Fan art by ex-m
|Abilities||Surgebinding (Elsecaller), Shardbearer|
|Hair Color||Deep Onyx|
|Eye Color||Pale Violet|
|Title(s)||Brightness, Princess of House Kholin|
|Occupation||Noble, High Scholar, Veristitalian|
|Appears in||The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance|
Jasnah (pronounced Yas-na) is the heretic daughter of the late King Gavilar and his then wife Navani, the older sister of King Elhokar, the sister-in-law of Aesudan Kholin, the niece of Dalinar and Brightness Kholin, and the cousin of Adolin and Renarin. She is a High Scholar in Alethkar, a Veristitalian, and a Soulcaster.
According to Shallan upon first meeting her ...
She was tall and slender, with clear skin, narrow black eyebrows, and thick, deep onyx hair. She wore part of it up, wrapped around a small, scroll-shaped golden ornament with two long hairpins holding it in place. The rest tumbled down behind her neck in small, tight curls. Even twisted and curled as it was, it came down to Jasnah’s shoulders - if left unbound, it would be as long as Shallan’s hair, reaching past the middle of her back.
She had a squarish face and discriminating pale violet eyes.
Reserved, statuesque, dressed immaculately ... .
Later, Shallan describes her as pretty; lush of figure and tan of skin, with immaculate eyebrows, lips painted deep red, and hair up in a fine braid. She believes her mature beauty something to be admired, even envied.
Jasnah is a determined scholar. Questions drive her. When she is deeply immersed in one of her projects, she often ignores all else. She rarely does anything without taking the time to perfect it. She admires such traits as persistence, and values the ability to structure an argument logically with reason. She also finds curiosity to be one of the most genuine of emotions.
She truly enjoys studying and her work as a Veristitalian. She wishes for others to enjoy and realize the importance of studying history. She can be stern at times, but only pushes her ward, Shallan, into doing what she thinks she's capable of doing.
Jasnah notices everything and everyone and doesn't seem to care, one way or another, just how men perceive her. She's an enigma: on the one hand, she's a scholar concerned only with her research. On the other hand, she cultivates the the poise and dignity of a king's daughter.
She finds that refusing to explain secrets to young people makes them more prone to get into trouble, not less. If she leaves them ignorant, she believes herself to blame for the consequences.
Jasnah refused to join any of the devotaries because she didn't believe in their teachings. Rather than compromise for the sake of appearances, she is honest, moral and refuses to make professions she doesn't believe.
As a Veristitalian, Jasnah does not believe in the divinity of the Almighty. She doesn't believe because she hasn't received, nor has she come across, any evidence substantial enough to convince her otherwise. However, she keeps an open mind to the possibility and tries to listen to the arguments of others if they are presented logically.
Contrary to her disbelief of the Almighty, Jasnah does believe in the existence of Voidbringers. Initially, Shallan finds this ironic, as most respectable people treat Voidbringers as myths, thinking that they are just stories made up to scare children into behaving.
Further, Jasnah believes in the nobility of humanity. She thinks that something innate in humanity understands that seeking the good of society is usually best for the individual as well.
Even so, she is content to keep her beliefs to herself, which her colleagues in the devotaries have difficulty doing.
Jasnah also believes in her brother, her uncle, and her own abilities; the things she was taught by her parents, and these beliefs are no secret.
Still and all, Jasnah believes that refusing to explain secrets to young people makes them more prone to getting themselves into trouble, not less.
As a Veristitalian, Jasnah intends to unearth the truth about what happened in 'ancient' times. She seems to be particularly interested in studying the Voidbringers, whom she believes may have been real. Her studies lead her to conclude that the Voidbringers are, in fact, parshmen. She thinks that studying the Parshendi is the key to understanding what set the parshmen off all those years ago.
Jasnah knows through painful experience just how dangerous Shadesmar can be. She also knows that if she leaves Shallan in ignorance with regard to Shadesmar, that she'll be to blame if Shallan gets herself killed there. Jasnah indicates to Shallan that she knows that Shadesmar is not actually a location, not as humans think of them:
|“|| Shadesmar is here, all around us, right now. All things exist there in some form, as all things exist here.
All things have three components: the soul, the body, and the mind.
... What ... is called the Cognitive Realm - the place of the mind.
|“||All around us you see the physical world. You can touch it, see it, hear it. This is how your physical body experiences the world. Well, Shadesmar is the way that your cognitive self - your unconscious self - experiences the world. Through your hidden touches sensing that realm, you make intuitive leaps in logic and you form hopes. It is likely those extra senses that you, Shallan, create art." ||”|
Jasnah can Soulcast without the aid of a fabrial, an ability known as Surgebinding in the ancient world. She keeps this a secret by pretending to use a fake fabrial for Soulcasting. This fake fabrial is what Shallan initially tries to steal in The Way of Kings. When Shallan later needs to be healed by Jasnah, Shallan returns the Soulcaster to her, along with the garnet she'd been given by Kabsal. But Jasnah admits that she isn't good with Soulcasting flesh or blood; that it's not where her talent lies. However, she did save Shallan's life.
She seems to know a lot about Shadesmar, and how to manipulate the beads/spheres found there. She has been known to Soulcast from a distance (without contact with the object), and is not afraid to use her powers in self-defense.
