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Literature / Guardians of Ga'Hoole

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Guardians of Ga'Hoole is a children's fictional book series written by Kathryn Lasky and illustrated by Richard Cowdrey. Most of the main characters are owls, and the series is a cross between animal fiction such as Watership Down and epic fantasy. It was followed by multiple spinoffs and tie-in books.

The protagonist for the majority of the books is Soren, a young barn owl. He is pushed out of his nest by his malicious older brother Kludd and then kidnapped by owl scouts from a mysterious institution called St. Aggie's Academy. He soon makes friends with an elf owl named Gylfie and together they resist brainwashing by the St. Aggie's owls. Soren and Gylfie draw on the legends of an order of noble owls called the Guardians of Ga'Hoole for inspiration. They eventually escape, but upon discovering that their families have disappeared while they were imprisoned in St. Aggie's, they decide to search for the legendary Guardians. Soren and Gylfie are joined by Twilight, a great grey owl, and Digger, a burrowing owl. All four of them, each of their lives impacted by St. Aggie's, form "The Band" and join the Ga'Hoolian owls.


Subsequent books deal with The Band's education and training in Ga'Hoole and also the rise of a group even more dangerous than St. Aggie's called the Pure Ones. The Pure Ones believe in the superiority of Barn Owls above all other owl species.

The Film of the Book, Legend Of The Guardians The Owls Of Ga Hoole, was released in September 24, 2010, by Zack Snyder and the guys who did Happy Feet.

This continuity consists of:

  • Guardians of Ga'Hoole (2003-2013)
    • Main series: #1: The Capture (2003); 2: The Journey (2003); 3: The Rescue (2004); 4: The Siege (2004); 5: The Shattering (2004); 6: The Burning (2005); 7: The Hatchling (2005); 8: The Outcast (2005); 9: The First Collier (2006); 10: The Coming of Hoole (2006); 11: To Be a King (2006); 12: The Golden Tree (2007); 13: The River of Wind (2007); 14: Exile (2007); 15: The War of the Ember (2008).
    • Advertisement:
    • Side-books: A Guide Book to the Great Tree (2007)note ; Lost Tales of Ga'Hoole (2010)note ; The Rise of a Legend (2013)note 
  • Wolves of the Beyond (2011-2014; first sequel series)note 
    • #1: Lone Wolf (2011); 2: Shadow Wolf (2011); 3: Watch Wolf (2012); 4: Frost Wolf (2012); 5: Spirit Wolf (2013); 6: Star Wolf (2014).
  • Horses of the Dawn (2014-2016; distant prequel series)note 
    • #1: The Escape (2014), 2: Star Rise (2015); 3: Wild Blood (2016).
  • Bears of the Ice (2017-on; second sequel series)note 
    • #1: The Quest of the Cubs (2017); 2: The Den of Forever Frost (2018); 3: The Keepers of the Keys (2019).

Guardians of Ga'Hoole provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Aborted Arc: Unfortunately, there are a number of major plot elements that disappear entirely as soon as they lose relevance. St. Aggie's basically vanishes after The Siege, with no word to the fates of the hundreds of Brainwashed children it enslaved. Flecks also are almost never mentioned again after The Burning, despite their enormous significance in the early books.
  • Actual Pacifist: Theo, the gizzard resister, and Cleve, who doesn't believe in war.
  • After the End: It's heavily implied that the Others (i.e. humans) are long gone/extinct. All that remains of The Others' civilization are ruins and artifacts.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Chopping off an owl's wing is always fatal, no exceptions.
    • Possibly justified, because they cannot fly with only one wing. If they get their wings chopped while they're in mid-flight, they more often than not fall to their untimely doom.
  • Animated Adaptation
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Pure Ones are owls who believe that Tyto Alba — barn owls — are superior to any other species of owl.
  • Anti Anti Christ: Nyroc/Coryn, the son of Nyra and the High Tyto, who defects from the Pure Ones and becomes the King of Ga'Hoole.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 3b appears to have happened at some point in the past, leaving the owls with ruins belonging to the "Others".
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: When Coryn becomes king, although there was no actual crown. Made awesomer by the dire wolves' pledge:"We have all chosen to remain as wolves, to serve you, King Coryn, but we have also chosen to regain what we had lost in order to serve the Sacred Ring. Our twisted limbs have been straightened. Our eyes restored, our tails made whole once more. But we shall always be prepared to serve you, good King Coryn, always. That is our pledge."
