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Related to Knights Radiant
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive, The Sunlit Man
This page or section needs to be updated with new information for Rhythm of War!
Be aware that in its current state, it may not include all additional content yet.
This page or section contains spoilers for The Sunlit Man!
This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot for the reader. Proceed with caution if you have not read this book.

Shardplate wasn't merely armor. It was so much more.

Shardplate is an ancient and magical type of full-body armor found on Roshar.[2] Shardplates used by Radiants are lesser spren who have taken a physical form, and as such are Splinters of Shards Honor and Cultivation.[3][4] They are usually used with Shardblades, Invested swords that also exist on Roshar,[2] as Shardblades are so large that they are unwieldy on their own.[5] Those who are bound to a Shardplate are referred to as Shardbearers.[6]


General Characteristics[edit]

A section of scroll, collected by Nazh, depicts a Shardbearer successfully using Ironstance.

A single man with Plate and Blade was almost an army unto himself.

A set of Shardplate is constructed of individual pieces that, when assembled, protect the entire body. There are no gaps between sections of the armor, only increasingly small overlapping Plates.[8] Shardplate helms have visors with eye slits that may be lifted up to expose the face. Although similar in appearance, each individual suit of Shardplate has a unique look,[9][10] and because it conforms to the shape of its wearer,[11][10] the same suit may appear unique on different individuals. Suits of Shardplate can weigh over 100 stoneweights.[12][fn 1]

Shardplate does not dent or bend. Instead, sections of the armor can crack after heavy or repeated impact and will eventually fail.[2] When a section of the armor fails, it will explode into bits of molten metal. Damaged sections will leak Stormlight. While enough leaks will deplete the gemstones and cause the armor to lock up, individual leaks, even large ones, will eventually "seal over" on their own, preventing further loss of Stormlight, even if the damage hasn't fully healed yet.[13]

The Shardplate helmet has a face shield with a horizontal eye slit for visibility. In some instances, the face shield can adapt to protect the wearer's vision from the brightness of a lightning strike.[14] It is implied that when closed, the edges of the visor meld into a single, unbroken surface with the rest of the helm in a small puff of mist.

Shardplate also greatly enhances its users' strength and speed. It provides the ability to jump great distances,[8] heave objects of great weight, and run at high speeds. The strength that is granted by Shardplate is such that Dalinar Kholin is able to catch a chasmfiend's swinging foreclaw and hold the creature at bay long enough for Adolin to further weaken it, although his Plate was severely damaged by the strain.[5] The extra support of Shardplate can assist the wearer in overcoming physical injuries that might otherwise leave them incapacitated.[15] Shardbearers require extensive training to be able to control this strength and move smoothly without damaging everyday objects.[1][16] Agility and dexterity are increased by Shardplate. A person armored in Shardplate acquires faster reflexes and is more responsive in battle.[12] Shardplate urges those who wear it to move and take action.[17]


Shardplate provides protection from impact caused by a weapon or from a fall.[1] The individual wearing the Plate is able to feel impacts from within the armor, but their force is greatly reduced. The sensation of touch, however, is transferred through the fingers of the gauntlets, allowing the wearer to feel fine detail.[18] Shardplate is durable enough to withstand gunshots.[19] Shardplate is also highly conductive and transmits electricity like a Faraday cage -- allowing electricity to flow through the plate and not the body -- protecting the wearer from attacks by stormform Regals.[20] Shardplates are very heavy and thus it is hard to trip or stumble the Shardbearer.

Shardplate differs from ordinary armor in that it can stop blows from Shardblades or other highly Invested attacks.[21][22] This capacity is not unlimited, as damage can still crack and even break the Plate with repeated blows.[12][23] But Shardplate is one of the few materials that can block or resist a Shardblade strike to any degree, apart from another Shardblade or a half-shard.[2][24] Sharplate is also designed to maintain temperature and life support, and is strong enough to protect a user from heat that could burn a person alive in seconds.[22]

Due to its heavily Invested nature, Shardplate protects the user from most forms of Investiture, including Surgebinding, though this effect is weakened if parts, such as the helm, have been removed.[25][26] It is not possible to use any lashings against someone armored in Shardplate. It is also not possible for a wielder of an Honorblade to Surgebind while wearing Plate, due to interference from the gemstones.[2] The helmet also protects the wearer from emotional Allomancy.[27]


A Shardbearer leaping into battle

Although incredibly strong, Shardplate is not invincible. Repeated impacts to the same areas can cause that piece of the armor to crack and leak Stormlight,[28] depleting it at a higher rate.[11] Once the Stormlight is exhausted, the armor will "freeze up" and be rendered immobile.[29]

