Iron Flame Questions and Answers – What do we know so far?

Iron Flame Questions and Answers: What do we know so far?

Important Notice: The following content discusses key plot details from Rebecca Yarros’s popular fantasy novels “Fourth Wing” and its sequel “Iron Flame,” which was released on Nov. 7. Please be aware that this includes significant spoilers.

We are all excited to discuss Iron Flame and if you have a chance to check the Iron Flame review comments section you will see just how eager we were for this book. We’ve already put together Iron Flame theories and I will continue to add more as we go along. I’m also updating all the wiki and adding new and important characters from the new book.

So what do we know so far in Iron Flame and what questions do we have? While we don’t have all the answers, luckily, Iron Flame did manage to satisfy a lot of the questions from Fourth Wing. But as with any epic fantasy book, as Rebecca Yarros opened up the world, we now have even more questions than before.

What’s the deal with Aretia?

In Fourth Wing, we were left in quite a bit of suspense about this. Is Aretia real? How many know about it? How is in charge of it? Pretty much at the beginning of Iron Flame we learn about the Riorson House and how it looks like. We also understand that the main reason this house didn’t burn is because it was made of stone. And all you need is the heart of the city to start rebuilding from there, right? We also know that Aretia is ran by the Assembly. The issue with Aretia is that is not covered by the wards from Navarre. Luckily, we also learn that Aretia has a wardstone but no way to activate it. (cue: Enter Violet with her love for books and lost journals)

Is Xaden royalty somehow?

I mean kinda. He’s not technically the king of Tyrrendor because Tyrrendor ceased to be its own kingdom a long time ago. During the unification, it became just another province. Technically, according to Rebecca Yarros, Xaden Riorson would be the equivalent of a Duke.

How did Brennan survive?

Well, we still don’t really know. We know that Naolin sacrificed himself to mend Brennan. But how we don’t exactly know. This remains a little mystery to me. Brennan was flirting with Malek, so Naolin used his signet to somehow save him? At least according to Professor Kaori. According to Brennan we know that “Naolin was…” (ermm, please finish that sentence Brennan!) and that he didn’t fail but he sacrificed everything. Even Tairn doesn’t want to talk about him anymore. There’s more to Naolin and we didn’t find it out in Iron Flame. Maybe in Book 3.

Were Naolin and Brennan a thing?

This was a theory circulating all over the internet but we didn’t get to find out the information. As of Iron Flame, we just don’t know anything more about Naolin.

What’s up with Brennan’s rune?

Our Brennan boy is hiding something, and we need to find out what. He’s got a cool rune-shaped scar on his palm. What the hell is that? Is it to keep him from turning into something, let’s just say, unpleasant? Is it to control his urges to reach for the ground? You see where I’m going with this… Or it just a protection charm? Oh, I reckon we are going to love finding more about that rune.

What colour dragon is Andarna?

This was a bit of a rollercoaster. She was black, but with really cute sheen. We were led to believe that Andarna is going through her teenage years and she’s undergoing some serious transformations. Well, in fact, our Andarna is the star of the show and she’s a 7th breed of dragon.

What is the deal with Andarna?

We wanted to find out Andarna’s colour at the end of Fourth Wing but there was so much more to her than we initially thought. And while Andarna is a beautiful pearlescent dragon, we now have even more questions than before. Basically why did she wait 650 years to hatch? How is it possible that a dragon can wait to hatch when they want? What do you mean “she was left behind”? She had a purpose? Can she predict the future, is that part of her dragon line? She seems truly special and honestly, I hope book 3 is all about Andarna.

Does Violet and Xaden return to Basgiath?

At the end of Fourth Wing we had so many theories about how Violet will essentially have to drop out and avoid Basgiath for good. We were wrong. Violet and Xaden do eventually go back, then leave for Aretia, then go back to Basgiath. Given that is Basgiath where they are the safest given the power of the wards, we know that book 3 will continue there. And just to clarify, the author also confirmed that a lot of the action will still be in Basgiath. After all, Violet does need to graduate, right?

Is Dain really horrible?

No, Dain had his redeeming arc. To be fair, for a long while we kinda felt sorry for Dain. For someone who was just a little too gullible. But what kid wouldn’t trust their own dad, after all? He’s just a little weak right now, so it feels like he’s almost irrelevant. I have no doubt that he will play a vital role in book 3 when we will bring his dad back. I reckon Dain will play double agent for Violet and co and aim to extract information from his dad. Dain is a good guy at his very core and he learnt from his mistakes.

Was Lilith Sorrengail mean?

I mean yes, and no. Lilith was what you would call a morally grey character. She just wanted to protect her children, and she did die an honourable death. To be fair, I can’t really blame her. She worked as a General in the military. It’s a tough environment and one in which she needed to play her role to be able to ultimately protect her family. and I have this feeling, we are about to uncover a loooot more about her in book 3. I reckon Violet will discover journals and letters and learn a lot about her mum.

Did Mira know about venin?

