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Fourth Wing Theory: Dain always reads Violet’s mind

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Written by: Cory

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Chapter 4, page 50 – First time Dain cups Violet’s face

Dain steps forward and cups my face, his thumb stroking over my cheekbone in a soothing motion.

Chapter 8, page 92 – Again, Dain is cradling Violet’s face

Dain asks, lifting a hand to cradle my face.”

Chapter 9, Page 114 – Ugh, Dain touching Violet again

“He’s holding my face between both palms, tipping it up towards his.”

Chapter 16, Page 190 – Another touch, bleah

Dain reaches me, his smile wide as he cups my face”.

Chapter 16, Page 190 – Omg stop touching her face

“Dain’s hands lace up my corset quickly, then are on my face, tipping it up towards his.”

Comments: Note that in the following paragraph, his thumb strokes over Violet’s cheeck, his eyes searching for something, then he kisses her. Immediately after, she just thought that he would do anything except break the rules. And I believe this was his attempt to break the rules and kiss her, although he’s not comfortable with it. An attempt to keep her closer.

Chapter 17, Page 203 – He touches her…again

“A sight rips from Dain’s lips, and le palms my face gently, his gaze dropping to my lips for a heartbeat before he steps back”

Comments: I believe this is the moment when he unabashedly reads her mind about the kiss and realizes that she doesn’t want this either. This revelation likely gives him the comfort to admit to her that the kiss should never have happened, given that it’s frowned upon to engage in a physical relationship with anyone in the chain of command.

Chapter 20, Page 244 – He tries to touch her but for the first time, our girl Violet remembers that he can actually read minds

“He lifts his hands, as though ready to cup my face. Let me see.”

Chapter 27, Page 339 – When Violet asks a very valid question about Dain’s abilities

“How has he gotten this far without telling anyone what his signet is?”

Chapter 31, Page 405 – The most important touch, when he finds out about Athebyne.

“His touch is gentle when he cups my cheek.”

Comments: This moment marks a significant turning point in the narrative. It occurs when Dain touches Violet shortly after Xaden Riorson informs her about Athebyne. This seemingly simple action sets off a chain of events that dramatically alters the course of the story. Only a few hours later, Xaden is dispatched to Athebyne, and it becomes evident that Dain is privy to this plan.

UPDATE: With Iron Flame now out, I have the verdict on this theory: Did Dain always read Violet’s memories? Please be mindful that the new article will contain spoilers.

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47 responses to “Fourth Wing Theory: Dain always reads Violet’s mind”

  1. I completely agree that he’s often reading her mind, the time Chapter 8 page 92, Dain draws his hand back shoving it in his pocket, which is straight after she was thinking about all the marked ones meeting under the trees.
    I definitely think from there, he would have told his dad, and would have been trying to gather Intel on the them through her. Additionally, I wonder if it needs to be a touch on the face, or a touch in general, after Violet saw the three riders returning in the night, Xaden, Garrick and Bodhi, not long after, maybe a few days, Dain holds Violets hand while trying to convince her of something. Could he have seen that too?

    1. Hi 🙂 so I don’t remember the page but it’s towards the end of the book that they specifically state that Dain needs to touch the face for this to work. And he can only see recent memories. Gosh, how much we’re annoyed with Dain, right? UGH, little traitor!

  2. He’s a little turd for sure.

    1. I hope Violet flushes him, and he does not get forgiven for his horrible SINS

  3. Hello,

    have you ever thought about the fact that it wasn’t Dain who “revealed” the Athebyne thing? (And just to be sure, I don’t like him either..)

    I find it odd that 1.5 months later (Xaden does tell Violet the night after the night they first had sex), in the brief moment at the party when he takes Violet’s face in his hand, Dain reads that very word from her thoughts.

    How far back does retrocognition go? And then why doesn’t he notice her feelings for Xaden?

    And how can the base be informed so quickly that it is deserted when Xaden’s group arrives there, when they were sent right out a few hours after Dain found out this.

    Dain must have reported it to his father and even if this plan was already thought out and they only waited for the “last” proof, the leadership would probably still have to vote that it should happen that way. I don’t think that’s really feasible in terms of time.

    Or did Dain read Violet’s mind earlier (within those 1.5 months), whereas that’s not mentioned in the book and I think Rebecca wouldn’t leave out such a crucial detail.

    So, maybe someone else noticed (as did Violet) that Xaden, Bodhi, and Garrick (and their dragons) were on the move more often, even though there was no order to do so.

    What do you think?

    1. I find it odd that 1.5 months later (Xaden does tell Violet the night after the night they first had sex), in the brief moment at the party when he takes Violet’s face in his hand, Dain reads that very word from her thoughts.
      How far back does retrocognition go? And then why doesn’t he notice her feelings for Xaden?

      Answer: I believe in the book we know he can see recent memories. But indeed, I found it odd myself and unsettling that Dain saw *that* memory but he did not see somehow that they were together. Seems very very strange!

