Stranger Things 2 was marked by the exponential boom in Steve Harrington’s popularity. So what made him go from least favorite character to people’s favorite in the span of one season?
Stranger Things 2 had a lot of storylines and new characters but it also gave Steve Harrington his chance to shine by giving him the strongest character development of the whole season. In season 1, Steve was kind of a jerky jock, shallow and so focused on his image he almost lost Nancy. In season 2, well, he did lose Nancy, and thus despite his efforts to be a more thoughtful boyfriend, but that didn’t keep him from moving forward into taking on his new role: the Babysitter™.
In a just a few episodes, Steve stopped being the “stupid teenager” he was asking Nancy to be before just a few episodes earlier to go on a Demodog hunt with Dustin, help burn the tunnels down and basically protect the children with fervent tenacity.
What made the audience love him so much was how Steve seemed genuinely invested into his new role, as he proved many times when giving Dustin romantic advice (which is kind of ironic, you have to admit) and holding up his bat covered in nails whenever danger roamed around the children.
Steve turned out to be brave —although we kind of knew that already from the end of season 1 when he stuck around to help catch the creature—, but most importantly he turned out to be caring and selfless. And a natural at supervising kids. That’s when the Steve Harrington mom memes began.
Overall, Steve’s heroic and naturally protective behavior, as well as his peacefully coming to terms with the break up by respecting Nancy’s decision, made many realize what had been already been hinted at in season 1: Steve Harrington is a good kid, learning from his mistakes and growing.
The writers also showed us that he could be more than just a love interest and made him take part in the main storyline and help with getting rid of the Upside Down. Then, even after everything was over, Steve remained close to Dustin and was the one who drove him to prom after sharing hair styling and further romantic advice (again, doubly ironic).
Steve Harrington, you are our hero.
Now that season 3 has been officially announced, one can wonder what the writers have in store Steve. What would you like to see?