No, she did not. And I’m really glad for it because Violet really did care so much about Mira. She always looked up to her sister, and it would have been devastating for Violet to not have at least one single “ally” in her family. Mira didn’t know about Brennan either, which again, made us like Mira a touch more. Although in a weird way, she reminded me a bit too much of Dain. Follow rules, don’t question anything. I personally don’t love these types of characters, but hey, I understand the need for them.

What’s Violet’s second signet?

First of all, Rebecca Yarros confirmed that Violet’s signet did manifest and all the clues we need are in Iron Flame. Now, I read the book three times already and I’m still struggling to tell you for sure if it’s one or another. I have a whole dedicated article about it, so please check it out and let me know your thoughts. But basically, we need to ask who is Violet at her core and what does she need? Basically, is she a dream walker? An inntinnsic? Can she talk to the dead? Is she a soul mender?

When is book 3 out?

This is not great news, though. Book 3 will be out at the end of 2024. Do we hate that we need to wait for so long? Yeah, because we need answers NOW. But we want Rebecca Yarros to take a break, not rush and do an amazing job. We will support her and cheer for her to find the perfect life/work balance. As a creative, I know how difficult it is to not put work first. So Rebecca, we cannot wait, thank you for making this series so awesome!

Why did Mr Sorrengail teach the kids poisons?

Mira tells us herself that it was their dad who spent time teaching them. “Poisons,” she answers, flicking another dagger at the target. “Never had the aptitude for them like you and Brennan. Or maybe it’s just that I could never sit still long enough to listen to Dad’s lessons.

Do we have the titles for the remaining books?

Nope. Rebecca herself said that the titles come to her as she writes the books. So sadly, we won’t know for a while. But I reckon it will have to do either with Violet’s second signet, Andarna or Xaden’s lost soul…Oh gosh, I’m getting goosebumps already!

Are Xaden and Violet still together?

Of course, they are. We knew it will be a bit of a push and pull in their relationship, but yes, they are very much together. Even more beautifully, Violet did see that Xaden was turning venin. It was very clear that she saw it after raising the wards. And yet, he still slept in the same bed as her. So yeah, very much together, thought I expect a lot of commotion in their relationship in the following book.

Xaden’s second signet?

Xaden is an inntinnsic. I called it in a previous theory, and I’m so happy about it. I think it’s really cool that he admitted it to Violet even though, obviously, he didn’t want to. I wonder how this will be beneficial when fighting venin. I think it will be an excellent signet that will help them both.

Not all marked ones have signets?

No, sadly that’s not the case. I did theorise that the reason why Xaden has a second signet is maybe because all marked ones do. I imagined that potentially Codagh is somehow channelling to them all or something similar. Well, turns out this had nothing to do with the marked ones. Xaden got a second signet because Sgaeyl bonded a direct descendent. She was previously bonded to Xaden’s grandfather. Hmmm…I wonder why no other dragon objected to this. But Sgaeyl is known to kinda make her own rules right?

Why does Violet seem to have changed?

I suppose because she is a 21 year old young adult who just discovered that the world as she knew it was not real, everyone kept secrets from her, her friend died in front of her eyes, she was subjected to a lot of trauma very fast, her best friend potentially sent her to die, and her lover also lied and potentially manipulated her. Even her dragons lied to her by omission. That is…a lot, by any standards. I mean, to keep the character realistic, it’s only fair that Violet seemed, weaker, more insecure and even jealous. Given the circumstances, she did exceptionally well.

What about the temperatures?

Something I picked up on. The moment the dragons established hatchling grounds in Aretia, the temperature started going up. I wonder why is that? Even Rebecca Yarros confirmed this is a thing. If this is a thing, then we can expect that there is more to the story. Now, why would that be relevant?

What do air wielders have to do with venin?

The truth is, I don’t know. But on page 153, Ridoc does say “And when he walked out of that secretive room he’s got with Varrish in the back of the infirmary, he was with an air wielder who looked just as haggard[…]”.

Why would Nolon and Varrish need an air wielder for Jack?

When did Jack Barlowe turn venin?

Firstly, let’s clarify one matter. We all rejoiced when the villain met his demise, exclaiming triumphantly, “Yes, Barlow beneath the mountain!” However, there was an unusual occurrence during the War Games. This might reflect my naivety, but were dragons permitted to unleash fire and attempt to slay other cadets? My understanding is that dragons may engage in lethal combat with other dragons in self-defence or in defence of their riders. Yet, it’s apparent that dragons typically do not incinerate bonded cadets, only those without bonds. Therefore, it seemed evident that Jack Barlowe must have manipulated Baide in such a manner that he launched an attack on Liam, Violet, and their dragons.

Well Jack does tell us that he reached for the ground the moment he saw that Tairn picked Violet. And yes, during their fight on the mat, Jack was full on venin. Lucky for those oranges, I guess.

Is Varrish venin?

This one is a bit tricky. Varrish does seem to be able to control Solas sometimes, right? He said so himself. I personally do think Varrish is venin, aiding Jack Barlowe on his quest. And the fact that he is such good friends with Colonel Aetos who is sending venin to kill Violet and others, is even more reason that Varrish is either venin himself or working very closely with venin.

