Stormlight Archive Wiki

Poor, little Tien ...
Fan art by lamaery[1]

Biographical information
Ethnicity Alethi
Nationality Alethi
Gender Male
Born 1155
Died 1168
Abilities Surgebinding (Lightweaver) (budding)
Family Lirin (father), Hesina (mother),
Kaladin (brother), Oroden (brother)
Occupation Apprentice Carpenter, Soldier
Appears in The Way of Kings,
Oathbringer (mentioned)

Tien was Kaladin's younger brother by two years. He was a darkeyes of the second nahn.[1]


Tien had round cheeks, a slight build, and looked younger than he really was.[2]


He was described as being very cheerful, always able to raise the spirits of his older brother when he was down.[1]


Uncommonly interested in rocks, he collected them constantly and could tell the story of where and when he found each stone and also what was important about it and what made him want to keep it. He searched for special rocks to cheer up his older brother.[2]

He was taken on as a third apprentice to a carpenter in their village. However, his whimsical ways caused him to be easily distracted and resulted in unsatisfactory work. This was not due to a lack of talent, however, as he was very skilled at carving attractive things from wood.[1]

Due to a grudge held by Hearthstone's new citylord, Roshone, against Tien's father, Tien is drafted into Amaram's army at the age of thirteen. This results in Kaladin enlisting in the army with the intent to protect his younger brother. Sadly, four months after having left home, Tien was caught at the front of a battle and was killed before Kaladin's eyes.[3]

He stumbled to a stop. There, in the next squad down the line, stood three figures. Younger boys, looking small in their armor and holding their spears uncertainly. One was Tien. His team of reserves had obviously been split apart to fill holes in other squads.

"Tien!" Kaladin screamed, falling out of line as the enemy troops came upon them. Why were Tien and and the other two positioned in the middle front of the squad formation? They barely knew how to hold a spear![3]

"Tien!" Kaladin yelled.

The boy looked toward him, eyes opening wide. He actually smiled. Behind him, the rest of the squad pulled back. Leaving the three untrained boys exposed.

And, sensing weakness, the enemy soldiers descended on Tien and the others. There was an armored lighteyes at their front, in gleaming steel. He swung a sword.

Kaladin's brother fell just like that. One eyeblink and he was standing there, looking terrified. The next he was on the ground.

"No!" Kaladin screamed.[3]

It is this moment that causes Kaladin to give up his medical dreams and devote himself to the army.[3]


Tien, Kaladin
Fan art by exmakina[2]

According to Brandon, Tien was a budding Lightweaver.[4]

"Tien tends to find beauty in things that Kaladin finds dull. That's, of course, kind of the metaphor. But Tien also was a budding Lightweaver, and he saw color and light a little bit differently than other people did. And he has the same general effect that you'll see Shallan having on people, which is how the Lightweaver views you influences a little bit more how your mood is, and things like that. And there is a magical element to that, as well. There's both a metaphoric reason and an in-world reason."

–Brandon Sanderson[5]

" ... he was far enough along to have sworn at least one oath."

–Brandon Sanderson[6]

Q&A with Brandon[]

Q. You've said before that Tien was on the track to becoming a Lightweaver, before he, you know. What lie was he telling that was attracting a Cryptic?

A. That's a very good question. Tien was hiding a lot of belief that he was not a good person. That people didn't want to be around him, and things like this. He was hiding a lot of that, and he knew that people saw him as a burst of sunshine, and he didn't ever want them to not see him that way. That was really hard on him, as it is on a lot of people who are like Tien.[7]