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Lady Sisirinah, a.k.a. "Siri"The youngest daughter of King Dedelin. Siri was forever neglected and ignored until Vivenna's 22th birthday. King Dedelin was supposed to send Vivenna to marry the God King, but the treaty stated that he had to send "his daughter". Taking advantage of this, King Dedelin sent Siri instead. Once in the Court of the Returned, Siri is married to the God King.
- Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Feels disappointed when nothing happens on her wedding night, then realizes how ridiculous that is. Her frustration is understandable given the hours she's left in an uncomfortable position waiting for anything to happen; weeks later, when it appears that Susebron is finally making a move, Reality Ensues and she's quite frightened.
- Bare Your Midriff: Some of the dresses she has to wear in the Court of the Returned are like this.
- Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose: Tries to pull this off on one occasion, but can't keep a straight face and bursts into giggles.
- Damsel in Distress: Due to not being forced into the same high-stress situations in terms of physical harm that Vivenna was throughout the book, she largely plays this role in the climax, though she does try to force some authority over the situation and does find out the identity of the Big Bad.
- Fish out of Water: A Rebellious Princess forced into the Princess Classic role.
- Kaleidoscope Hair: The royal locks grant her this. She gradually gets control over their colors.
- Mistaken for Spies: As a seemingly unimportant 3rd daughter who Hallandren spies never gathered information on, many in the court worry that Siri is actually a highly trained agent of some kind. Only Lightsong is able to correctly infer that there was an entirely mundane reason for her being sent.
- Oh Crap!: In the climax of the story, when she figures out that Bluefingers is evil.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: With God King Susebron.
- Rebellious Princess: However, she is forced into the role of a Princess Classic.
- The Smart Guy: She's a very smart heroine, and is able to see through the lies and treachery of Hallandren (eventually).
- The Unfavorite: Although he claims otherwise, King Dedelin really does love Vivenna more than he loves Siri.
- Woman in White: In Idris, where almost everything is white-washed.
Lady VivennaThe eldest daughter of King Dedelin. Vivenna was meant to be sent to T'Telir, capital of Hallandren, to marry God King Susebron on her 22nd birthday. However, King Dedelin exploited a loophole in the treaty and sent his youngest daughter, Lady Sisirinah Royal. Determined not to be useless, Vivenna heads to T'Telir to save her sister from the God King.Once there she ends up in the company of mercenaries Denth and Tonk Fah, who are trying to aide weaken Hallandren so that Idris can survive the looming war. Vivenna teams up with them to save her sister and homeland.
- Action Girl: Once Vasher teaches her Awakening.
- Dark and Troubled Past: While not exactly abusive or traumatic, Vivenna's devout upbringing did not exactly mesh well with her also being groomed to marry a man her religion considered an undead abomination. This has left her with...issues.
- Fallen Princess: From when Vasher first kidnaps her onward.
- Kaleidoscope Hair: The Royal Locks of Idris grant her this. In contrast to Siri, she gradually loses control over their colors.
- Princess Classic: But forced into the position of a Rebellious Princess.
- Princess in Rags: During her time in the slums alone for two weeks as a Drab following her revelation of Denth's true colors.
- Unwitting Pawn: Denth uses her to spark a war.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: She thinks she's in a situation to prepare for a war and inspire her people to make themselves better. Instead, her inspiration provokes them to try to go to war.
King DedelinThe King of Idris. His main role in the story is deciding to send Siri to T'Telir instead of Vivenna.
- Kaleidoscope Hair: Like his daughters, he has the Royal Locks.
- Loophole Abuse: Sends Siri to T'Telir once he finds a loophole that lets him, since, while he did have to send his daughter to T'Telir when Vivenna came of age at twenty-two, the treaty doesn't mention which daughter. He sends the younger daughter and keeps his successor, denying Hallandren the claim to his throne that was the point of the treaty.
- Parental Favoritism: He loves Vivenna more than Siri, though he still does worry for both of them.
