Halloween may have been yesterday, but I’ve still got one last surprise before next year. If you’ve kept up with my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been a fan of The Owl House since day one. It’s easily one of the best cartoons Disney’s put out in recent years, not to mention great representation of the LGBTQ+ community in kid’s cartoons. Still, if my reviews of Star vs. Fanfics tell you anything, it’s that sometimes, watching the show’s not enough. I want to experience what the fans have come up with for something I love. That’s why I want to tell you about one of the best fanfics I’ve ever read, Luz Clawthorne: Hexside’s Number One Delinquent Witch.
Written by: JP-Ryder
First Published: October 17, 2020
Type of Fan Work: AU
In an alternate timeline, fourteen years ago, Eda the Owl Lady’s rummaging for garbage on Earth to sell when her palisman Owlbert leads her to a nearby wrecked car. Inside the vehicle is Camilla Noceda, who, tragically, did not survive the crash. However, her sacrifice ensured that her infant daughter, Luz, did survive. Taking pity on the infant, Eda brings her back to the Boiling Isles. Despite initially wanting to return her to Earth, Eda grows too attached to the baby and eventually decides to raise her Luz herself.
Flashforward fourteen years, and Luz Clawthorne’s every bit the troublemaker her mom was at Hexside. She enjoys picking fights with bullies, regularly scams kids and adults, and is the bane of authority figures everywhere. Unfortunately, all of Luz’s hellraising starts to catch up with her when Principal Bump gives her and her mom an ultimatum: she has to turn her life around, or she’ll face the consequences. Yet changing for the better proves to be harder than Luz could imagine, as she and the people around her all have to deal with some serious issues. This is the story of a human girl living in the Demon Realm.
Sweet mercy, this story is so good.
If The Owl House Didn’t Have Disney to Hold it Back
One of the great things I love about fanfiction is that it lets fans tell stories without some groups’ limitations. For example, a kid’s show that likes to delve into serious issues like prejudice, sexuality, and abusive relationships but has to hold back because it’s meant for kids? In fanfiction, there’s no such restriction, letting writers explore mature concepts to their fullest extent. In other words, they don’t have to hold back, which is what Luz Clawthorne does, and it does it well.
The initial premise of the story is already darker than what Disney might allow. Luz was orphaned as a baby, only to be adopted by Eda the Owl Lady and raised on the Boiling Isles. As sweet as it sounds, keep in mind, Luz grows up never knowing her birth mother, and while she may not say it, it does bother her. And that doesn’t even begin to cover the prejudice she faces being a human on the Boiling Isles. While one would think her tougher, delinquent personality results from being raised by Eda, that’s only partially right. Truthfully, it boils down to an incident from when she was little that broke her in every sense of the word, causing her to put on a tough persona to survive. Luz spends most of the first book trying to overcome her past trauma, which can be downright heartbreaking to read.
The same goes for the rest of the cast. Most, if not all, of the story’s main and secondary cast members have their own issues to work out. Rather than just simple teen drama, though, JP-Ryder veers into very dark places, touching on subjects such as PTSD, self-destructive personality traits, abusive parenting, and especially the consequences of one’s actions. In fact, the whole theme of the story is everyone learning that their actions, both good and bad, have lasting results. Unfortunately, they may not often like what happens.
Different Relationships Found
One of the great things about Luz Clawthorne is that it completely shifts the dynamics of the relationships between the characters. Because Luz has spent her whole life on the Boiling Isles, everyone’s either known her for years or heard of her in rumors. As a result, the relationship she has with everyone drastically changes. Willow and Gus are her childhood friends and among the few outside the Detention Track who will hang out with her. She starts off the series with a very poor relationship with Amity, and an even worse one with Boscha. In addition, she’s not well-liked by many of the teachers at Hexside, and the feeling are mutual.
In keeping with the theme of actions having consequences, Luz spends most of Book One trying to deal with her relationships with others. Unfortunately, due to her own actions, both past, and present, several key relationships in her life get severely strained. While Luz ultimately overcomes most of these hurdles and builds stronger relationships in the process, Boscha’s continued hatred leads to the demon girl retaliating in the cruelest way possible. I almost cried when I read what happened.
And then there’s Lillith. Of all the characters on the show, Luz being Eda’s adoptive daughter, ends up changing Lillith far more than anyone else. Having been kept in the dark about Luz for years, Lillith’s world is turned upside down by the knowledge that she has a niece, and a human one at that. This leads her character down a very different path than in the show, and one that ends up putting her through the wringer for what she did to Eda.
An Absolute Thrill Ride From Start to Finish
Currently, Luz Clawthorne is on hiatus while JP-Ryder writes up the second book. While I won’t say what happens, I will say that you shouldn’t expect things to turn out like they do in the show. This might end up being for its betterment, though. At the end of the first book, we’re put through an absolute rollercoaster of emotions. Most of the cast is in a far different spot than when we found them, and it makes me genuinely want to see what comes next.
In addition, The Owl House is not the only Disney property to make up this story. While I won’t spoil the surprise, let’s say that it feeds into the fan theories that The Owl House and another popular Disney cartoon are connected. And this makes for some interesting stories that I hope to see the payoff for in the future.
Honestly, Luz Clawthorne is one of the best fanfictions I’ve ever read. If you like The Owl House or want to get into it, then I cannot recommend this story enough.
Just, be prepared for singing. JP-Ryder likes the musical numbers found in a lot of Disney Properties, and it carries over.