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Frostlands

    Taravangian 

King Taravangian

"Sometimes, you must tear down a structure to build a new one with stronger walls. And we are going to need strong walls in the coming years. Very, very strong walls."

The king of the small city-state, Kharbranth. He is thought somewhat dull by his peers. However, he is well-liked due to funding hospitals throughout the city for those who can't afford medical care.


  • Affably Evil: Unless it's one of his extremely intelligent days where he suffers from a Lack of Empathy, Taravangian normally respects and sympathizes with his enemies, feels remorse for his terrible actions, and only commits evil acts because he thinks it's the only way to save the world from Odium.
  • The Chessmaster:
    • Taravangian is much smarter than he appears, as shown by the multiple levels of backup plans and the specificity of his orders to Szeth. It is also implied that he has other pawns in the waiting.
    • Later, it's revealed that he's working off of an immeasurably complex set of documents referred to as the Diagram; a massive set of writings, scribblings, sketches, and rantings that he produced while locked in his chambers on a day when his Old Magic-warped intelligence reached an unprecedented peak, with his compassion decreasing proportionately. The Diagram contains spot-on predictions for events all over the world and is practically a one-stop book of prophecy, but is so complex as to be virtually impossible to interpret.
  • Les Collaborateurs: He doesn't believe Odium can truly be beaten and is out to preserve as much of the world as he can. At the end of Oathbringer, Taravangian makes an alliance with Odium, promising him help in exchange for sparing Kharbranth. He intended to originally make a deal for mankind's survival, but Odium met with him on a stupid day and the survival of his city-state was the best offer he could get.
  • Conlang: In-universe. During his most brilliant moment, he invented an entirely new language because all existing ones were too imprecise.
  • Dumb Is Good:
    • Despite seeming stupid, he is unusually kind and compassionate for a king. He notes that his compassion and his intelligence seem to be inversely linked, so that he's kinder on his stupider days. Also defied: he specifically notes that this isn't the case for most people.
    • On an average day in Oathbringer, he expressed the belief that this was the price the Nightwatcher gave him; he can have the wisdom and acumen to help his people, just not both at once.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He has grandchildren he adores and wants to ensure they never learn of the Diagram, or what he's done to realise its designs. He also has a close and affectionate relationship with Adrotagia, his second-in-command, going back to their youth.
  • Evil Old Folks: He's a Well-Intentioned Extremist old enough to have grandchildren.
  • I Am a Monster: Szeth calls him one, and he doesn't object to it at all. His viewpoint chapter indicates that he really does agree.
    Taravangian: Yes, but I am the monster who will save this world.
  • Insufferable Genius: When he is in his intelligent mode, he is supremely arrogant in his intelligence. He's also dangerous in his intelligence and the arrogance associated with it. Being too self-assured in his intellect can be just as deadly as being too stupid, after all, which is why his staff has a limit, set up by him on one of his more balanced days, to how smart he can be before cutting him off from making policy decisions and interacting with people.
  • Irony: Jasnah thinks he is a great king for maintaining peace and prosperity without war, while other kingdoms think he's weak for the same reasons. He's actually working to plunge the entire world into war to put himself on top. Jasnah would be especially horrified to know that he's doing this in an attempt to weather the coming Desolation.
  • Lack of Empathy: He gets less empathetic and more ruthless the more intelligent he gets, as mentioned under Dumb Is Good. On one of his more intelligent days, he sees nothing wrong with ordering the deaths of a choir of children that was distracting him rather than just telling them to stop singing. Luckily he took precautions to limit his authority on those kinds of days, so the people he surrounds himself with don't act on those kinds of orders.
  • Leonine Contract: Odium gets the better of him simply by showing up on one of his stupider days. Odium lampshades that he was never going to let Taravangian negotiate from a position of strength.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • At one of his moderately intelligent days, he created a series of tests to keep him from making any decrees when too far along either end of the intelligence scale. In Oathbringer, he purposefully pretends that he can't understand a question in order to bypass this, though one of his advisors figures it out.
    • His entire plan is predicated on one of these. He'll make a deal with Odium so that everyone he rules will be spared, and then take control of the entire world. Odium derails the entire Diagram simply by saying no, because he's not an idiot. It's possible that Taravangian could have made the deal work on one of his smarter days... which is why Odium came to him on one of his stupider ones. He then agrees to Odium's offer to spare his city, its residents, and those married to said residents.
  • Necessarily Evil: He fully admits to being a monster, but only because he believes it's the only way to save mankind from Odium.
  • Never Learned to Read: Averted; in his interlude, he casually mentions that he learned the womens' script years ago.
  • Not So Omniscient After All: The Diagram is supposed to accurately predict everything and come up with the perfect plan to spare the world from Odium's wrath, and everything Taravangian is doing is following this Diagram slavishly due to this perfection. Unfortunately, the Diagram isn't perfect, and several of the things it predicted either didn't pass or failed to pass as planned, derailing much of Taravangian's plans.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Zigzagged Trope. Most of the other lighteyes in Kharbranth consider Taravangian somewhat slow and unskilled at politics. In reality, he is at the head of a large conspiracy which has resulted in the deaths of many nameless citizens just to harvest information, and the killings of several very important foreign dignitaries. However, he used the Old Magic at some point, with his IQ changing at random each day, making this either played straight or averted depending on when people see him.
  • Smug Snake: Make no mistake - on his good days, Taravangian is terrifyingly intelligent. Unfortunately, he wasn't prepared for Odium, an actual Magnificent Bastard, to only ever visit him on his stupid days...
  • Surrounded by Idiots: On his more intelligent days. He once seriously considered banning anyone below a certain intelligence threshold from reading.
  • Take Over the World: His initial goals are to conquer the entire world, as the Diagram said that he could negotiate with Odium to spare his people, and if he ruled the whole world, he could argue that all of mankind were his. Odium, however, saw this coming and simply refused to negotiate while Taravangian was smart enough to actually get that concession out of him.
  • Too Clever by Half: He makes an insanely complicated plan to stop Odium and save the world. It's stopped by Odium simply walking in and reading the plan himself on one of his stupider days.
  • Villainous Friendship: With his right-hand-woman and closest friend, Adrotagia. They've been close since their youth and call one another by their childhood names, Vargo and Adro.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Willing to go any lengths to save the world. Thus far, he's released Szeth to go on an incredible killing spree, reduced the nation of Jah Kaved to burned-out anarchy, and countless other crimes.
    The Diagram: Q: For what essential must we strive? A: The essential of preservation, to shelter a seed of humanity through the coming storm. Q: What cost must we bear? A: The cost is irrelevant. Mankind must survive. Our burden is that of the species, and all other considerations are but dust by comparison.

