Iron Flame Theory: Mr Sorrengail is General Venin

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Written by: Cory

Iron Flame Theory Mr Sorrengail is General Venin

This is probably the boldest and craziest Iron Flame theory I’ve come up with so far. It took me several days to put it all together and gather all the data. Basically, imagine me with tin foil on, scribbling on napkins and staying up until 1 in the morning to make sense of it all.

Are you ready? Because this is going to be WILD. Alright, so I basically think the following: Mr Sorrengail is General Venin and General Venin is Violet’s dad. But there’s more. I think Violet does have some venin in her. How does it all make sense?

We’ve been going back and forth, even in comments on the Iron Flame review post here and the latest Iron Flame theory about Andarna, that Violet’s dad is somehow the General, maybe Brennan and Mira are just her half-siblings, how does it make sense that Lilith might have been pregnant with someone else, etc. I think I managed to piece it all together. And I’ve never been more excited than to share this with you.

So allow me to explain my chain of thoughts please to understand where I’m coming from.

The Timeline

We don’t know much about Lilith Sorrengail and Mr Sorrengail together. But we do know that they had three kids together. We know that Lilith Sorrengail is a General stationed at Basgiath, and we know that her half was the father of her three children, supposedly a Scribe.

Let’s go back in time a little. Lilith and her (I assume) spouse had Brennan. Then they had Mira. So far, so good. So what if the dad got attacked by venin while being stationed somewhere at the border? They found a way to keep the turning into venin under control (beginning of chapter 66), and they had Violet. So Lilith got pregnant with Violet while the dad essentially had venin in him. Alternatively, she was already pregnant with Violet and then the dad got attacked, he somehow attacked Lilith before finding a way to keep his whole venin turning under control. This is super hypothetical, but either way, both would make sense.

This would explain the “fever” that almost killed Lilith during her pregnancy. It would also explain why Violet has her hair with the silver tips (essentially grey, as the venin wyvern and the mark they leave on everything they touch and drain). It would also explain why she’s well…weaker than the rest, physically that is.

Alright, Lilith and her whole family live with what’s essentially a venin dad that’s found a way to keep everything under control. He’s either turning super slowly or not turning at all. This would also explain why Lilith had a special alloy dagger inside her desk and not well…on her. I mean the whole leadership knows about venin, so why not have it on her at all times just in case? I think she kept it in her drawer because that was their fail-safe. In case dad has a flare-up or he’s turning, or something. Basically, keeping it close to home, to protect herself and her children.

Fen Riorson goes all rebellion on Navarre and Lilith wants to protect her family AND Dad and keeps the secret, doesn’t say a word to Brennan but believes he will just come back alive. Brennan goes to war, “dies” and dad can’t freaking take it anymore. He starts feeling awful because his own child died in a war meant to keep his kind secret. He goes out of control and well his “heart gives out”. Trick is, venin don’t just die of a little heart issue, don’t they? I mean Jack Barlowe had a whole mountain on him and nothing happened. Lilith doesn’t want to kill him because well…DAD, she loves the guy. Dad runs away from the family before he can do more harm than good, and he turns full venin. He starts turning bad, and he has access to a wealth of information from Navarre since the dude was a scribe, right? So he’s working up the ranks and eventually becomes THE GENERAL.

Is this a mad theory? Yes, yes it is. But hear me out. I have some supporting documents here (it’s just paragraphs, but I’m very excited).

From Fourth Wing

“So much like your father.” (She never talks about the other kids this way. It’s just specifically Violet)

“His chest pain started after Brennan died.” (coincidence, I think not)

“You are not like them Violet, that’s not your path” (Hmmm…this was mentioned not once, but twice in FW. I feel there’s more to this.)

“He got a little cryptic after Brennan died. Losing Brennan made my father even more reclusive.” (Because he would rather not be seen turning? Being a scribe means keeping that hood on and not interacting with people. Maybe he was just hiding those eyes.)

“A general can recognise another general, and that’s their leader.” (gosh, we had it already in Fourth Wing, during Resson.)

From Iron Flame

Brennan has our father’s nose.” (It was made clear that the scribe we know of, Violet’s dad, is definitely Brennan’s dad.)

“My father loved this place […] he’d have full resources of the Archive.” (He wanted access to teach Violet everything as well so she knows where to find the right info to fight!)

“Your father made sure you’d know everything you needed or where to find it. You’re all that.” (There’s more to this, I just know it)

“Let us watch our heart’s heart give out because your death broke him?” (I think this is true, just not in the literal sense Mira’s thinking…)

“My father taught me.” (Why would Dad teach Violet all these languages that are super useful for reading incredibly old and unaltered books? Because he knows a lot more.)

“Your father told me once that his research showed that Warrick never wanted anyone else to hold the power of the wards […].” (Clearly the dad knew so so much about wards, venin and everything. Which means he would, as General Venin, know exactly how to breach them and survive inside Basgiath)

“You are all that’s left of him.” (This one to me, is like she’s talking about dad turning all venin and Violet is the only thing left of him, once he turned. He was still him when they had Brennan and Mira, but Violet? She survived it, so she really is all that’s left of him.)

Chapter 66 – “We tried every method we know of, as you requested. There is no cure. There is only control.” (Alright, but when was this missive sent? At what point? Was dad still alive when trying these methods or?)

The Sage – The General

Chapter 47, the very beginning – Sages’ – those responsible for initiates. Mavens – their generals […]. Interesting choice of words there… Their generals.

“I waited 650 years to hatch. Waited until your eighteenth summer when I heard our elders talk of the weakling daughter of their general, the girl forecasted to become the head of the scribes and I knew. You would have the mind of a scribe and the heart of a rider. You would be mine.” (This one is my favourite. I already talked about it in another theory but to me, this really screams that dad is General venin. THEIR general, not a general. So unless she’s Melgren’s daughter, which I doubt, dad is General venin)

“So disappointing.” he lectures, as if he’s my Sage and not the teacher of the dark wielder I killed on Tairn’s back. (errr, probably, Violet, but he was your teacher, your own dad.)

“Oh how I will be rewarded when I return with you.” (It feels like the General venin really is invested in having Violet. Also, interestingly enough, when asked “By your sage”, the venin replies “Which Sage”)

Where does the theory doesn’t add up

There are some issues with my theory and I want to be honest about it. I am hoping that you can help me with it too, to figure this out together.

“I’ve waited centuries for someone with your power.” (ok, so it sounds like this General really is centuries old. This part throws my theory a little. If he’s centuries old, can he also be Violet’s dad? We’re missing something…)

“You are everything we dreamed you would be.[…] All three of you. And I’ll get to see him soon.” (this is another one I’m really not sure of. We assume she is talking about dad, obviously. But does this mean Dad is actually dead? Or does she think that he will also die soon at the hand of Violet, so she will see him soon, once he’s also dead? Please let me know your thoughts)

“All Sorrengails are riders” (This is the only other thing in FW that is confusing to me. Dad was not a rider. He was a scribe. And all the children and Lilith are called Sorrengail, assuming taking the dad’s surname as everyone else has in the book – eg Aetos, Riorson etc. So, was the dad also secretly a rider? Is that how he had access to the feather tail research? It feels impossible and really too extraordinary and complicated now. Was it that Lilith was talking about it after he died that all that’s left of Sorrengail family are riders? Or is it that dad rides wyvern now so he’s also a rider?)

Other thoughts

Some suggested that Brennan and Mira are Violet’s half siblings. And Lilith had Violet with someone else. This feels crazy because she did say that a scribe was the love of her life. So why would she go around having kids with other men? Unless she was attacked? This is getting grim tho, and I’m not sure if this is the direction this book is going. But then we had death, torture and so much gore, it would be unsurprising.

Hmmm, I still feel like I’m so, so close to cracking this, but there are some pieces of the puzzle missing. Writing it all down does help.


As I said, this is a wild, wild theory. It’s just that usually, Rebecca Yarros does not put so much emphasis on things without a huge reveal. And I feel like we went through this when we discussed the theory that Xaden is inntrinsic. Could it be that dad really is the general? There are a couple of points which make me doubt this theory, but overall, I don’t have another explanation for why Lilith Sorrengail made so many remarks about dad in respect to Violet only.

I’m really curious about what you think about this one. Is it possible that dad turned venin, learnt to control it, had Violet, and decided to teach her everything in preparation for what’s to come? Does Violet have venin in her too then?

I feel like we are left with so many questions and a whole while to wait until book 3 is out. Sigh…

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122 responses to “Iron Flame Theory: Mr Sorrengail is General Venin”

  1. A bit out of topic, but – “steeling color amd strength” – sounds like a Venin playing around rather than fever. But why,how, when… dont know. Violets colors – I think is too long of a stretch to call as something as part-venin, rather something that looses color when venin channel.

    Violets father being venin. Yeah. I thought it being possible at first. But doubt strongly now.
    But that chestpain and stuff, its sketchy. Also, every Sorrengail is a rider, this one also should mean something.

    1. I do think she has something to do with venin or lost part of her to venin at the very least. I have a couple of issues with Dad being venin but I dunno. It just fits somehow.

