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The Coven System is a system for categorizing magic into specific disciplines instituted by Emperor Belos. There are nine main covens, with hundreds of other covens beneath them. The educational system trains young witches along scholastic tracks that prepare them for membership in their chosen coven.

Each coven and their respective track has an identifying color and sigil associated with it, and each led by a Head Witch. Ultimately, covens serve an integral purpose for the Day of Unity.

Background

A banner on a wall in Bonesborough depicting the main nine covens and their leaders.

A coven is made up of witches that specialize in a specific form of magical abilities.[1] A coven membership is mandatory, and failure to join a coven is a high order criminal offense, potentially resulting in petrification.[2] It is known that people who fail to join a coven have reportedly gone missing. It is also possible for a witch to be bound forcibly to a coven without their consent.

Young witches are encouraged to study under one of the main nine magic tracks in preparation for coven membership, and annually-held "coventions" allow them to explore the various covens before making their choice. There are more than nine covens in total, and if one of the main nine is not to one's liking, there are more to choose from. Most witches join a coven when they graduate from school (usually around 17-18 years of age), though exceptionally talented witches can leave school and join a coven early.[3]

Coven brand

An Illusion Coven brand sealing away all non-illusion magic.

When a witch joins a coven, their arm is branded with the coven's sigil, and all of their magic is sealed off except the magic of their chosen coven.[1] While a witch will be unable to perform magic outside their specialty, they will still be able to perform general spells such as levitation magic, albeit with greater difficulty.[4] Some covens are more highly-regarded than others, and the highest-ranking coven in the Coven System is the Emperor's Coven, the only coven whose members are allowed to use all kinds of magic.

The brands have a secondary effect. In addition to stopping a witch from performing magic outside their chosen coven, the brands can encase the witch in branch-like tendrils and place them in a form of stasis.[5] The brands also serve a function for the Day of Unity, acting as a means to drain magic from witches and transfer it into the nine coven heads.[6]

Coven Heads and relics

The nine Head Witches of the coven system.

Each of the nine covens is led by a powerful witch known as a "Coven Head" or "Head Witch" who excelled at one of the nine main types of magic. These respective witches studied at some of the most prestigious magic schools such as Glandus High, St. Epiderm, and Hexside School of Magic and Demonics. Each of the leaders of the main nine covens possesses a medallion of their coven's color with their coven symbol on the front. They are responsible for recruiting new members into their respective covens and play an integral role in Emperor Belos's Day of Unity.[7] The main nine covens each have a respective relic on display in the Relic Room within the castle belonging to Emperor Belos.[8]

History

Fellow citizens. We are born into chaos. Our lives anger the Titan. My own family has been hurt by the darkness of wild magic. I have been shown the healing light. It shines in nine hues!

Belos introduces the coven system

After assuming the identity of Belos, Philip Wittebane hatched a plan that would end with the destruction of all witches. One of the biggest parts of his plan was the implementation of sigils and brands that restricts the use of magic and serve as a means to drain said magic.

During the tail end of the Savage Ages, Belos claimed that wild magic was dangerous and angered the Titan, and publicly proposed the separation of magic into nine distinct covens, based on the hues of the "healing light." To further boost his message, the future Emperor used fearmongering and orchestrated the destruction of cities, claiming it was the work of wild magic. Witches who listened to Belos were marked with coven brands, though the earliest known usage of the brands left witches in a unconscious but still-living state.

Head Illusionist Adrian Graye Vernworth forcibly tires to to brand Gus under orders of the Emperor.

In the current day, the Coven System permeates every aspect of Boiling Isles culture, and the entire education system revolves around young witches joining one of the main nine covens. Any witches not in a coven are labelled as criminals and can be forced to join one. While coven membership was mandated for adults, younger witches would not be branded until graduating high school, but as the Day of Unity draws near, Belos started to push for younger witches to be forcibly branded.

Main covens

Emperor's Coven

While not considered one of the "main nine" covens, the Emperor's Coven is considered to be the most prestigious and highly ranked coven in the coven system and serves as enforcers of the Emperor's will. Membership of the Emperor's Coven is made up of some of the most talented witches on the isles, and unlike other covens, those inducted into the Emperor's retain all their magic.

