The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season

by

N. K. Jemisin

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Fifth Season can help.

Orogeny Term Analysis

Technically, orogeny is the process in which changes are made to the earth’s crust and mantle. In The Fifth Season, these changes are the result of direct action on the part of people called orogenes, who have the power to affect such processes themselves. Orogeny is not fully understood even in the Stillness, but in general it involves the orogene drawing kinetic energy from the earth itself or life in the “ambient” around them (within the limits of their torus), amplifying this energy, and then manipulating it to cause or quell seismic events. All of this can usually be done without any physical movement on the part of the orogene. Orogenes have larger and more developed sessapinae than other humans in the Stillness, and orogenic parents often give birth to children who share their skill. Even from birth, an orogene has incredible power and reacts instinctively to seismic events, and it is only with intensive training that they can focus and control their power. While orogenes are feared for their strength throughout the Stillness, they are also hated and treated as non-human, and when children are discovered to be orogenic, they are often murdered. Even at the Fulcrum, where the practice of orogeny is legal and supposedly exists only in service to the rest of the Stillness, orogenes are still treated as expendable and less than human. Many questions about the nature of orogeny remain by the end of The Fifth Season, such as its relationship to the obelisks and to the origin of the Fifth Seasons themselves.

Orogeny Quotes in The Fifth Season

The The Fifth Season quotes below are all either spoken by Orogeny or refer to Orogeny. For each quote, you can also see the other terms 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.
Prologue Quotes

And then he reaches forth with all the fine control that the world has brainwashed and backstabbed and brutalized out of him, and all the sensitivity that his masters have bred into him through generations of rape and coercion and highly unnatural selection. His fingers spread and twitch as he feels several reverberating points on the map of his awareness: his fellow slaves. […]

So he reaches deep and takes hold of the humming tapping bustling reverberating rippling vastness of the city, and the quieter bedrock beneath it, and the roiling churn of heat and pressure beneath that. Then he reaches wide, taking hold of the great sliding-puzzle piece of earthshell on which the continent sits.

Lastly, he reaches up. For power.

He takes all that, the strata and the magma and the people and the power, in his imaginary hands. Everything. He holds it. He is not alone. The earth is with him.

Then he breaks it.

Related Characters: Alabaster
Related Symbols: The Obelisks
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

If the problem is that ferals are not predictable…well, orogenes have to prove themselves reliable. The Fulcrum has a reputation to maintain; that’s part of this. So’s the training, and the uniform, and the endless rules they must follow, but the breeding is part of it too, or why is she here?

It's somewhat flattering to think that despite her feral status, they actually want something of her infused into their breeding lines. Then she wonders why a part of her is trying to find value in degradation.

Related Characters: Essun/Damaya/Syenite, Alabaster
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:

“Tell them they can be great someday, like us. Tell them they belong among us, no matter how we treat them. Tell them they must earn the respect which everyone else receives by default. Tell them there is a standard for acceptance; that standard is simply perfection. Kill those who scoff at these contradictions, and tell the rest that the dead deserved annihilation for their weakness and doubt. Then they’ll break themselves trying for what they’ll never achieve.”

Related Symbols: Stonelore
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

Never say no to me,” he says. The words are hot against her skin. He has bent to murmur them into her ear. “Orogenes have no right to say no. I am your Guardian. I will break every bone in your hand, every bone in your body, if I deem it necessary to make the world safe from you.”

Related Characters: Schaffa Guardian Warrant (speaker), Essun/Damaya/Syenite
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:

“I have to do what you say or you’ll hurt me.”

“And?”

She closes her eyes tighter. In dreams, that makes the bad creatures go away.

“And,” she adds, “you’ll hurt me even when I do obey. If you think you should.”

“Yes.” She can actually hear his smile. He nudges a stray braid away from her cheek, letting the backs of his fingers brush her skin. “What I do is not random, Damaya. It’s about control. Give me no reason to doubt yours, and I will never hurt you again. Do you understand?”

Related Characters: Essun/Damaya/Syenite (speaker), Schaffa Guardian Warrant (speaker)
Page Number: 102
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

“They kill us because they’ve got stonelore telling them at every turn that we’re born evil—some kind of agents of Father Earth, monsters that barely qualify as human.”

“Yes, but you can’t change stonelore.”

