"There was nothing particularly glorious or heroic about war, Soren realized. It was really nothing more than a grubby, vile task to vanquish a foul tyranny led by his own brother."
- Narrator, The Siege, page 161
|Species:||Barn Owl (Tyto alba)|
Blythe, Sebastiana and Bell
|Appears in:||The Capture, The Journey,The Rescue,The Siege, The Shattering, The Burning, The Hatchling, The Outcast, The First Collier, The Coming of Hoole, To Be a King, The Golden Tree, The River of Wind, Exile, The War of the Ember, Spirit Wolf|
|Appears in:||Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole|
|Mate of Pellimore; main character in the first six books; leader of The Band; creator of the Chaw of Chaws; ruler of the Great Ga'Hoole Tree after Coryn|
Soren (pronounced sorr-en) is a male Barn Owl, or Tyto alba, and was the main protagonist of the first six Guardians of Ga'Hoole books and the deuteragonist of the last 9 books, as well as the leader of the band and creator of the chaw of chaws. He was the mate of Pellimore and the father of Blythe, Bell, and Sebastiana (also nicknamed "Basha" and "Bash") as well as the brother of Kludd and Eglantine. He is now the leader of the colliering and weather interpretation chaw and teaches a class about the gizzard. He appears in Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole as the main protagonist, where he is voiced by Jim Sturgess.
Like other Barn owls, Soren's eyes are black, with a heart-shaped face, a white chest with black speckles, and a tan, buff and brown back, tail, wings and head, with black speckles. He has a certain tilt to his eyes, as inherited by his daughter, Bell. From battles and his days as a collier, his white face has become soot streaked. His talon have become knobbly and black, the leg feathers gray with ash. His beak has lost the tannish hue, and he had nicks and marks from battles and colliering. He is noted to look a lot like his father, Noctus, as noted in The Journey and seen in the film.
In the movie Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole, Soren has yellow-beige feathers and a round facial disc. Unlike wild Barn Owls and his character in the books, Soren has yellow eyes that can move, which was most likely changed to make him look more visually pleasing and help to display more human-like facial expressions.
"The hero tends to be the hardest character to design and Soren was no different. Being a Barn owl made it more difficult because their features are striking and ghostly, they are beautiful yet out of all the owls they're the hardest to empathise with. We went through a process of trying to loosen up our character sketches, discarding the need to be realistic so we could try and find a look that was immediately pleasing. The final design ended up combining these sketch explorations with a particular barn owl photograph that Zack felt best resembled Soren." - Simon Whiteley, The Art of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole
Soren was kicked out of the nest by Kludd for a Pure Ones test. Soon thereafter, Soren was snatched by a patrol from St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls (more commonly known as St. Aggie's).
When Soren arrived at St. Aggie's, he met an Elf Owl named Gylfie, who also had been snatched. Gylfie had tried to fly before she was ready. They became fast friends and quickly discovered the evil intentions of the "academy": to take over the entire owl world using an army of owls that had been brainwashed and wiped of their individuality. This was done by a process called moon blinking, which involved sleeping under the shine of the full moon. Soren was assigned the number 12-1 until he had earned a name.
Over time, Soren began to realize that he had not fallen by accident: Kludd had pushed him out. Soren and his newfound friend were assigned to work in the pelletorium, a place in the canyons of St. Aggie's where they had to pick out small bits of metal called flecks from owl pellets. Soren asked what the flecks were, but instead was punished brutally through laughter therapy, as questions were forbidden at St. Aegolius.
Soren was then cared for by Aunt Finny, who told him to call her Auntie. He was also cared for by an owl possibly Hortense, who was a nurse in training.
After Soren recovered, he and Gylfie were caught trying to avoid the shade during the sleep march and were subjected to a more powerful process called moon scalding. Despite their dire circumstances, they resisted only by reciting the legends of Ga'Hoole. Soon after, they discovered that the eggorium, the area where owls sat on eggs to hatch them so they could join the St. Aegolius cause, was open for workers. This happened to be the place closest to the sky, which would be a good place to be if they attempted to fly away. Gylfie found out that 12-8, or Hortense, was not moon-blinked, but was instead was helping two eagles, Streak and Zan, bring eggs to the kingdom of Ambala. However, she was caught and pushed off a cliff by Finny, Soren's ruthless but seemingly friendly pit guardian.
The two companions also arrived at the conclusion that an adult Boreal Owl named Grimble was not moon-blinked either. Their suspicion proved to be correct and Grimble taught Soren and Gylfie how to fly and helped them to escape through the library of St. Aggie's, although at the cost of his own life at the talons of the Ablah General, Skench. Shortly after their escape, Soren and Gylfie encountered a Great Gray Owl named Twilight, who was journeying to find the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, and they chose to go with him. Along the way they went to Soren and Gylfie's old homes to see if their parents were there, but they were not to be found. Later, Soren found Mrs. Plithiver, who revealed to Soren that Kludd had pushed Eglantine out of the nest as well. Kludd had also threatened to eat Mrs. Plithiver if she tried to tell anyone. In Kuneer they found a Burrowing Owl named Digger, whose brother, Flick, had been eaten by Jatt and Jutt of St. Aegolius. They were shortly attacked by Jatt, Jutt, and 47-2, that tried to eat Digger as well, but they were killed by Zan and Streak, two bald eagles that were allies of Hortense. After the two eagles informed Digger that his parents were killed as well, all four owls united, becoming the band and set out to find the Great Ga'Hoole Tree.