ParlinVivenna's friend who goes with her to rescue Siri from the God King.
- Accidental Murder: Denth really shouldn't have left Tonk Fah alone to torture him. He got carried away.
- Designated Love Interest: He defies this with respect to Vivenna when she supposes that, with her original marriage prospects off the table, she might as well marry him instead. He observes that their families' allegiance isn't relevant in Hallandren, bluntly tells her that she never even bothered to be nice to him, and leaves to flirt with someone else.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Denth has Tonk Fah torture him to find out where Vivenna went.
- Sacrificial Lion: His death marks a major shift in the story's tone.
- Stuffed In The Fridge: He dies for pretty much no reason other than to leave Vivenna alone and make her run away.
- Terse Talker: He doesn't really waste words.
- Torture for Fun and Information: Lethally so, since The Sociopath does the interrogating.
God King SusebronThe Immortal Ruler of Hallandren, who was meant to marry Vivenna. Due to King Dedelin messing with a loophole, he marries Siri instead. He rules Hallandren with an iron fist, and has absolute power over all things. He has also achieved the Tenth Heightening, which grants him supreme mastery over colors.
- A God I Am: Very much considers himself a deity, though far less pompous about it than most examples. Only is moderately uncomfortable with the idea his wife does not consider him divine.
- Arranged Marriage: With Vivenna, but King Dedelin took advantage of a loophole and switched his fiance to Lady Sisirinah Royal.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Susebron is a gentle man who would never hurt an innocent person. But threaten Siri or either or their homelands and you'll be reminded how many of those moralistic fables he idealizes end with wicked people being devoured by monsters. The priesthood was right to fear the power of a god king.
- Big Bad: He is the all-powerful ruler of Hallandren, and he can do whatever he very well wishes. Subverted Trope, as it is revealed that he's not the Big Bad, and is instead a perfectly harmless and kind figurehead.
- Big Damn Heroes: In the climax, when he uses his new powers to save Siri from Bluefingers.
- Big Good: By the end of the book.
- Cassandra Truth: Tells Siri that his priests would never betray him. He's right, but Bluefingers tricked her into believing that the priests were the villains.
- Cute Mute: How Susebron lost his voice is not cute, but the vulnerability he displays from this is a major contributor to Siri ceasing to be terrified of him.
- Decoy Leader: He's just a figurehead for the priests, who are the true power of Hallandren. His priests are perfectly devout and loyal to him, but their theology demands his tongue be cut out.
- Disc One Final Boss: He's not the villain. Or even a villain for that matter.
- Evil Overlord: As the leader of Hallandren, he is this. It's subverted, as he's not evil or in charge.
- Hates Being Touched: Not exactly, but a life time of court protocol has left him unused to physical contact by most people.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Sorta. Once asked Siri to change her hair to red.
- Gentle Giant: A near 7 foot giant, but an incredibly gentle person. Largely due to morality oriented fair tales read to him by his mother. A life time of seclusion left him as scared of his teenaged bride as she was of him at first.
- Horrible Judge of Character: He thinks that the High Priest Treleedees is aside from the whole tongue cutting out thing, a nice guy. However, this trope is ultimately subverted when it turns out that Treleedees is actually a good guy, and Bluefingers is the real villain.
- Man Child: He's very childlike, innocent, and naive in his way of looking at the world, and doesn't even know how babies are made.
- Man in White: To contrast with the colors that flow from him, though he dresses in black when going to sleep.
- Never Learned to Read: Since he was a figurehead ruler, he was never taught how to read until Siri showed him.
- One Hero, Hold the Weaksauce: Thanks to possessing the upper five Heightenings, he can bypass a lot of the usual limits of Awakening. He can drain color from anything that's not pure white, can Awaken anything within earshot instead of needing to touch things, and instinctively knows basic Awakening commands without having to learn them.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: He and Siri fall in love over the course of the story.
