Appearance and Personality
Nightblood takes the form of a five-foot-long black sword. Nightblood's blade itself is a deep black color, although it was not that color before it was Awakened. It is often kept in a silver sheath made of aluminum, which may be attached to the sword with a clasp. The sword itself also has a BioChromatic aura, although it differs from a traditional aura. Rather than making nearby colors brighter, Nightblood makes them deeper, turning blues into navies, reds into maroons, and overall deepening the colors about it.
As a construct, Nightblood has a personality and perspective that often seems alien to his human companions. Nightblood's personality is based upon the Command given to him by Vasher and Shashara when he was forged, "Destroy Evil". However, he has no concept of intangible ideas, such as love, hope, or evil. This makes it difficult for Nightblood to truly follow his Command, although he does his best to do so.
Interestingly enough, Nightblood does not really seem to have a gender. While he is most commonly referred to as having a masculine voice, some such as Lift have heard his voice as feminine. Vasher made the initial decision to refer to Nightblood with masculine pronouns. Nightblood himself finds the concept of gender to be fascinating and tries to understand it, even though he does not truly have one himself.
Nightblood was created by Shashara and Vasher during the Manywar. There were two primary objectives in his creation. Several of the Five Scholars had previously traveled to post-Recreance Roshar, where they had encountered men wielding Shardblades. Vasher and Shashara were hoping to create an analogous weapon using Breath, Investiture from the Shard Endowment. The other objective was to create a Type IV Biochromatic Entity something self-aware and intelligent that has never been human. Shashara also wished to prove herself a more skilled Awakener than Yesteel, who had recently developed ichor-alcohol. She devised the specific process through study and experimentation. Creating Nightblood required one thousand Breaths that were forged into the sword. Shashara and Vasher spent a good deal of time in advance considering what Command to give Nightblood, eventually settling on the phrase, "Destroy Evil," which would form the basis of Nightblood's personality.
Although Nightblood was first crafted during the Manywar, he was not wielded until the Battle of Twilight Fall, the final battle of the war. Shashara drew him and slaughtered vast numbers of troops. Vasher was horrified by the destruction that Nightblood had wrought, but Shashara was convinced that the knowledge of creating Awakened swords needed to be shared with others. Vasher disagreed. The two quarreled and Vasher ended up killing Vivenna with Nightblood. It was at this point that Nightblood's original name was abandoned in favor of the name Nightblood.
Countering the Rebellion
After the end of the Manywar, Vasher wandered Nalthis carrying Nightblood, attempting to attone for his percieved sins. He avoided using Nighblood when possible, but would periodically draw him at the cost of his store of Breaths. He used Nightblood to kill someone several months before the Pahn Kahl rebellion. In order to restore his supply of breaths, Vasher started a brawl in a bar and allowed himself and Nightblood to be captured and taken to the God King's dungeons. One of the guards drew Nightblood slightly and killed all of the other guards, as well as himself. This gave Vasher the opening to escape from his prison and convince Vahr, a captured Pahn Kahl rebel, to give him his Breath. Vasher recovered Nightblood as he escaped the prison.
Several weeks later, Vasher brought Nighblood with him as he watched Princess Sisirinah enter the palace from the wall of the Court of Gods. Nightblood did not understand why Vasher cared that the Idrians had actually sent a princess, not realizing how Siri would complicate things. Vasher brought Nightblood with him to a restaurant to meet with the priest Bebid, considering putting Nightblood in his pack to avoid attention. Nightblood did not care for that idea. While Vasher talked to Bebid, Nightblood was stolen by someone from where he was leaned up against a wall. The thief brought Nightblood to an alleyway outside where he used Nightblood to kill a fellow cutpurse and then himself. Nightblood continued listenting to Vasher's thoughts from outside until Vasher recovered Nightblood after he finished his meeting. Nightblood chastised Vasher for losing his temper in the meeting.
Vasher an Nightblood also attended a meeting of the Court of Gods. As they watched the proceedings, Vasher noticed Vivenna, who was also present. She felt their attention and noticed both Vasher and Nightblood watching her.
After Vasher received the tip on the existence of tunnels beneath the Court of Gods, he and Nightblood infiltrated the palace. Vasher took on the guise of a crazy man, keeping Nightblood beneath his cloak. Vasher broke into Mercystar's palace, knocking out several guards using Awakened clothing and a sheathed Nightblood. When Vasher threw Nightblood at several of the priests, one managed to draw Nightblood but Vasher disarmed the man before Nightblood could feast on him fully. Nightblood was annoyed by this, upset he hadn't killed anyone and that several of the priests had resisted the impulse to draw him from his sheath. As they entered the tunnels, Nightblood expressed distrust in the information they had received from the priests.
