Luz Noceda & Struggling to be Understood
A Deep Character Dive into Luz Noceda from The Owl House
Well, here we are, at the end of this week-long, deep character dive into my favorite characters from The Owl House. I decided to save the best for last, the character that I think has changed the most on the show, and is responsible for changing almost everyone else I’ve mentioned. I’m, of course, talking about Luz Noceda.
When we first met Luz, she was a self-assured, confident, and optimistic girl who couldn’t fit in on Earth. So when she found her way to the Boiling Isles by complete accident, she saw this as the chance to live the life she always wanted. To become a great and powerful Witch like her hero, Good Witch Azura! The Boiling Isles proved to be equal parts amazing and difficult. Luz learned how to use magic, she made many friends, and even found love.
However, time and again, she found herself facing great loss, hardship, and evil that threatened to tear her apart. By the time she returned to Earth, she was an empty shell of what she once was. However, the people she met along her journey stood by her like she stood by them, and while she still has a ways to go, she managed to regain the idealism that the world tried to take from her. More than that, though, she found something she didn’t even know she was looking for: people who understood her.
As someone who is himself neurodivergent and can be seen as different like Luz, her story has resonated with me in a way that few characters in fiction ever do. While she goes through hell during her journey in The Owl House and begins to think of herself as a failure, the lives she’s changed for the better tell otherwise. I’m RJ Writing Ink, and as we get ready to watch the series finale tonight, we finish our deep character dive into The Owl House. This is the story of the girl who’s the light that could save the Boiling Isles.
My First Impression of Luz Noceda
When we first meet Luz Noceda in the series premiere, our initial impression of her can be summed up in two words: she’s different. She’s energetic, likes to express herself in ways that others think are weird, and can’t seem to fit in with her peers. This, of course, tends to get her in frequent trouble with her teachers at school, who all just want her to act like everyone else.
Like I said before, I’m neurodivergent myself, and was no stranger to being treated differently in school while growing up. My behavior was seen as disruptive (which it could be), and I frequently got in trouble with adults trying to keep me in check. I lost count of how many times I got sent to the Principal’s office at one point, and based on what we know, it looks like Luz dealt with similar problems. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have people in my life who knew how to channel my energy toward something positive best. Luz, though, never seemed to have that sort of thing.
Why Luz Ran Away From Home
Time and time again, people would get frustrated with Luz’s free-thinking nature, trying to make her conform rather than helping her. As we see in the series pilot, it got to the point where her Mom’s convinced the best thing to do is to send her to a summer camp to teach her how to be normal. The universe, though, seemed to have other ideas, as she winds up in the Boiling Isles, a terrifying and wonderful world that seems like a dream come true.
After spending the pilot helping Eda and King break into prison, leading a prison break, and beating the Warden, Luz realizes that she fits in far more on the Boiling Isles than she does on Earth. So Luz basically says “screw summer camp. I’m going to stay here and learn how to be a Witch.” And thus, Luz begins her new life on the Boiling Isles, something that will be more wonderful and terrifying than she could’ve thought possible.
Learning a Few Lessons
As Luz learns on her second day living in the Boiling Isles, things aren’t going to go like they would in the fantasy books she’s always reading. For starters, she finds out that Eda doesn’t really know how to be a teacher and keeps dragging her heels on her lessons. Secondly, she learns that being a Witch as the Boiling Isles sees it is impossible since they’ve got an extra organ that generates magic for them. Something she very much lacks. Lastly, her wide-eyed and idealistic nature makes her a magnet for trouble, like how she got conned by one of Eda’s rivals. Or almost got dissected at Hexside.
Despite her shortcomings and having to continually re-learn that there’s no shortcuts to becoming a Witch, Luz does start to make a positive impact on those around her. She quickly endears herself to both Eda and King, neither of whom are used to having someone so nice around the house, with Eda coming to view her as the daughter she never had.
Making Friends, and Discovering Magic
Her sneaking into Hexside gives Willow the chance to show her true talents with plant magic and get into the track she’s good at, and provides the Human-loving Gus a chance to meet an actual Human. And while she and Amity start off on the wrong foot at first due to the latter seeing her honest attempts to be nice as malice, the events of “Lost in Language” finally see her start to get through Amity’s barriers. It also helps that both of them share a love for The Good Witch Azura books.
More than that, though, Luz manages to prove everyone who said a Human couldn’t do magic wrong when she discovers Glyph magic. As the first season progresses, she continues to discover more Glyphs, allowing her to use more and more magic, and she proves to be a natural at it!
Continuing to Make Moves and Shake Things Up
Eventually, Eda makes the decision that she can only teach Luz so much at her home. So, despite loathing the educational system for failing her, Eda gets Luz enrolled into Hexside, trusting that her student will be smart enough to not buy into the “one-track magic” system and be able to change things for the better. Once we learn that Eda had tried, and failed, to do exactly when she was Luz’s age, this vote of confidence takes on new meaning.
As it turns out, Eda’s faith in Luz is well-founded. Despite Hexside trying to force her into a single track, and then put her in detention when she rebels, Luz meets other like-minded students who combine magic as she does. And when they save the school from a Greater Basilisk, they convince Bump to let students study as many tracks as they want. Only in school for one day, and Luz is already changing things for the better!
Luz’s kindness and enthusiasm only continues to change the people around her for the better once she’s in Hexside. Thanks to her shenanigans, she indirectly manages to get Amity and Willow to confront the long-standing issues that caused their past friendship to fall apart, helping Willow get rid of years of repressed anger. She helps Willow stand up to the likes of alpha girl Boscha and win the respect of her teammates. Most significant of all, though, her kindness makes Amity Blight go from hating her to having a massive crush on her!
“Grom Fright” is One of those Moments on TV I’ll Never Forget
Now, because we have to talk about this, it’s time to discuss “Enchanting Grom Fright.” That episode wasn’t just a major episode for the show, but it was a major milestone for Disney as a whole. Fans blew up the Internet when they saw Luz and Amity’s dance, and that only increased when it was revealed that the person Amity wanted to ask to the dance was none other than Luz. Dana Terrace eventually followed this up by not only revealing that Amity was lesbian but that Luz herself is bisexual, a first in Disney’s century-long history. When you consider how Disney, straight-laced Disney, agreed to let this happen, then you know that Luz has to be special.
Milestones aside, this episode also revealed how deep-rooted Luz’s issues with her Mom are. Not only has she been lying to her about being in the Boiling Isles, but her biggest fear is her Mother finding out the truth. She honestly thinks Camila’s ashamed of who she is, and is terrified at the prospect of telling her the truth. As it turns out, she’s right.
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