- “I'm Eda the Owl Lady. The most powerful witch on the Boiling Isles.”
- ―Eda introducing herself[src]
Edalyn "Eda" Clawthorne (also known as "The Owl Lady") is the deuteragonist of the animated series, The Owl House. She is a powerful rebellious witch, who Luz befriends and takes her on as her apprentice.
Eda is known as the most powerful witch on the Boiling Isles. But due to her rebellious nature, she is pretty much an outcast/criminal who has a great number of enemies - some of which who are business rivals or ex-boyfriends. She is the sort of teacher that would not only throw someone into the deep water but also set the entire lake on fire.
Eda makes a living selling human treasures at the markets, and sometimes homemade elixirs and potions. She also happens to be a collector, as she keeps most of her human treasures at home. However, she lacks any knowledge and experience on the stuff she sells or keeps. For example, she refers to a TV set as a "black shadow box that reflects only sadness", mistakes batteries, paperclips, deodorants, and buttons for human candy, and mistaking anime movies as workout videos.
She has been known to have occasional short-lived boyfriends. Many monsters and demons will use any methods necessary to capture her, so they can ask her out on a date. Eda always turns them down and in return, her ex's will either try to insist or kill her. She even has the same issues with business rivals.
She is known as "The Owl Lady", due to having been cursed to become a giant and feral owl-like creature, though she managed to counter this with an elixir that prevents her from transforming.
Eda is a tall, slender middle-aged woman in her mid to late forties. She has ivory skin, pointy ears, maroon lips, and golden eyes. Her untamed hair is long and thick and is layered with two tones of gray (originally orange when she was younger). She has a single golden fang, orange claw-like nails, and an oval amber gem on her sternum. After splitting the curse between her and Lilith in "Young Blood, Old Souls", her gem becomes blackened, her left eye becomes gray, and she gains a white streak on the left side of her hair.
She wears a sleeveless two-tone maroon dress with a ripped-like hem design and gray leggings. Her jewelry consists of two orange spherical earrings and an amber spherical ring. For footwear, she wears maroon high-heeled boots. Her nightwear consists of a plum sweater with amber cuffs, a stained, long, violet nightgown, and light yellow worn out bunny slippers.
In Season 2, she gains a new two-tone maroon dress with a ripped-like hem design on the front, and darker sleeves.
Powers and abilities
- Magic: Eda is extraordinarily skilled in witchcraft, proclaiming herself to be the most powerful witch on the Boiling Isles. As such, she has enough expertise that she is qualified enough to educate others on the subject. Since Eda never joined a coven, there is no seal limiting her to only one type of magic. Like all witches, her connection to magic comes from a sack of magic bile attached to her heart. As of "Young Blood, Old Souls", her magic is heavily crippled due to her curse. Because of this, Eda began learning to use magic through glyphs.
- Fire Magic: Eda can summon flames with the snap of her fingers. She can produce fire in all forms, from lighting candles simultaneously in "A Lying Witch and a Warden" to conjuring streams of flame in "Witches Before Wizards". Eda can also grasp balls of fire, as seen on her wanted poster and "Covention".
- Water Magic: Eda can summon water from the palm of her hand.
- Earth Magic: Eda can summon pillars of earth to protect herself from attack and trap opponents. The tops of the pillars have owl faces similar to Hooty and are large enough to swallow enemies whole.
- Light Magic: Eda can create small orbs of light.
- Mystical projection: Eda can twirl her hand and make a glowing glyph-like symbol to project imagery through it.
- Magic platform: By slamming the Owl Staff on the ground, Eda can conjure a magical platform for others to travel on.
- Portal creation: Eda can create a pair of short-range portals one at a time, and whatever enters the first portal will exit out the second portal.
- Force field generation: She can create and maintain force fields powerful enough to withstand boiling rain and scorching heat.
- Magic trap creation: Eda can conjure landmines that do elemental damage, ranging from bursts of flame to gusts of wind and even dirt spikes.
- Invisibility: Eda can make herself invisible using a glyph combination inspired by Luz. However, this spell only lasts as long as she can hold her breath.
- Body Swapping Spell: Eda was shown in one of the episodes to use a spell to swap bodies with King and Luz.
- Staff: Eda owns a magic staff that helps focus her magic and serves as her main mode of transportation. Owlbert, the staff's palisman, can come to life and detach himself, which Eda mainly uses for retrieving items from the human realm.
- Invulnerability: Eda has survived things that would seriously injure or kill a normal person. So far, she has survived decapitation from Warden Wrath without dying, then later took a direct blast of fire from Lilith without being burned.
- Dimensional Storage: Eda occasionally uses her hair to store items, usually books and scrolls.
