The narrator of The Fifth Season, Hoa is a stone eater who somehow makes himself look and move like a human child—though a very strange one, with extremely pale skin, hair, and eyes. He is especially fixated on Essun, and seems to transform himself so that he might travel with her and because he wants her to “like him.” As The Fifth Season begins, Hoa emerges from inside a geode as a small figure who slowly begins to move and walk, and then breaks off other white and red crystals from the geode itself and begins eating them. He gathers the rest into a bundle and carries throughout the novel as his sustenance—though they are not just food for him, as he claims but does not explain, but also part of his identity and how he is able to take on a human appearance. Hoa seems to genuinely care for Essun, as he protects her from a kirkhusa by turning it into stone and also defends her from other stone eaters at Castrima, but like the rest of kind his origins and true motivations are left entirely mysterious in The Fifth Season. At the same time, Essun cannot help seeing Hoa as a kind and curious child, even though she knows that he is a potentially dangerous being who is probably thousands of years old. At the novel’s end, Hoa reveals himself as the story’s narrator, referring to Essun in the second-person and describing how he, like many other stone eaters, was first drawn to her when she drew power from the obelisk at Meov.