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Now, I'm just a humble messenger for the Titan. In the grand scheme of things, the Owl Lady's life is inconsequential... but then you showed up.
—Emperor Belos, "Young Blood, Old Souls"

Emperor Belos[1] (real name Philip Wittebane) is the main antagonist of The Owl House. Originally a human named Philip Wittebane, he arrived at the Boiling Isles from the Human Realm during the Deadwardian Era, keeping a written record of his experiences on the Boiling Isles as he endeavored to find a way to return to the Human Realm. However, Philip began to harbor hatred and resentment towards witches and magic because of his inability to adapt to the environment of the Demon Kingdom, which ended up in him wanting to do away with it.

In order to fulfill his purpose, he acquired a new identity, a witch named Belos. He claimed to the witches that he had the ability to speak to the isle, that they were misusing magic by mixing it, and that he was the only one who had the right to do so, convincing them and creating a system of covens to restrict the witches' use of magic and knowledge, and those who resisted were declared "wild witches" who would face great punishments. Sometime later he was named emperor of the islands, gaining the respect and devotion of all, without knowing all the deception he has done towards them.

He previously ruled the isles from his castle with the protection of his coven, where he would prepare for the "Day of Unity", an event where he hoped to accomplish all his goals against the witches.



In his true human appearance, Philip is a lean, pale-skinned man with a downward rounded nose and long, shoulder-length ash-brown hair, kept in a ponytail, with several strands, kept loose atop his scalp and an additional three larger strands forming bangs just above his forehead. He had a small chin and blue eyes.

During his trip to Eclipse Lake, he sported several short bristles on his chin, and over time, his hair grew down to his back. Further, into his stay in the Boiling Isles, his appearance became scruffier and unkempt, and he had grown a beard and mustache.

In his later years, as Belos, he is an elderly man with a fair complexion, cornflower-blue eyes, wrinkly lips, and long, rough-looking, ash-blond hair reaching past his shoulders. His ears are now pointed like a witch's ears, as a result of Philip physically cutting them into shape, with a notch on his left ear similar to Hunter's. Most prominently though, he has a large, basil-green scar running across his face and down his neck with holes from the bruise he received years ago, an indication of how severely his illness is affecting him.

Whenever the palismen essence begins to act up, his body heavily destabilizes into a black-and-green sludge-like substance that turns him into a deformed, skeletal creature with disproportionately long limbs that constantly drip sludge, accompanied by various blue eyes covering his body, and two horns that resemble those of his mask. The only human features he retains are his hair and his eyes, which glow bright blue.


Philip dressed in a formal attire of what appeared to be Jacobian England high fashion, comprised of a long-sleeved coat with studded tails reaching all the way to his thighs and an upward-facing collar. Underneath his coat was a frilly undershirt, most notably having frilled sleeves. His neck region was further decorated with an equally frilly neck tie. His pants were a pair of breeches tightly fastened around his calves. Finally, he wore a pair of short boots with high heels.

As Belos, he wears a golden mask with two long upward-facing horns. His eyes are hollow through the mask, creating the appearance of having empty eye sockets. He wears a large white and brown cape with gold trim.

Additional features

Philip's arms are carved with several glyph symbols drawn together. His arms will bulge and squirm whenever the glyphs glow and try to activate.

After becoming Belos, he can make his eyes glow light blue, which was first shown when Luz cracks the right side of his mask and exposes one of them.


Before becoming the emperor, Philip was initially shown to be an inquisitive and meek individual with a strong intellectual drive. He had a strong desire to return home, although he was harried by unfamiliar environments, such as the Boiling Isles, and struggled to cope in them. Despite this, he was shown to be a natural explorer, being very observant and resourceful in order to adapt to the Boiling Isles. He also learned glyphs by careful analysis of his surroundings, and the notes he made contributed to his developing plans on a portal back to Earth.

However, his soft-spoken personality belay a darker, ruthless character. In truth, Philip is deceptive and selfish in his desires, to the degree he is willing to manipulate people and let them die in his service, while justifying this as a necessary sacrifice for his return home. This deceptiveness was particularly apparent when Luz accused him of betraying her and Lilith, while Philip casually stated it was because they were easy to trick. Philip even falsified reports about himself as gentle and caring and being unable to save his companions (which was proven to be dubious after his betraying of Luz and Lilith), suggesting at this time in his life, he was or had come to the point where he instinctively exaggerateed or lied about his character. Due to his ambitions, Philip is apathetic to the lives of others but his own, which was most notable when he remarked that his only hope toward Luz and Lilith was that they would last long enough to distract the beast for him.

