Is Billy on "Stranger Things" Actually Dead?

Viewers of Netflix's "Stranger Things" went on a bit of an emotional roller coaster when it came to the character Billy Hargrove, played by Dacre Montgomery. The older stepbrother of Max (Sadie Sink) was, to put it lightly, a very bad guy. Despite being nice to look at, he brought nothing but stress to Hawkins, IN, when he entered season two. He met his end at the end of season three, though — clueing everyone into the fact that he was possessed by the Mind Flayer, who took him out and gave him a bit of a redemption arc along the way. But this being "Stranger Things" and all, is Billy actually dead?

Montgomery seemingly felt like Billy's story was over when he finished season three, even telling Vulture back in 2019 that he'd "put Billy to bed." However, fans started to think otherwise when the episode titles for season four were revealed in a November 2021 promo. One of the episode titles is "Dear Billy," and fans of course stared to wonder what that meant.

And it wouldn't be the first time "Stranger Things" brought someone back to life. We thought Hopper died in season three, sucked into the Upside Down for eternity, but he's still alive and kickin' in season four. So it wasn't out of the realm of possibility that Billy could be back on the show in some capacity. Montgomery shared a photo on Twitter in October 2020 that shows him in the last outfit Billy wore, and while he dropped it onto the internet with no comment, fans are guessing that he did film something for season four.

When the series premiered on May 27, fans got some clarity. In volume one of season four, Max visits Billy's gravesite and explains how guilty she feels for his death. It all comes to a head in "Dear Billy" when Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) uses that guilt to manipulate Max and curse her. Fans saw some glimpses of Billy again in her mind, but that doesn't mean Billy is back from the dead — it's just an illusion meant to torment her.

While it's possible Billy's grave is empty and the character could return, it seems like the show is committed to Billy actually being dead for good.