Why does Billy sacrifice himself for Eleven in Stranger Things?

While we wait for season 4 of Stranger Things to come out, let’s talk about the moment in the third season finale when Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) sacrificed himself to save Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown).

Fans of the series will recall that Billy spent most of season 3 possessed by The Mind Flayer, similar to how Will was connected to the shadowy being in season 2.

During the battle at the Starcourt Mall, Eleven was very close to being killed by the monster. Remember, Eleven had lost her powers at this point, so she would have been defenseless against The Mind Flayer.

With Billy acting as its servant, Eleven was in The Mind Flayer’s clutches. However, in a brilliant last-ditch effort to save her own life, she used Billy’s happy recollections of his mother to help him break free from The Mind Flayer’s control. Billy ended up sacrificing himself to save El and her friends.

Why did Billy save Eleven?

As we’ve seen on the show before, The Mind Flayer seems to have an intense psychic connection with its victims. Billy probably knew of its sinister intentions and wanted to spare El a gruesome death.

The two of them didn’t interact often on the show, but I think Billy wanted to protect Eleven because she’s friends with and around the same age as his stepsister Max (Sadie Sink). Granted, Billy and Max didn’t have the greatest relationship, but Max was still devastated when he died.

Plus, El does have tons of powers (some we probably don’t even know about yet!), so saving her is really helping the greater good as the kids continue to battle the supernatural threats.

If you feel like rewatching this moment from season 3, you can check out the clip below.

Here’s to hoping we’ll be getting Stranger Things season 4 sooner than later, and perhaps we’ll learn more about Billy and his motivations in season 3.