      1. hi, i love the theory that mr Sorrengail was venim, altough Rebecca confirmed that he is dead in an interview with entertainment weekly on youtube, he may have been venim before he died, but he cannot be general of venims as whoever that is is ‘alive’ there is tough a theory that the general/sage is actually xaden’s mon, who left due to turning or other reasons this is reinforced due to the venim saying he cannot kill violet (book one end) and the venim going after Xaden (book two end) Rebecca also confirmed that Xaden’s mom will be part of the storyline
        there is also a chance that violet is indeed part venim, but from her mothers side, as in one other of your theories you had mentioned that one day lilith had come back with bloodshot red eyes and violet has shrieked, there is also an letter (the ones at the end of each chapter) from lilith to nolon, asking for a cure from being venim dated from around the time she would have been pregnant with violet. they probabily did not find a cure, but something that kept it hidden (similar to what they did to jack) its also possible they found a cure but did not say? to be fair they kept a lot of secrets, and this might be one other one

        1. Hi Niti, unfortunately yes. The moment book 3 is out this theory will go into the disproven category. 🙂 I think Xaden’s mum will be part of the storyline but I don’t thik she is a general venin. Throughout Iron Flame the sage/general venin is a HE.

          I do believe that Violet herself is part venin, the balance so to speak. I have this theory about Xaden’s mum ->

  2. Here’s my question. If violet is part venin, why does she not have the red eyes? Also, how is she so good and not power hungry? Is it because she came from a union of love? There’s enough love associated with this series so far, that’s got to be the key to something. I realize it’s a romantasy (so there’s going to be love in it somewhere), but we’ve got mom’s version of love for her children and it seems also for dad, xaden realizing maybe he can love and be loved in return, xaden’s mom’s lack of love for him, xaden’s dad loving him, etc. There’s still a part of me wondering if xaden’s mom is a sage or maven. Is it possible the head venin is female? Maven is usually a feminine term. And there’s got to be more of naolin’s story here yet too. And aaric/camps story also. Nothing in these books is accidental.

    1. It possible that she left and she is somehow part of the venin crew. but we know for the fact the general they talk about in the book is a him. I remember reading the pronouns.
      There is soooo much left to discover for Naolin. Part of me thinks maybe he is general venin. He somehow took too much energy and became venin after or something…

      1. What if Naolin and Dad are the same person?

        1. Wait, I don’t think it’s possible. Everyone did know Naolin in the Riders Quadrant. I think they would have figured out that Naolin and Dad are the same person. Like Professor Kaori, Colonel Aetos, Markham?

  3. Isn’t the General/Sage the one Xaden is talking about when he said he killed him, broke the tether and his body is miles down the river? Chapter 65 IF. Does this mean Xaden will be the General/Sage now?

    1. Shooooooot…I’m just about finishing my third re-read and ehm…yeah it feels like Xaden did kill THAT general.

    2. Ok but hear me out.
      The venin way of communicating is very close to one of a Hive mind. Everyone knows what the others learn like with the fighting styles.

      Saying that, maybe Violet is not having nightmares since she was poisonned. Maybe Its vision send to her. Since she Might be part venin, maybe it got unlocked. Same goes with her sudden mood changes and increase of control problem.

      And if it is Indeed a Hive mind, im waiting for the moment Xaden is gonna Tell her every secrets she should have known.

      1. I love this theory. That would be an interesting way for Xaden to gain access to intel right?

        1. Omg and doesnt Varrish at one point say he has control over Solas?

          I cant remember when but I’m sure someone comes back and says, wouldn’t that mean you’re responsible for taking out half of third wing after threshing ?

          So maybe, if you’re bonded to a dragon and turn venin, you can control your dragon?

          I mean Jack does seem to control Baide when he slaughters him to disarm the wardstone. Why would Baide agree to something that’s going to harm him AND the rest of the dragons unless he wasn’t in full control?

          Makes you wonder IF Naolin is still alive, does he have some sort of power of Tairn ?

          And does it explain why at the end of Iron Flame, Xaden says Sgaeyl had been uncharacteristically quiet, to the point he doesn’t even bother to reach out to her. Maybe she knows she know has to block him from her power or he’ll get control over her. Because she’s seen it happen to Tairn in the past ?

          1. He does. Varrish does say exactly that in front of Kaori. Chapter 19 “There is something off about that orange”…and Varrish seems so controlled (interesting choice of words here. Didn’t Lilith receive the missive from Nolan saying that the only way to fight turning venin is control?!)
            In chapter 29, when she comes back, he tells Kaori “In fact we influence them”. (talking about the dragons)

            And yes, that would explain it. That venin control dragons. That would also explain how Baide indeed aided Jack rather than turn on him.

            And please…don’t even go there with Tairn and Naolin. That would bloody kill me. And Xaden and Sgaeyl? UGH

          2. Page 561 ‘Baide lowers her head […]glimpse of her eyes, opaque instead of golden- before […]

            So I think we just learnt how dragons controlled by venin look like…

          3. I think this is a brilliant theory btw, that venin control dragons…after all, they create wyvern and control THEM, so why not dragons too? Can I add it to the list (along the other 10 drafts I’m working on with your permission?)
            Of course, I will fully explain this was your theory and credit accordingly.
            I LOVE IT.

          4. Yes of course you can expand on the theory ! Can’t wait to read it !

      2. Ok, Found something else.

        Ch.10. voliolet fighting the big dude after hé killed Nadine.

        “Secrets die with the people who keep them,” he whispers, bringing his nose an inch from mine. His eyes are light brown but rimmed in red as though he’s on some kind of drug.

        Soooooo, is Dain father sending venin babies to kill Violet? How come?

        1. Errrr, what a great freaking catch. And yes I do think that’s true.
          Which reiterates my fear that Varrish was somehow venin and Aetos knows about it and somehow works with them to do something horrible.
          Chapter 53, when Andarna smells “the smell of stolen magic”. Errrr, why does Solas have stolen magic? Why does he smell like that?

          1. Uh-oh. This made me think of Violet’s comment about Dain’s dragon having bad breath. But Dain had a redemption arc and made his choice. Is his dad influencing Dain’s dragon?

          2. Oh K, so I’ve been on a plane for the last 15 hours and been stuck on the dragon breath stuff with Dain. Like, why is she pointing this out? Only wyvern has bad breath. It’s putrid right? What’s up with Dain’s dragon? Dain is not venin, I don’t think.
            Are the dragons pre-bonded with some venin do you think?

          3. Uhm, I think that Dains dad have somehow control or a link to Dains mind? When he says ”If he already knows what Violet showed me, then I’m the one dissapointed in him”.
            He says that before they kill Varrish in the chamber.

          4. I think so too. Do we even know Aetos’ signet? Nope… so it would be super interesting to see how they are connected, beyond father/son.

    3. Maybe this is a wild theory, but I think the member of the Sorrengail family that turned was her mom! I think that her mother was a powerful general fighting a rebellion and got pregnant. I believe that something happened to put her pregnancy in jeopardy and she knew the baby (Violet) wouldn’t make it without intervention so she stole power from the earth to allow her and the baby to survive to full term. Hence why her hair was different and her joints were weakened. She was not meant to survive.
      I think this caused her dad to delve into his research on a quest to save her mom who was now venin and trying to hide it. That’s why he taught Violet all the obscure information and left her his research, so she could continue to fight for the greater good and protect the ones she loved the same way he was.
      I think he realized what the Fliers in Cliffsbane knew, “It is somewhat fitting that the only weapon capable of killing a dark wielder is the same thing that drove them to soullessness.. power” chp 46 IF beginning quote. He then decided to save her mom by restoring the balance, giving up his soul in return for her recovery. He then lost control when he lost his son and could no longer fight his urges for more power and perhaps went outside the wards to try and undo his death.
      Maybe it’s long-shot, but Violet has sacrificed herself for the ones she loves time and time again; which is what I think her mother sees in her. It may also be why her mother was willing to sacrifice herself in the end. A final selfless act to keep alive the only part of her husband that still remained – Violet.

      1. Hi Autumn, actually I don’t think it’s a wild theory at all. I think it would fit in with many, many other theories. That during the pregnancy, she had a fever and Violet was affected. That she needs to learn control because…well…otherwise she would endanger her family. I think when she said “I will meet him soon”, I think she meant the General Venin (who I think might be the dad)

      2. So, if General Sorrengail did know that her baby would die with the fever, then stole power, is it possible that the love of her life, did indeed find a cure of sorts and took the disease for her? Perhaps Violence now has the ability to only be partially controlled because like the stones that already had power stolen, they can’t completely take her over?

        1. Yes, I think that’s what many readers are saying as well. That she is like the stones. She cannot be drained more. Which would be such a cool twist to the story!

  4. Hi Cory

    I have been trying to rack my brain on who the General might be. He could just be a centuries old venin that we are being introduced to, but I mostly think at the moment that he is someone we know. My original 2 candidates were either Naolin or Violet’s dad. I did however score Vi’s dad off the list, mainly because I thought that would be very cruel – Violet has had so much upheaval and people lying to her/keeping secret’s from her that this would just be crazy. But you have made some valid points above and now I am not so sure 😆. I had always thought, Lilith’s comment about how Violet was like her father is that she thought like a scribe more than Brennan and Mira – but it could have a deeper meaning when compared to the other points you made above.

    I think on face value, Naolin is the obvious chose. Brennan described his mending as taking everything from Naolin, how much more did he take from the ground to help and I don’t think I remember Brennan mentioning his dead body. But I think with Naolin wouldn’t have Tairn realised what he was doing. Sgeayl realised what Xaden was about to do. So either, Naolin kept his change from Tairn or Tairn knows and is keeping it from Violet – which I don’t really see. But could be wrong.

