The Complexity of Tom Hopper’s Luther Hargreeves

Even amid the incredibly odd cast of characters that populate Netflix’s hit series The Umbrella Academyby English actor Tom Hopper (Game of Thrones, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City) simian superhero Luther Hargreeves stands out. There are a number of reasons why Luther, who was given the number one designation by his cold-hearted adoptive father, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, who is portrayed by Colm Feore (The Chronicles of Riddick, for all mankind), is even weirder than the other members of his dysfunctional and gifted family.

For starters, he has the body of a gorilla, and no, that’s not just a reference to Hopper’s muscular physique. Following an ill-fated mission that left Luther, the only one of his siblings left in the care of Sir Reginald Hargreeves, fighting for his life, he was injected with a serum which, while healing his myriad wounds, turned him into a man-ape hybrid. Another strange fact: At the beginning of The Umbrella Academy first season, Luther is a space monkey, having been sent to the surface of the moon by his father. The reason for his space adventure was allegedly to defend the Earth from unseen invaders, but the truth of this reasoning is constantly questioned throughout the series.


Luther’s odd life aside, his character is deeply complex. Here are a few reasons why Tom Hopper’s Luther Hargreeves is fantastic in The Umbrella Academy season three.

The talent of Tom Hopper

If not for the incredible acting skills of Tom Hopper, Luther Hargreeves could easily become just a sledgehammer, one of many among the legions of hard-hitting fighters who fill the ranks of superhero entertainment. This would be an obvious problem, as Luther Hargreeves often has to be the backbone of his constantly bickering family. A one-note performance wouldn’t fully encapsulate the family struggles of The Umbrella Academy characters.

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It would be easy for Tom Hopper to paint Luther Hargreeves as just another bully, using his impressively muscular frame, accentuated by the artificial ape body under his character’s clothes, as an excuse to relax his emotional acting lineup. In fact, in interviews, Tom Hopper has talked about this juxtaposition and how its large frame led to typography. Lucky for fans of Tat Umbrella AcademyTom Hopper doesn’t rely on his looks, choosing instead to bring every bit of his acting ability to the role of Luther Hargreeves.

In season three alone, the character took fans of the show on an emotional roller coaster. He felt the grief of the betrayal and also fell in love. With a less talented actor leading the Luther character, that simply wouldn’t have been possible.

Luther Hargreeves chooses love

Despite the death and violence of The Umbrella Academy the third season, which was largely caused by, or at the very least related to, the paradoxical origin entity known as the kugelblitz, love somehow found a way to sneak into the heart by Luther Hargreeves. He falls head over heels in love with Sloane Hargreeves, a member of Sir Reginald Hargreeves’ alternate reality children, The Sparrow Academy.

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Towards the end of the season, as the universe crumbles around them, The Umbrella Academy and remaining academy member The Sparrow reunite in the seemingly apocalypse-proof Obsidian Hotel to the beautifully simple marriage of Luther and Sloane. Although the end of the season sees the family reinvigorated in their attempts to save the universe, this marriage represents their original plan to simply allow the apocalypse to occur. Tom Hopper’s Luther, betrayed by his beloved father, chooses love over loss and brings a refreshing levity to season three.

The difficulties of being number one Number one

Tom Hopper’s Luther Hargreeves was named number one by his adoptive father, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, due to his perceived status as the most powerful member of the superpowered family. With this role came all kinds of responsibilities, and as mentioned earlier, Luther’s devotion to his adoptive father resulted in his ape transformation.

In the end, it’s revealed that in all likelihood Luther Hargreeves isn’t the most powerful member of his family, as the full extent of some of his lesser-discussed siblings’ abilities are revealed. However, he still serves a vital purpose in the running of his family, which, without a leader, probably could never have saved the world.

Season three of The Umbrella Academy was full of surprises, to say the least. Despite being murdered by the sinister Sir Reginald Hargreeves, Luther was rescued at the end of the third season, and audiences everywhere breathed a sigh of relief. In all future seasons, Tom Hopper is to return as Luther Hargreeves.

Sharon D. Cole