Stormlight Archive Wiki
Shallan Davar

Surrounded by Creationspren
Fan art by Caio Santos[1]

Biographical information
Ethnicity Veden
Nationality Jah Kevedian/Alethi
Gender Female
Born 1154
Status Alive
Abilities Surgebinding (Lightweaver), Shardbearer
Physical Description
Hair Color Auburn-red
Eye Color Light blue
Social Information
Aliases Veil, Radiant, Swiftspren, Kishi, Formless
Title(s) Brightness, Little Knife,
Brightness Radiant
Family House Davar, House Kholin
Occupation Ward of Jasnah Kholin,
Ghostblood (affiliated),
Knight Radiant,
Cultist (infiltrator),
Leader of the Unseen Court, Highprincess, Master Lightweaver
Appears in The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, Oathbringer, Rhythm of War

Shallan Davar is one of the main protagonists in The Stormlight Archive. Daughter of the recently deceased Brightlord Lin Davar of Jah Keved, Shallan pursued and received scholarly training as the ward of Jasnah Kholin.[1]

She is one of the first Surgebinders to reappear after the Last Desolation on Roshar more than 4,500 years ago, and by the end of Words of Radiance, readers learn that she has spoken the First Ideal of the Lightweavers and possesses a Shardblade.[2][3]


Shallan ex-m

Fan art by ex-m[2]

Shallan has pale skin lightly dusted with freckles.[4] Her freckles mostly faded as she reached young womanhood, but some are still visible, dusting her cheeks and nose.[1] She has light blue eyes and auburn-red hair – a manifestation of her impure family line – which she wears long and straight down her back, with only its natural curl to give it body.[4] She also has a ready smile[5] and blushes easily and often. She's declared herself to be five foot six inches tall.[6]


When initially met, Shallan is soft spoken and determined, though it doesn't take long for her intelligence to come through. She has a sharp and witty tongue, prone to using it when unsure or unwary, though she feels embarrassed and improper afterwards. Kept under the thumb of her father throughout her youth, her sharp tongue only began to manifest as a sign of rebellion against her father's restrictions. She is colder and more calculating when she is under stress and having to focus on doing something even though what she wants is to curl up into a ball and ride things out. Her quick wit becomes a defining characteristic in her relationships with both Adolin and Kaladin in Words of Radiance.


Shallan Davar and Pattern
Fan art by Keith Magnaye[3]

Despite a childhood of tutors who were also run off by her father, Shallan's natural curiosity and abilities lead her into natural history, which she follows as her Calling. She is constantly excited by small marvels of science, seeking happiness where she can find it after her abusive childhood. She takes pleasure in a job well done in her research, and uses her memories to create very detailed annotations. She hates the feeling of not knowing while also reveling in the excitement of discovery. Her curiosity repeatedly leads her into trouble, but her cleverness generally gets her back out of it.

Shallan is fiercely loyal to her family, to Jasnah, and to her research. However, when it comes to dealing with her emotional survival in the face of adversity, Shallan distracts herself, refusing to think about things that bother her.[7] Even so, she has an independent spirit, knows how to take care of herself, and will never allow herself to again be locked away.[8] Despite such determination, she wonders whether she even has any 'feminine wiles' ... specifically to capture Adolin's attention and, eventually, devotion.[4]


Pattern tells Shallan that she is lies and truth, and that they transform.[9]

Shallan often pays better attention to others with a sketchpad in her hands. She feels that those who don't draw never seem to understand this.[10]

Shallan admits to Wit that she enjoys things with curious properties, and that stupidity is most interesting. Further, she states that the more one studies it, the further it flees - and yet the more of it one obtains, the less one understands about it.[11]

According to Veil, Shallan got lost in things. She'd get focused on details, or stick her head in the clouds and dream about the big picture. That comfortable middle, that safe place of moderation, was unfamiliar ground to her.[12]

Shallan thinks that everything she tries only makes the world worse. That she was broken by her father, then broke herself in turn. Further, she thinks herself to be worthless. That it's not really her fault, but she's still worthless.[13]

According to Brandon, Shallan's way of seeing the world is not always ... healthy.[14]


As a child, Shallan had found the patterns of the marbled skin of parshmen beautiful.[15]

She never was sure what eye color meant for individual social standing.[9]

She likes sincere people, because it's delightful how surprised they look when one turns on them. If they're both sincere and stupid, she quite likes arguing with them instead because they make her look smart.[11]

When she wears Veil's face, she has to think like her. Seeing the larger scope grows difficult when she takes over. And she wants Veil to take over, because she's not her.[13]

Further, she claims that she has to become Veil to escape her memories, but that she doesn't have the experience that Veil pretends to have because she hasn't lived her life.[13]

Brandon has said that both Shallan and Veil are bisexual.[16][17]


Shallan rarely understands just what she's doing when creating, but to her, art isn't about understanding, but about knowing.[18]

Power is the ability to make life better or worse for the people around oneself.[11]

People learn things from art.[13]


Shallan is the fifth and youngest child - and only daughter - of Brightlord and Brightness Davar. She was quiet and timid, and lived a sheltered life throughout most of her childhood. As a child, she displayed Surgebinding abilities, which led to her mother's attempt to kill her. Her father defended her, and Shallan killed her mother as Brightness Davar attempted to attack her daughter.[19] Shallan's father covered it up, pretending he'd murdered his wife, and the event destroyed his life, driving him to anger and destruction.[20] Because of this, Shallan erected mental blocks to avoid recalling the event. The resulting years saw her as mute and asocial. Though her father grew to be a cruel and angry man, his rages softened before they were ever directed at her.[21] Until, eventually, Shallan had to kill him too.[22][20]

She is largely self-educated; her mother died when she was young, her stepmother (i.e., Malise Gevelmar) was not educated, and her tutors were all driven away by her father's temper.

