'Hawkeye' Episode 6: The Owl Clint Barton Befriends Has a Fun Backstory

In Hawkeye Episode 6, Clint Barton meets an adorable little owl when he gets stuck in the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. As it turns out, the owl was a fun Easter egg, and it has a whole backstory of its own. 

Clint befriends a tiny owl in the ‘Hawkeye’ finale 

Clint (Jeremy Renner) attempts to zipline out of a building window after the Tracksuit Mafia descends upon Eleanor’s (Vera Farmiga) Christmas party in the Hawkeye finale. But he ends up getting stuck in the branches of the massive Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. 

While stuck, the superhero befriends a tiny owl sitting in the tree on a nearby branch. “Hey,” Clint says with a smile as the owl glares back at him. 

When Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) topples the tree, the owl flies out. And later, when Kate uses a Pym arrow to shrink a Tracksuit Mafia truck, the owl swoops in, grabs the truck in its talons, and flies away. 

The ‘Hawkeye’ owl was a nod to a real-life story

In 2020, the real Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a 75-foot Norway spruce from upstate New York, had a stowaway saw-whet owl hiding in its branches. As a nod to Rockefeller Center, the owl was named Rocky and was set free into the wild after rehabilitation. 

Hawkeye started filming in New York City in the winter of 2020, right around the time Rocky was found and released. So when writing the scene, the showrunners likely included the owl as a fun little Easter egg. 

The Rockefeller Center ice rink, tree, and Rocky the owl may have looked real. But according to executive producer Rhys Thomas, they were all recreations set on an Atlanta soundstage. 

“Walking onto the backlot [in Atlanta], which was essentially just a bunch of shipping containers on a parking lot just in the middle of nowhere and seeing this thing emerge,” he told Marvel.com. “It was crazy. The level of detail on the street is down to the weathering on the granite and the fake granite walls.”

“Initially, I remember there was this idea where maybe we just need a portion of the ice rink…then you start looking at the sequence and it’s like no, we needed the whole thing,” Thomas added. “We built the ice rink and the whole bottom level of Rockefeller Center. It was one of the most thrilling things; I’ve never walked onto a set like that.”

The finale post-credits scene was supposed to feature the owl 

Marvel movies and series usually end with teasing post-credits scenes that set up what’s to come in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But Hawkeye went in a different direction and bowed out with a scene from its Broadway show, Rogers the Musical. However, as reported by Deadline, Digital Domain senior animator Elaina Scott revealed that the show was supposed to end with a scene that features the owl. 

“The post-credits of the finale of Hawkeye was meant to have the owl taking the bros [spelling corrected] to its nest,” Scott wrote on Twitter. “Kinda sad they cut it. Would have been hilarious!!”

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