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Iron Flame Theories – A complete collection

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Written by: Cory

Iron Flame Theories

These are speculative theories directly connected to Iron Flame, the second book in the Empyrean Series. These Iron Flame theories represent the conjectures and hypotheses crafted by me, together with other fan readers, about the narrative’s plot, characters, themes, or potential future directions. They extend beyond the explicit content of the book, grounded in the reader’s analysis of the story’s unfolding events, character actions, and various narrative aspects.

All theories will be attributed appropriately. If you have a theory, please let me know! Be aware, spoilers are included in the following content!

Let’s dive into the captivating world of Iron Flame and explore some of the most intriguing theories that have emerged among fans. These theories range from the mysterious contents of Violet’s box to the nature of the shared dreams between Violet and Xaden, and even the possibility of divine lineage among the characters.

One of my theories revolves around the parallels drawn between the characters of Iron Flame and the deities of the Pantheon. This comparison raises questions about the characters’ roles and potential hidden powers, suggesting a deeper mythological layer to the narrative. A particularly intriguing theory posits that Violet and Xaden are not mere mortals but gods. This idea opens up endless possibilities for their powers and their roles in the larger conflict at play within the series.

The shared dreams between Violet and Xaden are a source of fascination and many theories. Some believe these dreams indicate a profound connection, possibly hinting at a shared destiny or a deep, magical bond that transcends the physical realm. Could it be that this is the time to really understand Violet’s second signet? And yes, I have a whole article dedicated to Violet’s second signet with hundreds of comments from fans all around the world. Who is Violet at her very core and what is her second signet?

The nature of Violet’s signet and its relation to the series’ physics, especially its non-association with gravity, invites speculation about the true extent of her powers and the underlying magic system.

General Daramor’s importance, initially overlooked, is now being reconsidered as I suspect he might play a pivotal role in future events, possibly holding secrets critical to the series’ outcome. The theory that Venin might possess immortality raises questions about the nature of their existence and the potential for eternal adversaries in the series.

Liam’s mastery of signets is under scrutiny, and I’m theorizing that he might have more abilities than initially revealed, suggesting hidden depths to his character (and other marked ones!)

The theory about the leadership’s elixir being an ancient concoction rather than a new discovery suggests a revival of old knowledge or techniques, possibly tied to the series’ lore. Predictions for a new General in Book 3 and the emphasis on smells and eyes as crucial clues hint at upcoming changes in leadership and the importance of sensory details in uncovering secrets.

The possibility of Tairn and Sgaeyl having hatchlings could introduce new dragon characters and expand the dragon content within the series.

Naolin’s fate and whether he truly died saving Brennan is a question that tugs at the heartstrings. But is Brennan a good guy?

The idea that Andarna knows how to kill venin adds an element of hope and strategy to the ongoing conflict, suggesting that the characters might have a fighting chance against their formidable foes.

With so many theories afloat, Iron Flame continues to captivate and engage us, leaving us all eagerly awaiting the next revelations that will unfold in this enthralling series.

All my Iron Flame Theories

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102 responses to “Iron Flame Theories – A complete collection”

  1. Love the theories, one thing I do not see many people talk about is Violet and the “fever” that cause her silver hair pale skin and eyes. What if that fever wasn’t a fever, I mean it was mentioned that she is the “Generals” weakling daughter and which general are we talking? What if Vi has some Venin in her bloodline or something along those lines.
    Also what if Andarna or her species have to do something with soul mending of sorts and yes Xaden might die but be brought back, because you’ll be the death of me might break our hearts but based on all other hints I can not see her ending up with anyone else in the end.

    1. I mentioned it here -> https://www.empyreanriders.com/articles/iron-flame-theory-andarna-knows-how-to-kill-venin
      Also someone in the comments section here mentioned it too! I feel like you’re both onto something!!

      I think there is venin in her bloodline. Or she is the one who came back from it somehow!

      1. Or possibly her second signent will be something that holds the answer to this problem. I kept finding it weird that her connection to the safe was so life like, almost reminds me of Harry Potter and Voldemort. And fighting the venin is what Andarna was waiting on! Someone to be worthy or to wield this power that will be needed for wards or fighting back against the venin. He has shadows and dark magic and she is light and spark.

        1. I think Sloan helps to “cure” Xaden! Because she is a siphon and an integral part of this story, it’s almost as if Liam is looking out for Violet and Xaden even in his death since he was adamant that Violet look after his sister (not Xaden) and I think Sloan somehow helps to siphon out the excess power from Xaden (maybe to the Barrens??). I also think that in order for Naolin to save Brennan, he had to become a Venin. Violet herself says resurrection is not possible and everyone thought that Naolin failed and Brennan should have died, yet he didn’t..

          1. I think there is always a great cost for everything. I wonder how it will all work out for Sloane. But yes, I think she will be so important in Book 3!

          2. I think Aaric’s signet will be “soul mender” but he will initially refuse to save Xaden because Xaden killed Aaric’s brother, but eventually will help restore Xaden so that Sloane can use the excess stolen power to restore the Barrens.

          3. That would be impeccable drama!

    2. My spouse and I were just discussing some of this. We think that Lilith was attacked by a venin when Violet was in utero. In this attack the venin was pulling power out of Lilith which caused the leaching of color from Violet. (What happens when venin pull power from the earth? It leaches everything of its color.) This venin was intercepted before it could pull enough of Lilith’s power to kill her, likely by somebody else stabbing it with an alloy dagger. This is why both she and Violet survived but Lilith still suffered a “fever” for a time while she was recovering from the venin attack. We are thinking maybe because this happened while Violet was still in development, it gave her some kind of immunity from venin. This is why she is a uniquely powerful individual (and weapon), and therefore a huge threat to the venin. The venin are trying to turn her by getting Xaden to turn first in the hopes that she will follow. Getting her to join their cause by turning her venin would neutralize her as a threat to them.

      Also perhaps this theory could be supported by the fact that she survived that stab wound (which most of us currently assume was imbued with something unique to venin magic) long enough to get to Aretia to be healed.

      P.S super interested to know more about the mom. It feels weird that she just took off after fulfilling her agreement. Why would she have left?

      1. I am with you on this 100%. I also think Violet was in utero when Lilith was attacked. It just makes a lot of sense. That was the fever. I wonder if she now has some sort of connection with them or just as you said yourself, immunity of some sort. I think the reason why she survived the stab wound is because Andarna stopped time long enough for Violet, and in doing us, accidentally passed the gift onto her as well.
        I’m loving your household right now. I can totally imagine you both having coffee and discussing FW and IF theories. Perfection!

    3. Can someone explain the ending? I know he turns to venin, but it jumps to him seeing her in bed. Does this mean she stayed with him after finding out? Are theories that she going to stay with him even knowing? Or do you think she’ll just try to find a cure and HOPEFULLY get back with him eventually?

      1. Hi Natalia! I can help because I read an interview given by Rebecca Yarros herself.

        Question addressed to Yarros: We end the book there in that scene with Jack in Xaden’s POV, meaning we don’t get to be in Violet’s head for her reaction to Xaden becoming venin. And when we pick up in Xaden’s POV, she’s asleep next to him and we get no dialogue between them. So presumably, whatever Violet’s reaction was to seeing his red-rimmed eyes, she felt safe enough to sleep in her bed with him that night even though she knows he’s turning venin?

        Rebecca Yarros: Correct. Welcome to conflict. How do you keep a couple together and apart and together and apart for five books? Would you like some conflict? Have some conflict.

    4. Yes. And what killed off the venin 600 yes ago during the Great War? ( see Iron Flame ,page 15 , paragraph 8 )

  2. I mean, this is more of a small theory, and I guess more of a hunch than anything else. But Xaden had a scar that he got as soon as he gave Violet to Brennan to heal, taking her on as a responsibility

    What do you think the chances are that now that Xaden has gone down the path of potentially turning Venin, the assembly will be wary of him and what to do about him, and Violet will give herself a scar to claim him as her responsibility and to protect him?

    1. In fairness? I don’t think Violet will disclose this information to anyone (maybe just the other cadets like Rhi, Ridoc, Sawyer, Imogen etc) but not the Assembly. But push comes to shove, I do think Violet will take a scar for Xaden, I have 0 doubt about it!

    2. Part of me is wondering if the scar will be protective somehow or what saves xaden from either becoming full venin or allow him to come back from the edge, whether in actuality or symbolically, a reminder of who he is, what he can be, and that he loves someone and that person in turn loves him back.

