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Did Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros leave you with an array of questions and predictions? Well, you’re not alone. Iron Flame theories and predictions for book 3 in the Empyrean series are absolutely captivating the minds of readers. This post unravels them, including everything we know about book 3 so far. So, get ready to think about the beloved dragon fantasy books in some very surprising new ways.

iron flame by rebecca yarros in front of a fireplace.

Iron Flame is a very long and very detailed fantasy sequel in the Fourth Wing book series that takes a lot of time and attention to really devour and understand. I spent about two weeks reading and annotating it (including a second re-reading of the final 100 pages), and I took nearly 700 notes on this multi-hundred-page novel!

And still, I’m left with so many thoughts about all the Easter eggs and open-ended questions in Iron Flame’s cliffhanger ending. But, that’s all part of the fun, isn’t it?! The purpose of this post is to explore the Iron Flame theories that are going around and what author Rebecca Yarros has hinted at so far about them.

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Iron Flame Theories

Here are some of the top questions left open by the ending of Iron Flame:

IRON FLAME QUESTIONS


  • What is Violet’s second signet?
  • What will happen to Xaden’s and Violet’s relationship now that he’s venin?
  • Will any other presumably dead characters return (like Brennan and Jack did)?
  • Are any other characters venin?
  • Why did Lilith Sorrengail make all the choices she did?
  • What else do we not know yet about Andarna and the dragons?
  • What stage of venin is Xaden?
  • Who is the Sage/General venin?

It seems the most common theory being discussed is what Violet’s second signet is. I’ve flip-flopped so many times on this one, and I will probably continue to do so, but some hints include:

  • her recurring dreams, which mimic Xaden’s
  • her hallucination of Liam
  • the line: “There hasn’t been a distance wielder in centuries[.]” (page 738)
  • the line: “The only signet more terrifying than an inntinnsic is a truth-sayer.” (page 441)
  • the fact that Andarna chose Violet at the time she was expected to be a Scribe

I’m going to predict she’s a truth-sayer right now (though, as noted, my opinions change). I think it falls in line with Violet’s origins as a potential Scribe and her desire for peace for her loved ones. Her dreams can also be part of her manifestation of the truth. And, it makes sense that Violet and Xaden would both have the most terrifying signets.

I also wonder whether Lilith knew more about Andarna’s choice of Violet when she was predicted to be the greatest scribe and it informed her decision to make Violet a rider, so she could bond with Andarna. Note also that Violet’s father was writing a book on feathertails and Andarna began as one.

As for Xaden and Violet, I think it’s extremely likely they’ll be torn apart for some time, as that’s just the nature of stories. Per things Yarros has said, it seems he will remain in the friend zone. Perhaps Aaric will become of interest? That would be juicy!

I also tend to think the Liam hallucination was exactly what it was — a chance for us to see a beloved character again. Yarros has subtly indicated this. (See the video below.) Though, I personally (selfishly) wish he would be resurrected.

I definitely think more characters from Iron Flame will be venin. There’s still a lot we don’t know about Lilith’s background and choices, the circumstances of the end of Violet’s father’s life, where Xaden’s mother is now, etc. And, we know that a big part of where we are now in the story is the hiding of information about venin.

I wouldn’t be surprised if someone we already know is the Sage/General venin –perhaps Xaden’s mother, since we know the Sage/General wants Xaden and/or Violet. This would play into the theme of secrets between Xaden and Violet too.

And, this may be a reach, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if Violet’s father was venin. We know scribes have the most power, and being venin would be even more powerful than that. So, Violet’s mother may have felt she needed to contain his power by getting rid of him. This would play into her statement that her children need not understand her choices.

(However, Yarros has hinted that Violet would have recognized him if he were the General.)

Since Andarna is special, I definitely think we will learn more surprising details about her, but I really don’t know what to expect next, since I wasn’t expecting what we learned so far! It seems it can be anything, but there’s probably a lot more in store about her special bond with Violet.

Lastly, there was one stray Iron Flame quote by Violet that I annotated and am still thinking about:

“What if there’s an entire war out there we know nothing about?”

-Page 291

Perhaps it was just Violet being skeptical, since everything she knew to be true really wasn’t, but perhaps there is even more to come in this regard, which feels so chilling to me.

What We Know About Book 3 So Far

I’ve been keeping tabs on what Rebecca Yarros has said so far about these Iron Flame theories and what to expect next. Here are the main points of what I’ve uncovered:

Yarros participated in a few detailed interviews with Entertainment Weekly and Variety. She said:

First, Yarros has a publication schedule, but she can’t reveal it yet. She did say she intends to slow down, so don’t expect book 3 within a few months of Iron Flame!

She’s already plotted the ending of the Empyrean series.

“[E]verything you need to know about [Violet’s] second signet is actually in Iron Flame.” It will be revealed in Book 3.

Death is a very real part of war, and it is final in real life, so there are death finalities in the book series as well. (She says this in reference to Liam specifically.)

She loves the theme that people will sell their souls for power, as Xaden did. (So, will we see this theme more?!)

She will explore the process of creating venin in the future.

Dain wasn’t meant to create a love triangle.

She will get into more details about Xaden’s mother.

She hints that Violet would have recognized her dad if he was the Sage. (Or, is she throwing us off course??)

There will be an entire book’s worth of information about Andarna’s breed.

We will learn more about Navarre’s royal family in book 3.

Book 3 will also show how Aretia has survived without being caught.

This Q and A!:

Is Jack lying when he tells Xaden you cannot turn back from being a venin once you begin?

I mean, no one has ever. No one’s seen it. But we haven’t read book three yet.

Book 3 will explore whether the Sage really wanted Xaden, Violet, or both.

Yarros implied it wasn’t actually the same dream Xaden and Violet had about the Sage. (“It does seem like the same dream, doesn’t it? I think you should really enjoy book three.”)

Book 3 begins at Basgiath because Violet is safe from Xaden there. But, we will see more about where the weaknesses are in the wards. She said the whole point is the question, “[W]ould you give up your shield to become your neighbor’s sword?”

The secret seventh den of iridescent dragons (Andarna) will be named in future books.

Book 3 will also discuss why Andarna chose to hatch when she learned Violet would be the greatest scribe.

Conclusion

This post is to explore the Iron Flame theories are going around and what author Rebecca Yarros has hinted at so far about them, including everything from Violet’s second signet to who the General venin is. A lot will be revealed in book 3!

Because theories can be so subjective, I’d also love to hear your own thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post.

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3 Comments

  1. I think she can speak to the dead and maybe see the future. That would allow her to see if there’s a way to save Xaden. I also like those 2 together too much to think they won’t last. They are too attached to be separated vennin or no. Nolan told Jack you have a choice so maybe that fact will come into play. Andarna is also a type of dragon that hasn’t existed in over 600 years so maybe something about her signet and ability to kill vennin will help save xaden and other vennin who are likely people that were once riders perhaps?

  2. I have a feeling Violet’s second signet has to do with souls as she is obsessed with staying alive and needs those she loves to as well. It will come into play in the need for Xaden to recover his that he started to loose by starting to turn venin