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Fourth Wing Theories

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Written by: Cory

Fourth Wing book theories

These are book theories specifically related to Fourth Wing, the first of the Empyrean Series. These are speculative ideas or hypotheses that readers develop about a book’s plot, characters, themes, or future developments. These theories often go beyond the explicit information provided in the text and are based on the reader’s interpretation of the book’s events, character behaviours, and other narrative elements.

All theories will be credited accordingly. Please note that you will find spoilers ahead!

Fourth Wing Theory Verdicts

With Iron Flame released, we now have all the verdicts to the above theories. Please be mindful as there are lots of spoilers in the articles below! So make sure to read Iron Flame first!

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73 responses to “Fourth Wing Theories”

  1. I am not very good with theories but I think something will come up with the colour of Violets hair – perhaps a power of some sort. With her being called ‘silver one’ by Tairn, and also when Xaden approaches her under the tree and appears to stall his breath when he puts the dagger back as he notices her hair… Just a thought!!

    1. Some others have mentioned that maybe Violet is part vemin and/or her mother got attacked when she was pregnant. But also the author has said her hair color is related to her portrayal of having Ehler’s Danilo’s syndrome (weak bones, weak joints, early gray hair). The author has ED in real life and wanted to represent people with chronic illness in her work.

  2. I’m starting to think that Brennan poisoned himself to fake his death being as Xaden says he’s known better poison masters than Violet and then he brings that comment back up when Brennan is revealed at the end. I’m not sure how that would have affected Naolin trying to revive him, if it wasn’t truly resurrection to bring Brennan back, but that comment about poison masters is living rent free in my head now

    1. I see what you mean. And yeah, you are right. Clearly, Xaden knew about it all. I do wonder what’s the deal with Naolin tho. He’s def dead or worse, venin one way or another. And I do what was the cost. To save Brennan? Or to kill someone else with his extra power? Hmm…

  3. And now I have another theory with absolutely zero backing from the book.

    What if Sgaeyl and Tairn did have a dragon child! We know Andarna isn’t theirs but what if they had one well before and that dragon is Brennan’s. They mention somewhere that Brennan, Xaden and Violet have the 3 most powerful gifts in the last century. It would make sense that his dragon also must be very powerful.

    Definitely an off the cuff theory but… that’s all my brain is anymore 😆

    1. Oh that would be WILD. But I’m here for it. That would be pretty damn cool, right? The thing is, I’ve been reading fantasy a looot and honestly, it can go SO many ways it’s unreal.

      1. I am so excited to see where it goes!! Also really think she should write a parallel of fourth wing but from Xaden POV. I need all the thoughts behind what she saw as hateful murdery eye contact.

    2. Can’t wait to find out if this is true. Yet, I remember when Xaden and Violet are in the flight field with the three dragons after the attack on Violet’s life, Xaden asks Sygael if Andarna is theirs. Xaden asks why Sygael would keep something that that from him for three years, but Sygael denies it. She says something along the lines of never letting her kid bond prematurely, and the whole conversation gave me the impression that she and Tairn did not have a kid. HOWEVER, that is just my assumption, and your entire theory makes complete and utter sense. It would be an amazing plot point.

  4. I’m using the help of a translator, so…
    I know it might be crazy and all, but after I finished reading fourth wing I decided to re-read the preface of the book and it left me with a bad feeling… I would be happy to hear your opinion about this(My anxiety issues thank you)

    1. Ugh, I know…I honestly don’t know what to say about that. There are some wild theories that everyone dies. But I am not sure if Yarros will be so cruel as to kill everyone. I appreciate this doesn’t calm your anxiety and I really am sorry. If it helps, I am just as anxious as you are about it. And quite terrified. But also hopeful everyone gets a happy ending. And the preface is there to just create the history written clearly, for generations to come so everyone knows the truth. If that makes sense?

      1. I also don’t think Yarros would do something as cruel as that, but that she managed to leave a flea behind a lot of people’s ears is true. So I’m trying to come up with a plausible theory for this and it’s been making sense to me. (I would also like to say that I love your site)

        1. Thank you so much for your kind words. And I’m so glad to meet other Fourth Wing fans here <3

          1. (I’m back). I’M NERVOUS. I got some iron flame spoilers and I saw something in the last few pages that made me scared for Xaden’s future, I’m dying with what that could mean.