    I did kind of come up with another candidate for consideration – more than a hunch than any actual prove – more for the weird way their death was put in Iron Flame. It is Xaden’s grandfather and Sgeayl’s previous rider. His death is just mentioned as he never left the quadrant (at least from what I remember) and I haven’t a clue what that means. Did he die as a cadet, if so how did he have a child while still a cadet (though it is not impossible). Did something else happen or was he stationed there? I just find it interesting and I don’t remember it ever being elaborated on further (might come in later books). We know Sgaeyl can keep secrets, even from Tairn, so is this a secret she is keeping even from Xaden? As I say it is just a weird hunch, not much to back it up. But I am wondering if anyone had any thoughts on it or found it strange (I can’t even remember where in the book I read it).

    It was just some random thoughts 😀

    1. Hi Emma, I was hoping to hear from you on this one because I wrote down this theory (was very happy) and now that it’s been a couple of days I’m feeling like something is off with it. Someone pointed out the ending of IF, when Xaden mentions he killed that General “I killed him […] snapped whatever tethered he had on me and killed him.”
      How did I miss that? Surely, Xaden didn’t just kill Violet’s dad? Now, that would be cruel and weird for the whole series. Also odd because I think the whole point of dad being venin is that Violet meets with him again.
      So what if Violet’s dad did turn venin, but he died 2 years after Brennan died. So that part of the story was true. But still, he was affected (and in control).

      Naolin does feel like an obvious choice, but again, it feels weird that Xaden just killed him. We need to see him and talk to him again.
      His grandfather? Now that I can believe. Also he was not “important” enough to want to bring back and talk to. When Sgaeyl says “I chose you” it may be a thing to signify that she lost a rider to venin, she chose him knowing that he wouldn’t…
      Of course, unless the General didn’t die. Which at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if Generals only die in some very, very specific way.

    2. No I see where you’re coming from too. I don’t think it’s Violets Dad either.

      I’m thinking it’s tied to Xadens line somehow too. I was thinking grandfather or maybe even father (I’m not convinced his biological father is Fen).

      But the point about Brennan is what confuses me. Apparently Fen kills him, and yet he still sticks around? In Tyrrendor? And it hasn’t been addressed yet, but I really wanna know if that was like, killed in battle, or for some other reason. And also he clearly didn’t die – and its never been confirmed because apparently you can’t be resurrected onelce your dead so… did he die and get bought back, or was that all a story to explain why Brennan wouldn’t be returning to Basgiath after he discovered the truth about venin?
      Tairn has never technically lied about it. He’s just always said he doesn’t want to discuss it.

      But Naolin does seems like he might have gone venin. It’s mentioned somewhere in the books that people with extremely powerful signets find it hard to know when they’ve reached their limits – maybe that’s what happened to him. He wanted to save him so bad he just acted (a bit like another very powerful rider we know). Maybe Sgaeyl only knew what Xaden was about to do because she’d seen it happen before…. through her bond with Tairn.

      Theres also a weird bit in one of those quotes from the beginning of the chapters, after Threshing in Fourth Wing, where its wondered why dragons wouldn’t choose to bond two RIDERS. And it just made me think – maybe Noalin is still alive, living out beyond the wards with the rest of the venin, and Violet IS Tairns seconded bonded rider. Which is why he didn’t think he would bond again.

      Now that last bit is a bit far fetched, but I agree- something is definitely up with Naolin.

      1. Anna, do you have the chapter where they mention the two riders bit? Because it would go hand in hand with the idea that maybe indeed Tairn can still feel Naolin (even tho he might be venin)

        1. Chapter sixteen of Fourth Wing

          1. Found it, thank you. Ugh, so it is not known indeed if they have more riders, some lost to the dark side. Hm…
            I keep going back to that time in Fourth Wing honestly when Tairn said “a general can recognise another general”.

    3. I’ve been reading a few of the comments here and started to think more on it. First, I am kind of thinking the that the general at the end of IF might not be dead. This is just a hunch – if I don’t see a physical body I am not buying it. We only have Xaden’s word that he was killed or his belief that the general was killed. The dream sequence in the last chapter stops just as Xaden draws power – it doesn’t go any further, doesn’t show you what happened next. Possibly it could be the now venin part of Xaden is covering it up somehow or maybe the general convinced Xaden that he was dead – maybe the general had an original plan to turn Xaden venin and got what he wanted and then led Xaden to believe he had killed him (by getting Xaden to turn venin he could get better access to Violet – Xaden mentioned that the general was waiting for him – maybe he saw his intention – maybe the general knows what his second signet is and planned for him to see his intention to get Xaden to face him – this could lead to you to think that it is someone in Xaden’s family line – perhaps his grandfather who might still have some access to Sygael – random thoughts!!!) – or as you said above, maybe Xaden didn’t do enough to kill him and only weakened him.

      Secondly – tbh I don’t think that the general is Vi’s dad. Lilith just before she died said that she would be able to see him again and if she knew that he was venin and still lived, she wouldn’t have said this. I kind of think Vi’s dad was just a scribe who knew the truth about what was going on. Brennan was probably angry with his dad because he knew he knew the truth and did nothing about it. Maybe he became more of a recluse because he felt guilt in Brennan “death” because he thought he could have stopped it somehow by revealing the truth. I am also wondering if Vi’s dad spent her childhood trying to teach Vi about the venin, maybe out of guilt or hoping that she would discover the truth and do more about it than he did – believing that she would enter the Scribe Quadrant. However, this it doesn’t mean that there wasn’t some venin attack etc. in their past – a possibility that Lilith was attacked when we was pregnant with Vi as you have mentioned before. I just don’t think that Vi’s dad is the general. But I have been wrong about things before 😆. It always comes back to that THEIR!!

      For me, if this general is still alive or if there is some other venin in charge, it comes down to 2 possibilities – Naolin or Xaden’s grandfather.

      But as I have said before – I can normally get these things wrong🤣

      1. The thing is, the more I read all the comments and the more I think about it, the less I am convinced that the general is Vi’s dad. I don’t know, there are a couple of things that just don’t add up now. I’m at my third re-read trying to catch more details, but there are still things missing for me. Timelines are a bit weird, and also some of the comments Lilith makes are just confusing. On one level Violet is all that’s left of the dad, on the other she’s meeting him soon (after death). On one level she says all Sorrengails are riders, on the other she says the love of her life was a scribe. (Who I’m certain was named Mr X Sorrengail)

        I do think that the General being Naolin or grandad makes sense tho.

        Unless there is something there we’ve missed? Like when we go back to FW and Violet said Lilith had really red eyes and she screamed thinking her mum turned venin. Cute story for a child, but was there any relevance there? But that’s probably us thinking everyone is venin now. I think Rebecca did an amazing job here.
        We could figure out so many truths and possibilities from FW. But Iron Flame, gosh it can go so many ways. Almost everything is a theory but nothing concrete AT ALL.

        I do still think Vi’s dad could be general venin but I’m more thinking now that he was venin at some point and died (or got killed). I honestly don’t think he was just a scribe. There’s something beckoning at me, telling me that I’m missing something obvious. I WILL FIND IT.

        I’ve got theories wrong before, too. But I love nothing more than talking about them and reading over and over, trying to find the missing links there.

        1. Hi Cory! Love your site. I don’t think Violet’s dad is General Venin for one very simple reason… she didn’t recognize him in her dream.
          Violet gives very vivid descriptions about the venin she comes into contact with, whether male or female. I would imagine she would know she was seeing her dad even if the red protruding veins made him look a little different.
          Doesn’t mean that he’s not venin somewhere (though I have a hard time believing he’d fight on the wrong side of this war, but maybe I’m naive), but I don’t think he’s the general. Same goes with anyone Xaden might have recognized.

          1. It’s true! This theory was written BEFORE Rebecca Yarros went and gave THE interview. So unfortunately, when book 3 is out, this theory is def going to the disproven category 🙂
            But that’s ok, I can’t predict it all. So no, I don’t think he is the general anymore. It might actually be General Daramor.

      2. I Read that and thought to myself:” Do they believe Xaden is a King Killer?”

        Though there is some debate, it is greatly believed that turning venin heightens one of the dark wielder’s senses. It is this scholar’s belief that the one responsible for the death of King Grethwild developed keener eyesight. For not even the best of His Majesty’s royal fliers could see through the darkness the venin hid within to slay our beloved king.-ch.61

        1. I reckon this paragraph is from the past. I assume King Grethwild was Poromiel’s king (because of his majesty’s royal fliers). And we don’t have a king there anymore, right?

          1. Yep – I think it was from the past – showing Poromiel’s struggle against the venin and Grethwild was a previous king. From chapter 41 I think it is assumed that Queen Maraya is the current ruler of Poromiel – Viscount Tecarus is next in line (as the Queen is refusing any proposals from the Isle kingdoms) and as the Viscount has no heirs, Cat is third in line. I remember Vi mentioning later in the book that Cat was 3rd in line to the throne of Poromiel (I think it was when they encountered Solas).

          2. You know what I’m a little stuck on? That the General appears to be in Royal Blue. Not blue, not deep purple, but the choice of wording here royal blue.

  5. So General Venin is actually Xadens Father.

    And I dont mean Fen Riorson. I mean his real father.

    Xaden tells us that the reason he got away wih bonding Sgaeyl even though she was bonded to his grandfather, is because her previous rider had been recorded at Basgiath as his GREAT UNCLE.

