Stranger Things is a show that, particularly in its second season, thrives on unlikely pairings. Season 1 built a friendship between a strange girl with psychic powers and a group of Dungeons & Dragons nerds, and then Season 2 gave us everything from the closer bonding of Jonathan Byers and Nancy Wheeler to the emergence of "Dad Steve."
So, what will Season 3 bring? Will it, in the wake of Season 2's chaos, finally bring us the pairing of Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) and Jim Hopper (David Harbour) that fans have come to call "Jopper"? Eleven herself, Millie Bobby Brown, certainly hopes so.
At a For Your Consideration event for Stranger Things in New York City on Monday, Variety revealed to Brown that Harbour — who's become Eleven's adoptive father on the show — recently expressed his own desire to see Hopper and Joyce get together as two "messed up" people who "actually need each other." Brown was excited by the prospect, and only momentarily tried to hide her enthusiasm.
"I can't say anything about this," she said at first. "This is so bad."
Then, Brown loosened up a little more, and couldn't help but gush about her love of Jopper in both fiction and in real life.
“Listen, I would love for them to get together," she said. "Jopper is like my inspiration in life.
“Winona Ryder and David Harbor are like my parents. On set, they’re like, ‘Stop running, what are you eating, why are you eating that?’ David is like, ‘Another boy?’ And in the show, if they rekindle, that means Will and Eleven will be step-siblings. I would love that because Noah [Schnapp] is my boy best friend.”
Though we don't know too much yet about Season 3 of the hit Netflix series, because Stranger Things is known for its secrecy, the end of Season 2 does set up a chance for Eleven to start trying to live a more normalized life with Hopper as her father figure and her friends in Hawkins as her support system, particularly Mike (Finn Wolfhard), who she's developed a romantic relationship with. Setting up Joyce as Eleven's mother figure, even more than she perhaps already is, would indeed make Will Byers a brother figure, even as Eleven is essentially dating Will's best friend. It could create all kinds of interesting tension and potential for bonding moments, and as Harbour has already addressed, it would deliver yet another unlikely and perhaps combustible pairing that feels right for the show anyway.
Stranger Things returns to Netflix next summer. What do you think? Do you ship Jopper?