|Titles||Prince of Kholin (former), Highprince of Alethkar|
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”My father thinks I'm a better man than he is. Unfortunately for you, he's wrong.—Adolin to Sadeas
Adolin Kholin is a lighteyed Alethi prince and third in line to the throne of Alethkar. He is considered to be one of the best swordsmen in all of Alethkar. Adolin is the son of Dalinar Kholin, the elder brother of Renarin Kholin and husband of Shallan Davar who are members of the Knights Radiant. He is the current Highprince of the Kholin princedom.
Appearance and Personality
Adolin's hair is mostly blond, with streaks of Alethi black running through it; the blond color comes from his mother and is seen as a sign of his bloodline being impure by some Alethi. His hair has been described as an unruly mop and a stylish mess. Adolin prefers to remain clean-shaven, but he does grow a beard after throwing himself in jail in protest of Kaladin's imprisonment. His beard was also blond speckled with black. His eyes are blue and have an epicanthic fold. He has been described as handsome on numerous occasions and, as he is Alethi, it can be surmised that his skin is tan in color. However, because he is half-Riran, his skin tone is lighter than his father's. There is some inconsistency as to Adolin's height; he is described as both shorter and the same height as Dalinar. Shardplate adds a few inches to his height but still doesn't make him as tall as Kaladin. He has a birthmark on the back of his left thigh.
Adolin is incredibly loyal to his father, though he doesn't always see eye-to-eye with Dalinar and is unafraid to voice his opinions. His skepticism surrounding the Codes eventually changes and Adolin begins to understand their purpose. He grows to become a better leader as a result and at the same time, he grows further away from the people he once considered to be friends.
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. Adolin even allows the four-on-one duel to continue when Relis Ruthar threatens to have Abrobadar "accidentally" kill Renarin. He is also quick to defend Renarin when Sadeas insults his younger brother. 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.
He is impulsive, often having to be held back by Renarin or rebuked by his father. Sadeas even refers to him as a "firebrand". This impulsiveness of his has led to him throwing Kaladin across the practice grounds while sparring, accidentally allowing Relis Ruthar to set him up in a one-on-four duel and contributed in some part to his snapping and murdering Sadeas. His impulsive behavior is often also beneficial, as seen in his rescue of Notum and how his offer to stand trial gets the envoy into Lasting Integrity.
Adolin has a strong sense of right and wrong, instilled in him by his mother. In his first encounter with Kaladin, he saves a prostitute from being beaten by one of Sadeas's officers. He also throws himself in jail as a show of solidarity with Kaladin.
He is shown to be very confident, charismatic and friendly, being on good terms with both lighteyes and darkeyes. While Adolin likes to be familiar with a large number of people, calling them friends and acquaintances, he is not close with many of them. Before he marries Shallan Davar, he's also infamous for his numerous, short-lived courtships. Adolin admits to Kaladin that while he knows how to get women, he is unsure of how to keep them.
Adolin is observant, which has led 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. He is suspicious of Kaladin for a long time, being the only one to notice that the arm Szeth cut with his Honorblade miraculously healed itself. 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.
Adolin is very tactically minded. Shallan notes that he is not as "brilliant" as Kaladin, but this does not mean he is unintelligent. He even admits to sometimes feigning being dense. He applies his knowledge in a more direct manner to win duels and battles and isn't quite as skilled in wit or rhetoric. Adolin is compared to his father on various occasions, with Dalinar himself saying that Adolin is a better man than he is, though Adolin believes differently.
He doesn't seem to be particularly religious, something Dalinar points out.
With the rise of the Radiants and the fall of Alethkar, the young highprince is struggling to find his place in the world. He feels that others are often better placed to meet the challenges and that without access to surgebinding he doesn't have much to contribute to the leading of the Alethi or the coalition. His conversation with Azure in Shadesmar on royalty and duty helps evaluate his own roles and skills. Later it leads him to decline the Alethi crown after Elhokar's death. He continues to struggle when he takes on the mantle of highprince. His desire to prove himself makes him very determined to succeed in his diplomatic mission to the honorspren, as he doesn't want to let his father down, and he is motivated by his desire to show he is still good for something.
Adolin is also a very caring friend to those around him. He sees it when his friends need support, and he is always there for them. An example is when he takes Kaladin out when the Windrunner is depressed after his retirement. During the conversation, Adolin explained how he was looking for ways to help Kaladin and Shallan with their mental struggles.
Attributes and Abilities
He had a white stallion, a Ryshadium horse named Sureblood, one of only a dozen Ryshadium in all the Alethi warcamps on the Shattered Plains. Adolin believed there was an undefinable bond between him and Sureblood, that he could read the Ryshadium's emotions, though it was more delicate than the bond between a man and a sword.
Later around 1175, Adolin started to visit and take care of Dalinar's Rhyshadium, Gallant, as his father had less time for this. Later it chose Adolin as his second rider. Over time their bond deepened, and Gallant helped by carrying Maya on the expedition to Shadesmar. When Adolin ran to save Notum, Gallant came running to his aid without being summoned.
Adolin is one of the few full Shardbearers in the Alethi warcamps.
Adolin inherited his Shardplate from his mother's side of the family on his sixteenth birthday. Evi and her brother, Toh, brought the Plate with them as a bargaining chip and surrendered it to Dalinar when he and Evi married. The Iriali Queen considers the Kholins to be thieves and wants the plate returned to Iri.
Adolin is proficient with Blade commands, a set of mental commands that allow him to keep the Blade summoned even after letting go of it. This allows him to perform such feats as using his Blade as a foothold on a sheer surface. After Szeth's first attempt on Dalinar's life, he practices being able to throw his Shardblade into a target. This appears to be a rather extraordinary feat given Hrdalm's amazement upon being saved by the technique.
Adolin now knows Mayalaran's name and can summon her in seven heartbeats rather than the typical ten heartbeats required of a dead Shardblade. He is even able to sense her resigned agreement at being loaned to another Shardbearer, hinting at a stronger bond between a human and the bonded deadeye spren than usual. During his second trip in Shadesmar, Adolin develops his bond with Maya. They exercise every morning with a joint kata. She also starts helping him take care of Gallant. Later, when Adolin fought to defend Notum, Maya joined him and stood back to back with him. Her waking up came to a culmination at the trial where she spoke for the first time, deciding the trial.
”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, Maya
Adolin's Calling is dueling 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. Once Dalinar becomes Highprince of War, he uses Adolin and his dueling as a key part in his plan to discipline the Highprinces by taking away their Shards in duels.
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 armorers help him into his Shardplate. Navani normally paints a glyphward for him, though by his final duel he has changed 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. Navani passes these off as superstitions, which Adolin denies. Before his final duel he forgot his mother's chain; this does seem to affect him psychologically, although by the time his armorers have finished, he seems mostly recovered.
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. 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. While fighting against Eranniv, Torol Sadeas notes that Adolin is fighting far below his own capacity, 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.
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. Once Kaladin joins the duel, he remarks that two opponents actually seem like an even match for Adolin. 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 duelist 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.
Early Life (1150-1167)
Adolin was born earlier than expected with a full head of blonde and black hair. Dalinar, joyous of having been given a son, named him, using the components "Adoda", meaning "light", and the suffix "lin", meaning "born unto". He hoped that Adolin would have his father's strength and his mother's compassion. On the same day Gavilar informed Dalinar that he would be put to use in the border skirmishes. Dalinar proceeded to spend much of Adolin's childhood away from Kholinar and his family.
Adolin's early sense of morality was instilled in him by his mother. Evi was fond of hugs and physical affection and this translated to Adolin easily reacquainting himself with personal displays of affection while betrothed to Shallan later in life.
At age 5, Adolin visited Dalinar on the battlefront with his mother and a very young Renarin. Dalinar had last seen Adolin a little over a year before. Already Adolin was showing an energetic personality, playing with wooden swords, crafting armor from rockbud shells and string, and terrorizing the chulls. When presented to his father he saluted him but quickly shied away afterwards, and had to have confirmed Dalinar was his father. He told Dalinar that he and his mother offered prayers for him every night so that he would be safe. Adolin showed a desire to please his father even at such a young age. He told his father he didn't want Dalinar to give him a shardblade, he wanted to win one himself.
Adolin started training with the sword at the age of six. Renarin mentioned that this made him different in some way, but there is no elaboration.
He eventually started training with Zahel after stubbornly refusing to at first some number of years before the present. There are indications he was trained by his father in using Shardplate which he inherited from his mother's side of the family. 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."
Adolin mentioned that he became a soldier by circumstance rather than choice.
War of Reckoning (1167-1174)
The Chasmfiend Hunt
Adolin and his brother Renarin accompanied King Elhokar and the Highprinces Dalinar, Sadeas, and Vamah on a chasmfiend hunt, and Adolin spent the early part of the trip worrying about the state of his father's mind and his reputation. He worried that Sadeas would make a move against his father now that Dalinar was appearing weak to the eyes of Alethi society. Adolin had been given effective command of the Kholin army by his father and restrictions had been placed on his dueling as per the Alethi Codes of War. To make matters worse Dalinar revealed he was considering leaving the Shattered Plains, a plan Adolin knew would ruin his father's reputation.
When the chasmfiend appeared on the wrong plateau, threatening unarmed attendants, guests, and scribes, Adolin helped his father and Elhokar kill it. During the fight, Adolin was momentarily awed by seeing his father display the prowess that earned him the title of Blackthorn. Afterwards Adolin oversaw the cleanup, happy to be doing something, while the other lighteyes on the trip relaxed leisurely. When Sadeas insulted his father, Adolin was quick to defend him, though his manner in doing so was brash and led to a rebuke from his father and a gentle restraint from Renarin. Sadeas then turned his attention to his brother, and Adolin nearly summoned his Shardblade but stopped when he was ordered to by Dalinar.
Later Dalinar took Adolin aside to inspect the king's saddle as Elhokar had requested of them. Adolin quickly realized that Elhokar believed the girth was cut deliberately and, annoyed, pointed out his cousin's worsening paranoia and that he and his father seemed to have become Elhokar's bodyguards. Despite their misgivings, both he and Dalinar agreed that if the girth was cut there may have been a plot to kill the king, as Alethi lighteyes were fond of their overly complicated plots. Dalinar assigned Adolin the task of investigating this further. Adolin wondered if Sadeas may have been behind it, but Dalinar shut down the suggestion. He explained to Adolin that they and Sadeas both had a vested interest and desire to keep Elhokar safe and would work together to manipulate other highprinces for the King's benefit. Dalinar then revealed Gavilar's final words. Adolin connected this to his father's presumed delusions and assumed they were a product of guilt over Gavilar's death. Dalinar hoped Adolin would learn to see the importance of the Codes. He then asked Adolin to at least respect Sadeas. Adolin reluctantly agreed and at his insistence Dalinar agreed to consider that Sadeas might be playing them.