  3. So I just finished binge-ing both books and wanted to discuss but some of my friends have yet to finish them! (They like to savor a good thing)

    I have some theories on signets and the metaphysics of signets.

    We are told that signets are reflections of the riders that manifest them but the other determining factors of what a signet actually can do is widely variable. My observation is basically that a lot of people are fundamentally similar and so, we shouldn’t see too much variability in signet powers. This is apparently not the case because we have: metallurgists, shadow-wielders, lightning wielders, distance-walkers, memory-manipulators, memory-readers, ice-wielders, signet-power cancellers, astral projectors, menders, warders, storm-callers, future-sight (Melgren), pulling things through walls, siphoners, the list goes on.

    My conclusion is that there must be more to determining a signet beyond “who” you fundamentally are. I think the “who” a person is grounds the “type” of signet but how that type of signet manifests depends on the circumstances of the rider and the time of manifestation.

    So, lets stereo-type. I think it is reasonable to satte that there are a large group of people where finding out answers to things is core to who they are as a person. I think this would be exemplary of a type of signet but, that style/type of signet can manifest in many ways. I think one could become a metallurgist to pick locks that are hiding secrets from you. I think one could easily become an intinnsic to find out the answers to any question. Liam’s farsight could be yet another example.

    Hiding/keeping secrets is another key element that could be foundational to a person and if your signet shrouds/deceives in any way it could be symbolic of this style of signet. Shadow-wielder is obviously what I’m drawing from here but memory-wiping is another good example of this trait.

    Mira’s signet is a manifestation of who she is at her core: a protector. Brennan’s is a manifestation of the fact he wants to fix thigns/help people. In both scenarios: the specific manifestation of their signet didn’t have to be the only way those traits manifested. So, this helps me to explain the WHY behind the seemingly infinite number of signets we see. (I didn’t talk about control as a personality type but both Bodhi and Melgren could fit into this category. Cancelling other people’s signet powers (very controlling if you ask me) Seeing the outcomes of battles lets you control an awful lot of things.

    Alright, enough about metaphysics. First, something funny I observed. Xaden’s signets are basically manifestations of the ideas: “gotta hide stuff” and “gotta know stuff.” To polar opposites but makes sense.

    For Violet: I am hoping that this theory can help SOMEONE decipher what her second signet is a manifestation of. And as a consequence maybe we can figure out how it exactly manifests. First: I want to say that her lightning wielding is a manifestation of her desire and need for knowledge. In my eyes, this is the signet that resembles her father. My argument stems from the quote “knowledge is power” and the fact that multiple times while being trained it was referenced that she wields pure power and lightning is just how that power is resembled in the world. So I got frmo lightning -> power -> knowledge is power -> scribe-stuff. So her lightning signet must be the part of her that is most like her father and her desire for knowledge.

    But her second signet? I’m trying to peel back what really drives Violet. This I am still mulling over.

    Either way. I hope this resonates with at least somebody.

    1. Daniel, this is academic essay worthy. It’s brilliantly put together.
      “Alright, enough about metaphysics. First, something funny I observed. Xaden’s signets are basically manifestations of the ideas: “gotta hide stuff” and “gotta know stuff.” To polar opposites but makes sense.” Yes, you are right! Shadow wielder and inntinnsic right? Perfect.

      About Violet. I have a counter and maybe you can help us out a little. I would have thought that lightning -> pure power -> her feeling weak and defenceless all her life. Because she was always in pain, always broken. And in the rider’s quadrant, she needed to really prove that she’s not just a weakling. Now, her desire for knowledge, her need to know it all and know the truth could lead us to believe that she’s either a type of inntinnsic or a sort of truth sayer. And it’s interesting because we do point out at the beginning of one of the chapters that being a truth sayer is a lot more dangerous and powerful than being an inntinnsic, and yet we let them live.

      1. <3

        I'm still mulling things over but my last two thoughts that carry my theory forward on Violet's signet are that, because we know it has manifested, it has to be a non-physical signet otherwise we would have noticed. Also, because I think Violet is both her mother and her father, I think the signet should somehow relate to her mother (the heart of a rider, the mind of a scribe). I am sort of a fan of the amplification signet theory but I don't know how I would relate that to her mother (if thats even a connection we would need to make)

        I was also toying with the idea that her signet could be her ability to derive truth from information but since I'm in the camp that her lightning power is a manifestation of the aspect of her pursuit of knowledge I feel her second signet should be unrelated to knowledge.

        Another piece of evidence to further my argument is that its mentioned multiple times in the book that "scribes hold all the power" which again is very closely related to her lightning/raw power wielding signet.

        1. I had a conversation with another FW and IF fan today and you are swaying us. Let’s say you are right. Knowledge is power and this is precise what her signet is. Pure power, right?
          That would mean that we’ve satisfied her desire for knowledge. So being an intinnsic or truth sayer won’t do anymore.
          Here are my other ideas about her potential signets:
          – power amplifier (she wants the people who she loves to succeed and be their best version of themselves)
          – dream walker (I’m really feeling this because it feels from parts of the book that she walked in Xaden’s dreams…)
          – time manipulator (she measures time in heartbeats all of a sudden, it’s almost like she managed to be very very fast in certain circumstanes)

          Altho I must say, I think Andarna passed her gift to stop time to Violet, it’s just that Violet hasn’t realised it yet.

          1. I would love the time stopping power. That’d be so powerful.

            I do like the amplifier signet more and more. I think the signet should be derived from her mom it’s just that we don’t know much about her mom. Somehow we know more about her dad even though he is never mentioned by name.

            Two more things. Maybe unrelated to this discussion but I have questions about how vemin die, why it’s related to the wards power, why Violet can kill them with lightning power and also it seems Andarna can kill them directly as evidenced by the last few chapters in the book. Does it mean Violets power is related to the wards somehow?

          2. For the wards -> nothing can channel within the wards. All magic but dragon magic is made impossible by the wards. I suppose it’s just old magic with runes and things. We also know that the material that powers the wards is also what is in the blades that can kill venin. Do we know why exactly that alloys destroy the venin? Not beyond the fact that we can assume it goes hand in hand with the beginning of chapter 46, on information about how power is the only thing that kills venin.
            For killing venin -> At first we learn from Tairn that lightning kills dragons as well as venin/wyvern. One bit of that lightning strike would stop any dragon’s heart, too; so they carried on based on that assumption. The only slightly confusing bit is that I would have thought venin would be amplified by Violet’s surge of pure power. So how come that it indeed kills them. But, in chapter 46 (at the very beginning) we do get this info. “the only weapon capable of killing a dark wielder is the same […] power.” Do we know why? No…we do not. I want to understand the reasoning behind it.

            I am at the last few chapters for my re-read of IF, please give me a few more hours to finish before commenting on Andarna’s ability to kill them directly.

        2. I found something:

          Page 544 (chapter 58 in case you’re on a kindle) – I am a person who needs information to centre myself.

          This is what Violet said after the whole book she said she’s so off balance.

          1. Just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this discussion you had here. For someone who has a bad Iron Flame hangover, this helped me a bit just to know I’m not the only one who can’t stop thinking about it!! Love all the theories and I’m excited to see which one pans out. I’m currently obsessed with the idea that Violet is an amplifier and will amplify Brennan’s mending power to mend Xaden’s venin/soul 😭

          2. Amplifier would be a great signet wouldn’t it? And ufff, I’m reading the book again 🙁 I just can’t stop. And I think I will now read FW again too because I will basically keep myself busy for 5 days straight, trying to find new clues.

          3. Thank you for this page! I’ve become thoroughly obsessed with this whole world now. Just finished IF yesterday and had to start re-reading FW this morning.
            On the “why does lightning kill venin” point, I just took it to work like electricity. Although maybe I shouldn’t. 😀
            Without understanding the physics behind it, I took it to be like any electrical equipment in my home that would simply fry if it received a sudden big surge of electricity. It’s why you have inbuilt kill switches on your home’s main electrical board.
            For her second signet, I’d love to get your thoughts on IF chapter 48 when Violet and Zaden are in the Assembly chamber and she reads his thoughts. Is that solely his doing and his second signet or partly because of her second signet or just their bond developing further? When I’m thinking about her second signet I keep coming back to her need for control, her need to be able to centre herself. She’s unable to wield lightning effectively without adequate control. Xaden’s challenge now in book 3 will similarly be about control. If her Mom was venin (which I’m not entirely sure about), her challenge would have also been self-control. The blurb/intro at the top of chapter 66 reinforces this for me. So how can she help him control himself, her own self? I’m leaning towards her second signet being some kind of inntinnsic mind control type ability. But it also feels off because I feel like her second signet would be different from his. RY wouldn’t write them to both be inntinsic would she?

