Wulfden the Fourth

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Wulfden the Fourth
Abilities Precognition[1]
Titles Wyrn, Emperor of Fjorden, Prophet of Shu-Dereth, Ruler of Jaddeth's Holy Kingdom, Regent of All Creation
Residence Widor
Nationality Fjordell
World Sel
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Elantris

Wyrn Wulfden the Fourth, sometimes referred to as "Wulfden" or simply "Wyrn", is the political and religious leader of the Fjordell Empire and the Shu-Dereth religion on Sel.[2]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Wulfden the Fourth is one of the most handsome men to become Wyrn.[3] He has a proud, noble face with square features.[4]

He is thought of as a brutal, domineering tyrant by the Arelenes[5] and is prepared to commit genocide in Arelon and Teod if they do not join his empire.[6][7] His own subjects tend to fear him,[8] and he will deceive or even sacrifice them in the name of the Empire.[9][10] He is impatient and does not suffer fools gladly.[11]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Wulfden oversees the entire Fjordell Empire and sits atop the Great Chain of Shu-Dereth.[4] His word is considered holy by his subjects.[6] He is presumed to be very wealthy.[12][13] He has access to seons and uses them for communication, despite their presumed origins in the "heathen" Aonic region of Sycla.[4]

He controls Fjorden's military, including a relatively small defense force[2] and a fleet of ships that is competent but inferior to the Teo armada.[10] Although the Empire could likely conscript more of its citizens into military service if needed,[2] Wulfden's true power lies in his monasteries, where Derethi are trained to be warriors, spies, and assassins.[2] Wyrn or certain delegated priests control the deployment of the monks.[14] The most important monastery is the Dakhor monastery, where the monks undergo incredibly brutal training and gain access to Investiture through the Dor.[10] Wulfden uses the Dakhor as his favored warriors.[15] He demands absolute obedience from them, even commanding them to sacrifice their lives to power a method of instantaneous travel.[10]

How had Wyrn known that Fjon would find Hrathen here, on the streets of Teoras of all places? Fjon would probably never know; Lord Jaddeth moved in ways beyond the understanding of men.


Wulfden himself has magical abilities.[1] He tells Fjon to travel to Teoras and assassinate Hrathen during the invasion, even though Wulfden should not have known where Hrathen was going to be.[16] The source and extent of his powers are unknown, although his ability to see into the future may have some parallels to other temporal abilities seen in the cosmere.[17] He is a follower of Dominion.[18]


Wulfden was chosen to be Wyrn around five years prior to the Reod. It is not known if Wulfden was his birth name or if he took up the name in the tradition of Wulfden the First when he ascended to the throne. He was relatively young when he became Wyrn, and was considered very vigorous. Soon after his elevation, the Korathi church felt threatened and chose a younger man named Seinalan as their new Patriarch.[3] Wulfden lives in a palace named Zigareth in the Fjordell capital of Widor, which is presumably also known as "Wyrn's Seat".[19][20][21] His image appears on Fjordell coins known as wyrnings.[2]

Words of Jaddeth, Lord of all Creation, through his servant Wyrn Wulfden the Fourth, Emperor of Fjorden, Prophet of Shu-Dereth, Ruler of Jaddeth's Holy Kingdom, and Regent of all Creation.

—A selection of Wulfden's titles[6]

Early in his reign, Wulfden was already preparing to invade Arelon before Elantris fell to the Reod.[22] In the recent past, the monks of the Derethi Dakhor monastery had learned how to access the Dor to gain superhuman strength, speed, and durability, making them a deadly fighting force.[22][10]

The Fjordell Empire continued to expand its influence after the Reod, including the annexation of Duladel.[23] Arelon and Teod were the only remaining nearby nations that had not submitted to Fjorden, and Arelon had been significantly weakened by the loss of Elantrian magic. Although the Empire's grip on its constituent countries was not necessarily as tight as it seemed,[9] Raoden knew that an invasion attempt was inevitable,[24] admitting that it would be foolish for Fjorden to squander an opportunity that could result in the destruction of Elantris.[25]

About ten years after the Reod, with Arelon in disarray, Wulfden set several concurrent plots in motion intending to take over the remaining Aonic sovereign nations. He was thought to be behind the sinking of some of Teod's ships.[26] He sent Hrathen to Arelon, tasking him with converting Arelon and Teod to Shu-Dereth within three months to prevent their destruction.[6] He monitored Hrathen, and was aware of Telrii's traitorous activities.[27]

However, Hrathen's mission proved to be a ruse, as Wulfden never intended to actually try and convert the Arelenes and simply wanted to destroy them.[9] Hrathen was actually sent as a distraction; a disguised Dakhor monk named Dilaf was carrying out secret orders from Wulfden orders to infiltrate Arelon unnoticed. Hrathen eventually understood Wulfden's true plans and the danger of the Dakhor once the invasion of Arelon was imminent.[9][28] The invasion was halted after Hrathen betrayed Wulfden and Raoden restored Elantris, but Wulfden retained control of the Empire.[5][29]


  • Wulfden is mentioned in the deleted scenes from Elantris known as "The Mad Prince".[30]
  • Since Wulfden still leads Fjorden, he would potentially play a role in a sequel to Elantris.[29]


  1. a b Elantris Annotations
    Arcanum - 2006-05-09#
  2. a b c d e Elantris chapter 15#
  3. a b Elantris chapter 38#
  4. a b c Elantris chapter 12#
  5. a b Elantris chapter 63#
  6. a b c d Elantris chapter 3#
  7. Elantris chapter 9#
  8. Elantris chapter 48#
  9. a b c d Elantris chapter 58#
  10. a b c d e Elantris chapter 60#
  11. Elantris chapter 51#
  12. Elantris chapter 17#
  13. Elantris chapter 53#
  14. Elantris chapter 36#
  15. Elantris chapter 59#
  16. a b Elantris chapter 62#
  17. Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson
    Arcanum - 2011-01-10#
  18. A Memory of Light Milford Signing
    Arcanum - 2013-02-16#
  19. Elantris (book) glossary section Z
  20. Elantris (book) glossary section W
  21. Map of Sycla
  22. a b Elantris Annotations
    Arcanum - 2006-05-19#
  23. Elantris chapter 6#
  24. Elantris chapter 40#
  25. Elantris chapter 43#
  26. Elantris chapter 20#
  27. Elantris chapter 50#
  28. Elantris Annotations
    Arcanum - 2006-03-10#
  29. a b Brandon's Blog 2004
    Arcanum - 2004-10-01#
  30. The Mad Prince  - Elantris deleted scene
    Brandon's website - date unknown#
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