"We're each other's family now. We'll find them together."
—Gylfie to Soren in Legend of the Guardians
|Species:||Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi)|
Family and Relatives:
N/A, possibly Rocmore
|Appears in:||The Capture, The Journey, The Rescue, The Siege, The Shattering,The Burning,The First Collier, The Coming of Hoole, To Be a King,The Golden Tree, The River of Wind, Exile, The War of the Ember|
|Appears in:||Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole|
|Best friend of Soren; navigator at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree|
Gylfie (pronounced gill-fee) is a female elf owl, or Micrathene whitneyi. She was hatched and raised in the Desert of Kuneer, but was later kidnapped by a St. Aggie's patrol when she fell out of her nest trying to fly before she was ready. She is a member of the Band (and the only female as well) and the Chaw of Chaws, as well as Soren's best friend. She lives at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, along with the rest of her friends, Soren, Digger and Twilight. She is also very intelligent, but is very sensitive to size jokes or references to small owls. Gylfie is also shown to be a good navigator; she later became the navigation ryb of The Great Ga'Hoole Tree.
Before the Books
Gylfie was born in the Desert of Kuneer. Her father was a great navigator who had great interest in the movements of stars and planets, and she had three sisters. When she was almost ready to fly, she tried and fell out of her nest in a cactus, and was later snatched by a St. Aggie's patrol.
In The Capture, Gylfie met Soren at St. Aggie's (also known as the St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls) when both of them were snatched away after falling out of their hollows. She was captured because she tried to fly before she was ready and fell out of her nest. She quickly became friends with Soren, and soon found out that St. Aggie's moon blinked the owls so that they forgot their sense of identity. She quickly found out a way to resist becoming moon blinked with the help of Soren, which involved repeating the numbers they were given as names, and telling each other legends of Ga'Hoole. After their escape from St. Aggie's, they met up with a lone Great Grey named Twilight. Twilight's most frequently said thing about Gylfie, was "Big words, little owl," because of her large vocabulary and small size. They stopped by Tyto to look for Soren's family, but they were nowhere in sight. Miraculously, the managed to find Soren's old nest-maid snake, Mrs. Plithiver. Later on in a desert, the last member of the Band joined them—Digger. They met him and learned his story, about how his brother was eaten by St. Aggie's patrols and how he was lost, searching for his family. Later they were attacked by Jatt, Jutt, and 47-2 of St. Aegolius, but with the help of Streak and Zan, two eagles who helped Soren and Gylfie's Hortense, a Spotted Owl, smuggle eggs from the canyons to their homes in Ambala, defeated them. Zan and Streak informed Digger of his parents' deaths, and the four young owls become close friends and were later known as The Band. Nothing else left to do, they journeyed to the Great Ga'Hoole Tree.Digger, who was injured in the mobbing, was recovering in a spruce tree, three Masked Owls joined them, claiming to want to meet the "brave owls who battled the crows." The Masked Owls claimed that the Great Ga'Hoole Tree was make-believe, and Gylfie defended it hotly. Later, when the four owls stumbled upon a dying Barred Owl, it was Gylfie who asks if St. Aggie's attacked him, and he replied, "You only wish!" They later stopped at The Beaks, and all four of them were transfixed by the dazzling Mirror Lakes and became full of themselves. Gylfie also was the one that was buffed around by the williwaw, the storm that blew the band up to the Ice Narrows. When they bunked for the night, she was the one that knew about making soft moss pulp, which improved their stay in the tree. She won for the "most disgusting moss pulp" in the moss pulp contest, and was the first of the band to see Orcase. At the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, the band were put in the same sleeping hollows. Gylfie was the first to discover that it was possible to eavesdrop on the parliament from the roots of the tree. She was placed in the navigation chaw, taught by Strix Struma.
In The Rescue, Gylfie, along with the band, left the tree when the rest of the owls were tipsy from the harvest festival. She and the band met the Rogue Smith of Silverveil, who told them that the "You only wish," was Metal Beak. They got in trouble when they returned, including a long flint mop. Later, they left along with Otulissa and Eglantine to search for Ezylrb. She snuck into the Pure Ones' castle and found no one was there, and the six owls searched for the Devil's Triangle. They eventually destroyed it, in which Gylfie and the band rescued Ezylrb and fought the Pure Ones. They also found out that Metal Beak was Soren's older brother, Kludd.
Gylfie traveled with the chaw of chaws back to the place of her worst nightmares—St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls, or St. Aggie's for short. Their mission was to find out how much more knowledge Skench and Spoorn had about flecks, as well as to see if the Pure Ones were indeed infiltrating St. Aggie's. This time though, they were flying purposely to the canyons. As she should have rightfully felt, Gylfie was nervous about returning to the place. She was especially nervous about meeting up with her old pit gaurdian, Unk, for she was frightened that he would recognize her. She was, again, assigned to the pelletorium, where they had to pick through pellets for certain things like teeth, fur, bones, and flecks. The plan had been for the band to split up throughout St. Aggie's and look for any spies or agents of the Pure Ones. They did find some, and, with Otulissa's help, they got into a place where they could all escape. Twilight would expose both agents and double agents, and a fight would break out. Under this chaos, the chaw of chaws escaped, but not without Soren being injured.
They flew to a tree in Ambala together and waited for help, hoping that Soren would live. Help did arrive in the form of the flying snake, Slynella, and both Gylfie and Soren had a small renunion with an old friend they met during their first visit to St. Aggie's—Hortense, also known as Mist, whom they had presumed dead. They learnt how she survived her fall, said their farewells, and headed off towards home—the Great Ga'Hoole Tree. Before actually arriving, they stopped to check on something first. They stopped to confirm whether the rumors of a gathering of owls on Cape Glaux was true. Twilight flew out and came back with the rumor being true. And so, together, the chaw of chaws flew back to the Great Tree to report their findings. And with this, a battle began.