Soren and his friends continued their journey to the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, even after being mobbed by crows and given lectures by owl families who thought the tree a myth. They encountered a Bobcat, then after killing it, they found a dying Barred Owl blacksmith. Gylfie asked if St. Aggie's had attacked them, to which he replied "Oh! You only wish!" before dying. They stopped for a rest in the Mirror Lakes, a place with lakes so clear that they could see their reflections clearly for the first time. This caused them to become drunk and sleepy, but Mrs. Plithiver became suspicious, theorizing that there was some magic about the place and ordering them all to leave, only for them to be caught in a storm with williwaws that drove them to the edge of the Northern Kingdoms, the Ice Narrows. A family of puffins redirected them, and eventually the band reached their destination.
The band soon discovered that they would be divided into different chaws to learn different skills. Soren was double-chawed in weather interpretation and colliering along with an obnoxious owl named Otulissa. The weather chaw was led by Ezylryb, a gruff old Whiskered Screech Owl who Soren felt uncomfortable about because of his missing talon, but it turned out that the old ryb had a playful side as he gleeked about in flight, telling wet poop jokes and flying crazy. Colliering, the art of retrieving coals for blacksmiths, was lead by Elvan, and Soren turned out to be exceptionally good at it.
During the Great Downing, Soren was reunited with his sister Eglantine, who was among the many owlets who were dropped and had been brainwashed into believing that Tytos were supreme. He tended to her night and day, but when she recovered, she was in a trancelike state, the result of being stone stunned. However, when she looked through isinglass brought by Trader Mags, she was cured, but recalled nothing of what happened to her.
After his worries about Eglantine subsided, Soren's worries turned towards his mentor, Ezylryb, who had not returned from his investigation of the Great Downing. While on a weather interpretation flight he saw his parents' scrooms, They told him to beware of an owl called Metal Beak. Upon his return, Soren asked Bubo, the blacksmith, who Metal Beak was, to which he replied that a murderous owl with a metal mask. Soren asked if Metal Beak could possibly be related to the murder of the Barred Owl in The Beaks, and Bubo said that it was highly likely. He also revealed that he was a rogue smith, and told Soren about some of the others, such as the rogue smith of Silverveil.
During the harvest festival, the band snuck out to ask the rogue smith of Silverveil about where Ezylryb could be, but she knew nothing. When they returned, Dewlap discovered them and they were punished. At one point, Soren asked Eglantine if she remembered what happened during the Great Downing, but she remembered nothing. Soren then experimented by showing her another piece of isinglass, which made her recall being imprisoned by the Pure Ones, an organization of owls that believed in Tyto superiority. Realizing that they had probably captured Ezylryb, they (and Otulissa, who was eavesdropping) set off to free him.
They soon reached the Pure Ones' stronghold, which had been abandoned. Once Eglantine realizes that the three bags of the Sacred Flecks of the Shrine Most Pure had vanished along with the Pure Ones. Otulissa revealed that if three bags of flecks were placed in a triangle, it disrupted birds' navigational systems and that was where Ezylryb will probably be. She also revealed that fire could destroy flecks' effects and mu metal could act as a shield against it. Twilight got some metal from doors as Soren and Otulissa collected coals from forest fires.
The five managed to destroy all the bags of flecks and found Ezylryb, but they were ambushed by Metal Beak and some of the members of the Pure Ones. Soren tore off Metal Beak's mask, only to reveal the face of his brother, Kludd, who charged him. Soren set half of Kludd's face on fire, and the Pure Ones retreated, but not before Kludd swore undying revenge on his brother.
Soren is sent to St. Aggies along with Gylfie, Twilight, Digger, Ruby, Martin and Otulissa. There, they escape moon blinking and find out infomation. In a fight between them, St Aggies and some Pure One slipgizzles, Soren is injured, and he kills Finny by reopening a scar on her neck. When they come to rest in Ambala, Soren gets a fever, and gets progressively worse until he is unfit for flight. Hortense, a male owl named after the owl who saved dozens of eggs from St Aggies, tries to help but can't, but he finds two flying snakes who have the power to heal, Streak and Zan and an owl named Mist. He takes them to Soren, where one of the snakes heal him. Mist turns out to be Hortense, who saved the eggs from St Aggies. Well again, Soren and the rest of his companions return to the Great Ga'Hoole tree, where they find out that Kludd is alive, and he and the Pure Ones are planning to seige the tree. The owls of the tree prepare to defend the tree and themselves, making traps in the milkberry vines and training to fight with fire and battle claws. Kludd and the Pure Ones arrive, and there is a battle—some of the Pure Ones get fatally injured by the milkberry vine traps, and Strix Struma is killed by Nyra, Kludd's mate. Otulissa scars Nyra across the face. Soren and Martin narrowly escape Kludd and Nyra. The Pure Ones retreat.
