Who Is the Chimp in Umbrella Academy?

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Key Takeaways:

  • In the Umbrella Academy, the chimp’s name is Pogo.
  • Pogo was an advanced chimpanzee and Sir Reginald Hargreeves’ assistant and friend.
  • Pogo was elevated to human intelligence by Hargreeves, an adventurer, explorer, and scientist.
  • Pogo was voiced by Adam Godley in the Netflix series.
  • Unfortunately, Pogo perished after being brutally killed in the Netflix adaptation.

The Umbrella Academy is an eccentric superhero series based on the comic books of the same name. With a dysfunctional family of adopted superpowered siblings and a mysterious billionaire father at its core, the show features an array of intriguing characters. One of the most beloved is Pogo, an advanced chimpanzee who acts as an advisor, caregiver, and friend to the Hargreeves family. But who exactly is this refined primate who walks upright, wears clothes, and speaks with an English accent?

This article will provide a comprehensive look at Pogo, analyzing his origins, abilities, relationships, and eventual fate. Key details from the comics and Netflix adaptation will reveal insights into this unique character. Whether you’re a new fan wondering “who is the chimp?” or a devoted follower seeking a deeper understanding, this guide will uncover Pogo’s essential role in the captivating world of The Umbrella Academy.

With its eccentric characters, dysfunctional family dynamics, and riveting storylines, The Umbrella Academy provides a fresh take on the superhero genre. By exploring all aspects of the remarkable Pogo, this article illuminates a beloved figure within the show’s expansive mythos. The depth of detail will satisfy avid fans while also introducing newcomers to one of the series’ most endearing characters.

Pogo’s Origins and Background

Where did Pogo come from and how did he gain human intelligence? These questions are central to understanding his role within the Academy. Pogo was born a normal chimpanzee until being taken in by the eccentric Sir Reginald Hargreeves. An adventurer, scientist and billionaire, Hargreeves adopted seven superpowered children to train as heroes, naming them the Umbrella Academy. To help care for the children, he introduced Pogo, whose intelligence he had elevated through experimental means.

Throughout the comics and show, Pogo demonstrates exceptional intellectual and linguistic abilities. He behaves like a human, walking upright, wearing clothes, and speaking English with a refined accent. Scientifically, only Sir Reginald knows the secrets behind Pogo’s advanced cognition. It is reasonable to assume it resulted from some combination of genetic alteration, neurochemical enhancement, and behavioral conditioning. Regardless of origin, Pogo’s human-like capabilities made him a trusted advisor and caregiver within the Academy.

Pogo’s Role and Relationships

As an erudite chimp imbued with human traits, how did Pogo fit into the Umbrella Academy? He took on a number of critical roles for Sir Reginald and the sibling superheroes.

Advisor and Caregiver

Pogo acted as an advisor, teacher and caregiver to the Hargreeves siblings from childhood into adulthood. He provided wisdom and guidance for their missions and training. His calm countenance comforted the children when their mysterious father was distant or harsh. Essentially, Pogo supplied the warmth and kindness often absent from Sir Reginald’s cold parenting. The siblings, especially Vanya, saw Pogo as a true friend and confidante.

Mediator and Voice of Reason

Within the dysfunctional Hargreeves household, Pogo often acted as a mediator. He diplomatically softened conflicts between Reginald and the children or among the bickering siblings. With patience and compassion, Pogo reasoned with family members to find understanding. As an objective observer, he identified solutions that emotionally-charged Hargreeves members overlooked. Pogo’s rational mindset balanced the family’s eccentricities.

Assistant and Enabler to Sir Reginald

For all his closeness with the siblings, Pogo remained loyal to Sir Reginald as his primary assistant and friend. He aided Reginald’s research and work behind-the-scenes at the Academy. At times, Pogo also enabled Sir Reginald’s callous behavior towards the children. Some siblings felt this made him complicit in their childhood traumas. However, Pogo believed he was doing right by Reginald, to whom he felt eternally indebted. This tension fueled some of the adult sibling’s resentment towards Pogo.

Defender and Guardian

Pogo literally defended and protected the Academy at times. His keen intellect helped identify threats to the family over the years. In the Netflix adaptation, when assassins invaded the Academy, Pogo fought vigorously alongside the siblings using a gun and crossbow. This demonstrated his willingness to serve as a guardian for the household.

So while the siblings saw Pogo as a teacher, friend and confidante, he also fulfilled essential functions for Sir Reginald and the Academy’s safety. His complex web of relationships and roles created an intriguing dynamic within the dysfunctional family.

Pogo’s Abilities and Skills

Pogo’s chief asset was his genius-level intellect, enabling speech, erudition, and reasoning equal to humans. However, Pogo also demonstrated some surprising physical skills:

  • Linguistic mastery – Spoke English fluently with refined vocabulary and grammar. Demonstrated verbal fluency in other languages like German.
  • Academic excellence – Possessed expertise in history, science, mathematics, literature, and a range of scholastic subjects. Effectively educated the Hargreeves children.
  • Tactical combat – Showed proficiency with weapons like firearms and the crossbow when defending the Academy.
  • Physical maneuverability – Moved with impressive dexterity by expertly walking upright without assistive devices. Capably traversed stairs, opened doors, utilized objects, etc.

