Heartstopper: How Accurate Is The Netflix Series To The Webcomic?

While people in the LGBTQ+ community losing those that they love is a common trope in television and film, "Heartstopper" takes a different approach. The Netflix series tends to focus a lot more on the positive elements of queer love, rather than the types of tragedies that might inform something like "Brokeback Mountain" or "Mulholland Drive."

In fact, the joy of love is a major part of the source material for "Heartstopper," a webcomic created by Alice Oseman. While Oseman is heavily involved in the production of the Netflix series, that didn't stop the writer from making some changes to her own source material when adapting it for the screen. Notably, two characters are absent, and two new ones have been introduced.

Aled is one of Charlie's good friends in the "Heartstopper" webcomic, but he's not featured in the show at all. The same goes for Charlie's (Joe Locke) little brother, Oliver. Though these might appear to be some pretty major changes, Oseman explained on her personal Twitter account that she had solid reasoning when it came to eliminating these characters from the Netflix series.

"Aled has his own story, which is told in my YA novel, 'Radio Silence,'" the writer tweeted. Oseman went on to say that she didn't believe she could do the character justice without bringing in elements from this story, which is its own thing in the "Heartstopper" universe.

Isaac took Aled's place and Imogen was also introduced

"To include Aled in the 'Heartstopper' show and give him a satisfying storyline would certainly involve having to change and/or ignore major elements of the story of 'Radio Silence,'" Alice Oseman explained. For this reason, the character was replaced with a new addition to the story, Isaac (Tobie Donovan), who Oseman stressed would get more development as the adaptation went on.

As for Oliver's absence, this also seemed to be a practical choice. As Oseman noted, "Heartstopper" already has a pretty big cast, so she made the choice to remove the character due to his lack of importance to the plot.

Oseman also explained the inclusion of another new character, Imogen (Rhea Norwood). "She's a good friend of Nick—they hang out outside the school gate," Oseman explained. "She has a very bold, determined personality and can be a little insensitive sometimes, but ultimately she just wants to live life to the fullest and be herself."

Considering how "Heartstopper" differentiates itself with Nick due to his bisexuality, it would seem that Imogen has been added to create a dynamic for the character to help explore this aspect of himself. How these relationships will continue to unfold will be revealed when "Heartstopper" Season 2 arrives on August 3, 2023.