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Abilities AonDor
Sapient Yes
World of Origin Sel
Universe Cosmere
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The Elantrians are a race of incredible grace and beauty that reside in the city of Elantris on the planet Sel. People of any age, who are of Aonic descent, and who reside in or near the border of Arelon or Teod, are occasionally taken by the Shaod, which changes them into Elantrians. This consists of physical and mental alterations, and gives the capacity to use AonDor.

Becoming an Elantrian[edit]

A person can become an Elantrian by being taken by the Shaod. The Shaod, or the Transformation, generally happens at night.[1] The people it chooses are seemingly random (though not completely)[2] and may be from any age or class in society.[3] The Shaod only takes people from Arelon or Teod, and occasionally Duladel.[4] It is suspected that this is due to AonDor's close Connection with Arelon and its geography in general.[5] A person needs to have some genetic ties to Arelon and be in Arelon to be taken by the Shaod.[6] Immediate proximity to Elantris or Elantrians do not increase one's chances of being taken by the Shaod.[7] A non-human could become an Elantrian.[8] There are ways to reverse the Shaod.[9][10]

It is also possible to form this Connection by being invited into specific groups (presumably Elantrian groups, such as the Ire), though the exact mechanics of this are not yet known.[11]

There is an upper limit to the number of Elantrians there can be at a given time.[12]

Abilities and Appearance[edit]

Physical changes[edit]

Elantrians have "brilliant white" hair and "metallic silver" skin and appear to shine with an inner light.[3] Elantrian bodies are fueled and constantly renewed by the Dor,[4] and if the Dor is blocked they quickly deteriorate. There are still some basic metabolic processes happening in the Elantrian body, but their bodies are mostly sustained by Investiture.[13] Elantrians heal quickly and can survive fatal injuries, such as decapitation.[14] They bleed silvery-white blood.[15] They have superior strength and speed.[3] Elantrians can still die of natural causes if left untreated.[16] An Elantrian away from Sel would still be an Elantrian but many of the visible signs would fade away.[17] There are ways to restore this.[18] Their raw levels of Investiture are very high, even higher than a Returned.[19]

Reod Elantrians[edit]

During the Reod their silvery skin turned grey and became covered in dark splotches and their white hair falls out, along with other less readily apparent changes, such as their hearts ceasing to beat, breathing and eating were no longer needed, bleeding no longer happened, and their wounds refused to heal.[20] Some functions of the body like muscles and blood flow continue,[21] and sleep and brain functions continues to work very similarly to the way it did before.[22] Although unable to heal, a Reod Elantrian can only be killed by decapitation or burning, while hunger or most fatal wounds failed to kill them since the Dor kept their bodies functioning. Other attempts to kill them built up pain that never decreased, and could result in making them a Hoed, leaving them filled with pain and unable to do anything other than moan. They burned much easier compared to a normal human.[23] These effects were due to the transformation being incomplete, waiting to finish but unable to do so with an incomplete Aon.[24] Reod Elantrian bodies act as if they are frozen at a certain point in time, which is why pain didn’t go away and things like hair did not grow.[16]

Some potential advantages come from being a Reod Elantrian. Reod Elantrians do not need to breathe or eat.[25] A Shardblade will register them as half alive, half dead. They would be a flicker and depending on when they are hit the Shardblade might cut a body part off or it might leave it dead.[26] A Reod Elantrian can still be detected by life sense but they would appear as a stutter, with a flashing sensation.[27]

Mental changes[edit]

Elantrians suffering during the Reod

Elantrians have increased insight and mental abilities.[3] They are also practically immortal, but being an Elantrian is emotionally and mentally exhausting and is one of the hardest forms of immortality that exist in the cosmere.[28]

Invested Art[edit]

Elantrians have access to AonDor, a symbol-based magic that can be used in seemingly limitless ways.[29] By drawing specific symbols, usually in the air, Elantrians are capable of instantaneous travel, healing, turning garbage to food, creating light, creating fire, creating a telescope made of air, creating disguises, etc. With enough preparation, Elantrians can do things that are more impressive than Feruchemy.[30]

