Imagine. To peer across the world and know the enemy's secrets. To place our thoughts into the minds of your leaders. Make your teachers teach the true version of history, your soldiers attack on our command. We'll be everywhere at once, more powerful than a whisper, invading your dreams, thinking your thoughts for you while you sleep. We will change you, Dr. Jones, all of you, from the inside. We will turn you into us. And the best part? You won't even know it's happening.
~ Spalko to Indiana Jones, talking about the power of the Crystal Skull.

Irina Spalko is the main antagonist of the 2008 action-adventure film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise. She is a highly skilled Soviet Agent who as a part of her mandate to acquire artifacts.

She was portrayed by Cate Blanchett, who also portrayed Lady Tremaine in the 2015 adaptation of Cinderella, Marissa Wiegler in Hanna, Penelope in Family Guy and Hela in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


A Soviet agent born in a small mountain village in the eastern regions of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, she was believed by those in her village to be a witch as her apparent psychic powers began to manifest themselves through animal control.

An impressed Joseph Stalin inducted her into researching psychic warfare, awarding her with the Order of Lenin three times. She is skilled in fencing and hand-to-hand combat and is Indiana's main antagonist as she brings the crystal skull to Akator to utilize the power there for her country's militant purposes. Ironically, her desire for knowledge proved her undoing when the crystal skull entity grants her desire to know everything, and an alien figure emerges and indicates that Spalko is too dangerous to remain alive. Her mind overloads and she disintegrates and her ashes scatter into the portal along with her felons.



  • Despite the huge amount of fan backlash Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull received, Cate Blanchett's performance as Irina Spalko received critical acclaim by both film critics and fans, who regarded her as the best part of the film. Even Steven Spielberg stated that Spalko is his favorite villain in the series.
  • Irina Spalko is one of two main antagonists of the film series who is not affiliated to the Nazis, the other being Mola Ram from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. However, Mola Ram is the only one who doesn't belong to a military faction, as Spalko is a Soviet.
  • In the novelization of the film, it's revealed that Irina Spalko's "psychic powers" present in the film were apparently real. It's furthermore detailed that Spalko had an unhappy childhood as all people on her village ostracized her and her family due her reputation as a "witch", leading Irina to perform experiments with animals to understand biology and life until her own mother came to fear her.
  • In the TV special LEGO Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Brick, Spalko's mission is changed from that of the film. Instead of taking the Crystal Skull to Akator, her mission is to take the Skull from Akator, which Indiana Jones and Mutt Williams have also planned. After Indy and Mutt manage to make Spalko hit her Jungle Cutter against the entrance of Akator, leaving it out of action temporarily, they advance and enter the temple. Once there, Spalko appears and engages in a sword fight with Williams, which ends with Spalko falling through a hole to an unknown fate while Jones and Williams escape from the ruined temple.
  • In LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues, Spalko gets the power she wants. She becomes so intelligent that she can control objects with her mind and shoot destructive mental rays from her eyes. However, she ends up being defeated by Indy and Marion, causing her power to overtake her and make her body explode, causing her remains to be pulled to the portal of the interdimensional beings. In the portable versions of the game, Spalko battles Indy and Oxley shooting them with her pistol from afar until these two succeed in making the crytsal skeletons use their mental ability to raise her upwards. However, after this event, Spalko's ultimate fate is left ambiguous.


           IndianaJonesTitle.png Villains

Nazi Party
Adolf Hitler | Major Arnold Ernst Toht | Herman Dietrich | Gobler | German Mechanic | Otto | Elsa Schneider | Ernst Vogel | Hans Ubermann | Klaus Kerner

Mola Ram | Chief Guard | Chattar Lal

Soviet Union
Joseph Stalin | Irina Spalko | Antonin Dovchenko

René Belloq | Satipo | Barranca | Lao Che | Walter Donovan | Panama Hat | Garth | Zyke | Claude Belloq | Ben Ali Ayoob | Mara

           Steven Spielberg signature.png Villains

Duel: Truck Driver
Jaws: Great White Shark
Raiders of the Lost Ark: René Belloq | Nazi Party (Major Arnold Ernst Toht, Herman Dietrich, Gobler, German Mechanic & Otto) | Satipo | Barranca
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: Keys
Poltergeist: Reverend Henry Kane | Poltergeists (Tree & Clown Doll)
Twilight Zone: The Movie: Gremlin
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: Mola Ram | Thuggee (Chief Guard & Chattar Lal) | Lao Che
The Goonies: Mama Fratelli | Jake and Francis
The Color Purple: Albert
An American Tail: Warren T. Rat | Mott Street Maulers (Digit) | Moe
Empire of the Sun: Emperor Hirohito | Sergeant Nagata
The Land Before Time: Sharptooth
Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Judge Doom | Toon Patrol (Smartass, Greasy, Psycho, Wheezy & Stupid)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Walter Donovan | Nazi Party (Elsa Schneider, Ernst Vogel & Adolf Hitler) | Panama Hat | Garth
Hook: James Hook | Mr. Smee
An American Tail: Fievel Goes West: Cat R. Waul | Cactus Cat Gang (T.R. Chula, One Eye & Sweet William)
Schindler's List: Amon Goeth
Jurassic Park: John Hammond | Dennis Nedry | Ed Regis | Lewis Dodgson
The Lost World: Jurassic Park: Peter Ludlow | Dieter Stark
Saving Private Ryan: Steamboat Willie
The Mask of Zorro: Don Rafael Montero | Harrison Love
Minority Report: Lamar Burgess
War of the Worlds: Martians
The Legend of Zorro: Count Armand | Jacob McGivens
Memoirs of a Geisha: Hatsumomo
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: Irina Spalko | Antonin Dovchenko
Super 8: Colonel Nelec | Cooper
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn: Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine | Allan | Tom | Pedro | Falcon | Aristides Silk | Red Rackham
The BFG: Fleshlumpeater | Giants (Bloodbottler & Bonecruncher)
Ready Player One: Nolan Sorrento | Innovative Online Industries (I-R0k, F’Nale Zandor & Sixers)

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