Iron Flame Theory: The elixir developed by the leadership is not new

Iron Flame Theory: Venin has been using the rider-dragon blocking elixir for a long time

I have a new wild theory about the elixir used in Iron Flame. I’ve been collecting evidence for the past few days but something didn’t add up…Until, one of you clever, observant and wonderful people pointed it that (hands up for Heather!) maybe, maybe, the poison that got Violet in Fourth Wing? Yeah, that’s the same as the elixir used by leadership.

And everything came together for me.So let’s dive right in. Oh, I’m so excited.

What do we know so far?

There is so much emphasis on poisons, isn’t it? Violet is so good with poisons. Apparently, Brennan too. We learn in Iron Flame that daddy Sorrengail taught his kids about poisons.

“Fucking show-off,” I mutter. “Is there anything you don’t excel at?” “Poisons,” […] “Never had the aptitude for them like you and Brennan. Or maybe it’s just that I could never sit still long enough to listen to Dad’s lessons.

Then in Iron Flame we start introducing the elixir / serum developed by the leadership.

“The water is crisp and cold…but there’s something else there, too. Pungent. Earthy.”

“It’s a new development this year,” Tairn says, his eyes narrowing on Professor Grady. “One I do not care for. I could hear you, sense you, but you could not reply.”

And we also know that we have an antidote for this.

“I uncork and drink, tasting something sweet and hard to place as I drain it.”

Alright, so there is an earthy, pungent elixir that muffles the bond between rider and dragon. An elixir which happens to smell the same as BAD dragon breath btw, and the same as the Archives… We also know that we have an antidote that tastes sweet.

What else then? Well, we move to the General Venin now.

“The rest turn for the power,” he whispers, coming so close I can smell a hint of something sweet on his breath.

Oh look, General Venin has a hint of something sweet on his breath. And no, I don’t think this is a coincidence.

This is where I got with it all, when marvellous Heather reminded me of Fourth Wing, when Violet got stabbed!

[…] but I can’t feel him in my head, can’t feel my feet on the Archives floor, can’t access my power. I’m cut off, no longer grounded.

[…]

But what poison could paralyze me not only physically but magically?

OMG, just look at that. Venin that has the smell of the antidote on their breath? The poison that can sever the bond between rider and dragon already? It’s coming together.

BIG EDIT: You, you won’t believe it. I just realised something else. Go and read the first sentence of Iron Flame. Like right now!!! I will wait. Did you read it?

Revolution tastes oddly…sweet.”

I’m sorry, it tastes sweet! Didn’t she just wake up after being poisoned? Sure Brennan mended her but did he, by any chance, give her an antidote here? Because it tastes sweet! OMG, how did I miss this? They have the antidote. They know what it is. Brennan already figured it out!

Second Edit: Our reader Diana pointed it out that we have something else sweet! Churam.

“I find the source of the sweet, easily identifiable smoke.”
“Is that…churam?”

“It helps with…distancing yourself.” He offers me the rolled churam and cocks an eyebrow at me—the one with the scar. “Beyond what shielding does, of course. […] That’s why the churam helps, but at least it’s like walking by a brothel instead of actively participating in one.”

Wait…wait. Churam can muffle the bonds. So then, did the General Venin in the dreams used churam and NOT the antidote? So, is he basically a rider muffling the bond with his dragon? Does the antidote uses churam as an ingredient? As one other reader pointed it out Mayelianna, antidotes by example in real life are pieces of the poisons muted down…Did Rebecca Yarros introduce us to Xaden smoking churam because it was a lot more relevant than we initially thought?

The elixir developed by the leadership is not new

The elixir developed by the leadership is not new at all. But it does beg the question. Why was it developed?

Was it developed to weaken the riders? Basically, introduced by leadership venin into the euqation and tested on riders during the so called RSC to see how it works?

Tairn isn’t a fan, either.” Gods, I’m so tired. Why the hell would leadership be developing ways to weaken us? Because that’s what it felt like, being weakened[…]

Was it developed by venin as a way to disconnect from their dragons to be able to communicate within the venin grounds and keep the dragons away? Train venin somehow? Did the green-tipped dagger had too much poison? Is that why Violet’s blood was turning black? Like too high of a concentration that literally kills? And the leadership developed that further? Kinda watered down that poison? Or used the same herb somehow to develop their own elixir?

As with most theories from Iron Flame, I swear, the moment I discover something, I’m just left with a ton more questions. Either way, I do think venin had been using this elixir for a while, and also they’ve been using the antidote too. General Venin is proof of it.

Now, why Lilith Sorrengail had it on her right away to give to Violet, that’s a different matter. To help Violet because she knew she’d been kept captive, or…? I think we will learn that Lilith Sorrengail knew a hell of a lot more than we anticipated.

Ok, we also know that in order to keep venin at bay, we need this elixir. Venin use it for some reason. Riders use it to keep venin in check. Argh, I am so desperate for answers right now. Why would venin use it?

“You here to dose me? Pretty sure I’m not due until tomorrow morning.”
“What’s the cure?” I fold my arms across my chest.
“For the serum?” He scoffs. “The antidote.”

Thank you so much Heather for bringing this to my attention. I am so curious what you’re all thinking about this now. Are we thinking the poison / elixir are one and the same?

