Knights Radiant

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Knights Radiant
First Ideal poster.jpg
World of Origin Roshar
Universe Cosmere
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"I'm not some glorious knight of ancient days. I'm a broken man. Do you hear me, Syl? I'm broken."
She zipped up to him and whispered, "That’s what they all were, silly"

Kaladin and Syl on what the Knights Radiant were like.[1]

The Knights Radiant (Listener: Neshua Kadal)[2][3] were an organization of Surgebinders on Roshar. Their Orders were centered at Urithiru, but they lived all across Alethela, the Silver Kingdom who had to maintain the arts of war. They considered it their duty and privilege to stay vigilant for Desolations.[4] It is commonly believed that they betrayed mankind on the Day of Recreance, and were then referred to as the Lost Radiants.[5] Their symbol was a golden hourglass shape, of eight spheres connected with two at the center.


They were a solution, a way to offset the destruction of the Desolations. Ten orders of knights, founded with the purpose of helping men fight, then rebuild.

The first Surgebinders came to be as a result of spren trying to imitate what Honor had given his Heralds. The spren formed bonds with the mankind to give them Surgebinding abilities.[6] Honor was surprised by their coming, because he hadn't taught it to his Heralds.[6] These Surgebinders were later formed into the ten orders of the Knights Radiant by the Herald Ishi'Elin, for the purpose of watching for the coming Desolations, and helping men fight, then rebuild the society from the destruction of the Desolations, and they adopted the city of Urithiru as their center of power.[7] This formalized system was in place by at least the Sixth Epoch, Year 31.[8]

For a long time, they maintained their duty, until eventually they abandoned it on what is now known as the Day of Recreance,[9] and possibly even turned against their wards, as some legends say.[10] This betrayal caused many spren to die, their corpses becoming tools of destruction, and as a result they stopped granting humanity Surgebinding.[11]

In recent times, sensing an impending danger, the spren started returning to mankind as an act of self-preservation.[12] People all over Roshar started gaining Surgebinding powers by forming Nahel bonds with the spren in the following years. At the beginning of the year 1174, Urithiru was reclaimed, and the Knights Radiant were re-founded with initially four members; Kaladin, Shallan Davar, Dalinar Kholin, and Renarin Kholin.[13]

Radiant Orders and Powers[edit]

Symbols of the Ten Radiant Orders and their Surges

The Knights Radiant comprised ten different Orders, some of which had several hundred members. Each Order had two Surges associated with it, and each Surge was used by two different Orders. Scholars associated the ten Orders with the Ten Essences as well.

Each order corresponded to a Herald, and all of them except the Bondsmiths roughly correspond to an Unmade, though it is not entirely a one to one relationship.[14]

Order of Windrunners
Windrunners bond with honorspren, which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Adhesion and Gravitation.[15] The combination of these two Surges results in the powers known as the Three Lashings.[16] Windrunners are associated with the sapphire polestone, the essence of Zephyr, and the Herald Jezrien.
Order of Skybreakers
Skybreakers bond with highspren, which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Gravitation and Division.[15] Skybreakers are associated with the smokestone polestone, the essence of Vapor, and the Herald Nale.
Order of Dustbringers
Dustbringers - or as they prefer, Releasers - bond with ashspren, which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Division and Abrasion.[15] Their powers tend to be destructive.[17] Dustbringers are associated with the ruby polestone, the essence of Spark, and the Herald Chanarach.
Order of Edgedancers
Edgedancers bond with cultivationspren, which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Abrasion and Progression.[15] Edgedancers are associated with the diamond polestone, the essence of Lucentia, and the Herald Vedel.
Order of Truthwatchers
Truthwatchers bond with mistspren, gaining the ability to use the Surges of Progression and Illumination.[15] The surge of Progression grants the Truthwatchers the power of regrowth, which allows them to heal people[18], and at least two Truthwatchers have demonstrated the ability to foresee future events[19][20]. Truthwatchers are associated with the emerald polestone, the essence of Pulp, and the Herald Pailiah.
Order of Lightweavers
Lightweavers bond with Cryptics, or liespren, which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Illumination and Transformation.[15] They can create illusions and have the inherent ability to Soulcast.[21] Lightweavers are associated with the garnet polestone, the essence of Blood, and the Herald Shalash.
Order of Elsecallers
Elsecallers bond with inkspren, which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Transformation and Transportation.[15] They have the inherent ability to Soulcast.[21] They have the closest affiliation with Shadesmar out of all the orders. Elsecallers are associated with the zircon polestone, the essence of Tallow, and the Herald Battar.
Order of Willshapers
Willshapers bond with Reachers, also known as lightspren, which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Transportation and Cohesion.[15] Willshapers are associated with the amethyst polestone, the essence of Foil, and the Herald Kalak.
Order of Stonewards
Stonewards bond with peakspren, gaining the ability to use the Surges of Cohesion and Tension.[15] Stonewards are associated with the topaz polestone, the essence of Talus, and the Herald Talenel.
Order of Bondsmiths
Bondsmiths bond with three unique spren—the Stormfather, the Sibling, and the Nightwatcher—which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Tension and Adhesion.[15] Bondsmiths are associated with the heliodor polestone, the essence of Sinew, and the Herald Ishar.

