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Iron Flame Theory: Tairn and Sgaeyl might have had hatchlings

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Written by: Cory

Iron Flame Theory: Did Tairn and Sgaeyl have hatclings?

We’re all hear for baby dragons, especially if we can get Andarna to be a aunty, right? That would be adorable. And of course, having hatchlings would complicate the story line so so much! And I think that is exactly what is happening.

What do we know so far?

In Fourth Wing, Xaden and Violet asked if Andarna is Tairn and Sgaeyl’s hatchling. They right away said no.

Hold on. Is Andarna yours?” Xaden walks a step toward Sgaeyl, and the tone in his voice is one I’ve never heard. He’s…hurt. “Have you hidden a hatchling away from me these last two years?”

Don’t be ridiculous.” Sgaeyl blows out a blast of air that ruffles Xaden’s hair. “Do you think I’d let my offspring bond while still feathered?”

Right, right. And that is that. Until we reopen this conversation in Iron Flame.

The color of a dragon’s scales is hereditary—

Wait a second. Is she yours?” I ask Tairn. “I swear to the gods, if she’s another secret you kept from me, I’ll—

I told you last year, she is not our progeny,” Tairn answers, drawing up his head as if offended. Black dragons are rare but not unheard of.

“In fact, two more black dragons have hatched in the last year, according to Codagh.

Now, let’s go back to Fourth Wing again, where Professor Kaori talks to us about the Black Dragons.

“But just to appease your curiosity, since this is the only time you’ll ever see him, here is the only other black besides General Melgren’s.”

Basically we know that there are just two black dragons. Codagh and Tairn. Which is confusing in itself a little bit. Because, does that mean that Codagh and Tairn are related?

Edit: Yes, Codagh and Tairn are somehow related.

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 Dubhmadinn Line, from which two of the greatest dragons of our time—Codagh and Tairn—descend.


Not much is known about the two but given that Codagh is larger and older if almost feels like he’s Tairn’s bigger brother. Either way…point is, we only have two black dragons.

Tairn and Sgaeyl had baby dragons?

Well as far as I’m concerned there are only two possible options here.

  1. Codagh has a mate we don’t know about, and they had hatchlings.
  2. Tairn and Sgaeyl had hatchlings, and they are both black. And Codagh has informed them, as he is the eldest of the den; hence he is the only one who can sense the colours. They could have been black or blue, I would assume.
  3. Andarna did wait centuries to hatch. Either she is very special or this is common and dragon eggs can decide when to hatch. In which case, these two black dragons from the vale have simply waited years and years to hatch, thus having nothing to do with Codagh or Tairn. But then, we all know Rebecca Yarros, nothing is coincidental. So I don’t think this was just a simple information in passing.

I do believe this is relevant because there is no coincidence that twice now, we had a discussion about Tairn and Sgaeyl having hatchlings in both Fourth Wing and Iron Flame. This is no coincidence for sure, and I’m here for it.

This would really complicate things

I already sort of suggested that Tairn might have killed his own rider, Naolin, for potentially reaching for the ground, and turning venin in trying to save Brennan. We get this hint from the moment he discusses Solas Solas should never have given this barbarian more power.”

Almost as if he knows that Varrish is somehow venin and Solas was corrupted. This led me to believe that maybe Tairn killed Naolin himself and he almost died. But the question is, did he almost die because they severed the bond? Or did he almost die because he breached some serious laws within the Empyrean and he needed to be essentially executed. As far as we’re concerned, no other dragon died or almost died because their rider had died. And let’s face it, those seem to die ALL the time.

I digress but this is important. Because if by any means Tairn really did kill his own rider… now Sgaeyl is in a pickle. Theoretically, she needs to sever the bond herself from Xaden. But how could she? It must be horrifying to do something like this.

Which is why having hatchling will complicate things so much. Because now, Xaden is a huge danger not just to Tairn’s mate and Tairn’s rider but the most important: to his own hatchlings. And I think Tairn will want to roast Xaden and unalive him. Problem is…that would complicate his relationship with Violet and Sgaeyl.