      And how can the base be informed so quickly that it is deserted when Xaden’s group arrives there, when they were sent right out a few hours after Dain found out this.

      Answer: You are absolutely right, it seems very fast. Of course, they are military, and they had from the evening of the party, until morning when Dain’s dad announced the final challenge to evac . Given they are trained to act fast, that’s not unlikely.

      Or did Dain read Violet’s mind earlier (within those 1.5 months), whereas that’s not mentioned in the book and I think Rebecca wouldn’t leave out such a crucial detail.

      Answer: Yarros is too incredible to overlook such detail. This book is as tight as they get. It’s not a plot hole from what I can tell. This is done on purpose and we’re in for a surprise for sure…


      So, maybe someone else noticed (as did Violet) that Xaden, Bodhi, and Garrick (and their dragons) were on the move more often, even though there was no order to do so.

      Answer: Now, that is very likely. After all, it is 3 massive dragons flying. But I think the most unsettling part is when you too noticed that Dain conveniently read just part of the memory. Seems…fishy.

      1. Hi, thank you very much for your detailed answer. I am very happy to have found your site (and like-minded people) 🙂

        On re-reading (don’t ask how many times…) I noticed that Tairn says to Violet that dragons are less able to communicate outside the protective wall and that Xaden has to take this into account when leading his squadron.

        So could it be that the dragons can communicate with each other over long distances and the communication to those stationed in Athebyne was through the dragons and that’s why it happened so quickly???

        What do you think?

        And, of course, it’s really funny that yesterday, of all days, Emma also shared her idea.

        I also think it’s possible that this leadership plan had been around for a while, but hadn’t thought of it myself. Interesting idea 🙂

        But I’m also pretty sure Dain knew something about the attack (though I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know about the Veneni).

        1. Hmm… I think dragons can communicate with one another but they are now allowed to share anything with each other that happens within a bond. So if the riders ordered their dragons to leave Atherbyne, technically, that’s something shared between a bond right? And the dragons can’t go and tell others about the plans. Maybe?

          I’m also sure Dain knew something about the attack. But I think he doesn’t know about Venin. I reckon he’s been told Xaden and the rebellion kids work against the establishment and they will be punished for it blah blah blah. But as much as Dain sucks, I also don’t think he knows about venin and he would allow for that.

          1. I might have a theory on how the post might have been abandoned. I have just finished a second read though and am going back to the letter in General Sorrengail’s office which says the following:

            “General Sorrengail,
            The raids around Athebyne have spread the wing too thin. Being posted beyond the safety of the wards comes with considerable hazards, and though I am loath to request reinforcements, I must. If we do not reinforce the post, we may be forced to abandon it. We are protecting Navarrian citizens with life, limb and wing, but I cannot adequately relay how dire the situation is here. I know you receive the dailies from our scribe attachment, but I would be remiss in my duties as executive officer of the Southern Wing if I did not write to you personally. Please find us reinforcements.
            Major Kallista Neema”

            It doesn’t give a date when the letter was written (if it was written well before the Squad Games or just before), but I don’t think reinforcements were ever sent and as a result the wing called in on their threat and ended up abandoning it. This leads me to suspect that the trap/test was planned well in advanced.

          2. OH! OH OH OH…you are spot on Emma…Oh wow this is a big discovery here! Super super well done for spotting this. I’m so damn excited about it now! It feels like we are still trying to dig Gen Sorrengail as an evil character 🙂

  4. Hi Cory – I just wanted to say that I love your posts here. I have just finished my first read of the book and love it too. But I wanted to put another kind of theory past you in regards to Dain reading Violet’s mind and with Athebyne as well (sorry this might be a long post). I can definitely see Dain as an overprotective, career driven ass, but I am kind of on the fence of the reading mind aspect and his involvement with Athebyne. I can see this two ways – one being as you described above and I know there are so many red flags to him and I don’t know to what extent his knowledge was of Athebyne. But the second – I always want to continue to see the good in characters like Dain until I am 100% proven wrong and I see the revelation of Dain’s betrayal as an assumption on Xaden and Violet’s part (and rightly so in their situation as I believe someone has set them up – mainly towards the marked ones not so much Violet) and however, not a forgone conclusion at this moment in time that it is definitely Dain. My reservations on this kind of comes from Violet’s comment on p.450 when Xaden first has the thought that it is Dain – she mentions that this is always how Dain touches her and I am just wondering if this also goes back further to their childhood and how Dain cared for her as her best friend, maybe he is trying to be that friend again sometimes – most of the time she never thought it was weird. The second reservation is that I don’t think that Dain is that good an actor, this might be me reading this wrong, but I do believe that he is honestly shocked when he finds out that Violet and Xaden are an item and if he had been reading her mind all along, with the amount of thoughts she has been having about Xaden, he would have known beforehand – is he that good an actor.