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25 responses to “Iron Flame Theory: The elixir developed by the leadership is not new”

  1. I like where you and Heather are going with this. But then it also makes me wonder, if it was in fact the poison (or a version thereof) that Violet was stabbed with in Fourth Wing and Brennan mended her, is Brennan aware of the poison/antidot and how will that come into play with Xaden being venin in the next book? And what about the messenger from Basgiath that showed up in Aretia with a message for Brennan? Someone at Basgiath knew Aretia still existed, and whether that was Kaori, Emmeterio, Nolon, Devera, or General Sorrengail I’m not sure. If it was General Sorrengail, she either played the role well at the meeting or had no idea Brennan was Asereigh. She was married to Mr. Sorrengail who had research on feathertails among other things and taught poisons to the Sorrengail siblings. General Sorrengail absolutely knew way more than she let on, the question is how much, and how much more than we’re aware of at this point.

    A closing thought, what’s the chance these poisons are used on the dragons venin were bonded to before they were venin? Solas, Baide, Cath. I’m not convinced Dain is truly a bad guy at this point, but it’s definitely still a possibility. It’s also possible Colonel Aetos has somehow poisoned or is otherwise controlling his son’s dragon, in which case the venin in some form or other have infiltrated Aretia already, remember Cath vouched for Dain. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone that flew to Aretia is a venin in hiding, I just haven’t figured out who it is yet If it’s not Dain.

    1. Violet does say multiple times that if she can get her hands on the antidote, she (or Brennan) can replicate it. I do think Brennan will be playing a vital role in this for book 3, trying to figure out the antidote as venin will be playing dirtyyyyy!
      I’m also not convinced Dain is bad at this point but if venin can control dragons somehow, that’s terrible news! And pretty terrifying.

      Can I just take a moment to applaud Rebecca Yarros though? The book may seem just some fantasy, with dragons and venin and silly signets. But it’s really freaking deep. The desire for power? How evil always finds a way within the leadership of a place? How power for hunger always seems to be a thing? It’s getting political and really really good!

  2. My mind exploded. Thank you, Heather!

    This only enforces the idea of the venin party inside Navarre: Aetos. Varrish. Markham.

    ___________________

    You know what’s also sweet. Cory? At least in smell: churam. That’s the thing Xaden was smoking before the first kiss.
    “Is that… churam?”
    “Want some?”
    “No! We’re not allowed to smoke that!”
    “It helps with distancing yourself. Beyond what shielding does, of course.”

    It’s the only scene where Xaden has smoke in both books.

    _________________________

    If venin created it, they must have made it to neutralize dragon riders—maybe gryphon fliers.

    1. Diana, Diana! I updated the post. I found SOMETHING ELSE SWEET.
      I’m so excited, I cannot even!
      Read the first sentence of Iron Flame. The first freaking sentence. It’s the clue we needed.

      Revolution tastes oddly…sweet.

      hmmm yes Churam. Which oddly muffles the bond! I’m editing the article to add this! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

      1. Okay – I havnt completed this theory completely but

        I don’t completely trust Brennan. I think he might turn out to be on the wrong side.

        First, he either died, or faked his death so he wouldn’t have to return to Basgiath. Which wouldn’t be so bad, but he just left his sisters there, knowing that Venin existed. And he was so pissed at his mum for not telling him the truth, but he did exactly the same to Mira and Violet. Like he says that she sacrificed him to keep the secret, but he was happy to sacrifice Mira who was actively out on the front lines.

        Something just doesn’t add up there for me. Plus he didn’t vote to help save Samara or Basgiath at the end of Iron Flame.

        But here’s what gets me.

        The poison is introduced at the end of Fourth Wing, and we know it blocks her access to Tairn. And Brennan mends her, and WHAT A GREAT CATCH, potentially figures out the cure (or knew it already).

        And then THAT YEAR it turns up at Basgiath ? Like nah. Not buying it. We know Brennan has contacts inside Navarre because he knew Violet had survived threshing. Now I always thought the contact was probably Xaden, but now I’m not so sure.

        Did Brennan pass along the poison/antidote to leadership at Basgiath ?

        Is he trying to take down Navarre from the inside? He’s so adamant throughout Iron Flame that Navarre should be left to the consequences of their actions. Including their civilians.

        I just can’t make it make sense. He left Navarre for doing the same thing to Poromiel. And now he’s doing it right back.

        But yeah, I think Brennan might be responsible for the serum arriving at Basgiath.

        Also. I kinda think Lillith probably just carried an antidote on her at all times. She would have known of the serums existence if it was being used on cadets, and with the amount of people who want to kill her, seems like a logical thing to always have the antidote on her person.

        I really like the Ks theory that Lillith might have been communicating with Brennan the whole time, but she had no idea as he went by Asereigh! That would be wild.

        1. I am with you. I also don’t trust Brennan. Like, at all. I want to trust him because he did mend the stone at Basgiath. And he’s always trying to mend Violet. But, there is something off about him.
          The poison is where I’m feeling weird about it too. He gave her the antidote for the poison. Sure he mender her. But she tastes something sweet which it’s been pointed out was on the breathe of the dragon, is like churam, and is the antidote when she drinks it after RSC.
          And it’s true, Brennan either figured it out and gave it to leadership or he already had it.

          I’m starting to think that the key to all the information is, actually, Lilith! We desperate need to read everything in that office of hers. And Violet needs to gather all her belongings which were conveniently left the same way…there is so much info in those books!
          I think Brennan is the jealous venin from the story. I can just feel it.

