- “My soldiers, my sons. Many of you have heard of me in late-night whispering but I assure you, I am not a myth. I am real and I stand before you with one simple truth: the strong shall rule the weak. Long ago, I was viciously attacked by the coward Lyze of Kiel for defending that truth. Now I wear this mask to conceal my scars but the metal is strong. It is a symbol of the Pure Ones' strength and resolve. It is time to set a fire that will consume the Owl Kingdoms and take back what is rightfully ours. Because we are Tyros! We are Pure Ones! And I am Metal Beak!”
- ―Metalbeak to his followers
Surtr, also known as Metal Beak and Lord High Tyto, is the main antagonist of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole.
He is voiced by Joel Edgerton, who portrays Owen Lars in the Star Wars saga.
In an attempt to take over the Owl Kingdoms, Surtr led a group of owls known as the Pure Ones that tried conquering owls and believed barn owls were superior. However, during one battle, the one known as the Battle of the Ice Claws. He later fought his old enemy, a Whiskered Screech owl, Ezylryb, known as Lyze at the time, tore off his own upper beak. During this exchange, Surtr probably made Lyze lose his talons.
Feeling ashamed of his appearance, Surtr began wearing a mask that concealed his scars and began being called "Metal Beak." Along with his wife, Nyra, and the Pure Ones, Metal Beak began plotting his revenge against Lyze (now going by the name Ezylryb) and the other Guardians of the Great Tree. He and his followers ransacked kingdoms and kidnapped multiple owlets from their hollows, and also began collecting flecks that would trap their enemies into their claws.
Metal Beak was cunning, rude, sarcastic, and quite the charmer (almost).
He seemed to be proud of his own title and had proudly called himself "Metal Beak", and stroke fear in the heart of many people. For instance, when Kludd was first in Metal Beak's presence, he was so scared that he couldn't even say Metal Beak's name. Also, Eglantine was frightened in Metal Beak's presence, believing him to be a myth.
He also planned to even kill many people, showing his cruel nature. For one, in the beginning, he was planning on leading the Guardians into a trap and kill them all while under the influence of the flecks that would weaken them. He had even tried to kill Ezylryb when the owl was bested by Metal Beak and his mate. He even was mocking Soren cruelly, especially of learning Ezylryb's connection with the younger owl.
Metal Beak's arrogance and overestimation would get the best of him, for he believed that he'd be able to defeat Soren, but the young owl was able to take his burning stick and impale the old Owl. However, he was implied to care for Nyra, as she was easily distraught when she saw him get killed by Soren.
Guardians of Ga'Hoole (book series)
While not appearing in the books, Metal Beak is possibly inspired by the Old High Tyto who was killed by Kludd and Nyra in between The Capture and The Journey.