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In The Owl House, Emperor Belos wants to kill all the witches and destroy the Boiling Isles. My question: why?

Of course, if you have watched the show, you already know it's because he is a Puritan Witch-Hunter. My question is why does he choose that specific option? Especially for being from the 17th century, there are alternate things he could have done that would benefit him:

  • Try to "save" the witches with colonial Christianity. Back then, they would do the same to Native Americans. Despite being a Puritan, he does not bother trying to convert anyone.

  • Use his empire to his financial benefit. His takeover took centuries before the Bliling Isles became united, so why waste all that hard work? He could have had a slave empire, enslaving witches, having plantations, bringing in valuable materials, building a magic army to take over valuable lands and territories, etc. Instead, he chose to just destroy it all. Like Negan from TWD says, "people are a resource".

In the end, for all that Belos has done, why does he just simply want to destroy everything, rather than try to benefit himself or his faith?

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I cannot remember the exact episode numbers, but during mid season 2 and early season 3 Belos repeatedly mentions that he had a brother who was "seduced" or corrupted in some way by a female witch (whom is it implied, though never confirmed, to be Eda).

His reason for wanting to destroy all witches is that he blames all of witch kind for what happened to his brother.

The reason that he doesn't want to convert them is likely for real world reasons. Disney traditionally avoids references to European based religions in its cartoons. There are a few exceptions, but its the rule more often than not. For example, Christmas\Easter episodes typically only mention Santa and the Easter Bunny.

Real world history aside, in Owl House canon it's never actually been confirmed that Belos was religious, he's never seen in association with any religious symbols or performing any kind of religious acts, and non of his dialog references religion or wanting to hunt witches for religious reasons.

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I don't know.

I don't even see how Belos can mistake the "witches" of the Boiling Isles for the "witches" he hunts.

The "witches" in the Boiling Isles are clearly not members of the species Homo sapiens, while the "witches" hunted by witch hunters on Earth were Homo sapiens.

The "witches" in the Boiling Isles have real magical powers which they use all the time in their daily lives. While Belos could not remember even a single instance of human witches he hunted using their alleged magic in his presence.

No humans accused of witchcraft ever actually had magical powers. If they did have magical powers it would have been much harder to arrest, try, and execute them.

So I don't see any reason why a human witch hunter exposed to the "witches" of the Boiling Isles would confuse them with the alleged Satan worshipping and evil doing "witches" on Earth that it was their job to exterminate.

My only guess is that by a remarkable coincidence the natives of the Boiling Isles use a word in their language which sounds exactly like the English word "witch" to describe themselves, and that Belos is confused by that. Maybe he overlooks all the differences between Boiling Isles "witches" and alleged "witches" on Earth because of the word "witches".

So maybe Belos simply confuses the "witches" of the Boiling Isles with the alleged "witches" on Earth that he persecuted and believed it was his duty to exterminate.

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  • But didn't they offer witches to live by confessing and converting back to God? Not even the Spanish Inquisition just murdered people first thing.
    – Crafter
    Commented Mar 25, 2023 at 18:17

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