          1. I’m thinking Lillith knows so much too. I really think she’s gonna turn out to be a hero at the end.

            But I just caught this. Page 35 of Iron Flame.

            [While Violet is explaining what happened at Resson] ‘ “and before his body was even cold, I was stabbed with a poison tipped blade”. Mom’s eyes flare and she jerks her gaze away’.

            So I think Lillith figured something out in that moment. Either she knows that venin use poison on the their blades, so she already knows at this moment that Violet did not get caught up in a Gryphon fight, but Violet and all of the marked ones now know of the existence of venin. (And she still defends them even knowing their lying – which points to her working for the greater good) or she’s put together that the poison tipped blade might be the same elixir that has just turned up at Basgiath to be used during RSC. I mean, as the General she must have been told that this would be happening that year.

            But yeah, Lillith is freaking clever, she’s definitely just figured something out in this moment. I personally think it’s that Violet is now in on the whole venin secret. And yet she let’s them all live. I really do believe she was waging war from the inside.

            I find it hard to believe you can raise three kids who all choose to do the right thing (Brennan potentially excluded depending on what we learn about him in the future) if you’re a terrible person.

            Also – I’ve been thinking about the three brothers too. And while it might be the Sorrengails, don’t you find it interesting that King Tauri has three sons ?

            Cam/Aaric- dragon rider
            The second son who Xaden kills during threshing (but we now know you can survive being killed if you had started to turn venin pre death)
            And the heir to the throne who we know next to nothing about except for Aaric saying he’s knows about the venin and plans to do nothing about it.

            Also – Lillith definitely recognised him. She knew him as a child, watched him grow up, and even though he ‘keeps his head down’ at threshing, there is no way she doesn’t know. Dain and Violet both recognise him instantly, even Jesinia figures it out based on his green eyes. A ‘royal’ feature.

            Lillith knew and chose to ignore it. We all know how good she is at keeping secrets.

          2. “and before his body was even cold, I was stabbed with a poison tipped blade”. Mom’s eyes flare and she jerks her gaze away’.
            >> You are right. I thought it was just because Lilith got you know, worried that her child was stabbed. But I think there is more to it than that!

            I really do believe she was waging war from the inside.
            >> Me too. Especially because when Xaden asked if she regrets letting them into the Riders Quadrant she immediately said no.

            Also – I’ve been thinking about the three brothers too. And while it might be the Sorrengails, don’t you find it interesting that King Tauri has three sons ?
            >> Hmmm, yes, actually. So we’re thinking it would be them as brothers rather than the Sorrengails? That could be interesting. And the connection of Haden to fliers is simple: I can totally see Cat marrying the dude because she wants the power/the crown.

            Lillith knew and chose to ignore it. We all know how good she is at keeping secrets.
            >> And gosh don’t I feel horrible that she lost her partner to poison? Because I don’t think he died of heart issues which conveniently started after Brennan’s death…IT was poison. And IT was Markham. That’s what I think.

  3. I like where this is going but also thrown for a loophole because there are times when Vi says Xaden smells of leather & mint but then also when it’s leather & something sweet…… what’s the Venin connection there?!
    I definitely picked up on the poison & the elixer being similar. They said it was new this year & there is the time at Samara when she tells Xaden about it and he is intrigued by the admission as if they didn’t have that happen when they went through RSC. Hmmmm……my head is spinning

    1. Wait, where does she smell something sweet on Xaden? I searched the whole book with all their interactions and there is no mention of him ever smelling sweet. He only ever smells like leather and mint. The something sweet is when she can smell the venin in the dream.

      1. You’re right, I’m viewing those dreams a her seeing the future & Xaden is that Venin but your theory above makes me feel better about it NOT being him. 🙂 Also after searching the word, sweet it’s used so heavily throughout both books like alarmingly…….

        1. It sure is! Everything seems so sweet. I think it’s a clue! But my favourite part is that we start with that very word “Revolution tastes oddly…sweet.” I updated the theory to include this because I think it’s a huge clue that Brennan has used the antidote on Violet.

  4. Antidotes by example in real life are pieces of the poisons muted down so it can counteract the poison with the antibodies ur body makes….

    So it would be logic that the opposite would be true… antidote counteracts poison and poison counteracts antidote…

    The venin smell sweet bc they don’t want to get hit with their blades and not be able to do magic…. so they take the antidote regularly…..

    1. That would also make a lot of sense, actually! That they are just taking the antidote as a prevention!

  5. Chapter 35 of FW …

    In his last days of interrogation, Fen Riorson lost touch with reality, railing against the kingdom of Navarre. He accused King Tauri, and all who came before him, of a conspiracy so vast, so unspeakable, that it does not bear repeating by this historian. The execution was swift and merciful for a madman who cost untold lives. —Navarre, an Unedited History by Colonel Lewis Markham

    ….there is some sort of conspiracy within the government. There’s something more there…maybe they are working with the venin?
    Providing them with an elixir or some resource? Something is off and Fen knew it

    1. I think there is so much venin within the leadership. Corruption of power, right? Fen def knew it!

  6. Random thought but..

    “What did you do!” Mira drops to her knees and pulls Mom’s body from Brennan….”

    then again,

    “What did you do?” Mira yells again, the full force of her wrath turned on Brennan.

    This made me think that Mira blames Brennan for Lilith death.. like he played a part in it. Which also means that Mira knows something Violet doesnt….

