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"The Demogorgon... it got me."

–Will Byers, November 6, 1983

William "Will" Byers[3], portrayed by Noah Schnapp, is a main character in Stranger Things, having a recurring role in the first season before being promoted to the main cast from the second season onward. He is the younger son of Joyce Byers, the younger brother of Jonathan Byers, and the best friend of Mike Wheeler, Eleven, Dustin Henderson, Lucas Sinclair, and Max Mayfield.

Will was a shy, artistic boy who loved playing D&D with his three best friends. However, everything changed on November 6, 1983 when he was abducted by a creature that he and his friends would dub the "Demogorgon" and taken into an alternate dimension, which they also dubbed the Upside Down. For a week, Will evaded the creature and desperately tried to communicate to his mother and friends that he was alive through radio and electricity. He was eventually captured and was wrapped in vines by the creature, but was rescued by Joyce and the chief of police, Jim Hopper. After intense CPR, Will woke up and was taken to the hospital, where he reunited with his family and friends. Although he attempted to act normal during his family's celebration of Christmas, Will hid the fact that he vomited a creature in the bathroom and continued to see visions of the Upside Down.

In the fall of 1984, Will grew annoyed how his loved ones kept babying him due to his trauma, and was now regularly taken to Hawkins Lab to be examined by Dr. Sam Owens. Owens dismissed Will's visions of a creature in the Upside Down destroying the world as trauma from his capture. However, his visions prove to be real when the creature, dubbed the Mind Flayer, possessed Will. The Mind Flayer would soon exploit its connection with Will to massacre the scientists at Hawkins Lab. But with the help of Joyce, Jonathan, and Jonathan's girlfriend, Nancy, the monster was driven out of Will's body and seemingly disappeared. A month later, a recovered Will went to the Snow Ball alongside his friends.

In the summer of 1985,Will is a meek and quiet kid who is often vulnerable to the strange happenings in Hawkins, Will wants to enjoy what's left of his childhood and play Dungeons & Dragons with his best friends. However, he keeps getting an odd feeling that something in the town is off yet again, not just among his preoccupied friends.[4] And later, Will sensed that the Mind Flayer's presence still lingered in Hawkins, and discover that Max's stepbrother Billy is now being used at its' new puppet. Putting his feelings behind him, he joined his friends in once again defeating the Mind Flayer. Three months later, Will and his family moved out of Hawkins, and he tearfully departed from his friends.

In the spring of 1986, still as quiet as ever, Will lives in California with his mom, brother, Jonathan, and Eleven. Eleven thinks Will’s been acting a bit weird and believes he might have a crush. Will is by Eleven's side at their new school, where she endures daily bullying by the popular kids.

History

Personality and Traits

Will is soft-spoken, amicable, sweet, and honest. Like his friends, he is exceedingly intelligent for his age, having an enthusiasm for science and being a member of their school's AV club. He also displays a lot of the same interests as his friends, such as Dungeons & Dragons, comics like the X-men, and films like Ghostbusters. He is also creative, having a passion for art and writing stories. However, his interests and social status resulted in him being bullied. This, along with his father's prior poor treatment of him, most likely led to feelings of alienation.

After his ordeal with the Upside Down, Will became even more alienated due to his peers labeling him "Zombie Boy" (due to the cover story conceived to conceal what actually happened to him). Additionally, he had grown frustrated with everyone's sensitive treatment towards him, especially with his mother and brother's overprotectiveness. Following his possession by the Mind Flayer, Will developed an aversion to heat and became increasingly distressed by his connection with the entity. The connection also caused him to experience physical pain whenever the vines and biological matter originating from the Upside Down were burned. As Will's mind was gradually taken over, he began to experience memory loss and was manipulated into aiding the Mind Flayer. Eventually, the Mind Flayer's influence over Will was so great, he was able to speak through him and control his body. After the Mind Flayer was exorcised from his body, Will seemingly returned to his usual self with no visible adverse effects.

One of Will’s most notable traits is how he often put other people before himself. This was implied by his actions during the Dungeons & Dragons campaign on November 6th, 1983, were he decided to attack the Demogorgon to help the party instead of playing it safe. Also, Joyce recounted a story of how when he was younger, Will gave away his toy truck to a saddened girl in order to make her feel better, even though they wouldn't be able to afford another one. This side of his personality is also displayed somewhat during the Snow Ball, where he reluctantly accepted a girl's invitation to dance. This is also possibly one of the reasons he waited to tell his family and friends about his visions, so he wouldn't worry them.

Will also had a profound sense of responsibility, drawing a picture of Bob as a superhero to commemorate his sacrifice to save everyone. Will is also responsible enough to focus on ways in dealing with the threats from the Upside Down and dealing with personal issues amongst his friends. He has a typical boy mindset when it comes to girls doing boyish activites. When the boys spy on Max (believing her to be the infamous MadMax at the Arcade), Will is skeptical, saying girls don't play video games. When Dustin talks about meeting his girlfriend at Science Camp, Will, bewildered, says, "Girls go to Science Camp?"