    Stick 

A Stick

"I am a stick."

A stick found in the Frostlands. With Pattern translating Shallan tries to convince it to become fire.


    Vathah 

Vathah

"Brightlords have failed us in the past."

Leader of a large group of deserters. He runs afoul of Shallan, and while he dislikes her immensely, she manages to convince all of his men to follow her. He considers all the deserters (including himself) cutthroat scum.


  • The Cynic: He makes constant comments about how the deserters Shallan recruited are going to turn on her eventually, and doesn't believe for a second that she can grant them clemency for their crimes.
  • Defrosting Ice King: He starts out convinced that Shallan is an ignorant and naive lighteyes who got lucky in convincing the deserters to fight for her. Once he finds out she has a Shardblade when she kills Tyn with it, he warms up to her, apparently deciding that she's more like him than she pretends.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Becomes one of Shallan's squires and starts developing Lightweaving powers of his own.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: Becomes much more trusting of and subservient towards Shallan when he realizes how many times she didn't kill him with her Shardblade for threatening or berating her.


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Ghostbloods

    Thaidakar 

Thaidakar

The leader of the Ghostbloods. A shadowy figure who wants the secrets of Roshar for himself.


  • The Ghost: Despite being an important character, he hasn't been seen yet.
  • The Leader: Leads the Ghostbloods.
  • Not Me This Time: Gavilar assumes that he's the one who sent Szeth after him. Szeth has never heard of the man; if Thaidakar sent an assassin, Szeth got there first.

    Kabsal 

Kabsal

"You still appear conflicted. What must I do to put you at ease? Shall I step up onto this desk here and do a jig?"

