Ben is one of the most mysterious characters on Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy. He’s powerful, but only when he can take corporeal form. Only Klaus can see and talk to him, and only Klaus’s powers allow Ben to sometimes interact with the physical world. Ben died a long time ago, but how?
This article has spoilers for Season 1. The second section of this article also has spoilers about Ben’s death as revealed in Season 2, but this story will warn you first so you can stop reading before that section if you prefer.
Here’s What We Learned About Ben’s Death in Season 1
The Umbrella Academy never clearly addresses in Season 1 just what happened to Ben or why he died. We can tell from by his statue that he must not have died that long ago.
But overall, Season 1 is very mysterious about Ben’s death. In fact, all we see is a statue of Ben at the Academy where they grew up. And of course, we see Ben himself as he talks to Klaus, but they never talk about how he died.
Fans have theories about Ben’s death based on what they saw in Season 1. Some say that many of the other ghosts who appear to Klaus are still showing the injuries they sustained that killed them. Meanwhile, their adopted father Reginald Hargreeves also appeared uninjured when he and Klaus spoke in a vision after Klaus’s temporary death. This has led some to believe that Ben might have died from some type of injury that wouldn’t leave a mark, like a poisoning. Or perhaps one of the many times that he materialized into an octopus-like creature just was really hard on his body, ultimately killing him.
The Comics Give More Hints
The comics and the Netflix series have diverged in quite a few places, so the comics’ revelation about Ben may not be relevant. The comics don’t say much more, but they do give us some hints. In the comics, we learn that Ben was killed on a crime-fighting mission. Allison mentions something in the comics about blaming Luther for Ben’s death, but nothing more than that.
SPOILER WARNING: Here’s What We Learn About Ben’s Death Near the End of Season 2
WARNING: This next section shares some of what we learn about Ben’s death in Season 2.
In the final episode of Season 2, we see Ben’s funeral and we learn that he died in 2006. However, we still aren’t told exactly how he died, only that it was not at the hands of his siblings, but the result of an enemy of some sort. However, Reginald blames Ben’s siblings for Ben’s death.
Reginald gives a heartless speech about Ben to the rest of the siblings at his funeral. Here’s what he says:
The world is full of injustice. Good people die along with the bad. This cosmic equation will never change unless evil itself is wiped from existence. Thankfully, there are powerful forces pushing back against the wicked and the iniquitous. Individuals who have the strength to pull together against insurmountable odds to face adversity with unblinking courage, and not to hesitate to sacrifice themselves for another. Unfortunately, none of you are such people. despite years of training and weeks of preparation, you allowed Number Six to die on this mission.
The Umbrella Academy has failed one of their own, the consequences of which are dire. hold on to this feeling children, let it fester in your hearts so there is never a next time.”
Allison says it wasn’t their fault, so apparently Reginald’s interpretation is open to disagreement. Luther disagrees and believes they could have done more, and it didn’t have to happen.
This is what we learn, but the exact cause of Ben’s death is still going to be the subject of debates and theories.