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Jasnah Kholin

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Jasnah Kholin
Jasnah.jpg
House Kholin
Parents Gavilar, Navani
Siblings Elhokar
Relatives Dalinar, Adolin, Renarin, Gavinor
Ancestors Dalinar's father, Sadees
Born 1139[1][2]
Abilities Elsecaller, Shardbearer
Bonded With Ivory
Titles Queen of Alethkar
Profession Historian
Groups Knights Radiant (Elsecallers)
Veristitalians
Residence Urithiru
Nationality Alethi
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

It strikes me that religion—in its essence—seeks to take natural events and ascribe supernatural causes to them. I, however, seek to take supernatural events and find the natural meanings behind them. Perhaps that is the final dividing line between science and religion. Opposite sides of a card.

—Jasnah on why she researches Voidbringers[3]

Jasnah Kholin is the queen of Alethkar on Roshar.[4] She is a Surgebinder and Elsecaller, with access to the Surges of Transformation and Transportation, sometimes called "Elsecalling."[5] She is the sister of the late King Elhokar, daughter of the late King Gavilar and Navani, niece of Highprince Dalinar, aunt of royal heir Gavinor, and cousin to Adolin and Renarin. She is known widely as a brilliant scholar and for her denunciation of Vorinism.[1] She is a member of the Veristitalians, an order of historians dedicated to reconstructing unbiased and factual accounts of the past in order to better understand the present.[6] She is training Shallan Davar as her ward.[7]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

by ToastSamurai
Jasnah and Ivory

Appearance[edit]

Jasnah is a reserved and statuesque woman. She is widely praised for her beauty, always graceful and dressed immaculately. She is tall and slender with a full chest. She has tan skin and deep black hair that, when unbound, reaches the middle of her back - though she usually puts it up in intricate braid(s).[8] She has a squarish face and pale violet eyes with an epicanthic fold.[9]

Personality[edit]

You two are a pair of nails in the same doorframe. Stern, hard, and storming annoying to pull free.

Navani about Dalinar and Jasnah[6]

Jasnah is generally a stern and serious person, although she occasionally shows a wry sense of humor,[10] and allows familiarity among those she is close with.[11] She sometimes acts in a brusque manner, and can be exceptionally rude when someone gets on her bad side.[12] She is determined, confident, and often stubborn.[7] She has a brilliant mind and shows wisdom and care in her studies.[1] She is very passionate about scholarship and wants others to share in her passion as well.[10] She often encourages her ward, Shallan, to come up with answers on her own, rather than simply giving them to her.[2] She considers history to be the most important literary sub art. She is prejudiced against the visual arts, going so far as to call them frivolities, although having Shallan as her ward may have changed her opinions on the subject.[9] She can be extremely tough and ruthless, as she showed when she killed four footpads that attacked her and Shallan. She harbors a deep hatred towards men like them, possibly because of something that has been done to her in the past.[2]

She has also been shown to have some sort of aversion to darkness, or at the very least shadows, as seen when she became uneasy while staring at a shadow.[13] Jasnah seems to have faced some sort of trauma as a child; Dalinar mentions her "lunacy" in conversation with Gavilar and she has memories of being locked in a dark room when she was a child, which taught her that even the people she loved could hurt her.[14] No one else seems to remember it in the modern day, but Jasnah is terrified of it happening again to her.[15]

Jasnah is an atheist.[10] This has caused her not an insignificant amount of problems and led to her being ostracized a bit, but she has never compromised in her beliefs for the sake of appearances.[6] While she is confident in her lack of faith in the devotaries, like the true scholar that she is, she also always keeps an open mind to the possibility of being wrong. She is content to keep her beliefs to herself, and doesn't particularly care about converting anyone else.[10]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Surgebinding[edit]

Jasnah has a Nahel bond with the inkspren Ivory which gives her the ability to Surgebind.[16] She has access to the Surges of Transformation and Transportation.[3] As with all Surgebinders, she has superhuman speed, strength and healing when she holds Stormlight. She has demonstrated her ability to Soulcast multiple times, as well as the power to enter and leave Shadesmar (the Cognitive Realm). She is in the process of becoming a Knight Radiant of the Order of Elsecallers.

