Who is Viktor Hargreeves in ‘Umbrella Academy’?

The Umbrella Academy
Gerard Way / Gabriel Bá / Dark Horse Comics

Elliot Page, one of the stars of Netflix’s weird and wonderful Umbrella Academy, made a major announcement yesterday.

The character Page has portrayed through two seasons of the series will undergo a change in the next season, one that aligns with the journey Page has embarked on over the last several years. Through seasons one and two, before Page came out as a trans man, he portrayed the character Number Seven in the series, who has thus far gone by Vanya Hargreeves. The character will now go by Viktor Hargreeves, according to Page.

Page shared the news via his Twitter account, where he shared an image of himself in character alongside his Umbrella Academy sister, Allison Hargreeves. Page made the announcement in a straightforward, succinct fashion, simply welcoming people to “meet Viktor Hargreeves.”

Who is Viktor Hargreeves?

The character Page portrays on the show isn’t set to undergo any major changes to their powers or personality, as far as we’re aware. Vanya will simply become Viktor, and — as many fans have already pointed out — this type of shift is perfectly at home in a series like Umbrella Academy. The show is already oriented around a dysfunctional family with superpowers, so tossing in a storyline allowing Viktor to transition would actually bring additional heart into the series, and allow for a much-needed conversation to happen on-screen.

Or, conversely, the team at Netflix may decide to let the change to Number Seven’s character slide mostly under the radar. Viktor’s siblings have struggled for several seasons to openly accept every aspect of the character — between his previously unknown superpowers and his consistent struggles with controlling them — and this may present the perfect opportunity for his siblings to accept him at face value, with no major storylines or plot points revolving around the shift.

Viktor Hargreeves - Netflix Academy
Umbrella Academy/Netflix

It’s hard to say precisely how the third season will handle Vanya’s shift into Viktor, but it is safe to say that the character will remain the same. Viktor will still be the rather quiet and reserved Number Seven, taught through years of abuse to be seen and not heard. He will continue to wield — with varying degrees of control — a truly impressive power, which allows him to manipulate sound waves with devastating force. And he will likely continue to feel like an outcast among his similarly super-powered siblings, though season two saw the character blossom into a far more confident, capable person than we saw in season one.

In fact, the shift from Vanya to Viktor may summon precisely the inner peace Number Seven has been lacking through seasons one and two. The journey toward fully accepting himself could allow the character to fully control his powers, which — up until this point — have been a consistent and major issue for all of the Hargreeves kids.

While this change is a huge accomplishment for LGBTQIA+ activists and supporters, it may not be a massive on-screen moment in Umbrella Academy. Viktor’s journey may avoid becoming a major season three plot point, but Netflix’s decision does mark one of the very first series to ever make a character change based on an actor’s transition, as noted by Decider. This is a massive moment in television, one that we hope will set the stage for future releases.

The third season of Umbrella Academy is set to drop on Netflix on June 22, 2022.