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The Reason Umbrella Academy Fans Are So Split About Vanya

The unique personality traits of each character on Neftlix's The Umbrella Academy are broad and intricate in a way that brings the individuals to life like few  superhero shows have managed. Though, realistic personalities stemming from realistic trauma can be a double-edged sword. When characters resonate with us powerfully enough to seem almost real, our suspension of disbelief only applies to the absurd. We'll remember that the superpowers are fictional but critique a character's motivations and faults nearly to death.

Vanya (Elliot Page) is the resident black sheep of the Hargreeves family, a feat that's difficult to achieve with a brother who looks half ape and another who's got substantial substance abuse issues, but Vanya manages anyway. She's the only one of the seven adopted siblings to be raised with the belief that she has no powers. Of course, she does, but her abilities were hidden from her for most of her life because they're a little extreme. This ends up alienating Vanya from the rest of her family in ways that cause some pretty severe psychological scarring and come back to bite the world right in the apocalypse later on. It's that post-power-discovery mayhem that has fans split over the character. Here's what they've been saying about Vanya.

Some fans aren't happy about Vanya's murderous rage

After Vanya discovers her powers, she kind of sort of kills a lot of people. In fact, and you shouldn't read this next line if you haven't finished season 1, she has a teensy-weensy blunder that blows up the moon and kills humanity. It's this murderous side of Vanya's personality that has some fans on The Umbrella Academy sub-Reddit hating the character.

In the aptly named thread "I hate vanya," the original poster, u/amoorimachayekh, claims the moment that led them to start hating the character was when Vanya slit Allison's throat in season 1. This happens immediately after Vanya discovers Allison had used her powers to make her believe she was powerless. U/amoorimachayekh also states that they "hated her even more from season 2." Other fans cite the same incident within the thread and mirror the original poster's dislike.

U/Thr0waway0864213579 thinks viewers are supposed to dislike the character. "Her story is pretty authentic and I think you're supposed to feel off put by her in season 1," the user comments. "She doesn't have powers, she's bitter about her family, and she's just generally a gloomy character."

"Vanya made choices as an adult. the others made choices as adults. they were ALL abused. they ALL make sh***y choices," says u/CaseyRC, while contesting those who have sympathy for the character, "but those choices are their responsiblity [sic] and Vanya should carry her own burden of that rather than being absolved of everything by people that love her."

Other fans believe Vanya's murderous impulses are justified

The fans on the other side of this debate, like u/Thr0waway0864213579, argue that Vanya is "the most human of them all." The user continues, "I think her mundaneness brings a necessary balance to the rest of the family's impossibly superhero-esque qualities."

If we hop over to the thread "Tired of Vanya getting no love," we find a whole slew of fans that believe that some of Vanya's murderous impulses are downright justified. U/yazzy1233 while referring to Vanya killing the family's ape butler Pogo, for example, says, "He brought it on himself."

Other threads in The Umbrella Academy sub-Reddit have similar themes. Under the thread "Does anyone else actually like Vanya?," u/shanrock2772 admits in reference to Vanya, "It's an accurate representation of how emotional trauma can obliterate one's sense of self. When circumstances allow her to figure out who she really is, her character will probably develop in ways that are more pleasing to the wider fanbase."

The general consensus seems to be that Vanya's flaws are more realistic than the haters understand, making her easier for some fans to empathize with. Maybe the storyline in season 3 will bring both groups of fans together, or maybe it won't. We'll just have to watch and find out.