Stranger Things got Netflix viewers all riled up when the first season killed the surprise fan-favorite character Barb in an undignified way. Season 2 killed off Bob, and fans were similarly upset. However, the most egregious and tragic death in all of Stranger Things was actually when Mews, the cat that Dustin’s mom loved and cared for, met a brutal end when Dart the Demo-dog ate it. Now, one of the show’s stars has revealed that Mews wasn’t even the first beloved family pet the show killed.
Noah Schnapp, who plays Will Byers on Stranger Things, let a Season 3 spoiler slip at the 2018 Stranger Con in Chicago when a fan asked what happened to Chester. The Byers family dog appeared in several scenes in Season 1, including a moment where he barked at the Demogorgon, but the canine was totally MIA in Season 2.
“I think he died, didn’t he? He did,” Schnapp said. “Like, in this season, there’s a grave for him that you see.”
“Oh, I don’t think I was supposed to say that,” he quickly added, indicating that the trip to Chesters grave is a Season 3 spoiler, albeit not an especially juicy one.
It’s unclear how Chester died. A year passed between the events of the first and second seasons, which would’ve been plenty of time for Chester to kick the bucket. Perhaps the circumstances of that death will be important in Season 3. Hopefully the loyal pooch had a more peaceful end than Mews.
Presumably, the real reason why Chester didn’t appear in Season 2 wasn’t because the showrunners were deliberately sowing the seeds for some dog death-related plot in Season 3, but because the canine actor who played him was a nightmare to work with.
“The dog was the worst on the set,” actor David Harbour recalled during an appearance on The Howard Stern Wrap Up Show in August of 2016, about a month after the first season premiered. He continued:
There was a day with this dog that was the worst actor I’ve ever worked with in my life. […] The dog was just being a jerk. I never — I walked off set. I’ve never done that before. There’s footage of me like throwing a fit, going like, “I’m gonna be in my trailer!” and just storming off. Cause the damn dog wouldn’t do what it was supposed to do. It was just supposed to bark at a thing… And there was a trainer who was off camera yelling like, “C’mon, we gotta make our money, this is how we make our money!” And I was like, “this is weird.”
Stranger Things 3 doesn’t have a premiere date yet, but at this rate it’s probably safe to assume those pet-killing goons at Netflix will use some of the season’s runtime to make audiences fall in love with Eleven’s new bunny rabbit and then have some beast from the Upside-Down crush it to death.