When Max Mayfield arrived in Hawkins during stranger things season 2, she was the new girl, but she quickly became an essential member of the party and a fan-favorite character. With a troubled past that included her bullying older brother Billy, Max had plenty of defenses, but through friendships with Eleven, Mike, Dustin, and Will, she learned the value of opening up to those closest to her.
One of the people she bonded the most with was Lucas Sinclair, but their romance ran into many obstacles, including Vecna and threats from the Upside Down. To celebrate Max’s resilience, courage, and future on the show, fans created these hilarious memes that capture his character better than a hug from the vines of Vecna.
She just wanted to make new friends
Max has a tough exterior that belies what she really wants – to be included. When she tentatively tries to befriend the Hawkins children, she is defensive and moody, but their persistence eventually wins out, and she begins to warm to the idea of having a group of loyal friends.
As soon as this happens, she is swept away into the world of Eleven and her superpowers, Hawkins Laboratory, the Upside Down, and comes face to face with demodogs for the first time. To Max’s credit, once she commits herself to El and the others, she goes all out and proves to be a vital member of the party.
Max had a hard time making friends, especially with girls his own age. Because she liked skateboarding more than shopping at the mall, she didn’t think she would have anything in common with them. But then she met Eleven, an outlier like herself, who also didn’t quite fit in with her peers.
Max getting close to Eleven was a friendship no one saw coming, but they both gave each other permission to be themselves. They found they liked stereotypical “girly” stuff, and they also enjoyed being accepted by their male friends as equals. More importantly, Max taught Eleven how to find her voice and stand up for her principles in her relationship with Mike without relying on her superhuman abilities.
She uses music to soothe her trauma
Even before his connection with Vecna, Max uses music to soothe his anxiety and discomfort. Due to her trauma over Billy’s death, she withdraws from her loved ones and chooses to lose herself in the feelings that only music can express.
Ultimately, music becomes her lifeline in more ways than one, as it anchors her in the waking world as she wanders upside down. Listening to “Running up that Hill” by Kate Bush, she is able to remember everything she fights for.
Max has 2 very different sides
A lot of things change for Max and his friends between Season 3 and Season 4, so the tone of the two seasons is very different. Where Season 3 was a little brighter and relied more on pops of color, Season 4 is dark and ominous, and the characters all have an inner turmoil to deal with.
Max goes from the theme song to Never ending Story alongside Lucas to use music as a way to completely shut him out, and it’s overwhelming how the pain of Billy’s death overshadows all of his progress.
Max’s pain is Vecna’s siren song
Since the end of season 1, Will Byers has had an undeniable connection not only with Upside Down, but also with its director, Vecna. But by the time Max has gone through all the trauma of seasons 2 and 3, Vecna is much more interested in her.
Posted by tophlaugh, this meme exposes Vecna’s fickle nature, ready to unload a victim whenever someone with more emotional baggage comes along. Like Will, Max’s interactions with Vecna leave her “scarred” and prior to her coma, she could sense his presence as something buzzing in the back of her mind, clawing her way out.
Season 4 took Max to a dark place
One of Max’s biggest character flaws is his self-hatred, which manifests in Season 4 as hatred towards others. Max is plagued with constant headaches and nightmares, and thinks her friends would be better off without a “broken” person like her.
Her friends, especially Lucas, try to show her that she’s worthy of affection like she always has been, even when she’s going through something they can’t specifically understand. The grace and empathy they show her gives her the strength to come out of her depression, even if only for brief moments.
She can’t decide what she wants
Max is one of the most complicated characters in stranger things because it is composed of so many inconsistencies. She wants friends but she pushes them away. She loves Lucas but doesn’t feel worthy enough to be with him after all she’s been through.
Posted by LuckyCharmsNSoyMilk, the humor in this meme undermines the very deep sadness that Max experiences in season 4, namely guilt and shame. She doesn’t want to be a burden to her friends, and her character arc includes suggestions of suicidal ideation, but ultimately she wants to live, but not with the feelings she has to carry.
She has a sense of humor even in dangerous situations.
Max has always spoken her mind, and even when she’s in Vecna’s clutches, she doesn’t let him see her fear. She keeps a brave face, enough to let him think he may be underestimating her, then she turns the tables on him.
Max was one of the characters who nearly died in Season 4, but as this meme suggests, his friends and his music reignited his brilliant spirit. His sarcastic humor is always a refreshing diversion from the incredible circumstances the Hawkins children find themselves in.
Season 5 is going to be difficult without Max
As Season 4 ends and Max is in a coma, Eleven tries to reach her, but her mind is clouded. It is unknown how long she will remain in this state, or even if she will come out at all. If she lives, she may not be the same Max she was before Vecna got to her.
Considering the state of his body and the emptiness of his mind, Max could end up being a character who dies in season 5. So far, no main characters have been killed, only the cast members secondary, so it would make a significant impact if Max didn’t make it.
She’ll be confused when she wakes up
If, by some miracle, Max wakes up from her coma and is well enough to join the fight for Hawkins, she might find the conflict already well underway. Now that the average citizen is aware of the opening of the doors, it is unclear what the national response to such a crisis will be.
This meme posted by thargarens conveys the amount of mayhem an unsuspecting Max could stumble upon, along with Vecna, the Mind Flayer, and who knows what other Upside Down creatures are destroying Hawkins and everything he holds dear.
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