SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the second season of Stranger Things, streaming now on Netflix.
When Stranger Things‘ core cast faced bigger dangers from the Upside Down in Season 2, they weren’t alone, as several new actors had joined the team. One new member of the group was Sean Astin’s Bob Newby, the nerdy boyfriend of Joyce Byers who helped mentor her son Will as he battled possession by the Mind Flayer. As it turns out, however, Bob wasn’t intended to stick around for very long. According to executive producers Dan Cohen and Shawn Levy, “evil Will” was supposed to murder Bob early on in the season.
Bob’s death was originally going to happen during a car ride when he was offering some advice to Will. “The death of Bob was initially much earlier. In fact, in an early outline, Evil Will kill him in like Episode 3,” Levy revealed to Collider. “Will just straight-up murders Bob in that car.” They decided against it in order to allow Bob to form stronger bonds with the show’s protagonists — but they also wanted to keep him alive for Will’s Demodog attack, where he got devoured as a hero.
The executive producers felt the earlier death would have been too dark a turn for the series and — by keeping Bob on a tad longer — they also built Joyce’s motivation for revenge on the Mind Flayer when she had to purge it out of Will: “We wanted to keep him alive longer, and then use his death as Joyce’s engine. The avenging of that would become Joyce’s engine for the finale.”
Now streaming on Netflix, the second season of Stranger Things stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, Matthew Modine, Noah Schnapp, Joe Keery, Sadie Sink and Dacre Montgomery.
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