For characters who influence the entirety of the Cosmere, see The Cosmere (Warning: All spoilers on that page are unmarked).
Warning. As this novel is based on a theme of reversals of expectation, nearly all of the characters are Walking Spoilers. Therefore, all spoilers are UNMARKED.
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, 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.
- Deadpan Snarker: As her husband notes:Susebron: That was sarcasm. She likes it.
- 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.
The 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. 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.
- The Atoner: After she learns the war between Idris and Hallandren wasn't inevitable and she'd been tricked into helping start a war, she teams up with Vasher to undo her mistakes and save her people.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: From a pious daughter of Austre who abhors Awakening to a powerful Awakener herself. Since this process helped teach her humility it wasn't a bad thing.
- Big Sister Instinct: The reason she came to Hallandren was to save her little sister from the God King. At least, that's what Vivenna tells herself. In reality, while she does love her sister and wants to help her, Vivenna couldn't stand the idea of not being special when she spent her entire life training for a role that was given to her sister instead.
- Break the Haughty: Her time on the run, starving and impoverished on the streets while making tough decisions that go against her religion to survive, quickly makes her realize how little moral high ground she has when judging her fellow Idrians for doing the same in Hallandren.
- Condescending Compassion: She acts this way to Jewels after she finds out she's a drab who gave up her Breath to one of her gods. Vivenna thinks that's the reason for her being a Jerkass but Jewels just laughs in her face and tells her that giving up her Breath and using the money to save her family was an honor.
- 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.
- Dimensional Traveller: Has shown up on Roshar in Oathbringer. How she got there is yet to be explained but she's apparently searching for Vasher and/or Nightblood
- Fallen Princess: From when Vasher first kidnaps her onward.
- Holier Than Thou: Due to her strict religious upbringing, she views Hallandren and its people as decadent, and looks down on the native Idrians who've been "corrupted," i.e. forced to adapt, to life in a place with different cultural mores. After finding herself in a similar position to the latter group, she grows out of this and tries to become less judgmental.
- Hypocrite: She judges other Idrians for going against their religion's teachings, only to do so herself when forced into a tight spot. She at least recognizes her own hypocrisy and learns from it over time.
- I Just Want to Be Special: The real reason she admits for wanting to save Siri and possibly take her place. She spent her entire life training to martyr herself as the God King's bride, and couldn't bare the thought of Siri doing it, rendering Vivenna herself unimportant.
- Jerkass: Her overly opinionated, self-righteous and condescending attitude can be downright nauseating at times. Fortunately, she gets over it eventually.
- Kaleidoscope Hair: The Royal Locks of Idris grant her this. In contrast to Siri, she gradually loses control over their colors.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Her attempts to stop Hallandren from attacking her country just convinced the Court of Gods that Idrian agents were trying to undermine their authority.
- 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.
- Secretly Selfish: While she did want to help Siri, her reasons for going to Hallandren were really based around her self-esteem issues.
- Took a Level in Badass: In her appearance in Oathbringer, she's able to mobilize an entire militia force to defend the city of Kholinar from the Voidbringers.
- Tsundere: Deconstructed with her relationship with Parlin. Their fathers originally wanted them to marry, but Vivenna thinks of Parlin as an idiot who has a crush on her and treats him poorly. However, when she sees him flirting with Jewels, she gets jealous, and when she confronts him on it, Parlin, in the least malicious way possible, tells her he only came to help Siri, was never in love with her and asks why he would ever choose to be with someone who goes out of their way to make him feel stupid? This floors Vivenna who realizes Parlin is a far better person than her.
- 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.
The 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.
Vivenna'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.
- Did You Think I Can't Feel?: Gives a very non-malicious one to Vivenna when she confronts him about flirting with Jewels despite the fact that their fathers want them to marry each other. Parlin asks her why he would ever be in love with someone who went out of her way to make him feel like an idiot even though he'd done nothing but help her?
- Dumb Is Good: Vivenna makes no secret that she thinks he's an idiot, and Parlin himself admits she may be right, but he's still one of the nicest people in the story, someone who gave up everything to try to save his friend. When she hears it, Vivenna admits that Parlin is a better person than herself, since her reasons for helping Siri were partially selfish in nature.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Denth has Tonk Fah torture him to find out where Vivenna went when she disappeared.
