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|Groups||Knights Radiant (Windrunner)|
Bridge Four, Sadeas army (formerly), Kholin army
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”I am the Lopen, which means I am ready for anything at any time. You should know this by now.
Appearance and Personality
”A one-armed Herdazian is still twice as useful as a no-brained Alethi.—Lopen
Like all Herdazians, Lopen has slate-colored crystalline fingernails. He is a short, spindly, brown-haired man in his early twenties, with skin just a shade too dark to be Alethi. He had an old slave brand on his forehead, but that is now covered with a Bridge Four tattoo. Most strikingly, when he joins Bridge Four he is missing his left arm, although he eventually regrows it with Stormlight.
He speaks with a quick accent and has a tendency to use Herdazian words like gon, gancho, or mancha when referring to people he's talking to.
Lopen has a very positive outlook in life. Despite experiencing great misfortunes, he never accepts these things as part of his identity, and even jokes about his disability. He is often nonchalant, exhibits the stereotypical Herdazian arrogance (e.g. calling himself "The Lopen" and liberally using rude gestures when insulted,) and has a sense of humor that people around him find strange. Even so, Lopen proves himself to be both compassionate and reliable.
Attributes and Abilities
Lopen has the ability to manipulate the Surges of Adhesion and Gravitation through his Nahel bond with the honorspren Rua. After Lopen swore the Third Ideal of the Windrunners, Rua gained the ability to become a Shardblade, which can be summoned in the form that he chooses, including a dagger.
Lopen's family left Herdaz when he was a baby and he was raised in Alethkar. He lost his left arm through circumstances that have not yet been revealed. At some point he was enslaved; when or why this happened is unknown, but Kaladin noted upon meeting Lopen that his slave brand looked old.
”Hey, gancho! Hey! You want me, I think. You can use me. We Herdazians are great fighters, gon. You see, this one time, I was with, sure, three men and they were drunk and all but I still beat them.—Lopen volunteering for recruitment.
Unlike many of the Bridge Four members, Lopen supposedly did not hide a dark past. He was sent to the bridge crews not as punishment for a crime, but only because he was a nuisance. He was not even aware of his situation, as he apparently thought he was entering the army as a soldier. He was the only person among the newcomers who did not have a defeated look of apathy on his face, and the only one volunteering to be picked when Kaladin came looking for a new recruit. Knowing that Lopen would probably not survive a single bridge run in other crews, Kaladin decided to choose him, instead of one of the taller men as he'd originally planned.
Kaladin assigned Lopen to carry water for the crew during bridge runs. He was accompanied in this task by Dabbid and any member who for one reason or another could not help with carrying the bridge. This allowed such people to remain safe during bridge runs while still being considered useful, whereas in other bridge crews they would have been sacrificed by placing them in front of the bridge to take Parshendi arrows.
Lopen's small team also carried medical supplies for Kaladin later on, as well as other items like rope and Parshendi carapace armor. Eventually Lopen learned medical first aid from Kaladin and was given medic duties as well.
During the Battle of the Tower, while unable to fight, Lopen helped by ensuring that Kaladin always had a spear in hand. He did this by taking spears from fallen Alethi soldiers and tossing one to Kaladin when needed. After Bridge Four rescued the Kholin army in that battle, Dalinar Kholin had all Torol Sadeas' bridgemen freed, including Lopen.
With the former bridge crews now a battalion headed by Kaladin under Dalinar's camp, Bridge Four members were given new responsibilities. Lopen was assigned as second lieutenant to the battalion's quartermaster, Rock, with Dabbid and Shen under him. As a Bridge Four member, Lopen also became part of Dalinar's personal guard, and like the others was given an official uniform on the same day that he received the tattoos that covered his slave brand.
Lopen took part in Kaladin's experiments with Radiant powers, allowing himself to be stuck on walls and even joining in a sparring match with Rock and Sigzil against a Stormlight-Invested Kaladin. He stayed behind in the warcamp during the Battle of Narak to take care of the barrack and to watch over an injured Kaladin.