The Knights Radiant also used Shardblades and Shardplate, which were etched with glyphs and glowed a different color according to the Order they were a part of. Not all Radiants have access to Shards and many Orders don't receive them until they have sworn the higher Ideals.


Many orders of the knights are able to grant the ability to use Stormlight and some of their Surges to people, possibly those capable of becoming knights themselves. It appears that potential squires must have a mindset that matches at least partly with the requirements of the order. For Windrunners this appears to be a mental state geared to protection. Many squires recite the First Ideal before gaining Surgebinding, but this is not required. Each order follows a path and with a Knight willing to help the first steps can be taken before Bonding a spren themselves. This shows the spren what people are good candidates for each order, and reducing the chance that a spren will die from failed oaths. Time as a Squire also allows a person to practice Surgebinding before gaining a Nahel bond.

It is possible for a person to remain a squire their whole life, or to be a squire of one order and bond a spren from another.[22] Using a mix of other Investiture (such as Feruchemy and Hemalurgy), a Surgebinder could hack the magic and be a squire of multiple Orders at once.[23]

The powers of a squire are tied to a particular Radiant and their spren, and without their presence, a squire cannot draw in Stormlight to Surgebind, even if another full Knight of the same order is present.[24] Squires must be within approximately fifty miles of their Radiant to use their powers, although they begin to weaken once they are separated by thirty miles or more.[25] If their Radiant were to suddenly separate from them, such as by using an Oathgate, a squire's powers would last between one to two hours.[25]

While it has been said that some orders may not have squires,[26] the Windrunners,[27] Skybreakers,[28] Dustbringers,[6] Lightweavers,[29] Willshapers,[30] Stonewards,[31] and Bondsmiths[32][33] are known to have squires.

Immortal Words[edit]

Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination.

—The First Ideal of the Knights Radiant
Knights Radiant heading into battle

The Ideals of the Knights Radiant, known as the Immortal Words, serve as a guide for the Radiants' actions and lives.[34] Each order of Radiants has five Ideals, though different Radiants from the same order may swear an ideal with slightly different words and Lightweavers swear more individualized truths instead of ideals.[35] The wording of the First Ideal, however, is exact and is used by all orders, including the Lightweavers.[36][37] It appears that it is not necessary to speak the First Ideal as a complete uninterrupted phrase, as when Navani Kholin spoke them to bond the Sibling, she spread the three sentences throughout the length of a conversation, and though he was unable to complete the Ideal before being killed, Elhokar Kholin stuttered and repeated its words.[38][39] The First Ideal acts as a motto and guide for the Radiants as a whole,[34] and is known as the Ideal of Radiance by the Skybreakers,[28] who may have carried the name over from the ancient Radiants. The unique Ideals of each order are designed as a progression that develops a Radiant's character toward the central concepts of their order.[40] The Stormfather and Cultivation have some discretion in deciding whether or not a Radiant has progressed enough that their oath can be accepted,[41][42] though this discretion appears to be limited.[43] It is unclear whether or not the Stormfather had this ability prior to Honor's Splintering, but it seems likely it was instead Honor's decision at this time. A Bondsmith may also be able to accept the oaths of other orders.[44]