          4. I have just the theory for you Mina -> https://www.empyreanriders.com/articles/iron-flame-theory-violet-and-xaden-are-gods/
            This explains a little more about lightening and why she has that signet. Why she is called the Silver One and potentially how her second signet plays an interesting “god like” role to her.

            Mind ability? Maybe. I think Xaden specifically showed her his mind and gave her access. Could be control, could be signet amplification. Or my personal favourite: soul mending!

          5. Sorry, one last thing, control has also been such a central theme of the book and their relationship. Violet’s mentioned on many occasions how much she loves it when Xaden looses control with her. She loves being the only one to have that effect/power over him. He mentions the difficulty several times and in IF chapter 41, when he says it to Tecarus after he kisses her: “maintaining control is nearly impossible around Violet”. The response, “so I’ve heard” makes it feel like it’s not just Xaden they’re referring to. But for him specifically, is it just because of his love for her, or is she heightening this in him through her second signet? If it’s the latter, she’ll be put right back into her previous internal struggle of whether or not his love is honest and true or born out of circumstance. Like we saw in FW where she constantly dismissed his keeping her alive to be caused by anything other than him wanting to stay alive himself.

          6. Mina, you are making want to pick up Fourth Wing again. It would be the 20th time I’m reading that book.

  4. I like the idea of violet being a truth sayer based on that quote, but nothing along those lines manifests in iron flame, and RY said it manifested. I am thinking along similar lines but the quote “heart if a rider mind of a scribe” is what sticks with me. Adarna and Lileth bith use it describe Violet. She is also the best of her mother and father.

    Her mom wields storms and she is the best of her mom by lightning wielding. Also a heart is powered by electricity.
    Her venin dad has amplified powers and senses so she can weild others powers and amplify them/since she cares for others. She is the best of them both. And doing that would be from andarna because she is also a chameleon who mimics other things. She could have been amplifying several times in iron flame.

    Another theory to be like dad would be to know future things or to have conversations with people through dreams, a sort of dream walker… although the first venin dream was before andarna woke (not sure if that matters)…however, she knew through the dream the venin was waiting for the longest night (solstice). She has a need to know things with xaden also. Knowledge centers her. A mind is powered by knowledge?

    1. Ok, so you are with me on this, you also think dad is somehow venin, right?
      I’m working on a longer theory about Violet’s potential signets and here is what I have so far based on some quotes:
      – truth sayer (but I am not sure, as Xaden never lied to her really so does she need to know the truth or does she need to know EVERYTHING)
      – inntinnsic (she seems to want to know everything, and what people think, without even having to ask)
      – power amplifier (she wants the people who she loves to succeed and be their best version of themselves)
      – dream walker (I’m really feeling this because it feels from parts of the book that she walked in Xaden’s dreams…)
      – time manipulator (she measures time in heartbeats all of a sudden, it’s almost like she managed to be very very fast all of a sudden)

      1. Her walking in Xaden’s dreams could still be a result of her being a power amplifier. Strengthening his signet to the next level of not just reading intentions but being able to project his thoughts and dreams.

        1. I do wonder if she is a signet amplifier. It’s one of my fav options. That and soul mending. Her ability to see these dreams, that is a little confusing to me.

    2. Where is it mentioned or hinted to that her Father turned venin?

      1. Not in the books really. It’s just a theory.

    3. Idk, maybe it has manifested. We see that she doesn’t ever ask the hard questions. Is this because she the answers will be true and she can’t control that. That’s why she never asks xaden the hard questions. Also why Xaden can claim he has never lied to her.

  5. Not sure where to put this thought. The whole Andarna heard the dragons talking about the weakling daughter of THEIR general. Human or dragon general? It certainly seems like Codagh is the dragon general based on the events of Threshing where he seemed to lead the Empyrean. So, is violets father and/or general venin General Melgren?! Codagh gave all the relics to the rebellion kids, which negates Melgren’s signet when more than 3 gather. Xaden says that the rebellion kids have hidden some of the abilities they have from the masses (I take it to mean more than his intinnsic ability, we don’t know garrick’s signet yet, and imogen was quick in fw to gloss over the erase minds signet). I’m assuming Codagh is the black dragon elder and he does help get the wards up in Basgiath. Has Codagh been working this whole time against his rider b/c his rider is the big bad guy? But then why have the meeting in IF at athebyne?

    1. I have this somewhere wait. https://www.empyreanriders.com/articles/iron-flame-theory-andarna-knows-how-to-kill-venin and https://www.empyreanriders.com/articles/iron-flame-theory-mr-sorrengail-is-general-venin/

      I’m talking about the same issue. Who is THEIR general? It’s not Lilith that’s for sure. And if Melgren is Violet’s dad, now that would be weird. Also, she is all that’s left of her dad, right? So it can’t be Melgren. I hope.

  6. Just wanted to ask so my brain won’t be reeling for the next year… Does Rebecca usually kill off the love interest in her books? Or just main characters but not THE main characters? She has indicated in her interviews that both Violet and Xaden romance will be in all five books, but I’m trying to prepare my heart for if it’s likely she will kill him off…

    I’m currently on my reread phase, but I can’t help but feel like Dain will sacrifice himself at some point as redemption for his wrongs. I also get the gut wrenching feeling that at some point Imogen will sacrifice herself too. I can’t wait to get through these this time around and really get into discussions!! Also, does anyone have recommendations on the best of her other books?

    1. Ufff, I think this is the big question, Lauren, isn’t it? Apparently, she is the type of author that is not shy when it comes to killing some of the main characters. In her previous books, she might have done that…a few times. But that doesn’t mean that this book will have the same fate. We have to be optimistic that we will get the ending we all deserve.
      At the same time, GOT did get a lot of talk for killing the main character we all loved. Nature does like all things in balance, after all, so maybe Violet will become too powerful, much like daenerys, or maybe Xaden would lose too much control now being venin and would need to be ended…The possibilities are endless.

      I do want this book to have a happy ending. We kinda all need it, let’s face it. But it’s fair to recognise that this is not your usual fantasy book. It is a lot wilder so there’s nothing to tell that the ending could go, well, sideways. I’m also preparing my heart for the worst case scenario but hoping for the best…

  7. Reading through comments again. If only dragon magic exists behind the wards, does that mean all magic came from dragons originally? Venin can power themselves from the ground behind the wards so does that mean the power they get from the ground was originally dragon created however many hundreds of years ago? This then does not explain the gryphons and their powers, but they are/were beyond the wards and the wards need dragons to power them. In which case are venin then channeling raw power/energy (like violets first signet) or are they channeling magic? magic is likely just another form of energy so maybe I just answered my own question. There’s mention in Iron flame that basgiath’s wardstone is over the highest concentration of magic/energy/power – whatever we’re calling it. Why is that specific location such a high concentration? Wouldn’t it make more sense for it to be in the Vale where all the dragons are? I’m guessing temperatures are so warm in I’ll call it the two Vales (Basgiath and aretia) because of the concentration of dragon power/magic.

    1. I think it’s a bit different but I’m not too sure. In Fourth Wing, Xaden tells Violet that his dad once said that if they are not careful, there will be no more magic left on the continent.
      I assume there is simply magic in the ground? And then there are gryphons and dragons who either imbued magic into the land by their presence or just were magical entities as well. And I suppose dragons and gryphons are fine together and can coexist but it’s the wards powered with that special alloys that keep every other magical being away. Plus to raise wards, they needed all dragons so something tells me that maybe some wards can be created by gryphons only too. Maybe not with iron flame, of course, but something…feathers, I don’t know.

      I think maybe the wardstone has all that special alloy? But yes, it should be the Vale, as that’s where all the dragons are currently. But before, remember that they all had their own grounds. So there was magic scattered all over the continent.
      Rebecca did say herself that the temperatures are due to dragons arriving. So Basgiath is very hot and now Aretia is becoming hotter with the arrival of new dragons.

  8. I think Liam is a god. His last name is Mairi, as in Amairi. That would make him coming back make even more sense.

    1. It could also explain why she imagined him in that torture chamber. Gosh, how much we want Liam back.

  9. I am sorry to be late to this party, but I just had time to read it.

    After reading your comments, I keep getting stuck on the part where she deciphered Xaden’s second signet. “Who you are at your core?” And “what do you NEED?” Also, being the best if both her mother and her father.

