“Soren’s story is perhaps the hero’s journey in its purest form. It is a timeless, universal narrative of bravery, growth, and sacrifice, and one that can stand alongside any of those of the heroes of legend.”
- Zack Snyder, director of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
|Appears in:||Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole|
|Voiced by Jim Sturgess|
Soren is an adolescent male Barn Owl and the main protagonist of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. He is the son of Noctus and Marella, and brother of Kludd and Eglantine. Unlike his brother Kludd, Soren is a dreamer who loves the legends of Ga'Hoole. He is voiced by Jim Sturgess.
"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 is a newly-fledged Barn Owl with yellow-beige feathers. He has creamy white chest feathers, dappled with sparse dark specks. His facial disc is round and he is very expressive, giving him an overall warm and friendly demenour. His eyes are a golden yellow with dark pupils.
A common complaint among Ga'Hoole fans is that Soren's eyes are inaccurate; real owls are unable to move their eyes in their sockets, and Barn Owls' irises appear black in real life. Art director Grant Freckelton brought up this creative dilemma in an interview with Mumbrella in 2010:
"Initially we wanted to keep his eyes as real as possible, black with very little movement, but the result was a character you couldn’t relate to. So we had to tweak his eyes so they were less black, and we have to give them a little more movement. It became a process of working between the art, character and animation departments, trying to figure out how much range we put into their faces so that we allow them to emote without getting too stylized. There was a good 18 months spent developing the look of our birds before they were ready for production." - Grant Freckelton, art director
Soren is first seen when his father, Noctus, flies into the family hollow with a mouse. He and Eglantine are acting out the Battle of the Ice Claws, with Soren playing Lyze of Kiel and Eglantine reluctantly playing Metal Beak. Soren's older brother, Kludd, looks down on their enthusiasm in the legends, particularly Soren's belief in dreams.
Later, the adolescent Soren and Kludd practice branching with their father. Kludd struggles with flying smoothly and quietly, while Soren shows natural aptitude for it. After branching, Soren's parents go off to hunt, with Soren convincing Kludd to try some more branching while they're gone. However, after deliberately taunting Kludd by talking about the Guardians of Ga'Hoole, the two squabble and fall to the forest floor, where they are attacked by a Tasmanian devil. Soren does his best to defend Kludd from the devil, with two St. Aegolius owlet snatchers, Jatt and Jutt, using the opportunity to grab Soren and Kludd. While being carried by Jatt over the Desert of Kuneer, Soren meets Gylfie, who is being carried by Grimble. After being deposited at the entrance of the Academy for Orphaned Owls, Soren and Gylfie stick together. Soren sticks up for Gylfie when she directly challenges Nyra, which causes the both of them to be designated pickers. Soren, Gylfie, and the rest of the non-Tyto owls are sent to the Glaucidium to be moon blinked, with Gylfie realizing the danger and telling Soren not to fall asleep. In the morning, all the owls around them have become moon blinked. Soren and Gylfie feign being moon blinked in order to blend in.
In the pelletorium, where the moon blinked owls are forced to pick through owl pellets to find flecks, Jatt and Jutt use Soren to demonstrate where the flecks are meant to be placed. As Soren approaches a large basket of flecks, he is overcome by their power and collapses. (As seen later in the film, truly moon blinked owls are immune to flecks due to their gizzards becoming numb.) A vampire bat ends up taking the fleck from Soren. Upon returning to Gylfie, the two are discovered by Grimble. Grimble leads Soren and Gylfie to the St. Aegolius library. While the two are apprehensive, Grimble reveals he wants to teach them to fly - "I told myself that if any came who were smart and brave enough to resist, I'd help them. I guess you two'll have to do."
While Soren and Gylfie are being trained by Grimble, Kludd is excelling in Nyra's Pure One soldier training. Soren and Gylfie make signifigent progress in their flying, but are approached by Nyra, Kludd and severla Pure One soldiers. Soren and Gylfie make to escape while Grimble holds off Nyra, but Soren stalls, trying to convince Kludd to come with them. Kludd retaliates, choosing to stay. While Soren and Gylfie manage to escape, Grimble is killed by Nyra. Once the two realize they're actually flying, they rejoice, flying joyfully above the clouds.
A while later, Soren manages to swoop down on a moth, although a Burrowing Owl, Digger, appears out of his burrow and insists that it's his moth. Soren and Gylfie explain how they plan to fly to the Sea of Hoolemere, with Digger melodramatically warning about all the "scary beasts" they could come across. Eventually, Digger leads the two escapees to his hollow to rest. There, Soren and Gylfie meet Twilight, who has found Mrs. P on a hunting trip. Mrs. P embraces Soren, explaining how she was trying to find Soren and Kludd before she was snatched by Twilight. While Mrs. P thinks that Soren and Kludd have flown off in an innocent escapade, Soren explains how they were kidnapped and want to find the Guardians in order to rescue Kludd and the rest of the enslaved owlets. Soren and Gylfie accept Digger and Twilight's request to accompany them, with Twilight knowing the way to the Sea of Hoolemere.
