Siblings are complicated. You can love them and you can still bicker like cats and dogs. Some will fundamentally disagree with you, and old wounds can last. This is the case in The Owl House, when we meet Eda’s sister. She wishes things were different, but change and reconciliation don’t come easily, especially when your family is complicit in tyranny.
“Future relationships” is the theme of this episode. Luz considers her future, and Eda has to face some bad blood from her past. We also see that there is a darker underbelly to being a witch, that goes beyond petty Wardens and rival potion sellers. Society is to blame, for rigorous structures.
Eda is so annoyed by Luz’s Azura books that she fails to notice any customers are around in the marketplace. Gus and Willow tell Luz that a Covention is going on, where witches can view the various covens, like a job fair. Eda hates covens and has never joined one because it would restrict her so she’d only do one type of magic, and that decision makes her the most wanted criminal in the Boiling Isles. The Emperor’s Coven is the only one allowed to use all types of magic, and they are highly exclusive. Eda despises them the most.
This is already salty worldbuilding, and it gets more interesting when Willow, Gus and Luz run into Amity at the Covention, as well as Eda’s sister Lilith. Lilith is the head of the Emperor’s Coven, and she has to turn in any renegade witches. That includes Eda. Lilith is also teaching Amity, whom Luz challenges to a duel when the girl witch spills King’s food. There is no way Luz can win in a fair fight, so Eda helps her cheat and in fact, insists on it. The stakes are high, since if Luz fails the duel then she is obligated to no longer learn magic, per the agreement that Amity makes.
Things go wrong; it turns out that Lilith cheated as well to ensure Amity would win, against the girl’s wishes, which means the duel ends in a draw. Amity is horrified because, as we saw before, she hates cheaters, and feels like Lilith didn’t trust her to win. Luz comforts her, and Amity agrees that Luz can try to learn magic, seeing how hard the human is working. They nullify the agreement, agreeing to see each other as fellow witches-in-training.
King doesn’t have his best episode; while he helps Luz convince Eda to attend Covention, it’s also technically his fault that Amity and Luz have a grievance in the first place. Then he doesn’t help when Luz realizes that she didn’t think through challenging a better witch to a duel, and accidentally reveals Eda’s booby traps. The King of Demons needs to be nicer to his friends.
Then we have the two witch sisters, estranged and on opposing sides. They make Stan and Ford’s relationship in Gravity Falls look utterly heartwarming. I love the irony in how Eda is the Owl Lady, and Lilith has a raven for her symbol. The owl is thought to be wise but is not, and ravens are known to be smart and cunning. Eda definitely has her flaws, but she is as wise as the stereotypical owl, while Lilith is petty and powerful. They live up to perceptions of the birds, rather than the realities. (I am seriously suspecting that Lilith cursed Eda, as a means to keep her in line.)
Wisdom is definitely a key factor here. When Eda is right, she is right. Luz may be entranced by all of the witches’ groups, but the Owl Lady knows oppressive systems when they stare her in the face. The Emperor has an agenda to restrict magic, for whatever reason, and to have a team of the most powerful witches. Forfeiting your freedom is a form of complicity.
We don’t know what made Eda think this way, apart from dropping out of the magic school and considering it akin to brainwashing. It could have something to do with her curse or the curricula with conformity. Lilith drifted away from her to get to the best guild, and they never reconciled.
With that said, with wisdom comes character development. Eda has made a habit over telling Luz not to go places, only to find out that her apprentice has sneaked out anyway. This time she comes, at great personal risk, to ensure that Luz doesn’t get kidnapped, dissected, or brainwashed. The irony is that she can’t stop Luz from challenging Amity to a witch’s duel, but does what she can to help, even against Luz’s wishes. Plus, Eda uses her keen observation to secure a victory that wasn’t obvious. Even if she loses the duel against her sister, she helped Luz with the first one.
Meanwhile, Luz sincerely apologizes to Amity for the fracas that happened at the magical school. She has nothing against her, apart from when Amity insults King and is being overly petty. When they duel, Luz doesn’t want to hurt the other witch badly. She warns her about the traps that Eda has set, and goes to comfort her after they both lose. Amity is definitely mean at times, but she isn’t wrong. Witches have to put in the work, which Luz is doing. There is hope they’ll avoid repeating their teachers’ feuds though I’m with Eda on this one.
Time will tell if Amity and Luz can actually become friends since for now, they agree to disagree. Too much time will also sever that bond completely. Lilith and Eda are too mired in their feud to reconcile, but Amity has the wisdom to realize that Luz really doesn’t want to hurt her or her future. She accepts the gestures of peace for now, until the next conflict. The Emperor makes it clear to Lilith that he wants Eda captured, so that won’t be resolved for a while.