She spent much of her childhood trying to make her brothers happy and keep their spirits up, and trying to please her father. She eventually killed her father to protect her brothers and their House.

Pattern was present for most of Shallan's childhood. She has few memories of him during that time, but the extent of Pattern's involvement in her childhood is revealed in later flashbacks. Pattern lost his memory when he was locked in Shallan's father's strong box. She only notices him again on the ship she boards to the Shattered Plains with Jasnah Kholin.[23][24]

As a child, Shallan always imagined being up on a stage. To her, becoming a player seemed the grandest job. It meant getting away from home, traveling to new places, not having to be herself for at least a brief time each day.[25]

When moments like watching players on a stage had been the only bright spots in life, Shallan recalls too many memories of her father, and of her mother, who'd loved telling her stories. She's tried to banish those memories, but they won't go.[25]


Welcome to the City of Bells
Fan art by botanicaxu[4]

After her father's death, Shallan sought out Jasnah, sister to former King Elhokar and an accomplished scholar. Carrying her family's broken Soulcaster with her, she planned to study under Jasnah as a ward so that she might switch out Jasnah's working Soulcaster for her family's broken one.[26] She hated the idea of stealing from the most prominent woman in the field of scholarship, though she felt compelled to do so to save her family from ruin. Left with no choice, she took passage from Vedenar with Captain Tozbek (one of her father's Thaylen business connections) and his wife, Ashlv, aboard the Wind's Pleasure.[27] After finding that Jasnah had already departed from two previous places where she expected to meet her, she finally caught up with her in Kharbranth. She was escorted to the Palanaeum by Tozbek's crewman, Yalb, where her first application to become Jasnah's ward was rejected.[26] She met Kabsal while waiting to make a second attempt, which was also rejected. Yalb assisted her to make a third, which succeeded.[citation needed]

The Way of Kings[]


Fan art by Reiyeka[5]

Some time after having secured her place as Jasnah's ward in Kharbranth[28] ... and after having established a relationship with Kabsal, she quickly sketches him, then gives the drawing to him. He then insists on a second sketch of them together. She agrees and borrows a mirror from Jasnah to get the Memory framed in her mind properly. As she begins the sketch, her anxiety about the Soulcaster she stole from Jasnah comes to the fore of her mind, and she thinks of staying in Kharbranth to continue her studying after giving said Soulcaster to Tozbek to return to her brothers.[29]

As Shallan finishes the drawing she notices that she’s included a figure in the background standing behind Kabsal that has the outline of a body, but some sort of symbol in place of where its head should be. Shallan is upset and feels she is losing her mind. She runs from the room, away from Kabsal and Jasnah. As she waits for the lift to take her down, she takes a Memory of Kabsal standing in the doorway looking after her and quickly sketches it, only to see more of the symbolheads above him.[29]

She rushes to the main cavern where she again takes a Memory and begins sketching, only this time she draws five figures with symbols for heads, which seem to be following her. She runs to her room, locks the door behind her, and continues drawing. The creatures are now mere inches away from her. Shallan reaches out and feels something, even though she can’t see anything. She tries to bring out the Soulcaster to use against them, but thinks better of it and remembers her other weapon:

I can't use that. I promised myself.

She began the process anyway. Ten heartbeats to bring forth the fruit of her sin, the proceeds of her most horrific act. She was interrupted midway through by a voice, uncanny yet distinct:

"What are you?"

–Presumably, Pattern to Shallan[29]

She answers that she is terrified. Soon after, the room around her changes and she finds herself in a place with a black sky and a small white sun. All around her are beads - a sea of tiny glass beads. She grabs one and hears a voice say "You want me to change?" The voice is different than the one she had heard in her room just moments before, and seems to come from the bead itself.

"I’ve been as I am for a great long time," the warm voice said. "I sleep so much. I will change. Give me what you have."

"I don’t know what you mean! Please, help me!"

"I will change."

–Presumably, the soul of a vase to Shallan[29]

Shallan then feels extremely cold as if the heat has been pulled out of her. The bead in her hand becomes warm and she drops it. She falls back and finds herself returned to her room. A goblet near her has melted into blood - one of the ten essences. Shallan has just Soulcast. Startled, she knocks over and breaks a glass water pitcher.

Shallan wonders if the symbolhead-creatures caused her to Soulcast, but she had seen them long before she had the Soulcaster in her possession. She also wonders why she had been able to Soulcast, as the Soulcaster had still been in her safepouch. She then hears Jasnah’s voice outside her door. Knowing that she doesn’t have time to hide the blood, Shallan hides her drawings and then takes a shard of glass from the broken pitcher and cuts herself. Jasnah barges into the room and calls for help when she sees. Shallan thinks, "This [...] will not end well."[29]

Later, said spren (i.e., Pattern) grants Shallan access to Shadesmar when she speaks a truth to it about herself; the stronger and more secret the truth, the stronger the bond between the spren and the Soulcaster.[30]

Shallan was pulled into the sea of glass beads when she visited there with only one dun sphere, but she has very little control over what goes on there. After having been rescued by Jasnah therein, she is told that what she did is incredibly dangerous. Further, that the more infused spheres one has, the easier it is to manipulate Shadesmar.[30]

Words of Radiance[]

Shallan exm

Fan art by ex-m[6]

Shallan spends much of her time in Words of Radiance finding her self-confidence and her great inner strength and ability is revealed. Conditionally betrothed to Adolin[27] through Jasnah's machinations via spanreed, she embarks upon a journey from Kharbranth to the Shattered Plains, with Jasnah, at her mentor's insistence that they join her uncle, Dalinar, in his warcamp.[27] Jasnah thinks of Shallan as a promise.