And let’s face it, we’re all for a lot of drama and I think this is why, Tairn and Sgaeyl having hatchling is very very plausible for the natural progression of the story.

Alright, I cannot wait to hear your thoughts on this one. I know this is a rather crazy theory.

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16 responses to “Iron Flame Theory: Tairn and Sgaeyl might have had hatchlings”

  1. I think you are right!! I think they will have hatchlings and your theory about Tairn killing Naolin for going venin is brilliant! Oh wow this is getting really interesting…

    1. Elise, I’m literally finalising the craziest theory so far. It’s wild and unrelated to Tairn and Sgaeyl but hear me out, hear me out -> https://www.empyreanriders.com/articles/iron-flame-theory-smells-are-crucial-clues/

  2. Hi Cory, I think I’d already mentioned this subject in one of my previous comments to one of your other theories. (Just adding to agree with this one.)


    “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.” (Iron Flame Chapter 2)

    —Codagh is the eldest dragon.
    —Two Black Dragons hatched in year of Fourth Wing.

    I think Codagh and Tairn are brothers, cousins, or even distant cousins. If they’re the rarest breed among the six dens, that means that blacks are very selective with their mates, probably because they bond mostly with future leaders like Melgren, so they don’t spend a lot of time getting comfy and trusty with other dragons.

    Even though Violet doesn’t look for a title, she was the daughter of a general. (I think Rhi will be Wingsleader of 4th Wing next book, Sawyer could be Section Leader or XO; will Aaric, Sloane or Violet be the new Squad Leader?)

    In the final of IF, Violet started taking decisions and giving orders to everyone as if it were natural for her:

    —Choosing to raise the wards in Basgiath after talking with Xaden.
    —Breaking the cardinal rule to talk with Codagh. [Tairn: “You court death?”)
    —”You will stay alive.” (Violet to Xaden.)
    —”Stay with him, for me. Don’t you dare let him die!” (Violet to Tairn.)
    —”Flyers wants to fight. Let them! (Violet to Melgrem.)
    —”Cut the storm so the flyers can fight.” (Violet to Lilith.)
    —”Move!” (Violet to the first-years.)

    Like what-the-hell, our girl has grown up. She was born to be a dragon rider, and she’s Lilith’s—the General’s—daughter. She’s a leader like her siblings and mother, even though she doesn’t still see that.

    (She even save Ridoc and Sawyer, and she takes a lot of her decisions with Rhi, maybe she’ll be Executive Officer of Fourth Wing next book.) We have the fliers, so I don’t know how that is going to work now.


    My point. Black Dragons are the rarest. So I think they participated in a lot of the big battles in the six hundred years after the unification, dying in the process. In the last battle, Violet and Tairn were above everyone in the sky, but even Violet said this:

    Chapter 61:
    “Flying on top of the battle has given me the needed vantage point to wield, but it’s also made us an undeniable target, and they’re coming for us.”

    So lots of black dragons died in battle, including Tairn’s parents. And they’re selective. Sgaeyl is blue, but she’s one of the deadliest dragons. Imagine how much in love is Tairn with his mate.


    Look this as two teams: Tairn, Andarna and Violet; Sgaeyl and Xaden.

    Team Tairn told Team Sgaeyl that Andarna was a hatchling.
    Team Tairn told Team Sgaeyl that Andarna’s gift was stopping the time.
    Team Tairn never told a lie to Team Sgaeyl, he was an open book; the only exception was in Cordyn, but she acted like the toxic wife who put a GPS in her husband and Tairn probably knew that she could to that.

    Team Sgaeyl made Team Tairn lie by omission to their rider, not including her in the revolution topic, as she wasn’t part of the damn team. Even Xaden looked at the book of the Fables of the Barrens in Violet’s room and didn’t try to read it or ask her something.
    (I’m still angry with Sgaeyl and Xaden, sorry)
    After Xaden and Violet had sex after the War Games, when her signet appeared, the stupid decided to maintain distance and not train her shielding. He knew that Dain was close, and that Violet was not just a lover, a rider in his chain of command, or the daughter of Lilith. She was her liability and his Achilles ankle. Not just because he was in love with her, but because that’s the reality—they’re the Achilles ankles of each other.

