‘The Umbrella Academy’: Color Theory Explains Why We Only See Yellow in Klaus’ Scenes With God

Klaus Hargreeves (Robert Sheehan) has multiple run-ins with “God” in The Umbrella Academy. During those black-and-white scenes, yellow is the only color visible, and for a good reason. Let’s take a deep dive into Klaus’ afterlife scenes and unpack the color theory behind them. 

[SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers regarding The Umbrella Academy Season 3 ahead.] 

Klaus (Robert Sheehan) interacts with God (Birva Pandya) wearing a mostly yellow tank top in the first season of 'The Umbrella Academy'
Robert Sheehan as Klaus Hargreeves, Birva Pandya as God | Netflix

Klaus meets the cowboy version of God in ‘The Umbrella Academy’ comics

Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy is based on Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s graphic novels. There’s plenty of source material to play with, but the streaming giant encouraged showrunner Steve Blackman to take liberties. He seized that opportunity when it came to Klaus’ scenes in the afterlife.

In the graphic novel, Klaus is shot and ends up in heaven where he meets God. The graphic novel’s version of God appears as a stereotypically cowboy on a horse. Blackman recognized the importance of the scene, but altered a few elements.

Sheehan’s Klaus also ends up in the afterlife in the first season of the Netflix series, but under different circumstances. He hits his head on the ground after falling at a rave. 

In the afterlife, Klaus interacts with a young girl (Birva Pandya) he presumes to be “God” in the French countryside. Blackman intentionally made this change because he wanted God to be “open to interpretation.” As he told Variety in 2019:

“Is it God [or] is it Klaus’ very weird mind? Is he, in fact, dead? I wanted to allow room to allow the audience to decide.” 

Steve Blackman, Variety

Yellow is symbolic of God in Hinduism and Ancient Egyptian culture

Yellow is a color that evokes a sense of happiness. It’s also the color of enlightenment.

Moreover, in Hinduism and Ancient Egypt, yellow was symbolic of a deity. In fact, ancient Egyptian Gods were also painted yellow to resemble gold (via ColorPsychology.org). 

Using yellow in Klaus’ scenes with God is likely Blackman’s way of using color theory to display the religious nature of the scenes. It could also be symbolic of a brief blip in time where Klaus feels happiness and at peace.

Klaus has another run-in with ‘God’ in ‘The Umbrella Academy’ Season 3 

God wasn’t too pleased to see Klaus in the first season of the Netflix series. She tells Klaus she doesn’t like him “all that much” before pointing him in the direction of his adoptive father, Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore). Klaus is deeply disappointed to find him instead of Dave (Cody Ray Thompson), the boyfriend he watched die in the Vietnam War. 

Klaus is again teamed up with dear ‘ole Reggie in season 3 of The Umbrella Academy, albeit a warmer version of him from a different timeline. This time around, he helps Klaus master his ability to die and come back to life after Klaus is accidentally killed by Stanley (Javon Walton). 

Klaus’ visit to the afterlife is quick, but God still isn’t pleased to see him. This time, instead of visiting with Reggie, Klaus gets to sit down with his biological mother and enjoy a bowl of his favorite hangover cure Menudo

See more from Klaus in season 3 of The Umbrella Academy on Netflix.

RELATED: ‘The Umbrella Academy’ Season 3: Justin H. Min Talks Ben’s ‘Exhausting’ Change