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Gawx Portrait by Marie Seeberger.jpg
Relatives Huqin
Born 1160[1]
Titles Ch.V.D. Yanagawn the First, Emperor of Makabak, King of Azir, Lord of the Bronze Palace, Prime Aqasix, grand minister and emissary of Yaezir[1]
Aliases Gawx
Groups Huqin's crew (former)
Nationality Azish
Homeworld Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Introduced In Words of Radiance

I don’t matter. Sure, Azir does. But I’m only a kid they put on the throne because they were afraid that assassin would come back.

—Yanagawn to Dalinar at the Recreance vision on his importance [2]

Yanagawn the First, formerly a thief known as Gawx, is the Prime Aqasix, king of Azir, and emperor of Makabak.

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Yanagawn is a lanky,[3] dark-skinned youth, who has limbs that seem too long, a face that is too round and childlike.[4] He was 15 years old when the Everstorm first appeared.[1]

As Gawx, he was a frightened thief sneaking through the palace.[5]

When he was selected to become “Yanagawn, Prime of Azir”, he was given education and there was expectation on him participating. Still, at the beginning and by the time he met Dalinar in the vision, he was still unsure of himself and knew he was not ruling the kingdom.[2] As time passed, his confidence evolved, and by the time they left Urithiru, he wasn’t embarrassed talking to the viziers and scions any longer. He understood much of what they discussed now, and didn’t jump when someone called him “Your Majesty.”[5]

As he became more comfortable with his role, he began eschewing Azish traditions. While conferring with Jasnah Kholin and Dalinar Kholin at his Warcamp, he removed his headdress and scandalously allowed his guests to sit at the same height.[6]

Attribute and Abilities[edit]

Yanagawn does not have magical abilities. However, he holds political power due to his gained position as Prime of Azir. After he was appointed with that title, they gave him education. [2] He later became more comfortable with his role and started participating by making comments and decisions.[5]

Though he is emperor, he has limits to his rule. His power is absolute, but he is held in check by the Azish government.[5]

Yanagawn is able to speak Alethi, though he is not entirely fluent and tends to prepare and practice his speeches before meetings with the Coalition of Monarchs.[3]


The Azish Palace break-in[edit]

The Azish kingdom was choosing a new Prime. At the Royal Palace the viziers, scribes, and arbiters were all given a chance to fill out the proper paperwork to apply to take the place of the new Prime. No one wanted the job. The last two Primes were murdered in the same week and many Monarchs and High Princes killed within the last two months made it obvious that a new Prime would be killed just as shortly.

That night Gawx went to the Palace with his uncle, Huqin, to steal from them. Lift partnered with them, but was not cautious and they were caught. He was mortally wounded by one of Nale's attendants without first procuring the requisite documents to perform an execution. Lift revived him using Regrowth, and he was immediately pronounced Prime Aqasix by the attending viziers, who believed he had performed a miracle. After this, he promptly pardoned Lift in order to stop Nale from executing her. Nale had no choice but to let her go.[7]

Prime Aqasix Yanagawn the First[edit]

The Azish expected all kinds of things from the new emperor. Lessons, displays. People came to watch him eat every meal. They even got to watch him sleeping. In Azir, the emperor was owned by the people.[8] He aided Lift on her quest in Yeddaw by asking the scribes at the Grand Indicium, to treat her as they would him.[9] They kept communication; he wanted to make sure she was well and asked her to come back.[10]

He was contacted by Dalinar who wanted to meet him, using the Oathgate and discuss the unification of Roshar. Yanagawn, and his group of advisors, denied him the request and implied the Oathgate was broken, which was not entirely true. They did extend their gratitude for the timely information given on the Everstorm and gave information on the awakened Parshmen who didn’t attack but exchanged contracts with them.[1]

Dalinar’s visions[edit]

Dalinar via the Stormfather brought Yanagawn to the Aharietiam vision and made sure he felt some challenge and stress. With Dalinar’s as archer, they defended the lines until the Radiant climbed up over the edge of the cliff, glowing in Shardplate. Emperor Yanagawn sat down as the other soldiers rallied around the Radiant and pushed the enemy back. He was terrified but eventually stood up and walked the other way. He started chatting with people on the vision, asking them who they were and why they fought. They didn’t give many answers, but later came Jezerezeh’Elin himself, Herald of Kings announcing the victory over the Voidbringers. Yanagawn recognized him, to what Dalinar got close to him and introduced himself. [4] Yanagawn considered Dalinar his enemy. It is clear the young prime learned history and was very concerned about Dalinar being Alethi, who still worshiped Sunmaker´s rule, to what Dalinar acknowledged youth of brutality but the advantage of seeing the consequences of his actions. Just as they were getting closer, Lift appeared and explained she did not trust him either and both left the vision leaving Dalinar by himself.[4]