- 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, and Parlin doesn't have the information he's after.
God King Susebron
The 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 Am I: Very much considers himself a deity, though far less pompous about it than most examples. He doesn't lord it over anyone, and just believes it because he was raised that way. He's only 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.
- 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: Subverted. As the leader of Hallandren, he has this reputation, but he is neither 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.
- Also due to the Royal Locks turning red due to passion her hair is red when they have sex.
- 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.
- Manchild: He's very childlike, innocent, and naive in his way of looking at the world, and doesn't even know how babies are made.
- Meta Power: One of the most advanced Awakening powers, currently only achievable by the God-Emperor, is to take control of other Awakeners' constructs. It's played for Black Comedy when it's mentioned that the God-Emperor personally has to reboot the nation's zombie legions whenever a commander forgets their operating codes.
- 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.
- Physical God: Like all returned, but he's a much better example. He shows how much of a Story-Breaker Power his Tenth Heightening is when, with his tongue restored, he rescues Siri from the conspiracy by awakening pretty much all the tapestries in the palace at once.
- 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/Stennimar
A 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.
- The Gadfly: A self-described one, sometimes verging into Troll behavior. His way of getting Allmother to talk to him is a particularly epic example.
- 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.)
- Self-Deprecation: He rarely passes up on the opportunity to remind everyone of how useless and lazy he is.
- Together in Death: After Blushweaver's murder, Lightsong sacrifices his life to heal the God King.
- 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/The Beautiful
A 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.
- Femme Fatale: How she is played out eventually, with more sympathy and Character Development.
- Lampshaded Double Entendre: Practically everything out of her mouth. Lightsong sometimes calls her out on it. It's even her name.
- Sacrificial Lion: For Lightsong, this death shows that the game is up for good.
- Slashed Throat: Her death is by this method.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: The entire reason for her murder by the Pahn Kal is to prove to Lightsong that they're not messing around.
- The Tease: She makes a lot of sexual innuendos and isn't above using her attractiveness to get others to do what she wants. She does have genuine feelings for Lightsong, however.
- Together in Death: What happens to her and Lightsong.
- Unwitting Pawn: Like everyone else, Blushweaver ends up a pawn in Bluefingers' plan, with her gaining control of Hallandren's Lifeless being instrumental to the Pahn Kahl's revolution.
- 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.
Others In Hallandren
Vasher/Peacegiver the Merciful/Strifelover/Kalad the Usurper/Taxalis the Sage/Warbreaker the Peaceful
A 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 Bookworm: He's first and foremost a scholar, but very capable of kicking ass if required.
- 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. Word of Brandon is this isn't his first time.
- 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.
- Grumpy Old Man: He's Really 700 Years Old, and usually terse, rude, and cynical. Vivenna even calls him a grump.
- 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, Talaxin the Sage, and Warbeaker the Peaceful are just some of his many names on Nalthis. He has so many names, that people actually forget that they all belong to the same man and see his history as different people. He also goes by the name of Zahel while on Roshar.
- Magic Knight: He uses Awakening in tandem with Nightblood in combat.
- No Social Skills: The biggest flaw in his attempt to play at being a Guile Hero.
- 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.
- Too Awesome to Use: Exploited during his fights with Denth and Arsteel. Since he can't beat them in a proper duel, he just shoves all his Breath into them and kills them while they're stunned by the experience. He notes this only works because most Awakeners would rather take their Breath to the grave than use it so wastefully, so they'd never see it coming.
- 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.
- With Cat Like Tread: Any attempt at stealth he makes usually ends in Nighblood killing everyone.
The leader of a group of mercenaries who aide Vivenna in T'Telir.
- Affably Evil: Very polite on the surface, in direct contrast to Vasher. Vasher even comments that men like Denth can be evil to the core but so long as they're charismatic and funny, people will like them. Unlike Tonk Fah, Denth's affability isn't completely feigned, and he's established as a man who used to be good, but hates what he is now.
- Agent Provocateur: He's Bluefinger's main agent for stirring up trouble in T'Telir.
- Back from the Dead: He's a Returned.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: He wanted to know how Arsteel died. Vasher showed him... violently.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not as much as Lightsong, but it's part of his False Friend persona.