    So, ok I have another theory if it might be the case that Dain isn’t the traitor that we are believed to think he is. So taking Dain out of the equation completely, I am intrigued about the 2 letters in Violet’s mum’s office. The first describing how vulnerable the outpost is in Athebyne and the second (which I find more interesting) is about unrest and protests in Tyrrendor about Naverre’s conscription law’s on the province and how the vast infantry conscription to the front lines is from Tyrrendor. I can kind of imagine how incredibly worried Naverre’s leadership are right now. Xaden is the oldest of the rebellion children and now we see the first wave of the marked ones graduating completely from the rider’s quadrant – I don’t how far the deal goes that Xaden made, but it kind of just mentions their time in the rider’s quadrant – not so beyond. I know there is still rebellion children attending the college after this year and Xaden could still be held accountable through out his life, but do you think that, just maybe, someone in leadership is terrified that these new graduates are leaving the college where they could be watched and are entering unknown territory – where potentially (to their paranoid warped minds) they could aid this unrest and take it further with a strong backing. So, I am thinking that maybe, the trap at Athebyne had been set up almost as far back as the Squad Battle, maybe before. Could this be seen as a last ditched attempt to kill of as many of the rebellion children including Xaden (who even the king stated was the most powerful rider since Brennan) – people were know to die in the War Games.

    Sorry this is a lot of brain vomit on my part, but I still have this niggling thought that we are meant to think Dain as a two-faced, worse-than-worse a*hole (which I can see from what everyone is saying), but what if we are wrong, what if Xaden and Violet are wrong – it could cause incredible tension when Violet gets back to the college and thinks that Dain violated her thoughts when in fact he is completely innocent but has no way to prove it or she has no way to bring it up and confirm it with out endangering Xaden life. I have also heard some feedback from an event that Rebecca had in London in July which a few are saying that she coming across as a Dain apologist (even one person who was at the event described her as having a soft spot for Dain and likes his character – whatever that means – they are on TikTok) – though I haven’t found Rebecca actually saying any of this apart from the differences between Dain and Xaden in regards to Violet – so this is mainly conjecture. But if she was to have a soft spot for Dain, it is easier to write a redemption arc from the point of view that he is overprotective, career obsessed ass (which I definitely think he is) than a two faced, worse-that-worse a*hole who violated Violet without her consent (this is harder to pull off unless there is a completely good reason behind it and I don’t know what type of writer Rebecca is at the moment.)

    I hope a lot of this will be cleared up in the next book, either way – which I will accept completely whatever way. Sorry, I will shut up now, but thanks for reading my ramble 🙂

    1. Hi Emma,

      Please never apologise for sharing your thoughts, theories and rambles. This is why I created this site. For us to have a safe space where we can put our tin foils on and ramble about! <3 So I want to thank you for taking the time to share it with me and the rest of the fans.
      Now, onto your theory:

      So, interestingly enough someone else (see Jessy’s comment) pointed it at the same time as you hehe. Brilliant minds think alike, right? I think it’s fair to be a bit on the fence because Dain reads only parts of Vi’s memory. How convenient that he saw Athebyne but not the fact that she was involved with Xaden?
      And you are very right, Dain doesn’t feel like a good enough actor. Also Yarros herself is a Dain apologist. She always says he’s not ill intended. So maybe, there is another rat in the Quadrant, which wouldn’t be that surprising right? Hmmm…ok, ok, I don’t like Dain right now, he;s on the black list but I can also see what you’re saying.

      Oooooohhhh now that is an interesting SNAP of a theory. That it could be a last attempt to rid themselves of the oldest of the rebellion kids and thus staging a whole plot to kill them all. But then, I do think Dain knows because he wouldn’t have said “I will miss you” and “You will get her killed” and all those. But you might be right. It might not have been from him reading her mind but just simply that he is in on the plan because he might be close with his dad?

      Onto the final part of your theory. Even if Dain was not in on reading Vi’s mind which could very well be a thing…why would he say to Xaden that he will get her killed? Why would he tell Vi that well, you’ve made your choice, and I will miss you? I reckon he still knows something…maybe he’s not AS BAD as we all think, but he sure as hell is not innocent 😛 Hmm…she better create a damn good redemption arc to give us Dain back, because right now, he’s in a very tight spot hehe.

      1. Hi Cory – Thanks for your reply and thank you so much for making this a safe space. I so worry sometimes if I post things like this, I might get some strong backlash and I am never good at handling that.

        Sorry – I did mince my words when I said innocent. You’re right, I don’t think he is totally innocent. At the time, I was thinking more on the reading Vi’s mind aspect (and tbh at that point, possibly knowing about the trap at Athebyne). I am starting to fall on the side that he hasn’t been reading Violet’s thoughts and the accusation at the end is a tactic by Rebecca to make us think this way. However, I am also starting to fall on the side that he did know something about the trap as you mentioned above. But I do have a theory on this if Rebecca is to start creating a redemption arc for Dain (came to me this morning for some strange reason and it might be a bit way out there, but I just wanted to put it down in words) and it has to do with his parting words to Violet.