A member of the Ardentia. He believes in Vorinism, and has made it his mission to convert notorious heretic Jasnah Kholin to its teachings. Along the way, he becomes friends with Shallan Davar. He is actually a Ghostblood.


  • Affably Evil: He seems like a nice person and truly does like Shallan, but he still tries to use her as a tool to kill Jasnah.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He is killed by his own poisoned bread.
  • The Mole: Revealed to be one of the Ghostbloods, tasked to assassinate Jasnah Kholin.
  • Odd Friendship: With Shallan Davar.
  • Sinister Minister: Of a sort. He's not malicious to anyone but Jasnah as far as is known, but he did try to kill her.

    Mraize 

Mraize

"I hired the hunter I felt best for the task, and I understood the risks."

One of the Ghostbloods who Shallan meets in the Alethi warcamps.


  • The Apprentice: Shallan is surprised to find that he is Iyatil's apprentice, rather than the other way around.
  • Batman Gambit: He acquires a number of priceless paintings of the Heralds, knowing that at some point, it would bring Shalash to him so she could destroy one with her face on it.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: Makes quite a few of these. In Oathbringer, Shallan lampshades that all the information he gives her comes with hints towards things she didn't actually ask about, such as a Surgebinder in Amaram's army who died long before Helaran tried to kill Amaram.
  • Dimensional Traveler: Implied; he wonders if someone is human, and notes that "he's certainly not of the local species." Most people from Roshar don't use the word human regularly, and definitely don't know there are more on other planets.
  • Knife Nut: He's very fond of throwing sharp things in Shallan's direction to judge her reactions.
  • Mysterious Backer: Shallan has no idea what his end goals are. She initially assumes he's doing something evil, but the fact that he only had Jasnah assassinated because she had done the same to a number of his men casts his actions in a different light.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • He coos over Shallan's drawings like a proud father, and compliments her on completing a task without him even noticing she had attempted it.
      Mraize: It is not often that I am proven a fool. Well done.
    • At the end of Words of Radiance, he tells Shallan he will bring her family to the Shattered Plains and Urithiru. Not as hostages or in exchange for anything, but as a gift in recognition of Shallan's accomplishments.
    • Over the course of Oathbringer, he gives Shallan the information she asks for, mostly as a reward for doing things she's already doing in the first place.
    • He considers his personal laundrywoman a powerful hunter because she is very good at her job.
  • Secret Test of Character: When he accepts Shallan as a provisional member, he idly notes that while Ghostbloods are not allowed to kill each other, killing provisional members is another story. Shallan takes the hint, and is careful to dodge the assassins that try to follow her.
  • Seen It All: Iyatil mentions that he is very hard to surprise, as he has apparently seen much in his lifetime.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Once he gets out of his disguises, Mraize adores finery and well-tailored outfits.

    Iyatil 

Iyatil

"I have many times asked myself, why those of you here go about so brazenly with features exposed to all who would see them. My mask reserves my self. Besides, it gives me the ability to adapt."

A Ghostblood woman who Shallan initially mistakes for a boy, both for her figure and the fact that she wears a mask.


  • Cool Mask: Her mask is made of some kind of orange carapace, possibly Parshendi. She threatens to kill the ardents who try to remove it. It's confirmation that she's actually from Scadrial. Or rather, that she is Scadrian by way of Silverlight.
  • Dimensional Traveler: She's indirectly confirmed to be a world-hopper in Bands of Mourning, when we meet her people. They are a clan from the southern reaches of Scadrial called the Hunters. All southerners wear masks, but only the Hunters let their faces grow into them.
  • The Mentor: She's actually Mraize's master, not the other way around. He specifically refers to her as his babsk, the Thaylen word for this.
  • Madness Mantra: She fakes one when pretending to be Shallan's crazy sister.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: When she realizes that Shallan's plan to sneak into the Ardentia is to pretend that Iyatil is her crazy sister. To her credit, she plays along like a champ.

    Lin Davar 

Lin Davar

"Everywhere I step, I find only corners. Slowly, they trap me."

Shallan's abusive father. Revealed posthumously to be a member of the Ghostbloods.