In an interview, Rebecca Yarros did mention that venin does maintain their connection with their dragons.

Why did Andarna turn to scorpion tail?

Apparently, dragons develop their tail based on necessity. I did think she will become something different to Tairn, but I didn’t realise she will go for scorpion tail. However, Rebecca herself explained that this was because Violet was almost killed by a poisoned dagger. Obviously, Andarna needed this very tool to protect her own rider in the future. It makes perfect sense. And it’s actually quite poetic.

Is Iron Flame spicy?

Oh, you’re cheeky, of course you’d want to know. Yes, Iron Flame is still spicy. The spice is good, very vivid. But, you know, with all the tension in the Fourth Wing, we were blessed with so much spice that it caught us off guard. We expected it in Iron Flame, so it wasn’t as much of a surprise, but still fantastic. Violet and Xaden in bed, forever, right? (Or in that throne room… or that bathroom…)

Anyway, yes, there’s spice and it’s fun. But I promise, Iron Flame isn’t just about that. The storyline, the adventure, the happenings, they all take priority.

What is the story with all the griffin fliers?

I don’t think I expected us to learn so much about griffin fliers. But it was a nice surprise. We now know that Poromiel is much better than Navarre when it comes to bonds between fliers and their griffins. There are basically no deaths, no parapets, no roasting people for run.

We also learn quite a lot about the griffin’s abilities. Their limitations, for example, but also their fierce loyalty. It’s impressive that they die with their flier no matter what. It’s sad, but it makes it for a more authentic bond.

And of course, we get introduced to plenty of fliers. Including the delightful Cat.

Is Xaden a morally grey character?

Oh, I bet you didn’t see this coming. But actually, I think Xaden’s not a hero. He’s all about doing what’s right, but it always seems to be what’s right for him. Sure, he comes off as kind to Violet, always saying he’s only got a smidge of decency, and that’s all for her.

Xaden could’ve sacrificed himself, or even Violet, instead of turning venin. But he said he’d do anything to protect her, right? So, he made this bold, pretty awful choice. We’re quick to slam Lilith Sorrengail for her dire choices to protect her kids, but isn’t Xaden just the same? He turned venin for Violet, to keep her safe. I know, I know, you might not agree. But I reckon Xaden would do anything that suits him best. After all, he’s only ever answered questions with half-truths and twisted circumstances to his benefit. Our shadow daddy might just scrape into the morally grey character list. And hey, this isn’t me saying he isn’t hot, or that we don’t love him. Just to be clear. After all, we’re not attracted to toxic men, yet here we are getting all attracted…

Why did Violet hallucinate of Liam?

Tricky one. Some think it’s because that was Violet manifesting her second signet. I think it’s because she needed closure. Also Liam was her protector and a good friend. What better person to be there with her and for her.

She was under the effect of that elixir when in the chambers, so technically she didn’t have access to her dragons or her signet. But then again, who knows…

Will there be royal politics?

Oh I reckon book 3 will spoil us with so much politics. We will find out more information on Haddan, the King will learn that Cam (Aaric) is now a rider. We will definitely have to add some new treaties between Navarre and Tyrrendor.

I, personally, reckon we will introduce the Isles now and learn more about them. It’s even possible that we will forge all sorts of new connections between Syrenna or Cat and the Navarrian royal family. It was a cute college romance book but I think we’re about to turn fully political here.

Did General Sorrengail really died?

Argh, really, really tricky. Maybe? Maybe not? I do have a theory that he might be the General Venin. But the more I read the book the more I doubt the theory myself. What if the General Venin was Xaden’s dad or grandad, or someone from his family line?

The point is, we don’t know for sure. We can only assume at this point. Iron Flame didn’t give us more info on the dad.

Is there a process of becoming venin?

We don’t know much about venin at the moment. We’re still learning a lot. We only just found out that there are types of wyvern. That there are types of venin too. So yeah, there are stages to becoming venin. And we also know that Lilith Sorrengail asked Nolon to look into it…and as of right now, we know there is only control. We also know that Nolon has tried to mend Jack’s soul for months, with no success. (Which is why I think that’s Violet’s second signet)

So right now, Xaden is right at the beginning. Will he give in? Will he take from Violet in a moment of intimacy when he’s losing control? Oh I can so see this going sideways very, very fast.

What’s the deal with all those dreams?

Well Rebecca was very cheeky and led us astray. We don’t know much about them. Were they the same dreams? We don’t know. Were they just Xaden’s dreams? Could Violet predict the future? Is that her second signet?

Unfortunately, we have more questions than answers. The more I read the book, the more puzzled I get with those dreams. I will figure it out!

How come that Andarna’s fire can kill dark wielders?

We know from Fourth Wing, from the Battle of Resson that when Tairn tried to kill them with fire, nothing really happened. Noted, dragon fire doesn’t kill them. But how come that Andarna’s fire did kill a dark wielder at the end of Iron Flame? Again, it feels like she’s a lot more powerful and special than we initially thought.

Will we get the continent to unite?