    My book hangover is so bad….

    1. My book hangover is so bad, too! It’s crazy. I am reading both again. 😛

  7. Hey there, happy to spark a discussion and a theory! I was listening to the book and that part just struck me as interesting. Brushing off my theory skills from a certain book series of my youth I just had to find someone to share. Love where everything went and was added! This crew rocks!

  8. Hi All

    I have some questions about the fables of the barren origen story and I was not sure where to post it but seen as though Anna and Cory bothmention the 3 brothers above I thought I would post it here.

    So if we look back to some mentions of the fables of the Barren.

    Firstly, in Fourth Wing chapter 35 Violet says “one bonded a gryphon, one bonded a dragon, but it was the third brother who grew jealous and drew from the ground”
    This was Violet recalling the origin storey prior to the battle at Resson. But note that she said it was the THIRD brother that drew from the ground.

    Now in the epigraph of Chapter 37 Fourth Wing it says “but it was the third brother, who commanded the sky to release all its power and vanquish the jealous sibling at a great and terrible price”.
    So this was actually taken from the Fables of the Barren and in that Tome it says it was the THIRD brother who commanded the sky. And when I first read it without the context and knowledge of what Violet recalled in Chapter 35, I assumed that this brother was the Dragon rider who has lightning as a signet and therefore lightning is in the sky and it would release all its power for the dragon rider but there would be a terrible price to vanquish the jealous sibling I.e. the venin. But is this really the case … (more on this in a moment). 
How can the 3rd brother be both a venin and one to vanquish the jealous sibling by commanding the sky? Where Violet recalls the stories’ 3rd brother as the venin, an actual fables quote says the 3rd brother vanquished a jealous sibling (but it DOES NOT state this is a rider, or a venin, or even a flier, it simply suggests that this 3rd broth can command the sky and vanquish a sibling that is jealous).
    Was Violet recalling the story correctly? Did Violet make an error, I mean it is possible because when they visited Rhiannons family house outside of Montserrat, Mira was talking about the fables and Violet said she forgot. However, perhaps the wording in Chapter 35 and the way Violet recalled is not a mistake.

    Before I address the confusion of the 3rd brother, let me also add another dynamic. Again Chapter 37 of Fourth Wing end of page 476 (hardcopy), the venin says “such untapped power, you could command the sky to release all its power and I bet you don’t know what to do with it, riders never do”
I looked up the meaning of Empyrean, it means sky. The venin is referring to Violets pure power, this is foreshadowing for Felix saying that Violet has pure power which she shapes as lightning (thus the potential for her signet as Violet herself put it is “infinite”). This is the Empyrean book series, so we know this world RY is building is so much more than the 1st two books, but if Empyrean means sky what does this mean in terms of the origin storey and Violet…

    I will wrap up my thoughts in a mo, but before I go on I have a few more instances from Iron Flame I want to add in as evidence. Chapter 20, Iron flame dream sequence venin says “all that power at your fingertips …. Join me and live beyond the ages…. I’ve waited centuries for someone with your power”. Chapter 52, Iron flame dream sequence venin says “show me the power you used to slay our forces in Resson… prove me right you are the weapon worth retrieving … usually jealousy sways… the rest turn for power… you will take down the wards for love”

    We never get the full Fables of the Barren Origin Story, we get snippets of Violet mentioning the storey, one specific instance where Violet “recalls” the origin storey, and a quote from a section of the origin story. So we don’t have the full context. We don’t know where in the tome the snippets of information come from, the beginning, middle, or end. We DON’T know who the 3rd brother actually is… as Violet recalls the 3rd brother is the venin. The fables quote in the epigraph says the 3rd brother vanquishes a jealous sibling. BUT it never says if that 3rd brother is a dragon rider or a venin. We just (or I just) assumed it was a dragon rider because of the “commands the sky to release all its power” I.e. like the potential of Violets signet. I (we) also assume the jealous sibling is the venin because that is what unbounded are, jealous. Violet says the 3rd brother grew jealous and drew from the ground, but the fact she says 3rd brother in chapter 35 is in conflict with what we assume in epigraph chapter 37! RY does not make this easy! Life tells us that we can all feel jealousy, so at some point in the origin story perhaps the person that became venin was jealous. But maybe they did not end up the jealous ones when the 3rd brother vanquished a different jealous sibling. Maybe the 3rd brother was a venin, maybe they regretted becoming venin, maybe the dragon rider grew to be jealous because the venin was able to have power beyond anything (or another reason, maybe something in Lyra or Warricks journal), maybe they could commend the sky in the literal sense of lighting, but maybe also control/influence dragons (i.e. empyrean = sky) in a way the dragon rider could not. We know that venin can influence their dragons. Maybe the 3rd brother vanquished the jealous dragon rider and the great and terrible price was vanquishing the 7th den (the 6 and THE ONE). Obviously there was a dragon egg back up plan in the form of Andarna. But in Violets era “the one” is head of her den and maybe Violet could end up influencing her?!?! The one! How important is the one in Dragon hierarchy I.e. the Empyrean society.

