“The burden of knowledge”
Still thinking how Gus had to see 400 years of trauma flash before his eyes in less than 10 seconds. My son needs a hug, all of them.
Some notes on symbolism under the cut:
- Grimwalker hands protruding from Belos' back and reaching for the knife, to "betray" him
- Caleb facing a GG mask and Philip facing flapjack (for obvious reasons,,,)
- Hunter reaching out for Flapjack
- Little Philip looking at none of the tragedy he is about to do in the 400 years
- Beast Belos grasping both his younger version and the Collector
Hunter and Hindsight Bias
TW: child abuse, depression, self harm, suicide
This is something I realized very recently and it’s honestly quite sad.
So in psychology, there’s a principle called hindsight bias, which basically means that you look back at previous events and wonder how you didn’t notice something. This phenomenon can apply to pretty much anything, but one thing I find that it applies to often is situations involving mental health and toxic relationships.
Hunter’s character arc in the Owl House is a good example of this type of hindsight bias.
When you’re first presented with the Hunter scenes, some stuff about him may go over people’s head (like it did with me). You first see more of the negative traits, such as Hunter’s threats towards Luz and his overall abrasive nature to people. I first watched the show and I thought he was just going to be a typical edgy kid who gets softer as the show goes on. That Hunter wants to serve the Emperor and will only stop once he gets nothing out of it.
Then Any Sport in a Storm rolls around, and we get more of a direct comparison with people his age. That’s when a lot of people begin to realize that Hunter’s differences are not only tragic, but they’re out of his control.
We see even more of these signs of abuse in Hollow Mind with Hunter’s excessive denial over Belos, a common thing that many victims of abuse go through. This of course leads Hunter to run away from the Emperor and join the Hexsquad.
On a rewatch, I notice a lot more details in some of Hunter’s body language, expressions, and actions. You can see small things such as Hunter bracing when some gets close to him:
how scared he looks when he thinks he failed or will have to go back to Belos
and how a lot of actions that were first seen as manipulative or cruel, were actually more out of ignorance with good intentions or the need to save himself. His conversation with Amity about Luz’s message in Eclipse Lake is a prime example of the former (ignorance with good intentions disguised as manipulation) and his threats towards Luz in Hunting Palismen and Eclipse Lake are prime examples of the latter (survival disguised as cruelty).
Bottom line, I think many of us look back and realize that Hunter had these signs that he was going through abuse, but we see them a lot more once we know the truth. It really shows how well written Hunter is, because sadly, a lot of situations involving abuse, depression, self harm, suicide, or otherwise can have many signs that we miss in the moment, but we look back and realize that they were in need of help for a long time.