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.
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.
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!
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[…]”.
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.
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…
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.
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)
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.
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.
- Iron Flame Theory: Thoughts about Violet’s box
- Iron Flame Theory: Parallel between Iron Flame characters and the Pantheon
- Iron Flame Theory: How come that Violet and Xaden share dreams?
- Iron Flame Theory: Bodhi is Xaden’s brother
- Predictions for Book 3 Empyrean Series
- Iron Flame Theory: Violet and Xaden are Gods
- Empyrean Series Theory: Xaden Riorson is a morally grey character.
- Iron Flame Theory: The physics of Violet’s signet (and why gravity is not her second signet)
- Iron Flame Theory: General Daramor is more important than we think
- Iron Flame Theory: Venin live forever
- Iron Flame Theory: The Isle Kingdoms’ Rift and the Unseen Alliances
- Iron Flame Theory: Are the Gods among us?
- Empyrean Series Theory: Did Liam master more signets than we initially thought?
- Iron Flame Theory: There is something off with the Sorrengail family dynamic
- Iron Flame Theory: The elixir developed by the leadership is not new
- Iron Flame Theory: We will have a new General in Book 3
- Iron Flame Theory: Smells are crucial clues (eyes too!)
- Iron Flame Theory: Tairn and Sgaeyl might have had hatchlings
- Iron Flame Theory: Why are dragons so afraid of hatchlings being discovered by humans?
- Iron Flame Theory: Varrish was venin
- Iron Flame Theory: The Barrens will be restored with Sloane’s help
- Iron Flame Theory: We will unite the continent and have a modern language
- Iron Flame Theory: Did Naolin really die saving Brennan?
- Iron Flame Questions and Answers – What do we know so far?
- Iron Flame Theory: Aaric’s blue clubtail to become Andarna’s mate
- Iron Flame Theory: Violet’s second signet
- Iron Flame Theory: Mr Sorrengail is General Venin
- Iron Flame Theories – A complete collection
- Iron Flame Theory: Andarna knows how to kill venin