"A chrysalis with the potential for grandeur inside."

–Jasnah to Shallan[27]

Aboard the Wind's Pleasure, with Tozbek at the helm, an assassination attempt (orchestrated by the Ghostbloods) is made on Jasnah and, with Shallan's increasing Lightweaving ability, her mentor's dilemma is effectually masked by her ward in illusion. Jasnah's ultimate disappearance while aboard ship leaves Shallan in a position whereby she is forced to fend for herself.[31] With her subsequent destruction of the Wind's Pleasure,[31] Shallan finds herself beached by the santhid she'd previously investigated,[27] with only Pattern beside her and, after alerted to it by him, the trunk of Jasnah's books and notes her mentor had taken aboard ship.[7]


Fan art by anadia-chan [7]

Stranded in the Frostlands, encouraged by Pattern, Shallan discovers even more of her abilities as a Lightweaver. (This is the moment when Pattern iterates, "I am a stick," interpreting her spheres' words,[7] thereby encouraging Brandon's 4/1/14, April Fool's Day post.[32]) Pattern encouraged her to offer truths in effort to transform the stick into fire, but Shallan slipped into Shadesmar and only narrowly escaped it.[7]

Afterward, Tvlakv found her and she appropriated him and his men as her servants, as a noble lady would. She nevertheless felt like one of the ten fools in doing so.[7]

Still, her trip with Tvlakv was not a pleasant one, but it had been luxurious compared to what his slaves - whom she freed - had been through.[33]

Later, when put into stressful social situations, Shallan creates an illusory, older, more refined version of herself to present. Throughout the novel she compares herself - first, to Jasnah, then to her alter ego, Veil - and finds herself lacking.[34] In truth, however, she is remarkably confident in her approach to dealing with many of the most powerful people in Alethkar. By the end of this novel, she is forced to confront not only her past but also her abilities as a Radiant. This leads her to become confident in herself as Shallan. Throughout Words of Radiance, flashbacks reveal the great compassion and loyalty Shallan had for her brothers and the ways in which she held the Davar family together in the face of their violent father.

Shallan eventually reveals that her mother tried to murder her when her Lightweaving abilities surfaced. Her father defended her.[19] As the result of both her parents' actions in this, Shallan created strong mental blocks to avoid recalling anything about her mother's gruesome death. Further, while stranded in a chasm together, Shallan reveals to Kaladin that she ended her father's reign of terror by poisoning him. She later had to strangle him with her own necklace, which he had given her, when the poison didn't work.[22]

For some time Pattern has insisted that Shallan reclaim herself, and her abilities,[35] and it finally hits home. Shallan reclaims her past and, in so doing, realizes that by summoning her living Shardblade and ramming it into the slot of the Oathgate's operating mechanism, she is able to discern the procedure for making the Oathgate function.[3]


Shallan first encounters Tyn, who is affiliated with the Ghostbloods, while trudging through the Frostlands toward the Shattered Plains.[36] During a spanreed conversation between Tyn and her superior, Shallan discovers that it was Tyn who sent assassins after Jasnah, at her superior's direction. Between them, a fight ensues and Shallan winds up killing Tyn with her Shardblade.[37]

Later, once arrived within the warcamps, Shallan hopes to infiltrate the Ghostbloods, due to both her father's and Brother Kabsal's involvement within it. As Veil, she gains a meeting with Mraize, who sets her to the task (supposedly, through her mistress, Tyn, who is indisposed) of breaking into Amaram's manor to investigate therein and learn his hidden secrets.[34]

With her Lightweaving, Shallan can now prepare multiple disguises ahead of time, switching between them as needed. Her sequence of disguises and misdirection achieves her goal of accessing Amaram's secret room. She works quickly to commit everything in Memory, and then pull off another masquerade to cover her tracks and keep anyone from getting suspicious. Exiting the manor, she slips back into her messenger disguise and is in the right place for Amaram to find her. She delivers her message about "her mistress" (i.e., herself sans disguise) wanting to document Amaram’s Plate and Blade, then discovers that his Blade is the one once held by her brother, Helaran. Due to Amaram's blithe description of the "assassin" and his own "counterattack" which killed the young man, Shallan learns that her brother is truly dead.[38]

Shallan (as Veil) meets with members of the Ghostbloods in the Unclaimed Hills to deliver her drawings of Amaram's secret room. She has carefully chosen which bits of information are revealed in the drawings, but inadvertently reveals that she can draw very accurately from memory. While Mraize is impressed with the drawings, he realizes that Shallan killed Tyn and is working on her own. She is commended for this but realizes as she's dismissed that in his parting words, Mraize has given the others tacit permission to try to kill her. She creates an Illusion in which to hide and sends Pattern to use her voice to tell the carriage driver to return to the warcamp. When her Illusion dissipates, she begins the long walk back to the warcamp while practicing accents with Pattern. Their practice is disrupted by the discovery of her carriage burned, her coachman and his parshmen murdered. She continues her walk more somberly, pondering how she could have handled this so no one died.[39]