        My theory is this – I think his words and how he delivered them were a warning (now stay with me and hopefully I can explain this well – long post again).

        If Dain knew about the trap or overheard the plans, I thought how could he have not warned Vi. I think his character is driven by loyalty especially a loyalty to Navarre and the laws that govern it. He once confessed that if it went against the Codex, he would refrain from helping Vi even if it got her killed. It would destroy him, but he would stick to the rules. So it got me thinking further, especially about Dain’s relationship with his father. When we are first introduced to Colonel Aetos we kind of get the impression he could be a good character, a good father – he is friendly towards Vi, makes her relax, she even describes his eyes as being warm. I don’t think there is any indication of how he feels about Xaden at this point as Vi’s mum appears and our attention goes off the Colonel. Going further to the when the wingleaders are assigned their areas for the War Games, Dain’s father’s demeanour changes when he looks to Xaden from pleasant to as Vi describes it – “Something about the way his smile slips for a heartbeat makes the hair rise on the back of the neck.” There is definitely a hatred towards Xaden from Dain’s father. Whether this is because he knows there is something going on (possible), or (in the case of this argument) he might have a very strong prejudice towards him and mistrust. We know there is a lot of prejudice and distrust from others towards the rebellion children – this can be seen when Vi and the rest go to Montserrat – there is a lot of suspicion of Liam etc. even from Mira (Vi has to warn her sister to be nice).

        I had a thought of the differences between Vi and Dain’s upbringing (this might be a lot of rubbish and more of a feeling, but I am just going with it). Vi, even though she had reservations at the beginning, warms very quickly to the rebellion children. I think Vi and possibly her siblings might have been slightly sheltered to a lot of the kind of hatred others have felt or have been drilled into them by their parents towards these children (even though they have “lost” a child to the rebellion themselves). Vi spent a lot of time with her father (don’t think there much said on his views) and even when it came to her mother, I don’t think the General was as hard lined as others (this is mainly a feeling I get from the brief she gave to the king above Chapter 5 – I think she has some sympathy to the children of the rebellion leaders in a way). In contrast, how much is Dain’s father drilling into him especially in mistrusting Xaden and the others. Might be mincing my words here, but I think part of Dain’s character at the moment is that he has a strong mistrust of Xaden and the others and could possibly go as far as sacrificing them for the safety of Naverre (something drilled into him by his father). I think this might possibly be his questionable behaviour that Rebecca is going to use to almost destroy him and then redeem him from. That’s another theory.

        Anyway – back to my first theory – he has this information that Athebyne is going to be a trap and (in my head for this argument) out of loyalty in the long run to Naverre he is perhaps going to let it happen. Also he could be thinking that with Xaden out of the picture, Vi would more safe. Then he is hit with the information that Xaden wants Vi to come with him so he goes into his argument that Vi should stay with him and that Xaden is going to get her killed. He knows if she goes, she will be in more danger than they realise. Then Xaden says that it is an order, Vi argues that she trusts Xaden and then he finds out they are together.

        At this point, I think it can go two ways. Dain could be so hurt by this revelation that he is willing to let her go with Xaden and forfeit her life. But could he do this completely out of spite!! I don’t honestly buy this (or maybe it is wishful thinking) – Vi is his childhood best friend – they were close, he honestly cares for her, and as you mentioned above, Rebecca has said he is well intentioned – but does unfortunately end up doing things that are questionable. But is one of these questionable things sending his best friend to her death out of spite?

        So this other theory to Dain’s parting words to her – is that his words are a warning – this might more of a feeling on my part and not sure how much there is to back it up. I want to think that outside his initial shock of them together, he realises he can’t win this argument – he can’t keep her from going. I also think at this point, he is still so deeply embedded in his loyalty, his rule-obsession, he can’t bring himself to outright warn Vi of what is about to happen. So does he come up with this scrap of an idea? An idea that kind of pushes himself under the bus so to speak. Maybe this theory might be a bit too heroic of a stance for him at the moment, but who knows.

        He plays on a hope that Xaden is suspicious he is reading Vi’s mind. This might be way out there as I have said. But what if Dain was counting on so much of Xaden suspicions that he leaned into Vi and whispered those words. He knew Xaden knew he has retrocognition as his signet. What if this is his way of warning them? The only way he could think of. Hoping they would pick it up before it was too late. He couldn’t openly say that this was a trap and that no help would be coming. He can’t find himself to outwardly break rules etc. But what if at this point he is so compelled to do something, anything in fear for Vi (now that he is in a physical situation that Vi’s life is danger and he can do something to prevent it and not hypothetically), but can’t quite bring himself to break through the loyalty his father could have instilled in him. There are gaps here I know – how could Dain know Xaden would pick up on this? It would have been a gamble on Dain’s part that Xaden might have been worried he has let something slip. Is Dain that quick thinking? Gaps, but I like the thought that he might be trying to do something.