    Team Sgaeyl didn’t tell that Xaden was an inntinnsic, not even Tairn.
    Team Tairn get the wards up.
    Team Sgaeyl became venin.


    In conclusion, Tairn is in love with Sgaeyl as much as Violet is with Xaden—bordering on obsession. If he forgives Sgaeyl for not telling him the inntinnsic topic, if he forgives the betrayal, well…

    If they had hatchlings, then I’d say that they had a very good number of dragon eggs. They’re from different dens, but there aren’t any other mated couples mentioned to ask ourselves if they’ll be like a biracial family having dark blue dragons or that if they had like five, three could be blue and two could be black.

    [Maybe Sgaeyl is infertil, that could explain her protective behavior with Xaden or Andarna. I need more interactions with her and Violet to understand better. (I doubt this)]


    Violet called Tairn an overprotective dad in FW Chapter 18

    Tairn also 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.”


    Tairn is good adoptive dad, mate and bonded dragon.

    He takes care and carries Andarna all the time.
    Already explained the reasons why he’s a good mate.
    Even though he lied by omission to Violet, she could feel his guilty.

    Chapter 35:
    “Tension radiates through every line of Tairn’s body and the very beats of his wings.”
    “The guilt he feels overwhelms my own emotions, melting the hottest of my anger, and I begin to think.”


    And I would even compare Tairn with Violet’s dad.
    Violet: “But what if I want to be a rider? Like Brennan and Mom.”
    Dad: “You’re not like them, Violet. That’s not your path. And it’s for the best.”

    —Gives her the tough treatment on flights since the first time.
    —Adapts himself to her.
    —Designs with Xaden a saddle for her:
    ———”I hear it’s all the fashion.”
    ———”You have worked just as hard—if not harder—than every rider in this quadrant. Just because your body is built differently than the others doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to keep your seat.”

    There aren’t a lot of moments when someone is proud of Violet, there are a lot of times that I’ve read the word “disapproving”—with Lilith, Markham, Brennan. Yeah, her friends do it in their way—but being fully proud is something that only Andarna and Tairn feel for Violet in FW.

    (FW Chapter 22, before Violet started to channel power).
    “You held your own and controlled your temper”, Tairn says, and an immense swell of pride flooding my chest.
    “She’s ready,” Andarna adds with a giddy jolt of joy.
    “She’s ready,” he agrees.

    (FW Chapter 29, after Violet not-killed Barlowe).
    “Tairn roars with the unmistakable sound of pride.”
    Andarna: “I’m proud that you’re mine.”

    And that’s it. The words proud and pride are not mentioned again in Fourth Wing. In Iron Flame:

    Xaden felt pride in Ch. 1 when she said two sentences to the Assembly.
    Violet thought that Lilith tilting one side of her mouth was pride in Ch. 4
    In Chapter 50, she was learning to control her lightning aim with Felix. “…but all I feel from Tairn is pride.”
    Xaden in Ch. 58 when she said “fuck him” getting down her shields a moment. “His eyes flare with something that looks like pride.”

    Honorable mention:
    “You breathe fire,” Tairn acknowledges, a note of pride in his voice.
    “I breathe fire.” Andarna extends her neck to its fullness.