Elhokar later queried them about their opinions on the strap. When Dalinar told him that while it may have been cut there was no definitive proof, the king insisted that there was a plot to kill him and that perhaps someone on the hunt had planned it. Adolin caught the king giving them a suspicious look, and when Elhokar left he asked his father if he had seen it too. Dalinar cut him off and told Adolin he would talk to Elhokar about it later. When the bridges finally arrived, Adolin resumed control of the army, directing its movements back towards the camps.
Adolin used a disastrous date with Janala to visit different leatherworkers (including Yis and Avaran) with the King's saddle strap. They all agreed it had been sliced, but did not agree on whether it was cut or an accident. During the date, they visited the temple where Adolin had a talk with Kadash, one of his fathers Ardents, about Dalinar's visions. Kadash was disturbed by the visions and dismissed them coming from the Almighty. He said the only one who could help Dalinar would be Adolin, as he was family.
Two days later Adolin informed his father of his findings. Dalinar and Adolin agreed that the best action would be for Dalinar to tell Elhokar that they had found nothing. Adolin brought up the visions, but Dalinar ended the conversation as they arrived at one of the king's feasts. Before they parted ways, Dalinar ordered Adolin and Renarin to restrict their drinking.
During the feast, Adolin found his father once more and informed him that he had dueled three different men who had accused both Dalinar and House Kholin of being cowards and of asking the king to abandon the Vengeance Pact. Dalinar told Adolin to ignore what others said or thought. He added that the rumors were true. Dalinar had told the king in confidence they needed to end the war and return to Alethkar. Dalinar asked for Adolin's trust and promised to talk later, but Adolin replied he was worried that the visions may be delusions. His father then acknowledged Adolin was right to be worried about their House's reputation. Dalinar thought that Elhokar would keep quiet about their conversation. He explained to Adolin he had suggested winning the war by striking the Parshendi directly. Once the Vengeance Pact was fulfilled they would be able to go back home and stabilize Alethkar. Adolin agreed with his father's plan without objection, to Dalinar's surprise. Adolin explained he could support a strike, but that they would need a solid plan to get everyone on board with it. They planned to slowly get the highprinces to start working together with them to build trust. As far as responding to the gossip, they disagreed when Adolin wanted to defend the house's honor. Dalinar countered by saying that dueling others wouldn't change how they thought about the Kholins. He would publish an official refutation, which Adolin admitted was better than nothing.
Just as Adolin was about to leave, his father spotted his aunt Navani and Adolin hugged her affectionately. She asked him how his courting was going, which Dalinar likened to a fast dance with changing partners. She told Adolin that it was only old people who should have to be boring. Adolin thanked her and then left to tell Renarin that their aunt had returned. Later that evening Elhokar announced that he had named Sadeas as Highprince of Information and the investigation was no longer in House Kholin's hands.
A House Divided
”I know it's hard to accept, but sometimes, people get old. Sometimes, the mind stops working right.—Adolin to Dalinar
Days later, Adolin went to see his father at the Gallery of Maps. Adolin revealed that he was now courting Malasha Seveks. They discussed Dalinar's meeting with Highprince Roion, who declined to work together. So, Dalinar planned to approach the others. Adolin brought up that Sadeas asked permission to enter their warcamp for his investigation. Adolin was worried about Sadeas' motives, but Dalinar pointed out that denying Sadeas's authority would undermine the king's as well besides making the Kholins look guilty.
To Adolin's dismay, Dalinar stated he was trusting Sadeas because of the visions. Adolin then accused his father of betting their house's future on the visions. Dalinar attempted to reassure Adolin by stating he would not stand by idle to see their house fall, and dismissed Adolin.
”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
Dalinar and Adolin spoke to one another some days later when Dalinar called for the army to mobilize for a plateau skirmish. Adolin apologized for where and how he said his grievances to his father, though he was not sorry for voicing them. Just as they were about to set off, Sadeas demanded admittance to the war camp. Dalinar allowed him to accompany the plateau run to conduct the investigation, while Adolin was very suspicious of Sadeas' intent. Adolin, along with Dalinar, led the charge against the Parshendi. During the battle, when the Thrill left Dalinar, Adolin was quick to help and protect his father. When the battle was won, Adolin harvested the gemheart.
Later, Adolin and his father inspected the army while discussing several topics like the purpose of Plate, the Thrill, the faith of the war camps, and the gemheart economy. During the conversation, Adolin was worried about his father's state of mind. At some point, he got distracted and thought about Malasha and the new woman he was interested in, Danlan Morakotha. Dalinar made Adolin inspect the Fifth Battalion for him, and afterwards his father praised him for his leadership. They went on to interview the men that were investigated by Sadeas. The men directly made it clear they were loyal to Kholin and hadn't told anything to Sadeas. Adolin noted that if they had acted this way around Sadeas, it would have seemed incriminating.
After the interview, Adolin confronted Dalinar about how he had been pushing him into a leadership position during the day. In response, Dalinar reminded Adolin of his comments earlier pertaining to his mental health. Moreover, Dalinar told him he had a difficult decision to make. At that moment, they were informed that Highprince Thanadal, who was the last one Dalinar had to approach except Sadeas, had canceled their meeting. Thanadal had no intention of running a joint plateau assault, from which Dalinar inferred the other Highprinces had never liked his influence over the king. They would rather wait and see Dalinar fall, than let him regain his footing. Dalinar then left the rest of the inspections for Adolin to complete.
In the evening, before their talk with Jasnah, Adolin tried to talk to his father, but Dalinar wasn't ready to discuss things. Adolin then introduced Dalinar and Navani to Danlan, whom he had helped get a position as one of Dalinar's clerks. Dalinar expressed incredulity that Adolin had a new woman calling on him even though she had only been in camp for a day. Jasnah asked Dalinar about his dealings with the Parshendi and inquired if they had ever mentioned the Voidbringers, which Dalinar denied. In response, Jasnah got Shallan to draw the picture they found in the Palanaeum, which Adolin identified as a chasmfiend or someone's attempt at drawing one. Jasnah noted that she did not believe the chasmfiends and the Voidbringers were the same thing and whomever made the picture probably drew the most terrifying thing they could think of. Dalinar asked for her to return, and hinted that there would be an upheaval soon in their family, but Jasnah could not promise when she would arrive. With the conversation finished, Dalinar dismissed his clerks and Adolin. Dalinar then confided to Navani that he was going to abdicate in favor of Adolin.
A Chance Encounter
While walking in Sadeas's camp with the Cobalt Guard, Adolin interrupted one of Sadeas's officers as he physically assaulted a prostitute. He had to summon his shardblade before his cronies scattered. He then asked the prostitute what she had done to make the officer so angry. She told him she had insulted the officer's reputation after he gloated to her and refused to pay. Adolin responded by suggesting to ask payment upfront, and to avoid Sadeas's camp. He continued that he would escort her to the border of the camp. When she offered to sleep with him free of charge, Adolin declined and said his father would kill him if he did.
Adolin then turned to Kaladin, who had been watching and was going to rush to help before Adolin showed up. He called him "bridgeboy" and told him to go to Brightlord Reral Makoram to inform him that Adolin Kholin would not be attending their planned meeting and would reschedule at a later date. He flipped an emerald chip to Kaladin and left. Kaladin didn't do what he was asked, annoyed with how Adolin had treated him and baffled that a lighteyed man would help someone of a lower rank.
The Pending Abdication
While waiting for the coming highstorm, Renarin, Adolin and Dalinar discussed Dalinar's intention to abdicate. Adolin found the plan insane, and thought it went too far and that he didn't yet want to be highprince. Dalinar and Renarin pointed out that Adolin had called his father crazy. Dalinar added that leaderhip was not about what one wants. He elaborated that the other highprinces would use the perceived weakness against house Kholin. When asked, he told his sons he planned to go back to Alethkar to help dissuade foreign invaders. The conversation was cut short by the arriving highstorm, and his sons reluctantly tied Dalinar to his chair. When the vision ended, Adolin untied his father. Both sons were looking uncomfortable from seeing their father thrash about and speak gibberish. Dalinar felt strengthened in his decision to abdicate, while Adolin said the episodes were containable and Dalinar shouldn't use delusions as basis of important decisions. Dalinar expressed that he believed the visions to be real, although not necessarily from the Almighty; they might have been from the Old Magic. Adolin was shocked to learn that the Old Magic was real and that his father had searched it out.
Renarin then suggested that they find a way to prove the visions were true, and they sent for Navani. While Renarin was gone Adolin asked his father what they would do if Adolin was proven right. Dalinar confessed that a part of him wished that Adolin was and that it might be better for Alethkar. Adolin then asked about Sadeas, who was nearly finished with his investigation. Dalinar gave Adolin leave to prepare for the worst, noting that if he and Sadeas went to war then Alethkar as a unified state would shatter.
During another feast, Dalinar called 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 that night. Adolin informed his father that several members of the Cobalt Guard and the King's Guard were nearby. Adolin pointed out possible avenues of retreat in case they were needed due to his cousin's increasing paranoia, but Dalinar did not believe it would come to that. When everything was set up, they moved to the King's island, where Dalinar directly asked Sadeas about the results of his investigation. Sadeas cleared House Kholin of any suspicion, completely blindsiding Adolin but vindicating Dalinar. Moreover, Sadeas agreed to try out a joint plateau assault.
A Change of Heart
The Kholin Army's next plateau assault was run jointly with Sadeas. Dalinar went ahead and was nearly overwhelmed as he tried to save Sadeas from overwhelming numbers, but Adolin and the rest of the army arrived just in time to save them. Adolin told Dalinar that he had given him quite a fright as he had had to punch through the entire Parshendi army to get to them. Dalinar explained to Adolin that he made the decision knowing that if anything had happened to him his son could handle the army.
”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. [...] The common men had to remain on watch, vigilant. Therefore, Adolin and Dalinar did the same.—Chapter 58
A week after the plateau assault, Adolin went to a wineshop in the Outer Market with Danlan, Jakamav, Inkima, Toral and Eshava. Adolin complained about how he hated being proven wrong and wondered why Sadeas, who was in a position of strength, never used it to take out House Kholin. The group discussed Sadeas's motives and the Kholin reputation, which made Adolin uncomfortable. After Danlan suggested it, Adolin told them he had tried and failed to get his father to relax the restrictions from the Codes on the camp. He then excused himself as he had a duel against Resi, who had been vocally insulting his father, to prepare for .
As he moved through the Outer Market to the dueling grounds, he noticed the differences in behaviour, and attitude about their jobs, between the Kholin officers and those of other highprinces. Adolin found himself annoyed with the others, and was asking internally if they knew there was a war going on. He then had a revelation about why his father enforced the restrictions.
After his victory in the duel with Resi, Adolin went to his father and told him that he now understood why they followed the Codes and that he absolutely must not abdicate. Dalinar, amused, told Adolin that he had convinced him. This shocked Adolin, who rarely won arguments with his father. Dalinar continued that he would draft an order that gave Adolin the right to depose him if he grew mentally unstable. Adolin was alright with this so long as they did not tell Sadeas. Dalinar asked Adolin to at least try to believe Sadeas could change, even if he didn't trust him. Adolin still believed Sadeas was manipulating his father. Dalinar also asked Adolin to make sure that it was only King's Guard soldiers loyal to him that were guarding Elhokar's rooms, as he believed there was something fishy going on. They entered Dalinar's chambers for the highstorm, where Navani and Renarin were waiting. After the highstorm, Adolin and the rest of the Kholins discovered that Dalinar had been speaking the Dawnchant during his episodes, which meant the visions were absolutely not delusions.
