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    Ben 

Ben

Voiced by: David Rawle (English), Kevin Swierszcz (English - younger); James Ó Floinn (Irish), Ríona Farley Nolan (Irish - younger)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/73_001.JPG

The protagonist of the movie. A 10-year-old boy who reminisces about the stories his mother told him.


  • Aloof Older Brother: He blames his sister for their mother's disappearance and their father favoring Saoirse only causes Ben to resent her more.
  • Big Brother Bully: When he isn't being an Aloof Older Brother towards Saoirse, he's being this. However, this gradually becomes-
  • Big Brother Instinct: - to the point where he overcomes his crippling fear of water to save her life.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Acts like a real jerk towards Saoirse. Fortunately, however, he gets better.
  • Character Development: He starts out as an incredibly petty bully and jerk towards Saoirse, but gradually comes to let go of his earlier resentment and realise he does actually love her - to the point where he risks his life to dive into the stormy sea to recover her selkie coat to save her life, despite having a major fear of water and knowing full well he can't swim.
  • Childish Tooth Gap: He sports a tooth gap and when not acting like a bratty Big Brother Bully to Saoirse, he's quite childlike.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Gradually lets go of his aloof nature towards Saoirse.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Ben has selkie blood in him, but unlike Saoirse, he doesn't seem to have the abilities of one.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Cú is the only one he's nice to, at least to start with.
  • Human Mom Nonhuman Dad: Inverted. His mother is a magical selkie and his father's the human.
  • Jerkass: Especially at the onset, he's a spiteful brat to his younger sister because he sees her as being responsible for their mother's disappearance. It doesn't last, fortunately.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The only hint of a soft side shown from Ben to start with is his relationship with Cú. From there, however, the defrosting begins.
  • Maternal Death? Blame the Child: Blames Saoirse for his mother's disappearance. However, when she's dying from being half-turned to stone, he apologises and admits that none of it was her fault.
  • Momma's Boy: Ben deeply loved his mother, and her disappearance greatly changed him for the worse.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Has several moments of this. The first is when he terrifies Saoirse with the story of the Owl Witch near the beginning - although at this point, he's still too proud to admit what he did was wrong and apologize, settling for quietly reassuring her that it's "just a story" afterward. The second comes when he's shown the events surrounding his mother's disappearance and Saoirse's birth, particularly the moment when he rejected her as a baby, which reduces him to tears.
  • Pet the Dog: Almost literally; initially, the only other character Ben is nice to (at least after the film's prologue) is his dog Cú.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ben's red to Saoirse's blue.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Even though he's the central character, it's his sister that is the most important figure.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Getting over his fear of water in order to save his sister's life.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: This happens to Ben once Bronagh disappears giving birth to Saoirse. Fortunately, this doesn't last, and then he...
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Ben has this happen after experiencing some life-or-death situations with Saoirse, realising how much he actually loves her deep down.
  • The Unfavorite: Ben knows he's this to his father, and he deeply resents Saoirse for it.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: At 4-years-old, Ben was quite excited at the prospect of having a younger sibling. Then his mom "died", and because he saw her as the cause of her disappearance, he became a big brother bully to Saoirse.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Ben developed a fear of water since his father repeatedly warned him that going into the ocean at their home was dangerous. Because of this fear, he constantly wears a life jacket, even on land. When Saoirse's life is on the line, however, he finally overcomes this fear, taking off his life jacket and diving into the stormy sea to find her selkie coat.

    Saoirse 

Saoirse

Voiced by: Lucy O' Connell (English); Fionán Farley Nolan (Irish)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_m8cn9spst41r3n1tpo2_500.jpg

The deuteragonist of the movie and the younger sister of Ben. She has never spoken and inherited her mother's selkie powers.