  • Abusive Parents: He beat all of his sons and treated them horribly.
  • Domestic Abuse: After Shallan killed her mother, he pretended that he had been the killer to protect her. But the stress of this caused him to become genuinely abusive to his second wife, Malise Gevelmar, who he later murdered.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As cruel as he became, Lin never stopped loving Shallan.
  • Not Me This Time: Lin's an abusive monster part of a shady organization, but he genuinely didn't kill his first wife.
  • Posthumous Character: Dead before the story begins, but still gets some character development in Shallan's flashbacks.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Of a sort. His name is given in Words of Radiance, the second book.


Historical Characters

    Nohadon 

Nohadon/Bajerden

"I walked from Abamabar to Urithiru."

A legendary king that wrote the book "The Way of Kings", which formed the basis of the Ideals of the Knights Radiant. He is known for uniting the Silver Kingdoms in ancient times. Although a great king, the current Vorin culture dismisses his teachings, and his book was nearly banned.

In one of his visions, Dalinar meets a young king who he believes to be Nohadon. In the aftermath of a Desolation, this young man is distraught, and is worried about how willing spren are to bond with bad people who stir up chaos. He tells Dalinar that he will unite Roshar by force.


  • The Good King: He was renowned as one of the greatest kings ever, due to his humility, wisdom, and honor.
  • King Incognito: On his famous walk from Abamabar to Urithiru, he didn't mention his being the king to anyone, so he was unrecognized.
  • Metaphorically True: Subverted; even in his own time, everyone assumed that his famous walk was a metaphor, and he just walked from Abamabar to a city with an Oathgate. But he really did walk all the way to the foothills of Urithiru and then up through the tunnels of the mountain. His only "cheat" was taking a ferry over a river.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Sort of. "Nohadon", the name he's most well known by on Roshar is actually his holy name. As well, Bajerden, the other name he's known by, may not even have been his real name.
  • Shrouded in Myth: There are a lot of legends about Nohadon, and some people don't even think he even existed.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: In his youth, he was quite dour and often thought about how to save the world. In his elderly days, he's much more lighthearted and chirpy, cracking jokes and traveling to the grocery store.

    The Sunmaker 

Sadees "The Sunmaker"

The last man to unite the Alethi highprinces, which he did when he was only seventeen years old.


  • The Conqueror: He conquered all of Alethkar in the past.
  • Expy: He is, for all intents and purposes, the Roshar equivalent of Alexander the Great, including how he died young and left his empire to fall apart.
  • Greed: His empire fell when he tried to conquer too much and failed.
  • Written by the Winners: He's a legendary figure to the Alethi for unifying the nation, defeating its theocracy, and establishing international trade routes that supported a scientific and cultural revolution. Outside Alethkar, he's despised as a genocidal tyrant who killed 10% of the entire population of Azir simply because he didn't have any use for them. That history proves problematic for Dalinar when he tries to ally with countries that Sadees had conquered or menaced.
  • Young and in Charge: Was the leader of Alethkar when he was only seventeen. This dooms his empire when he meets an early death, since he hadn't considered appointing a successor.


Other Characters

    Thinker 

Demoux

A man searching for Hoid alongside Blunt (Baon) and Grump (Galladon). He's Demoux from Mistborn, and he is now a part of the Worldhopping organization known as the Seventeenth Shard.


    Grump 

Galladon

A man searching for Hoid alongside Thinker (Demoux) and Blunt (Baon). He's Galladon from Elantris, and he has joined up with the worldhopping organization known as the Seventeenth Shard.


    Blunt 

Baon

A man searching for Hoid alongside Grump (Galladon) and Thinker (Demoux). He is Baon, a character from White Sand, and he has joined the worldhopping organization known as the Seventeenth Shard. He's also an archer.


    Zahel 

Zahel/Vasher

"Kid, two people live in this room. The first is a grouchy swordsman who has a soft spot for kids who are in over their heads. He comes out by day. The other is a very, very grouchy swordsman who finds everything and everyone utterly contemptible. He comes out when some fool wakes him at a horrid hour of the night. I suggest you ask the first man and not the second. All right?"

A swordsman who instructed Adolin and Renarin in swordsmanship.


