One of the nice, non-Mind Flayer surprises brought forth by Stranger Things 3 was the coming-out story of new character Robin (Maya Hawke), who, after Steve (Joe Keery) declares his affection for her near the end of the season, reveals that she’s gay. Steve takes this unexpected development admirably, and a very close, platonic friendship flourishes between the duo instead. However, as revealed by Hawke in a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, the show’s writers originally set up the characters to end with a romantic relationship as opposed to a friendship, which Hawke and Keery decided to push back on halfway through the season’s production. “Throughout filming, we started to feel like she and Steve shouldn’t get together, and that she’s gay,” Hawke explained. “Even when I go back and watch earlier episodes, it just seems like the most obvious decision ever.”
Hawke said showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer were very receptive to the idea, and they worked together to craft the new ending. “The Duffer brothers and I, and Shawn Levy, had a lot of conversations throughout shooting and it wasn’t really until we were shooting episode four and five, I think, that we made the final decision,” she said. “It was a collaborative conversation, and I’m really, really happy with the way that it went.” Hawke added that she’s “so grateful” viewers responded positively to the character, and she hopes Robin’s story can help people “fall in love with girls who love girls and boys who love boys.” But hopefully not sketchy Russian operatives.