I reckon eventually, there will be no other choice if they are to defeat venin. Although I think there will be a lot of political tension and a lot of backstabbings and you know how it is when royals are trying to “unite”. But maybe we will do a “Habsburg” and we will just create lots of engagements and marriages for power. In which case, this interesting fan theory about Aaric might become a reality for the following books.

Conclusion

In conclusion, as we eagerly delve into Rebecca Yarros’s mesmerising world of Iron Flame, we are left with lots of mysteries and curiosities. Essentially, while we got so many answers, we are left with a lot more questions than before.

From the mysterious survival of Brennan, and the evolving story of Andarna, every element adds depth to this enthralling saga. The complex relationships, political intrigues, and evolving character arcs, especially those of Violet and Xaden, keep us thoroughly engaged (and obsessed). The revelation of new signets and the continued exploration of the richly crafted world only heighten our anticipation for the next instalment.

Now, it’s over to you, fellow theorists! What are your thoughts on these lingering questions and theories? Do you have your own insights or predictions for the next book? Perhaps you’ve picked up on subtle clues that others might have missed, or you have theories about the future of our beloved characters and the world they inhabit. Share your thoughts, add your questions, and join in the discussion.

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22 responses to “Iron Flame Questions and Answers – What do we know so far?”

  1. I hadn’t really thought about Xaden as morally gray, but it makes complete sense. He’s not going to be the one to save the world. Yarros said that herself in I think the Variety interview. He’ll do anything for those he loves – really similar to General Sorrengail for her children. Perhaps he ends up helping to save the world, but that is only because he’ll do anything for Violet. She’s going to be the heroine here, whether she’s alive or not in the end.

    I want to know what Garrick’s signet is. We found out Bodhi’s signet, but don’t know Garrick’s yet. There’s no way someone other than Xaden/Garrick/Bodhi/Imogen doesn’t know that he has one. He’d be dead otherwise since War Games is basically the deadline to manifest or the power burns you up and you die. Plus, Yarros writes everything the way she does for a reason. If we don’t know it yet, there’s a reason, and it’s going to be very useful in a future book. We do know his dragon is very sensitive to runes, so that I’m sure will come into play somewhere.

    There hasn’t been a distance wielder in a very very long time. Maybe that’s Garrick’s signet? Or maybe that will be Aaric’s?

    Xaden and Violet mention gravity at least twice, maybe three times in the book. Gravity isn’t actually energy, but if Violet’s second signet has something to do with that, or even if it’s just a reference to staying grounded, maybe it comes into play at the end. I have this picture in my head of Violet in the final battle on Tairn’s back mastering all these abilities she’s been given and needing to stay grounded to not burn out, and slowing time so she can bring lighting from the sky and the ground simultaneously and knock out all the Venin and Wyvern in one big explosive action to save the world and in the process she has to accept the fact she’s going to kill someone (maybe multiple someones) that she loves.

    1. I do think so too. It would make sense. I’m honestly not sure if they will still be alive by the end of the series. Something tells me we won’t be getting that super happy ending we all want.
      I do wonder why didn’t we learn already about Garrick’s signet. Is it so WOW that we needed to wait? Or was it not relevant yet? What is the purpose for keeping us in the dark. Having said all that, it’s pretty exciting when you learn something new, some Bodhi’s signet which is pretty terrifying.
      Aaric will def be the distance wielder. I can see it happening. Garrick has had his for years and I have no doubt that Xaden already knows it. (so he wouldn’t have made that comment, that there haven’t been any in a very long time)
      Xaden is Violet’s gravity as well which is a strange and interesting thing to point out. Much like Violet is “the death of Xaden”. I do think these pieces of the puzzle will come together.

      “I have this picture in my head of Violet in the final battle on Tairn’s back mastering all these abilities she’s been given and needing to stay grounded to not burn out, and slowing time so she can bring lighting from the sky and the ground simultaneously and knock out all the Venin and Wyvern in one big explosive action to save the world and in the process she has to accept the fact she’s going to kill someone (maybe multiple someones) that she loves”
      Sounds like a very epic finale to be fair. And one we’re kinda yearning for.

  2. Cory, great work with all the info about Iron Flame and The Empyrean. There’s something that’s been bugging me all the while I was reading Iron Flame. We know that the books are written after the events descibed in them, because we have this passage at the beginning – “The following text has been faithfully transcribee from Navarrian into the modern language by Jesisia Neilwart”. So, Jesinia is quoted as the Curator of the Scribe Quadrant and right now she is in her second year in the Scribe Quadrant. Clearly she’s been raised to Curator. Why then, everytime there was a piece ot correspondace between Violet and Xaden quoted at the beginning of a chapter, they were only qouted as Cadet Sorrengail and Lieutenant Riorson? Apperantly enough time has passed for Jesinia to become a curator. How come Violet and Xaden did not rank up? Is it because they dropped of Basgiah or something or is it because their souls have been comended to Malek and they’re among “those fаllen”? It might be noting, but I’m just curious what you think. I’m not familiar with RY writting style, but I’ve gathered she doesn’t write unnecessary things, so everything could be a clue. And, please, excuse my english, it’s not my native language.