- Puppet King: He has no tongue so that he cannot use Breath, but also so that he cannot communicate with most people. It's the priests and attendants who are actually in charge.
- Tongue Trauma: To keep him from using his Breath. Lightsong fixes it with a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Walking Spoiler: It's impossible to describe him accurately without explaining that he is not actually an Evil Overlord at all.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: His view of right and wrong and how people act comes from what he learned from a book of stories for children he had from his mother.
Lightsong The Bold/StennimarA cynical Returned who doesn't believe in his own religion.
- Achievements in Ignorance: He's the undisputed master of a complex ball-game that he doesn't understand the rules of.
- A God I Am Not: He doesn't even believe in his own religion, and questions is often just because he feels like it.
- Deadpan Snarker: Almost every single word out of his mouth is sarcasm, to the point where when he is serious, the other gods think he is joking anyway and laugh at him.
- Great Detective: Turns out to be surprisingly good at investigative work, leading him to think he was a great police officer in his past life. Turns out he was an investigative accountant.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Dies to heal the God King's tongue. He also died his first time to save his niece, Llarimar's daughter.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He acts like a cynical Deadpan Snarker, but he is one of the few gods who actually tries to help the others without attempting to be underhanded about it.
- Past-Life Memories: Has many dreams about what he believes was his past life before his Return. Also, while the process of Returning erased the memories of his first life, he still has the skills he used to possess (high-level math skills, detective instincts, a reasonably good grasp of sailing, and the inexplicable ability to juggle fruit.)
- Unskilled, but Strong: Has the body of a 7 foot Olympian, but absolutely no combat training. Not realizing he was this gets him in a lot of trouble.
Blushweaver The Honest/BeautifulA sensuous Returned who is trying to amass the forces of the Returned's Lifeless to prepare for an assault on Idris to secure the line of succession for the Returned.
- A Goddess Am I: She holds the opinion of most Returned of their divinity, in contrast to Lightsong.
- Buxom Is Better: Her opinion of herself, in any case.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Gives off these impressions to Siri when she finds out that she is talking to Lightsong along, and assumes that Siri is trying to sleep with him.
- Lampshaded Double Entendre: Practically everything out of her mouth. Lightsong sometimes calls her out on it. It's even her name.
- Slashed Throat: Her death is by this method.
- The Vamp: Not above offering sex to get what she wants.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Killed by Pahn Kahl after she gives up her security phrase for her Lifeless in order to show Lightsong that they are serious.
- Sacrificial Lion: For Lightsong, this death shows that the game is up for good.
Others In Hallandren
VasherA mysterious man who is interested in war. He carries the cursed sword Nightblood.
- The Atoner: Upon seeing the destruction Nightblood wrought, he decided to use his power to help stop wars, rather than start them.
- Back from the Dead: Since he's a Returned.
- Badass: He's a very good swordsman and Awakener.
- Character Title: His first name as a Returned was Warbreaker the Peaceful.
- Combat Pragmatist: Throws his cursed sword into crowds and waits for it to massacre people. Also killed Denth and Arsteel through very underhand tactics.
- The Conqueror: When he was Kalad, he used his "Phantoms" (human skeletons encased in stone statues that were then turned to Lifeless) to conquer Hallandren.
- Cover-Blowing Superpower: Could have a Returned body and the first five Heightenings at any time, if he manifests his Divine Breath. That, however, would involve dealing with all the other implications of being Returned.
- Dimensional Traveler: At some point, he ends up in Roshar, minus Nightblood.
- Friend to All Children: Uncharacteristically easy going and good around children and animals. Discovering the daughter of a priest kidnapped and abused by thieves for blackmail sends him into a Berserker Rage.
- Good Is Not Nice: He is Not Good with People, and outright rude to Vivenna. A marked contrast to Denth.
- Guile Hero: Almost a Deconstruction: he's trying very, very hard to accomplish his goals subtly and without too much bloodshed, but it's frequently commented by himself and others that he has almost no social skills, and sucks at stealth. Ultimately, he's more a magical universe's equivalent of a Science Hero, and resolves the plot by unleashing a giant, unstoppable army.