Much later, Shallan learns that Mraize has discovered her true identity. She is informed that he holds her brothers as leverage for her continued participation within the Ghostbloods. Nevertheless, rather than blackmail her, Mraize chooses to gift her with her family, indicating that he has mentioned her debt so that it finds purchase within her mind.[40]



Since only an active, full Knight Radiant can work the control buildings at the center of each Oathgate platform, initiating the teleportations, it's only Shallan at the start. This means she has to summon her Blade each time, having consciously acknowledged it as the same Blade she'd used to kill her mother, while speaking a Truth as an Ideal of her order of Radiants. This causes her psychological suffering, as she she can no longer force this truth into the back of her mind and choose to forget, as is her habit with difficult thoughts and emotions.[18]

When Pattern tells her that he understands why she hates him, she doesn't want him to understand. She wants him to convince her she was wrong. In her mind she needs to be wrong. She tells him that she doesn't hate him, but that she hates the sword.[18]

She struggles to understand the tower. If she can lock it down into a sketch, she wonders whether she'll be able to grasp its incredible size.[18]

She is now "Brightness Radiant," ostensibly from the order of Elsecallers. (She's persuaded Dalinar to pretend that she is from an order that can't make illusions because she needs to keep that secret from spreading, or her effectiveness will be weakened.)[18]

After having been asked by Dalinar what might be done in the Makabaki region, Shallan feels pulled by him as he walks past her and follows him toward a map on a nearby wall. She draws in Stormlight from her satchel and it infuses her, glowing from her skin. She rests her freehand against the map, and Stormlight pours off her, illuminating the map.[18]

The Stormlight becomes another, larger map, the topography of the landscape becoming real. When asked what she did, Shallan replies that she doesn't know if she did anything. Dalinar confirms that it was the Stormfather's influence.[18]

When Shallan relates to Pattern the story of The Girl Who Looked Up through her drawings, she surprisingly realizes that this type of drawing is far more extensive than that which she'd done before. Creationspren start to appear around her, rolling about or moving end over end.[25]

Later, Shallan, Adolin, Renarin, and a few members of Bridge Four encounter the inky specter of Re-Shephir in the bowels of Urithiru.[41]


Prior to their arrival at a safe-house (i.e., the domicile and shop of the tailor, Yokska) in Kholinar, Shallan disguises Adolin with a facial illusion, then "wipes" the guise from his face so that he might address their benefactor, who then houses them therein.[42]

She deduces from Yokska's telling of the conditions in the city that a different Unmade (from the one in Urithiru) has influence there.[10]

Shallan hopes to get a feel for Kholinar's people at the city's market. She needs to know how they think before she can begin to understand how the Cult of Moments has come to be, and therefore how to infiltrate it.[43]

Just before former King Elhokar, Adolin and Kaladin leave Yokska's shop for a lighteyes party, Shallan hands each of them a sphere. Each of their illusions are tied to the Stormlight inside of them. If the spheres run out, each their false faces would vanish.[44]

When Shallan infiltrates Rockfall, she breathes out Stormlight, which washes over her, and becomes Veil fully. Then Veil becomes the woman who is not quite Veil, with dimples. And then, layered on top of that, she becomes Brightness Nananav.[12]

After having looted Rockfall's larder and attempting to escape with the plunder, Shallan assumes Nananav's visage and confronts her before the gates of the mansion's grounds. One of the woman’s guards their looses a crossbow bolt, taking Shallan in the head. Her speech now slurred, she still directs her crew of infiltrators away from the mansion, losing her illusion. She blacks out entirely when Vathah pulls the bolt free, coming to a short time later.[12]

She is named Swiftspren by a random beggar in who's lap she drops a package of food. He says that she robs from the rich and that nobody can stop her; that she's a spren.[45]

She cultivates this reputation in effort to get the Cult of Moments to recognize her and invite her to join them, specifically so she can get to the Oathgate there. She also enhances this reputation by sending Ishnah and Vathah out into the city, wearing illusions to look like Veil, giving away food.[45]

She feels that it is the individual touch, the light in the eyes of the needy people in the city to whom she gives food, stolen from the wealthy, that really excites her.[45]

She also has to steal food to satisfy the Cult of Moments when she approaches them.[46]

Beforehand, Shallan/Veil/Radiant thinks that she's just another spren. Emotion made carnal.[46]

After Shallan/Veil as Kishi has infiltrated the revel and turned her back upon it, Shallan is contacted by a voice that she recognizes as that of Sja-anat, who tells her that she is not her enemy. Shallan/Veil looks to the side, and finds her shadow on the ground, pointing the wrong way, toward the moonlight instead of away from it. The shadow creeps up the wall, with eyes that are white holes, glowing faintly.[47]

Assuming a disguise as a market guard, Shallan waits to see if anyone passes, looking for Veil. However, her training with Ishnah at spotting tails isn't yet extensive.[48]

She heads back to Grund's shop, yet waits outside, and hears a voice say “ ... we shouldn't have given her the book.” (This book is Hessi's Mythica.) After she hears another voice, she then hears a grunt and a whimper, realizing that it's Grund. She looks through a window too see a group of thugs and Grund in a corner holding his stomach.[48]

She shouts at the men and dashes for the doorway. They immediately scatter, though one slams a cudgel onto Grund's head with a sickening crunch.[48]

Though she reaches Grund, and Pattern appears in her hand as a Shardblade, she knows she can't leave Grund and pursue the thugs. Grund then tells her that he hates her, that they all do because she made herself so obvious bringing food, and that the thugs killed all his friends. That she drew them.[48]

