Little is known about Arvo's life prior to or as the outbreak began, except that he is of Russian origin and that he had a sister named Natasha.
Southeastern United States
Nothing is known about how he and his group survived the two years following the outbreak except that he and his group had settled into an unfinished house near a lake in North Carolina at some point. Before he had met Clementine and Jane, he had gathered a large stash of medical supplies and had tried to locate a suitable location to store it.
Arvo first appears when Clementine and Jane are out looking for supplies near Parker's Run, a civil war site that the group came across after escaping from Carver's settlement. Clementine and Jane spot Arvo whilst Jane is trying to get the door to Parker's Run's gift shop open. In the distance, they see a mysterious figure approaching - Arvo. Arvo walks up to the observation deck, on which Clementine and Jane are hiding, and Arvo attempts to put a small bag into a dustbin. Clementine then attempts to talk to Arvo, and he points a gun at Clementine, saying that he does not want to be forced to shoot a little girl, but will if he has no other choice. At this point, Jane jumps him and forcibly takes his gun away to protect Clementine. She demands that he puts his bag down, and has Clementine search it for weapons. Upon searching the bag, Clementine and Jane discover that there is lots of valuable medication inside the bag. Clementine can either question Arvo as to why he was trying to hide the medication when his sister apparently needed it or ask him what he was doing at the observation deck. Arvo pleads with the two not to take his medication away, as he has a sister that desperately needs them. Jane says that she doesn't care because they have a pregnant woman, who needs them. Arvo then accuses Jane of lying, calling her a junkie in Russian, which angers her even more. It is up to the player whether or not to steal from Arvo. If Clementine chooses to take his medication, Arvo will leave them with a chilling warning, saying that they will wish that they hadn't done what they did. If Clementine didn't steal from Arvo, he will thank her for not robbing him but Jane will force him to the railing of the deck and using her gun to warn him to never come back.
Arvo later shows up with his crew and they hold Clementine's group at gunpoint. He tells his own group that they are the ones who robbed him (regardless of whether Clementine did rob him). His group laughs, finding it funny that a little girl robbed him. He questions Clementine about Jane's whereabouts, which she responds that she had already left the group. Even if Clementine doesn't steal from Arvo, he will still accuse Jane of stealing his gun. If Clementine tells him that they have a newborn baby with them, Arvo noticeably hesitates, and will tell this to his own group. Arvo warns his crew that it is a trap, and right after Clementine or Kenny shoot a zombified Rebecca, the episode ends with several gunshots.
Arvo hovers over the corpse of Natasha the entirety of the firefight desperately giving her CPR in an attempt to resurrect her. Halfway into the fighting, Kenny takes Arvo hostage, in an attempt to get Vitali out of cover. Arvo struggles to get out of his grip, while Natasha reanimates forcing Clementine to shoot her. Arvo breaks free, and cries over his sister's corpse, still grieving despite what continues all around him. When the fight comes to a brutal end, the group stands over Rebecca mourning her death briefly. For Kenny, grief quickly turns to anger and he violently pulls Arvo away from Natasha's body and starts beating him, stating that it is all his fault. Mike and Luke intervene, trying to talk Kenny down and eventually, with the players help or not, Arvo successfully begs for his life, promising to lead them to his hideout where his crew kept a cache of supplies. Kenny takes him prisoner and shoves him onward holding him at gunpoint as Arvo guides the group back to his hideout, suffering Kenny's verbal and physical abuse along the way, expressing to everyone that Arvo is lying and they should kill him anyway.
Part of the way, the group stop for Luke and Kenny's wound to be re-bandaged. As Arvo fails to stop and continues walking onward, Kenny becomes enraged and pushes Arvo down, insulting him. Mike once more will break up the tension, and Arvo will stop and wait for the group before they quickly press on.
When the group makes camp at a power station, Arvo is left tied up in the cold, still crying over his sister's earlier death. Clementine may choose to speak to him, but he will simply respond for her to leave him alone or be silent towards her. After Clementine brings everyone around the fire (or doesn't), Mike will offer him a drink, to which Arvo will yell at Mike, screaming for Mike to leave him alone. Mike will continue and Arvo eventually breaks down sobbing and is comforted by Mike. If Clementine did not invite Kenny back over to the fire, Kenny will become enraged and beat Arvo unconscious for his shouting, to which Mike will become angered and argue with Kenny. The group will eventually go to sleep for the night in either outcome. The next day, Kenny continues to doubt Arvo's promise to lead them to supplies, Arvo keeps stating they are "Very close". Arvo will unknowingly lead Kenny past a disturbed walker, which gets up and attacks Kenny, forcing Clementine/Kenny to shoot it.
Soon, the group arrive at a frozen river between them and his hideout, and Arvo assures them it is safe to cross the ice, volunteering as well as being told by Kenny to go first. Arvo steps onto the ice, reassuring everyone it is safe. When walkers show up and the pressure is on, Arvo panics and sprints across the ice, pursued closely by Kenny. Arvo will fall into a cracked section of the lake and begin struggling to hold himself aloft before Kenny surprisingly lifts him out of the lake, claiming that he should have let him drown. As the situation between Bonnie, Luke, and Clementine escalates, Arvo watches with Kenny still holding him at gunpoint. As soon as the events on the lake are over, Arvo is manhandled and rushed into the house. Kenny blames Arvo entirely for the death of Luke and the death of Bonnie/near-death of Clementine in the lake, (Determinant) and as a result, Kenny begins verbally abusing him and shoving him. Arvo reaches his breaking point and returns a curse directed at Kenny, causing him to snap and assault Arvo in front of everyone else. Despite Kenny beating him in response, Arvo keeps repeating his curse until Kenny is stopped by his group. After being convinced by Jane and Bonnie (Determinant) to let Arvo live, Kenny ties Arvo to the staircase.
Later that evening, Arvo is again being comforted by Mike who expresses sympathy for his unsanctioned beating. Mike starts to make it clear to the group that Kenny is too volatile and dangerous. After the group sleeps, Clementine awakes to a power cable banging against the window, she steps outside to see Arvo and Mike preparing the truck for a quick getaway. Arvo pulls a hunting rifle on Clementine as Mike tries to talk her down, but Bonnie comes out with the remaining supplies and things escalate. When Clementine drops her weapon, Arvo doesn't hesitate and immediately shoots Clementine in the shoulder with his rifle, instantaneously sending her into unconsciousness, presumably in retribution for the death of his sister, who he didn't know had turned when Clementine shot her (though due to his reaction afterwards it may have been accidental). After the events in the dream, Clementine awakens in the backseat of the truck with Kenny, Jane, and AJ riding away in the truck, and they tell Clementine that Mike, Bonnie (Determinant) and Arvo are simply gone, he can also mention he hunted Arvo down, leaving his fate unknown for the rest of the series.
This list shows the victims Arvo has killed:
- Luke (Indirectly Caused)
- Bonnie (Indirectly Caused, Determinant)
- Possibly numerous counts of zombies
- Arvo is the first Russian character to appear in The Walking Dead.
- However, Arvo is not a Russian name; it is used in Sweden, Finland, and Estonia.
- It is unknown what happened to his leg and whether or not his injury happened before, during or after the outbreak.
- Arvo is the first character that Michael Ark has voiced, the other being Vitali.
- According to unused audio clips (that were translated from Russian), Arvo's sister did in fact have a pain problem that made her cry, commonly known as sickle cell anemia, that she required painkillers to tolerate. It is unknown why he was trying to stash the medicine in a garbage can, however.