  • Axe-Crazy: Nyra definitely qualifies.
  • Badass Boast: Twilight is always boasting about his own prowess and taunting his enemies with battle rhymes.
    Twilight: They call you Jatt? They call you Jutt? I'm gonna toss you in a rut! Then I'm gonna punch you in the gut! Then you're gonna wind up on your butt! Think you're all gizzard! I've seen better lizards. 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!
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: At the end of The Shattering and The Burning.
  • Battle Couple:
    • Boron and Barran, the king and queen of the Guardians.
    • Later Soren and Pelli.
    • Lyze and Lil
    • Nyra and Metal Beak/ Kludd
  • Badass Creed: The oath of the Guardians.
    I am a Guardian of Ga'Hoole. From this night on I dedicate my life to the protection of owlkind. I shall not swerve in my duty. I shall support my brother and sister Guardians in times of battle and in times of peace. I am the eyes of the night, the silence within the wind, I am the talons through the fire, the shield that guards the innocent. I shall seek to wear no crown, nor to win any glory. And all these things I do swear upon my honor as a Guardian of Ga'Hoole. This be my vow. This be my life. By Glaux, I do swear.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Inverted, since polar bears are good guys.
  • Big Bad:
    • Metal Beak/ Kludd serves as this in the first arc of the series. After he dies, his mate Nyra takes over for the second arc, which lasts the remainder of the series.
    • Nyra is the only recurring villain throughout all of the arcs (except for in the Whole Arc Flashback, of course), but they team up with other villains in each arc, who have about the same status in the story.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The forces of St. Aegolius and the Pure Ones are not on good terms. In the end, the Pure Ones win, force the surviving members of the academy out and St. Aggies is more or less forgotten.
  • Big Good: The ruler of the Ga'hoole tree is usually this. Also Ezylryb counts
  • The Big Guy: Twilight.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Streak and Zan, Hortense's eagles, come to rescue the Band from Jatt, Jutt, and 47-2 at the end of The Capture.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Twilight again. He yells battle taunts at his opponents that stun them.
  • Book Dumb: Ruby describes herself this way. She makes up for it by being an excellent flier.
  • Brainwashed:
    • Moon blinking, and moon scalding (which is basically moon blinking taken Up to Eleven.)
    • Not to mention stone stunning and shattering.
    • And fire blinking.
  • Cain and Abel: Soren and Kludd . However, contrary to expectations, Twilight is the one who actually kills Kludd in The Burning.
  • Canis Major: The Dire Wolves and the Vyrwolves who only get bigger.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Generally averts the "Predators Are Mean" aspect (owls, wolves, and bears are protagonists). Lampshaded when Digger (burrowing owl) and Mrs. P (snake) first meet, as burrowing owls are a predator of snakes. This becomes most apparent when the band is genuinely horrified that Twilight would suggest drying out a sea-star to use as a decoration. Outside of needing to eat, the owls generally leave prey animals alone.
  • Clever Crows: Both ravens and crows are present in the books. Crows are usually antagonistic (except to Doc Finebeak, who recruits them for the war in the last book), while ravens are more benevolent. Truth in Television, perhaps, if one believes ravens are more intelligent than crows.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The Rogue Smith of Silverveil curses a lot. This being an alternate society, the curses are somewhat exotic.
  • Creepy Crows: Both ravens and crows are present in the books, crows usually being antagonistic (except to Doc Finebeak, who recruits them for the war in the last book).
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The owls worship a god called Glaux.
  • Conlang: Krakish, the language of the Northern Kingdoms. Its vocabulary is mostly inspired by Norwegian, but its structure is similar to that of a romance language.
  • Cool Old Guy: Ezylryb, all the way.
  • Cool Sword: Owls from the Northen Kingdom use swords made from ice as weapons.
  • Cult Defector: Soren and Gylfie meet when they're both taken to an Orphanage of Fear known as "St. Aggies", where young owls spend their time being brainwashed and assimilated. Each night, they attempted to resist, but were caught and subjected to a stronger form of the regular brainwashing. However, through reciting legends about the mythical GaHoole, they were able to resist that brainwashing, too. Though they were able to escape by learning to fly, they were chased down by a patrol and the two other owls who weren't being brainwashed, Hortense and Grimble, were both caught and killed for their troubles.
  • Dan Browned: Quite a bit of it, unfortunately, mostly having to do with owls' biology. Could be excused as extreme Artistic License, but the books' information says that the series was the alternative to a nonfiction book the author wanted to write about owls, and thus she attempted to include owls' natural history. By and large, it appears she was unsuccessful... For more detail, see the Headscratchers tab.
