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Helen Hawkins is one of the main characters on Freeform's series, Siren. She is portrayed by Rena Owen.

Helen is an antique shop owner and the local folklore expert. Since the resurfacing of mermaids in Bristol Cove, she has formed somewhat of a friendship with Ben Pownall and Maddie Bishop in order to help with Ryn and her sister Donna. She later reveals to Donna that she is one of them.

She is eventually revealed to be the last living descendant of the human-mermaid hybrid daughter of Charles Pownall and his former mermaid lover. Due to the interference of a suspicious Elaine Pownall, she learns that she is not the last of her lineage after all, that she has a blood relative by the name Rick Marzdan nearby.

Official Description

The town eccentric who seems to know more about the mermaids than she lets on.

Early Life

As a girl, she had felt like a freak at times, not understanding about her "autoimmune condition" as a sign of her mermaid blood.

She remembers little of her mother Daphne, who had hidden her true mermaid heritage from her until her death.

Physical Appearance

Helen has olive skin, gray wavy hair, and brown eyes. She says that she is unable to shift to full mermaid form because she is only one-eighth mermaid.


Helen is dry-witted, calm, level-headed and resourceful. Helen's resourcefulness comes in handy when she is needed by her friends throughout the series.

Throughout the Series

Season 1

Helen looks on with disgust at people's festival for honoring the great-great-great-great grandfather of Ted Pownall, the man who had fallen for a mermaid one hundred and fifty years ago. She is selling her antiques and merfolk-related objects to passersby and is approached by Ryn whom she immediately recognizes as a mermaid, which worries her.

She is later visited by Ben who wants to know more about the mermaids, after witnessing Ryn transform into her violent mermaid form and attack him via her fanged teeth. She informs him that the history of his father's family in Bristol Cove is much bloodier than he knows; that his ancestor had lost his mind; being overly obsessed with mermaids and he and his shipmates ruthlessly massacred most of such sea creatures in cold blood. She then urges him to talk to his father.

Season 2

A few days later, she is started by the sudden arrival of several merpeople who have sought her out; Levi and another merman, along with Katrina and her three fellow mermaids. With Ben and Maddie's aid, she offered to stay with hem for the night in the Pownall shed. After Elaine Pownall ran a DNA test on her behind her back, she later discovers that she has a distant relative by the name of Rick Marzdan. The two became acquainted with each other as she gradually revealed to him the truth about his relations to merfolk; this became justified as she arranged for Eliza to see Rick. During that time, a merman who goes by the name of Sarge develops romantic feelings for Helen, and she reciprocates these feelings after she sees his merman form for the first time. She becomes devastated when Ryn informs her of his death after they cut off the oil drill of Klesco Oil Company. She then goes with Rick to talk to his sister, Beth Marzdan, who happens to already know that she has merfolk blood. Helen also gets some surprises as she learns that there are many others like her, Rick, and Beth.

Sometime later, an elderly hybrid named John informs Helen about his past relationship with her mother, Daphne, who happened to be her mermaid mother, and the fate regarding Helen's father's death due to his status as a human, in which it was forbidden for any hybrid to be in a relationship with.


Ryn & Donna

Maybe they sense my empathy.
— To Maddie about her unusual knowledge

Helen willingly assists Ryn by providing her a place to stay while she looked for her mermaid sister. However, Helen made it clear that Ryn didn’t belong on land and made sure Ryn was to return to the ocean after she found Donna. After the sisters reunite, Helen is relieved to learn that Ryn has returned to the sea with Donna.

A month later, Helen is disturbed and slightly angered to learn that Donna and Ryn returned from the ocean, but is sympathetic when she learns they only came back because there was little to no more fish for them to eat. When Donna rebels against Ryn, Maddie and Ben, Helen offers her a place to stay and even reveals to Donna that she is also a mermaid. Helen continues to develop a newfound friendship with both Ryn and Donna as she assists Ben and Maddie to keep them both safe from enemy forces against them.

After the events of season one, Helen tragically loses Donna to death, which devastated Ryn as well. Both Helen and Ryn trek through the woods of Bristol Cove (with Ben and Maddie) to bury Donna's human body amongst Helen's mermaid-ancestors. Helen became a surrogate aunt to Ryn's daughter Hope.

Ben & Maddie

You have no idea what you're dealing with
— Warning them about what merfolk are capable of.

Helen witnessed Ben and Maddie grow up in her town, so she has known them both since their childhood. However, they grow closer in friendship with Helen when the three ally to help Ryn and Donna throughout the first season. Helen continues to help Maddie and Ben as friends as they attempt to help the two mermaids throughout the first season. Both Maddie and Ben learn later in season one, at Donna’s funeral, that Helen is part mermaid/part human due to her ancestral connection to both species. Ben, in particular, learned that he is distantly related to Helen.

The McClures

He was my friend. Did you kill him?
— To Donna about the late Sean McClure
You need to keep an eye on Xander.
— Warns Ben about Xander's troubled state of mind

Helen reveals later in the first season that she is an old friend of the McClure’s. Helen attends Sean McClure’s funeral after she learns of his death. Helen is saddened and consoles both Sean’s widowed wife and Xander at Sean’s funeral. When Donna returns with her mermaid colony, she breaks away with them to protect Ryn. When Donna returned with her colony and sought out Helen, Helen angrily asks Donna if she helped kill Sean and stated that Sean was her friend.

Rick Marzdan

Stop by my shop sometime. Helen's Antiques. We can talk about my...our family.
— Meeting her distant cousin after many years of being unaware of his relation to her.

She finally learns about him being a long-lost distant relative of mysterious merfolk/human bloodline, due to the interference of a suspicious Elaine Pownall. She tracks him down at the cafe where he works and later introduces herself at his house. She notices the same scaly marks on his right arm, which she herself has on her left leg and right arm.


We had a moment, didn't we?
— At her house in "Distress Call"

Helen first encounters the merman in her home, who was startled to see so many merpeople at her home and recognized Katrina as "the other female from before." She was flattered at his courtesy towards her and his welcoming her for their protection, as he was aware of her heritage to his kind. He later goes on to further impress her by revealing his merman form, which Helen deems to be beautiful. As a sign of her reciprocating feelings for him, she gives him one of her seashell necklaces to remember her by. When Ryn returns the necklace to her, Helen becomes devastated and depressed when she learns from Ryn that Sarge had died protecting his friends.


Season 1

Season 2

Season 3


  • She is the only mermaid known able to live on land and elude detection for many years.
  • In the Season 1 finale, she is revealed to be one-eighth mermaid through her great-grandmother. However, she seems to lack the ability to grow a gray fish-tail in the ocean, as is "several generations removed from that".


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