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The Band

     Soren 
A young Barn Owl and the main character of the first six books, though he remains a supporting protagonist throughout the rest of the series.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/soren.png

  • Big Brother Instinct: Soren loves his little sister Eglantine more than anything in the world, and remains deeply concerned about her after he got snatched.
  • Cain and Abel: With Kludd/Metal Beak. Eventually subverted, as he isn't the one to kill Kludd; Twilight is.
  • Cult Defector: Escapes from St. Aggies, alongside Gylfie, despite the serious brainwashing and danger.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: When he is weeks old, he's deliberately pushed out of his nest by his older brother, snatched by St. Aggie's patrols, nearly Brainwashed in a horrifying Cult, and never sees his parents again.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments. All the practice he got in St. Aegolius helps.
    Gylfie: Soren, who knows if [our scheme] will work or not, but what have we got to lose if we don't try it?
    Soren: Our minds, to start with.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Develops this ability (called "Starsight") not long after coming to the Tree.
  • Family of Choice: After losing his family, the Band becomes his chosen family.
  • The Good King: After Coryn's death in book 15, he becomes King of the Ga'Hoole Tree.
  • Guile Hero: Doesn't quite have Twilight's strength, Digger's philosophical outlook or Gylfie's know-how, but he's definitely the best talker of the Band. He also tends to be the one who makes most of the plans and was also the one who connected the dots to find Ezylryb.
  • Gut Feeling: Soren's intuition (or "gizzuition" — they're owls) is particularly notable, to the point where Ezylryb comments on it and encourages Soren to strengthen it. The first meaningful interaction that Ezylryb has with Soren is to give him a book on it. Eventually after Ezylryb dies, Soren ends up teaching a class on gizzuition.
  • The Hero: For the first half of the series. (He shares the role with Coryn in later books.)
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: He has moments of this. They accompany his Deadpan Snarker attitude.
  • Immune to Mind Control: Soren is the one who comes up with the idea to recite the Legends of Ga'Hoole to resist moon scalding. It works.
  • Kid Hero: Until he grew up.
  • The Leader: Of the Band, and of the Chaw of Chaws.
  • Like a Son to Me: To Ezylryb. Before the expedition to the Northern Kingdoms, Ezylryb gives Soren his old battle claws and tells him, "Every owl will know that you are my ward. You are under my protection as a son might be." Soren comes to view Ezylryb as a Parental Substitute.
  • Nice Guy: Soren is kind and compassionate towards almost everybody. The Guardians first notice the seeds of nobility in him when he comforts Primrose, who is grieving over the loss of her family.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Soren has fond memories of his parents, but he does not find them after escaping from St. Aggies. Later, he meets their ghosts, and learns that they were murdered by Metal Beak (Kludd).
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Gylfie, proclaimed by the author as Soren's closest friend. Ships are dashed after he and Pellimore become mates (ignoring the fact that he and Gylfie are different species).
  • Pretend to Be Brainwashed: He and Gylfie need to pretend to be moon blinked in order to survive St. Aggie's and learn to fly.
  • Pretty Boy: The owl version. Despite what he's suffered, Soren is frequently described as "handsome."
  • Rescue Romance: He met his mate, Pellimore, when he rescued her from a forest fire.
  • Say My Name: With Kludd again when he finds out he's Metal Beak
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Soren's last known act in the series is in book 4 of Wolves of the Beyond, when he sent the owl Tully to find out how the dire wolves were doing and to find Gwynneth. Later, at the end of book 5, his scroom (or ghost) is seen by Gwynneth as she and her friends leave the Beyond by way of the Crystal Plain, and she bows to him; exactly how he died has yet to be revealed.
  • The Storyteller: He plays this role within the Band, having a particular interest in the Legends of Ga'Hoole even before he knew the Guardians were real. His ability to recite the Legends from memory saves him and Gylfie from being brainwashed.
  • The Strategist: To a lesser extent than Gylfie, but it's his idea to dig a tunnel to get out of the Great Tree during the Siege, and use a pincer movement to take down the Pure Ones. Without his ingenious plan, the Tree would likely have been lost.
  • Supporting Protagonist: To Coryn after book 6.
  • Thank Your Prey: When he sees Ginger (a Pure Ones spy) torturing a mouse while it's dying, he quickly gives the mouse a death blow and eats it to make sure it didn't suffer. He really chews Ginger out for this, and he calls out Eglantine for encouraging her behavior.
  • True Companions: With the rest of the Band, especially Gylfie.
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     Gylfie 
An elf owl and Soren's best friend.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gylfie.png

