Iron Flame Verdict: Is Lilith Sorrengail evil or not?

Is lilith Sorrengail evil? The verdict to the Fourth Wing theory

Spoiler Alert! If Iron Flame still sits unread on your shelf, beware! This article is teeming with spoilers.


Unravelling the Theory:

In the heart-pounding saga of Empyrean Series, one character that’s always on the edge of ambiguity is Lilith Sorrengail. Is she the epitome of evil, or is there more to her than meets the eye? Let’s dissect the evidence and find out.

The Evidence Trail:

  1. Chapter 5, Page 55: Lilith objects to children witnessing their parents’ execution. Compassion or strategy?
  2. Chapter 18, Page 220: Violet’s dream hints that Lilith wanted her to be a Scribe, not a warrior. Protective mother or hidden agenda?
  3. Chapter 20, Page 253: Liam’s theory suggests Lilith may have conscripted kids to rise in rank, not just to get rid of them. Cunning or caring?
  4. Chapter 27, Page 333: Lilith doesn’t give Mira the Star of Navarre. Is this a protective move to keep her out of danger?
  5. Chapter 36, Page 455: The dagger on her desk – Lilith knows about venin but hasn’t acted openly. Is she working behind the scenes?

The Grey Verdict

After delving deep into Lilith Sorrengail’s actions and decisions, it’s clear she’s not your cut-and-dried villain. She’s a master of operating in the moral grey area.

Yes, she’s made choices that have led to dire consequences, including the loss of innocent lives. But, she’s also shown moments of what could be perceived as genuine concern for her children and their future. All Lilith’s actions paint a picture of a woman torn between her duty as a general and her instincts as a mother.

What’s more intriguing is her knowledge of venin and the hints that she might be working to counteract its dangers. Like the fact that she doesn’t regret letting the marked ones in the Riders Quadrant.

The Bigger Picture

Lilith Sorrengail is a character that defies the typical ‘evil’ label. She’s a mother first, willing to go to any lengths to protect her children, even if it means making morally questionable choices. Her actions are shrouded in secrecy, suggesting she’s playing a complex, long game that we’re only beginning to understand. And hey, she did sacrifice herself for Violet. Which is lovely but also annoying as we got rid of an important character with a lot of knowledge. The kids are back to square zero, having to find all the information themselves.

While she’s certainly not a saint, calling her outright evil would be an oversimplification. She embodies the essence of a morally grey character – one who makes us question the fine line between right and wrong, duty and love, sacrifice and selfishness. In the world of Iron Flame, Lilith Sorrengail stands as a testament to the complexities of human nature, especially when it comes to the balancing act of being a General but also a mother.

In conclusion, I believe that my theory was proven. Lilith Sorrengail is not evil.

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8 responses to “Iron Flame Verdict: Is Lilith Sorrengail evil or not?”

  1. Yes ! Finally someone who doesn’t hate her !

    After reading Iron Flame I think she knows waaay me than she ever let on.

    In fact, I think she may have been orchestrating a lot in the background for the greater good.

    Like how she gave Xaden the opportunity to vouch for the 107 marked ones, and then fought for them to be able to enter the quadrant. She WANTED them in the war college. I personally think them being there was all part of a bigger plan. (Even if she had to be seen on the outside as a Villain, and do some pretty terrible things. But there are no easy answers during war).

    She couldn’t take down the whole system on her own, so she had to quietly work from the inside.

    Yes the Tyrrish rebels were executed, but she fought for the children not to have to witness it (for which she was overruled) and managed to save them all from being slaughtered too, by getting them conscripted into Basgiath. Yes it may be seen as a death sentence, but it was an opportunity for them to live. And it wasn’t a risk she hadn’t already taken herself when she was a cadet, and made he three children do the same.

    I think a lot more will come out about her in the next few books.

    Its almost like she postioned all the chess pieces so everyone was where they needed to be. It makes me wonder if she could see the future maybe.