  • Color: Gold
  • Sigil: Winged sword and shield in a triangle
  • Leader: Currently vacant

Abomination Coven

The Abomination Coven focuses on the creation and utilization of purple ooze golems known as abominations. Witches in the Abomination Coven can create, summon, and control abominations to do their bidding, and more powerful witches can even use abomination matter to create constructs or even assume an abomination-based form. According to Willow Park, the abomination track has been noted for opening more opportunities for a witch's future.[9]

Bard Coven

The Bard Coven focuses on manipulating the world around them using soundwaves. Bards can use sound to create a variety of effects, such as inducing sleepiness, taking control of witches listening to their music, creating small scale storms, creating concussive or slashing shockwaves, and even changing the chemistry of liquids. However, some bard spells can be countered by wearing ear coverings. Though bards typically use musical instruments, it is also possible to use bard magic through whistling. As musicians, bard witches have been known to make public performances, making it a difficult, but not impossible track for those with stage fright.[5] Prejudice against bards has been noted due to incredulity that bard magic can be strong and useful compared to the other covens.[6]

  • Color: Red
  • Sigil: Lyre
  • Leader: Raine Whispers
    • Former Leader: Scooter Crane (retired)

Beast Keeping Coven

The Beast Keeping Coven focuses on the taming and control of the various beasts on the Boiling Isles. Beast keepers are able to command the various creatures on the Isles, summon beasts, and grant themselves bestial traits.[5]

  • Color: Orange
  • Sigil: Hatching egg
  • Leader: Eberwolf

Construction Coven

The Construction Coven focuses on creating earth-based constructs and various construction projects on the isles. Construction Coven witches can create tools and pillars from earth, and also use power glyphs to boost their strength and magic.[1]

  • Color: Brown
  • Sigil: Cracked fist
  • Leader: Mason

Healing Coven

The Healing Coven specializes in dealing with medicine and healthcare. Healers can treat a variety of injuries and ailments, and appear to use healing glyphs to deal with long-term injuries.

Illusion Coven

The Illusion Coven specializes in deception and showmanship to trick the senses of other witches.[1] Illusionists can create clones and alter their appearances, and powerful illusionists like Gus Porter can even cast somewhat tangible illusions over a large area. Illusion magic is the only magic that cannot be enhanced by Galdorstones; consequentially, illusionists are often tasked with guarding them. Prejudice against illusionists has been noted due to their spells lacking a true physical effect.[10]

Oracle Coven

The Oracle Coven focuses on fortune-telling, spirits, and various mind-based magics. Oracles can use their magic to tell the future, look into distant locations, and use their crystal balls for various purposes, such as telepathic communication, launching a blast of dark purple fire, sinking into a mobile shadow on the ground, summoning spirit entities of either fire or shadow, or creating a large energy constructs like a hard-light fist or a giant energy dome. Crystal balls can come in various sizes; some can even be small enough to be the charm on a necklace. An oracle's magic can be disabled by breaking their method of control, such as their crystal ball.[11]

  • Color: Purple
  • Sigil: Eye
  • Leader: Osran

Plant Coven

The Plant Coven specializes in the various flora on the Boiling Isles. Plant Coven witches can command the flora around them as well manipulate vines and accelerate plant growth. They can also make flowers bloom and unleash poisonous plants.

Potions Coven

The Potions Coven focuses on brewing various potions. Potions Coven witches are able to brew a variety of potions with different effects, ranging from fog brews, explosive potions, and even elixirs that can keep curses at bay. Unlike the other tracks, potion witches do not need magic to brew potions, as shown when Lilith made a scrying potion and when Eda made a batch of explosive potions; however, having magic does aid in collecting ingredients from dangerous creatures.

  • Color: Yellow
  • Sigil: Potion bottle
  • Leader: Vitimir

Other Covens

Main article: List of Covens

Coven members

Witches who are confirmed to be part of a coven.

Emperor's Coven

Abomination

Bard

Beast Keeping

Construction

  • Unnamed witch with purple-gray skin (first member)
  • Mason (leader)

Healing

  • Unnamed witch with an Amish hat (first member)
  • Hettie Cutburn (leader)
  • Unnamed doctor

Illusion

Oracle

  • Unnamed purple-skinned witch with ram horns (first member)
  • Osran (leader)
  • Fortune teller pen girl
  • Odalia Blight
  • Prim

Plant

Potions

  • Unnamed witch wearing an apron (first member)
  • Vitimir (leader)

Coven tracks

Witches studying under a specific track but have not yet formally joined a coven. All witches studying a magic track will have their school uniform marked by the color of their respective track.