Philip also has a grudge against witches and magic, which appears to be attributed to his maladjustment to the Boiling Isles' magical atmosphere and residents, and grew to despise them further after being punched in the nose by Lilith. After becoming Belos, his hatred of witches and ambition for power grew more. His philosophy that witches were evil would soon evolve into wanting genocide against them. Conversely, he argued that his actions were righteous and for the protection of humanity, and due to this belief, he was extremely ruthless, and not hesitate to eliminate anyone who opposed him under this excuse, no matter how cruel his actions were.

Another trait of Belos was his charisma and cunning, as he managed to easily cheat witches about their misuse of magic and his ability to talk to the island, gaining their trust so much to make him emperor of the isles.

As Emperor Belos, he is described as "omnipotent and megalomaniacal",[2] a strict and commanding figure who is often impatient and intolerant of failure from his subordinates. Despite his intolerance of failure, Belos can be quite lenient towards servants that he values highly enough, such as the case with Lilith and her constant failures to capture her sister, but even that lenience has limits. His authority is shown to be a powerful one that garners fear and respect. If Belos has any weaknesses, it would be his arrogance, poor judgment, and inability to understand loyalty and compassion. He assumed Lilith would continue to serve him after his true plans for her sister, Eda, were revealed, and simply shrugged off her betrayal and intended for her to be petrified along with her sister.[3]

Belos takes care to protect his image of strength and power to discourage others from questioning his authority or rebelling against his laws, as he was incensed when Luz managed to damage his mask and fool him. He retains his treacherous nature as Philip and is not above lying, having made a promise to Lilith he had no intention of keeping.[3] He also lies to the populace, having engineered propaganda that he can speak to the Titan that forms the Boiling Isles, and later claimed the Titan had told him to spare the Owl Lady's life but would remain in her cursed state as an example to those who question Belos' laws and power, all in order to preserve his seemingly infallible image when the fact otherwise is plain to see.[3]

Belos appears to have no emotional care or attachments to anyone, regarding them as expendable once they no longer serve a purpose to him. A minor exception to this is shown with his attachment to his "nephew", Hunter, whom he acts more gentle and calm toward. However, the genuineness of this attachment is shown to be a one-sided ruse in order to keep Hunter from rising against him as the previous Golden Guards did. Belos is also shown to be dismissive and physically abusive towards Hunter. This is particularly true whenever Hunter brings up wild magic.[4] He is not above emotionally manipulating Hunter's insecurities to engineer faith and loyalty in Hunter, going as far as to foster Hunter's false sense of purpose that painted Hunter as being important in the Titan's plans.[5][6]

Overall, Belos was greatly driven by his wish to return home. Belos would allude to his life as Philip, as he describes his past in the Human Realm longingly to Hunter.[5] He was similarly willing to bargain with Luz, and somewhat sympathetic to her situation as a human who was trapped in a strange place like he was, expecting her to understand his wish to go back to the Human Realm. However, his sympathy was quite limited, as he deemed Luz crazy and therefore unreasonable, before attempting to kill her without hesitation or remorse as soon as Luz argued against his ambitions of genocide.[6][7]



Philip was born in the Human Realm sometime in the seventeenth century. While little is known of his past, it is shown that when he was young, he was close friends with another child who carved him a mask resembling the one he would one day come to own.[6]

Arriving in Demon Realm

Philip Wittebane arrived in the Demon Realm through Eclipse Lake, the water of which, he later rationed, had been contaminated with Titan's Blood; this created a gateway between the two planes. He was thunderstruck by the Demon Realm and wished to create a portal so that he might show it to other humans. He designed a portal door back to the Human Realm, and five years later, came back to the Knee with hopes to acquire an ingredient for the portal key, the ingredient being Titan's Blood.

