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Elantris Reread: Chapters Forty-Four to Forty-Six 


Elantris Reread: Chapters Forty-Four to Forty-Six 

Home / Elantris Reread: Chapters Forty-Four to Forty-Six 
Rereads/Rewatches Brandon Sanderson

Elantris Reread: Chapters Forty-Four to Forty-Six 

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Published on December 7, 2023

Header image for the Elantris reread

Oh, my Cosmere Chickens, we have so much to go over this week! Revelations about AonDor! Budding romance! Sacrifices galore, and so much more! Things are really starting to heat up in Elantris, and Paige and I are champing at the bit to dive in, so won’t you join us?

(Non-)Spoiler warning: This week’s article has no spoilers from other Cosmere works. Read on fearlessly, chickens!

Trigger warnings: Loss of a parent

Last time on Elantris: False Victories and Burgeoning Romances…

Hrathen is overjoyed by the fact that all his devious plots have come to fruition, and he’s managed to overthrow the government of Kae (and thereby converted the people) with no bloodshed.

Meanwhile, Raoden and Sarene have been so busy making doe-eyes at one another in Elantris that Raoden’s been loath to ask her about what happened on the outside. When he finally does, Sarene drops the mother of all bombshells on his head, revealing that that the king, his father, is dead. (That’ll sure ruin the mood, huh?)

Chapter Essentials

POV Character(s): Sarene, Hrathen, Raoden


Chapter 44

“Iadon is dead?” Spirit asked in a quiet voice.

L: Oof. Poor Raoden. He didn’t much like the guy, but Iadon was still his father, and to hear the news this way must have been so jarring.

P: He may have known, as an adult, how ignorant Iadon had been, but your father is still your father.

Spirit’s brow furrowed. “Being a Derethi sympathizer makes one popular? I’ve missed a lot, haven’t I?”

“How long have you been in here?”

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L: Careful there, Raoden. You might give yourself away. (Inwardly I’m screaming “JUST FIGURE IT OUT ALREADY AND START KISSING WHY DON’T YOU?!”)

P: I hate the lie! I feel that the more he lies to her, the more she’ll hold against him when she learns who he is!

That said, I have no memory of this place.

He had seized control of the rival gangs in recent weeks, but that wasn’t the sort of thing a person accomplished without a great deal of planning and work.

L: Looks like everyone underestimating him has worked out in Raoden’s favor.

P: Seriously. He’s quite competent!

Sarene didn’t need to describe their personalities and temperaments; Spirit already knew them. In fact, he seemed to understand them better than Sarene herself. When she questioned him on the matter, he simply explained that in Arelon it was vital to know of each noble with a rank of baron or higher.

L: Damn it, Raoden! Slip up already!

P: Damn it, Sarene! Be suspicious of his extensive knowledge!

“But your wedding contract said you could never marry again.”

“How did you know that?” Sarene asked, her eyes narrowing.

“You explained it just a few minutes ago.”

“I did not.”

L: Yes, yesssssssss. Put the pieces together, Sarene!

P: Lol! That’s what I’m waiting for!

“Anyway,” Spirit said…


P: She really should have pursued that after denying that she mentioned it. Had he been in Elantris a year, he’d have no knowledge of any of it.

“So you only agreed to marry the prince for politics.” His tone sounded hurt for some reason, as if her relationship with the crown prince of Arelon reflected directly on its aristocracy.

“Of course,” Sarene said. “I am a political creature, Spirit. I did what was best for Teod—and for the same reason I was going to marry Roial.”

L: Now, granted, she doesn’t really know “Spirit” well enough to be spilling her deepest secrets to him and telling him all about how she thought she had been falling for Raoden, but still, this is just INFURIATING. They were so close! And poor Raoden, after just learning all this devastating news about his family and his country, is getting yet another gut punch.

P: I know, that was tough to read, too. Like, here they are, getting so close, and he learns that she didn’t really WANT to marry him, that she was just doing it for politics. Frustrating.

“It is done, my lady,” Ashe informed them. “Telrii is king.”

