“Mad” Max Mayfield – Stranger Things Sadie Sink
Max Mayfield played by Sadie Sink joins the cast of stranger things in the second season.
Stranger Things is an American science fiction-horror web television series created, written, and directed by the Duffer Brothers. It is a Netflix original series. The show is set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, in the early 1980s, and follows the disappearance of a young boy named Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) and the strange events that follow.
As the show progresses, it delves into supernatural forces and focuses on the characters’ efforts to find answers about what happened to Will.
Max Mayfield is one of those characters who helps search for Will Byers. Mad Max is known as a tough kid who can take care of herself. She’s not afraid of anything–or anyone–and she’ll do whatever it takes to help out her friends.
Max Mayfield First Appearance
Her first appearance was in the second season, played by Sadie Sink. Max quickly became a fan favorite as she offered a new perspective to the group of friends and provided plenty of comic relief to lighten up some of the darker moments in the show. Even though there was some dissent in the group about whether she should become part of their circle, she eventually proved her worth as her own person and earned their trust.
She has a strong moral compass and isn’t afraid to speak her mind, making her an ideal candidate for being brave enough to take on the monsters that threaten Hawkins.
Who is Max Mayfield? (Mad Max)
Maxine Mayfield, portrayed by Sadie Sink, is a newcomer to the Party and the stepsister of Billy Hargrove. See quotes in this article to know why you should never call Max “Maxine”.
Max was originally from California and had a keen interest in skateboarding from a young age. After moving to Hawkins, Indiana, Max gained a reputation at the Palace Arcade for topping the game leaderboard high scores and was mistaken for a boy by the arcade regulars.
Will started experiencing strange ‘episodes’, and Max became even more curious after learning of Will’s disappearance the previous year. After encountering a pack of faceless humanoid predators, Max realized Will was possessed by “The Mind Flayer”.
Max grew romantically attached to Lucas but had an awkward first meeting with Eleven. She stole Billy’s car and helped defeat the Mind Flayer, and began a relationship with him.
Max Succumbs To Depression
In season 4 Max is seen dealing with depression and anxiety. She confides in Eleven about feeling like she’s not enough, and struggles to accept the idea that she may never be a superhero like Eleven. She also struggles to come to terms with the idea that Billy is gone, feeling responsible for his death.
In the end, Max overcame her depression and anxiety, helped Eleven find her way back home, and became a hero in her own right by not giving up on those she loves. She is an important part of the group of friends in Stranger Things and their mission to protect Hawkins.
Max and Lucas
Stranger Things is full of iconic couples, but Max and Lucas are in a class of their own. When Max was possessed by an Upside Down creature, the only thing on her mind was how to get back to Lucas — now that’s true love! See their complete relationship history here, but beware of spoilers!
On the Netflix series, Max and Lucas originally got together in season 2, but fans were disappointed to see that the iconic couple broke up in season 4!
In season 4, Max is grieving the death of her stepbrother Billy. This leads to depression and isolation from friends, which makes her Vecna’s perfect target. She soon becomes his next victim and starts writing goodbye letters to all of her friends. With Lucas’ help, she narrowly manages to escape Vecna and save herself.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sadie said goodbye to Lucas as Max would have. “She would probably express some of that care and love that she has for him in a really genuine and vulnerable way,” says Sade. “Or maybe she’s not letting go of her values even when she’s dead, and it’s just writing on paper.”
Max steps away from Lucas because she is annoyed with him throughout season 3. Eleven is having similar problems with Mike, so the two girls bond over their shared frustration.
After going through many tough times together, including the Battle at Starcourt and the death of Max’s brother, Lucas and Max have finally reconciled their romance. They laugh and joke with Dustin over his mysterious girlfriend, singing the theme song from The Neverending Story. When El and the Byers family are getting ready to leave Hawkins, Max leans on Lucas for support as they say goodbye.
The beginning of season 4 reveals that Max has broken up with Lucas. She’s trying to comprehend everything from season 3 and mourning her step-brother’s death, pushing away her friends in the process.
