|“||You look wet and tired, human child.||„|
|~ Macha meeting Ben.|
|“||Oh you know nasty things, nobody needs them anymore.||„|
|~ Macha talking about the feelings in the jar.|
Macha, also known as the Owl Witch, is the main antagonist of the 2014 animated Irish film Song of the Sea. She is based on the goddess Macha of Irish mythology. Macha is a witch who waged war against the fairies (or the Daoine Sidhe) and other mystical beings of Ireland by turning them into stone, including her son, the giant Mac Lir. She did this by capturing their emotions and sealing them in jars to keep them safe. She sends her Owls to capture her victims and take their feelings back to her. Her house is full of creatures and people turned to stone, and glass jars full of captured feelings of anger, sadness and happiness.
She was voiced by Fionnula Flanagan, who also played as the Granny in the same film.
Role in the film
Macha was first mentioned by Ben to scare his little sister Saoirse at night with a story of the giant Mac Lir and his mother Macha the Owl Witch, who turned him to stone and stole his feelings.
Later, as Ben discovers his sister is one of the seal people (the Selkies), he learns that she has the power to revive the remaining magical peoples of Ireland, and that Macha is after her, determined to add Saoirse to her collection of statues. She sends her Owls to capture the three fairy men who first abducted Saoirse, and then captures the girl herself.
Ben soon meets Macha in her hut. He learns that she has become obsessed with taking away bad feelings since her son Mac Lir wept an ocean in grief for his lost wife. Believing he would be better off feeling nothing, she took away his feelings and turned him into stone, creating the island near Ben's home. She has also taken to removing her own bad emotions, so that her body has partially been turned to stone, the part over her heart. She has done the same for all of Ireland's magical people, hoping to spare them the pain of being lost and forgotten. She is determined to do the same to Ben and Saoirse so that they need not "suffer" with bad feelings.
Ben manages to rescue Saoirse and release Macha's feelings back into her, which helps her recognize how wrong she's been. Unfortunately, being separated from her coat is causing Saoirse's health to deteriorate, so Ben sets out to get her home with help from Cú and the spirits of Mac Lir's dogs and Macha wishing them luck.
As the Faerie creatures from across Ireland rise and travel to Mac Lir's island during Saoirse's song, and Mac Lir himself emerges from it, Macha joins him and his dogs as they head to the spirit world across the sea.