Movies & TV Shows

Why Five Doesn’t Have A Real Name

Every one of the Hargreeves siblings has a real name other than their number, except for Aidan Gallagher’s Five. Here’s why he’s overlooked.

In The Umbrella Academy, each of the Hargreeves siblings has a name and a number, except for Five (Aidan Gallagher) — so why does Five not have a name? In the comics, each Academy member has a nickname, with Five referred to as The Boy, but he has no real first name, which is mirrored in the screen adaptation. Unlike his siblings, he’s only ever referred to by his number on Netflix’s show. His lack of a real name is indicative of his personality and his role as an assassin.

When Reginald Hargreeves adopted each member of the Umbrella Academy, he worked with each of them to finesse their powers. Five became too eager to flex his time-jumping skills before he truly understood how to control them. Due to his impatience, he jumped into an apocalyptic future and was accidentally stuck there for decades. As Five was essentially alone for years, the only name he ever knew stuck with him.


Related: Netflix’s Umbrella Academy Season 4 Plan Is Bold, But Might Work

The comics explain why Five was never given a real name in The Umbrella Academy — the kids’ “mom” Grace gave each of them names during Five’s absence. As part of significant changes from the Umbrella Academy comics, such as Luther and Five’s relationship, Netflix’s adaptation never provides such an explanation. Even though it shows the affectionate relationship between the android and her “children,” it’s perfectly fitting that he was never given a moniker other than his number. So why doesn’t Five have a name? Here’s the explanation.

Why Does Five Not Have A Name In The Umbrella Academy?

Despite the importance of his time travel abilities to the plot, why does Five not have a name? His training as an assassin for The Commission explains the absence of a moniker in the show. While none of the Hargreeves siblings had an easy life, Five had the most unusual of all of them. When he jumped into the apocalyptic future in The Umbrella Academy season 1, he was picked up by The Commission. The organization turns him into a methodical and heartless assassin. After the Umbrella Academy disbanded, the remaining Hargreeves siblings went on to pursue their own lives.

They were able to gain the humanity that was never taught to them by Reginald. Five never got that, since he had to fight every day just to stay alive. In his time away from his family, the only time he ever felt any love or compassion was toward a mannequin. Thanks to The Commission, Five was more machine than human. The Umbrella Academy comics may provide a logical explanation for why Five doesn’t have a real name, but the Netflix show’s depiction of his past and personality is explanation enough. For decades, Five put his career as an assassin above everything else. His lack of a real name just highlights his lack of humanity.

In an interview with Collider, Gallagher even says that his understanding is that Five rejected the idea of a new name. Things such as names are trivial to Five. His reunion with his siblings does give Five a little humanity, but he’s meant to be the objective third party who grounds his emotional family. So, it’s perfectly fitting that Five was never given a real name

Related: Umbrella Academy Season 3’s Ben Change Redeems Season 1’s Luther

Five Caused Umbrella Academy Season 3’s Sparrow Academy

The mysteries around Five’s name in The Umbrella Academy become clearer when taking into account his actions, which have directly led to the creation of season 3’s Sparrow Academy. Once the Hargreeves siblings return from the ’60s, they find that the Umbrella Academy no longer exists. Five’s full-team time jump and eventual return created a new concern for The Umbrella Academy season 3 in the form of the Kugelblitz. The time paradox led to the Hargreeves’ replacement by their Sparrow Academy counterparts, led by a malicious, tentacle-wielding Ben Hargreeves. None of this would have come to pass if the nameless Five hadn’t created a time paradox with his portal jumping abilities, although the time jump to the ’60s had the purpose of preventing JFK’s assassination rather than being an accident like Five’s leap into the future.

Five’s lack of a name was explained by The Umbrella Academy series and its comic. One way the TV show deviates from the comics, however, is the Sparrow Academy, known only as “The Sparrows” in the comics. The comic Sparrows arrive to save The Umbrella Academy from a team of supervillains. In the show, however, their ends seem more nefarious, and the alternate team exists solely because they more closely serve Reginald Hargreeve’s twisted aims. Their existence could rest squarely on Five’s shoulders, name or no name, although he’s one of the colder characters in The Umbrella Academy and might not register them as an issue either way.

Next: Umbrella Academy Easter Egg Revealed Five’s Future With Dolores

Want more Umbrella Academy Articles? Check out our essential reading below…

The Umbrella Academy Season 3 is streaming from 06/22/2022 on Netflix


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