Adolin Kholin

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Adolin Kholin
Adolin.jpg
House Kholin
Parents Dalinar, mother
Siblings Renarin
Born 1150[1]
Abilities Shardbearer
Titles Prince of Kholin
Nationality Alethi
World Roshar
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
My father thinks I'm a better man than he is. Unfortunately for you, he's wrong.
—Adolin[2]

Adolin Kholin (Alethi pronunciation: [ˈeɪ·do·lɪn xoˈlɪn] AY-do-lin kho-LIN) is a lighteyed Alethi prince and third in line to the throne of Alethkar[3]. He is a skilled duellist and one of the most talented Shardbearers in all of the Alethi war camps on the shattered plains. Adolin is the son of Dalinar Kholin, the elder brother of Renarin Kholin and causally betrothed to Shallan Davar who are all members of the newly re-founded Knights Radiant.[2]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Adolin’s hair is mostly blond with streaks of Alethi black running through it[4] and it has been described as an unruly mop[5][6] and a stylish mess[7]. Despite the blond hair color he and Renarin share, they are both Dalinar's legitimate sons.[8] It is, however, seen as a mark of their bloodline being impure. [9] Kaladin believes Adolin's mother may in fact be from Rira because his hair is mostly golden blond.[10] Adolin prefers to remain clean shaven but he did grow a beard when he threw himself in jail in protest of Kaladin’s imprisonment. His beard was also blond speckled with black.[11] His eyes are blue[4] and have an epicanthic fold[12]. He has been described as handsome on numerous occasions[4][13][14] and as he is Alethi it can be surmised that his skin is tan in colour. There is some inconsistency as to Adolin's height, being described as both shorter[4] and the same height[6] as Dalinar. Shardplate adds a few inches to his height but he is not as tall as Kaladin.[10]

Adolin is incredibly loyal to his father despite not always seeing eye-to-eye with him and is certainly unafraid to voice his opinions[15]. Despite his opposing views he remains steadfastly obedient, listening to his father and following the codes[16] even if he does not necessarily believe in them or wish to obey them. He shows an unwillingness to become the highprince when Dalinar considers stepping aside in favour of him, still intensely loyal to his father[17]. His skepticism surrounding the codes eventually changes and Adolin begins to understand their purpose. He grows to become a better leader because of this and at the same time he grows further away from the people he once considered to be friends[7].

He deeply cares about his family and one of the few times Adolin admits to being frightened is seeing his father looking fragile and worn down[5]. Adolin even allows the four-on-one duel to continue when Relis Ruthar threatens to have Abrobadar ‘’accidentally” kill Renarin[18]. He is also quick to defend Renarin when Sadeas insults his younger brother[4]. Adolin seems to have had a good relationship with his deceased mother as well, carrying a chain that once belonged to her for good luck during duels.[19]

He is impulsive, often having to be held back by Renarin or rebuked by his father[20][4]. Sadeas even refers to him as a “firebrand”[4]. This impulsiveness of his has lead to him throwing Kaladin across the practice grounds while sparring[21], accidentally allowing Relis Ruthar to set him up in a one-on-four duel[22] and contributed in some part to his snapping and murdering Sadeas.[2]

Adolin has a strong sense of right and wrong. In his first encounter with Kaladin he saves a prostitute from being beaten by one of Sadeas’s officers.[13] He also throws himself in jail as a show of solidarity with Kaladin.[11]

He is shown to be very confident, charismatic and friendly, being on good terms with both lighteyes and darkeyes.[23] While Adolin likes to be familiar with a large number of people, calling them friends and acquaintances, he prefers to not be close with any of them.[7] He’s also infamous for his numerous courtships in which “he continues to change partners like he’s in a dance that involves particularly quick music.”[16] Adolin admits to Kaladin that while he knows how to get women he is unsure of how to keep them.[23]

Adolin is observant and this has also lead to him being suspicious of those he does not trust. He absolutely does not trust Sadeas, even when his father asks him to, and is eventually proven right at the battle of the tower.[24] He is suspicious of Kaladin for a long time, being the only one to notice that the arm Szeth had cut with his Honorblade had miraculously healed itself.[25] He is the first person outside of Bridge Four to believe Kaladin’s claims about Amaram, stating that he always felt the man was hiding something.[11]

Adolin is very tactically minded. Shallan notes that he is not as ‘brilliant’ as Kaladin[26] but this does not mean he is unintelligent. He even admits to sometimes feigning at being dense.[14] He applies his knowledge in a more direct manner to win duels and battles and isn’t quite as skilled in wit or rhetoric.[23] Adolin is compared to his father on various occasions, Dalinar continuously saying that Adolin is a better man than he is.[27] Adolin believes differently.[2]

He doesn't seem to be particularly religious, something Dalinar points out.[15]

History[edit]

Early Life (1150-1167)[edit]

Shards[edit]

Adolin inherited his Shardplate from his mother's side of the family on his sixteenth birthday.[1] At some point, he dueled a lighteyes named Tinalar. Against expectations, he won the duel, securing his unnamed Shardblade[19].

Sureblood[edit]

As a youth his father Dalinar took him to a place where riders can meet Ryshadium. There he bonded with the steed Sureblood. Adolin was more nervous on this day than he was when he won his Shardblade[28].

Training[edit]

Adolin started training with the sword at the age of six[29]. He eventually started training with Zahel after stubbornly refusing to at first[21] some number of years before the present[30]. There are indications he was trained by his father in using Shardplate.[21] When Adolin was young Dalinar also made him serve in a spearman squad for two months with the intention of teaching him what it was like to "serve in the shoes of his men."[31]

Adolin mentions that he became a soldier by circumstance rather than choice.[19]

Dalinar believes that Adolin was also brought up and trained to be a highprince in a manner that he himself was not[5] and that this will make him a fine highprince.

War of Reckoning (1167-1174)[edit]

The Chasmfiend Hunt[edit]

Adolin and his brother Renarin accompany King Elhokar and the Highprinces Dalinar, Sadeas and Vamah on a chasmfiend hunt and Adolin spends the early part of the trip worrying about the state of his father’s mind and his reputation. He worries that Sadeas will make a move against his father now that Dalinar is appearing weak the eyes of Alethi society. Because of his suspicions he constantly remains close to the front of the procession for the purposes of eavesdropping. All the while it is he who has effective command of the Kholin army, setting up outriders and scouts the way his father would want even if he feels they are unnecessary. This is a situation that is becoming more frequent as Dalinar has been giving him command more often. Adolin also detests the restrictions and limitations the Alethi Codes of War have placed on his duelling, something else his father has been insisting on.[1]

Dalinar reveals he’s thinking of leaving the Shattered Plains Adolin is flabbergasted and vehemently opposed to the idea, not only because it is un-Alethi in its conception but also in concern for his father’s reputation. He even suggests striking at the Parshendi rather than simply playing games like the other highprinces are doing.[1] When the chasmfiend appears on the wrong plateau, threatening unarmed attendants, guests and scribes, Adolin helps his father and Elhokar kill it. During the fight he is knocked down and when he rises to protect the King his father gets there first and Adolin is momentarily awed by seeing his father display the prowess that earned him the title of Blackthorn.[32]

After the catastrophic hunt he oversees the cleanup while the other lighteyes on the trip relax leisurely. Adolin however is happy to be doing something after such a disaster. When Sadeas insults his father Adolin is quick to defend him, though his manner in doing so is brash and leads to rebuke from his father and gentle restraint from Renarin. Sadeas then turns his attention to his brother and Adolin nearly summons his Shardblade but stops when he is ordered to by Dalinar. He is disappointed when his father does not have to make due on his threats to fight Sadeas for insulting Renarin.[4]

