It’s an old thing in children’s stories that parental figures just… don’t exist. This often means that young characters can go on terrifying adventures and face brutal enemies without their parents’ disapproval. Sometimes this means that parents are absent and neglectful. Sometimes, that means they’re dead. And sometimes, they are terrible parents and opposing them is a part of every journey. Even when the adults are not directly related to the young heroes, they often come across as wise and distant advisors or obstacles to control.
But the Disney Channel The house of owls subverts many of these expectations about parental figures in children’s media. The latest episode, in particular, delves into the relationship between plucky Luz and her mother. Now back in the human world, Luz has a chance to reconnect with her mother, Camila. And Camila’s unwavering acceptance and support of all the strange things Luz encounters is amazing and refreshing to see. It will be surprising, but from the beginning, The house of owls it focused on softening the older characters and their relationships with the younger characters – especially in the case of Luz and the kooky witch Eda.
[Ed. note: This rest of this essay contains massive spoilers for the entirety of The Owl House thus far.]
When the show started, Eda took Luz under her wing after Luz stumbled into the demon realm. From Eda, Luz learns about the world of witches and magic. Eda may be chaotic and irresponsible (and also a wanted criminal), but she becomes a parent to Luz and King, the little demon she found. and Edda.
With someone to take care of – and someone to protect – Eda becomes more responsible (while maintaining her carefree attitude). In the last few episodes of the second season, the danger begins to rise, as the evil Emperor Belos plans to unleash all the magic from the Burning Isles begins to come true. Often in children’s media, this means it’s time for the little heroes to step up and fight, even if that means defying the adults to do so.
But in The house of owls, one of the biggest sources of tension in the final episodes of season 2 comes from Eda’s desire to keep Luz safe and out of harm’s way. It’s not to look down on Luz or to be an obstacle for young heroes to overcome; Eda’s point of view makes sense, and although Luz protests when she finds out and they clash, in the end they both realize that the most important thing is that they protect each other – and depend on their allies.
Eda and Luz’s relationship is the driving force of the first two seasons, but in season 3, Camila and Luz’s relationship finally gets a chance to shine. Although she rarely appeared, Camila was the main character in Luz’s story for two seasons. Instead of being the strict authority Luz tried to escape, Camila cares deeply for her daughter, despite her past mistakes. Luz has spent the past two seasons trying to find a way to let her mom know she’s okay — even after Camila sends her to a camp for troubled kids.
The season 3 opener delved into Camila’s thoughts and why she made that decision – and how she realized it was wrong. And finally, Camila has been one of the best and most supportive parents in animation. He takes in Luz’s witch friends without hesitation and does his best to meet their oddities, researching the different foods they can eat and putting them in his house. When Luz walks out on her, Camila hugs her daughter and then, she wears her pride badge and all her clothes. When he finds out how much his daughter has been struggling with the guilt of everything that happened in the demon realm, he stands up to support her.
However, not all such decisions are easy. It’s hard work being a parent – and it’s hard work taking four teenage witches into the human world. And The house of owls shows this. It doesn’t just paint adults as “bad” or “good,” but shows the work that goes into being a supportive, constructive parent. They are given thoughtful backstories and personalities, which make them well-rounded characters and show a different side of being a parental figure than is usually seen throughout the years of animation. This, in turn, allows Luz and the other young heroes to grow and evolve – this is more in line with the characters who are familiar with cruel parents, who finally have a source of support and love.
Because, yes, there are numbers of very bad parents The house of owls. Amity’s mother, Odalia, is controlling and thinks of her children less as family and more as business investments; Emperor Belos is basically using his ward Hunter as a pawn in his grand scheme. They are evil – and that makes the fact that there is zi Good parent numbers are very important. So when Amity’s dad defends her at the end, and when Camila goes into the pool to save Hunter without hesitation, it hits even harder. There are many adult characters who cling to the children in their care, whether they are placed in the traditional absent parent or the role of oppressive teachers. Adults in the The house of owls it is not just barriers or one-pointers; they have nuance and depth, and even the good ones struggle to get it right How in order to be a good example, they still come forward to protect the young people they look up to.
The first two seasons of The house of owls are available on Disney Plus. The season 3 premiere is on YouTube.