Summer is coming to Hawkins, Indiana, and the sunny days might just bring a little romance into the lives of two of the town's most beleaguered residents. In a new interview with Variety, David Harbour hinted that Joyce and Hopper might get together in Season 3 — if they can avoid outside influences (and Upside Down troubles). There's been a spark between the former high school pals since the show began, but timing has always been an issue for the potential couple. That finally could be about to change, at least according to Harbour.
As reported by Variety, he said of Joyce and Hopper during a special Season 2 screening at Hollywood Forever Cemetery:
"There may be other people in the mix in this situation, but I think they're built for each other and I would love to see them get together. From the very beginning, I thought that these are two tortured, messed up, beautiful people who are like puzzle pieces that can't stand each other but actually need each other."
Let the swooning commence. The way Harbour describes the potential coupling lines up beautifully with what viewers have seen onscreen so far. However, it's still unclear whether Hopper is ready to be a good partner for anyone considering how much baggage he's carrying around. The actor reportedly said, "I think it'd be interesting to see if Hopper has it in him to be vulnerable with a woman and to actually be able to show up in that capacity, like what kind of a man he would be in a relationship if that comes to fruition."
While it remains to be seen whether Hopper would be a good boyfriend, the gruff sheriff has the whole emotional support thing down. He's been there for Joyce through the disappearance of her son and the death of her boyfriend (rest in peace, Bob Newby). He's also proving to be a good father figure for his adopted daughter, Eleven... er, Jane.
Since this is Hawkins, there's never a great time for romance, but if Hopper and Joyce are ever going to have a chance, this season might be it. Of course, that's only if they don't find themselves drawn to other people first. Harbour's comments to Variety seem to suggest that there could be some new people in the mix for Season 3.
Could Joyce maybe fall for Cary Elwes' Mayor Kline? No one could blame her for crushing on the Dread Pirate Roberts. Or maybe there's a mystery woman who is going to become part of Hopper's orbit. As frustrating as it may be for Hopper and Joyce shippers, these two might be destined to remain friends for a little while longer.
Whether or not he and Joyce get together in Season 3, there's no doubt that Hopper is going to need her support as a fellow parent. Eleven is growing up, and according to Harbour, that's scarier for his character than anything that's lurking in the Upside Down. He said of Hopper and Eleven,
"Their relationship is going to get far more complex, because, you know, things happen to girls and boys when they're 13 and 14. A lot of changes go on in the body and in your social life, and I don't think he's going to handle watching her become a woman in front of his eyes very well. That's a horrifying thing for him — maybe even more so than fighting inter-dimensional monsters."
Luckily, Joyce is going through the same thing with her two boys, which just gives these two something else to bond over if they can just focus on each other this time around.