    The venin at Resson in Fourth Wing also says that riders never know what to do with all that power. Is this further confirmation that the 3rd brother was not a rider? Because whatever the 3rd brother did with that power was successful to vanquish a jealous sibling albeit at a great and terrible price. The Resson venin talks about commanding the sky, again is this meant as literal or also commanding/influencing the Empyrean as well? Could Violet have the power to influence / command the dragons because she is bonded to the head of the den of “the one” to surrender in the great war OR to surrender their power to share it OR to surrender their control over their riders. I must stress that I am not on the venins side, but Xaden is now Venin (could there be hope that some venin are good?), also Violet has been often an unreliable narrator, first impressions of Xaden, description of her mum, initial relationship with Markham, all fliers are evil etc. I know we do have different perspective in the books that back up that venin = evil so I don’t fully think Violet is being an unreliable narrator here but is it possible? I don’t like to think so I mean I did feel physically sick when I read Xaden was Venin, and still do on re-reads, my bias because of the narration?!?

    The venin in Iron flame dream sequences also suggest they have waited centuries for someone with Violets power. This suggests that this venin is old… is this 3rd brother old? Does this venin know about the 7th den, “the one”, more specifically do they know Andarna exists. Did the 3rd brother loose the pure power as part of the great and terrible price and now needs Violet. Thus the strategy was to turn Xaden because in Violets dream sequence the venin says she will turn for love and there is some sketchy evidence to suggest that the Violet dream sequence venin with their tanned skin might be Xaden…
If Violet does indeed bring down the wards and leaves the vale unprotected is this partly a way she will leverage to get the sky/empyrean to surrender their power. I don’t like this at all because it just breaks the amazing dragon rider relationships but is this where it is heading? Is this why Andarna chose Violet because she know the mind of a scribe and heart of a rider will not surrender the empyrean power.

    Andarna says she is sorry to Violet at the beginning of IF chapter 65. I could not figure out why she was saying this and then thought oh its because Andarna chose Violet over saving Lilith just as Aaric did and she is sorry that Lilith died. [Side note: Now Andarna knows so much about why Violet had to be hers, but does Aaric know something more too?] However, this is right after Violet feels Xaden burning out. Is Andarna also saying sorry because she knows what has happened to Xaden, she knows about the Xaden venin dream sequences and she suspects or knows Xaden will try to turn her. I mean this could be a stretch…

    But there is a link between “empyrean = sky” and “power to command the sky”. There is also something strange about the identity of the 3rd brother from the origin story and I suspect the 3rd brother was the venin and the great and terrible price was the loss of “one” as well as the loss of the 3rd brothers pure power which is why they need Violet.

    Has anyone else picked up on the above and are your views that it is a discrepancy or easter egg?

    I will add a few other thoughts here

    My husband thinks Violets second signet is storms, because storms keep rolling in when she is in emotional situations. The clouds from her storms can be used to amplify her pure power in the form of lighting.

    I don’t know what the second signet is but Andarna appears in the archives as pearlescent power. Andarans initial power (time stopping) would spread down Violets spine and go into her fingers toes and all her cells. There are only 3 instances or pearlescent power being described and they are all after Andarna wakes up from the dreamless sleep. On this basis and the description that until Andarna wakes Violet does not feel whole I think the signet did not manifest until after Andarna woke up (i.e. part 2). When pearlescent power is mentioned, the first time they are weaving runes, Violet may be slightly emotional because she is around Cat, she “reaches for the pearlescent power and boom Sawyer is thrown backwards”. On another occasion in the altercation with Solas with Andarnas pearlescent power there is a description for Violet being forced backwards by an unseen force at least twice in this scene.
    Perhaps this unseen force is Violets second signet. She also keeps to Sliseag in the battle in a time of heightened emotion out of need. So I am leaning towards a type of force that can help her or others move. Not summoning. Maybe distance weilding. But I am also struck by RY saying 95% of people should have picked up on it Violets second signet “manifested” maybe her signet is manifesting? But I also like the idea the Violets second signet is unique, Andarna says that Violet is as unique as she is.

    I don’t entirely trust Brennan. I am worried about the rune on his hand, the sweet biscuits, the fact he did not re-enter Navarre until the wards were down, and he has an orange dragon which are unpredictable, how did he come back to life. Think Baide (JB), Claidh (Amber Mavis), but Imogen has an orange too so I don’t think all oranges are bad 🙂 Maybe oranges are like Slytherin.

    I also feel like I can’t fully trust Dain. I am awaiting for there to be an inside the revolution spy and I am suspicious of both Dain and Brennan. Or maybe the spy will be a new character

    I am worried about the venin collective conscious. Does this now mean Xaden will be able to speak mind to mind or share a collective conscious with Jack and other Navarre Venin. Do the wards prevent this collective conscious or limit it to Navarre based venin within the wards only, so no Barrens/Poromiel venin comms. Does the elixir limit the collective conscious.
    The laceration on Xadens back… was this Sagely severing the bond? If not does the collective consciousness impact Dragons.
    Could former venin riders (potential Naolin) have a strange bond to their new riders and thus infiltrate dreams?

    1. Hi Joanna, First of all, thank you for your comment and research. It’s fab! I am going to try to reply with my thoughts bit by bit.

      “one bonded a gryphon, one bonded a dragon, but it was the third brother who grew jealous and drew from the ground”
      “but it was the third brother, who commanded the sky to release all its power and vanquish the jealous sibling at a great and terrible price”.
      >> I am with you so far. Reading these two paragraphs together they don’t really make sense. Even if you look at it mathematically (as in one of the brothers, 1 did x, 2 did y, 3 did z), from The Origin, it is obvious that 3 who did z ( drew from the ground) also commended the sky to release all its power. But then, wait…who is the jealous sibling? It doesn’t make any sense.

