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The coven system was a system instituted on the Boiling Isles by Emperor Belos for categorizing magic into specific types called covens. Belos categorized them so in the far future he could initiate his plan to destroy the Boiling Isles. There were nine main covens with hundreds of other covens beneath them. The educational system trained young witches along scholastic tracks that prepared them for membership in their chosen coven.

To the general public, the purpose of the covens' introduction was on the Titan's command, who communicated through Belos, and to protect the witches and demons from the "danger" of wild magic (which in actuality is simply magic in its natural state). However, these claims were later revealed to be nothing more than an intricate series of lies concocted by Belos, whose true identity was a human witch hunter from the Human Realm named Philip Wittebane, to earn the trust of the Boiling Isles, which paved the way for his plot of genocide of all magic-kind.

After the Collector's redemption and Belos' defeat, the coven system was effectively dissolved, leaving any and all witches free to pursue whatever magic they so choose.

Background[]

Coven System

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] Those who leave a coven (even by involuntary separation) will receive the same sentence. 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 nine main 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[]

S01E05 Covention (132)

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. Active membership in a coven is usually not required as long as a witch is branded. The branding is permanent and can't be removed by means other than amputation or special tech.

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 Draining Magic (something which was inspired by the magic-draining abilities of basilisks) from witches and transfer it into the nine coven heads.[6]

Three years after the Day of Unity, a method of removing the brands was discovered by Alador Blight, utilizing a glove-like device fueled by large amounts of healing magic.

Coven Heads and relics[]

Hunting Palismen - Coven Heads

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' 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!

After assuming the identity of the witch Belos, Philip Wittebane hatched a plan that would end with the death of all witches. One of the biggest parts of his plan was the implementation of coven sigils and brands that restrict the use of magic and serve as a means to drain said magic from them. To do this, he teamed up with a being called the Collector and in exchange for the teaching of the Draining Spell, Philip would set the Collector free from their prison. However, Philip had no intention of keeping his end of the bargain, secretly planning to betray the Collector once the final steps of his plan were set in motion.

During the tail end of the Savage Ages, Philip, under the guise of Belos, claimed that wild magic was dangerous and angered the Titan, destroying his own family in the process, and he 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 the witches branded in an unconscious but still-living state.

Labyrinth Runners - 503

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

In the present day, the Boiling Isles culture, and entire education system revolves around young witches joining one of the main nine covens. Any witches not in a coven are labeled as criminals and can be forced to join one against their will. While coven membership is mandated for adults, younger witches would usually not be branded until graduating high school. However, as the Day of Unity drew near, Belos started to push for younger witches to be forcibly branded. However, this approach was met with bitter resistance from the students and faculty of Hexside and could not be carried out successfully.

As the Day of Unity draws closer, Luz, Eda, King, and several other witches, including Coven Heads Raine, Darius, and Eberwolf, learn of Belos' true plans and try to stop the Draining Spell from being carried out. However, Belos finds out about their resistance and made countermeasures, leading to the CATs being captured. When the eclipse finally begins the Draining Spell, every branded witch begins to have their magic drained. Despite his efforts and years of meticulous calculations, Belos himself gets branded by Luz in an attempt to stop the Draining Spell. Making matters worse, he does not have the power to stop the spell, and it would be the Collector that reverses its effects after he negotiated with King in exchange for his freedom and agreeing to be his playmate.

After the Collector stopped the Draining Spell, most of those who were branded, including all the Coven Heads, excluding Terra Snapdragon, initially, were turned into puppets by him. After Belos was defeated and the collected citizens of the Boiling Isles were restored to normal, the Coven System was permanently dismantled, with wild magic being taught freely and practiced normally. Three years after Belos' destruction, on the day of Luz's eighteenth birthday, the Abomination scientist, Alador Blight, created a device utilizing large amounts of healing magic to permanently remove the coven sigils from all branded witches and demons on the Isles, thus granting a means to ending the remnants of the Coven System.

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 its members serve as law enforcement on behalf 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. While stranded on earth, Amity was able to substitute mud for abomination goo. 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]

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, pillars, statues and other structures using earth. Additionally, they are allowed to use magic adhesive stickers bearing their sigils known as 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. Witches in the coven can also create shields and projectiles and use them at their own will.

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 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] Like Oracle magic, Illusion magic can create energy constructs and mentally affect opponents, seeing as Adrian Graye Vernworth tried to read Gus' memories.

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 large psychic energy constructs like a giant hand 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 as 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, elixirs that can keep curses at bay, and even brews that can bring inanimate objects to life. 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, both after the Owl Beast's curse rendered their magic unusable; however, having magic does aid in collecting ingredients from dangerous creatures, and some potions may require a magic source to activate. Potions also seem to be able to replicate spells and bodily functions such as putting targets to sleep and acidic qualities.

  • 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, with the exception of Luz Noceda whose uniform lacks the colors of the beast keeping, construction, and potions tracks despite her studying under all tracks. Even after the coven system was dissolved, schools such as Hexside and the University of Wild Magic continue to use the track system.[12]

Multiple track[]

Witches studying under two or more tracks. Witches with multiple tracks wear multiple colors denoting their tracks.[14]

  • Viney (healing and beast keeping)
  • Jerbo (abomination and plant)
  • Barcus (potion and oracle)
  • Matt Tholomule (construction and illusion)
  • Emira Blight (illusion 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.[14]

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

Covenless[]

Covenless witches are those who reject the coven system. Wild witches are those who don't, and never have joined a coven. However, there are also those who were part of a coven but have defected, yet still retain their sigils, meaning they're not "covenless" in the technical sense of the word.

  • 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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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 is 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.
  • The coven heads backstab each other all the time for their personal benefit.[15]
  • Prior to finding a way to remove a coven sigil, Gwendolyn Clawthorne states that she joined the beast keeping coven after Eda was cursed by Lilith. Unless Gwendolyn was previously covenless, this may imply that it is possible to switch covens, although it is not specified how the sigil of the first chosen coven is removed. Otherwise, prior to Alador inventing a device that channelled healing magic to remove coven sigils, the only means to remove them was to amputate the arm the sigil was imprinted on, as done by Raine, who detached Eda's sigil arm, saving her from the Draining Spell.

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 (around age 17/18). 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, John Bailey Owen (writers) and Bosook "Bo" Coburn, Bridget Underwood (directors) (April 8, 2023). "Watching and Dreaming". The Owl House. Season 3. Episode 3. Disney Channel.
  13. Dana Terrace (writer) and Bo Coburn (director) (April 9, 2022). "Reaching Out". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 14. Disney Channel.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Dana Terrace, Rachel Vine, John Bailey Owen, Zach Marcus (writers) and Sage Cotugno (director) (July 25, 2020). "The First Day". The Owl House. Season 1. Episode 13. Disney Channel.
  15. John Bailey Owen (writer) and Amelia Lorenz (director) (April 2, 2022). "Any Sport in a Storm". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 13. Disney Channel.
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