     Twilight 
A Great Grey Owl, orphaned at a young age and proud of his beauty, wit, and street smarts.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/twilight_0.png
  • The Ace: Easily the most capable member of the Band in a straight fight. Even when Soren gets better at fighting, Twilight can somehow rout entire flights just by singing.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Especially when he's first introduced.
  • The Bard: One unique ability of Twilight's that was introduced fairly early in the series is his ability to somehow confuse owls, birds, and crows to the point they start running into each other or lose focus in their fighting, by essentially making up songs that taunt and insult the enemy.
  • The Big Guy: The strongest member of the Band, and the most powerful fighter.
  • Blood Knight: Twilight finds combat absolutely exhilarating, and gets excited at the very thought of new or improved weapons. However, Soren finds his "complete denial of fear" to be extremely irritating.
    Weapons, fighting, war in general—that was what occupied Twilight's mind most of the time. And he was a superb fighter. [...] Soren imagined he could feel the twitches of Twilight's gizzard right now. It's doing a little jig in there, I swear.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: He makes up entire verses in rhyme to taunt his enemies. You don't get much more boisterous than that.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Frequently and unapologetically so.
    Otulissa: Emerilla's sister, Miralda, was a specialist in spectrography and atmospheric gases.
    Twilight: Hot air.
    Otulissa: It's more than hot air, Twilight.
    Twilight: But you aren't, Otulissa.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: Subverted most of the time — Twilight may be utterly vain and a badass fighter, frequently bragging about his beauty and skill, but he's not a bad guy and he's actually quite altruistic (hence why he becomes part of the Search-and-Rescue chaw). He only really falls into this trope when he and the others are stuck at The Mirror Lakes. Twilight was so badly affected by the Mirror Lakes that Mrs. P. had to tell a seagull to shit on him to snap him out of it.
  • Hot-Blooded: He's known for being a passionate, badass, and impulsive fighter.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Frequently. Twilight means well, but he is so blunt that he often ends up emotionally wounding people, like telling Soren to "buck up" when he learns his parents are gone. On a related note, when Soren confirms his parents are dead and Eglantine mourns them, Twilight harshly states, "Dead is dead." Two books later, Eglantine is still so haunted by these words, she's drawn right into Nyra's trap.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Implied to be much older than Soren, Gylfie, and Digger.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Much of his battle strategy relies on this.
    One, two, three, four, you're goin' down won't ask for more!
    Five, six, seven, eight, you ain't no better than fish bait!
    Nine, ten, eleven, twelve, I'm gonna send you straight to hell!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's the most blunt of the Band, but would protect them with his life.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Despite being huge for an owl, he's much more agile than he looks
  • Meaningful Name: Not only for his colouring, but also because he hatched at dusk, and has the ability to see during the moments between day and night. His given name comes from Latin and means "hollow, empty," or by extension, "vain." Twilight isn't what one would call empty, but he certainly is vain.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: His given name is Cassius, revealed by the scroom of his mother. He decides not to start going by this, believing that "Twilight" better defines his identity (see Meaningful Name above).
  • OOC Is Serious Business: During the final battle, he kills Kludd quickly and without any fuss once he gets the chance. Soren comments on the fact that he didn't use one of his usual taunting rhymes, and Twilight tells him that Kludd didn't deserve one.
  • Parental Abandonment: His parents were completely absent for his entire life. His mother turns out to be Skye, a renowned poet, but she's already dead by the time the story begins. His father is never mentioned.
  • Parental Substitute: When he was young, a nest of eagles and a den of foxes were kind enough to allow him to stay with them.
  • Satisfied Street Rat: He's the owl equivalent of this type of character, having grown up in the "Orphan School of Tough Learning" and being proud of it. He has many useful skills that help the Band survive in the wild. However, he's not cynical — it's actually his idea to go to the Great Tree.
  • True Companions: With the other members of the Band.
  • Walking the Earth: Before he met Soren and Gylfie. He hasn't been to the Great Ga'Hoole Tree though.
    Twilight: (when asked where he's from) Here, there, everywhere. You name it, I've been there.

     Digger 
A Burrowing Owl, who joins the Band after the loss of his family.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/digger_small_9.jpg
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Poor Digger is discovered by the rest of the Band while he's frantically combing the desert for his parents. He doesn't find them, and instead joins the Band to travel to the Great Tree.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: He's the most eccentric of the Band and often the most thoughtful.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Digger lost his entire family to St. Aggie's patrols, including his little brother, who was eaten by Jatt and Jutt.
  • Graceful in Their Element: Not the best flyer, but can handle himself on the ground.
  • Hidden Depths: Digger is the most philosophical of the Band. Soren talks to him over his other friends when he needs to speculate about things that don't make sense.
  • Hot for Teacher: Has a crush on Sylvana.
  • Meaningful Name: Because of his tendency to dig for further meaning in conspiracies, mythology, emotions, you name it. Also because, you know, he's a Burrowing Owl.
  • Nice Guy: Despite what he's suffered, he tends to believe the best in people, and make allowances for the way they think.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Poor Digger lost his family to Jatt and Jutt in the most brutal way.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: In The Burning, when Otulissa scoffs at the idea of a "gizzard resister" and believes that Soren being that is "treasonous", Digger (usually calm and reasonable about his beliefs) gets really furious and is ready to pounce on her. It only takes Twilight talking both of them down to get Digger to calm down.
  • The Philosopher: He plays this role in the Band. Soren goes to him when he wants to discuss ideas for their own sake, because Twilight is too action-oriented and Gylfie is too intellectual.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: He was assigned to the tracking chaw for a reason - namely, being able to track owls by a mere feather or talon-print.
  • True Companions: With the rest of the Band.
  • Tunnel King: Well, he is a Burrowing Owl.

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Soren's Family

     Mrs. Plithiver 
A blind snake who had been employed as a maid by Soren's family. Soren reunites with her and she becomes a harpist at the Great Tree.

     Eglantine 
Soren's little sister.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/eglantine_small.jpg
  • Beauty Mark: A variant—she has a little speckle next to her eye, which is a small but significant plot point as this is how the owls who discovered her manage to recognize her.
  • Big Brother Worship: She adores Soren.
  • The Cutie
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The years between Soren's capture and her arrival at the Great Tree were not at all kind to her.
  • The Heart: She's something of an honorary member of the Band and the Chaw of Chaws. If she joins them on a mission, she serves this role in the group.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Primrose.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Eglantine's goodness is probably her most defining character trait. She's genuinely pure, as in pure-hearted, unlike Nyra. Nyra's attempts to turn her to the Pure Ones' side fail utterly.
  • Nice Girl: A complete sweetheart.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Eglantine really struggles to deal with the death of her parents, and Twilight's insensitivity doesn't help. Nyra exploits Eglantine's grief and denial to manipulate her.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Through a mixture of this and Nyra's plot in The Shattering, she becomes convinced that Soren was wrong about their parents being dead. She eventually manages to break herself out of it.
  • Tagalong Kid: She's originally this for The Band, wanting desperately to be included in their adventures (even when it's impractical for her to come along). She eventually makes a name for herself on her own.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Towards the end of The Shattering. She breaks herself out of brainwashing and captures Nyra's unhatched egg in an attempt to use it as a hostage against the Pure Ones; the egg doesn't end up making it back with her, but she is commended for her actions nonetheless. Afterwards, she joins the Chaw of Chaws on a mission and stands up to a polar bear (and her older brother). She later becomes part of the Search-and-Rescue chaw.