    Now the Riorsons were the ruling family in Tyrrendor. I cant see that being a simple clerical error. Maybe it was a family secret.

    So his great uncle was actually his grandfather. Maybe Xaden already knew, maybe he found out when Sgaeyl bonded him.

    So theres something in the family tree that doesnt add up.

    And now heres the thing thats really got me thinking about this.

    Violet points out on a number of occasions how similar Xaden and Bodhi look.
    Like, when she first sees Bodhi she knows straight away he must be related to Xaden.
    And she also mentions here that she remembers from the records that Fen Riorson has a sister (and im making the assumption that is Bodhis mum).

    But then she mentions how similar they are a bunch more times. Like, a bunch. The one that sticks in my mind the most is after Xaden saves her from Oren in her bedroom, she says

    ‘The similarity between the cousins still gives me pause. Bohdi has the same bronzed skin and strong brow line, but his features arent as angular as Xadens, and his eyes are a lighter shade of brown. He looks like a softer, more approachable version of his older cousin.’ (Ch 19 Pg 225).

    I feel like we’re definitely supposed to read something into this.

    I think Xaden and Bodhi might be brothers. So either Fen isnt his dad, or theres something up with Fens sister.

    But Xadens ‘mum’ did leave when he was 10 after the contractual obligation to remain was up. Maybe she dug up some secrets snd ran away? Maybe she was killed for what she found out ?

    And how did Fen find out about Venin anyway?

    But yeah – somthing in that family tree doesnt add up. And it makes me wonder if Fen is his biological father.

    And if not – is his real dad, General Venin?

    Also – we find out that Violet and Xaden have been having the same nightmare ? What if Violet wasnt having the nightmare at all. What if she was seeing Xadens nightmares through the bond ? And why is the General so desperate to get Xaden to join him? Yes he has great power, but maybe he wants his son back?

    Obviously this needs more fleshing out as a theory – if you can spot any gaps that you can fill please do ! I just think there is something here.

    1. Hi Anna,
      I read this twice, and you got me pretty good with it.
      So far, a couple of other fans here said that General Venin could either Naolin or Xaden’s grandfather (Sgaeyl’s previous rider).

      Alright check chapter 16. “Most of aristocracy choses to serve in the infantry, just like Xaden’s father because riders are discouraged from holding their family seats”.

      What if Xaden’s grandfather didn’t want to give up the family seat so he somehow registered himself as someone else (made up his own persona, as a sibling of the grandfather when in fact he was the grandfather). Much like what Aaric is doing. Which seems fishy, right? I mean someone must have known who he is and that he’s becoming a rider. But then again, we can see it first hand with Aaric that not that many people know…

      You are also right, while Fen had a sister and she must have had Bodhi, it’s weird that cousins would look so similar. Now this feels a lot more GOT on how the brother (Fen) potentially kept the identity of Xaden a secret. But to what gain? To put riders back in the seat of Tyrrendor?

      Basically, my mind is reeling, and I’m trying to make sense of it all. I think you are right, tho. There is a lot more to Bodhi and Xaden as their similarities were mentioned a little too much in FW.

      P.S. I’m going to think about this today and get back with extra evidence if I can find it!

      1. Oh I love the idea that it was a way for his grandfather to sneak in while keeping his seat. What a good catch! And yes, Aaric has totally proven its doable. Yes there’s probably people who knew AT THE TIME, but as has been proven (and is essentially the main moral of the book) it’s what is RECORDED that is important.

        After all – secrets die with those who keep them…

        1. After all – secrets die with those who keep them…
          This kinda gave me goosebumps. I wonder how many more secrets will be revealed for us.

      2. I love this theory. I really believe they are just cousins. I have three children. My husband’s sister also has three children. People mistake my daughter for my sister in laws child. And one of her children people believe belong to me. All because of hair color. However, if you look at the six of them. You know they are related. I can completely understand why they could be mistaken for cousins.

        1. Oooooh well that would be so so interesting! That would mean there are more Sorrengails than what we initially anticipated. It would also be very related to the idea that Xaden and Bodhi are actually siblings and NOT cousins.

    2. I think you are right about Gen Ven being someone on Xaden’s side. His family are a big old mystery but definitely there is more to it because of the fact his mother left (why?), he and Bodhi definitely could be siblings which maybe they don’t even know, grandfather/great uncle bonding to Sgaeyl. Also the history of Lilith Sorrengail and Fen Riorson – I feel like there is something more here than just the rebellion, maybe Fen knew something about Lilith??

      1. They look too similar, don’t they? Bodhi and Xaden to be cousins. While Violet, Brennan and Mira are so…different 🙂

  6. Hi!! I think you’re close!! I had a similar theory (all the same things) but more conservative.
    – I think her dad WAS venin, and the mom had to kill him (so he isn’t general, but it explains violets hair and weakness)
    – the mom tried to resolve it by having Nolon mend him (didn’t work) but you’ll see that where it says « there is only control, no cure » nolon is a LIETENANT colonel (and he’s a colonel in iron flame SO I think it was written in the past, since they always quote peoples positions at the time they said it)
    – I think the general wants her bc he knows she has some venin in her + a signet so she’s extra powerful
    – also, go re-read the first page, where it’s jesinia transcribing from NAVARREAN into the unified language (so we know that in the future Navarre will merge? Or something?? No longer exist?) lmk your thoughts !!!!

    1. I’m starting to think too that maybe dad was just a venin and Lilith did kill him somehow to protect her children or something.
      Your second point is a fantastic observation, Val. I was searching for this in my wiki and throughout Iron Flame to understand exactly the timeline. And now that you’ve said it, yes, I think so. It screams at us that the missive was from the past but really wanted to understand it and back it with some facts.
      As per your last point, it’s the modern language. I do think she will survive to basically collect all the papers and all the information from ALL languages and translate them all into a modern language (post unification of the whole continent + maybe even the isles)

  7. Ok, Found something else.

    Ch.10. voliolet fighting the big dude after hé killed Nadine.

    “Secrets die with the people who keep them,” he whispers, bringing his nose an inch from mine. His eyes are light brown but rimmed in red as though he’s on some kind of drug.

    Soooooo, is Dain father sending venin babies to kill Violet? How come? Maybe not as their general but…

  8. I dont know. Lilleth is a general also so I think that is what was meant. Heart of a rider…general lilleth, mind of a scribe…dad.

    Also, she said her love of her life is a scribe and she will see him soon.

    I dont buy the heart problems though. I also believe violet was drained and has the silver hair. Xaden or his father may be half venin (im guessing him) because the chair is half burnt grey and his mom mysteriously left.

    Violets dad wouldnt want her to fight venin or know of them if he was the general. Hed also not say she would “do the right thing.” I have a hard buy that he was evil. Xadens dad could have more easily fell in love with venin because he lived outside the wards. It also seemed like jack was orchestrating the falling wards so I dont think someone with as much knowledge as her father would sit on it until jack came along. Xaden has a lot of secrets. I think he is the one with the venin connection.

    It said also menders can do more harm than good. Could nolon be venin and been hurting her or weakening her hence the silver hair.

    I think for awhile we will think everyone is venin. It is interesting to me that brennan seems the only child to foster anger towards the dad. What did he know? If he was general venin than I think brennan may have known. Im bit convinced though.

    1. I’m starting to believe in the Xaden’s family was venin somehow too. It makes for a very compelling argument, to be fair.
      I do think dad (Violet’s) was venin but maybe he just died [DOT] and indeed Lilith is going to see him soon. And Violet what was left of him because of his condition and nothing else.

      And if all those dreams were Xaden’s somehow, then Violet’s signet seems to be a dream walker somehow. Or having access to other signets (including Xaden’s) in which case she managed to read his dreams.

      I hope Nolon is not venin. He’s iffy but I don’t think he is venin. As per your comment about Brennan, you are right. He does seem to know more about dad than he lets on

    2. Omg the half burned throne is such a good catch ! Could totally be that someone was attempted to be drained while sat on it !

      1. Because it’s wooden right? So it wouldn’t make sense that a dragon wouldn’t just burn it ALL.

        1. Exactly- and even if half of it did manage to survive the fire somehow, considering its a throne and had powerful political ramifications, wouldn’t Brennan have mended it ?

          Apart from we know from the hand prints on Dain from Jack Barlowe, (and Violets silver hair as I think that was caused by Lillith being drained during pregnancy) that you cant mend damage from a Venin!

          1. Based on another comment, I’m starting to think, there will be a rune for that (as a temp cure)

  9. There are two passages that give me the impression that Violet was carefully groomed to be the one that will bring the Navarre’s Wards down. And for it to happen, Mr. Sorrengail will have to reappear in some way, so maybe he learned how to be a great mindwork and was able to fake his death.

    Chapter 2 FW while crossing the parapet:

    Your mind already knows the answer, so just calm down and let it
    remember. That’s what Dad always told me.

    Chapter 18 FW before she gets attacked while sleeping:

    “You always have to check your sources,” Dad tells me, ruffling my hair as he stands beside me at the table in the Archives. “Remember that firsthand accounts are always more accurate, but you have to look deeper, Violet. You have to see who is telling the story.”
    “But what if I want to be a rider?” I ask with the voice of a much-younger version of me. “Like Brennan and Mom?”
    “You’re not like them, Violet. That’s not your path.” Dad offers me an
    apologetic smile, the usual kind that says he sympathizes but there’s
    nothing he can do, the kind he gives me when Mom makes a choice he doesn’t agree with. “And it’s for the best. Your mother has never
    understood that while riders may be the weapons of our kingdom, it’s the scribes who have all the real power in this world.”

