Hunter (also known as The Golden Guard) is a recurring character in the second season of The Owl House. He is a grimwalker created by Emperor Belos who served as his right-hand man, and thought he was Belos' nephew.
Hunter is laid-back, easy-going, chill, and likes to make quips towards the people he battles with. He is also shown to have an endearing side, taking a liking towards King for his cute nature. In spite of this, he takes his job seriously and always makes sure to follow his boss's orders. He might be quite arrogant and obnoxious, as Lilith calls him "a brat." He is apparently a "genius teen prodigy" among the members of the Emperor's Coven, implying him to be intelligent and resourceful at magic, which serves as the reason for his high rank despite his age.
However, a hidden side of Hunter was revealed in "Hunting Palismen", in which he has been revealed as not only a naturally powerless witch, but also the nephew of Emperor Belos. He is similar to Lilith, being very loyal to Emperor Belos and has some fear of his uncle, but unlike Belos' other employed, Hunter does genuinely care about his uncle, who, according to them both, took Hunter in when their family was apparently destroyed by wild magic. While he does retain fear of his uncle, he does not seem to fear Belos in his monster state and even attempts to sway Belos on a more effective way of harnessing the palisman magic. This also reveals Hunter has an interest in wild magic, having studied it quite thoroughly to the point of knowing some of the ways witches used to do magic back in the Savage Ages, although Belos seems to heavily disapprove of this interest. Outside his connection with Belos, Hunter showcases insecurity and bitterness about being a powerless witch, as he relies solely on his artificial magical staff, causing him to act a little harshly and defensive at times, especially towards Luz, his enemy. However, he gradually warms up to her, even revealing his name later on. While he is indeed her enemy, he is not above trying to help her after she helped him as thanks. After getting to know Luz, help each other out and even listening to Luz criticizing him for what he is willing to do to innocent palismen for the sake of Emperor Belos, Hunter has some respect for Luz by letting her escape with the palismen while holding off Kikimora and when he tells Belos someone went in his way, he does not tell who it was and later the cardinal palisman arrives to his room choosing him as his wielder, despite Hunter's worries for his safety.
In "Eclipse Lake", it is revealed that his loyalty to Belos comes to as an almost obsessive degree, as Belos tells him in his life everyone in existence have a use and his own usefulness will come when the time is right. Hunter believes that if he himself can't be useful, he considers himself "worthless". This obsession has affected Hunter's mental health, as he has a mental breakdown for a moment when Hunter feels he failed again. Hunter seems to listen to Amity's words that he does not have to think everything is an opportunity to justify existing when there are people out there who will not make you feel worthless and not want anything from you as they like you for who you are, and all he has to do is let himself meet them as she offers her hand. However, he chooses his belief as he sees the portal key around Amity's neck. After the fight Hunter went as far as using dirty tricks by threatening to harm Luz if she doesn't surrender the key, after Hunter got the portal key he does show genuine gratitude, compassion and some remorse about this before leaving. Despite getting the portal key with titan blood, Hunter does not look happy because of his actions for this after what Amity told him, Hunter officially bonds with his palisman as they leave.
In "Any Sport in a Storm", Hunter gets a mission to find recruits for the Emperor's Coven and under the alias "Caleb" finds Willow, Gus, Viney and Skara as candidates. Hunter then reveals to them his real name is Hunter and the Golden Guard, as guards appear to take them he says a bit cruel things to take them away from their friends and families forever. In their cell, Hunter can't see why they are unhappy of being part of the best coven, they tell him they don't want this and friends don't stab people in their backs. When Darius takes them and their palismen, Hunter is reminded that their palismen are to be given to Belos, Hunter regrets of what he has done having realized the way he was raised is not normal. Hunter goes to rescue them and when Darius is about to hurt them but Hunter protects them and helps them leave. Despite everything that's happened, Hunter hears that Willow, Gus and the rest do consider him as a friend. Instead of scolding Hunter, Darius praises him and gives him a scroll to contact them as he needs connections outside the castle.
In "Hollow Mind", after Hunter and Luz get stuck in Belos' mind, they discover the memories of Belos of the past has been made out of lies and deception to the witches. Hunter tries to deny all of it, and they see a present memory after Hunter gave him the portal key. He hears Belos says that the Titan have big plans for him was a trick to make him do what he's told and there have been many Golden Guards before Hunter and says that Hunter is the latest one to haven't betrayed him yet. Hunter is hurt that Belos tricked him about the Titan and that Belos doesn't really care about him, and Hunter sees the masks of all the Golden Guards. When he and Luz are confronted any Belos, Hunter no longer denies what he has seen and asks Belos that the whole thing about their family being destroyed by wild magic was also a lie. Belos says something that confirms to Hunter he is a Grimwalker and the one who looked the most like "him" and seemingly gets rid of him. Hunter appears again and protects Luz from Belos (who really is Philip Wittebane). He finally says Luz's name for the first time, and they both escape from Belos' mind. Hunter is shocked, hurt and confused that everything he though and believed in Belos and himself were all a lie, Hunter then throws away his cloak and runs away in panic after finally seeing the truth.