    Kludd/Metal Beak 
Soren's older brother and the eventual main villain for the first few books.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kludd_books.jpg
  • Adaptational Heroism: While he's still a jerk and eventually goes on to become Metal Beak, Kludd is much less monstrous in the movie than he was in the books.
  • Agony of the Feet: For the Final Battle in The Burning, he uses battle claws with coals inserted into the talons. Soren notes that they cause a lot of damage to the owl using them, but Kludd would consider it a small price to pay just to kill him.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: It's stated that he took the position of leader of the Pure Ones from his predecessor in combat.
  • Ax-Crazy: Undoubtedly so.
  • Big Bad: For the first half of the series, until the end of The Burning.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Skench before overthrowing her.
  • Big Brother Bully: Kludd starts this way in the first chapter, saying mean things to Soren and generally being a piece of work. Then he tries to murder Soren.
  • Cain and Abel: Cain to Soren's Abel. Subverted when Twilight is ultimately the one to kill him.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Is killed at the end of The Burning.
  • Dragon Ascendant: He offed his superior to become the Big Bad.
  • The Dreaded: Metal Beak is so terrifying that even Bubo is shaken when Soren asks about him.
  • Eviler Than Thou: To Skench, easily overthrowing her and using her former base of operations for his own.
  • Facial Horror: Lost half his face in a battle, and a smith had to make him a mask and new beak.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Starts as just a jealous older brother. Becomes the leader of the Pure Ones, and even after his death, owls don't forget him easily.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Posthumously in the second half of the series. His legacy lives on to torment his son (he even tries haunting him as a scroom), and his mate Nyra builds the new army of Pure Ones out of the remainders of his old one.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He's said to be jealous of the attention Soren gets from their parents. He doesn't get better after this.
  • Killed Off for Real: By Twilight, who split his spine, at the end of The Burning.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: In The Rescue, the menacing Metal Beak is revealed to be Soren's older brother.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: His trademark.
  • Meaningful Name: His name comes from one of the ranks in the Ku Klux Klan. He ends up joining the Pure Ones, a barn-owl supremacy group, and becoming their new leader.
  • Self-Made Orphan: It's implied that he murdered his parents. The scrooms (ghosts) of his parents show up to warn Soren about him.
  • The Sociopath
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Thanks to his Fantastic Racism, he wasn't happy that Simon, a Fishing Owl, nursed him back to health after getting his mask melted by Soren. After he makes a full recovery, he kills the poor owl that tried to help him out of compassion.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Nyra.

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Guardians of Ga'Hoole

    Boron and Barran 
A pair of Snowy Owls, and King and Queen of the Great Ga'Hoole Tree respectively.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/boron_and_barran_small_0.jpg

    Ezylryb 
An elderly Whiskered Screech Owl.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ezylryb.jpg

  • A Day in the Spotlight: He gets his own prequel called The Rise of a Legend.
  • Agony of the Feet: One of his talons was broken in the final battle with Bylyric, leader of the League of Ice Talons. Unable to take the pain after a while, he bit it off himself; Soren and Gylfie are initially horrified at the sight of it, which he scolds them for.
  • Autocannibalism: Not quite eating himself, but he uses his own feathers to write poetry.
  • Battle Couple: With his mate, Lil, according to Octavia.
    Octavia: It was as if they did not even have to speak. Their gizzards were so in tune, so harmonious, that they instantly knew what the other was thinking. Together, they were a fearsome team. Their timing, their precision, couldn't be matched. They were the anathema of the enemy.
  • The Captain: He's a Reasonable Authority Figure and The Leader of the Weather Chaw, who address him as "Cap." He also speaks like a captain of a ship.
  • Cool Old Guy: He may be old, but he can still put up a good fight, although he came off as a Grumpy Old Owl at first.
  • Cool Teacher: He teaches weather interpretation. He loses most of his unapproachable gruffness while teaching, coming alive in the midst of a storm.
  • Father Neptune: Being an owl, Ezylryb isn't literally a sailor, but he otherwise fits the trope almost perfectly with his personality, mannerisms, and dialect. He also uses nautical terminology (gutters, scuppers, baggywrinkles, etc.) to describe the parts of a storm, likening them to the parts of a boat.
  • Handicapped Badass: Since the Battle of the Ice Talons, he has been missing a talon on his left foot. This doesn't seem to have significantly impaired him, though.
  • Heartbroken Badass: His mate, Lillium, dies in the final battle with Bylyric, leader of the League of Ice Talons. Lyze is so devastated that he retires from war, taking up residence with the Glauxian Brothers and eventually having his love of learning restored by Octavia, after which he's eventually persuaded to become a teacher at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree under an alias.
  • Heroic BSoD: When Lillium was killed in the final battle with the League of Ice Talons, he went yeep and fell out of the sky, only being saved when another bird caught him by the talon, which pained him so much he bit it off himself.
  • Like a Son to Me: Ezylryb feels this way about Soren, and gives him his old battle claws to give him extra protection and respect in the Northern Kingdoms.
  • Living Legend: Ezylryb is Lyze of Kiel, a warrior from the Northern Kingdoms who fought in the War of the Ice Claws.
  • Martial Pacifist: Ezylryb hates war , having lived through a particularly nasty one. After he lost his mate (and one talon), he swore off violence forever, becoming a scholar. However, this has nothing to hinder his badassery, and he's still a quite capable warrior if worst comes to worst.
  • Meaningful Name: Ezylryb is an anagram for Lyze, with the title "Ryb" or teacher added.
  • The Mentor: To Soren, whom he makes his "ward."
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: From old age.
  • Retired Badass: He was a soldier in the Kielian League known as Lyze Of Kiel. After he lost his mate in the war, he hung up his battle claws and became a teacher at the Great Tree, under an alias.
  • Scars Are Forever: He gets a long scar over his left eye.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: Lyze of Kiel -> Ezylryb.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: He is a veteran of the War of the Ice Claws. His mate Lil died in battle, and he was so stunned with grief that he nearly plummeted into the sea. It isn't clear if Ezylryb suffers PTSD, but it's likely, since that one traumatic event was enough to cause him to give up war forever despite it being the focus of his entire life. He dedicated himself to scholarly pursuits and eventually became a teacher.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Dried caterpillars.
  • War Is Hell: A firm believer in this, thanks to his experiences in the War of the Ice Claws.
  • Warrior Poet: He can write poems in his old age, and he can still fight.
  • You Are Not Ready: Tells his brother Ifghar that he cannot have battle claws if he's willing to surrender to the Ice Talons king, Bylyric.

