This theory about Ben's death in The Umbrella Academy is heartbreaking

26 February 2019, 15:27

By Katie Louise Smith

Ben Hargreeves, also known as The Horror, is dead in both the comics and the show and fans have come up with a tragic theory of how he might have died.

The Umbrella Academy came, The Umbrella Academy saw and The Umbrella Academy SNAPPED. The new Netflix series, based on Gerard Way's comic book series of the same name, has already cemented itself at the top of everyone's 'Best TV Shows of 2019' lists and the hype is just not going away.

The end of season one leaves us with several unanswered questions. Like, what happened to the other 36 kids that were born on the same day? Do they all have powers? What was Hargreeves about to say to Klaus in the afterlife? And of course, the one question we're all dying to know the answer to: what the hell happened to Ben?

As you'll know if you have watched the show (or read the comics), Ben Hargreeves (number six) is dead. As it stands, in both versions of the story, there is currently no explanation as to why or how he died. Fans have been speculating and theorising and thanks to Reddit, a new theory has emerged about his death and it's absolutely heartbreaking.

How did Ben die on The Umbrella Academy?

Justin H. Min as Ben (Number 6) in The Umbrella Academy
Justin H. Min as Ben (Number 6) in The Umbrella Academy. Picture: Netflix

Ben is known as The Horror. He is able to summon demons from different dimensions and use them in battle. He's arguably the most violent and powerful of the Hargreeves siblings (bar Vanya, obviously) and it's clear that he doesn't like his own powers. In the episode one flashback, we see him reluctantly step up to save the day at the bank. He doesn't like it, he wants to go home and while his other siblings reap the praise, he stands there, blood soaked, literally hating life.

It's implied in the show that Ben died during a pretty gruesome mission but no one ever really expands on it.

Now, Ben's attitude towards his powers, along with the message on his statue ("May the darkness within you, find peace in the light"), has got fans speculating that he might have actually taken his own life to escape having to carry out any more violent missions.

Reddit user Hadesman1 notes that when Klaus summons the dead, they appear to him with their injuries but Ben doesn't appear to have any, which could indicate that he never really died fighting, like it's implied. Others have pointed out that might not be the case, because it doesn't seem like a very "Ben" thing to do.

Reddit user sbatast points out that "Ben is shown to care for his family and tries to save them several times. If he killed himself, that would have hurt his family. That doesn't seem to be what he would do. Making him use his powers when he didn't want to seems more like the thing that family would do and that is what got him killed."

Creator Gerard Way also told IGN that the rest of the Hargreeves siblings are, in some way, responsible for Ben's death: “I think that they all maybe have some involvement in his death.”

So, was he killed as a result of his siblings' actions? Or did the reluctant Number Six kill himself as a result of the Academy's demands? IS HE EVEN DEAD AT ALL?! In the words of Billy Ray Cyrus, "much to think about."


It's a dark theory, yes, but to be fair, the entire show is pretty dark. And if you think you're going to get an explanation, you might be waiting a looooong time. Speaking to Forbes, Way low-key revealed that he might not yet have a concrete answer as to how Ben died yet.

"I never really answered that. I originally just wrote the character to be dead, that was his function. I always knew I was going to resolve it."

"The thing about The Umbrella Academy, it's almost like improvisational jazz. You're just making it up as you go along. That's why the book is fresh to me and it's fresh to write, cause I'm just sitting down and things are getting decided on the spot. I have lots of things planned for eight volumes of this graphic novel, but some of it are still questions. And I sit down and I have to answer those questions."

For now, Ben's death remains a mystery. And judging by what's been said about a possible second season, and how long each season takes to film (18 months!), we won't find out any more details until 2021 at least.

Can someone get me Number Five on the landline please? I'd like to do some time travelling ASAP x