    1. Hi Rali, so what you’re saying is that these books have been written after the events in Navarrian, then translated by Jesinnia into modern language? Right?
      I believe Jesinia’s current job was mentioned at the beginning because she is the one who translates it NOW. However, to keep the timeline accurate, they put the correspondence between cadet and lieutenant because those were their titles when the correspondence was sent (“back then”). Also if you pay attention to the very end, you will see the missive sent to General Sorrengail from lieutenant colonel Nolon Colbersy. But Nolon is a full colonel (so higher rank) in Iron Flame. I think it’s just bits and pieces from the past, kept with their rank and titles as and when the correspondence was sent to give us a more accurate understanding of the timeline.
      So I wouldn’t be surprised in say, book 5, Violet and Xaden will both be different ranks and we will have “recovered correspondence between Lieutenant and Captain” for example.

  3. What if Xaden’s grandfather is the the venin General and he tried to turn his son Fehn, who said no, and led the rebellion to try and stop him. Segayl who can be manipulated by the venin (The General and previous rider), bonds Xaden in order to give him a second signet, making him more powerful than any other rider. We still don’t know how she was able to bond a direct relative. Once Xaden becomes this most powerful rider, they try and turn him in order to take over..

    1. It’s very possible! There are speculations indeed that venin General is the grandaddy. Which would explain why Xaden knew he was the one wanted. It would also explain why Sgaeyl said “I chose you”. Because indeed she has other plans.

  4. Hi Cory,

    There’s a character mentioned in Iron Flame, but in one of the dreams of Violet, in Chapter 22, the venin said, “I’ve waited for centuries for someone with your power.”

    Chapter 1:
    “The region of the Barrens—the dry, desert-covered peninsula in the southeast that all dragonkind abandoned after General Daramor ruined the land during the Great War—is completely painted in crimson.”

    Chapter 16:
    “The complex interpersonal relationships of the First Six, and even a little of their battle experience during the Great War, it simply labels the enemy as General Daramor and our allies as the isle kingdoms.”

    And General Daramor is never mentioned again.

    So, maybe General Daramor is the Venin leader—could even be Violet’s dad based on your theory about him being the general of the venin.

    Do you think venin are immortal or that they could live for lots of centuries?

    ________________________

    I have this other theory that Markham is part of the venin party or Colonel Aetos’s move. This is from the same chapter in Violet’s dream:

    “So disappointing”, he lectures, as if he’s my Sage and not the teacher of the dark wielder I killed on Tairn’s back. “All of that power at your fingertips, and yet you insist on fleeing over and over, using the same failed tactics, and expecting what?” He tilts his head to the side. “To escape?”

    “Fuck you.”
    “Death it is.” He looks so… disappointed as he lowers his hand.

    And this FW Chapter 5:
    “There’s no approving smile when the colonel’s weary eyes find mine, only a sigh that fills my chest with heavy sorrow when I hear it. I was supposed to be his star pupil in the Scribe Quadrant, his crowning achievement before he retires. […], rubbing the bridge of his bulbous nose after finally tearing his disappointed gaze from mine.”

    In FW Chapter 18,
    “Cadet Sorrengail here was my prized student until the Riders Quadrant stole her away.” His gaze meets mine under his hood. “I had hopes she would return, but alas, she bonded to not one but two dragons.”

    In FW Chapter 19, this is the typical quote before the chapter:
    “In response to the Great War, dragons claimed the western lands and gryphons the central ones, abandoning the Barrens and the memory of General Daramor, who nearly destroyed the Continent with his army. […]” —Navarre, an unedited history by Colonel Lewis Markham.

    In FW Chapter 28,
    “Markham looks at me with more than his fair share of disapproval.”

    In FW Chapter 34, in the big quote talking about Resson,
    ” […] has changed hands no less than eleven times in what become a never-ending war to secure our borders from our power-hungry enemies.” (talking about Gryphons and Poromiel) —Navarre, an unedited history by Colonel Lewis Markham.

    In IF Chapter 25, before Jark Barlowe reappeared:
    “The insult is delivered in unemotional monotone. Suddenly, I feel fifteen again, my self-worth determined by this man’s opinion of my intellect and control.”
    “Damn, that’s harsh…”, by Ridoc.
    “That’s Markham, you think only riders can be vicious?”

    [Based on Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word vicious could mean ‘marked by violence or ferocity’, ‘impure’, ‘malicious, spiteful’.]

    “He looks us like we’re children.” “Clever. He’s so fucking clever.”

    And in IF Chapter 36, Lilith said to Violet:
    “Markham saw you as his protégé, the next head of the scribes, the only applicant he thought smart enough, clever enough to continue weaving the complicated blindfold chosen for us hundreds of years ago. He made the mistake of thinking you’d be easy to control, but I know my daughter.”

    Brennan then takes “Markham’s position” in Brief in Chapter 38. I know there’s also a theory related to the fable of the 3 brothers—the rider, the flier and the venin—and that someone said that Brennan could be venin.

    —————-

    Fourth Wing Chapter 37 quote:
    “But it was the 3rd brother, who commanded the sky to surrender its greatest power, who finally vanquished his jealous sibling at a great and terrible price.” —The Origin, The Fables of The Barren.