In 1985, Will was shown to have the mind and behavior of a child, mostly stemming from the trauma he had endured in the past two years from being trapped in the Upside Down to being possessed by the Mind Flayer. As a result, Will would dress in clothes too young for him, find girls not interesting, or would be interested in playing D&D, despite his friends' disinterest. This is mostly because Will is trying to return to his childhood after being affected by the Upside Down for two years. However, his friends' disinterest and maturity, disheartened Will as he started feeling left out amongst his friends. When Will tried to play to a D&D campaign with Mike and Lucas after they had problems with their girlfriends, their boredom finally caused Will to snap at his friends. After being told by Mike that they're grown up now, Will broke down in tears as he realized that he can't bring back the childhood he lost while destroying Castle Byers during his breakdown. However, as Will helped his friends when they were all nearly killed by the Mind Flayer's avatar, Will started to become mature and three months later, he finally let go some of his childhood interests by giving D&D manuals to Lucas's little sister, Erica. Will was very upset about leaving Hawkins and cried as he said goodbye to his friends and as Jonathan drove him away.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

After his rescue from the Upside Down, Will developed "True Sight", and began seeing visions of the Upside Down. Dr. Owens originally believed Will's episodes were related to post-traumatic stress disorder. Will's experiences were not only real, but were signs of an approaching threat. After being possessed by the Mind Flayer, Will acquired "now-memories", and was able to see what the entity saw.

Will appeared to have no control over his abilities. He experienced visions at seemingly random intervals. His now-memories were more of a side effect of the Mind Flayer’s possession. While Will lost these abilities when the Mind Flayer was expelled from his body, he was still able to sense the creature's presence.

  • Creature Sense: As a side-effect of being rescued from the Mind Flayer, Will could sense the monster's influence, even after being exorcised from him. Will normally felt a strange sensation on the back of his neck, whenever the monster was active or close. He described the sensation as though he were in a rollercoaster drop, only much colder and scarier. Will was able to use this ability in 1985 to deterct the fragmented Mind Flayer in his new form.

Former Powers

  • True Sight: Will began seeing visions of the Upside Down following his rescue from the dimension. Mike compared this ability to "True Sight" from Dungeons & Dragons, described by Dustin as “the power to see into the Ethereal Plane." Will would be in both the regular world and the alternate dimension simultaneously. Will could not control these visions, and experienced them unpredictably. The visions happened more and more frequently until the Mind Flayer took control of Will’s body.
  • Now-Memories: Following his possession by the Mind Flayer, Will acquired the ability to see what the creature could see, as well as feel what he could feel. Will was able to use this ability to spy on the Mind Flayer, allowing Will to know of the tunnels beneath Hawkins. Will also knew the Mind Flayer's weakness. However, this ability was a double-edged sword, because it allowed the Mind Flayer to spy through Will.
  • Superhuman Strength: At the last stages of his possession, Will was briefly granted superhuman strength by the Mind Flayer, much like the Flayed. He was able to break out of Joyce's restraints and choke her during the attempt to use heat to force the Mind Flayer out of Will. This bout of strength was accompanied by an unknown black substance coursing through his body, making his veins appear black under the skin.
  • Electrical Manipulation: While trapped in the Upside Down, Will could manipulate electricity in the regular world to a small degree. He could turn his tape player on or off, attempt to use the telephone, and attempt to communicate with the Christmas lights in Holly, Jolly. It seems Will only possessed this ability while he was in the Upside Down. He has not been seen doing it since then.

Abilities

  • Expert Artist: Will's drawings were exceedingly detailed and remarkable, especially considering his age. Will could explain complex events (which he could not describe verbally) through his drawings. When Will was overwhelmed by the shadow monster, his drawing skills were used to show Joyce and Hopper about the growing tunnel network beneath Hawkins and also determine to Hopper's location when he was trapped in the tunnels.
  • Evasion: As noted by his brother, Will is talented at hiding. This is possibly the reason why he survived in the Upside Down for so long.
  • Firearms: As shown in "The Vanishing of Will Byers", Will appeared to have know how to load and use a gun, a skill he most likely learned from his father. His proficiency in using it is unclear.
  • Morse Code: Will knew Morse code, as shown in "The Mind Flayer" where he managed to signal the Mind Flayer’s weaknesses.

Relationships

Familial

Will had a deep and affectionate relationship with his mother. Unlike Lonnie, she encouraged Will's artistic abilities, choices, and interests. Although she was quite busy, she tried making time to spend with Will. She got off early and bought tickets for them to see Poltergeist, despite her initial reluctance for Will to see it. She also tried her best to understand Dungeons and Dragons, despite not knowing much, but Will nonetheless appreciated the effort.