Later Dalinar takes Adolin aside to inspect the king's saddle as Elhokar had requested of them. Adolin initially assumes that his cousin wants them to discipline the grooms but quickly realises that Elhokar believes the girth was cut deliberately. Adolin points out his cousin’s worsening paranoia, juxtaposing it against what would amount to an incompetent assassination attempt and expresses his annoyance about the fact that he and his father seem to have become Elhokar's bodyguards. Dalinar keeps the conversation on track and they both seem to agree that if the girth was cut there may be plot to kill the king as Alethi lighteyes are fond of their overly complicated plots. Adolin wonders if Sadeas may be behind it, not trusting or liking the highprince, but Dalinar shuts down the suggestion and shows Adolin that though they and Sadeas may not get along they both have invested interest and desire to keep Elhokar safe and will work together to manipulate other highprinces for the King’s benefit. After that Dalinar reveals to Adolin his brother’s final words before he died and tells his son that he hopes Adolin will learn to see the importance of the Codes. He then asks Adolin to at least respect Sadeas. Adolin reluctantly agrees but reiterates that he does not trust the other highprince and requests that his father at least consider that Sadeas is not as committed to Elhokar as he is and may be playing him. Dalinar says he will consider Adolin's concerns and then reveals that Gavilar’s actual final words were written, asking him to "find the most important words a man can say."[33] He tells Adolin they are from the book The Way of Kings which was used by the Knights Radiant as a guide on how to live their lives. Adolin connects this to his father’s presumed delusions and assumes they are a product of guilt over Gavilar's death.[4]

Elhokar later queries them about their opinions on the strap. When Dalinar tells him that while it may have been cut there is no definitive proof the king insists that there is a plot to kill him and that perhaps someone on the hunt had planned it. Adolin catches the king giving them a suspicious look and when Elhokar leaves he asks his father if he saw it too. Dalinar cuts him off and tells Adolin he will talk to Elhokar about it later and gives his son the task of looking into the cut girth further. When the bridges finally arrive Adolin resumes control of the army, directing its movements back towards the camps.[4]

The Investigation[edit]

Adolin goes about taking the girth to different leather workers and drags Janala along with him under the pretense of it being a walk. The leatherworkers Yis and Avaran both agree that the girth had been cut but are unsure if it was cut intentionally or by accident. After they leave the leatherworking shop Janala asks Adolin if he’ll convince his father to let the men wear something other than their unfashionable uniforms. While Adolin agrees with her that following the Codes is tiresome, bordering on burdensome in aggregate, he lets her know he does not believe he can change his father’s mind. While they are walking a chrysalis is spotted on the plains. Adolin wishes for his father to respond but no calls to ready the army come. Adolin then takes Janala to the temple, which earns him more complaints from her and she leaves to wait outside while he talks to Kadash, one of his father’s ardents. Adolin knows that it is his inattention that has upset her more than the location they ended up in, and realizes they will most likely not be courting for much longer.[34]

Kadash asks Adolin if he has come to the temple because of the lack of progress he has made on his Calling. Though embarrassed by this fact Adolin instead asks Kadash if Dalinar is going mad or if he is really seeing visions. Adolin informs Kadash of the visions and how they seem to be about the Knights Radiant and possibly even the future. Kadash is visibly disturbed by the news. He explains to Adolin that Dalinar is not to be mocked and that if the visions are true than it is something between Dalinar and the Almighty but insinuates rather heavily that it may be PTSD. He tells Adolin that if anyone is to help him it must be Adolin himself as it would be unacceptable for anyone else who is not family.[34]

Two days later Adolin informs his father of his findings. He has been to three different leatherworkers who all have different opinions. The strap had been sliced but the strap was also worn beforehand and it was not necessarily cut by a knife. Dalinar tells Adolin he will tell Elhokar that they have run into a dead end and will pursue other avenues of investigation, which Adolin agrees is the best course of action. He then tries to bring up the subject of his father’s latest episode but Dalinar is quick to end the line of questioning as they arrive at the king’s feast. Before they part ways Dalinar orders Adolin and Renarin to limit themselves to only one cup of blue wine and then stick to orange for the rest of the evening which earns a complaint from Adolin who begrudgingly obeys.[16]

During the feast Adolin finds his father once more and informs him that he has dueled three different men who have accused both Dalinar and House Kholin of being cowards and of asking the king to abandon the Vengeance Pact. Dalinar tells Adolin to let them speak as they wish but Adolin asks him if it is true that Dalinar really did ask to abandon the Vengence Pact. When his father reveals that it is true Adolin groans and says he had his suspicions. Dalinar asks Adolin if he trusts him and Adolin replies that he wants to but he worries that his father’s visions may be delusions. Dalinar promises that they will talk later which pacifies Adolin somewhat. His father then tells Adolin he is right to be worried about their House's reputation. Dalinar thought that Elhokar would keep quiet about what they had discussed but he clearly did not and he neglected to mention that Dalinar had later suggested winning the war by striking the Parshendi directly.[34] Once the Vengeance Pact is fulfilled they would be able to go back home and stabilize Alethkar. Adolin agrees with the his father's plan without objection, which surprises Dalinar somewhat. Adolin explains that striking harder is something he can easily get behind but that they will need a solid plan to get everyone on board with it. Dalinar originally was the architect for the way things are done presently[34] and the other highprinces would use this as a counter argument. Dalinar postulates that they could win if all ten armies march together but Adolin points out that it would require a lot of trust and that if the highprinces start fighting while on the march it could be disastrous. He looks at Sadeas while he says his. They set up a plan to try and get another highprince to work with them, to see if it can even be done. Adolin then asks what they are going to do about the gossip. His father promises to release an official refutation but Adolin wonders why he does not duel instead or task Adolin with the honour of the house. Dalinar explains it is because of the codes and letting Adolin duel would be the same as letting himself duel. Adolin tells Dalinar that the visions, the Codes and The Way of Kings have all changed him. Dalinar wonders, internally, if Adolin may have a point. His father then explains that they can’t force others to follow their example and that duelling them because they think House Kholin is composed of cowards is not going to change the way they think. Adolin admits that an official refutation is better than nothing at least.[16]

Just as Adolin is about to leave his father he spots his aunt Navani, who he is quick to hug affectionately. She asks him how his courting is going and Dalinar likens it to a dance in which the music is fast and the partners change often. She tells Adolin that it is good he has not settled down and that it is only old people who should have to be boring. Adolin thanks her and then leaves to tell Renarin that their aunt has returned.[16]

Later that evening Elhokar announces that he has named Sadeas as Highprince of Information and the investigation in no longer in House Kholin’s hands. His father had just been out manoeuvered.[16]

A House Divided[edit]

Days later Adolin goes to find his father at the Gallery of Maps. When he asks how the meeting with Highprince Roion went Dalinar informs him that it did not go as well as they had hoped. Adolin quotes some scripture to Dalinar's surprise and Adolin reveals that he is courting Malasha Seveks now after things went rocky with Janala.[34] Adolin asks his father if he plans to approach the rest of the highprinces and Dalinar indicates that he does. Adolin then informs his father that Sadeas is asking for permission to enter their warcamp to continue the investigation and tells his father that he thinks Sadeas is going to move against them as he is in an ideal position to shift blame for the assassination attempt on House Kholin. Dalinar points out that denying Sadeas’s authority would make them look guilty but that he also trusts Sadeas because of advice the visions gave him. Adolin is not pleased to hear this and point blank accuses his father of betting the future of their house on his visions. Dalinar denies this and promises that if Sadeas did make a move he wouldn’t stand by and watch. This is not enough for Adolin.[35]

You aren’t well, father, […] We need to stop tiptoeing around it! You need to stop making up increasingly irrational explanations to reason away your lapses! I know it's hard to accept, but sometimes, people get old. Sometimes, the mind stops working right. I don't know what’s wrong. Maybe it's your guilt over Gavilar's death. That book, the Codes, the visions—maybe they’re all attempts to find escape, find redemption, something. What you see is not real. Your life now is a rationalization, a way of trying to pretend that what’s happening isn’t happening. But I’ll go to Damnation itself before I’ll let you drag the entire house down without speaking my mind on it!
—Adolin to Dalinar[35]

Having heard enough his father dismisses him promptly and as Adolin leaves he tells himself that it was something that had to be said but admits he feels sick that he was the one who had to say it. [35]

Dalinar and Adolin speak to one another some days later when Dalinar calls for the army to mobilize for a plateau skirmish. Adolin apologises for where and how he said his grievances to his father, though he is not sorry for voicing them. Just as they are about to set off a messenger approaches with news that Sadeas is demanding admittance to the warcamp. Dalinar allows it though Adolin is quick to suppose that Sadeas is out for their blood. When they approach him Sadeas says he can conduct his investigation as they head out, making a snide comment about their speed given that they use the slow chull carried bridges. Adolin tries to object to Sadeas coming along as it will distract the soldiers but Dalinar overrides Adolin’s suggestions. They leave Sadeas to his investigation as they head out.[36]

