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Billy Hargrove: The Bad Boy of Hawkins(?)

Billy Hargrove: The Bad Boy of Hawkins(?)

Billy Hargrove adds dynamism to Stranger Things like no other character. No wonder, he has captured the attention of the audience. From his bad boy persona to his complicated relationship with his family and friends, there is a lot to unpack when it comes to the character of Billy Hargrove. 

The Backstory of Billy Hargrove: A Troubled Childhood

Born in California, Billy moved to Hawkins, Indiana, with his family when he was a child. 

Billy Hargrove’s father, Neil, was abusive, both physically and emotionally, which left a lasting impact on Billy’s life. 

He coped with the abuse by becoming a tough, rebellious teenager who had a chip on his shoulder.

Billy Hargrove’s Relationship with Father

Neil Hargrove, Billy Hargrove’s father is the kind that wrecks homes and destroys childhoods. He is an alcoholic and regularly beats his wife and son. Billy, of course, shares a complicated relationship with his father – he is both terrified of him and seeks his approval, which leads to a cycle of abuse and neglect. Billy’s attempts to escape from his father’s control are often met with violence, which only reinforces his rebellious nature.

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Billy Hargrove Relationship with Max: A Protective Big Brother

Maxine “Max” Mayfield is Billy’s stepsister, and their relationship creates some chilling scenes. Billy is fiercely protective of Max, which is a testament to his loyalty and love for his family. He acts as a big brother to her, always looking out for her well-being, even when he’s not in the best place himself.

While he may have had good intentions, his behavior towards Max was often controlling and abusive. 

Crucial Scenes Involving Billy Hargrove: The Bad Boy’s Redemption

Many crucial scenes in Billy’s storyline showcase his character development. In the second season, we see him become a bully to Steve and his friends, which sets him up as a villain. However, in the third season, we see a different side of him. Billy becomes possessed by the Mind Flayer, and when he is under that influence, we are shown flashbacks of his childhood. These scenes explain why he is the way he is. 

His redemption comes in the final episode, where he sacrifices himself to save Eleven and her friends, a heroic act that solidifies his character arc.

Billy’s relationship with Steve Harrington is another interesting dynamic in the show. In the second season, Steve and Billy have a rivalry, with Billy constantly belittling and threatening Steve. This rivalry comes to a head in a climactic scene where Billy and Steve have a brutal fight, with Steve ultimately coming out on top.

The Layers of Billy Hargrove

Billy Hargrove’s character is complex, to say the least. He defies easy categorization into hero or villain. Billy was not devoid of villainy and yet he pulled off a heroic feat. 

He is a bad boy who is fiercely loyal to his family, a bully who becomes a hero, and a victim who becomes a villain. His storyline is one of the most interesting in the show and his character arc is a perfect representative of the solid well-rounded writing that made Stranger Things such a remarkable series. 

Billy is toxic, he carries baggage that none of us would want, he’s loving yet unable to express affection, and he’s loyal but overprotective. His relationships with his sister Max, Steve, and the other characters in the show help to shape his arc and create a compelling storyline. Whether you love him or hate him, there is no denying that Billy Hargrove is one of the most memorable characters in the Stranger Things universe.

About the author

Sruti Chowdhury

Sruti is a storyteller for all trades. She loves to write about everything -- from sci-fi movies to cyber security. She is a phenomenal singer, an ardent reader, and dreams to travel the world.

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