Joyce Byers, portrayed by Winona Ryder, is a major character in Stranger Things. The financially poor single mother of Will and Jonathan Byers, Joyce works as a retail clerk and relies on help from her eldest to make ends meet.
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After Will mysteriously disappeared, Joyce was certain that he was communicating with her through the lights in her house. Despite everyone treating her as if she was having a mental breakdown, Joyce refused to believe that Will was dead, even after his alleged corpse was found.
Through co-operation with her friend and local police Chief Jim Hopper, Will’s friends, and Jonathan, she eventually uncovered the circumstances of her son’s disappearance and entered the Upside Down to rescue him.
A year after the mysterious tragedy of her son, Joyce helps her son with another issue following the events of the first season as she begins dating her old classmate Bob Newby until his death. Towards the end, she, Jonathan, and Nancy assisted in removing Will from the possession of the Mind Flayer.
In 1985, Joyce catches the romantic interest is Jim Hopper. When discovering that most of the magnets in Hawkins have lost their magnetism, following a power outage.
As Joyce and Hopper worked together in solving the mystery, they find themselves on Russian hitman Grigori and capture Russian scientist Alexei, who reveals that the Russians are in Hawkins opening a new gate to the Upside Down underneath Starcourt Mall. With the help of Murray Bauman, Joyce and Hopper infiltrate the Russian base and close the gate, though at the cost of Hopper’s life.
Three months after Hopper’s supposed demise, Joyce takes in Eleven and moves her family out of Hawkins.
Joyce was highly generous, amicable and a tremendously benevolent mother who would do almost anything to keep her sons, particularly Will, out of harm’s way.
After Will’s disappearance, Joyce enlisted Chief Jim Hopper to find him as well as posted several missing person’s posters with the help of her other son Jonathan.
Even after Will’s presumed dead body was found, she was still convinced that her son was alive and undertook extreme measures to contact with him, such as chopping a hole in the wall of her house in order to find him.
Ultimately, her commitment was rewarded when it was revealed that Will was actually alive and with Hopper’s help, she was able to save him.
Biographical Data of Joyce Byers
Retail clerk (formerly)
Melvald’s General Store (formerly) The Byers family
Joyce met Lonnie Byers at some point in her life and fell in love with him. They later married and had two sons, Jonathan and Will Byers.
According to their eldest son, Jonathan, Joyce, and Lonnie once did love each other, but their marriage became strained and they divorced before the year 1983.
Joyce began to hate Lonnie for his uncaring nature and stopped getting in touch with him until Will mysteriously disappeared. Joyce was against contacting Lonnie to see if Will was with him and Lonnie blamed Joyce for Will’s disappearance.
When Lonnie came to Will’s “funeral,” Joyce seemed surprised to see him there until she discovered that Lonnie only came to collect profit from Will’s supposed death. As a result, Joyce angrily ordered Lonnie to get out.
Joyce clearly deeply cared about her youngest son. Joyce encouraged Will to be his own person and allowed him to be creative, praising his artistic ability and letting him build his own fort in the nearby woods.
Will felt comfortable discussing his D&D campaigns with her as he would with his friends. While trapped in the Upside Down, he repeatedly tried to contact her, often putting himself at risk of being found by the Monster. Joyce became determined to find him, and eventually entered the Upside Down to save him.
Though Joyce deeply cared for her eldest son just as she did for Will, she felt guilty that she had been unable to support him more, due to her time-consuming job. Joyce admitted to Jonathan that “I hardly know what’s going on with you”.
After Will vanished, Joyce’s sanity was tested and in turn, so was the relationship between her and her remaining son. Jonathan did not believe Joyce that Will was alive as Jonathan was convinced Will was dead after seeing the fake body of Will.
However, Jonathan realized his mother was telling the truth after Nancy claimed she saw the Demogorgon like Joyce and was able to confirm its appearance in the photograph Jonathan took. After Jonathan was arrested, Joyce demanded he’d be set free, as she was not angry at him for fighting Steve Harrington.
Jonathan apologized to Joyce as she told her son that he was not alone in trying to find and save Will. The two shared a hug and continued to work together where they were finally reunited with Will after his rescue from the Upside Down.
Hopper and Joyce have known each other since high school. They were fairly close, often skipping class to smoke together, even being caught by a teacher on at least one occasion. Their friendship continued well into adulthood and remained even after Hopper returned to Hawkins after living in another city for several years. After Will vanished, Hopper and Joyce gradually drew closer together, confiding in one another as they attempted to find answers to the mysteries materializing around them.
Joyce and Bob knew each other since high school and some time in 1984, they developed an affectionate relationship, mainly due to Bob’s commiserative attitude to both her and her sons. Joyce would even entrust her son to go with him.
And when Will’s condition turned worse, she didn’t hesitate to reveal to him the mysterious events that happened the previous year. However, Bob’s shocking death at the Hawkins Lab left her in bereavement. And in 1985, Joyce continued to mourn for Bob’s death as she remembered all the times she shared with him.
Joyce first learned about Eleven from Hopper when he mistook her for Will during his investigation. When Joyce meets Eleven, she became a mother figure to her as Eleven never received any motherly love as she was taken from her birth mother Terry Ives when she was a baby.
Joyce thanked Eleven for everything she’s done to help find Will and assures her that she’ll be with her the whole as she tries to locate Will in the homemade sensory deprivation tank. This is later proved to be true as Joyce comforts Eleven when she finds Barbara Holland‘s corpse, giving Eleven the courage to find Will.
A year later, when Eleven revealed herself to be alive, Joyce embraces her and asks for help in saving Will from the Mind Flayer by closing the gate which Eleven accepts.
Joyce is shown to be good friends with Karen Wheeler as their sons are best friends. After Will went missing, Karen gave Joyce a casserole to comfort her, which Joyce thanked her for. In 1985, Joyce and Karen are still shown to be good friends as Joyce sought Karen out on asking where the children are during the Fun Fair.
Winona Ryder Wiki
Winona Laura Horowitz is an American actress and film producer. Professionally known as Winona Ryder. She was born on October 29, 1971. She is the recipient of a Golden Globe Award and has been nominated for two Academy Awards, a BAFTA Award, and four Screen Actors Guild Awards.
After Ryder’s film debut in Lucas (1986), she gained attention with her performance in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice (1988). She further rose to prominence with major roles in Heathers (1988), Mermaids (1990), Edward Scissorhands (1990) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992).
She garnered critical acclaim and two consecutive Academy Award nominations for her portrayals of socialite May Welland in Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence (1993) and Jo March in the film adaptation of Little Women (1994).
Her other films during this period were Reality Bites (1994), How to Make an American Quilt (1995), Alien Resurrection (1997), and Girl, Interrupted (1999), which she also executive produced.
Winona Ryder Biographical Data
October 29, 1971
Johnny Depp (1989–1993) Scott Mackinlay Hahn (2011–)
In 2002, Ryder appeared in the critically panned box office hit Mr. Deeds, after which her career declined and she took a break from films.
In 2009, she returned to the high-profile film Star Trek. In 2010, she was nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards: as the lead actress in When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story and as part of the cast of Black Swan.
She also reunited with Burton for Frankenweenie (2012). She currently stars as Joyce Byers in the Netflix series Stranger Things, for which she has received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations.
Ryder’s personal life has attracted significant media attention. Her relationship with Johnny Depp in the early 1990s and a 2001 arrest for shoplifting were both subjects of tabloid journalism.
She has been open about her personal struggles with anxiety and depression. In 2000, Ryder was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.