Max breaks Vecna’s curse by listening to music and thinking of happy times in her life, many of which include Lucas. He holds onto her after she is possessed, leading fans to think the two still love each other.
Did Max Mayfield Die?
Eleven found the strength to overcome Vecna’s control, and Nancy, Steve, and Robin set Vecna’s physical form ablaze with Molotov cocktails. Max was blinded and her limbs were broken, but Eleven brought her back to life. Max is now in a coma and is slowly recovering.
Max is a strong-willed, independent young woman who has faced many hardships. Although she had to overcome depression, and the death of her stepbrother Billy Hargrove, Max has shown incredible resilience and strength in times of trouble. With her friends’ help, she was able to survive Vecna’s attempt, but what will happen in season 5 is still unclear.
Max Mayfield’s Personality and Traits
Max is a tomboy who enjoys skateboarding and arcade games and has a slight interest in horror films. She stood up for her brother Billy when his dad beat him and even offered him ice.
Due to her brother’s abusive treatment towards her, she was initially anti-social and skeptical towards other people. However, she eventually became eager to become a member of the Party and was immensely loyal to her new friends.
Max was more social and trusting of her friends after moving to Hawkins, and encouraged Eleven to be herself instead of letting the men in her life control her. She still harbored anger toward her brother, Billy, but became deeply concerned for him after he was killed.
Max continued to mourn for Billy, distanced herself from her friends, and avoided discussing her feelings with them and her school counselor. However, when Lucas, Dustin, and Steve played Max’s favorite song while she was in Vecna’s trance, Max found comfort and strength in her memories of Lucas and her friends.
Max Mayfield Abilities
Max is an expert skateboarder, possesses excellent balance and parkour skills, can open locked doors with a paper clip, can drive a car, and knows how to provide medical care properly to heal and stitch up a patient’s wounds/injuries. She clearly has the upper hand when it comes to physical activities, able to use the skateboard as a weapon and ride it away quickly in pursuit of her friends.
Max Mayfield Family
Susan is distraught when Max goes missing, but Max allows her mother to do her hair for the Snow Ball. Max rolls her eyes at Susan’s compliments.
After Billy’s death, Susan and Max move to Forest Hills Trailer Park, where Susan begins to drink heavily.
Max defends her mother and later sleeps with her on the living room couch. The next morning, Max drops off letters for her family, including Susan, and asks Susan to promise her that she’ll deliver them. Susan tells Max that anything that happens is “nothing that [Max] doesn’t deserve”, and Max lies and tells her that she’s just being silly. Max realizes that Vecna was playing a mind trick on her and that Susan was never even there.
Neil Hargrove was Max’s stepfather before he left her and Susan in 1986. Max didn’t like it when Neil called her Maxine and didn’t consider him her father.
Max and Billy were stepsiblings, and Billy would often bully Max. Max tried to help Billy when his dad abused him and offered him ice after watching him get beaten.
Max moved to Hawkins with Billy and her parents, became intrigued with the Party, and threatened Billy to never bother her or her friends again.
Max refused to believe that Billy was involved with Heather Holloway’s disappearance, and was horrified when it was confirmed that he had been possessed by the Mind Flayer. She rushed to Billy’s side where he managed to whisper a soft apology before he passed away.
Max continued to grieve Billy’s death, distancing herself from her friends and doing poorly in school and confessed to Vecna that she wanted Billy to die because she had wanted him out of her life for good due to his abuse.
Max’s father, Sam Mayfield, was a practical and casual approach, who allowed Max to watch movies that weren’t age-appropriate, took her to watch races at the racetrack, and taught her how to drive his Impala. Despite this, Max preferred her life with him over staying with her mom.
Mad Max High Score
Lucas and his friends become infatuated with Max Mayfield after noticing that she beat Dustin’s high score on Dig Dug at the Palace Arcade. Despite agreeing with his friends not to tell Max about the events and the true circumstances of Will’s disappearance, Lucas looked overjoyed when Max appeared.