Transformation[edit]

The Surge of Transformation allows Jasnah to Soulcast. Jasnah can use Soulcasting in various ways with great precision, ranging from burning letters into a page,[12] to transforming boulders into smoke,[9] and even purifying Shallan's blood from a poison called backbreaker powder.[17] She also used Soulcasting as a very deadly weapon when she and Shallan were attacked by four footpads in Kharbranth and she Soulcast their assailants into fire, crystal and smoke.[2] They were even more dramatically demonstrated when she fought Odium's forces in the Battle of Thaylen Field.[18] She has expressed that she is not very capable of Soulcasting organics and she was, indeed, unable to successfully Soulcast the strawberry jam that Kabsal brought to Shallan's hospital room.[19] It is widely believed that her failure was due in part to the fact that she had never tasted strawberries.[3]

She has also shown the ability to Soulcast multiple targets from a distance. In this method of Soulcasting, bolts of Stormlight can be seen traveling towards the intended target. When Jasnah used this ability to transform two men into smoke, it caused the smokestone she used to shatter, indicating that this method may use more Stormlight than regular Soulcasting.[2] This ability may be a specialized version of Soulcasting or a distinct ability resulting from manipulating a combination of the Surges of transformation and transportation.

Initially Jasnah pretends to use a fake Soulcaster fabrial to disguise her Surgebinding abilities from the public.[20]

Transportation[edit]

Jasnah can transport herself into and out of the Cognitive Realm, along with at least her clothing and small physical objects. Going all the way into the Cognitive Realm appears to require a greater degree of cooperation from Ivory and returning to the Physical Realm seems to require something more that going to the Cognitive does not.[21] It is unclear whether she can transport other people or object into Shadesmar, though she did retrieve Shallan from Shadesmar after her ward entered with not enough Stormlight available to return.[20]

Resonance[edit]

This page or section deals with theories or speculation.
Please read carefully and note that this is not necessarily canonical.

As a Knight Radiant who has access to two Surges she also has a resonance.[22] When she met Hoid after returning from the Cognitive Realm, she immediately starts walking towards the nearest town, which prompts Hoid to think she has "a good sense of direction."[5] Some suspect this indicates that the Elsecaller resonance is some sort of internal GPS that, at least, allows them to determine their exact location and the direction to the nearest settlement. Brandon has not clearly confirmed or denied this.[23]

Scholarship[edit]

Jasnah is one of the leading scholars of her time, and is widely known for her brilliance. Despite her young age, many feel she would have obtained the cap of a master scholar if it weren't for her vocal denunciation of the Vorin religion.[1] Her focus and area of expertise is history. As a Veristitalian, she looks to create a factual and unbiased account of the past events that she feels are misrepresented, in order to better understand the present.[24]

While researching, Jasnah prefers to collect various passages related to her subject from various sources in a single annotated, and cited notebook. Once she fills the notebook, she evaluates each item for reliability and usefulness, then copies them into different, more specific notebooks.[25]

Parshendi-Voidbringer Theory[edit]

Jasnah was among the first to predict that the Parshendi were the Voidbringers and that the Desolation was coming,[26] along with organizations such as the Ghostbloods and the Diagram. Until it was proven,[27] the theory relied heavily on metaphorical texts and folk tales, both thousands of years old and translated through many proto-languages.[28][29][30] Her most substantial proof was the shadow, ash and flame references in her sources that she believed were referring to the red and black skin color of the Parshendi, as well as the reported sudden appearance of Voidbringers which she thought similar to the way the Parshendi assassinated her father, King Gavilar, apparently out of nowhere.[3]

History[edit]

Early Life (1139—1167)[edit]

Jasnah Kholin was born in 1139 to Gavilar and Navani Kholin. Her brother, Elhokar, was born eight years later in 1147.[31] She became a princess of Alethkar when Gavilar united the highprinces and became the king in 1163. At about ages twelve to thirteen, Jasnah suffered from a case of lunacy.[15] When Jasnah reflects on this period of time, she remembers a dark room and screaming her voice ragged. According to her, this was when she learned that people she loved could still hurt her.[14]

Jasnah transcribed Gavilar's account of his first meeting with the Parshendi in 1166.[2] She didn't know what to think of the changes in Gavilar around that time,[32] but felt connected to her father for the first time.[24] She was very interested in studying the Parshendi and the Shattered Plains. She suspected that the ruins in the Plains were extremely important, and that scholars had been searching for said ruins for a long time.[13]

The Research (1167—1173)[edit]

Parshendi Betrayal[edit]