    So the commander of the skies (Violet) killed his jealous venin sibling. (Brennan?)

    —————-

    And in IF Chapter 56, Brennan said to Violet:
    “I’m really impressed, Violet.”
    “Thanks. Dad taught me well, and Markham picked up where he left off.”
    “Bet you disappointed the hell out of him when you stayed in the Riders Quadrant.”
    “I’m definitely his biggest failure.”
    “But Dad’s biggest success.”

    [Reminder: Venin acts like a hive.]

    What if Markham killed Violet’s dad little by little?

    He was near of him, and Aetos and Varrish also knew about his unfinished investigation about feathertails and the 2nd Krovlan Upring [Note: Feathertails doens’t leave the Vale, the very center of Navarre because they’re kids. And Krovlan is in the border.]

    Maybe he found something more about the hatching grounds—something capable of stopping venin, the soul corruption—something that could now be in the serum in a small amount. Maybe Markham killed him. Knowledge is power.

    Finally, in IF Chapter 33, when they’re stealing the journals,
    “Healers, infantry, or even scribes could be General of the Armies until about two hundred years ago with the second Krovlan uprising. After that, the commander of the riders commanded all Navarre’s forces.”
    Imogen then said, “…no rider has ever been named king.”

    _______________________

    If knowledge is power, then it could mean that neither King Tauri, nor Melgren—the commander of the riders—is the most powerful human on the Continent, but the Head of the Scribes of the most complete library, the Archives: Lewis Markham.

    It’s said that Navarre cut communication with the isle kingdoms, and Navarrians are not welcomed there. Why? They were allies. Maybe someone likes to maintain the distance because the 7th breed of dragons resides there. Note that Andarna has killing-venin-fire. Now, gryphons and dragons are working together for the first time in centuries. Divide and conquer?

    ——————-

    A quote of Warrick, one of the Six, in IF Chapter 56:
    “It was never our continent. From the very beginning, it was theirs, and we were simply allowed to live there.”

    Maybe the real root of the problem is Dragonkid (and Gryphonkind) vs Mankind, a fight of power for the land in Navarre. The sibling dragon rider supported the dragons and respected them; the sibling gryphon flier supported the ideal with the gryphons; and then the other sibling did his thing. After the years, he divided the rider and the flier and made them enemies.

    ________________

    Random thing that I found.
    King Tauri is known as The Wise. (FW Chapter 31 quote.)

    ——————-

    Why would Brennan be jealous of their siblings?
    He said like two or three times that her mother sent him to die. “I hope my death haunts her every damned day. She was so willing to sacrifice my life for a lie.”

    Brennan is strategic.

    Mira is a gifted rider.
    —In IF Chapter 39, she said to Brennan, “The only family in this room is Violet and me”. Then she said to Ulises, “Wouldn’t be the first time I broke his nose.”
    —In IF Chapter 40, “I’ve always been better than you with a sword, anyway. I’ll bring Violet home without a scratch.”

    Violet was born to be a rider (the karma of the venin, who probably tried to drain Lilith when she was pregnant), and I believe she was the favorite of both parents.
    —She’s the youngest one.
    —More tenacious than Lilith (anecdote of the squash in Ch 39).
    —Kaori said that she was smarter than both their siblings.
    —The one who spent more time with his dad, preparing to become a scribe.
    —Lilith: “You’re all that’s left of him.”
    —Lilith talked to Violet directly in her last words, not to Brennan, “Everything was to get you to this moment, when you’d be strong enough—” “You’re everything we dreamed you would be.” (then she remembers Brennan when she sees him) “All three of you.”

    “”What did you do?” Mira yells again, the full force of her wrath turned on Brennan.”

    [And yeah, Lilith sent her probably to die to the rider’s quadrant, but she was going to die in the scribe’s, and she sent her with protection—Xaden.]

    1. Let’s dive right in, Diana.
      General Daramor -> he seems ancient, right? The Great Wars happened a long long time ago. Either he’s the general venin still, in which case how can venin live for so long? That would be insane. But that also meant there is more to the story. Like did he wait for centuries the same way Andarna waited for centuries?

      -> for the dreams. This is literally the paragraph that throws me off. Because on one level, it feels like she is dream walking in Xaden’s dreams, right? But why would the General want someone with shadows? When clearly the General wants someone with her power to command the skies. Which means those are not shared dreams.

      -> Chapter 16:
      “The complex interpersonal relationships of the First Six, and even a little of their battle experience during the Great War, it simply labels the enemy as General Daramor and our allies as the isle kingdoms.”
      Ok, so could it be that he is “their general” somehow? Nothing is mentioned in passing for no reason in these books. He is relevant somehow.

      ________________________

      So you know those dreams when indeed the venin looks so disappointed? It feels familiar. Almost intimate. He’s not angry and furious and vicious. He’s disappointed. Isn’t that what we feel when we…disappoint our parents? It feels more than just a rando venin raging dude that just wants her power. He feels “close” to her.

