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|Residence||Azimir (former), Urithiru|
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”The thing that separates us from the monarchies of the east—and the chaos they suffer—is that our emperor is held in check.
Appearance and Personality
She has a round face, dark eyes, and long graying hair that she wears in a tight side braid. Although Lift calls her "Fat Lips", she does not actually have fat lips. She wears a hat and long, layered robes, sometimes adding a coat with oversized sleeves. All of her clothing is of brightly patterned textiles that are typical of Azir and are used to signify rank and other attributes.
Noura is educated and logical, and she places a high value on laws and bureaucracy. She strives to act in the best interests of Azir and is extremely loyal both to Azir and to the Prime. However, she is empathetic, and will occasionally bend the law to do what she believes is right. She is frank and not easily intimidated, particularly when she believes the law is on her side, but people also tend to respond well to her calm composure. She follows the religion of Azir, which leads her to revere the Heralds; it is difficult for her to come to terms with the fact that they are largely insane.
Abilities and Attributes
”This is a work of art.
Noura is intelligent. She is literate in Azish and is able to write poetry; even Lift has noted the elegance of her handwriting. She is able to speak the Alethi language. She is familiar with the writings of Jasnah Kholin and is extremely impressed by the writing style of her essay Verdict, although it is not clear if she can read women's script.
Noura passed the "master office" tests to become a vizier at only twelve years of age, giving her seniority among current viziers, even those much older than she was. She has fulfilled her office in Azimir, the capital of Azir and the seat of its throne, since rising to it.
Ascendance of Gawx
Noura was present[fn 1] during a failed robbery of the Bronze Palace attempted by Huqin's crew. "Darkness" appeared as he attempted to apprehend Lift; Noura did not recognize him, and was upset that he was intruding in the palace with his minions. She demanded to see his papers, and although she found that they were in order, she was shocked to see that the sentence for a child thief is death. She told Darkness to carry on, but then pushed a table into one of his minions, allowing Lift enough time to access Investiture and ultimately escape.
Noura and the other viziers followed Darkness and came across Gawx, who was dying after having his throat slit by one of the minions. They witnessed his seeming resurrection when Lift healed him with Stormlight. Noura led a vote on the spot to confirm Gawx as the new Prime Aqasix, believing that he would be able to survive an attack by the Assassin in White.
”I am the emperor's loyal servant, but I do not like the idea of your Radiants, Dalinar Kholin. These powers are dangerous, and the ancient Radiants turned traitor in the end.
Noura met with Dalinar Kholin in Azimir after he showed Yanagawn some of his visions. She openly displayed her distrust of Dalinar and the Alethi, but admitted that Yanagawn had been swayed by Dalinar's arguments. Dalinar presented the viziers with essays written by Fen, Navani, and Jasnah, each of which contained compelling arguments regarding Dalinar's alliance. Noura was surprised by his diplomatic approach. The essays bought Dalinar more time, and he had some strained conversations with Noura about the current state of affairs on Roshar while she led him through the city to a small waiting room. She informed him that Azir's parshmen did not immediately prepare for war like those in Alethkar, instead formally demanding reparations before being led away by Regals or Fused. After some deliberation, Noura told Dalinar that Azir would accept his invitation to Urithiru despite her own objections, and that other nations in the Azish Empire were likely to follow.
Noura directly advised Yanagawn at the first meeting of monarchs in Urithiru. She whispered various instructions to Yanagawn, notably raising the question of whether the Knights Radiant's powers and the Oathgates were safe to use. After some discussion, Noura reached the conclusion that forming a coalition made sense, and Yanagawn offered to send troops to Jah Keved.
As the coalition prepared for war, Noura traveled to Thaylen City with Yanagawn; she later wrote Queen Fen a poem thanking her for her hospitality. She also gave a report to the other monarchs regarding the movement of Azir's fleet. However, numerous pieces of information suddenly came to light (including revelations that Dalinar did not disclose all of the information about his visions, that Elhokar had sworn fealty to Dalinar as "highking", the arrival of an unexpected Everstorm, and the translation of the Eila Stele) that threw the coalition into chaos. Noura pointedly asked Dalinar about Odium appearing in his visions, and he admitted that he had.