    Her lightening is pure power. At her core she is strength personified. Her mother had told her sister that she understands pain and works through it every day. Grit. Strength. And I assume it is tangential to her mother’s storm wielding. So what’s left is what does she NEED? And how that connects to her father.

    I feel like her signet will manifest with what she needs most now when it actually manifests. She needs Xaden to be fixed. Also, she mentioned several times that she hated that her power is destructive and not constructive. So my theory is that it will be a healing type power. Probably not mending cause of her brother, but something adjacent.

    Also, is anyone else interested to find out what the deal is with Xaden’s mom???

    1. Welcome to the party! Did you see this? https://www.empyreanriders.com/articles/iron-flame-theory-violets-second-signet/
      Right now, we’re thinking soul mender, iron will, gravity…I do think it’s one of them. It would reflect her at her very core. Plus I think she got the gift of slowing down/stopping time from Andarna, independent from her two signets.

    2. I am definitely interested in Xaden’s Mom and his whole family and back story in general. I’m so happy I found this site! I’m about to start my second read of both books so I’m a little behind the curve of most of you. This site has answered some questions I had and created others. I’ll be coming back often for new content.

      1. You are so welcome here. Really excited to see what theories you discover on your second re-read.

  10. Violets Second Signet Theory

    I think Violets second signet is foresight. The ability to see into the future. Here’s why.

    I did audio books so if names are spelled wrong, sorry.

    1. Xadens Dream. Multiple times she has the “Reoccurring” nightmare in which the final scene of the final chapter plays out almost exactly how her dream predicted.

    2. IIRC, every time her dream manifested, she was in bed with Xaden, actively touching him.

    3. IIRC, each dream was during Andarnas “Dreamless” sleep. (Nature likes all things in balance.)

    4. Andarna’s own abilities have already come out through Violet in Book 1.

    5. During the dreams we don’t ever actually see who is the one that the Sage/General is talking to.

    6. Dragons own power seem to manifest through their riders signets, more powerful dragons have riders with more powerful Signets. ie: Terrin and Violet, Koda and Melgren, Xaden and Sigail. Whereas less powerful dragons manifest lesser, albeit, still strong abilities.

    7. Andarna is referred to as “The One” in that one guys journal that they stole and took to Athebein, to me, implying that a dragon who is all 6 colors has only ever had one at a time.

    8. Andarna is 2 or 3 years old when she bonds violet, and she waiting 625 years to hatch, meaning she likely knew Violet would become a rider before anyone else did. Including the imperium.

    9. If Andarna is a one of a kind dragon, it would make sense that she would manifest one of the most powerful signets, relating back to point 6.

    10. We all know riders signets manifest related to their own traits, knowledge is power as the age old adage goes, and being able to see someone’s future is a lot of knowledge.

    11. Violet refers to Andarnas power as approachable as compared to Terrins power, so where Terrins ability manifests itself initially as intense lightning strikes. Andarnas ability may manifest as something more subtle. Like a dream, at least at first.

    12. Andarna plays by her own rules, clearly, but the rest of the world is just as clueless as to who she is and what she can do, that there’s no saying that she can’t manifest her own powers through her rider.

    There’s a few more reasons that I can’t think of right now, but this is what led me to that conclusion. Feel free to critique or bounce ideas.

    I originally wrote this on the IronFlame Subreddit, but I felt I might get a little more back and forth here. I wrote this theory prior to reading any other IF theories so I could go into it as unbiased as possible. Some stuff may be wrong, apologies if it is.

    1. Hi Jeck, welcome. I def think that Andarna has some sort of foresight. And all her line of dragons / her kind. You are right, she is ultra-special and what is to say that she does not channel whatever she wants rather than what Violet needs?
      That would make for a very interesting theory. The foresight is tied closely with the signet of dream walker somehow. She does seem to predict things, or at least seem them through her dreams. You did say it elegantly. It could the beginning of the signet right?

      I do think Andarna passed her gift to Violet (stopping/slowing down time). I’m starting to believe that Violet’s signet is that of willing / gravity / soul mending. If we are to stick with the conventional, Violet gets her signet based on who she is at her very core. But then we are left in the dark with the idea of the dreams. I’m still uncertain where to place them. They do seem so very relevant.
      Is she seeing the General? Is she seeing the General through Xaden’s eyes? I mean they do kinda come true at the very end. What was that all about? Was that Violet predicting the future through dreams and sharing them with Xaden too?

  11. I might have missed a thread about this somewhere, but I am convinced there is more significance with Xaden’s mother.

    There’s no way there can’t be right?? This book puts a big emphasis on family. I find it nearly impossible to believe she doesn’t have something to do with the Venin or why the general wanted Xaden so badly.

    Is there a thread on theories about Xaden’s mother??

    1. Hi Sam, right now I don’t have any, I’m afraid. But I can put something together. It feels really strange, right? She disappeared right after fulfilling her agreement. Why? Why would a mom leave her kid behind like that? Did she? We know that Fen Riorson had a sister, who had Bodhi. Is there a relation between Xaden and Bodhi more than being cousins? The author does mention over and over how similar they are. It feels too much of a coincidence for her to hammer that detail without reason 🙂

  12. Ugg thanks for the honesty on those last comments. I am absolutely terrified to see Xaden become full evil venin lord and have to be killed by Violet. That would break me. I am so hopeful they will be together happily in the end! If anyone else can support my hopes that they will be the endgame and that their romance will survive to the end, please let me know, my heart is breaking!!

    1. I have some great news. Rebecca Yarros herself said they are endgame. But the bad news is that we don’t know if that just means there will be TOGETHER forever type of thing or that they won’t have any other love interest. So there is a possibility that we will have to kill Xaden (but hopefully bring him back somehow)

  13. Hi there a small theory but in a recent relisten I noticed the poison from the dagger in FW seemed to block the connection with Tairn and Xaden as it took effect post battle. Could the poison be related to the “drink” used duri mg interrogation? Maybe a similar herb or plant? Seems like something new for these trials and perhaps they learned from controlling Jack but also from him.

    1. Hi Heather! It’s very very possible. And it’s a brilliant theory. I was looking for a bit of information actually and you just gifted it to me, thank you.
      I’m working on a theory about why General venin has a “sweet smell” on his breath. And if you remember, the antidote tastes a bit sweet. “I uncork and drink, tasting something sweet and hard to place as I drain it.”
      So it does feel to me that there is a huge correlation between the signet blocking elixir and that poison. I think both venin and leadership are using the same elixir. And the same antidote.

  14. I have a new theory. I think whatever happened in 400 AU is connected to current events. That seems to be when the manipulation of history by the scribes began. I think the leader of the venin was involved and their magic absorption has increased their life span.

    I also think military leadership is involved. In FW when Violet and Xaden are talking about “Fables of the Barren,” she mentions not being surprised if Melgren ripped off a mask and learning he is a Venin. it is said jokingly, but it stuck in my head. This happens right before she finds the hidden note from her father. I think the Sorrengail parents were aware of the corruption and did their best to set their children up to navigate it. I think Violet’s father found out a lot of information about the corruption in his research. I think the more Violet pulls on the thread of 400 AU more will fall into place.

    There are too many moments involving leadership for them not to be involved. Aetos, sending the assassin with red eyes that Violet thought was drug related, but was likely a venin. Saving Jack Barlowe and developing the serums. I am sure they passed it off as learning about their enemy, but it is also a way to weaken riders. No military wants to weaken their soldiers, so who wants them weaker? Then after the wyvern and venin invade Tyrrendor, and the attempt at the wards kind of working, the missive from Melgren immediately arrives. Then during the battle at the end Melgren keeps attempting to separate Xaden and Violet from the rest. It is said it is to protect the vale, but moving them would weaken the college and once the college was defeated, no reinforcements could help at the Vale and they could be defeated. there is just too much going on there to not think about it. there is also the possibility that the military leaders are working with the venin in an attempt to overthrow the king to take power. I am sure Melgren, Panchek, and Aetos all think they should have more power and control than they currently have and they wouldn’t be the first to be blinded in a quest for power and making foolish alliances.

