If you’re just jumping on the Stranger Things bandwagon now, you’re probably totally confused. What’s with that weird teenage love triangle? What are these “episodes” Will Byers (played by Noah Schnapp) keeps having? And most importantly, who the heck is Will’s dad?! You’ve probably noticed there are two men in Will’s mom Joyce Byer’s life that seem to care about Will, but believe it or not, neither one is his dad! Don’t worry, we’re going to break it down for you.
Jim Hopper — Not Will’s Dad
Jim Hopper (played by David Harbour) is the chief of the Hawkins Police Department. In Season 1, he was one of the few adults aware of the upside-down after investigating Will’s disappearance. He helped retrieve Will from the dark world and save his life. However, he’s just an old friend of Joyce’s (played by Winona Ryder), and not Will’s father. He actually had a daughter of his own who died of cancer, which might be why he has such paternal instincts toward Will.
Bob Newby — Not Will’s Dad
Bob, played by Sean Astin, is Joyce’s boyfriend. He seems like a doofus, but he’s very sweet to Joyce and her kids. He manages the local RadioShack in Hawkins. He knew Hopper and Joyce from high school, where he was a nerd. However, he only started dating Joyce in 1984, and did not appear in Season 1 of Stranger Things. Hopper clearly doesn’t like him. Though he seems to care deeply about Will and his brother Jonathan, he’s not their dad either.
Lonnie Byers — Will’s Dad!
Lonnie, played by Ross Partridge, is Will and Jonathan’s real dad. Though he isn’t in Season 2, his relationship with the boys was explained in four episodes of the first season. Lonnie was married to Joyce, but he was a terrible dad and husband. He forced Jonathan to kill a rabbit when he was ten, and called Will a “little f–” according to Joyce. He didn’t care when Jonathan came to him looking for Will in Season 1, and then tried to use the sad situation to make money. So it’s understandable why we will (hopefully) never see Lonnie again.