  • Defector from Decadence: Lots of characters, most importantly Nyroc.
    • The Striga, who abandoned the Dragon Owls because he thought they were too hedonistic and vain. His obsession with vanities is what leads him to burn books and commit worse atrocities.
  • Dirty Communists: St. Aggie's is essentially this.
  • Disney Death: Hortense.
  • Dragon Ascendant: After Metal Beak is defeated in The Burning, Nyra takes over as the Big Bad.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Soren has this ability, called Starsight.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-universe example; Primrose the Pygmy owl suffers from an allergic reaction from a slug and has to be taken away to be healed. Ginger, a Pure One spy, makes a joke about getting Primrose's dessert, only for Otulissa and Gylfie to tell her sharply that it wasn't a time to make a joke.
  • Egg McGuffin: Nyra's egg, before Eglantine breaks it.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • The Guardians briefly join with the leaders of St. Aggies in the 6th book, who get killed trying to double cross them during a battle.
    • Crows are recruited to help fight the Pure Ones in the last book, and in the end are acknowledged as being as noble as all the other species that fought in the war.
  • Enfant Terrible: Kludd. At first, he seems like a stereotypical annoying big brother, but Mrs. P. senses that there's something very off about him, "unowlish." Kludd pushes Soren from the nest in an attempt at fratricide, threatens to eat Mrs. P., kills his parents, takes Eglantine to the Pure Ones, and by The Rescue has become Metal Beak, the Big Bad.
  • Eviler Than Thou: St. Aggie's vs. The Pure Ones.
  • Evil Matriarch: Nyra, especially after Kludd dies
  • Evil Uncle: Nyra raises Coryn (Nyroc) to believe this of Soren, telling him that his uncle was an evil owl who mercilessly murdered Kludd. But Coryn later realizes out that Soren was actually a good owl, and he finds out that it was Twilight, not his uncle Soren, who killed Kludd.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Otulissa, after losing an eye in Exile.
  • Eye Scream: Otulissa. She lives, though.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The Striga Orlando.
  • The Fair Folk: Hagsfiend are both this and demons.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: And how! Deaths by dismemberment, decapitation, impalement, burnings...
  • Fantasy World Map: Presented at the beginning of each book.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The Pure Ones are a group of Barn Owls and related Tyto species who look down on other types of owls. And the Barn Owls even look down on other Tytos, like Sooties and Grass Owls.
    • Owls in general tend to be a bit speciest and look down on seagulls and other birds because they don't produce pellets. "Wet pooper" is an insult owls use sometimes.
  • Fantastic Underclass: The spin-off series The Wolves Of The Beyond has the lowest-ranking pack members as the "gnaw wolves". Not only are they discriminated against for their physical deformities, like missing tails or twisted paws, but they're also relegated to just gnawing on bones - both as an actual job (for the sake of recording information), and as their primary source of food. In the Guardians book The Outcast, Coryn making the order that they let Hamish the gnaw wolf eat before the rest of the pack - lest the pack be denied any of the food from his hunt - is treated as a big, status-quo-shaking deal.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Simon saves Kludd, who kills him for his efforts.
  • Fictionary: Krakish.
  • Final Boss: Kludd for the part of the series following Soren. In the very last book, the final boss is Nyra, aided by the Striga.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When the Band is fighting a bobcat outside the nameless Barred Owl's cave in The Journey, Soren picks up a hot coal in his beak and drops it on the bobcat's eye. He later becomes a collier at the Great Tree.
    • When Nyroc is recaptured by Nyra and he asks her if she loves him, Nyra mentions that Nyroc will be as great as King Hoole. It turns out that he succeeds King Hoole, one book later.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare:
    • Metal Beak, the infamous leader of the Pure Ones, was originally an ordinary barn owl named Kludd.
    • The Striga burned important books, owl homes, and owls themselves for the sake of his extremist views on "vanities". With such a reputation, who could guess that he used to lounge around in a palace, so obsessed with beauty that he'd grow feathers so long that he would be unable to fly?
  • Genius Ditz: The puffins, who "admit they're dumb" but are actually quite knowledgable about the things they're familiar with.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: In the last book. They end up recruiting wolves, bears, eagles, crows, seagulls, and puffins.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars:
    • Ezylryb has a missing claw, while Kludd has half his face missing.
