The Umbrella Academy members were all numbered by their father, Reginald Hargreeves, but he didn’t do it at random, as the numbers have a meaning.
What are The Umbrella Academy numbers all about? Each member of The Umbrella Academy‘s titular team was originally named with a number from 1 to 7 rather than an actual name, and there’s a significance behind the Umbrella Academy’s numbers. The rise of the superhero genre has allowed darker and lesser-known stories to get adaptations to film and TV, and among those is The Umbrella Academy, a comic book series created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá. The Umbrella Academy debuted on Netflix in February 2019 and became a huge success, with a second season arriving in July 2020 and a third one coming in 2022.
The Umbrella Academy centers on the Hargreeves, seven adopted siblings who, along with other 36 babies around the world, were born on the same day and under the same mysterious circumstances. This event caught the attention of scientist and billionaire (and secretly alien) Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), who set out to adopt as many of those babies as he could but only got seven. As they developed superpowers, Reginald trained them and formed The Umbrella Academy – but Reginald wasn’t a good father, and he never took the time to create a bond with his children, to the point where he didn’t even give them proper names, and he instead numbered them from 1 to 7. It was the kids’ robot mother, Grace (Jordan Claire Robbins) who gave them names (except for Five, who is understood to have left before that happened).
Neither the Netflix series nor the comic books have explained what the Umbrella Academy’s numbers are for, other than a symbol of Reginald’s insistence on not connecting with his children. But there are several theories on why Hargreeves numbered the Umbrella Academy. The most popular one says their numbers correspond to power, with 1 being the weakest (Luther) and seven the most powerful (Viktor). However, the real reason might be slightly different, with Reginald instead focusing on how useful the Hargreeves’ powers are rather than how strong they are, and also on how much control he can wield over them. What are The Umbrella Academy numbers for, then, and why do they matter?
Umbrella Academy Numbers Explained
Given Reginald’s controlling tendencies, what are the Umbrella Academy numbers for if not control? Luther (Tom Hopper) was given Number One (and thus was made the leader of the team) because his super strength is one power that, while not necessarily useful to Reginald all the time, can certainly be controlled a lot easier than the others. Coincidentally, Luther turned out to be the one that Reginald manipulated for longer. Then after Luther Hargreeves’ Number One comes Diego (David Castañeda) at Number Two. His trajectory manipulation abilities didn’t fully flourish until he was much older, making them a skill that Reginald could still control.
Allison’s (Emmy Raver-Lampman) mental and reality manipulation skills through “rumors” granted her the ‘name’ of Number Three, as they’re powers that were very useful to Reginald (such as when he made her rumor Viktor into thinking he was ordinary), yet he can’t have much control over them. Then comes Klaus (Robert Sheehan), who Reginald struggled with, as Klaus was haunted by his ability to communicate with the dead. Reginald even locked him up in a mausoleum for hours to force him to control his powers, but all this only led to a lot of trauma that turned into a drug and alcohol problem.
The Umbrella Academy season 3 changes Five‘s (Aidan Gallagher) costume, and his spacetime manipulation powers are growing even more complex. Five is quite powerful, but also has an ability that is completely out of Reginald’s control and even goes beyond his knowledge. Ben (Justin H. Min) was Number Six, as he had the ability to summon eldritch tentacles from a portal in his stomach, which could be the reason behind his death. Last but not least, is Viktor (Elliot Page), the supposedly powerless Hargreeves who turned out to be the most powerful sibling. The reason everyone believed he had no powers was that Reginald was unable to help him control them, so his solution was to have Allison rumor Viktor into thinking they were ordinary and medicating them for years. Reginald’s necessity to have everything under control, including his children, shone through when he numbered them, and it’s to be seen whether The Umbrella Academy season 3’s Sparrows have “names” similarly ordered by a mysterious rank.
Will Umbrella Academy Shake Up The Team’s Hierarchy?
The Umbrella Academy season 3 might finally address what the Umbrella Academy’s numbers are for beyond these theories, especially now that Reginald has a new set of adopted children, the Sparrow Academy. Reginald may have taken a similar approach to rank the Sparrows as he did with Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Five, Ben, and Viktor, which can help shed light on the original mystery. What’s more, the presence of six new super-powered Hargreeves could even reshuffle the original team’s hierarchy, whatever it might be based on. At the very least, it seems significant that The Umbrella Academy‘s Sparrow Ben has risen (or fallen) to the rank of Number Two in his new family. However, it’s also unlikely that the Umbrella Academy will bother re-numbering themselves in The Umbrella Academy season 3 now that they all go by their regular names. The notable exception is Five, but he’s even less likely to change numbers since Five is the only name he’s ever had.
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