     Strix Struma 
A Spotted Owl and the Navigation ryb at the Great Tree.
  • Badass Teacher: Don't mess with her students. You will regret it.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: She was this in her youth. She was naturally intelligent and gifted, and decided she could just coast through on her talent, refusing to do any work. In response, her parents sent her off to a Military School.
  • Lady of War: She is a beautiful and graceful warrior with a legacy.
  • The Mentor: To Otulissa, who idolizes her. Unfortunately, she falls victim to...
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Is killed by Nyra during the Siege.
  • The Navigator: It's what she teaches.
  • Rasputinian Death: She was killed with one wing near-severed and the other one in flames.
  • Retired Badass: She was granted a medal of honor for her bravery in her first battle. In her old age, she teaches Navigation at the Great Tree (until the Tree is under siege...).

     Bubo 
A Great Horned Owl, the Great Tree's resident blacksmith.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bubo_7.jpg

  • The Blacksmith: He makes tools, armor, and weapons for the owls of the Great Tree, and knows everything about fire and metal.
  • Elemental Hair Colors: His feathers have red and yellow undertones, as if the flames of his forge colored them.
  • Gentle Giant: Bubo is a big and fierce-looking Great Horned Owl, but Soren remarks that no owl has "a gentler heart."
  • Nice Guy: Despite his gruff and somewhat scary-looking appearance, he's actually very friendly and easy to talk to. Soren feels safe asking him about Metal Beak.
  • Stout Strength: He's a big, bulky owl who spends all his time hammering away at the forge.

     Madame Plonk 
A Snowy Owl, and the official singer of the Great Tree.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Her father and sister called her Brunie. Her eventual mate Doc Finebeak calls her "Plonkie."
  • Arranged Marriage: Her Wicked Stepmother Rodmilla attempted to force her into one, in order to enhance her own social standing. She became the Great Tree's singer instead.
  • Beautiful Singing Voice: This is what she's known for, and her primary function at the Great Tree. She sings all the owls awake and asleep, accompanied by a harp played by nest-maid snakes.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: She has a reputation for passing out at harvest festivals.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: She's seen as eccentric by many other owls of the tree, and she lives in glamorous "apartments" filled with pretty trinkets she bought from magpies.
  • Generation Xerox: Every time the Plonk singer of the Great Ga'Hoole Tree dies, a new singer from the Plonk family is chosen to take their place. Madame Brunwella Plonk is the latest one.
  • The Gift: Of song, in this case. She's a great singer even by Plonk standards, which are already high.
  • Grande Dame: Subverted. She certainly looks the part, but she has a genuine appreciation for humor and frivolity. Aspiring Proper Lady Otulissa finds her to be "vulgar" for her vanity and her ostentatious apartments.
  • Famous Ancestor: Being a Plonk Singer, she is descended from The Snow Rose, and has many other illustrious Plonk Singers of the Great Tree in her family line.
  • Pretty in Mink: She wears mink fur instead of eating it, like owls are supposed to.
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: She is always referred to as Madame Plonk, this being the convention of her position (a male Singer of the Great Tree would be addressed as "Sir Plonk"). Most owls don't even know her first name except her sister, who tells the Band her name is Brunwella.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: She's very different from her sister, Thora, The Rogue Smith of Silverveil. Brunwella is beautiful, elegant, and highly respected. Thora is coarse, foul-mouthed, and less beautiful, having been affected by grayscale.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly Girl to her sister Thora's Tomboy.
  • Youngest Child Wins: She ended up the Singer of the Great Tree instead of her sister. Not that Thora cares.

     Dewlap 
A strict and boring Burrowing Owl ryb at the Great Tree.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dewlap_7.jpg

  • The Bore: She teaches Ga'Hooleology, the caretaking of the Great Tree, which everyone thinks is the most boring chaw.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: At first, she seems like just a boring old ryb who cares a lot for the Tree, but isn't otherwise bad. In The Seige, that changes. Otulissa hates her so much that she drops a Precision F-Strike on her, twice. And that's before she betrays the Great Tree.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: At first seems like a background character, but eventually ends up selling out the Great Tree when the Pure Ones launch their attack.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When Strix Struma is murdered in the siege that was essentially her fault, Dewlap falls into such a severe stupor that she has to be committed to what is implied to be the owl equivalent to a psychiatric ward.
  • The Quisling: More out of fear than selfishness—in "The Siege", she finally cracks and sells out the Great tree to the Pure Ones, putting the Tree's safety over that of its residents.
  • Smug Snake: She comes across this way to most owls, infuriating Otulissa when Dewlap punishes for reading a forbidden book. Even Ezylryb doesn't like her.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: She repeatedly states that she had no idea that her betrayal would lead to a full on siege.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Betrayed the residents of the Great Tree just for the sake of ensuring that the Tree itself would be safe.