Remorseful, she sat with him as his breathing slowed, then cut off. Finally she knelt back, bloodied cloth in her hands, quickly realizing that she needed to see to others like Muri.[48]

Later, Shallan tells Wit that she had to kill her parents. But that now that she's said the Immortal Words, she can't ignore it anymore. She thinks she should just die too, for having done it.[13]


Shallan finds that the spren she and others see in their physical world are only partial manifestations of more complex beings that are part of an entire ecosystem of their own. She feels that she could spend another lifetime studying those spren alone.[49]

She realizes while in Lasting Integrity that during the years between killing Testament and finding Pattern,* her powers had still functioned in some small ways.[50]

Rhythm of War[]

Shallan experiences a downward spiral that required Brandon to deal with her mental illness in a responsible way.**[51]

Knights Radiant[]

Shallan TS

Tarot card by Tara Spruit[8]

As a Lightweaver, Shallan must speak the Immortal Words of the Knights Radiant, which are a set of rules by which Radiants live. The First Ideal, identical for all orders of Radiants, is used as their motto. Each of the Radiant orders then had an additional number of Ideals that were unique to each order. For the Lightweavers, these Ideals are as follows:

The First Ideal - Also known as the Ideal of Radiance.

Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination.[52]

"Lightweavers make no oaths beyond the first ... . You must speak truths."

–Pattern to Shallan[2]

However, when Shallan tells Jasnah that she is now a full Radiant, Jasnah inquires of her just where her armor might be. Shallan responds questioning.***[53]


Again, as a Lightweaver, Shallan's mnemonic abilities (i.e., the mental images that she has which she then renders on a page)[33] are her Resonance. Many Lightweavers have had powerful mnemonic abilities.[54]



Endpapers for Words of Radiance
Painting by Michael Whelan[55]

Her Calling is Natural History, though she finds most texts on the subject lacking in at least literary merit, quality of illustration, or scientific accuracy, and she is a member of the Devotary of Purity, which her father chose for her.[56] Despite this, she is fascinated with the living world, and sketches impressive drawings of people, places, events and more in her sketchbook through the use of Memories - perfect recollections of things she has seen, which are involuntarily forgotten after being drawn.

Shallan has the ability to use Pattern as a Shardblade, however due to supressing the memory of her mother's death, Shallan uses this ability sparingly. Only when faced with the functioning Oathgate at Stormseat/Narak did she realize that her Shardblade was, in fact, Pattern - a living spren - and that it would be required to open the Gate.[3] It is not known if Pattern is capable of transforming into different Shards, though Shallan is aware of the ability to use Pattern as a Shardblade and has done so before.[24]

Shallan is capable of Soulcasting without the need of a fabrial, though her instruction on the ability ceased with Jasnah's 'death'.[31] She has postponed developing her Soulcasting abilities in favor of her other Surge: Illumination. Through the use of Stormlight, she can create illusions of things she has recently sketched. These illusions mist over and revert to Stormlight when she or someone tries to touch them, but otherwise function as perfect replicas of her sketches.[4] As her abilities grow, she learns to attach these illusions to Pattern. She uses this, in particular, to disguise herself as someone else by virtue of a sketch she has made from a Memory. In the appendix, Ars Arcanum, it is revealed that sound is also part of the Surge, Illumination, though Shallan has yet to discover how to implement sound as part of her illusions. Discovered in Words of Radiance, she begins experimenting with her Illumination skills while infiltrating the Ghostbloods and searching for Urithiru.

She can sketch a series of 'faces' in the morning that she can use for an image in the afternoon. If she waits longer than a day, however, the image is blurred and sometimes looks melted.[38]

The process of creation left a picture in her mind that eventually wore thin.[38]

Jasnah mentions that she has remarkable skill and King Taravangian describes her drawing ability as a blessing of the Almighty.[57]

Drawing Process[]


Shallan and Taravangian
Artwork by Steve Argyle[9]

When Shallan collects a Memory of a person, she snips free a bud of their soul, cultivates it, and grows it on a page.[15]

Charcoal for sinew, paper pulp for bone, ink for blood, the paper's texture for skin.[15]

She falls into a rhythm, a cadence, the falling of her pencil like the sound of breathing from those she depicts.[15]

A blank page was nothing but potential, pointless until it was used.[15]

The less Shallan is in the now and the more she is in the then when drawing, the better her sketches are.[15]

Her illusions usually require a previous drawing to imitate.[18]

Shallan had once been more analytical in her drawing, including notes and explanations with the sketches. Later, she'd only drawn pages and pages of twisted images.[58]

She'd been trained as a scholar, and decides that shouldn't just draw; she should analyze, extrapolate, speculate. So, she addressed herself to fully recording her experiences with the Unmade.[58]



Shallan becomes conflicted about her relationship with Pattern after having reclaimed her past:

"We'll work it out," she said, eyes forward. "It's not your fault my parents are dead. You didn't cause it."

"You can hate me," Pattern said. "I understand."

Shallan closed her eyes. She didn’t want him to understand. She wanted him to convince her she was wrong. She needed to be wrong. "I don’t hate you, Pattern," Shallan said. "I hate the sword."

"But - "

"The sword isn’t you. The sword is me, my father, the life we led, and the way it got twisted all about."