The Battle of the Tower
As they prepared to assault the Tower some days later, Adolin reflected he was happy he was proven wrong and resolved to trust his father. When he went out to meet his father, they found Sadeas, who should already have been moving as speed is imperative in assaulting the Tower. Sadeas said that they needed to confer given the particular difficulties the Tower presented. If they could trap and kill the ten thousand Parshendi they always committed to assaults they could change the tide of the war. Adolin found himself agreeing with Sadeas's assessment. Sadeas got Dalinar to commit eight thousand troops and to using his faster bridges now that he had a new method of using them. When they arrived at the southern staging plateau, Adolin was the one who directed the troops.
Part way through the battle, a second Parshendi army arrived. Adolin noticed this before Dalinar and he ran frantically to his father asking him what they were supposed to do. As Dalinar went to check for himself, he saw Sadeas leaving and taking all of his bridges with him, effectively leaving the Kholin army to be slaughtered with no way for retreat. Adolin and Dalinar fought side by side against the Parshendi. Adolin berated 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
As the battle continued however, he told his father that he did not blame him for what was happening and that he wished he had not fought Dalinar on every little thing. Adolin reflected that if he had trusted his father instead of distracting them both they might have seen Sadeas's betrayal. With that reconciliation they both prepared to die alongside their army, fighting to the last breath.
When Kaladin made the decision to turn back to save the Kholin army, Dalinar noticed the returning bridge. Adolin at first thought it was a trick, but they both decided to punch through the Parshendi with the army to have one last chance of saving their men, no matter how slim that chance was. When Kaladin found Adolin, he ordered him to make his soldiers retreat. Adolin stubbornly refused at first, desperate to save his father, who was battling Eshonai, but Kaladin told Adolin that if he fell his men would have nothing. Adolin could barely walk as it was. He finally ordered Captainlord Malan to go with Kaladin to save his father. When returning from the battle, Adolin gave his father his gauntlet because Adolin was younger and if either of the two of them were to go without part of their Shardplate it should be him. When they arrived, Navani and Renarin were waiting for them in Sadeas's warcamp. Renarin hugged his father and greeted Adolin by pounding on his Shardplate while grinning. The brothers were both a bit uncomfortable when Navani and Dalinar embraced. They were soon encountered by Sadeas's hostile troops. Dalinar told Adolin not to summon his blade and offered up his Shardblade in a trade for the bridgemen.
Disarming the Shardbearers
After a highstorm, glyphs mysteriously appeared in Dalinar's rooms; during the inspection that followed, Dalinar noted Adolin's dislike of Kaladin. Before the meeting with his generals, Adolin asked Dalinar if Kaladin should be waiting outside. This made Kaladin wonder if Adolin knew or suspected something about his Radiant powers, and he came to the conclusion that the prince was very spoiled. During the meeting, Adolin brought up the idea of forming a coalition to counteract whatever one Sadeas formed, which would probably divide the kingdom in two. Dalinar countered that Alethkar as a kingdom hadn't existed in centuries and what existed now was mockery. Following up on this idea, Kaladin mentioned taking away the shards of the other highprinces' Shardbearers. Adolin, who until now had been banned from dueling, was tasked with this challenge.
Before his duel against Salinor Eved, Adolin went through his pre-dueling rituals. Alone in the meditation room, he talked with his Shardblade, where he confided that he wasn't as confident as he made it out to everyone else and thanked the Shardblade for all it had done for him. After Renarin made sure everything was in place, he headed out while Navani burned a prayer for Adolin. Adolin revealed he was worried about how late Jasnah was and the possibility of not meeting Shallan. He also mentioned that he was the one who had broken off the relationship with Danlan, citing that it had not been his fault and that she had said some things to her friends that had turned him off from their courting.
During the duel, Adolin employed Ironstance in a brutal display, treating Salinor like a new recruit. He felt the Thrill during the duel, something that he hadn't felt before. He drew the ire of Highjudge Istow for using hand-to-hand combat techniques to break Salinor's helm and breastplate. He countered her by saying he had broken no rules. The Thrill faded from him after he wrapped his hand around Salinor's neck. After the duel, he gave the Shardblade to Renarin as a present. Navani speculated that he went for such a brutal and unskilled method as a way of masking his true skill, and Adolin allowed her to believe this.
”I owe you my life [...] That's the only reason I haven't yet thrown you through a window.—Adolin to Kaladin
At the training grounds, Adolin and Kaladin's dislike for one another only grew. Adolin told Kaladin he didn't trust him and that even though Kaladin's job was to keep him alive, he could take care of himself. He felt Kaladin should instead spend his time keeping Renarin safe. Adolin had brought Renarin to the training grounds to petition Zahel to train him. When Zahel tested Kaladin's ability to protect Renarin, Adolin joined in, deliberately provoking Kaladin. The two fought and, in the end, after Adolin threw Kaladin off him, Zahel chewed him out for fighting an unarmed sparring partner with such force.
During a highstorm, Kaladin found Adolin looking at a fashion magazine and questioned why, as all Adolin wore was uniforms. Adolin, annoyed, asked Kaladin if he really needed to be there. When Kaladin explained, Adolin asked that he at least would leave him and Renarin out of it. Then Dalinar, Adolin, and Kaladin discussed the plan to duel the Shardbearers. Adolin had expected other Shardbearers would want to challenge him after Salinor, but they were stalling. Amaram was the only Shardbearer in Sadeas's camp, but they wanted to leave him alone, as Dalinar thought he could be brought over to their side. Adolin explained he planned to challenge other half Shardbearers in the hope that that would make him look like a challenge to others. When Kaladin pointed out the flaws of this, Dalinar agreed with him and told Adolin he didn't have to win every Shard in the Warcamps--they simply had to undermine Sadeas and kill him in a duel if they could.
While the bridgemen learned how to ride horses, Adolin and Renarin were out exercising theirs. Adolin taunted Kaladin's difficulties with Spray, the horse he was riding. He ended up goading Kaladin into riding Dreamstorm and called him mad when Kaladin followed through and inevitably got thrown from the horse's back. He later thanked Kaladin for not telling his father that he more or less dared Kaladin to do it.
As part of the second phase of Dalinar's plan, Adolin arrived with a small strike force to help Jakamav and Roion's forces on a plateau to encourage cooperation between the Warcamps. Once they got to the chrysalis, Adolin discovered the Parshendi had already harvested the gemheart. Adolin spotted Eshonai and demanded that she fight him. He was surprised when she called him by name and asked if she would be able to meet Dalinar. Fighting the Thrill, Adolin told her Dalinar would want to speak with her. Eshonai replied that she would send a messenger to set up the meeting. Afterwards, he talked again with Jakamav, who warned Adolin that if he kept dueling, he would end up losing his shards. Adolin invited Jakamav out for drinking, but was told being seen with him was bad for one's reputation.
In his dueling bout with Eranniv, Adolin made it appear as though he barely had the skill to beat his opponent in the hope that this would make other Shardbearers eager to fight him. He won the duel and took Eranniv's Shardplate.
The Return of the Assassin in White
After Eshonai's messenger's arrival and confirmation of the meeting place, Kaladin wanted to evacuate the palace, as he had a sudden feeling it was unsafe even though the highstorm had just ended. As they moved to do so, Szeth arrived. Dalinar sent Renarin with Elhokar to protect him while he, Adolin, and Kaladin faced off against the Assassin in White, not knowing that Szeth was there to kill Dalinar, not Elhokar. Adolin wanted to take on the assassin himself, but Dalinar said they'd fight him together. During the fight, Adolin got Lashed to the ceiling by Szeth. He fell later when the stormlight had run out, landing on his shoulder, and was removed from the fight, appearing unconscious to Kaladin. After the fight, Adolin seemed to doubt Kaladin's account of how he had survived. He was particularly curious as to why Kaladin's arm seemed fine even though the sleeve appeared to have been cut by Szeth's blade. The next day, Adolin reflected on the night's encounter more and found Kaladin to have been suspiciously effective against Szeth. After watching the Soulcasters create a new windbreak, he grilled Kadash, the supervising ardent, about the Radiants and told him to do more research into them.
At the meeting of the Highprinces, Adolin worried about his effectiveness in protecting his father from the Assassin in White when he had been useless the last time. While the meeting was on break, he went to Relis, current dueling champion, son of Highprince Ruthar and full Shardbearer, and tried to goad him into a duel. While Relis refused, even with five of the Kholins' shards on the line, he managed to hook Relis's cousin Elit. Afterwards, he was cornered by Sadeas, who told him that what he had done at the Battle of the Tower was done as a kindness to Adolin's father. Adolin threatened Sadeas with a slow death and reflected how society found an offense in person worse than abandoning an ally on the battlefield to certain death. He almost punched Sadeas in the face, but was stopped by Amaram. Adolin tried to convince Amaram to secede, but Amaram said he must remain with Sadeas to help bridge gaps, adding that he and Sadeas had an understanding. Adolin doubted Amaram's sterling reputation. He was distracted, however, by the arrival of Shallan and was struck by her beauty. When he approached her, he overheard her informing his aunt and father of Jasnah's death.
Adolin and Shallan met and flirted for a while before Adolin was sent away by his father. Dalinar revealed to Shallan while Adolin was away that the reason he agreed to the causal betrothal was to make Adolin seem unavailable to those who would manipulate him for political gain. She had to persuade him, Navani, and Adolin to turn the causal into a full betrothal. At the meeting, Dalinar told the gathered Highprinces that Adolin would win their shards from them, which they took to be a joke.
While at the training grounds, Adolin and Kaladin came to a silent understanding that they both needed to train harder if they were going to best the Assassin in White when he inevitably returned. When Shallan arrived, Adolin assumed she was there to watch him. After taunting Kaladin a little, Adolin revealed, when asked, that he didn't mind being betrothed and was hoping that the formality of the arrangement would keep it from falling apart. When Shallan ignored Adolin, it was Kaladin's turn to mock Adolin. Adolin asked Shallan if she needed him to pose so she could sketch his plate and blade for her records, but she declined, saying his mother's sketches were more than adequate. Later Adolin, leading the Kholin army, won a plateau run alongside Bethab's army.