Adolin, along with Dalinar lead the charge against the Parshendi. During the battle, when the Thrill leaves Dalinar, Adolin is quick to come help and protect his father in the moment of distraction. When the battle is won Adolin harvests the gemheart.[36]

While doing their inspections of the army, and viewing a test of their plans for bridges modeled after Sadeas's quicker ones, Adolin spends his time worrying about Dalinar. His father is beginning to appear more fragile and distressed, though he notes he is probably the only one who notices and admits internally that this frightens him. Dalinar is strained and Adolin reflects that when his father is strained he becomes detached and cold with other people, as he is becoming now. When the bridge fails the tests they decide to at least attempt redesigning it and move on.[5]

As they move away from the staging ground Dalinar asks Adolin why there are no shardplate-like suits for workmen and why the Radiants only fashioned weapons. Adolin admits he doesn’t know but theorizes that perhaps it was because war was the most important thing around. Dalinar agrees dejectedly, marking the fact as just another condemnation of the Radiants. As they continue on their inspection Dalinar asks Adolin if he feels the Thrill. This startles Adolin as the bloodlust is not usually discussed amongst soldiers but he acknowledges that he does. Dalinar doesn't reply when Adolin wonders if everyone does and he is quick to catch the pain in his father's eyes. Adolin wishes for his father to return to his confident, if a bit deluded, self as it is better than this.[5]

As they continue on their inspections Adolin allows his mind to wander, thinking about Mashala and a new woman who has caught his interest: Danlan Morakotha. He also remarks on the good things his father has done for the camp, such as paying half the cost for the families of darkeyed soldiers to come to the Shatterd Plains. Dalinar wonders what will happen to the warcamps when they leave, as they are now a de facto Alethi province. Dalinar continues, wondering what will happen to the value of gemhearts if they keep capturing them at the rate they are. He tells Adolin that these will be things he will have to consider and Adolin wonders what his father means.[5]

Dalinar makes Adolin inspect of the Fifth Battalion for him. When he is finished his father tells him he has learned well though Adolin believes Dalinar is reading too much into a simple inspection. When they interview the men Sadeas investigated the other day his father makes Adolin take the lead in the questioning. The men reveal that Sadeas—who they all agree is an eel—asked them what their duties around camp were. They tell Adolin that they revealed nothing to Sadeas, or at least nothing that would get House Kholin in trouble. Adolin notes that if they acted this way around Sadeas it would seem more incriminating than if they had cut the girth themselves. The men tell them that they didn't notice any tampering with the king’s saddle but that no one was exactly looking for it either. When they leave Adolin and Dalinar agree that while the men are loyal they may have made matters more difficult for them.[5]

Adolin confronts Dalinar about how he has been pushing him into leadership position over the course of the day. Dalinar reminds Adolin of his comments earlier in the week pertaining to his mental health. He informs Adolin that he has a difficult decision to make and when Adolin asks if he can help at all Dalinar discloses that he already has. It is at that moment when they are informed that Highprince Thanadal has cancelled their impending meeting and has no intention of running a joint plateau assault with the Kholin army. Thanadal was the last of the Highprinces Dalinar was to approach, asides from Sadeas. Adolin advises that it would not be wise to approach Sadeas about a joint plateau assault. Dalinar surmises that the other Highprinces are trying to tell him that they have never liked the influence over the king and they are ready and waiting to watch him fall. They will not allow him to regain his footing. Dalinar then leaves the rest of the inspections for Adolin to complete.[5]

In the evening, when they convene to talk with Jasnah via spanreed Adolin attempts to talk to his father but Dalinar says he isn’t ready to discuss things. Adolin begrudgingly lets the topic drop and introduces Dalinar and Navani to Danlan, who he has helped get a position amongst Dalinar’s clerks. Dalinar expresses incredulity that Adolin has a new woman calling on him even though she has only been in camp for a day.[5]

Jasnah asks Dalinar about his dealings with the Parshendi and inquires if they ever mentioned the Voidbringers. When Dalinar says no Jasnah gets Shallan to draw the picture they found in the Palanaeum. Adolin identifies it as a chasmfiend, or someone’s attempt at drawing one because it is not wholly accurate but close enough to be recognisable. Jasnah notes that she does not believe the chasmfiends and the Voidbringers are the same thing and the ancient who drew the picture probably drew the most terrifying thing they could think of. Dalinar asks for her to return, hinting that there will be an upheaval soon in their family, but Jasnah cannot promise when she will arrive. With the conversation finished Dalinar dismisses his clerks and Adolin, the latter of who hesitates but does leave when pressed. Dalinar then confides in Navani that he is going to abdicate in favour of Adolin.[5]

A Chance Encounter[edit]

While walking in Sadeas’s camp with the Cobalt Guard Adolin interrupts one of Sadeas’s officers as he physically assaults a prostitute. The man tells Adolin to mind his own business but Adolin amicably informs him that he has legitimate business in the camp and tries to dissuade him from continuing the abuse. The man spits on Adolin’s extended hand in response. In reply Adolin summons his Shardblade and the officer and his cronies scatter. He then helps the prostitute off the ground, asking her what she did to make the officer so angry. She tells him she insulted his reputation after he gloated to her and Adolin responds that she should probably ask to be paid upfront. He then tells her she should probably avoid Sadeas’s camp from now on and that he will escort her to the border. She offers to sleep with him free of charge as a thank you and Adolin tells her that though her offer is tempting his father would kill him if he accepted.[13]

Adolin then turns to Kaladin who had been watching and was going to rush to help before Adolin showed up. He calls him ‘bridgeboy’ and tells him to go to Brightlord Reral Makoram and inform him that Adolin Kholin will not be attending their planned meeting and will reschedule at a later date. He flips an emerald chip to Kaladin and leaves with the Cobalt Guard to escort the prostitute.

Kaladin doesn’t do what he asks, annoyed with how Adolin treated him. He is genuinely baffled by Adolin’s behaviour, trying to figure out what Adolin thought he could have gained by helping the woman. He is unable to believe Adolin’s actions were altruistic.[13]

The Pending Abdication[edit]

While waiting for the coming highstorm Adolin tells his father that his plan to abdicate, which Dalinar had informed his sons of a week ago, is insane. Dalinar dryly points out that it is appropriate given that Adolin accused him of being insane. When Adolin denies the wording Renarin points out that he had called their father crazy. Frustrated, Adolin tries to explain that he didn’t mean for it to come to this and tells his father that though he may have problems it is no reason to abdicate. Dalinar tells him that the other highprinces will use the weakness against House Kholin and if he stays matters may only grow worse. Adolin petulantly proclaims he does not yet want to be highprince to which his father says that leadership is not about what one wants. When Adolin asks his father what he will do if he does abdicate Dalinar says he will return to Alethkar, though he hates to leave the army down a shardbearer. However Kholinar does have need of one, now that they are all here on the Shattered Plains. It may dissuade the Reshi and the Vedens though Adolin points out that it may also lead to the two nations sending their own Shardbearers to the border incursions. This worries Dalinar but he tells his sons they will have to continue the conversation later and that they should tie him to his chair. Adolin does as he is told though he does not enjoy doing it.[17]

Adolin and Renarin watch over their father during his vision and when he returns they look uncomfortable and tense. Adolin helps untie Dalinar while Renarin fetches wine. Adolin watches his father until Dalinar asks if it really is that difficult to watch. Adolin and Renarin tell him that he thrashes bout and speaks in gibberish. When Dalinar uses this as further proof for his abdication Adolin tells him that the episodes easily containable and that he simply does not want his father using the delusions to make decisions about House Kholin’s future. Dalinar tells Adolin that he does not think they are delusions and that they are real visions, even if he accepts the fact that it was wrong to automatically assume they were from the Almighty. He postulates that they could be the product of the Old Magic but that they are not a product of his curse or boon. Adolin is shocked to learn that the Old Magic is real and that his father has searched it out.[17]

