The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season

by

N. K. Jemisin

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Nassun Character Analysis

Nassun is Essun’s daughter with Jija, born in Tirimo. She never appears in person in The Fifth Season (though she features heavily in later books of the trilogy), having been abducted by her father just before the events of the novel. Jija spares Nassun (a powerful orogene like her mother) for unknown reasons even after he beats Uche to death when the toddler’s powers are revealed. The driving force in Essun’s life after Uche’s murder is to find Nassun, and she desperately clings to hope that her daughter is still alive.

Nassun Quotes in The Fifth Season

The The Fifth Season quotes below are all either spoken by Nassun or refer to Nassun. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Orbit edition of The Fifth Season published in 2015.
Chapter 10 Quotes

You think, maybe, you need to be someone else.

You’re not sure who. Previous yous have been stronger and colder, or warmer and weaker; either set of qualities is better suited to getting you through the mess you’re in. Right now you’re cold and weak, and that helps no one.

You could become someone new, maybe. You’ve done that before; it’s surprisingly easy. A new name, a new focus, then try on the sleeves and slacks of a new personality to find the perfect fit. A few days and you’ll feel like you’ve never been anyone else.

But. Only one you is Nassun’s mother. That’s what’s forestalled you so far, and ultimately it’s the deciding factor. At the end of all this, when Jija is dead and it’s finally safe to mourn your son…if she still lives, Nassun will need the mother she’s known all her life.

Related Characters: Essun/Damaya/Syenite, Nassun, Jija, Uche
Page Number: 172
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

You’ve always known better. How dare you expect anything else? You’re just another filthy, rusty-souled rogga, just another agent of the Evil Earth, just another mistake of sensible breeding practices, just another mislaid tool. You should never have had children in the first place, and you shouldn’t have expected to keep them once you did […]

Related Characters: Essun/Damaya/Syenite, Nassun, Uche
Page Number: 271
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Fifth Season LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Fifth Season PDF

Nassun Character Timeline in The Fifth Season

The timeline below shows where the character Nassun appears in The Fifth Season. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: you, at the end
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...has broken somewhere. Speaking to herself in the mirror, she wonders aloud where her daughter Nassun is. Essun knows that she needs to leave Tirimo, as the townspeople will figure out... (full context)
Chapter 3: you’re on your way
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...kill her, but she decides that she must first try to find wherever her daughter Nassun is buried, if Jija even buried her. By now, the rest of the people of... (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...traded away— if she ever finds him, she will question him about Uche’s death and Nassun’s whereabouts, and then she will kill him. Leaving the house, Essun briefly thinks about her... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...Jija went, but some people saw him load up their horse cart and leave with Nassun—who was still alive. Stunned to learn that her daughter might have survived, Essun starts shaking... (full context)
Chapter 7: you plus one is two
Power and Control Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...saying is unbelievable, but she fixates on the fact that Hoa seems to know where Nassun is. (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...crazy, but she is willing to go along if he can really lead her to Nassun. Preparing to walk again, Essun offers Hoa some food, but he says that he doesn’t... (full context)
Chapter 10: you walk beside the beast
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...her current self as Essun isn’t particularly equipped to live through a Fifth Season. But Nassun still might be alive, and Essun is Nassun’s mother, so Essun decides that she needs... (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
...this would be much safer, but she’s also reluctant to lose two full days on Nassun. She decides to risk the roadhouse even though it might now be inhabited by hostile... (full context)
Chapter 13: you’re on the trail
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Their long and weary journey continues, following only Hoa’s instincts about where Nassun is. They pass through one shortcut that saves them a lot of time but means... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...refuses to explain how he can sense all of this, but he is sure that Nassun at least passed near to the place with all the orogenes, if she’s not still... (full context)
Chapter 15: you’re among friends
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...struck with emotion and falls to her knees. She really has been expecting to find Nassun all this time, she realizes, but now she curses herself for daring to hope when... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...worth. Essun decides that she wants to meet these people and hopes that Jija and Nassun really are here but in disguise, or that someone here has at least seen them.... (full context)
Chapter 21: you’re getting the band back together
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Lerna and Essun fall silent for a while, and then Lerna tells Essun that Nassun definitely isn’t here—he’s met all the other newcomers in Castrima by now. Again, Essun is... (full context)
Chapter 23: you’re all you need
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...hide her true self to do it. Briefly she tries to explain Jija, Uche, and Nassun, but her words trail off. Finally, Alabaster tells her that he can understand why she... (full context)