Locke & Key Wiki
Locke & Key Wiki

The Head Key is one of the oldest Keys created by Benjamin Locke.


The key was created by Benjamin during the Revolutionary War. His sister, Miranda, used this key to fill her head with knowledge on how to fight and kill, as well as removing her own fear, presumably in order to fight against the English.[1]

In 1988, the Tamers of the Tempest tried to incapacitate the recently-possessed Lucas Caravaggio by depriving him of his memories, only for the demon, Dodge, to recover them from Ellie Whedon.[2] Dodge used this key to remove a piece of himself and planted it at her house as a failsafe. After this, he emptied all the contents inside Erin Voss's mind loose inside the Drowning Caves,[3][4] which rendered her catatonic.[5]

Bode finds the Head Key

Rendell Locke threw the Head Key into Keyhouse fountain,[5] but decades later, it was rediscovered by his son Bode Locke.[6] Bode demonstrated the key's abilities to his siblings;[7] Kinsey used it to remove her fear,[8] while Tyler used it to add his homework's reading to impress Jordan Gates.[9] Dodge briefly used the key to remove all of Duncan and Ellie's memories of him to ensure his identity remained a secret,[10][11] but failed to do the same on Rufus, as the key failed to produce a lock, because Rufus's mind functions differently from others.[11]

Tyler used the key to hide the Omega Key inside his head.[2][12] However, after Kinsey's Fear and Tears infiltrated his mind, Kinsey and Bode discovered the key's location while removing the foreign thoughts from Tyler. To prevent any more loose ends, Kinsey had her thoughts returned to her head, causing her to cry repeatedly.[12] While trapped in the Drowning Caves, Kinsey learned Erin's memories were still inside the Caves,[4] some of them subsequently aided in defeating Dodge.[13] Two weeks later, the Lockes recollected Erin's memories from the Drowning Caves and returned them to Erin and restored her sanity.[14]


The Head Key allows the user to open someone's head so that thoughts and memories can be inserted or removed from the subject's mind. This function is limited, however, because if a person's mind originally operates differently from most others, such as mental disorders, the key cannot be inserted into the person's mind.[11]

Thoughts and personality traits seem to be removable, as Miranda and Kinsey Locke removed their fears, becoming much more confident afterward.[8][1]

The Head Key can be used to "share" memories between people by taking them out of one person's head and placing them into another.[15]

Using the Head Key, items and knowledge can be directly placed into a person's head and later retrieved.[2]

If a subject is injured while present inside someone else's memories using the Head Key, the injuries are reflected in real life.[16]

The memories themselves are not always accurate and can be affected by the subject, particularly their state of mind. For example, Bode Locke's recollection of the Lady in the Well was inaccurate, as she appeared more monstrous than in reality.[9]

Though many memories seem alive, they are seemingly invulnerable to dying, or at least drowning.[12][4]

As Erin Voss was being completely emptied out, her mental state degraded and her hair became white.[17]


The minds of many characters have been seen with the Head Key. The following are some highlights.

Bode Locke[]

  • Sam Lesser and Al Grubb
  • Bode as a construction worker
  • the Moth
  • a phone number with a Californian area code, presumably the Lockes' old phone number
  • Space Invaders
  • Tyler as a caveman
  • Bode as a stick of dynamite

Tyler Locke[]

  • Sam Lesser telling Tyler that he killed Rendell because Tyler asked him to
  • Rendell, with the bullet hole where his right eye should be
  • Kinsey, Bode, and the paint cans Tyler stepped in that Sam used to follow Tyler
  • Shep Martin being arrested after crashing his car and injuring Kinsey
  • Tyler holding a mask with Sam's scars
  • Three Tyler's doing the gestures of the Three Wise Monkeys
  • The hatchet Nina used to kill Sam
  • The gun Sam used to kill Rendell
  • His teacher dominantly lecturing him while he's naked
  • The well, where he's locked up his own fear in shape of The Dark Lady, as well as all other negative emotions.
  • His Bravery looking like he probably did as a kid, with a big hook he got from his dad.
  • Many naked women.

Ellie Whedon[]


  • Inside of Kinsey's head is never fully shown in the graphic novel, but it looks hollow and Kinsey's Fear and Tears are shown.
    • In the Netflix adaptation, her head is a Mall with each shop-front presenting a different memory.
      • Some include memories of her father and her father's death.
  • Erin Voss had everything plucked out of her head. As a result, the inside of her head was blank white. When she later made new memories, they would disappear nearly instantly.[18]
  • According to Zack, Duncan Locke's inside is full of colors,[10] which is unusual for adults unless intoxicated. This might be because he's an artist.
  • Rendell Locke's head is implied to be where he hid the Omega Key, as Tyler would later do the same.
  • After being possessed by a demon, Dodge's head is full of gruesome manifestations of his friends being murdered, several figures of himself, and the black door.

Guide to the Known Keys entry[]

Head Key Excerpt.jpg

"of alle the keys I have forged from the WHISP'RING IRON, 'tis the key that opens the human mind I most regrait. Miranda had a pervairse fasinaytion whist the key & hast us'd ait to fill her head with all thair is to know about WAR & THE SLAIYING of MEN, & she carrys an arsanall whist her whairever she goes. Yet I am less in dred of what she has put in than what she hast removed. Sometimes it is as if she is now without FEER and indeed is herself more man than I!"


  • The keys have worked differently for Rufus Whedon, including the Head Key which Zack Wells attempted to use on him; not allowing him to alter Rufus' memories. When Zack held the key up to Rufus' neck, no keyhole appeared. This is presumably because his mental disorder makes his mind organized differently.
  • In the graphic novel, the Head Key caused the subject's head to open, however, this was deemed too unrealistic for the Netflix adaptation and changed.[19]
  • When asked what his favorite key was, Gabriel Rodriguez stated that the Head Key was the key that always "stood out to him", regarding it as the most dangerous key.[20]
  • Early on in the production of the Netflix series, the Head Key was briefly redesigned by set designer Henry Fong.[21] However, it was decided that the Head Key would stay closer to its original design in the graphic novels.