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Elantris Reread: Chapters Forty-Nine and Fifty


Elantris Reread: Chapters Forty-Nine and Fifty

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Elantris Reread: Chapters Forty-Nine and Fifty

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Published on January 4, 2024

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Well well well! Here we are in another bright and shiny new year, my Cosmere Chickens! And I sincerely hope that this one treats you better than the one before. (If you had a good year, I hope that this one’s even better. And if it was a bad one, well… same wish.)

You may remember that we left off on a bit of a sad place in our reread two weeks ago. Prince Raoden’s still “dead” and stuck in Elantris, and the Aons are still stubbornly refusing to work for him. Princess Sarene’s been “cured” of her Shaod, but that means that she’s been separated from “Spirit” ::pout:: and thrust back into the politically fraught turmoil of Kaye, where Telrii has taken over the throne but refused to convert to Shu-Dereth (as he promised Hrathen he would). Things aren’t quite at a boil, but they’re getting close. So won’t you join us as we light a candle and make our way down the streets of Elantris, on our way to meet Raoden in a certain dimly lit, dusty library…

Spoiler warning: This week’s article briefly mentions The Emperor’s Soul and The Lost Metal but contains spoilers from neither. Read on fearlessly, chickens!

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Last time on Elantris: Treason and Trickery…

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen you, dearest chickens! In our last chapter, Sarene is released back into Kaye, where she immediately begins trying to gather her friends for an all-out armed insurrection against (now King) Telrii. Meanwhile, Hrathen learns that Telrii is even slimier than he’d anticipated. Not only is he demanding more out of Hrathen in order to turn the country over to Shu-Dereth and thereby Wyrn… he’s demanding to be granted a position equal to Hrathen, and Telrii has dared to demand it of Wyrn himself! That letter’s not going to go over well, and Hrathen knows it. He’s bracing for war as Wyrn inevitably launches a strike force against Kaye…

Chapter Essentials

POV Character(s): Raoden, Sarene


Chapter 49

At first, Raoden stayed away from the library because it reminded him of her. Then he found himself drawn back to it—because it reminded him of her.

P: Aww, this is simply adorable. And people say that Sanderson can’t write romance.

Aon Eno, the character for water, included a wiggling line that matched the meanderings of the Aredel River. The character for wood—Aon Dii—included several circles that represented the southern forests.

L: For your visualization pleasure:

Aon Eno, the character for water, from Brandon Sanderson's Elantris

Why did Aon Mea, the character for thoughtfulness, have an X that crossed somewhere in the middle of Eon Plantation?

L: Years of self-taught photoshop prowess have led me to this, chickens.

Aon Mea, the character for thoughtfulness, from Brandon Sanderson's Elantris

Why was Aon Rii specked with two dozen seemingly random dots?

L: Also, why does this one not have the dot for the lake, and have a diagonal line through there instead? And why does it have FOUR quadrants? This one’s REAL weird.

Aon Rii, from Brandon Sanderson's Elantris

After all, the Elantrians had used AonDor to carve permanent symbols into rock and stone—and had even constructed them from wire, pieces of wood, and a host of other materials. Apparently it was difficult to create AonDor characters from physical materials, but the Aons still had their same effect, regardless of whether they were drawn in the air or smelted from steel.

L: I love the idea of sculpted Aons. They’re so beautiful to begin with!

“Stop moping, sule,” Galladon said with a grunt. “It doesn’t suit you—it takes a fine sense of pessimism to brood with any sort of respectability.”

L: Yeah! Like Kaladin’s!

P: Your comment made me snort laugh. But yes, Raoden is not the moping type.

Except … When the Reod occurred, the land cracked. 

“The Chasm!” Raoden exclaimed.

“The Chasm?” Galladon said skeptically. “That was caused by the Reod, sule, not the other way around.”

“But what if it wasn’t?” Raoden said, excited.

L: What indeed?!

P: Finally he gets there.

He stabbed the Aon and slashed his finger through the air. And a small line streaked across the Aon behind it.

Then it struck him. The Dor attacked with a roaring surge of power, and this time it hit no wall. It exploded through Raoden like a river. He gasped, basking in its power for just a moment. It burst free like a beast that had been kept trapped in a small space for far too long. It almost seemed … joyful.

Then it was gone, and he stumbled, dropping to his knees.

