Stranger Things Was Originally Going To Kill Off Steve In Season 1

Stranger Things Was Originally Going To Kill Off Steve In Season 1

The Stranger Things creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, reveal that they originally had planned for Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) to die in season 1.

Stranger Things creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, reveal that they had originally intended for Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) to die in season 1. Stranger Things first premiered on Netflix on July 15, 2016, and became an instant hit. Just recently, season 4 volume 1 released on the platform and will be followed by volume 2 on July 1, 2022. Throughout the seasons, each character has had the opportunity to grow, develop, and have their own unique character arc. As for Steve, he had an unexpected, but much appreciated, redemption arc in which he transformed from the school bully into the designated babysitter of the group.


In the first season, Steve is a high school bully and primarily targets Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton). While dating Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer), Steve proves to be extremely shallow and at one point expresses more concern for getting in trouble than about Wheeler’s missing friend. His connection to Nancy though leads him to help her and Jonathan fight off a Demogorgon. By season 2, Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo) enlists Steve’s help when he unknowingly adopts a baby Demogorgon as his pet. As a result, Harrington and Henderson strike up a close friendship, and Harrington becomes the designated babysitter of the group from then on.

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As reported by Rotten Tomatoes, the Duffer brothers revealed during Geeked Week that Steve was originally going to die in Stranger Things’ first season. They can’t remember the exact moment Steve was supposed to die, but it was going to happen. In the scene where Steve fights the Demogorgon, it was actually going to be Jonathan’s dad instead of Steve. The Duffer brothers credit Keery with changing his character’s trajectory and impacting the Stranger Things’ narrative. Check out Matt’s statement below:

When he comes back and fights the Demogorgon, that was supposed to be Jonathan’s dad… You’re learning what works and what doesn’t work. The cast is impacting where you take the narrative, the other writers and directors … it’s this living thing

Steve Harrington in the Upside Down, Stranger Things Season 4

Imagining Steve dying in season 1 is quite difficult, as he has grown to become a staple in the series since. While he may have been a pretty expendable and unlikable character in season 1, he has truly grown to be one of the most beloved characters. While it’s clear he still has feelings for Nancy, he has been content to let her be with Jonathan instead. Meanwhile, he accepts Robin’s (Maya Hawke) sexuality and becomes a close friend and confidant of hers. Steve and Henderson have also become best friends, which keeps Steve deeply involved in supernatural occurrences in Hawkins. Most often, he acts as the babysitter or chauffeur of the group and always ensures the younger characters are safe.

The fact that the Duffer brothers almost killed off Steve in season 1 simply demonstrates how different things were back then. Back then, the brothers admit they didn’t have the entire series planned out and were simply coming up with it on the fly. Without a concrete plan, they easily could’ve accidentally killed off characters with amazing potential. Fortunately, even without a plan, they were able to take into account the potential of their castmates and were open to changing the narrative for a good reason. Additionally, while they are far more advanced in their planning today, they do still leave the door open for the cast, directors, and other writers to weigh in on the story. While Steve almost died in Stranger Things season 1, the ultimate decision to keep him led to one of the best character arcs of the series.

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Source: Rotten Tomatoes

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Rachel Ulatowski
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Rachel Ulatowski is a Freelance Movie/TV News Writer for Screen Rant. She works to bring readers the latest news on the shows and movies that are important to them. Rachel especially enjoys writing about celebrity news and sharing the thoughts, struggles, and perspective of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, and watching anything Marvel, DC, Doctor Who, or Star Wars.

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