The Umbrella Academy Siblings as the Seven Deadly Sins
This article discusses the entirety of the first season of the Umbrella Academy.
The Umbrella Academy tries to stop the apocalypse, but they inevitably start it. How fitting then, for each of the Hargreeves siblings to represent one of the Seven Deadly Sins.
When Luther becomes drunk at the rave, he has sex with a stranger and becomes so absorbed in her, he doesn't realize Klaus temporarily die trying to help him.
Sexual lust isn't the only type of lust Luther is guilty of. Lust, strictly speaking, is merely a strong desire of anything, whether it's another person, a thing, or a concept.
Luther is the sibling that holds onto the idea that Reginald isn't abusive the longest; Luther is the only Hargreeves that doesn't leave the academy until Reginald makes him leave by sending him to the moon.
The most significant occurrence of Luther's lust is his infatuation with Allison, which motivates many of his actions. He locked up Vanya as a response to her hurting Allison, inadvertently causing the apocalypse.
You never know when to stop, do you?— Vanya to Diego, Ep. 1
Diego is the only adult Hargreeves still acting as a vigilante due to the ideas of vengeance and justice being integral to who he is. While Diego is not, and has never been, good at following orders, he has a strong desire to avenge wrongdoings and injustices.
His first scene of the show is him taking down robbers that have broken into a family's home. It's important to note he's not doing this as a police officer, but as a vigilante. This puts Diego in a situation in which he can help people and he does not feel inhibited or limited by anything, like the expected procedures of police officers.
Of the siblings, Diego is also the one with the shortest fuse; he and Luther antagonize each other and fight during Reginald's funeral, and when Five appears and mentions casually that the concept of "projecting [one's] consciousness forward into a suspended quantum state version.. that exists across every possible instance of time" would make sense if Diego was smarter, Diego immediately stands up, ready to defend himself. In addition, Diego is the sibling that is the most angry at Vanya for writing her book. As someone who values justice and revenge, betrayal is virtually inexcusable, and Diego views Vanya publishing her book as a betrayal.
When Cha-Cha murders Patch, Diego for most of the season has only one goal in mind: revenge. Upon seeing Hazel talking to Five in the academy during the episode "Changes", Diego immediately runs in and starts fighting him, and Diego is so adamant about this that Five decides it's easier to knock Diego out rather than explain to him Hazel wasn't the one who killed Patch. A man on a war path cannot be easily swayed from his vengeance.
From the time I was little, I used to get everything I wanted. With Dad, with my career... Now I know nothing in my life was real.— Allison, Ep. 3
With her power, Allison can ask and receive virtually anything, and she does for most of her life. She's a famous actress, frequently dressed in fashionable clothing and makeup, characteristics typically associated with greed. In "I Heard a Rumor", it's revealed Allison has used her power to make friends, get acting roles, and get someone to love her. In her marriage and divorce with Patrick, she makes a commitment to herself to not rumor people anymore, making her the only Hargreeves that learns from their associated deadly sin before the season even starts.
However, she still has a role in inadvertently causing the apocalypse. While they were children, Reginald makes Allison use her power on Vanya to convince her that she has no powers. When Vanya learns of this, Allison initially tries to calm her down. Then, she starts using her power: Vanya impulsively cuts her throat.
Established in the above quote, Allison is very used to getting what she wants. When she's not getting the desired reaction from Vanya, Allison resorts to what used to work: using her power on others.
Sobriety is overrated...Where has it gotten me? Nowhere. I can't talk to the person I love. People still don't take me seriously. I want to be numb again.— Klaus
Klaus is known for being either drunk or high all the time due to his drug use being his main coping mechanism. In the first episode, his response to Allison asking if he's high is "Yeah! Yeah! I mean, how are you not, listening to this nonsense?"
It becomes evident via dialogue and the childhood flashbacks that as soon as Klaus realized drugs tamper with his powers, he indulged in them. When he is sober, ghosts are constantly calling out to him and haunting him.
As a result of his drug use and eccentric personality, his siblings rarely give him credit for anything. Most of the things he says, even when he has a valid point, is immediately dismissed as "Klaus being Klaus". When the siblings head to confront Vanya at her concert, Klaus is designated as the lookout.
Klaus has more depth than he is given credit for. He copes with drugs and jokes.
I don't think I'm better than you, Number One. I know I am.— Five to Luther, Ep. 3
Before he time jumped, Five was prideful. In the childhood flashbacks, he defies Reginald by leaving the academy without being dismissed and trying to time jump despite Reginald saying he wasn't ready to. Five manages to time jump to the apocalypse, but he cannot time jump back, resulting in decades of isolation until he is recruited in the Commission.
When he returns to his siblings in 2019, he is 58 and still prideful. Not expecting his siblings to be able to help, he keeps vital information, such as why there are two assassins after him until Hazel and Cha-Cha attack the Academy. This hubris attributes to why he struggles to admit when he has personal issues, like his alcoholism.
You know what the worst part about being dead is? You're stuck. Nowhere to go. Nowhere to change.— Ben to Klaus, Ep. 4
As the only deceased Hargreeve sibling, Ben for the majority of the time can only be seen by and interact with Klaus. Due to his death, he's only able to interact with the living when Klaus is sober enough to physically manifest him, enabling Ben to use his powers on the Commission assassins in "The White Violin".
Sloth is a lack of action, and Ben is very limited in how much he can take action due to being a ghost. Even before he died, Ben can be categorized by his desired lack of action. In the bank robbery flashback, Ben is the only young Hargreeves that seems reluctant to do his part in the mission.
If you’re raised to believe that nothing about you is special, if the benchmark is extraordinary, what do you do if you’re not?— Vanya, Ep. 3
Due to Reginald's manipulation, Vanya thought for most of her childhood she had no powers. From both the childhood flashbacks and the present day siblings' interaction, it is clear that her perceived lack of powers separates her from her siblings. She feels like an outsider in her own family, and this feeling never went away. As a result, Harold is able to isolate and manipulate Vanya.
Tension between Vanya and Allison increase as Allison becomes more suspicious of Harold. Vanya, projecting onto Allison, perceives this as Allison becoming jealous of Vanya.
Significance of the Deadly Sins: Coping Strategies and Growth of the Hargreeves
Diego uses rage as his main coping mechanism, which is why he and Luther fight so much; they dealt with their trauma in completely opposite ways. Luther idolized Reginald, and Diego despised Reginald.
Despite being very determined to kill Cha-Cha to avenge Patch's murder, when Diego actually gets the change to do so in "The White Violin", he doesn't.
Luther, while disillusioned with Reginald after "The Day That Wasn't", still doesn't know a non-manipulative way of interacting with others. As a result, his reaction to Vanya's powers is virtually identical to Reginald's reaction: locking Vanya up.
© 2020 Christina Garvis