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"They are defying Glaux. They believe they are Glaux, and that is their fatal flaw!"
Coryn thinking of Nyra and The Striga, The War of the Ember, page 209
Great glaux

The Great Glaux constellation

In the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series, Glaux is the name given to a prehistoric bird species, a species owls believe is the shared ancestor from which all modern owls evolved from. Glaux is seen as the owls' main god, and fulfills a role similar to that of God in the Abrahamic religions. Unlike the God of the Abrahamic religions, however, Glaux is not usually viewed as an omnipresent, intellectual higher being, although some owls, such as Nyra, the Striga and the Pure Ones, idolize and anthropomorphize Glaux more. Nyra, a supremacist, believes tytonidae owls are "Glaux's favourites". 

The religion that surrounds Glaux (possibly called Glauxian) is not well defined, but other animals in the series, such as bears and rabbits, share similar notions of God. "Glaux" is often used in vain as a profanity by owls, much like how "god" is.

Etymology

Several species of modern owls have glaux in their scientific names, including the Palau Owl (Pyrroglaux podarginus), the Cuban Bare-legged Owl (Gymnoglaux lawrenci) and the recently extinct Laughing Owl (Sceloglaux albifacies). All of these owls belong to their own genus, and are all decidedly primitive looking, lacking ear tufts and having weakly defined facial discs.

Two owl fossils from the Eocene epoch have been given the genus name Palaeoglaux. It is unknown whether these owls are Strigiforms or belong to a new family. This new hypothetical family has been named Palaeoglaucidae, suggesting the terms glaux and gluc go hand in hand. Gluc comes from the Latin glaucus, referring to a greyish-cyan color.

Description

Glaux is described as the first owl from which all other owls descended from, suggesting that "Glaux" may refer to that species collectively, and not just one individual. Glaux is also never given a gender. It is unknown what Glaux looked like, and some owls suggest that it took the form of a known, modern species, such as a Barn Owl or Snowy.

In many descriptions, it is inferred that Glaux was a very primitive form of owl, the first kind of bird to acquire owlish traits. While the evolution of owls can be traced back farther (almost 60 million years ago) owls started to gain their modern looks sometime during the late Paleogene, roughly 45 million years ago. One of their closest relatives evolution wise are the Caprimulgiformes, a family including nightjars and frogmouths.

In the artwork used in the movie and video games, Glaux is a vaguely owlish bird, sometimes with long tapering feathers coming from its head. It has no defined facial disc.

Uses of Glaux's Name

Here are some references and usages of Glaux in place of the reference of Abraham's God:

  • "Thank Glaux!"
  • "We all have descended from Glaux."
  • "...by Glaux I do swear."
  • "Good Glaux!"
  • "Great Glaux!"
  • "For Glaux's sake!"
  • "What in the name of Glaux?"
  • "Oh Glaux."
  • "Glaux!"
  • "By Glaux!"
  • "My Glaux!"
  • "Great Glaux in glaumora!"
  • "... but by the mercy of Glaux,"

Other Gods

  • Lupus (Wolves)
  • Lapin (Rabbits)
  • Ursa (Polar Bears)
  • Ursus (Grizzly Bears)

Gallery

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