On route to the sea, the group is mobbed by crows. The crows steal Twilight's lute, which Mrs. P was riding in, and lead the band of owls on a chase through dolerite columns. Twilight is able to launch Soren through the air, and he's able to grab the lute from the crows. The crows turn out to be wards of the Echidna, a soothsayer who was expecting the arrival of the owls. Soren recalls how his father told him a legend about being "guided by the spines of the echidna", and the Echidna offers them guidance in how to find the Great Tree.
The band of owls flies across the Sea of Hoolemere, entering "the mists", which take the form of a blinding snowstorm. Digger's wings freeze up, making him plummet towards the sea. Soren attempts to rescue him, soon realizing he has been caught by Boron, the king of the Great Ga'Hoole Tree. Boron and Barran lead the owls to the Great Tree, Soren gazing around in awe.
Soren and Gylfie go to the Tree's parliament and report on all they had seen at St. Aegolius, with Allomere, a search and rescue ryb, casting doubt on their claims. Soren, however, manages to convince to parliament otherwise - "Yes, the only proof I have are my words, but words were the only proof I ever had that you were real. And still, I believed." Boron agrees to send out Allomere and his best owls to investigate the Pure Ones.
With Allomere sent out, Soren and his friends adjust to life at the Great Tree, guided by Otulissa, who Soren appears somewhat attracted too. The owls are introduced to several chaws, including blacksmithing and star navigation. One night, while Soren is reading the original version of The Battle of the Ice Claws in the library, Ezylryb approaches him, with Soren somberly remarking how the real battle was much less glorious than how his father described it.
The next night, Ezylryb takes Soren, Gylfie, Twilight, Digger and Otulissa out into a monsoon as a test. He leads Soren to dive into a twister, urging him to "use your gizzard". In a slow motion sequence, Soren is able to navigate the twister with ease, but falters when he almost crashes into Twilight.
Back in Ezylryb's hollow, Ezylryb commends Soren's flying, with Soren still somewhat shaken from the experience. While Ezylryb is working on a book, Soren quickly realizes Ezylryb is his hero, Lyze of Keil. The real Lyze of Kiel is not at all what Soren expected, with Ezylryb dissmising his legacy - "That battle is a distant memory. Except - funnily enough - for young owlets like you."
The two are interrupted by the return of Allomere, who has a moon blinked Eglantine with him. This proof of Soren's claims prompts Boron to assemble the Guardian army and fly out towards The Beaks. Soren wants to come with them, but Ezylryb convinces Soren to stay back and look after his sister. Soren tells his unresponsive sister about the Guardians and the Great Tree, as well as telling her Lyze of Kiel is real. Eglantine wakes up from her daze, and after describing how Kludd willingly handed her to Allomere, Soren realizes Allomere is deliberated luring the Guardians to the Pure Ones. Soren puts on Ezylryb's spare battle claw and Gylfie leads them to The Beaks.
Arriving in The Beaks, the young owls discover that the Guardians have been caught in a fleck trap, the Devil's Triangle. Realizing that fire will destroy the ropes that hold the fleck chambers open, Soren asks his friends to hold off an oncoming swarm of vampire bats in order to grab fire. Soren steals a Pure One lamp and flies into the fire, remembering what Ezylryb told him about trusting his gizzard. Flying through waves of fire, Soren is able to light the lamp without burning himself. He dives for a fleck chamber, throwing the flaming lamp at it before the flecks immobilize him. The ensuing explosion scares off the bats while also disabling the fleck trap. In response, Metal Beak orders his soldier to attack. The Guardians, joined by Twilight, engage them in battle.
Ezylryb orders Soren, Gylfie and Digger to guard the moon blinked owlets, but Soren flies into the battle after spotting Kludd. Kludd and Soren lock talons, with Kludd throwing Soren into the burning forest. The two have a confrontation, with Kludd trying to attack Soren. Soren tries to convince Kludd that the Pure Ones are evil, but Kludd has been fully indocrinated by the Pure Ones. In one final lunge at Soren, Kludd breaks his wing, asking for Soren to save him but using the opportunity to try and drag Soren into the fire. Kludd ends up falling into the fire himself. Soren looks up, noticing Ezylryb is fighting Metal Beak, and flies towards Metal Beak's stone palace with a burning branch.
Metal Beak and Nyra are about to kill Ezylryb just as Soren flies in. Metal Beak holds Soren down, taunting him, but Soren manages to escape, with Ezylryb using Nyra's moment of distraction to escape from her as well. After knocking the flaming branch out of Soren's talons, both Soren and Metal Beak dive for it. Metal Beak nearly sinks his claws into Soren, but Soren reaches the branch first, impaling Metal Beak in the chest.
After the battle, the Guardians retrieve the enslaved owlets, bringing them to the Great Tree, and Soren, Gylfie, Twilight and Digger are all made Guardians of Ga'Hoole, watched on proudly by Noctus, Marella, Eglantine and Mrs. P. Soren can later be seen telling his story to the healed owlets, who demand more. In response, Ezylryb leads Soren, Gylfie, Twilight and Digger out into another monsoon. Soren exchanges smiles with his friends as they all fly out into the storm.
"No, my dreams are what make me strong, Kludd. They led me to the Guardians."
"You know what - we're flying!"
- Soren to Gylfie after escaping St.Agelious, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole
= Gender Unknown