    —I feel like the only one who treats Violet like a good parent, tutor, mentor, or something alike is Tairn. He lectures her but calms her insecurities and bad thoughts and feels pride for his girls.
    —He flew 18 hours to Aretia with a traumatized, broken, tortured, purple Violet in her back and a very sleepy Andarna in his belly, while leading the riot of two hundred dragons.
    —”I’m quite capable of carrying you all over the world.”
    —”I’ll never be more than a minute’s flight away.”
    —All the talking before FW Treshing: “”You are the smartest of your year. The most cunning. You defended the smallest with ferocity. And strength of courage is more important than physical strength. Since you apparently need to know before we land.” My throat tightens from his words, emotion forming a knot I have to swallow past. ” [Lit my favorite PAGE of both books]
    —”Tell him if he harms you, I’ll scorch the ground where he stands.”
    —””Tairn says if you (Dain) harm me, he’ll burn you,” I say as dragons launch skyward. But not Tairn. Nope, he’s still standing behind me like an overprotective dad.”

    Either Tairn was born to be a dad, or he’s already a dad.
    End of the case.

    1. NOW, Diana, now look at the opposite with the number of times someone tells her they are disappointed in her. I’m currently writing a theory about it. Because wow, she is being told this by some men a looot.
      And yes yes yes, the fact that Rebecca makes Tairn be like a dad, act like an overprotective dad, it does feel to me that we got our hints!
      I see you are enjoying your re-reads 😛 and you are underlying things as well. It’s just too much fun.

      P.S. Sgaeyl does act a little toxic. I wanted to reply to that as well. Tairn did keep their secret to not tell Violet: “You should have told her about the venin. I waited for you to impart the information, and now she’s suffering,” Tairn growls.And he was upset. And yes, Sgaeyl kept secrets from him and now I think it’s going to be a huge issue between them. Especially because I honestly think Tairn will want to eat Xaden. Cuz he might have killed Naolin you know. At least that’s what I now think. He was brave enough to kill Naolin when he turned and now he will expect the same from Sgaeyl. Uh oh, trouble in the Empyrean paradise

      1. Tairn already had enough problems having to train with Violet and control the terror of sheep. Now he’ll need to take action on the matter with Xaden—too much for the morningstartail.

        1. I honestly feel a little sorry for him. I want to hug him and tell him it will be ok.

          1. Oh and btw, Rebecca Yarros said Tairn is based off her dog, London. I don’t think Tairn will die. 😀

          2. Wait wait wait
            London is a bulldog, giant black morningstartail is based on a bulldog?

          3. haha, yes! That’s what she said in an interview!

          4. If Tairn, I’ll drop the books

          5. Yeah, he won’t! But if he does, I will also drop the books haha

  3. If Tairn dies, I’ll drop the books*

  4. Also both times the question of hatchlings is asked… Tarin and Sgaeyl never actually say they don’t have or have had hatchlings… They dismiss the questions but don’t actually answer the questions other than to say that Andarna is not theirs. Wording is important. Also Xaden asks if she has hiden Andarna away, and Vi asks if he hid that she is his. Neither has if they HAVE or have HAD hatchlings ever… *Insert Xaden’s quote about asking the RIGHT question/questions*
    The one thing that makes me pause to say they have hatchlings or have had, is how protective both Tarin and Sgaeyl are with both their riders and Andarna. And I don’t see how the would be ok to leave them in the Vale while joining the revolution unless they planned to move them once they became feathertails and they couldn’t move the eggs or something like that.

    1. Exactly this! And in Fourth Wing it clearly states: “There hasn’t been a black dragon in over a century”. And that’s because Tairn was the last one born.
      Now we have two black dragons. And we know colours are hereditary. So…it’s either Codagh, or Tairn. Because they are the only black dragons on the continent. So… my money’s on Sgaeyl and Tairn.
      Of course we don’t know if Codagh has a mate or anything like that but I feel it would have been mentioned 😀

  5. To your point about Sgaeyl maybe being pressured from Tairn into killing or separating from Xaden, here’s this quote from the final chapter:

    “I don’t bother reaching for Sgaeyl. She’s been eerily silent since the battle ended.”

    The use of ‘eerily’ seems highly intentional.

    1. 1000% I do think there is going to be a lot of pressure there. Tairn seems to be the sort of no non-sense dragon that does the right thing. Grumpy, surly, you name it, but he is honourable AF. Having his partner stink of stolen magic and decay? I don’t think he will be ok with that.

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