While he was trapped in the Upside Down in 1983, Will repeatedly tried to contact her, putting himself at risk of being found by the Demogorgon. Joyce was determined to find him and even entered the Upside Down to save him. She refused to believe he was dead after Will's fake corpse was found in the quarry. When Will was found, she sobbed that she loved him more than anything in this world and was overjoyed when he woke up. A month later, Joyce's relationship with Will has remained strong. She listened and tried to understand Will's campaign as the family ate Christmas dinner.

By 1984, Joyce had become overprotective of Will. She dropped him off and picked him up. She made sure where he is at all times. Will was frustrated by her reluctance to let go out on his own. When Will experienced another episode and tearfully said that he just "wanted it to be over", Joyce promised him she will never let anything bad happen to him again. Joyce was dismayed when Will started suffering from memory loss and berated the doctors for failing to treat him. Eventually, Joyce realized that her son had the Shadow Monster inside of him. She realized that heat was the means to force the Shadow Monster out of Will. She exposed Will to extreme heat, which successfully drove the monster out of him. A month later, she taught Will to dance in preparation of the Snow Ball. While Will attended the Snow Ball, Joyce sat outside with Hopper. She told Hopper that Will wanted some space so she gave him "a few feet".

By 1985, her overprotectiveness of Will has subsided. When Joyce said goodbye to Jonathan as he left for work (rubbing off a smooch mark from Nancy, who secretly spent the night with him), Will showed his disgust. Joyce told Will that one day he will fall in love and understand. While with Hopper and Alexei, Joyce called Karen on a payphone to check up on Will. When Alexei explained to her, Hopper, and Murray that the Russian's are building a gate to the Upside Down under the Starcourt Mall, Joyce wanted to go back to Hawkins, because she believed the children to be in danger.

When the kids were being sent away to the safety of Murray's warehouse, Joyce told Will to listen to his brother. Will expressed his worry about her safety, causing Joyce to tearfully hug Will. She told him she would be fine, much to Will's discomfort as Joyce was squeezing him too tight. After closing the Gate (and losing Hopper in the process), Joyce found Will (along with The Party) unharmed outside the mall. She and Will ran towards each other and tearfully embraced.

Lonnie was unsupportive of Will and his interests, and as a result, they weren't very close. Will tried his best to have a good relationship with Lonnie, attending baseball games and other activities with him, even though Will had no interest in these things. Will got little to nothing back from Lonnie. Lonnie even made derogatory remarks towards Will. This behavior was possibly a factor in Lonnie and Joyce's divorce. When Will disappeared and a supposed body was found in the quarry, Lonnie returned to Hawkins. Lonnie purportedly came for Will's funeral and to help Joyce's mental state. After Will's funeral, Joyce discovered a lawyers' advertisement in Lonnie's luggage. Joyce realized that Lonnie came merely for the money that Lonnie thought could be obtained by suing the owners of the quarry. Joyce realized that Lonnie never really cared for Will. Joyce angrily threw Lonnie out of the house.

Will saw his brother Jonathan as a role model, who in some ways was a substitute father figure to him. They would often listen to music together, and Jonathan even made Will two mixtapes. Jonathan would also defend Will from Lonnie, who didn't approve of Will's interests. Will and Jonathan built Castle Byers together shortly after Lonnie left the family. After Will vanished, Jonathan became desperate to find Will. Jonathan believed Lonnie took Will, and visited Lonnie's house in Indianapolis to search for Will. When Will's body was found, Jonathan stayed in his room and tearfully listened to music. When Joyce and Jonathan went to the morgue to see Will's body, Jonathan was nauseated. He ran out of the room gagging. When Will woke up in the hospital, one of Will's first actions was to ask about Jonathan's injured hand. Jonathan and Will clearly greatly cared about each other.

In 1984, Will was watched over by Jonathan even more after his abduction last year. When Will revealed he was tired of everyone being so careful with him and is upset over being labeled a "freak", Jonathan cheers him up by telling him that he's his best friend and that he would rather be friends with "Zombie Boy" than a boring nobody. On Halloween, Will was overjoyed when Jonathan allowed him to go trick-or-treating with his friends only. After Will became possessed by the Mind Flayer, he was helped by Jonathan to remember the good memories they shared, while playing Will's favorite song "Should I Stay or Should I Go". When Joyce, Jonathan, and Nancy burn the Mind Flayer out of Will, Jonathan is hesitant, and is held back by Nancy as he cries while Will screams in pain. After the Mind Flayer leaves Will's body, Will embraced Jonathan. A month later, Jonathan jokingly records Will and Joyce dancing playfully for the Snow Ball.