        Ok – I am going to stop typing now, but if I was to go down a redemption arc for Dain, this is something I would have sneakily put in to start with 🙂

        1. I worry so much, you have no idea. Like, even creating this site I worried and worried thinking it will receive so much negative comments. Alas…

          So yesterday I went out to get coffee with my partner and discuss your theory, hehe. You are winning me over you know. Like what if indeed Dain never read her thoughts? But the author made us believe that he always does? Except for when he tried and he was clearly horrified he never asked for permission? Can you imagine how CRAZY it would get for Vi to realise that Dain maybe never read her memories but Xaden, as an inntinnsic always did. Now that would be sooo much drama. I don’t envy them…

          “If Dain knew about the trap or overheard the plans, I thought how could he have not warned Vi. I think his character is driven by loyalty especially a loyalty to Navarre and the laws that govern it.”

          Yes, you are right. Even if he’d known, he wouldn’t have done anything about it. He made that clear saying he wouldn’t have intervened during theshing either.

          “Then Xaden says that it is an order, Vi argues that she trusts Xaden and then he finds out they are together.”

          Like how is it that Dain always read her mind but he never saw her thoughts about Xaden? Like, a bit implausable right?

          “So this other theory to Dain’s parting words to her – is that his words are a warning”

          Or what if, he means it in a romantic way? Like, I will miss you…you know, since I don’t have a chance with you anymore? Now that would be soooo F’d up.

          “He plays on a hope that Xaden is suspicious he is reading Vi’s mind. This might be way out there as I have said. But what if Dain was counting on so much of Xaden suspicions that he leaned into Vi and whispered those words. He knew Xaden knew he has retrocognition as his signet. What if this is his way of warning them? The only way he could think of.”

          I don’t think this went this far. I don’t think this was a way to warn them. Honestly. Of course, it’s possible but that would be way too much against Dain’s code of conduct, character and ethics.

          I’m actually looking forward to learning more about Dain’s redemption arc. I do think it’s going to happen for sure, at least one way or another. And I do think Vi’s new drama with Xaden might be when she learns he’s been reading her mind without consent. I’d be well upset about it. We’ll see, we’ll see. I have so many questions and no matter how much I read the books, I’m just as puzzled as before.

          Btw, Emma, what is your stance on Violet’s hair colour? Are you thinking she’s got some venin stuff in her?

          1. I actually have yet to think about Violet’s hair colour – tbh I have kind of skimmed the last part of the book (mainly from the part were Vi killed Jack) – this was mainly because I have had so many thoughts about this book it was affecting my sleep 😆 So I have seen all the main events etc., but need to go into more of the detail. Taking a slight break before going back into more depth. I will let you know.

            I had one last thought about Dain – I will stop after this I promise 😆(just a random thought – not going any where with it – though it might add to why he automatically tried to get the memory from Vi abruptly in the way he did) – mainly when it is questioned about how could he doubt Vi’s recollection of Amber’s involvement in her attack. I am just wondering if Amber was to Dain what Rhi, Ridoc or Sawyer is to Vi. Dain has had one year at the college that Vi knows nothing about. It is implied that Dain and Amber were close and probably more than friends – how much had Amber helped him through his first year (this is mainly conjecture, but it was another thought I had). If Dain’s and Vi’s roles where reversed (and Vi had Dain’s signet), would Vi question any allegation made again Rhi or the others – could she react in the same way when she knew it would be a death sentence to one of her friends – she might not lose it as much as Dain did, but I am wondering if doubt would come into her mind. I just think at that moment he lost control as he saw, who he thought was a good friend, face a death sentence and panicked.

            I know I have come to the defence of Dain a lot here, but I have seen this with another character in other series who I like who got a lot of bad press – similar, they were well-intentioned, but did sometimes stupid questionable things which contributed to the events of the book. Luckily I got into that series once it was completed and saw how his story ended – so never really had time to dwell on what ifs as much. I am not comparing Rebecca to another writer here or the way her books will go, but I can just imagine (hypothetically) a lot of frustration if it ever came to a cliff-hanger scenario were Vi and Xaden are in mortal danger, everyone is looking forward to the next book to see what has happened and then it is announced that the next book is from Dain’s POV and maybe not about the events we are wanting to know about!!! What the …!! Don’t think she will do that. I just know I can’t dismiss how everything can change – especially when I believe there is at least 4 more books to go. Though, I still think Violet and Xaden will always be the end goal.

            Any way – now to think about Brennon and other parts of the book. I am wondering if the new vice commandant mentioned in blurb for Iron Flame will be Dain’s father? Or someone new? 🙂

          2. I wonder if that could be Dain’s father. Also, did you read the latest? HERE
            I wonder is Solas is actually the new vice commandant’s dragon or something? It has so belong to a rider who just transferred; otherwise we would have learnt about Solas before. So WHOSE dragon is this little monster?