Courting Shallan Davar
For their first date, Adolin took Shallan to one of the trendy winehouses that allowed viewings of oncoming highstorms. Shallan asked him about plateau runs. He started telling the story he had told many times until she asked him how he pooped if he was in Shardplate. Though embarrassed, Adolin revealed that he has defecated in his Shardplate three times, all on purpose. From that point on, their interaction became more genuine. They moved on to discussing chasmfiends, gemhearts and sustainability of the chasmfiend population. Adolin feigned ignorance for a while, saying he wasn't good at anything that didn't involve stabbing, but eventually said he was not as dense as he was pretending. Shallan suggested raising and harvesting chasmfiends as a solution to their dwindling population. Adolin, surprising Shallan, asked her what she would need to make it happen. She asked to be taken out onto the Shattered Plains to see an uncut chrysalis for herself. Adolin was hesitant about this, but Shallan told him she knew he'd protect her. Adolin revealed his father's visions and Sadeas's betrayal to Shallan. In turn, Shallan revealed Jasnah's suspicions of the Parshmen being related to the return of the Voidbringers. Adolin told Shallan he'd talk to his aunt and try to smooth things over for her so Shallan could talk to Navani about Jasnah's research. Afterwards, they watched the approaching highstorm and were the last remaining spectators until Adolin had to drag Shallan indoors before the storm hit. Before they went to the gender segregated sitting rooms, Adolin promised to try and get her out onto the Plains.
While waiting out the highstorm, Adolin encountered Sadeas. Sadeas tried to engage Adolin in conversation about fashion, and Adolin thought about how much he wanted to kill the highprince, though he knew that would only lead to his own execution or exile. Sadeas revealed that he had renounced the title of Highprince of Information. Adolin interpreted this as a rejection of the King's authority. Sadeas went on to say that he was glad Adolin had survived the Tower and that he would make a fine highprince in the upcoming months. He predicted that in ten years he and Adolin would have a fine alliance. Adolin countered by saying he'd have killed Sadeas by then. When Adolin returned to his father's bunker, he found the bridgemen grouped around another mysterious message on the wall. Adolin had them summon Navani. Dalinar believed he might have made the markings during one of his fits, because they were made with his knife. Adolin pointed out anyone could have taken the knife to do that, but Dalinar and Navani were of a different opinion.
The next day, Adolin took Dalinar's place at the meeting with Eshonai. He pretended to be Dalinar by wearing Renarin's Shardplate. When he met Eshonai, she told him that the Parshendi had changed the rules of the conflict, that peace would be achieved when one of them was dead, and that the gemhearts no longer mattered. When Adolin reiterated the desire for peace, Eshonai replied that the Alethi would have to destroy the Parshendi. When asked why they had killed Gavilar, she told him that Gavilar had explained his plans to them and thought they'd delight in the return of their gods. When Adolin returned to the camps, he found Dalinar and his generals formulating a plan to take the fight to the Parshendi directly.
Adolin continued with his father's plan of winning Shardblades and finally dueled Elit. During the duel, Elit made several moves to either injure or kill Adolin. Adolin won the duel by completely draining Elit's plate of stormlight. Shallan visited Adolin after his duel and told him that she had discovered a way to help him with his duels, but it required he do something truly amazing. When Relis arrived, as Adolin suspected he would, he managed to convince Relis to duel him by saying he would fight Relis and whomever else he would bring. When they left, Shallan asked Adolin if he could beat two Shardbearers; Adolin said he wasn't sure but he hoped it would be spectacular enough for her plan.
While taking Shallan on a date, Adolin was accompanied by Kaladin, much to his chagrin. He was further annoyed by Kaladin insisting he had to be in the carriage with them. While travelling to the menagerie, Shallan told Adolin and the listening Kaladin the account of Sadeas's duel with Highprince Yenev eighteen years prior. Sadeas had won the chance to duel and had killed Yenev through the Right of Challenge and the King's Boon. Kaladin didn't think Sadeas would agree to the Right of Challenge, but Adolin and Shallan told him that Sadeas must obey it. They also explained to him that this was all about destroying reputation and image; Sadeas had formed a coalition against the king, thus implying he was stronger than the king. Everyone, including Sadeas, was playing by the rules of a game, so defeating him within those parameters was possible. When there was a commotion at the gates of the menagerie, Adolin stayed with Shallan while Kaladin went to check things out. Dalinar had arrived with Amaram in tow, announcing that the Knights Radiant had been reestablished with Amaram as their leader.
”Welcome to the party.—Adolin to Kaladin
Before the duel, Adolin went through his rituals, burning the prayer Shallan had written for him and praying himself. Navani expressed her worry, particularly over the terms that the duel would end with surrender rather than breaking the Shardplate. When Renarin checked that Adolin had followed his routine, they discovered that Adolin's mother's chain was missing. This momentarily threw Adolin off balance, though he started to recover as they put on his Plate. When his opponents entered the ring, there were four of them rather than the two that Adolin had assumed. Instead of forfeiting, Adolin signaled for the duel to commence. He recognized the three Shardbearers Relis had brought with him: Elit, Abrobadar and Jakamav.
Adolin attacked, trying to minimize any attempt they had to assess and respond. He did alright for a while but eventually became overwhelmed. When he attempted to yield, the Shardbearers stopped him, and Highjudge Istow didn't, or had chosen not to, hear him. Adolin realized that if he left the duel alive he'd be doing so as a cripple. Renarin joined the duel with just his Shardblade; Adolin tried to convince him to leave, but Renarin refused. Relis told him that so long as Adolin did not surrender or make his cousin end the duel, Abrobadar would not hurt Renarin; if Adolin did attempt any of those things, Renarin would die.
Kaladin joined the duel as well, keeping the duel still at a disadvantage. He got to Adolin, and the two formed a plan: Kaladin would keep one distracted and keep an eye on Renarin if he could while Adolin took on the other two. Adolin told him that they needed to be prepared if their opponents used Renarin as leverage against them. Two-on-one actually seemed to be an even match for Adolin. Adolin managed to break Elit's breastplate, incapacitating him, and Kaladin forced him to surrender. When Elit surrendered, Abrobadar abandoned Renarin and joined Relis and Jakamav in fighting Adolin. When Kaladin ran to help, Relis and Jakamav abandoned Adolin to take out Kaladin. Adolin used the opportunity this provided to defeat Abrobadar and then jumped on Jakamav from behind. His plate ran out of stormlight and locked, and they both tumbled to the ground.
Relis went to attack Renarin, but Kaladin managed to stop his blade. Relis, hearing the screams of his Shardblade when Kaladin touched the blade, ran screaming from the arena, thus abandoning the duel. This left only Jakamav, whom Adolin was pinned beneath, restraining him. Kaladin put his knife to Jakamav and forced him to surrender. Adolin made Kaladin help him out of his Shardplate. When Elhokar offered the King's Boon, Adolin requested The Right of Challenge against Sadeas. Before Elhokar could offer it, Kaladin interrupted by requesting The Right of Challenge against Amaram. They were unable to pin down the duel with Sadeas, who responded that he would answer the challenge in a year's time, which was too late for House Kholin.
Adolin locked himself up on the third day of Kaladin's imprisonment in protest. He communicated with Shallan via spanreed, asking her to come visit him because he was bored. He used an ardent rather than one of his father's scribes because he did not want Shallan to get jealous. Adolin told her that his father was planning an expedition to eliminate the Parshendi once and for all and that he had managed to convince Dalinar to bring Shallan along.
Though he was wearing several weeks' growth of beard on his face, Adolin had had cold baths and even had worn cologne while in prison. When Kaladin asked 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 apologized for ruining the plan, Adolin told him that it was Elhokar who had ruined it, not him. He even believed Kaladin about Amaram unquestioningly, stating the man seemed too perfect and was thus hiding something. When they exited the prison, Bridge Four and Adolin's armorers were waiting. Adolin presented Kaladin with a Plate and Blade, but Kaladin offered them to Moash instead. Pulling him aside, Adolin asked him why; Kaladin told him he didn't want his life to change because he was lighteyed. He wanted to change the lives of people like him, something he could not do as a lighteyes. When Adolin pressed that the Assassin in White would return, Kaladin told him he'd be more useful without the Shards.
Adolin was present with Shallan at the feast when Navani's recordings of Dalinar's visions were exposed. Adolin managed to roll out an entire strike force including his father to accompany Shallan so she could study a chasmfiend chrysalis. Adolin and Kaladin discussed the Assassin in White as they went, deciding that they could slow him with arrows if he attacked out there on the plains. Kaladin told Adolin that Szeth could heal himself, and thus he should always go for the kill when fighting him. Adolin also awkwardly tried and failed to get Kaladin to reveal his secret; when Kaladin asked him if he trusted him, Adolin said he did.
When Shallan came over to them, she kissed Adolin's cheek, much to his surprise, as Alethi were not so publicly affectionate. When she rhetorically asked why the moss was growing weird on a rock, he replied that it was because of alcohol in an attempt at being funny. Shallan asked Adolin to slay the moss for her and he bemusedly did so, cutting the top of the rock off with his Shardblade. He then left Kaladin to watch over her as he went to get something to drink. While he was gone he let the darkeyed waterboys try on his Shardplate helmet. Later, when the carpenter destroyed 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.
When Adolin learned that Shallan was alive, he rushed to her apartments. Though he initiated the hug, the first time he had ever initiated any physical affection, Shallan was the one who initiated the kiss. When Shallan asked where he'd been, he told her he had been delivering his father's ultimatum to finish the Vengeance Pact to the other Highprinces. Dalinar thought it would keep Adolin occupied while grieving over Shallan. Adolin promised he'd never let anything happen to Shallan again and she told him that while she appreciated his concern, she did not want that from him. Despite being confused about that, he backed her up when Navani promised something similar.
Setting out for the Parshendi's settlement, Adolin rode with Shallan and her guards. Adolin purposefully gave her one of his slower horses to ride because she told him she had little experience riding. He was also present at Dalinar's interrogation of Rlain, who revealed there was something wrong with the Parshendi, though he did not know their plans.
The Battle of Narak
Before the battle, Adolin delivered the news to the Highprinces that the Parshendi numbered at least ten thousand. At the start of the battle, Dalinar commanded Adolin to take his force and stop the Parshendi's singing at all costs. He was accompanied by Skar and Drehy of Bridge Four as his guards. When Adolin crossed the bridge to engage the Parshendi, they summoned up lightning and killed Sureblood, knocking Adolin from his saddle. He grieved for a moment over the Ryshadium before charging back into the battle and commanding his troops. He discovered that the Parshendi's lightning acted like natural lightning and would often miss targets by going into the ground. He also discovered that their lightning did not affect Shardplate.
The Parshendi tried to immobilize Adolin by lassoing him with ropes, but he managed to cut through them and fended the Parshendi off. The Parshendi were engaging Adolin in teams to keep him out of the battle where he'd be the most deadly. When Perel, the man he had placed as field commander, called for the flank's retreat, Adolin guarded it in case the Parshendi pursued. Perel told him neither side was making headway and that he was worried about the singing Parshendi reserves up against a rock formation in the middle of the plateau. Adolin could no longer feel the Thrill, which he passed off as just being tired. Adolin remembered what Shallan said about the rock formations being hollow and devised a plan to go through the formation with a battalion.
Adolin and a thousand men went through the crem encrusted building to the wall the Parshendi singers were hiding against. He cut two holes in the wall for his men to exit through; the first one went unnoticed because of all the chanting and rain, but the second was noticed. He charged into the Parshendi and started cutting them down. He likened it to killing sleeping men and reflected on how attacking ordinary soldiers with Shards was doing dirty work. Despite winning the plateau, the Parshendi's expressions of horror haunted him as he cut them down, feeling nauseated. Though he was caught unawares by Eshonai's attack, he mentally thanked her for her arrival, glad to have an honest fight on his hands.
