'The Umbrella Academy': Why Doesn't Number Five Have a Name?

Image credit: Legion-Media

One of the most problematic characters in 'The Umbrella Academy', and we still don't even know his name.

Pretty much everyone in the Umbrella Academy has their personal name, not just a ranking. But there is one exception: Number Five is known exclusively by his number, with even his siblings referring to him simply as "Five". How come?

In the Netflix show, the story of Number Five, who started off as a rebellious kid craving to show off his time-traveling skills and ended up as a 50-year-old assassin stuck in a teenage body, does not provide any explanation regarding his namelessness. The comic books, however, do shed light on the mystery.

Number Five disappeared from the family when he accidentally tumbled himself through time into the post-apocalyptic world where he grew up. During his absence, the kids' "mother", an android named Grace, gave all the other kids their personal names in addition to the numbers assigned to them by Sir Reginald Hargreeves. Since Five was busy trying to survive several decades into the future, he did not receive any name.

The Netflix adaptation still leaves space for another possible explanation, even though it might as well simply leave Five nameless without bothering to explain the backstory whatsoever. With days left until the premiere of season 3, some fans resurfaced the issue of Five's name and how it reflects his personality. After all, the fact that he is identified by a number cannot go unnoticed by the show's creators.

"What if we get an updated Brelly montage that corresponds with the Sparrow montage and they have updated names for both Viktor and Five so instead of it saying "Number Five– number five" it just says "Number Five– Five" to signify that it's become his name rather than his number," – @BethissimaRose.

While some people would like Five to finally obtain a name, others argue that there is no point in that.

"I kinda like that Five never chose a name. He isn't a normal person living a normal life. He rarely tries to act like one. So why have a normal name? He seems the type who would rather embrace his issues than move past them." – /Aduro95.

With Five being perhaps the most rebellious character in the show, his stubborn use of his ranking as a name is perhaps another act of defiance.

"Yes. It's normal to him. It's a name to him. Reginald named them by numbers as a ranking system, but Five was confident, and he didn't let those rankings put him in any sort of box. It was "You say my name is Five, so it's Five, that's who I am." It's a ranking to Reginald – but to Five, it's a name. He doesn't let Reginald have that over him." – /raviolioh.

Season 3 has a lot of opportunities to address Five's way of self-identification, be it connected to his name or not. The absence of a personal name is not the only mystery that surrounds Aidan Gallagher's character, as he chooses to stay mostly ambiguous about his experience in the apocalyptic world and his tenure as a professional assassin.

Reddit Theory Explains Number Five Getting Older in 'The Umbrella Academy'

Chances are we'll get to know more about that on June 22 when the new season of 'The Umbrella Academy' premieres on Netflix.

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