The argument continues with Adolin saying that they can still contain it. If his father has an episode on the battlefield then they will deal with it as it comes. He does not like the fact that even now his father’s decisions, and the decisions he makes for his sons and their house, are being ruled by the delusions. Renarin then suggests that they find a way to prove the visions are true and they send for Navani. While Renarin is gone Adolin asks his father what they will do if Adolin is proven right. Dalinar confesses that a part of him wishes that Adolin was and that it might be better for Alethkar. Adolin then asks about Sadeas, who is nearly finished his investigation. Dalinar gives Adolin leave to prepare for the worst, noting that if he and Sadeas go to war than Alethkar as a unified state will shatter.[17]

During another feast Dalinar calls for Adolin to stay close and to prepare for a worst case scenario. Wit had warned him that Sadeas was going to make a move tonight. Adolin informs his father that six of the Cobalt Guard are at the feast and he has installed members of the King's Guard who are loyal to House Kholin and Dalinar at the king’s island. Adolin points out possible avenues of retreat in case they are needed due to his cousin’s increasing paranoia but Dalinar does not believe it will come to that. When everything is set up they move to the King’s island where Dalinar directly asks Sadeas about the results of his investigation. Sadeas clears House Kholin of any suspicion, completely blindsiding Adolin but vindicating Dalinar.[37]

A Change of Heart[edit]

The Kholin Army’s next plateau excursion is run jointly with Sadeas’s, who agreed to trying out the new tactic at the feast.[37] Dalinar is nearly overwhelmed as he tries to save Sadeas but Adolin and the rest of his army arrives to save them. Adolin tells Dalinar that he gave him quite a fright as he had to punch through the entire Parshendi army to get to them and half scolds him for making such a reckless move. Dalinar explains to Adolin that he made the decision while firm in the knowledge that if anything had happened to him his son could handle the army.[38]

A week after the plateau assault Adolin goes to a wineshop in the Outer Market with Danlan, Jakamav, Inkima, Toral and Eshava. Adolin complains about how he hates being proven wrong and wonders why Sadeas, who was in a position of strength, never used it to take out House Kholin. Danlan wonders if the reason Sadeas did not move against Dalinar was because he wished to avoid a war. Toral makes subtle comments about the reputation of not only Dalinar but also House Kholin which Adolin refutes. Eshava voices that she wishes Danliar would step down from his position of highprince. Toral tells Adolin that no one is ignoring what is happening to his father during highstorms. Danlan says that stepping down would be too much of an overreaction but she does wish that Dalinar would relax all of the restrictions the Codes place on the Kholin warcamp. Adolin tells her he has tried and then excuses himself as he has a duel to prepare for against Resi, who had been vocally insulting his father. While leaving Adolin remarks on how uncomfortable the conversation made him.[7]

As he moves through the Outer Market to the duelling grounds he notices the differences between the Kholin officers and those of other highprinces. Adolin finds himself annoyed with the others, asking internally if they knew there was a war going on. It is at this point that he has a revelation.

Maybe the Codes weren’t just about protecting against the Parshendi. Maybe they were about something more—about giving the men commanders they could respect and rely on. About treating war with the gravity it deserved. Maybe it was about not turning a war zone into a festival. The common men had to remain on watch, vigilant. Therefore, Adolin and Dalinar did the same.
—Chapter 58[7]

After his victory in the duel with Resi[7], Adolin goes to his father and tells him that he understands why they follow the Codes now and that he absolutely must not abdicate. Dalinar, amused, tells Adolin that he has convinced him and this shocks Adolin who is rarely allowed to win arguments with his father. Dalinar tells Adolin that he will draft an order that gives Adolin the right to depose him if he grows mentally unstable. Adolin says he is alright with this so long as they do not tell Sadeas. Dalinar asks Adolin to at least try to believe Sadeas can change, even if he doesn’t trust him. Adolin still believes Sadeas is manipulating his father. Dalinar also asks Adolin to make sure that it is only King’s Guard soldiers loyal to him that are guarding Elhokar’s rooms as he believes there is something fishy going on. They enter Dalinar’s chambers for the highstorm, where Navani and Renarin are waiting. After the highstorm Adolin and the rest of the Kholin’s discover that Dalinar’s has been speaking the Dawnchant during his episodes which means the visions are absolutely not delusions.[39]

The Battle of the Tower[edit]

As they ready to make an assault on the Tower some days later Adolin effects that he is happy he was proven wrong and resolves to trust his father. When he goes out to meet his father they find Sadeas, who should already be on the move as speed in assaulting the tower is imperative. Sadeas says that they need to confer given the particular difficulties the Tower presents.If they can trap and kill the ten thousand Parshendi they always commit to assaults they can change the tied of the war. Adolin finds himself agreeing with Sadeas’s assessment. Sadeas gets Dalinar to commit eight thousand troops and to using his faster bridges now that he has a new method of using them.[40] When they arrive at the southern staging plateau Adolin is the one who directs the troops.[24]

Part way through the battle a second Parshendi army arrives. Adolin notices this before Dalinar and, frantic, he runs to his father asking him what they are supposed to do. He points it out and as Dalinar goes to check for himself he sees Sadeas leaving and taking all of his bridges with him, effectively leaving the Kholin army to be slaughtered with no way for retreat. [24] Adolin and Dalinar fight side by side against the Parshendi. Adolin berates their shared decision to trust Sadeas:

We walked right into this […] We let him take away our bridges. We let him get us onto the plateau before the second wave of Parshendi arrived. We let him control the scouts. We even suggested the attack pattern that would leave us surrounded if he didn’t support us!
—Adolin to Dalinar[41]

As the battle continues however he tells his father that he does not blame his father for what is happening and that he wishes he had not fought Dalinar on every little thing. Adolin reflects that if he had trusted his father instead of distracting them both they might have seen Sadeas’s betrayal. With that reconciliation they both prepare to die alongside their army, fighting to the last breath.[41]

When Kaladin makes the decision to turn back to save the Kholin army, Dalinar notices the returning bridge. Adolin at first thinks it is a trick but they both decide to punch through the Parshendi with the army to have one chance of saving their men, no matter how slim that chance is.[42] When Kaladin finds Adolin he orders him to make his soldiers retreat. Adolin stubbornly refuses to at first, desperate to save his father who is battling Eshonai but Kaladin tells Adolin that if he falls his men will have nothing. Adolin can barely walk as it is. He finally orders Captainlord Malan to go with Kaladin to save his father. [43] When returning from the battle Adolin gives his father his gauntlet because of the two of them Adolin is younger and if either of the two of them were to go without part of their shardplate it should be him. When they arrive, Navani and Renarin are waiting for them in Sadeas’s warcamp. Renarin hugs his father and greets Adolin by pounding on his shardplate while grinning. The brothers are both a bit uncomfortable when Navani and Dalinar embrace. They are soon encountered by Sadeas’s hostile troops. Dalinar tells Adolin not to summon his blade When Dalinar offers up his Shadblade in a trade for the bridgemen Adolin objects but is overruled.[44]

Disarming the Shardbearers[edit]

After a highstorm glyphs mysteriously appear in Dalinar’s rooms and during the inspection that Dalinar notes Adolin’s dislike of Kaladin. [6] Before the meeting with his generals Dalinar also notices that Adolin mistrusts the head of their guards when he asks if Kaladin should be waiting outside. This makes Kaladin wonder if Adolin knows or suspects something about his Radiant powers, and comes to the conclusion that the prince is very spoiled.[45]

During the meeting Adolin brings up the idea of forming a coalition to counteract whatever one Sadeas forms, which would probably divide the kingdom in two. Dalinar counters that Alethkar as a kingdom hasn’t existed in centuries and what exists now is a mockery. Following up on this idea Kaladin mentions taking away the shards of the other highprinces’ Shardbearers. Adolin, who until now was banned from duelling, is tasked with this challenge.[45]

Before his duel against Salinor Eved Adolin goes through his pre-duelling rituals. Alone in the meditation room he talks with his Shardblade where he confides that he isn’t as confident as he makes it out to everyone else and thanks the Shardblade for all it has done for him. After Renarin making sure everything is in place before he heads out and Navani burns a prayer for him. Adolin reveals he is worried about how late Jasnah is and the possibility of not meeting Shallan. He also mentions that he had broken off his relationship with Danlan rather than the other way around, citing that it was not his fault and indicates she had said some things to her friends that had turned him off from their courting. [19]