In 1167, Jasnah attended the feast held in the Kholinar Palace after the signing of the Parshendi treaty. While walking to a meeting with an assassin named Liss with the intention of killing Elhokar's wife Aesudan, she noticed her shadow pointing toward the light. She walked past Highprince Sadeas and a Shin servant in white clothing, and subsequently came across her father in quiet conference with Meridas Amaram. Once Amaram left, Jasnah asked Gavilar what he commanded Amaram, but Gavilar deflected the question and left hastily, leading her to wonder if he knew about her plans regarding Aesudan. Walking onward, Jasnah's shadow again acted oddly, and this time formed into a "man of midnight blackness [with] a certain reflective cast, as if he were made of oil."[13] He carried an unsheathed sword. In panic, Jasnah went into Shadesmar for the first time. There, the shadowy figure sheathed its sword, and Jasnah fell into the sea of glass beads. Before she drowned, Jasnah managed to find the glass bead corresponding to the Kholinar Palace, and using that as her guide, willed herself to rise to the surface, standing on a platform of glass beads. From there, she formed the corridor she'd stood in before leaving the Physical Realm, and when the shadowy figure stepped onto her platform with its sword drawn, she formed a statue of Talenelat'Elin. She confronted the figure, and it saluted and bowed, then left. When Jasnah returned to the Physical Realm, all the spheres lining the hallway walls were dun.[13]

Jasnah met with Liss but decided not to assassinate Aesudan, instead ordering Liss to survey her. Jasnah asked Liss about the servant she wanted to show off, but Liss answered that she had sold her Shin servant to a slaver weeks ago for being too good a slave. Hearing that the servant was Shin, Jasnah recalled the servant in white clothing and decided to look into him.[13]

Jasnah hesitated in returning to the party after she heard the music in the dining hall stop abruptly. She ran into Nale and possibly Kalak, two "ambassadors from the west" who had been invited by the king.[33][34] Jasnah heard sudden screams and ran toward them, fearing for her family's safety. The sounds led to her father's chambers, and the way was littered with corpses with burned eyes and the walls marked by Shardblade cuts. She eventually reached a balcony and saw her father in his Shardplate, called to him and made him hesitate. The balcony broke beneath Gavilar, and Jasnah saw the servant she'd seen before fall down with her father. The Shin man somehow changed direction in the air, and fell onto the wall, completely ignoring gravity. While crying to herself, Jasnah was approached by three Parshendi, Klade, Gangnah and Varnali. They took responsibility for the assassination and told Jasnah they were sorry for her loss but explained that Gavilar had to be stopped from doing something dangerous. Gavilar, as a member of the Son of Honor, was trying to bring back the Parshendi gods in the hopes that the Knights Radiant would return, reinstating the dominance of the Vorin church.[35][36] Sadeas stumbled in, saw what happened, and ran toward Gavilar's corpse, where they found Szeth's note to Dalinar written in Gavilar's blood, telling him to find the most important words a man could say.[13] Jasnah later discovered that this was a direct quote from The Way of Kings by Nohadon.[32]

Hours later, they discovered that the admission and the surrender of those three of the Council of Five covered the escape of the rest of the Parshendi. Dalinar sent several failed expeditions after the escapees. After refusing to divulge information, the three Parshendi were hanged. Jasnah interrogated Liss and the King's guards about the Assassin in White to no avail, and for the next half-decade would turn to ancient books for her answers.[13]

Travels[edit]

After the death of her father, she started drawing parallels between the Parshendi and the Voidbringers.[26] Eventually, she discovered her Surgebinding abilities, and started carrying a fake Soulcaster fabrial to disguise she was a Surgebinder.[3] At some point, she made her way to the warcamps in the Shattered Plains, but eventually her studies took her elsewhere.[37] She left a copy of her notes at an information center in Tashikk for safekeeping.[14]

In 1172, she received a letter from Shallan Davar, asking for wardship. She replied to Shallan to meet her in Dumadari in two weeks' time, though she didn't really expect her to make it. She spent the next six months traveling from town to town, leaving notes for Shallan when she left so the young woman could follow her. She eventually reached Kharbranth in 1173.[1]

Discovering a Potential Knight Radiant[edit]

A New Ward[edit]