Wittebane's ambitions led him to Eclipse Lake in pursuit of Titan's Blood, a quest which only resulted in unearthing a similar substance known as "Fool's Blood", the presence of which signified a decaying and unstable vein. Accordingly, the vein which Wittebane and his traveling companions were traversing collapses, and said companions perish within.[5]

Through his expeditions of the Boiling Isles, Philip began to observe the settings' unique phenomena of hidden glyphs, the foundation behind magic itself, and by connecting them, realized he could summon spells of his own. Philip found at least three of the core glyphs, but only after a long period of time. At some point, Philip carved the glyphs into his skin, presumably in an attempt to control the magic directly.[6] Unfortunately for Philip, this backfired terribly, with the glyphs' forced combinations causing his body to violently contort and morph when they tried to activate. The only way to alleviate the pain was by absorbing the magical essence of palismen, thus Philip sought out the palismen of other witches and demons to survive.[8]

Over time, however, Philip began to harbor a great hatred towards the witches as he considered them a danger; even more thanks to the witches' mockery of him. This led him to search for a being known as the Collector to help him in his goal. One of the items needed to find them was a mysterious tablet kept inside of the skull of the Titan. As it was guarded by a closed door with a Stonesleeper behind it, Philip embarked on an expedition to the Titan's skull with the aid of a demon named Blue Fang; but in truth, Philip intended to use Blue Fang as a distraction while he tried to locate the artifact himself. However, even with Blue Fang's sacrifice, Philip was still unsuccessful.[8]

An unusual encounter

Luz defending Philip from the demons.

After returning to Bonesborough, Philip got into a quarrel with the brothers of Blue Fang, who wanted to know what happened to their brother. Philip feigned ignorance until the demons threaten to burn his diary. However, Luz Noceda, a human who found herself stranded on the Boiling Isles in modern day, intervened and scared off the demons. Luz then introduced herself and Lilith Clawthorne, as "Crab Maiden" and "Aunt Dirtrude" respectively, and explained that they were looking for him for information about the Collector. Taking advantage of Luz's assistance, Philip agreed to help her find the Collector in exchange for helping him build his portal. Philip took the duo to a cave, wherein he sees Luz using a light glyph. Philip sketched the glyph while mentioning he also studied glyph magic, or as he calls them "picto-glyphs", on the Boiling Isles, but had spent a long time finding them, prompting him to laud Luz's skills. At the end of the cave, Philip drew out a larger glyph that transported the three to the inside of the Titan's skull, where the door to the artifact is. Proclaiming that the Collector lies behind the door, he convinced Lilith to unlock the door herself.

Philip's true colors are revealed.

While Lilith was busy trying to unlock the door, Philip proceeded to write a false account in his diary about how he defeated the beast and his companions perishing, but Luz caught him at the moment and learned of Philip's deception, but before she could press for an answer, Lilith finished unlocking the door, where the Stonesleeper ambushed her. Philip revealed his true intention was to use the two as bait while he uncovered the tablet for himself. As Luz immediately rushed in to save Lilith from the beast, Philip dug up the tablet in the room, casually giving a pitiless remark about how he knew they were lying about their identities before proceeding to teleport away from the scene, leaving Luz and Lilith behind to deal with the beast.

Shortly after abandoning the two, outside the cave, Philip was heading back with the tablet when he was confronted by Luz and Lilith, who had tamed the Stonesleeper, with Luz demanding Philip to tell her how the tablet is going to help him build the portal to the Human Realm. Philip refused, but attempted to lure Luz in with an offer for more information from him, as he needed another person for a sacrifice. Before he could carry on, Lilith punched him right in the face, breaking his nose and leaving him with a scar before the two ride off with the Stonesleeper.[8]

Assuming a new identity

Philip summons the Collector for the first time.

