While the creators of “Into the Spider-Verse” haven’t confirmed Gwen as trans, many fans are able to point out the obvious hints. In her room hangs a trans flag with the words “protect trans kids” on it, and her dad (a police officer) also has a trans flag on his jacket, which no other officer has. And of course, there’s her spider suit, featuring white, pink, and blue, the prominent colors of the trans flag.
Raine Whispers is a major character in The Owl House who is always referred to with they/them pronouns and has been confirmed to be nonbinary! They’re also played by a non-binary actor, Avi Roque, and their younger self acted by also the non-binary Blu del Barrio! Raine is the head of the bard coven, an adorably shy character that, despite their anxieties, is always brave and true to themself. Raine first appears in Season 2, and quickly becomes a lovable and plot-integral character.
- Nicknames: Rainestorm (Eda Clawthorne), Sprout (Terra Snapdragon), rainey.day (Penstagram social media)
- Pronouns/Gender: they/them, non-binary
- Media Appearances: Supporting protagonist in animated TV show, The Owl House
In their youth, Raine was a student of a magic school called St. Epiderm, studying as a Bard student, a type of witch that utilizes music and song as a source of magical power. Raine was at the top of their class, and participated in a program for gifted witches, Instructing Future Witches Of Tomorrow, or IFWOT, though they personally found the event boring. Their third IFWOT would be their most important, as that was when they met their lifelong friend, Edalyn Clawthorne. They quickly became friends, and got through the IFWOT’s challenges as a team of two. After this, Raine transferred to Eda’s school, Hexside School of Magic and Demonics, and eventually got into a romantic relationship with her. This relationship was eventually reluctantly ended by Raine, though the feelings were still there, bothered by her emotionally closed off nature and poor communication skills. It was around the time of the breakup that Raine officially committed to the Bard Coven.
Raine became a teacher for their Coven, which highlighted for them the issues in Emperor Belos’ Coven system, coming to the conclusion that the way witches are forced to choose a specific Coven is wrong. This system revolves around categorizing every witch under a specific Coven, each specializing in a specific type of magic, and preventing them from using all other types through implementation of seals on their wrists. Inspired to make a change, Raine slowly climbed through the ranks, eventually becoming the head of the entire Bard Coven, the highest rank in Belos’ Coven system, and formed a rebel group with other like minded Bards unhappy with it. This group would be called Bards Against the Throne, abbreviated to the “BATs” for a little appropriately theatrical effect, a group dedicated to helping witches avoid their magic being limited with a Sigil . During missions for their rebellion, Raine and the other members wore bat masks to disguise their identities. Raine’s distrust toward the Emperor grew when they, along with all the other Coven Heads, was granted a vision of the Day of Unity, an event run by Belos that would ultimately result in the extermination of every witch marked with a Sigil.
Raine first appears in Season 2, during a mission, where the BATs save a wild witch (witch not limited by a Sigil) from two of Belos’ thugs, but get in over their heads when backup arrives. Eda helps them escape, leading to them officially joining the group. After assisting in raid, Eda hangs out with Raine, like they always used to. When Eda asks Raine how they managed to become Head Witch of the bards, despite their crippling stage fright, Raine simply and confidently says “I’m just that good”. Summoning a lute for Eda, they ask her if she remembers any of the bard magic that they taught her. Upon attempting to play an old song she wrote for Raine, “Raine’s Rhapsody”, they find that, due to Eda’s curse, the magic spreads around her and begins to destroy their surroundings.
They get a tip on another raid the next day, however, this pans out to be a trap set by the Coven heads of the Abomination and Beast Keeping Covens, and three of the BATs are immediately captured. Raine and Eda quickly create a plan to make the best out of this bad situation, seeing an opportunity to take the two Coven Heads out of the picture, preventing the Day of Unity, as it requires all nine Coven Heads for the ritual to function properly. Willing to sacrifice themselves to ruin Belos’ planned genocide, Raine and Eda play a duet, weaponizing Eda’s curse as it rapidly kills their surroundings, but a photo of Luz and King falls out of Eda’s hair, distracting Raine enough to stop their playing, shocked, as they ask Eda if she has kids. In this moment of hesitation, the two opposing Head Witches capture Raine and Eda.