- Curse: According to Eda, she was cursed as a pre-teen and had no memory of who did it or how it happened until it was revealed in "Agony of a Witch" that it was her sister who did it. As a consequence, she must regularly consume a golden elixir to keep it at bay. Whenever Eda doesn't take her elixir, she transforms into a giant, scary owl-demon, hence her nickname, "The Owl Lady". In this form, she has a feral mind and can quickly climb and punch through walls, but is sensitive to bright lights and retains her fascination with shiny objects. Additionally, she cannot perform magic while in this form. Any living thing she consumes in her cursed form will be regurgitated in a giant owl pellet when she returns to normal. When partially transformed, a part of herself remains intact, making her partially suggestible. In this state, she can understand and respond to commands and can recognize anyone she knows. By "Agony of a Witch", Eda's curse worsened and the elixir she took became less effective, forcing her to strongly limit her use of magic to keep the curse at bay. Her curse eventually overcame her when she used all of her magic to save Luz, seemingly turning her permanently into the Owl Beast. In "Young Blood, Old Souls", Emperor Belos restores Eda's mind while still in her Owl Beast form, although, given how she became feral again when Luz found her in captivity and didn't regain consciousness until recognizing Luz, it is implied that she can turn feral again when under stress and/or anger. After escaping Emperor Belos, Lilith used a spell to reduce the curse's effects on Eda by sharing it with her, turning her back to her normal form but also leaving her unable to conjure magic.
- Limb autonomy: As a side effect, the curse has caused Eda's body to fall apart. However, the separated parts remain active and within Eda's control. Eda can also reattach her body parts without ill effect, making her immune to dismemberment.
- Cursed magic: The curse has also had an effect on Eda's magic aside from weakening it. When she played the lute in "Eda's Requiem", her cursed magic caused everything and everyone around her to shrivel and die, including almost herself.
- Harpy form: by embracing the curse in "Knock, Knock, Knockin' on Hooty's Door", Eda obtains a harpy like form that is a cross between herself and the owl beast. In this form, she has silver wings and black sclerae, with yellow irises. She maintains her red dress, but her arms, neck and a portion of her head become the same shade of red as the dress as well. Her ears are notably larger than her normal form, and their size is halfway in between her normal form and the owl beast form's ears. She has grey bird-like feet that bend in a different way than her normal form. She appears larger than normal, and has a strikingly different voice. Unlike her owl beast form, Eda is fully conscious and in control while in this form, and can transform back and forth between her witch and harpy forms on command.
Prior to the start of the series, Eda Clawthorne was close with her sister Lilith. In their youth, Eda looked up to her older sister who displayed magnificent magical powers and worked hard to be better at it. Over time, it is heavily implied that Eda's powers became greater than Lilith's, and she developed the urge to learn more her own way; making her disruptive and rebellious against authority. This resulted in her earning a reputation while attending Hexside School of Magic and Demonics and forever leaving an imprint on Principal Bump. When the Emperor's Coven began searching for those to join them, Eda and Lilith expressed interest. Unbeknownst to Eda, Lilith feared that she was far more powerful than her and in a bout of jealousy, cursed her in her sleep. When the day came for tryouts, Eda had already made up her mind and decided to forfeit her match with Lilith. However, by then it was too late and Eda's curse took hold; transforming her into a terrifying owl monster. Eda started taking an elixir on a daily basis to quell the curse, but she soon became distant from Lilith who joined the Emperor's Coven. Eda became an outlaw and started performing "wild" magic to prove that covens were unnecessary. The curse further resulted in Eda becoming noticeably more aged, though still rather attractive. She started living in the titular Owl House, which encompassed the house demon Hooty, and made friends with King a diminutive being who claims to be the king of demons.
At the start of the series proper, Eda was in the middle of collecting human garbage with the help of her Palisman Owlbert. She accidentally brings with her Luz Noceda, a human girl who was on her way to summer camp. Intrigued with her "potential customer", Eda introduced herself to the young naive girl and took her back home when the authorities arrived to shut down her stand. Eda immediately saw potential to use Luz to her advantage by having her retrieve a small trinket that had belonged to King from the clutches of Warden Wrath and his Conformatroium. Afterwards, Eda was surprised to hear that not only did Luz want to stay, but she also wanted to learn from her. Confused by a human wanting to learn magic, but intrigued with being able to teach someone something her own way that was not repressive like the Emperor's Coven, Eda took on the challenge. At first, Eda did not seem to take her job as a teacher too seriously as she mostly had Luz perform simple chores for her such as delivering spells and potions to some of her clients while also trying to deter her from wanting to attend Hexside. She eventually loosens up when she realizes how important learning magic is to Luz and witnesses her using glyphs to perform spells, which she had not seen anyone do in years.