    • Nyra and Coryn both have on opposite sides of their faces. Nyra received it from Otulissa and Coryn from Nyra herself
  • Granny Classic: Despite being a snake, Mrs. Plithiver is a grandmotherly archetype. She is a kind, gentle, wise figure who is still firm when she needs to be. Soren relies on her as a parental substitute.
  • Green Rocks: The flecks are iron, which can disorient owls and destroy their senses with its magnetic field. Although fleck deposits are able to cause weird mutations like crippling Hortense and causing her father to see through rock.
  • Grim Up North: Inverted; while it is quite grim and desolate up north, the inhabitants become valuable allies for the Ga'Hoole owls. This is also where Ezylryb hails from.
  • Guilty Until Someone Else Is Guilty: In the spin-off series Wolves Of The Beyond book "Shadow Wolf", Faolan gets accused of murdering a pup he cared for, which only gets accelerated when framed evidence is found. It gets to the point where his entire pack is about to brutally slaughter him as punishment...until they're told that the real murderer is Heep, the very same wolf that framed Faolan.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Grimble, to St. Aggies.
    • Nyroc, to the Pure Ones.
    • Uglamore, preforming a Heroic Sacrifice in the process.
  • Hell: Hagsmire.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Uglamore, after his Heel–Face Turn, by flying into a wolf with a foaming-mouth sickness that was about to bite Coryn.
  • If I Can't Have You...: Why Ifghar betrayed the Kielian League.
  • I'm a Humanitarian:
    • Well, the owl version. Some of St. Aggie's troops end up eating Digger's brother.
    • St. Aegolius, paticularly Auntie, likes to eat eggs and deformed hatchlings.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Northern owls use weapons carved from ice. In the last book, the puffins use frozen fish.
  • Insufferable Genius: Otulissa is Hermione Granger in owl form. She starts as an annoying know-it-all who attempts to suck up to the teachers and drives Soren insane, but after a few books she's become a badass and a true friend of the Band.
  • The Joy of First Flight: Despite the horrific ordeal of escaping from St. Aggie's, Soren and Gylfie can't help but enjoy their first flight.
  • Kid Hero: Soren (until he grows up), and Nyroc/Coryn.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Band's and the Guardians' battle strategy. They like to use branches that are ON FIRE.
  • Kinslaying Is a Special Kind of Evil: One of the Pure Ones' Rites of Passage is to kill a family member. This is why Kludd attempted to kill Soren in the first book.
  • Lady of War:
    • Strix Struma.
    • Strix Emerilla, Otulissa, and Queen Siv also fit into this trope. Notice now they're all spotted owls...
  • Lethal Lava Land: Beyond the Beyond.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The Mirror Lakes are an insidious one. They are a seemingly perfect paradise in the middle of the otherwise barren landscape of the Beaks, with tall trees that have perfect hollows, soft moss, plentiful game, and extremely reflective lakes. They are first encountered by the Band while flying to the Great Ga'Hoole Tree in The Journey, and cause them to become "fat, lazy, and vain," completely forgetting about their mission. Only Mrs. P., who is blind, is not transfixed by the lakes. She forces the owls out of them with a Precision F-Strike.
    • Later, in The Shattering, Nyra uses the Mirror Lakes' strange powers to her advantage in order to tempt Eglantine.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Metal Beak.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Nyra
  • The Man Behind the Man: Metal Beak, Nyra, and the rest of the Pure Ones behind St. Aggie's in the first six books.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Grimble dies after teaching Soren and Gylfie how to fly, in the first book. In later books, Otulissa's mentor Strix Struma is killed in battle. Ezlyryb also dies, albeit from old age.
  • The Mole:
    • Ginger, a spy for the Pure Ones.
    • Hortense. She is a mature owl who is disabled, and so she impersonates an owlet, is deliberately captured by St. Aggies, fakes being moon blinked, and saves over twenty eggs from their tyranny with the help of Streak and Zan.
  • The Movie: Legend Of The Guardians The Owls Of Ga Hoole, directed by Zack Snyder.
  • Noble Bird of Prey: A relatively rare instance of owls being given this treatment. The two bald eagles who help Hortense in her rescues are a more conventional example.
  • No Name Given: The rogue smith of Silverveil. Her name has been revealed as Thora Plonk in "Lost Tales".
  • No Pronunciation Guide: You can normally just pronounce St. Aegolius as St. Aggie's (and most of the characters do anyway). Let's face it, how many kids in the book's demographic are going to be able to pronounce it?
