Maya Hawke Has Mixed Feelings About Stranger Things And Shipping

Shipping has become a global pastime. If you aren't aware, it's the term for wanting characters to end up in a romantic relationship. Relationship, get it?! Whether it's the chemistry between actors, a wish for an adaptation to recreate a romance that exists in a different form, the desire to see queer-coded characters actually get together, or just a feeling that characters who deserve something joyful should end up in a romance, it's a thing. 

Fans smash character names together in a portmanteau (like "Drarry" for Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter, or "Dramione" for Draco and Hermione Granger), write fan-fiction about them, or just publicly hope for the love match on social media. And while love is lovely, of course, "Stranger Things" star Maya Hawke (who plays Robin) has some mixed feelings about shipping, and they're completely on point. She recently spoke to Rolling Stone about the show, where she revealed her thoughts on the subject.

Love and frienship

Hawke was asked if she was shipping Steve (Joe Keery) and Nancy (Natalia Dyer). As you know if you watch the show, Steve and Nancy dated at the beginning of the series in season 1. Steve was a complete jerk, and they broke up. She then ended up in a relationship with Jonathan (Charlie Heaton). Steve went through a whole lot of changes and is now a giant teddy bear who is lovely and perfect, and I will fight anyone who says differently ... ahem. Sorry for that. I have feelings. 

Anyway, in season 4 of the show, Steve revealed to Nancy (who is in a long-distance relationship with Jonathan at this point and going down a different path) that he imagined them together in the future. It was such a lovely moment between them, of course, and Hawke says that her character Robin is definitely shipping her dear friend Steve with Nancy, saying: 

"I think that Robin definitely wants whatever would make Steve the happiest, which appears to certainly be Nancy. I personally think that the thing that's so beautiful about the show: it actually has never really been about romance. People are always shipping characters in that show, but really that show's about friendship."

She's right on the money, of course. Robin and Steve are best friends, and that friendship is wonderful. The one between Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Steve is wonderful. They all are. That is the point, according to Hawke. Romance is great and all, but there are inherent issues with that being the focus all the time, especially for women. 

'Such an over-emphasis in media that we consume about romantic love'

Hawke says that there is "such an over-emphasis in media that we consume about romantic love," and that a love story is the "ultimate destination that we're all supposed to arrive at." It's the happy ending complex that we've seen in film, TV, books, and fairy tales. Hawke explains: 

"Find this one perfect person and then everything's good and the story's over. Part of me would ship it way more if the story wasn't ending, but there's something about our female heroes always getting endings — which is them finding the right guy — that I'm super over."

I am giving mental high-fives right now. Love is great. I love love. Having a partner can be incredibly rewarding and wonderful, but it's not the only way to be happy. As Hawke says, especially for women, this has been the goal in media since forever. I mean, yeah, get the job, hang with your besties, and have the kids, but you're not really fulfilled until you have the right person at your side. 

This is simply not the only way to have a happy ending, and frankly, "happy ending" isn't the greatest term either. Nothing ends until we're gone from this planet. Life is continually evolving. Goals change, or new ones appear when old ones are met or discarded. Partners come and go, and even if you have only one forever, there is far more to life than that alone. There are jobs and friends and pets and thousands of little successes that enrich your life as much or more than finding the right person and riding off happily into the sunset. 

Love is a joy, but it isn't the only one. 

"Stranger Things" is streaming on Netflix.