          3. Just one more – I had a thought when I was out on a walk and was still thinking on Dain’s behaviour after Amber’s allegation. I might need to do a reread to see if I can find anything to back this up though I am not sure if there is anything. I can’t remember this – is there anything in the book that gives any full details of what you can and can’t do when using a signet on another student – according to the Codex – I am thinking more on classes? I know you couldn’t use any powers or signets during challenges (to even the playing field). But I am wondering if there might be any rules against using a signet in a class or formation or battle brief. Times when you are situations where there are teachers, leadership etc. or when the entire quadrant is present (not including Professor Carr’s class of course).

            I was thinking with Amber as I mentioned earlier, this might be possibly the first instance that he is been a situation were a friend is facing certain death. This is no longer a hypothetical scenario (like with Threshing – with Xaden asking Dain what he would do in that situation, not that Dain had actually experienced it – I kind of think there will always be a difference between giving an answer to a hypothetical question against what you would actually do). If there was rule about using a signet in a place such as formation, I am wondering with Dain trying to use his signet to gain the memory from Vi without asking her as some sort (though maybe very small) show that Dain might be capable of breaking his code of conduct, Codex or whatever when it came to someone he really cared about (I know he was using it against Vi, who I do think he cares about, but Vi wasn’t the one facing death). I am unsure if the book mentions anything further on the rules – but I am just wondering if there might be something, especially in learning situations or battle briefs that could stop a student causing hell if they wanted to. It is just a random thought 🙂

          4. Re my last comment as well. Dain is back at college and I think he is now the new wing leader…interesting interesting.

          5. I know – I’ve just read it. It is slightly looking like Solas is the new vice commandant’s dragon (or someone else in leadership), but who this person will be I am unsure. Could Dain’s father have that cruel a dragon!! Or is this someone else. And yep totally agree, looks like Dain is a new wing leader (I wonder if it will still be Fourth Wing – it looks like he is echoing the same words Xaden said in Fourth Wing – about how many will survive). I am also wondering if Vi is now a squad leader – It looks like she was close to Sloane and (I guess a couple of new first years) in formation. November is too far away 😆

          6. I’m seriously freaking out a little. Read it a million times trying to find new nuggets of information. To no avail, I must add..I’m sure this was picked to make us all very excited without giving us too much. I do love the casual sass towards Cath haha. Well, back to counting the days, I guess.

          7. I think Imogen is the new squad leader. Oh no, wait. I think it’s actually Rhiannon. If you remember, she was saying she wanted it. She mentioned this in Fourth Wing at some point.

          8. I read in the article that Rebecca has more teasers in store and to check her Instagram page on the 15th Sept for an announcement. I don’t think I can handle this🥺. I was just starting to calm down 😂

          9. I was starting to calm down too. Like, I need to work sometimes too 😂
            Nevermind, can’t wait for the next teaser! It better give us some Xaden action!

          10. Hi Cory – did you hear the announcement today from Rebecca on the Special Edition of Fourth Wing – 2 extra chapters from Xaden’s POV 🥰. I took a chance on Amazon on the Untitled Red Tower pre-order, don’t normally do this and so glad I did. Unfortunately being in the UK, I won’t get it until the end of Nov, but looking forward to it. November can’t come soon enough 😀

          11. I just saw this today. Sorry for all the late replies to you all, I’ve been travelling to the other side of the world with little access to the internet. I’m also from the Uk. I guess we will just have to wait 🙁 I really want to read his POV.

          12. I just checked…I don’t seem to be able to order it on Amazon for UK. Maybe it’s already sold out?

          13. Yep unfortunately the Amazon one sold out really quickly, however Waterstones also have copies now on pre-order (looks like it is still available). Theirs is a UK version that unfortunately doesn’t have the sprayed edges, but it does have the 2 extra chapters.

          14. I can’t find it on Waterstones either… 🙁 I’m currently in Japan so I wonder if that’s why I can’t find it? Altho I’m on Waterstones UK…

          15. Try this link – it is from Waterstones X update –

            Xaden Riorson – powerful, ruthless… and a complete mystery.

            Until now.

            Find out exactly what Xaden was thinking during TWO fan favourite moments in our new Fourth Wing Exclusive Edition featuring never-before-seen bonus chapters: bit.ly/3PNmX8t

          16. They both work, thank you so so much. Huh, when searching for it from this Japan IP it didn’t work for some reason. Lifesaver, thank you so much!!! Sad we have to wait but hey, it’s totally worth it!

          17. It’s weird – I see it ok on Waterstones app ok, but not when I try to search for it on their website – though I am directed to it via their twitter/X post. Hope it works ok.

