Let’s be honest, we’re all a little bit in love with Steve Harrington. Can you blame us?
For those who are behind the curve, the love for Steve (Joe Keery) shown by so many Stranger Things’ fans saturating your social media feeds might be confusing. Isn’t he just another TV guy with tall hair? Fear not, I’m here to explain.
Steve’s arc in season one showed him to be more than the boring bully or dumb jock trope so often used in American entertainment. He is, to the viewer’s delight, a colorful and well-written character. Following the conclusion of the most recent installment of Stranger Things (with the newest episodes dropping tonight), many have the feeling that our favorite character might be about to kick the bucket. Why? Because we can never have nice things.
On that note, let’s live every day as if it’s Steve’s last and list the reasons why we all love him so. *Here’s your fair warning, this article will contain some spoilers for season 4!*
10. It’s the Hair
Steve has better hair than most people, male or female, and I’m jealous!
9. The Way He Swings the Bat
This will never not be hot. I don’t care if this is a shallow point, I said what I said and I know many are thinking the same thing. We like the idea of a man being capable and athletic. What’s more capable than fighting off a Demogorgon armed with nothing more than a nail-studded baseball bat?
8. His Perseverance
Steve will enter a fight whether or not the odds are in his favor and get back up for more with the same confidence and sarcastic commentary as the first time.
7. He’s Introspective
What made Steve stand out is his ability to look at himself and recognize when he’s done something wrong. This self-awareness is showcased through moments as simple as Steve understanding when jokes go too far. Morally gray characters can be intriguing, but you could argue that today’s entertainment is oversaturated with them. Steve might not be perfect, but he tries to be good.
6. He’s Brave
According to many studies, women are attracted to men who harbor “heroic and altruistic traits." This heroism or bravery is brought to life by Steve’s character time and time again. We are faced with this aspect in the final two episodes of season four, volume one… Although we love this, it could get Steve killed. We’re side-eyeing the Duffer brothers.
5. He’s Funny
Humor is often associated with affectionate and intelligent personalities, highly valued traits in a partner. We all love a man who can make us laugh, and Steve is often the provider of comedic relief throughout the show’s tenser moments.
4. He’s Reliable
Steve shows up for his friends. It doesn’t matter when or why, he values his relationships with other people and will do his best to have their back.
3. He’s Good with Kids
Of all the things on this list I could use to gush about Steve Harrington, the best thing is his relationship with the kids of Stranger Things, in particular Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo). From what we know of Dustin’s character, his father isn’t around. Beyond protecting the children from eldritch beasts and Billy (Dacre Montgomery), Steve goes out of his way to be an older brother/father figure for Dustin. Dropping him off for his middle school dance in season 2 will stand out in my mind as one of the most touching moments. Between you and me, it’s one of the most attractive things about his character.
2. He’s Relatable
Like Steve, we’re deeply flawed and seeking out a path to fix ourselves. He was a jerk in the beginning, but his ability to recognize he was wrong, apologize, and grow is what we all aspire to be in our own lives. We have all done things that we wish we hadn’t or behaved in ways that have us craving a path to redemption. In the show, Steve is redeemed through his actions. Whether or not you find yourself crushing on Steve Harrington, I believe that every fan will recognize this as a significant strength of the character.
1. He’s a Protector
There are so many instances to exemplify Steve’s role as a protector but to list a few:
In season two, he guards the kids on the bus from the demodogs and later from Billy.
In season three he stays behind to hold back the Russians while Erica and Dustin escape.
Steve’s height and bigger size are used to illustrate this protection over the kids, in particular at the end of Max’s infamous “Running Up the Hill” scene or when the group shifts behind Steve in the final episode of season four, volume one.
In conclusion to my (fun) thesis, the ladies love Steve Harrington because he’s more than just a character with a cool nail-studded bat and great hair. He is a representation of a man with admirable traits. So I hope you will understand why if Steve is killed, there will be uproar. We’ll wait with baited breath for tonight, hoping it remains that way.
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