On the night of November 6th, 1983, Will was abducted by a horrifying monster and taken into an alternate dimension. For a week, Will evaded the beast while his family and friends desperately searched for him. Although he was eventually rescued and returned to normal life, his time in The Upside Down had severely changed him, in ways which remain largely mysterious.
Will was the son of Joyce and Lonnie Byers, and the younger brother of Jonathan. Will was close with his mother and brother, but not with his father. Because of this, Jonathan became a much larger role model for him than their father. Ultimately, Joyce and Lonnie divorced, resulting with Lonnie moving out. Joyce, Jonathan and Will remained at their home in Hawkins, Indiana.
Will was best friends with Lucas Sinclair and Mike Wheeler from a very young age. In fourth grade, Dustin Henderson arrived at their school and joined their friend group. They would often gather at Mike's house to play Dungeons & Dragons; this hobby was developed as early as 1979. The four boys had a great relationship with their science teacher Mr. Clarke, and they were members in the AV Club he ran. They would take part in the annual science fair, winning almost every year. On one occasion when the boys biked together, Will fell off his bike and broke his finger.
Will was exceedingly creative. His drawings were hugely detailed and distinctive for a child of his age, and he had built his own little wooden fort in the local woods.
On the evening of November 6, 1983, Will, Dustin, Mike, and Lucas played Dungeons & Dragons in Mike's basement. Mike, acting as Dungeon Master, summoned a Demogorgon, which ultimately defeated Will's character. While they looked for missing die Mike's mother insisted it was time for Mike's friends to leave. Will rode his bike home alongside Lucas and Dustin. Lucas turned down another street while Dustin and Will continued riding forward. Dustin suggested that the two race, and the winner would win a comic. Will took off ahead of Dustin and shouted that he wanted his X-Men #134.
While riding on Mirkwood, a humanoid monster crossed Will's path. Will panicked; he rode his bike off the road and crashed to the ground. He rushed to his house looking for his family, but there was no one home. He ran to the shed and loaded a rifle to protect himself, but was stunned when the Monster appeared behind him. The light bulb glew brightly above before Will vanished, taken into an alternate dimension.
In The Upside Down, Will evaded the Monster for a week, showing his great ingenuity, ability to hide, and creativity. Somehow or other, Will figured out that his presence in The Upside Down could affect electrical devices in his home dimension, and Will began attempting to communicate with his mother. He first tried using the landline at his house, with very limited success. On several further occasions he attempted to communicate, manipulating the electricity in the Byers household.
Eventually weakened from hunger and thirst, in addition to the Upside Down's toxic air, he collapsed in the Upside Down's Castle Byers. The test subject Eleven managed to find him there after entering a deeper psychic state, where they briefly communicated. Will told Eleven to hurry, as he was only becoming weaker and more vulnerable.
Delirious, Will gently sang some of his favorite songs, which led to the Monster eventually finding him. Will was taken to the library and strung up in the strange biologic matter prevalent throughout The Upside Down, unconscious and alone with only corpses and skeletons for company.
Joyce and Chief Hopper entered The Upside Down via the Gate to search for Will. They eventually found him, disentangling him from the biologic matter. A several foot long tendril was extending down Will's throat and into his stomach; Hopper pulled it out before shooting and killing it. Joyce and Hopper managed to resuscitate Will and safely return to their home dimension, where Will was hospitalized immediately. There, Jonathan, Mike, Lucas, Dustin, and Nancy visited him.
One month later, the boys played a Christmas Eve game of Dungeons & Dragons, encountering the Thessalhydra—but this time, Will's character triumphed over the enemy. Jonathan picked up Will from the Wheelers' house and brought him home in his car. At dinner, Will excused himself to wash his hands. This was not his true intention—in the bathroom, he threw up and washed away a slug-like creature down the sink. Before Will left the bathroom and returned to dinner, he momentarily saw The Upside Down flicker around him.
|Season One appearances|
|The Vanishing of Will Byers||The Weirdo on Maple Street*||Holly, Jolly*||The Body|
|The Flea and the Acrobat*|| ||The Bathtub||The Upside Down|
*Can be seen in a flashback/is manipulating electricity
- "I'll take your X-Men 134!"
- "The Demogorgon...it got me."
- Will's family owns a dog.
- When playing Dungeons & Dragons he plays as a Wizard named Will the Wise.
- He is the only one of the boys to have named his D&D character.
- The comic that he won from the race with Dustin was X-Men 134.
- In this issue of the comic, the telepathic mutant Jean Grey uses her powers to pin Mastermind to a wall, putting him in a coma. This is similar to how Eleven ultimately stopped the Monster, by pinning it to the wall and making it disintegrate.
- In the original pilot script, he wanted Dustin's Uncanny X-men 269. This would've been an anachronism, as that issue was released on October 10, 1990.
- The password to enter his tree fort is "Radagast," the name of a wizard in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
- He has a Jaws poster on his bedroom wall.
- According to his brother, he is good at hiding. This could've been one of the reasons he was able to evade the Monster for so long.
- He suspected one of his Christmas presents to be an Atari. The Atari was a home video game console manufactured by Atari, Inc that was popular during the late '70s to mid '80s.
- He owns a plush lion that is identical to the one Eleven had while living in the lab. Both are similar to a stuffed animal that was owned by Sarah Hopper, though hers was a tiger.