Stormlight Archive Wiki
Biographical information
Ethnicity Alethi
Nationality Alethi
Gender Male
Status Alive
Physical Description
Hair Color Grey, Balding
Eye Color Dark Brown
Family Hesina (wife), Kaladin (son),
Tien (son), Oroden (son)
Occupation Surgeon
Appears in The Way of Kings,
Words of Radiance (mentioned), Oathbringer, Rhythm of War

Lirin is a darkeyed Alethi surgeon and citizen of the second nahn in the town of Hearthstone. He is husband to Hesina, and father to Kaladin, Tien and Oroden.


Lirin is described as short and balding. He wears spectacles, which he regards as his most precious gift and rarely gets them out except for surgery[1] or special occasions.

When Kaladin sees his father post-Everstorm, Lirin looks weathered, with bags underneath his dark brown eyes. His hair is greyer than Kaladin remembered, his face gaunter. But he is the same. Balding, diminutive, thin, bespectacled ... and amazing.[2]


Lirin often is a source of wisdom that influences the way Kaladin chooses to live his life. He refuses to charge for his practice, no matter what, even when he and his family were finding it difficult to get enough food.

Unlike most Alethi men, Lirin believes war is pointless, and that there is more glory to being a surgeon than there is to being a warrior. For example, a conversation between a young 'Kal' and Lirin goes as follows ...

"There are two kinds of people in this world, son. Those who save lives. And those who take lives ... . You can't protect by killing."[1]

Kaladin believes his father to be a stubborn man.[3]


During his youth, Lirin was trained in surgery by Vathe, who had studied in Kharbranth and traveled the world as a courier.[4]

He married Hesina, who proved to be a witty and clever woman, and together they had three sons. Kaladin is the eldest, Tien two years younger, and Oroden currently perhaps one year old.[3] All three were raised in the town of Hearthstone.

Lirin was the only surgeon in town. He was assisted by his wife and son, Kaladin. Kaladin showed great talent and Lirin trained him in hope of one day sending him to Kharbranth, there to become a master surgeon.[5]

Lirin had made a hobby of predicting storms mathematically. He'd been able to pick the right day eight times out of ten.[6]

The Way of Kings[]

Lirin was on good terms with the citylord, Brightlord Wistiow, who gave him an incredible sum in spheres - on permanent loan - for his surgeries.[1] Further, they agreed on a union between Kaladin and Laral Wistiow once each had reached their respective day of majority.

Following the death of Wistiow, Lirin tells Kaladin that Wistiow has left his spheres for his education; that his last wish was for Kaladin to go to Kharbranth to become a true master surgeon,[5] then return to Hearthstone. Later, there were rumors that Lirin acquired those spheres dishonestly.[citation needed]

Toralin Roshone blames Lirin for the loss of his son, after Lirin was unable to save him following a hunting accident.[7] Therefore, it affects Lirin and his family greatly when Roshone is installed as Hearthstone's new citylord.[2]


Lirin first re-encounters Kaladin while in the parlor of Roshone's manor, which has been transformed into a surgeon's triage room.[2]

After glancing at his eldest son, he turns back to his work, then asks Kaladin a series of questions without having really acknowledged just who it is from whom he's seeking answers. Hesitating, he looks back at Kaladin. Then his eyes open wide.[2]

Once he recognizes Kaladin, he catches him in an embrace, thrilled that his son is alive, having thought him dead along with Tien.[2]

With regard to Kaladin's slave brands, he compels Hesina to write a letter to the highprince's administrators explaining the situation, to see if they can get a forbearance, or at least an explanation.[2]

Lirin is appalled when he witnesses Kaladin's treatment of Roshone when he re-encounters him, then is further disappointed in his son - hanging his head - when Kaladin brandishes Syl as a Shardblade before them all.[3]

He tells Kaladin that he's become a killer. That he solves problems with fist and sword. He had hoped that his son would find a place among the army's surgeons.[3]

"I know that war is inevitable. I just didn't want you to have to be a part of it. I've seen what it does to men. War flays their souls, and those are wounds I can't heal."[3]

Despite that Kaladin wishes to bring his family to Urithiru, where he knows they will be safe, Lirin chooses to remain in Hearthstone, where he knows the people will need him.[3]

Rhythm of War[]

According to Lirin, disease isn't caused by spren. It's spread by contaminated water, improper sanitation, or sometimes the breath of those who bear it.[8]


Does anyone consider that Lirin may take up Honor?*

Lirin shows attributes of each Radiant order and has remained in the bounds of every single oath of which readers have learned thus far. These are all the facets of Honor.

Some are blatant, as in Rhythm of War when he states a Bondsmith oath word for word.[citation needed] For other oaths, one has to read into the following:

Lightweaver - Reference Wistiow's will conflict.[citation needed] A "good lie."

Truthwatcher - The scene where he holds a lantern and faces down a mob.[citation needed] Compare this to Renarin's "allomantic gold" thing much later with Moash.[citation needed]

Elsecaller - Oaths unknown, but Lirin has the same Jasnah feel where he follows facts, not superstitions.

Windrunner - Very obvious. It's suspected that he's been telling readers the fifth ideal since The Way of Kings.

Edgedancer - Again, pretty obvious, in his work as a surgeon helping the commoners.

Skybreaker - Readers may argue Wistiow's will against this. However, the laws that Lirin follows are his Hippocratic oaths as a surgeon.[9]

Stoneward - Little is known but it remains suspect that this is in line with Lirin's insistence to stand with Hearthstone when Kaladin tries to move him.[3]

Willshaper - There's a parallel from his pacifism as a means to achieve freedom from conflict for society to Venli's desire to escape the cycle of violence.[citation needed]

Dustbringer - No known oaths, but the sprens' tendencies[citation needed] are actually super in line with surgery.

*This entire theory can be referenced here.