In 1985, Jonathan leaves for work while Joyce rubs a kiss mark from Nancy (who secretly spent the night and snuck out of Jonathan's bedroom window). Will expressed his disgust while Joyce said it'll be different when he falls in love. When Nancy discovers Mrs. Driscoll's behavior in the hospital is near identical to Will last year, she calls Jonathan and asks if Will is safe, causing the two to work together with the Party, in order to protect them. While the kids battle the Mind Flayer, Joyce tells Will to listen to his brother. In October, Will and Jonathan drive together as they (and Joyce with Eleven) move out of Hawkins, where they are silently driving together.

Non-Familial

Mike is Will's oldest and most trusted friend. They met on the first day of kindergarten and became very close friends. Mike approached Will and asked to be his friend, which Will agreed to. Mike later described this as the best thing that he had ever done. When Will vanished, Mike and his friends quickly decided to search for him. After Mike met Eleven and discovered that she recognized Will, Mike believed she was the key to finding Will. Mike became very upset following Will's presumed "death", sadly looking through a collection of Will's illustrations. After Eleven proved Will was still alive, Mike became more determined than ever to find him. Upon being reunited with Will, Mike and his friends were overjoyed.

In October, 1984, when Will was having visions and episodes, he shared it with Mike because he knew that the others wouldn't understand. Mike, in return, was committed to helping his friend and was also prepared to sacrifice Dart to save Will. After the Mind Flayer possessed Will, Mike was the only friend to stay with Will all the time, trying to comfort him. After his memory loss in the lab, Will was only able to remember Mike and Joyce out of those present.

Their friendship was still strong in 1985, but Will was upset about how much time Mike was spending with Eleven. Will would have preferred to spend more time for D&D campaigns. Will still tried to help Mike when Mike's relationship with Eleven was strained, by helping Mike shop for an apology gift at the mall. When Eleven dumped Mike, Mike was eager to make up with Eleven as soon as possible. Will wanted to use the opportunity created by Mike's rift with El to play a D&D campaign. During a D&D campaign, Mike and Lucas' disinterest in the game upset Will to the point that he snapped and cut the campaign short. After Mike and Lucas realized what they'd done, both attempted to apologize, but Will brushed them off. Will left the house. Mike caught up to him in the garage. They had a heated argument. Will stormed off to Castle Byers, which he partially destroyed.

When discovering the Mind Flayer had returned to Hawkins, Will worked with Mike to stop it. Will eventually managed to reconcile with Mike and looked down when Mike confessed how much he loves Eleven. The two later continued to work together in defeating the Mind Flayer. Three months later, Will said goodbye to Mike before the Byers family moved out of Hawkins. Will threw his D&D items in the donation box, Mike suggested he keep it since Will might want to join another Party. Will simply said that was, "Not possible", causing them to smile at one another. Mike suggested to Eleven that she and Will return to Hawkins for Christmas as he thought that it would be fun to open their presents together on Christmas Day. When the Byers and the Party say goodbye, the two are emotional. Mike returned home saddened that both his best friend and his girlfriend moved away, Mike was comforted by his mother.

Will met Dustin when he moved to Hawkins in the fourth grade. They became close friends. Dustin was determined to stay cool and collected while searching for the missing Will (unlike Mike and Lucas), as he realized that he needed to be level-headed​ if he wanted any chance of saving his friend. Dustin wanted the group of kids to stick together no matter what, as he knew that together, they would make the most progress. He was devastated when he thought that Will was dead. When Will reunited with Dustin, he returned Dustin's hug and listened to everything Dustin told him that he missed while he was gone, such as Jennifer Hayes crying at his funeral.

In 1984, after Will's rescue from the Upside Down, Will was annoyed how Dustin, like everyone else, was concerned for his well-being. Will also did not tell Dustin his visions of the Upside Down as he felt that Dustin would not understand. However, when Will realizes the sounds D'Artagnan makes was similar to the noises he heard in Upside Down, he tells Dustin this and his visions, which slightly upsets Dustin for not being told earlier. After Will was possessed by the Mind Flayer, he was saved when Dustin and the rest of his friends burn the underground tunnel system. A month later, at the Snow Ball, Will laughed at Dustin's hairstyle.

A year later, in 1985, Will welcomed Dustin back after the latter returned from Camp Know Where. He was also surprised that Dustin gained a girlfriend named Suzie. However, Will did not believe in her existence but did not tell Dustin, not wanting to hurt his feelings. Will offered Dustin to come by and play D&D, but Dustin did not seem all that interested. As Mike and Lucas were trying to deal with problems with their girlfriends, Will did not like them excluding Dustin from their Party and not knowing where he is; while not blaming Dustin at all for being excluded. However, Will came to Dustin's rescue at Starcourt Mall from the Russians and told him that he, Mike, and Lucas could have used his help in dealing with the Flayed; reconciling with Dustin as they shared a group hug. Will also learned that Suzie did exist and sat in awkward silence as she and Dustin sang "Neverending Story" while being chased by the Mind Flayer. Three months later, Will said goodbye to Dustin before he and his family moved out of Hawkins.