King of Alethkar
After Kaladin thwarted an assassination attempt on King Elhokar, the wounded king was taken to Lopen's home in Little Herdaz to recover. Deciding to conceal the king for his own safety, but being averse to lying, Lopen's family members somehow persuaded Elhokar to temporarily abdicate in favor of Lopen so that they could truthfully say that "King Elhokar" was not with them. This made Lopen the legitimate king of Alethkar for several minutes.
Later on Lopen tried to convince the Alethi to add him to their list of kings, but to no avail.
”Oh, storms yes! Everybody, give the Lopen your spheres! I have glowing that needs to be done.—Lopen after succeeding in Investing Stormlight and realizing that he could grow back his left arm
Lopen always found Kaladin's abilities fascinating, particularly the ability to absorb Stormlight. He desired to "glow" like Kaladin, so much so that he was the only member of Bridge Four at the time who actively pursued becoming a Knight Radiant.
He eventually became one of Kaladin's squires, finally achieving his dream of glowing, soon after Kaladin spoke the Third Ideal of Windrunners. Through the healing effect of Stormlight, Lopen was able to restore his missing arm.
As a Windrunner squire, Lopen was able to harness the Lashings. He was particularly fond of using them to hang upside-down on ceilings, to the annoyance of others. However, squires need to be in relative proximity to their Knight for their powers to manifest, and so Lopen lost access to the Lashings whenever Kaladin went on distant missions. This did not stop him from joining Shallan Davar and others in fighting the Unmade Re-Shephir within Urithiru.
Kaladin assigned Lopen to help the First, Second, and Third Squads of the newly augmented Bridge Four to achieve squireship. He tried to impress them by flying but, not having mastered Basic Lashing yet at that point, he ended up just accidentally sticking himself to the ground with a Full Lashing, all the while insisting he'd meant to do it.
He participated in the Battle of Thaylen Field, fighting the Fused. Lopen later became a Knight Radiant in his own right, bonding with a male honorspren named Rua. He stopped during the clean up after the battle to try and comfort a Thaylen soldier who had lost an arm in the fighting. While Lopen was explaining the Immortal Words to the wounded man, he said the Second Ideal of the Windrunners, which the Stormfather accepted despite the fact that Lopen had been trying to save it for a dramatic moment.
Expedition to Aimia
A few months after the Battle of Thaylen Field, Lopen and Huio were chosen by Kaladin to join the Thaylen expedition to Akinah aboard the Wandersail as they were capable of swimming, and did not yet have Blades. Rysn took to him quickly on account of his personality, and the two bonded over shared experience with disability. He also endeared himself to the Ardent Rushu by engaging in discussion of her artifabrian projects. Lopen chastised Huio for tinkering with Rushu's spanreed - an activity that ultimately results in the discovery of aluminum-modified fabrials.
As the ship crossed through the storm surrounding Akinah Lopen remained on deck, using Stormlight to adhere the captain's foot to the deck for stability. Lopen dove into the water to rescue Turlm when he was tossed overboard. With Rua's help, he was the first to notice a shadow in the depths that would turn out to be a large hordeling following the ship.
Once they landed on Akinah, Lopen and Rushu split from the main group to search for a sign of the Aimian Oathgate - a task given to them by Navani. Using Lashings to fly, Lopen identified the layout of ancient Akinah from above, giving Rushu proof that her sketches had been correct. A lack of crem buildup led both to conclude that the real city (and the real Oathgate) had been hidden underground by someone wishing to deter exploration. When they found the Oathgate chamber, Lopen realized that they had placed themselves in a compromised position and risked attack from whatever force wanted the island hidden.