  • Animal Motifs: Seals.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Ben associates Saoirse coming with his mother leaving, which causes his negative attitude towards her. Her birthday is on the anniversary of her death — literally, overnight, his mother disappears and in her place is a little sister. He then deals with his grief by bottling it up and taking it out on Saoirse.
  • Big Brother Worship: While Ben may be a jerk to her, Saoirse still has a fondness for him.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: To Ben when they run away from Granny's home, she refuses to budge and kicks him when he tries to send her back, spits on the shell-flute to put him off reclaiming it and then forces him to get off the bus and follow the faerie lights and kicks an empty can to tell him they're lost.
  • Curtains Match The Windows: Matching black hair and eyes.
  • Cute Mute: She can't speak at all, but she's quite the adorable one. She finally speaks after she's reunited with her selkie coat, and after Bronagh severs the tie between her and the fairy world she's able to speak permanently.
  • Daddy's Girl: Saoirse is quite close to Conor. Deconstructed in the sense that their closeness causes Ben to feel like the unfavorite child.
  • Deuteragonist The second main character after Ben.
  • Disease Bleach: Her hair starts to turn white as her health declines throughout the movie.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Saoirse has selkie blood in her, but unlike Ben, she has the abilities of one. She loses those abilities when Bronagh severs the tie between her and the fairy world, but in exchange, she's finally able to speak without her selkie coat.
  • Human Mom Nonhuman Dad: Inverted. Her mother is a magical selkie and her father's the human.
  • Ill Girl: Saoirse's health starts to fade the longer she's without her selkie coat.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: The left side of Saoirse's hair stands up, and is split into two. Almost resembling the fins of a seal.
  • Last of His Kind: Saoirse is the last selkie child.
  • Macguffin Girl: She's essential to the survival of the faeries, and the latter half of the movie focuses on Ben trying to find her and save her life.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name roughly means "freedom" in Gaelic, and she turns out to be the key to freeing the rest of The Fair Folk from Macha's Taken for Granite so they can return home.
  • Messianic Archetype: She seems to be the messiah for The Fair Folk, as they hold her on a high pedestal and prophesied she would save them from Macha's curse, which she ends up doing.
  • The Millstone: Saoirse appears to Ben as this at times. Her diving into the sea with her selkie coat at night leads to Conor sending her and Ben to live with Granny, which doesn't soften Ben's attitude towards her. While they run away from Granny's, she then forces him to leave the bus that would take them back to the ocean and dives into a shrine pool that leads to Macha capturing her and Ben nearly drowning. Eventually, it becomes subverted, however, since if not for leaving the bus they wouldn't have reunited with Cú, and Ben wouldn't have learned the story of what really happened to his mother.
  • Nice Girl: Saoirse is polite and kind, even to her mean older brother.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Just like her mother.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ben's red to Saoirse's blue.
  • The Shadow Knows: When the faerie lights lead Saoirse to her sealcoat, her shadow briefly looks like a seal.
  • Silent Snarker: She can't speak, but makes exasperated looks when dealing with her brother or Granny.
  • The Speechless: Saoirse is six years old and still has yet to talk. This is because Conor locked away her selkie coat, and she can't speak without it.
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    Cú 

Voiced by: Unknown

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/song_of_the_sea_workshop_300x288.jpg

The Shepherd dog of the family.


  • Big, Friendly Dog: Cú is a giant shepherd dog and quite the sweetheart.
  • Blinding Bangs: His eyes are hidden by his fur about half the time. He is a sheepdog, after all, and in real life, it's pretty common for them to have hair in their faces.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": His name really just means "dog" in Irish Gaelic.
  • Heroic Dog: Saves the heroes several times, including when he blocks Macha from entering the attic and turning Ben to stone, and most spectacularly when Macha gives him the speed of the wind to carry Ben and Saoirse back to the lighthouse.
  • Morality Pet: A literal example. Ben is nasty or cold to almost everyone, especially Saoirse, but he's nice and warm towards Cu.
  • Undying Loyalty: He will swim over supposed dangerous waters for Ben and Saoirse.

    Conor 

Conor

Voiced by: Brendan Gleeson (English and Irish)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/connor.jpg

Ben and Saoirse's father who is still in mourning over his wife's "death".


  • The Alcoholic / Alcoholic Parent: Following Bronagh's "death" he drank to null the pain.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Acquired one after Bronagh's disappearance.
  • The Eeyore: He became this once Bronagh left.
  • Happily Married: Had an open and loving marriage with Bronagh.
  • Heroic Build: Has the biggest build of the main characters and is a definite good guy.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Bronagh.
  • Interspecies Romance: Conor (human) fell in love with and married Bronagh (selkie).
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Gets this reaction when he loses his patience with Ben and yells at him to stop his bratty behaviour.
  • Nice Guy: Even with his faults, Conor is a truly good person.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Although he does it with the intention of protecting his children and is unaware of the consequences of doing so, throwing the key and chest containing the selkie coat into the sea almost leads to Saoirse dying from being kept away from it for too long.
  • Papa Wolf: He would do anything for his kids. Either rowing a boat in the middle of a storm to get medical attention for one (Saoirse) or diving into the raging sea to rescue the other (Ben).
  • Parental Abandonment: A passive one in his case. Conor loses faith in his parenting abilities and allows Granny to take his children.
  • Parental Favoritism: Ever since Bronagh left, it's apparent that Conor pays more attention to Saoirse than he does with Ben. This inevitably makes his relationship with Ben grow increasingly more distant.
  • Parents as People: Though distant, Conor does try to lavish Saoirse with attention and still loves Ben. However, he starts to believe in his inadequacies as a father and lets his mother take his children away.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Conor is a taller, muscular version of Ben.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: After seeing Bronagh again and bidding her a final farewell, Conor was able to move on from his grief. After that, he starts expressing a happier attitude.