Philip's hatred of witches, however, began to increase after the punch Lilith gave him in the face, cursing Lilith and all witches for his suffering. In a great deal of pain from the punch and his leg after the encounter, as well as the glyph carvings on his arm swelling up, Philip rushed to a pile of palismen bodies, absorbing the essence from one of them inside into his eyes and nose to regain his strength while also causing the scar on his nose to expand. Philip then wiped his hand on the tablet, which projected the emblem of the Collector, whereupon he asked the Collector for help in eradicating all life in the Demon Realm.[8]

Philip's bargain with the Collector involved the Collector teaching Philip about magic and the Draining Spell, in exchange, Philip promised the Collector's freedom from the In Between Realm.[7] Philip would then devise a plan, in which he in which he would trick the witches by telling them that he had the ability to talk to the Titan and that the Titan told him that the witches were misusing magic by mixing it. To achieve this, he acquired a new identity, a witch named Belos who had great knowledge, even cutting off his ears to acquire a shape similar to that of the witches.[6] Under the Collector's tutelage, Belos mastered all magic,[7] in addition to an enigmatic form known as "artificial magic" that was exclusive to him, eventually learning how to divide magic into nine different types. His plan was a success, managing to deceive and convince the witches of "their misuse of magic" and to use only one type of magic.[6]

After this, Philip subsequently donated his diary to the Bonesborough Library, where it is placed within the Forbidden Stacks. Centuries later, his diary would be sought by Luz. By this time, however, much of its contents had been destroyed due to being consumed by an echo mouse. The remaining pages only recounted how he got to the Boiling Isles, parts of his journeys, and some instructions to make the portal.[9]

Rise to power

Belos introduces the Coven System.

Fifty years before the start of the series, Belos ended the Savage Ages, a time when witches and demons used magic freely, by coming to power and creating the Coven System, which limited individuals to one kind of magic unless they joined the ranks of the Emperor's Coven that answered to him. Those who were inducted into the Coven System received a coven sigil that sealed away all magic except for the type of their coven. Secretly, these sigils were meant to drain the witches during the Day of Unity once the Draining Spell was cast.[7] According to The unauthorized Boiling Isles history, many were willing to follow him, due to the rumor that the Savage Ages were a destructive time. At some point, he constructed a palace as a symbol of unity and collected a vast array of magical artifacts he kept there.[3] On Scabuary 40th, Belos would officially declare the Boiling Isles as an empire.[10]

Belos has one of his Golden Guards administer the Coven sigils.

Around this time, Belos, through unknown means, engineered a series of artificial witch-like clones called Grimwalkers, using the traits of someone who was close to him. These clones were created to be his accomplice in his grand deception to win over the isles. While in Belos's court, these clones were his right hand known under the illustrious title of the Golden Guard.[6] Each clone apparently met a tragic end, most of were implied to have turned against Belos, and their corpses were disposed of inside the catacombs of the Titan's skull.[7] The latest clone was a boy named Hunter; to ensure Hunter's complete loyalty to him, Belos took Hunter under his wing as his adoptive uncle, fabricating a backstory that his family died from the use of wild magic.[4]

However, because of his prolonged suppressing of the carved glyphs, and needing to consume palismen, Belos's physical state degraded under the reactions of the palismen essence to the point that he occasionally transformed into a grotesque sludge-like monster.[11] Belos consequently developed an immense hatred towards wild magic, and he sought to eradicate it, to the point of silencing Hunter of the idea of wild magic.[4]

At some point, Belos revived the basilisk race from extinction and experimented on them, hoping to understand their abilities to extract magic. However, a few of them escaped, going into hiding.[12]

Promise with Lilith

Emperor Belos is displeased with Lilith.

A few years before the start of the series, the Emperor ordered for the capture of Eda Clawthorne, but she managed to elude every attempt at capture. When the prodigious Lilith Clawthorne joined the Emperor's Coven and rose through its ranks, Belos offered to heal her sister Eda from the curse Lilith cast upon her. In exchange, Lilith was assigned to capture Eda so Belos could induct the rogue witch into a coven. However, Eda proves to be nearly impossible to capture, forcing Lilith to return to the Emperor empty-handed each time. One month after assigning Eda's capture to Lilith, Belos' patience grows thin, and he gives her an ultimatum; should she fail to capture her sister by twilight, she would be expelled from the Emperor's Coven, be labeled a criminal, and possibly executed.[13] Lilith does succeed in capturing Eda, but he breaks his promise to heal her. Belos takes her away to another room, stating that Eda must be dealt with - petrified - instead of healed. He also expresses his desire of capturing "the human girl", as he needs the magic door that leads to the human world. The Emperor sentences Eda to execution by petrification, gives Lilith the Owl Staff, and requests for her to destroy it.[3]

Rebuilding the portal

Emperor Belos oversees the construction of a new portal.

