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
"Their nature is that of restraint. Their passion is peace. Their heroism comes from their mercy. Their honor is found in resistance, their dignity in their humility."
―Theo's describing the Glauxian Brothers, To Be a King
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 and 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 Theo's young age and naive personality. In the end, Grank agreed, on the condition that Theo doesn't leave the island and mind nothing else but the fire. Despite this, Theo suspected that Grank was raising an egg, as he was using snow moss.

Theo began learning from Grank how to forge and melt metals into shapes with fire. Challenged by Grank, Theo succeeded in making the first battle claws, and Grank requested another pair made. At first, Theo didn't want to create a weapon to be used for killing, as he was a gizzard resister and didn't believe in violence. To make Theo see his reasons, Grank revealed the egg he had tended belonged to the late King H'rath and Queen Siv, and the battle claws were requested to protect the egg against Lord Arrin's army of hagsfiends. After this, Theo agreed to do as Grank asked.

In order to get the materials for battle claws, Theo had to go to the Nameless Island in order to get black rocks needed for the making of them. In case of him encountering trouble on the way, Grank, after an argument, taught Theo how to fly with battle claws. As Grank suspected, Theo ran into a Snowy Owl, and tricked the owl into revealing his name, despite the Snowy demanding Theo's name first. The Snowy Owl turned out to be Lord Elgobad, the cousin of Lord Arrin. The Snowy attacked Theo, 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 return. Grank complimented Theo, for he had become the first blacksmith, and would soon 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, Theo found that he had the need to fight a lot and eventually, he finds himself fighting beside Hoole in the battle during which Siv was killed and Hoole retrieved the Ember.

To Be a King

After the battle in the Beyond, Theo was helping Hoole gather owls from across the kingdoms to raise an army to 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 mother and father. It turned out that his father, Hakon, passed away, his mother, Philma, found a new mate, and his younger brother, Shadyk, ruled the Ice 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, much to his surprise, found the owl that Hoole was also looking for was there - Emerilla, daughter of Strix Strumajen and Strix Hurthwell. 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 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 escaped and after a while Theo met up with Hoole at the beginning of the battle of the Short Light and the Long Night.

A Guide Book to the Great Tree

The production of battle claws spread throughout the kingdom. Theo was remorseful about this and wondered if he could still make good things. When an injured guardian named Ivar lost the use of one of his talons, Theo found an opportunity to do so and 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, and Theo helped him to balance and 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 Middle Kingdoms.


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

Tools Invented by Theo

  • Battle claws
  • Original Ember container
  • An iron foot for Ivar
  • Tongs
  • Hammer
  • The smaka, a device that allows milkberry tea to be made


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