      This part of the narrative appears to shift the perspective. Initially, the third brother is portrayed as the jealous one, but here, he is described as taking decisive action against what is now referred to as ‘the jealous sibling.’ This twist could imply a complex relationship between the brothers, where roles and perceptions of good and evil are not clear-cut. The third brother’s ability to command the sky seems…different now. Clearly he is not the one who drew from the ground?

      “such untapped power, you could command the sky to release all its power and I bet you don’t know what to do with it, riders never do”
      >>I did wonder if that means the skies, as in the world of the dragons. The Empyrean itself.

      “all that power at your fingertips …. Join me and live beyond the ages…. I’ve waited centuries for someone with your power”.
      >> I have a theory about this actually, that venin do live forever.

      RY does not make this easy!
      >> ugh, are you telling me??? It’s like decypyring the world’s biggest puzzle.

      but maybe also control/influence dragons
      >> I am pretty certain this is it btw. I have a theory that commanding the sky, which is pure power, is to do with the Empyrean (as in dragon society). Not sure if you’ve noticed but it feels like venin always use…simpler words? “Sage” instead of Professor or Teacher which feels more modern. Their language feels almost less evolved, I don’t know why I got this impression? Maybe the way the General talks in the dreams. “Live beyond the ages” etc rather than saying it for what it is in modern language. So when she says “commend the sky” I do think she literally means “The Empyrean” but in old language.

      the great and terrible price was vanquishing the 7th den (the 6 and THE ONE).
      >> That would be an excellent twist!

      Could Violet have the power to influence / command the dragons because she is bonded to the head of the den of “the one” to surrender in the great war OR to surrender their power to share it OR to surrender their control over their riders.
      >> Ok, I really see your point. I honestly thought Andarna is instrumental in killing venin. With her fire, with her special powers. And let’s face it, Andarna knows a lot more. She was part of the prophecy (well for lack of better words). I think Andarna has some sort of precognition ability. I think I need to read more about Andarna to be able to say for sure. But I love where this is going btw.

      Could there be hope that some venin are good?
      >> In one of my latest theories I actually talk about this. I wonder if waiting for someone with Violet’s power is to kill all venin rather than not. But I’m just not sure venin are good. I think RY made it clear that power corrupts, in real life and otherwise. And I think it’s fair that venin are just bad, corrupted. They sold their soul for power. Technically, Xaden did too. But he turned for love not greed.

      The venin in Iron flame dream sequences also suggest they have waited centuries for someone with Violets power. This suggests that this venin is old…
      >> very old. ancient. 600 years old IMO…

      Does this venin know about the 7th den, “the one”, more specifically do they know Andarna exists.
      >> I wonder if they don’t. But then, the wards are back up. If they didn’t know before, they sure as hell know now! Chances are they were betting on the idea that there is no more 7th to help restore the wards…

      some sketchy evidence to suggest that the Violet dream sequence venin with their tanned skin might be Xaden…

      >> Oh God, did you pick up on that as well? God Damn it. So I thought I’m being paranoid. But I too…thought it was actually Xaden as venin 🙂 Or, OR Xaden’s family line somehow. An ancestor.

      Is this why Andarna chose Violet because she know the mind of a scribe and heart of a rider will not surrender the empyrean power.
      >> Maybe. Or maybe Andarna just knows that Violet is key to ending venin once and for all! And I believe it will be very important when it comes to the 3 brothers. That maybe she is some sort of hybrid, which none of the brothers were. So she may be powerful and can commend the skies, but also she may be able to logically “trick” everything and everyone to achieve what she needs. After all, that’s her game, right? She tricked her way always. She used her brain. It was her pure heart of a rider because she wants justice, but the scribe mind because that means she can use trickery others cannot.

      Andarna says she is sorry to Violet at the beginning of IF chapter 65
      >> I cannot tell you right now. I have so many interpretentions it’s insane!!! Part of me thinks it’s because Andarna saw it all happening. But did nothing to prevent it, because well…dragonkind. Or it was because she saw Xaden turning. Or just because she pushed Aimsir to do this? I just don’t know…

      the 3rd brothers pure power which is why they need Violet.
      >> I agree! I think she is the “3rd brother”. She is the 3rd child. She is bonded. She can command the skies.

      Has anyone else picked up on the above and are your views that it is a discrepancy or easter egg?
      >> I can assure you that it’s 100000% an Easter Egg. I followed these books so closely and been reading them on repeat non stop to find new Easter Eggs and the level of detail it’s insane! I honestly don’t think it’s a mistake.

      I will add a few other thoughts here

      My husband thinks Violets second signet is storms, because storms keep rolling in when she is in emotional situations. The clouds from her storms can be used to amplify her pure power in the form of lighting.
      >> I think that’s a great prediction for her signet but honestly? I don’t think so. I do think that her mother was a lot more tho…Something crazy like a Goddess or been having access to the Gods.

      I don’t know what the second signet is but Andarna appears in the archives as pearlescent power.
      >> Many suggest that she has a chamaleon type signet. I think she can still slow down time but as a gift from Andarna, independent from her signet.

      So I am leaning towards a type of force that can help her or others move.
      >> in one of my theories I do state that it could be gravity? OR control. Distance wielding I think it’s for Cam (Aaric!). Wait, when did she say that? Do you have a link for the interview? I only know about the Vanity interview when she says that it manifested!

