Since owls have evolved to become expert pathfinders capable of tracking small, stealthy prey, they have become Mother Nature’s version of Big Brother. With an all-seeing eye, owls are perfect fits for displaying themes of possessive relationships and personalities that crave control.
Insecurities enable possessive personalities. If you value your insecurities, you’ll likely put your own needs over everyone else without realizing it because you’re afraid of what people could do to you. It’s okay to be afraid, but it’s not right to control people just because you don’t feel secure.
Batman vs Robin
In Batman vs Robin, the main villain is a masked killer who calls himself, “Talon”, a member of a cult named “The Court of Owls”, an organization that has plans to control the city to eliminate crime.
The Court of Owls wants to control Gotham so they can have closure that everyone is doing their part. Much like a possessive partner, the Court of Owls is so scared of the world around them that they feel like they have to keep eyes on everyone just to feel secure.
If you try to control your partner, you’re only going to encourage them to cheat on you or leave you because they could easily find someone else who could make them feel loved and secure.
If you are overly protective of your child, you’re only going to encourage rebellious behavior because your child is craving the freedom that you’re neglecting to give them.
In short, a possessive relationship is not a relationship. In these relationships, the abusive partner, whether they’re aware of it or not, sees their partner as property rather than a companion.
After all, Talon’s father was explained to be someone who would beat him despite all of Talon’s efforts to make him proud, and would only enable Talon to rat on his dad to the police. Talon was manipulated into joining the Court of Owls because he never knew what it felt like to be loved. The Court promised Talon a future where all criminals like his father would be non-existent. Talon, much like Iggy, didn’t believe that humans were capable of kindness.
Horrible things are going to happen, and you can’t prevent those things from happening by treating people like hostages. Although the Court of Owls promises to keep everyone safe, they rob them of what keeps them human, therefore, they are removed of their privileges to express themselves.
To further prove this, The Court of Owls runs an operation where they turn volunteering followers into soldiers or, for a lack of a better term, “zombies”, who were promised immortality at the cost of their humanity. The chemical process that turns them into zombies removes their higher thinking so they can only focus on the fight. These soldiers are effective warriors, but they only serve allegiance to the Court of Owls because they were removed of their ability to reason.
God gave us free will because he wanted us to be responsible for our own destinies so we could live the lives we want. Trying to revoke that gift because we’re afraid of what someone ‘could’ do, is downright insulting.
Keeping a Goldfish
The Court of Owls could be best exemplified by a pet goldfish. The goldfish is given a small water bowl and some fish pellets. The bowl has no filtration, and the fish is given no decorations to interact with for psychological enrichment. The fish is constantly breathing and swimming in his own waste and has no control over the life that was given to him because he has no voice.
His owner keeps his environment like this because the fish makes them happy. The fish is far from content, but his owner lacks the awareness to consider their animal’s health. In abusive relationships, the victim represents the goldfish, as they are conditioned to obey so their partner doesn’t have to feel lonely. In these situations, the victim can leave, but they are stressed into believing that they aren’t capable of finding anyone better, since they’ve spent so much time as a slave.
If you are so afraid of not being capable of taking care of yourself that you’re willing to strip away someone’s freedom to keep you secure, you are a horrible person. Horrible things are going to happen and people are going to hurt you. Stripping someone else’s freedom so you don’t have to face the horrors of the outside world is a selfish thing to do. It’s okay to be scared. There’s nothing wrong with being vulnerable. After all, you have no control over what the world throws at you.
As a parent you might think you know what’s best for your child. And, although that may be true, if you truly want that to be reflected in your child, you have to let them make their own mistakes so you can guide them to the lessons they need to learn.
Song of the Sea
Macha, Song of the Sea’s main villain, is an old witch who thinks she knows best for her community. After her son suffered through a terrible tragedy, he cried a whole ocean in his sadness. Using her magic to put an end to his suffering, Macha sent her pet owls to take away his feelings, turning him into stone. Macha couldn’t bear to see her son suffer like that, so she thought if she could take that pain away, he would be in a much better place.
Macha believes that feelings are things we should reject rather than embrace. She uses her owls to find people who are suffering and take that pain away from them. However, because our pain is something that keeps us human, taking that pain away turns her victims into stone.
Macha could be best compared to an overprotective mother. She doesn’t want to see us in pain, so she’d rather take it away than see us in a state of suffering.
From her perspective, she doesn’t want to give the world a chance to hurt you, so by turning you to stone and keeping you in her control, she won’t have to see you in pain.
Even though Macha’s philosophy comes from a kind heart, she’s just as toxic as the Court of Owls. By keeping your child from making friends, making mistakes, and getting hurt, you’re preventing them from learning life lessons that will carry with them into adulthood. This is why fathers are so important because children need a masculine father figure in their lives to teach them the value of their independence so they don’t learn to rely on others. You can learn more about this in my post about Life of Pi.
When Macha turned her son to stone, she removed his suffering, but she removed his ability to think for himself so he could heal on his own.
Of course, Macha didn’t know any better, she just wanted to be there for her son. As a mother, only knows how to nurture, and the only way she thought she could help was to take away the feelings that were hurting him. She wouldn’t be able to live with herself if she allowed her son to go on in the state he was in.
However, what Macha eventually learned is that all we can do for the ones we love is be there for them while they heal. Although they’re suffering now, eventually, the pain will subside and they will learn how to cope with their suffering.
As a parent, it might be scary to allow your child to experience things on their own, knowing what could happen to them, but without these experiences, they’ll never learn how to take care of themselves. If they have somebody with them to guide them through these experiences and help them learn to value independence, they’ll become successful individuals in adulthood.
You can’t control what will happen to the people you love. All you can do is help guide them through the learning experience so you can ensure that they learn the right lessons. By doing this, they’ll learn how to become independent on their own.
Both Macha and the Court of Owls wanted to achieve peace through control. However, we only have control over our actions. It might be terrifying at first to consider that someone can hurt you at any second of the day, but once you learn that you have no control over the outside world, you’ll learn to see these events as learning opportunities. If you enjoyed this piece of content, consider subscribing to my mailing list so you’ll be notified whenever I make another entry towards The Octopus Adventure.