    Granny 

Granny

Voiced by: Fionnula Flanagan (English and Irish)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/song_of_the_sea_workshop_300x2886.jpg

Conor's overbearing mother.


  • Anti-Villain: "Villain" may be pushing it, but she was adamant on having her grandchildren stay in the city with her because she felt it wasn't safe to raise them in a lighthouse.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Offers Saoirse nettle tea and gooseberry buns, claiming them to be "good for the voice", Saoirse is repulsed just looking at them and Cu spits out a bun after Saoirse feeds it to him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As meddling and overbearing she can be, she only has the best interest for the children.
  • My Beloved Smother: Constantly tells her adult son, Conor, that he should let his kids stay with her.
  • No Name Given/Unnamed Parent: Her full name is never revealed.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Granny truly thinks she's helping by taking them away from their father and the lighthouse to live in the city (which is rife with pollution and urban decay).

    Bronagh 

Bronagh

Voiced by: Lisa Hannigan (English); Gráinne Bleasdale (Irish)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bronach.jpg

The "deceased" mother of Saoirse and Ben; wife of Conor. A selkie.


  • But Now I Must Go: In the end, Bronagh had to return to the magical world. Before she left, she bid a farewell to her family.
  • Curtains Match The Windows: Matching black hair and eyes.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Every appearance has her not wearing any shoes.
  • Happily Married: Had an open and loving one with Conor.
  • Hartman Hips: Bronagh, as seen here.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Conor.
  • Interspecies Romance: Bronagh (selkie) fell in love with and married Conor (human).
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Her disappearance/death caused a great shift in her family. Conor became an alcoholic to cope and Ben became a jerkass to Saoirse, blaming her for Bronagh's "death".
  • The Lost Lenore: Bronagh is this to both Conor and Ben, though in the latter's case it's a loss of parental love rather than romantic love.
  • Mama Bear: She sacrificed herself so that Saoirse could be safely born.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name means "sorrow" in Gaelic, and while not a sorrowful person by nature, her disappearance caused a lot of sorrow to her family.
  • Missing Mom: Her disappearance is what kicks off the plot. Unfortunately, she becomes this permanently by the end of the film, though she does get to say goodbye to her family before joining the other fairies on their journey home.
  • Nice Girl: Bronagh was a kind and caring soul to her family.
  • Rapunzel Hair: She has hair that reaches to the end of her back.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Has pale skin and black hair, and is a beauty by any stretch of the imagination.
  • Selkies and Wereseals: She's a selkie, being able to turn into a seal at will. Unlike Saoirse, she can still speak since she's never seen without her seal coat.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": In the credits, her name is spelt "Bronach".
  • Strong Family Resemblance: She's basically what an older Saoirse will look like.

    Lug, Mossy, and Spud 

Lug, Mossy, and Spud

Lug voiced by: Pat Shortt (English); Donncha Crowley (Irish)

Mossy voiced by: Colm Ó Snodaigh (English); Niall McDonagh (Irish)

Spud voiced by: Liam Hourican (English); Tomás Ó Súilleabháin (Irish)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hqdefault_6.jpg
Spud (far left), Lug (top middle), Mossy (far right), Saoirse (bottom center).

Three Daoine Sidhe who encounter Ben and Saoirse when they try to make their way home.


  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Mossy is big, Lug is thin and Spud is short.
  • I Have Many Names: They aren't too thrilled about Ben calling them "fairies" and they mention other names their kind are known as the Good Neighbors, the Other Crowd, and of course the Daoine Sidhe (which seems to be their proper name).
  • Leprechaun: Word of God is they're meant to be a nod to them and modern friendly faeries in general, which is shown through their short heights and green skin. Notice how much taller and more majestic they become when Saoirse sings her song that sends them home.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Although they do help guide Ben and Saiorse on their journey, they're mainly just meant for comic relief, and to take a break from the main storyline with a little singing.
  • Running Gag: Spud keeps wanting to sing, and Lug is always reluctant to let him.
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    The Great Seanchaí 

The Great Seanchaí

Voiced by: Jon Kenny (English)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jkqqnmqa.jpg

A very old and forgetful fairy whose long hair contains stories relating to the Daoine Sidhe. He directs Ben towards Macha's house so Ben can save Saoirse.