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Averted. Soren eventually finds a mate and has three daughters. Ezylryb dies before the Hoole trilogy, and the rulers of the tree die just as Coryn arrives.
  • Ominous Owl:
    • The villains (especially Nyra) play the creepy owl factor for all it's worth.
    • Hagsfiends. They're first mentioned as evil owl ghosts, and then, in books nine through eleven, it turns out that they're an actual species, but have since died out aside from the Dragon Owls. It's even implied that an owl can turn into a hagsfiend if they are extremely evil, which is implied to be the fate of Nyra.
  • The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: In book one, Mrs. Plithiver thinks to herself that there is something very wrong with Kludd. He then coughs up a pellet and she reconsiders that no bird with such a noble digestive system could be completely bad. If only...
  • Orphanage of Fear: Definitely the St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls, which isn't an orphanage so much as a cult in which children are Brainwashed into slavery.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Soren, Gylfie, and Digger all deeply suffer as a result of having lost their parents, among others.
  • Our Demons Are Different: The hagsfiends are an unholy mix of owls and crows, with dark powers.
  • Pardon My Klingon:
    • A lot. Notably, "sprink", which is considered the most vile word in the owl vocabulary, frink, an equivalent to piss (the verb, not the bodily fluid), and racdrops, an equivalent to... well, you should be able to tell.
  • Parental Abandonment: Quite a lot.
  • Parental Favoritism:
    • The rogue smith's stepmother doted upon her sister due to her lovely singing voice, leaving her out in the cold.
    • Kludd seems to believe this was the case with his father and Soren.
  • Persecuted Intellectuals: A running theme throughout the series is the importance and preservation of knowledge against those who might want to remove or restrict it.
    • In The Capture, leaders of St. Aggie's try to prevent anyone from becoming more knowledgable than they are, by forbidding the asking of questions and restricting all access to books.
    • In The Siege, Dewlap forbids a book and punishes Otulissa for reading it, which goes against the Guardians of Ga'Hoole's values, and is the first indication that Dewlap might not be on the Guardians' side.
    • In Exile, The Striga and his Blue Brigade begin raiding homes to burn books.
    • At the end of the series, The Striga begins
  • Plot Device: For all that the Ember of Hoole is fretted over, it does remarkably little over the course of the series.
  • Precision S Strike: Otulissa, twice.
    • Related— Mrs. P, who is much too proper to swear, gives Twilight an epic cussing out when the owls are trapped at The Mirror Lakes.
  • Prequel: Ezylryb's story called The Rise Of A Legend.
  • Pure Is Not Good: The main antagonists call themselves the Pure Ones. They're owl Nazis who are obsessed with the idea of "purity."
  • The Quisling: Dewlap panics and sells out the Great Tree to the Pure Ones in The Siege. To say she ends up regretting this decision after Strix Struma's death would be an understatement.
  • Recycled In Space: Essentially World War II WITH OWLS!
  • Rescue Arc: The Rescue, as you might have guessed. It centers on the rescue of Ezylryb by the protagonists.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Boron and Barran actually run the Great Tree and attempt to do good in the Owl Kingdoms. Barran even runs the Search-and-Rescue chaw.
  • Satisfied Streetrat: Twilight, who has graduated from the orphan school of tough learning.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: Ezylryb is Lyze of Kiel.. Nyroc later becomes Coryn.
  • Seers:
    • Owls with Starsight like Soren and Hortense will often have precognitive dreams of an upcoming event. Gylfie describes that it is like peeking through the holes in dreams.
    • Firesight users like Grank, Hoole and Coryn can see visions of events that happened in the past, present and future by looking at fire.
    • A rabbit that Coryn spared and had a conversation, can read fragments of the past, present and future events from spider webs. Unlike firesight, if he shares his name with anyone, he will lose it.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Many of the owl species, as well as blind snakes, flying snakes, puffins, and dire wolves.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Kludd.
  • Servant Race: Blind snakes are kept as nest maids by owls to keep their nest clean by clearing out maggots and other creepy crawlies.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Call me Grank", the first line from The First Collier.
    • At one point, a group of owls try to save books from the Pure Ones by memorizing them, saying they got the idea from a book written by one of the Others, named "Ray Brad" (although they think the name may have been cut off).
    • Everything about the Legends of Ga'Hoole is obviously based after Arthurian Legend. Eventually, towards the end, the actual Arthurian Legends are referenced.
    • There are tons of 300 references in the last book. "We will fight in the shade" and "[you want our weapons?] Come and get them!" to name a few.
