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Seon Ien.png
Abilities Splinter of Devotion
Bonded With Raoden
Species Seon
Residence Elantris
Homeworld Sel
Universe Cosmere
Introduced In Elantris

To a seon, there is no above or beneath, there are only those we love. And we serve those we love.

—Ien to Raoden[1]

Ien is a seon, a magical being on Sel. He is bound to King Raoden of Arelon.[2] He is named for Aon Ien, which means "wisdom"[3] and is the symbol used for healing magic in AonDor.[4]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Like all seons, Ien is sapient and he appears as a melon-sized ball of light.[5] Seons have some control over the level of their brightness,[6] and they often pulse while speaking or laughing.[7] Ien's namesake Aon glows at his center, although it may be difficult to discern through the light.[6]

When Raoden is taken by the failed Shaod, Ien's appearance changes. His Aon has new breaks in its lines and patchy colors,[1] displaying some similarities to the blotchy skin of Elantrians before the restoration of their powers.[8] Despite this change, Ien was still recognizable to humans and other seons.[9] After Raoden regains access to the power of the Dor, Ien reverts to his original appearance.[10]

Ien is exceptionally wise and very thoughtful.[8][10] His voice is described as "indulgent" and "stoic".[1][5] He cares deeply for Raoden and serves him simply because he loves him.[1]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Seons are sapient Splinters of Devotion[11] and possess several magical qualities, including flight, light generation, immortality,[12] invulnerability,[13] instant communication, and enhanced senses.[5][6] Seons form bonds with humans; this bond can be Passed from person to person.[14] This bond works through Spiritual Connection[15] and has similarities to the Nahel bond on Roshar.[16]

When Raoden was taken by the broken Shaod, his spiritual nature was changed, causing Ien to lose his sapience and sentience.[15] Ien retains at least some of his powers when he loses sentience—he still glows and is able to fly—but his abilities are severely weakened.[8]


Ien formed a bond with Prince Raoden when he was a young boy.[1] It is not clear who exactly Passed Ien to Raoden, but it was a common custom to keep seons within a family.[17]

The Shaod[edit]

After they bonded, Ien was almost always at Raoden's side. When Raoden was taken by the failed Shaod, he did not immediately understand what had happened and was confused by the fact that he could not find Ien.[2] After getting thrown into the fallen city of Elantris, Raoden worried about Ien but tried not to think about his fate.[18] He later found Ien, but the seon had lost sapience and seemed to be barely able to stay upright.[8] There were some indications that Ien somehow recognized Raoden, but they were fleeting moments that passed quickly.[8][1] While most "mad" seons stayed away from humans, Galladon considered Ien to be "creepy" because he tended to stay near Raoden.[19]


After the Elantrians regained their powers, the mad seons also had their powers and personalities restored. Ien claimed to have no recollection of anything that happened during his "madness".[10] However, Raoden noted that Ien had changed; he had become quieter and even more thoughtful.[10] This change in Ien was significant,[20] but is not well-understood.



Raoden considers Ien a friend, but he also sees him as a reflection of his god's love; Ien loves Raoden unconditionally.[1]

When Raoden was eight years old, he severely broke his leg.[4] Doctors could not heal him, and his mother and his father Iadon were forced to take him to Elantris. A female Elantrian healed him with a complex version of Aon Ien.[4] Raoden has intense memories of this event,[4] but it is unknown if that influenced the selection of his seon. Later in Raoden's youth, he learned about slavery and attempted to free Ien, but Ien assured him that he wanted to serve him and that he required no payment.[1]


  • The change in Ien's personality after the restoration of AonDor could be explored in a planned future sequel to Elantris.[20]
  • In an early draft of Elantris, Ien (then known as "Ian") showed up and had a major role during a climactic fight with Dilaf.[21] Brandon and his editor Moshe Feder felt that the scene (including the way that the seon's magic was used) did not fit into the book's narrative, and it was completely rewritten.[22]


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Big Smooth (talk) 11:18, 1 April 2019 (MST)