"I ... " Pattern hummed softly. "I don't understand."[18]


In Kharbranth, she meets the ardent, who shows an interest in her. Eventually, he even suggests leaving the ardentia to be with Shallan. Shallan was flattered by his attention and grew closer to him. However, Kabsal died after accidentally poisoning himself (and Shallan) without having the antidote, which Jasnah had removed by Soulcasting her portion of that which was eaten by all three of them.[59] Shallan seemed to think that Kabsal genuinely cared for her near the end, even though Jasnah says he was just a man that used her to get close enough to Jasnah, so that he could kill her.


Shallan vs Jasnah

Shallan vs. Jasnah
Fan art by botanicaxu[10]

As her tutor, Jasnah gave Shallan a topic and the freedom to pursue it as she wished. Jasnah offered encouragement and speculation, but nearly all of their conversations turned to topics like the true nature of scholarship, the purpose of studying, the beauty of knowledge and its application.[57]

They developed a loose friendship. Despite that Shallan was planning to steal Jasnah's fabrial,[26] she was reluctant to do so, yet eventually did. Jasnah had begun to trust and care for Shallan, but once Shallan revealed that she had stolen from her, Jasnah was deeply hurt and upset. Jasnah had believed Shallan was one of the only people she thought she could trust. Fortunately for Shallan, their relationship was soon repaired as Shallan proved her soulcasting abilities to Jasnah and assured her of her true desire to learn and study. Shallan had to promise Jasnah that she would no longer lie to her. With the revelation of Shallan's ability (and Jasnah's need to find the Oathgate), Jasnah realized the importance of their need to be with her uncle, Dalinar, her mother, Navani, and her brother, King Elhokar, on the Shattered Plains. Before embarking upon their journey, a message from Navani revealed that she and Jasnah had discussed arranging a marriage between Shallan and Adolin.[27]

After Jasnah returned to the fold of her family,[60] and all of the other events within Oathbringer, Shallan suggested to Dalinar that he consider his niece as the new ruler of Alethkar, and Jasnah became queen.[61]


Shallan Adolin bota

Fan art by botanicaxu[11]

Adolin is first introduced to Shallan by Jasnah, who asks her if a causal betrothal would be accepted by her if one was set up between she and Adolin. At this, Shallan was ecstatic, because she knew she would then be able to pay off the debt collectors that were tormenting her family. Yet, after Jasnah's sudden 'death',[27] the reasoning behind the betrothal crumbles. That is, until Adolin laid eyes on her fiery red hair.[62]

After Shallan delivered the news of Jasnah's death to Navani, she went on to talk about the betrothal to Dalinar. He consented, based on Jasnah's opinion and Adolin's stark interest.[62]

Shallan liked how Adolin's somewhat unruly hair contrasted with his crisp uniform. To her, it made him seem more real, less picturesque. Further, she found him to be handsome, with a very nice smile.[62]

As Words of Radiance progresses, Shallan and Adolin like each other more and more. But, after the chasm incident,[63] her feelings concerning Adolin became unclear as her eyes wandered to Kaladin.[64]

Still, once in Urithiru, and after the similar murders of Sadeas and Vedekar Perel, Shallan believes that Adolin is a wonderful man, but that he's about as deceitful as a newborn.[65]

Even so, Shallan and Adolin meet on several occasions to enjoy meals together, alone. At one meeting, he insists on instructing her in how to better wield her Shardblade. For such instruction, Shallan creates the illusion/alias, Radiant.[66]

Later, once in Kholinar, Shallan finds that even his voice is adorable and she enjoys his presence, holding his arm. She thinks his enthusiasm can be intoxicating.[10][46]

Adolin Kholin in her life is like a warm sunrise.[46]

At the end of Oathbringer, Shallan and Adolin marry.[61]

Shallan loves her husband but thinks that she doesn't deserve him, with his honesty and goodness. She avoids telling him the truth about her life (killing her parents, the Ghostbloods, etc.) because she's afraid he won't accept it.[67]

Eventually, she tells him the truth, and he does accept it.[50]


The two start on a bad note when Shallan tricks him at the insistence of Tyn, pretending to be a Horneater princess and demanding his boots, which he grudgingly relinquishes to her.[68] This did not go without consequence; he later denied her accusation, being Captain of the re-named Cobalt Guard (i.e., the King's Guard: Bridge Four).

Caught in the Chasms

Caught in the Chasms
Fan art by Jacob Sweet[12]

Shallan has an uneasy relationship with Kaladin, who is highly suspicious of her and her apparent hostility toward him. Yet, when they both fall into a chasm because of a failed assassination attempt on Dalinar's life,[69] they have lots of time to talk. Kaladin had been suspicious and hostile toward her and gave Shallan his two cents. Eventually Kaladin admitted that he wanted the world full of people like Shallan, in that he meant she was unbroken. She then described the nothingness that came with being broken, a feeling so intimate it couldn't be told by someone who had not experienced it. Then as Kaladin described it, she amazingly smiled.[70] They came to an understanding and friendliness by the near end of the incident[71] and Shallan chronicled to Kaladin the times that broke her, words she had never shared with anyone before. Kaladin also told her of his life and the events that crushed him. She has still only ever told Kaladin the details of her past.[63] She held some romantic interest for him while in the mindset of Veil, and a part of her agreed that a union with him would be a good idea, but she eventually realized he wasn't the one she truly loved.[64] In her mind, she now refers to him as Brightlord Brooding-Eyes.[18]


To Shallan, Navani looks like a version of Jasnah twenty years older, still pretty, though with a motherly air.[62]

Adolin shares with Shallan that his aunt Navani can be overbearing sometimes.[72]

