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Grigori, portrayed by Andrey Ivchenko, is a recurring antagonist in Stranger Things, serving as the secondary antagonist of the third season.

Grigori was a Russian soldier and hitman, answering to General Stepanov. Grigori was present in the United States during the USSR's secret operation in Hawkins, Indiana, in which a scientific facility was constructed underneath Starcourt Mall. Grigori was one of various operatives tasked with keeping the operation secret, using force if necessary.

When local police chief Jim Hopper and associate Joyce Byers began investigating the conspiracy in the summer of 1985, Grigori was ordered to kill them, as well as kidnapped Russian scientist Dr Alexei. Grigori was also used to intimidate Larry Kline, the corrupt local mayor who facilitated the construction of Starcourt and the secret facility. Grigori and Hopper had various violent encounters at multiple locations around Indiana, including the abandoned Hawkins Lab and the local funfair. This culminated in a fistfight in the underground facility, in which Hopper finally overpowered and killed Grigori.

History 

Background

Grigori was born sometime in 1937 in Russia, He was a Russian hitman aligned with the USSR.

1984

Grigori was present at the failed test of a Key machine that was designed by a group of Russian scientists, including Dr. Alexei.

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. Grigori strangled the unnamed scientist to death. General Stepanov gave the newly-promoted Alexei and his team a year to perfect the “Key” by any means necessary. Grigori observed his superior’s instructions to Alexei, still holding the unnamed scientist by the throat.

1985

A year later, in the summer of 1985, Grigori was stationed at the secret undercover Russian installation in the town of Hawkins, Indiana. Still serving alongside Alexei and under Comrade-General Stepanov, Grigori had shifted from “enforcer” to assassin and was working undercover in Hawkins posing as an employee of the Starcourt company. Grigori acted as a liaison between the Russians and Larry Kline, the corrupt Mayor of Hawkins. With the help of Mayor Kline, Grigori made unfair land grant purchases in the name of the Starcourt Mall, itself secretly a front business for the Russian operation. The land purchases were used to acquire locations for generators to power the “Key” and allowed Starcourt Industries to aggressively expand into East Hawkins.

Chief Jim Hopper of the Hawkins Police Department saw Grigori in the hall outside Mayor Kline's office, when Hopper met with Mayor Kline regarding a protest against Kline’s corruption. Later, Grigori assaulted Hopper at the former of Hawkins National Laboratory. Grigori knocked Hopper unconscious and escaped on a motorcycle. Hopper was later unable to recall facial details of Grigori to Joyce, only referring to him as a “Thug”. When Joyce mentioned that the attacker had escaped on a motorcycle, Hopper remembered the man in Kline’s office.

Hopper went to Mayor Kline's office to question Kline about the motorcyclist. When Kline attempted to respond evasively and claimed Grigori was a plumber who he did not know the name of, Hopper threatened the Mayor with blackmail and then assaulted him. Hopper learned that Grigori was both an employee of Starcourt and was dangerous, and that Kline kept records of Starcourt‘s land deeds on file as “protection” from Grigori and his employers at Starcourt.

After being warned by Kline that Joyce and Hopper were looking into the properties owned by the Russians, Grigori tracked them down at one of the properties. There, Hopper and Joyce had handcuffed Alexie and another Russian worker. As Grigori entered the basement, Hopper surprised him with his pistol, telling him to surrender. Grigori, however, called Hopper's bluff and attacked Hopper. During the fight, Joyce accidentally threw Hopper's pistol to Grigori. Grigori opened fire at them. Hopper and Joyce fled the scene with Alexei. Grigori tried shooting at them as they drove away but ran out of ammo.

Grigori started following their tracks, eventually finding the abandoned car used by Joyce and Hopper, then tracked them to a nearby 7/11. Gigori learned from an employee that Hopper stole a patron's car.

Impatient, Grigori confronted Kline at the fair grounds. Though Kline assured Grigori that the authorities were looking for Hopper, Joyce and Alexei, Grigori threatened Kline, giving him only one day to do so.

At the Fun Fair, Kline spotted Hopper and Joyce and called Grigori. At the fair, Grigori killed Alexei then pursued Hopper. In a Mirror House, Grigori was ambushed by Hopper, who shot him in his kevlar vest several times before escaping from other Russian assassins.

Later, Grigori found Joyce and Hopper in the underground base. Joyce and Hopper were attempting to shut down the gate. Grigori knocked Joyce aside and began fighting Hopper. They fought near the Key, with Grigori almost killing Hopper in the process. However, Hopper gained the upper hand, stabbing Grigori's wound with his thumb. Grigori swings his fist at Hopper, who catches it and spites Grigori. Hopper then throws him headfirst into the main spinning compartment of the machine, which yanks him headfirst into the inner laser whilst shredding him into hundreds of pieces at the same time.

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 commander, Comrade-General Stepanov. He also had disdain for Americans, the primary geopolitical rivals of the USSR. He is very aggressive, as evidenced by his interactions with a store clerk and Mayor Kline. 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, without remorse, and called him a “Traitor” in Russian as he did so.

Abilities

  • 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.

Relationships

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. Grigori intimidated and abused Kline. 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 realized that Grigori was present at Town Hall when he went to meet Mayor Kline. At the Hess Farm, Grigori encountered Hopper again, which resulted in a second fight between Hopper and Grigori.

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 Joyce aside and then fought Hopper. Grigori seemed 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" then 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 Key. However, Grigori intervened and fought Hopper. When Joyce tried to stop Grigori, he knocked her aside. Joyce watched as Hopper gained the upper hand in the fight and killed Grigori.

On June 28, 1984, Grigori killed a Russian scientist who had failed to find a way to open the Gate. Alexei, who was also working on a key capable of opening a portal to the Upside Down, saw Grigori killed his superior. General Stepanov ordered Alexei to perfect the Key within one year. In 1985, Alexei was working to perfect the Key in Hawkins, Indiana. Grigori was also assigned to the Russian secret base in Hawkins, providing security and a liaison with Mayor Kline. After Alexei was captured by Hopper and Joyce, Alexei did not escape when given the chance because he feared Grigori and knew he would killed for giving away secrets. Grigori killed Alexei with a silenced weapon at the Fun Fair, calling him a traitor for trying to defect to the United States.

Appearances

Season Three appearances
Suzie, Do You Copy? The Mall Rats The Case of the Missing Lifeguard The Sauna Test
The Flayed E Pluribus Unum The Bite The Battle of Starcourt

Memorable Quotes

Grigori to Alexei:

  • "Traitor."

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.

Gallery

View Gallery.png For this subject's gallery, see Grigori/Gallery.


Trivia

  • 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.


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