- Did Not See That Coming: Vasher kills him by giving him all his Breaths, the involuntary physical reaction to it buys Vasher enough time to slash his throat. Vasher confirms he killed Arsteel the same way, admitting no one sees it coming because Breaths are so valuable, most people can't fathom just throwing them away.
- The Dragon: The muscle half of Bluefingers' operation.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His motivation for hunting down and torturing Vasher is to get revenge on him for murdering his beloved sister.
- 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 while pretending to be her friend.
- 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.
- Hero of Another Story: Defied Trope. While he claims that this is the case for everyone, he refuses to take an active role in his own journey, centering it entirely around his hatred of Vasher and subordinate role to his employers, thereby making him the sole exception to this idea in the entire book.Brandon Sanderson: In this novel, everyone does think theyre doing whats best. The only exception to that is, perhaps, Denth himselfwhich makes the conversation [about this concept] particularly poignant.
- 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.
- Manipulative Bastard: What he actually is, tricking Vivenna into helping him instigate a war while pretending to be attempting to stop one.
- 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.
- Never My Fault: It's heavily implied that the reason why he refuses to be a central figure of his own tale, exclusively defining himself in relationship to everyone around him, is so that he can avoid taking any responsibility for what he does, blaming it on his associates or nemesis.
- 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.
- Redemption Rejection: During their duel, Vasher reveals he knows the Command to erase memories. He offers to take away the ones that have driven Denth to his current actions, essentially giving him the chance at a new life. Denth considers, then admits neither he nor Vasher deserve a better life before trying to kill Vasher again.
- 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.
- Sarcastic Confession: He did warn Vivenna not to trust mercenaries several times.
- Satellite Character: An Invoked Trope. Refusing to be his own man, Denth seems to identify himself as "Vasher's nemesis," "Shashara's brother," or other similar concepts to avoid responsibility.
- Slashed Throat: How Vasher kills him with a knife.
- Super Speed: He's well known for his speed, which comes from being a Returned.
- Tragic Villain: During his final duel with Vasher, Denth comments that he tried to go back to being the good man he once was, but the things he's seen and done have damaged him too much to go back. He's tempted to accept Vasher's offer to erase his painful memories, but admits that neither he nor Vasher deserve such peace.
- Villainous Friendship:
- With Tonk Fah, with whom he trades dark banter with. While Tonk Fah is confirmed by Word of God to be a sociopath, Denth at least cares enough about him to save his life even if it means turning his back on his hated nemesis at a crucial moment.
- Another reason Denth hates Vasher so much is because Vasher killed Denth's friend, Arsteel, in a duel.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: According to Vasher, this is what the actual ability is, more so for pure Returned than their children.
- Walking Spoiler: It becomes very hard to talk about him after finding out his true allegiance, and even moreso with Nightblood's exposition.
- Worthy Opponent: He views Vasher as this, confessing his respect for the man to a fellow conspirator, even as plans on torturing him to death for revenge.
The 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 all of his jokes about maiming and killing people are not jokes. He sincerely means it, but Denth is charismatic enough to make his comments sound like he's only joking.
- Bad People Abuse Animals: It's revealed the reason his pets keep disappearing is because he tortures them to death. Played with in that he apparently used to do this with people and it took Denth a long time to convince him to do it to animals instead.
- Blood Knight: Tonk Fah likes fighting and killing a lot.
- The Brute: The dumber half of the muscle in Bluefingers' plot.
- Dumb Muscle: Tonk Fah is a strong enforcer who comes across as somewhat simple-minded. Part of this is a trick to lure marks into a false sense of security, but he's still much less intelligent than Denth and Jewels, at least. He even makes the mistake of still wearing the same cloak even weeks after Vivenna Awakened it, meaning she could still Command it.
- False Friend: Like Denth, Tonk Fah pretends to be Vivenna's friend only to manipulate her. He even seems to relish her reaction when their betrayal's revealed.
- Fat Bastard: An overweight, sociopathic mercenary who takes pleasure in torture.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Denth plays his sociopathy as this, to keep him in line.
- Karma Houdini: Escapes with Jewels during the assault on the Court of the Gods.
- Know When to Fold Them: When the Court of the Gods is attacked and Denth is killed, Tonk Fah takes his money and escapes with Jewels.
- 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.
- Sadist: Denth says Tonk Fah's biggest weakness is that he likes hurting things, and that it took a lot of effort to get Tonk Fah to switch from torturing people to animals.
