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The Grandfather Paradox in The Umbrella Academy Explained

June 25, 2022

The Umbrella Academy Season 3 is here and, needless to say, the audience homework is piling up.

Created by Steve Blackman, the American superhero show is based on the comic book series of the same name by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, and premiered on Netflix in 2019.

It feels like an eternity and the series has come a long way since then; the characters feel like friends and acquaintances at this point.

The final season was unveiled on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, and fans are devouring the best-known batch of episodes yet. Some are even compelled to seek clarification on a concept spat out throughout, so what is the grandfather paradox in The Umbrella Academy?

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still from The Umbrella Academy, Netflix

The Grandfather Paradox in The Umbrella Academy Explained

Episode 3 begins with an instructional video titled “Paradox Protocols: The Complete Guide to the Time Anomaly Commission – Chapter Sixty-Eight: The Grandfather Paradox.”

Indeed, the Grandfather Paradox is a real thing outside of the show, and is a concept that’s been tackled in many other sci-fi projects.

It’s explained in the video that if a person goes back in time and kills their grandfather, the idea is that they wouldn’t exist in the present. In turn, that means they couldn’t even have existed to go back in time in the first place.

After all, if they had killed their grandfather in the past, they themselves would never have been born.

This intriguing contradiction has been dubbed the grandfather paradox.

The idea of ​​someone killing their own grandfather being illogical because his birth would never have happened is an issue that has been pondered for many years.

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The Umbrella Academy | Season 3 Trailer | netflix

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When was the concept introduced?

Men’s Health reports that the grandfather paradox has been debated and discussed in the literature as early as the 1920s.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be the grandfather, it’s just that this family member was used as an example to illustrate the concept. The grandfather could replace any member of the family.

Season 3 sees the Umbrellas deal with the aftermath of the Paradox after changing the past while traveling to the 1960s in Season 2, causing the Kugelblitz to sweep the universe.

“The series and the comic can coexist”

Season 2 actually caught up with the source material, so showrunner Steve Blackman explained how he imagined the aforementioned threat for Season 3 while chatting with Screenrant:

“Well, it’s great to be close to Gerard and Gabriel is obviously just a wonderful bonus, so I can speak with Gerard – he’s a very busy guy, he’s on tour at the moment. But we do find time to talk about where they plan to go with the graphic novel and Gerard and Gabriel thought long and hard in advance.

He continued, “I think they might have 10 or 12 more volumes coming out in the future, long after I think our show is over. But we’re very, very good with each other, where we’ve come to the conclusion that the show and the comic can co-exist.

Steve explained that the comics and the series are “now symbiotic”.

The Umbrella Academy is streaming exclusively on Netflix.

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