“Stonelore changes all the time, Syenite.” He doesn’t say her name often, either. It gets her attention. “Every civilization adds to it; parts that don’t matter to the people of the time are forgotten. There’s a reason Tablet Two is so damaged: someone, somewhere back in time, decided that it wasn’t important or was wrong, and didn’t bother to take care of it. Or maybe they even deliberately tried to obliterate it, which is why so many of the early copies are damaged in exactly the same way.”

Related Characters: Essun/Damaya/Syenite (speaker), Alabaster (speaker)
Related Symbols: Stonelore
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:

“You think you matter?” All at once he smiles. It’s an ugly thing, cold as the vapor that curls off ice. “You think any of us matter beyond what we can do for them? Whether we obey or not.” He jerks his head toward the body of the abused, murdered child. “You think he mattered, after what they did to him? The only reason they don’t do this to all of us is because we’re more versatile, more useful, if we control ourselves. But each of us is just another weapon, to them. Just a useful monster, just a bit of new blood to add to the breeding lines. Just another fucking rogga.”

She has never heard so much hate put into one word before.

Related Characters: Alabaster (speaker), Essun/Damaya/Syenite, The Node Maintainer
Page Number: 143
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

Alabaster smiles, though the muscles of his jaw flex repeatedly. “I would’ve thought you’d like being treated like a human being for a change.”

“I do. But what difference does it make? Even if you pull rank now, it won’t change how they feel about us—”

“No, it won’t. And I don’t care how they feel. They don’t have to rusting like us. What matters is what they do.”

Related Characters: Essun/Damaya/Syenite (speaker), Alabaster (speaker), Asael Leadership Allia
Page Number: 159-160
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

You are representatives of us all, the instructors say, if any grit dares to protest this treatment. When you’re dirty, all orogenes are dirty. When you’re lazy, we’re all lazy. We hurt you so you’ll do the rest of us no harm.

Once Damaya would have protested the unfairness of such judgments. The children of the Fulcrum are all different: different ages, different colors, different shapes. […] One cannot reasonably expect sameness out of so much difference, and it makes no sense for Damaya to be judged by the behavior of children who share nothing save the curse of orogeny with her.

But Damaya understands now that the world is not fair. They are orogenes, the Misalems of the world, born cursed and terrible. This is what is necessary to make them safe.

Related Characters: Essun/Damaya/Syenite, Misalem
Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:

What Damaya sees in them is something she does not understand at first, though she wants it with a desperation that surprises and unnerves her. As those first weeks pass into months and she grows familiar with the routine, she begins to understand what it is that the older orogenes display: control. They have mastered their power. […]

If to achieve this Damaya must endure a few broken bones, or a few years in a place where no one loves her or even likes her, that is a small price to pay.

Related Characters: Essun/Damaya/Syenite
Page Number: 196
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

“What do you want? An apology? Then I apologize. You must remember, though, that most normal people have never seen an orogene, let alone had to do business with one and—” She spreads her hands. “Isn’t it understandable that we might be…uncomfortable?”

“Discomfort is understandable. It’s the rudeness that isn’t.” Rust this. This woman doesn’t deserve the effort of her explanation. Syen decides to save that for someone who matters. “And that’s a really shitty apology. ‘I’m sorry you’re so abnormal that I can’t manage to treat you like a human being.’”

“You’re a rogga,” Asael snaps, and then has the gall to look surprised at herself.

“Well.” Syenite makes herself smile. “At least that’s out in the open.”

Related Characters: Essun/Damaya/Syenite (speaker), Asael Leadership Allia (speaker)
Page Number: 216
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

(Friends do not exist. The Fulcrum is not a school. Grits are not children. Orogenes are not people. Weapons have no need of friends.)

Related Characters: Essun/Damaya/Syenite
Page Number: 297
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Fifth Season LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Fifth Season PDF