  5. When GRRM killed off key characters in Game of Thrones, that has started an acceptable plot device. Very possible that Yarros wants to do something like that too. We all loved Liam… but we all loved Ned Stark too.

    1. DO NOT EVEN…Liam has to come back, ok? Please…let him come back 🙁

  6. This isn’t a theory really… but page 475 before chapter 37, we are given an excerpt from the Fables of the Barren: “It was the third brother, who commanded the sky to surrender its greatest power, who finally vanquished his jealous sibling at a great and terrible price”. Just one page later when Violet is fighting the venin and is stabbed she is told: “Such untapped power. No wonder we were called here. You could command the sky to surrender all its power…”. I caught this on my second read through the book and realized her power is the same as in the origin story or maybe better. The Venin says ALL its power versus the sky’s greatest power. And that using it to defeat the Venin may come at a terrible cost to Violet. Maybe nature will find a balance with Violet having 2 dragons so that using the sky’s power will not create the terrible cost.

    1. Ohhhh, I think this is actually a theory and I’m here for it, Kate. I’m loving it.
      Wait, so that would go hand in hand with Violet’s hair issue. The fact that no matter the length it discolours, and her weak joints. Because somehow she might actually have something venin in her. In which case, if there is a relationship between her and the original third brother, then for sure she might need to sacrifice something BIG. Even herself?

  7. Like this new theory!

    If you look at the book description for Iron Flame, they finally have a blurb worth reading. I’m it, they are saying:

    “…It’s the new vice commandant, who’s made it his personal mission to teach Violet exactly how powerless she is–unless she betrays the man she loves.”

    So what’s the sacrifice?

    @Cory, might be worth posting the new blurb as it’s own thread 😉

    1. I will, great idea! thanks

  8. I don’t know if there is an answer to this in the book or here but why can’t the one who can see the outcomes of battles can’t see it if there are 3 or more person with a rebellion relic? How does that work?

    1. That’s a very good question, Lyra. And you are also right, we don’t know the answer fully. But there are theories around it, including some in this thread I’m sure you read.

      My theory is that when Codagh created this rebellion, relics did it on purpose. That when 3+ rebellion relic are together, his rider, Melgren cannot see the outcome. I believe Codagh knows about venin and is against his rider’s stance on it. But I also understand the bond between rider and dragon is sacred and Codagh could never turn against his own rider or tell anyone what’s going on within Melgren’s mind right?
      So what’s the next best thing? When the opportunity arose for Codagh to create the relics on those poor children, he created his own…loophole 🙂

      Again, there is nothing in the book that explains the WHY. It’s just my theory and how I see it.

      1. Oh my god this is so amazing and I hope its true!

      2. I think it was a balance of sorts. Ardarna did mention that nature requires balance in all things.

  9. When Violet is in Dains room she sees the tome on Krovlan language she gave him. Krovla is the Poromiel kingdom that borders Tyrrendor and I just know that’s going to come up again but I just don’t know how. Is there any chance of a redemption arc for Dain where he uses it to unite Poromiel and Navarre or will he use it against the revolution?

    1. Hmmmm I mean there’s a lot of Dain redemption arc going around right? It’s very possible that Dain will fight against the establishment. I cannot see it any other way. It’s also a nice touch that he just happens to be so good with languages, right? So indeed, that might come in handy.

    2. I think he is learning this language for evil.. If he is reading memories of a captive he needs to understand the language in order to get what information he can from the memory.

  10. I’m just very scared with the whole idea of Xaden and Violet not being the endgame. I mean of course they are going to have a fall out at some point but I don’t want it to be anything permanent. I just love Xadens character, I mean who doesn’t?

    And about the theory of Xaden being innsinnict I’m not sure. I just thought the whole time he commands the shadows the same way Az does in ACOTAR. So the shadows really tells him about things that are going around like he said early in the books to Violet. Also the sensation Violet gets everytime they are in same space I just hope it’s because they are mates. But that’s just my idea of the thing.

