Essun’s friend and neighbor in Tirimo, Lerna is a younger man who leaves the comm for a while and returns trained as a doctor. Lerna is the only one besides her own children who knows that Essun is an orogene, but he never reveals her secret to anyone else in Tirimo. Lerna has a crush on Essun growing up, and it seems to still have lingered even when they are reunited in Castrima. A man of integrity throughout the novel, Lerna starts out polite and relatively shy but is hardened by life traveling during a Fifth Season, and seems much more world-weary when Essun meets him in Castrima.
Lerna Character Timeline in The Fifth Season
The timeline below shows where the character Lerna appears in The Fifth Season. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: you, at the end
Chapter 21: you’re getting the band back together
...they make it back to Essun’s chambers, where Tonkee is eating in the living room. Lerna introduces himself to her, and they are cautious with each other until Lerna mentions testing... (full context)
Chapter 23: you’re all you need