      Andarna says that Violet is as unique as she is.
      >> Which makes me think Violet is more than just a rider. We know she is a rider and scribe. But I think there is more to it…

      I don’t entirely trust Brennan.
      >> YES. The sweet biscuits are a very VERY good detail not many picked on. Her mouth tastes sweet because he helped mend her from the poison too! I think there is something in the biscuits. The same as that chef used to give them…I also think someone else in the family needed the biscuits 🙂

      Maybe oranges are like Slytherin.
      >> HA! that’s a very good analogy. But Imogen herself is unpredictable. She is a freaking force. So…we trust her now. We like her…but should we?

      I also feel like I can’t fully trust Dain.
      >> It pains me to say it, but me neither. I don’t think this is the end with Dain.

      Does this now mean Xaden will be able to speak mind to mind or share a collective conscious with Jack and other Navarre Venin.
      >> Yes. And I think it can go both ways. Which means Xaden will very likely have to be kept with the serum too. Almost like some sort of shields.

      The laceration on Xadens back… was this Sagely severing the bond?
      >> She has been eeriely quiet. But he can still use his shadows. Which means no, they are still very much bonded. I think Sgaeyl is just very very angry. And scared! And in a serious pickle.

      Could former venin riders (potential Naolin) have a strange bond to their new riders and thus infiltrate dreams?
      >> I don’t think so. I think that dream…that was something to do with Violet and her powers. Maybe, she just has precognition you know.

      Argh, this was soooo much fun! I loved it. Thank you, this has been excellent to read and comment on!

      1. Hi Cory

        Thank you so much for responding I know that was a LOT!

        Going back to the creation fable again, I was thinking is this a fable based on reality, if so when are we thinking it occurred? At the time of the original 6? I am not so sure…
I remember reading something about an ancient king, I think this dated back 1000 years prior to Navarre history. I think prior to the original 6 there were venin across the continent. If this was the case the “jealous sibling” becoming venin was not a new concept as venin already existed. However, the first 6 implies they were the first successful dragon riders and there were no dragon riders before this.
I am just unsure of how the timeline might pan out. Back to the 3 brothers if they indeed pre-dated the original 6 could it be that there is indeed a twist and this is why there is conflicting sentence structure around the 3rd brother
        1 bonded a “wyvern” described as a dragon and was the actual jealous sibling, a secret venin
        1 bonded a gryphon
        And the third brother was jealous of the other 2 maybe not for the assumed reason of power but for something else. Drew magic to defend against what one of the brothers was becoming (because as Xaden proves, not everyone turns for power). Then per the creation fable/origin story commanded the “empyrean/sky” to release all its power at the great and terrible price ??? And vanquished the “wyvern” riding venin misrepresented as a wyvern in the creation fable.
        Dragons from hatching grounds across the continent were approached at a later date by the original 6 because of the events of the creation fable.
        Its a stretch I think but I am trying to make sense of the confusion between the two explanations of the creation fable/origin story in Fourth Wing Chapter 35 and 37!

        I really can’t wait to find out if Empyrean = sky actually means just that in terms of the bigger picture of commanding the sky to release its power!

        Yes, I agree that Andarna will be instrumental. Remember Andarnas name means second honour. Second honour to raise the wards? Second honour to defeat the enemy? Second honour to bond someone like Violet? Second honour / second chance?
I am interested to hear more about your thoughts on what Andarna was sorry for… there are just so many interpretations and the timing of her saying it has my head spinning!

        I know what you are saying about Venin not being good and that power corrupts and that this point has been raised by RY as something she was interested in and wanted to play with. I was also so bought into that venin = bad, that is why I freaked out so much with the ending of IF! I mean if Xaden has no soul or a diminished soul, how is it possible to love Violet?
I have wondered whether Violets scribe mind was so important to Andarna because she knows that riders can be corrupted by power as that is why they enter the quadrant to bond a dragon and gain power through there signet. Whereas a scribe mind seeks facts and logic. Remember as a rider Violet did not even want her “pure power” signet she wanted her signet with cairn to be a mender. Possibly the very reason why she can be trusted with pure power i.e. those who seek power should never be in positions of power. Maybe this is why Lilith says, everything was to get you to this point to make you strong. Could she have been saying that they trained her as a scribe to ensure she was strong enough for Andarna/ strong enough to wield pure power/ strong enough to not be corrupted by power. Perhaps she is immune to becoming venin or if she did draw from the ground because of the dream ultimatum she would not be corrupted by it?

        I was also thinking about a cure for Xaden, I actually put all my thoughts on Reddit if you want to check it out… link at bottom
        But basically could Violets love cure or mend Xadens soul or at least whether him to her and help him resist corrupting himself further until a cure is found?