by Grant M. Hansen
Jasnah soulcasting street thugs

She found out King Taravangian's granddaughter was trapped in one of the palace rooms after an highstorm caused a boulder to fall down from the walls, blocking the way in. Taravangian asked for Jasnah's help, to free his granddaughter by Soulcasting the stone. Jasnah accepted to help, in return for free admittance to the Palanaeum. Shallan Davar, a prospective ward, caught up with her at this point and Jasnah evaluated Shallan's knowledge. Once they reached the boulder that had trapped the king's granddaughter, Jasnah Soulcast the stone into smoke, causing the newly formed smoke to explode because of the difference in density of rock and smoke. After this, she informed Shallan that she wasn't good enough to become her ward. Jasnah left Shallan behind and went to the Palanaeum.[9] After she collected the books she wanted, she returned to the alcove she'd reserved, and found Shallan there. She was angry to be defied, and told Shallan, not in a kind way, to leave her alone. Shallan, in her embarrassment and disappointment, forgot the spheres she had used for illumination inside the alcove. Jasnah asked her to return and apologized to her for her rudeness. She found out that Shallan was self-taught and found it remarkable, promising if she filled the gaps in her knowledge, she would accept her as her ward. A few hours later, the servants informed her that Shallan was back and that she had her own alcove, intent on studying while in Kharbranth and applying for wardship again. Jasnah decided that if she could not get rid of Shallan, she might as well make use of her and accepted her as her ward.[7]

She spent the next two months studying and teaching Shallan, in particular having her study the events around the death of King Gavilar, to some frustration from Shallan.[10] During this time, she talked with her uncle, Dalinar, over spanreed about her studies, though she didn't mention specifics because they weren't speaking in person. Dalinar asked her to come back to the Shattered Plains, saying her presence was sorely missed, to which Jasnah replied she would eventually be back. Jasnah asked Dalinar to describe the events of the expedition where he and Gavilar first discovered the Parshendi. She also had Shallan draw a copy of a picture that was said to be a Voidbringer for him and Adolin. Dalinar and Adolin told her that the picture was of a chasmfiend, made slightly more menacing than it really was. Jasnah replied that she didn't think that the figure in the picture really belonged to a Voidbringer and that the artist simply chose to draw the most intimidating she could think of.[6] Taravangian joined her and Shallan for lunch one day, where he and Jasnah talked about religion and Jasnah's lack of belief in one. Taravangian asked her about the Soulcaster, but Jasnah refused to answer. He also asked Shallan to make a drawing of him. Shallan happily accepted, but later crumpled it and refused to show it to them, claiming she made a mistake. Jasnah remarked that Shallan never made mistakes while drawing.[10]

Few days later, she found Shallan and the Ardent Kabsal in their alcove while he was showing Shallan the cymatic patterns for the four cities of Kholinar, Vedenar, Thaylen and Akinah as a proof of the Almighty's existence. Jasnah didn't show surprise by his demonstration, and asked if he could show the cymatic pattern for Urithiru as well, to which Kabsal answered Urithiru was a fable. She was rude to him, even insulting him and ardentia in general. Once Kabsal left, she told Shallan that he wasn't really interested in her, and was only getting close to Shallan, in order to turn her against Jasnah, and get her to steal Jasnah's Soulcaster.[12]

After one of their talks about King Gavilar and the Parshendi, Jasnah remarked that Shallan looked anxious and decided to shift her training from history to philosophy, which she claimed was a more hands-on field of study. She took Shallan, in the middle of the night, to a roadway that she knew to be hunted by footpads, showing her wealth. Soon, four men came and attacked the two women and Jasnah, using Soulcasting, killed the men and left the corpse of one as crystal in the middle of the roadway. Shallan was horrified to see her kill the men, especially with the Soulcaster which Shallan considered holy. Jasnah told Shallan to research and consider the morality of the killing.[2] When Shallan reported her findings to her two weeks later. Jasnah disagreed with her, but she acknowledged that Shallan had put rational thought behind her opinion. She claimed the lesson was instructive and gave Shallan the rest of the day off. Shortly after Shallan rejoined Jasnah, saying that what she wanted to do with her free time was study.[25]

Jasnah first shared parts of her work with Shallan after a conversation about Gavilar and the Parshendi had turned to one about Urithiru and the Voidbringers. Of course, Shallan was not included in all elements of the research until her tentative reconciliation with Jasnah after the attempted theft of the Soulcaster.[3] Shallan suggested that Urithiru was in the Shattered Plains. Jasnah, however, was convinced it was located in the center of the Silver Kingdoms. Shallan left for several hours, allegedly retrieving Tifandor's biography of Gavilar. She returned with Kabsal, insistent on drawing his portrait. Jasnah, annoyed by the distraction, left the alcove. Jasnah later saw Shallan emerge agitated about another drawing error, headed toward her quarters. Jasnah, concerned for her ward, followed her. When she found Shallan on the ground, bleeding from a cut on her wrist, she assumed it was a suicide attempt and immediately called for help. Shallan was taken to one of Taravangian's hospitals.[24]