    1. Personally I think they are endgame. Xaden reminds me of Aaron Warner and Dain of Adam. Dain always says that Violet is weak and shouldn’t be a rider just like Adam keeps saying Juliette needs to be saved. In the contrary, Xaden keeps pushing Violet to her limits and is always telling her she’s strong and believes in her the same way Aaron believes in Juliette.
      Plus if Xaden isn’t Violet endgame it’s going to break my heart😭

  11. I read an amazing theory on Reddit about Imogen. She is part of the squad that visits Montserrat, but then isn’t mentioned again after Xaden shows up. They break into two groups and her name is not mentioned as Violet rattles off who were in the two groups together. Later, when they have to flee, Violet mentions Xaden’s pack being lighter than when he arrived. The theory on Reddit, was Imogen used her mind wiping ability to make everyone forget she was there. Xaden brought weapons for the Griffin fliers and Imogen took them for him. That’s why his pack was lighter. And then went on to wonder how many times Imogen actually may have been using her ability in the book. Did she ever counter Dain’s mind reading ability when she could – because Dain touched Violet multiple times after she kissed Xaden, but he somehow never knew about Violet and Xaden. I thought it was an excellent thought!

    1. Oh yeah, I remember that theory and I thought was ace. It was one of those, go down the rabbit hole theories that just made so much sense. I loved it!

  12. Im at a reading slump thanks to fourth wing. I am now a huge fan. I love all the theories, too. Never in my life have i reread a book. Even those i really loved. However im now rereading FourthWing and you really catch on to new things you glazed over on the first reading. Nice meeting other fans!!!

  13. I have this huge theory that Violets dad turned into a Venin around the time or shortly after Brennan “died”, and he either died because of that (most likely at his wife’s hand to protect their daughters) or he’s still alive and we will find out later

  14. So this really doesn’t come from much other than the quote where Tairn said he wasn’t the strongest dragon on the continent. Maybe we’ll meet the strongest one in Iron Flame?? Just a guess.

  15. Is it possible that there are more types of creatures that we’ll learn about further into the series? We have the dragons, the gryphon. There’s the wyvern that the venin command. I wonder if there will be a race of people with wings or if Yarros will feel that’s been overplayed.

    It also begs the question about how much the dragons have hidden from the humans

    1. Hey, I’m here for all the creatures!

  16. I think Violet is going to have to kill Xaden, he keeps saying “You’ll be the death of me”.
    Also convinced there is something between there being 3 siblings who separated the continent.. I think Violet and her siblings will be the ones to bring it back together.

  17. Really cool to read everyone’s theories.
    I’ve got one on the wyvern.
    The venin’s powers look like a form of death magic to me, with the whole sapping the land of all life, and all but turning live human victims to dust etc. So it is my thought that they make the wyverns from fresh human corpses. The wyvern are repeatedly called abominations but simply having different anatomy doesn’t make one an abomination so it must be something deeper. Then the reason for only two legs is because human bodies only have four limbs.
    If the venin were making them from dead humans then the wyvern would be undead things only animated by the venin’s power, turning inert when the venin dies.
    My additional thought is that Liam’s body will be turned into a wyvern and there will be something about it that is familiar or recognizable to Violet so she can make the connection and understand the origin of the venin’s servants.
    (still wish she hadn’t chosen to kill Liam, he was one of my favorite characters)

    1. Ufff the Liam turning into a venin keeps on coming back as a theory ans it’s driving me crazy. I think it’s such a valid theory it scares me so much.

  18. I read a theory on Reddit and also saw a tiktok about it, suggesting Violet is a child of a separatist: her father was part of the rebellion & executed for it. Her hair is actually her rebellion relic. She (and Mira) were conscripted to become riders just like all the other children of the rebellion which is why her mother forced her into riders quadrant- she had no choice. It makes sense if this is true that Xaden knew her longer than she thinks, since he has scars for each child of the rebellion I.e. knows who they all are. However he seemed surprised that she was there… so if he knew she was a child of the rebellion he would’ve expected her in riders quadrant..
    The theory also insinuated of course that her memories of all this were wiped (maybe her mom trying to protect her memory of their father or his execution etc?).

    1. I mean all we know from the mother is that “I loved your father but he is dead”. So, that could mean many things indeed. And it could mean that Violet has a different father altogether. I love this theory, it’s unusual! I’m going to dig it out from other sites and try to bring it here as well.

