Stranger Things has numerous characters who have been pushed to execute valiant efforts in unusual circumstances. Few characters, however, have been as courageous and outright ruthless as David Harbour’s Chief of Police Jim Hopper. The snooty chief with a golden heart won fans over with his trademark brand of humour and caring determination from the start of the series.

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Over the course of the series, it became evident that Hopper was much more than just talk. He’s a man of action when he has to be, and when it comes down to it, he’s about as close to a true classic action hero as the series gets – apart from young Eleven, of course. Here, we glimpse at the first three seasons of the Netflix series and highlight the most dangerous situations Hopper has been in.

5. Defending the Children against Hawkins Lab Agents

The kids are stuck aboard an old school bus early in the seventh episode of Stranger Things’ first season, with danger looming around every turn. Hawkins Lab bad guys are relentlessly chasing them – and especially Eleven, after all, she has caused to them in prior scenes.

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Someone immediately strikes them on the head with a rifle as a pursuer pries open the school bus door. A fight breaks out, and who other than Hopper steps in to rescue the day? He takes the children and takes them away from the junkyard, back to the safety of the Byers’ home.

4. Rescuing Will from The Upside Down

One of the first instances Hopper shows his fortitude is in the first season finale when he journeys into the Upside Down with Joyce Byers in search of her son, Will. Hopper boldly intervenes and strives to release Will from the vines of the Upside Down as soon as they find them.

He then stands up to the plate once more, conducting CPR on Will alongside Joyce for as long as it takes until the little child can breathe freely again. With the devastating memories of his own daughter’s death fueling him, Hopper is more resolute, emotional, and earnest than at any other point in the series thus far.

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3. Destroying Demodogs At The Gate

By the conclusion of the second season, Hopper had seen almost as much of the Upside Down’s brutality as Eleven and Will. When he travels to the Gate in the dungeons of Hawkins Lab with Eleven, he is there to support her every step of the way as she strives to kill the creatures and permanently close the gateway between realms.

Given Eleven’s laser-focused attention, it stands to reason that she would be unprepared to deal with any imposing challenges in the shape of Demodogs. That’s where Hopper comes in, gunning down Demodog after Demodog to keep Eleven safe and ensuring she can finish the job she’s set out to do.

2. Killing off Grigori

The mystery character Grigori, Starcourt’s personalized Terminator knock-off, torments Hopper for the majority of Stranger Things 3. Hopper finally gains the stronger position in their most violent and all-out fight of the season in the season finale.

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Hopper viciously hurls Grigori into the machinery, resulting in a lot of blood and flames, just in front of the Gate to the Upside Down itself, and along the item known as the Key. Hopper assures Grigori that he’ll see him in hell, and the scenario couldn’t be more visually dismal.

1. Giving His Life to Save Hawkins

Even though Hopper has the last laugh in his final struggle with the scary and previously invincible Grigori, he fails to take the hero’s victory lap he deserves. Almost instantaneously, Hopper knows he’s placed himself in the path of the device that Joyce must trigger in order to permanently close the Gate to the Upside Down.

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Rather than potentially lose this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Hopper makes the most altruistic brave, and an indisputably kickass decision he has ever made. With a single glance, he tells Joyce that it’s fine to close the Gate and save their children, as well as the rest of Hawkins. At that moment, Hopper goes out in a blaze of glory.