- Science Hero: As mentioned above, he's more of a Awakening researcher than a warrior, which is why he is worse at swordplay than Denth and, by implication, Arsteel.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: He is partial to Nightblood.
- I Have Many Names: Vasher, Kalad the Usurper, Peacegiver the Merciful, Taxalis the Sage, and Warbeaker the Peaceful are just some of his many names. Goes by the name of Zahel while in Roshar.
- Magic Knight: He uses Awakening in tandem with Nightblood in combat.
- Perma-Stubble: Vivenna even wonders if he purposely shaves to look like that. Turns out it actually is permanent. As a Returned, his physical body doesn't change unless he actively tries to make it do so. The fact that he constantly looks scruffy in exactly the same way is one of the first indications of his Returned status. Furthermore, it reveals something about the way he views himself in that Returned look like they think they should.
- Really 700 Years Old: He's one of the oldest people in Hallandren, having been around at the Manywar and being one of the Five Scholars.
- The Rival: According to Denth, he was once one to him.
- Rival Turned Evil: Not really, since Denth is the evil one.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: According to him, all Returned can do this, but default to whatever they think they should look like.
- Walking Spoiler: Due to I Have Many Names, his true nature is extremely hard to talk about without spoiling a large part of the book and his place in it.
"You know what I hate about being a mercenary?"The leader of a group of mercenaries who aide Vivenna in T'Telir.
- Back from the Dead: He's a Returned.
- The Dragon: The muscle half of Bluefingers' operation.
- Evil Counterpart: According to Brandon, Denth was deliberately written as a parallel to Kelsier. Only this time, he's working for the villains.
- The Face: His job for his mercenary troupe. It helps to cover up Tonk Fah's antics. This is expounded on in a spoileriffic annotation.Brandon Sanderson: Tonk Fah is a sociopath, and much of the time when he makes his jokes about hurting people, he's serious. (The vanishing pets are a subtle clue to this.) He finds the concept of hurting people funny. We laugh because of Denth, who's running interference and making it seem like they're just exaggerating to get a laugh.
- False Friend: To Vivenna, who he manipulates into starting a war.
- Faux Affably Evil: Very polite on the surface, in direct contrast to Vasher.
- Guile Hero: Though he's good with a sword, he's far more likely to just use his words to get around. Subverted, in that his goal is anything but heroic.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Makes a lot of jokes about pain. Except he's not heroic. Or joking.
- "Just Joking" Justification: The reason Vivenna goes along with his and Tonk Fah's antics and Heroic Comedic Sociopath behavior is because Denth explains this is the case, simply mercenary humor. It's Blatant Lies; he's just being The Face to Tonk Fah.
- Kaleidoscope Hair: In his death throes, he shows that his hair is very similar to that of the Royal Locks due to being a Returned himself.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: According to Vasher, this is what the actual ability is, more so for pure Returned than their children.
- Master of Disguise: According to Word of God, he has used his Returned ability to change what he looks like to great effect over his lifetime.
- Master Swordsman: He's an excellent swordsman, and so fast that Vivenna, even with Breath, can barely make out his swings.
- Really 700 Years Old: He's one of the oldest people in Hallandren, having been around at the Manywar and being one of the Five Scholars.
- The Rival: His mercenary troupe notes that he is one to Vasher, who is the closest to his equal in combat they know.
- Rival Turned Evil: He's this towards Vasher since Vasher killed his sister, Shashara, but claims it's the other way around.
- Slashed Throat: How Vasher kills him with a knife.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: He wanted to know how Arsteel died. Vasher showed him... violently.
- Super Speed: He's well known for his speed, which comes from being a Returned.
- Villainous Friendship: With Tonk Fah.
- Walking Spoiler: It becomes very hard to talk about him after finding out his true allegiance, and even moreso with Nightblood's exposition.
