Hugo is a Golem, a servant made of natural materials that granted the semi-balance of life by a powerful spell.
Hugo is ancient, having been donated to the preserve a couple hundred years before the events of the first book. As a Golem, Hugo must follow orders given to him by those with the authority to do so. Hugo performs much of the hard labor around Fablehaven including: milking Viola, the preserve's milch cow, caring for the stables, and tending to various fields and other produce. He never sleeps and is a fast learner, which enables him to do many things in one night. As a huge being completely loyal to the Sorensons and their friends, Hugo has taken on the role of family protector and transporter, often taking characters to various spots on the preserve. When Ruth Sorenson accompanied by Seth and Kendra go the forgotten Chapel to rescue Grandpa Sorenson, it is Hugo who leads as their champion. However, upon reaching the basement where Stan is held by Muriel, she destroys Hugo with the help of the demon Bahumat. After Kendra summons the fairy army to rescue her family, the empowered fairies restore Hugo with one small change. With their empowered abilities at the time, the fairies made Hugo a true Golem -- an actual creature of earth and stone with its own free will. And ever since Hugo has been developing the ability to make his own choices rather then just following orders. Because of his earthen body, Hugo can regenerate body parts as shown in book two when he loses one to Olloch the Glutton, as well as being extremely durable to both magic and material things such as during the shadow plague when the magic of darkened creatures could not permanently harm him.
The Name Hugo means "Bright in mind and spirit" or "Intelligence."