The second season of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things introduced viewers to Joyce Byers, the mother of Will and Jonathan Byers, played by Winona Ryder. The show’s producers tapped into Ryder’s iconic persona from movies like Heathers, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Age of Innocence, and Dracula (1992). However, there was much more to Joyce than met the eye. The Mother of Will and Jonathan Byers: Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers


In Stranger Things, Joyce Byers is a single mother raising two boys. She lost her husband in tragic circumstances that were not made explicit. Throughout season 1, she must deal with government agencies who are holding an extra-terrestrial captive (her son, Will) hostage and her younger son’s mysterious disappearance. At first, she is oblivious to what has happened to her eldest son but eventually begins a romantic relationship with Steve Harrington, a local high school student who helps her find out what happened to him.

Get To Know Winona Ryder

After a slew of films that came out in 2019-1992, which included Dracula, Howards End, Reality Bites (for which she received her first Oscar nomination), Alien 3, Mermaids (which she also produced), and Tim Burton’s version of Beetlejuice. She received her second Academy Award nomination for playing a woman who has had a child with her brother in Woody Allen’s 1994 film, Shadows And Fog. In 1996, two films in which she starred were released; both had been extensively reshot by other directors. These included Gus Van Sant’s remake of Hitchcock’s classic thriller, Psycho, in which she played Marion Crane.

The Mother of Will and Jonathan Byers: Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers
The Mother of Will and Jonathan Byers: Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers

What Is ‘Stranger Things’?

The Mother of Will and Jonathan Byers, Part 1 How Did ‘Stranger Things’ Get Started?: The Mother of Will and Jonathan Byers, Part 2 What Is It About?: The Mother of Will and Jonathan Byers, Part 3 Why Do We Love It So Much?: The Mother of Will and Jonathan Byers, Part 4 What’s Next for ‘Stranger Things’?: The Mother of Will and Jonathan Byers, Part 5 What Else Should You Watch?: The Mother of Will and Jonathan Byers, Part 6 Where Can I Find Out More?: The Mother of Will and Jonathan Byers, Part 7 (Includes video)

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Winona Ryder is best known for her roles in Heathers (1988), Beetlejuice (1988), Mermaids (1990), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Little Women (1994), Alien Resurrection (1997) and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Woody Allen’s film, Girl Interrupted in 1999.

How Does Winona Ryder’s Character Fit Into This World?

In Stranger Things, Joyce Byers is a mother with two boys. As a single parent, she’s recently started dating Bob. Her older son, Will (Noah Schnapp), has created an imaginary friend in the shadow monster that he says lives in his wall. In episode 3 (Chapter Two: The Weirdo on Maple Street), Bob is killed by ‘the shadow monster’ to obtain more blood for itself and it appears to take over her home phone. She later calls Hopper for help after her other son is taken by the shadow monster. This leads to Sheriff Hopper taking Will through the woods near their home looking for whatever took him while Joyce drives around looking for them both in her car.

The Mother of Will and Jonathan Byers: Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers
The Mother of Will and Jonathan Byers: Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers

What Makes Her A Great Actress?

In 1989, an unknown 23-year-old actress named Winona Ryder made her film debut in Michael Mann’s Manhunter, based on Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon. Playing Hannibal Lecter’s psychiatrist to a tee, she later returned to play Lecter himself two years later in The Silence of the Lambs. Her performance that year netted her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress and made her a household name overnight. Despite reaching such lofty heights so early in her career, however, Ryder decided to retreat from acting shortly thereafter.

Who Are Her Significant Others?

In season two, it is revealed that Joyce dated her high school classmate Bob Newby before he passed away. After Bob’s death, she begins a relationship with Jim Hopper. However, by season three, her relationship with Hopper becomes strained after he finds out about Will’s disappearance in 1985 and ultimately separates from him at some point during season three. However, when Eleven kills everyone inside Hawkins Lab for their roles in experiments on psychics including herself to open a portal to other worlds that eventually allowed an inter-dimensional monster called The Mind Flayer to invade Earth through Hawkins National Laboratory (Hawkins Lab), Hopper decides to have his ex-wife meet up with Joyce while they make preparations for a final showdown with Eleven who is possessed by The Mind Flayer at Starcourt Mall.