      Markham + Colonel Aetos + Varrish for sure. These are def part of the venin ring.

      And it’s odd, isnt’t it? I picked up on that too, the relation between Markham and the venin. The scribe was so so disappointed, much like the venin in her dreams. And then there is a looot of disappointment following up. In FW, in IF. She’s figuring him out but I think there is more to it. This is mentioned too many times, but I can’t tell WHY.

      —-

      Unedited history by Colonel Lewis Markham -> makes me feel like General Daramor was somehow NOT a bad guy.

      —-

      Yes, it feels like the “3rd brother” which is Violet, as she is the 3rd and youngest child, can commend the skies. Much like it happened back then. History repeating itself? Is Brennan jealous? Will he be?
      Or, is it actually possible that Brennan and Mira are not her siblings. But two other people are?
      Brennan seems to care deeply for Violet. He wants to mend her and make her better. He doesn’t seem jealous (right now). But he’s also not very…attached to her. I don’t know why I feel this.

      “vanquished his jealous sibling at a great and terrible price” -> hmmm great and terrible price? What was it and why?

      —–

      And in IF Chapter 56, Brennan said to Violet:
      “I’m really impressed, Violet.”
      “Thanks. Dad taught me well, and Markham picked up where he left off.”
      “Bet you disappointed the hell out of him when you stayed in the Riders Quadrant.”
      “I’m definitely his biggest failure.”
      “But Dad’s biggest success.”

      Again, it points out that idea of disappointment, right? But then Brennan did say, Dad’s biggest success. As if dad couldn’t be venin, and disappointed in her.

      ——

      What if Markham killed Violet’s dad little by little? -> Now that, I can believe 100%.

      He was near of him, and Aetos and Varrish also knew about his unfinished investigation about feathertails and the 2nd Krovlan Upring [Note: Feathertails doens’t leave the Vale, the very center of Navarre because they’re kids. And Krovlan is in the border.]

      -> Ha, did you hack my notes? I’m literally writing about this on the back of Iron Flame. I have the same notes. Krovlan is far from the vale, why would he have notes about feathertails because 1) nobody would have access to them/know about them 2) feathertails would never leave the vale, especially to be so damn close to the border and near the end of the protective wards.

      —–

      Finally, in IF Chapter 33, when they’re stealing the journals -> Please take note that she said “even scribes”. I honestly think that part is crucial and will come in handy. Because, as far as we know, General Daramor might have been a scribe. And again, let’s note the second Krovlan uprising. That piece of history will be crucial for us. And I think we will need Dain to help translate original books.

      Imogen then said, “…no rider has ever been named king.” -> To which Violet said “that’s not entirely true”. So again, we must ask ourselves, what piece of the puzzle are we missing here? I think that will be very important, especially for Aaric’s ARC.

      _______________________

      Lewis Markham is the most powerful…for now. But then, by this logic, could Markham BE general venin? Or have a strong relation with? Because all things point to it, right? Like, the disappointment in the dreams/real life. The fact that scribes could have been Generals before. Coincidence? Is Markham leading some sort of venin uprising against Navarre and trying to rip it apart bit by bit? From the inside?

      I believe we will introduce the isle kingdoms very soon. In Book 3. And we will learn more about Andarna’s family and line. Because I believe they left Andarna behind and they are still somehow on the isles. And yes, something really terrible happened, that allies became foes. Also for dragons to keep away from gryphons it feels odd. They were fighting together, right?

      ——————-

      A quote of Warrick, one of the Six, in IF Chapter 56:
      “It was never our continent. From the very beginning, it was theirs, and we were simply allowed to live there.” -> I saw that and thought…hmmm are dragons hiding a lot more?

      ________________

      King Tauri is known as The Wise. -> thanks, will add this to his wiki. I’m updating all wikis.

      ——————-

      -> This would answer my question before. Why would Brennan be jealous of their siblings? Because once we figure it out, we understand a little bit more about the sibling issues and why Violet would kill Brennan (eventually)
      Surely we cannot think that the jealous would be so trivial as family drama. But then, that’s normally the case in just about every great book. Because villains are usually fuelled by their own “demons”.

      Always a pleasure to read your comments. They make my day, thank you. Your attention to detail is wonderful! It feels like we’re researching and analysing for a PHD.

      1. Something that I think a lot, it’s the phrase of Andarna in Fourth Wing. “Nature likes all things in balance.”

        And Brennan should be dead in terms of nature’s rules.

        According to the theory of Lilith being drained by a venin when she was still pregnant with Violet, she lost her colors and her strength thanks to that “fever.” Now Violet is the commander of the skies, the one who could end them. She’ll take back the colors and strength of venin.

        I think Brennan will eventually have his villain arc; her mom is dead now, Mira seemed to blamed him with the “What did you do?”

        What if Naolin appears as a venin, and he decides to go with him? What if a venin uses a signet similar to Quinn, who can astral project and pretend to be another person or even two, and tries to lure him by pretending to be Naolin?

        If Naolin turned venin, even for just a minute, the hive had access to his mind enough to see his memories.

        I believe Brennan will die according to nature’s rules.