”That Oathgate is dangerous. These powers of yours are dangerous. Deny it.—Noura to Dalinar
Noura realized that it was likely someone orchestrated the downfall of the coalition, but she did not care; she already lacked trust for Surgebinders in general and Dalinar specifically, and it was clear that he had withheld relevant information. The Azish delegation abandoned the coalition and left Thaylen City, refusing to use the Oathgate. Lift and Yanagawn later second-guessed this decision, and Yanagawn told Noura that he would be dead without Lift's Radiant powers. Lift had already stolen away from the ship, and Yanagawn told Noura that they needed to turn around. Noura reminded him that the emperor of Azir does not have absolute power, and that Yanagawn would jeopardize the throne if he attempted to rejoin the battle against the wishes of the vizierate. Before the argument concluded, they received reports that the Alethi had joined Odium's forces, seemingly proving Noura right. Yanagawn was baffled by this turn of events, as he was not aware that Odium was using Nergaoul to control the Alethi.
Noura realized she was wrong about Dalinar after the Battle of Thaylen Field, as she attended the wedding of Shallan and Adolin, bringing gifts from Yanagawn and Lift. She, Yanagawn, and the rest of the Azish court also resumed their participation in the meetings of monarchs.
”This betrayal will be felt—and prosecuted—by the Azish for generations.
During the following year, Noura began leading the meetings when the coalition gathered. She directed Dalinar to describe his proposed assault on Emul to the rest of the group, then asked to hear the opinions of the others. They unanimously agreed to the assault, and some of the Azish court, including Yanagawn, opted to go with the army. After Taravangian's betrayal, Noura agreed with the other officials that Dalinar had handled the situation well.
Later, Dalinar and Jasnah met with the Prime in his tent. Noura took a seat to be present at the table with them, though she sat lower than they did. She disapproved of Yanagawn relaxing enough to take off his headdress in their presence. Noura had previously discussed Jasnah with Yanagawn, who had a higher opinion of the queen than Noura did; when Jasnah displayed knowledge of their customs, Noura conceded that he had been right. However, the way that Jasnah delivered the facts about Urithiru's occupation and the seeming hopelessness of its recapture prompted Noura to speak up in favor of taking it back. She was doubtful at Dalinar's idea of recruiting the Herald Ishar to help, but suggested that instead of going to him, he send Knights Radiant to bring Ishar to the camp.
”Azir can, and will, withstand a change in dynasty. Your power is absolute, but you do not exercise it all. You must not.
As the senior vizier in the Azish court, Noura is highly influential on Gawx after he ascends to the throne as Yanagawn the First. Yanagawn seems to like the viziers and notes that they do their best to educate him as quickly as possible. Noura is generally at Yanagawn's side during important meetings, and he sometimes sends her as an envoy in his stead. She believes that Yanagawn should not always follow Lift's advice, since Lift is very impulsive. Though she disapproves of the influence the other monarchs of the coalition have on him that relax his formality, by the time of the Emuli offensive she respects that Yanagawn has grown. He still looks to her for approval during meetings, but she fills the role of an advisor more than that of a teacher.
”Lift? You listen to her far too much, Your Imperial Majesty.
Noura is quickly able to ascertain that Lift is not the dangerous criminal that Nale claims her to be. Lift claims that the viziers do not like her. She likes to playfully aggravate Noura, but she also seems to trust her. Although Lift's quirky actions often confound Noura, she also appears to be fond of Lift. Still, Noura seems to be unsettled by Lift's unpredictable nature; when departing Thaylen City, she assigns Vono to watch Lift, but Lift escapes with ease.
”You are not what I expected, Blackthorn.
Noura assumes that the Alethi always attempt to solve their problems through violence, a stereotype that is particularly prevalent in Azir due to the genocide perpetrated there by Sadees the Sunmaker. She is inherently wary of Dalinar Kholin because of his nationality, his powers, and his reputation. Before meeting him, she assumes he will be half-man, half-animal, but her fears are quelled by his unexpectedly calm demeanor and his ability to speak Azish. She still maintains a level of distrust for Dalinar, and quickly turns on him after learning that he has not been forthcoming about all of his visions. She is not always enamored of his methods or ideas, but is willing to trust and work with Dalinar again after his victory at the Battle of Thaylen Field.
- The female lead vizier is not named in this scene, but information in Oathbringer is consistent with it being Noura.
- Oathbringer chapter 116#
- Oathbringer chapter 65#
- Edgedancer chapter 14#
- Words of Radiance interlude I-9#
- Rhythm of War chapter 19#
- Rhythm of War chapter 101#
- Oathbringer chapter 111#
- Oathbringer chapter 96#
- Oathbringer chapter 113#
- Oathbringer chapter 115#
- Oathbringer chapter 122#
- Rhythm of War chapter 50#
- Oathbringer chapter 56#
- Edgedancer chapter 13#
- Oathbringer chapter 42#