Fighting Eshonai, Adolin sensed the Thrill in her and used this to his advantage in their duel, luring her to the edge of the plateau. Though Eshonai managed to break his vambrace, Adolin knocked her off the edge of the plateau and down into the chasms. This gambit broke his helm and nearly toppled him over the edge as well, but he was 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 grabbed the arm of a man in a thick cloak whom he assumed was delivering something and asked where his father was. When the hood fell off, Adolin discovered the man was the Assassin in White.
Szeth threw a badly beaten Adolin through one of the tents, and Adolin landed near his father, most of his Plate broken or cracked. As Szeth approached, Dalinar cradled Adolin and told him to be a better man than he had been and to not play the games of the other lighteyes. Adolin tried to stop Dalinar from getting up and approaching Szeth, but with so much of his Plate broken, he struggled to stand. He watched his father and Szeth fight and eventually managed to stand. Drehy and Skar helped him remove his armor. Once it was off, he ran to save his father, who was kneeling in defeat before Szeth. Roion got there before him and was Lashed upwards to the sky by Szeth. Wearing no Shardplate, Adolin engaged Szeth. Dalinar and Adolin both rushed Szeth, hoping to score a lucky blow, but Szeth flew out of the way. Szeth managed to land a hand on Dalinar in the fight and Lashed him upwards into the storm. Crying, Adolin began to rush Szeth, but the assassin pointed his Honorblade at Adolin and told him that it was finished and he was done. Adolin moved to hit him, but Szeth parried the blow, breaking Adolin's wrist. He hit him in the chest, knocking the air from Adolin's lungs, and said he could kill one more. Before Szeth could, however, Kaladin landed with Dalinar in his grasp, safe.
Kaladin chased after Szeth into the storm and Adolin, upon confirming Kaladin was one of the Knights Radiant, laughed and exclaimed that he knew there was something wrong with the man. Dalinar send Adolin to help organize the army's move to Shallan's plateau. When he got to the plateau, he met up with Shallan and discovered she was a Radiant as well. They tried using Adolin's Shardblade to open the Oathgate, but it didn't work; they instead used Pattern in his Shardblade form. They both used their weight to work the mechanism, pushing the blade around the circle until it stood above the picture of Urithiru. When Shallan removed Pattern from the slot, the Oathgate activated. Once transported, they discovered the entire plateau was the portal.
The True Desolation (1174-)
Adolin took charge of the exploration of Urithiru, creating maps of the city. Adolin and Shallan met, and Shallan said she would not let her status as a Radiant cause awkwardness between them. They kissed, and Adolin promised to stop being awkward if she stopped being irresistible. When he left, he informed her that Pattern had chosen her room and told the guards that no one was to disturb her.
While exploring, Adolin reflected on his relationship with Shallan and how it had changed with the revelation that she was a Radiant, which had shaken his sense of self. Getting too far ahead of the rest of his party, Adolin investigated some voices he heard and stumbled across Sadeas with a scouting party of his own. Adolin remained hidden until the others left and tried to sneak away, but his boot scraped the floor, drawing Sadeas's attention. As the two talked, Sadeas revealed his plan to undermine Dalinar by saying the Kholins had contacted the Parshendi and the two had put on a convincing show at Narak. Sadeas didn't believe this, but it was the lie he would tell others.
Adolin asked Sadeas why he was the way he was, and Sadeas told Adolin that an army could not have two generals; it had to be him or Dalinar who disappeared. Adolin said it didn't have to be that way, but Sadeas reiterated that it must and that he would take everything Dalinar had. Adolin finally snapped and attacked Sadeas. The two wrestled, and Adolin managed to stab Sadeas through the eye and into his brain, killing him. Adolin ditched Oathbringer, which materialized as Sadeas died, out the window and into one of the planters. He cut his bloody cuffs off and erased the chalk marks that indicated he had been in the vicinity. He returned to his scouting party and pretended he had been with them the whole time.
Adolin supervised the workforce that was unloading goods at Urithiru. They used a huge room, four stories high, to become the new marketplace. His wrist was still hurting from the Battle of Narak. He was summoned by his father when Sadeas' body was discovered. Adolin kept quiet about his involvement and was put in charge of training the Alethi armies. Shortly after, he attended Dalinar's wedding. Adolin was very disturbed when a second murder happened in exactly the same way as Sadeas' a few days later. Dalinar then put him in charge of the investigation of both murders.
The Kholin cavalry were housed on the ground floor of Urithiru with an outside field for Gallant, Dalinar's Ryshadium. Adolin went to visit the horse and talked with him, as Dalinar hadn't been giving much attention to his mount. Adolin reminisced about the good times he had with Sureblood, as he was still mourning the loss of his own Ryshadium. At that moment, Renarin came by looking for Adolin. Renarin explained how he wanted to give his Shards back to Adolin, as the sword screamed when he touched it. The Kholin brothers talked about Renarin's emerging Radiant powers. Renarin expressed his fear that he would hurt someone, which Adolin dismissed. In response, Renarin healed Adolin's wrist.
A little time later, Adolin visited Shallan in her room, bringing food. She was still in her underwear and had her safehand uncovered, as she was recovering from her 'scouting' party and had slept in. After some commotion, Shallan let Adolin into her room and formally introduced Pattern to him. They had a lengthy and flirty talk while Pattern acted as chaperone. They discussed the murders Adolin was set to investigate, and Adolin offered to teach Shallan how to use her Shardblade.
At his next visit to Shallan, Adolin waited outside until he could enter. He quickly noticed the jug of Horneater white and wondered what Shallan had been up to. While they walked to speak to Ialai Sadeas about the murders, Adolin advised Shallan to find a purpose for her 'honor' guards. It turned out that Ialai had no useful information, but she pointed Adolin to the Kholin troops. She asked him to send a report of his findings to her own investigator, Meridas Amaram.
Adolin attended a big conference with Dalinar, Kaladin, Elokhar, the highprinces, and other dignitaries. When Ialai entered and named Amaram the regent to the Sadeas princedom, Adolin got very angry. Dalinar sent Adolin away, and Shallan followed him. During the conversation that followed, Adolin revealed to Shallan that it was Kaladin who killed her brother Helaran.
The Midnight Mother
When Shallan discovered where Re-Shephir was hiding in Urithiru, she had Pattern find Adolin to accompany her. Adolin gathered a group of Bridge Four soldiers, including his brother Renarin, and led them down into the tower. When they came to a locked metal door, Adolin used his Shardblade to cut the lock and grant entry to a library filled with decayed books. Adolin ordered his men to retreat when they found Re-Shephir, standing at the front with Renarin to fight her. Initially he tried to convince Shallan to run away, but he trusted her judgement when she claimed to understand the spren and wanted to fight it. Adolin led the charge against Re-Shephir trusting that Shallan could defeat her. After the battle, Adolin tried to convince Shallan to rest.
Siege of Kholinar
Kaladin flew the small expedition including Elhokar, Shallan and Adolin to Kholinar. Adolin supported Kaladin when he advised the king to approach the city with caution. The team landed outside the city and approached the city using lightwoven disguises. The Wall Guard was not letting anyone in, but the team used a moment of distraction to sneak in. Adolin led the team to his suggested hideout: his tailor's house. Adolin and Elhokar attended several parties to contact the remaining local lighteyes and gain the support of their private house guards. When Kaladin was infiltrating the Wall Guard, Adolin acted as his handler, signaling to Kaladin to continue undercover. During the next highstorm, Adolin, Shallan, and Kaladin sheltered in a wine-house where they planned their next moves. Afterwards, Shallan and Adolin shared an intimate moment, and he got to browse through her sketchbook.
After all their reconnaissance, the group decided their only option was to storm the palace with the help of the Wall Guard and private house guards. While preparing for the assault, Adolin talked again to his sword about how he needed her, how she used to be alive, and his intention to use her for something good that day. Adolin, Azure, and Elhokar led the charge on the front steps of the palace and used their Shardblades to cut open the doors. When alerted by an officer, Adolin found and freed the remaining loyal Palace Guard troops, who were locked up. After they secured the eastern gallery, Adolin led the group that cleared the way for Shallan towards the Oathgate platform. After Ashertmarn fled, Adolin left Shallan to open the Oathgate and went to the Sunwalk with Skar and Drehy to rescue Kaladin and Elhokar; they arrived after Elhokar's death, but were able to save Kaladin. As he returned to the Oathgate, he got a good look at Kholinar, realized that the city—his home—was lost, and ordered a retreat. When Shallan told him that the Oathgate was a trap, Adolin realized they had no other options and ordered her to engage it anyway, resulting in them being transported to Shadesmar.
Trip through Shadesmar
Adolin, Shallan, Kaladin, Azure, Syl, Pattern, and the deadeye representing Adolin's sword found themselves in Shadesmar. Shallan used a lot of Stormlight to create makeshift platforms in the bead ocean to get the group to the land representing the river near Kholinar in the Physical Realm. Adolin felt useless, as he had no skills to help the group. The next morning, Adolin woke up and started a morning kata, which Kaladin and Azure both joined. They followed the peninsula to the lighthouse at the end, from where they caught a ship sailed by Reachers to Celebrant. Just before disembarking in Celebrant, Adolin had a conversation with Azure about duty, royalty, and Azure's view that sometimes the best way to do your duty is to let someone else carry it.
The group split in Celebrant; Adolin went with Kaladin and Syl to change money and buy supplies. The group soon discovered that the city was under the control of the Fused. They narrowly escaped when Syl surrendered herself to a ship of honorspren. The honorspren sailed southwest, letting the group move freely on deck with the exception of Syl, who was kept captive. During the trip, Adolin had a long talk with Shallan, and they both revealed some of their secrets; Adolin confessed to her that he was the one who had killed Sadeas, and Shallan talked about her problems with her other identities. Shortly thereafter, they spotted eight Fused in pursuit of the ship. They were close to Longbrow's Straits, here a land area, with Thaylen City on the other side. Using the bead of a room, Adolin, Shallan, Kaladin, and their spren snuck into the bead ocean while the honorspren and Azure held off the Fused. The group had an exhausting hike across the land to get to the Thaylen City Oathgate, only to find it guarded.
The group attacked the Oathgate in an attempt to get back to the Physical Realm. Adolin lead Pattern, Syl, Maya, and twenty of Shallan's illusions to distract two of the guarding Fused. He acted randomly to blend in with the illusions, but one of the Fused spotted him anyway. Adolin fought the Fused and got rammed through by a lance to the stomach. He only survived because Maya suddenly attacked the Fused, allowing Adolin to flee. Dalinar then opened Honor's Perpendicularity, allowing Adolin, along with Shallan and Kaladin, to return to the Physical Realm.
Battle of Thaylen Field and Aftermath
”Something tickled his mind, very faint, like a sigh. A single word: Mayalaran. A … name?
