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Died "Dissolved" in Devotion's Perpendicularity.[1][fn 1]
Abilities Elantrian
Profession Soldier
Residence Elantris
Ethnicity Aonic
Nationality Arelene
Homeworld Sel
Universe Cosmere
First Appeared Elantris

Being an Elantrian only makes me more proud to wear this wound. I received it protecting our people.


Saolin is an Elantrian on Sel. A former soldier under Count Eondel, he became captain of the guards in New Elantris and loyally served Raoden until becoming Hoed.

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Saolin is old for a soldier, probably close to retirement.[4] Even after being taken by the Shaod, he is a burly, well-muscled man. His nose appears to have been broken several times, and he is missing a couple of teeth.[5]

His name is based on Aon Sao, meaning intelligence or learning.[6] He "says his prayers", but does not know much about religion.[5]

Like all soldiers in Count Eondel's legion, he is disciplined and honorable, and Saolin takes pride in being considered part of the best soldiers in Arelon.[5] At first he questions Raoden, but is convinced to trust him by Mareshe, and subsequently pledges loyalty to Raoden.[5]

During his time defending New Elantris, Saolin gathers a few wounds; due to the Reod, an Elantrian's pain never goes away. Yet Saolin does not mourn his wounds, but is proud to wear them as a reminder that he received them with honor while defending his people.[4]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Partly due to his military background, Saolin is exceptionally loyal. He insists on forming a honor guard for his leader,[4] gets disturbed when Raoden leaves the guarded area of their settlement without warning,[7] and refuses to let him fight because leaders are too valuable.[8] He is not easily unsettled and recognizes direct orders.[9][8]

He is strong and highly skilled with a sword. He also displays leadership qualities and can lead a team successfully.[4] While a great soldier, he is completely lacking in stealth.[7]


Before being taken by the Shaod, Saolin was a soldier in Count Eondel's legion.[5]

He was taken by the Shaod not long after Raoden, and was thrown into Elantris together with Maare and Riil. As soon as the city gates closed behind their backs, Raoden used a ruse and claimed that Galladon had a cure, then had him take off at a dash so the men of Shaor's gang would follow. This way the three newcomers could safely be led away from the courtyard at the gates. Once brought to safety, Saolin pledged his sword to Raoden after realizing that he had saved the newcomers (and hearing him praise his former lord, Eondel).[5]

Saolin started holding watch over the chapel that the small gang used as their base. He soon received a real sword to replace his improvised spear, given to him by Raoden who acquired it out of the city.[9] He also built a makeshift watchtower.[10]

As more people joined Raoden's band, Saolin gathered a squad of soldiers and became their captain, and insisted on forming an honor guard for his leader.[4] This proved to be beneficial, as Saolin was able to ward off a surprise attack by Shaor's men and save Raoden from any injuries, winning enough time for Dashe and three other soldiers to join his ranks. Together they were able to defeat the assailants despite being outnumbered.[4]

To take things further, they sectioned off a marginally defensible section of town to be New Elantris, and sentries were placed at every intersection to watch for approaching marauders.[7] This left time for Saolin to retrieve new people being thrown into Elantris and guide them to their settlement, a task he shared with Karata.[4] Saolin also began teaching simple combat techniques to those capable as a means of self-defense, but he could use only the safest and most elementary training methods to prevent any wounds.[7]

Failed my lord. Failed my lord Spirit. Failed, failed, failed...

—Saolin's Hoed mantra[8]

When Princess Sarene distributed food to the Elantrians as part of her Widow's Trial, Saolin defended the courtyard from Shaor's men out of fear that they would harm the nobles who entered the city. This went well for a while, until Saolin slipped while fighting and got a deep cut in his sword arm.[11] While he grew proficient at fighting with his left hand, his squad of soldiers grew too thin to defend both New Elantris and the courtyard. Saolin realized that they wouldn't be able to hold out for much longer, and planned to ambush Shaor's men as they approached the courtyard in a desperate attempt to defeat them. However, the ambush failed; Saolin was severely injured and became Hoed.[8] As a Hoed, Saolin believed he had failed, but there was nothing that he or Raoden could have done to deal with all of the threats.[12] Raoden and Galladon brought him to the Lake so that he could be dissolved and relieved from his pains.[1]

After the restoration of Elantris, Raoden insisted that a gravestone be erected for Saolin despite his body being dissolved in the Lake. His grave has a place of honor alongside Karata, Eondel, Roial, Hrathen, and the other heroes of the Invasion of Arelon.[13]


  1. Notably, another Elantrian named Riino somehow survived entering the perpendicularity as a Hoed.[2] It is therefore possible that Saolin is alive, and Brandon has not ruled out an appearance in a future book.[3]
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Big Smooth (talk) 21:47, 24 February 2023 (UTC)