    1. Hi Arah, welcome! I also thought it was weird that she made that joke. I wonder why would Melgren want them back to fight venin at the border? Do you reckon that was Melgren’s way of making sure they are nowhere near the ward stone? So basically getting them to the border as a trap?
      I agree with you. I think Mr Sorrengail found a lot of info and chances are, Markham himself started poisoning him slowly. And I think Mr Sorrengail knew about it, and taught Brennan and Violet about poisons to uncover the truth.
      I love your theory btw. I think Varrish + Colonel Aetos are def venin. But Melgren was a stretch for me. Now that you said it, I think it should be developed into a new theory here on the site because it makes a lot of sense!

      1. I can’t decide if Melgren is a Venin or just being manipulated by venin. I think one of the things that made me look at Melgren again was the leave arrangements in IF. He of all people shouldn’t want dragons in pain especially a dragon who is in his dragon’s family line. It seemed like this goal was to weaken two of the strongest dragons in the military. It made me look at him again differently.

        Markham is worth looking at more too. There is a significant amount of discussion about scribes having the power. Markham’s weapon is information and he weilds it well. I really want to know what happened in 400 AU.

        1. I’m starting to think that Markham is the big venin mastermind, actually!

      2. Hi Arah,

        I also think that we have a venin party among us.
        Surely Varrish and Aetos. The guy who killed Nadine, had red eyes and said the same quote that Aetos said to Violet.
        Solas—Varrish dragon—had opaque eyes in the cave where Andarna killed him.

        I also think that Markham is venin, I’d already talked with Cory about him being the head or the final boss. There are a lot of reasons and hints.

        —————————-(a scratch of my other comments)

        In Violet’s dreams, the Sage seems to talk to her as a disappointed mentor, something that reflects on Markham.
        —Markham became her mentor after Violet’s dad died.
        —Lilith said that Markham wanted to control her.
        —The most powerful person in Navarre, according to Violet, is the one with all the information. Not the king, not the commander of all Navarre’s forces, but the Curator of the Scribes, the man in charge of the Archives, the most complete library.
        —Violet in IF Chapter 25: “Suddenly, I feel fifteen again, my self-worth determined by this man’s opinion of my intellect and control.” “You think only riders can be vicious? Words are just as capable of eviscerating someone as a blade, and he’s a master.”
        —There’s the detail that even scribes could be the General of the Armies until two hundred years ago with the second Krovlan upring—mentioned as the subject of Violet’s dad unfinished investigation by Aetos. [He seems to have said something related to feathertails, who never leave the Vale due to the fact that they’re really hatchlings. Krovlan is on the border, so maybe it was something for the alloy that kills venin, which is made from dragon eggshells. And maybe this is the reason why he was probably killed.]

        ————————————————

        A lot of times, Markham seems disappointed in Violet.
        —Still don’t know if venin are inmortal.
        —What if Markham ends up being General Daramor? He talks about him in his introductory quote in FW Chapter 19.

        In the last six hundred years, Navarre has not been welcome again in the isle kingdoms—the supposed allies—and Trissa explains that runes were banned a couple of hundred years after the unification—why?

        —Markham also has another quote in IF Chaper 21 that justifies the blending of people, language, and culture for the goal of mutual security.

        __________________________

        But Melgrem…
        “Black dragons are the most cunning.”

        The most cunning and wise dragon is the elder of the den of black dragons—”it’s impossible to outsmart them.” It seems like Melgren and Codagh are playing chess.

        And after the Tyrrish rebellion in Aretia, Codagh created an advantage for the 107 marked ones and didn’t trust his rider with the 7th breed. He doesn’t trust him for a very good reason; maybe he knows that he’s greedy.

        “You know that no rider has ever been named king, right?” Imogen said this in IF Chapter 33.

        What if Melgrem wants to be king and control the dragons? Venin serum can control them, just like Varrish influenced Solas and Jack controlled Baide?

        1. All good points. I also cant rule out Panchek. Early on on Fourth Wing, it is stated that Panchek wants. Melgren’s job. We don’t know much about him.

          1. We don’t know much about him. Just that he’s…shady. Also he excused Violet at the recommendation of Kaori when she left without leave. I think he was purposely trying to stay on Lilith’s “good side” like a good politician he is.

  15. I’m totally on board with the idea that the “fever” is from having an attack and it somehow changes her relationship to the venin. Why else would her hair be drained of color?

    Amplification makes a lot of sense to me for her second signet, because three different times throughout the book one of her loved ones was able to do something with their signet that they were not able to do before. Mira shielded away from the wards, Rhi pulled an object through the wall, and even Xaden reverse channeled his thoughts into violet in the throne scene, which seemed confuse both of them. If we’re thinking that her two signets are related to her two parents and the lightning is from her dad (spark of knowledge, knowledge is power), then the second signet being amplification could relate to her mom because her mom was focused on protection and empowerment. Ultimately, she made the choices she did in order to empower her children to grow into their full potential, and in the end she sacrificed herself for the protection of her school and her children.

    One thing that I think is going to become pertinent in the future is that Xaden turned venin for love, not for greed or power like the others. The general made it seem as though Xaden was the first one to turn venin for love. Since we know intentions are important for him, I think that’s going to be a big part of his story as a venin.

    1. I really do see amplification as a signet for her. And this is a fantastic observation. The idea that people turn for greed is everywhere in the book. You are right, Xaden did turn for love which seems to be the opposite of greed, it’s selfless.
      In a way, I do wonder, why did General Venin insist that he turns for love then?

      1. I also think the amplification could be why she could see Xadens nightmares and thought they were her own (which I don’t think are nightmares, I think the general was actually accessing Xadens subconscious mind each time). She may have been unknowingly creating a reverse channel of xaden’s thoughts. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is an element of his signet that is discovered later… not only can he read other’s thoughts, but with more power (perhaps supplied by violet), he can implant his thoughts into the minds of others as well.

        Yes, that is a good question about the general demanding he turn for love. Maybe because the general knew Xaden wouldn’t turn for greed or power, and that the only way to get him to turn was going to be love. Though Xaden ultimately didn’t have any other choice… if he chose death, he believed it likely would have killed Sgaeyl, Tairn and Violet too. In order to keep them all alive, he sacrificed himself in the only way he could that didn’t also kill them all.

        Also, for what it’s worth, I don’t think violets dad is a venin. Why would he have spent years covertly training his children on how to fight venin only to become one? BUT I don’t believe he’s dead. I just don’t know where he is haha.

        1. Hi Morgan, I am starting to very much doubt that Mr Sorrengail is venin as well. I know I have a whole theory about it, but the more I read both books, again, the more I doubt it.
          Uffff. If I recall correctly, Rebecca Yarros did confirm that dad is actually dead. I need to find the interview and listen to it. One of the readers mentioned this in one of the comments.

          I have so many questions about General Venin. Why was there a tether to Xaden. Were they related, indeed? Was it through Sgaeyl somehow, that he was still holding on to her (like the grandad potentially?)
          I’m also having issues with the family dynamics of the Sorrengails. I posted a new theory about it. It’s mainly ramblings more than a theory. There is something that just doesn’t add up.

  16. What if the mother was the venin? Remember the passage in FW where Violet shares a memory about her mum coming home (I think from a battle?) with blood-shot eyes having her screaming and hiding? The mother finally took her fable book away for a few months after that….

    1. Yes, yes! And it was someone random who took her body away. But yes, that paragraph keeps on playing in my head.

  17. … also, this would explain why the mother sacrificed herself in IF, believing that there is no cure for her anyway. It would also explain why she was so distant towards her kids and kept them as far away as possible from herself.

    1. Yes, I totally agree. I’ve been looking at Dad Sorrengail being venin but I’m thinking Lilith actually.

      1. As I’m re-reading FW one of the very first lines we get of Lilith as she’s appraising Violet in chapter 1 really struck me: “her gaze siphons every ounce of my confidence down to the marrow in my bones.” In a way she’s taking Violet’s power. Could this be a clue to her being venin or am I just over thinking it?

        1. Not overthinking it, Mina. I think Lilith was venin. I think she was attacked or turned when she was pregnant. And she did siphoned from Violet while in her womb. And much like the stones from the river in Tecarus’ amphitheatre, she is now immune to venin drain. Because she has been drained already. Or almost so. When she came back with the bloodshot eyes? Yup, that’s a clue. The last letter in Iron Flame between her and Nolon? Yup, a clue. The sweet biscuits the cook used to make in Caldyr? Also a clue 🙂
          This is my opinion and theory only btw

          1. I love all your theories!! And it’s so much fun trying to find and shift through the clues and put them altogether.
            My initial reluctance towards Lilith being venin came from my not being able to picture a pregnant woman on the battlefield. But then I read someone mentioning that the draining could have occurred before she realised she was pregnant – and then it totally clicked for me. I’m now convinced. 😀 Or, she was helping in the experiments on the captured venin’s while pregnant and something went wrong / one escaped and attacked her?