        Back to storm wielding being a second signet. What do you think to the following evidence? As I mentioned, my husband told me he thought Violets second signet was storm wielding and I thought gosh that is so anticlimactic. But I thought I would do a search and see what evidence there is for this and there is a single piece of strong evidence which makes me think my husband might be correct…
        – In Fourth Wing, when Violet realises her signet has manifested (it actually manifested in the snow kiss scene) but this is when she and everyone else saw it. Chapter 28 last page on a single line it says “I am infinite”
        – in Iron flame, I looked for similar language, starting with “I am…” and I found something again, on a single line Chapter 61 “I am the storm”
        I think the fact these single lines represent something, the fact they both occurred during battles (war games, and Basgiath battle) says something. Violet needs storms to amplify her pure power in the form of lightning. She might also need it to prevent Xaden or other venin from drawing from the ground by suspending them in air. She might use storms in the form of air or tornados to move enemies into the path of her lightning. At first I thought storm is not good enough, but perhaps it is exactly what she needs. Perhaps it is more than storms like her pure power is more than lightning.
        I am not 100% behing the storm signet because RY does use the language of storm in both books a lot, and sometimes in respect of scenarios regarding Violets first signet. But the being forced backwards could be explained by a force of nature like a storm. Perhaps she is not a storm wielder but more like a nature wielder and in that opens up so much potential! We should also not forget signet clues from Andarnas name, second honour and in terms of the creation fable commanding the sky to release all of its power without the great and terrible price maybe the amplifier of a storm is needed. Or maybe something else to ensure releasing all the “skies” power does not cost Violet everything! What could that be?
        I do like the idea of something more special and unique like a chameleon type signet, it just baffles me that RY said 95% of readers would get it and there are about 10 solid theories haha! I either read it or heard it of the book club interview she did. I will try to find it and post it here. Yes I like Cam for distance wielder, he has to have a powerful signet and he has a blu club tail. Do we know his dragons name for signet clues?
        I agree with your comment of Violet being unique and there is more to her.
        Oh amazing point about cook from the outpost and someone else in the family needing the sweet biscuits! I am torn between whether this was Lilith or papa Sorrengail.
        I want to trust Imogen… Not every orange is going to lead to a death / disaster/ baddie/ horrid outcome.
        Dain is such a rollercoaster! I just cannot get on board with Dain.
        Sgaeyl is in a serious pickle, especially if Tairn cut the bond with Naolin if Naolin turn Venin. I mean, Sgaeyl hates Brennan, is this because of Tairn? Or is there more to it? What if Sgaeyl gave Tairn the advise to cut the bond with Naolin and now Sgaeyl will not do that with Xaden, Tairn is going to be panicking and also feeling betrayed again!

        1. Hi Joanna,
          You are most welcome. These comments keep me on my toes and I love it!
          I did some digging 😀

          1. Yes, there is a king

          “I quickly read from the beginning of the paragraph to be sure I have it right, then sign the sentence she’s looking for, spelling out the last word—the name of an ancient king who lived a thousand years before Navarre existed.” So now we are 1600 before present day.

          2. There is a book
          “The Gift of the First Six in my room, not that it’s taught me anything besides the fact that the First Six weren’t the first riders—they were simply the first to survive.”
          Clearly, there were dragon riders before…

          3. Hmmm…but venin create wyvern. They cannot exist without the venin in the first place. I am unsure about this one.

          4. I think (although I may be wrong) that the Fables were created during the Great War. However, fables are usually ancient right? So it would make sense for them to be much, much earlier. After all, there are scrolls and things from the unifications but everything else was redacted in Navarre.

          5. I am very confused about the Fables in chapter 35 and 37. It does feel like it was the jealous sibling that could command the skies. Unless it was exactly that. The venin could command the empyrean with its corruption and killed the rider and the flier.

          6. I think second honour because she is the second to maybe raise the wards, and defeat venin! That’s my theory!

          7. I think Xaden is a morally grey character. I don’t think he is good at all. I think he only cares about Violet and would destroy the whole world to ensure her safety. So then, is he good? It’s relative right? Was Lilith good, because she did all that stuff to protect her kids? Sure, but many others died. She too, was a morally grey character.

          8. Ha, I do think Violet is immune to becoming venin. I think she is like those stones from the Dunness River, already drained of their magic.

          9. I think, right now, as per Nolon’s old missive, we know that it’s just control. He turned for love and not power. So maybe, just maybe he can control it a bit better. But I also think there is a cure out there.

          10. I do think being a storm wielder could be anticlimactic, not going to lie. But to your evidence, you have valid points. She did say she was infinite, she did say she is the storm. Also when Lilith died, Violet did say “She’s the tide, the storms, the very air, a force too big to be extinguished without ripping the world itself apart to the core.” But as much as I can see it, I don’t believe it. It doesn’t make as much sense. Although, you know, mind you. Lilith is gone, maybe we do need a storm wielder now.

          11. We do not know the blue clubtail’s name. But I think he is our distance wielder. So I’m putting together a theory that Violet had the power of precognition 🙂

          12. I am really thinking it was Lilith now…I thought it was Dad Sorrengail but I’m changing my mind.

          13. Her dragon’s name is pure/clean. But that is to do with the fact that she can wipe up memories. I like Imogen so so much, but I don’t trust her yet. Although she’s not given me any reason to feel otherwise.

          14. I feel sorry for Dain right now, I think he needs a hug. But I also think RY wants us to feel bad for him haha and then she will slap us again just as we’re trusting him again. I don’t trust anyone anymore haha

          15. I think Tairn will be so so upset in the next book. And yet, Violet is sleeping next to Xaden. Whatever it was said…ugh! ugh! I cannot wait! I think Sgaeyl hates Brennan for many reasons. She said she was never a fan of bullies. What if, Brennan is a bully? Or yes, it could be that he is venin and Sgaeyl knows. It could be that he drained Naolin and Tairn almost died. But they do say “she never liked me”…so maybe she is more intuitive than we give her credit for.

          Aaaaah this was so much fun!

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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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