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Navani Kholin

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Navani Kholin
by User: Exmakina
House Kholin
Spouse Gavilar (deceased), Dalinar
Children Jasnah, Elhokar
Born 1113-1123[1]
Profession Artifabrian
Nationality Alethi
World Roshar
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
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Navani Kholin (Alethi pronunciation: [nəˈva·ni koˈlɪn] ne-VAH-nee ko-LIN)[2] is is a Brightlady of Alethkar on Roshar.[1] She is the widow of Gavilar Kholin and the mother of Jasnah and Elhokar, the current king of Alethkar.[3] She was the sister-in-law to Dalinar Kholin [4] and aunt to Adolin and Renarin Kholin[3] until she was married to Dalinar. [5] She is also a renowned scholar and artifabrian.[3]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Navani is described as a stately woman with intricately woven black hair. She has violet eyes and her black hair is streaked with grey. She is described as having a warm, feminine voice. Dalinar notes that she carries a sweet, floral scent. [6] Navani often paints her lips red and wears a red dress with rubies in her hair. [7] Like her daughter, she is known as one of the most beautiful women in Alethkar.[1]

As the dowager queen, Navani often challenges Alethi protocol.[1] She is known for her ability to learn everything of significance through gossip, no matter where she travels.[1] She is not overly judgmental, but is not above pointing out the obvious.[8] She is known for her confidence, to the point that she is not afraid to match words with Wit.[3] She believes in being blunt, especially when working with scholars.[9] Despite this, Navani is also known for her discretion. A scholar at heart, she keeps exacting notes and is well organized. [10]

Having lived much of her life as a queen, Navani is a creature of politics. She is deftly able to navigate the Alethi political sphere when she chooses to. [1] However, as she has grown older, Navani has become disillusioned with politics and has begun to chafe at the traditional place for a brightlady.[6] As the dowager queen, she believes that no one cares about her actions and would pass off any extreme actions as eccentricity. [9]

Despite her talent at politics, Navani's true love is found in her scholarly pursuits. It is part of her belief that a brightlady should have a variety of hobbies.[9] She is a renowned scholar, specializing in the development of new fabrials. She pursues her passion with enthusiasm and little to no guile.[11] In addition, she is fond of simple simple solutions.[12]

Navani believes that soul of art is creation. Creation brings order to an blank slate or empty canvas and becomes art. She uses that belief to fuel her scholarly pursuits. [13]



Navani is the widow of the recently deceased Alethi King, Gavilar Kholin.[4] Prior to their marriage, Navani wavered between choosing Gavilar and his younger brother, Dalinar. Ultimately, she chose the future king.[1] With him, she had two children, a daughter, Jasnah and a son, Elhokar.[3] After Gavilar's death at the hands of Szeth, Navani was left without a defined position in Alethi society as her son assumed the throne.

Initially, she stayed in Kholinar to aid Elhokar's wife, Aesudan, in ruling the kingdom as much of Alethi society moved to the Shattered Plains to fight the Parshendi responsible for Gavilar's death. [3] After some years, she moved to the Shattered Plains after realizing that the seat of power had essentially transferred to there.[14]

Returning to the Shattered Plains[edit]

Navani's return to the Plains from Alethkar is three-fold: she brought word that the Vedens had perfected the half-shards, she wishes her son to be protected, and she needs to speak with Dalinar.[1] She also realized that leaving the Plains had been a political mistake because the warcamps became the true center of their kingdom. While in Kholinar, she determined that that Aesudan was sufficiently endowed with the requisite skills needed to hold the city. (The very argument that had originally convinced Navani to return to Kholinar was that the Alethi absence from their homeland was dangerous.)[1]

Recording Dalinar's visions[edit]

Because Navani is so exacting in her words and thoughts, Dalinar chooses her to record his visions. She scribes expertly, picking out details from him, knowing when to prod him for more. She is business-like and careful.[10] She records his visions without complaint.[15]

Navani uses Corvana's Analectics to translate the "babble" from Dalinar's vision with Nohadon.[11][7] She discovers that the phrase that is in the Analectics is one in the same with the "babble". She says it's a line from a song, a chant by the Vanrial, written in the Dawnchant by the Heralds. Listening to Dalinar's visions, she thinks what he was saying had too much order to be gibberish.[11]

Navani relates the Myth of Parasaphi and Nadris to Dalinar in effort to afford some insight into the Desolations, with regard to his vision with Nohadon, relevant to the Voidbringers, mankind on Roshar, Damnation, the Heralds, the Tranquiline Halls, and the Knights Radiant. She believes the visions are a blessing because they prove that Dalinar isn't going mad.[16]

Uniting Roshar[edit]

After moving to Urithiru Navani eventually marries Dalinar through the Stormfather.[5] She then assists her husband in trying to unify Roshar against the voidbringers.[17]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Navani is a renowned artifibrian. She engineers the creation of fabrials that her team of artisan ardents create through fabrial science. She lead the research to develop the Grandbows.[3] She also had a hand in the construction of a new painrial, and of it, she's particularly proud, though it's only an early model. She thinks it has a lot of potential.[11] Many of her inventions, such as the painrial, are used in the war against the Parshendi, making her incredibly valuable to the Alethi.