     Otulissa 
A female Spotted Owl, in the colliering/weather chaw with Soren, and a member of the Chaw of Chaws.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/otulissa_small.jpeg
  • Academic Alpha Bitch: She starts out this way, being a snooty and obnoxiously prissy know-it-all who frequently brags about her pedigree.
  • Action Girl: She becomes a skilled warrior.
  • Badass Bookworm: She started out as a typical bookworm, but eventually becomes a capable warrior as well.
  • Berserk Button: The very idea that any knowledge should be forbidden at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, of all places, leads to a Precision F-Strike.
  • Brainy Brunette: She's a Spotted Owl with mostly brown feathers.
  • Character Development: She starts the book series by being a prim, proper, and pompous owl, adamant that her ways of thinking are the right ideas, though this causes the other owls to resent her. But once she proves her worth by being both a powerful warrior and a more open-minded teacher, she proves to be one of the most trustworthy owls in the entire Tree.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Once she becomes more open to others' ways of thinking (even if she doesn't agree with them), she becomes one of Soren's trusted friends and member of the Band.
  • Eyepatch of Power: In one of the final books, Otulissa gets this after losing an eye.
  • Famous Ancestor: In the early books, Otulissa constantly brings up famous and distinguished Spotted Owls that she's distantly related to. She gets better as time goes on, but she's still proud of her prominent ancestry.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: At first.
  • Insufferable Genius: Also at first. She's genuinely intelligent and knowledgable, but she's so insecure and desperate to prove herself that no one can bear to listen to her. She gets better.
  • Lady of War: She eventually becomes one, after losing Strix Struma.
  • The Mentor: To Coryn when he breaks away from the Pure Ones.
  • Official Couple: She eventually becomes one with Cleve.
  • Precision F-Strike: "SPRINK ON YOUR SPRONK!"
  • Proper Lady: Initially subverted. In The Journey she's clearly trying to be this. She always draws attention to her aristocratic heritage (that she may or may not be exaggerating), and hopes to be in her idol Strix Struma's refined Navigation chaw. She ends up in Ezylryb's coarse colliering/weather interpretation chaw, which she describes as "vulgar" and "appalling." Eventually, though, she accepts the chaw and comes to respect Ezylryb (after he pointed her to a book about weather by one of her ancestors). Once she gains some maturity, she becomes a true Lady.
  • Ship Tease: She flirts with Soren in one book and especially in the film, and develops a crush on Cleve almost as soon as she meets him.
  • The Smart Guy: She's by far the most well-read of the Chaw of Chaws, and it shows.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Quite well-read, and usually shows it in her speech. Which makes her Precision F-Strikes hit that much harder.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In just a few books, she goes from being an insufferable Academic Alpha Bitch to being a powerful and practical Lady of War who plans an invasion of the Pure Ones.

     Ruby 
A Short-Eared Owl in the colliering/weather chaw with Soren, and a member of the Chaw of Chaws.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ruby.jpeg

  • Action Girl: Her flight talent makes her invaluable in battle.
  • Book Dumb: She's a superb flier, but she really struggles with the theoretical part of weather interpretation, and needs Soren's help to pass a written test.
  • The Captain: She eventually succeeds Ezylryb as Captain of the Weather Interpretation chaw.
  • Fiery Redhead: She's brave, spirited, determined, and frequently described as "ruddy" or "rust-colored." (Short-Eared Owls are usually gray.)
  • Hot-Blooded: She can handle the worst of storms, fly in the hottest of fires, and threaten to make owlets' lives hell for being so annoying.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Flying is what she's really good at.

     Martin 
A Northern Saw-Whet Owl in the colliering/weather chaw with Soren, and a member of the Chaw of Chaws.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/martin_82.jpg

  • Catch a Falling Star: Martin almost fell into the sea on a Weather Chaw mission, and was saved at the last second by a seagull.
  • The Face: He is this for the Chaw of Chaws when they infiltrate St. Aggies, partly because Soren and Gylfie are too afraid of being recognized, but also because he's a good talker. He wins Skench over easily.
  • Fragile Speedster: He becomes deadly with an ice needle, a kind of tiny knife that requires swiftness and dexterity.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He may be small, but he is extremely resilient, and can absolutely hold his own in a battle.
  • The Smart Guy: He's not as well-read as Otulissa or as clever as Gylfie, but he asks intelligent questions and can quickly analyze a situation.

     Nyroc/Coryn 
Son of Nyra and Kludd.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/coryn.png

  • Anti Anti Christ: Born to be the new leader of the Pure Ones. Instead becomes king of the Great Ga'Hoole Tree.
  • The Good King: He becomes the first True King of Ga'Hoole since Hoole himself.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The scar on his face mirrors the one on Nyra's face.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He was born to the leaders of the Pure Ones, and becomes King of Ga'Hoole
  • The Hero: In the second half of the series.
  • Killed Off for Real: The Striga chops off his wing, causing him to bleed to death.
  • Mad Dictator's Handsome Son: Nyroc is the son of Nyra and the late High Tyto Kludd, but lacks his parents' inherent evil natures and quickly switches sides once he sees how horrifying Nyra really is.
  • Modest Royalty: Inspired by King Hoole, Coryn refuses to wear a crown.
  • Rightful King Returns: This is his entire plot arc.
  • Seer: Like Hoole before him, he has Firesight.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: To distance himself from Nyra. Nyra herself refuses to accept his new identity, continuing to refer to him as Nyroc.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: Like his mother, he was born on a lunar eclipse, which is why he is named Nyroc. Unlike her, the enchantment cast upon him is good, and makes him King of Ga'Hoole.

