In Iron Flame, Xaden and Violet share dreams of venin. Or at least this is how it looks like. We get to experience the dreams from Violet’s perspective but then, we learn at the very end of the book that it was Xaden that the venin wanted. It was him all along.
Welcome to my wildest theory so far. But hey, we’re all friends, right? Right? I hope so. Please don’t throw potatoes at me. Instead, grab your tin foil and go on a trip with me.
What do we know so far?
It’s fair to assume at this point that Xaden and Violet seem to be sharing the same dreams. But that is not right. It cannot be. First of all, Rebecca Yarros herself challenged this belief. Second, that’s not quite what happened in the book. So let’s revise a little bit and check what’s going on.
Faster. I have to run faster. Fear holds my throat shut as a tidal wave of death chases me across the sunburned field to where Tairn waits, his back turned.
“So disappointing,” he lectures, as if he’s my Sage and not the teacher of the dark wielder I killed on Tairn’s back.
“Death it is.” He looks so…disappointed as he lowers his hand.[…]
A scream tears through my body as a wave of agony rolls over my skin and bones, leaching the very essence of my energy until-
(Iron Flame, Chapter 22)
Let’s discuss. I want you to pay attention to several things as we go through the nightmare sequences.
Now let’s go back to Tairn. (Gold flickers near the tip of his wing) We are thinking Andarna right now. In this nightmare, it seems to be Andarna from Violet’s perspective. I don’t think it’s Andarna. I think it’s Tairn’s feathertail. I wrote a theory about Tairn and Sgaeyl and their potential hatchlings. Why would Andarna, now black (or else) in Iron Flame would ever be gold again?
“Bold choice to move so far from what you perceive as the safety of the wards,” the Sage says, holding me immobile, my feet just inches from the frozen ground of my own personal torture chamber.
I’m trapped in this fucking nightmare again, but at least I made it farther across the sunburned field this time.
[…](Iron Flame, Chapter 37)
Check this out. The ground is now frozen. Interesting…She said she is trapped in the nightmare, but I don’t think this one is hers. She is somehow seeing Xaden’s nightmare.
Could it be because maybe Violet is somehow connected to the venin? Therefore, potentially having access to Venin mind collective? Or could it be that Violet herself is part venin? Now that is a theory for another time…
She says at least the made it further across the sunburned field. But it cannot be sunburned and also frozen.
This is also the first nightmare she has when she is right next to Xaden, beyond the wards. The first nightmare was when she was within the wards. Sounds exactly like that: a nightmare. Now that she is beyond the wards, the magic is a little wilder. Could it be that she actually has access to venin mind?
I’m suspended again over that sunburned field, the death wave a heartbeat from overtaking me once the Sage releases me from his hold, and he will. He does it every time. […]“I grow weary of this. Now wield,” the Sage whispers, his robes purple tonight.[…] “The rest turn for the power,” […]
The temperature plummets, and my next exhale is visible in the frozen air. I blink and snow covers the ground. The only warmth is a quickly cooling trickle along my neck.
“And you won’t do it for something as trite as power or as easily satiable as greed,” he promises in a whisper, “but for the most illogical of mortal emotions— love. Or you’ll die.” He shrugs. “You both will.”(Iron Flame, Chapter 52)
Alright, this one is super tricky. Because she still talks about Tairn. But she is an observer somehow. She has to be. For several reasons. Again, she is suspended over the sunburned field, yet the temperature is well, very cold. The air is frozen. This venin has purple-robes. It’s not the same venin as in the first nightmare. Please notice that even Violet recognises the difference in robes colour.
And another very important detail here. The only warmth is a quickly cooling trickle along her neck. That’s sweat basically. She can feel the sweat in her dreams. Stay with this thought and read what is next.
“You strike. I block. You throw. I dodge.” He sighs, dragging his staff in the dirt behind him.
Just like my fucking nightmares.[…]Except the sweat dripping down the back of my neck reminds me that this is very much my reality.
“I told you once that you’d turn for love,” he says, holding his arms out. “And so you shall.”
“You know what will happen when you fail?” […]“I’ll step over your dead body and find her. Then I’ll wrap my hands around her delicate little neck—” […]“—and drain her.” (Iron Flame, Chapter 66)
Xaden can feel the sweat, and this is HOW he knows it’s reality. Interesting. In nightmare number 3, Violet pointed it out that she can feel the sweat. So, was that reality? For her, it was. She was the observer and not the dreamer. She was either observing the nightmare through Xaden’s eyes, or somehow being able to predict the future.
Sounds strange, right? Not quite. Remember when in Fourth Wing Jack Barlowe said precognition is not a thing? It might be. Whether is a second signet or some riders/dragons simply have this ability, I think precognition is a thing.
Alright, so going back to the first nightmare. Was that…real? I am not sure. It’s still very likely a possibility that she is seeing the future. The possibility of when one of the venin will come for her and try to drain her.
How come that Violet and Xaden share dreams?
I have several options for this. I’m not too sure which one is correct, but let’s discuss.
- Violet had the first nightmare, and the subsequent nightmares were all Xaden’s. She is therefore a type of observer for when she is right next to him. They shared emotions before so maybe he simply shares his dreams (not on purpose).
- Violet is an observer, as mentioned above because this is somehow her second signet. She can get into people’s dreams and see the future, communication whatever. Could be a good weapon if used strategically.
- Violet is connected to the venin. One way or another, I do think this is true. Whether she was just drained by venin, is immune to being drained by venin or is part venin herself. We don’t know enough yet. But she is definately connected to them. And the same way the hive mind works between venin and wyvern, maybe it works between all venin too.
- Venin have abilities in mindwork. They can simply slide into nightmares and work their magic. This way, they sort of shared nightmares but not really.
- Violet has the second signet of precognition. She can simply access this via her dreams right now. In which case, nightmare 1 is due to happen eventually and well, sadly, nightmare 3 already happened. It would be an interesting one. Could explain a few other things in Iron Flame as well.
What do you think? Did you figure it out? Why are the dreams shared and how? Which option is the most plausible to you?