    Rysn and Vstim 

Rysn and Vstim

A young Thaylen merchant apprentice and her Babsk.


  • Bond Creatures: Rysn accidentally bonds with a hugely valuable creature called a Larkin by falling off a cliff. It looks sort of like a cute winged crayfish. While we don't know the full significance of this, another character uses a captive Larkin to drain the stormlight from Lift.
    • It can drain Voidlight as well.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Vstim pretends to be sick so that Rysn has to take the lead in negotiating, but she believes that he's dying and goes to desperate lengths to fulfill what she sees as his last wishes.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Vstim. While it doesn't appear that true corporations have evolved quite yet in Thaylenah, they still teach that it's best to screw over your customers and competitors before they do it to you first. Vstim, on the other hand, insists on learning the ways of the culture he is trading with, discovering what they value and treating them with respect. With the Shin, he goes out of his way to provide them Soulcast metal that was not mined directly from stone (since the Shin revere stone), while with the Reshi he participated in a hunt and managed to kill a dangerous creature largely by himself.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Vstim only briefly appears in the interludes, but he was the one who bought Szeth as a slave from the Shin, and then traded him to the Parshendi, which kicked off the entire plot of the greater story.
  • To Be a Master: Rysn aims to be a master trader like her Babsk Vstim.

    Axies 

Axies the Collector

A Siah Aimian seeking to learn the secrets of the spren.


  • Animated Tattoo: He marks his body with his notes, and can change their color in order to see them. This is useful, seeing as he is a scientist and is regularly robbed blind.
  • Cosmic Plaything: He appears to be literally cursed with horrible luck, and is regularly beaten thrown in jail or robbed blind. He never seems to take it hard though, mostly because he is implied never to be in real danger.
  • For Science!: He has dedicated his (apparently very long) life to learning the secrets of all spren. He considers going on a bender in a bad part of town to determine if intoxication spren exist to be perfectly reasonable. They do, by the way.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: His attitude concerning the spren. Or rather Gotta Catalogue 'Em All.

  • Iron Butt Monkey: As mentioned, he is literally cursed with bad luck. The results range from being stripped naked beaten and robbed to somehow offending people enough to be hung upside down from a rope to eventually be fed to a greatshell. He's entirely unfazed by all this.
  • Mugging the Monster: According to Vstim's reaction to seeing an Aimian, people are constantly doing this and just don't realize it because he's too nice to fight back. Apparently escaping from being thoroughly tied up, upside down, ready to be fed to a greatshell shouldn't actually be a problem for him.
  • The Shadow Knows: His shadow goes towards the light, rather than away.

    Lift 

Lift

"You're my pet Voidbringer, and no lies are going to change that. I got you captured. No stealing souls, now. We ain't here for souls. Just a little thievery, the type what never hurt nobody."

A thirteen-year-old thief and Radiant, specifically an Edgedancer.