As he was racing back to the ship, Lopen ran into a giant hordeling and he rescued Huio from its jaws. The two proceeded to fight the creature together to give the crew a chance to escape. Lopen tried to swear the Third Ideal, but was unsuccessful, which caused him to ask Rua if Phendorana had a hand in preventing his progress. He attempted another attack, but a hordeling bred to have the powers of a larkin drained away his Stormlight causing him to fall down to the ground and break his leg. When the monster turned towards him Huio flew between Lopen and the creature, swore the Third Ideal and proceeded to summon Caelinora as a Shardhammer which he used to shatter the hordeling's arm. Shortly afterward, Huio killed it with a Shardspear through the head. The two escaped while Rysn's negotiation continued underground.
Back at the ship, Lopen and Huio discussed the Third Ideal. Lopen congratulated his cousin on beating him to the ideal, although struggled to do so as he had an inkling that Huio's oath had been related to him and thought Huio might harbor ill will for him. Lopen took their discussion to heart and vowed to protect others, even if that meant protecting them from himself. The Stormfather heard this and accepted Lopen's Third Ideal.
”...look into the future and find out if I beat Huio at cards tomorrow.—Lopen to Renarin
The evening after Jasnah deposed Highprince Ruthar, Dalinar and Renarin found themselves sitting at one of the Bridge Four nightly cook fires. As they both stood to leave, Lopen called out to Renarin and asks him to look into the future, and find out if he'll beat Huio in a game of cards the following day.
- Main article: Lopen's mother
”I’m an expert on one-armed Herdazian jokes. ‘Lopen,’ my mother always says, ‘you must learn these to laugh before others do. Then you steal the laughter from them, and have it all for yourself.’ She is a very wise woman.—Lopen
Lopen thinks highly of his mother, who encouraged his self-deprecating humor as a way to cope with his one-armed condition before he was able to heal himself. He currently lives with her in Urithiru. Lopen's mother has implied that Herdazian families are matriarchal, with the women possessing all authority inside Herdazian homes.
”A man can never have enough cousins.
Lopen is related in one way or another to a significant portion of the Herdazian population in the Alethi warcamps and often talks about his many cousins there. He often suggests going to one of his cousins for help, and is quite proud of their loyalty. However, his definition of "cousin" is very broad and could include fifth cousins, or people dating his sister or his aunt. In fact, Lopen's definition of a "cousin" seems to be broad enough to include anyone he feels kinship with, and has nothing to do with actual lineage. When he began earning a stipend as a Radiant, he sent most of it to his family to help out the poorer cousins, of which a large part went to Rod's family.
The following are members of Lopen's extended family:
Lopen shares a playfully antagonistic relationship with his cousin Huio. Before assigning them to the expedition to Aimia, Kaladin remarks that he was counting on Huio to temper Lopen in their dealings with the Reshi delegation. After receiving the assignment, Lopen plans to go lord it over Huio that he Lopen had been chosen for the job, before relenting and sharing that Huio was also chosen. Where Huio is reserved and quiet, Lopen is effusive and flamboyant. Both are intelligent and thoughtful, but show it differently. At various points throughout the journey, Lopen makes it a point to try to keep one up on Huio. Huio does not seem particularly interested in making a game of it. At one point, Lopen idly notes that Huio's spren Caelinora very infrequently makes herself visible to him.
During the hordeling battle on the shores of Aimia, Lopen saves Huio from the hordeling's jaws and boasts about it. Huio is exasperated and urges Lopen to focus on the fight. Lopen is initially upset when Huio swears the Third Ideal of the Windrunners before himself. He does not realize that Huio resents this overt and overbearing teasing from his cousin. In fact, Huio's opinion of Lopen lead directly to his swearing of the Third Ideal. The wording is implied to name Lopen as the object of his ill will (e.g. I will protect those I hate, even if that is Lopen) although Huio swears that he does not hate Lopen. This, in turn, causes Lopen to understand that he must protect people from himself - which becomes his Third Ideal.
Lopen seems to be interested in Cord romantically, although he never says so aloud. In several internal monologues, he lists her positive attributes (e.g. her pleasing accent, her height, her proximity to him in age), and repeatedly makes attempts to impress her. Cord notices his attempts but does not indicate whether this affection is reciprocated.