  • Sickening Sweethearts: Sweetums and Swatums, a pair of sooty owl who the Band encounter near the begining of The Journey. Soren finds them especially nauseating.
  • The Siege: ''The Siege'', on the Great Ga'hoole Tree carried out by the Pure Ones.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Numerous characters, but the Rogue Smith of Silverveil takes the cake.
  • Skewed Priorities: In The Capture, Soren is being carried off by a St. Aggie's patrol owl. Rather then worry about how to escape, all Soren is worried about is that said patrol owl called him stupid.
  • Slashed Throat: Lots of characters die by getting slashed in the throat or neck, such as Aunt Finny.
  • Snake Talk: The flying snakes do this, though it's averted with the nest-maid and Kielian snakes.
  • Somewhere, an Entomologist Is Crying: Spiders and centipedes are referred to as "insects".
  • Somewhere, a Herpetologist Is Crying: The flying snakes can inject venom with their tongues.
  • Somewhere, a Mammalogist Is Crying: It's implied at certain points that bats are birds, and are blind. (Although in fairness, this could be because the owls don't know what bats actually are.)
  • Stepford Smiler: Under all of the sweet talking, Aunt Finny is quite sadistic.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Nyra calls Eglantine "darling" while impersonating her mother, which is what makes her realize Nyra is lying.
    Eglantine: It's Eggie! Mum called me Eggie. NOT DARLING!
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Rogue Smith of Silverveil and Madame Plonk fit this to a T.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Otulissa gets special mention. She is introduced as a prissy know-it-all bookworm, now she has an Eyepatch of Power.
    • The puffins in the last book. And how!
  • Team Title: The series is named after the heroic Guardians of Ga'Hoole.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: Nyra, Nyroc, and Hoole were born during lunar eclipses, which enchants them to be either extremely good (in Nyroc/Coryn and Hoole's case) or extremely evil (in Nyra's case).
  • Treacherous Advisor: Striga/Orlando to Coryn in the last two books.
  • True Companions: The Band in the first couple books, later the Chaw of Chaws. Some consider Coryn a member of the Band.
  • Tsundere: Otulissa. She reveals the "deredere" when she talks about her idols or is with Cleve.
  • Unexpectedly Human Perception: The series is from the point of view of owls, animals that typically see in limited or monochrome vision, but everything is described in full color. The most notable example is Nyroc first discovering the color of green, which he has a strong reaction to, despite not being able to see it in real life.
  • Unfortunate Names: Nyroc is named after Nyra, the most feared/hated owl in the entire Owl Kingdom. Even though Nyroc has never really done anything bad, his name still gives him a bad reputation, until he gets the Ember of Hoole.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Kludd and Nyra. They actually love each other, which makes it, if possible, even creepier.
  • Waif Prophet: Hortense.
  • Warrior Poet: Twilight and Ezylryb. Twilight uses his poetry skills to compose taunting battle cries, and Ezylryb chronicles the wars he's fought in over the course of his life.
  • Wham Line: When Metalbeak is finally unmasked, both Soren and the audience get a shocking revelation...
    Soren: Kludd!
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: It's never established where, in real-life terms, the series takes place. No single location could account for the variety of owl (and other bird) species seen in the series, most of which don't coexist in real life. The Film of the Book implies it's in Australia by showing a Tasmanian devil and an Echidna and giving the characters Aussie accents, but even that doesn't really fit.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Books 9-11 are a Whole Arc Flashback!
  • Would Hurt a Child: Owlets suffer a lot of abuse during the series as a whole. A lot of owlets try to fly before they're ready, which cause them to tumble out of nests, leaving them vulnerable to St. Aggie's patrols or other more mundane predators. St. Aggie's brainwashes owl children and turns them into mindless slaves. The Pure Ones indoctrinate Tyto owlets into their cult. Worst of all Digger's baby brother was eaten by Jatt and Jutt. It's a miracle that Eglantine survived.
  • Working Out Their Emotions: In the guidebook, Ezylryb starts dating the very same girl that his younger brother, Ifghar, is secretly nursing a crush on. Ifghar is distraught but wants them to be happy, so he throws himself into missions and combat training, becoming faster and stronger than he's ever been before. And then, one day, he sees the couple out together...and realizes he isn't hurting anymore. note 
  • You Are Number 6: The owls in St. Aggie's are all given number designations instead of their names. In the first book, Soren becomes 12-1, Gylfie is 25-2, and Hortense is 12-8.


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