  • The Ageless: Her deal with the Nightwatcher; she requested to never age or change, because she believes Growing Up Sucks. That's not what the Nightwatcher gave her, but it's why Lift occasionally insists that she's only ten years old.
  • Artful Dodger: She's a skilled and adventurous thief despite her tender age.
  • Awesomeness As A Force: She refers to her abilities as "becoming awesome".
  • Big Eater: She's always hungry and will eat pretty much any food that's left out; she even makes it a Self-Imposed Challenge to break into secure locations and eat the food there, which is how she's introduced. Exacerbated by her unique ability to convert food into Stormlight, since it means all of her surgebinding is Cast from Calories.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: She can apparently smell when someone has visited the Nightwatcher.
  • Bond Creature: Her spren, Wyndle, though she refers to him as a Voidbringer because it annoys him.
  • Cast from Calories: Due to her wish to the Nightwatcher, she can convert the food she eats into stormlight. Unfortunately, it means she has to constantly eat in order to keep up her reserves.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Her mother's dead, and she apparently never knew her father.
  • Covert Pervert: She has some... interesting ideas about butts, let's just say that. She also admits that she's always wondered if parshmen are marbled on all their "parts".
  • Dashing Hispanic: Less martially inclined than is common for the trope, but she's from a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Spain, and she's certainly dashing.
  • Green Thumb: One aspect of her powers of Growth.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Her wish to the Nightwatcher was to never change. Getting her first period in Edgedancer causes a minor freakout, resulting in her pursuing Nale.
  • Healing Hands: The other aspect, known as Regrowth.
  • Hidden Depths: As a Surgebinder, this is basically a requirement. Wyndle mentions that she's seen death before, and she implies that there's worse in her past.
    Lift: You don't even care, do you?
    Darkness: No. I don't.
    Lift: [exhausted] You should. You should... should try it, I mean. I wanted to be like you, once. Didn't work out. Wasn't... even like being alive...
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: In her own words, she's so storming pure she practically belches rainbows. In truth she actually is, returning to heal a companion at the cost of being caught by someone trying to kill her. Said healing involved breathing out stormlight, so she practically has 'belching rainbows' as a power. Nightblood also likes her, and she feels nausea when she first sees him unsheathed, which signals a pure heart.
  • Little Miss Badass: She's a scrappy little thing, who nearly manages to escape from Nale before being hit with an attack of conscience.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: She's a lot smarter than she lets on, though she's still a child and uninterested in the technical details of magic. For instance, she insists Wyndle is a Voidbringer not because she actually thinks he is but rather because it annoys him.
  • Paradox Person: Appears this way to most other people, as, due to a boon from the Nightwatcher, she exists partly in the Cognitive Realm, so she can touch spren outside of their Shard forms, and metabolize food directly into Stormlight. It should be noted that Wyndle—who knows far more about the Nightwatcher and her boons than the audience—has no idea what Lift could possibly have asked for to receive such a gift.
    • We eventually find out that she asked to never age or change. Which still doesn't explain how she got what she did get.
    • In Oathbringer she pops in and out of Dalinar's visions, the Stormfather unable to stop her. The Stormfather complains that the Nightwatcher gave her the ability to do this just to mess with him. In a later vision, she is able to hide herself from Odium.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Pops into the Emperor's vision despite not being invited, the Stormfather unable stop her, and takes him with her when she leaves.
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Pancakes. When she arrives in Yeddaw, she makes it a point to track down all ten of their famous pancake varieties, and grows indignant upon finding out that the tenth pancake is only symbolic.
  • Victory by Endurance: Her strategy for fighting Nale at one point. She can convert food into Light, but Nale can't, and due to it being the middle of the Weeping there is very little Light around. She hopes to run Nale out of Light.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Due to a boon from the Nightwatcher, she can process her food into Stormlight rather than breathing it in. It does mean that excessive use of her powers risks malnutrition, however.

    Shallan's Eldest Brother 

Nan Helaran Davar

"We can't have vengeance yet. Balat can't lead the house, and I must be away. Soon, though."

Eldest child of Lin Davar, heir of the Davar family, and Shallan's oldest brother. He left home after their mother died, as he blamed his father and refused to be in the house with him. He spent much of his time on mysterious errands with unknown groups, and received a full set of Shards soon after he left home the first time. The entire family considered him the greatest and bravest of them.


  • Cool Sword: He had a Shardblade, given to him by one of his mysterious friends. Amaram ends up with it after Kaladin kills Helaran.
  • Dark Secret: He doesn't have one (that we know of), but when Kaladin realizes he killed him, he decides to keep it a secret from Shallan.
  • Mysterious Backer: Someone trusted him a lot to give him a full set of Shards. Amaram thinks he was a member of the Ghostbloods, and Mraize mentions him, but he also had some dealings with the Skybreakers. Turns out he was with the Skybreakers, and Amaram's assassination was a mission given to him to prove his worth.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Is one of these, and suffers from one of these.
    • On the one hand, killing Kaladin's squad kicked one of the darkest storylines in the books into high gear. He did it for no reason other than that they got in his way—with their spears and his Plate, he literally could have just ignored them if he was feeling merciful.
    • On the other hand, if he had been allowed to kill Amaram, not only would that dark storyline have been averted at least to an extent, but the Sons of Honor would have been dealt a crippling blow.

     Arclo 

Arclo

A beggar philosopher camped outside an orphanage in Tashikk, whom Lift befriends on her way through.