After Adolin stepped through Honor's Perpendicularity, Renarin healed his wound. Not having gotten a specific task from Dalinar, Adolin decided to try and help the soldiers within the city. He teamed up with Kdralk to free Navani on the wall and informed her of Elhokar's death. He helped organize the city's resistance, then went to go help fight the thunderclasts. During the fight he heard Maya speak to him, telling him her name and her approval of his actions. Adolin stopped to rescue a boy in a building during the fight. Hrdalm found him and helped distract the thunderclast by taking hits with his Shardplate. The thunderclast nearly killed him, but he managed to summon Maya in seven heartbeats instead of the usual ten, saving his life. Renarin found Adolin, healed him again, and forced him to leave because he didn't have Plate; Adolin gave Maya to Hrdalm temporarily to use instead. After the battle, he found Shallan to make sure she was all right. She was, and he offered to step aside for Shallan and Kaladin to be together. Shallan said she was choosing him instead. She told him she could be anyone for him, but Adolin replied insistently he didn't want anyone: he wanted Shallan.
Soon after the battle, Dalinar approached Adolin about becoming king of Alethkar, with Gavinor named as his heir. He refused and admitted to Sadeas' murder, though he did agree to become the new Kholin highprince. Adolin and Shallan decided to quickly get married, which they did shortly after.
Infiltrating the Sons of Honor
Shallan and Adolin led the campaign to infiltrate the Sons of Honor. While Shallan pretended to be a merchant and let herself be kidnapped by the Sons, Adolin headed a small group of soldiers to follow them and protect his wife. They had arranged that Pattern would alert Adolin if Shallan needed help. Adolin had to sneak into the warcamps to be able to spend time with Shallan. When the Sons of Honor replaced the sack over Shallan's head, Adolin led the soldiers to attack.
He found Shallan at Ialai's hideout right when Shallan was taking her prisoner. Shallan removed his illusion and they discussed what happened. Adolin hoped Ialai's armies would now stand down. Adolin frowned and Shallan asked if he was thinking about killing Ialai. He answered that perhaps they should not go down that road. They agreed to quickly search the hideout, when they heard commotion outside and found the highprincess dead. The pair was confused to what happened. When Adolin ordered his soldiers to search the rooms, Shallan stopped them saying she needed to search them herself. She made him drink some wine, which he recognized as [Shin] wine.
After delivering their prisoners, Adolin and Shallan rode a carriage from the warcamps to the Oathgate at Narak. Adolin tried to sooth Shallan's worries about Dalinar's response to Ialai's death. They talked about Shallan having secrets, and how Adolin had the patience to let her tell them when she's ready. When Veil took over, He sat further away from her. She tells that Ialai was murdered, but denies doing it herself. When suggesting it would not be so bad if she had, Adolin reacted with horror. A bit later, Shallan tells Adolin about the Sons of Honor and their relation to the Ghostbloods.
Socializing With the Knights Radiant
”You don't have to smile. You don't have to talk. But if you're going to to be miserable, you might as well do it with friends.—Adolin to Kaladin
When Kaladin got back to Urithiru after having been removed from duty by Dalinar, Syl came to get Adolin. Adolin found Kaladin sitting in his room, depressed and miserable. While Kal wanted to be alone, Adolin was having none of it and insisted that his friend joined him for a drink at Jez's Duty. It was Adolin's regular winehouse where a booth was permanently reserved for him. When they entered, the crowd cheered in greeting for the highprince. After talking with several groups, Adolin joined Kaladin and Veil at his booth. Adolin and Veil talked about a wedding party going on, and joked how Kaladin didn't notice such things. They then started to discuss who to setup Kaladin with, who didn't want that at all. The discussion slowly moved into Adolin's earlier courtship with Dakhnah and Veil seemed jealous of her curves. Kaladin remarked how Veil and Adolin had the strangest relationship. Veil left to get another drink, after which Adolin and Kaladin shortly discussed the mission in the warcamps and then sat in silence.
”Adolin dear, swing a Herdazian in a crowded room, and you'll hit six women you courted—Veil to Adolin while discussing women for Kal to court
After a while, Adolin started prodding Kaladin about how he was feeling. Kaladin told him about how he had been removed of active duty and how it was right. Adolin was silent for a while, then said his father could be wrong. The highprince admitted he wanted to help Kaladin, but had no idea how. He hoped that if he found a way to help Kaladin, he might be able to help Shallan also. He continued, that he feared Shallan was hurting and her state digressing slowly. Pattern suggested that he should talk to the ardents, and Kal suggested perhaps Wit could help. Adolin pressed Kal for any suggestions on how to help Shallan from his surgeon training. This helped Kaladin realize that what he was recommending was exactly what Adolin was doing for him right now. Kal then suggested they needed to get Adolin a spren, and that it would help if he dropped his Shardblade. Adolin rejected 'getting rid' of Maya. When Jor came over to introduce his bride Kryst, Adolin pulled out a gift for the pair. Later in the evening, when Rock appeared, Adolin left so Kal and the Horneater could speak alone.
In his spare time, Adolin liked to spend time with the Ryshadium, helped Kaladin train with the sword. At some point, he helped little Gavinor ride on a horse for the first time. Adolin and Shallan spend time entertaining the Mink and showed him around the tower. The two escorted him to the meeting with Dalinar, Navani, Jasnah and Wit. After the meeting Jasnah, asked them to escort the Mink to the military briefing chambers and give him all the information he required. Later at a meeting of the coalition, a mission to the honorspren was put together. Shallan volunteered to lead it with Adolin, who agreed and thought it might be fun.
Expedition to Lasting Integrity
”You're Alethkar's most eligible bachelor. Shardbearer, Radiant, Landed, and single?—Adolin to Kaladin when visiting the latter in the surgery
Adolin and Shallan decided to only take a few attendants each, to keep the expedition small. When he was getting ready, Adolin had trouble deciding what to wear. Shallan teased him about it and gave him an hour to meet the others. Adolin quickly decided and used the time to stop by Kaladin and call him Alethkar's most eligible bachelor. Adolin then reassured Kaladin that it was okay to step away from the front line, and take the time he needed.When leaving, Syl advised to be careful as the honorspren could be hard to persuade with logic if they feel something is right or not.
After the stop, Adolin left the tower and met the expedition at the Oathgate for the Shattered Plains. He oversaw the workers packing the last of his armor and weapons on Gallant, who would serve him on the trip. Adolin had to talk to the Ryshadium and give him some palafruit before Gallant allowed the workers to load him. When Godeke asked how many swords Adolin needed, he explained you couldn't have enough as different situations required different swords. He then proceeded to show off every sword he had. After Godeke hiked off, Zu joked that Adolin almost liked not being able to use a Shardblade, and showed off hers.
After finishing with his equipment, Adolin checked on his men, all chosen for their levelheadedness. The Stump was the last of the Radiants to arrive, and Adolin walked up to the people seeing off the expedition. He watched as Jasnah supervised a last soulcasting exercise by the Lightweavers. When ready, Dalinar gave a short speech wishing the expedition a good trip into Shadesmar, followed by words from Jasnah and Taravangian. The group entered the Oathgate building. Adolin lingered last to have a conversation with his father.
”Maybe there are more than two choices in life.[...] Maybe I'm my own brand of wrong.—Adolin to Dalinar when saying goodbye before the mission.
Dalinar started by thanking Adolin for taking care of Gallant. Their talk took a turn when they disagreed on whether Dalinar was disappointed in Adolin or not. Dalinar wanted his son to become the best man he could be, while Adolin would rather be his own person without being defined by his father. When Dalinar hinted at Adolin's murder of Sadeas, Adolin thought of the death of Evi. This made him realize that it was his mother's fate that was the cause of his feelings for his father, whom he couldn't forgive. Despite their diverging views on morality, Dalinar expressed his confidence that Adolin would succeed. The highprince then entered the control building, where Shallan moved them to Shadesmar.
Voyage to Nameless
When the party arrived in Shadesmar, nobody panicked as they had practiced this before. They found themselves on a huge pillar with steps spiraling down around it to "sea" level. Adolin surveyed the group, and stared a bit too long at Arshqqam's mistspren, who reacted offended. Shallan pointed him to the downward ramp where the highprince found Maya. He took her hand and guided her to the others to be introduced. Shallan watch over the deadeye, while he checked Gallant and repacked his luggage, as his Shardplate had not made the transfer. When they started moving, he talked with Shallan about his actions regarding Maya. The rest of the hike, the highprince used to get to know the expedition members. With Godeke, he spoke about theology and how recent events effected the various religious attitudes. Finally they reached the bottom where a barge was waiting for them and the party boarded it for the two week sailing to Nameless. When Shallan opened her trunk, Adolin noticed the looked shocked, but she told him it was just some spilled paint. He then went to brush down Gallant and noticed Maya watching him. She wanted to help, so he showed her how to, to the surprise of the nearby peakspren.
During the second day of the voyage, Adolin found Shallan sketching on deck. They ate together, and had a quite conversation. After a bit, when Shallan admitted she left her homeland intending to rob Jasnah, Adolin responded with laughter. He found the whole notion ridiculous, and they exchanged a few jokes and chatted happily for a while longer.
”Words like 'eternal' and 'forever' aren't as definitive as you all pretend.—Adolin to Zu's spren Ua'pam about Maya's perculiarities
After the voyage, land was sighted by the watch to the relief of Adolin and Gallant. Adolin decided to send disguised lightweavers into town first while the rest of the humans stayed in hiding. He was surprised that Shallan was hungover as she could have healed using stormlight the night before. While waiting, the highprince and Godeke looked at their dwindling stormlight reserves and planned to trade it for supplies at the town. Adolin then went to check on Maya and he wondered if she would join him in a new kata, not the usual morning ritual one. He started it and after two tries she joined and performed it perfectly. When the others returned, Ua'pam expressed surprise and asked how Adolin had trained her. Not believing the prince's denial that he had not trained her, the spren said deadeyes where lost forever, to which Adolin added that perhaps eternal was not as definitive as the spren thought.
When the scouts came telling the town was safe, Adolin and the others headed out. He took Maya into town, while he continued to worry about the mission and how to convince the honorspren. They wandered over the market, and suddenly Adolin came out of his brooding when he noticed Maya had stopped and was staring at a deadeye. It was a Cryptic standing near a shop. The shopowner told Adolin his business partner had left ten years ago and he had found her as deadeye only last year. He accused Adolin that killing spren is what humans did, to the highprince's horror. Godeke came to alert Adolin they had found a human caravan just outside town. They went to check it out, and found an unwelcoming caravan with people looking Tukari. On approach the people looked shed in shadows, and they were sent away in broken Alethi. On return to their barge, Adolin noticed a familiar figure standing nearby: Notum the honorspren captain of his last trip through Shadesmar.
