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Teo Royal Family
Parents Kiin, Daora
Siblings Lukel, Kaise, Daorn
Abilities Elantrian
Residence Kae
Ethnicity Aonic
Nationality Arelene
Homeworld Sel
Universe Cosmere
First Appeared Elantris

Adien is an Elantrian from Sel. He is the son of Daora, step-son of Kiin, younger brother to Lukel, and older half-brother to Kaise and Daorn. Through marriage, he is related to Sarene and the Teo Royal Family.[1]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Adien is from Kae and was born autistic.[2] He moves in an awkward, stiff, uncontrolled manner. He is able to speak in complete sentences, but he is often seen mumbling numbers and words to himself.[1][3] He has a thin face, pale complexion, and "haunted" eyes.[1][4] Notably, the descriptions of Adien provided by Sarene are from a period when he had been taken by the broken Shaod and was wearing makeup to cover its effects.[1][5] This affected his appearance, and likely his personality as well.

After Elantris is restored, Adien is able to think lucidly and speak clearly. He has the white hair and silver skin of an Elantrian, and he looks very similar to Lukel.[6]

Adien (right) with his step-father and siblings

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Adien has the innate abilities of all Elantrians, including increased physical and mental capabilities and access to AonDor. Independently of his Elantrian abilities, Adien has a natural way with numbers. He counts his steps wherever he goes,[7] and the numbers that he speaks to himself during the broken Shaod are often related to distance.[4] He seems to instinctively know the distance (in strides) between any two locations that he has been before, even if he did not walk there.[6]


Adien was born to Daora around seven or eight years before the Reod. Daora held the title of Kimess,[8] so Adien was presumably raised as a minor noble. His father's identity and the reason for the end of Daora's relationship with him are unknown. He visited Teoras as a child.[6]

Kiin adopted Adien and Lukel after retiring from battle and falling in love with Daora.[9] In his early teens, about five years after the Reod, Adien was taken by the Shaod.[7] Unwilling to have him thrown into Elantris, his family concealed his condition with makeup[5] and kept him close to home. The makeup gave Adien a pale white complexion with a strange cast to his face.[1] Because of his condition, Adien rarely left the house, and spent a lot of time sleeping.[9][1] He had never been social due to his autism, which made it less suspicious that he did not interact with other people.[2] With his family's help, Adien accomplished the unprecedented feat of staving off becoming Hoed for those five years.[5]

Adien was present when Sarene first visited Kiin and Daora's family in Kae. He was a thin-faced boy in his late teens and Sarene quickly realized that he had some sort of cognitive impairment.[1] Adien's family was used to his behavior, and took no notice when he showed up late to meals or mumbled to himself.[1][3] Adien was typically present any time Sarene was at the family's house.[4]

During the Invasion of Arelon, Adien took shelter with his family.[10] However, they were soon captured and moved towards Elantris. Adien showed little concern for the events happening around him.[7] When they approached the site where the Fjordell soldiers planned to burn any Elantrians they could find, Adien suddenly moved towards the nearby pile of bodies. A Fjordell soldier slashed him across the chest, and when the wound did not bleed, Adien was finally revealed to be an Elantrian himself. He simply laid down on the pile with the other Elantrians.[7]

After Raoden healed Elantris, all of Adien's wounds were healed and he became a true Elantrian. His skin turned silver, and he gained superhuman physical and mental capacity. Adien felt like his old life had been a dream. He was always aware of what was happening around him, but struggled to interact and express himself. He retained his ability to remember exact distances, and provided Raoden with the distance to Teod so that Raoden could effectively use Aon Tia to rescue Sarene.[6]


  • Brandon was never totally happy with the twist of Adien being an Elantrian. He has noted that Adien was underdeveloped as a character, and that his ability to calculate distance was something of a deus ex machina that allowed Raoden to pull off an otherwise impossible feat.[2][11] However, he kept the twist because Adien was a planned protagonist in the Elantris sequel, possibly alongside his siblings.[2][12] His natural ability with numbers would make him a particularly powerful wielder of AonDor.[2]
  • Hrathen's seon is expected to be Passed to Adien in the sequel.[13]
  • Brandon has noted that the portrayal of Adien's autism in Elantris is stereotypical and more of a "pop culture" representation of someone on the spectrum.[14][15][16] He does not regret his attempt to write the character since he was trying to be inclusive, but he recognizes that Adien's version of autism is not typical. Elantris was his first novel and he did not have the resources that he gained later in his career, including a broader reader base that would have been able to point out the inaccuracies in Adien's characterization.[14] He has tried to portray autism more realistically in later characters such as Steris, and would apply those lessons if Adien does feature in a sequel.[17][14] He believes that listening to feedback about stereotypes helps writers grow and do better.[14]


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