her brother’s abusive treatment towards her, she was initially asocial and cautious towards other people and frequently proved to be highly acerbic and overall aloof. Her distrustful demeanor made her skeptical, and she often had a hard time believing the strange events that occurred in her new town. Nevertheless, she was willing to lend a helping hand once she accepted the gravity of the situation. While she initially brushed off Lucas and Dustin’s attempts at befriending her, she was shown to be eager to become a member of the Party, continuously enduring their harsh treatment in order to be included. When she was eventually accepted into the Party, she was immensely loyal toward her new friends, self-identifying as a "zoomer" as her role in the group and going so far as standing up to Billy in order to protect them.
Susan is Max’s mother. Max seems to have a good relationship with her, though she does appear to harbor slight resentment towards her for wanting to leave her biological father behind in California. On the night of the Snow Ball, Max allowed her mother to help with her hair.
Neil Hargrove is Max’s stepfather. Max’s feelings towards her stepfather are currently unknown, however, she does bear some anger towards him for moving to Hawkins in order to get away from her biological father. Especially Max doesn't like it when when Neil calls her Maxine and Max doesn't even consider Neil her father at all.
Max and Billy are step-siblings, sharing a complicated history and difficult relationship. On the day of their first meeting, Billy gave her the nickname Mad Max in reference to how she would become enraged at Billy. Billy would often treat Max in a controlling, domineering fashion, either bullying her or just ignoring her existence. The reason why she's abused by Billy, unknown to Max, is because he is angry over his mother's departure and is taking it out on Max. After drugging him, she uses Steve's bat with nails to threaten Billy to never bother her or her friends again, which Billy reluctantly agrees out of fear.
A year later, during summer vacation, when Eleven suspects Billy to be involved with the disappearance of Heather Holloway, Max refuses to believe it. When her friends begin to suspect that he's possessed by the Mind Flayer, Max worriedly hopes he isn't, showing her concern for Billy for the first time. When it is confirmed that Billy is possessed, Max is horrified and even more concerned for her stepbrother. When Billy corners her, Mike, and Eleven at Starcourt Mall, Max tries to reason with him, only to be knocked unconscious. Once Max and Mike regain consciousness, Max is horrified when Billy allows the Mind Flayer to kill him; screaming his name in the process. After Mind Flayer's avatar dies, due to the gate being closed, Max rushes to Billy's side. He apologizes to Max for abusing her as she tries to help him. Unfortunately, Billy dies, causing Max to cry and grieve over his death as she's comforted by Eleven. Three months later, Max still mourns for Billy's death as she sits in his bedroom.
Sam Mayfield is Max's father. According to Max, her biological father is still residing in California. Max had a fairly good relationship with her father growing up, even after he had to move to LA when her parents broke up. He was often known to her for his practical and casual approach, allowing her to watch movies that weren't exactly age appropriate and even taking her to watch races at the racetrack, while also teaching her how to drive his Impala. After the divorce, Max remarked that her father got more careless, showing up late to pick her up from the bus station at times and even letting her go home with a few wounds from accidents. Despite this, Max preferred her life with him over staying with her mom, as evidenced when she attempted to escape to LA when she heard that they would be moving back to Hawkins, Indiana. Max remarked that she missed him while speaking to Lucas in “The Spy”.
Nate Walker is Max's best friend back during her time in California. According to Max, Nate had been her best friend since they were six. The two were field trip buddies, science partners, and the they would play street hockey at Max's house.
When Lucas and his friends, along with his entire class, was introduced to Max Mayfield by Mr. Clarke, Lucas and his friends grew curious of her and her name as someone named "MADMAX" had beaten Dustin's high score on Dig Dug at the Palace Arcade. As Lucas and his friends watched her, Max had noticed them and left them a note saying "Stop Spying On Me! Creeps!" Later, Lucas and Dustin find Max being dropped off at the arcade and playing Dig Dug and realize that she is "MADMAX." As a result, Lucas, along with Dustin, becomes infatuated with Max. Lucas and Dustin invite Max to come trick-or-treating with them without consulting Mike, but when it seems like Max doesn't accept their invitation, Lucas looks disappointed. However, when Max appears and joins in on trick-or-treating at Loch Nora, Lucas looked overjoyed. Despite agreeing with his friends to not tell Max about the events and the true circumstances of Will's disappearance last year of 1983, Lucas seemed bothered when they not included her as they discussed the possibility of D'Artagnan being related to the Upside Down.