Each chaw was assigned to a task of setting up defenses and helping the Great Tree get prepared for the oncoming battle. Gylfie, Soren, and Twilight were assigned to weaving and setting up snares that would be invisible to enemy owls until they got caught in it. The first battle was won by the Ga'Hoolian owls, but more were to come. As the war went on, Gylfie, the band and all the owls fought hard until the point where the Great Tree needed to defend itself. The defense was just staying put and not leaving or anything. It worked, but it also took a toll. Food supply got low and everyone was desperate. When Soren came up with the idea of trapping the Pure Ones by digging their way out so that some owls could get out while the rest stayed in, a tunnel began to be built. Gylfie, Soren, Twilight, and Digger, along with a small portion of the burrowing squadron and the leader, Sylvana, worked on the tunnel out past the Pure Ones. The plan worked, the Pure Ones retreated, the battle was over, and the Great Tree won, but at the price of the death of Strix Struma, the leader of Gylfie's chaw.
Gylfie and Soren both noticed a change in Eglantine's behavior. When Eglantine went missing, Gylfie joined Soren and the band as they all went out on yet another mission to search for her and Primrose, her friend that goes missing after she sets out to find little Eglantine.
They find both Eglantine and Primrose, who are carrying Nyra and Kludd's egg and are being chased down by the Pure Ones. They battle the Pure Ones and succeed in both destroying the egg and bringing the two little owls home to the Great Tree.
Gylfie and Otulissa were sent to the Glauxian Brothers' Retreat to find a copy of the book, Fleckasia and Other Disorders of the Gizzard as a part of a big mission that was assigned to the chaw of chaws. At the library, Gylfie saw Ifghar, Ezylryb's brother and turnfeather. She and Otulissa caught up with the rest of the chaw of chaws in the Northern Kingdoms, where they were training from Moss to use ice weapons.
A kraal raid summoned by Ifghar captured Gylfie and took them to their lair. Ifghar wanted her to give valuable information about their plans so he could tell it to the Pure Ones; she would be fed to the wolves if not. She was held captive in an ice cage and guarded by two Snowies. Twilla, Ifghar's aid and a former skrog came to rescue Gylfie, disguising herself in gold sedge berries, making the guards think she is Glaux. Gylfie and Twilla manage to escape the lair using ice mirrors to blind the kraals. Twilla then sang one of her old skrog songs to comfort Gylfie on her journey.
Gylfie went to the Northern Kingdoms to get allies and later particiapted in the Battle of the Burning. Later, Kludd wounds Gylfie, and Soren has the courage to kill his brother, but Twilight comes in and snaps Kludd's spine, killing him.
Gylfie was present in greeting the new king of Hoole, Coryn, Soren's nephew. She allowed Coryn to call her "Aunt Gylfie."
Gylfie waited patiently on a branch outside the Great Ga'Hoole Tree while Soren and Coryn, king of the Great Tree, said their last goodbyes to their much loved, greatest respected ryb or teacher, Ezylryb. Ezlyryb told Soren and Coryn to read the first three legends of Ga'Hoole. Gylfie and the band all waited patiently outside while Soren and Coryn read the first legend, "The First Collier."
Gylfie and the band along, with Otulissa grew impatient as the days passed. Coryn and Soren were in the hollow for days now reading the legends. At long last, they poked their heads out. They saw the small gathering of owls and wondered what it was about. The band and Otulissa told them that they wanted to read the legends too, so, the four other owls get to join in and read the second legend, "The Coming of Hoole."
Gylfie and the others all finished reading the second legend. They had learned a lot of history, and still didn't see why Ezylryb wanted them to read this. But, piece by piece, they slowly put it together and found out what they needed to know from these ancient stories. And so, they opened the last volume of the first three legends, "To Be a King."
During The Golden Tree, Gylfie went along with the band and Coryn.
Gylfie, being a part of the chaw of chaws, went to the Middle Kingdom.
Gylfie goes with the rest of the band to study winds. But later they found out that they were, in a sense, exiled from the Great Tree. To take back the tree, they fought with the Greenowls of Ambala.
Gylfie, is strong-minded, smart, and good humored. She was the one who discovered that the owls of St. Aggie's were moon blinking owlets, and that Hortense in fact wasn't moon blinked, as well. She is also shown to have a good sense of humor, such as whispering to Soren "Yes, spare us, learned one," when Otulissa began to talk about spronk in The Siege. However, she never laughs when it comes to short size jokes, which she is incredibly sensitive to, due to her species being an Elf Owl, the smallest owl in the world. Due to her actions in the series, such as having little interest in charms or pretty items, as well as prefering to be with the band, of which she is the only female, rather than with other females, it is fair to say that Gylfie is fairly tomboyish. Gylfie is sometimes shown to be impatient and seems to suffer from low self-esteem at times.
- There has been a lot of controversy with this character because most non-English readers will not know if Gylfie is actually male or female. In the movie, she is protrayed as female, meanwhile, some of the books refer to her as a "he." For example, in Spanish, the books refer to her as "El mochuelo duende," so, when she does something, she is referred as her species rather than her gender or name, many fans of the series claimed that she was actually male and that there was a mistake in the movie. However, she is confirmed to be female.
- In the movie, she is voiced by Emily Barclay.
- Gylfie's name possibly came from Gylfi, a king in Norse Mythology. In the real world, Gylfi is more commonly a male name.
- The name Gylfi may mean either "gentle" or "youthful".