Individual sections of Plate can be cracked to the point of failure. Upon failure, the piece of armor explodes into bits of molten metal, leaving that area of the warrior exposed. A Shardbearer can remain in combat with some pieces of armor missing, but, for example, destroying a greave can incapacitate a Shardbearer by rendering them unable to support the armor's weight.[12][11] Also, the breastplate is a central support structure for Shardplate; destroying the breastplate alone will cause the armor to stop functioning fully, making it difficult to move the limbs.[18] It is possible to stand up from the ground with a broken breastplate, but the maneuver requires some experience with Plate.[30]

In close combat, the single most vulnerable spot on Plate is the eye slit.[17] With luck or skill, or by somehow restraining the Shardbearer, a knife, arrow, or spear can be stabbed through the slit; at that specific spot, many wounds will be instantly fatal.[31] When charging against arrows, Shardbearers usually cover their eye slit with their arms to prevent lucky hits.

There are also a number of tactics that can be used by prepared enemies against Shardplate. The armor is incredibly heavy; though it will protect the wearer from a fall, the fall can still damage the Plate. One tactic used against Shardbearers is to force them to fall a great distance, either by directly pushing them over an edge[32] or by putting them in a position where their great weight, or perhaps some other mechanism, will cause whatever they're walking on to fall apart, dropping the Shardbearer.[2][33]

Another common tactic is to bind the Shardbearer with hooks or ropes. Though a Shardbearer's strength is enhanced, enough people holding them back with hooks or ropes can slow them down enough for blows to be struck; ropes can also be strung horizontally to attempt to trip the Shardbearer.[34][35]

Massive, blunt projectiles can also be used against Shardplate. At the Battle of the Tower, listeners use two-handed slings to hurl head-sized rocks at Dalinar; a single blow is enough to make cracks in an unharmed section of Plate.[28]

Bladed or pointed weapons (arrows, spears, swords) typically don't carry enough force to damage Plate, but if Plate is already cracked and an edge catches it, the blow can widen the crack. It's conceivable that a Shardbearer, used to ignoring spear strikes that would normally barely scratch their paint, might be unprepared to respond to an effective use of this weakness.


There were two main types of Shardplates used on Roshar during the Era of Solitude. They were the Shardplates of the typical Radiants, and the dead Shardplates of the Radiants who abandoned their oaths at the Recreance.[36][37]

Radiant Shardplates[edit]

I’ll assume none of you have seen Shardplate in action before. Stand back and enjoy this next part.

Radiant Shardplates are granted to people who are on the path to becoming a full Radiant and have sworn a particular oath of the Immortal Words.[36] Most Orders acquired Shardplate after swearing the Fourth Ideal.[38] At that point, the Radiant will gain the ability to pull lesser spren into the Physical Realm to create the Shardplate. Each Order has its own lesser spren, which are associated with their Nahel Spren, for example windspren for honorspren[36] or logicspren for inkspren.[39] The lesser spren will perpetually accompany the Radiant, though invisible, and manifest when called on.[40] Radiants are able to hear their lesser spren howl in pain or annoyance when attacked.[17]

A Radiant cannot summon their Shardplate for the first time if they are not on Roshar, but can summon it off-world if they have done so before.[41][40] Plate will automatically feed off their Surgebinder's Stormlight to power and heal itself.[42][17] At least some Radiants are able to Surgebind while wearing their armor.[43][17]

It shines brightly with glow of Stormlight and gleaming glyphs, although the Radiant can will it to appear as "dead" Plate.[43][17][44] In semi-dismissed state, the Plate is only visible as a faint outline, and can't be felt by touch.[36] From the inside, the helmet is as transparent as glass and the eye slit is not necessary and can be sealed.[17] Radiants can control their Shardplate with more precision -- for example, will only part of it to appear or disappear or change in shape to some degree.[43][17] Moreover, Windrunners are able to form their Plate around others at least temporarily.[45][46]

Dead Shardplates[edit]

Dead Shardplates are Plates that were once owned by members of the Knights Radiant. If a Radiant that has a Shardplate betrays their oaths, their lesser spren are killed and their bodies are trapped in the shape of the Plate. Dead Shardplates lose some of the functionality that they once had. Contrary to dead Blades, which scream upon being touched by a Radiant, dead Plate emits a feeling of contentment and doesn't feel as wrong as dead Blades.[37]