Soren's sister Eglantine had been behaving strangely since she made friends with Ginger, a former Pure One who is secretly a slipgizzle for the Pure Ones. Eglantine has been seeing who she believes is her mother, who is in fact Nyra. Soren sees Ginger tormenting a mouse that she was about to eat, and he is furious when he sees Eglantine watching without doing anything about it. Eglantine has been shattered by flecks Ginger had hidden in her nest, and Eglantine, Ginger and Primrose disappear. Eglantine and Primrose have been kidnapped by the Pure Ones and Ginger has revealed her treachery to them. Soren and some owls go to the Mirror Lakes, which is where Eglantine and Primrose are. The forest catches fire, and Primrose and Eglantine steal Nyra's egg and escape. Eglantine plans to keep the egg as hostage, but Boron eventually orders her to drop it, breaking the egg.
Soren leads an invasion on the St. Aegolious Canyons. It is in this book that Nyroc, Soren's nephew, is hatched.
Soren is mentioned by his nephew Nyroc through the whole book.
Soren appeared near the end of the book, welcoming his nephew Coryn in the Great Tree
Soren and and his nephew Coryn read the first of the three legends at the request of the late Ezylryb.
Soren, along with Coryn, Otulissa and the band, read the second of the three legends.
Soren, Coryn, the band, and Otulissa read the final book of the legends.
Soren is shocked at the news of a war. When the ember of hoole is transported from the palace of mists, he is saved by two owls, who turn out to be Twilight 's two brothers.
In the war, Soren and Coryn fight as a team of uncle and nephew. When Coryn returns the ember of hoole to the volcano and replaces it with a fake one, he is pursued by Nyra, who is followed by Soren. In the volcano, The Striga and Nyra corner Coryn as Nyra turns into a hagsfiend. As Coryn hands her the fake ember, Soren yells that it's fake, and kills Nyra. As The Striga cuts off Coryn's wing, Soren slices off The Striga's head. Full of grief, Soren carries his nephew to a safe haven, and the band and the rest of the chaw of chaws beg Coryn to live, but he dies peacefully, hearing only the howling of the wolves of the beyond.
Soren is named as the next king of the the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, and Pelli as the queen. Pelli approaches Soren and says, "My king,". Soren shakes his head and replies, "Just your mate, my dear. That is all I need be in your eyes." Then Soren sees his reflection in Pelli's eyes; his face streaked with soot and a nick out of his tarnished beak, and remarks that he is a girmy mate at that. But Pelli disagrees and says that he is as fresh and gleaming as a night of the Silver rain.
- Soren makes a cameo in the Wolves of the Beyond book Spirit Wolf as a scroom. His exact cause of death is unknown, but many fans speculate he died of old age.
- Soren is one of four characters who had stuffed animal versions of themselves sold.
- He eventually became the ryb of the Colliering and Weather Interpretation chaw.
- Soren had starsight, a special ability that enables some owls to see in the future through their dreams.
- It seems that Soren has a large crush on Otulissa in the movie, while in the books, when they met he found her too snobbish and they do not even become firm friends for several books.
- His name means 'stern' or 'severe' in Italian, but "Soren" is also a play on the word "soarin'".
- In The Siege when the Chaw of Chaws infiltrates St. Aggies, Soren uses the false name Albert. In Exile when he pretends to be a greenowl, he uses the name Tintagel.
"Perhaps, these owls were not really owls at all but rather some kind of demon spirits in a feathered guise."
- Soren thoughts about the the owls at St. Aggies. The Capture, page 90
"We have already battled Metal Beak once. We have flown into the heart of tyranny in the St. Aegolius Canyons and flown out again. You heard Twilight say the Pure Ones are afraid to fly. We must not be afaid. You are noble birds. Never has it been more true that we seven, this Chaw of Chaws, are Guardians of Ga'Hoole. Our island stands in danger. We must go forth to warn and protect our island and our great tree with every bit of strength we have. We must not hesitate, for the battle will soon come to the shores of our island. So set your wings and points your beaks to slice the raging winterlies of Hoolemere. Bend your gizzards to the tast. Let us fly, mates. Let us fly!"
- Soren, The Siege, page 133
From the movie
From the books
- Mother: Marella
- Father: Noctus
- Brother: Kludd
- Sister: Eglantine
- Mate: Pellimore
- Daughter: Blythe, Bell, and Sebastiana
- Sister-in-law: Nyra
- Nephew: Nyroc
- Nephew/Niece: Sacred orb
= Gender Unknown