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|“|| Hugo Grief: If I ruled the world, how much stronger would it be, how much better.|
Alex Rider: For you, perhaps, Dr Grief, but not for anyone else.
Hugo Grief: It has been the dream of very few men to rule the entire world. Hitler was one, Napoleon another, Stalin, perhaps, a third. Great men! Remarkable men!
|~ Dr. Hugo Grief and Alex Rider in the novels.|
|“||Change is never easy. Change hurts. But it can be for the better.||„|
|~ Dr. Hugo Greif's motto in the TV adaptation of Alex Rider.|
Dr. Hugo Grief, named as Dr. Hugo Greif in the TV series, is the main antagonist in the second Alex Rider novel Point Blanc and its 2020 TV series adaptation, Alex Rider. He is a highly intelligent megalomaniac who plans to rule the world with clones of himself disguised as powerful people.
Grief, or Johannes de Leede, as he was know, was born in South Africa, back when Apartheid was big, sometime in the forties. He was raised to be contemptuous of black people, whom he saw as animals, and he harbored bitter feelings to them throughout his life. He was disgusted at how rebellions against Apartheid by black people soon became successful, and when South Africa was given away to Nelson Mandela, he despaired. Hugo thought that black people were ignorant and had no idea of how to run Africa, and he made plans for a comeback and revenge.
At the age of 26, Johannes de Leede (not then a doctor) was approached by Jon Voyer, Prime Minister of South Africa, where he was offered a job as Minister of Science. As South Africa, thanks to white corruption, was a corrupt country at the time, de Leede manipulated the government into providing him unethical scientific equipment, most notably political prisoners. In his own words, "the rules that hampered other scientists around the world did not apply to me!" de Leede then personally selected sixteen biologically irrelevant females and personally raped them, setting into motion a chain of cloning programmes from which, ten years before the first cloning program was completed successfully. he first cloned an adult human, namely himself, sixteen times, with his ambitions and tenacity.
Johannes de Leede stole a very large sum of money from the South African government, faked his own death and moved to France, to the French Alps. Now operating under the name of Dr. Hugo Grief, he moved into the Point Blanc academy with his clones and waited patiently for sixteen years before they became mature enough to follow his stead at world domination. He hired a doctor named Baxter from London to start altering the clones' appearances and manipulate the whole second floor, as well as much of the third floor, of the castle into a perfect copy of the ground and first floors, respectively, and replace all dormitories in the second floor with copies of those on the first.
It had come to Dr. Grief's attention that families with fortunes had children who were, in essence, troubled. Parents who ignored their children and children with complete disrespect and disappointment for their parents. These children became Grief's targets. Grief turned Point Blanc Asylum into the Point Blanc Academy and began a business with his partner, Eva Stellenbosch, and together ran the place. The families began sending in their children hoping for a better turnout, and Grief began altering his clones to resemble the original children. He kidnapped the real children in the middle of the night after around a week's assimilation, and then he replaced them with the altered clones, which, as the clones were identical to their originals, made it seem like nothing odd had happened. The only visible "difference" was that the clones seemed much more energetic and hardworking than before.
