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The Stranger Things Character Who Has The Fandom Split Down The Middle

"Stranger Things" Season 4 Volume 1 is about to premiere on Netflix on May 27, 2022, and when it does it will finally allow fans to revisit their favorite characters after a more than three year wait. "Stranger Things" has no shortage of likable characters, and it's one of the main appeals of the entire show. There's Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), the subject of twisted science experiments who's still trying to figure out how to be a normal high school student. There's Dustin (Gaten Matazzaro), whose gap-toothed charm makes him seem like the childhood best friend we never had. There's Jim Hopper (David Harbour), the authority figure with a soft side that completely upends the "skeptical small town sheriff" trope often found in horror movies. And let's never, ever forget about Barb (Shannon Purser). 

However, not all characters in the "Stranger Things" universe have endeared themselves to fans. Like any show, some "Stranger Things" characters get on fans nerves, while others divide the fanbase due to their complicated personalities. Headed into the super-sized "Stranger Things" Season 4, there's one character who still inspires debate among fans, even though he died at the end of Season 3. Since he's currently listed as appearing in three episodes of Season 4 (via IMDb), there's a good chance the controversy will continue.

Fans have mixed feelings about Billy Hargrove

On Reddit, Redditor u/Banestar66 kicked things off with a thread about Hawkins' most controversial resident, Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery). In it, u/Banestar66 argued that Redditors tend to excuse Billy's worst behavior, while condemning his sister Max (Sadie Sink) for much less. According to u/Banestar66, their fellow Redditors will always mention Billy and Max's abuse at the hands of their father Neil (Will Chase) when discussing Billy's own violent behavior, like the time when Billy knocks Steve (Joe Keery) unconscious for defending Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) after Lucas tried to talk to Max. 

Max, on the other hand, has a different response to abuse. Instead of taking it out on others, Max is inspired to be kind. Yet, whenever Max comes up short, like when she offers bad relationship advice, Redditors are much less forgiving.

Several Redditors agreed. "The fact that Erica (Priah Ferguson), a literal child, gets more hate here for just being sassy and saying some things than Billy, who has almost killed someone, emotionally abused Max, was a racist and did terrible, terrible things is beyond me," wrote Redditor u/Livi23_7.

On the other hand, several other Redditors argued that while they understand Billy, it doesn't mean they condone his behavior. "I can enjoy a character without absolving him of his faults. His darker qualities are exactly what made him so watchable," wrote Redditor u/CMelody.

"I don't feel the need to whitewash his actions in life just because he had a tragic death. It is what it is," agreed Redditor u/trixie1088.

Clearly there are a lot of strong feelings on both sides when it comes to Billy. If and when Billy does come back for "Stranger Things" Season 4, he's sure to ignite more controversy.