The writers of Stranger Things have said that the “heartbreaking” Easter egg about Will Byers was not intentional.
Season four includes some upsetting storylines for Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), who feels excluded and lonely after Mike (Finn Wolfhard) comes to visit but only spends time with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown).
In the second episode, Will is made to be a third wheel during Mike and Eleven’s date at the roller rink. Fans, however, spotted another potential reason he is upset at the situation.
In season two, Joyce tells Will a story about his birthday, alerting the viewer to the fact he is born on 22 March – the same date that Will, Mike and Eleven go the roller rink.
This casts a very sad light on Will’s scenes in the season four episode. For instance, nobody gives him a present – but he has one for Mike, who doesn’t appear happy to see him. He is also left to skate alone at the rink and, when he complains about third-wheeling Mike and Eleven, Mike disregards his feelings.
While viewers have spoken a lot about this clever but heartbreaking detail, the show’s writers did not in fact realise what they had done.
“The honest response is, clearly like the characters in the show, we also forgot about Will’s birthday,” said Matt.
“So now the debate now is whether we adjust Will’s birthday or we just let it be really sad.”
Ross then addressed the journalist: “Oh my God. I almost don’t want you to write this because you’re going to get us in trouble with the fans for forgetting his birthday. It was six years ago that I wrote that date.”
“I don’t want people to think we don’t love Will because we forgot – we do!” said Matt, adding that they will be “very careful” not to forget future birthdays of the characters.
On moving forward, Ross said they are going to “George Lucas” their mistake.
“We’re thinking his new birthday is going to be May 22nd, because ‘May’ can fit in Winona’s mouth [in the Season 2 scene where Joyce says the date of Will’s birthday]. So that would be us George Lucas-ing the situation,” added Matt.
“Of course that would mean his mum forgot his birthday! It’s too mean. It was obviously a mistake, and we’re sorry. We apologise to the fans,” said Ross.
Matt concluded “And especially to Will! It’s unfair.”