As a Radiant swears additional Ideals, they gain their Shardblade and Shardplate (though the Ideal at which these are received is not the same for all orders)[45] and become more efficient in their use of Stormlight.[34] Additionally, some orders cannot use one of their Surges until they swear a higher Ideal.[41][46] Swearing the Fifth Ideal, also known as the Final Ideal, makes the Nahel bond between Radiant and spren so strong that it can only be broken by death; until that point, there are apparently safe ways to break the bond.[47] Swearing the Fifth Ideal is generally not necessary to be considered a full Knight Radiant and is such a difficult process that the Order of the Skybreakers has not had someone swear the Fifth Ideal for centuries.[28]

Ideals must be sworn in order, even if a Radiant is ready to swear a higher ideal than the one they cannot currently swear.[48] Radiants must also be ready to swear the ideals, and cannot just say the words to advance.[49][50]


In Vorinism, the fall of the Knights Radiant was called the Day of Recreance. They are taught to be evil people who turned against humanity, and are thus given the moniker "Lost Radiants."[5]

Vorinism taught that the Knights Radiant betrayed the people. It was taught that their powers were not real, but elaborate tricks, and that they only pretended to have a holy calling. The "evidence" for this was that the powers could not be reproduced.

There are legends that teach about the souls of the Knights Radiant arriving during highstorms in order to steal spheres left out to be infused. This was used as a way to explain both spheres being stolen by thieves in the dark, and how the winds of the highstorm often tore baskets off their posts and flung them into the distance.[51]

Notable Knights Radiant[edit]


  • Brandon intended for sets of Ideals across Orders (e.g. the Third Ideal) to have a theme, though not all oaths will follow the pattern.[52]


  1. Words of Radiance chapter 68#
  2. The Way of Kings chapter 67#
  3. The Way of Kings chapter 68#
  4. The Way of Kings chapter 49#
  5. a b The Way of Kings chapter 43#
  6. a b c d Words of Radiance chapter 4#
  7. The Way of Kings chapter 60#
  8. #SayTheWords
    Arcanum - 2023-12-20#
  9. The Way of Kings chapter 52#
  10. The Way of Kings chapter 45#
  11. Words of Radiance chapter 3#
  12. Words of Radiance chapter 1#
  13. Words of Radiance chapter 89#
  14. Oathbringer San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-15#
  15. a b c d e f g h i j Words of Radiance Ars Arcanum#
  16. The Way of Kings prologue#
  17. Prelude to the Stormlight Archive#
  18. Words of Radiance interlude I-2#
  19. Oathbringer chapter 85 epigraph#
  20. Words of Radiance chapter 85#
  21. a b The Way of Kings chapter 72#
  22. Miscellaneous 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-10-14#
  23. DragonCon 2019
    Arcanum - 2019-08-29#
  24. Oathbringer chapter 120#
  25. a b Oathbringer chapter 55#
  26. Words of Radiance Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-22#
  27. Oathbringer chapter 2#
  28. a b c Oathbringer chapter 90#
  29. Oathbringer chapter 77#
  30. Rhythm of War chapter 67#
  31. Mini-Con 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-11-22#
  32. Rhythm of War chapter 69#
  33. The Ten Orders of Knights Radiant
    Arcanum - 2020-06-09#
  34. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 59#
  35. OdysseyCon 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-04-08#
  36. Firefight Miami signing
    Arcanum - 2015-01-08#
  37. Words of Radiance chapter 87#
  38. Rhythm of War chapter 110#
  39. Oathbringer chapter 84#
  40. When Worlds Collide 2014
    Arcanum - 2014-08-09#
  41. a b Oathbringer chapter 121#
  42. Rhythm of War chapter 60#
  43. Words of Radiance chapter 84#
  44. Rhythm of War chapter 108#
  45. Words of Radiance signing Omaha
    Arcanum - 2014-03-13#
  46. The Ten Orders of Knights Radiant
    Arcanum - 2020-06-09#
  47. Oathbringer chapter 108#
  48. YouTube Spoiler Stream 3
    Arcanum - 2021-12-16#
  49. Rhythm of War chapter 107#
  50. Dawnshard chapter 17#
  51. The Way of Kings chapter 11#
  52. Skyward Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-16#
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