L: Time to see if he upholds his end of the bargain and starts helping Hrathen to convert the populace… or if a double-cross is in order. (I’d bet on the double-cross for two reasons. One, if a man’s willing to sell out his country for power, he’s probably not going to want to lose that power now that he’s got it. And two, things have been going too well for Hrathen and the Rules of Storytelling say that when things are going well for a character, it’s all about to get f***ed up.)

P: If he keeps getting money from Fjorden, he’ll pretend to convert, I bet. But I’m not sure Hrathen is going to continue to accommodate Telrii so generously. We’ll see how that happens.

And can I just take a moment to want to smack Raoden (though I wouldn’t because it would hurt him too much, poor boy!) for not questioning how Sarene was communicating with a seon? I mean, that’s kind of a big deal!

Chapter 45

Besides, he didn’t want to bother the people with worries about Elantris; he wanted them to remain focused on their new king, and the allegiances he would soon declare.

L: Getting a little complacent there, Hrathen. Watch out. Those storytelling rules are about to bite you in the ass.

P: I’m ready to see him get bitten in the ass!

The former duke, now king, was an easy man to understand, and men who could be understood could be manipulated.

L: Oh yeah. WAY too complacent. Honestly I thought Hrathen was better than this! (And by “better,” I mean better at manipulation and plotting, not a moral and ethical man. Just in case that wasn’t clear…)

P: I figured that’s what you meant, but it never hurts to clarify.

Telrii would undoubtedly demand more money from Hrathen before he joined Shu-Dereth. Telrii would think himself clever, and would assume that the crown gave him even greater leverage with Fjorden. Hrathen would feign indignation at the cash demands, all the while understanding what Telrii never could.

L: Yeeaaaah I doubt it’s gonna be that easy.

P: It’s never that easy, even for the “bad” guy.

Power was not in wealth, but in control—money was worthless before a man who refused to be bought.

L: You’d think that he’d realize that Telrii won’t want to cede that control now that he’s got it…

P: Perhaps if Hrathen tells Telrii that he’ll get invaded if he doesn’t convert, then it will sink in.

Telrii might not believe, but his children—raised Derethi—would. One man’s meaningless conversion would provide for the salvation of a kingdom.

L: Ugh. I wish this didn’t ring so true for so many actual historical cultures. So many incredible religions and traditions, wiped out because a colonizing force decided it was their way or the highway, forcing them to assimilate and brainwashing their children until little to no trace of the original culture remains…

P: Brainwashing. That’s exactly what it is.

Sarene had been a wonderful opponent, and he knew how dangerous Elantris could be. […] He needed her to live for more reason than one.

L: Getting a little crush are we, Hrathen?

P: Ha! I hadn’t considered this. I rather thought it was to trade her for Eventeo’s conversion.

“I come on behalf of my master, King Eventeo of Teod,” the seon said in a melodious voice. “He wishes to speak with you.”

L: Oh boy. This ought to be good.

P: And here it is.

“…what would it take for your Jaddeth to heal my daughter?”

“The Lord might be persuaded if you gave Him some form of encouragement,” Hrathen said. “The faithless receive no miracles, Your Majesty.”


P: Yup. He really is a snake. I knew he was going to use this against Eventeo.

Hrathen smiled, the final piece of his plan falling into place.

L: Come on, storytelling rules! You can kick in anytime now…

P: ::waiting::

Chapter 46

Arelon would be better off without King Iadon.

Yet when news of his father’s demise actually came, Raoden found his emotions traitorously melancholy. His heart wanted to forget the Iadon of the last five years, instead remembering the Iadon of Raoden’s childhood. His father had been the most successful merchant in all of Arelon—respected by his countrymen and loved by his son. He had seemed a man of honor and of strength. Part of Raoden would always be that child who saw his father as the greatest of heroes.

L: This hits so hard. Anyone who has an estranged parent could relate to this, I think. That bittersweet mix of memories, the difference between the idealized parent you remember vs. the real-life person with all their faults and foibles that you see with your adult eyes.

P: Yeah, as someone who argued as much with my mother as not, I feel this feel. We didn’t see eye to eye but losing her four years ago punched me in the gut, and continues to do so.

The Elantrians figured they were so obviously superior to anything else that they didn’t need to worry about other religions. Most of them didn’t even care if they were worshipped or not.”