There is some manner of bond between Shardplate and its wearer that will cease if the owner of the Plate is to die, thus causing the Plate to begin to fall off.[47] The augmented abilities of Shardplate are fueled by Stormlight from gemstones attached to the inside of the armor. Cracking sections of the armor causes Stormlight to leak out; eventually, the Stormlight can be depleted entirely, rendering the armor useless and the wearer immobile. In situations of extreme stress, the gemstones may crack.[48] Ten gemstones, larger than broams, power every set of Plate.[48] Five are beneath the breastplate,[2] and one is in each sabaton.[8]

Dead Shardplate has the ability to use Stormlight to regenerate itself when damaged.[13] If sections of a suit of armor are destroyed or abandoned, they can be regenerated later by using Stormlight from the suit's gemstones. Once the Shardplate regenerates an abandoned piece, the previous piece will crumble to dust.[18] If someone got a small piece of a shardplate, they can feed it stormlight and try to grow the whole plate back, but the original owner with bigger portions of the plate could feed it more stormlight and would usually win in the growing competition. Repairing a heavily-damaged set of Shardplate can be costly, as it commonly cracks the gemstones used during the process.[29] Through some unknown method, common spheres may also be used to recharge and reinforce drained Plate.[18]

The natural color of dead Shardplate is slate-grey,[1] similar to unfinished steel.[6] In current times, however, it is extremely common to change the appearance of one's Shardplate by painting it or adorning it with decorative details or even gemstones.[1] From the inside, the helmet's face shield becomes translucent to the wearer, but not totally clear, similar to dirty glass. The eye slit is therefore still needed for full vision, but even the partial translucence is very useful.[5]

Since the power of Shardplate is provided by a continuous infusion of Stormlight from gemstones attached to the armor's interior, many modern Rosharans believed that Shardplate may be some sort of fabrial.[6] Gemstones began being added around the same time as they were added to Shardblades.[49]

Acquiring and Donning[edit]

As the knowledge of creating Shardplate has only resurfaced with the return of the Knights Radiant, a limited number of suits exist. The only way to acquire a set of Shardplate aside from swearing Radiant oaths is from another person. This can be done through battlefield combat, by dueling,[50] by borrowing it from the owner or by inheritance.[1] It is common for Shardbearers to loan their Plate to others. Even the King's own Shardplate can be borrowed at a heavy price.[12]

Because of its weight, Shardplate cannot be donned without assistance. The Shardbearer often has a team of armorers to assist with putting the armor on.[30] The armor must be applied from the ground up, starting with the sabatons, or the wearer would be unable to support its weight.[8] Regular clothing, boots, and additional padding are worn underneath the Plate. When applied, each individual piece of Shardplate tightens to fit itself to the contours of the wearer.[8][30]

Removal of Shardplate is done in pieces; the wearer can mentally command each section to release and fall away. Damaged sections can be shed during battle. In order to eliminate the need to remove one's entire set of Shardplate during extended battle, other soldiers provide assistance with the toileting needs of the warrior in Plate. Sometimes, however, such assistance is not available, and Shardbearers have been known to relieve themselves inside their armor.[51]

Although most suits of Shardplate known to exist are possessed by the human inhabitants of Roshar, Parshendi used to own Shards, though they have lost most of them in battle with the Alethi.[15]

The old Knights Radiant associated acquiring Shardplate with swearing the Fourth Ideal.[38]



Shardplates are made out of a mixture of the unnamed God Metals of Honor and Cultivation. The precise proportion of the two differs depending on the type of spren that forms the Blade, or the order to which the Plate belongs; as such, there are at least ten alloys.[4][52][53] Like all God Metals, they are Allomantically viable, and thus burnable by a Mistborn, although it's yet to be seen what the effects would be.[54] Presumably, they would also have Hemalurgic and Feruchemical effects.[55]

Known Shardbearers[edit]

Radiant Shardplates[edit]

Radiant Name Order Description Notes References
Kaladin Stormblessed Windrunner Blue and emblazoned with the Bridge Four glyph. The windspren in question where already following him long before he swore the Fourth Ideal. [45][36]
Zellion Skybreaker Burns with red-orange light, and trails smoke. It's current workings are unknown. [22][23]
Zellion Windrunner Burns with red-orange light, and trails smoke. It's current workings are unknown. [22][23]
Jasnah Kholin Elsecaller - - [17][39]

Dead Shardplates[edit]