”Besides, if she's so precious, maybe you all could listen to her once in a while.—Adolin to Notum about Syl's choice to bond Kaladin
Adolin went on to greet Notum, and discovered the honorspren had punished and exiled him for the help he had rendered the Radiants in their earlier voyage. When Adolin told him of his mission, Notum was shocked and tried to discourage him as he deemed it a futile effort. Notum explained you didn't normalize relations with a thief, and the humans had stolen Syl. Adolin countered it was her free choice, and if they cared so much about her they should perhaps have listened to her. Maya reacted to this with a growl. While he looked at Maya, Notum predicted that the envoy would be turned away instantly when reaching Lasting Integrity because of what humans did to the spren. The highprince countered that they had done nothing to them and it was thousands of years ago, to which Notum remarked that was not even a lifetime for many spren. Notum asked Adolin if they had managed to save the bondsmith. He couldn't lie and so admitted it was the bondsmith who had saved them.
Caravanning to Lasting Integrity
Several weeks onto the road, Adolin and Zu looked back from an outcropping towards the Tukari caravan that had been following them at a distance of a few hours. The followers had not turned away at the last crossroads, to Adolin's frustration. Zu suggested to attack them using their last stormlight as it was running out anyway, but Adolin did not like that. At the same time, Notum's patrol was a bit ahead of Adolin's group. Back at the camp he inspected the breaking up, and set the caravan moving before going to Shallan. He told Veil about his worries that the honorspren would not even receive them or take their letters. They and Radiant discussed various alternatives, each worse than the last. He feared the arguments from the letters were the ones the honorspren were expecting and prepared for. He then realized they had had thousands of years and so must be prepared for any argument he could possibly make. He asked for Shallan, but Radiant said she needed rest. When Adolin said he has been worried about Shallan for some time now, Radiant told him something was going on with her. Veil explained some of the coping mechanisms of Shallan and that his wive worried Adolin would leave her if he'd found out about her secrets. The highprince was insistent he didn't care what Shallan had done and he was there for her.
Later around a campfire, Adolin, the Radiants, and their spren discussed the plans for approaching the honorspren. The Stump disliked them all, though she and her spren agreed the letters would do little good. She added they couldn't guilt the spren into agreeing, to which Godeke concurred. Adolin decided to work on the ideas some more, and Arshqqam suggested to consider appealing to their honor. After they had breakfast Adolin asked the Three out for a walk, as they had hardly spent any time together. Just out of camp, Notum met them on his mount and bade them farewell as he could not approach Lasting Integrity any closer. While they continued, Adolin asked Veil if she had any luck bringing Shallan out, but she hadn't. They walked onwards, and Adolin noticed Shallan in there. He expressed his worries and that he would never leave her. When Shallan said she was weak, he countered that she was strong enough to save her brothers. At the end of a ridge they reached a beautiful view and Shallan noticed a starspren above. This brought out Shallan who needed to sketch it. They then talked about their relationship and love for each other. It led to Adolin telling an embarrassing anecdote from one of his first girlfriends who wanted to see him wield his sword. They ended their conversation with Dalinar, and how Adolin struggled with his father's expectations of him.
When they returned to the caravan, Adolin sought out Gallant and commented how nice it must be not to worry about politics or relations. Malli brought Maya over and Adolin helped her on the Ryshadium. They started marching and he mulled over his problems, but got nowhere. Just after midday, Felt came to tell him the Tukari had stopped following and turned southwards. They looked with spyglasses from a rise and when Adolin was returning to the front of the caravan he suddenly realized the Tukari hadn't been following the envoy but had been following Notum all this time. He ran back to the outcropping, had another look, and ordered the others to follow him as fast as they could. The highprince started running towards the Tukari. Soon Gallant came galloping after him, and he jumped into the saddle as soon as he was able to.
”Never underestimate the worth of being willing to hold. Your. GROUND.—Adolin's thought during the fight to defend Notum.
When the galloping Ryshadium approached the Tukari, Adolin ordered the mount to stay out of the fight. He found around twenty Tukari surrounding Notum, who was on the ground and being hit and stabbed. Adolin looked for help, and spotted his companions but they were minutes away. So the prince unmounted and told Maya that he would distract the men, and she should go free Notum. He told her to stay out of the fight as it would be dangerous. He went to attract the assailants attention and then charged, on his first strike decapitating the first rogue. The highprince quickly got in a protracted battle where he had to be careful not to get surrounded by the large number of opponents.The enemy fought without coordination and Adolin took out one after the other. They started to circle him and he retreated close to Notum, when one man with a shield started to shout orders. During a more coordinated attack Adolin got hit by a spear in his right side. The fight continued and became more and more of a struggle for the highprince. Then suddenly he found Maya standing behind him, back to back with him and wielding his shortsword. Adolin had her start the morning kata to be more impressive. After fending off another attack, the last assailants flew. Soon after, Felt and the others arrived and found Adolin helping Notum surrounded by corpses.
In the aftermath of the fight, Notum was dumbfounded why humans would attack spren. When Adolin said they would need to take the honorspren to Lasting Integrity, he declined as was exiled. The highprince was not accepting that, despite what it would do for their reception. They left the scene to continue their journey, and Shallan came over to check on the highprince. He told her it had felt good to have been able to do something useful for once. After they met up with their spren, Notum asked Adolin how he had trained Maya to fight with him like that. He answered he hadn't trained her and it was her choice to help, which Notum didn't believe. Back at the camp they had a break to pack up their belongings, before proceeding.
Reaching Lasting Integrity
When the group approached the fortress of Lasting Integrity they were met by three honorspren. They asked Adolin if he was Adolin Kholin, which he confirmed. He stated their purpose, but was told the fortress was not accepting any visitors, and that they should leave. When Adolin offered the letters from the monarchs, one of the spren took them and shredded them on the spot. They refused to read them as there existed no argument that could change their mind. When Adolin persisted, the spren just repeated that they needed to leave and that they rejected any offers or bonds. Desperate, Adolin made a last plea, offering to face judgment. He told that if the spren wished to condemn the current humans for what their ancestors did, they would have to prove it. The spren were baffled but agreed to a trial and let Adolin, Shallan, Maya and Pattern into the city.
Several weeks into his incarceration in Lasting Integrity, Adolin climbed to the top of the walls. For a moment he enjoyed the view of Shadesmar, before checking on the camp of the others. He could also see a large group of hundreds of deadeyes gathering on the nearby coast.The honorspren had taken some in but had no more space. Maya was with the other deadeyes, although they did allow Adolin to visit her each morning for their exercises. The highprince asked his jailer why the deadeyes came here, but no one knew.
Afterwards, it was time for his next tutor session on honorspren law and trial procedure. For weeks, Adolin had been getting instruction from the inkspren Blended. She informed him the trial would commence in three days, and that he was not ready for it. They discussed that the law was too complex for him to learn in the allotted time, and so the honorspren would use the procedures against him. Blended suggested his best change would be to ask for a trial by witness, a format that is simple although weighted against him. Adolin agreed as any alternative required more skill in the law than he had. She warned him that his sense of honor might not be that of the honorspren. After the session Blended let Adolin to one of the officials but stopped halfway as she noticed a disturbance at the gates. The high judge, they had been waiting for, had arrived and he was human.
Adolin approached the judge, who turned out to be Kelek. The Herald asked what the human was doing here. The situation was explained to him, and Adolin petitioned the judge to make it a trial by witness. The judge accepted this and set the start day for two days later and in the forum so a big audience could attend. From the way the Herald said this, Adolin concluded the judge was biased against him.
The amphitheater was packed with honorspren, when Adolin arrived for his trial. He noticed Shallan and Pattern in the audience and then reached the High Judge, Kelek told him to stand on the podium until the show was done and they could execute him. An honorspren objected saying they would imprison him, not execute him. Sekeir opened the trial by stating that since none denied the Recreance happened, the spren only had to prove it was wise to stay away from humans. Adolin clarified he agreed to be tried for himself and that the spren where acting dishonorably by ignoring the current humans for something in the past. The first witness against the highprince was Amuna who cared for the deadeyes in Lasting Integrity. She argued the humans would turn all spren into new deadeyes, and all their wars showed they lusted for blood and slaughter. She asked what would happen if Dalinar were to kill the Stormfather, adding that no one knows but they feared what might happen. Adolin could only counter that it was the Stormfather's own choice to accept the bond.
To Adolin's shock, the second witness was Blended, as to allow the other spren to weigh in as well. She lived during the Recreance and argued men would always betray their bonds. Moreover, it was unnatural for spren and men to bond as humans were not from Roshar. When she suggested joining the enemy, Adolin countered that odium was evil. In the end, she asked Adolin whether he could promise absolutely that no men would ever kill a spren again. He could not, and she closed her argument with saying no bond meant no betrayal.
”Honor is not dead so long as he lives in the hearts of men!—Notum to the honorspren
The third witness turned out to be Notum who was once again wearing his uniform. Adolin asked if they had bribed him, but Notum stayed silent. The honorspren said he was asked to relate his experiences with the human. He started reading from a piece of paper but trailed off looking at Adolin, who told him to go ahead and tell his side of the story. The prince encouraged him to speak and only wanted honesty from him. The captain lowered his sheet and repeatedly shouted that Honor still lived in the hearts of men. He was quickly removed from the forum, but not before causing unrest among the audience. Therefore, officials cleared the forum. Adolin asked Kelek what it was, and the judge told him his arrival had reopened centuries-old wounds. Adolin said he thought this day had gone well for him. However, the judge started recalling how old he was and the many men he had known.He warned Adolin he was in over his head and that many spren considered joining Odium.
On the second day of the trial, Adolin got to make his case. He had barely started his speech when he was interrupted with the question whether he knew Dalinar almost killed the Stormfather. He didn't, but he also had to be careful not to ask the audience questions, or they could make speeches. The highprince continued, arguing that although humans are imperfect, they can improve and strive for perfection. A spren interrupted again and was almost ejected by the high judge. The second argument from Adolin was that the human kingdoms had overcome their differences and united to fight Odium. Accidentally while answering, he posed a counter question triggering a discussion on whether Dalinar was a danger to the Stormfather. Another spren brought up Kaladin almost killing Syl, and was send out of the forum for interrupting. When their was another interruption, Adolin changed tactic and decided to to confront the audience who clearly were not interested in his words. He told the audience he was glad to find the honorspren were very human with fears. The honorspren then brought in the deadeye cryptic Adolin saw in Nameless. This revelation turned the crowds against Adolin and he knew it, so he left the forum.
”... I don't think Shallan is as weak as you say. Weakness doesn't make someone weak, you see. It's the opposite—Adolin to Formless
Some hours later, Adolin and Shallan were resting in their hut. He told her that he loved her and they have a little chat about what they like in each other and how stupid they sometimes were. Shallan promised to break Adolin out of prison if he got convicted. He expressed doubts about his plans and the trial, and that someone else would have done better. The next morning, Adolin thanked the Three for Shallan's support the night before. He noticed something different about Veil, but she denied it and told him Shallan was to weak at the moment. Adolin answered with questions about what strength is, and that weakness can make someone strong.
