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Philip Wittebane, later known as Emperor Belos, is the main antagonist of the Disney Channel animated series The Owl House.

The second human to come to the Demon Realm (behind his late older brother, probably named Caleb), he is the emperor of the Boiling Isles and the overseer of the Emperor's Coven who created the Coven System for categorizing magic into specific disciplines instituted by himself in preparation for the "Day of Unity", which would seemingly create "a utopia free of wild magic".

However, in due part to his history as a witch hunter back on Earth, his true goal is to use the Day of Unity to eradicate witches from existence due to his belief that they're a threat to humanity. He is the arch-nemesis of Luz Noceda, the former boss of Lilith Clawthorne, Kikimora, and the Collector, and the creator of Hunter and his predecessors.

In the present, he is voiced by Matthew Rhys, while in the past he is voiced by Alex Lawther.

Appearance[]

Belos is an elderly human with a fair complexion, cornflower-blue eyes and long, rough-looking, ash-blond hair reaching past his shoulders. He has wrinkly lips and a notch on his left ear similar to his nephew Hunter's. Most prominently though, he has a large, basil-green scar, running across his face and down his neck with holes that seem to be eroding it, an indication of how severely his unknown illness is affecting him. "Hollow Mind" implies that he sliced his own ears so they could resemble witch ears.

He wears a mask with two long upward-facing horns. His eyes are hollow through the mask, creating the appearance of having empty eye sockets. He wears a large white and brown cape with gold trim. His eyes can glow light blue, as shown when Luz Noceda cracks the right side of his mask and exposes one of them.

As revealed in the episode "Hollow Mind", his beast form is that of a skeletal figure made out of green sludge with dark patches. His eyes are sunken in and glow blue, his nose is nothing but a hole, and his mouth is shaped in a toothy gape and often glows blue. Two horns resembling those on his mask are attached to his head, as is a long mane of completely grey hair. All over his body are at least eight blue eyes with light irises.

Personality[]

As the ruling body of the Boiling Isles, Belos at first appears to be a calm and collected man, but is intolerant of failure as evidenced by Lilith's consistent failures at capturing the Owl Lady. He also threatens her with harsh punishment, reminding her about what happens to witches who were without a coven. As a demonstration of his authority, Belos had petrified several witches and demons. Belos is a charismatic manipulator who ingratiates himself to the populace. As revealed in "Hollow Mind," Belos staged attacks on villages to manipulate the witches and demons to join his coven systems, uncaring that it could have led to dozens of deaths. Despite him being a controlling force who ruled the Isles with an iron fist, it at first appeared that Belos had a soft spot for his nephew Hunter, the current Golden Guard. However, as the series would progress, it is revealed that Belos sees him as nothing more than a useful tool who he kept in line by claiming the Titan had plans for him.

From the events displayed in "Hollow Mind," Belos killed his own brother when he fell in love with a witch in a rage. As such, it can be speculated that he created a series of Grimwalkers in his likeness as a way of getting him back. However, Belos' "love" can be seen as toxic, since he was completely repulsed by his brother's likeness for witches and his own beliefs and killed him when Belos was unable to control him, who likely opposed his plans. Whenever a grimwalker had expressed signs of rebellion, he would kill them and nonchalantly create another one. The Collector themselves takes note of this and accuses Belos of taking enjoyment out of creating grimwalkers only to destroy them. Belos initially denies it, but his brief grin explicitly affirms the Collector's suspicions.

His most defining trait by far is his narcissism. When he was Philip Whittebane, he was a witch hunter who was the byproduct of an overly zealous society during the Colonial Era. As such, Belos has a holier than thou mentality and is fully convinced that his genocidal crusade against witches is a righteous task that would free humanity from evil. It could also be the reason as to why he murdered his brother: when his brother fell for a witch, Belos disavowed him as a sibling and had no qualms with killing him in a violent rage. Because of his narcissism, he can never perceive that his actions could be monstrous, best exemplified when he blows off Luz calling him "evil" by retorting that he couldn't reason with crazy. His prejudicial view of witches, seeing them as creatures incapable of independent thought or feelings and being around them for centuries, has likely warped him into a sociopath, thinking that the beings around him are beneath him.

History[]

Hundreds of years before the start of the series, Belos started out as an ordinary human named Philip Whittebane when he, and his brother, were lured into the Demon Realm by a witch. Throughout his stay in the Demon Realm, he learned of the Collector and would acquire companions during his journey and would remorselessly sacrifice them for his advancement. He would then recreate the events in ways to make himself seem more heroic than he was. When he met Luz and Lilith, he tried to sacrifice them only for him to receive a broken nose from an angry Lilith.

After making a deal with the Collector (who was trapped in the Titan), Philip creates the "Day of Unity" as a cover for eradicating witches and demons to save humanity from "evil" whilst also freeing the Collector. He then created a series of Grimwalkers and appointed them as the "Golden Guard." From there, Philip, as Belos, would go from village to village claiming to speak for the Titan and inviting the villagers to join covens and imparts them with sigils which temporarily immobilize them (which disappoints Belos, since he wanted them to kill them). In one instance, Belos creates a false attack to convince the populace that wild magic was evil. This led to that village being destroyed.

He would then routinely kill the Golden Guard under the claim that they would betray him.

At some point he constructed a palace as a symbol of unity and collected a vast array of magical artifacts he kept there.

When the prodigious Lilith came along, Belos offered to make her the leader of the Emperor's Coven and help heal her equally-prodigious sister Eda from the curse Lilith cast upon her. In exchange, Lilith was assigned to capture Eda so Belos could induct the rogue witch into a coven.

Season 1[]

Season 2[]

Season 3[]

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