St. Aegolius Academy

     Skench 
A female Great Horned Owl, and Ablah General of St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls.
  • Adapted Out: Was replaced by Nyra in the film.
  • Big Bad: Only in the first book, until the Pure Ones' leader takes over.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Metal Beak until he takes over.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Later on, when Metal Beak takes over. However, it's revealed that she was always this, and Metal Beak had an easy chance of nabbing her base anytime he wanted.
  • Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: In The Burning, she appears to side with the Guardians of Ga'Hoole after the Pure Ones take St. Aegolius. Then during the Final Battle, she turns on the Guardians.
  • Enemy Mine: With the heroes - very temporarily.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Against Metal Beak.
  • Killed Off for Real: By Soren in The Burning.
  • Starter Villain: For the series as a whole.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Invokes this by way of moon blinking every owl that ends up in St. Aegolius (except her Dragon Spoorn, who isn't the sharpest tool in the shed to begin with).

     Spoorn 
A western screech owl and Skench's second in command.
  • Adapted Out: Nowhere to be seen in the film.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Was referred to by male pronouns in the first book, but was switched to female ones in a couple later books.
  • The Dragon: To Skench, as her second in command.
  • Killed Off for Real: Is impaled on an ice spear by Martin.

     Auntie Finny 
A deceptively cheerful snowy owl who works at St. Aggies.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Oh, yes.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Started out seeming to be just Affably Evil, being kind and courteous to Soren and insisting that he call her "auntie". Then she seemingly murdered Hortense in cold blood and sneered with satisfaction after doing so.
  • Eats Babies: She eats owlets and eggs, as hinted by the fowl stench on her.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: It's rumored that she eats owl eggs and hatchlings - which turns out to be true.
  • Killed Off for Real: By Soren.
  • Sanity Slippage: The incidents with Hortense, Soren, and Gylfie haven't done favors for her sanity, and she's much more openly unhinged when St. Aggies is revisited.
  • Scars Are Forever: One of the Bald Eagles slashes her neck, leaving a permanent scar. Later, Soren kills her by reopening the scar causing her to bleed out.
  • Team Mom: What she claims to be. Don't believe a word of it.

     Jutt and Jatt 
A pair of long-eared owls who act as warriors and enforcers to St. Aggies.

    Grimble 
An aged Boreal Owl and keeper of the library at St. Aegolius. Teaches Soren and Gylfie to fly so that they can escape.
  • Deal with the Devil: St. Aggie's offered him a job after he took down one of their owls who was trying to capture his daughter; not seeing another option, he accepted the offer. Eventually, the moonblinking he suffered there made his family unable to recognize him.
  • Defector from Decadence
  • Famous Last Words: I have redeemed myself by giving belief to the wings of the young. Blessed are those who believe, for indeed they shall fly.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Sees his predicament (not fully moonblinked, but enough for his family to not recognize him) as this.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Dies to ensure Soren and Gylfie's escape.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Skench kills him during Soren and Gylfie's escape.
  • Papa Wolf: His first encounter with St. Aggie's had him taking down one of their higher-ups for trying to kidnap his daughter, Bess.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The deal he made to save his daughter's life ultimately ended up permanently separating him from his family.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Sure, he only appears for a relatively short time, but if it weren't for him, the series would be over halfway through the first book.
  • Take Me Instead: The reason he's at St. Aggie's in the first place. It was either that, or let them kill his family.

The Pure Ones

     Nyra 
Kludd's mate and main antagonist of the series from The Burning and onward.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nyra_small.gif

  • Ax-Crazy: Just as bad, if not worse, than her mate Metal Beak.
  • Beauty Is Bad: She's frequently described as being very beautiful, but she is evil to the core.
  • Big Bad: In the second half of the series.
  • Composite Character: Takes up Skench's role in the film.
  • Dark Action Girl: She's Metal Beak's consort and one of his top commanders.
  • The Dragon: To Metal Beak/ Kludd
  • Dragon Ascendant: Becomes leader of the Pure Ones after Metal Beak's death
  • Evil Matriarch: She is this of the Pure Ones, and plans to be that of the entire world.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Can act friendly when she wants to be, but it's all just an act.
  • Final Boss: In the finale, Soren and Coryn have one last showdown with Nyra, backed up by the Striga in the heart of a volcano for the Ember of Hoole.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: She has a scar across her face, inflicted by Otulissa after she killed Strix Struma.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Soryn hurls an ice splinter into her heart.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Especially towards Soren's sister in The Shattering.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Gains actual dark magic near the end of the series.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: She is one of the leaders of the Pure Ones, taking over after Kludd dies, and completely believes that Barn Owls (and their relatives) are superior to other owl species. She dreams of a universal dictatorship ruled by Barn Owls.
  • Offing the Offspring: Subverted; she certainly tries, but it's actually the Striga who delivers the fatal wound.
  • One-Winged Angel: Transforms at long last into a Hagsfiend in the finale to hunt down Soren and Coryn, using black magic.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: She thinks all non-Tyto owls are inferior to her kind.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: Nyra was born on a lunar eclipse, which makes her face moonlike, and enchanted her with a curse that makes her pure evil.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Kludd. It seems she genuinely loves him.

    Metal Beak 
The leader of the Pure Ones, named for the metal mask he wears to hide his disfigured face.

The following entries pertain largely to his portrayal in the Animated Adaptation. See Kludd's folder above for entries on his book incarnation.


