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
This page or section contains spoilers for Words of Radiance!
This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot for the reader. Proceed with caution if you have not read this book.
“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 given his 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 most likely began training under a weapons master in the sword at least by the age of ten. He eventually started training with Zahel after stubbornly refusing to at first[21] some number of years before the present[29]. 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."[30]

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 (1167-1173)[edit]

Relationship Troubles[edit]

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]

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.[31]

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."[32] 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. She is less than pleased with him or the situation. 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.[33]

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.[33]

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.[33] 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[33] 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.[33] 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.[34]

“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[34]

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. [34]

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.[35]

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.[35]

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]

Navani confesses she recognizes nothing from Dalinar’s visions as he recounts them to her. Adolin asks if she has any sort of analysis but Navani says she wishes to wait until Jasnah can weigh in. Navani tells Adolin that she thinks he has made a fine choice in Danlan, which makes Adolin perk up. Navani tells him to go take some avramelons to Danlan, which she is fond of and Navani procured especially for this purpose. Adolin knows she is trying to deflect his worries but thinks it will be a pleasant change from how things had been going lately and leaves Dalinar and Navani alone.[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.[36]

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.[36] 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.[37]

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.[38]

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.[39] 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[40]

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.[40]

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.[41] 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. [42] 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.[43]

Family[edit]

Adolin is the first son of Dalinar,[1] and his younger brother is Renarin. [33] 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.[38] Gavilar's children, Jasnah and King Elhokar, are his cousins.

Abilities and Attributes[edit]

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]

He has a white stallion, a Ryshadium horse named Sureblood,[35] 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.[33] 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. [44]

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 [45], 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 many 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. [46] 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. [47]

Trivia[edit]

  • 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.[48]

Notes[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 The Way of Kings chapter 12
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Words of Radiance chapter 89
  3. Words of Radiance chapter 1
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 The Way of Kings chapter 15
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 The Way of Kings chapter 28
  6. 6.0 6.1 Words of Radiance chapter 4
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 The Way of Kings chapter 58
  8. Are Renarin and Adolin Dalinar's legitimate children?
    17th Shard forums - 2013-10-05
  9. Words of Radiance chapter 38
  10. 10.0 10.1 Words of Radiance chapter 16
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Words of Radiance chapter 66
  12. Reddit AMA 2013
    Theoryland - 2013-04-15
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 The Way of Kings chapter 46
  14. 14.0 14.1 Words of Radiance chapter 49
  15. 15.0 15.1 The Way of Kings chapter 24
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 The Way of Kings chapter 22
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 The Way of Kings chapter 52
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Words of Radiance chapter 56
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 Words of Radiance chapter 14
  20. Words of Radiance chapter 12
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Words of Radiance chapter 18
  22. 22.0 22.1 Words of Radiance chapter 53
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Words of Radiance chapter 68
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 The Way of Kings chapter 65
  25. Words of Radiance chapter 33
  26. Words of Radiance chapter 77
  27. Words of Radiance chapter 85
  28. Words of Radiance chapter 81
  29. Words of Radiance chapter 35
  30. Words of Radiance chapter 41
  31. The Way of Kings chapter 13
  32. The Way of Kings prologue
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 33.5 33.6 The Way of Kings chapter 18
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 The Way of Kings chapter 25
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 The Way of Kings chapter 26
  36. 36.0 36.1 The Way of Kings chapter 54
  37. The Way of Kings chapter 56
  38. 38.0 38.1 The Way of Kings chapter 60
  39. The Way of Kings chapter 64
  40. 40.0 40.1 The Way of Kings chapter 66
  41. The Way of Kings chapter 67
  42. The Way of Kings chapter 68
  43. The Way of Kings chapter 69
  44. Words of Radiance chapter 5
  45. Words of Radiance chapter 29
  46. Words of Radiance chapter 57
  47. Words of Radiance chapter 58
  48. Writing Excuse 7.24
    — {{{site}}} - 2012-06-10Project in Depth: Way of Kings
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The Stormlight Archive (Roshar)
Books The Way of Kings · Words of Radiance · Stones Unhallowed · The Highprince of War
Major Characters Kaladin · Shallan · Szeth · Dalinar · Navani · Adolin · Jasnah · Elhokar · Sylphrena · Taravangian · Kabsal · Sadeas · Talenel · More Characters
Knights Radiant Windrunners · Skybreakers · Dustbringers · Edgedancers · Truthwatchers · Lightweavers · Elsecallers · Willshapers · Stonewards · Bondsmiths
Shards Honor · Cultivation · Odium
Magic Stormlight · Highstorm · Surgebinding · Shardblades · Fabrials · Ten Essences · Old Magic · Voidbinding
Creatures Chasmfiend · Greatshell · Parshmen · Parshendi · Spren · Thunderclasts · The Unmade · Voidbringers
Places Alethkar · Jah Keved · Kharbranth · Shinovar · Purelake · Silver Kingdoms · Urithiru · Shattered Plains · The Origin · More Places
Culture Lighteyes · Darkeyes · Vorinism · Spheres
Groups Bridge Four · Heralds · Highprinces · Ghostbloods · Sons of Honor
History Desolations · Oathpact · Day of Recreance · Hierocracy · War of Reckoning · True Desolation