On the last day of the trial, Adolin approached the trial with trepidation. He worried about the trial and Shallan, so it took a moment before he realized Kelek was not at the stage and his place had been taken by Sekeir. Who told Adolin his wive had gone and tried to influence the Herald and they were now both in custody. The new judge gave a lengthy speech, and revealed the final witness. It was Maya, who is clearly uncomfortable with the attention of the audience. Sekeir asked Adolin if he knows her, and he answered Mayalaran was his friend. The judge pressed Adolin that she was his slave, and that humans used the deadeyes to kill and were monsters. Adolin doesn't deny it, said the point was made and asked to let Maya go as she was terrified. Maya is getting more and more anxious while Sekeir gave a speech to the crowds about what humans have done. Adolin objected to the treatment and was restrained, but Sekeir insisted he had to speak for Maya. The situation continued to escalate with Maya starting to growl and cry out. Adolin started to feel her pain and shouted: "LET HER GO!" The judge refused judgment saying Maya's screams were the judgement. Then after a crescendo, Maya felt silent and weak. In that moment, Adolin offered her some of his strength. Then with all her strength she spoke:
”We! CHOSE!—Maya during the trial by the honorspren
This shocked the audience, and it became silent. Adolin could pull free and went to support Maya. Sekeir asked what Adolin did to her, and in response Maya pointed at Sekeir, screeched and shouted repeatedly: "You. Cannot. Have. My. SACRIFICE!" At Adolin's nudging, Maya revealed the Radiant and spren decided together to sever their bonds. This revelation made all the honorspren leave until only Blended remained. The highprince accused her of playing both sides, which she conceded. She added it was her suggestion to have Maya be the witness, to see if Adolin was right that they were friends. She concluded a bond between them existed, although Adolin is no radiant. When Adolin says the spren have no longer an excuse to refuse bonds, Blended countered that she was very worried that thousands of spren rather died than continue. When asked, Maya told they didn't know they would die. Then Blended left, saying lot of things needed to be reconsidered. Adolin stood up and when he left in search for Shallan, he felt Maya was not as insensate as before.
Sometime later, Adolin was in the little chamber he shared with Shallan. Maya, Pattern and Shallan's first spren Testament were also present. They discussed how the deadeyes were looking better. His wife thanked him for his support and was sorry for all her secrets. He then watched as Shallan got out her Seon, Ala, and contacted Mraize. She told him she was leaving the Ghostbloods, and thanked him for the seon. Mraize warned her for the costs, but she ignored it and gave him a message from Wit. After the conversation, Adolin reassured Shallan they could handle it.
”He continues to change partners like he's in a dance that involves particularly quick music.—Dalinar
Adolin is considered to be a notorious flirt by his family and those in the warcamps, having courted many of the available women. He is somewhat afraid of being good at relationships, which has lead to him unconsciously sabotaging all his courtships.
Adolin dated two women between Rilla and Deeli and while their names are not mentioned, Jenet and Melali are most likely the two women he courted. Other women that he has courted include Janala, Malasha, and Danlan.
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. Adolin was causally betrothed to Shallan, though the revelation that she was a Radiant made him wonder about the new dynamics of their relationship. He still worried about this and was willing to let Shallan go when she showed interest in Kaladin.
Shallan told him his insecurities about his place were good for him. She made jokes that he was getting three betrotheds instead of one and he told her he only wanted her which she said she could do with some help from him. They marry soon after.
As the war continued, Adolin started to worry about the mental state of his wife. He tells Kaladin that he wants to help her, but doesn't know how. During the expedition to Shadesmar, he takes Shallan on a date to see a starspren, this seemed to draw her out more. After the trial, they bond more about their shared experience of trying to revive a deadeye.
Adolin is the first son of Dalinar and Evi, and his younger brother is Renarin. Gavilar is his uncle, Dalinar's brother. Navani, Gavilar's widow, is his aunt, and Gavilar's children, Jasnah and King Elhokar, are his cousins.
”And that wasn't the sort of thing you forgave.—Adolin, on the fact that Dalinar killed Evi
Adolin is incredibly loyal to his father, though he doesn't always see eye-to-eye with Dalinar and is unafraid to voice his opinions. Despite his opposing views he remains steadfastly obedient, listening to his father and following the Alethi Codes of War 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 favor of him, still intensely loyal to his father. His skepticism surrounding the Codes eventually changes and Adolin begins to understand their purpose.
Later, when Elhokar died, Dalinar wants Adolin to become the new king. Adolin refuses as he doesn't believe he is the right person to take the crown. His father could not understand this, and is furious when Adolin admits to killing Sadeas. The publishing of the Blackthorn's memoir, including the admission of Dalinar's role in Evi's death, caused a further rift between Adolin and his father. Adolin still loves and respects his father but can not forgive him for killing his mother. The young highprince is slowly realizing he has a different moral code than his father. Nevertheless, Adolin stays loyal and doesn't want to let his father down by failing the mission to the honorspren.
Adolin considers Renarin to be his best friend. Whenever Adolin is about to participate in a duel, Renarin makes sure that he followed their duelist's superstitions--eating chicken for breakfast, talking with Maya, and keeping his mother's chain in a pocket.[expand]
Adolin's relationship with Kaladin gets off to a rocky start, but they eventually grow quite close. Their first interaction is when Adolin asks Kaladin to relay a message to another brightlord; though Kaladin is impressed by how Adolin just rescued a courtesan from a Sadeas soldier, he refuses to do as asked out of general scorn for lighteyes.
They next meet at the Battle of the Tower, when Kaladin commands Adolin to retreat to save his troops. Although he does so once Kaladin promises to aid Dalinar against Eshonai, he is bothered by the interaction and doesn't trust Kaladin for a while longer, even after the bridgemen become Dalinar's bodyguards. Similarly, Kaladin holds on to his disdain and mentally mocks Adolin's apparent foppishness and arrogance. The tensions come to a head on the sparring grounds, when Kaladin loses his temper and attacks Adolin, who in turn carelessly throws Kaladin through the air with the strength of Shardplate.
After Szeth first attacks Dalinar and Adolin, Kaladin, and Dalinar manage to fight him off, Adolin begins to respect Kaladin in earnest. Though he remains suspicious of Kaladin's unexplained combat prowess, he keeps his suspicions to himself and refrains from mockery the next time they cross paths on the sparring grounds. Their interactions begin to be less openly hostile, if still somewhat awkward.
Their relationship really starts to turn around when Kaladin saves Adolin and Renarin in the disadvantaged duel. Adolin realizes that Kaladin has shown himself to be trustworthy no matter what secrets he's keeping, so he voluntarily confines himself to prison for the duration of Kaladin's sentence out of thanks and in protest at Elhokar's unfair treatment, and even makes sure Bridge Four is gathered to meet Kaladin upon his release. Even though Adolin's cell is much nicer, Kaladin is deeply moved by the gesture. Adolin, for his part, doesn't hold Kaladin accountable for interfering with the plan to duel Sadeas, and he instantly believes Kaladin's accusations about Amaram, contrary to everyone else's skepticism.
After that, they begin to show real rapport as they work together to plan for Szeth's reappearance; Kaladin maintains a lingering grudge out of habit, but soon realizes that he truly does like Adolin and think of him as a good man. By the time of the expedition to Kholinar, they frequently joke around with each other and their mockery has a friendly tone rather than an antagonistic one. After Elhokar's death, when Kaladin begins to go into shock, Adolin is the one who makes sure to keep him moving and talking. Kaladin, in his depression, almost slips back into mocking Adolin in his head, but their friendship is strong enough by then that stops himself.
”You don’t have to smile. You don’t have to talk. But if you’re going to be miserable, you might as well do it with friends.—Adolin
Adolin continues to watch out for Kaladin's mental health in Urithiru, dragging him out to socialize, helping plan his love life, and checking on him in Lirin's clinic. In fact, for a long time, practically the only times Kaladin goes out for fun are when Adolin gets him to, and he finds himself missing Adolin and Shallan when they are not with him. Without Adolin's support after Teft's death, Kaladin almost gives up on everything; only saying the Fourth Ideal with Dalinar's help allows him to pull through.
Adolin wins Mayalaran's Shardblade form in a duel well before becoming aware of her nature as a spren. Even without that knowledge, he treats his Blade with reverence and respect, speaking to it before every duel and thinking of himself as only borrowing it. Like many duelists, he thinks of the Blade as an extension of his soul and sometimes even alive in some sense, though it is not clear whether that is superstition or an instinctual understanding of Shardblades' true nature.
When he encounters Mayalaran's spren form in Shadesmar after the Battle of Kholinar, he is initially unnerved by her deadeye appearance and behavior, but he soon overcomes that feeling, calling her a friend and wishing she didn't have to be locked up for her own safety. During the Battle of Thaylen Field, he can feel her eagerness to fight a thunderclast, she speaks her name directly into his mind, and he is able to summon her in less than the usual ten heartbeats -- signs of the unusual bond they have been forming and Maya's partial revival. Even though gaining a Nahel bond would give him access to a live Shardblade, he refuses to entertain the idea, since it would require him to stop carrying Maya.
Their bond develops further during Adolin's next trip to Shadesmar. He takes care of Maya and treats her as a normal spren, despite her muteness and the skepticism of other spren about the point of interacting with a deadeye. She begins to show more and more responsiveness and initiative, such as by brushing Gallant and participating in Adolin's morning katas. She eventually even comes to his aid while he is rescuing Notum by performing a kata with a sword to keep the attackers off Adolin's back.
When the honorspren in Lasting Integrity attempt to use Maya as a sham witness in their trial, she surprises them by speaking up powerfully in defense of Adolin and the ancient Radiants, making it undeniable to all that Adolin's consistent care for Maya has caused something to happen that no one thought was possible -- restoration of a deadeye's consciousness, at least in a partial form. From then on, Maya is able to talk with some coherence, and explains a little about the Recreance to Adolin. Blended confirms that some kind of bond is forming between the two of them, but doesn't seem to know exactly what is happening.
”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?'—Brandon Sanderson
In the first draft of The Way of Kings (known as The Way of Kings Prime), Adolin was named Aredor, and was Dalinar's second son after Sheneras (since removed from the plot). At the start of the book, Sheneras died while protecting Elhokar, making Aredor the heir. Throughout the book, Aredor serves a guide to Merin (Kaladin), introducing him to the world of the nobility. He died at the end of the story; while Brandon doesn't quite remember the circumstances, he believes it was in a highstorm. His death was not considered particularly relevant, as Renarin was always the most important of the three siblings.
When Brandon began writing The Way of Kings proper, Aredor was retooled as Adolin. Originally, he did not have any viewpoints; this changed when Brandon shifted Dalinar's doubts about his own sanity to his son. This gave Adolin an internal conflict of what he should do about his father, a man he highly respects and who seems to be going insane, which in turn made both of them stronger characters.
- Adolin's name is derived from Alethi words adoda (light) and lin (suffix meaning "born unto").
- Were they to exist on Roshar, he'd prefer onion rings over french fries.
- Adolin has some level of interest in men and would be comfortable being in a poly triad with Kaladin and Shallan.
- Adolin is the best swordsman Brandon has written, with the exception of Lan Mandragoran. This does not count immortals like the Heralds or Vasher, since they have an unfair amount of experience.
- Adolin is a better dancer than Shallan or Kaladin.
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