However, Lilith disobeys the Emperor's orders and teams up with Luz and King in order to save her sister from execution. Belos is already at the Conformatorium where the execution is taking place, and he has Lilith and King thrown into the same cage as Eda to be petrified as well. In fury, Luz attacks the Emperor by using a combination of the Owl Staff and glyph magic, but Belos retaliates with his own magic and easily overpowers Luz by restraining her with arm-like tendrils. Luz manages to catch Belos off guard by using an ice spell to chip off a piece of his mask. Amused by the human's spirit, the Emperor gives out a deal: if Luz wants to save Eda, she must give him the portal. Though Belos assured that the Titan's will did not involve invading the human world, Luz does not trust him. In order to save Eda, Luz reluctantly gives him the portal, but not before secretly sticking some fire glyphs on it as she hands it to the Emperor. With a tap of the Owl Staff, Luz triggers the fire glyphs and destroys the portal, angering Belos. To make matters worse, Luz also frees Eda, Lilith, and King, forcing Belos to claim that the Titan willed them to be spared in order to save face. Despite the portal's apparent destruction, the Emperor is able to salvage its remains to create a larger portal for the Day of Unity. Though Kikimora worries about the criminals still at large, Emperor Belos assigns the Golden Guard, Hunter, to keep an eye on the Owl House residents.[3] He also appoints the Golden Guard as the new leader of the Emperor's Coven and places a large bounty on the peaceful Selkidomus to collect its scales.[14]

Day of Unity and ending wild magic

Belos transforms due to his palisman condition.

Belos has a plan to unite the Demon Realm and the Human Realm, somehow getting rid of wild magic in the process. To do this, the Emperor requires the head witches of each coven to recruit as many witches as possible. He reveals his plans to the nine Coven Heads, promising them "Utopia free of wild magic." However, a coughing fit overtakes the Emperor, and he is escorted off by Hunter. Upon entering his throne room, Belos transforms into a monstrous form and punches a nearby pillar. Once the Emperor comes to his senses, he takes a palisman from Hunter and demands for more. However, with palistrom wood becoming an increasingly rare resource, palismen are becoming much more difficult to come by, and while Hunter suggests a method of using wild magic, Belos refuses to entertain that notion. Instead, he orders Hunter to find more.

The Emperor is displeased with Hunter.

Unfortunately for the Emperor, Hunter returns empty-handed. He informs Belos that he was attacked and the palismen got away. Belos is disappointed with him, and when Hunter suggests that he tells him how wild magic did this to him, he lashes out and summons a tendril that just barely misses his nephew's face. He forgives Hunter for his actions, as he knows he can do better.[4]

An unmasked Belos reminisces about the Human Realm.

Though the Emperor was able to salvage and reconstruct the portal, he is not able to replicate the key without Titan's Blood. He originally intends to send Hunter to Eclipse Lake to retrieve it, but later replaces his nephew with Kikimora. While testing an artificial key on the portal, Belos catches Hunter eavesdropping on him. Hunter asks about the Human Realm, and the Emperor reveals that he has been there before and wishes to go there once more; Belos adds that the rain does not boil in the Human Realm, the trees are green, and the nights are quiet. Hunter then asks his uncle why he was replaced with Kikimora, but he cryptically responds that the Titan has big plans for Hunter, and the best thing he can do now is stay safe.[5]

Oncoming eclipse

Belos unmasks himself in front of his subjects.

With the Day of Unity only one month away, Belos personally makes an announcement to all people in the Boiling Isles. When the tide is at its lowest and a solar eclipse occurs, everyone must travel to the head of the Titan, where the worthy will inherit a "utopia free of wild magic." Before ending his speech, the Emperor admits that he hid his face out of fear to his subjects, but this year, due to the overwhelming support of his people, the Emperor publicly unmasks himself. This action is met with cheers from the crowd.


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Luz Noceda

Due to her mentor being a wild witch, Emperor Belos doesn't hold a high opinion on Luz. During their battle in "Young Blood, Old Souls", Emperor Belos constantly taunted Luz, saying, "What's wrong, human? I thought you wanted to fight." He's not above blackmailing Luz either, as he did with Eda's life in exchange for the portal. Although, it seems Emperor Belos doesn't entirely dislike Luz, as he claimed that "he liked her spirit" when she chipped off a piece of his mask. He seems neutral about her for the most part, mainly because she no longer directly has a part in his overall plans.

