Navani Kholin

Navani Kholin
Fan art by ex-m[1]

Biographical information
Ethnicity Alethi
Nationality Alethi
Gender Female
Status Alive
Physical Description
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Light Violet
Social Information
Title(s) Brightness, Queen of Alethkar (former)
Family House Kholin
Occupation Artifabrian
Appears in The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, Oathbringer

Navani Kholin, mother of Queen Jasnah and Elhokar Kholin, had been courted by both Gavilar and Dalinar once, but she chose Gavilar, not because he would be King, but because she was frightened of Dalinar.[1]

She is politically adept and is an engineer and researcher of fabrials.[2] She had been in Kholinar to aid Queen Aesudan in protecting her husband's, the King's, interests, but felt sidelined and useless there. She ventured to the Shattered Plains to protect her son, the King, to bring word that the Vedens had perfected what they called half-Shards, and to pursue Dalinar.[3] 



Painting by krhart[2]

Navani is a stately woman with intricately woven black hair streaked with a few lines of gray in which she wears gemstones.[2] (She often wears rubies in her hair, a blood red dress and lips painted red.[4]) She has light violet eyes and is known as one of the most beautiful women in Alethkar. [2] She's in her early sixties,[5] but looks somewhat younger, though she still looks middle-aged.[6] She has slender, delicate fingers with nails painted red.[7] Her scent is that of the sweet floral of her perfumed soap.[5]

When she and Dalinar are wed, she wears a traditional bridal crown. It is an intricate headdress of jade and turquoise complimenting her wedding gown. The gown is red - for luck - and embroidered with gold, shaped in a much looser style than the havah, with wide sleeves and a graceful drape.[7]


Navani Kholin athenaeum

Navani Kholin
Fan art by athenaeum[3]

Navani is extremely intelligent and used to enjoy participating in the political arena but as she grew older, and after her husband was killed, she became more straightforward and less concerned with social standing and reputation. She can be coy and sometimes a little manipulative, a remnant from younger days.[2] She considers demureness for the coy and frivolous.[4]

She is every inch an Alethi queen: professional, strong, and keeps a clear mind in a crisis. She challenges Alethi protocol, but one does not reprove Navani Kholin, even if one is king.[2]

Navani doesn't presume to make judgements, but she does enjoy pointing out the obvious.[1] She has a wry wit and is not afraid to show it.[5]

She is always her most genuine when playing with new fabrials. It's one of the few times when one gets to see her without any pretense. She is a most excited engineer.[8]


The older Navani grows, the worse she becomes at maintaining a brightlady's proper tranquility. Once, she obeyed such proprieties. She remembers being a young woman, playing the games expertly, delighting in ways to manipulate the system.[2]

Give Navani five minutes in a city and she'll know anything and everything of significance being gossiped about therein.[2]

Navani is excellent at keeping secrets, and she keeps her confidences. She is supremely exacting in her words and thoughts; very businesslike and careful. (For this reason, Dalinar chooses her to record his visions. She scribes expertly, picking out details from his recollections, and when to prod him for more.[9])

She sees patterns in everything and uses that to her advantage, drawing together plans and calculations in her head without even really thinking about them.[5]

Navani appreciates and admires neatness, order, rationality ... intentionality. For this reason, she loves the warcamps ... so neat, intentional.[10]

Sometimes, she thinks, working with scholars, one has to be a touch blunt.[10]

The more she understands the secrets of technology and the power of spren locked within gemstones, the closer she grows to finding what she seeks: things she can do to protect her family, like creating Shardplate.[10]


Navani believes that one can get so much more done when everything is in its place, when one can easily find what or whom one needs. That creativity requires such things. That careful planning is, indeed, the water that nourishes innovation.[10]

She believes that art is about creation. That creation is art's soul, its essence. Creation and order. Take something disorganized and build something from it. Something from nothing. The soul of creation.[5]

Navani trusts in the Almighty and the Heralds, but finds superstitions to be foolishness.[11]

As the dowager queen, she believes that nobody cares what in Damnation she does. That she could prance around completely nude, and they'd all just shake their heads and talk about how eccentric she is.[10]

Navani also believes that often the simplest answer to a thing is the right one.[12]


Navani is a renowned artifabrian[2] and works very hard to bring new fabrials to the Alethi people.[4] She shows Dalinar the painrial - a fabrial that can lessen pain. She mentions it could be highly valuable for surgeries or if applied on a larger scale to a battlefield.[8]

She is a scholar of ancient languages and civilizations.[13] Her knowledge of the ancients and their history is second only to that of her daughter. She is also an artist and cartographer.

