- “Aw, he gets so cute when he's thirsty for power.”
King Clawthorne is the tritagonist of the animated series The Owl House. He is a small demon who claims to be a former ruler, yet displays childlike mannerisms.
He is the diminutive sidekick of Eda, who was once the powerful master of all demons until he was trapped in a small, cute, fluffy body. Now he seeks to restore his titles and glory. He often acts like a monarch, treating people and stuffed animals as minions, ordering others to tremble at his feet and loves to act bigger than he really is. However, due to being so cute and small, he gets the opposite reaction towards people. Instead of fearing him they adore him with a lot of unwanted affection which annoys him. They never pay attention to his threats.
Even though he is not a baby or a pet, King seems to live like both. He relies on accessories meant for babies, such as high chairs and carriers. He curls up like a cat or dog when he goes to sleep. King keeps a lot of plush toys that he claims are his subjects and tries to take over the playground.
In "Echoes of the Past" Eda reveals King's true background. Eight years ago prior to season two, she was looking for a place to hide from the Emperor's coven. She found an uncharted island and headed to a tower to get out of the boiling rain. Upon arriving she met baby King, who thought he was a demon dog.
At the same time she was attacked by a strange creature. She brought him home and gave him a collar. One day she saw King playing around and remarked he was like acting like a king. That was the first time he spoke and from that day forward he thought he was a demon overlord.
Later in the episode, its revealed that King was hatched from an egg and the creature was trying to protect him from intruders. He held his broken horn and recalled that he heard a roar that meant son.
King has a domineering personality and always has a mighty opinion of himself. He seems to suffer from a form of Napoleon Complex as much of his behavior stems from him wanting to be seen as above others. He can be mildly irritable and occasionally gives a passive-aggressive demeanor. However, as the series progresses, he begins to soften and has started to lower his defenses more. In truth, he actually wants to be loved and appreciated by those around him, especially from Luz whom he has platonic feelings for.
King is also shown to be lazy, often lying around the house napping instead of working, and at times must be forced or blackmailed to do work, much to his annoyance. It is implied that him trying to regain his kingly status might be so that he can have an excuse to get out of doing menial labor.
King is a small, short canine/feline-like creature with dark gray fur and gray underbelly and tail tip. He has white claws, black eyelids, pink eyes and yellow sclera. His mouth is dark purple and his tongue is violet. He wears a red collar with a round light golden tag and a dinosaur like skull with horns (one broken, which is later glued back on in "Echoes of the Past") covering his face.
Between the pilot and the actual series, King initially had bright golden brown fur, blue eyes, and red sclera. He also behaved more doglike.
Powers and abilities
- Ultrasonic scream: While going through some demon phase, King discovers he has an ultrasonic scream superpower that can shatter anything.
About eight or nine years prior, the creature who would later be known as King, was resting in his egg, but was disturbed by a strange commotion happening outside. Being small, sleepy and not fully developed, he hoped that the sound would go away and continued to rest. He had heard a strange roar, that he interpreted as "son", and finally hatched from his egg. Small and confused by his new surroundings, he was picked up by a strange amorphous creature who watched over him in a strange tower. The small infant proceeded to make use of his new home by creating "subjects" (rock figures) and having a "glorious" feast (actually just bugs). One day, he was found by Eda Clawthorne, who was trying to escape the Emperor's Coven. Finding him adorable and believing he was all alone, she "rescued" him from the creature, but he broke his horn during the escape; causing him to lose some of his memory. Upon returning to Eda's home, she began to care for him like a pet, until she learned that he was capable of speaking. She dubbed him "King", due to his interest in ruling subjects, and invented a story for him, which he took to heart.
Years later, King, or as he liked to be called, The King of Demons, had grown up believing that he was once a magnificent ruler of all monsters on the Boiling Isles and living with Eda and Hooty all this time. Not wanting to be taken as a fool or a helpless creature, he had successfully convinced himself that this was the truth and laughed or ridiculed those who denied his belief. In his first appearance, he meets Luz Noceda when Eda brings her home. King is shocked at the appearance of Luz, not because she is a human, but because her first instinct was to run up and cuddle him, which frightens him to no end. He and Eda agree to have Luz retrieve his crown from the Confromitorium, a place where they take misfits and incarcerate them. They find his crown, but it is a small fast food children's meal crown, most likely as it is the only thing that vaguely reminds him of his real crown. After having his first adventure with her, King suddenly begins warming up to Luz and even prefers sleeping with her like a dog.