  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Wipes the floor with two of Nalan's minions, who were seeking to execute him for Surgebinding in the name of their master.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Is reported as "vanishing" and "changing his face," and is thus mistaken for a Lightweaver by two of Nalan's minions. These reports are factually accurate, but the source of Arclo's powers, the Voluntary Shapeshifting of a Dysian Aiman, is entirely different than those of Surgebinders.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Lift comes to his defense only moments after he's dispatched the two, thus revealing his secret.
  • Walking Spoiler: There's so much hidden about him that it's a wonder this entry has any normal text at all.

    Venli 

Venli

Eshonai's sister, a scholar of the listeners.


  • Ambition Is Evil: Her desire for more knowledge and more understanding slowly devolves into just a desire for more power. The influence of the Voidspren in her gemheart is a large part of it, but that wasn't all of it.
    • She lampshades this at the end of Oathbringer, wondering how she became so obsessed with power.
  • Amicable Exes: Zig-zagged. Parshendi are asexual in all forms except mateform, so she refers to the man who seems to be, in human terms, her husband, as her "once-mate" when in any other form. Since neither of them particularly care for mateform, they don't have any intention of entering it again any time soon. They are, however, still closer than friends. Until he dies.
  • Anti-Villain: In Oathbringer. She's still working for the bad guys, but begins defying them in subtle ways and eventually becomes a Radiant.
  • Character Development: Her first appearances painted her as something of a Smug Snake, a villainous foil to her sister Eshonai, the most prominent and damning example of how far the listeners had fallen. After Eshonai's death and seeing the truth of what her actions have led to, she becomes a far more conflicted character.
  • Dark Messiah: She ends up in a form of power called an "Envoy," sent to tell a carefully edited version of the Parshendi-Alethi war in order to inspire the singers to Odium. At the end of Oathbringer, after becoming a Knight Radiant, she begins teaching them of what the listeners were like before the war.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Gradually over the course of Oathbringer.
  • Last of Her Kind: The Fused tell her that she is the last listener; whether they are unaware of Rlain or just don't care is unknown. Venli wonders several times where the survivors of the Battle of Narak went. It's implied that they became the Fused and are all dead.
  • The Mole: She met a Voidspren who helped her develop stormform, thus causing the return of her gods that her people had been working against for millennia. In Oathbringer, she becomes a Knight Radiant bonded to a lightspren and begins fighting against Odium from inside the enemy camp.
  • Mutually Exclusive Magic: Despite having both a voidspren and a lightspren, Venli is unable to both keep her Red Eyes, Take Warning disguise and channel Stormlight simultaneously.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Struggles with this after seeing exactly what her gods are and the horrific way they use the listeners. Made that much worse by the fact that Venli herself was the main architect of their return.
  • Translator Microbes: Her Envoy form can speak all languages, both the ancient Dawnsinger language and all the modern human languages.
  • Wrong Context Magic: Certain passages in previous books state that it's supposed to be impossible for singers to form the Nahel bond.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: After bonding to Timbre, she gains the ability to draw on Stormlight, but since she keeps the Voidspren for her Envoy form, Timbre keeping it contained, she can retain the abilities it gives her, and turn her red eyes on and off at will, though she can't have them active when channeling Stormlight.

    Queen Fen Rnamdi 

Queen Fen Rnamdi

The queen of Theylenah.


  • Establishing Character Moment: Her introduction involves her personally answering Dalinar via spanreed (rather than having a scribe do it), cursing up a storm, and then closing off when Dalinar asks too much.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Although it still takes some convincing, she is still one of the most reasonable rulers Dalanar has to deal with in Oathbringer.
  • Sir Swearsalot: When the Alethi contact her in Oathbringer, she curses like a sailor, which surprises Dalinar; she was always perfectly polite whenever they spoke. Navani explains that while Fen knows how to affect a courtly demeanor, when she's more comfortable she has a very foul mouth. It's therefore a bad sign when she stops swearing, and Dalinar realizes he's offended her.
  • What You Are in the Dark: When Dalanar pulls her into one of his visions, he's absolutely stunned upon discovering that she had rallied the townspeople into an organized militia against the Voidbringers, commenting that she did a better job in the vision then he did. From Queen Fen's point of view, she thought it was all just a dream.

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