    1. Wait, you think she needed to bring the wards down? Or you think she will have to, for love?

  10. Everyone thinks most Riders cadets die from dragon fire. Truth be told, it’s usually gravity that gets us. —Page Forty-Seven, the Book of Brennan

    Guess who is someone’s Gravity?

    1. HA! This was such a brilliant catch. Oh and what a snap if that was intention on Rebecca’s part. So so good. The attention to detail, fantastic. Bravo

  11. I have an unhinged theory… So I’m hesitant to believe Violet’s father is still alive because when Lilith passes, she says she will finally get to see him again, which kinda implies he’s dead? Well, what if Violet’s father infected himself as a way to gain information on the venin years ago, because he knew they’d present a problem eventually and he wanted a way for the continent to defeat them. Maybe he hoped it would also present him as a willing and harmless test subject for them to find a cure for. However, there wasn’t a cure that Nolon could find (epigraph of Ch 66) and it could only be controlled. He might have potentially lost control while Lilith was pregnant with Violet, accidentally draining her a little — explaining the fever while she was pregnant, Violet’s grey ends of her hair, Violet’s weakness. Then eventually, it couldn’t be controlled any longer (around the time Brennan “died” and supposedly her father died right after) and either Lilith had to kill him herself or, I guess (though this doesn’t totally convince me) he could have potentially survived to join the venin once fully turned.

    1. Indeed. So if he’s not alive, I do think he died either by killing himself or allowing himself to get killed (maybe even by Lilith with that dagger from her desk…). Either way, I do think the pregnancy has to do with him being venin at the time. So I’m right there with you.

  12. Hi Cory,

    Your theory makes me think about a lot of things.

    The fact that Lilith had a dagger for killing venin in her office, I truly believe that she had it because of prevention and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) after a venin attacked her while she was pregnant with Violet.

    In FW, when Jack Barlowe challenged Violet on the mat—the one where she used oranges— he already was a venin.

    “He’s forcing his own power into my body, shocking me with a thousand stings of vibrating energy.” “Whatever Jack is doing is transferring from me to them by touch.” Jack only imbued energy into her, and she passed out for some hours while Lilith had a fever—probably was in bed for days; and that’s what she and her husband told to little Brennan and little Mira. In Lilith’s case, the venin probably extracted energy from her.


    In FW Colonel Aetos said “I remember your father doing a bit of research about the second Krovlan uprising, and he mentioned something about feathertails, but we can’t seem to find that tome.”

    In Chapter 12, Violet said “Feathertails don’t bond. I can’t even remember the last time one has been seen outside the Vale.”
    In Chapter 19, “Almost nothing is known about feathertails because they’re never seen outside the Vale. They’re guarded.” (because they are really hatchlings, kids, babies…)

    Why Violet’s dad would mention feathertails in a 2nd Krovlan Uprising investigation? Krovlan is so far away from the Vale, it’s in the border of the East of Tyrrendor. Maybe he was doing research about the gifts of the feathertails, maybe he lied to Aetos mentioning Krovlan, maybe after Brennan’s death he started to look for a cure for the venin.

    The alloy of the special weapons that can harm venin has dragon eggshells. Violet knows where her dad’s notes are, and she hadn’t looked for them or mentioned them in both books after that. And Xaden now is turning into a venin, so probably she’s going to look into the cure in the 3rd book.


    I really believe that Andarna was referring to Lilith when she said that she was the general’s daughter. She lived in Basgiath and Violet grew up there. Melgren doesn’t seem to have an office like her and doesn’t do things like plan the budget. Lilith was probably just the closest general to the Vale.


    I also have another theory out of everything. Andarna chose Violet two years before Treshing hearing her elders talking about her —I don’t know if Codagh could be considered an elder, but we know he’s the oldest black dragon. In Iron Flame Chapter 13, Carr said to Varrish, “If she dies you will summon the wrath of not only General Sorrengail but General Melgren. Her signet is the weapon generals dream of in this war.”

    Maybe Melgren saw Violet in a premonition and Codagh told their elders. And that was the conversation that Andarna listened. Codagh also seem very cooperative with Violet when she talked to him in Iron Flame, even though he’s an elder and riders shouldn’t talk to dragons that are not theirs.

    My theory is that Tairn also chose Violet before Treshing. He probably listened to Brennan talking about her with Naolin, Sgaeyl wasn’t still bonded to Xaden and probably used to be with her mate all the time —due to their 3 days max.

    “(Black dragons) are the smartest and most discerning.”
    “They’re the rarest.”
    “They’re the most cunning. There’s no such thing outsmarting a black dragon”

    Sgaeyl maybe knew that her mate was going to choose her as his last rider. She saw her directly in FW Chapter 3:
    “The navy dragon seems to tilt its head at me. […] The dragon blinks, which might be a sign of approval, or boredom, and looks away.”
    And in Chapter 36, she said to Violet, “You’re a far cry from the trembling girl who stood in the courtyard and tried to mask her fear after Parapet. I approved.”

    Tairn already knew who she was. “I know exactly who and what you are, Violet Sorrengail.” “You are the smartest of your year. The most cunning.”

    Even though Andarna chose her too, he never complained about that—as if Andarna had already spoken to him before Treshing. Maybe Andarna was a planned test, Violet defended a defenseless dragon. [She wouldn’t have been able to carry her on her back at that time to get to the roll-keeper.]

    Chapter 15:
    Violet said, “I’m sorry. I just didn’t think I’d make it this far.”
    And Tairn answered, “I didn’t think I would, either, so we have that in common.” “Strength of courage is more important than physical strength.”

    “Nature likes all things in balance”, was what Andarna said in FW.
    “Signets have to do with who we are at our core and what we need”, was what Violet said in IF.

    What better dragon rider to stop the dark-wielders than the one whose strength was stolen before she was yet born?

    Andarna kinda outsmarted Tairn hiding that she was a 7th breed. (Poor morningstartail, mate and bonding partner lied to him by omission—Maybe was karma for what he hid from Violet in FW.)

    1. Hi Diana, thank you for this. I love reading your thoughts and let me just say, how very well organised they are. <3 I have a few comments to add.

      >> I believe the dagger can have three uses: protection, PTSD indeed or (weirdly enough) keepsake. I strongly believe that her pregnancy fever had to to with venin draining her. I know Jack Barlowe infused power into her but I believe he couldn’t have drain Violet or else others would have been onto him and the fact that he was venin. I think it was just a tactic. But in Iron Flame we learn that everything they touch really does turn grey, including rhe print on Dain’s arm where he was drained by venin.

      >> Re Krovlan uprising -> that is very interesting indeed right? Why would baby dragons be involved in an uprising in any way? It does bother me that Violet has not looked into her father’s notes. But you are right and I believe it too, 3rd book will be about finding some incredible truths and finding dad’s notes and research.

      >> It’s very possible that Andarna was referring to General Sorrengail. But for some reason, something beckons at me that there’s more to the story. That Mr Sorrengail is just not…the scribe we think he is. I feel there is so much more to him. And the relationship between Violet, Brennan and Mira.

      >> Codagh is def an elder. I think Carr said that because Melgren really wants Violet as a weapon for the kingdom. He knows it’s only a matter of time until he needs to fight venin and I think he wants Violet for himself. Tough luck, I guess.
      I love the theory that Violet was chosen before Threshing and that Sgaeyl was snooping, trying to see who her partner will bond <3 I just…love this!

      >> As smart as Tairn is, he can be outsmarted. I wonder what that means? Does it mean we can outsmart Codagh and win the war against them too?

      >> I love it that Andarna is the only who can kill venin with her super fire. It makes me happy to see someone seamingly so small and frail, be a badass!

      Loved your comment and theories!

      1. I found another quote in Iron Flame about Father Sorrengail and his work!

        Chapter 11:
        “From what Colonel Aetos told me, your father was writing a book on feathertails—dragons which hadn’t been seen in hundreds of years—and then you ended up bonded to one.”

        I’m starting to think that maybe the dragons killed him. Lilith sacrificed her life and her dragon’s without doubt at the final.


        I also found another amazing detail in Chapter 2 of Iron Flame:
        “Only the eldest of our dens can sense a hatchling’s pigment. In fact, two more black dragons have hatched in the last year, according to Codagh.”

        —Codagh is surely the eldest black dragon; he possibly knew what color was Andarna (iridescent, I think).
        —”Two more black dragons.”

        Another thing of the same chapter:
        “The color of a dragon’s scales is hereditary.”

        Could those two black dragons be hatchlings of Tairn and Sgaeyl?
        Xaden questioned Sgaeyl in Fourth Wing about Andarna being their hatchling, and Violet asked the same to Tairn in Iron Flame.

        If the black dragons hatched last year in the Iron Flame timeline, then they hatched during Fourth Wing when Sgaeyl was around in the Vale.

        Between Naolin’s death and Violet’s Treshing, there are five years. What if Tairn waited for his offspring to hatch before showing himself to bond with Violet?

        Violet called him an overprotective dad in FW Chapter 18. Maybe he and Sgaeyl planned their family just in time to bond with his last dragon rider. Tairn knew about the venin, he knew he had to participate in the next war.