The Theft of the Soulcaster[edit]

by Lyraina
Jasnah Kholin and her Soulcaster

Jasnah spent the next two days outside Shallan's hospital room. Once she was allowed inside the room, she apologized to Shallan, although she didn't prove to be very proficient at apologizing which Shallan attributed to Jasnah's ineptitude at making mistakes. Becoming serious again, Jasnah claimed she may have done the world a disservice and stolen from it one of the great scholars of the rising generation by overworking Shallan. She gave her an empty book, and called it The Book of Endless Pages, and cautioned her to seek out the Devotary of Sincerity of whom the book was the guide. Kabsal joined them, and, as was typical in their interactions, Jasnah was cool and rude to him. He let it slip that Shallan was returning to her home and Jasnah, while initially surprised, agreed that it was the best for her. Kabsal revealed the strawberry jam and the bread she brought for Shallan. After being insisted by Shallan, Jasnah decided to eat some of it as well, but as her habit while accepting food from someone, she Soulcast the jam and the bread to purify them of any poisons. She was unsuccessful with the jam and the result was a rotten mush that was uneatable. Kabsal ate the jam anyway and tried to get Shallan to eat as well, though when she refused he tried to run out but collapsed before reaching the door. The same happened with Shallan a few seconds later. When Jasnah told her that she had to Soulcast her blood to get the poison out, Shallan revealed Jasnah's fake Soulcaster fabrial, apparently having stolen it. Jasnah healed her and Shallan fell unconscious.[19]

Furious and hurt at the apparent betrayal from her ward, Jasnah confronted Shallan when she woke up. She initially thought that Shallan had stolen her Soulcaster for one of the devotaries, but Shallan informed her that she had intended to use it for her own purposes; that her father was dead and House Davar was bankrupt, and that she had become Jasnah's ward to steal the Soulcaster in the first place. Jasnah told Shallan that she would be leaving for home the next day on a ship she'd arranged and that Kabsal was dead. She also told her that he had been using Shallan to assassinate her the whole time because the bread he'd been bringing Shallan was poisoned with backbreaker powder and the jam contained the antidote. She left the room, leaving Shallan behind in tears.[17]

Despite Jasnah's instructions, Shallan came to her alcove and guessed that the Soulcaster Jasnah wore was a fake and she could Soulcast without a fabrial. Jasnah initially tried to deny this, but was shocked to see Shallan reveal a depiction of Shadesmar. Shallan told Jasnah that she'd stolen the Soulcaster fabrial on the night when Jasnah killed the four footpads and that she could Surgebind as well. When Jasnah didn't believe her, Shallan entered Shadesmar with a dim sphere to prove her claim. Jasnah followed her and brought her back, admonishing her for trying to enter Shadesmar with only a dim sphere. Shallan asked Jasnah to teach her and said that she wanted to be a part of Jasnah's studies. Jasnah was reluctant at first, but eventually accepted with the promise that she would never lie to Jasnah or steal from anyone ever again.[20] She went on to tell Shallan about Surgebinding, the Knights Radiant, and her theory about the Parshendi and the Voidbringers. When Shallan told Jasnah of the cryptics following her, Jasnah explained that both of them were of the two different orders with the ability to Soulcast. After reading Jasnah's notes regarding the Voidbringers,[3] Shallan came to the same conclusion as her mentor: the Parshendi were Voidbringers. Jasnah was pleased to have convinced at least one person. She then told Shallan that, having exhausted all that Kharbranth had to offer, they would leave for the Shattered Plains the next day. She warned Shallan that there were others after this information, mentioning the Ghostbloods specifically; she showed Shallan their symbol, found on Kasbal's body. Shallan was horrified to recognize it and told Jasnah that her father might have been a member.[26] Jasnah hired Captain Tozbek and the Wind's Pleasure to take her and Shallan to the Shattered Plains, and the two women departed Kharbranth.[38]

Shipwreck and Apparent Death (1173)[edit]

During their days sailing, Shallan occasionally asked Jasnah about the Ghostbloods, but Jasnah claimed to know very little of them beyond the fact that they wanted her research and were willing to kill for it. While on the ship, Jasnah began making arrangements to help Shallan's family: she contacted Navani via spanreed to ask whether Shallan's Soulcaster could be fixed; in the same conversation, arranged a tentative causal betrothal -- an unofficial agreement, unwitnessed by ardents -- between Adolin and Shallan; and arranged for a relatively small amount of money to be sent to the Davar family. It was on the ship that she explained the nature of Shadesmar and the spren to Shallan at length, showing a good understanding of the Realmatic Theory. She claimed that the meeting was not an accident, that the spren had guided Shallan to her, and that the old ways were returning because spren sensed an impending danger and were trying to preserve themselves. Jasnah also explained about the perception of power.

