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Stranger Things 2 icon Spoiler Warning!

This article or section reveals details from the second season. Read at your own discretion.

Maxine Mayfield[1], better known as Max, is a main character in the second season of Stranger Things.

History

Background

In 1984, Max and her family moved from California to Hawkins, Indiana after her mother Susan remarried to Neil Hargrove. She and her stepbrother Billy were not happy about the move.

Season Two

Max had beat Dustin Henderson's high score on Dig Dug at the Palace Arcade under the name "MadMax". Later that week, Max was dropped off at Hawkins Middle School by Billy for her first day. Max was introduced to her new class by Mr. Clarke. After school, Dustin, Lucas, Mike, and Will followed and watched Max while she was skateboarding. She noticed and left a note for them that reads "Stop Following Me! Creeps!"

Lucas and Dustin were both interested in Max, and invited her to come trick or treating with them without consulting Mike or Will. When she joined them on Halloween, Mike was upset about her presence. The next day at school, Dustin included Max in the group when he showed them a new creature he had found – a lizard-like creature Dustin had called D'Artagnan. When the boys started to discuss that the creature could be related to The Upside Down, they refused to tell Max about the events of the previous year and asked her to leave the room. D'Artagnan later escaped and Max tried to help them find the creature. She met Mike in the gym, where he told her that he didn't like the fact that she wasn't being included in the group. Unbeknownst to her, Eleven had been watching them both, and used her powers to fling Max from her skateboard out of spite.

Max became tired of being excluded from certain information about Will until Lucas met her at the arcade. He told her everything that happened to Will and about The Demogorgon. Max did not believe Lucas' story. Later, Lucas arrived at her house to show her proof of his story.

Max and Lucas met with Dustin and Steve Harrington in a junkyard where they were hunting for D'artagnan – who Dustin now believed was an adolescent Demogorgon. However, the group encountered more than one of the creatures, and were surrounded by them until they suddenly retreated. Max now believed all of Lucas' story.

The four of them regrouped with everyone else and learned about The Mind Flayer that was infecting and controlling Will. While Joyce sought to free Will from the Mind Flayer's influence, and Eleven went to close the Gate at Hawkins lab, the others were left in Steve's care to keep them safe. Mike, Lucas, and Dustin wanted to head into The Upside Down-infected tunnels and start burning them to cause a distraction to help the others. Steve refused to allow it.

Max's stepbrother Billy arrived at the house, looking for Max after she had sneaked out the house. He was angry, and started to beat up Steve. Max, finally standing up for herself, used a needle full of sedative to subdue her stepbrother. Taking Billy's car, they took the unconscious Steve and drove out to the tunnels. When Steve woke up, he agreed to join them in the tunnels where they doused the tentacles and tendrils in gasoline and set them alight. By drawing away the adolescent Demogorgons from the Gate, they helped while Eleven sealed the rift.

In December, Max attended the Snow Ball. Both Dustin and Lucas hoped to start a relationship with Max. Max chose Lucas and danced with him.

Personality and traits

Max is tough, confident, and unafraid of speaking her mind. Her appearance, behavior, and pursuits are more typical of boys than of girls in her era. Due to her abusive relationship with her stepbrother, Billy, she has grown protective of her past out of fear that her brother will lash out. Max is shown to be asocial and gloomy and often seems irritated or annoyed. She is a proficient skateboarder and uses it as her main form of transportation. She is also skilled in video games, in which she uses the alter ego "MadMax." Her distrustful demeanor makes her skeptical; she has a hard time believing the strange events that occur in her new town. Nevertheless, she is willing to lend a helping hand once she accepts the gravity of a situation.

Relationships

Familial

Billy

Max and Billy are stepsiblings. They have a complicated history and difficult relationship. Billy would often treat Max in a controlling, domineering fashion, either bullying her or just ignoring her existence. After drugging him, she uses Steve's bat with nails to threaten Billy to never bother her or her friends again, which Billy reluctantly agrees out of fear.

Non-Familial

Lucas Sinclair

The boys first grew interested in Max when she beat Dustin's score on Dig Dug, and both Dustin and Lucas developed romantic feelings for her the second they saw her. At the end, she returns Lucas' feelings, the only member of the group that consistently makes her feel welcome, somewhat paralleling Mike and Eleven's relationship. Lucas invited her to be his partner to the Snow Ball, an offer she accepted, where they share a kiss. Lucas nicknamed her "Mad Max", while Max affectionately refers to him as "stalker."

Mike Wheeler

Even with Max's attempts to join the group and befriend Mike, he is very hostile and rough to her, repeatedly calling her annoying or looking irritated when she is present. However, his seeming irrational dislike for her is because he does not want her to take Eleven's place. But eventually starts to warm up to her after she stood up to her stepbrother Billy.

Eleven

Although Max seems to admire Eleven and is willing to become her friend, Eleven is cold towards her and appears to be jealous of her after mistaking her hanging out with Mike as something romantic.

Family tree

Unseen and Unnamed Character Family Tree icon
Max's Father
 
 
 
Susan Hargrove
Susan Hargrove
 
 
Neil Hargrove Family Tree icon 001
Neil Hargrove
 
 
 
Unseen and Unnamed Character Family Tree icon
Billy's Mother
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Max port 01
Max Mayfield
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Billy Hargrove Family Tree icon 001
Billy Hargrove

Memorable Quotes

  • "That's presumptuous of you."
  • "From now on, you leave me and my friends alone. Understand?"

Appearances

Season Two appearances
MadMax Trick or Treat Freak The Pollywog
Will the Wise Dig Dug The Spy
The Lost Sister The Mind Flayer The Gate

Behind the scenes

The character was first revealed in a casting call obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.[2] Matt Duffer said they did a "wide, wide search for one new kid that we're adding. She's a cool new character," most likely alluding to Max.[3] On October 14, 2016, it was announced that actress Sadie Sink had been cast for the role.[4]

References

  1. Beyond Stranger Things, "Beyond 2", episode 6
  2. "'Stranger Things': Meet the 3 New Characters Joining Season 2" The Hollywood Reporter. September 1, 2016.
  3. "The Duffer Brothers Are Reading Your 'Stranger Things' Reddit Theories" The Hollywood Reporter. October 12, 2016.
  4. "Stranger Things adds new cast members for season 2" Entertainment Weekly. October 14, 2016.


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