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Aesudan Kholin

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Aesudan Kholin
Corrupted Aesudan by Marie Seeberger.jpg
by Marie Seeberger
House Kholin
Spouse Elhokar
Children Gavinor
Relatives Hesina,[1] Kaladin, Tien, Oroden
Titles Queen of Alethkar
Nationality Alethi
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
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Aesudan Kholin is the queen of Alethkar and wife of Elhokar Kholin.[2] She manages the kingdom in her husband's absence, while he wages the War of Reckoning against the Parshendi on the Shattered Plains.

Appearance and Personality[edit]

According to Navani, Aesudan is politically competent,[3] however she is not a terribly nice person. She acts like Navani to make her uncomfortable,[4] and she also laughs at Dalinar Kholin when he is drunk during the treaty signing party.[2] She is also incredibly out of touch with her people, living a life of excess while her people suffer.[5] The canceling of the Beggar's Feast exemplifies how little she cares for the common people. The throne easily has enough resources to continue the tradition, but Aesudan does not seem to care.

For some reason, Aesudan is under the impression that the Almighty is displeased with her.[5] In order to gain his goodwill, she surrounds herself with many ardents, to whom she provides a vast array of luxuries: the finest foods, art, horseback riding, and leisure time. In return, the ardents promise her that living her life of wastefulness is the right thing to do, leading to an even greater disconnect between her and her people.

History[edit]

Early Life[edit]

Aesudan marries Elhokar some time before his ascension to the throne of Alethkar. Little of her life prior to that is known. As a princess of Alethkar, she attends the treaty signing feast with the Parshendi on the night that King Gavilar Kholin is assassinated by Szeth.[2] On that same night, prior to the king's death, Jasnah Kholin meets with Liss, an assassin that she had hired as one of Aesudan's maids. For unknown reasons, Jasnah instructs Liss to observe Aesudan and report back on her actions, but not to assassinate her unless Jasnah orders it. Ultimately Jasnah decides against that, but her reasoning remains unclear.

At some point, Aesudan also gives birth to a son, Gavinor, but exactly when this occurs is uncertain.[6]

War of Reckoning[edit]

When Elhokar ascends to the throne of Alethkar, he is immediately forced to leave Kholinar to fulfill the terms of the Vengeance Pact in what is to become known as the War of Reckoning. As her son is still an infant,[6] this leaves Aesudan ruling as regent on the throne of Alethkar.[7] The king's mother, Navani Kholin remains behind to advise Aesudan in her duties. However, Navani makes the judgement that Aesudan is sufficiently skilled to rule on her own, and leaves her for the Shattered Plains.[3]

However, either Navani makes a crucial misjudgment or the Unmade corrupted Aesudan after Navani's departure, because Aesudan inadvertently begins to turn the populace against herself.[5] She throws lavish feasts, reveling in excess, and allows food sent in by starving farmers for the soldiers on the Shattered Plains to simply rot away. She also cancels the Beggar's Feasts. This is perhaps due in part to her sycophantic ardents who simply tell her that she is always on the right path. However, one of the ardents assigned to her retinue, a young woman named Pai, refuses to look past the queen's flaws and performs an act of civil disobedience. She goes before the Common Throne of the People's Hall and inks the glyphs of the ten foolish attributes before the Throne, as well as a paragraph below each glyph, explaining how Aesudan exemplifies each of these traits, denouncing not only the queen but the government itself. Pai is executed, but Kholinar erupts in riots the next day.[8]

by Kyle Pearson
Depicted along with Ashertmarn

The Siege on Kholinar[edit]

Following the summoning of the Everstorm and the rallying of a Voidbringer army, Kholinar is surrounded by Fused and Singers, who use spren to locate and punish any use of fabrials, preventing communication via spanreed. Elhokar, Kaladin, Adolin and Shallan are sent by Dalinar to infiltrate the city and save Aesudan and Gavinor Kholin. They find out that she is under the influence of the Unmade Yelig-nar and Ashertmarn.[9] After part of the infiltration team flees Kholinar via a corrupted Oathgate, Aesudan's fate is unknown (Odium says that "the power consumed her" but it is not clear what he means by this[10]) but Drehy and Skar are revealed to have saved Gavinor[11] and Yelig-nar finds a new vessel in Amaram during the battle of Thaylen City.[10]

Trivia[edit]

  • If Dalinar had chosen to abdicate his title of highprince, he would have returned to Alethkar to aid Aesudan by leading the fighting against Reshi and Veden border incursions.[12]
  • Due to the fact that Elhokar cannot use Aesudan as a scribe while he is on the Shattered Plains and she is at home, Brightness Lalai, Torol Sadeas's cousin serves as a stand-in.[13]
  • The Ghostbloods believe that Bordin, one of Dalinar's most trusted servants, is left behind in Alethkar to spy on Aesudan.[14]

Notes[edit]

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