Shallan thinks Navani to be so good with her emotions that she can't read just what the woman is thinking.[8]

Shallan admits to Navani that Jasnah's Soulcaster was a fake, that her daughter could Soulcast on her own, without any fabrial, that she saw her do it. She then tells Navani that her daughter was a Knight Radiant.[64]


Shallan reveals herself to Dalinar as a Knight Radiant by creating an image for him from Stormlight. He is so amazed that tears form in his eyes. He then says that he needs to give her the golden cape, the one that he'd mistakenly given to Amaram. This, she refuses, citing as her reason that if everyone is looking for her illusions, she'll never fool them. (Perhaps not the best choice of words for Dalinar.)[73]

When Dalinar wishes to send her back to the warcamps to protect her, this she also refuses, citing as her reason that it is her responsibility to find Urithiru.[73]

Dalinar assures Shallan that her secret abilities will remain just so for now, but that they will consult further. He tells her that she gives him true hope that they can change the world together, in the right way.[73]

To Shallan, Dalinar does not seem the type of man with whom one jokes.[18]

After marrying Adolin, Dalinar becomes her father-in-law.[61]


The king needed Shallan to go with him on the expedition to Kholinar because he was worried they might need to sneak into the city, or even through the middle of it, if it was occupied. If Elhokar needed to reach the Oathgate without being recognized, then her illusions would be invaluable.[74]


Shallan first encounters Hoid at Middlefest, where he asks her whether spren speak to her.[75] Later, in the Kholinar market, she discusses with him (as Wit) the Cult of Moments.[43]

Later still, she tells him that when he came to her, in Jah Keved,[75] he changed everything. That she wants to be able to do that. That she wants to be able to change the world.[11]

When she asks him whether he's a Herald, he tells her that he's not stupid enough to get mixed up in religion again. That the last seven times he tried it were all disasters.[11]

For Shallan, it was always hard to tell which of Wit's exaggerations were supposed to mean something and which were confusing distractions.[11]

Conversations with Wit had a way of ending in an odd manner. And starting in an odd manner. Odd all around.[11]

Again later, when Wit asks her if she wishes that she could go back to not being able to see (having just completed a retelling of The Girl Who Looked Up, accompanied by Shallan's Lightweaving abilities) and Shallan replies that she does not, he tells her to live and let her failures be a part of her.[13]

Further, he tells her that it's terrible to have been hurt. That it's unfair, awful, and horrid. But he also tells her that it's okay to live on.[13]

Additionally, he tells her that her other minds take over because they look so much more appealing. That she'll never control them until she's confident in returning to the one who birthed them. Until she accepts being her.[13]

Also, that if she doesn't trust herself, how can she trust him? In her, he sees a woman more wonderful than any of the lies. He promises her that that woman is worth protecting. That she is worth protecting.[13]

Yet, that it's all right to hurt. That she needs to find the balance. That she should accept the pain, but not accept that she deserved it.[13]


House Davar

House Davar
Fan art by ex-m[13]

Shallan seems to get along well with most of her immediate family members, though her memories of and references to her deceased father and stepmother are negative. She frequently contacts them via spanreed. Her second brother and current head of the house, refers to her as her father's favorite.

  • Lin Davar - Shallan's abusive father who cheated his way through life and left his family destitute. He was rumored to have killed his wife and her lover, though no official notice was ever taken. Eventually he is revealed to be innocent of their deaths. Lin loved his daughter and considered her an ideal lighteyes young lady. However, that love did not extend to anyone else. He was a frequent drunk who went on violent rampages where he would psychologically or physically torment his sons, beat his house staff, and waste money the family didn't have with lavish parties to 'elevate' his status amongst his peers. After beating his second wife to death, letting his fourth son be taken by unscrupulous debt collectors (essentially loan sharks), and threatening to murder his eldest son (by whom he'd been threatened with his own death), Shallan poisons and strangles him. According to Brandon, he was under the influence of Odium.[citation needed]
  • Helaran - Shallan's eldest brother, currently missing and disinherited by her father. He was a full Shardbearer, killed by Kaladin.[38][63]
  • Balat - Shallan's next older brother, who develops a fascination with death after the passing of their mother, which often manifests itself in his pointless killing of innocent creatures. 
  • Wikim - Shallan's brother who struggles with depression.[76] He eventually admits his struggles to Shallan and gives her his secret stash of poison (blackbane), which she later uses to kill their abusive and homicidal father. 
  • Jushu - Shallan's youngest brother. He is addicted to gambling,[76] a habit that leaves him deeply in debt and his life threatened; Shallan once bargained with debt collectors to save his life. When Jushu's debts became overwhelming, he would steal valuable items from the house and sell them. After the death of his father, he sells off items for the family under the guise of gambling debts (though he no longer gambled), hiding the state of the family's finances.
  • Malise Gevelmar - Shallan's stepmother and her father's second wife. She was left in charge of Shallan's education but failed miserably at it.[citation needed]
  • Adolin - Love interest, then husband.[61]
  • Renarin - Brother-in-law.[61]
  • Dalinar - Father-in-law.[61]


By the end of Words of Radiance, Shallan is eighteen years old.