Eda starts opening up to Luz when she discovers her curse and introduces her, unintentionally, to her sister Lilith. Eda continues to evade her sister as while she is well aware that she wants to cure her, she will only do so on the condition that she join the Emperor's Coven. Every encounter with her usually ends with Eda outsmarting and humiliating Lilith; all the while trying to prove that a coven will only slow her down. Eda insists that her teachings to Luz are much better than her attending Hexside, but soon she begins to see that she is becoming miserable not being around her new friends and only having a limited palette to work with when it comes to magic. Eda finally swallows her pride and meet with Principal Bump to have Luz attend. The only caveat being that she go and undo all the pranks that she had pulled throughout the entire school, much to her chagrin. Her hard work finally pays off and Luz is able to attend Hexside. Eda warns her that she must do well, otherwise she will pull her out.
Eda's curse begins to worsen and despite Lilith's attempts to help her, she refuses to have anything to do with her. Eda begins focusing on helping Luz achieve her goal to the point that she begins to fear that she is incapable of setting out on her own, especially due to her more happy-go-lucky way of doing things. Nevertheless, Eda starts to become more attached to Luz and even makes a cloak for her as a way of showing her appreciation for how much she has progressed as a witch in training. Eda is horrified to learn from Luz's friends Willow Park and Gus Porter that Luz has been kidnapped by Lilith and arrives at the Emperor's Coven to finally confront her in a witch's duel. During the fight, Eda learns that Lilith was the one who cursed her all those years ago; explaining her reason for wanting to catch her as repentance for her actions. The fight ends with Eda giving in to her curse and getting captured so that Luz can escape. While incarcerated, Eda learns that she is not to be cured, but instead killed for disrupting the order of the Boiling Isles. Luckily, Lilith, seeing the error of her ways, and Luz and King team up to rescue her from Emperor Belos and stop her execution. They succeed and Belos chooses to spare them, claiming that the Isles told him to. Lilith uses her magic to share the curse with her, slightly restoring her to normal. Eda realizes that her and Lilith's powers have diminished, now knows that she will relearn her magic, now that she is closer to Luz.
Eda appears in a "WANTED" poster in the comic book Gravity Falls: Lost Legends, during the story "Face It".
- Her large silver crowned hair combined with her large yellow eyes make her slightly resemble an owl, which is fitting for her title. She also sleeps in a nest instead of a bed, coughs up pellets, and is attracted to shiny objects. These all contribute to the theories of why Eda was called the Owl Lady before her curse was revealed.
- Eda's hairstyle, as well as her personality, are somewhat reminiscent to that of Ryoko Hakubi from the anime series Tenchi Muyo!
- Wendie Malick linked Eda to her character from Just Shoot Me, Nina Van Horn, due to their similar personalities and the way they dress.
- Following the events of "Lost in Language", Eda has begun to display symptoms of Empty Nest Syndrome. While obviously meant as a one-off joke, the fact that Eda is an owl may also be the case for this.
- While her height is unknown, the episode "Once Upon a Swap" gives a slight indication that she is at least under 6'5" tall as she wears high heels and her hair makes her look 7'5" tall.
- Eda shares many similarities and is most likely based on, the legend of La Lechuza. In Mexican folklore, La Lechuza is a woman by day, but an owl by night. In some legends, Lechuza was a witch who had sold her soul to live forever. In other versions, Lechuza was a woman who lost her child and was cursed to be an owl. Based on the various tellings, Lechuza would either simply curse someone who gazed eyes at her or would snatch away or even kill children who came near her.
- Eda also shared similarities with Remus Lupin of the Harry Potter franchise, given that both were tricksters in their youth and turn into a fully fledged monster if they don't take their potion. Additionally, Eda's alias of "Lord Calamity" and the secret room of shortcuts she created may be a nod to the Marauder's Map.
- Eda once implied the curse causes her looks to age faster (given she originally had bright orange hair); at one point, she saw her reflection and noted "Man. This curse is getting bad."
- According to Dana Terrace, Eda once went to Las Vegas and "wasn't impressed".
- On the secret commentary for the Gravity Falls box set, Grunkle Stan describes his ex-wife (who robbed him only a few hours after marriage) as having "hair like an airline stewardess", "a neon pink shirt that said; Over thirty and very flirty", "pale bingo-hall skin" and "one weirdly sharp tooth". The description suspiciously matches Eda, implying that she is the ex-wife he mentioned and explaining why she disappeared adding that her hair and name, "Marilyn" were both fake. In "Yesterday's Lie", Eda is revealed to have been known as Marilyn in the human world.
- So far, Eda has only been absent in the episodes "Through the Looking Glass Ruins", "Any Sport in a Storm" and "Labyrinth Runners".
- Eda is shown to have feelings towards the non-binary character Raine Whispers, in turn, thus confirming her as LGBTQ+. This makes Eda the third main character in a Disney-related production to be LGBTQ+, after Luz and Loki Laufeyson.
- She is also the third LGBTQ+ main character in her own show, following Luz and Amity.