In "Labyrinth Runners", Hunter has been living at Hexside since he ran away in "Hollow Mind" and is found by Gus. Gus asks Hunter if he knows where Luz is, he surprised and worried that Luz isn't with Eda and is missing. Hunter saves Gus from illusion coven head, Gus asks why he's helping and why he ran away from the Emperor's coven which can't answer. Hunter begins to panic again when Belos is after him, Gus helps him calm down with breathing. Gus tells him that people like Luz, Willow and himself are good people who don't have ulterior motives and are trusted.
After Hunter wakes up, he finds himself with Hexside and Gus is taken, everyone knows he is the Golden Guard and can't trust him, Hunter tries to tell them he is on their side, Willow helps to prove his innocence, and they work together to rescue Gus. After managing to reaching Gus, Hunter says he understands what it's like getting tricked and can't trust himself, he says he spent his entire life believing what he's been doing was something good or good for someone, but it was a lie. Hunter tries to show breathing to Gus which makes Hunter do whistling sounds. At the end of the episode, he tells everyone at Hexside that Belos has been lying to everyone, wild magic and the Day of Unity, he is about to tell them the whole thing.
In "Clouds on the Horizon", Hunter, Willow and Gus meet up with Luz as they prepare to stop the Day of Unity, Hunter tells Luz that he is given orders from Darius to protect her. Luz and Hunter talk about what happend in Belos's mindscape, Hunter tells Luz not to tell them he's a Grimwalker, he don't know if he's a witch or a human but he is copy of someone Belos made. Hunter reveals he knows Belos is Philip and that Luz unknowingly helped him as he overheard their conversation in "Hollow Mind", he also empathizes with how Luz feels about it. When group is caught by Odalia and Kikimora, Kikimora taunts Hunter what Belos is going to do with him, but Luz tells Kikimora to leave him alone. During Alador and Odalia's fight, Kikimora grabs Hunter and manage to escape with him, but it turns out Luz is actually Hunter and the one Kikimora took is Luz, Hunter is confused and Gus tells him and everyone that Luz wanted to protect Hunter.
In "King's Tide", Hunter and the rest goes to rescue Luz from Belos. They fight Belos, Belos approach Hunter which terrified Hunter, Belos sees Flapjack and says the name "Caleb". When the Collector changed the Demon Realm, Hunter, Luz, Amity, Willow, Gus and King escaped to the Human Realm, it ends with them (except King) land outside same the old abandond house in the Human Realm and the portal back to the Demon Realms closed off. They go to Luz's home and meets her mother.
Hunter is an adolescent witch with fair skin, pointy ears, dark magenta eyes, thick black eyebrows, a gap between his front teeth, bags under his eyes, and ash-blond hair that is shaved below the top with a long, jagged forelock. He has a notch on his left ear and scars on his right cheek, upper left arm, and legs.
He wears a golden-yellow tunic with darker sleeves and a dark brown belt, black leggings, dark brown boots and gloves, a golden two-faceted owl mask, and an ivory hooded cape with a triangle clasp. He wears a golden pauldron on his left shoulder, while his right shoulder is armorless.
Powers and abilities
- Artificial magic: Unlike all the other witches, Hunter is a powerless witch, and his only source of power is artificial magic which he gets from his staff. Without it, he cannot perform magic. Like Belos, he cannot use Spell Circles and instead uses his staff to do magic.
- In "Eclipse Lake", Eda mentioned Luz getting to know and learn about Hunter in "Hunting Palismen", Luz describes Hunter "a bad but sad boy".
- Hunter is arguably white. Ironically, his voice actor is African-American. This unusual piece of cross-racial casting is shared with Sasha Waybright of Amphibia, an arguably white character who is voiced by an Asian actress.
- Hunter is psychologically a "people pleaser". He strives to please others, or in his case his uncle, in order to avoid conflict. While he is technically being selfless and empathic, at least from his perspective, he is vulnerable and self-destructive. It is also possible that he is being taken advantage of by Belos who is trying to get him to see things his way by subconsciously shaming him into agreeing with his goals. Children who are people pleasers with egocentric parents tend to get shamed into doing what the parent wants. Hunter's palismen will apparently provide positive mental health for Hunter, who will most likely learn that it is okay to put his own needs before others.
- Hunter can't sew.
- In "Hollow Mind", it is confirmed that Hunter is a Grimwalker, a clone of someone of Belos who is Philip Wittebane knows and there was many Grimwalkers before Hunter.
- It is also revealed that the previous Grimwalkers have "betrayed" Philip at some point.
- When Philip sees Flapjack with Hunter, he says the name Caleb. This means the person Hunter is the clone of is named Caleb and since Philip and Caleb are the brothers who went missing in the 1600s, the full name of the brother is Caleb Wittebane.
- At the start of "Eclipse Lake", an open book reveals that the ingredients required to create a Grimwalker are Galdorstones, Palistrom wood, Selkidomus scales, Stone Sleeper lungs and Bone of Ortet.
- During early development, Hunter was going to be introduced early in the series.