Spoilers ahead for the latest season of Stranger Things.
Season four of Stranger Things hit Netflix on 27 May, and fans have been speculating about Will’s sexuality.
One of the lead characters, played by Noah Schnapp, has had trouble in this new season reconnecting with his Dungeon and Dragon buddies. Viewers have been exploring their own reasons for this change in character and Will’s own personal development.
In episode one of the latest season, Will and Eleven (played by Millie Bobby Brown) were asked to give presentations on their heroes to their new cohort of peers in a new school.
Will choses Alan Turing, who broke the infamous Enigma code during World War Two and was later chemically castrated and charged by the English Government due to his sexuality. The results of this led to his suicide in the 1950s.
Will is also seen responding to a female student showing a romantic interest in him and the response is… not positive.
Following on into episode two, Will appears disheartened that his friend Mike (Finn Wolfhard) has become distant from him, as a result of Mike’s relationship with Eleven. Later, in episode four, Mike confides in Will about Eleven.
Will offers both reassurance and guidance that could resonate with any individual plucking up the courage to tell their friend the truth about who they really are: “Sometimes, I think it’s just scary, to open up like that — to say how you really feel, especially to people you care about the most, because what if — what if they don’t like the truth?”
In an interview with Variety, Brown and Schnapp spoke about the approach the show’s writers have taken to exploring Will’s sexuality.
“I feel like they never really address it or blatantly say how Will is,” said Schnapp. “I think that’s the beauty of it, that it’s just up to the audience’s interpretation, if it’s Will kind of just refusing to grow up and growing up slower than his friends, or if he is really gay.”
Brown added to the conversation: “Can I just say, it’s 2022 and we don’t have to label things, I think what’s really nice about Will’s character is that he’s just a human being going through his own personal demons and issues.
“So many kids out there don’t know, and that’s OK. That’s OK to not know. And that’s OK not to label things.”
Schnapp agreed with his co-star: “I find that people do reach to put a label on him and just want to know, so badly, like, ‘Oh, and this is it,’ he’s just confused and growing up. And that’s what it is to be a kid.”
In a promotional video posted by Netflix Mexico on Instagram on May 23, Schnapp, Wolfhard and cast member David Harbour are quizzed on the various fan theories buzzing around the series. One cites that Will and Eleven are in a secret relationship.
Harbour added to the conversation, “If you’ve been watching the show, you should know that Will is not interested in El, he’s interested in someone else in the group.”
Later in the video, Harbour added: “Will wants to be in the basement with Mike playing D&D for the rest of his life.”
The fourth season of Stranger Things was released on Netflix in two volumes, with the first set released May 27, 2022, and the second to be released on July 1, 2022.