Momma Kodi is a legendary grizzly bear who features prominently in the folklore of Grunwald, Texas. She is regarded as a guardian of the town and as a protector of children. She is named as the reason the curse of The Green Ravine River Valley does not enter the town.
Kodi is first referenced when Kelly Clegg drives past a carved welcome sign in her likeness at the entrance to Grunwald. The sign states the population of the town is 1,206 and warns travelers that the speed limit is 20 MPH.
Kodi is described in detail during Garrett Clegg's story. She is said to have lived in the Green Ravine since before humans arrived in North America, holding back Eld Stagger and the curse. She frequently had to fight off Anvilback and Drag-Belly to maintain her territory.
The dynamic changed when Brennen the wolf arrived. He did battle with Kodi, but after he defeated her he realized her territory was not cursed, so he spared her life. He elected to go after Stagger instead and rid the land of the curse.
Kodi followed Brennen across the river, arriving at the scene of the battle just in time to save Brennen from being slain by the Eld King. Kodi and Brennen fought Stagger together and overpowered him. At that point, Brennen took the title of King Firehide and took Kodi as his wife. When he left to travel the forest and guard it from external threats, she remained in her territory.
Grunwald was supposedly founded at the site of Kodi and Brennen's first fight.
In 2015, Kodi is regarded as a larger-than-life mythical figure much like Johnny Appleseed or Babe the Blue Ox. She is said to protect children who become lost in the woods. Other than that, Kelly and others put little stock in the stories.
However, when Kelly ventures into the woods after dark to find Emma Lee Hagen, she finds the child sleeping under the protection of the great bear herself. After that in-person encounter, Kelly begins to have dreams that seem to channel Kodi's thoughts.
The forest boy states that Kodi is the only mother figure he's ever known. He says that it was him that Kodi had been protecting from Stagger and others.
The letter written by Muriel Greaves makes mention of both the boy and the bear. However, as Muriel was incarcerated at the time of writing, Muriel is afraid Kodi will not appear to rescue the boy from the Grim Halberdier during the night of his rampage in 1915.
When Kelly and Garrett venture into the woods after dark to rescue Laylah Flaherty, Anvilback arrives to call out Kodi. She responds to the call and wades into the river to fight him, but Drag-Belly ambushes her. She is nearly drowned by the two beasts until Garrett and Kelly intervene, severely wounding Drag-Belly.
Kodi is able to overpower Anvilback and pin his head under the water, bypassing his impenetrable hide by drowning him instead. Minutes later, she pulls Drag-Belly into the river to rescue the humans.
Kodi shows intelligence by searching for Kelly while she is drifting down the river in exhaustion, still trying to finish off Drag-Belly. Kelly points to the Fangstone, further down the river. Kodi responds to the cue, using the river's current to help her inflict a finishing blow on the crocodile by driving him into the stone's sharp edge. Kodi then collapses on the far bank of the river, needing to rest before attacking the Grim Halberdier's camp.
The boy confirms that Kodi did not appear the night the Grim Halberdier had intended to revive Stagger in 1915. It was only by a stroke of good luck that Angus Branchett and his deputies happened upon the scene. Kelly and the boy theorize that Kodi is summoned by particular women, namely those with a strong, unfulfilled maternal instinct such as Muriel and Kelly herself. They decide that Kelly needs to be in the forest at sunset, and they anticipate the Grim Halberdier will try to stop her.
When Kelly defeats the Halberdier's machinations and arrives in the clearing, Kodi does not appear. It is not until Rachael Flaherty throws herself over Laylah to protect her from the Halberdier's axe that Kodi shows up. She is still wounded from the previous night and is unable to keep up with her much faster opponent.
Before the Halberdier can finish Kodi off, Kelly and Garrett intervene to free Ethan and keep the murderer distracted. This gives Kodi enough time to summon Firehide, who is fast and powerful enough to cripple the Halberdier. Firehide then helps his wife leave the area.
Kodi returns to attack Stagger on Grunwald's main road, driven by rage and adrenaline to push through her wounds. She is soundly defeated, like her husband, and buried under a wave of shadow. When Sammie Hagen, Rachael, Margaret Clegg, and Kelly's Mother take a stand against Stagger, Kodi's strength and vitality are restored to full power and she clashes with the Eld King again. But she is still no match for the Leviathan, and she is swallowed up for good.
When Kelly realizes that Kodi is not tied to one individual mother, but is driven by acts of motherly love witnessed by Ethan, she realizes that he is the true center of the Leviathan, not the shadow. When Ethan takes control, robbing Stagger of his power, Kodi and her husband rise again. This time, they have taken their true forms, composed out of the dark mist itself. In this form, they are more than a match for Stagger and they rip him in half.
Ethan then absorbs all of the aspects of the Leviathan into himself, including the shadow, Firehide, and Kodi. He begins a new life as an integrated being and as Kelly and Garrett's son.
- Momma Kodi's character is an exploration of the "mama bear" instinct.
- Several of Kodi's scenes and aspects of her character were inspired by this YouTube video. This includes her species, the river battle, and her archenemy being a stag.