Jasnah was murdered by mercenaries associated with Tyn who were trying to get into the Ghostbloods.[39][40] Though she was stabbed through the heart, she was able to escape to Shadesmar using the Surge of Transportation, then heal herself with Stormlight.[41][21] Jasnah reappeared in the Physical Realm after the summoning of the Everstorm, having learned about the original Knights Radiant in her time away. Jasnah met Wit on her way and threatened him with a Shardblade, presumably her spren Ivory.[5]

Return to the Physical Realm (1173—)[edit]

After her travel through the Cognitive Realm, Jasnah returned to Urithiru to resume her fight against the Voidbringers. She observed many of Dalinar's visions, searching for hints about locations and time periods in which they took place to try to glean more information about pre-Aharietiam Roshar and the ancient Knights Radiant.[21] She was unable to identify distinguishing landmarks, either because the landscape had changed over time or because they were in uncharted territory, but she did identify Jezerezeh, king of the Heralds, in the vision of Aharietiam.[42]

After Dalinar released the vision proclaiming Honor's death, he was labeled as a pariah and an outcast by ardents, colleagues, and former friends -- groups that were not necessarily mutually exclusive -- and eventually excommunicated from the Vorin church. Identifying a shared struggle between herself and her uncle, Jasnah offered sympathy and counsel on being an outcast in Alethi society.[43]

As Jasnah returned, her taking part in meetings with Roshar's world leaders inspired conflict between her and Shallan, who now resented being treated like a ward. Their first clash occurred shortly after Jasnah asked Shallan to take notes in a meeting. Jasnah later confronted Shallan about her rebellious attitude and lack of responsibility, chastising her for skipping meetings or arriving late, though she lessened the blow by expressing admiration for Shallan's accomplishments while Jasnah was stuck in the Cognitive Realm. Shallan proposed terminating her wardship, but Jasnah refused.[8] In another meeting, Shallan rebuked Janala after she insulted Renarin; After scolding Shallan once again, Jasnah confided that she didn't often take wards because she was bad at instructing them and keeping them in check. Shortly after, Shallan, resentful at returning to a more lowly position, decided to journey with Kaladin, Adolin, and Elhokar to Kholinar just to get away from Jasnah and her orders.[44]

During their overlapping time in Urithiru, Jasnah observed Shallan's slow mental deterioration, which Ivory had warned her about.[14][45]

Stopping the Voidbringers[edit]

In Urithiru, Jasnah contacted two colleagues of hers, both Veristitalians, who studied under the same master as she. She had lost her spanreeds when the Wind's Pleasure sank, and had to contact them through an intermediary in one of Tashikk's famous information centers, using a scribe she'd personally interviewed and bribed to maintain confidentiality. Ethid, an Azish Scion, told Jasnah about the sightings of Nalan in Azir. Their other colleague, Jochi, a male Thaylen baker who used a pen name to publish his writings on philosophy, did not believe them at first. Ethid wrote of Lift's antics during the selection of the new Prime, as well as their suspicions that the lawkeeper who tried to kill Lift was Nalan, and that Lift was an Edgedancer.[45] They also discussed the strange behavior of the Thaylen Parshmen, who stole ships and set out to sea. This data, combined with Kaladin's very different interactions with the Alethi Parshmen[46] and Dalinar's learning about the behavior of the Azish Parshmen,[47] lead Jasnah to wonder about the different Parshendi social constructs. During the conversation, Jasnah saw Renarin conversing with his spren and asked Ethid about descriptions of Truthwatcher spren. She took notice of her cousin's strange behavior and decided to investigate his Nahel Bond and the proper spren for the Truthwatchers.[45]

Jasnah knew that the humans were the true Voidbringers before anyone else, having learned the fact from Wit when she found him after returning to the physical realm.[14] Nevertheless, she took an anti-pacifist stance in strategy meetings after Kaladin suggested negotiating with the Parshendi, arguing that the Voidbringers were ruthless creatures who needed to be stopped rather than oppressed citizens who deserved the same rights as humans.[8] Jasnah also advocated to find the Heralds and kill them, thus restoring the Oathpact and returning the Fused to Damnation. Her plan was shot down by Dalinar and Kaladin. In addition, Jasnah suggested that humans try to regain control over the Shin Oathgate second -- as opposed to the one in Azir or Theylenah, which her uncle had been trying to do -- so that they could cross all of Roshar in one bound. The plan did not work in execution, as the Shin were unresponsive to Dalinar's entreaties, possibly because they didn't want it to be discovered that the Honorblades were kept there.[48]