Tonk FahThe dumber piece of the Jewels, Denth, Tonk Fah partnership.
- And Call Him "George"!: Loses a lot of pets this way, to Denth and Jewels' annoyance. It's much darker than Lennie's behavior, however, in that it's not by accident. He tortures and kills them to sate his sociopathic tendencies, then keeps the corpses like trophies. Denth is probably more annoyed because it's more difficult to cover up.
- Ax-Crazy: His real demeanor, since Denth was not joking.
- Blood Knight: Likes fighting and killing a lot.
- The Brute: The dumber half of the muscle in Bluefingers' plot.
- Dumb Muscle: Compared to the smarter Denth and Jewels, at least.
- Karma Houdini: Escapes with Jewels during the assault on the Court of the Gods.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Denth plays his sociopathy as this, to keep him in line.
- Psycho for Hire: He's a sociopath who loves to kill, and a mercenary.
- Psychopathic Manchild: With his reliance on Denth and his sociopathy, he's very similar to an extremely dark take on Lennie to Denth's George.
- Villainous Friendship: With Denth.
JewelsThe only female mercenary in Denth's troupe.
- Churchgoing Villain: Still a devout follower of the Iridescent Tones (worship of the Returned). Oddly enough, she's involved in a plot to overthrow the Court of the Returned.
- Dark Chick: To Bluefingers' plot, approximately, given Denth and Tonk Fah's positions.
- I Love the Dead: According to Word of God, Clod the Lifeless is Arsteel, and Jewels never stopped sleeping with him after he became a Lifeless.
- Jerkass: Especially to Vivenna, but Denth says she is always like that.
- Karma Houdini: Escaped with Tonk Fah during the assault on the Court of the Gods.
- Mayfly-December Romance: Formerly with Arsteel.
- The Smurfette Principle: To Denth's mercenaries.
High Priest TreleedeesThe priest of God King Susebron.
- Good All Along: He legitimately wants to help Siri and Susebron. He just isn't clear enough on how he plans to do that.
- Good Is Not Nice: Even though he's on Siri's side, he's still very rude to her.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrifices himself with the other priests in an attempt to protect Susebron and Siri.
- Jerkass: Comes off as incredibly petty and cruel towards Siri. He actually has mistaken her for a spy, and is being far more obtuse than is actually necessary for dealing with her.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Treleedees trying to hide the God Kings true nature from Siri, and threatening her homeland with war should she fail to sleep with Susebron, were hardly conducive to keeping him from looking like the Big Bad. Without that distraction, it seems likely that Siri would have noticed Bluefinger pulling the strings much sooner.
- Sinister Minister: Subverted. He legitimately wants to help Siri and Susebron. He just isn't clear enough on how he plans to do that.
- The Leader: He's the true power behind Hallandren.
- The Man Behind the Man: To God King Susebron. However, he's a heroic variant.
- Walking Spoiler: He's another character that's almost impossible to talk about without spoiling the plot, because he's a good guy, but seems to be the Big Bad for most of the book.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Sincerely believes that cutting out Susebron's tongue was for the greater good. It's hard to entirely dismiss this idea when you realize how terrifying a tyrant god king would be.
"Things aren't exactly as they seem around here."The secretary of the God King and an advisor to Siri.
- Affably Evil: He is worried for his fellow countrymen and polite to Siri even as his war begins to come about.
- Anti-Villain: Of the Well-Intentioned Extremist variety, since he just wants his people to be free.
- Apologetic Attacker: To Siri, when he sends Lifeless after her and says he will have to kill Susebron and perhaps her.
- Big Bad/The Evil Genius: Ultimately the true villain behind the plot.
- The Chessmaster: He's the reason for the coming war.
- Evil Chancellor: Serves as a scribe for the God King while plotting a massive war.
- Frame-Up: His plan is to murder Siri, then pin her death on the residents of Hallandren to start a war.
