‘The Umbrella Academy’: What is the Significance of Umbrellas in the Series?

Netflix’s dysfunctional superhero series The Umbrella Academy became one of the streaming platform’s biggest hits after premiering in February 2019. The show follows the lives of the seven adopted Hargreeves siblings, who all have supernatural abilities, as they try to save the world from an impending apocalypse. The television series is based on the graphic novels of the same name created by Gabriel Ba and Gerard Way.

But why did Reginald Hargreeves, the siblings’ father, choose umbrellas as the symbol for the group? 

Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) in a production still from 'The Umbrella Academy' Season 2
Sir Reginald Hargreeves | Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

Reginald Hargreeves’ vague history with umbrellas

What little backstory viewers see about Reginald is pretty vague. At the end of The Umbrella Academy Season 1, he is seen with a woman audiences can assume is his wife. She’s sick, without much time to live, and she tells Reginald he must leave without her. He then releases a glass jar of tiny floating lights out of his window as what looks like rockets blast away from whatever planet they’re on.

In the next scene, he exits an immigration boat in the early 1900s. He looks over and sees aa sign for D.S. Umbrella Manufacturing. The building is for sale, and he goes in to purchase it immediately. Audiences see him pick up an umbrella as if he’s not sure what it is. Then the opening credits or the season 1 finale begin to roll.

RELATED: ‘The Umbrella Academy’ Season 3 Filming is Officially Wrapped

‘Ut Malum Pluvia’ is written with the crest on The Umbrella Academy members’ jackets

From that scene, there isn’t a great deal of information to gather. Of course, the name The Umbrella Academy for Hargreeves troupe of superheroes could be totally random. Although, most fans of the show realize that isn’t likely.

If viewers look at the academy uniform, they’ll see The Umbrella Academy crest with the words “Ut Malum Pluvia” written on it. The words translate into “when evil rains.” Just like an umbrella is there to protect its user from elements like snow and rain, The Umbrella Academy saves the world from threats like the apocalypse.

The children were raised as crime fighters and saviors, taught to use their powers for good. Of course, petty arguments and jealousies sometimes get in the way of the small stuff. Ultimately the gang always gets the job done when the time comes.

RELATED: ‘The Umbrella Academy’s Creator Gerard Way on How He Came Up With the Graphic Novels

Reginald Hargreeves knows an umbrella only works if all of its pieces work together

To keep going with the symbolism of the umbrella as a form of protection, Reginald also makes the following comment, “The ties that bind you together makes you stronger than you are alone. They will make you impervious to the pain and hardship the world will thrust upon you. And believe me when I tell you, life will be hard. It will be painful.”

If even one of the metal rods in an umbrella isn’t working, the umbrella will fail to do its job. Much like how when the Hargreeves siblings try to save the world alone, they always fail. 

The cliffhanger The Umbrella Academy Season 2 left us with, we know the members of The Umbrella Academy have a bit of a problem on their hands. They’re now in a timeline where they don’t exist and instead are replaced by a group called The Sparrow Academy. Will the two groups come together to create one giant superhero group? Or will the original Hargreevees need to rid the world of The Sparrow Academy

Fans have a while to think this over. The Umbrella Academy Season 3 just finished filming, and we now begin the long wait for it to debut on our TVs.