Why was Will crying in the van? His emotional state dissected

Will byers crying

As we waited for volume 2 of Stranger Things season 2, Noah Schnapp sent a selfie that had us worrying about the fate of his character Will Byers. The Duffer brothers had warned us that some characters wouldn’t survive the show’s penultimate season. 

Schnapp posted a photo of himself crying after watching the show’s finale. “Happy Stranger Things finale,” Noah captioned the post. We tuned in with our hearts in our mouths, fully expecting the Duffer brothers to kill off Will Byers. 

However, Will Byers didn’t die, but what happened to him was perhaps more heartbreaking. A photo of the character suppressing his sobs while looking away from Mike has gone viral on social media, leading to questions about Will’s emotions. Spoilers Ahead!

Will was crying because Mike failed to recognize his sexuality struggle

Desperate to get her powers back, El agrees to work with Dr. Mark Brenner. As she learns more about her past, her friends embark on a mission to find her. 

During the journey, Mike speaks to Will about his fear that El wouldn’t need him anymore. Will reassures him, telling Mike that El loves him and will always need him. Byers says:

“If she was mean to you or she seemed like she was pushing you away, it’s because she’s scared of losing you, like you are scared of losing her. So, yeah, El needs you, Mike. And she always will.”

After finishing his speech, Will turns away from Mike, covering his mouth to suppress the sound of his sobs. Fans opine that Will cries because he wasn’t talking to Mike about El; he was opening up to Mike about himself.

“When you’re different, sometimes you feel like a mistake,” Byers says. Will feels different because of his sexuality, and through his speech, he opens up to Mike about his feelings toward his longtime friend. 

In the quote above, replace every ‘she’ and ‘El’ with ‘I,’ and it becomes clear. Will cried because Mike failed to recognize that his friend was coming out. 

Wheeler’s obliviousness to Will’s emotions has irked some Stranger Things fans, with most of them detailing their frustrations on social media. @byersenthusiast tweeted:

“Will was being so obvious that even though he was saying El’s name during that speech, he was actually talking about himself. And he was crying so hard and Mike just sat there looking at him like this. Mike you’re so STUPID.”

Will’s revelation brought him closer to his brother Jonathan

Mike might have failed to recognize Will’s emotions, but Jonathan, Byers’ brother, saw through Will’s speech, understanding its message. 

Later in the episode, Jonathan tells Will that he missed his little brother seeking him out when he needed help. Jonathan reassures Will, telling him:

“You are my brother. And I love you. And there is nothing in this world, okay, absolutely nothing that will ever change that. You got that?”

The pair then share a teary embrace after Will tells Jonathan he’ll always support his brother. Jonathan and Will don’t explicitly address Will’s sexuality, but it’s clear why the discussion arose.