Stranger Things: The Best Characters Introduced After Season 1

Stranger Things took the world by storm in the summer of 2016. The show became a wild success for a wide variety of reasons, including its Spielbergian tropes and storyline, the '80s nostalgia, and the stellar list of characters. A story is nothing without a solid list of likable, or at least interesting, characters, and Stranger Things certainly delivered.

Like most other shows, Stranger Things looked to expand after its debut season. This didn't just mean an increased budget and a larger scope, but new characters, as well. Some of these characters worked extraordinarily well. Others were duds.

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Updated on July 7th, 2022 by Danielle Bruncati: When Stranger Things was released in 2016 the creators thought it would be a one-season show that would hopefully make its mark on the sci-fi genre. Now, the series has just dropped its final two episodes of its fourth season which has been the biggest one yet. While fans love the mystery the series offers, it's the characters that keep bringing them back to the show, especially since Stranger Things has a habit of introducing fun, original, and well-written characters every season. And season 4 was no expectation since it introduced at least five new characters fans can't get enough of. Fans thought they knew who their favorite minor character was ahead of season 4 but the new additions really shook things up.

Kali/Eight

stranger things eight kali

It's no secret that Stranger Things stumbled in its second season. The seventh episode, titled "The Lost Sister," is widely regarded as the show's worst hour, as it's filled with horrible acting, bland characters, and a hated Stranger Things storyline that was horribly ill-timed. The ideas behind the episode and Eight were somewhat interesting, as they promised to expand the series' lore.

RELATED: The 10 Most Tragic Death Scenes From Stranger Things

But Eight and her band of punk misfits landed with a thud, and fans quickly wrote them off. Perhaps Eight can show up at a later time, as her character actually does promise some potential. She should leave her friends behind, though.

Yuri

Image of Yuri meeting Joyce and Murray

After season 3 revealed that the Russians are somewhat involved with the Upside Down, it's no surprise that season 4 has a major Russian plot. With that plot came the introduction of several Russian characters including Yuri, a jokester conman.

While Yuri definitely brings the humor in some tense moments, he felt like a Russian version of Murray in a lot of ways. Fans don't know what to think of him since he double-crossed Joyce and co. but did end up saving their lives in the end. Overall, Yuri was purely a comedic character for the Russian plot who didn't get a meaningful backstory until the final episode when it was already too late for fans to show great interest in him.

Dmitri Antonov

Image of Dmitri 'Enzo' Antonov in Stranger Things Season 4

With Hopper stuck in a Russian prison in season 4 it only made sense that the writers of Stranger Things would introduce some Russian guard characters into the mix which is where Dmitri Antonov comes in. Upon first meeting him, he's cruel and indifferent just like all the other Russian guards until it's revealed that he's secretly trying to help Hopper escape.

Stranger Things fans love when a character puts their own lives in danger to help the main character which is exactly what Dmitri does for Hopper. He even inspires Hopper to keep fighting when all hope is lost. However, despite getting a pretty solid backstory with his son, some fans still wondered why Dmitri wanted to help Hopper in the first place.

Billy Hargrove

billy

The case of Billy Hargrove is difficult to assess. He's certainly not an enjoyable character, as he's horribly mean, abusive, and possibly racist. But as a villain, Billy makes for a fascinating character.

RELATED: 5 Endings Of Stranger Things That Fans Completely Reject (& 5 They Think Were Perfectly In-Character)

His storyline really kicks into high gear in season three - he becomes the primary villain after getting possessed by the Mind Flayer, he is finally given some depth, and he even experiences a bit of a redemption arc. Some people sympathized with Billy, and others didn't. Such is the complexity of his writing and Dacre Montgomery's excellent performance.

Sam Owens

Sam Owens is actually a fascinating character who added a lot of charm to the second season. Like Sean Astin, the presence of Paul Reiser undoubtedly helped set the show's '80s atmosphere. But Owens proved very interesting for breaking some long-established tropes.

Fans expected Owens to be the type of villain who appears friendly and helpful before proving his allegiance to the dark side. But Owens was actually helpful, and he always had the best interests of the group at heart. He even allowed Hopper to adopt Eleven, and with that, he proved everyone wrong. And unlike other characters, Owens has stayed around and continued to be a good person even in season 4.

