In late 2020, the Reddit user Doggo_Noodle shared a sad observation about the name that Number Five chooses for his lifeless companion. Doggo_Noodle wrote, “I was taking a Latin test and I saw the word ‘Delores’ so i was like ‘ey nice.’ Then i found out the meaning= pain. Maybe Five called her that on purpose?”
A quick trip to the Latin-English Dictionary of Latin-English.com pretty much confirms Doggo_Noodle’s translation, listing the word “dolor” as translating to “pain, anguish, grief, sorrow, suffering.” So the next natural question is whether or not Number Five is the kind of guy who would know how to say “pain” in Latin.
Considering what we know about him, it would actually be more surprising if Number Five didn’t know Latin. Not only does Number Five display the kind of genius-level intellect that could devour new languages like snacks, but from what we see of Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) — the Umbrella Academy’s strict and snooty mentor and guardian — he’s definitely the kind of guy who would consider Latin proficiency necessary for growing superheroes.
Not to mention, isn’t it the perfect name? What else could Number Five claim as his companion when he’s lost in a dead future for decades without any human contact? Perhaps Dolores symbolizes the idea that in order for Number Five to survive his anguish, he has to learn to love it. This may also explain exactly why Number Five brings Dolores back to the department store and has his break-up scene with her at the end of season 1’s penultimate episode. Leaving Dolores for good may — symbolically, at least — be Number Five’s way of recognizing he has his family back and he no longer has to carry the pain of his post-apocalyptic trauma.