Theo blacksmith
Species: Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)
Gender: Male
Book Appearances
Appears in: The First Collier, The Coming of Hoole, To Be a King, A Guide Book to the Great Tree
The first blacksmith

Theo was a Great Horned Owl, or Bubo virginianus, famous for becoming the first blacksmith and the inventor of battle claws during the time of the Legends of Ga'Hoole. He eventually became the first H'ryth of the Middle Kingdom, where he wrote the Theo Papers. He was a friend of Hoole, and a friend/student to Grank, also known as the first collier.


Before the Books

Theo grew up with an abusive father, a lowly mother, a younger brother, Shadyk, and an older sister who left the nest early to get away from their father. While he managed to stand up to his father, Shadyk never did, leaving Theo as his constant protector.

The First Collier

Theo flew to an island at the Bitter Sea, where he met Grank. Theo then told him he wants to learn about fire. At first, Grank refused, due to his age and his personality. In the end, Grank agreed, on the condition that Theo doesn't leave the island and mind nothing else but about fire. Theo suspected that Grank was raising an egg, as he is using snow moss.

Theo began learning from Grank how to forge and melt metals into shapes from fire. During a challenge, Theo suceeded in making the first battle claws. Grank requested another pair made. At first, Theo didn't want to, as he is a gizzard resister. To reason, Grank revealed the tended egg belonged to the late King H'rath and Queen Siv. The battle claws were requested to protect the egg against Lord Arrin 's army of hagsfiends. Theo decided to do as Grank asked.

In order to get the materials for battle claws, Theo need to go to the Nameless in order to get black rocks that are needed for the making of them. In case of trouble getting there, Grank (after an arguement) taught Theo how to fly with them. As Grank suspected, Theo ran into a Snowy Owl. He tricked him into revealing his name, Lord Elgobad, the cousin of Lord Arrin. The Snowy was joined by a Great Gray Owl. Theo managed to kill the Great Gray with his battle claws and Elgobad retreated. Theo then told Grank of the event upon his returning. Grank comlimented on what Theo has become as the first blacksmith and will make other useful tools out of metal.

The Coming of Hoole

Theo helps Grank raise the young chick that hatched from the egg they were guarding. The two owls decided to name the owlet Hoole. Theo helps teach Hoole lessons and even tries to teach him the art of smithing, even though it isn't a real success. Even though he was a gizzard resister, he found that he had the need to fight alot and eventually, he finds that he is there fighting beside Hoole in the war during which Siv was killed and when Hoole retrieved the Ember.

To Be a King

Now, at this time, Theo was helping Hoole gather owls from across the kingdoms to raise an army so that he can take back what is rightfully his - the Glacier Palace. Theo's part in this mission was to travel around the Northern Kingdoms, or N'yrthgahr, and set up a network of slipgizzles, or spies, for Hoole.

Theo also played an exclusive part that he chose to do himself: to see who was ruling the Glacier Palace at that period of time and get as much information he could to bring back to Hoole. The little mission started off as just going to visit the nest in which he hatched and to see his Mum and Da. It turned out that his Da, Hakon passed away, his Mother, Philma, found a new mate, and Shadyk ruled the Glacier Palace. Theo found out that since Philma had free access to the palace, he would take this moment to visit Shadyk and investigate what was happening at the rotting palace, as he found when he got there. During his visit, Theo found that a surprise awaited him. The owl that Hoole was also looking for was there - Emerilla, daughter of Strix Strumajen and Strix Hurthwel! Theo learned of what had happened after Emerilla's capture and how she came to be there. He learned that Shadyk was mad in his own mind and that he had killed Theo's father. Shadyk would control himself when his mother was around though and in return, she would treat him as if he were a chick. Together, they planned an escape. They did and, finally after a while for Theo, met up with Hoole at the beginnning of The Short Light and the Long Night.

A Guide Book to the Great Tree

The making of battle claws spread throughout the kingdom. Theo was in remorse about this and wondered if he could still make good things. When an injured guardian named Ivar lost the use of one of his foot, Theo found an opportunity. He made an iron foot to help Ivar. At first, Ivar refused, thinking it was no use moving like a ground animal. Theo expressed his anger, explaining to him that he hoped it'll help him to be like an owl again, including hunting and flying. Upon mentioning flying, Ivar agreed to give the iron foot a try. Theo helped him to balance and able to use the artificial foot. Soon, Ivar was able to fly like a young owlet again.

Later, Ivar found graphs and maps of a new air current, and showed it to Theo. Ivar decided to fly there himself, wondering where the current leads to. Theo shortly left after Ivar's departure. The young blacksmith followed the current himself, where there was a land that will be soon known as the middle kingdom.


Theo lured the remaining hagsfiends in the Hoolian kingdoms to the Middle Kingdom, where he trapped their minds with vanity and illusions of power. Theo would be known as the first H'ryth.

Known Tools made by Theo

  • Battle claws
  • Containers for ember
  • An iron foot for aiding in place of an injured one
  • Tongs
  • Hammer
  • The smaka, a device that allows milkberry tea to be made

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