Multiple track

Witches studying under two or more tracks. Witches with multiple tracks wear multiple colors denoting their tracks.[13]

  • Viney (healing and beast keeping)
  • Jerbo (abomination and plant)
  • Barcus (potion and oracle)
  • Mattholomule (construction and illusion)
  • Emira Blight (illusions and healing)
  • Edric Blight (illusion, beast keeping and potion)
  • Luz Noceda (all)

Detention track

The "detention track" is the unofficial punitive track for delinquents. Those on the detention track wear dark gray and are forbidden from practicing magic.[13]

  • Luz Noceda (formerly)
  • Jerbo (formerly)
  • Viney (formerly)
  • Barcus (formerly)

Covenless

Covenless witches are those who reject the coven system.

  • Eda Clawthorne (temporarily given a Bard Coven sigil to take the place of Raine Whispers)
  • Lilith Clawthorne (betrayed the Emperor's Coven; wanted for treason)
  • Hunter (defected from the Emperor's Coven; wanted for treason)
  • Steve (left the Emperor's Coven)
  • Covens Against the Throne members
  • Several deceased witches whose petrified remains are displayed at the Conformatorium
  • Many unknown witches[5]

Sightings

Gallery

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Click here to view the gallery.

Trivia

  • A "coven" refers to a group or gathering of witches that meet on a regular basis. It can also refer to a secret or affinity group of associates.
  • The categorization of magic into distinct specialties, as well as the obligation to choose one, is a common trope of high-fantasy literature.
    • One such example are the Hogwarts Houses in the Harry Potter universe, to which school-age witches are assigned to via a magical hat. In one instance, The Owl House lampoons this with the "Choosy Hat", which devours students alive once it has been placed on their head.
  • It is revealed in "Any Sport in a Storm" that the Coven Heads backstab each other all the time for their personal benefit.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Dana Terrace, Rachel Vine, Charley Feldman (writers) and Stu Livingston, Aminder Dhaliwal (directors) (February 7, 2020). "Covention". The Owl House. Season 1. Episode 5. Disney Channel.
  2. Dana Terrace, Rachel Vine (writers) and Stephen Sandoval (director) (August 29, 2020). "Young Blood, Old Souls". The Owl House. Season 1. Episode 19. Disney Channel.
  3. "Dana Terrace's AMA". Reddit (September 2, 2020). “Generally teens enter covens when they graduate from school (so 17/18ish). If they're extra talented, they may leave school and join a coven early.”
  4. "Dana Terrace's AMA". Reddit (September 2, 2020). “When a witch joins a coven they are physically unable to perform any kind of magic outside that specialty. (More generic spells like levitation for small objects may be doable, but with difficulty). They're physically and magically cut off from the rest of their magical abilities.”
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Dana Terrace (writer) and Amelia Lorenz (director) (July 24, 2021). "Eda's Requiem". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 7. Disney Channel.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Zach Marcus (writer) and Bridget Underwood (director) (April 16, 2022). "Them's the Breaks, Kid". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 15. Disney Channel.
  7. Dana Terrace (writer) and Bridget Underwood (director) (July 17, 2021). "Hunting Palismen". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 6. Disney Channel.
  8. John Bailey Owen (writer) and Aminder Dhaliwal (director) (August 22, 2020). "Agony of a Witch". The Owl House. Season 1. Episode 18. Disney Channel.
  9. Dana Terrace, John Bailey Owen (writers) and Stephen Sandoval (director) (January 24, 2020). "I Was a Teenage Abomination". The Owl House. Season 1. Episode 3. Disney Channel.
  10. Dana Terrace, Molly Ostertag (writers) and Bo Coburn (director) (July 10, 2021). "Through the Looking Glass Ruins". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 5. Disney Channel.
  11. Dana Terrace, Molly Ostertag (writers) and Bo Coburn (director) (June 19, 2021). "Escaping Expulsion". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 2. Disney Channel.
  12. Dana Terrace (writer) and Bo Coburn (director) (April 9, 2022). "Reaching Out". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 14. Disney Channel.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Dana Terrace, Rachel Vine, John Bailey Owen, Zach Marcus (writers) and Sabrina Cotugno (director) (July 25, 2020). "The First Day". The Owl House. Season 1. Episode 13. Disney Channel.
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