Is Ben Hargreeves alive? Umbrella Academy boss explains season 2 ending twist

5 August 2020, 13:01

By Katie Louise Smith

How did Ben Hargreeves die? Umbrella Academy showrunner Steve Blackman says all will be revealed in a later season.

The Umbrella Academy season 2 has left us more questions that it did answers and it also dropped one of the biggest cliffhanger questions of all, thanks to Ben Hargreeves.

As viewers will know, Ben (played so perfectly by Justin H. Min) is dead. The Hargreeves sibling is only visible to the viewers and Klaus, who can speak to the dead. However, the circumstances surrounding his death are still a mystery.

At the end of season 2, after the Hargreeves siblings find themselves in an alternate timeline, a new mystery surrounding Ben appears: Is he... alive?

READ MORE: The Umbrella Academy season 3: Release date, cast, spoilers and news

Fan theories are now coming in thick and fast and show-runner Steve Blackman has also chipped in with an explanation behind that huge Sparrow Academy reveal. Turns out that Sparrow Academy Ben is a completely different character after all.

Is Umbrella Academy's Ben Hargreeves alive? How did Ben Hargreeves die?
Is Umbrella Academy's Ben Hargreeves alive? How did Ben Hargreeves die? Picture: Netflix

How did Ben Hargreeves die?

Ben's death is never explained in the graphic novels. It's not explicitly explained in the first season of the show either. However, in the final episode of season 2, we dive into Ben's death a little more.

In season 2, episode 10, the Hargreeves siblings gather around for Ben's funeral at the Academy. They are then reprimanded by Sir Reginald, and he blames them for Ben's death because he died during a mission with his siblings.

Allison claims that it wasn't their fault but Sir Reginald doesn't accept her statement. Luther then tells Diego that they should have done more, and that Ben's death didn't have to happen. Still, the exact reason as to how he died is not revealed.

As we see in episode 9, ghost Ben finally ends up going toward the light after saving Vanya, and disappears for good.

According to Blackman, we'll find out how Ben died later in the show: "That answer will come later on, hopefully in another season if we’re lucky enough," Blackman told Inverse. "It’s something that I think Gerard wants to hold off a little longer in the graphic novels. I’m trying to respect that. So I think something down the road."

Ben's funeral is shown in The Umbrella Academy season 2
Ben's funeral is shown in The Umbrella Academy season 2. Picture: Netflix

Is Ben alive now? Is Ben in the Sparrow Academy?

Never mind Ben's death, season 2's final episode left us with the suggestion that Ben could be alive in a new timeline.

In the final scene of season 2, the Hargreeves siblings arrive back at the Academy on April 2nd 2019. They stopped the apocalypse from ever happening but something is not quite right.

As they walk into the main room of the Academy, they find Hargreeves alive, and a brand new Academy in their place: The Sparrow Academy. One of those new siblings is Ben, or at least someone who looks a loooot like him.

One thing is for certain: Sparrow Ben is not the Umbrella Ben we know from the past 2 seasons. This Ben is completely different. In fact, his name might not even be Ben. So the answer is no: Ben, as we know him, is not alive. However...

A new version of Ben Hargreeves appears as part of the Sparrow Academy
A new version of Ben Hargreeves appears as part of the Sparrow Academy. Picture: Netflix

Who is Sparrow Ben?

When the Hargreeves siblings spoke to Sir Reginald back in the '60s, it appears as though they altered the course of his life. Instead of adopting the Umbrella Academy, he ended up adopting the Sparrow Academy - probably to avoid the same trajectory that ended up with him and Ben dead.

However, back in the '60s, Hargreeves never met Ben and isn't told his name. So while he didn't end up adopting Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Five and Vanya in the new timeline, it's possible that he could have still adopted new timeline Ben. Was it fate? Was it a conscious decision? Who knows...

Adopting New Ben alongside new siblings clearly saved his life, and allowed him to fully hone his powers. He's clearly not the same person.

Speaking to Inverse, Blackman teased: "I will only say this given the fact that some of this is in the graphic novel but they are new people. They're not our characters. They are different people, and that's all I can really say."

About New Ben, he also added: "It’s a different character, I don’t want to give anything more away, but it may not be the Ben we know."

Does he have the same powers? Is his name even Ben?! Season 3 couldn't come soon enough.

READ MORE: All 23 hidden Sparrow Academy symbols in Umbrella Academy season 2