Battle of Thaylen Field (1174)[edit]

by Petar Penev
Jasnah fighting Thrill berserkers

At the beginning of the Battle of Thaylen Field, Jasnah made a plan to protect her uncle and evacuate Thaylen city. She seemed to have known it was coming beforehand, having worn flexible garb in preparation.[49] She tracked down Renarin and discovered that he had bonded with a corrupted spren, a feat previously believed to be impossible. Jasnah felt she had to kill her cousin, but found she could not do so, remembering how they bonded when they were younger over being outcasts in the Alethi court.[18] Renarin, having seen his death in his visions, realized from this that he could be wrong, leading he and Jasnah to reason that his father could prevail against Odium.[50][18] Jasnah ran with Renarin to save Dalinar, but they didn't get there before Dalinar prevailed against Odium and opened Honor's Perpendicularity. Jasnah took part in the battle and showcased her skills as an Elsecaller. While fighting, Jasnah found it incredibly easy to Soulcast, as the Cognitive and Physical realms were much closer together as a result of Dalinar opening Honor's Perpendicularity, reportedly feeling as if she existed half in the cognitive realm and half in the physical realm..[51][52] When Shallan began to run low on Stormlight, Jasnah alerted Navani and Queen Fen to send troops to aid her and clear out the Fused from inside the city. She also came to extract Shallan when she ran out completely before she could be captured by the Parshendi.[52] Jasnah checked on her again after the battle, and Shallan finally decided to continue with her wardship until Jasnah deemed her a fit scholar.[53]

Battle Aftermath[edit]

United, new beginnings sing: "Defying truth, love, Truth defy!"" Sing beginnings, new unity.

Ketek written by Jasnah for Shallan's wedding

Following the battle, House Kholin had to decide who would succeed Elhokar as the Alethi monarch. Gavinor, Elhokar's heir, was too young to rule and the next people in line to the throne, Dalinar and Adolin, both did not want to take the throne. At Shallan's suggestion, Jasnah was then crowned Queen of Alethkar.[4]

Jasnah wrote a ketek for Shallan on her wedding day to celebrate the occasion.[54]

Quotes[edit]

Shallan: "I have kept a journal since I was a child, in order to practice my writing skills. "
Jasnah: "Congratulations. Should I need someone to write a treatise on their stuffed pony or give an account of an interesting pebble they discovered, I shall send for you. "

―Shallan and Jasnah[9]

Ignorance is hardly unusual, Miss Davar. The longer I live, the more I come to realize that it is the natural state of the human mind. There are many who will strive to defend its sanctity and then expect you to be impressed with their efforts.

—Jasnah to Shallan[9]

...a woman's mind is her most precious weapon. It must not be employed clumsily or prematurely. Much like the aforementioned knife to the back, a clever gibe is most effective when it is unanticipated.

—Jasnah to Shallan[10]

Youthful immaturity is one of the cosmere’s great catalysts for change... To be young is about action. To be a scholar is about informed action.

—Jasnah to Shallan[10]

Too many scholars think of research as purely a cerebral pursuit. If we do nothing with the knowledge we gain, then we have wasted our study. Books can store information better than we can—what we do that books cannot is interpret. So if one is not going to draw conclusions, then one might as well just leave the information in the texts.

—Jasnah to Shallan[10]

I always forgive curiosity, Your Majesty. It strikes me as one of the most genuine of emotions.

—Jasnah to Taravangian[10]

A true scholar must not close her mind on any topic, no matter how certain she may feel. Just because I have not yet found a convincing reason to join one of the devotaries does not mean I never will. Though each time I have a discussion like the one today, my convictions grow firmer.

—Jasnah to Shallan[10]

When we are young, we want simple answers. There is no greater indication of youth, perhaps, than the desire for everything to be as it should. As it has ever been. The older we grow, the more we question. We begin to ask why. And yet, we still want the answers to be simple. We assume that the people around us—adults, leaders—will have those answers. Whatever they give often satisfies us. ... Indeed, it seems to me that aging, wisdom, and wondering are synonymous. The older we grow, the more likely we are to reject the simple answers. Unless someone gets in our way and demands they be accepted regardless.

—Jasnah to Shallan[2]

You will find wise men in any religion, Shallan, and good men in every nation. Those who truly seek wisdom are those who will acknowledge the virtue in their adversaries and who will learn from those who disabuse them of error. All others—heretic, Vorin, Ysperist, or Maakian—are equally closed-minded.

—Jasnah to Shallan[19]

Let the Vorin believe as they wish—the wise among them will find goodness and solace in their faith; the fools would be fools no matter what they believed.