Much of King's character arc comes from his attempts to have some kind of domineering control over others, whether it be due to his own actions or manipulating others to get what he wants. These events usually end up backfiring on him, and he has to resort to admitting his fault and asking for help to fix his problem. Because of this, his stories tend to serve mostly as the B plot to episodes. At one point, he begins to take his time with Luz very seriously, to the point that he considers himself a secondary teacher to Luz besides Eda. He also slowly becomes more affectionate and humble as time goes on, most likely due to the influence of Luz and her happy demeanor. This comes to a point where he felt threatened by the appearance of Willow Park and Gus Porter, but he soon learns to treat them like friends as well.
King also begins developing a better grasp on trying to be more sociable as it is later revealed that he suffers stage fright. He overcomes this when Gus tells him to embrace the moment. This all implies that while he was the King of Demons, he never actually spent much time around others besides Eda and Hooty. It is also apparent that because of Luz, King starts to be more selfless, trying to help or and Eda with their problems before doing anything about his own. Following Eda's capture at the hands of Lilith Clawthorne and the Emperor's Coven, King was ready to join Luz on heading back to rescue her. They eventually team up with a reformed Lilith and work together to free Eda. King even convinces Eda that Lilith had changed for the better and that she was willingly giving up her place in the coven to help her. After Luz frees Eda and Lilith splits the curse between her and her sister, King once again shows his support for her friends.
- “I know you'll eventually go home and now you're spending more time at school. I just wanna be around you!”
- ―King to Luz[src]
King initially found Luz scary upon their first meeting, but has since accepted her. King refers to Luz as his servant, yet knows deep down that she will in no way serve him. Luz clearly adores him for his cute appearance, yet he accepts this as her way of "worshiping" him. In "The Intruder", it is revealed that King envies the fact that Luz sees Eda as being cool and him as only being cute and tries to get Luz to see him differently by helping her with her magic training despite him knowing absolutely nothing about it. To King, Luz is probably the most comforting thing he has. In "Really Small Problems", King begins displaying dog-like affection towards Luz, missing her when she is away at Hexside and wanting to have something of hers at all times.
- “Me and Eda don't always see eye to eye, but I do consider her family.”
- ―King on Eda[src]
King had been raised by Eda since he was an infant. She found him on a mysterious island while escaping from the Emperor's Coven, and took him with her to the Owl House. King believes himself to be better than Eda by title and is not afraid to go up against her to prove himself as seen in "I Was a Teenage Abomination". He hates admitting that he was wrong about anything to her as it would give her bragging rights. Nevertheless, he seems to have taken to her like a child to his mother. Due to his small body, he is usually found being held like an infant by her, showing that they are at least close. In "Eda's Requiem", King legally becomes Eda's adopted son, showing that he does look up to her in a maternal way.
King treats Luz's friends the same way he once treated Luz herself when they first met. He seems to tolerate Willow and Gus, but had very negative feelings toward Amity when they first met as seen in "Covention". He personally sees them as beneath him, but has grown to be amicable with them. In "Really Small Problems", he wanted to keep Luz to himself and keep Willow and Gus away, but by the end sees how important they are to her and accepts them as his friends. It is implied that once Amity started being friends with Luz, that King too started to tolerate her as well. Nevertheless, he sometimes displays a passive-aggressive nature around them, but it is usually in good fun.
- When King talks, his lips do not move, as though speaking telepathically, yet others can hear and understand him.
- King's voice is a pitched up version of the one Alex Hirsch used for Bill Cipher in Gravity Falls.
- When initially inquired, King's age was completely unknown, including to series creator Dana Terrace herself. However, the episode "Echoes of the Past", reveals that he is roughly eight or nine years old.