Orogeny Term Timeline in The Fifth Season

The timeline below shows where the term Orogeny appears in The Fifth Season. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue: you are here
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...suddenly longs for silence and an ending to everything, and he reaches out with his orogeny—using all the skill “that his masters have bred into him”—to feel all the people of... (full context)
Chapter 1: you, at the end
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...body and felt an enormous earthquake coming their way. Without even thinking, Essun used her orogeny to create a barrier around Uche, and the shake “split and flowed” around Tirimo, leaving... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Lerna is the only one besides Essun’s children who knows that Essun is an orogene. Lerna now tells her that Rask, the town’s headman, isn’t letting anyone enter or leave... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...able to speak again, she tells Lerna that she wasn’t the one who revealed Uche’s orogeny to Jija—the child must have done something that gave himself away. Essun asks Lerna if... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...that she needs to leave Tirimo, as the townspeople will figure out that she’s an orogene and come for her soon enough. The chapter ends with a quotation from a tablet... (full context)
Chapter 2: Damaya, in winters past
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...Damaya’s coat. The man sighs and finishes Mother’s explanation for her—she believed the myth that orogenes don’t feel the cold, and she thought Damaya must have been lying when she complained... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...Guardian Warrant and explains that Damaya will be trained at the Fulcrum to use her orogeny to serve the world. He says that she is now the sixth orogene under his... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...Damaya is actually lucky that her parents reported her and kept her isolated, as many orogenic children end up murdered by mobs after they reveal their powers. Damaya wants to know... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
The day that Damaya discovered she was an orogene, she was sitting with two of her friends after lunch when a boy named Zab... (full context)
Chapter 3: you’re on your way
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...by a wave of overwhelming anger. She stops and calms herself, and briefly uses her orogeny to sess that there are no open vents in the earth nearby. (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...yet made the connection that she is the “rogga’s mother” and might even be an orogene herself. Looking for the headman Rask, Essun goes to his office but finds his second-in-command... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...leaves, she can’t come back, and then he reveals that his own sister was an orogene who was kidnapped and likely murdered as a child. Rask offers to walk Essun to... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...trying not to think for the past few days—and so she reacts instinctively, using her orogeny to draw energy from the air and freeze the incoming crossbow bolt so that it... (full context)
Chapter 4: Syenite, cut and polished
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...can tell that Feldspar has been annoyed by the governor’s insistence, but as a Fulcrum orogene, she has learned to always be polite and never show strong emotion, lest she make... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...outside of the Fulcrum—at that point they are considered “stable enough in [their] mastery of orogeny” to be allowed some freedom. Feldspar confirms that it will just be Syen alone with... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...contained within the walls of Yumenes. As she crosses the gardens, Syenite sees other ringed orogenes, as well as young “grits” who haven’t yet passed their first-ring test. She also sees... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...about this man except that he has achieved the highest rank possible for a Fulcrum orogene, and that he will have total power over her if he wants to. She sighs... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...from Yumenes and reveals that he himself was “bred to order,” a product of careful orogenic breeding. Syen, on the other hand, is a “feral.” Syen has never heard this term,... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Ferals are frightening to the rulers of the Fulcrum, because they are proof that orogeny is unpredictable and not subject to all of their rules and science—rather, it can pop... (full context)
Chapter 5: you’re not alone
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Essun is exhausted after her deadly display of orogeny at Tirimo’s gate. Most of the effort she expended was actually in controlling the raw... (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...Non-Humans,” describing an unnamed race that is “arcane” and unexplainable in the same way that orogeny is, and that can appear to be human but also take on other shapes. (full context)
Chapter 6: Damaya, grinding to a halt
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...a fault line. Suddenly Schaffa tells Damaya to stop what she’s doing—she’s been inadvertently using orogeny and “listening to the earth,” noticing how much more active it seems here than in... (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
Schaffa begins his story: 1,200 years ago, before the Fulcrum was established, a powerful orogene named Misalem tried to kill the emperor. Before the Fulcrum, orogenes had no real training,... (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
...his bodyguard, Shemshena. Shemshena was a skilled warrior of the Innovator use-caste who had studied orogenes and the way orogeny worked. Before Misalem arrived, she had evacuated the entire city and... (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
Shemshena knew at least this much about the nature of orogeny, and so she tried to clear the city of everything that Misalem could possibly draw... (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
...done. He explains that Shemshena was the first Guardian. The Fulcrum is the order of orogenes, he says, but the Guardians are those that watch over the orogenes and control their... (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
