Warning: Spoilers Ahead
Sean Astin’s character, Bob Newby, really drew the short straw in Stranger Things after he became the only main cast member to die in the second season. However, as producer Shawn Levy revealed in the aftershow Beyond Stranger Things, Bob’s straw could have been so much shorter.
Bob goes through an emotional development as the season progresses – going from the annoying and quirky “stepdad” to Will and Jonathan to the hero that saves the main characters from certain death in the labs, albeit giving up his own life.
Originally, though, Bob was supposed to die in episode 3 – not in episode 8 as ended up happening. And it gets worse: a possessed Will was going to kill Bob.
Season 2 was already much darker than the first, however, the original ending for Bob’s character would have thrust the show into a new realm of darkness.
The reason it didn’t happen as planned was Sean Astin himself. When he joined the cast as Bob, he was “so much more than we ever expected”. “We” being the Duffer Brothers, co-creators of the show.
Everything that happened after episode 3 – Bob’s quirkiness, the puzzle solving, and his heroics – was added after Sean Astin was cast.
Would you have preferred to see Bob die earlier, at the hands of Will?