        2. Hi all 🙂
          Cory, thank you for creating this site. I love it.

          Reading through the comments I just found out that Fourht Wing has 2 additional chapters!? I just finished it and ordered Iron Flame, just waiting to get it by the end of the week.

          The Fourth Wing book I’ve got has 39 chapter, being the last one Xaden’s POV. Can you please tell me if there’s another version with more chapters? I’m quite confused.


          1. Yes! There is a special edition with two more Xaden chapters in it. -> https://www.empyreanriders.com/articles/new-fourth-wing-special-edition/ I borrowed it from a friend and read the chapters. Don’t worry, you are not missing anything fundamental for Iron Flame. I know Rebecca Yarros did say she will release the chapters at some point during the winter.

  5. I’ve been thinking a lot about how the dain/violet/xaden love triangle has so far actually been fairly minimal. Violet never wavers between the two. From the beginning, it’s all xaden, all the time. 5 books is a lot, and I think resolution with xaden and violet in the second book is unlikely. After reading y’all’s thoughts on dain not actually reading violet’s mind, it makes me wonder if book 2 is going to be Dain’s book. Violet finds out Xaden is the one who’s actually been reading her mind, violet is back at school with Dain, Xaden is off doing whatever, giving Violet the space she needs. This could easily turn into V and Dain reigniting their friendship, likely more? I’m holding out hope that violet and xaden are end game, but it doesn’t feel implausible to me that Dain and V have more storyline to play out. Five books is so much plot to go through, and I just think Violet needs a second love interest to keep readers on their toes. My bet is Dain and her come back together, even if only temporarily. Thoughts?

    1. I think book two might give Dain his redemption arc as some have said. I’m with you and I did mention as well that I’m thinking if turns our Dain never read Vi’s mind without permission, but she finds out Xaden did…well Xaden will look like a 🤡 am I right? Which would give Dain the perfect redemption arc an the perfect reason to stir even more shit between Vi and Xaden. As you said yourself 5 books to go through right?
      The only thing is, not sure if anyone noticed this yet but if you go to Amazon and you search for Fourth Wing, you see that there is Book 1 of 2 in The Empyrean. If you go to Iron Flame it says Book 2 of 2…
      So what if…books 3-5 are something else? About maybe just the dragons, or around other characters or around Vi’s dad before he died etc etc The options are endless. What I’m saying is, we had this done before with From Blood and Ash Series and even to a good extend Acotar right? So who’s to say that it’s 5 books just around Vi/Xaden and the main characters we know and love RIGHT NOW.

  6. I completely agree with this! I think he reads her mind every chance he gets and he trusts in their childhood friendship bond to let her believe he’s just ‘being Dain the worrywort’.

    After Violet gets her powers and kills Jack, Dain is holding her and cups her face which means he definitely saw her stop time to save Liam through her memories. When I first read this, I braced myself for a scene of her being outed for it and leadership storming the Vale for all the feathertails to get that kind of power but it didn’t come. After reading the second time, I had a theory about this!

    In that scene, Dain thought Xaden didn’t know about his gift but Xaden revealed he did. Since Xaden knew about Dain’s ability and witnessed him holding Violet before he pulled her away from his nonsense about not using her gift anymore, he probably suspected Dain had taken her memory. Imogen can remove recent memories and Xaden must have sent her to remove that specific memory of Dain. There was no way that leadership wouldn’t make a big deal out of an ability such as stopping time because it’s never been heard of.

    I think that with big things like that where Xaden witnesses Dain’s actions, he’s helping to protect Violet by ensuring Dain doesn’t know everything. While Dain is betraying her by violating her privacy and mind, Xaden is doing what he can to give her her privacy back.

  7. After listening to this book for… 8th…maybe 9th time…maybe more… (dont judge me xD)

    I strongly suspect that Dain never read Violets memories. And yes, Xaden is probably intinnsic or whatever you spell it. And has been reading Violets mind all the time…when her scalp prickles… and THATS why i dont think Dain ever read her memories, she didnt feel it, while she always fells it with Xaden.

    About Xaden being intinnsic. A lot of small signs others have talked about here already. But apart from all tiny indications, he said to Violet that it is valuable currency to have rare signets noone knows about. And of course the strongest indication, which people mention here already is – Tairns – “dont try to read me human”.

    Oh yes, and of course at the end also, Xadens – i keep my shields up to respect her privacy but God i need to know what she is thinking.

    I think it is layed out for us obvious that Xaden reads minds. But Dain… i think author, Rebecca, is just misleading us a bit intentionally, so I dont think Dain is guilty here. Its too … you have to stretch a lot for this to be truth. And, I feel like and HOPE that the author, Rebecca, is much tidier and more structured than that.

    But damn, for Xaden to admit mindreading to Violet…. oh… those two xD drama…

    I am though open to possibilities here anyway, but the thing with Dain seems really like an intentional confusing of the reader. Will see how it actually plays out.