Eda Clawthorne

With Eda being a wild witch and refusing to join a coven, Emperor Belos has a negative view on Eda and constantly sends guards, Lilith (previously), and Hunter (currently) to capture her. He seems to have little to no regard for Eda's life, as he claimed her life was inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. Also, despite his promise to Lilith, he planned for Eda's petrification, instead of healing her curse. His interest in her mainly stemmed from the portal she had access to, which ended after it was destroyed.

Lilith Clawthorne

Although Lilith was head of the Emperor's coven, in "Wing it Like Witches", it is implied that Emperor Belos put a lot of pressure on her when it came to capturing her sister Eda. In "Agony of a Witch" it is revealed that Belos does not value Lilith since he effortlessly threatened to banish her from his coven and suggested casting her out of the Emperor's Coven as a criminal and possibly executing her if she didn't bring Eda in. Despite this treatment, Lilith did not question his words, nor did she fight back. After Belos reveals that he will not remove Eda's curse, she finally realizes that she had been lied to and rebels against him to rescue her sister. When Lilith was caught by Belos trying to rescue her sister, he has Lilith and King thrown into the same cage as Eda to be petrified with her. However, Luz manages to defeat Belos and rescue them and flee. Enraged that Lilith betrayed him and the Coven and her rescue by Luz, he appoints the Golden Guard as the new leader of the Emperor's Coven, expelling Lilith (in-absentia) from the coven in the process.

Powers and abilities

  • Glyph magic: Philip could draw and create glyphs after learning it from his natural surroundings. He has also had these glyphs etched on his skin and arms, apparently as his research in glyph magic. However, this had malignant side effects on his body, resulting in his arms pulsating and swelling whenever the glyphs try to activate, thus intensifying the physical injuries he sustains.
    • Plant Glyph: By drawing the glyph, Philip can grow plants.
    • Ice Glyph: By drawing the glyph, Philip can make ice.
    • Fire Glyph: By drawing the glyph, Philip can make fire.
    • Light Glyph: By drawing the glyph, Philip can create small orbs of light.
    • Portal creation: By etching a tetrameric set of glyph combinations on the ground, Philip could conjure a large portal to transport himself and anything standing on it to where he wished.
  • Artificial magic: After assuming the identity of Belos, he became a practitioner of artificial magic, along with the Golden Guard. Belos does not perform basic spells like the spell circle and achieves magic through an apparatus, such as use of his mechanical staff or other devices. In spite of this, Belos is an adept in the practice, achieving a vast amount of skill, power, and knowledge with artificial magic that he is described as the most skilled and powerful Witch to ever live. Interestingly, this magic seems unaffected by Luz's cape made of Witch's Wool supposedly capable of deflecting all magic, implying artificial magic is a different brand altogether.
    • Telekinesis: He frequently uses telekinesis to move objects and people without touching them, signified by his gloves glowing red.
    • Flesh Magic: Similar to Jean-Luc's ability to polymorph, Belos is able to create and command fleshy tendrils to bend and form claws.
    • Teleportation: He is shown to be capable of disappearing by melting into the floor to avoid attacks.
    • Earth Magic: He is able to raise sharp spikes of rock up from the ground.
    • Beast Summoning: Belos was shown to be able to summon and control a large monster during his fight with Luz.
    • Mind magic: When Lilith presented her sister Eda in her cursed Owl Beast form, Belos hit Eda with some kind of spell from his staff which made Eda regain consciousness (but didn't make her transform back into her regular humanoid form).
    • Glamour: Belos can cosmetically alter his appearance, which he did to hide the scar on his face.[11]
  • Residence omniscience: Belos is aware of all that happens inside his castle, as he knew Luz, Willow, and Gus were trying to steal the Healing Hat.
  • Telepathy: Luz, Willow, and Gus heard his reprimanding voice when they were in the castle's artifact display. According to Willow and King, Belos can communicate with the Titan, whose carcass makes up the Isles.
  • Sludge form: Belos's palisman-based condition causes him to transform into sludge or a sludge-like monstrosity. The conditions were shown to affect his health when he first appeared in "Agony of a Witch," as he was hunched over and heavily breathing. He then cut open an offered palisman and poured magic essence from within the palisman onto his mask, which was absorbed through the eye sockets and briefly made his eyes glow green, after which his condition was alleviated, and he started to feel better. More acute effects were witnessed in "Hunting Palismen" with him deforming into a monstrous creature, while palisman essence helped him maintain his regular form. While this ailment twists Belos's physical structure, he has some degree of control of it, as he can reshape his distended limbs into sharp blades and spikes.


