Disney has announced that The Owl House Season 3 will premiere on October 15. This will take the form of the first of three extended specials that make up the ambitious final chapter of Luz Noceda’s story, with the other two to follow in 2023. Safe to say I am not ready at all.
Aside from a brief synopsis courtesy of the official press release, little information is known about the upcoming season and exactly how it will play out. The reveal was accompanied by a gorgeous new poster though, which in typical Boiling Isles fashion, is filled with obvious hints and subtle clues that provide an ample amount of ground for us to speculate upon. There could be a time skip, beta design callbacks, a greater focus on unsettling horror, and who knows what else awaiting us in the first special.
I am somehow paid to delve deep into my favourite gay cartoon, so let’s get started.
It sure looks like there was a time skip
The first thing I noticed is how all of our characters look older and more weathered than when we last saw them. Luz’s hair is notably longer and more disheveled, while she is also sporting the t-shirt, pants and a few other quirks from her beta design. Holy shit I just realised she’s wearing a hat too, we really are in the endgame now. Don’t even get me started on Amity’s roots, yet another callback to her original concept.
Anyway, I think this is both a callback to the past and a clear sign that our protagonist is growing up after returning home and coming to face the consequences of leaving her mother behind and going up against Emperor Belos. The Owl House has always been about growth both physical and emotional, and we are seeing concrete proof of the former throughout this artwork. Amity’s hair is longer, and she’s wearing adorable overalls, Hunter has had a haircut, Gus is sporting a hat, and even Camila has streaks of grey running through her hair.
All of this seems to imply that a decent amount of time has passed since the Season 2 finale. At least enough for the cast to get their bearings, don new outfits and begin to show the signs of absent home comforts. I don’t know about you, but I love myself a time skip, and knowing our heroes have spent weeks or months trying to find a way back home while Emperor Belos is operating in the background will only serve to create even more drama, while also giving our witchlings a chance to bond with the human world. Amity will meet Camila while Hunter and Gus can become even better friends. There’s also the presence of Vee to think about and how exactly she will tie into the wider story now Luz is back in the picture. So many questions!
Emperor Belos is back and gooier than ever
I am convinced that this first special will conclude with our main cast returning to the Boiling Isles. They will find a way back to stop The Collector and save their friends, even if right now such a feat seems impossible. However, they aren’t alone in the human realm either. The end credits of season two revealed that a slimy remnant of Emperor Belos managed to slip back into his home world. Philip Wittebane hasn’t come back home for centuries, and seems to believe his magic will be powerful enough to enslave humanity and usher in a new norm. He doesn’t stand a chance, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be a massive threat to our cabal of teenagers.
Despite last seeing this fascist dictator as an insignificant piece of slime, the poster implies that Belos is capable of regaining his original form through nothing more than a small piece of his overall being, His lumbering presence can be felt behind all of our characters in the poster, hiding behind a combination of dense forest and decaying gravestones as the characters appear to be searching for him. Either that, or Luz and company are being hunted by a threat they currently have no means of defeating. Judging by the wand and palismans present, it appears that magic does indeed work here too.
Hunter has a haircut!
I know I mentioned a bunch of appearance changes earlier, but our traumatised boy deserves a special mention. Hunter has been through the ringer more than most in recent episodes. He started as an obedient servant to Emperor Belos, and came to learn he was also the next in a long line of Grimwalkers doomed to perish the second he came to discover his true destiny. But he managed to run away and begin piecing together a better life, to make friends and leave behind past prejudices even if it meant starting all over again.
He still has a long way to go, and will be terrified when Belos comes knocking given how he disobeyed his master and sided with humans who want nothing more than his downfall. Also – look at our boy’s hair! It’s so much shorter, and is tragically missing a messy squiggle we spent an entire season falling in love with. Maybe it’s just for the poster, but changes like this are often done with purpose, even more so given all the other small yet specific details on display.
The first special will be spent in the human world
Disney is spacing this trio of specials out with clear deliberacy. While the third season is being shortened, it’s obvious that Dana Terrace has a special conclusion planned for a show that deserved to live on for so much longer. When combined all three specials will equal the length of a feature film, so I think it’s fair to consider them as three acts that will aim to tell an overarching story. Luz, Amity, Gus, Hunter, and Willow are now trapped in the human world with no way to save the Boiling Isles, which itself is likely on the brink of collapse once The Collector gets to grips with his newfound powers.
The first special will spend the majority of its time in the human world, basking in the time skip I mentioned earlier as our ensemble formulates a strategy and figures out how to best make it home and save their friends and family. We left them in a state of defeat, standing amidst the pouring rain with nowhere to turn except a family Luz has been trying her best to stay away from. Now she needs help, and will have to convince her mother that leaving her behind once again is the right thing to do. The weight of this decision won’t be felt unless we feel bonds form and Luz shows Camila how much these new friends mean to her.
She didn’t run away because she hated her mum, she did so because she needed to find herself and never felt listened to, like her only option was to ditch the only family she had left in the hopes of solidifying one that understood her. We’ve already seen this conflict explored in previous episodes, alongside the passing of Luz’s father and the potential rift that might have formed between the Noceda clan. This remains a Disney show, so I don’t expect it to get too heavy, but The Owl House has shown us time and time again that it isn’t afraid to explore trauma and consequence, so if these specials are aiming to go out on a high, we should prepare ourselves for some tears.
The graves could be our way back home
I could be misremembering my lore (if so please label me as a fake fan) but if recall correctly, Philip Wittebane hailed from the human world but centuries earlier, meaning he was able to find his way to the demon realm of his own volition, or he followed a visiting witch out of his curiosity and found himself trapped with no way home.
Knowing this, and given the presence of gravestones in the poster, there is a chance that Luz is looking for a way back to her friend from beyond the grave, or lingering titan blood and magical clues hidden amidst the soil and memories of those who have long called it a day. It would explain all the horror vibes, and why everyone is so on guard and prepared for a fight. Belos is also there to stop them, and would feasibly be after the exact same thing.
It’s spooky and gay!
These witches gay. Good for them. Not just gay though, they’re also proper spooky. 10/10.
I’ve likely missed loads of smaller touches in the poster hinting at what’s to come, so feel free to hit me up on Twitter with your theories and observations!
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