He was a Russian hitman aligned with the USSR. The Russians managed to succeed in opening a portal in America in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana under the Starcourt Mall where Mayor Kline provided the Russians enough land to work on the Key undercover. When Police Chief Jim Hopper and Joyce Byers discovered the Russian operations, Grigori was ordered to kill Hopper and Joyce. In the end, during the struggle to close the portal underneath Starcourt, Grigori was killed by Hopper.
Grigori was born sometime in 1937 in Russia, He was a Russian hitman aligned with the USSR.
When the machine failed and killed several Russian personnel in HAZMAT suits, Grigori was ordered by his superior, General Stepanov, to punish the scientist for his failure. Thus, Grigori strangled the unnamed scientist to death. The Soviet General then departed, and gave the newly-promoted Alexei and his team a year to perfect the “Key” by any means necessary as Grigori observed his superior’s departure, still holding the unnamed scientist by the throat.
A year later, in the summer of 1985, Grigori was stationed at the secret undercover Red Army installation in the town of Hawkins, Indiana, where a natural Gate had just been closed the year prior, as an officer. Still serving alongside Alexei and under Comrade-General Stepanov, Grigori had shifted from “enforcer” to outright hitman, and was also undercover on the surface, posing as an employee, likely a corporate “fixer”, of the Starcourt company. Grigori acted as a liaison between the Russians and Larry Kline, the corrupt then-Mayor of Hawkins, and made unfair land grant purchases from the Mayor’s office in the name of the Starcourt Mall, itself secretly a front business for the Russian operation, in order to acquire shell locations for generators to power the “Key” by allowing Starcourt Industries to aggressively expand into East Hawkins.
He was later seen in the process of exiting such a shady dealing when Chief Jim Hopper of the Hawkins Police Department went to meet with Mayor Kline regarding a protest against Kline’s corruption, the mall, and its negative effects on the businesses of Downtown Hawkins, being seen by Hopper exiting Kline’s office as Hopper entered. Later, Grigori again crossed paths with, and assaulted, the Hawkins Chief when him and Joyce Byers were investigating the condemned site of Hawkins National Laboratory, knocking Hopper unconscious and escaping on a moped. Hopper was later unable to recall facial details of Grigori to Joyce, only referring to him as a “Thug”, until the detail of the moped reminded him of the man in Kline’s office. When Kline attempted to respond evasively and claim Grigori was a plumber who he did not know the name of, Hopper threatened the Mayor with blackmail and then assaulted him, learning that Grigori was both an employee of Starcourt and was dangerous, with Kline keeping the records of Starcourt‘s land deeds on file as “protection” from him and his employers at Starcourt, much to Hopper and Joyce’s confusion.
After being contacted by Kline, who had been handcuffed to his bed by Hopper, that Joyce and Hopper were looking into the properties owned by the Russians, Grigori tracked them down to one of the properties where Alexei and another worker were in. As Grigori was investigating, Hopper sneaked up on him with his pistol, threatening him to surrender. Grigori, however, called his bluff and attacked Hopper, the two having a short fight before Joyce accidentally throws Hopper's pistol to Grigori during the fight and Grigori opened fire at them. Hopper and Joyce flee the scene with Alexei. Grigori tries shooting them down as they drive away but runs out of ammo.
Grigori starts following their tracks, eventually finding the abandoned car used by Joyce and Hopper, leading him to a nearby 7/11, where he learns from an employee that Hopper stole a patron's car with Alexei.
Impatient, Grigori confronted Kline in the upcoming Fourth of July celebration. Though Kline assured Grigori that the authorities were looking for Hopper, Joyce and Alexei, Grigori threatened Kline to find them, giving him only one day to do so.
In the Fourth of July celebration, Kline spotted Hopper and Joyce during the festivities and called up the Russians, who dispatch Grigori. As Grigori made his way into the festival, Grigori killed Alexei before pursuing Hopper. In a Mirror House, Grigori is ambushed by Hopper, who shoots him in his kevlar vest several times before making his escape from the pursuing Russian assassins.
Later, Grigori found Joyce and Hopper in the underground base, the two attempting to shut down the gate. Grigori knocks out Joyce and begins fighting Hopper. The two men fight near the device for the gate, with Grigori almost killing Hopper in the process. However, Hopper gains the upper hand, stabbing Grigori's wound with his thumb. Before Grigori can retaliate, Hopper tells him, "I'll see you in Hell", before throwing him into the device, ripping Grigori to shreds.