        I just imagined the final war of the 5th book, with black and blue dragons appearing in the sky next to Tairn and Sgaeyl, and Violet asking who are they.
        “Our hatchlings.”

        Tairn looks very proud of his family.
        FW Chapter 14:
        “My name is Tairneanach, son of Murtcuideam and Fiaclanfuil, descended from the cunning Dubhmadinn line.”
        FW Chapter 25:
        “My flight time in the gauntlet sky race was the slowest in squad, […] the bruises in my ass from landing in the hard divot hurt less than Tairn’s scoff that I’d humiliated his entire family line as we crossed the finish line last.”

        And in the big phrase of Chapter 2:
        “It is the valley above Riorson House, heated by natural thermal energy, that is its greatest asset. For there lie the original hatching grounds of the Dubhmaddin Line, from which two of the greatest dragons of our time—Codagh and Tairn—descend.”

        And in Chapter 43:
        “…as a pulse of star-bright energy courses down the bond from Tairn.”
        “Aretia’s first hatchling has chosen to emerge.” (by Tairn)
        “We have hatchlings?” I grin. “Why don’t you seem happy about it?”
        “The hatchling’s choice transforms the valley back into a hatching ground. It changes the magic.”

        And in Chapter 2:
        “The energy in the hatching grounds at Basgiath could keep them fed for decades.”

        I’m starting to think that the dark wielders are going to attack Aretia in the next book, the wardstone is not going to work well to protect them this time.

        1. I think Aretia will be in a lot of trouble for sure. And the fact that there are hatchlings there will be a huge issue, especially because Xaden knows the place in and out. And venin are like a hive right? They can all share information, which is sooo scary. Xaden really is the enemy right now.
          I would love it if Tairn and Sgaeyl will have hatchlings, that would be amazing. And you are right. Wait a damn second:

          If the dragon’s colour is hereditary, then the black dragons can only be Codagh’s of Tairn. Because as far as we learnt in FW, they are the only two, right? in the whole of the Vale.
          And yes, from the ending of IF we do learn that Codagh did know about Andarna…

        2. Fantastic research btw, thank you so much. You are putting a lot of things into perspective for us.

      2. Random theory just to add to the theory that Violet was chosen before Threshing.

        Fourth Wing
        First Year in Basgiath.

        Iron Flame
        Second Year in Basgiath.

        3rd Book
        Third Year in Basgiath.
        —Xaden gets officially the duchy of Aretia.
        —Violet graduates.

        4to Book
        —Xaden and Violet get married.
        —Violet becomes the Duchess of Aretia.

        Dear Dylan said in the first chapter of Fourth Wing before dying in Parapet, “I’ve heard that riders are allowed to marry sooner than the other quadrants.” And Violet answered, “True. Right after graduation.”

        5th Book
        —Xaden dies.
        —Violet keeps all the land and Riorson House.
        —Violet belongs to Tairn, so everything that it’s Violet’s is his too.

        “The valley above Riorson House, heated by thermal energy, that is its greatest asset. For there lie the original hatching grounds of the Dumbhmadinn Line, from which two of the greatest dragons of our time—Codagh and Tairn—descend.”
        —The valley above Riorson House now is hatching grounds.
        —Sgaeyl knew there was attraction between Xaden and Violet in the turret before she entered to the parapet.

        Xaden’s POV in FW Chapter 39:
        “Somewhere between the shock of our attraction at the top of the turret to realizing she risked her own life by giving up a boot for someone else on the parapet that first day to her throwing those daggers at my head under the oak tree, I wavared.”

        Tairn memorable quotes:
        —”Should I bring the wingsleader?”
        —”I chose well.”

        Tairn is going to be THE mastermind if they keep the land of Aretia. And he must like Riorson House a lot.

        IF Chapter 1:
        “Half palace, half home, but entirely a fortress. The thick stone walls are what saved it from its supposed demise 6 years ago. From what I read, Riorson House has never been breached by any army, even during the three sieges that I know of. […]

        IF Chapter 40, Tairn says watching Cordyn:
        “See that sorry excuse for a fortress on the eastern side of the farthest peak?”
        “You mean the palace that looks like it’s glowing?”
        “It’s just the sun reflecting off the white marble, the entire thing is ridiculous and indefensible.”


        In conclusion, Tairn planned to choose Violet to be his last rider, with a scribe brilliant mind —tired of Naolin, who killed himself not knowing his own limits—, the youngest —and favorite— daughter of General Sorrengail, a potential powerful signet due to her lack of physical strength, and a candidate to become the wife of the Duke of Aretia —who he forced to protect her after he chose her as his rider, knowing that Xaden was already attracted to her—.

        I can just imagine him talking to Codagh about his amazing plan when they started to argue in Threshing, and Codagh brainwashing Melgren to not kill her after stealing half of Basgiath riders, so she could eventually marry Xaden and Black Dragon’s den could get absolute control of their original hatching grounds.

        1. Did you…just…mention poor baby Dylan? I’m still sad about that guy. He gave me Liam vibes. Right, back to the topic. I love the idea that Xaden and Violet would get married. Although I’m not keen on the 5th book idea that Xaden dies but I too, see it happening this way. But I think he will come back. (he probably won’t)
          But why do you think Tairn chose Violet? Just to get the original hatching grounds back? That would be such a big betrayal to me. I wanted Tairn to pick Violet for her wits and character and everything. And to be his last rider for other reasons and not THAT.

          This theory upsets me right now 🙁

          1. I think Tairn chose Violet taking account of all the pros, looking for her potential with a powerful signet, that she was the smartest of her year, that she was Brennan’s sister—who chose to defend the Continent, that Xaden would fall in love with her, that she was mentored by Father Sorrengail and Markham, that she was the General Sorrengail’s daughter, that she was hardworking, that she had a heart for defending the weak—even though she was one of them, that she knew how to adapt fast—Gauntlet, that she was used to the pain and, finally, that she wasn’t scared of him the first time that they see each other.

            Tairn saw the potential in her, his last rider. I think he priorized looking for someone who would choose to defend everyone. Not just Navarre, not just Poromiel, not just Dragonkind, not just Gryphonkind. Someone honorable who would be strong in mind and who knew her own limits, avoiding repeating Naolin’s way to die.

            Getting control of Aretia’s hatching grounds would be just an additional interesting perk for Black Dragons.

            Ha. Now I’m starting to think that Naolin seems to have died for love, will Violet follow the same destiny?

          2. I think Violet will probably want to die for love but she won’t. I also think Naolin might have died for love. But paid a very dear price…

  13. You have all managed to blow my mind . My question is doesn’t Xaden have two signets because at first he is a shadow wielder so Violet can have more as well.

    1. Hi Lee. Xaden has two because Sgaeyl’s previous rider was Xaden’s grandfather. Bonding in the same family line seems to have this effect (or madness). For Violet is because she has two dragons.

  14. Hi—Just haven’t seen anything mentioned about Andarna waiting 650 years to hatch. Seems like that meshes with a timeline of this starting (Venin) prior to that 600 year history mark that has been noted and with only 400 of Navarre’s history being found in the archives. I think Andarna may have been conceived because of the creation of Venin… 650 years prior. This also works with the Venin General stating that he had been waiting centuries.
    Don’t know how this all fits. You all seem to do more research than I have but just my thoughts.

    1. Hi Lori, I mention it here ->
      I also think it’s really crazy because the timelines are different. Dragons bonded with humans just over 600 years ago. So it looks like Andarna was a hatchling-in-waiting for a lot longer.

      1. I think your theory is pretty cool. I wanted to point out something that I think could maybe fit somewhere into your theory. So let’s assume that Violet was affected in some way by a Venin and as a result is part Venin. I began to reflect on how often in the book it talks about how the Venin make Wyvern. So, I started thinking, do you think this happens after they are feathertails? So they go into the deep sleep and at that point they lose their front legs instead of grow claws, etc. Then I thought about how Violet is convinced that Andarna’s problem with her wings is her fault. So I started wondering if drawing out a juvenile dragons power continuously before they enter the deep sleep is what turns them. And I wondered if drawing out Andarnas power, although it was only twice, was the reason why she had problems with her wings. I thought that maybe the secondary muscles could potentially have been altered because that’s where her arms would no longer be if she had been turned into a Wyvern. Because, really the question is also, how are these Wyvern made. They are too structurally different for them to just be a regular dragon that was captured by a Venin.
        Anyways, this would also explain why Violet’s father was doing work with the feathertails.

        1. Hi Asher, do you reckon the wyvern also go into a dreamless sleep? I would have thought that they just make them on the spot. Like they infuse energy into them together with the runes the use and create wyvern. I didn’t think they have any other similarities with dragons apart from the fact that can spit fire. But it’s a very interesting theory that they too would share more similarities to dragons that anticipated. I do want to know more about the feathertails and why there was work on them by Dad. It’s just weird, right? He was a scribe and not at all interested in dragons in a sense. It feels…odd and very very exciting.

          We do know that nature likes all things in balance right? So it could be that Andarna overusing her power to slow down time enough for Violet to survive the poisoned blade, tipped that balance and Andarna has to pay dearly for it.

