Is Archie Gay or Bisexual in The Great?

Image Credit: Gareth Gatrell/Hulu

Hulu’s period drama series, ‘The Great,’ depicts an occasionally true story of Catherine the Great’s rise to power and the early years of her reign. The show features a broad palette of characters, all flawed in their own way. Over three seasons, the show creates a complex mix of violence and romance, throwing one challenge after another in Catherine’s way. As she learns to govern the old Russia to create a new one out of it, she has to have several people by her side, including the Archbishop.

Archie is the man of the cloth but also highly political. He is known for his unshakeable faith in God but also has a past full of sex and gluttony, much like everyone else in court. Over time, details about his past are slipped into the narrative, and new distractions are placed in front of him, challenging his faith. If you want to know more about Archie’s sexual preferences, here’s what you should know.

Archie’s Complex Sexual Identity

Image Credit: Gareth Gatrell/Hulu

Every character in ‘The Great’ carries a certain defining peculiarity, but no one is quite as sane and equally unhinged at the same time as the Archbishop. One of the shrewder people in the court, Archie’s main focus is to keep the crown aligned with the Church. When he becomes the head of the Russian Church under Peter’s reign, he tries to push the emperor towards God, especially when his wife tries to take him on another path. He is opposed to Catherine’s reign, but when it comes to his survival, he exhibits the flexibility that saves his life.

Apart from the keen political moves that almost always keep him from dying, Archie dedicates himself to God. He eats mushrooms to have visions, which he hopes will guide him, keep him on the right path and tell him what’s good for Russia. This faith, however, is shaken in the second season when Father Basil arrives. He is Leo Voronski’s cousin and arrives at the court to give Catherine Leo’s letters. He meant to leave soon enough, but Catherine keeps him, hoping to replace Archie with him.

Archie knows that Basil is a danger to him, but he also knows that the young priest is a simple man and will not survive the intricacies of the court. Eventually, Catherine comes around to making peace with Archie, and Father Basil realizes he doesn’t belong in the court. Before leaving, he visits Archie, which is when the Archbishop kisses him. Basil leaves, but something is unlocked inside Archie. He confesses to Marial that his strange craving from earlier times has resurfaced, and he is tempted to give in to them.

Image Credit: Gareth Gatrell/Hulu

The strange cravings that Archie talks about are everything from watching people have sex to enjoying violence, be it getting lashed by someone else or having his fingernails ripped off. While his sexual nature is kept at bay in the first season, hints of it appear in the second season, especially in the second half. In the third season, he becomes attracted to Pugachev, who also kisses him at one point. Archie is seen struggling with his desire to give in to these cravings. He indulges in watching but doesn’t partake in anything.

The kiss with Basil and Pugachev indicates that Archie prefers men. However, it is safe to say that his sexuality lies on the more open end of the spectrum. The talks about his previous life reveal that he has had sex with both men and women. Elizabeth comments that she saw him with Lady Svenska one day and Colonel Svenska the next day. He also confesses to this in a conversation with Catherine, where he talks about the kind of life he led as a noble before he turned to God. With all this in mind, we can say that Archie is bisexual or pansexual. He once mentioned being attracted to the chicken in the kitchen, which means his sexuality could be more complicated than that.

Read More: Is Archbishop “Archie” in The Great Based on a Real Person?