Personality and Traits
Little is known about Grigori's personality, as he performed his tasks with machine-like focus and was extremely no-nonsense, being somewhat disrespectful even to his fellow Soviet Comrades, aside from his employer, Comrade-General Stepanov, who he seemed to respect and obey. He also had disdain for Americans, the primary geopolitical rivals of the USSR. He is very aggressive even outside of combat, as evidenced by his interactions with a gas clerk attendant and Mayor Kline, as during both conversations Grigori lost his temper and physically threatened them. He also was deeply loyal to his country, as he coldly executed Alexei using a silenced weapon without warning, did so without remorse due to the possibility of confessions being made by him to either Hopper or Murray Bauman, and called him a “Traitor” in Russian as he did so.
- Expert Combatant: Despite only being human, Grigori was shown to be frighteningly skilled, both in hand to hand combat and weaponry, proving to be a lethal individual. He was strong enough to lift a grown man up with just one hand and easily overpower Hopper, who is also a capable hand to hand fighter.
- Skilled Assassin: He has shown to be a skilled assassin, able to easily shoot Alexei in the middle of a crowded fair ground without a single person noticing.
Following Kline's deal with the Russians, Grigori was employed to make sure Larry honored their deal and kept quiet about the activities taking place underneath the mall. But Grigori always abused Kline when he was unpleasant towards him. When it was discovered that Larry had given information to Hopper and Joyce, Grigori responded by threatening Kline through physical violence. Grigori also threatened Kline to lure Hopper and Joyce to the Fun Fair on the threat of his life. Kline later told Grigori that Joyce and Hopper had arrived at the fair, resulting in Alexei's death.
Grigori and Jim Hopper were enemies. They fought each other on multiple occasions, with Grigori gaining the upper hand most of time. After Grigori's first fight with Hopper, the police chief managed to realize that Grigori was present at Town Hall before he went to meet Mayor Kline. At the Hess Farm, Grigori encountered Hopper again who threatened to shoot him, but Grigori did not believe Hopper would do it as he was a policeman. However, Hopper proved him wrong, but Grigori dodged his gunshot and attacked him.
Later, Hopper shot Grigori multiple times in a fight at the Fun Fair, but Grigori survived. When Hopper and Joyce tried to shut off the Key to the Upside Down at Starcourt Mall, Grigori intervened. Grigori knocked out Joyce and then went after Hopper, with the two engaging in a full out brawl. Both got close to the gateway machine, with Grigori seemingly on the verge of killing Hopper. However, Hopper was able to recover, stabbing Grigori's injured shoulder with his thumb. When Grigori tried to retaliate, Hopper told him he would "see him in hell" before he threw Grigori into the machine, ripping him to shreds and killing him.
Because of Joyce's alliance with Hopper, Grigori also went after her. Joyce was very angry when Grigori killed Alexei. Because Grigori was not around at the time, Joyce took her anger out on Larry Kline, kicking and punching him for telling Grigori where they were. At Starcourt Mall, Joyce and Hopper attempted to close the Gate to the Upside Down by destroying the gateway machine. However, Grigori intervened and fought Hopper. When Joyce tried to stop Grigori, he knocked her unconscious. When Joyce finally woke up, she watched in horror as Grigori had Hopper pinned down next to the machine. She then watched as Hopper gained the upper hand in the fight and killed Grigori.
Grigori was assigned to Russian scientist, Alexei in working on a key capable of opening a portal to the Upside Down. However, on June 28, 1984, when the first Key failed, Grigori killed Alexei's co-worker as Alexei watched; being threatened to perfect the Key within a year. In 1985, after managing to perfect the Key in Hawkins, Indiana, Grigori was still assigned working with Alexei. After Alexei was captured by Hopper and Joyce, Alexei decided against escaping when given the chance as he feared Grigori and knew he would killed for giving away secrets. This is later proved to be true when Grigori confronts and kills Alexei with a silenced weapon at the Fun Fair, calling him a traitor for trying to defect to the United States.
|Season Three appearances|
|Suzie, Do You Copy?||The Mall Rats||The Case of the Missing Lifeguard|
|The Flayed||E Pluribus Unum||The Bite||The Battle of Starcourt|
Grigori to Alexei:
Grigori to Hopper:
- No, you won't do that. Because you are policeman. Policemen have rules.
Behind the scenes
- In a Reddit AMA on July 10, 2019, Ivchenko stated that when auditioning for the role, he actually had no idea he was auditioning for Stranger Things. He stated that the casting process was so confidential that they wouldn't even tell him what show he was auditioning for, and the lines he was given were not from the actual show.
- He was likely inspired by the titular character from the 1984 film The Terminator.
- He was even called Arnold Schwarzenegger by Larry Kline when Hopper attacked him in his office.
- During the fight scene with Hopper in the Hess Farms basement, Joyce throws the pistol to Hopper but it lands next to Grigori. This was accidental, but the crew liked it and kept it in the scene.
|For this subject's gallery, see Grigori/Gallery.|