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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.
  • 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.
  • 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 not long after coming to the Tree.
  • 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.
  • The Hero: 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.
  • Kid Hero: Until he grew up.
  • The Leader: Of the Band.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Gylfie, proclaimed by the author as Soren's closest friend. Ships are dashed after he and Pellimore become mates.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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     Gylfie 
An elf owl and Soren's best friend.

     Twilight 
A Great Grey Owl.
  • 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.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: He makes up entire verses in rhyme to taunt his enemies. You don't get much more boisterous than that.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Implied to be much older than Soren, Gylfie, and Digger.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's the most blunt of the Band, but would protect them with his life.
  • Lightning Bruiser
  • Meaningful Name: Not only for his colouring, but also because he hatched at dusk.
  • O.O.C. 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.
  • 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.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: He's the most eccentric of the Band and often the most thoughtful.
  • Graceful in Their Element: Not the best flyer, but can handle himself on the ground.
  • Hidden Depths: Is the most philosophical of the Band.
  • Hot for Teacher: Has a crush on Sylvana.
  • Meaningful Name: Because of his tendency to dig for further meaning in conspiracies, mythology, you name it. Also because, you know, he's a Burrowing Owl.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Primrose.
  • Nice Girl: A complete sweetheart.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Kludd/Metal Beak 
Soren's older brother and the eventual main villain for the first few books.
  • Adaptational Heroism: While he's still a jerk and eventually goes on to become Metalbeak, Kludd is much less monstrous in the movie than he was in the books.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Eviler Than Thou: To Skench, easily overthrowing her and using her former base of operations for his own.
  • 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.
  • 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: Highly implied.
  • 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.

    Ezylryb 
An elderly Whiskered Screech Owl.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: From old age.
  • Retired Badass: He was a soldier in the Kielian League known as Lyze Of Kiel.
  • Scars Are Forever: He gets a long scar over his left eye.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: Lyze of Kiel -> Ezylryb.
  • 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.

     Dewlap 
A strict and boring burrowing owl ryb at 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.
  • 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.
  • Badass Bookworm: She started out as a typical bookworm, but eventually becomes a capable warrior as well.
  • 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.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: At first.
  • Insufferable Genius: Also at first.
  • The Mentor: To Coryn when he breaks away from the Pure Ones.
  • Precision F-Strike: "SPRINK ON YOUR SPRONK!"
  • Ship Tease: She flirts with Soren in one book and especially in the film, and develops a crush on Clive almost as soon as she meets him.
  • The Smart Guy
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Quite well-read, and usually shows it in her speech. Which makes her Precision F-Strikes hit that much harder.

     Nyroc/Coryn 
Son of Nyra and Kludd.

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.
  • 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.

     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
  • 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
  • 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.

    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.


  • Arch-Enemy: His nemesis is Lyze of Kiel. Kludd's is, of course, Soren.
  • Dark Is Evil: His movie depiction has dark feathers and a black mask, and is the Big Bad.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Raspy voice, menacing mask, disfigured face, and an Evil Overlord. And given that the name is eventually taken up by The Hero's brother, both in the book at the end of the movie, he fits this to a tee.
  • Decomposite Character: The Metal Beak in the movie is not the same owl as the one that carries the name in the books. Initially.
  • Inertial Impalement: Soren kills Metal Beak by raising a burning branch while Metal Beak was diving at him; unable to pull up, Metal Beak is skewered on it.
  • Large and in Charge: The film's Metal Beak is visibly much bigger than his underlings.
  • Only Known By His Nickname: His real name is never given.

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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • 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.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Three hundred and twenty-five, to be exact.
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