That Stranger Things 2 Death Was Originally Going To Happen Very Differently

The change makes the season even better.


Spoilers for the second season of Stranger Things follow.

One of the most chilling and distressing moments of Stranger Things 2 came during the eighth episode of the season. During an escape from Hawkins Lab, one of the Season 2 crew didn't make it out alive, instead becoming a sacrifice of sorts to the demo-dogs.

Bob (Sean Astin) was a new addition for the second season, but quickly endeared himself to fans in a way that was similar to Barb (Shannon Purser) in Season 1. He was quirky and nerdy, with a heart of gold. Unlike Barb though, he was there in the middle of the chaos for most of the season, unknowingly becoming part of the fight against the Upside Down. By the end of his time on the show, Bob had established himself as a hero that put his own life on the line to keep the group safe.

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As it turns out, though, that wasn't the initial plan. According to executive producer Shawn Levy, Bob's death was originally going to happen much earlier in the season. "The death of Bob was initially much earlier," he tells Collider. "In fact, in an early outline, Evil Will kills him in like episode 3."

That certainly would have changed the tone of the season, given how the character of Will (Noah Schnapp) ended up playing out in these episodes. While there were hints that the Shadow Monster was taking control of him throughout the season, it wasn't until much closer to the end that it was obvious who was in charge.

However, as Levy explains it, Bob's death was originally going to come out of nowhere. "You know that scene in the car where he's driving him to school and he's talking about Mr. Baldo?" he asks. "In an early version, like, Will just straight-up murders Bob in that car."

Once they decided to keep him around, the character gained an even greater purpose. "We wanted to keep him alive longer, and then use his death as Joyce’s engine," Levy says. "The avenging of that would become Joyce’s engine for the finale."

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That change also allows Will's possession by the Shadow Monster to play out as a slow burn, which helps establish just how major the change was.

Of course, none of that is the reason they actually changed their plans for Bob. What was it? "We saw Sean Astin's audition," Levy admits. The actor, with credits that include The Goonies and the Lord of the Rings trilogy won them over with his taped audition.

Stranger Things 2 is streaming on Netflix. Check out GameSpot's hub for the show to find reviews, theories and everything else you need to know about Stranger Things.

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