—Jasnah to Shallan[19]

Power is an illusion of perception...Some kinds of power are real -- power to command armies, power to soulcast. These come into play far less often than you would think.

—Jasnah to Shallan[38]

Most threats to a dynasty came from within.

—Jasnah Kholin[18]

Trivia[edit]

  • Jasnah is the only member of a Vorin royal house who was a professed heretic before the events of the Stormlight Archive.[1]
  • Twelve young women asked Jasnah for a wardship during the year 1173 alone.[9] She eventually accepted the last one, Shallan.
  • Jasnah doesn't get along well with Highprince Sadeas's cousin, Lalai.[6]
  • Jasnah has never met Shallan's stepmother, Malise Gevelmar, even though she revealed that she knew Malise had married Shallan's father when she met Shallan in Kharbranth.[55]
  • In The Way of Kings Prime, Jasnah was a viewpoint character with as many chapters as the other characters. Brandon Sanderson decided too many viewpoints was too distracting and cut Jasnah's parts in the final version.[56]
  • Brandon read a lot of atheist message boards and talked with atheists he knew while developing Jasnah.[57]
  • Brandon thinks having Sazed and Jasnah together could lead to some great discussions of philosophy.[58]
  • Dalinar's words with Jasnah suggest that she has had other ward(s) in her past, besides Shallan.[6]
  • Brandon has released an uncannonical scene directly following Jasnah transferring to Shadesmar after she is stabbed aboard the Winds Pleasure, which can be read on on Tor's website.

See Also[edit]

Notes[edit]

Preceded by
Elhokar Kholin
Monarch of Alethkar
1174 to present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
  1. a b c d e f The Way of Kings chapter 3 #
  2. a b c d e f g h The Way of Kings chapter 36 #
  3. a b c d e f g The Way of Kings chapter 72 #
  4. a b Oathbringer chapter 122 #
  5. a b c Words of Radiance epilogue #
  6. a b c d e f The Way of Kings chapter 28 #
  7. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 8 #
  8. a b c Oathbringer chapter 39 #
  9. a b c d e f g The Way of Kings chapter 5 #
  10. a b c d e f g h i j k The Way of Kings chapter 29 #
  11. Oathbringer chapter 15 #
  12. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 33 #
  13. a b c d e f g Words of Radiance prologue #
  14. a b c d e Oathbringer chapter 47 #
  15. a b Oathbringer chapter 49 #
  16. Words of Radiance chapter 3 #
  17. a b The Way of Kings chapter 50 #
  18. a b c d Oathbringer chapter 118 #
  19. a b c d The Way of Kings chapter 48 #
  20. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 70 #
  21. a b c Oathbringer chapter 33 #
  22. Firefight Seattle UBooks signing
    Arcanum - 2015-01-06#
  23. Words of Radiance Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-22#
  24. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 45 #
  25. a b The Way of Kings chapter 42 #
  26. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 74 #
  27. Words of Radiance chapter 81 #
  28. The Way of Kings chapter 32 epigraph#
  29. The Way of Kings chapter 35 epigraph#
  30. The Way of Kings chapter 38 epigraph#
  31. The Way of Kings chapter 12 #
  32. a b The Way of Kings chapter 15 #
  33. Words of Radiance chapter 99 #
  34. Of the other male Heralds, Jezrien was already present as the beggar Ahu, Talenel was still trapped on Braize, and Ishar is the God-Priest Tezim.
  35. Oathbringer prologue #
  36. Words of Radiance chapter 88 #
  37. The Way of Kings chapter 18 #
  38. a b Words of Radiance chapter 1 #
  39. Words of Radiance chapter 34 #
  40. Words of Radiance chapter 42 #
  41. Words of Radiance chapter 7 #
  42. Oathbringer chapter 42 #
  43. Oathbringer chapter 38 #
  44. Oathbringer chapter 44 #
  45. a b c Oathbringer chapter 53 #
  46. Oathbringer chapter 31 #
  47. Oathbringer chapter 65 #
  48. Oathbringer chapter 106 #
  49. Oathbringer chapter 115 #
  50. Oathbringer chapter 116 #
  51. Oathbringer chapter 119 #
  52. a b Oathbringer chapter 120 #
  53. Oathbringer chapter 121 #
  54. Oathbringer chapter epigraph #
  55. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-26#
  56. Pat's Fantasy Hotlist Interview
    Arcanum - 2010-09-13#
  57. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-26#
  58. /r/fantasy AMA 2013
    Arcanum - 2013-04-15#
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