    Violets Dad definitely dug up some stuff in the archives that he clued her in on,

    But where did the book of folklore tales come from ? From Lilliths side of the family ? Or Violets Dad’s ? It seems like it’s a book that’s been handed down through generations. Was Violets Dad Tyrrish ? Was Lillith? Was she a secret part of the rebellion.

    Like you said, she had the dagger in her office, she knows what’s going on. I’ve just got so many questions !

    But I completely agree – Lillith Sorrengail is NOT evil!

    1. What do you think about Lilith’s fever tho? I think Violet was part venin at some point during Lilith’s pregnancy.

  2. I saw another comment on here, but I can’t remember where, that suggested that maybe Lillith had been drained by Venin at sometime during her pregnancy.

    Because when Dain was drained by the wardstone after stealing Jack Barlowes memory, he had those grey handprints on his arm, and it was later mentioned that there was nothing Brennan could do for him.
    It was like the colour had been leeched from his skin.

    It’s similar to Violets hair and how it loses its colour at the ends. It says at the beginning of Fourth Wing that it ‘can’t hold its natural pigment’. So I think Lillith may have been drained during her pregnancy, but it was actually Violet that suffered the consequences of that. Maybe the fever was the effect if had on Lillith ?

    Who knows, maybe it was even her dad that did the draining?

    Its so interesting to know that Venin can survive inside the wards, as proven by Jack Barlowe, and now Xaden (Sigh). Because all of a sudden the Venin General could be a lot of people. But the dagger on her desk makes sense now. There were enemies in Basgiath the whole time.

    I don’t think Violet was ever Venin. But I do think she was effected by them in some way.

    Potentially even Lillith had to kill Violets Dad in the end ? I have no quotes to back that up. Just a feeling.

    And – we know now that both Violet and Xaden were having the same nightmare about the Venin. Which suggests it was at least partly real – maybe the General was managing to actually get inside their heads and have real conversations. What strikes me as odd about that is, he said to both of them, you won’t fall to something as trivial as power. You’ll do so for love. Which is exactly what happened to Xaden in the end.

    But how does this General know that? Is it because that’s how he got caught up in becoming venin in the first place too? Love?

    Maybe it was Violets Dad.

    Maybe it’s someone from 650 years ago- we have no idea how long you can live if you keep drawing power from the earth. Maybe it gives you a sort of immortality?

    1. I love your comments because I can literally see the cogs in your mind right now. And we’re on the same page again. I wrote a whole theory on this after days of struggling with it. I think Violet’s dad was venin during the pregnancy. And yes it would explain everything you’ve said: the dagger, Violet’s weakness, her hair. How Dad started having issues because Brennan died (I mean, guilty concious?) and so so much more. -> https://www.empyreanriders.com/articles/iron-flame-theory-mr-sorrengail-is-general-venin
      Come on a wild ride with me. What do you think? Too crazy?

      1. No not crazy at all – whoever Violets Dad is is definitely going to turn out to be a reveal. But I’m not sure we’ve got it right just yet !

        I guess I’ll just have to read it again ! Oh dear (😊)

        1. Also reading it again (3rd read now..)

  3. I’ve been wondering if it’s Lilith who was venin. Maybe she took power from the earth to save violet and herself during her high-risk pregnancy. Maybe this is too on the nose but Violet’s first mention of venin to Xaden includes the story of her mom coming home with the red eyes and how she was scared of her. Then multiple times in iron flame she mentions Lilith’s eyes being red and tired. She also said she would do ANYTHING for her children.

    Btw her and Xaden are extremely similar. Morally grey characters who choose love for individuals in their family over their duty. Though Lilith’s kids all argue she didn’t do this and how they all felt jilted by her, ultimately we never see her internal world and she ended up sacrificing herself at basically the same time as Xaden was.

    1. I agree with you. I also think Lilith was venin. I think “there is just control” which is why she was always…so controlled. Yes, morally grey characters are the same and I agree, Xaden and Lilith and pretty much the same <3

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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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