Shardbearer Previous Holder Order Description Notes References
Dalinar Kholin Renarin Kholin Unknown Unpainted. -
Adolin Kholin - Unknown Currently painted Kholin blue, formerly orange. Brought by Evi and Toh as a bargaining chip to secure Evi's marriage to Dalinar. The Iri would like it back. [56][57]
Torol Sadeas - Unknown Painted crimson red. Currently unknown who wears it.
Elhokar Kholin - Unknown Painted gold. Presumably looted by the singers in Urithiru.
Relis Ruthar - Unknown Painted black. Won by Adolin in a duel with Relis, Elit Ruthar, Jakamav, and Abrobadar, current wearer unknown.
Jakamav - Unknown Painted green. Won by Adolin in a duel with Relis, Elit Ruthar, Jakamav, and Abrobadar, current wearer unknown.
Moash Abrobadar Unknown Painted orange with blue accents. Won by Adolin in a duel with Relis, Elit Ruthar, Jakamav, and Abrobadar, then given to Kaladin, who refused and passed it to Moash. Moash in turn gave it up for his life to the singers.
Eshonai - Unknown Painted silver. Recovered by the singers. [11]
Hrdalm - Unknown Painted gloss black, with Thaylen eyebrows. Named Cvaderln. It belongs to the kingdom Hrdalm serves.
Cord - Unknown Unknown color. Found in the caverns of Akinah, which is said to be reserved for guardians of the Dawnshard. [58]
Amaram Helaran Davar Unknown When in Helaran's possession it was painted gold-yellow. Taken from Kaladin who took it from Helaran Davar.


  • They were originally planned to have circular eye holes instead of visors, however, this was specifically rejected in the end. There is a specific reason for the choice of visors in the end.[59]


  1. Assuming the modern definition of stone as a unit of weight, dead Shardplate weighs about 630 kilograms, or 1400 pounds.
  1. a b c d e f The Way of Kings chapter 12#
  2. a b c d e f g The Way of Kings prologue#
  3. Words of Radiance chapter 87#
  4. a b Skyward Pre-Release AMA
    Arcanum - 2018-10-12#
  5. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 13#
  6. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 16#
  7. The Way of Kings chapter 52#
  8. a b c d e The Way of Kings chapter 26#
  9. The Way of Kings chapter 6#
  10. a b Words of Radiance chapter 51#
  11. a b c d The Way of Kings chapter 68#
  12. a b c d e The Way of Kings chapter 58#
  13. a b The Way of Kings chapter 15#
  14. Words of Radiance chapter 81#
  15. a b Words of Radiance interlude I-4#
  16. Words of Radiance chapter 44#
  17. a b c d e f g h i Rhythm of War chapter 64#
  18. a b c d The Way of Kings chapter 69#
  19. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-07-15#
  20. General Reddit 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-09-10#
  21. Words of Radiance Washington, DC signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-20#
  22. a b c d The Sunlit Man chapter 47#
  23. a b c d The Sunlit Man chapter 48#
  24. The Way of Kings chapter 22#
  25. Stormlight Three Update #4
    Arcanum - 2016-11-02#
  26. Shadows of Self release party
    Arcanum - 2015-10-05#
  27. YouTube Spoiler Stream 4
    Arcanum - 2022-06-16#
  28. a b The Way of Kings chapter 65#
  29. a b The Way of Kings chapter 56#
  30. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 14#
  31. The Way of Kings chapter 47#
  32. Words of Radiance chapter 84#
  33. Oathbringer chapter 11#
  34. Words of Radiance chapter 82#
  35. Oathbringer chapter 26#
  36. a b c d e Rhythm of War chapter 110#
  37. a b Rhythm of War interlude I-1#
  38. a b Oathbringer chapter 86 epigraph#
  39. a b General Reddit 2020
    Arcanum - 2020-11-24#
  40. a b The Sunlit Man chapter 45#
  41. New York Comic Con 2022
    Arcanum - 2022-10-08#
  42. Words of Radiance chapter 57#
  43. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 19#
  44. Rhythm of War chapter 114#
  45. a b Rhythm of War chapter 111#
  46. YouTube Livestream 23
    Arcanum - 2020-12-17#
  47. Firefight San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2015-01-17#
  48. a b The Way of Kings chapter 54#
  49. Shadows of Self Newcastle UK signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-20#
  50. Words of Radiance chapter 5#
  51. Words of Radiance chapter 49#
  52. Skyward Denver signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-15#
  53. Arcanum Unbounded signing Hoboken
    Arcanum - 2016-12-03#
  54. Starsight Release Party
    Arcanum - 2019-11-26#
  55. Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide
    Arcanum - 2008-10-15#
  56. Oathbringer chapter 19#
  57. Oathbringer chapter 16#
  58. Dawnshard chapter 19#
  59. Miscellaneous 2023
    Arcanum - 2023-05-16#
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