Vasher and Nightblood continued to try to counteract Denth's attempts to trigger a second Manywar. Vasher killed several of Denth's hirelings in the D'Denir Garden with Nightblood. When Denth, and Vivenna examined the corpses, Vasher and Nightblood watched them. Nightblood recognized Denth and wanted to go say hello to him, but Vasher explained yet again that they could not go see Denth. Soon afterwards, Vasher decided to kidnap Vivenna to further disrupt Denth's plans. He brought Nightblood to Denth's house and broke in through Vivenna's balcony, knocking her out with Awakened drapes. When Vivenna came to in Vasher's house, he unclasped Nightblood's sheath and forced her to draw it. Vivenna fought through the powerful nausea she felt and managed to draw the sword and hear Nightblood's voice before vomiting. Afterwards Vasher tied Vivenna up and left with Nightblood on some errand to counteract Denth. Vivenna escaped from her bonds using Awakening.
Working with Vivenna
After Vivenna returned to Denth's safehouse, she discovered that Denth had been attempting to trigger the war rather than prevent it and fled to the streets. Weeks later, Vasher and Nightblood managed to find her just as a group of thugs was capturing her for the bounty Denth had placed on her head. Vasher threw Nightblood among the thugs, and they killed themselves with him. Vasher recovered Nightblood and carried an unconscious Vivenna to his safe house in order to keep her out of Denth's hands.
When Vivenna came to in Vasher's safe house, Nightblood was leaned up against the nearby wall. Several days later, when Vasher began to teach Vivenna awakening, he used Nightblood's hilt to pull a tree branch down so Vivenna could recover an Awakened rope beyond her reach. Vasher leaned Nightblood against the wall as he explained BioChromatic theory to Vivenna. Looking at Nightblood, Vivenna realized that he is a Type IV BioChromatic entity, but Vasher refused to explain to her further. As Vivenna spent more time with Vasher and Nightblood, Nightblood became fond of her.
Vivenna informed Vasher that she and Denth had once stolen something from the high priest Nanrovah, a stalwart opponent of the war, who had recently changed sides. Vasher, Nightblood, and Vivenna went to capture a few thieves to determine what had been stolen. Vasher used Nightblood to knock out the guards, and they infiltrated the thieves's lair. Vasher and Vivenna discovered Nanrovah's daughter Misel imprisoned in a cell and realized she had been stolen from the carriage. When they were discovered by the guards, Vasher used Nightblood to incapacitate the guards while Vivenna freed the girl. In his rage, Vasher began to draw Nightblood to kill the unconscious thieves, but Vivenna managed to distract him by asking him to help with the girl. The three of them returned Misel to her father, requesting that he continue to argue for peace.
Vasher left Nightblood locked in a closet when he and Vivenna went to the Court of Gods to watch them debate going to war against Idris. After Lightsong refused to vote on the war, Vasher returned to the Court of the Gods with Nightblood that evening. He stood on the wall considering whether he should kill Lightsong. Nightblood argued that Vasher should kill Lightsong so that he could not vote in favor of the war, but Vasher disagreed, uncertain if that was the right move. Vasher eventually determined that he should break into the God King's palace and rescue Siri. After entering the palace, and questioning a maid on Siri's location, Vasher attempted to enter her rooms by throwing Nightblood at the guards outside. However, Denth had anticipated Vasher's rescue attempt and he and dozens of his men managed to capture the now-unarmed Vasher. Denth wrapped Nightblood in cloth and gave it to Tonk Fah, ordering him to throw it somewhere far away. Howevever, Tonk Fah nearly fell to Nightblood's influence instantly and Denth took the sword back immediately. He brought it to the bay outside of Hallandren and threw it into the ocean.
From the bottom of the bay, Nightblood managed to communicate with Old Chapps, a slightly deranged fisherman and criminal. Nightblood spoke in his mind, guiding the man's fishing net to his location. Chapps pulled Nightblood up in the net and admired him. Afterwards, he had Chapps bring him back to shore and clean him. Soon afterwards in the slums, Chapps used Nightblood to kill three other men as well as himself. Vivenna, who was looking for Vasher, heard word of the commotion and found Nightblood there, who recognized. Nightblood told Vivenna that Vasher had been captured in the Court of the Gods. Vivenna brought Nightblood with her to the Court of Gods to rescue Vasher. After being turned away at the gates, Vivenna and Nightblood used Awakening to scale the walls but they were sighted by guards. Nightblood used his bond to Vasher to guide Vivenna to his location. Vivenna threw Nightblood to the guards at the entrance to the God King's palace as a distraction as she scaled the exterior of the palace. Vivenna managed to distract Denth long enough to free Vasher and in the ensuing struggle Vasher was shoved from a window.