Behind the scenes

Early development

During a charity livestream, Dana Terrace mentioned Belos had a different name during development. This can be seen in some early concept art, his original name being Obron.[15]

Name and basis

Phillip is a common European name, stemming from the Greek name Φίλιππος (Philippos) meaning "friend of horses". It was popular among kings of Greece, France, and Spain, but was used more regularly in England during the Middle Ages. Phillip's surname, Wittebane, is a conjunction of "witte", a Dutch surname meaning "white", and the word "bane", a term that refers to a scourge or tormentor, from Old English bana. The name "witte" may be a rendition of ƿiċċe, the Old English noun for "female witch", which could be a hint at his intense hatred of witches.

The word "belos" means "beautiful" in several Iberian and Mediterranean languages such as Portuguese, Galician and Corsican. In Latin, the word was also used as a royal title and to refer to several gods in classical Greek and Latin texts.


Emperor Belos is voiced by Matthew Rhys.

In his true identity as Philip, he is voiced by Alex Lawther. Lawther was announced as a guest star in the second season on May 17, 2021.[16]


Initially mentioned in "Covention", Emperor Belos made his first on-screen debut in the episode "Agony of a Witch".

His real identity, Philip, debuted in "Through the Looking Glass Ruins". Prior to his debut, he was alluded to in "Keeping Up A-fear-ances".

Foreign voice actors

Language version Actors Notes
Argentina Spanish (Latin America) Facundo Reyes
Brazil Portuguese (Brazil) Wellington Lima
Taiwan Chinese Liang Hsing-Chang/ Matthew Liang (梁興昌) (Philip)
Germany German Philipp Moog (Belos)
Sebastian Kempf (Philip)
France French Alexandre Crepet
Indonesia Indonesian Solihin Sukabumi
Italy Italian Andrea Lavagnino
South Korea Korean Shin Yong-woo (신용우)
Poland Polish Krzysztof Cybiński (Belos)
Piotr Tołoczko (Philip)
Turkey Turkish Erdem Çalişkan


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To view the various designs of Emperor Belos, click here.


  • Belos's voice actor considers him to be "misunderstood" rather than evil.[17]
  • His identity as Philip Wittebane was not confirmed until the episode "Hollow Mind". However, before that there were details suggesting that Belos and Philip were the same person, or related:
    • Philip consumes palisman essence to alleviate the symptoms of some kind of magical illness, similar to Belos.
    • Emperor Belos is listed within the credits of "Elsewhere and Elsewhen", despite not appearing anywhere within the episode. However, when Philip uses the magic to summon the Collector, Belos's voice can be heard over Philip's.
    • They also share likeness in appearance, both having blue eyes and a strikingly similar crooked nose after Lilith had broken Philip's.
    • One of Philip's unfinished glyph combos summons the hand of a mud-like monster, which is similar in appearance to Belos' flesh magic shown in "Young Blood, Old Souls".
  • The Emperor's name is misspelled as "Bellows" in the closed captioning.
  • He is left-handed, as he's shown only casting spells with his left hand. However, since Belos' magic is artificial, it is possible that Belos can use either hand to cast artificial magic.
  • In the pages of the unauthorized Boiling Isles history book, it provides a passage on Belos: "Before he ascended to the throne, Emperor Belos gained prominence as a crusader for unity during the Savage Ages. He believes that chaos comes from "wild text obscured" and seeks to bring peace by controlling such magic in his coven system. He rules by fear and an iron fist, and his past remains largely unknown. Nevertheless, the Savage Ages caused such devastation that many people have proved willing to follow him."
  • Luz initially suspects that Philip arrived at the Isles in the 1600s, which is eventually proven to be the case. This century was known on the Isles as the "Deadwardian Era".
  • When depicted through the echo mouse, Wittebane's phonology is that of early modern English. In modern context, this way of speaking is called "original pronunciation" and is largely associated with the work of Shakespeare, who flourished in the early 1600s.
  • Judging from the similar appearance of the statue of one of the two Gravesfield founders and Philip's silhouette from the echo mouse, it may be possible that Philip was originally from Luz's hometown.
    • Furthermore, a small icon inside Philip's diary features two silhouettes that resemble the brothers.[8]