  • And You Were There: He resembles Dan the ferryman and shares the same voice actor.
  • Forgetful Jones: He doesn't have a very good memory; he keeps trying to remember the words to various Irish songs, he forgets who Ben is once Ben leaves him, and it seems that he'd forgotten his own name until Ben reminded him.
  • Meaningful Name: "Seanchaí" means "storyteller", and all his hairs contain stories relating to the Daoine Sidhe.
  • Rapunzel Hair: His hair is so long that it spreads out all over the cavern he lives in. Each of these hairs is a story relating to the Daoine Sidhe, though very few of them still grow since so few of his kind are left. He also gives other fictional hair a run for its money (including Rapunzel's!).

    Macha the Owl Witch 

Macha the Owl Witch

Voiced by: Fionnula Flanagan (English and Irish)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/animation_looks_4_embed.jpg

The mother of Mac Lir and a witch who can steal the emotions of others — turning them to stone.


  • Adaptational Villainy: In-Universe, as she points out to Ben when they meet.
    Macha: Well, now, those stories always paint me as the bad one. But I'm not so terrible, you know. I'm just trying to help everyone.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: When Ben released her feelings back to her, Macha begs his forgiveness and tells him that she couldn't bear to see her son in such pain.
  • Animal Motifs: Owls. She has owls as minions and she looks rather like an owl herself.
  • And You Were There: Resembles Granny, and shares the same voice actress. This is the first sign that her actions are born of misguided good intentions.
  • Anti-Villain: She does what she does with the best possible intentions in mind. And is polite.
  • Big Bad: Macha, a witch who steals the emotions of magical creatures, leaving them turned to stone, and who wants to capture Saoirse to keep her from singing her song. Somewhat subverted when it turns out she's more of a polite Well-Intentioned Extremist who thinks she's helping magical creatures by taking all their pain, grief, and worries away rather than acting out of malice. In fact, she's partly turned herself into stone for the same reason.
  • Easily Forgiven: When liberated by the song, the fairies kindly drop by Macha's house and welcome her among them. Justified that Macha was repentant for her actions and her sanity had slipped too far into her well-intentioned extremist deeds before she could truly regret it.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Upon seeing how wrong her idea of "helping" is, Macha gives Cú the speed of the wind to carry Ben and Saoirse back to the lighthouse.
  • The Man Behind the Curtain: After all the build-up to her as a terrifying Wicked Witch, she turns out to simply be a kindly old woman who wants to get rid of the faeries' negative emotions, and is partially turned to stone herself as a result of her own spells.
  • Ominous Owl: Her overall motif; she's closely associated with owls, and the stories about her cast her as an evil witch who turns people to stone. However, it turns out that she's not so ominous once she's realized the consequences of her actions.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Despite all the build-up to her sinister, intimidating nature, once Ben actually meets her, observes her half-stoned body, he finds himself trying to reason with her and pleading for her aid, understanding that she was more of a tragic figure than a villain.
  • Taken for Granite: When she removes someone's emotions, it turns them to stone. She's also partially turned to stone herself, due to having used her own powers on herself whenever she's had an emotional outburst.
  • Tragic Villain: The audience and Ben eventually learn that she stole her son's emotions because she couldn't bear to see him in such pain, while the theft of other fairies' emotions stems from her belief that she's helping them, not out of pure malice. In fact, she's partly turned herself into stone for the same reason.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She truly believes she's helping the magical beings of the world by stealing all their emotions, turning them to stone. Since turbulent emotions bring pain and grief, she thinks she's easing their suffering.
  • Wicked Witch: Is painted as one in the story Ben tells Saoirse. Turns out she's Not Evil, Just Misunderstood.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Not intentionally of course but she turned her own son to stone and nearly does the same to Ben and Saoirse.

    Mac Lir 

Mac Lir

Voiced by: Brendan Gleeson (English and Irish)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/giant0.png

Macha's son. He was so sad that he literally almost drowned the world with his tears; Macha turned him to stone to ease his pain.


  • And You Were There: His appearance and heartbreak is analogous to Conor.
  • Badass Beard: It goes all the way down to his waist.
  • Broken Tears: Enough to flood nearly the entire world.
  • Noodle Incident: It's never explained what exactly caused him such sadness in his backstory, but some of Macha's dialogue implies it was due to the loss of a loved one.
  • Taken for Granite: Done by his mother out of a desire to ease his suffering. At the end, when Saoirse sings the Song of the Sea, the spell is finally broken.
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