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The Umbrella Academy Theory That Has Ben Fans Buzzing

Now that The Umbrella Academy season 3 has started production, many audiences are wondering where the show will head after the season 2 finale revealed the heroes had returned to a vastly different version of 2019. And although the ghostly Ben Hargreeves (Justin H. Min) heroically sacrificed himself at the end of season 2 in order to help save Vanya (Elliot Page), he's seemingly alive again in season 3 — albeit with an arrogant streak.

Fans have been puzzled by Ben, his death (or "death"?), and his status as a specter since season 1, but are even more confused now going into season 3. A new theory about Ben on Reddit asks why he kept aging even though he died as a 17-year-old teenager in 2006. It's a valid question: Surely he would be an eternal teenager, much like the lovably sarcastic Number 5 (Aidan Gallagher), right? Obviously, having two members of the team permanently stuck as their teenage selves would get in the way of their individual character arcs, so it's understandable why the writers wanted Ben's ghost to age up alongside his adoptive brother Klaus (Robert Sheehan).

In the original Dark Horse comics written by My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá, Klaus has the ability to astral-project his spirit out of his body. The Reddit theory suggests that Ben isn't actually dead, and that Klaus' grief over his brother's supposed demise caused him to pull Ben's spirit from wherever his body is being kept. We know Ben's not a typical ghost because he doesn't usually have the ghostly blue aura we've seen from other spirits in The Umbrella Academy (though he did look like the rest of the ghosts in the alternate timeline we briefly saw at the beginning of The Umbrella Academy season 2).

So, if Ben isn't really dead, where might his body be?

Is Ben in the Hotel Oblivion?

Readers of the Umbrella Academy comics will already know about the Hotel Oblivion, which Sir Reginald Hargreeves (played by Colm Feore in the Netflix series) used to house all the enemies and villains the team faced during their original super-heroic crusade. Unsurprisingly, keeping a bunch of supervillains locked up in one place usually leads to disaster, so it makes sense that Reginald put them all in an alternate dimension. The Netflix series has taken some liberties with the source material, so it would make sense if Hotel Oblivion was ... on the Moon instead. As Redditor u/WhyRtheresomanyofU speculates, "[In season 2], Reginald has something hidden on the Dark Side of the Moon. Something he's willing to disrobe and kill to protect. I'm guessing it's the Hotel Oblivion, where all their enemies are housed."

Because Ben's Lovecraftian-like abilities allow him to open up a portal in his stomach to unleash a horde of horrific tentacles which tear his enemies to shreds, it wouldn't be surprising if Reginald had some concerns over the true extent of his powers. If this was the case, it isn't impossible that the children's bizarre adoptive father faked Ben's death to protect the world, locking him away in a comatose state in the Hotel Oblivion. 

But yes, before you ask, what about Ben's heroic sacrifice? Well, we already know Vanya's powers can reach the Moon (hello, Apocalypse Suite), so maybe the light Ben saw was her abilities beaming him back to his body. So, if Ben's really alive and being kept in a comatose state, that would explain why he's aged up from when he died at 17.

Whether or not the series will head to the Hotel Oblivion in season 3 remains to be seen, especially since it introduced a brand-new timeline and a new set of characters, the Sparrow Academy. How are Ben and Sir Reginald still alive? Why is this Ben more intimidating than the lovable spirit we knew before? Only time will tell.