A Sad Fact That Must Be Accepted About The Popular Sci-Fi/Horror Drama stranger things is that characters usually die. Worse still, several characters who meet their untimely demise throughout the series are genuinely compelling and endearing, making them popular with viewers.
These deaths, in particular, struck a heartbreaking and resonant chord as audiences developed an emotional attachment to them. Adding to the intensity, the manner in which they are killed tends to be brutal and undeserved, reflecting the frightening and dire circumstances that are completely beyond the beloved character’s control.
Spoilers ahead for Stranger Things Season 4 Vol. 1
ten Agent Harmon makes sure Mike and the Byers are safe
After Eleven is recruited for Project Nina, Owens assigns Agent Harmon to act as Byers and Mike’s bodyguard. Harmon and his partner Agent Wallace are initially characterized as bored, irritating, and lazy. They watch the boys’ every move but are more interested in watching golf on TV
However, when Lt. Col. Sullivan’s soldiers invade the house looking for Eleven and begin firing indiscriminately, Harmon and Wallace rise to the occasion. Harmon receives a fatal wound but manages to get the boys out of the house unharmed and into Argyle’s vehicle for a narrow getaway. Unable to stem the bleeding, Harmon gives the boys a way to locate Eleven before he dies.
9 Children in the Hawkins lab were trapped without autonomy
Season 4 flashbacks to Hawkins Lab in 1979 show viewers more child test subjects alongside Eleven. They have no opportunity to cultivate individuality or free will, and are clearly prepared to follow Brenner’s every whim regarding his experiments. If they disobey, they face swift and brutal punishment.
This makes their eventual mass murder by One even worse since they have no chance of escaping and most of them appear to be innocent. Even Two and his cronies, bullies that they are, are viewed and treated more like specimens than human beings.
8 Virginia and Alice Creel are horribly killed by an unseen force
Seeing Victor Creel’s memories as he tells his story to Robin and Nancy reinforces the truth in his statement that he is still in hell. He clearly adores his family in flashback, and his wife and daughter feel the same way. Nothing about Virginia and Alice suggests insidious or malevolent tendencies. But that doesn’t stop Vecna - revealed to be their son and brother Henry – from violently killing them.
Virginia is levitated and crushed in much the same way as the Hawkins teenagers decades later. Meanwhile, Alice is murdered off-screen presumably in the same way while her father remains in a trance at the front door. The devastating destruction of his family motivates Victor to attempt to end his life, but his efforts are not in vain.
seven Benny only wanted to help eleven
Seeing a child steal his fries, Benny initially reacts angrily. However, he calms down immediately when he sees that Eleven is dirty, terrified, and clearly in trouble. Taking the time to dress her, feed her properly, and talk to her, Benny learns more about her and comforts her.
Benny even calls social services to help Eleven, but unfortunately this leads to her death. Hawkins Lab, determined to take back their child test subject, intercepts the call and Agent Frazier shoots Benny to keep Eleven’s existence quiet. It is a tragic and completely undeserved end for a person who only wanted to help a child.
6 Dart expires once the door closes
Dustin makes the questionable choice to keep and raise a baby Demodog in Season 2. Naming the creature D’Artagnan, or Dart, Dustin remains oblivious to Dart’s species for some time. Later, Dart’s moult and the cat’s consumption leave no doubt. Eventually, Dart escapes into the Mind Flayer tunnels, but he is given the opportunity to redeem his character when Eleven closes the door.
As Steve and the kids flee through the tunnels, they encounter Dart. With a bar of 3 Muskateers and the memory of their connection, Dustin asks Dart to step aside and let them pass. Amid the gleeful relief that followed the closing of the door, a dark note remains as the camera pans over Dart’s lying body underground, a wrap of nearby Muskateers.
5 Chrissy’s softness and vulnerability heightens the horror of her death
Chrissy makes her first appearance in the Season 4, Volume 1 premiere “Chapter One: The Hellfire Club”. She is established as the affluent Queen Bee cheerleader of Hawkins High and the girlfriend of preppy athlete Jason. But rather than fall into the stereotypes of popular people, Chrissy is simply a kind person who works through her struggles.
Even when interacting with D&D-loving stranger Eddie to purchase illicit substances, Chrissy is understanding and empathetic towards him. She shares her own fears and concerns and listens carefully to what Eddie has to say. The time the episode devotes to showing Chrissy’s intense vulnerability and genuine sweetness makes her horrific demise at the hands of Vecna all the more disturbing and tragic.
4 Barb dies crying for her best friend
Beard marks stranger things‘ first official death of a more significant character. Although Nancy told Barb to go home before going upstairs with Steve, Barb remains loyal to her best friend even though she is uncomfortable in this social environment. This turns out to be Barb’s undoing.
Having cut herself earlier after being pressured by her peers in a drinking game, Barb’s blood draws the Demogorgon and is drawn into the Upside-Down. There, Barb tries to escape the Upside-Down version of Steve’s pool. However, she is brought back to her unseen death. Frighteningly, Barb’s last words are a desperate and unheard cry for Nancy.
3 Alexei had just started enjoying life
In Season 3, Alexei is one of the Soviet scientists working on the Gate. When he meets Joyce and Hopper, he is at first uncooperative. However, he relaxes after realizing that he would be killed by his superiors if he returned. Alexei joins the side of heroes where he gains sympathy for his odd friendship with Murray, his enjoyment of Looney Tunes, and his affection for cherry slurpies.
Alexei also begins to consider emigrating to the United States. Sadly, he dies during the 4th of July celebration in Hawkins after being shot by Gregori for being a traitor and dies alone – having begun to enjoy American life and freedom away from his murderous Soviet superiors.
2 Bob Newby allegedly gave Joyce a happy relationship
Appearing in Season 2, Bob is introduced as Joyce’s new boyfriend. Unlike her manipulative ex-husband, Bob is sincere, delightfully nerdy, and wants to bond with his sons. Bob and Joyce’s new relationship is passionate and sweet, finally giving Joyce the romance she deserves.
Many people might panic that their loved one has a connection to supernatural horrors, but Bob accepts this reality about Joyce’s family and still wants a long-term relationship with her. Bob’s gory murder by demodogs after nearly reaching Joyce and security – and after showing protection and self-sacrifice – will have viewers crying alongside Joyce.
1 Billy Hargrove sacrifices himself to protect eleven
Billy Hargrove is a complicated character. His abuse of his stepsister Max and his domineering habits paint him in a negative light. But his father’s treatment and the departure of his loving mother provide insight into why he is the way he is, even if it doesn’t excuse him.
For all of his deep character flaws, Season 3 still shows the traumatic toll the Mind Flayer’s possessed minion has on Billy. Eleven’s look at his past reveals the innocent child he once was, helping him to understand his pain. This inspires Billy to challenge the Mind Flayer to protect Eleven. Having been able to do the right thing, he is killed by the monster shortly afterwards.
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