      I personally don’t think her hair is a rebellion relic. But I do think she has venin in her or something like that.

  19. Xadenlovereforever!!! Avatar

    I have a new theory about Fourth Wing.
    Ok, so remember how a storm suspiciously started up right before Violet started to cross the Parapet. Also, remember how Violet’s Mom’s signet is storms? Maybe she was trying to kill Violet, and what if she also killed Violet’s dad?

    1. That would be wild. Altho she does say “I loved your father” and then Violet does mention that she was a kinder woman when “dad” was around. But that would be a mad twist, wouldn’t it?

  20. OMG, I love all the theories I just read ! I just finished my first read and I can’t wait for Iron flame. I just really hope Xaden and Violet are endgame otherwise I’ll be devastated 😭.
    Have you thought about making a discord to discuss about fourth wing ? I think it could be very cool and make exchanges easier.

    1. Do you think people would join? Would love too, but I’m always terrified of failure…

      1. I would join immediately ! It’s normal to be afraid of failure but I am sure that everyone on that page would join. I would love to have a place to discuss theories and just talk about books in general.
        If you decide to do it, let me know cause I would love to join !

  21. I love your site so much is it ok if I print out some of the info like the character and dragons and such

    1. Hi Belinda, thank you for asking. As long as it’s not used for commercial purposes, of course.

  22. I’m CRYING, I got some spoilers and Iron Flame is insane

    1. Iron Flame is insane so far! What chapter are you on?

      1. I haven’t found time to read it yet, but from the spoilers I got from a friend I realized that it’s completely crazy from beginning to end. But I hope to get some free time soon (my anxiety is also getting in the way)

  23. This could be 1000% wrong and stupid but part of me can’t get the idea out of my head that Mira knew or suspected about venin and Wyvern and gave Violet her dads book when they’re at the outpost ,where it seems that she wants to say more about her opinion but stops herself, (the book that she orgignally forced her to leave behind that was her dads) in hopes Violet would realise the truth behind it all, and was trying to help her be best equipped to deal with them and realise the truth quickly. And maybe Lilith put Violet into the riders quadrant hoping something like this would happen and Violet would be able to discover the secret and survive because maybe she realised how strong Violet could really be. And lilith is only cold to her bc she knows it’s beneficial to appear completely against Xaden etc in order to gain favour and knowledge. Anyway sorry if it makes no sense the way ive written this, but I feel like it could be possible that mira knew and also that lilith is good ( maybe she or mira even knows about Brennan though i kind of doubt it) ive thought this for a while but only just worked up the nerve to post anywhere. Also I cannot wait to read iron flame when it’s delivered!

  24. Did you read Xaden’s povs in fourth wing? I read it and I’m more and more in love with my big boy.

    1. Sadly no 🙁 I would do anything to get access to those chapters but I’m in Japan right now and the book doesn’t arrive until the end of November to my home in the UK. I can’t find it here either. I just want to read them! I’m so sad. I bet they are awesome!

  25. I got it from friends on Twitter (X). I’m from Brazil and here it also takes a while for translated books to arrive.

    1. Oooooh I see! I would love for a friend to loan me the book to read the chapters asap!

      1. I hope you get to read Iron Flame and Xaden’s povs soon, I’m sure you’ll love it.

        1. I read Iron Flame but I don’t have access to the Fourth Wing special edition to read his POV. I’m so deeply sad 🙁

          1. Maybe you can get the povs on Twitter like I did. I think if I hadn’t gotten there maybe I wouldn’t have read it either.

  26. Now that I saw your new posts about Iron Flame and I can say that I always believed in the theory that Xaden could read minds (it was literally in front of us), I’m going to read Iron Flame this weekend I’m super excited to know all the details.

    1. YES! I cannot wait to hear your thoughts about it!

  27. I have a theory for upcoming third book in future.

    Do you guys remember how Violet describes Aaric’s Dragon?
    “A Blue Clubtail approaches with sapphire-hued scales that contrast the changing colors of the sunset sky, and he is beautiful. Aaric dismounts from the Blue Clubtail like he’s been doing it for years, with an ease that reminds me of Xaden and Liam.”