  15. Here are some thoughts let me know what you think—
    Mr Sorrengail was a venin but not the general. He was able to keep it under control, with the help of them moving to Basgiath where there is a wardstone to help lessen his powers. I think that is why Lilleth Sorrengail took the job there. Also, if Naolin was a mender, perhaps he was able to help keep the venin at bay, until his (and Brennans) deaths, when Mr Sorrengail no longer had his help. Lilith Sorrengail alludes to her doing anything for her children. I wondered if Mr Sorrengail was becoming more and more venin after Naolins death, and if she had to kill her husband herself to protect her family. They found the alloy dagger in her desk and perhaps it was needed for that. I also wonder, as she talks about Violets children, if Violet and Xaden will have a child in the next few books as well, just adding to potential plot twists.

    1. No, you are right. I’m starting to think that indeed, Mr Sorrengail was venin but not the General venin.
      Wait wait. Naolin was not a mender. He was a siphon. Nolon is a mender.
      I think Violet and Xaden might get married, but I cannot foresee a child in the book. I reckon there is too much to deal with and we know they are taking their contraceptive serums.

      For book 3,4,5, I can imagine that we need:

      – To learn about Naolin
      – To learn about general venin
      – Find out more about Xaden’s mum
      – Understand Andarna and her line
      – Learn about runes and who gave runes to Venin
      – Understand the dreams between Violet and Xaden
      – Find out about Garrick’s signet
      – Who’s venin in the leadership
      – Learn more about Violet’s dad
      – Introduce the isles and why they stopped being allies
      (and sooooo muuuuuuch more)

      1. Sorry you are right I got Naolin and Nolon mixed up! But why was Naolin trying to save Brennan if he wasn’t a mender? I see your new thread on what happened to Naolin, I’m excited to see where that goes!

        1. Exactly. Not much is known when it comes to siphons. They siphon power. Do they siphon signets too?

  16. This would also explain all Sorrengails being riders, as Mr Sorrengail could have ridden a wyvern.

    1. And that would be such a terrifying thought!

  17. I think General Venin might be Tyrrish and therefore an ancestor of Xaden (and likely Bodhi). I’m trying to find the passage where Violet and Mira cut open the Wyvern to verify, but do all wyvern have runes imbued with magic in them? The only people that know runes are Tyrrish b/c they haven’t been taught to anyone else for hundredsof year. IF is pretty clear on that. UNLESS general venin is old enough to have learned runes before everyone except the Tyrrish stopped learning about them, in which case we haven’t even been introduced to who general venin could be yet, except if it’s one of the historic generals we’ve gotten a name for but know nothing else about yet.

    1. Our other reader here, Diana, thinks that maybe Markham is the biggest venin of them all. It’s possible. There are a lot of drawn parallels to be fair.
      But if not, an ancestor of Xaden/Bodhi is very likely!

  18. Hello lovelies, I also think that General Venin is an ancestor of Xaden because Violet sees in a dream that the general has brown skin.
    And I think she would recognize her father, despite the disfigured eyes, so I don’t think it’s her father.
    Best regards 🙂

    1. It makes sense for him to an ancestor. Either way, according to reports, Fen Riorson was indeed killed by Codagh. Xaden himself was there when it happened…they all watched their parents…So he must be an ancestor but def not the dad!

  19. What are the chances professor Carr is venin? He trains most of the signerts and the ones he doesn’t seem to be trained by bad guys anyway (i.e. Dain with Varrish). And venin adapt to fighting styles/signets immediately (their version of intinnsic perhaps?) So venin would need (there’s that word again) an ally to learn about signets and their capabilities from right? But violets signet is so rare and Felix even says he thinks Carr is afraid of her that the venin need to take her out of the equation somehow. Is it possible Carr is afraid of her because her signet is the only one that can take down the venin? Do the venin want her for not only this reason but because it’s the only way they can get to Xaden also? And maybe the only way they know this is because the general is a relative of Xaden.

    1. Ugh, K, you have no idea how much I HATE Professor Carr. I honestly think he is in the league with the bad guys. Is he venin? I don’t know. But check this out. Bodhi told Carr that “you taught us well, professor, maybe too well.”
      But that’s not the case with Violet. He’s afraid of her, right? So he is not training her well for some reason.
      So your point is very valid, he’s either venin and afraid of her, or he’s just a bad guy, scared of her. Either way, he doesn’t want Violet to succeed.

  20. ok, so i have this CRAZY theory about this topic, so just hear me out

    mr. sorrengail was born as venin from venin parents
    sent to basgiath as a spy to infiltrate the place
    became a scribe to hide his eyes or he didnt need to, as many didnt know what venin looked like
    somehow fell in love with lilith
    had children with her
    kept all this a secret from lilith (maybe not??) and the children
    taught violet everyhting she knew to help her with what was coming
    somehow gave violet the answer to destroying venin (??)
    the answer is related to andarna (???)
    had a feeling that he would be away soon
    actually didnt die but was instaed sent back or went back to the other venin
    working as a double spy to help violet, xaden etc.
    maybe someone that has way higher rank controlling all the venin, including mr. dad

    1. I LOVE this. Welcome to my brain, btw, I also write my theories just like you. Lines with lots of questions marks, then trying to make sense of them all. And it’s not that crazy.
      I think either Lilith or Mr Sorrengail are/were venin. There is no other reason for Lilith to check how to control venin (last letter between her and Nolon)

  21. These are all interesting theories, but I have one that may be a bit too simple.
    If we think that Venin are indeed immortal (with a few limitations), then perhaps the general is the original brother from the fables. Taking that into account, it may also be possible that both Xaden and Violet are descendants of the other two brothers (maybe just one, the dragon rider is also a possibility). I think this would explain the near obsession and connection the general has with the both of them. Maybe through Violet’s dad’s side which would explain his secretive research and knowledge. This may also explain how Andarna was able to bond Violet and why. It may also explain why Sgaeyl was able to bond both Xaden and his grandfather.
    I do think that Lilith was attacked by Venin when pregnant with Violet since her hair color is described the same way the burn marks on Dain are and that would be another way to connect her to the Venin.
    I’m excited to see where this all goes!

    1. I don’t think it’s too simple at all. It makes perfect sense that the General Venin is the original brother. I actually love the idea and theory that it’s Xaden and Violet that are somehow descends and it’s nothing to do with Mira and Brennan. It’s funny isn’t it, how we were so excited that Brennan is alive and now we’re so sceptical that he’s actually a bad one.

      1. I think that Brennan and Mira still have a bit of a purpose to serve, but Brennan has served most of his so far. He needed to be her introduction to the revolution and be a part of all the healing. Mira still needs to serve a bigger purpose I think.
        What I’m interested to see play out is the transition of power between the kingdoms and if there will be another power player that comes in. I have a feeling there will be.

        1. Hmmm, I don’t know why, but I have bad feelings about Brennan. Is he a morally grey character too?

      2. Adding to this theory, it could be why Warrick’s journal isn’t correct with how to charge the wardstone. Lilith says that she remembers that Warrick didn’t want anyone else to know how to charge the wardstone, but why he didn’t want another ward, is it because he is the General Venin? Did he bond with the original iridescent dragon and took too much power that then created the original wyvern?

        And how are wyvern created? Magic requires balance so they have to come from something right? Jack sacrifices his dragon like it’s nothing and my guess is because he can create wyvern once he is out of the wards. But why aren’t Jack’s eyes red?

        I agree with the hive mind theory with the venin. It’s the only reason Jack would save Violet is because the venin general wants her alive. He said to Violet after he saved her, now we are even, but even Violet doesn’t think that makes sense.

        Xaden being venin is terrifying, not only because of his signet power of reading others minds and now being connected to the hive but because of his bond with Violet.

        1. The hive mind theory makes me terrified, to be fair. It feels a little like The Last of Us, you know? How the zombies can communicate with one another. UGH, terrifying.
          I am not sure how the wyvern are created. They are infused with runes right? Question is, do they use old dragon bones? They need to put those runes into something?
          Or maybe it’s just runes and with some magic they turn them into flying creatures. Ugh, horrible horrible!

          What are we thinking about General Daramor? What if he was the original venin?

          1. I don’t know, but I keep thinking about how RY writes about the “The First Six” to then discover there is a 7th breed of dragon. Does that mean there was once a 7th “first” rider?

            And if so, did he become the first venin? Then history changes because as we know it’s the scribes with all the power. So everyone was always taught that there was 6, but there was actually 7.

          2. Very possible! Or there were six riders and The One, the seventh breed, unbonded. Or indeed 7 riders, one who turned venin. Right now, we don’t have much about it 🙁

  22. Watched an interview with RY and she answered a theory question with entertainment book club, explicitly saying that Violet’s dad is NOT venin! Phew!

    1. YES! The moment book 3 is out, I can finally post that this theory is busted! And I’m very very happy about it! But I do wonder who Violet’s real dad is. I don’t know if it’s dad Sorrengail or someone else.

      1. What if Violet is some sort of “savior”? Like Jesus? Lilith is Mary and Violet is Jesus? Maybe Violet was created with magic? Placed by a venin? Hence the silver hair and the fragile joints?

        Could be totally left field 😂 but there’s definitely something there that we are missing from this family dynamic…. Some dark hidden secret we don’t know…

        1. We are SO going to go down the rabbit hole for the family dynamic just wait and see. I have this feeling RY is going to make her discover all the Sorrengail dark secrets and I cannot WAIT!

  23. I think a child is definitely something that will come into the series. The arc with Lilith doing anything for her children is too strong and Violet was too angry with her. She will come back and see her mother’s ruthless actions in a new light when she must make her own ruthless decisions for her child.

    Are they really taking the serum when not at the war college? If not, a baby could happen earlier.