  1. Terrace, Dana (July 8. 2020). Oh yeah haha, and just to clear it up. It's spelled "Emperor Belos". Not "bellows". (Tweet). Twitter. Archived from the original on July 8, 2020.
  2. "Matthew Rhys's Tweet". Twitter.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 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.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Dana Terrace (writer) and Bridget Underwood (director) (July 17, 2021). "Hunting Palismen". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 6. Disney Channel.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Dana Terrace (writer) and Bridget Underwood (director) (August 7, 2021). "Eclipse Lake". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 9. Disney Channel.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Madeleine Hernandez, John Bailey Owen (writers) and Amelia Lorenz (director) (April 23, 2022). "Hollow Mind". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 16. Disney Channel.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Zach Marcus, Dana Terrace (writers) and Bridget Underwood (director) (May 28, 2022). "King's Tide". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 21. Disney Channel.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Zach Marcus (writer) and Bridget Underwood (director) (March 26, 2022). "Elsewhere and Elsewhen". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 12. Disney Channel.
  9. 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.
  10. Zach Marcus (writer) and Bridget Underwood (director) (April 16, 2022). "Them's the Breaks, Kid". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 15. Disney Channel.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Cissy Jones (June 4, 2022). "PostHoot Season 2 Finale (11:21)". Instagram.
  12. Dana Terrace, Molly Ostertag (writers) and Bo Coburn (director) (August 14, 2021). "Yesterday's Lie". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 10. Disney Channel.
  13. John Bailey Owen (writer) and Aminder Dhaliwal (director) (August 22, 2020). "Agony of a Witch". The Owl House. Season 1. Episode 18. Disney Channel.
  14. Zach Marcus (writer) and Amelia Lorenz (director) (June 12, 2021). "Separate Tides". The Owl House. Season 2. Episode 1. Disney Channel.
  15. Drawing Cartoons to Save Democracy (September 16, 2020). Archived from the original on September 17, 2020.
  16. "‘The Owl House’ Renewed For Season 3 By Disney Channel Ahead Of Season 2 Premiere". Deadline (May 17, 2021).
  17. "#BREAKING: @MatthewRhys on #TheOwlHouse guest appearance". Instagram (August 20, 2020).
ve Characters
Main Characters Luz NocedaEda ClawthorneKingHooty
Recurring characters Willow ParkGus PorterAmity BlightOwlbertLilith ClawthorneHunterFlapjack
Emperor's Coven Members Emperor BelosKikimoraWarden WrathCoven GuardCoven ScoutFlora D'splora
Coven Heads Raine WhispersDarius DeamonneEberwolfTerra SnapdragonAdrian Graye VernworthMasonVitimirHettie CutburnOsran
Hexside Students and Staff Principal BumpPrincipal FaustEdric BlightEmira BlightMattholomuleBoschaProfessor HermonculusBraxasVineyJerboBarcusBoCatUsurperAmeliaSkaraEileenMoon girl
Glandus Students BriaGavinAngmar
Boiling Isles Citizens Tinella NosaKatyaWarden WrathTibblesAnimal ControlDottieMerchantAlador BlightOdalia BlightPerry PorterPinietMortonRoselleSaltyGilbert ParkHarvey ParkGwendolyn ClawthorneDell ClawthorneAmberDerwinMalphasMaster WortlopSeverineSteveKeeper
Monsters and Demons Bat QueenAdegastSnagglebackGrometheusSlitherbeastThe InspectorFairyJean-LucSelkidomusOwl BeastVeeBatricThe TitanGhostCloverFrewinHawksleyPuddlesEmmiline Bailey Marcostimo
Fictional Characters AzuraHecateGildersnake
Other Characters Camila NocedaInner WillowJacob HopkinsInner BelosThe CollectorTarakBill