    As we know Blue dragons are also rare and come in the third line in the aspect of rarity with black being on the second and now Andarna being the only one in her den comes on first.

    So what if Aaric’s dragon is Andarna’s mate?? just like Tairn and Sagaeyl are both rare in their type and are the most powerful mated pair. Andarna could become powerful on her own as she matures and then be mated to this blue dragon.

    This could lead to a much more complicated story arch for upcoming books as this will enable the same kind of connection between Aaric and Violet as Violet and Xaden. And we also know Aaric is also her friend from her childhood and knows her much more better. this could lead to create a real and difficult love tringle in story

    And we also know at some point Violet is going to be involved in King’s politics as she is the best weapon for kingdom and the King would never want to let her escape from him. this mated scenario will force her to be in the Kings clutches as Aaric is a prince and i think the King will use this as to his benefit to control her for him.

    And I can guess Aaric will definitely fall for Violet too by reading IF where he reveres Violet and chooses her life to protect over her mother, even though her mother is the best person to defend and lead his kingdom in war as compared to Violet.

    I am thinking Venin are some kind of Vampires in this world where they suck energy from land instead of blood from people as they are after power, not life and so far have the same abilities as the vampires have and there is no cure for vampires, only control.

    After the end of IF Xaden has turned Venin and I am dreading he will leave Violet in the third book at some point to protect her from himself and the third book story will revolve around the same plot as in New Moon in Twilight series where Aaric will step in as Jacobs…

    UGH!!! I can’t get this fear out of my head. because otherwise how will RY is going to extend their story for three more books?

    1. Hello Afsheen, could you please write some fan fiction for us? I’m uncertain whether your theory will materialise, but I must say, your imagination is wild and beautiful, in the finest sense. I adore where you’re taking this. Andarna having a mate, the fact that indeed, Rebecca Yarros placed such a strong emphasis on that blue dragon. Is it a coincidence? With Rebecca, there’s no such thing.

      I won’t pretend, I’m not keen on the idea of another love triangle, but I do think it could advance the story, particularly when Xaden will inevitably need to distance himself from Violet (for venin reasons).

      1. I am not sure I am a good writer. but I have learned from my reading experience that if any author emphasizes a character, especially its beauty, then it is sure going to be a big part of the story later. That’s where my theory stemmed from.

        and about the scenario of another love triangle, I am not keen on it either. in fact, it will be the very thing that will put me off the story quickly if RY plays a card like New Moon because I hated it in the Twilight series too and it’s not in my liked books either.

        I want Violet and Xaden to stick together like real mature adults and solve their problems by never leaving each other. otherwise, I will lose all my love for this series. That’s why I said in my upper comment that I am dreading that Xaden will leave and a new triangle will come into play if this theory is to come true.

      2. BTW can you please create this theory on this page as another one of your IF theories, I would love to see other people comment on it and share their thoughts. I would really appreciate it.

        1. Sure thing. I’ve added it to my drafts and hopefully will be published soon. I have a bit of a backlog.

  28. I have seen many therories about how/ why Violet’s dad died. This isn’t much of a therory.. but as Violet most likely has hypermobile EDS out of the subtypes, that means one of her parents had to have it as it’s a dominant gene. I’m guessing her dad rather than her mum.. I guess I just haven’t seen this aspect mentioned in any of the theories I’ve seen..

    1. I think Violet’s issues came from being drained by venin. While I know that Violet has a similar condition to what real life EDS is, I am uncertain if we need to take it as such in the fantasy world. Since Rebecca Yarros herself has it, this would be such a fantastic question for her tho!

    2. P.S. Would love to know your theories about Vi’s dad!

      1. I think Vi’s mum had her dad killed because he was on the side of the rebellion, i.e. her wanted people to know that evening exist. This would explain his letter to Violet in the copy of the forbidden text her left with her. Also, when we first meet Lilith, we’re told that she is famous for her lack of mercy so maybe this can even be applied to the man she loves?

        With it looking like a heart condition, I wonder if it was a poison and maybe Violet or Brennan will figure this out at some point?

        1. I mean, this is a wild one! She said throughout Iron Flame how much she loved Vi’s dad. I really hope you are wrong, that would be devastating! My money is on Markham. He killed the dad with poison.

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