During the duel Adolin employs Ironstance in a brutal display, treating Salinor like a new recruit. He feels the Thrill during the duel, something that he hasn’t felt before. He draws the ire of Highjudge Istow for using hand-to-hand combat techniques to break Salinor’s helm and breastplate. He counters her by saying he broke no rules. The Thrill fades from him after he wraps his hand around Salinor’s neck. After the duel he gives the Shardblade to Renarin as a present. Navani speculates that went for such a brutal and unskilled method as a way of masking his true skill and Adolin allows her to believe this.[19]

I owe you my life [...] That’s the only reason I haven’t yet thrown you through a window.
—Adolin to Kaladin[10]

At the training grounds Adolin and Kaladin’s dislike for one another only grows. Adolin tells Kaladin he doesn’t trust him and that even though Kaladin’s job is to keep him alive he can take care of himself and Kaladin should instead spend his time keeping Renarin safe. Adolin has brought Renarin to the training grounds to petition Zahel to train him.[10] When Zahel tests Kaladin’s ability to protect Renarin Adolin joins in, deliberately provoking Kaladin. The two fight and in the end, after he throws Kaladin off of him, Zahel chews him out for fighting an unarmed sparring partner the way he did. [21]

During a high storm Kaladin finds Adolin looking at a fashion magazine and questions why he would be when all he wears is uniforms. Adolin, annoyed, asks Kaladin if he really needs to be there and when Kaladin explains why asks that he at least leave him and Renarin out of it. When Dalinar asks Adolin if he’s made any progress in his duels Adolin says that he thought others would want to challenge him after Salinor but it seems they’re stalling instead. When Kaladin asks if he has tried anyone in Sadeas’ camp Adolin tells him the only Shardbearer is Amaram. Dalinar says Adolin wouldn’t be duelling him because Amaram might be on their side and possibly willing to secede to the Kholin princedom. Adolin gives out his plan to challenge other half Shardbearers with the argument that this will make full Shardbearers see him as a challenge and that his father will help maneuver them to challenging him. When Kaladin points out the flaws of this Dalinar agrees with him and tells Adolin he doesn’t have to win every Shard in the Warcamps. They simply have to undermine Sadeas and kill him in a duel if they can.[46]

While the bridgemen learn how to ride horses Adolin and Renarin are out exercising theirs. Adolin taunts Kaladin’s difficulties with Spray, the horse he’s riding. He ends up goading Kaladin into riding Dreamstorm and calls him mad when Kaladin follows through and inevitably gets thrown from the horse’s back. He later thanks Kaladin for not telling his father that he more or less dared Kaladin to do it.[47]

As part of the second phase of Dalinar’s plan Adolin arrives with a small strike force to help Jakamav and Roion’s forces on a plateau to encourage the spirit of cooperation amongst the Warcamps. Once they get to the chrysalis Adolin discovers the Parshendi have already harvested the gemheart. Adolin spots Eshonai and demands that she fight him. He is surprised when she calls him by name and asks that she be able to meet Dalinar. Fighting the Thrill Adolin tells her Dalinar would want to speak with her and Eshonai tells him she will send a messenger to give the location of the meet. Afterwards he talks again with Jakamav who warns Adolin that if he keeps duelling he will end up losing his shards. Adolin invites Jakamav out for drinking but is told being seen with him is bad for one’s reputation. [29]

In his duelling bout with Eranniv, Adolin makes it appear as though he barely had the skill to beat his opponent in hopes that this will make other Shardbearers eager to fight him. He wins the duel and takes Eranniv’s Shardplate. [48]

The Return of the Assassin in White[edit]

After Eshonai’s messenger’s arrival and confirmation of the meeting place Kaladin wants to evacuate the palace as he feels it is unsafe, even though the highstorm is just ending. As they move to do so Szeth arrives. Dalinar sends Renarin with Elhokar to protect him while he, Adolin and Kaladin face off against the assassin in white, not knowing that he is there to kill Dalinar. Adolin wants to take on the assassin himself but Dalinar says they’ll fight him together. During the fight Adolin gets surgebound to the ceiling by Szeth and later falls when the stormlight runs out and lands on his shoulder and is removed from the fight, appearing unconscious to Kaladin. [49] After the fight Adolin seems to doubt Kaladin’s account of how he survived. He is particularly curious as to why Kaladin’s arm seems fine but the sleeve is cut after the arm had been cut by Szeth’s blade. [25] The next day Adolin reflects on the night’s encounter more and finds Kaladin to have been suspiciously effective against Szeth. After watching the Soulcasters create a new windbreak he grills Kadash, the supervising ardent, about the Radiants and tells him to do more research into them. [30]

At the meeting of the Highprinces Adolin worries about his effectiveness in protecting his father from the Assassin in White when he was useless the last time. While the meeting is on break he goes to Relis, current duelling champion, son of Highprince Ruthar and full Shardbearer, and tries to goad him into a duel. While Relis refuses, even with five of the Kholin’s shards on the line, he manages to hook Relis’s cousin Elit. Afterwards he is cornered by Sadeas who tells him that what he did at the Battle of the Tower was done as a kindness to Adolin’s father. Adolin threatens Sadeas with a slow death and reflects that you can abandon an ally on the battlefield and leave them to die but an offense in person is considered worse in the eyes of society. He almost punches Sadeas in the face but is stopped by Amaram. Adolin tries to convince Amaram to secede but Amaram says he must remain with Sadeas to help bridge gaps. He also says that he and Sadeas have an understanding. Adolin doubts Amaram’s sterling reputation. He is distracted however by the arrival of Shallan and struck by her beauty and when he approaches her he overhears her informing his aunt and father of Jasnah’s death.[50]

Adolin and Shallan meet and flirt for a while before Adolin is sent away by his father. Dalinar reveals to Shallan while Adolin is away that the reason he agreed to the causal betrothal of his son was to make Adolin seem unavailable to those who would manipulate him for political gain. She has to persuade him, Navani and Adolin to turn the causal into a full betrothal. At the meeting Dalinar tells the gathered Highprinces that Adolin will win their shards from them, which they take to be a joke. [9]

Adolin and Shallan meet and flirt for a while before Adolin is sent away by his father. Dalinar reveals to Shallan while Adolin is away that the reason he agreed to the causal betrothal of his son was to make Adolin seem unavailable to those who would manipulate him for political gain. She has to persuade him, Navani and Adolin to turn the causal into a full betrothal. At the meeting Dalinar tells the gathered Highprinces that Adolin will win their shards from them, which they take to be a joke. [9]

Sketches of Shardplate from Shallan's sketchbook. She drew Adolin duelling in the bottom lefthand corner of the page and included a bust of him with the visor on his helmet lifted.

While at the training grounds Adolin and Kaladin come to a silent understanding that they both need to train harder if they were going to best the Assassin in White when he inevitably returns. When Shallan arrives Adolin assumes she is there to watch him. After taunting Kaladin a little Adolin reveals, when asked, that he doesn’t mind being betrothed, hoping that the formality of the arrangement will keep it from falling apart. When Shallan ignores Adolin it’s Kaladin’s turn to mock Adolin. When Adolin asks Shallan if she needs him to pose so she can sketch his plate and blade for her records she declines, saying his mother’s sketches were more than adequate. [51] Later Adolin, leading the Kholin army, wins a plateau run alongside Bethab’s army. [52]

Courting Shallan Davar[edit]

For their first date Adolin takes Shallan to one of the trendy winehouses that allow viewings of oncoming highstorms. Shallan asks him about plateau runs and feels as though she’s filling an expected role in the conversation with Adolin until she asks him how he poops if he’s in shardplate. Though embarrassed Adolin reveals that he has defecated in his shardplate three times, all on purpose. From that point on their interaction becomes more genuine.