Lopen and Rysn traveled together on the expedition to Aimia, and repeatedly bond over shared experience with disability - Lopen living with one arm, and Rysn having lost the use of her lower body.
Rushu also traveled on the Wandersail at Navani's request. Her job was partially to investigate fabrials to help Rysn regain mobility lost by being unable to walk. Lopen and Huio engage with her in discussions of fabrials and aluminum, eventually helping her stumble onto the discovery of aluminum-modified fabrials. Rushu seems to enjoy Lopen's company, at one point commenting that it sounded like he was espousing the works of a philosopher with whom she was familiar.
”You can thank me, naco, for inspiring this great advance in your learning. People—and little things made out of nothing too, sure—are often inspired near the Lopen.—Lopen to Rua, after teaching the spren how to perform a rude gesture
Lopen's spren Rua appears to be as carefree as he is, and perhaps more mischievous. Rua's transition into the Physical Realm and his bond with Lopen is recent enough that he is not yet fully himself mentally, and Lopen acts like a sort of mentor to him, albeit only in matters of mischief.
”If you’re crazy, you’re a good type, and I like you. Not a killing-people-in-their-sleep type of crazy. Besides, We all follow crazies all the time. Do it every day with lighteyes.—Lopen to Kaladin, on whether he'd follow him to battle if he was crazy.
Like other members of Bridge Four, Lopen is loyal to their captain, Kaladin Stormblessed. Lopen has been invaluable in many of Kaladin's undertakings, acquiring and handling resources necessary to Kaladin's plans, providing helpful insights often wrapped in his unique sense of humor, and simply being a trustworthy companion.
Lopen's lighthearted attitude often contrasts with Kaladin's seriousness, and at times the Bridge Four captain does not know what to make of the Herdazian. Still, Kaladin has acknowledged Lopen's ability by promoting him to a leadership position just below that of Teft when Lopen reached the Second Ideal of the Windrunners.
”Some of my cousins, they call me the Lopen because they haven't ever heard anyone else named that. I've asked around a lot, maybe one hundred...or two hundred...lots of people, sure. And nobody has heard of that name.—Lopen introducing himself to Kaladin
Oh. Oh. Question for you! What did the one-armed Herdazian do to the man who stuck him to the wall?
Nothing. The Herdazian was 'armless.
”Ain’t nothing wrong with being a woman, gancho. Some of my relatives are women.—Lopen to Kaladin
”Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before pancakes—Lopen misquoting the First Ideal of the Knights Radiant to an injured soldier
”Well, sure. Technically it might be. But for the end of the world, it's not so bad, right? I figured that when everything ended, we’d sink into a noxious bath of pus and doom, breathing in agony as the air around us—sure—became molten, and we screamed a final burning scream, relishing the memories of the last time a woman loved us. Don’t know about you, moolie, but my lungs aren’t burning. The air doesn’t seem very molten. Considering how bad this could have gone, you’ve got a lot to be thankful for. Remember that.—Lopen comforting a wounded man after the Battle of Thaylen Field
”NOW? I was saving that for a dramatic moment, you penhito! Why didn't you listen earlier? We were, sure, all about to die and things!
”I'll do it, then. I've got to protect people, you know? Even from myself. Gotta rededicate to being the best Lopen possible. A better, improved, extra-incredible Lopen.—Lopen swearing his version of the Windrunners' Third Ideal
- Words of Radiance chapter 41#
- Oathbringer chapter 121#
- The Way of Kings chapter 62#
- Shadows of Self Portland signing
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- Words of Radiance chapter 87#
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- Oathbringer San Diego signing
— Arcanum - 2017-11-14#
- The Way of Kings chapter 73#
- Words of Radiance chapter 12#
- The Way of Kings interlude I-4#
- Words of Radiance chapter 76#
- Dawnshard epilogue#
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- Oathbringer release party
— Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
- The Way of Kings chapter 57#
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- The Way of Kings chapter 68#
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- Words of Radiance chapter 2#
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- Arcanum Unbounded release party
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- Arcanum Unbounded release party
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- Oathbringer chapter 35#
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