          2. Wow this got dark really fast! Yes, a pregnant woman on the battlefield doesn’t seem right. But then again, it’s Basgiath. It doesn’t strike me as the place that gives them maternity leave 😛 And then, let’s face it, maybe it was within Basgiath that this happened. Or another place where she was stationed. She’s been stationed in many areas before as we know. What if she was attacked in an administrative building by an actual colleague turned venin (like Jack, who similarly drained Dain a little)

      2. And her motivation was saving her unborn child from the sickness that nearly killed them both. Maybe none of the healers could help her, so she turned venin to get over the fever and save Violet? It could also be an interesting play on Xaden now doing the same thing, and turning venin out of love to save her.
        It would also make sense to me because towards the end of IF somewhere, she hints that she always knew where Violet and Mira had been hiding out, something along the lines of knowing her daughters’ locations. But she protected them and didn’t reveal it to Melgren at a time when Aretia was vulnerable to attack.

        1. I honestly believe that Lilith was a super morally grey character. She did it all for her children. Especially her daughters. Was it right? Not always, but we thank her for saving Violet all this time right?

          1. Absolutely! And while I didn’t like Lilith and her treatment of her children, this part was super relatable to me – a mother doing absolutely anything to save their child. I find a lot of interesting similarities in this between her and Xaden – both prioritising their loves over the honorable / heroic thing to do. While it doesn’t make them heroes (that will be Violet’s role I guess, and I very much fear at Xaden’s expense), it does make them a better mother / lover.

            What are your thoughts on the limitations of Violet’s lightening signet? (My apologies, if you already have a theory on this and I just haven’t got to it yet!) As I’m re-reading FW, it ocurred to me that I’d been assuming that Violet can kill venin, as long as she can hit them – but do we actually know that? Or can she just kill the venin that she’s encountered and hit so far? What if, she can’t kill a maven or a sage, only initiates and asims?
            My thinking is that her ability just manifests as lighting, but is actually pure power. Lightning, like a power surge, overwhelms the weaker venins and kills them – but what if a stronger venin can absorb that power surge?
            In the same way, what if Andarna is able to kill venin because she’s not actually breathing fire – it’s just a manifestation of her pure power? And she’s a dragon, stronger, therefore releases a bigger power surge, and therefore can kill sages. But what about mavens? Maybe I’m very much reaching now. 😀 😀
            I guess I just keep trying to understand why she can kill them with fire but other dragons can’t. There has to be some difference in the quality of the fire.

          2. YES! Similarities between her and Xaden. I so agree with this. He’d watch Aretia burn for Violet, right?
            Hmmmm good question. We don’t know if she can kill a Maven. But so far she has killed every venin with her power. In Iron Flame there is a paragraph that states how fitting it is that power is the thing that kills venin. And since she is pure power….she should be able to kill them all without an issue.
            I do not like where you theory is going. It scares me so much. Now, I’m not saying you are not right, it’s just chilling. And so far, we don’t have much proof that it is or it isn’t the case. We just know:
            “It is somewhat fitting that the only weapon capable of killing a dark wielder is the same thing that drove them to soullessness…power.”

            I think Andarna will def play an important role in killing venin. It’s a feeling I’ve got. I wonder how tho. She is breathing fire in Iron Flame. What I mean by that, is that according to Tairn and Violet it was fire. Not saying (again) that her fire might not be pure power. that would be awesome!!!

  18. So I have this IF theory, although it’s small and incomplete.

    You know how the children of the rebellion leaders got marked with relics? And how those relics make it so that Melgren can’t see them with his signet? But didn’t his own dragon make those? Why would he want to counter his own bonded’s signet?

    Well, I personally think that Codagh knew that the children where going to do the same as their parents, and agreed with it. I mean, the elders can tell the future in some way, considering when Andarna said that the elders knew Violet was going to join the quadrant, which isn’t Codagh an elder? Or at least in a high position in his den?

    1. Hi Brenna, welcome to the house of theories 😀
      I don’t think Codagh wanted to counter Melgren’s signet. This happened because of the rune given to the kids by Colonel Mairi.
      “It was designed to counter the signet of the rider whose dragon would kill them.” He swallows. “But it could only activate when killed by dragonfire.”
      Given that Codagh killed them (the parents), I thought the kids (with the protective runes) all benefited from the counter signet of the rider whose dragon would kill them (Melgren). Which is why when marked ones are together, Melgren cannot see the outcome anymore. The protective rune resulted in the mark on their skin, hence countering Melgren’s signet. Do you think there is more to it?

      1. Hey,
        Thank you, I’ve been reading your theories for a while and it’s so much fun to contemplate the possibilities.

        Although I definitely thought there was something more to it, the runes make a lot more sense. I hadn’t caught that part.

        On an unrelated note, I do believe that Colonel Aetos has some kind of relations with the vinen ,if he isn’t one himself. I haven’t found too much on it, as I’m only beginning to reread it, but I did find that the first person to attack Violet, the one that killed Nadine, had red rimmed eyes, and he was sent by Colonel Aetos.

        1. Hi Brenna! I 1000% think Aetos is invested in some shady venin stuff as well!

  19. I have been stuck with the idea of how Jack turned Venin within the wards and think I may have figured it out…. Was it when he was trying to kill Violet on the sparring mats! She said she felt a power that shook her bones or something along those lines! that must have been Jack making the decision to pull power from the earth because he wanted to kill her so much which in turn turned him venin????

    1. That’s the issue, we don’t really know when! Violet says before they were on the mat together. However, he says the moment she saw Tairn picking her. So it could have been threshing. We also don’t know his signet which is really interesting!

      1. My super random theory that its pure guessing is he was recruited by another based on his behavior towards Violet and his thirst for power made him a prime candidate. The question that leads me to us who showed him how to turn inside the wards?

  20. I am have been wondering about your theory of the Gods mentioned throughout both books. Great referencing. There is one section in Iron Flame, Chapt 41, pg 381. Xaden is questioning Brennan that he can’t believe that Brennan brought Violet to see the Viscount. Brennan replies that he can’t believe that Xaden thinks he out ranks him. But Xaden replies I do but all but one, Brennan replies that one is All that matters, the referencing to the ONE seems cryptic,

    1. Hi Janis. You are actually right about that. I wonder if it’s to do with Gods.
      Or it has to do with the military ranks. Because technically, in military terms, Brennan outranks Xaden. However, Xaden is also a Duke (technically) right? In a military context, rank and command are determined by military position and not by aristocratic titles. However, in social, ceremonial, or court settings, a duke would be considered higher in status than Brennan.

  21. Maybe I missed it but does it mention and give answers to why Xaden thinks the horde of wyverns and one of the teacher venin is waiting for him?. It seems like Xaden knows why and also knows why he knows the Sage/teacher thought they would be at Samara? (pg. 603-604)

    1. You didn’t miss it. It was never communicated to us. We can only guess but we don’t know for sure 🙁

  22. Firstly, I wanted to say that I really appreaciate this site you’ve created!
    It is awsome and I’m sure it’s going to be even better with time (and more content from our favourite book series!).
    Now, I would like to open a topic of future ships/pairing. My favourite character is Ridoc. I think he is just such a good human 🙂 And in Iron Flame we see the author giving us more meat and layers of Ridoc. Personally, I think he is the character worthy of spin-off seriers. And we know he is queer which is just perfection. And I was (over)thinking as usual with your favourite characters, and I don’t know why, but I see him developing a relationship with Aaric. There are some tiny details that tell me Aaric is also mysterious with his personal feelings, and two of them just feel right 🙂 What do you think? And while we are at this, since everyone was talking about dragons’ mating bond, do you think the next book will give us a queer mating dragons? It the dragon bond solemly based on reproduction or connection? Thanks 🙂

    1. Dear Blue Poppy, comments like this help me get out of bed and push me to continue with the site. I’m so so grateful! Thank you

      Ridoc is not talked about enough, right? He’s cute and funny and SO loyal! And honest, actually. He is such a good human. And don’t tell Xaden, but Sawyer and Ridoc are my faves btw.
      OOOOOHHHH Ridoc and Aaric. Right, everyone assumes that Aaric and Sloane…but Ridoc and Aaric would be so freaking cute!
      You are 100% that Aaric feels mysterious and very protective of his space and feelings. But I also think he’s a good guy. I mean, he left his cushy life to join the deadliest college, in order to protect innocents! That speaks volumes.
      I mean if you remember what we read, a bond between dragons is a huge connection. Dragons die without their mate because it’s so intense. And we keep getting references that the older the bond, the more distance they can eventually cover to communicate from afar etc
      So I really don’t see why not. It does feel like it’s a connection type bond.