...how the Guardians train just as Shemshena did, learning to neutralize the threat of any orogene that might become like another Misalem. Now that Schaffa is Damaya’s Guardian, he says, it... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...responsible for herself. Schaffa says that this is an admirable desire, but the nature of orogenes means that she will never be able to fully control herself. Suddenly angry, tired, and... (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...most important question of all. He then asks how she was discovered to be an orogene, and Damaya admits that she reacted as she did with Zab because she was angry... (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...beneath her seems to offer comfort and relief. She almost reaches into it with her orogeny, but then she hesitates, remembering that she is supposed to be controlling herself. (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...he praises her ability to control herself through great pain, something that not many untrained orogenes can do. (full context)
Chapter 7: you plus one is two
Power and Control Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...it’s something he’s always been able to do. Essun can tell that he’s not an orogene—and even orogenes can’t sense each other’s presence from far away, like he seems to be... (full context)
Chapter 8: Syenite on the highroad
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...been deemed important as hot spots or as being near fault lines, and a Fulcrum-trained orogene is assigned to each outpost. Their job there is to keep the surrounding area stable... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...to get on his good side, as he is by far the highest ranked living orogene. At the same time, all of the tricks of flattery and politeness that she’s learned... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...she doesn’t really hate him, but rather the world and the way that it treats orogenes. Syen tries to argue that the way things are is the only possible way, but... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...but Alabaster counters that “survival doesn’t mean rightness.” He suggests that society could instead let orogenes be in charge of things. Syenite scoffs at this, but Alabaster says that people only... (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...for 20 years and has friends all over the continent. Syenite can’t believe that an orogene would have friends beyond the Fulcrum, especially people willing to talk about heretical things like... (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
...miles away. Alabaster falls to his knees, and Syen can feel the force of his orogeny speeding off into the distance, toward the hot spot. Suddenly Syenite feels her own orogeny... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...spots like that don’t just spontaneously explode. Further, it’s supposed to be impossible for two orogenes to work together, as the weaker one will burn out—but none of that explains what... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
...have sessed the disaster that almost took place and they are grateful to see Fulcrum orogenes now. That night, Syenite and Alabaster stop and sleep for a few hours before setting... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...to a series of pipes and wires. She understands what the node maintainer really is—an orogene kept alive but entirely “immobile, unwilling, indefinite.” A shelf nearby is full of medicine, which... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...horrified. Alabaster shows her something else—a scar at the base of the node maintainer’s neck. Orogenes’ sessapinae are larger than other people’s, he explains, and the node maintainer has been operated... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...awake and aware of what’s happening. The node maintainers are normally kept sedated because using orogeny causes them pain, so when they are allowed to wake up, they experience terrible suffering—this... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
Alabaster says that this is why he was so insistent that every orogene should see a node in person. Syenite says that she had no idea about any... (full context)
Syenite, now using the term “rogga” because “orogene” feels like a falsehood to her, says that they could also have a “still” as... (full context)
Chapter 9: Syenite among the enemy
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...with the woman. Alabaster says that he knows nothing can change the way people see orogenes, but he still wants to be treated like a human being and enjoy luxuries sometimes. (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
...hunger anymore, or other human sensations—he spends so much time in the earth with his orogeny that it feels closer and more real to him than his own body. Nevertheless, he... (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
...realizes that he is paralyzed and panicking, while she can feel the strength of his orogeny gathering within him. Panicking herself—Alabaster could cause untold destruction if he loses control of his... (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
Her orogeny now bound to Alabaster’s, Syenite can feel him flailing about and searching for something with... (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...tablet that Syen has never heard of. He then says that he’s been using her orogeny like an ox in a yoke. She doesn’t like this analogy, and she asks him... (full context)
Chapter 10: you walk beside the beast
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
...might now be inhabited by hostile people—she has enough faith in her strength as an orogene to defend herself. (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...forth as if fighting between its two contradictory instincts. Essun prepares to kill it with orogeny, but suddenly Hoa steps toward it. Essun tries to grab him but finds him incredibly... (full context)
Chapter 11: Damaya at the fulcrum of it all
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...entirely new way of life. She is a “grit” now—the term for all the young orogenes before they get their first rings. Her daily routine is rigid and strict, as the... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...by now Damaya knows that this is the way it must be. The world hates orogenes, and “this is what is necessary to make them safe” in the eyes of others.... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...various instructors, learning things like the history of the Sanze empire and mathematical equations involving orogeny. After the lectures or exams, the children have lunch in a courtyard. Damaya enjoys everything... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...lunch, they walk through the Fulcrum’s Ring Garden in neat lines, past the older, ringed orogenes. Watching them, Damaya longs to have their sense of control and mastery, and she also... (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
