i love steve harrington’s character development and i think it deserves more praise
yes yes, this is something everyone talks about, but trust me. it took me so long to convince my mom and the people i talked with about stranger things that steve harrington was not just some dumb douche character that saved his friends by coincidence and would fall back on his own development as soon as nancy left him for jonathan. back before s2 was really hyped up, it was difficult when you liked steve more than jonathan because everyone thought steve was the worst!! they all flocked to jonathan’s character because he was relatable and you could tell he had something with nancy and everyone was rooting for the caring older brother who was socially awkward.
i love jonathan, do not get me wrong, but he has character traits that i see in myself that come with isolation. so trust me. i’m not doing this to bash on a character, i just want to explain some of the reasons why jonathan has more depth than just sensitivity. firstly, jonathan byers is completely isolated, and this has led him to have a skewed view of everyone who isn’t as isolated as him. when you are so far removed from your typical high school life, of course you’re gonna see the faults in it- he’s so self conscious that his brain tries to put others down just to make him feel less lonely. an important scene for this is when he and nancy are fighting in the woods- he says “i thought you were different”. the implications of this are that he liked her because she wasn’t high school-y and boring teenage girl-y.
when you start to get to know someone, you can see them as more of a person and less of a conforming hive mind, which is kind of what he sees a lot of people as. especially the way he said that she wasn’t herself at the party just because he fell in love with the idea of a girl who /would/ feel uncomfortable at a party. of course it took nancy a while to get used to parties and that sort of stuff, but from what i saw, she was enjoying herself!! she was having fun but jonathan couldn’t see that because he didn’t expect her to have fun. it’s something very typical of people who don’t feel like they fit in to imagine people that they want to get close to as not feeling like they fit in. jonathan hasn’t had much character development because his character has been pretty good from the start, save for the thing i talked about, which is important but nothing something his character is based off of. a healthy dislike for large groups of meddling teens is fine.
the reason i included this part about jonathan is because i wanted to contrast steve with this. jonathan went through a lot as a kid, and it made him stronger, but lonelier. steve, on the other hand, was probably a stupid kid with a fragile ego who surrounded himself with friends just to realize that he felt even more alone with people around. rich and dumb and an asshole. the seemingly best life to live. but steve harrington’s character goes deeper than that.
he started off as someone we all kinda disliked. there wasn’t much reason for it, but he probably reminded us of some dummy we knew in real life that was “popular” and liked girls and thought he was “all that”. pushy asshole boyfriend, an understandable target for hatred. then he showed us that he cared more about his parents’ opinions than barb. then he broke jonathan’s camera- something expensive and prized at the time and difficult to replace. this was when people started to really rag on him. and then he further proved himself by letting his friends spray point rude shit about nancy and jonathan, and though he wasn’t the culprit, he let it happen and he seemed to be okay with it. he spent most of the season being annoying and rude and then flat-out like a bully.
so this is where steve shines!! he started off as a hated character and, despite amazing character development, ended up as a mostly disliked character. he gets in the way of one of the main couples, he’s an asshole, he’s a douche, he did mean shit, he paled in comparison to the other two in the “teens” trifecta. but his character development, especially among the teens, is unparalleled. first off, the duffer brothers commented on his character a bit, saying he was originally meant to be an antagonist but joe’s portrayal of him changed their minds (thank you so much joe). they also say that steve comes from a background where he was never a priority- a kid whose parents ignored him and treated him poorly. sure, sure, this isn’t an excuse, but it explains a lot about his character.
ysee, when i first watched st, i kept thinking ‘what is steve doing in that friend group with those assholes?’ because he seemed so… awkward?? like the way he talked and carried himself seemed very unlike the charismatic characters we usually know as the douchey popular kids. he just didn’t fit in. i think steve was raised by cold, unloving parents that led to him trying to be someone like them- having fun when he can by just hanging around and being a general douche to people, never opening up to anyone. and then, see, he meets nancy. this smart, nice, kinda outsider girl, and finally he has something that makes him happy. i wanted to save this for later, but the time when he calls his friends out for being jealous or something “because she’s not miserable like you”? i think a lot of people overlooked that when it really tells us about steve’s character. these are the kids he’s hung out with throughout high school. these are the kids he probably ended up hanging out with in a time where he felt his worst. these kids probably helped him in a time when he was miserable. he’s been miserable. but nancy, she brought him out of that, and i think that’s why he was so affected by seeing her with jonathan. i think he finally had someone he opened up to, or was going to open up to, found someone who made him happy, and then he saw that and realised that he had put his trust in someone who would just let him down again.