Rather than killing Raine, worried that they won’t have time to find a replacement Head Witch before the Day of Unity, Raine is brainwashed by Terra Snapdragon, head of the Plant Coven, using a special tea. This brainwashing, however, is unsuccessful, as Raine has been using their bard magic to secretly undermine the concoction’s effects, as they pretend to be getting headaches as a result of the brainwashing. Unaffected, Raine continues to work towards undermining Belos’ plans. Raine is assigned to a parade celebrating the Coven system, Coven Day, where they are captured by Eda, but pretend not to remember the BATs, not wanting to entangle Eda in their plans, trying to protect her. As Coven scouts begin to close in on them, Raine finally reveals their true plan, and helps Eda escape by casting an invisibility spell on her. Darius Deamonne, Head of the Abomination Coven, and Eberwolf, Head of the Beast Coven, eventually begin to conspire with Raine, joining their cause. Darius informs Raine about the Draining Spell, the true purpose of the Day of Unity, which will drain the life force of every witch marked with a Sigil. Darius’s plan to prevent the spell, however includes Eda, so Raine disapproves of it, still hesitant to get Eda involved. A week before the event, the three attempt to cast a complicated spell that would allow them to enter the Emperor’s twisted mind, but this is thwarted by Hunter, and he and Luz Noceda are sent into his mind instead. The three then work with Eda and King, and successfully pull the two teenagers out of Belos’ mind.
Mere hours before the Day of Unity, Raine accidentally reveals to Eda that they remember her, on a crystal ball call with some Coven Scouts. Eda begs them to protect Luz and King when the Day of Unity arrives, but Luz and Eda are captured by Terra Snapdragon. The two are quickly rescued by Raine’s group (now called the CATs, standing for Coven heads Against the Throne), which now includes Steve, Darius, Eberwolf, Hooty, and Lilith, who have a last ditch scheme to interrupt the Draining Spell. By branding her with a Sigil, they can disguise Eda as Raine, and allow her curse to disrupt the Draining Spell. This plan, however quickly fails, with Belos expecting it, and Raine is put in place for the spell nonetheless. As Eda is being killed by her her curse, Raine, as they are rapidly drained of their vitality, tears off Eda’s disintegrating arm, saving her life. The Draining Spell is halted suddenly when King summons the Collector.
This is where we find Raine at the start of the show’s third and final season. Raine wakes up next to Eda, immediately who flies up to combat the Collector. her curse stops her midflight, however, and she is imprisoned in the Collector’s Archive house. Raine and the other Coven Heads, powerless against the Collector, are transformed into puppets by the Collector, and tasked with guarding Eda, should she attempt to escape. While in captivity, Eda would leave her cell to visit Raine’s lifeless, puppeted form. After a time jump, we see Odalia Blight, who has been forced into a maid-like position in the Archive House by the Collector, casting a spell on Raine’s puppet form to get them to help her with her daily tasks. Soon after, they’re possessed by Emperor Belos, who uses Raine’s body as a means to manipulate the Collector. Upon learning that the Titan is in fact still alive and quite powerful, Belos sneaks off to the castle, planning to possess the Titan itself, the massive creature who’s carcass makes up the entire island. Raine temporarily breaks free, but is ultimately unable to bar Belos from reaching the throne room and assimilating himself with the heart of the Titan. Raine is pinned to the wall, only able to watch as Belos’ infection expands to cover the entire island. Luz, in her half-titan form, later releases Raine, and they, along with Eda and King, fend off Belos long enough for Luz to tear Belos out from the heart, breaking off his connection to the Titan. After Belos attempts to gaslight gatekeep but absolutely not girlboss one last time, trying to convince Luz that he only attempted a fun little genocide under the control of a curse that he is now free of, Luz watches the acid rain slowly melt him away, while Raine and the other two curbstomp that evil goopy little fascist until he is no more. The castle collapsed, and Belos finally gone, they return to the Owl House, where Eda puts the exhausted Raine in a little handmade nest, where he finally gets some much-needed rest.
Four years later, in a world without Belos’ oppression, Raine becomes a teacher at Eda’s new school dedicated to teaching wild magic, the University of Wild Magic, and work with Alador Blight to invent a method of removing Coven Sigils, which eventually succeeds. In the final scene of the show, Raine is there with the rest of the cast at Luz’s quinceañera.
Notes (kind-of spoiler):
- In The Owl House, most witches are paired with a Palisman, small, sentient wooden creatures that both act as companions and can morph into a staff that can be used to fly or perform spells. It was commonly speculated by fans that Raine didn’t have a Palisman, just like the other Coven Heads or members of the Emperor’s Coven, as this was forbidden, and any Palismans were consumed by Belos upon being seized by the Emperor’s Coven. However, Raine is commonly shown with an ornate viola, with a fox design at the scroll of the instrument, which they seem to summon out of seemingly nowhere. In the final episode, Raine is at one point shown holding a staff with a fox at the head, extremely similar to the way Palismans appear in staff form. It seems as if the writers meant to imply that Raine’s viola has been their Palisman the whole time, which they kept disguised as a viola all this time to prevent it’s seizing and eventual consumption by Belos.