Be warned, there are light spoilers about Stranger Things 2 in this article — and delightful spoilers about Steve Harrington — but spoilers none the less.
We can all agree that Steve Harrington was kinda the worst last season on Stranger Things, right? Right.
And we can all agree that Steve Harrington, somehow, turned into the hero we didn't know we needed in Stranger Things 2, right? Right.
He protected our favorite gang of misfit Hawkins tweens from all sorts of supernatural danger...
...and punched Billy Hargrove right in the face. HERO.
And he was one half of this season's most iconic duo:
According to the series' creators, the Duffer brothers, Steve's newly found heroism is all thanks to the actor who plays him, Joe Keery.
"In the first season, Steve was supposed to be this really sort of terrible human being," Ross Duffer explained to BuzzFeed News. "And then we fell in love with Joe Keery, and we took his energy and spun it in a different direction, even more so in Season 2."
Keery didn't know until later on about his character's transition in Season 2. "I had heard rumors," he said. "I don’t think I found out until about halfway through the year that I’d be splitting off with the kids."
And it wasn't always the plan to create an iconic mentorship/bromance between Steve and Dustin. "It was more of a pure accident," Duffer said. "Once Nancy went off on her own on her journey with Jonathan, we didn’t really have anything for Steve to do. But we really wanted to get him back into the show and we didn’t know how."
Then Episode 5 hit, and they had their answer. "Dustin was all alone and he needed help. It was pure action that brought these two together," Duffer continued. "Steve has had his heart broken and Dustin's been abandoned and had his heart broken, so we thought it would be interesting to see these two guys kind of help heal one another a little bit."
Keery had a great time transforming into Hawkins' most beloved babysitter. "Shooting with the kids is such a light and fun energy on set. You learn a lot from shooting with people who are not your same age," he said. "It was just really rewarding and different. It was such a cool experience."
Though he was not allowed to touch Dustin's iconic, Steve-inspired Snow Ball hair.
Still, Keery's all for Steve continuing down the path of surrogate fatherhood in future seasons. "I’d like to see his relationship with these kids continue. And see if he can continue to be — I don’t know exactly how it would work out — a sort of role model for these kids."