     Uglamore 
An old Pure One lieutenant.
  • Embarrassing First Name: His given name was Bartholomew, which he thought was so embarrassing, he went by "Shadow" when he joined the Pure Ones and prayed the High Tyto would give him a better name. His Pure One name is Uglamore, which he thinks is even worse.
  • Defector from Decadence: He left the Pure Ones because he no longer believes in their ideology, and because he cares for Coryn.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Nyroc/Coryn begins to open his eyes and make him question the ideology of the Pure Ones. He ends up betraying them to protect Coryn.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He jumps in front of a rabid wolf in an attempt to stop Nyra, and the wolf kills him.
  • Redemption Equals Death: He dies in the jaws of a rabid wolf, and Coryn and the wolves agree he goes to glaumora (heaven).

Other characters

     Hortense/Mist 
A spotted owl whom Soren and Gylfie befriend in St. Aggie's.
  • Disability Superpower: The influence of the flecks running through the rivers of Ambala took a toll on her physical development, but also made her resistant to moon blinking in return.
  • Disney Villain Death: Not being able to fly results in one of these at the talons of Finny. Or would have, if Streak and Zan didn't have anything to say about it.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: She has Starsight, like Soren.
  • Embarrassing First Name: She hates her birth name. Ironically, every other owl born in Ambala is given her name to honor her actions at St. Aggie's.
  • Handicapped Badass: Volunteered to be dropped into St. Aggie's (which already takes serious guts) despite being unable to fly. In fact, her disability is what made it work in the first place, as it allowed her to pass herself off as an owlet.
  • Mama Bear: Spent most of her time at St. Aggie's saving eggs in the Eggorium. This gets her killed—or does it?
  • Master Actor: To Soren, she came off as the very picture of Brainwashed and Crazy. Turns out, she's just really, really good at faking it.
  • Meaningful Rename: After her supposed death, she takes to calling herself "Mist"—partly because of her new feather color and partly because she hates her real name.
  • Not Quite Dead: In the first book, Finny shoved her off a cliff and everyone thought she was dead. Turns out she was actually alive, though the shock of the incident turned her feathers white.
  • Older Than They Look: Soren and Gylfie are both shocked when she reveals that she's in fact a fully grown owl.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: She supposedly hates her own name to the point of preferring the number assigned by St. Aggies. It's apparently also one of the few things she wasn't making up in St. Aggie's. Ironically, her name is by far the most popular name to assign to young owls in her home of Ambala.

     Streak and Zan 
A mated pair of bald eagles and friends to Hortense/Mist.

     Octavia 
An old blind snake who is a nest-maid for Ezylryb and Madame Plonk
  • Eye Scream: Unlike most nest-maid snakes, she wasn't born blind. Her eyes were plucked out in battle.
  • Old Retainer: She's this for Ezylryb, having followed him out of the war and to the Great Tree after he gave up war.
  • Retired Badass: She fought in the Kielian League on Lyze's back, and has since peacefully retired alongside him to the Great Tree.
  • Tunnel Queen: She is a Kielian Snake, which means she is very muscular and capable of digging holes in ice. She uses her skills to help the Band and some other Burrowing Owls create an escape tunnel out of the Great Tree during the Siege.

     The Rogue Smith of Silverviel/ Thora Plonk 
A mysterious Snowy Owl who is a talented rogue smith.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rogue_smith_of_silverveil.png

  • Beautiful Singing Voice: Zigzagged. It's not nearly as good as Madame Plonk's, but because Thora is still a Plonk herself, it's still leagues better than most owls'.
  • Black Sheep: Almost literally, since she was afflicted with grayscale as an owlet that made her feathers dark and blotchy. She also had no interest in pursuing the Plonk legacy of being singers, instead preferring to make battle claws.
  • The Blacksmith: An exceptionally skilled one, trained by one of the best blacksmiths in the Northern Kingdoms.
  • Cinderella Circumstances: She hates her Wicked Stepmother, and the feeling is mutual. Her stepmother even cruelly calls her "Splotch" because of her grayscale-afflicted feathers. Thora actually ends up murdering her stepmother, but it's justified in-context.
  • Famous Ancestor: Like all other Plonks, she is descended from the Snow Rose, and has many previous Ga'Hoole singers in her family. Not that she cares.
  • I Am Not Pretty: She doesn't consider herself beautiful, mostly because of her color having been ruined by a disease, but Gylfie sees through to her beautiful Plonk features.
  • Murder by Cremation: Nyra pushes her into her own forge.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: She's always called "The Rogue Smith of Silverveil," and is exceedingly private. When asked her real name by the Band, she responds, "That's for me to know, and me alone." Her real name is Thora Plonk.
  • Successful Sibling Syndrome: Thora doesn't resent Brunwella for being more famous and respected than she is; she's equally talented in her own field, and she keeps her relationship with Madame Plonk a secret. However, she felt overshadowed by Brunwella throughout their whole childhood, and acts deliberately indifferent about her sister's success.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: The first thing she does upon meeting Digger is to insult him using every curseword in the owl lexicon, although Digger did nothing but fly into her.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: She's incredibly different from her sister Brunwella, being rough-around-the-edges, rude, and solitary, with a less beautiful plumage and a less beautiful singing voice. Brunwella is beautiful, flamboyant, and known throughout the owl kingdoms for her voice.
  • Talented, but Trained: She has a natural talent for blacksmithing, and she honed it as an apprentice to Orf, a renowned blacksmith, on the island of Dark Fowl.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy to her sister Brunwella's Girly Girl.
  • The Unfavorite: Her stepmother Rodmilla vastly favored Brunwella over her. Rodmilla's attempt to train Thora as the next Plonk singer at the Great Tree was just an attempt to get rid of her.