*Shallan is reconstructing, in many cases, oaths she has said before. And it's working slightly differently than someone who is saying new oaths. And indeed, saying she killed her spren is one of those steps. What's happening is she has violated oaths and reconstructed them. And she is regressing, and she's doing a ... 1.1 steps forward, 1 step back, sort of thing, kind of frequently.[77]

**Brandon originally shied away from writing Shallan as having Dissociative Identity Disorder,[78] but then realized that he was opening up a can of worms anyway, and the only way to be honest was to admit what he was doing and get some people who had DID themselves to advise him.[79]


When asked what Shallan's origins as a character were, Brandon replied that she was mostly derived from a character in Dragonsteel and Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time's character Mat Cauthon.[80]

According to Peter, in the original The Way of Kings, the character Shinri Davar is a completely different person from Shallan Davar. [81]


***Given her creation through Lightweaving of her alter-ego Radiant,[66] Shallan might well have had her armor quite a while, particularly that Lightweavers speak no oaths beyond the first; rather, they speak truths.[2]



  1. 1.0 1.1 The Way of Kings, 3. City of Bells
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Words of Radiance, 87. The Riddens
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Words of Radiance, 86. Patterns Of Light
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Words of Radiance, 47. Feminine Wiles
  5. Words of Radiance, 76. The Hidden Blade
  6. Words of Radiance, 44. One Form Of Justice
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Words of Radiance, 11. An Illusion Of Perception
  8. 8.0 8.1 Words of Radiance, 75. True Glory
  9. 9.0 9.1 Words of Radiance, 20. The Coldness Of Clarity
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Oathbringer, 62. Research
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Oathbringer, 68. Aim For The Sun
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Oathbringer, 72. Rockfall
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 13.9 Oathbringer, 82. The Girl Who Stood Up
  14. General Reddit 2018, 1/1/18
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 The Way of Kings, 7. Anything Reasonable
  16. Shardcast Interview, 1/23/21
  17. Dragonsteel Mini-Con 2021, 11/22/21
  18. 18.00 18.01 18.02 18.03 18.04 18.05 18.06 18.07 18.08 18.09 18.10 Oathbringer, 8. A Powerful Lie
  19. 19.0 19.1 Words of Radiance, 10. Red Carpet Once White
  20. 20.0 20.1 Oathbringer, 13. Chaperone
  21. Words of Radiance, 61. Obedience
  22. 22.0 22.1 Words of Radiance, 73. A Thousand Scurrying Creatures
  23. Words of Radiance, 6. Terrible Destruction
  24. 24.0 24.1 Words of Radiance, Inter10.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Oathbringer, 25. The Girl Who Looked Up
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 The Way of Kings, 5. Heretic
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 27.5 27.6 Words of Radiance, 1. Santhid
  28. The Way of Kings, 8. Nearer the Flame
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 29.4 The Way of Kings, 45. Shadesmar
  30. 30.0 30.1 The Way of Kings, 70. Sea of Glass
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Words of Radiance, 7. Open Flame
  32. April Fool's Day
  33. 33.0 33.1 Words of Radiance, 21. Ashes
  34. 34.0 34.1 Words of Radiance, 43. The Ghostbloods
  35. Words of Radiance, 60. Veil Walks
  36. Words of Radiance, 30. Nature Blushing
  37. Words of Radiance, 34. Blossoms And Cake
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 Words of Radiance, 52. Into The Sky
  39. Words of Radiance, 54. Veil's Lesson
  40. Words of Radiance, 88. The Man Who Owned The Winds
  41. Oathbringer, 29. No Backing Down
  42. Oathbringer, 61. Nightmare Made Manifest
  43. 43.0 43.1 Oathbringer, 67. Mishim
  44. Oathbringer, 69. Free Meal, No Strings
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 Oathbringer, 74. Swiftspren
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 46.3 Oathbringer, 77. Stormshelter
  47. Oathbringer, 78. The Revel
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 48.3 48.4 Oathbringer, 80. Oblivious
  49. Oathbringer, 108. Honor's Path
  50. 50.0 50.1 Rhythm of War, 115. Testament
  51. Rhythm of War Preview Q&As, 7/28/20
  52. The Way of Kings, 59. An Honor
  53. Oathbringer, 39. Notes
  54. Mnemonic abilities ...
  55. Endpapers
  56. The Way of Kings, 33. Cymatics
  57. 57.0 57.1 The Way of Kings, 29. Errorgance
  58. 58.0 58.1 Oathbringer, 33. A Lecture
  59. The Way of Kings, 48. Strawberry
  60. Oathbringer, 32. Company
  61. 61.0 61.1 61.2 61.3 61.4 61.5 Oathbringer, 122. A Debt Repaid
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 62.3 Words of Radiance, 38. The Silent Storm
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 Words of Radiance, 74. Striding The Storm
  64. 64.0 64.1 64.2 Words of Radiance, 77. Trust
  65. Oathbringer, 9. The Threads Of A Screw
  66. 66.0 66.1 Oathbringer, 15. Brightness Radiant
  67. Rhythm of War, 9. Contradictions
  68. Words of Radiance, 28. Boots
  69. Words of Radiance, 69. Nothing
  70. Words of Radiance, 71. Vigil
  71. Words of Radiance, 72. Selfish Reasons
  72. Words of Radiance, 49. Watching The World Transform
  73. 73.0 73.1 73.2 Words of Radiance, 78. Contradictions
  74. Oathbringer, 53. Such A Twisted Cut
  75. 75.0 75.1 Words of Radiance, 45. Middlefest
  76. 76.0 76.1 The Way of Kings, Inter2.
  77. YouTube Spoiler Stream 1, 12/17/20
  78. DID
  79. Rhythm of War Preview Q&As, 7/28/20
  80. Book signing, London, UK, 8/4/14
  81. General Reddit 2018, 1/1/18