‘Stranger Things’ Season 2: Will Byers was Initially Supposed to Kill Bob Newby

When anyone thinks of Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), the last word that comes to mind is killer. But that’s precisely what the character almost was by the third episode of Stranger Things Season 2. Not only did Schnapp’s character almost have to kill someone, but that someone was Bob Newby, portrayed by Sean Astin.

Sean Astin as Bob Newby in a scene with Winona Ryder from 'Stranger Things' Season 2.
Bob Newby, Superhero | Netflix

Will Byers almost killed Bob Newby early on in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 2

In an interview with Collider, executive producer Shawn Levy talked about how Will was supposed to kill Bob during that car ride in one of the original versions of the script. “We had talked about the death of some major characters, that may or may not happen in the future near or far. But that was never part of the discussion for Season 2. The death of Bob was initially much earlier. In fact, in an early outline, Evil Will kill him in like Episode 3.”

Technically, it would be the Mind Flayer killing Bob, but the audiences would see Will perform the bloody act. We aren’t sure anyone would have recovered if the writers had gone through with it.

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Bob would have made a great father figure for Will

Bob was introduced as Joyce Byers’ (Winona Ryder) new boyfriend in the first episode of Stranger Things Season 2. Slightly dorky and wholly innocent, Bob tried to stand in as a father figure to both Will and Jonathan Byers. Lonnie, the boys’ biological father, wasn’t present in their lives and Will, especially, warmed up to Bob.

In the third episode of the second season, Bob offers to take Will to school because Joyce can’t be late for work that day. As they ride together in the car, Will confesses to Bob that he’s struggling with nightmares of his time in the Upside Down. (They weren’t really nightmares, but Will couldn’t tell Bob this.) Bob related to the story and told Will about his childhood nightmare involving Mr. Baldo, the clown. He was able to get over his fear of the clown was to scream at him to simply go away in his nightmares.

Things don’t turn out the same way for Will, unfortunately. When he follows Bob’s advice, not only does the Mind Flayer not leave him alone, it possesses him instead. But that’s neither here nor there because originally, Will was supposed to already be possessed by the Mind Flayer during that car ride with Bob. 

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Bob Newby was always going to be a one-season character

As much as audiences loved the character of Bob Newby, he was never long for the world of Stranger Things. Creators Ross and Matt Duffer had always planned for Bob to die in season 2. He was such a likable character, though, who fans loved they kept delaying his death.

Speaking with Vulture, Matt Duffer said, “We just kept pushing it further downfield, his death, until we got to the point where it was going to happen in episode eight. Then we wrote it, and I had a bit of a breakdown. It felt really nasty to write. It did suck. It just really hurt, and I was like, “This doesn’t feel right; I don’t want to lose this character, I don’t want to lose Sean.”

Fans are still upset over Bob’s death, but at least we get to see him in flashbacks in Stranger Things Season 3. The fourth season won’t be out until 2022, but thankfully that’s not too far away. Until then, audiences can rewatch the first three seasons on Netflix.