...is happening until an instructor named Galena notices that she’s drunk and pulls her aside. Orogenes aren’t allowed to drink alcohol at all, and she could be harshly punished, but Galena... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...There is one girl who is even more of a loner than most, and whose orogeny seems especially harsh and dangerous. Her name is Selu, but the other grits have started... (full context)
Chapter 12: Syenite finds a new toy
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...been and how she excelled at them. Asael quibbles about having to pay for two orogenes if only one is doing the work, and Syen explains that Alabaster is powerful enough... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Asael still seems uneasy, and Syenite knows that it’s a Fulcrum orogene’s job to make sure that “stills” feel safe and at ease. She has done the... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...Syenite and Alabaster are so angry. She offers a weak apology but also says that orogenes mustn’t expect “normal” people to know how to deal with them. Syenite says that discomfort... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
...lieutenant governor and assures Syen that Asael will be censured for her rudeness to the orogenes. She even offers to make Asael provide them a free tour of the city, but... (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
...all this, she closes her eyes and moves her hands around—this is unnecessary to her orogeny, but she knows that it makes non-orogenes more comfortable if they can see her physically... (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
...a study with some geomests to figure out what the object is, and then using orogeny only as a last resort. (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
As Syenite searches around the ocean floor with her orogeny, she encounters the obstructing object itself and suddenly feels herself drawn into an entirely different... (full context)
Chapter 13: you’re on the trail
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...to figure out what exactly Hoa is, because he doesn’t seem to be human (although orogenes aren’t technically considered human either). When she asks him about the kirkhusa he refuses to... (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
...that it should have been destroyed by the shake, so she is sure that an orogene—likely a node maintainer—saved it. After hearing more stories in the same vein, Essun observes that... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
...are other ways of finding their direction, and Essun suspects that she knows about Essun’s orogeny. (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
...hard to single out Nassun. Essun thinks about how it should be impossible—and also unwise—for orogenes to be gathering like he says they are. (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...he is sure that Nassun at least passed near to the place with all the orogenes, if she’s not still there. Essun decides to focus on getting to this spot, and... (full context)
Chapter 14: Syenite breaks her toys
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...cautious about speaking when there’s clearly no one else around. He explains that a skilled orogene can pick up vibrations through a building’s foundations in the earth, and even parse them... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...long and thin and familiar to Syenite. She backs away and tries to use her orogeny, but suddenly realizes that she cannot. She has heard rumors about this, that Guardians can... (full context)
Chapter 15: you’re among friends
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Essun, Hoa, and Tonkee have finally reached the place where Hoa could sense all the orogenes gathering, but at first glance it seems like an entirely abandoned comm. The road fades... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
...eyes seem especially fierce and piercing. Essun can also sense immediately that she is an orogene, and that she recognizes Essun’s orogeny as well. (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
Suddenly Essun feels a wave of some kind of orogeny sweep past her, and it reminds her of the day she quieted the massive shake... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...Season will probably last for thousands of years. Ykka says that there are currently 22 orogenes in Castrima, and more keep coming. Tonkee, who was first horrified to hear Essun’s prediction,... (full context)
Chapter 16: Syen in the hidden land
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...about this. She finds the existence of stone eaters unnerving, something that defies reason like orogeny or the obelisks. She then tells Alabaster about the stone eater in the obelisk and... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...where something is implanted into their sessapinae. This gives them the ability to negate others’ orogeny, among other things. Hearing this, Syenite’s hand hurts in memory of an old injury. She... (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...in delight, and then murdered him in a horrible way—somehow a Guardian’s skin turns an orogene’s power inward, Alabaster says, forcing all that incredible strength back on the orogene’s own body.... (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
...that they continue on to the village and Syenite reluctantly agrees, despite their currently negated orogeny. As they approach, Syenite thinks about how the village might survive tsunamis, and she notices... (full context)
Chapter 17: Damaya, in finality
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...and landscaped grounds. She also explores the administrative buildings, which include practice chambers where ringed orogenes move around huge blocks of basalt as practice. Sometimes Damaya sees them doing this and... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...the massive central building of the Fulcrum campus. This is full of offices for the orogenes to take care of their own internal business—as they can’t use any of Yumenes’s resources—and... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...group of grits on their march through Ring Garden. They have just finished their Applied Orogeny lesson, during which Marcasite praised Damaya’s work and told her that she would be ready... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...full name: Binof Leadership Yumenes. Slowly, Damaya realizes what this means: Binof is not an orogene and is rather a member of one of the most powerful families on the continent.... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...angry at Binof and her privileged naïveté that she almost loses control and uses her orogeny. Binof notices this and isn’t afraid, but only more energetically curious than ever. Finally, she... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...Binof needs to start acting like this if she’s going to pretend to be an orogene. (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
