‘The Umbrella Academy’: Is Harlan an Ancestor of the Hargreeves Siblings?

The Umbrella Academy Season 2 dumped the Hargreeves siblings into another timeline. Ironically, they still faced the end of the world.

With the new season came a new batch of characters, including the Cooper family. Many fans have started to wonder — could their young son, Harlan (Justin Paul Kelly), mean more to the Hargreeves family than simply being the boy Vanya (Ellen Page) cared for? 

[Spoiler Alert: Spoilers for season 2 of The Umbrella Academy ahead.]


Vanya Hargreeves was a nanny for the Cooper family 

When Vanya landed in 1963 Dallas, she was immediately struck by Sissy Cooper’s (Marin Ireland) car. To do right by Vanya, the Cooper’s took her in so she could heal. With no memory of how she got to Dallas, the Coopers allowed Vanya to stay with them until she could figure out who she was and where she belonged.

In doing so, Vanya became like a built-in babysitter for the Cooper’s son, Harlan.

Vanya Hargreeves accidentally gave her abilities as the White Violin to Harlan Cooper 

During season 2, episode 4, Harlan drowned in a pond near the Cooper farm. Vanya, unaware of her powers, saved Harlan’s life. But in doing so, she also gave him some of her abilities. 

At the end of the season, it became clear that Harlan had the same powers as Vanya, the “White Violin.” In the final episode, Vanya comforted Harlan and attempted to take her powers back. She seemed to have succeeded, until the last scene of the season revealed Harlan sitting in the back seat of a car, a wooden sparrow floating just above his palm. 

Could Harlan Cooper be the first superhuman in ‘The Umbrella Academy’ universe? 

In season 1 of The Umbrella Academy, it was established that 43 children with superpowers were all born on the same day to women who showed no signs of pregnancy the day before. 

Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) adopted seven of those children, training them in the Umbrella Academy. The event that caused these children’s existence is still unknown, but as CBR.com pointed out, Harlan could be a clue. 

At the end of season 2, Harlan and Sissy are seen driving to California in the hopes of a better life. Knowing what Harlan is capable of, it’s entirely possible that he could have caused the birth of the 43 extraordinary humans in 1989. 

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If Harlan’s childhood is any indication, he could have experienced an episode that accidentally created 43 superhumans. 

So, Vanya Hargreeves is the cause of the apocalypse and the superhumans? 

If this theory is accurate, then yes — Vanya would be responsible for the impending apocalypse and virtually her existence. 

That would make sense, considering the apocalypse seems to be triggered by Vanya in every timeline we’ve seen so far. 

While season 3 of The Umbrella Academy has yet to be confirmed, fans are hopeful Netflix will order more episodes. That means fans will likely have to wait until 2022 to see if Harlan caused the mysterious 1989 births.