The more she understands the secrets of technology and the power of spren locked within the Polestones, closer she grows to finding what she seeks: things she can do to protect her family, like creating Shardplate.[9]

Navani creates a platform with fabrial science that defies gravity. Her goal in so doing is to deliver one such to the Shattered Plains to elevate archers above the battlefield for a tactical advantage. Her position is patron to the ardents who make the diagrams and figures and engineer the fabrials.[9]

Navani and her crew of ardents make a breakthrough with Shardblades in realizing that the gemstones in the Blades - used to bond them - might not have originally been part of the weapons. If true, it means the Blades aren't powered by the stones. Rushu had asked why a Shardblade can be summoned and dismissed even if its gemstone has gone dun. ... If true, artifabrians are back to knowing absolutely nothing about how Shardblades were crafted. It seems the gemstone's purpose is only used in initially bonding the Blade - something the Radiants didn't need to do.[14]

After accepting Shallan within her fold, Navani decides to lead the research team studying the quotes with which Shallan has provided her from Jasnah's research regarding the Oathgate, Knights Radiant, and Urithiru.[18] Navani co-opts Dalinar's scribes and cartographers to locate the Oathgate, but he accuses Shallan of doing so. She, in turn, states that she was really just there when Navani changed her mind. [19]

Navani cannot set up fabrials remotely; she needs to be on-site. Her fabrials are needed to bathe the battlefield in an extraordinarily even white light. She causes pavilions to be erected to protect soldiers from the elements..[20][21]

In Urithiru, Navani discovers a fabrial lift. She speaks of counterweights and conjoined gemstones, sounding awed by the technology of the ancients.[22]

She tells Dalinar of new fabrial invention called an attractor. She remains half afraid that this contraption, filtered with a large glowing garnet suspended within a delicate wire lacework fabrial, will suck the blood out of anyone who touches it. The fabrial pulls moisture from the air , clearing the battlefield of some precipitation and making it possible for archers to better let their arrows fly into the Parshendi ranks, drawing their attention from the beleaguered men on the field.[21]

Once in Urithiru, Navani discovers a fabrial lift. She speaks of counterweights and conjoined gemstones, sounding awed by the technology of the ancients,[22]



Navani chose Gavilar over Dalinar because she found Dalinar to be frightening.[8] Navani noted that there was much to admire about Gavilar in her posthumous biography of him. [23] They may have been close at one time, but she implied that they grew apart in the time leading up to his death.


When Navani returns to the Shattered Plains from Kholinar, she frequently speaks with Dalinar, and later becomes romantically involved with him, which is unusual, because in the eyes of Alethi society, she is now considered to be Dalinar's sister.[1] Part of what Navani finds intriguing about him is that he's begun to be the person the others all claim to be.[8] She now finds Dalinar's intensity, which frightened her when they both were younger, to be fascinating because he's now wrapped it in armor.[8]

Navani believes Dalinar to be a kind man. Telling him so, she admits that she's taking advantage of him - a little; she's not toying with him.[8] She also believes him to be a dear, but thinks he can be a touch overprotective.[9]

Navani never mocks Dalinar, never acts skeptical of that which he reveals in his visions.[15]

When she learns of his "death" at the battle of the Tower, upon receipt of the news of Sadeas's betrayal, Navani endeavors to paint a prayer in glyph format upon the stones of the Plains; She creates a wish out of despair, a plea out of anguish: Thath: Justice.[6]


Jasnah believes her mother to have a tendency toward the overwhelming.[24] She does not let her mother 'mother' her.[25] Navani knows that Jasnah wouldn't let her 'mother' her; that once she'd reached adolescence, Jasnah no longer needed a mother. She would try to get close to her daughter, and there was a coldness, like even being near her mother reminded Jasnah that she had once been a child. She wonders what happened to her little girl, so full of questions.[14]

Navani knows Jasnah better that anyone else, but wishes she had some sense to go with her intelligence.[26]

With Jasnah's loss, Navani considers this to be her first time mourning. This is telling to Dalinar regarding the difficulties between she and Gavilar before his brother's assassination.[14][4]

The epigraph for WoR Ch.8 is telling of just how deeply Navani feels the loss of her daughter.[27] Still, Navani believes that Jasnah never did have the decency to be wrong an appropriate amount of the time. She also realizes that, persuant to Shallan's connection with Jasnah and her daughter's knowledge, that she shouldn't have ignored Shallan. That it was petty, avowing that scholars don't have time for such nonsense.[18]


To Shallan, Navani looks like a version of Jasnah twenty years older; still pretty, though with a motherly air. Navani doesn't take the news of her daughter's death well; she insisted, till Dalinar spoke, that Jasnah was still alive, but unconscious. She then admits that she's not herself at the moment, and that she strays toward the irrational.[28]

After learning of her daughter's death from Shallan, Navani refuses to see Shallan, or have anything to do with her. Adolin sees a thawing in her coldness as she seems more thoughtful than before regarding Shallan.[29]

Navani eventually warms to Shallan and becomes protective of her. Shallan becomes one of Navani's 'clutch', no longer an outsider. While Navani's seemingly sudden affection is unexpected by Shallan, she accepts it. Shallan thinks Navani to be so good with her emotions that she can't read just what the woman is thinking.[30]

Navani admits to Shallan that she's been ignoring things, things that she should not, because they bring her pain. Shallan apologizes to her, but Navani insists that Shallan has nothing to apologize for. Navani finds Shallan's organization of her notes on Jasnah's findings interesting. Navani acknowledges to Shallan that she thinks like an artist, that she can see it in the way Shallan put her notes together.[18]

Once Navani commits to leading the research team studying Jasnah's collected research, Shallan reveals to her that Jasnah's Soulcaster was a fake; that her daughter could Soulcast on her own, without any fabrial, and that she'd seen her do it. Shallan then tells Navani that her daughter was a Knight Radiant.[18]

See Also[edit]


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