- Sleepy Head: Tonk Fah has the uncanny ability to fall asleep anywhere at a moment's notice.
- The Sociopath: He's a literal sociopath according to Word of God.
- Villainous Friendship: He trades a lot of dark banter with Denth. While Tonk Fah is a confirmed sociopath, Denth at least cares enough about Tonk Fah to save his life, even if it means turning his back on his hated nemesis at a crucial moment.
The 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.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It's implied she loves her family as she's proud of the fact that she gave up her Breath to the God King so they could have enough money to survive.
- 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.
- Love Makes You Evil: She joined Denth's mercenary group because she was in love with Arsteel.
- 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.
- Know When to Fold Them: After the attack on the Court of the Gods and Denth's death, she and Tonk Fah take their money and run.
- MayflyDecember Romance: She was formerly in one with Arsteel, who is centuries old.
- The Smurfette Principle: She's the only female member of Denth's mercenaries.
High Priest Treleedees
The 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.
- High Priest: He's the high priest of the God King and the true power behind the throne.
- Holier Than Thou: Acts cold and self-righteous towards Siri, who does not share his faith.
- 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.
High Priest Llarimar
The priest of Lightsong.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Not that Lightsong is incompetent, exactly, but Llarimar does need to put up with his behaviour.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Lightsong's court runs as well as it does because of Llarimar.
- The Jeeves: He is a high priest, but more often than not, his role boils down to this, as he acts more like a head butler.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: He was Lightsong's brother, when he was alive.
- Not So Stoic: He flips out after Lightsong's reckless behavior gets them captured.Llarimar: I can't believe I'm in prison, because of you, again!
- Restored My Faith in Humanity: He confesses that he nearly lost his faith after seeing the corruption in the Court of the Gods, until his brother came back as Lightsong after dying to save Llarimar's daughter.
- Servile Snarker: Often his reponse to his master's antics.
- The Stoic: He's completely unflappable, most of the time.
Havarseth, a.k.a. "Bluefingers"
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.
- Beneath Suspicion: He just seems like an overworked bureaucrat for most of the novel. It's only when Siri remembers Lightsong's specific advice to being Beneath Suspicion that she realizes he's been playing them.
- 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" Remark: Unsuccessfully tries to pull this on Siri to justify his actions. Siri rather adamantly denies it.
- 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.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's trying to ignite a brutal and drawn out war between Idris and Hallandren all to give his own people, the suppressed Pahn Kahl, an opportunity to finally break free of their subjugation under Hallandren.
Vasher's talking sword, created to destroy evil. Pity it doesn't have any idea what that means.
- Ambiguous Gender: It doesn't have an actual sex, what with being a hunk of metal and all, but it finds the concept fun. Vasher refers to it with male pronouns while Lift uses female.
- Anti-Magic: Due to its construction as an Awakened Entity, Nightblood exists on the Physical, Cognitive, and Spiritual realms. This lets it attacks and destroy magical effects and enchantments directly, such as the spiritual cord forming the Connection between a Bondsmith and another person or directly attacking the Cognitive Shadow of a Shard.
- 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.
- Incidentally he can also consume Stormlight, and Word of God has confirmed that this carries over to basically any other form of investiture the wielder is holding, such as someone actively using one of the Metallic arts from Mistborn.
- Nightblood's lethality is so great that it can be used to kill Shards.
- 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."
- Awesome, but Impractical: Incredibly powerful, and capable of destroying on all three levels of reality, but incredibly draining. Vivennia's similar sword in Oathbringer is less powerful but more manageable in exchange.
- As a result, most of its wielders learn easier ways to be effective with it, whether it's wielding it with the sheath on as a blunted weapon or simply tossing it into the midst of a group of enemies and letting them destroy themselves with it.
- Szeth manages to be able to wield it by drawing it while holding Stormlight in his body, so that it can feed Nightblood's incessant hunger while he kills with it.
- 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: Its only desire is to destroy evil. However being essentially a sharp pointy lump of metal it 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 and is capable of killing nearly anything.
- The Corrupter: Both played straight and Subverted. It has an innate and unconscious draw to it that entices the impure of heart to draw it and kill indiscriminately until they are also consumed; however, when it's wielded by someone more in control of themselves (and thus gets used very rarely if ever), it tends to consciously attempt this trope and fail miserably, as all it ever really amounts to is childishly goading.
