Warning: Spoilers from Umbrella Academy Season 1 are ahead.
There’s a reason the internet has latched on hard to Klaus Hargreeves (Robert Sheehan), aka Number Four, aka The Séance, from Netflix’s latest original series, The Umbrella Academy. The internet just loves a sad boi, and give us a sad boi who’s also eccentric, can see ghosts, wanders around the house in his underwear and a towel, and has an accent? The internet undoubtedly stans. But in loving The Umbrella Academy's Klaus, that also means you feel deeply for him, because while he might be the clear favorite character, he’s also the most tragic. Loving Klaus means that he’s also breaking your heart.
Klaus is just one of the seven (and later, six) surviving children all born on the same day around the world, and these kids just happen to have superpowers. While his brothers and sisters have strength, agility, and teleportation abilities, Klaus has the power to talk to the dead. It’s important to know that Klaus does not like this power. He hates it. He does not want to talk to ghosts, because that freaks him out. His father, the late Sir Reginald Hargreeves, tries to help him overcome this fear by locking him in a mausoleum — this backfires. Klaus is left all alone with these spirits, and it completely messes him up for the rest of his life. As an adult, he starts to turn to drugs and alcohol because that seems to be the only time he isn’t bombarded by spirits. But they still come.
Now that you know his sad backstory, there’s still more to what makes Klaus the most heartbreaking character on Umbrella Academy.
Klaus' Family Literally Forgets About Him. Constantly.
Like, actually forgets about him. It’s not even a “hey, where did Klaus go?” situation. Klaus is kidnapped by two assassins, Hazel and Cha-Cha, for information about his brother, Five, and no one realizes he’s gone. Early on in the series, Klaus makes a comment to the family about how if he were to disappear (like his brother Five) no one would realize he was missing: “I’m the one person in that house nobody will even notice is gone.” When he does, it takes a while for his siblings to even realize something is wrong. This is probably due to the fact that since Klaus is a known substance abuser, he’s probably off trying to buy and use drugs, and will come back to the house when he’s sobered up a little.
Wrong. The one time he needs his family to come to his aid, no one does.
Klaus Is Trying So Hard, But No One Takes Him Seriously
Yes, Klaus is a screw up, but he’s trying really hard sometimes to not be a screw up. No one even takes him seriously as a “big brother.” During the very first episode, when Luther and Diego get into a fight during their father’s memorial, Klaus tries to instinctively shield Five away from the punches being thrown. Vanya does the same exact thing with their mother, pulling her away from the fight, but when Klaus does the same for five, he’s swatted away.
Klaus Has Literally The Saddest Love Story Ever
At one point, Klaus makes a comment to five that the longest relationship he’s ever had was “three weeks.” That changes in Episode 6, when Klaus is accidentally transported back in time to the Vietnam War in 1968. He spends a solid amount of time in 1968, and meets a soldier named Dave and the two start a relationship. On the battlefield, Dave then dies in Klaus’ arms, as if this wasn’t already sad enough as it is.
If you’d like to be even sadder, Klaus takes Dave’s dog tags from war and wears them. At the very end of the final episode of the season, as the moon starts crumbling, Klaus can be seen clutching Dave’s dog tags, waiting for his own death.
Klaus' Relationship With Ben Is Just So Pure
Since Klaus can talk to the dead, and Ben is dead, Klaus and Ben have an ongoing relationship. Ben is Klaus’ support and sole cheerleader throughout the first season, and while the two bicker a lot — they’re brothers, after all — it’s clear that even from the beyond, Ben is still there for Klaus. During the third episode, when Vanya writes her book and everyone in the family reads it, Klaus can be seen reading it during what is apparently an AA or substance abuse meeting. Ben is leaning over his shoulder, reading along too, but the point is that Ben actually went with him to these meetings to try and get him sober. None of his other siblings do anything like that for Klaus.
So no, you're not just enthralled because of his dark vibe and engrossing eyebrows. This love runs deep.