They move on to discussing Chasmfiends and gemhearts and sustainability. Adolin feigns ignorance for a while, saying he isn’t good at anything that doesn’t involve stabbing, but eventually says he’s not as dense as he’s pretending. Shallan suggests raising and harvesting Chasmfiends that way as a solution to the dwindling population. Adolin, surprising Shallan, asks her what she needs to make it happen. She asks to be taken out onto the Shattered Plains to see an uncut chrysalis for herself. Adolin is hesitant about this but Shallan tells him she knows he’ll protect her. Adolin reveals to Shallan his father’s visions and Sadea’s betrayal. In turn Shallan reveals Jasnah’s suspicions of the Parshmen being related to the return of the Voidbringers. Adolin tells Shallan he’ll talk to his aunt and try to smooth things over for her so Shallan can talk to Navani about Jasnah’s research. Afterwards they watch the approaching highstorm and are the last remaining spectators until Adolin has to drag Shallan indoors before the storm hits. Before they go to the gender segregated sitting rooms Adolin promises to try and get her out onto the Plains. [14]

While waiting out the highstorm Adolin encounters Sadeas. Sadeas tries to engage Adolin in conversation about fashion and Adolin thinks about how much he wants to kill the highprince, but knows that it would only lead to his own execution or exile. Sadeas reveals that he has renounced the title of Highprince of Information. Adolin interprets this as a rejection of the King’s authority. Sadeas goes on to say that he is glad Adolin survived the Tower and that he will make a fine highprince in the upcoming months and goes as far as to say that in ten years he and Adolin will have a fine alliance. Adolin counters with saying he’ll have killed Sadeas by then. When Adolin returns to his father’s bunker he finds the bridgemen around another mysterious message. Adolin has them summon Navani. Dalinar believes he might have made the markings during one of his fits because they were made with his knife but Adolin points out anyone could have taken it to do this. Dalinar and Navani are of a different opinion however. [53]

The next day Adolin takes Dalinar’s place at the meeting with Eshonai, pretending to be him by wearing Renarin’s Shardplate. When he meets Eshonai she tells him that the Parshendi have changed the rules of the conflict and that peace will be achieved when one of them is dead and that the gemstones no longer matter. When Adolin reiterates the desire for peace Eshonai tells him that the Alethi will have to destroy the Parshendi. When he asks why they killed Gavilar she tells him that Gavilar told them his plans and thought they’d delight in the return of their gods. When Adolin returns to the camps he finds Dalinar and his generals formulating a plan to take the fight to the Parshendi directly. [54]

Adolin continues with his father’s plan of winning shardblades, and finally duels Elit. During the duel Elit makes several moves to either injure or kill Adolin. Adolin wins the duel by completely draining Elit’s plate of stormlight. Shallan visits Adolin after his duel and tells him that she has discovered a way to help him with his duels, but it requires he do something truly amazing. When Relis arrives, as Adolin suspected he would, he manages to convince him to duel him by saying he will fight Relis and whoever else he brings. When they leave Shallan asks Adolin if he can beat two Shardbearers and Adolin says he isn’t sure but he hopes it is spectacular enough for her plan. [22]

While taking Shallan on a date Adolin is accompanied by Kaladin, much to his chagrin. He’s further annoyed by Kaladin insisting he has to be in the carriage with them. While travelling to the menagerie, Shallan tells Adolin and the listening Kaladin the account of Sadeas’s duel with highprince Yenev eighteen years prior. Sadeas won the chance to duel and kill Yenev through the Right of Challenge and the King’s Boon. Kaladin doesn’t think Sadeas would agree to the Right of Challenge but Adolin and Shallan tell him that Sadeas must obey it. They also explain to him that this is all about destroying reputation and image; Sadeas has formed a coalition against the king thus implying he is stronger than the king. Everyone is playing a game and it’s rules Sadeas is playing by so defeating him within those parameters is possible. When there is a commotion at the gates of the menagerie Adolin stays with Shallan while Kaladin goes to check things out. Dalinar has arrived, with Amaram in tow, announcing that the Knights Radiant have been reestablished with Amaram as their leader. [55]

The Duel[edit]

Welcome to the party.
—Adolin [56]

Before the duel, Adolin goes through his rituals, burning the prayer Shallan wrote for him and praying himself. Navani expresses her worry, particularly over the terms that the duel shall end with surrender rather than breaking the shardplate. When Renarin does his check that Adolin has followed his routine, they discover that Adolin’s mother’s chain is missing. This momentarily throws Adolin off balance, though he starts to recover as they put on his plate. When his opponents enter the ring there are four of them rather than the two that Adolin had assumed. Instead of forfeiting, Adolin signals for the duel to commence. He recognizes the three shardbearers Relis brought with him: Elit, Abrobadar and Jakamav. [18]

Adolin attacks, trying to minimize any attempt they have to assess and respond. He does alright for a while but eventually becomes overwhelmed. When he attempts to yield the shardbearers stop him and Highjudge Istow doesn’t, or chooses not to, hear him. Adolin realizes that if he leaves the duel alive he’d be doing so as a cripple. Renarin joins the duel with just his shardblade and Adolin tries to convince him to leave but Renarin refuses. Relis tells him that so long as Adolin does not surrender or make his cousin end the duel, Abrobadar will not hurt Renarin but if Adolin does attempt any of those things Renarin will die. [18]

Kaladin joins the duel as well, keeping the duel still at a disadvantage. He gets to Adolin and the two form a plan: Kaladin will keep one distracted and keep an eye on Renarin if he can while Adolin takes on the other two. Adolin tells him that they might use Renarin as leverage against them so they need to be prepared for it. Two-on-one actually seems to be an even match for Adolin. Adolin manages to break Elit’s breastplate, incapacitating him, and Kaladin forces him to surrender. When Elit surrenders, Abrobadar abandons Renarin and joins Relis and Jakamav in fighting Adolin. When Kaladin runs to help, Relis and Jakamav abandon Adolin to take out Kaladin. When they do so, Adolin uses the opportunity to defeat Abrobadar and then jumps on Jakamav from behind and proceeds to wrestle him. His plate locks and they both tumble to the ground. [56]

Relis goes to attack Renarin and Kaladin manages to stop his blade. Relis, hearing the screams of his shardblade when Kaladin touches the blade, runs screaming from the arena, thus abandoning the duel. This leaves only Jakamav, who Adolin is pinned beneath, restraining him. Kaladin puts his knife to Jakamav and forces him to surrender. Adolin makes Kaladin help him out of his Shardplate. When Elhokar offers the King’s Boon, Adolin requests The Right of Challenge against Sadeas. Before Elhokar can offer it, Kaladin interrupts by requesting The Right of Challenge against Amaram.[56] They are unable to pin down the duel and Sadeas responds that he will answer the challenge in a year’s time, which is too late for House Kholin.[57]

Adolin locks himself up on the third day of Kaladin's imprisonment in protest. [58] He communicates with Shallan via spanreed, asking her to come visit him because he’s bored. He uses an ardent rather than one of his father’s scribes because he does not want Shallan to get jealous. Adolin tells her that his father is planning an expedition to eliminate the Parshendi once and for all and that he managed to convince Dalinar to bring Shallan along. [59]

Though he’s wearing several weeks growth of beard on his face, Adolin had cold baths and even wore cologne while in prison. When Kaladin asks him why he locked himself up, Adolin said it didn’t seem right that Kaladin was in there, especially after saving his life. When Kaladin apologizes for ruining the plan Adolin tells him that it was Elhokar who did, not him. He even believes Kaladin about Amaram unquestioningly, stating the man seems too perfect and is thus hiding something. When they exit the prison Bridge Four and Adolin’s armourers are waiting. Adolin presents Kaladin with a plate and blade but Kaladin offers them to Moash instead. Pulling him aside Adolin asks him why and Kaladin tells him he doesn’t want his life to change because he is lighteyes, he wants to change the lives of people like him and he cannot do that as a lighteyes. When Adolin presses that the Assassin in White will return Kaladin tells him he’ll be more useful without the shards.[11]

The Expedition[edit]

Adolin is present with Shallan at the feast when Navani’s recordings of Dalinar’s visions are exposed. [60] Adolin manages to roll out an entire strike force and his father to accompany Shallan so she can study a Chasmfiend Chrysalis. Adolin and Kaladin discuss the Assassin in White as they go, deciding that they can slow him with arrows if he attacks out here on the plains. Kaladin tells Adolin that Szeth can heal himself and thus he should always go for the kill when fighting him. Adolin also awkwardly tries and fails to get Kaladin to reveal his secret but when Kaladin asks him if he trusts him Adolin says he does.