After D'Artagnan escaped and Max confronted Mike about his behavior towards her, Lucas offered Max to help them for the creature, but she refused as she angrily told him how she was tired of being excluded from the party. Lucas tried to explain they didn't mean it and that there were secrets they couldn't tell her, but Max stormed off to meet her stepbrother. After secretly getting some advice from his father on how to apologize to a girl, Lucas decided to meet Max at the arcade and tell her all of last year's events, including the Demogorgon and Eleven. However, after Lucas told her, Max did not believe him and even when he stopped her from speaking about it out loud, she still didn't believe him, asking for proof which Lucas sadly says that he can't. Before leaving the arcade with her stepbrother, Max takes Lucas's hand and tells him not to follow as he asks if she does believe him, but she doesn't respond. Later, Lucas goes to pick up Max at her house to show her that what he told her was real after hearing from Dustin about D'Artagnan being an adolescent Demogorgon. As they waited in the junkyard, Max explained how's she's affected by her parent's divorce, her mother's remarriage, and her stepbrother's abuse as she apologizes to Lucas for her behavior. Lucas cheers her up by saying how he admires her, doesn't compare to Billy, and how he enjoys talking to her, which Max responds she enjoys talking to him as well. After seeing a Demogorgon in the fifth stage of its life cycle up close, Lucas and Max hold hands before letting go and Max apologizes to Lucas for not believing him. Later, when Billy finds Max at the Byers house, he attacks Lucas as Max watches in horror. As Billy beats up Steve, Max goes up to stand up to her brother as Lucas watches with worry, but he becomes shocked as she threatens and orders him to leave her and her friends alone. As they go to the pumpkin patch to burn the tunnels, Lucas helps Max on how to get there and they aid each other as they, along with their friends, burn the tunnels. A couple of months later, on December 15, Lucas, Max, and their friends attend the Snow Ball. Max asks Lucas to dance with her which he happily accepts. As they dance, Lucas and Max share a kiss and embrace, thus beginning a romantic relationship with him.
Despite this, their relationship has been somewhat rocky, with Lucas claiming they have broken up and gotten back together at least five times by the summer of 1985.
The boys first grew interested in Max when she beat Dustin's score on Dig Dug, and both Dustin and Lucas developed romantic feelings for her the second they saw her. Therefore, Dustin and Lucas were prone to confront to gain Max's affections. At the end, she returns Lucas' feelings, much to Dustin's dismay.
A year later, Dustin gets over Max and gets a girlfriend named Suzie, thus remaining friends with Max.
Even with Max's attempts to join the group and befriend Mike, he is very hostile and rough to her, repeatedly calling her annoying or looking irritated when she is present. However, his seeming irrational dislike for her is because he does not want her to take Eleven's place. After Mike finally reunites with Eleven, he eventually gives up his hostility towards Max.
In 1985, Mike and Max are shown to be on friendly terms with each other, as Max was treated like an equal member of the Party by Mike.
Although Max seems to admire Eleven and is willing to become her friend, Eleven is cold towards her and appears to be jealous of her after mistaking her hanging out with Mike as something romantic. However, in 1985, Max and Eleven start to bond over the fact that their boyfriends are constantly lying to them, and the become instant best friends, as they shopped and have fun at the Starcourt Mall, along with Max giving Eleven advice. Max tries to help Eleven make her choices and how to use her powers instead of being told what to do by Mike or Hopper.