      I was thinking if we were going to get more about dragons and their bond. Because in Iron Flame we learn about one more bond right? So I don’t see why not add queer mating dragons. It would be cool!

  23. So i am back with some random thoughts not really a theory, but some observations and questions that i thought discussion could link together.

    So is Violet really a lightening wielder? Felix says she wields power and it takes the form of lightening. So does that matter? Is there a difference?

    Intrinsic powers are a capital offense, when and why? Was it at the same time as runes being banned and history being re-written? What happened? In the letter written to Violet by her father he describes it as a desperate situation. So again I ask/ponder what happened and when?

    Violet’s father, obviously knew something and her mother did as well. They discussed the journals at some point we learn in Iron Flame. Their father read the tales from the barrens to them as a family, the general knew they were being taught about Venin and Wyvern in the guise of folklore, but she allowed it. Whatever corruption her father uncovered he was preparing her for, but how high of a rank did he hold? He was a scribe but was he a captain or a major because that is when “Markham brings them into the fold” I feel like that bit of info was important. I also feel that if he had access to the first hand accounts he had to be a man of high rank. I think their mother knew once her husbnd was gone Violet would be in danger in the Scribe Quadrant without him to look after her. But she was also afraid of putting her in the riders quadrant that fear lead to her making the deal with Xaden. Violet didnt start training until about 6 months prior to becoming a cadet. If she made the deal with Xaden earlier why wait to start training? To defy Markham, to hide it from Markham, to hide ot from Melgren? When did the scars get made in comparison to the deal getting made? When Violet is getting rescued from Varrish, the general says it was an untold favor to be claimed at a later date, you were that favor.” How much time passed between?

    Another observation/question… In the battle at the end of FW, Vi observes the Venin is dressed similarly to her but in purple i think. Any chance the Venin were old riders who turned? How long does the abuse of magic extend their lifespans. The dream invader says he has been waiting centuries. So perhaps whatever happened when history was re-written and things got desperate, could some of these people be the same people years later?

    The history of the Tyrish (spelling is probably wrong) is in the king’s vault. It seems like a big thing to know exists even though it was a brief mention. Are the rune origins/lessons in there? Who has access to it? Markham? Melgren? Anyone else? Information is vital to the story, information is how they win the squad battle, information is power, information is what VI was tortured for, so mentioning that information was in the king’s archive seems important? Which connects to my earlier wondering about why runes were banned? Runes are like the ward history, too important to just destroy. Were runes really banned because of flyers or another reason?

    The lures are Navarre in construction/design. We do not know who made them or gave them to Jack, so the question is who did? And were they just smuggling people into the college or across all of the borders throughout Navarre? How deep have they infiltrated?

    There has been a lot of talk about the serums and the scents, at the end of IF it says there is no cure only control, BUT if the thought that Varrish/Aetos/Panchek/Melgren/Markham (one all or some of them are Venin connected) know about Jack Barlow and they are using him as a attempt to ” heal” Venin and distribute the serums, what is the end goal? More test subjects? Testing various bonds? They obviously knew what it does when they distribute it to cadets for training etc, but what is the actual purpose of doing that? Again obviously it blocks signets and dragon bonds, but they knew it did that before giving it to anyone, so why let that be known? Why would leadership tip their hand, by letting cadets know it exists? I agree it is connected to the poison dagger and the scents matter, but just like stopping time was kept a secret, you would think that leadership would want this to be a secret?

    On to the matter of stopping time, i get the battles mixed up (i do mostly audio so it is hard to go back and reference), but i think it was in FW it mentioned how they appeared out of nowhere, then it mentions distance wielding being a signet no one had seen in some time. In another battle (I think in IF) Violet says it seems like a venin stopped time. I am wondering if the Venin were not just using magic, but some type of stolen signet/dragon power?

    Another random obvservation that leads to questions, the dream invader says “the one who watches thinks we should just kill you before you come into your full power. Show me you’re worth collecting “(or something along those lines). So I took that to mean that that obviously someone is watching, but aetos was moved to the coast, Varrish is dead, so Panchek/Markham/Melgren is the one who watches? I can’t decide if Panchek is pulling Melgren’s strings taking advantage of the faith he puts in the wards and his signet to manipulate him or if they are working together. Panchek has to be involved in my mind, since Varrish answered directly to him. I know he let Violet not be punished for being AWOL, but i think that its partly him just keeping his cover and not letting Kaori question him. He had a role to maintain. But I also keep revisiting how shady Melgren is. Something i remembered striking me notable in FW, at they reunification party, Violet talks about the metals the King didnt earn. Does Melgren’s powerful signet and arrogance make him feel like he should be king? He could be working with the venin to obtain that goal. Or someone is claiming to support him and secretly working or is Ben in Aetos/Panchek could be claiming to support Melgren in overthrowing the King while simultaneously be working with the Ben in or be

    Aric and Dane… What is the deal. On the parapet he tells Dane to ignore him but not Violet. He seems to subtly not be a Dane fan or at least be partial to Violet. I feel like there is more to that relationship’s history.

    Let’s talk about Andarna. Why is Varish so obsessed with her? Are the Venin trying to get more information about feathertails? Do they know a 7th breed was left to hatch? Do they know about the gifts feathertails have and wanted to know what hers was? Why was he so openly hunting for access to her? Panchek in FW mentioned Violet’s father’s research, so i feel like those two things have to be connected. And if Violet knows where he father stashed his research why not go get it?

    Okay so those are all of my random thought bubbles for now.

    1. Let’s dig in!
      Sarah, Sarah, I have just the theory for you -> https://www.empyreanriders.com/articles/iron-flame-theory-violet-and-xaden-are-gods/
      Yes, Violet really is a lightening wielder. But she is also more than that. She has pure power, and she can also control time.

      Inntinnsic powers -> I believe when the scribes decided to alter the history. Having inntinnsics around put their whole charade in danger.
      Runes being banned -> They started being afraid of gryphons. Alone, they are some creatures with so many limitations. Can’t fly high, can’t fly in the rain, can’t really channel major signets. But with runes, they can actually compete with dragons!

      Timeline -> Xaden’s scars for the initial deal of all marked ones were made pretty much right after receiving the rebellion relic. So a few years back. Then, after Violet’s dad died, Lilith decided to put her in the Riders Quadrant instead. That’s when she made the second deal with Xaden. If you remember, the first deal made, to spare the children of the rebels and put the into Riders Quadrant came with a price: something that Lilith could call on later on. She did, when Violet joined the quadrant. I believe it was just a handful of years between the initial deal and calling on her favour.

      I believe that venin do live beyond the times. They don’t age. They become immortal. They just need to feed I suppose and consume more and more magic.

      Hmm, I suppose the King has access but probably also Markham. I assume as the head of all scribes, Markham knows it all.
      For runes, I believe we will learn something about Liam’s mum. She was the best at it, right? And something tells me there may be clues in Liam’s letters about it too. Sloane will tell us.

      The lures were def done by Varrish/Aetos. At least that’s how I see it. I believe the venin is very very deeply infiltrated.
      I don’t have a real answer for you. It could be that some venin want to be cured. It could be that they indeed want more test subjects. It could be that they want imortality but they don’t want the negative corruption maybe. I honestly do not have a clue on this one. I will investigate, see if I can come up with a theory.

      Venin never stopped time. It was only Violet through Andarna that stopped time in Fourth Wing. Then, in Iron Flame, Violet can slow time down for herself.There are clues about it.

      That’s a heavy theory! I like it. I think Tauri is just a coward. That’s all. Melgren might be wanting to be king and Panchek wants to be Melgren. It’s just a standard game of chess in politics I assume. I don’t know how this related to the big venin guy. But it’s possible that the big venin guy might have relationships with Xaden. His grandad maybe. Someone important. Who knows. (RY knows!)
      The one who’s watching is very interesting indeed. It also begs the questions, who is the venin talking to in the dreams? Xaden or Violet?