    The grey hair from an attach on Lilith when pregnant is the most brilliant prediction I’ve read! Thank you!

    Lastly, no one has confirmed that Naolin is dead. If he went too far saving Brennan, he could be Venin. Tairn just says he wont speak about him. This could set up something pretty crazy if both Naolin and Violet are still bonded to him.

    1. Oooh do you reckon we will get a Xaden + Violet baby? That is interesting! I was thinking about the serum…it was given to them by the college.
      You are right…Naolin could be very much alive. My theory is that Tairn tried to break the bond with Naolin! But not because Naolin has died…

  24. I feel like Violet is part Dragon or part Griffin or some other animal- I am sure I read somewhere that she said her skin looked like scales or feathers (I need to re-read both books).
    Both Andarna and The General both waited centuries for her.
    When Andarna speaks of hearing the Elders talk about their general’s daughter. I assumed it was the General of the dragon’s daughter not the Venins General.
    Or is Violet actually centuries old somehow?
    I thought the General Venin is actually Xadens father and he was bought back from death somehow like Jack was (I don’t believe Jack survived when Violet killed him I think he was bought back). I also feel his mother will show up somewhere- remember she only waited around long enough to have him and then she left….where did she go?

    1. There are so many theories linked to this, honestly. It’s hard to know.
      I think Violet is just Violet. My theory is that she is part Goddess.
      I initially thought that she is the general’s (venin) daughter but I’m not so sure anymore. See, I sometime confuse myself haha.
      Hmmm… many have suggested that general venin is related to Xaden. His dad or grandad or someone.

  25. Have there been any theories on who Xaden’s mom will be in this story? Will she be venin or a random that will help? She has been mentioned a few times so we have to meet her at some point and I’m betting it will be a big twist!

    1. Hey hey! There are some theories floating around but I have my own theory about mama Riorson. I believe she is a Goddess and no other than Dunne. Might sound crazy but stay with me ->

  26. I don’t have all the receipts everyone else does but you all will know where to find the passages.

    My theory is that the Six and whatever they did is what created venin. They are the ones that started blocking off their territory and hoarding magic, and they made that story about the third brother up.

    Magic loves balance, so when they did this, venin were spawned as people desperate for magic discovered other ways to get it. Leadership knows the details and is in on it. Perhaps many of them are part venin taking the serum who knows. The problem continued to grow with griffin fliers (weird that they are fliers and people on dragons are riders) begin raiding as the venin get worse while Navarre chills behind the wards guarding it’s secrets.

    Dragons don’t want anything to do with any of it but venin are unquenchable so they strike a deal with riders. Dragons know everything but aren’t telling. We see this over and over. Don’t assume dragons are on the side of humans- they’re preserving dragonkind and humans are helpful right now but they make Xaden look like Oprah.

    We may find that the seventh rider, because you know there has to be one, is the General or the first venin, or some other horrible secret Navarre leadership keeps such as the venin infiltration is spreading. Mr Sorrengail figures this out. Others figure out the country is run by lizard people and start a revolution. The wards are failing.

    Violet is part venin because Lilith was afflicted while pregnant or perhaps was just venin on serum. Violet pulls power from the sky just like venin do from the earth, only the sky is limitless and the effects unseen.

    Now Brennan. There’s that passage about menders can do more harm than good. Why? He’s also a master poisoner. Fen Riorsen shot him and Naolin lost everything trying to save him. Dad’s heart problems started after B was thought killed, and Sgaeyl DOES NOT LIKE HIM. Also, his name rhymes with venin 😆


    1. Hi. Ok I love this! Let’s go:

      My theory is that the Six and whatever they did is what created venin. >> It’s a good theory. I can get behind it!

      Perhaps many of them are part venin taking the serum who knows >> MANY are venin for sure!

      Dragons know everything but aren’t telling. >> Yup! It’s rather annoying almost!

      Don’t assume dragons are on the side of humans >> I don’t think they are! I think they are just using humans for their own benefits.

      We may find that the seventh rider, because you know there has to be one >> I think we will…

      Violet is part venin because Lilith was afflicted while pregnant or perhaps was just venin on serum. >> I have a theory about this I wanted to write today actually. I think she was affected during her pregnancy yes!

      Now Brennan >> yeah, I don’t think Brennan is a good guy…like at all!

      Oh this was fun!

  27. This is totally out of left field and has nothing to do with the general theory but reading the comments reminded me of Violet learning about creating runes and Xaden tells your you can even weave things like a strand of hair into runes. I wonder if a rune with a strand of her silver hair will be the key to reversing or halting Xaden becoming full blown Vennin. I’m also leaning towards Fen as Xadens Uncle, and His real father being in the ranks of the Vennin, hence the dreams he has. And as for the Vennin seeking out Violet with orders to take her alive, what better way to get to Xaden than to capture the one thing he will do anything for. But I just finished reading IF for the first time last night and I was up way to late and got way to little sleep. My mind is racing all over the place trying to put it all together.😂

    1. Bryan, your theory is brilliant! I would love to host it here, it’s incredibly smart! You are so right. It’s right in front of our face: runes will be the key, I have no doubt!
      I also think Xaden has a strong connection with venin. So are we thinking that Bodhi is his brother and his mother was also Xaden’s somehow? But their father is connected with venin? Now that would be interesting. Or maybe their mother is somehow, related to Gods. Or maybe they are half siblings. Going on a rabbit hole here!!!

  28. This page has been fun to read! You all have some great theories.

    My take: 
    Violet’s second signet –
    • Shield seems obvious based on her initial talent for it the first time she learned the process, ongoing manifestations with blocking exceptional mental forces like Tairn and Xaden, and her fundamental desire to do good and help others (we all remember her disappointment with her lightning signet being destructive). Also, and please don’t kill me for this, but there are A LOT of parallels with the Empyrean Series and two other extremely popular Romantasy series (Twilight and ACOTAR) up to and including the magical abilities of the main romantic leads. I’m a fan of all three series. Knowing that, the shield theory tracks! IYKYK
    • Mender (specifically of magic; e.g. souls/venin infection, broken wards, poisonings) – your theory on this and the inevitable manifestation of mending Xaden’s venin infection is so poetic. I am actually rooting for this one because of that. I *guess* she can save the whole world from venin, but let’s face it, it’s mostly important to save Xaden. 😉

    Mira -Remember when Mira described her signet-enabled ability to extend the wards with a metaphor of “weaving” when Violet first saw her at the outpost where Xaden was stationed? This seems significant given the ongoing references to runes being woven, Xaden’s gift of the rune weaving craft book, even the constant hair braiding (lol), etc. I think this will come back into the ward plot.

    Brennan -Unpopular opinion, but I don’t think Brennan is a villian. Like others have mentioned, I also assumed he was gay, and Naolin was his partner and that is why Naolin died in a desperate attempt to save Brennan. I think Brennan is a good guy, and will probably be killed off as a tragic element in an upcoming battle.

    The “Venin General”, and venin “in general” –
    • Oh, yes, there has been a major set-up for a big reveal that this is someone we know. I don’t think it will be Xaden’s mom or Violet’s dad. Someone much older from the original “first six” era is my guess.
    • All of the venin taunting about Violet being “more powerful than she knows” and how the general is waiting for her, all link back to her power. “I am the sky and the power of every storm that has ever been. I am infinite.” Right? Someone said that she draws from the sky (infinite) whereas venin draw from the ground (finite).• Based on the above, my theory is that the venin end game is that they want to TURN VIOLET VENIN so that they can draw infinite power as a collective species, which is why they want her so badly.

    Random thoughts –
    • Some of you mentioned healing as a second signet theory, and cited examples of Violet seeming to bring people back to life in battle. This could be related to the electric pulse of her lightning restarting the heart, like a defibrillator, so really an artifact of her current signet.
    • There is 100% certainty of a connection with Violet’s gray hair and weak joints and venin impacting her mom’s pregnancy. The alleged “fever” is really kind of obvious, sorry RY. I don’t really think Violet is literally “part venin”, though. I do think that it has given her a special ability to battle them that has not yet been revealed.• Love your speculations about Violet’s dad. Totally agree that there is a lot to unpack with that character, and that his research into feathertails and the 600 year old battle will be key in the remaining books.
    • Andarna is clearly (iridescently? 😉 ) going to play a huge role in unraveling what the heck is going on in the world with venin over the past six centuries. The dragons know! Excited to see it play out.

    1. Ooohhooooo it’s not an unpopular opinion at all. I also think Brennan is the villain.
      You know what I’m thinking? That Violet can predict the future…This is my random thought of the day. And I think I can prove this.
      The fever is kinda of obvious isn’t it? She was drained…or partly drained at least.

      1. I *don’t* think Brennan is the villain 😉 I think he’s just grumpy and something about the way RY set this character up as extremely important but also largely undeveloped and without depth tells me that she is planning to sacrifice him as a tragic casualty in the upcoming war.

  29. Have you done much research on the mythology of Lilith? There’s definitely something there.

    1. Not yet! But I think I should read more on it. Currently reading about Greek mythology to find clues 😀

      1. Oh man. It’s pretty interesting! She’s the first wife of Adam who was cast out of the Garden of Eden for disobedience. Considered the primordial “she demon” and the name is translated as “night monster.” Maybe Lilith was part venin but had chosen to control it??

        1. Lilith is def venin. I’m 1000000000000% certain. Should I write a whole theory on it?

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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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