When Shallan comes over to them she kisses Adolin’s cheek much to his surprise as Alethi are not so publicly affectionate. When she rhetorically asks why the moss is growing weird on a rock he replies that it’s because of alcohol in an attempt at being funny. Shallan asks Adolin to slay the moss for her and he bemusedly does so, cutting the top of the rock off with his Shardblade and then leaves Kaladin to watch over her as he goes to get something to drink. While he’s gone he lets the darkeyed waterboys try on his shardplate helmet. Later when the carpenter destroys the bridge Adolin ran to try to stop him and grabbed his father but was unable to save Shallan or Kaladin who fell into the chasms. [23]

When Adolin learns that Shallan is alive he rushes to her apartments. Though he initiates the hug, the first time he’s ever initiated any physical affection, Shallan is the one who initiates the kiss. When Shallan asks where he’d been, he tells her he was delivering his father’s ultimatum to finish the Vengeance Pact to the other high princes. Dalinar thought it would keep Adolin occupied while grieving over Shallan. Adolin promises he’ll never let anything happen to Shallan again and she tells him she appreciates his concern but does not want that from him. While confused about this, he backs her up when Navani promises something similar. [61]

Setting out for the Parshendi’s settlement, Adolin rides with Shallan and her guards. [62] Adolin purposefully gave her one of his slower horses to ride because she told him she had little experience riding. [26] He is also present at Dalinar’s interrogation of Rlain, who reveals there is something wrong with the Parshendi though he does not know their plans. [63]

The Battle of Narak[edit]

Adolin delivers the news that the Parshendi number at least ten thousand to the highprinces before the battle. [64] At the start of the battle Dalinar commands Adolin to take his force and stop the Parshendi’s singing at all costs. He’s accompanied by Skar and Drehy of Bridge Four as his guards. When Adolin crosses the bridge to engage the Parshendi they summon up lightening and kill Sureblood, knocking Adolin from his saddle. He grieves for a moment over the Ryshadium before charging back into the battle and commanding his troops. He discovers that the Parshendi’s lightning acts like lightning and will often miss targets by going into the ground. He also discovers that their lightening does not affect shardplate. [28]

The parshendi try to immobilize Adolin by lassoing him with ropes but he manages to cut through them and fend them off. The parshendi are engaging Adolin in teams to keep him out of the battle where he’d be the most deadly. When Perel, the man he placed as field commander, calls for the flank’s retreat Adolin guards it in case the Parshendi pursue. Perel tells him neither side is making headway and that he is worried about the singing Parshendi reserves up against a rock formation in the middle of the plateau. Adolin can no longer feel the Thrill which he passes off as just being tired. Adolin remembers what Shallan said about the rock formations being hollow and devises a plan to go through the formation with a battalion. [65]

Adolin and a thousand men go through the crem encrusted building to the wall the Parshendi singers are hiding against. He cuts two holes into the wall for his men to exit through, the first one going unnoticed because of all the chanting and rain but the second was. He charges into the Parshendi and starts cutting them down. He likens it to killing sleeping men and reflects on how attacking ordinary soldiers with shards was doing dirty work. Despite winning the plateau, the Parshendi’s expressions of horror haunt him as he cuts them down, feeling nauseated. Though he’s caught unawares by Eshonai and her attack, he mentally thanks her for her arrival, glad to have an honest fight on his hands. [66]

Fighting Eshonai, Adolin senses the Thrill in her and uses this to his advantage in their duel, luring her to the edge of the plateau. Though Eshonai manages to break his vambrace Adolin knocks her off the edge of the plateau and down into the chasms. This gambit breaks his helm and nearly topples him over the edge as well but he is caught and saved by Drehy and Skar.

While jogging across the bridge to find out what was going on with the rest of the army, Adolin grabs the arm of a man in a thick cloak who he assumes is delivering something and asks where his father is. When the hood falls off Adolin discovers the man is the Assassin in White. [67]

Szeth throws a badly beaten Adolin through one of the tents and Adolin lands near his father, most of his plate broken or cracked. Dalinar cradles Adolin as Szeth approaches and tells him to be a better man than he was and to not play the games of the other light eyes before getting up and approaching Szeth. Adolin tries to stop him but with so much of his plate broken he struggles to get up. He watches his father and Szeth fight and eventually manages to stand. Drehy and Skar help him remove his armour. Once it’s off, he runs to save his father, who was knelt in defeat before Szeth, but Roion gets there before him and is lashed upwards to the sky by Szeth. Wearing no shardplate again Adolin engages Szeth. Dalinar and Adolin both rush Szeth, hoping to score a lucky blow, but Szeth flies out of the way. Szeth manages to land a hand on Dalinar in the fight and lashes him upwards into the storm. Crying, Adolin begins to rush Szeth but the assassin points his Honorblade at Adolin and tells him it is finished and that he is done. Adolin moves to hit him but Szeth parries the blow, breaking Adolin’s wrist. He hits him in the chest, knocking the air from Adolin’s lungs, and says he can kill one more. Before Szeth can, however, Kaladin lands with Dalinar in his grasp, safe. [27]

Kaladin chases after Szeth into the storm and Adolin, upon confirming Kaladin is one of the Knights Radiant, laughs and exclaims that he knew there was something wrong with the man. Dalinar sends Adolin to help organize the army’s move to Shallan’s plateau. When he gets to the plateau he meets up with Shallan and discovers she is a Radiant as well. They try using Adolin’s Shardblade to open the Oathgate but it doesn’t work and they instead use Pattern in his Shardblade form. They both use their weight to work the mechanism, pushing the blade around the circle until it stood above the picture of Urithiru. When Shallan removes Pattern from the slot the Oathgate activates. Once transported they discover the entire plateau was the portal. [68]

The True Desolation (1174-)[edit]

Exploring Urithiru[edit]

Adolin takes charge of the expedition of Urithiru, creating maps of the city. [69] Adolin and Shallan meet and Shallan says she will not let her status as a Radiant be awkward between them. They kiss and Adolin promises to stop being awkward if she stops being irresistible. When he leaves he informs her that Pattern has chosen her room and tells the guards that no one is to disturb her. [70]

While exploring Adolin reflects on his relationship with Shallan and how it has changed with the revelation that she was a Radiant, which has shaken his sense of self. Getting too far ahead of the rest of his party Adolin investigates some voices he hears and stumbles across Sadeas with a scouting party of his own. Adolin remains hidden until the others have left and tries to sneak away but his boot scrapes and draws Sadeas attention. As the two talk Sadeas reveals his plan to undermine Dalinar by saying the Kholins had contacted the Parshendi and the two had put on a convincing show. Sadeas doesn’t believe this but it is the lie he’ll tell others.

Adolin asks Sadeas why he is the way he is and Sadeas tells Adolin that an army cannot have two generals and it has to be him or Dalinar who goes. Adolin says it doesn’t have to be that way but Sadeas reiterates that it must and that he will take everything Dalinar has. Adolin finally snaps and attacks Sadeas. The two wrestle and Adolin manages to stab Sadeas through the eye and into his brain with a knife, killing him. Adolin ditches Oathbringer, which materialized at Sadeas's death, out the window and into one of the planters. He cuts his bloody cuffs off and erases the chalk marks that indicated he had been in the vicinity. He returns to his scouting party and pretends he had been with them the whole time. [2]

Family[edit]

Adolin is the first son of Dalinar,[1] and his younger brother is Renarin. [34] There is near to nothing known about his mother. Gavilar is his uncle, Dalinar's brother. Navani, Gavilar's widow, is his aunt, and he calls her Mashala.[39] Gavilar's children, Jasnah and King Elhokar, are his cousins.

Relationships[edit]

He continues to change partners like he’s in a dance that involves particularly quick music.
—Dalinar [16]

Adolin is considered to be a notorious flirt by his family and those in the Warcamps, having courted many of the available women.