     Cleve of Firthmore 
A regal Spotted Owl from the Northern Kingdoms, who doesn't believe in war.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cleve.jpg

  • Actual Pacifist: He became a gizzard resister (conscientious objector) as a result of the trauma he suffered in his childhood. He particularly hates battle claws. Otulissa thinks he is completely crazy for being a pacifist, even considering it "shameful" and an insult to his heritage when they first meet. He holds fast to his ideals, but eventually realizes that fighting against evil is the right thing to do, becoming a Technical Pacifist.
  • Badass Pacifist: He eventually becomes one.
  • Breath Weapon: He ends up learning to kill with only his breath from Tengshu, which he believes is acceptable to use in extreme circumstances becuase it kills quickly and painlessly.
  • The Chosen One: He may be the one referred to in a prophecy about "The Prince Who Is Promised." Cleve thinks the prophecy is nonsense, but Otulissa thinks he fulfilled it in the end.
  • The Medic: He came to the Glauxian Brothers' Retreat to study medicine, instead of getting a military education at home. At the end of The Burning, he comes to transport the wounded after the battle in the canyons, helping Gylfie get back alive.
  • Modest Royalty: You wouldn't know he was a prince unless you were familiar with his noble pedigree (which Otulissa is, of course).
  • Official Couple: With Otulissa.
  • Pretty Boy: He's a very handsome young Spotted Owl, and Otulissa instantly falls for him.
  • Prince Charming: Otulissa sees him as being this.
  • Warrior Prince: Subverted. Cleve was raised to be this, but became an Actual Pacifist after losing his brother. Later double subverted — he learns Supernatural Martial Arts and becomes a warrior after all, albeit in a way he considers more moral.
  • Youngest Child Wins: The prophecy about the "Prince Who Is Promised" concerned the "big" brother, which was presumably Cleve's older brother, Clay. However, Clay died tragically. Otulissa assumes that the prophecy may have referred to the larger of the two brothers, rather than the elder one.

    Bess 
A Boreal Owl and daughter of Grimble. Known as "The Knower."
  • Badass Bookworm: She's not much of a fighter, but when push comes to shove, she's not completely helpless either. Must've gotten it from her dad's side.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: She initially thought that Grimble had abandoned her and the rest of the family, and doesn't learn the truth until Soren and Gylfie explain it to her.
  • Daddy's Girl: According to Grimble, she was his favorite.
  • Due to the Dead: Recovers her father's remains and performs the Boreal Owl funeral rites of tolling his spirit to Glaumora. The next time we see her do this, the "dying" owl turns out to be a Pure Ones spy.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: She gets mentioned by Grimble long before actually appearing in person.
  • Macguffin Guardian: Eventually gets entrusted with the Ember of Hoole.
  • The Smart Guy: They don't call her "The Knower" for nothing.

     Orlando/The Striga 
A blue Snowy Owl of the Middle Kingdom, seeking a life without "vanity".
  • Amazing Technicolour Population: As with all owls from the Middle Kingdom, his plumage is blue.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Injuring, then proposing a truce with, and later insulting Nyra? Yeah, that probably wouldn't have ended well for the Striga even if Soren and Coryn hadn't gotten to him and Nyra first.
  • Defector from Decadence: As a result of having lived as a Dragon Owl in the Middle Kingdom, he detests any form of luxury or anything that exists purely for beauty or pleasure, which he calls "vanities." He sees himself as a Well-Intentioned Extremist when he's really more of an insane Knight Templar.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: What initially drove him to leave the Middle Kingdom.
  • Dirty Coward: Tries to run after his superior's demise. It costs him.
  • The Dragon: To Nyra, eventually.
    • Dragon Their Feet: Attempts this after Nyra's death by lava by trying to escape, and while he does tear off Coryn's wing when followed, Soren beheads him immediately after, thus subverting this.
  • Evil Genius: Has shades of this for the Pure Ones.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: A villainous example.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In the penultimate story.
  • The Heavy: In the penultimate book.
  • Hero Killer: Cuts off Coryn's wing, causing his death from blood loss.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Soren's daughter Bell, after saving her life.
  • Knight Templar: Due to his hopelessly empty life in the Middle Kingdom, he began seeing everything perceived as vanity and luxury as being evil, and sought to rid the world of them. After being accepted into the Tree, he starts taking it a bit too far.
  • Off with His Head!: Courtesy of Soren.
  • Reincarnation: "Orlando" is the name of both his present-day self and his past incarnation as a Hagsfiend.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: How he feels about most of the Pure Ones. He even has the audacity to act smart and trustworthy to Nyra (yes, NYRA) and in the meantime, call her "stupid" in his head and ponder over how she became a great leader when she never used proper strategy. Despite this, Nyra is clearly the superior of the two thanks to being a Lady of Black Magic and having control over the entire army, so he has no choice but to follow her.
  • Treacherous Advisor: To Coryn, after he entered the Tree. Fortunately, he eventually gets thrown out. Nyra sees him as this as well, and would probably have gotten rid of him if not for her demise.

     Tengshu 
A blue Long-Eared Owl, and a sage and qui master of the Middle Kingdom.
  • Amazing Technicolour Population: As with all owls from the Middle Kingdom, his plumage is blue.
  • Badass Pacifist: Tengshu doesn't exactly condone violence, but given that he can kill an owl with just his breath, picking a fight with him is probably not good for one's health.
  • Breath Weapon: As a qui master, the Breath of Qui - a blast of air that can straight up annihilate whatever's on the receiving end - is his main weapon in an actual fight.
  • The Mentor: To Cleve, who learns his unique martial arts technique.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: He is the keeper of a technique known as "the way of the Danyar" (see Breath Weapon above).
  • Really 700 Years Old: Three hundred and twenty-five, to be exact.

Legendary Figures

     Hoole 
A Spotted Owl and the first King of Ga'Hoole, after which the Tree is named.
  • Character Title: Although it's technically a Team Title, said team is named after him. The Coming of Hoole also features his name.
  • Expy: Of King Arthur, obviously.
  • The Good King: He was the first heroic King of all owlkind.
  • Modest Royalty: One of his defining characteristics is his refusal to wear a crown.
  • Seer: Like Grank (and later Coryn), he has Firesight.
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