Max met Will Byers on her first day at Hawkins Middle School. Will did not believe she could be "MADMAX," the video game player who'd beaten Dustin's high score in Dig Dug, as girls don't play video games in his opinions. However, when Lucas and Dustin confirmed their suspicions and Max joined them in trick-or-treating, Will accepted her into becoming a member of the Party just to make Lucas and Dustin happy. When Max learned about the supposed rumors of Will's disappearance, she agreed to not talk about in Will's presence. However, when Lucas told her about the true circumstances of Will's disappearance, Max did not believe him even when realizing Lucas was serious until she saw an adolescent Demogorgon for the first time. And as Will was possessed by the Mind Flayer, Max did not hesitate in figuring out a way to save him. She even worked with the rest of Will's friends into burning the tunnel system, inadvertently giving enough heat for the Mind Flayer to leave Will's body.
In 1985, Max is shown to still be friends with Will. However, unknown to her, Will is secretly jealous and annoyed of her spending time with Lucas, instead of playing D&D with him.
|Template:Familytree/Sam Mayfield||Susan Hargrove||Neil Hargrove|
|Max Mayfield||Billy Hargrove|
- "That's presumptuous of you."
- "From now on, you leave me and my friends alone. Understand?"
- "You act like you want me to be your friend and then you treat me like garbage."
- "It’s crazy, but I really liked it. I mean, I had a few issues. I just felt it was a little derivative in parts. I just wish it had a little more originality, that’s all."
- ”Totally Tubular.”
- "Well I can be your ZOOMER"
- "It's Max, not Maxine."
|Season Two appearances|
|MADMAX||Trick or Treat, Freak||The Pollywog|
|Will the Wise||Dig Dug||The Spy|
|The Lost Sister*||The Mind Flayer||The Gate|
|Season Three appearances|
|Suzie, Do You Copy?||The Mall Rats||The Case of the Missing Lifeguard||The Sauna Test|
|The Flayed||E Pluribus Unum||The Bite||The Battle of Starcourt|
Behind the Scenes
The character was first revealed in a casting call obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. Matt Duffer said they did a "wide, wide search for one new kid that we're adding. She's a cool new character," most likely alluding to Max. On October 14, 2016, it was announced that actress Sadie Sink had been cast for the role.
- Max's skateboard was produced by Madrid Skateboards, the same brand as Marty McFly's skateboard from the 1985 film Back to the Future. Her skateboard's design, called 'Explosion', was a staple of Madrid's skateboard collection throughout the '80s. The company partnered with Netflix to sell replicas of Max's skateboard, as well as skateboards with various other designs inspired by the show.
- Her alias, MADMAX, is a reference to the Mad Max films.
- Because of Max's experiences with skateboarding, she knows how to treat wounds.
- Max is the third main character of Stranger Things to have a book explaining her past; first being Eleven and second being Jim Hopper. Her backstory book is called Stranger Things: Runaway Max.
- Max wore a Michael Myers mask on Halloween in 1984.
- In E Pluribus Unum, Sadie Sink's younger sister, Jacey portrays a younger Max seen in Billy's past after Eleven gets into his mind.
- Ironically, she was first introduced to creatures from the Upside Down after meeting D'Artagnan, but when told of the dimension and 1983's events by Lucas, she did not believe him until seeing a nearly grown Demogorgon for the first time.
- Max's skateboard says Rampage.
- Max has Green Lantern and Wonder Woman comics.
- Max is the first character in the show to have a stepfamily; a stepfather and stepbrother, and the first character to have a sibling die (Billy died to protect Max, Eleven, and their friends at the end of Season 3).
|For this subject's gallery, see Max Mayfield/Gallery.|
- ↑ Stranger Things: Runaway Max
- ↑ Stranger Things: Runaway Max
- ↑ The Spy
- ↑ Beyond Stranger Things, "Beyond 2", episode 6
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Stranger Things: Runaway Max
- ↑ Stranger Things: Runaway Max
- ↑ "'Stranger Things': Meet the 3 New Characters Joining Season 2" The Hollywood Reporter. September 1, 2016.
- ↑ "The Duffer Brothers Are Reading Your 'Stranger Things' Reddit Theories" The Hollywood Reporter. October 12, 2016.
- ↑ "Stranger Things adds new cast members for season 2" Entertainment Weekly. October 14, 2016.
- ↑ "Instagram post by Madrid Skateboards"