Will had became friends with Lucas at an early age. Like Dustin and Mike, Lucas was determined to find Will. Lucas saw Eleven's presence as a distraction from finding Will, and he did not accept Dustin's plea for them all to work together. For a while, Lucas attempted to seek out Will on his own. He was devastated when he thought that Will was dead. When Will reunited with the Party, Will hugged Lucas and listens to everything that happened while he was gone. Lucas described their new friend, Eleven to Will.

In 1984, Will did not tell Lucas his visions of the Upside Down as he felt that Lucas would not understand. After Will was possessed by the Mind Flayer, Lucas and the rest of their friends helped save Will by burning the underground tunnel system. A month later at the Snow Ball, Will and Lucas made fun of Dustin's hairstyle.

In 1985, Will was upset that Lucas wanted to spend time with his girlfriend, Max. Will wanted Lucas and Mike to play a D&D campaign with him. Mike and Lucas were more interested in solving their girlfriend's problems, instead of playing D&D. At a sleepover at Mike's house, Will finally snapped and decided to go home, brushing off Lucas's attempts to stop him. Lucas later tried to apologize. However, Will brushed off Lucas's attempts, saying they should be more focused on Billy and the Mind Flayer. Will managed to reconcile with Lucas and the two exchanged smiles after hearing Mike confess his love for Eleven. Later, the two worked together in caring for an injured Eleven and battling the Mind Flayer with fireworks. Three months later, Will said a tearful goodbye to Lucas before moving out of Hawkins.

Will and his friends had a great relationship with their school science teacher, Mr. Clarke. He was very willing to help the boys further their interest in science, even purchasing a ham radio for them. When Will went missing, Mr. Clarke joined the search party for Will. Mr. Clarke saw Will as an exceptional student. Mr. Clarke also helped the Party on several occasions in their quest to find Will, although Mr. Clarke was not aware of most of the Party's knowledge.

After Will returned from the Upside Down, Mr. Clarke continued to be supportive of him and the other boys. In 1984, Dustin, Lucas and Max attempted to show Dart to Mr. Clark. Mike and Will prevented the other kids from showing Dart to Mr. Clarke, which kept Mr. Clarke unaware of the Party's knowledge.

In the summer of 1985, he helped Will's mother, Joyce, to figure out why magnets had been failing around town.

While they searched for Will, the Party came across Eleven, a young psychic girl. They rescued her from the rain and sheltered her. Eleven was more than willing to help Will's friends and family find him, which they were deeply thankful for (especially Joyce). Eleven's first direct interaction with Will took place while she was immersed in her mental void; she found him in Castle Byers, comforting him and telling him to "hold on a little longer" while Joyce and Hopper searched for him.

By the summer of 1985, Will and Eleven had gotten to know each other, and became friends. Will secretly held some animosity towards her due to Mike starting to date her, which interfered with Will's plans to play D&D. When Eleven dumped Mike, Will tried to get Mike to forget about her by playing a D&D campaign. But when Mike's continued to focus on his relationship with Eleven, Will snapped at Mike for wanting to spend time with some "stupid" girl. This caused Mike to angrily lash out and defend Eleven. When Will realized that the Mind Flayer was back, Will doesn't hesitate to work with Eleven to stop the Mind Flayer. After Eleven was bitten and injured by the Mind Flayer, Will helped to treat and help her. He helped save Eleven from the Mind Flayer by throwing fireworks at the creature. After the apparent death of Hopper, Eleven moved in with the Byers, and became Will's stepsister. Will and Eleven moved away from Hawkins in October 1985. They become closer after moving, due to not knowing anyone else their age. Will is supportive of Eleven when she gets bullied at school.

Jim Hopper

Will's and Jim Hopper's personal relationship began at the beginning of the series in 1983 with Will's disappearance when Will's mother, Joyce, goes to report Will's going missing to Hopper when she finds he did not show up at school. At first, Hopper seems apathetic to Will's disappearance, chalking it up to Will "playing hooky" and not actually being in any danger. Hopper's attention to the matter becomes more serious after discovering Will's loaded rifle in the shed behind his house, and organizes a search. When the fake body of Will is discovered at Sattler Quarry, Hopper is visibly upset as it is brought out of the water. As Hopper continues to unravel the conspiracy surrounding Will's "death", Hopper becomes more committed to finding out the entire truth about Will, going as far as assaulting an Indiana State Trooper to gain access to the morgue where he discovers the body that was pulled from the water is a fake. Once Hopper learns that Will is trapped in the Upside Down, he takes Joyce to the Lab where he negotiates a deal with Dr. Martin Brenner to have him and Joyce allowed into the Upside Down to retrieve Will themselves. After Hopper and Joyce find Will entangled by tendrils with a vine forced down his throat, Hopper performs CPR on Will, reviving him and ultimately saving his life.