These abilities allowed Pogo to function as an erudite scholar, educator, fierce defender, and of course, a proper English gentleman. Pogo’s formal sensibilities, dry wit, and steadfast loyalty further cemented him as a beloved staple of the Umbrella Academy.

Pogo’s Eventual Fate

Spoiler warning – do not read further if you want to avoid spoilers for the Netflix show!

In the climactic season one finale, Vanya unleashes her apocalyptic powers within the Academy mansion. Amid the chaos, Pogo confronts Vanya begging her to stop. Tragically, she responds by using her violin bow to slash Pogo’s throat, killing him instantly. His brutal murder shocked viewers and underscored Vanya’s descent into villainy.

Pogo’s death carried symbolic weight as well. He represented the last remnant of the sibling’s happy childhood in earlier Academy days. His murder severed that connection to nostalgia and innocence. Moving forward, the surviving siblings had to forge a new maturity without Pogo’s guidance.

For devoted fans, Pogo’s savage demise felt brutally unwarranted given his benevolence. However, within the show’s dark themes, no character was truly safe. Overall, Pogo’s death conveyed the grave stakes at play while removing a moral center from the dysfunctional family dynamic. His presence is very much missed in the subsequent season.

Why Pogo Resonated with Fans

Among a cast of conflicted anti-heroes and egocentric family members, Pogo stood out as gentle and nurturing. Fans quickly gravitated towards him as the emotional anchor for both the siblings and show. What makes Pogo so beloved by viewers?

Warm Father Figure – Unlike the cold Sir Reginald, Pogo offered warmth, wisdom and reassurance to the siblings. He was a caring paternal figure missing from their lives.

Voice of Reason – Within the family chaos, Pogo presented rational perspectives and thoughtful solutions. He calmly mediated their disputes.

Moral Center – Pogo had the most consistent moral compass and selfless motivations focused on helping the family.

Comedic Relief – His polite, formal persona provided light humor amid darker themes. One-liners like “Shit on a biscuit” became iconic.

Tragic Backstory – Pogo’s unnatural origins and obligations to Reginald gave him a poignant, tragic edge.

For all these reasons, Pogo became a fan favorite character and Internet meme. His shocking death left many viewers heartbroken. For a genetically enhanced chimpanzee, Pogo displayed some of the most humanizing qualities in The Umbrella Academy.


Pogo represents a standout character within the strange, engrossing world of The Umbrella Academy. As an erudite chimpanzee endowed with human intelligence, he filled many roles – advisor, teacher, friend, assistant, and moral compass. Pogo’s origins and abilities let him function at the siblings’ intellectual level while providing emotional support they desperately needed. Despite mixed feelings about his loyalty to Reginald, the siblings saw Pogo as a trusted confidante. For audiences, Pogo emerged as the show’s moral center thanks to his rational guidance and nurturing spirit. His shocking death was a brutal loss both for the siblings and viewers alike. While the eccentric family can never be whole again without Pogo, his warmth and wisdom persist as a poignant legacy.

FAQs about Pogo from The Umbrella Academy

What animal is Pogo?

Pogo is an advanced chimpanzee whose intelligence was elevated to human-level by Sir Reginald Hargreeves. Though he displays human traits, Pogo remains biologically a chimpanzee.

How did Pogo learn to talk?

Pogo’s ability to speak English and other languages can be attributed to the experiments done by Sir Reginald Hargreeves. The exact scientific process is unexplained, but it likely involved neurobiological enhancement and behavioral conditioning.

Why does Pogo walk with a cane?

Pogo uses a cane to help him balance while walking upright. Chimpanzees are adapted for knuckle-walking, so Pogo uses the cane for additional support and stability on two legs. It also adds to his distinguished look.

Is Pogo still alive in the comics?

Yes, Pogo is still alive in the comic series unlike the Netflix adaptation. He continues to play an important role supporting the siblings and Academy.

How old is Pogo?

Pogo’s exact age is unclear, but he was already an adult chimpanzee when adopted by Reginald in the early 1900s. Given chimp lifespans up to 50 years, Pogo is likely around 70-80 years old in the 2019 storyline.

Why did Pogo turn on the siblings?

Pogo remains loyal to Sir Reginald above all, even after his death. He betrayed the siblings’ trust in season 1 due to his obligation to obey Reginald’s final wishes before dying.

Is Pogo good or bad?

Pogo has largely good intentions, wants to help the siblings, and provides emotional support. But his unconditional loyalty to Reginald leads him to make questionable choices against the siblings’ interests at times.

What accent does Pogo have?

Pogo speaks with a Received Pronunciation or “Queen’s English” accent. This connects to his formal, sophisticated mannerisms as an English gentleman.

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