After D’Artagnan escaped and Max confronted Mike about his behavior towards her, Lucas suggested Max help them look for the creature, but Max refused to help and stormed off to meet her stepbrother. Lucas tried to explain that they didn’t mean it, but Max still didn’t believe him.
Lucas goes to pick up Max at her house and cheers her up by saying how he admires her and doesn’t compare to Billy. They hold hands and Max apologizes to Lucas for not believing him.
Lucas and Max Hold Hands
Max fights Billy at Will Byers’s house and he leaves her and her friends alone. Max and Lucas help each other burn the tunnels.
Lucas and Max Kiss (Snow Ball)
Lucas, Max, and their friends attend the Snow Ball, where Lucas kisses Max and embraces him, thus starting a romantic relationship with him. However, their relationship has been somewhat rocky, with Lucas claiming they have broken up and gotten back together at least five times by the summer of 1985.
Max assures El that Mike and Lucas are playing Atari, and scolds Mike for lying. She dumps Lucas along with Mike, but settles her differences with El and works together with Mike, Lucas, and Will to find out if Billy has been Flayed.
Lucas distracts Max with candy to make Mike make amends with El. The two are heard laughing, possibly reconciling.
Max began to suffer depression, cut off her friends and broke up with Lucas permanently, though Lucas never held a grudge against her. When Max was cursed, Lucas played her favorite song, Running Up That Hill, in her headphones and Max began to levitate, escaping Vecna’s grip and falling into Lucas’ arms.
Reluctant To Let Max Be the Bait
Lucas refused to let Max be the bait, but Max reassured him that she could survive the creature’s curse once again. Lucas got into a fight with Jason Carver, who destroyed Max’s headphones containing her favorite song. Lucas cradled Max as he cried for Erica to call an ambulance, and begged for her to stay with him. Max succumbed to her injuries, and Lucas sat by Max’s bedside and read to her two days later.
The boys grew interested in Max when she beat Dustin’s score on Dig Dug, and Lucas gained her affection.
Dustin Gets Over Max
Max and Dustin stay friends after Dustin gets over Max and gets a girlfriend named Suzie. Max starts to doubt Suzie’s existence and later reconciles with Dustin after Dustin manages to contact her to get Planck’s Constant.
Max has begun to ignore all of her friends, but when she witnesses Chrissy’s murder, Dustin is the first person she goes to with the info, and they find Eddie hiding out near Lovers Lake. Dustin helps Max defeat Vecna, and when she listens to her favorite song, she returns to reality.
Mike Doesn’t Want Max In the Group
Max tried to join the group, but Mike was hostile toward her. However, after Eleven caused her to fall while skateboarding, Mike gave up his hostility towards Max and eventually gained her respect.
Mike and Max were on friendly terms in 1985 but became strained after Mike’s relationship with Eleven became complicated. However, Mike and Max reconciled after Mike admitted he was worried about Eleven and that he loved her, and helped each other out during the battle against the Mind Flayer.
Max kept her distance from her friends, Mike included and wrote a goodbye letter to him when she realized she was cursed. When listening to Running Up That Hill, Max’s memories of skateboarding with Mike were triggered, showing that she still considered Mike to be one of her best friends.
Max was told of El through Mike, but Eleven coldly brushed her aside when Max approached her. Max helped Eleven defeat the Mind Flayer, and they later attended the Snow Ball together.
Max Helps El Break up with Mike
Max initially defends Mike and El’s relationship, calling it “romantic”, but after El approaches Max about Mike ditching her, Max tells El to ignore Mike’s attempts to contact him and if he doesn’t explain himself, to “dump his ass”. The girls soon grow close to one another. Max sleeps over at El’s cabin, introduces her to teen magazines, comforts her over her breakup with Mike, and helps her to defeat the Mind Flayer. After spying on Billy, El is choked by him, and Max tells Mike to trust El. Max leads the group to help clean El’s wound and later helps El escape Billy, but is knocked out and comforts El after Billy’s death.