Following Will's rescue from the Upside Down, Hopper generally treats Will with more kindness and patience than he does the other Party members. Believing Will may be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress, Hopper takes care to be mindful of Will's sensitivity. In cases where Hopper expresses his displeasure with annoyed and stern remarks to others, he is never seen chastising or raising his voice at Will.

In 1984, Hopper is seen more as a minor father-figure to Will, attending regular visits with Dr. Sam Owens to support both Will and his mother. This is evidenced by Hopper's more gentler interaction with Will during these visits, and him telling Joyce to call him first if Will's episodes get any worse. After Will is possessed by The Mind Flayer and Joyce discovers his drawing of the Shadow Monster, Hopper goes to the Byers House to talk to Will about his now-memories, and helps Joyce piece together pieces of the map that Will draws as an interpretation of the now-memories, where he figures out that Will is drawing the tunnel system that is growing underneath Hawkins. When Will begins seizing due to the Hawkins scientists burning the tunnels, Hopper accompanies him, Joyce, Bob, and Mike back to Hawkins Lab. When Dr. Owens and another scientist conduct a test by burning a small tendril that is connected to the "Hive Mind", Will suffers intense pain, and Hopper aggressively intervenes to get the scientist to stop hurting Will through the tendril. When Dr. Owens brings Will to the conference room to examine the images of the map, another scientist continues expressing his annoyance, to which Hopper tells him to shut up to stop breaking Will's concentration. When the "Demadogs" invade the lab, Hopper guides Will, Joyce, and Mike to safety out of the lab.

In 1985, Hopper briefly meets with Will and the rest of the Party at Starcourt Mall before the final battle against the Spider Monster and the Russian invaders.

Will had a very close relationship with Bob Newby since he didn't treat him any different after his disappearance, unlike Will's brother and mother who were over-protective of him. He was passive-natured and empathized strongly with Will, providing Will well-intentioned advice to face his fears. Bob's advice resulted in Will's confrontation with the Mind-Flayer and his possession by the Mind-Flayer. After Bob's death, Will drew a picture of Bob as a Superhero. Bob and Will ironically shared more similar interests than Will did with his actual father.

Troy and James

James and Troy often bullied Will and his friends. Due to his interests and small stature, they would call him demeaning names. When Will was missing, and presumed dead, they continued making crude remarks about him. Will was surprised to hear that Troy wet himself in front of the entire school while Will was gone.

Will met Max Mayfield when in Mr. Clarke's class in October, 1984. When the rest of his friends became curious about her being "MADMAX," the mysterious video game player who had beaten Dustin's high score on Dig Dug, Will agreed with Mike that she couldn't be "MADMAX," saying that girls don't play video games. When Dustin and Lucas confirmed their suspicions and Max joined them in trick-or-treating, Will did not seem to mind and allowed her to join the Party so Lucas and Dustin could be happy. After Will became possessed by the Mind Flayer, Max helped the rest of his friends save him from his possession by burning the tunnels, which helped force the Mind Flayer to leave Will's body.

In 1985, Will started to grow jealous and annoyed with Lucas spending time with Max, as he did with Mike and Eleven. Will wanted Lucas to play D&D but was rejected every time. When the Mind Flayer returned to Hawkins, Will and Max worked together with their friends in trying to stop it. When Will found out that Max and Eleven spied on Mike and Lucas, Will was not angry with Max. Will and Max continued to work together in battling the Mind Flayer until his avatar was killed. Three months later, Max, along with the Party, helped El and the Byers pack their belongings. She was the first to be hugged by Will tightly, showing that despite Will's jealousy, he considered Max a best friend.

In 1983, a Demogorgon was the very creature that sent Will to the Upside Down. Will had to evade this beast for a week until his rescue. Many times he had come dangerously close to death at the monster's hands. When Will was finally captured by the monster, he was taken to its hideout where a vine was forced down his throat, causing him to be mentally linked to the Mind Flayer.

In 1984, a year after Will's rescue from the Upside Down, the Mind Flayer sought Will out as a vessel into the real world as Will had managed to become part of his hive-mind after the Demogorgon captured him. A fragment of the Mind Flayer entered Will's mind, gradually influencing him until it was able to fully subjugate his consciousness. The Mind Flayer's fragment was forcefully removed from Will's mind by his mother, brother, and Nancy via hot surroundings and fire. The time in which Will was bound to the Mind Flayer left him with a connection to the beast that allowed him to sense its presence a year later.