It is implied that Yanagawn visited other visions without changing his mind until he visited the Recreance. This vision had shaken him and he showed Dalinar a more insecure part of himself, he was open about his lack of readiness to be a ruler. He also confessed that he didn’t change his mind because Lift didn’t trust him because he was too righteous, which meant he was hiding something. He disappeared as the vision ended. [2]

Unification of Roshar[edit]

Though Yanagawn left the recreance vision, it didn’t end for Dalinar who faced Odium. What they didn’t expect was for Lift to be there. This experience made her change her mind and convinced Yanagawn to receive Dalinar at Azir's capital Azimir.[2] Dalinar went there and gave the Prime and his viziers three essays to which they responded positively (especially to the one from Navani) and accepted the invite to Urithiru.

The young Azish Prime was the first one to arrive. He did with his very ornate throne. He was accompanied by three representatives of kingdoms subject to Azir: the prime of Emul, the princess of Yezier, and the ambassador from Tashikk. All brought chairs that were faintly inferior to that of the Azish Prime. This was not to embarrass the Prime, but confirm they were not his subjects. [11]

During the meeting, the Prime supported his representatives in gaining territory and voiced concerns about the new power Dalinar and the new radiants now held. He also challenged the rightfulness of the Lost Radiants' motives for abandoning their oaths. However, after being given the task of creating a code of how kingdoms are to interact and share resources, they supported the unification and offered to send five battalions to Jah Keved and support a possible invasion from the enemy.[11]

The Azish did mobilize troops, [12] but after Taravangian´s treason and the unification fracture, they retired from Urithiru and the war. On their way back to Azimir, Yanagawn wanted to turn back and help the Alethi as he trusted Lift who still trusted Dalinar. They did find out Amaram and his troops turned sides and he leaves thinking the Alethi betrayed Thaylen and that he and Lift had been wrong in trusting them.[5]

Coalition of Monarchs[edit]

Alongside Dalinar Kholin, Queen Jasnah Kholin, King Taravangian, and Queen Fen, Yanagawn authorized the expedition to Lasting Integrity, the capital city of the honorspren, and military intervention to retake in Emul.[3]



Lift and Yanagawn care for each other, as shown by his genuine happiness when she returns from Yeddaw.[4] He trusts her, acknowledging that she is smart.[5] They first meet as thieves stealing from the Azish Prime's palace; when he is mortally wounded by Nale´s companion, she cares enough for him that she speaks the Second Ideal and uses Regrowth to save him.[13] In consideration of this apparent miracle, he is appointed Prime of Azir and in return, he saves Lift by pardoning her and stopping Nale from executing her.[13] Lift is protective of him and accompanies him to important events such as his meetings with Dalinar Kholin in his visions and the coalition's meetings at Urithiru.[12] After the battle in Emul, Yanagawn asks about Lift, who has been in Urithiru enduring the Fused occupation. Despite news that most of the Radiants are unconscious, he comments, “she often does what she isn’t supposed to."[6]


Yanagawn’s trust in Dalinar is strongly influenced by Lift. As her opinion of Dalinar evolves, so does his. Still, there are times during the visions when he opens up to Dalinar and shows his fears about his leadership.[2] When he and his advisors leave the Thaylens and the Alethi to defend Thaylen City, he tells Noura that he learned from Lift that it is wrong to betray a friend; this implies he does see Dalinar as a friend.[5]


Your power is absolute, but you do not exercise it all. You must not.

—Noura to Yanagawn when he wanted to return and fight the Thaylen battle [5]

I would say that hope defines us, Jasnah. Without it, we are not human.

—Yanagawn to Jasnah, as they plan to take back Urithiru [6]


  • Gawx wasn’t fully dead when Lift “resurrected” him. [14]


Preceded by
Prime Aqasix Yanagawn the First
Leader of Azir
Succeeded by
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