  5. Can someone explain the ending where Xaden wakes up and goes to the cell where Barlow is staying—will Xaden be locked up once they find out about him? Can he hide it from everyone? Can you remind me what the antidote/serum that he does do? Does it mend him or does it hide the red eyes? Thank you! New RY reader and just finished FW and IF within a 10 days! Thank you 😊

    1. Hi Andrea, great to have you here.
      Xaden wakes up in Violet’s bed, in Basgiath War College. He’s in the process of turning venin but not quite venin yet. The cells are at the bottom of the college where they keep Jack prisoner. They know he is venin so he is there until futher notice. The elixir cuts off all connection between riders and dragon but we don’t know more than that. We assume that the elixir also keeps venin in check. Potentially removing the red eyes temporarily too. The elixir doesn’t mend him. I believe it just keeps the “hunger” at bay. I hope this helps 😀 Did you enjoy the books?

  6. I had trouble finding our is Mr. Sorrengail all three sorrengail siblings dad conversation so am putting this here. On my second read through IF I noticed when General Sorrengail tells violet she’s all that’s left of her father, Violet then thinks “But I’m not. Mira has his laugh, his warmth, and Brennan . . .She doesn’t know about Brennan”. What if Violet and Brennan are full siblings and Mira is the one that’s a half sibling with different father. In which case, is she Melgren’s? Aetos’s? Someone else’s we haven’t met yet? Just struck me as odd since General Sorrengail is well aware Mira is alive. Is there anywhere in either book that any of Mira’s physical traits (Brennan has his nose, etc.) are mentioned as being the same as Mr. Sorrengail’s?

    1. That could explain how in the three siblings situation, Mira would belong with the gryphons in a weird kinda way. I see what you mean tho. I also thought that maybe Mr Sorrengail wasn’t their dad, just Violet’s. But I remember all the resemblance. As you said yourself! Brennan’s nose. And yes, very good observation, Mira has this laugh but not his physical features. Interesting indeed.

      1. On my re-read I may have found how Mira will eventually relate to the Gryphons. When Cat and Syrena are escorting Mira and Violet to dinner in Cordyn, Mira says to Syrena “I hear you have an older brother” and Syrena responds “You’re thinking of Drake . . .Same last name but he’s our cousin, and come to think of it, you’re just his type. He likes women who might actually kill him.” Then Mira “Too bad I don’t go for gryphon fliers.” And then Syrena “Yeah, he’d probably draw the line at a dragon rider.”

        Entirely possible this is small talk, but I doubt Drake would get a mention if we won’t see him in a later book.

        1. I found that too. I agree. I think Drake + Mira are going to be an item. Especially because “they are so different” but so similar in their wants and needs.

  7. I believe using the Air Wielders is to keep venin suspended in the air so they can’t channel power from the ground, like the chest Tecarus kept the venin Violet fought off at Cordyn.

    1. You are right. I was searching for clues yesterday. I also came across this: “Colonel Fremont—second on the left—is a very powerful air wielder,” I tell Xaden. “He can suck the air straight out of your lungs.”
      I wonder if they were also trying to do something with this when mending Jack. Sucking his soul out or something.

  8. Hi,
    I just finished the books this week and really enjoy the wiki with all the infos and theories.

    While reading and even the days after I couldn’t stop thinking about the dreams Violet had.

    It doesn’t seem like the dreams are ordinary dreams as they feel very real and violet can’t get out of them. Also I don’t think, that they are actually Xaden’s dreams because, if I remember it correctly, she had some of them when he wasn’t around, plus the venin general spoke to her directly. It seems that since Resson the venin general has a connection to Violet and talkes to her and tries to influence/manipulate her in her sleep.

    But the last chapter in Xaden’s POV got me thinking. Xaden had similar dreams the whole time and the venin general influenced or showed him that he wants Xaden and that Xaden will become venin to save Violet at some point, which is what happend, then Violets „dream“ bringing the wards down for love will eventually come true too.

    What if, in order to save Xaden and mend his soul, Violet has to bring the wards down?
    Maybe there is an item or rune or some kind of magic in order to save him that doesn’t work under the wards.

    (Sorry if I got any terms wrong. I’ve read the books in German and just getting familiar with the English ones.)

    1. Hi Maj, thank you for your comment and welcome to the community!

      It’s fun isn’t it? This is the part we’re all struggling with. Whose dreams did we see? Were they Violet’s or Xaden’s? Could it be that Violet can see the future? Or can she slip into Xaden’s mind?
      Those are the questions! And you are right…who is going to bring the wards down? I think it will have to be Xaden. I believe they were his dreams

  9. I have s theory thst Violence is venin also. In the ward room she fell from exhaustion but still had one hand on the ward stone and one on the ground to catch herself. She described the pain and burnout going away completely before her mother kicked her hand out from under her.

    1. Me too Sonya. I’ve been working on this theory for about 2 weeks now, adding to the article every single day. I do 10000% think she is venin or at least part venin. And that explains SO much in Iron Flame.

      1. I just don’t think she became venin tho 😀 So I think she was…from waaaay before.

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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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