L: On the one hand, I get it—when you’re practically omnipotent, why waste time worrying about the little ants scurrying around outside your borders? But on the other hand, it seems incredibly arrogant, not to mention self-centered. The Elantrians could have been using their powers to help all the people in the world, not just those within their borders. They seem almost myopic in retrospect.

“I understand most of the theory now, but I still don’t seem any closer to discovering what has blocked the Dor. I feel that the Aons have changed, that the old patterns are slightly wrong, but I can’t even begin to guess why that would be.”

“Maybe something’s wrong with the land,” Sarene said offhandedly, leaning back in her chair so the front two legs rose off the ground.

L: ::gasp::

P: Yes!! A clue!

“To begin every Aon, you draw a picture of Arelon. I learned that as a little girl.”

Raoden froze, his hand pausing in midline. “Say that again.”

L: Leave it to a school-yard lesson to provide the key to understanding!

P: Come on, Raoden! Put two and two together!!

Galladon held up the map and Sarene moved to stand at the Dula’s side. They looked through the thin paper at the glowing Aon.

“Doloken!” Galladon swore. “Sule, the proportions are exactly the same. They even slant the same way.”

L: To get an idea of what they’re seeing…


He turned, intending to praise Sarene for the clue. However, his words choked in his mouth. Something was wrong. The dark splotches on the princess’s skin were the wrong color: they were a mixture of blues and purples, like bruises. They seemed to fade before his eyes.

L: Argh no, not now! They were so close!

P: Just a few more moments and he might have had it! Curses! ::shakes fist at Brandon::

Then he made the connection. Sarene had never been able to draw Aons. She had complained of being cold, and she still insisted that her wounds didn’t hurt. Raoden reached out and felt Sarene’s face. Her flesh was warm—too warm, even for a new Elantrian whose body hadn’t completely cooled yet. He pushed the scarf off her head with trembling fingers, and felt the nearly invisible blonde stubble on her scalp. “Idos Domi,” he whispered.

L: It’s a good thing Raoden’s too smart to be fooled into thinking that Hrathen cured her.

P: Too smart for that but not so smart (yet!) to figure out why the aons aren’t working!

Raoden fell still. He wanted her to stay—he longed for her to stay. But he would do whatever it took to get her out of Elantris. The city was death.

L: ::wistful sigh:: He’s so romantic.

P: I know, isn’t it sweet! Hush all of you, let us swoon…

“You think we can afford to feed you, Princess?” Raoden said, forcing harshness into his voice. “You assume we will waste food on a woman who is not one of us?”

“That won’t work, Spirit,” Sarene shot back. “I can see the truth in your eyes.”

L: Well, thank goodness for that, at least. The whole “I have to hurt her to drive her away for her own safety” trope being recognized and subverted is a nice touch.

P: I’m so glad she didn’t fall for that little trick. She’s too smart for that nonsense.

Raoden was left lying on his back, feeling the slime squish beneath him, looking up at a man in bloodred armor. The gyorn stood quietly for a moment, then turned and followed Sarene out of the city. The gates slammed shut behind him.

L: Hoo boy. What an image to leave us on!

P: Can’t wait for next week!

We’ll be leaving further speculation and discussion to you in the comments, and hope to join you there! Next week, we’ll be back with chapters 47 and 48.

Paige resides in New Mexico, of course. Between work and school and the SA5 beta read, she’s trying to work on book 3 of a YA/Crossover trilogy with just a hint of the supernatural. Links to her other writing are available in her profile.

Lyndsey lives in Connecticut. She makes magic wands for a living and will be helping out Santa Claus this season in Essex, CT. If you enjoy queer protagonists, snarky humor, and don’t mind some salty language, check out book 1 of her fantasy series. Follow her on Facebook or TikTok!

About the Author

Paige Vest


Paige resides in New Mexico, of course. Between work and school and the SA5 beta read, she’s trying to work on book 3 of a YA/Crossover trilogy with just a hint of the supernatural. Links to her other writing are available in her profile.
Learn More About Paige

About the Author

Lyndsey Luther


Lyndsey lives in Connecticut. She’s in the process of closing on a house (yes, in this dreadful market) so please wish her the best of luck, and follow her on Facebook or TikTok!
Learn More About Lyndsey
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