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What About Her Son’s Fate?

Joyce has no idea where her son is. She assumes he went to go find Steve, his friend from school, but that leads to a mystery surrounding his disappearance. Hopper later tells her that he found a body in a ditch matching her son’s description, meaning that he may have died on or around October 30th. No one is willing to confirm or deny whether or not it was actually him until episode nine when they reveal it was actually Billy.

Does She Really Die At the End of Season Two? And If So… Why?

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) revealed that there are alternate endings for Stranger Things. There’s one episode where I walk into a room and there’s three people in it, and you don’t know who is going to live or die, she said. So I’m really excited for you guys to see that scene. The Duffers haven’t specified which episode they’re referring to, but here’s what we do know about it… There are five endings total! Yep. Each character has a different ending on each VHS tape. We have no idea how many characters survive in season two… But we do know that Eleven does!

Final Thoughts On Stranger Things’ Winona Ryder

She was born with big eyes, a big smile, a blazing personality that matched her long red hair. But something else set her apart—Winona Ryder. As I watched Stranger Things last year, an entire new world opened up for me. It wasn’t only about discovering a favorite show; it felt more like catching up with an old friend who had fallen off my radar years ago. Just when I thought she’d slipped into obscurity—that she was too old to play such a young role on screen or that her style in movies like Autumn in New York (1989) would never be appreciated by fashion designers today—she reinvented herself in our digital age.

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Did Jim Hopper and Joyce Byers date?

Jim Hopper, played by David Harbour, is Joyce’s love interest in season two. Fans have a hard time saying goodbye to Jim, but there’s no confirmation that they end up together at all. So, did they date? The short answer is no—they didn’t officially date or get married at all. But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen in Stranger Things 3!

Who is Joyce Byers husband?

The husband of Joyce Byers is Lonnie Byers. He was played by Patrick Holland. In season two, she is dating her old high school classmate, Bob, until his death later in the season. She and Hopper are suggested to have feelings for each other.

How old is Joyce Byers in 2021?

44 years old. She was born on January 19, 1975. This means that in season two she is 39 years old. In season three she is 40 years old. In season four she is 41 years old. And in season five she will be 42 years old. This makes her current age 44 in 2021 (according to IMDB).

What is Joyce Byers name in real life?

Winona Laura Horowitz[1] (born October 29, 1971) is an American actress. She began her career in minor television roles before coming to international attention for her role as Heather in Beetlejuice (1988). She has appeared in several notable films, including Little Women (1994), The Age of Innocence (1993), Alien Resurrection (1997), Autumn in New York (2000), White Oleander (2002), Garden State (2004), Stranger than Fiction(2006) and Black Swan(2010). Her portrayal of Elaine Nardo in David Fincher’s film Fight Club garnered her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Does Billy hook up with Mrs Wheeler?

In Season 2, Episode 7, Billy is seen talking to Nancy Wheeler’s mother while she walks her dogs. Although they aren’t officially dating, they do hang out together and seem interested in each other. In an interview with Vulture, Charlie Heaton (who plays Billy) talks about having a romantic scene with Natalia Dyer (Nancy). He says that he would love for it to happen, but whether or not it will remains to be seen. No official word has been given on whether or not there will be another season so don’t hold your breath for a happy ending for these two!

What is Joyce Byers maiden name?

Joyce is married to Lonnie Byers before divorcing him in season two. To avoid having their kids use their step-father’s last name, she chooses to go by her maiden name. However, fans disagree on what her maiden name is. A few common answers include Carpenter, Williams, Johnson or Anderson. Her full legal name is never explicitly stated in either season one or two so there is no official answer to that question. But still! An interesting topic for a debate between die-hard fans!

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