and the parents thing is shown in the conversation with nancy about barb. he was a complete douche during this exchange, but there was a reason for it. barb was missing, but she was also a level-headed teenage girl, so if someone told me someone like that was missing, i would have assumed that they were fine and just probably ran off or played hooky. like i know that’s dumb but if i had stupid parents who never paid me any mind and were probably not exactly nice to me, i think my brain would jump to that. but, still, dick move steve.
breaking jonathan’s camera. okay. heavy thing. yes, DICK MOVE, STEVE, but not without reason. done in a terrible, terrible, awful way that would make me dislike anyone, but not without reason. if i found pics like that of my girlfriend taken by the notorious “weird kid”, i’d be super angry. not angry enough to break a rare commodity, an EXPENSIVE commodity, but enough to do something. everyone hated steve after this.
the graffiti….. the dickest steve move in the series. yes, he didn’t do it, but he followed his friends around as they did it and allowed them to do it. even if the one person you began to trust breaks your heart, that’s still an absurd and awful thing to do. but it also brings one of the most important scenes. i mean, yea, steve and jonathan fought, steve ran away from punishment and left jonathan to be punished, like the awful spoiled boy he is, but the scene at the gas station where they get him like a cola or something to put on his wounds?? that’s an important scene. of course i already mentioned the most important part (the “miserable” part), but the fact that he calls them out?? the only people who seemed to have stuck by him for all these years. he’s finally had enough of being this thing he doesn’t want to be, and he yells at them and drives away (run away like you always do).
steve is a coward. steve is an asshole. steve is a douchebag. steve is a man-child. but steve also had a rough childhood. he also had difficulty opening up. he also spent a lot of his life as a miserable, dull, asshole.
he went to jonathan’s house in the middle of the night to apologise to him. he went out of his way to go to JONATHAN’S HOUSE FIRST!! he wanted to redeem himself to other people besides nancy, so don’t you dare pull the ‘he did it all for her’ card. even after they told him to run, to leave, he came back. it’s so much harder to run away from danger, turn around, and run right back into it than it is to stay and fight. it takes courage. steve broke away from being a coward who always runs away (run away like you always do) to a man trying to become someone better. he’s trying his best to be someone he’s always wanted to be. it’s such a shame he gets put down as the token asshole. remember, he’s not trying to flaunt either. he probably paid for most of that camera, but nancy gave it to jonathan and said it was only from her anyways. he doesn’t care that he doesn’t know it was from him as well, because that’s not the important thing. he wants to redeem himself TO HIMSELF. he wants to be a better person because it’s making him happier, and i feel like dating nancy was a bit of a gateway to that, but not as like a… not like he tried to better himself for her, but more like she showed him that he /can/ become better.
i love steve harrington and in the new previews he’s hanging out with the kids and everyone is like “he was a good guy after all!!” but i am here as his #1 fan to show you guys that it has, in fact, been like that for a minute.
ok so you may or may not know, but 56 years ago on this day the french drowned dozens of algerians who were manifesting for the independence. so i retweet a few things about that and this mcfucking guy. comes into my DMs and he’s like “uhhhhh i feel like you’ve really been nourishing hate towards french recently and like those tweets might made it seem like french were the bad guys but in the whole war algerians were the real bastards don’t trust everything you read”
my family got thrown into jail for the independence, people fought for it
i know people who still can’t sleep at night and have ptsd
we fought disgusting ass french colonialism and you’re telling WE’RE THE BASTARDS ??? FUCKING
FUCK people were manifesting peacefully and they threw them in the river how does that equate deaths on the battling field (also like as if french didn’t also kill algerians apart from during that one instance)
there’s two types of fics: 1) it’s so awesome you can’t breathe as you literally soak in the greatness of the writing and characterisation; and 2) the train wreck fics that are ridiculous and dumb and in no way in character but somehow still amusing bc u need to know how badly this nightmare ends so you just keep on reading even when you cringe every 5 seconds
Get me a book as a gift. Your favorite book. Highlight the lines that makes you feel something. Make note on the passages that make you laugh. Mark down the things that make you cry. I want to see exactly the kind of person you are, let me read what makes you, you.