In 1985, the Mind Flayer had returned to Hawkins to get revenge and kill the Party, including Will. He battled the Mind Flayer until it was defeated when the Gate was once again closed.

Appearances

Season One appearances
The Vanishing of Will Byers The Weirdo on Maple Street* Holly, Jolly* The Body
The Flea and the Acrobat* The Monster The Bathtub The Upside Down
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
Season Four appearances
The Hellfire Club Vecna's Curse The Monster and the Superhero
Dear Billy The Nina Project The Dive
The Massacre at Hawkins Lab Papa The Piggyback

*Can be seen via flashback/manipulating electricity

Comics

Volume 1 appearances
Issue 1 Issue 2 Issue 3 Issue 4
Video Game Appearances
Stranger Things: The Game
Stranger Things 3: The Game
Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales

Family tree

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Joyce Byers Family Tree icon 001.png
Joyce Byers
 
Lonnie Byers Family Tree icon 001.png
Lonnie Byers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jonathan Byers FamilyTree icon 001.png
Jonathan Byers
 
Will Byerd Family Tree icon 001.png
Will Byers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Memorable Quotes

Will:

  • "Let me go! Let me go! Let me go! Let me go! Let me go! Let me go! Let me go."
  • "I'll take your X-Men 134!"

Will to his mother:

  • "Sometimes the bad guys are smart too."
  • "It's like home, but it's so dark... It's so dark and empty!"
  • "[Referring to the Mind Flayer] He likes it cold."

Will to the Mind Flayer:

  • "Go away!"

Will to Mike:

  • "That's my friend....Mike."
  • "Crazy together."

Will & Mike: Following the Mind Flayer's possession of Will-

  • Will: "At first, I felt it on the back of my head. I didn't know it was there. Now, I feel it, I feel it all the time."
  • Mike: "Maybe...maybe that's good."
  • Will: "Good?"
  • Mike: "Just think about it Will. You're like a spy now, a super-spy. If you know what he thinks, maybe that's how we can stop him."
  • Will: "You think so?"
  • Mike: "Yeah...I really do."
  • Will: "What if...what if he figures out we're spying on him? What if he spies back?"
  • Mike: "We won't let him."

After Will has an episode-

  • Mike: "Is this all real? Or is it like the doctors say, all in your head?"
  • Will: "I don't know. Just please don't tell the others, okay? They won't understand."
  • Mike: "Eleven would."
  • Will: "She would?"
  • Mike: "Yeah. She always did. Sometimes I feel like I still see her. Like she's still around but she never is. I don't know. Sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy."
  • Will: "Me too."
  • Mike: "Hey, well, if we're both going crazy, then we'll go crazy together, right?"
  • Will: "Yeah, crazy together."

Will & his mother: After learning the shadow monster's exploitation-

  • Will: "I am sorry. [Referring to the Mind Flayer] He made me do it."
  • Joyce: "Who? Who made you do what?"
  • Will: "I told you, they upset him. They shouldn't have done that. They shouldn't have upset him."

Gallery

View Gallery.png For this subject's gallery, see Will Byers/Gallery.