Navani was essential in helping Dalinar uncover the credibility and meaning behind his visions during highstorms.[9][8] After recording his descriptions of his visions, she took what Dalinar had said to scholars who work at matching his Alethi words with the transcriptions she'd recorded. (She first removed the lines where he'd mentioned sensitive issues.) She also searched for historical references to match his descriptions and prepared a timeline of all his visions, trying to piece them into a single narrative.[4]


  • Navani led the research to develop the fabrial that controlled the Grandbow.[3]
  • She had a hand in the construction of a new painrial and of it, she's particularly proud, though it's only an early model. She thinks it has a lot of potential.[8]
  • Navani created a platform with fabrial science that defied gravity. Her goal in so doing was to deliver one such to the Shattered Plains to elevate archers above the battlefield for tactical advantage. Her position is patron to the ardents who make the diagrams and figures, and engineering the fabrials.[10]
  • She and her crew of ardents make a breakthrough with Shardblades in realizing that the gemstones in the Blades - used to bond them - might not have originally been part of the weapons. If true, this means that the Blades aren't powered by the stones.



Navani insists in her biography of Gavilar that he wasn't a scholar, but was an excellent king - an inspiring leader, an unparalleled duelist, and a genius of battle tactics.[1]

"He was a man built after the classical masculine ideal."

–Navani of Gavilar[1]


Navani is three months Dalinar's senior.[2]

She played Gavilar and Dalinar off one another, fanning each their desire before finally choosing Gavilar. However, she regrets her decision in so doing and, once she acknowledges this to herself, she is able to admit her fondness of Dalinar to him and confess the amount of time she's determined she'd wasted neglecting him.[2]

Six years after Gavilar's death, she begins re-courting Dalinar. This relationship is viewed as somewhat tedious for the people of Alethkar, who still formally regard Navani and Dalinar as brother and sister, with regard to their religious beliefs as of the Vorin faith. Nevertheless, with regard to Dalinar, Navani challenges Alethi protocol. Still, one does not reprove Navani Kholin, even if one is king.[2]

(The discomfort of Alethi society with the courtship might have been a leading factor in Navani's personal decision, initially. Perhaps, she feared that her reputation might falter. Now, she has no reservations in pursuing her relationship with Dalinar.)

Navani believes Dalinar to be a kind man. Telling him so, she expresses that she's compelled to find him to be fascinating. While she admits that she's taking advantage of him - a little, she's not toying with him. She finds him to be intriguing since he has begun to be the person the others all claim that they are. She chose Gavilar over him because he frightened her all those years ago. (His intensity scared Gavilar too.) Part of what she finds fascinating is that intensity, but he's now wrapped it in armor.[1]

Navani never mocks Dalinar, never acts skeptical with regard to him.[14] In fact, she envies Dalinar his having experiences that scholars, historians, and folklorists could only dream about.[15]

She paints a prayer for Dalinar when she learns of his "death" at the battle of the Tower. She creates a wish out of despair, a plea out of anguish. Thath. Justice.[5]

Navani finds it endearing that Dalinar is such a soldier. She is fond of the more confident Dalinar.[4]

She believes Dalinar to be a dear, but thinks he can be a touch overprotective.[10]

Navani enjoys her strolls with Dalinar. She is comfortable around him; intimately familiar.[7]

Navani insists that he'd married Evi for her Shardplate, that many marriages are for political reasons. She also tells him that this doesn't mean he was wrong; that they'd all encouraged him to do it. She's not trying to replace Evi as she courts Dalinar.[7]


Navani is much like her daughter in that Jasnah is a political creature.[2] She feels deeply the loss of her daughter.[16]

She knows Jasnah better than anyone else, but wishes she had some sense to go with her intelligence.[11]


Navani wishes her son to be protected, so she returns to the Shattered Plains to do so.[2]

She avows that her son can be impulsive.[17]


Dalinar notes that Adolin acts like a child when around Navani. He responds quickly to her suggestions regarding a situation, as she has a way of deftly manipulating him in a benevolent manner as a mother would her own children.[citation needed]

Navani is called Mashala by Adolin, as she is his favored aunt.[9]

She doesn't love the idea of him dueling to disarm the other Shardbearers in the army of their Shards.[18] She insists that it wouldn't hurt him to learn some glyphs.[11]

Navani is always worried when Adolin duels.[19] Even so, she watches, but prefers to do so from down below, in the preparation room.[17]


Navani is also called Mashala by Renarin.[9]


After learning of her daughter's "death" from Shallan, Navani refuses to see Shallan, or have anything to do with her.[17]


  • Gavilar Kholin - Husband (deceased)
  • Jasnah Kholin - Daughter and current Queen of Alethkar
  • Elhokar Kholin - Son (deceased)
  • Aesudan Kholin - Daughter-in-law
  • Gavinor Kholin - Grandson (son of Elhokar and Aesudan)[20][21]
  • Dalinar Kholin - Former love interest and brother-in-law (formally considered a brother due to her marriage to Gavilar), now husband
  • Evi Kholin - Sister-in-law (deceased)
  • Adolin Kholin - Nephew (by whom she is known as Mashala)
  • Renarin Kholin - Nephew (by whom she is also known as Mashala)