Max has sunk into a depression, cutting ties with all of her friends, but when she discovers she is cursed by Vecna, memories of El are reignited, motivating her to fight back and escape. El discovers through the Void that Vecna is planning on killing Max to open a Gate through the Upside Down, and piggybacks into Max’s mind to prevent Max from approaching Vecna. El threatens to kill Vecna again if he ever tries to touch Max again. Eleven and Vecna battle in the Upside Down, with El being tied down and forced to watch Vecna kill Max. El breaks free and uses her telekinesis to restart Max’s heart, with memories of their past summer together further motivating her. El returns to Hawkins and visits a comatose Max in the hospital, but can’t find her anywhere in the Void.
Max met Will Byers on her first day at Hawkins Middle School and accepted him into the Party just to make Lucas and Dustin happy. When Max learned about the true circumstances of Will’s disappearance, she did not believe Lucas until she saw an adolescent Demogorgon for the first time.
Max is still friends with Will, but Will is secretly jealous of Max’s time with Lucas. However, Will still viewed Max as a good friend and worked together with Max to stop the Mind Flayer.
Max and Will kept contact until 1986 when Max was cursed by Vecna and wrote a goodbye letter to Will. Will watched over Max at the hospital after she was injured.
Max and Steve have limited yet friendly interactions with one another. Max first met Steve when he Dustin and Lucas were looking for Dart, and they later helped Will and close the gate, and Max stabbed Billy in the neck to defend Steve.
Max becomes distant from her friends, including Steve, but later returns to them when she believes a threat from the Upside Down has returned. Steve drives Max to Ms. Kelley’s house before she steals her office keys and finds out she’s next on Vecna’s list.
Max and Nancy met in 1984 at Hawkins National Laboratory, became allies, and reunited in 1985 when they searched for the Flayed. Max became worried that Nancy would kill Billy, but Nancy assured her that the gun was only a precaution.
In 1986, Nancy addressed herself as Max’s friend to Wayne Munson, Max’s neighbor and the uncle of Eddie Munson, the suspect of Chrissy Cunningham’s death. Max reunited with a frightened Nancy and told her of the real perpetrator of the murders, a new entity from the Upside Down named Vecna.
Behind the Scenes
The character was first revealed in a casting call obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. Sadie Sink was cast for the role.
Facts About Mad Max Mayfield
Max’s skateboard, MADMAX, is a reference to the post-apocalyptic films of the same name, Mad Max, and her bedroom and high school locker are decorated with Madrid stickers.
Max is the third main character of Stranger Things to have a book explaining her past, the first character to have a stepfamily, and the first character to have a sibling killed off. She is the star skateboarder of her middle school and loves playing Dig Dug.
Max is shown to not believe brain damage is a real thing, and in E Pluribus Unum, Sadie Sink’s younger sister, Jacey, portrays a younger Max seen in Billy’s past after Eleven gets into his mind.
Max’s favorite song is Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush, and her belief that things would’ve been better if Billy took her place causes the song to re-enter the American Top 40.
Max is the first of Vecna’s victims to survive.
Mad Max Mayfield Quotes
- “It’s Max. Nobody calls me Maxine. It’s just Max.”
- “That’s presumptuous of you.”
- “I could be your Zoomer.”
- “You still stink, by the way.”
- “I like talking to you too, stalker.”
- “From here on out, you leave me and my friends alone. Understand?”
- “Told you. Zoomer.”
- “Yeah, well, boyfriends lie. All. The. Time.”
- “Mm-hm. And if he doesn’t fix this, if he doesn’t explain himself, dump his ass.”
- “See, what did I tell you? There’s more to life than stupid boys!”
- “What is she, your little pet?”
- “Do you knock?! Jeez!”
- “Ugh, gag me with a spoon.”
- “If I play, do I get one of those cool T-shirts?”
- “Steve, if you think that I’m going to spend what is most likely the last day of my life in the armpit that is Mike Wheeler’s basement than you’re out of your mind. So you’re gonna take me where I need to go, or you’re going to have to tie me down, which is technically kidnapping of a minor. And if I live to see another day, Steve, I swear to God, I will prosecute.”
- “I know a good lawyer.”
- “I’m still here. I’m still here.”