Things did not go unnoticed forever; and when rich New York businessman Michael J. Roscoe believed his son, Paul, was not all he seemed, he called his old friend from Cambridge University: Alan Blunt, head of MI6, to voice his concerns; a few days later, Roscoe died in a bizarre accident when he seemingly stepped into an empty lift shaft on the sixtieth floor of his New York headquarters. Blunt eventually contacted Alex Rider, telling him about that Roscoe had been assassinated and that around the same time, Russian General Viktor Ivanov (head of the Foreign Intelligence Service), whose son, Dimitry, was also at Point Blanc, had been killed in a motorboat explosion after an argument with his son. Alex's job was to infiltrate Point Blanc, disguised as Alex Friend, son of supermarket magnate Sir David Friend, and find out what was happening. MI6 gave him gadgets and although Alex was a little unnerved by the eeriness and emptiness of the academy, he befriended a boy named James Sprintz, son of super billionaire financier Dieter Sprintz, only to have him replaced by a clone of Grief (although Alex didn't know this was a clone) with the real Sprintz held captive in the dungeon cells with the other fourteen boys who had passed through the academy. Alex explored the academy and found the cells, in the basement. He realized, upon seeing the real boys in the cells, that Grief had done something, and was captured by Grief and Stellenbosch, who had discovered his disguise and knew he was with MI6. Grief boasted to him about his plans for world conquest and return of apartheid on a worldwide scale, and imprisoned Alex (who was fated to die in a human dissection as part of a biology lesson), only to have Alex escaped by skiing down the mountain on a modified ironing board and reaching MI6, who tricked Grief into thinking that Alex had died in his escape attempt. Alex returned with a load of SAS soldiers who gunned down the guards and rescued the real boys, arresting the clones immediately. In the chaos, Eva Stellenbosch, assistant director, was shot dead and Dr. Grief attempted to leave in a helicopter. He saw Alex as he flew upwards and smirked, waving goodbye to him, but an angry Alex rammed a snowmobile into Dr. Grief's helicopter, killing the evil scientist and destroying his chopper in an inferno, sending it crashing into the hillside below.
Later that week, Alex was called in to see his principal, Henry Bray, about his numerous absences. His housekeeper, Jack, said she thought he had just come in and gone out, but Alex was too tired and annoyed to notice. Again, the school cleaner said he thought Alex had just entered. Alex entered nonetheless, and asked Bray what it was he wanted to talk about, but froze when he himself turned round in the principal's chair. It turned out to be the final clone, named Julius Grief, who had escaped capture. Julius was now on the warpath to kill Alex, whom he blamed for the destruction of the Gemini Project and the loss of his "father" and goals of world domination. Julius attempted to shoot Alex, but Alex, knowing how difficult it was for Julius to kill someone identical to him, backfired onto the rug just as the bullet went off. Julius ran after Alex as Alex ran out of the office, and Alex set off gases inside the science lab to evade and deter Julius. Julius persisted, thanks to his father's determination, and ran up to the top of the school, following Alex. Alex and Julius fought until Alex eventually knocked Julius into a hole, with flames closing in.
Unlike the novel, it's barely known about Dr. Hugo Greif's life. He was a research scientist; first in Turkey and then in South Africa. But, he was run off from both countries due to ethical violations. And dropped off the radar 20 years ago prior to the events. And some time, he came to the French Alps and founded the Point Blanc academy.
Dr. Hugo Greif is first seen at his own academy, Point Blanc, while talking to Eva Stellenbosch about the students. Later, while Alex Rider comes to the Point Blanc with helicopter, Greif is seen again while looking at the helicopter from his office.
After Alex is attended Point Blanc; he, Laura and James had a "party" while washing dishes, and they get caught by Eva Stellenbosch. Eva brings Alex to Dr. Greif's office, and they met. Greif asks Alex about why is he at Point Blanc and what brought him here. Alex answers humorously and says "by helicopter" and get warned by Eva. After Greif couldn't get an answer from Alex, he explains himself and claims Alex is here to change the person he is, and according to him, it should be his only concern and ultimate aim. Alex answered it humorously again and says "Hippy bullshit", and later Eva slaps him strongly. And after they talk for a while, Alex leaves his office.
Later, Greif attends class a teacher and asks his students about the deletion of 99% of the people in the world, and he claims that change is better for the world. While he is talking, Laura starts to cough, and Greif sends her to the infirmary, however, he sends her to cloning. After Laura left, Greif starts to talk again about the leaders who agrees with Greif's idea; Mao, Hitler and Stalin. And Greif claims that they were right about their ideas.
After Laura came again after a while, while the other students eating; Alex, Kyra and James noticed Laura's change, and Greif's true goal. The three decided to infiltrate Greif's office and hack the codes. Later, Alex takes some pencil powder from his pencil, and spreads it to Greif's office's password panel. While he is on the job, Greif is seen while going to his office, but gets stopped by James and James stalls him until Alex finished his job. Later, James and Greif finished their conversation and Greif came to his office and enters the password. Alex leaks the password's numbers via powders that have touched by him, 1, 8 and 9. But the password is four-numbered, and they couldn't find the repeated number. But Alex leaks it and the password is 1889, because it is the birthdate of Adolf Hitler and Dr. Greif is inspired by him.
