‘The Boys’ Showrunner Explains Soldier Boy and Homelander’s Surprising Connection


The Boys are back and better than ever! With Season 3 of the hit Prime Video series in full swing and now officially rounding the corner to the finale, we’ve been treated to the ongoing misadventures of our favorite irreverent, disturbing, and often downright nasty supes who couldn’t be further from heroic — as well as the group of resident misfits the show is named for who are determined to hold them accountable for previous and current slights against humanity. Although last week’s “Herogasm” episode held more than one shocker in the aftermath of the wild party hosted by the TNT Twins — including a scene that left at least one member of the Seven’s fate in question, to say nothing of Starlight’s future with the team — it looks like the surprise are still coming. This week’s episode revealed that the connection between Homelander (Antony Starr) and Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) is even closer than anyone could have expected, with the legacy supe calling up Homelander to inform him of the fact that yes, they are related. More specifically? They’re father and son.

The Boys Season 3 Episode 8 Release Time and Date on Prime Video

This move definitively changes up the relationship between the characters from the original comics by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, in which Soldier Boy and Homelander are decidedly not related — and actually do get down and dirty with each other at Herogasm in one infamous scene. So when did the decision to make these two related by blood actually happen? According to showrunner Eric Kripke, the change to that relationship occurred after Ackles was initially cast in the role:

“It happened early, but I think it happened after we had cast Jensen, but it was in those early couple… first months. We try to be very, very realistic, but we also have an element of the show that’s completely magical. We have this drug that makes people have magical properties, basically. So it wasn’t a reach to say that, well, he doesn’t age but could still be inside the same older man and ultimately father to Homelander.”

As Kripke explained, the change was also driven by the writers examining some of the major themes of Season 3’s story — and how many other characters were wrestling with a certain parental dynamic, more specifically fathers and sons and the type of terrible behaviors that can be passed down or unconsciously inherited. When other relationships such as the one between Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) are intertwined with the one between Homelander and Ryan (for obvious reasons), how could that complicated web become even more tangled?

On the other hand, it also introduces a very interesting wrench into the works in terms of Homelander’s plan to kill Soldier Boy, especially now that he knows the other supe is someone who represents a connection he might be longing to have. In Kripke’s words:

“[It] emerged from just a careful examination of the themes that were evolving for us. We just really noticed how much of the season was about fathers and sons and generational trauma, and [how] toxic masculinity is passed on from father to son over the generations in a really shitty and destructive way. Mother’s Milk’s dealing with his dad, Butcher’s dealing with his dad, Butcher’s dealing with his son, Homelander’s dealing with his son, and it just started to feel really organic of like, ‘Well, we should give Homelander a dad, and it should be this guy that he hates and then realizes that maybe he should love.’ If you’re very conscious and very clear about what your themes and your character arcs are, they provide really good signposts for what the plot should be.”

The Boys Season 3 premiered with its first three episodes on Friday, June 3, with subsequent episodes released weekly every Friday until the finale on July 8.

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