      Someone else picked up on that and assumed that Aaric will want to be with Violet. So kinda change Dain – Violet – Xaden triangle to Aaric – Violet – Xaden. Especially now that Xaden is well…venin. It’s an interesting theory actually, if you have the time to read it. Hmm…I didn’t read more into it but it’s possible that Aaric wanted more of Violet’s attention as a child.

      Let’s talk about Andarna. I believe because she is a feathertail. I think venin are afraid of feathertails as they have something that could kill venin. Or a relationship with it. There is indeed Dad Sorrengail’s research related to feathertails and the second Krovlan uprising. There is more to it and there is a connection. We just need to learn about it book 3.

      Loved your random thoughts soooo much!

      1. This site is so great because no one i know jas read the books And i need discussion.

        I guess i am wondering if it is lightening or is the subtle thing felix said something to think about. He said she wields power in the form of lightening. That seemed significant to me, but maybe i am reading too much into it. I guess once felix made his statement i started thinking of her a a power wielder vs just a lightening wielder.

        The same with the runes, we are told it is due to gryphon fliers, but is that the actual truth? Again maybe i am just overthinking it, but it wouldn’t be the first piece of inaccurate history encountered. I keep thinking of how getting rid of runes limits power. If we continue along the line of something happened to change history and make intinnsic powers a capital offense, it makes sense that runes may have been limited or being eliminated for reasons other than gryphon riders.

        So from what i could tell about the timeline is the original deal was made 5 or 6 years before the beginning of FW, then Lilith makes the deal about violet about a year before FW, which would be around when her husband does. Violet says he has been dead a year, but he had been having trouble since Brennan’s death. So 4-5 years pass between the original deal with Xaden and the favor being called in. Then 6 months before conscription day Violet is given her orders to join the riders amd begins to train. I feel like he father’s death may have triggered GEN Sorrengails decision to put her in the riders quadrant or that she was attempting to shield her plans from Markham or both are possible. Did she make the deal knowing it would be for Violet’s safety? I feel the timeline is important. If the General was planning to push Violet into the Riders why not have her train longer? It was a shock to everyone, which means it was kept quiet from everyone and i guess in my mind the General did it in that order and kept it a secret for a specific reason. She just doesn’t strike a a person who doesnt have a plan

        It is the kings royal archive protected by wards for his bloodline, so only royalty would have direct access, but if Violet’s dad had seen the first hand accounts that means the king who loves to show off escorts people in there. If the runes knowledge is in there, that makes that person quite dangerous. There was also a comment made about ” they have runes now” which is what lead to the Wyvern veing able to be made once again. Maybe i am jumping to conclusions but it was a random thought.
        In the battle scenes with venin there is a line a if they appeared from nowhere and as of he/she stopped time. I am going to have to relisten to it.
        I have a hard copy of FW now but not IF. I am just wondering if. Those subtle lines are hints or again maybe I am reading too much into it.

        The politics matter, but i just havent seen enough of them to this point to know what they are. Plus Codagh is there being cunning. Who is he outsmarting in all of this intrigue?

        I wasn’t sure if it was s love interest or just an overall respect thing. Violet’s strength of character maybe all three is to it, but he is more inclined to trust Violet than most anyone else at seems. Did her character win her that trust? Did Dain do something to lose his trust or not be given it in the first place? There isnt an answe, but I find it interesting to think about. I am super curious to see what his signet manifests as. I also have a feeling he is going to be king eventually, but that is based upon not much.

        The feathertail research has to matter. I just wonder when it will be uncovered.

        1. I always need a discussion, so you are very welcome here!

          I think she is a power wielder. She is not really a lightening wielder. But I also don’t think there is a huge difference between the two. She might eventually be able to do with that power a bit more. Like lightening wield but also polish her strikes to become more like…arrows 🙂

          Oh for sure! But if gryphons do understand runes they become a lot more fierce competition and their kingdom (navarre) does not need gryphons to be more powerful. They want the power all for themselves, while the fliers are struggling beyond the border. But of course, I think there is more than that. I think they are not teaching runes for many other reasons.

          Re the timeline: all good questions but we don’t really have much to know right now. I think we will have to dig into books and correspondence left behind by Lilith to understand more. I think Lilith might have known a little about the prophecy? Much like how Andarna knew? Chances are, Lilith did strike a deal with Xaden to allow the 107 marked ones to live and join the Quadrant, in exchange for (what Lilith already knew) what will be Violet’s safety. If she had an idea what the prophecy was about, then Lilith made that deal with knowledge. And chances are she didn’t want anyone to catch wind of it indeed, which is why Violet only trained for 6 months. But bear in mind that Lilith did say from the start that if any of her children is capable of surviving, the Riders Quadrant is Violet…So Lilith knew a loooot more.

          You are not reading into it. The author says things between the lines. You read something and it feels oh yeah, this is the meaning, but it rarely is actually. She is notorious for giving us subtle meaning between lines which is why these books are so extraordinary!

          Codagh cares for the protection of the Empyrean and nothing more. It’s clear. I feel the politics are imploding within Navarre right now. And I feel like everyone wants to get on top for control and power…and to potentially open up the gates to venin.

          I feel there was a love interest there as well. It felt…strained somehow I don’t know how to explain. Aaric being a little weird when he first saw Dain before parapet. Then bringing Violet into the archives. Then hating on Xaden under some pretext that he killed his brother (even tho he was a bully). Again, we can take it at face value or we can real between the lines. Aaric also chose her towards the end of Iron Flame
          “No!” I shout, lunging forward. Aaric runs in from the side of the ward chamber, not only catching me but stopping me. “Let me go!”
          “I can’t,” he says apologetically. “She’s right. And if I have to choose between her life and yours, I choose yours.”

          The feathertail research will be in book3! It has to…

          This is sooo much fun!

  24. My super random theory that its pure guessing is he was recruited by another based on his behavior towards Violet and his thirst for power made him a prime candidate. The question that leads me to us who showed him how to turn inside the wards?

  25. Just found this and so grateful for the thoughtful and compelling discourse! Someone please unpack some ideas behind Xaden’s mom. Yes, barely touched on but it’s far too mysterious and fundamental to not be a hint at something more important. Curious what everyone thinks…

    1. Welcome! I think she is a Goddess or something as such. I strongly believe she has something to do with Dunne. I do not think she is venin at all.

  26. Cory, I LOVE your site! I read your theory about the characters being various gods, and…I’m about to tumble down a rabbit hole. I haven’t been able to reread with this in mind yet, so there is A LOT more to uncover here…but what if the series is a retelling of the Greek succession myths? Violet is definitely a representative of Zeus, who was hidden away from his father Cronus until he was a little older and then disguised as a cup bearer in Cronus’ court. Cooley was ‘hidden away’ in the scribe quadrant until she was old enough to join the riders quadrant. Then Mira gave her rider black clothes and armor, which Violet says she’s not supposed to wear because rider black has to be earned (this disguising her). In the myth, Zeus poisons his father so he throws up his other children. Violet uses poison to weaken her enemies. I think Cronus might be represented as the entire kingdom/war machine, and Violet is going to overthrow the whole thing.

    This are just my first ruminations…going to have to keep digging thru this and research the Greek myths more!!

    1. I’m so so happy you are loving these. I made them with so much love. I’m still going strong here haha. I am learning so much about Greek mythology thanks to this you have no idea. I am wondering if Cronus is the Kingdom or maybe Malek somehow? Could it be?

      1. Absolutely could be! It just occurred to me that if the empyrean is a parallel for Greek mythology, what does that mean for their gods like Malek? How do they fit in?

        I have some more word vomit on the subject….

        I suspect the vermin are representative of the monster typhon. Typhon has the legs of a serpent, 100 snake heads that breathe fire, wings, and red eyes. He attempts to overthrow Zeus for control of the world, but eventually loses.

        I can’t decide if Violet is some kind of cross between Pandora and Zeus, or if Violet/Tairn/Andarna together make up a Zeus/savior of some type. In some literature, Pandora is said to wear a silver crown and of course you’ve already talked about the box. Mira braids Violet’s hair into a silver crown on her head…maybe foreshadowing?! Andarna could also represent Zeus as hidden away in order to defeat Cronus – why she didn’t hatch for 600+ years, is different from other dragons and may be the key to overthrowing the regime.

        And I haven’t even *started* looking into oracles in Greek mythology to look for parallels…ahhhh!

        1. Sorry for the late approval and reply. I’ve been having a lot of my plate at work 😀

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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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