Argyle

Argyle smiles at Jonathan Byers in Stranger Things

After moving to California at the end of season 3, Jonathan meets and befriends Argyle, a stereotypical California stoner who works at the local pizza store in Lenora. With season 4 being the darkest season yet, it seems like the writers wanted to give each "team" a comedic character to lighten the mood that's where Argyle came in.

Though Argyle's backstory is lacking and his character's personality leans a little too into the stoner stereotype, he does end up being a vital member of team California by helping them create a deprivation tank for El. He's also a pretty good friend to Jonathan who definitely needed one after the rough three seasons he's had.

Murray Bauman

Murray Bauman is one that fans originally thought would be one-dimensional and over-exposed but has proven to be a major player in figuring things out as the seasons have progressed.

RELATED: 10 Friendships Nobody Saw Coming In Stranger Things

Introduced in season two, Murray hilariously inhabited the "kooky conspiracy theorist" trope, and Brett Gelman played him with just the right balance of eccentricity and sincerity. But like Erica, his popularity led to an increased presence in season three and season four he plays a pivotal role in freeing Hopper with Joyce.

Erica Sinclair

Erica Stranger THings

Despite being Lucas' sister, Erica wasn't introduced until the second season premiere. The first time that fans see her, she's making fun of Lucas for dressing like a Ghostbuster. She would appear sporadically throughout the second season. and her snarky attitude made her an instant fan favorite.

Erica was brought back for season 3 as a main character where her snark, small size, and intelligent mind helped Scoops Troop figure out what the Russians were doing in Starcourt and how to get themselves out when they were captured. She took on a smaller role in season 4 but continued her reign of snark and being a hero when she steps up to help the Hawkins crew team up to stop Vecna. She may be small, but she should not be underestimated.

Eddie Munson

Joe Quinn as Eddie Munson in Stranger Things Season 4

Eddie Munson has one of the best introductions of a new character in all of Stranger Things. Fans meet him in the first episode of season 4 while he's on a rant about how the world sees him and his friends as freaks simply because they dress differently and play Dungeons and Dragons.

In some regards, Eddie took over Steve's role as the "babysitter" taking Dustin, Mike, and Lucas under his wing while they were in high school. Unfortunately, his babysitting duties end when he becomes wanted for murder. While Eddie spends most of the season running from danger, he still manages to be his eccentric self and becomes a hero at the end of the season.

Vecna/Henry/001

Stranger things how old is vecna and henry creel

One thing Stranger Things is a solid villain since they've always gone a more monster route; however, that changed in season four with the introduction of Henry/001/Vecna. Not only is Vecna the scariest monster/villain in the Stranger Things universe but the writers also gave him a fully fleshed-out backstory that explained some things from past seasons.

As far as villains go, Vecna is pretty sinister taking no mercy on his victims and charging full speed ahead on his path to destroy the world and rebuild it.

Robin Buckley

Stranger Things season 3

Robin Buckley could very well be the greatest addition to Stranger Things. Maya Hawke brought some solid star power to the show, being the daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman.

Robin displayed the perfect mix of dorky, playful, and warmheartedness. She was a welcomed LGBT+ addition to the show. And she fit in perfectly with fan favorites Steve and Dustin, with Maya Hawke sharing some electric chemistry with Joe Keery. Going forward, there should be no Stranger Things without Robin Buckley.

Max Mayfield

Stranger Things Max School Hallway

The showrunners took an enormous risk by introducing Max Mayfield to the cast. Unlike other characters introduced after season one, Max was directly ingratiated within Mike's friend group. Not only that, but her cold and somewhat off-putting personality may have proven divisive.

But against all odds, everything worked. Max's cold exterior hides her more authentic and tender side, and she shares some great chemistry with Dustin, Lucas, and Eleven. Her sarcastic personality is also great for some much-needed levity. Max's presence and importance in The Party only grew in season 4 when she became Vecna's prime victim. She truly carried season 4 on her back.

NEXT: 10 Major Flaws Of Stranger Things That Fans Choose To Ignore

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About The Author Nathan Sharp (852 Articles Published)

Nathan Sharp is a writer from outside Toronto, Ontario. He has a love of movies and television, having enjoyed them for more than twenty years. His preferences include drama, action, and horror, with the former being a particular point of interest and fascination.He also has a love of video games, particularly those of Rockstar. Whether it be about film, television, or video games, Nathan loves a good discussion and has written hundreds of articles for Screen Rant.

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2022-07-07T18:20:19.000Z

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