When Greif is at his office, he gets a mysterious call and it wants to state identity of himself. Greif answers it as "Zulu, 9, 4, delta, 6, 3, 3". And the phone states that the codes will be changed. After the call finished, Greif leaves from his office and meet Eva, and they go downstairs to see Dr. Baxter. Greif states that Baxter's work is excellent.
Later, they leave and go upstairs. While Greif goes to his office, James opens a music to stall them, and Eva and Greif approaches and Eva threats him. Greif leaves and enters his office and encounters Yassen Gregorovich. Yassen gives him his new security codes and the photo of Alex and Tom's. And he leaves after they talk for a while.
Greif and Eva state that Dr. Baxter must die, and they meet Dr. Baxter, they talk for a while and Greif stabs Baxter and kills him.
Alex is leaked by Eva and Eva states it to Greif, and Greif wants Kyra to clone him and states Eva to bring her to the lab, before cloning Alex. Some time later, they couldn't find both of them and Greif orders his goons to find Alex and Kyra. But, they find Alex and tie him up at the lab and trying to interrogate him. But Alex resists it and didn't talk. When they understand that they won't find Kyra, Greif goes to the offices and calls his goons to kill Kyra's parents, Andriy Vaschenko and Nuo Shao, in Singapore, and they killed. While Greif is at his office, Alex was alone at the lab, and Kyra comes and rescues him. Later, Alex escaped from the mountain to communicate with MI6.
Alex gets ran over by a truck on the road, and he gets brought to the hospital. Eva comes to the hospital too and the MI6 fakes her, claims that Alex is dead. Eva comes back to the school and states to Greif that Alex is dead.
After Alex communicates with MI6, they gather the information about Point Blanc and the soldiers attacked to the school and arrest Dr. Greif. Later, Greif is interrogated by Alan Blunt.
Some time later, Dr. Greif took by the agents with a car from MI6 after Greif refuses to talk. While the agents and Greif are going with car, they get assassinated by Yassen Gregorovich with a neurotoxin bomb and the agents and Greif are poisoned and died.
Project Gemini is the project that founded by Greif. This project is about cloning people. Dr. Greif duplicates himself and the clones gets completely imitated with the Point Blanc student via plastic surgery, and the original student gets imprisoned. When the clones are ready, they send back to their homes and replace with the originals, and their parents get assassinated by Greif.
Dr. Hugo Grief was a man to be feared. Utterly cruel, and ruthless, unpleasant, temperamental, and traitorous, he was a completely depraved individual, as he threatened to dissect Alex, a 14-year-old boy, for a biology practical. And he would have made good on his threat, too, if Alex had not escaped. However, to those unaware of his true nature, he could also be very charming, respectful, and manipulative, given that in Alex's imagination, he saw Dr. Grief telling his side of the story, completely fooling MI6 with his "charming" manner. Dr. Grief idolized Hitler, Napoleon, Caesar, Stalin and other ambitious megalomaniacs, and desired to have the world run by them. To this end, Grief named his clones after world dictators, hoping that one day one of them (in his eyes, they are all rightfully himself when they become adults) would rule the world. Dr. Grief held no compassion to those that served him, killing allies (such as Baxter) and enemies alike when they outlived their usefulness. He did have a respect and soft spot for Eva Stellenbosch, but, given that he would have felt no grief over her death, it's probable she was always just a pawn in his plans.
- Eva Stellenbosch: Assistant director at the academy and the right-hand woman of Grief.
- Walter Baxter: Plastic surgeon who altered the clones.
- Julius Grief: One of the clones; survived until the events of Scorpia Rising (novel only)
- Markus Heftig: Head of academy security; mentioned only in in-universe material (novel only)