...grows uncomfortable because they’re now close to the Guardians’ wing. Binof says that, as an orogene, Damaya should be able to figure out where the hidden door is using her power.... (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...is implanted, he says, and sometimes it must be removed. A Guardian’s connection to their orogenes can help them, but Timay had not maintained such connections. Damaya then remembers that when... (full context)
Chapter 18: you discover wonders down below
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...emerged from. Inside is a stairway leading down into the earth, apparently shaped by an orogene out of solid granite. Ykka says that this and other entrances have been there for... (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...she didn’t let it. And in the future, she declares, there will always be other orogenes to do the same. (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
...questions and looking around in wonder, now asks Ykka how she’s been getting all the orogenes to gather here. Ykka says that it’s something she discovered that she could do years... (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...well, because none of the mechanisms worked in the geode, and generations passed until Ykka’s orogenic great-grandmother figured out why. Shocked, Essun now realizes that all the mechanisms run on orogeny.... (full context)
Chapter 19: Syenite on the lookout
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...the destruction at Allia contradicts everything that the Fulcrum is supposed to offer, so the orogenes of the Fulcrum will need to make them scapegoats or else risk being murdered by... (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...Guardians can’t track them, because of whatever he did to his and because when Syen’s orogeny was negated, her Guardian lost his connection to her until he touches her again. (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...feels like she hates Alabaster because he gives voice to these terrible truths—truths that every orogene at the Fulcrum chooses to ignore so that they might remain comfortable and safe. (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...beloved by all. A huge, dark man with an outsized personality, Innon is a “feral” orogene like Harlas, and Syen feels herself entirely confused by him. (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...remembers one of Meov’s women explaining to her that they all survive only because of orogenes. The woman then suggested that Alabaster and Syenite should have a baby and give it... (full context)
Chapter 20: Syenite, stretched and snapped back
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...and understands that her display has made it plain that the pirates have a skilled orogene on board. As they prepare to sail away victorious, Innon stops them and then tells... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...Season: the Shattering Season. Syenite wonders what really caused this first Season. Even every living orogene working together couldn’t break the earth’s crust like that, so orogeny can’t be to blame... (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
...until suddenly an external force arrives and calms the gathering waves. It’s Alabaster, using his orogeny even a hundred miles away. Afterwards, the volcano that was Allia is dark and quiet,... (full context)
Chapter 21: you’re getting the band back together
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...obelisks themselves, as well, and has noticed that they move very slowly toward certain skilled orogenes. Two were moving toward Tirimo, and that was how Tonkee found her—further, one of the... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...Essun after her encounter with Lerna, and Essun wonders if Ykka tries to hide her orogeny from the public, or if they know she’s a rogga and still choose to follow... (full context)
Chapter 22: Syenite, fractured
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...her hair and reminds her of the story of Misalem and Shemshena, and that the orogenes will always be the Misalems of the world. Syen says she’s heard the story, but... (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
...for killing him. Alabaster presses the two new rings into her hands, telling her that orogenes are what built the Fulcrum and made the Sanzed Empire so powerful, even if they... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...his feet and tensed, clearly sessing something in the distance. Syenite sends out her own orogeny and feels nothing—but it’s a nothingness that is strange, because the earth is never really... (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...She makes her way to the Clalsu and suddenly feels a pulse of incredibly powerful orogeny. Then, a wall of rock rises up out of the sea, sealing off the harbor... (full context)
Power and Control Theme Icon
With his orogeny Innon breaks down a section of Alabaster’s wall, but more rock immediately replaces it. Meanwhile... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Getting on her hands and knees and focusing the torus of her orogeny, Syenite sends a thin line of ice down into the rock, splitting it just as... (full context)
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...grabs Alabaster and tries to pull him up, cursing the stone eater and sending her orogeny down into the earth, but she is unable to fight the heaviness of the mysterious... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...sorrow. She looks back over the harbor and sees that the Guardians must have an orogene with them, as ice is now spreading across the ocean’s surface, stopping the ship with... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
...strikes the ship. As the enemy craft approaches, Syenite sees three Guardians and one Fulcrum orogene on its deck. Then a third cannon strikes the Clalsu, breaking its mast, which falls... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...man—a Guardian—appears behind him and grabs Innon’s head, grinning. Syenite can then feel as Innon’s orogeny, along with everything about him that makes him the person she loves, is turned evil... (full context)