- Hidden Villain/Beneath Suspicion: Nobody suspects the scribe of trying to start a war, allowing him to act as an undercover Chessmaster.
- Knife Nut: Briefly attempts to use one to kill Siri for his plan, but is stopped at the last second by Susebron.
- The Man Behind the Man: He's this to Denth, having hired him to bring about events to start a war.
- Mr. Exposition: His role is to tell Siri about the plot. Since he was the only person who could serve this role, he was able to lie to her and manipulate her.
- Unreliable Expositor: He told Siri lies to manipulate her to his side.
- Oh Crap!: Being caught about to plunge a dagger into the chest of the God King's Bride as the man himself storms into the room demonstrating full access to his powers tends to elicit that response.
- Not So Different: Unsuccessfully trys to pull this on Siri to justify his actions. Siri rather adamantly
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Nobody really ever calls him "Havarseth".
- Treacherous Advisor: His "aid" for Siri is anything but.
- The Resenter: To Hallandren and Idris for how they treated his people.
- Walking Spoiler: Since he's the Big Bad, his position in the plot is extremely important, much more so than his behavior would assume, making it very difficult for people who read the whole book to speak about him without spoiling major elements of the plot.
"Hello, Would you like to kill someone today?"Vasher's talking sword, created to destroy evil. Pity it doesn't have any idea what that means.
- Artifact of Death: Even if a wielder is pure of heart, the sword drains their Breath at an increasing speed over time the longer it is held, and consumes their life when that's gone.
- Artifact of Doom: Kills almost anyone who tries to pick him up, first killing anyone in the immediate vicinity who is impure. The annotation describes the effect as "a kind of unholy, sentient mix of Stormbringer and the One Ring."
- Black Swords Are Better: Completely black, oozes black smoke, and a terribly powerful artifact.
- Blood Knight: Though as it says, it's a sword. It's best to stick to what someone is good at.
- Blue and Orange Morality: His only desire is to destroy evil. However being essentially a sharp pointy lump of metal he hasn't got much idea what actually qualifies as evil.
- Cool Sword: A sword with a mind of its own that leaves black marks where it kills people.
- Character Title: For the planned sequel to Warbreaker.
- Dark Is Not Evil: It seems evil, and does kill a lot, but really just wants to destroy evil.
- Deadpan Snarker: Its conversations with Vasher dip into this often, though not very deeply.
- Didn't Think This Through: When created, he was given the Command "Destroy Evil". Unfortunately, neither Vasher nor his wife realized that, naturally, a piece of metal wouldn't have a very clear idea of what "evil" actually is.
- Evil Sounds Deep: When fully drawn, it booms its Command in the wielder's head repeatedly. However, since said Command is "Destroy Evil", this is a Subverted Trope.
- Evil Weapon: Subverted. It's a black sword that loves killing, but was initially created to destroy evil. Pity it's a sword and doesn't really know the difference.Nightblood: I'm figuring it out. I've had a lot of practice.
- Nausea Fuel: In-Universe. If someone who is pure of heart and good looks at it, there is a wave of nausea that overcomes that person which gets worse the closer the person is.
- Psychopathic Manchild: It sometimes acts like the sword equivalent of this, loving attention and essentially pouting when it doesn't get it. Also, while forgetting what happens when it is drawn completely upon being resheathed, is extremely excited about remembering fulfilling the Command given.
- Shipper on Deck: Seems to be one for Vivenna and Vasher.
- Soul-Cutting Blade: It's one of a very few things in the Cosmere that destroy on a cognitive and spiritual level as well as physical.
- Talking Weapon: He can talk to whoever is holding it or has held it in the past by way of telepathy.
- Telepathy: Reads surface thoughts of whoever is holding it, acting as though they were directed at it, even if they aren't, since it assumes that said thoughts should be directed at it anyway.
- Walking Spoiler: Moreso than the others, as he's appeared on Roshar.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: It really just wants to destroy evil.