An Elantrian's ability to use AonDor will diminish the further they travel from the city of Elantris.[12] It is possible to hack the magic system and get it to work on other planets.[11][31][18]

Reod Elantrians[edit]

A Reod Elantrian has limited access to AonDor and cannot produce very powerful effects with it.[24] There is a similar relationship between a Reod Elantrian and a dead spren.[32][33] A Reod Elantrian can be affected by emotional Allomancy[34] and it is easier to pull metal out of them compared to a normal human.[35] Reod Elantrians cannot be directly targeted by AonDor.[24]

Cultural Influences[edit]


The Elantrians have almost always ruled Arelon, with a short interruption during the Reod.[36] Before the Reod they were worshipped as deities by the people of Arelon. People from the furthest corners of Arelon would go to the Elantrians to receive blessings and be healed from disease.[37] The Elantrians and their use of AonDor also served as the lynchpin of the Arelene economy for centuries. Their ability to cheaply create large amounts of food had supported massive urban populations.[38] Fencing, specifically with a Syre, never became popular in Arelon because the Elantrians disapproved of anything resembling violence.[39]


The grand city of Elantris was constructed by Elantrians.[40] This city is accounted as one of the most beautiful cities on Sel. Elantris eventually became the capital of Arelon, and with that it became seat of the Elantrians. During the Reod Elantris was abandoned due to its association with the Elantrians. During this time it served as a place for the exiled Elantrians.

The Aonic script[edit]

As Elantrians are the only ones who can draw Aons, someone taken by the Shaod must have developed the Aonic writing system. Due to the association with the Elantrians the Aonic people view writing as a noble art.[6]

Notable Elantrians[edit]


  1. Oathbringer Houston signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-18#
  2. ICon 2019
    Arcanum - 2019-10-15#
  3. a b c d Elantris prologue#
  4. a b Elantris chapter 19#
  5. #SandersonChat Twitter Q&A with Audible.com
    Arcanum - 2016-02-04#
  6. a b Elantris Annotations
    Arcanum - 2006-02-14#
  7. Elantris chapter 2#
  8. Skyward release party
    Arcanum - 2018-11-06#
  9. Chris King interview
    Arcanum - 2013-09-24#
  10. YouTube Spoiler Stream 3
    Arcanum - 2021-12-16#
  11. a b Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 64#
  12. a b Oathbringer San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-15#
  13. Shadows of Self San Jose signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-09#
  14. ICon 2019
    Arcanum - 2019-10-18#
  15. Elantris chapter 62#
  16. a b Elantris chapter 25#
  17. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-05-22#
  18. a b The Lost Metal chapter 54#
  19. Yumi and the Nightmare Painter chapter 32#
  20. Elantris Annotations
    Arcanum - 2005-07-08#
  21. General Signed Books 2017
    Arcanum - 2017-05-31#
  22. Elantris Annotations
    Arcanum - 2006-03-28#
  23. Elantris chapter 18#
  24. a b c Elantris chapter 49#
  25. Elantris chapter 13#
  26. Orem signing 2014
    Arcanum - 2014-12-06#
  27. Orem signing 2014
    Arcanum - 2014-12-06#
  28. GollanczFest London
    Arcanum - 2015-10-17#
  29. Elantris chapter 4#
  30. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-07-31#
  31. Words of Radiance Houston signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-11#
  32. General Reddit 2017
    Arcanum - 2017-01-01#
  33. Shadows of Self San Diego signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-08#
  34. Orem signing 2014
    Arcanum - 2014-12-06#
  35. Orem signing 2014
    Arcanum - 2014-12-06#
  36. Elantris chapter 7#
  37. Elantris chapter 60#
  38. Elantris chapter 5#
  39. Elantris chapter 17#
  40. Elantris Annotations
    Arcanum - 2006-05-12#
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