- Character Title: For the planned sequel to Warbreaker.
- Cannibalism Superpower: Nightblood feeds of investiture, and is itself ultimately a heavily invested object. Nightblood has in fact become more invested as it feeds.
- 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: Actually Averted in that its creators thought long and hard about what command to give it. They just screwed it up anyway. He was given the Command "Destroy Evil". Unfortunately, neither Vasher nor his wife realized that a piece of metal wouldn't have a very clear idea of what "evil" actually is.
- Dimensional Traveller: Somehow ended up on Roshar separated from Vasher and Vivenna. It's unknown how it got there but judging by flashbacks in Oathbringer it's been there for some time.
- Dramatic Irony: Thanks to its aura of nausea that affects the pure of Heart Navani is under the impression that she hates its bearer so much she can't stand to be in his presence.
- The Dreaded: Every rational being in the Cosmere is afraid of Nightblood, including Shards and Hoid, due to its ability to touch the Spiritual Realm. With good reason, considering it can kill seemingly immortal spirits like thunderclasts. Even Rayse is terrified by it as shown in Rhythm of War, which turns out to be for good reason.
- Evil Knockoff: Was created in an attempt to mimic Shardblades.
- 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.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: It constantly wants to kill everyone in sight, but it's played for laughs. It helps that it isn't actually capable of harming anyone without its wielder's permission, and it's not nearly smart enough to subtly tempt them into doing it, making it essentially harmless.
- Immortal Breaker: As shown in Oathbringer, its connection to the Spiritual Realm enables it to kill the immortal thunderclasts that otherwise would reform later. Even more dramatically, it can even kill Shardvessels if you find yourself in a position to try.
- Meaningful Name: Nightblood is a black sword that oozes and drips a kind of liquid smoke.
- 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.
- No Body Left Behind: Anyone killed by Nightblood disappears into black smoke.
- Noodle Incident: Word of God is that hes visited at least one other planet aside from Nalthis and Roshar.
- Obliviously Evil: It really does think its destroying evil by slaughtering everything, it just doesn't actually know what evil is.
- One-Hit Kill: Even the slightest cut from Nightblood will instantly annihilate whoever is unfortunate enough to be struck by it. This includes even Shards, as Nightblood exists in the Cognitive Realm and can thus be drawn and used against beings in that realm. In Rhythm of War, Taravangian is able to use it to kill Rayse and steal the Shard of Odium.
- Power Limiter: Its sheath limits its ability to drain Investiture, along with allowing it to keep its mind. However, it is very dangerous even with such precautions. Unclasping the sheath allows for some leaking power, and fully drawing it unleashes it all. Word of Brandon is that the sheath is made of Aluminum, a known Anti-Magic material in the Cosmere, which is why it blocks Nightblood's abilities.
- 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.
- Psycho Prototype: The first Type IV Awakened Entity, everyone. Oathbringer has Vivennia with a less powerful, less draining sword.
- Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: One of the more simple ways to use Nightblood is to just toss it into the middle of a group of opponents. Unless they're someone who wouldn't use the sword for personal gain, they'll start killing each other to seize Nightblood, with the last one usually committing suicide with the blade when they're done.
- 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.
- Static Character: Vasher claims its nature as an Awakened Object prevents Nightblood from ever developing beyond the moment he was created. Truthfully Nightblood can learn and grow, just very slowly.
- Talking Weapon: It 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.
- Unholy Holy Sword: The command to "Destroy evil" would be very appropriate for a holy weapon, but Nightbloods inability to understand what evil is means it more often than not destroys everything in sight.
- Walking Spoiler: Moreso than the others, as it has appeared on Roshar.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: It really just wants to destroy evil.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Nightblood is a sword, and to it all problems look like stab-victims in waiting.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: When fully drawn, Nightblood screams its Command into its wielder repeatedly in a rather bloodthirsty manner. However, it retains no memory of what happened after being sheathed once more.
- Wrong Context Magic: It is a knockoff Shardblade made from BioChroma. Whether their attempts went horribly wrong or horribly right is a matter of personal opinion.
The last of the Five Scholars. In the epilogue, it's mentioned that he's serving a new villain with enhanced Lifeless.