L: EUREKA! We have a breakthrough! One thing I’d like to note from Brandon’s annotations on his website is this:

If you were wondering, most of the explanations we get in this chapter are true. The reason that Raoden was subject to the Dor attacks was because he spent so much time practicing with the Aons. He began to make a bridge between this world and the Dor, and because of that, he gave the Dor a slight opening into his soul. I imagine that he isn’t the first one to suffer something like this during the ten years that Elantris has been fallen. Other Elantrians probably practiced with the Aons, and the Dor eventually destroyed them. When it was done, they simply became Hoed.

Now back to Raoden:

A thin prick of red light appeared in the disk’s center, then expanded, the burning sounds rising to a clamor. The Aon became a twisting vortex of fire; Raoden could feel the heat as he stumbled back.

It burst, spitting out a horizontal column of flame that passed just above Galladon’s head. The column crashed into a bookshelf, immolating the structure in a massive explosion. Books and flaming pages were tossed into the air, slamming into walls and other bookcases.

L: Raoden’s a regular Oppenheimer here. Does this make Sarene our Barbie…?

P: Definitely!

“It’s not as bright as it should be,” he said.

L:  Well, drat. I suppose it was too much to hope that this one thing would fix all their problems… after all, we’ve still got a ways to go until the end of the book!

P: Yes, it can’t be easy for them, can it?

Any Aon, for instance, that targeted either of them flashed away ineffectually. Their clothing was a valid target, but their flesh was not; Raoden broke off the tip of his thumbnail and tried to make that float, and was completely unsuccessful. The only theory Raoden could offer was the one he had expressed earlier.

“Our bodies are frozen in the middle of being changed, Galladon,” he explained…

L: Makes sense. So figure out how to finish that change, already!

P: I think that knowing it will eventually work makes getting through this bit excruciating.

L: Another note from the annotations:

By the way, there is a little foreshadowing in this chapter. Raoden’s ability to draw with a stick or a quill to do his Aons is very important, obviously. Some people still have trouble [with] what is going on at the climax of the book, and so I found constant need to incorporate explanations and hints where I could to foreshadow events.

As a fellow writer, I always find it fascinating how often I needed to drop hints like this in order for my advance readers to get stuff. Some people would be incredibly on the ball and would catch a single mention of something fifteen chapters ago, but they were in the distinct minority. So seeing that Brandon also experiences this didn’t surprise me in the slightest.

P: Kind of like beating us over the head with it. ::chuckle::

Chapter 50

“His Majesty is quite busy lounging in his palace while half of Arelon’s nobility waits outside,” the seon said with a disapproving tone.

L: Ugh. Telrii might be a step up from the old king, but let’s face it. It was a low bar.

P: It was a very low bar. And I’m not so sure he is a step up from Iadon. Telrii is vile.

“I believe his largest current complaint is that there aren’t enough young women left on the palace staff.”

L: Double ugh. Well, at least he’s just leering at them (hopefully) and not killing them.

P: I can definitely see him leering. I wouldn’t think he’d resort to killing so soon into his reign.

“We’ve exchanged one idiot for another.” Sarene shook her head.

L: You tell ‘em, Sarene.

P: She’s definitely not wrong.

The entire civilized world would belong to Wyrn, a final fulfillment of the Old Empire’s dream.

L: I do find this a tiny bit amusing considering the fact that we know that there are other very civilized societies on this planet (see: The Emperor’s Soul and The Lost Metal).

Elantris was the one place where she could remember feeling unconditional acceptance. She had not been a princess, she had been something far better—a member of a community where every individual was vital.

L: Awww. She got a little taste of being a commoner… and she liked it.

P: After feeling so unaccepted by people her whole life, I’m not surprised that she liked it!

Kaloo was too stereotypical. He represented everything a Duladen aristocrat was said to be—foolishly haughty, overdressed and overmannered, and completely indifferent when it came to just about everything. This Kaloo was like a cliché that shouldn’t exist, a living representation of the idealized Duladen noble.

L: Naturally this is Raoden, and I just love the fact that he’s here making Sarene blush and being all suave and handsome and… ::sigh:: Brandon’s got some words to say about this scene in the annotations

I’d been wanting to show a real Dula ever since I started writing the book. Galladon is such a ‘bad’ Dula that I was very pleased when I found an opportunity to work Kaloo into the plot. You’ve been hearing, through various asides, about Dulas for most of the book. Now you actually get to meet one. Or, at least, someone pretending to be one.

P: And I love how suspicious she is of him. This whole scene is just so amusing. I think he would have done much better had they used the safer blades. He didn’t want to hurt his princess.


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 51 and 52.

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’s a professional actress and makes magic wands for a living. 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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