    Haha, by reading all the fan theories I feel like I have read a few “parrallel universes” of this book xD

    1. Excuse me…I read the book 5 times in a row. I will never judge a fellow Fourth Wing obsessed person. You are literally very welcome here.
      I am also worried that Dain NEVER read her memories…only Xaden. Which will make it very very complicated moving forward.

      1. Yeah. You know, i like how Yarros is keeping it real when it comes to relationships and feelings. And from that “real” perspective, if we look at this situation between Xaden and Violet. Well, the thing is, Violet is …still kind of young and naive. Life is terribly complicated and she doesnt know all the incredibly difficult choices Xaden must have had to make to be able to “do the right thing”. But I know the feeling of betrayal, i know broken trust. I know all too well that no matter how well you understand the reasons behind, no matter how deeply you can empathise with the situation the betrayer was in… the feelings of betrayal stay, the trust is gone.
        But (!) TIME (like – years) and getting to know each other at much deeper levels can fix it. And usually does actually fix it if both are trying and doing their best 🙂
        So realistically, i dont see much issue there despite the mind reading, ofc if we are ok with waiting through like all five books until those two are friends again 😀
        Also, it is a lot of death in this book, so I assume, when it comes to life and death, it also puts things in much.. bigger perspective. The love and fear of loosing someone suddenly makes their mistakes not so important, as long as you know that they had their reasons and never wanted to hurt you.

        I do not fully agree with Violets response though, she can be hurt and angry, but it is childish for her to not see that it is an impossible choice with all the history, that he would risk SO MANY people lives, just to not keep secrets from her. And the fact how naive she can be, actually proves that Xaden made the right choice to not tell her everything sooner. The ease she trusted him with, the ease she let him in, shows that it is way too big of a gamble to risk and tell her everything, because she might trust too much some people she shouldnt trust. Again, because she is.. i d say just young, but what I mean is, she has not gone through so much as…well, Xaden 🙂

        Dain is kind of a mystery, but if Yarros are gonna keep it real, he has his own struggles, and we will probably read about those as well. I really doubt he is gonna be made the bad guy, rather than struggling a lot with all the secrets he has to keep now suddenly, all the impossible choices he has to face. I just got one, a little interesting thought, if we look at the mental and emotional endurance, Violet is much stronger than Dain, who was so obsessed about her not surviving as a rider… 🙂 ironic…

        Thanks to anyone who read this 🙂 Thanks for a place where I can share my thoughts. And also, maybe some is gonna be a little less anxious about Xaden and Violet 🙂

        1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I love this. And you are right, Yarros is keeping it real. I do think Vi and Dain are going to have a friendship of sorts and I think there will still be a weird triangle going on. And yes for sure Violet is still young and naive.
          There are two ways I can see this book going:
          1. They will end up together and they will save the world. I mean we do want a Harry Potter kind of ending.
          2. Yarros will burn us all where Violet kills Xaden…(you’ll be the death of me), or Violet and Xaden both die. Or something so horrific to honour the beginning of the book (the following text has been faithfully transcribed etc etc)

          1. Dont you think Jessinias transcribing is just saying, since there were many people who died, we change the names. And thats it. Not that, since all of them died, i am nit gonna say the names of anyone xD idk. Am I an irreparable optimist? xD maybe I am, but that makes my life better. I am sensitive xD

          2. Sanita, I wish I were an endless optimist. I am a terrible pessimist, which honestly makes life full of anxiety. Not to mention, I think my coffee has a daily dose of cynicism. I blame it on generational trauma. 🙂 But I do honestly hope we will get a happy ending. We all need it.

  8. I just have something to add: Did anyone else notice where Dain chose to send his squad? On page 426 he says “We’re going to claim the outpost at Eltuval, the northernmost one in our assigned region, I’m not getting stuck at some coastal outpost when we know that’s not how Poromiel would choose to attack. Anyone have a problem with that?” and then on page 451-452 Xaden says ” According to the missive, if we leave now, we’re Mae it to the new location of headquarters for Fourth wing at Eltuval in time to carry out our orders for War Games, but if we leave, the trading post of Resson and its occupants will be destroyed.” I can’t help but think Dain chose Eltuval because he was aware of everything that was about to happen and it was his job to report which option Xaden chose.

    1. Uuuu, nicely noticed! I didnt pay attention to that. (Also i have just an audiobook and dont perceive so well as written)

      1. So maybe they will convince Dain to cover for them all? And get Dain the redemption arc some are advocting for?

      2. So maybe they will convince Dain to cover for them all? And get Dain the redemption arc some are advocating for?

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Hello! This site is dedicated to the Empyrean Series by Rebecca Yarros. I’ve made this place to explore the rich world of Empyrean, full of characters, theories, and places. Each post is carefully researched and updated with the newest details from the series. This site is also a great spot for discussing theories about the Empyrean Series. 🐉
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