Vasher used Awakening to survive the fall and fight men and Lifeless on the ground below. As he became overwhelmed, Nightblood spoke in Vasher's mind, asking Vasher for praise for coming to save him. Vasher ran through the palace gates and recovered Nightblood from the corpse of one of the men Nightblood had killed. Vasher drew Nightblood, allowing him to feed on his Breaths and used Nightblood to defeat the soldiers and cut through the walls of the palace to return to the room where Denth had tortured him. Vasher found the room empty and was forced to drop Nightblood before the sword consumed the rest of his Breath and killed him. Denth then returned to the sword and challenged Vasher to a duel with regular Blades. Vasher managed to defeat Denth by giving Denth the last of his Breath by surprise, stunning Denth and allowing Vasher to kill him. Vasher then recovered Nightblood and his sheath and freed Vivenna. Nightblood revealed to Vivenna that Vasher was Talaxin, one of the Five Scholars. He also reminded Vasher that he had left an army in T'Telir the last time he had been there that might allow them to defeat Hallandren's Lifeless army. Vasher reluctantly agreed to give Susebron control of Kalad's Phantoms, leaving Nightblood behind when he went to speak with the God King. After the Phantoms were dispatched to defeat Hallandren's rogue army, Vasher brought Nightblood with him and Vivenna as they left T'Telir to face a tyrant attempting to refound Huth and Kuth.
Loss on Roshar
For reasons unknown, Nightblood was at some point separated from Vasher. This occurred after the two had traveled to Roshar together, because Vasher knew from his previous research there that Investiture is easily accessible. The two had some sort of falling out and separation. During this conflict, it is implied that Vasher made a decision, one he now regrets. Even after they parted, Vasher felt responsible for Nightblood. At one point, it seems possible that Nightblood fell into the Nightwatcher's hands. Nightblood eventually came into Nale's possession, although precisely how or when is unknown. After Nale revived Szeth after he was defeated by Kaladin, Nale gave Nightblood to Szeth. Szeth brought the Blade along with him to the Tashikki city of Yeddaw, while he, Nale and the Skybreakers hunted for nascent Surgebinders. Szeth kept Nale on his person at all times, even when in the Skybreaker's base of operations in the city. While helping two of his fellow Skybreakers look for a Surgebinder, Szeth brought Nightblood to the Grand Indicium the night the Everstorm crossed the entirety of Roshar for the first time. While Lift was spying on the Skybreakers, Szeth discovered her and drew Nightblood, making Lift feel nausea. However Szeth let her go saying that Nightblood liked her. (Should it say that he directed her to Arclo?)
- Nightblood's separation from Vasher took place between the events of Warbreaker and The Way of Kings. Brandon will eventually explain how it happened, but he is not sure precisely when. It is unclear whether Nightblood, Warbreaker's sequel, will answer this question directly or if there will merely be some hints as to what happened.
- Brandon may one day write a Nightblood point of view.
- Warbreaker chapter 50#
- Warbreaker prologue#
- Oathbringer release party
— Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
- /r/books AMA 2015
— Arcanum - 2015-03-13#
- Calamity release party
— Arcanum - 2016-02-16#
- Arcanum Unbounded release party
— Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
- Calamity Chicago signing
— Arcanum - 2016-02-22#
- Warbreaker chapter 51#
- Warbreaker Annotations
— Arcanum - 2010-11-16#
- Warbreaker chapter 53#
- Warbreaker Annotations
— Arcanum - 2011-04-25#
- Warbreaker Annotations
— Arcanum - 2011-04-09#
- Warbreaker chapter 5#
- Warbreaker chapter 15#
- Warbreaker chapter 21#
- Warbreaker Annotations
— Arcanum - 2010-06-24#
- Warbreaker chapter 29#
- Warbreaker chapter 33#
- Warbreaker chapter 35#
- Warbreaker chapter 41#
- Warbreaker chapter 43#
- Warbreaker chapter 46#
- Warbreaker chapter 49#
- Warbreaker chapter 54#
- Warbreaker chapter 55#
- Warbreaker chapter 56#
- Warbreaker chapter 57#
- Warbreaker chapter 58#
- Warbreaker epilogue#
- Then finally I asked if Vasher and Nightblood were separated before or after coming to Roshar
— Theoryland - 22 November 2016#
- For now, we know that Vasher got tired of "sucking souls" and, through previous study with a group of scholars, knew how easy it was to get Investiture on Roshar
— Theoryland - 22 November 2016#
- Any hint on how Nin got a hold of Nightblood, or how Vasher lost Nightblood?
— Theoryland - 2 April 2015#
- Words of Radiance chapter 81#
- Does Vasher want Nightblood back?
— Theoryland - 29 March 2014#
- Oathbringer chapter 114#
- Is the sword given to Szeth at the end of the book related to Nightblood from Warbreaker?
— Theoryland - 20 February 2015#
- Words of Radiance chapter 88#
- Edgedancer chapter 9#
- Edgedancer chapter 15#
- Edgedancer chapter 16#
- Will we know in Stormlight Archive why these two were separated? or in the sequel of Warbreaker?
— Theoryland - 13 August 2014#
- Will we ever find out the when, how, and why Vasher and Nightblood moved to Roshar?
— Theoryland - 4 September 2014#
- I can't say much about that right now, but you'll get all of these questions answered in the book "Nightblood" in the future.
— Theoryland - 8 March 2014#
- I was also wondering if there's any chance of seeing a Nightblood point of view.
— Theoryland - 21 March 2014#