|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.
- 1 Appearance and Personality
- 2 Attributes and Abilities
- 3 History
- 3.1 Early Life (1150-1167)
- 3.2 War of Reckoning (1167-1174)
- 3.2.1 The Chasmfiend Hunt
- 3.2.2 The Investigation
- 3.2.3 A House Divided
- 3.2.4 A Chance Encounter
- 3.2.5 The Pending Abdication
- 3.2.6 A Change of Heart
- 3.2.7 The Battle of the Tower
- 3.2.8 Disarming the Shardbearers
- 3.2.9 The Return of the Assassin in White
- 3.2.10 Courting Shallan Davar
- 3.2.11 The Duel
- 3.2.12 The Expedition
- 3.2.13 The Battle of Narak
- 3.3 The True Desolation (1174-)
- 4 Relationships
- 5 Development
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Notes
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. 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. 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.
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 prefers to not be close with any 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.
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.
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.
”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 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.[clarification needed]
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 market place. 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 hide out: 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.
”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.
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.
”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.
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