Adolin makes the mistake of scheduling a lunch appointment with Janala Lustow while he is courting Rilla. Due to the fallout neither woman is speaking to him presently. Two months prior to this he had been courting Deeli and there had been two women between Deeli and Rilla.[1] After things go south with Janala he starts courting Malasha Seveks [34] though while courting her he is already considering Danlan Morakotha[5]. His relationship with Danlan seems to last the longest yet, his aunt Navani helping him with courting her [17] but eventually things fall apart. He breaks off his relationship with Danlan rather than the other way around, citing that it was not his fault and indicates she had said some things to her friends that had turned him off from their courting.[19]

Other women Adolin has courted and insulted are Jenet[47], who threw a rock at him when he went to say hi to her at the stables, and Melali[50], who he could not recall what he’d done to insult her until he inquired after her sister and she told him that she was off limits. Jenet and Melali are most likely the two women he courted between Deeli and Rilla.

Through the machinations of Jasnah and Navani the first steps towards a betrothal between Adolin and Shallan Davar are taken. Jasnah set it up as a way to help save House Davar for Shallan as she would need powerful allies. Navani’s involvement stems from Adolin having offended every lighteyed lady of rank in the warcamps.[3] Adolin is still currently causally betrothed to Shallan though the revelation that she is a Radiant makes him wonder about the new dynamics of their relationship.[2]

Abilities and Attributes[edit]

Adolin wearing Shardplate.

He is a Shardbearer, owning both a Shardblade and a Shardplate, which he inherited from his mother's side of the family on his 16th birthday.[1] Renarin mentions that Adolin started training at the age of six [29] and when Adolin tries to brush it off Renarin says this makes him different in some way but there is no elaboration.

He has a white stallion, a Ryshadium horse named Sureblood,[36] one of only a dozen Ryshadium in all the Alethi warcamps on the Shattered Plains.

Duelling[edit]

This might be our last fight together […] I appreciate what you’ve done for me. I know you’d do it for anyone who held you, but I still appreciate it.
—Adolin to his Shardblade [19]

Adolin's Calling is duelling and he frequently resorts to challenging other lighteyes to settle disputes. Since arriving at the Shattered Plains he has been unable to duel as much as he had previously due to his father's insistence that he follow the Alethi Codes of War which state that needless duels should be avoided during times of war so that commanding officers are not wounded.[34] Once Dalinar becomes Highprince of War he uses Adolin and his duelling as a key part in his plan to discipline the Highprinces by taking away their Shards in duels. [45]

Adolin has a series of traditions he performs before any duel he fights. While in the preparation room, which is used primarily for meditation, he talks to his unnamed blade before continuing on to the staging room where his armourers help him into his Shardplate. Navani normally paints a glyphward for him though by his final duel he has move to having Shallan paint them for him. Finally Renarin will check to make sure Adolin has eaten chicken at some point before the duel and that he has their mother’s chain on his person. [19] Navani passes these off as superstitions which Adolin denies. However before his final duel, when he forgot his mother’s chain, both he and Renarin appear visually shaken. By the time his armourers have finished though he seems mostly recovered. [18]

Adolin has employed various Shardblade Stances in his duels, though he relies most heavily on Windstance, and diverse tactics. In the duel against Resi, which is disguised as a friendly match, Adolin implements the defensive and offensive forms of Windstance, his style described as dancing[7]. Against Salinor Eved he switches to using Ironstance as well as employing elements of hand to hand combat for a rather brutal display, much to the ire of Highjudge Istow. [19] While fighting against Eranniv, Torol Sadeas notes that Adolin is fighting far below his own capacity [48], making it seem like a close fight. Against Elit Ruthar Adolin employs Windstance again, focusing on precision while implementing a tactic of exhausting Elit’s plate of stormlight until it can no longer move. [22]

In the final duel against Elit, Relis Ruthar, Abrobadar and Jakamav Adolin relies most heavily on Windstance, as it is the most effective against multiple opponents. At one point he backs himself up against a wall to protect his back. [18] Once Kaladin joins the duel he remarks that two opponents actually seem like an even match for Adolin. [56] By the end of the duel Adolin is pinned beneath Jakamav and holding him in a wrestling grip.

It can be argued that Adolin is actually the most skilled duellist on the Shattered Plains given that he is both capable of winning a fight while hiding his true level of skill and being an even match against two men. Sadeas remarks that Adolin is growing into the Blackthorn, a man who conquered Alethkar with his skill and power, and that thought terrifies him. [57]

Trivia[edit]

  • Adolin was originally named Aredor[71] in The Way of Kings Prime.
  • Originally Adolin, though Dalinar's heir, was not Dalinar's first son. His elder brother, Sheneres, had died while trying to protect the king.[71]
  • Adolin did not originally have a view point in the original draft for The Way of Kings. This was changed when Brandon shifted Dalinar’s doubts about his own sanity to his son. “I brought out [Dalinar’s] son, who hero worships his father, who could then say ‘my father is going mad. I love this man I have to protect him. But he’s also going mad what do I do?’” The external conflict between the two of them ended up making both Adolin and Dalinar stronger characters.[72]

Notes[edit]

  1. a b c d e f g The Way of Kings chapter 12
  2. a b c d e f Words of Radiance chapter 89
  3. a b Words of Radiance chapter 1
  4. a b c d e f g h i j The Way of Kings chapter 15
  5. a b c d e f g h i j k The Way of Kings chapter 28
  6. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 4
  7. a b c d e f g The Way of Kings chapter 58
  8. Are Renarin and Adolin Dalinar's legitimate children?
    17th Shard forums - 2013-10-05
  9. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 38
  10. a b c d Words of Radiance chapter 16
  11. a b c d Words of Radiance chapter 66
  12. Reddit AMA 2013
    Theoryland - 2013-04-15
  13. a b c d The Way of Kings chapter 46
  14. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 49
  15. a b The Way of Kings chapter 24
  16. a b c d e f g The Way of Kings chapter 22
  17. a b c d e The Way of Kings chapter 52
  18. a b c d e Words of Radiance chapter 56
  19. a b c d e f g h i Words of Radiance chapter 14
  20. Words of Radiance chapter 12
  21. a b c d Words of Radiance chapter 18
  22. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 53
  23. a b c d Words of Radiance chapter 68
  24. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 65
  25. a b Words of Radiance chapter 33
  26. a b Words of Radiance chapter 77
  27. a b Words of Radiance chapter 85
  28. a b Words of Radiance chapter 81
  29. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 26
  30. a b Words of Radiance chapter 35
  31. Words of Radiance chapter 41
  32. The Way of Kings chapter 13
  33. The Way of Kings prologue
  34. a b c d e f g h The Way of Kings chapter 18
  35. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 25
  36. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 26
  37. a b The Way of Kings chapter 54
  38. The Way of Kings chapter 56
  39. a b The Way of Kings chapter 60
  40. The Way of Kings chapter 64
  41. a b The Way of Kings chapter 66
  42. The Way of Kings chapter 67
  43. The Way of Kings chapter 68
  44. The Way of Kings chapter 69
  45. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 5
  46. Words of Radiance chapter 23
  47. a b Words of Radiance chapter 25
  48. a b Words of Radiance chapter 29
  49. Words of Radiance chapter 32
  50. a b Words of Radiance chapter 37
  51. Words of Radiance chapter 44
  52. Words of Radiance chapter 46
  53. Words of Radiance chapter 50
  54. Words of Radiance chapter 51
  55. Words of Radiance chapter 55
  56. a b c d Words of Radiance chapter 57
  57. a b Words of Radiance chapter 58
  58. Words of Radiance chapter 59
  59. Words of Radiance chapter 63
  60. Words of Radiance chapter 67
  61. Words of Radiance chapter 75
  62. Words of Radiance chapter 76
  63. Words of Radiance chapter 79
  64. Words of Radiance chapter 80
  65. Words of Radiance chapter 82
  66. Words of Radiance chapter 83
  67. Words of Radiance chapter 84
  68. Words of Radiance chapter 86
  69. Words of Radiance chapter 87
  70. Words of Radiance chapter 88
  71. a b The Way of Kings Prime chapter 1
  72. Episode 7.24 - Project in Depth: Way of Kings
    Writing Excuses - 2012-06-10
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