Trivia

  • In early development, Will was named Benny.[5]
  • There are some inconsistencies concerning Will's date of birth. In a video posted to the show's official Instagram account, his birthday was shown to be August 28, 1971. However, in The Mind Flayer, Joyce retcons this date, reminding a possessed Will that his birthday is March 22, 1971. Despite this, the fourth season takes place during March 22, 1986, and Will's birthday was never mentioned. According to the Duffer Brothers, they themselves forgot that Will's birthday was on March 22. In debating whether to change it or leave the implications of the goof alone, one of the solutions they suggested would be to once again retcon Will's birthday to May 22, since it can easily be edited into previous scenes.[6]
  • Will's sexuality has been left ambiguous throughout the series:
    • In the original Montauk script, Will was described to have "sexual identity issues".
    • In The Vanishing of Will Byers, Joyce mentioned to Hopper how Lonnie used to say Will was "queer" and called him a "fag". When Hopper asked if he was, Joyce avoided it and said that what he was was missing.
    • In Holly, Jolly and The Body, Troy and James specifically targeted Will's sexuality, with Troy saying Will probably got killed by "some other queer" and saying that Will was in "fairyland now, all happy and gay".
    • In The Flea and the Acrobat, the boys took notice that their classmate, Jennifer Hayes, crying at Will's funeral.
    • In The Upside Down, the boys tell Will this in the hospital, but he doesn't react.
    • In The Gate, while Will attended the Snow Ball with his friends, an unnamed girl approached him and asked if he would like to dance. Will stuttered and hesitated, and it wasn't until Mike elbowed him that he said yes. The two were then seen dancing awkwardly yet happily.
    • In Suzie, Do You Copy?, when Jonathan left for work with a kiss mark from Nancy on his cheek, Will commented how gross it was. Joyce said he wasn't going to think it would be gross when he fell in love, but Will rejected the concept.
    • In The Case of the Missing Lifeguard, when Will and Mike argued in the garage, Will told Mike he was ruining the Party so he could swap spit with a "stupid girl". Mike retaliated by saying, "It's not my fault you don't like girls!", leaving Will speechless.
    • In The Hellfire Club, El discusses how Will is working hard on a painting he refuses to show to anyone, with El hinting the painting could be for a girl. Later on in class, a girl attempts to play footsie with him, only for him to awkwardly pull his foot away.
    • In Vecna's Curse, the painting he had been working on is revealed to be for Mike, but he hesitated in giving it him when he arrived in Lenora Hills due to their flat reunion at the airport. At the Rink-O-Mania, Will admits to Mike he's annoyed with Mike's lack of connection with Will since he has moved compared to El. Mike says it's because El is his girlfriend, and Will and asks what they are. Mike emphasizes that they're friends, but Will says that they used to be best friends.
    • In Dear Billy, Mike comes into Will's bedroom and apologizes to Will for being cold to him, saying Hawkins is not the same without him, making Will become emotional and happy. Before they leave, Will places the painting for Mike in his backpack.
  • In The Vanishing of Will Byers, Will tells Mike that the Demogorgon captured his character in Dungeons & Dragons, foreshadowing his abduction.
  • The comic that Will won from the race with Dustin was X-Men 134. In this issue of the comic, the telepathic mutant Jean Grey uses her powers to pin Mastermind to a wall, putting him in a coma. This is similar to how Eleven ultimately stopped the Demogorgon, by pinning it to the wall and making it disintegrate. In the original pilot script, he wanted Dustin's Uncanny X-Men 269. This would've been an anachronism, as that issue was released on October 10, 1990.
  • The password for Castle Byers was "Radagast", the name of a wizard from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series.
  • One of Will's favorite songs, the Clash's Should I Stay or Should I Go, foreshadows the events of the first season - "If I go, there will be trouble. And if I stay, it will be double".
  • In The Body, Joyce mentions at the morgue that Will has a birthmark on his right arm.
  • Will, alongside Max, are the only members of the Party that have yet to meet Martin Brenner.
  • In the first season, his Dungeons & Dragons character was a wizard named Will the Wise.[7] In the second season, his character was changed to a cleric.
    • So far, he is the only one of the boys in the show to have named his D&D character.
  • In an early outline, Will was originally going to have killed Bob in Will the Wise as a result of the Mind Flayer's manipulation.[8]
  • Since the second season, Will is shown to possess certain psychic abilities known as True Sight. This is likely a reference to the Stephen King character Danny Torrance, who possessed similar psychic abilities known as the shining in the novel and film of the same name.
  • Stranger Things 3 marks the first season of the series in which Will appears in all episodes.
  • As of the third season, Will is the only member of the Party yet to have a romantic interest.
  • In The Case of the Missing Lifeguard, Will became the first character in the show to utter the word "Fuck"; when he destroys Castle Byers in a blind rage, he curses loudly (though the subtitles miss this utterance). He would soon be followed by Billy, who says the word in The Sauna Test.
    • Between the first three seasons, Will had only cursed twice throughout the whole show; the word "Fuck" in The Case of the Missing Lifeguard, and when he repeats El's phrase - "She said she dumped your ass" - in The Flayed. This changed in the fourth season with him regularly dropping swears.
  • In the Hawkins Middle School Yearbook, it is stated that his career goal is to be a comic book artist and his favorite subject is Art. His hobbies are drawing and going to the movies. When he is not studying he is reading comics and playing D&D. The extracurricular activities he did in school were the AV Club and the Science Fair. He was also one of the designers of the yearbook.

References


Locations The Upside DownCreel HouseThe GateHawkinsHawkins National LaboratoryLover's LakePublic LibraryPortalsHawkins Middle SchoolHawkins Tunnel SystemTrailer Park
Entities D'ArtagnanDemobat (species)The DemogorgonDemogorgon (species)The FlayedHospital MonsterThe Mind FlayerRussian DemogorgonThe Spider MonsterHawkins Tunnel SystemVecnaVines
The Flayed Billy HargroveHeather HollowayBruce LoweTom HollowayJanet HollowayDoris Driscoll
Visitors Robin BuckleyJoyce ByersWill ByersElevenSteve HarringtonDustin HendersonBarbara HollandJim HopperMax MayfieldEddie MunsonBob NewbyShepardLucas SinclairMike WheelerNancy Wheeler
Miscellaneous Upside Down EggDungeons & DragonsThe VoidThe KeysVecna's curseVecna's Mind Lair
Articles may contain spoilers.
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