During the Prologue to Words of Radiance (which occurs concurrently with the Prologue to The Way of Kings), Jasnah pretends to enjoy the party celebrating the supposed agreement between her father, King Gavilar, and the Parshendi. She draws stares, having admitted to heresy ... which is unprecedented. However, she then experiences something akin to a living vision or an episode, which startles her. Even so, she composes herself and eventually decides to retire early from the feast. Still, knowing her father isn't telling her something, Jasnah acknowledges that her shadow is behaving oddly. A creature in the shape of a man of midnight blackness - a dark, lustrous figure - forms before her and unsheathes a sword. She stands her ground and meets its glare, and then the palace disintegrates ... into Shadesmar ... . Later, the dark figure slides its sword from its sheath and raises two fingers to its forehead and bows, a cloak flourishing out behind it. (This is Ivory's first open acknowledgement of Jasnah within The Stormlight Archive.)
Afterward, Jasnah meets secretly with Liss and insists that she is only to watch - not assassinate - Aesudan, her sister-in-law, while she - Jasnah - makes her way to further her studies in Kharbranth. After the clandestine meeting and an overheard conversation between an Azish man and another from western Roshar, Jasnah flees toward her father's quarters, passing Shardblade cuts on the walls of the palace and corpses with burned eyes. Upon arriving at her father's chamber, she witnesses her father's demise at Szeth's hand.
Jasnah meets Shallan for the first time, allows Shallan to petition her and tests Shallan's level of education in various sciences. Jasnah is unimpressed with Shallan's knowledge. She does seem impressed by Shallan's drawing and writing abilities. However, Jasnah belittles the importance of these skills compared to knowledge in history, science and philosophy.
Interrupting this conversation, Jasnah agrees to remove a rock blocking a passage behind which Taravangian's granddaughter and others are trapped in exchange for access to the Palanaeum. Jasnah Soulcasts the rock into smoke, allowing the rescue of the granddaughter and those others.
Jasnah then rejects Shallan's petition to become her ward due to her lack of education in history and philosophy.
Later, long after Jasnah has accepted Shallan as her ward, Jasnah Transforms - through her abilities - the poison Kabsal has administered to her. However, realizing that Shallan has been poisoned, Jasnah requests a garnet so that she might Soulcast her blood in order to remove the poison and save her life. This is when Jasnah learns that Shallan has stolen her fake Soulcaster. Even so, Jasnah heals her.
Jasnah finds the coincidence of her meeting with Shallan - her ward - to be startling and suspiciously so. She believes that the spren brought Shallan to her and that they are still watching Shallan. She avows that the 'old ways' are returning, yet she doesn't see this as a hopeful sign. She thinks it is an act of self-preservation; that in sensing danger, the spren are returning to humankind. Therefore, she states that her attention - and that of Shallan - must now be focused on the Shattered Plains and the relics of Urithiru.
Jasnah is fully aware of Shallan's family's situation with regard to their Soulcaster and the Ghostbloods. She also knows that Shallan's House is without allies and deeply in debt. Further, she discussed the situation - via spanreed - with her mother, the Dowager Queen Navani, and requested her help. She tells this to Shallan, and assures Shallan that Navani can help by restoring the function of Shallan's family's Soulcaster. ...
Despite this, in instructing Shallan ...
|“|| "Power is an illusion of perception."
"Some kinds of power are real - power to command armies, power to Soulcast. These come into play far less than you would think. On an individual basis, in most interactions, this thing we call power - authority - exists only as it is perceived." 
However, Jasnah is thought later to have been killed by assassins (the Ghostbloods) while aboard the Wind's Pleasure shortly after leaving Kharbranth with Shallan for the Shattered Plains and her uncle, Dalinar. Shallan is the only known human survivor of the attack, having soulcast the ship into water, presumably killing all others aboard.
A post Words of Radiance chapter from Jasnah's perspective on the events that lead to her Transportation to Shadesmar is here.
It is revealed in the epilogue of Words of Radiance that Jasnah survived the assassination attempt and has been in Shadesmar during the bulk of the events that took place in Words of Radiance. According to Brandon, she took so long to come back because " ... Elsecalling is not precise even if you know what you are doing, which she doesn't."
- Gavilar Kholin - Father (deceased)
- Navani Kholin - Mother
- Elhokar Kholin - Brother and King of Alethkar
- Aesudan Kholin- Sister-in-law
- Unnamed child - Nephew (son of Elhokar and Aesudan)
- Dalinar Kholin - Uncle
- Brightness Kholin - Aunt (status unknown)
- Adolin Kholin - Cousin
- Renarin Kholin - Cousin
By the end of Words of Radiance, Jasnah is thirty-five years old.
- In Polish, Bulgarian and many Slavic languages, "yasna" is the female form of the adjective that means "bright, clear, brilliant, pale".
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The Way of Kings, 36. The Lesson
- ↑ Pronunciation
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 3. City of Bells
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Way of Kings, 5. Heretic
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Words of Radiance, 1. Santhid
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 28. Decision
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 The Way of Kings, 29. Errorgance
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The Way of Kings, 48. Strawberry
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 The Way of Kings, 50. Backbreaker Powder
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Words of Radiance, Prologue - To Question
- ↑ Words of Radiance, 87. The Riddens
- ↑ Words of Radiance, Epilogue - Art And Expectation
- ↑ Elsecalling, #30
- ↑ Words of Radiance, 46. Patriots
- ↑ Elsecallers