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.
Rogga is an offensive term for an orogene. Though it’s generally considered a slur, it’s widely used throughout the Stillness. Some orogenes try to reclaim the word for themselves as a use-caste name, while others believe that it is the only appropriate term for them, considering the fact that they are still technically considered non-human and essentially treated as slaves.

Rogga Quotes in The Fifth Season

The The Fifth Season quotes below are all either spoken by Rogga or refer to Rogga. 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.
Chapter 8 Quotes

“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 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 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

Rogga Term Timeline in The Fifth Season

The timeline below shows where the term Rogga 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
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...several miles wide, with Tirimo at its center. The townspeople know that this means a “rogga” is in Tirimo, as their stonelore tells them to “Look for the center of the... (full context)
Chapter 3: you’re on your way
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...special attention to Essun, as they haven’t 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... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...see Essun, she observes him connect the dots and realize that she is likely a “rogga” herself. She immediately tells him that she won’t hurt anyone, and she asks if he... (full context)
Chapter 6: Damaya, grinding to a halt
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
...thousands of people. Damaya is horrified to hear this, realizing that she too is a “rogga” like Misalem. She asks why Misalem would do such things, and Schaffa says that no... (full context)
Chapter 8: Syenite on the highroad
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...to a node, and she responds that of course she hasn’t. Alabaster says that every “rogga” should visit one. Syenite is surprised to hear him casually use this word, which is... (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
...as just weapons and monsters to be used, just like the node maintainers—all just “fucking roggas” in the end. Syenite lets this sink in and realizes that he’s right—orogenes like her... (full context)
Syenite, now using the term “rogga” because “orogene” feels like a falsehood to her, says that they could also have a... (full context)
Chapter 12: Syenite finds a new toy
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...Syenite says that discomfort is understandable, but rudeness isn’t. Finally, Asael blurts out, “you’re a rogga.” Syen says she’s glad that this is out in the open now and turns to... (full context)
Chapter 14: Syenite breaks her toys
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...here actually nod to them as they pass—no one in Yumenes would ever acknowledge a rogga. (full context)
Chapter 15: you’re among friends
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...introduces herself as Ykka Rogga Castrima, and Essun and Tonkee are both surprised to hear “rogga” used as a use-caste name, considering its negative implications. Tonkee, clearly fascinated by Ykka, also... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
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Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...but now she curses herself for daring to hope when she’s “just another filthy, soul-rusted rogga” who never should have had children at all. She feels Tonkee pulling at her arms... (full context)
Chapter 16: Syen in the hidden land
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History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Alabaster goes on, explaining that Guardians are all children of roggas but not roggas themselves, and there is an operation performed on them where something is... (full context)
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...the main reason, he says with a grin, is that the Meovites don’t kill their roggas—instead, they make them their leaders. The chapter ends with a quotation from stonelore saying that... (full context)
Chapter 17: Damaya, in finality
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...might be. She tells him that if she passes her test, she has picked a rogga name: Syenite. Schaffa says that he likes it, and Damaya resolves that she will indeed... (full context)
Chapter 18: you discover wonders down below
Power and Control Theme Icon
...feels like she’s slipping downhill, toward Ykka herself. Ykka stops and then confirms that only roggas feel this, along with stone eaters, as she discovered later. (full context)
Chapter 19: Syenite on the lookout
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...he was just trying to make a point, but Syen already knows what it is—that roggas are slaves with no control over even their own bodies. She feels like she hates... (full context)
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
History, Storytelling, and Knowledge Theme Icon
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...asks her if she ever just wants to be a human being. Syen responds that roggas aren’t human, and Alabaster fiercely says that they are—their classification as non-human is just a... (full context)
Chapter 20: Syenite, stretched and snapped back
Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
...skills in his raiding ventures. They both know that this is true, as a Fulcrum-trained rogga can perform acts that Innon cannot, even subtle things like raising a fog to surround... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
...once she leaves. He says that she has her freedom now, since Innon has his rogga child, and Alabaster will always stay to train Corundum better than anyone else could. Syenite... (full context)
Chapter 21: you’re getting the band back together
Hierarchy, Oppression, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...Ykka tries to hide her orogeny from the public, or if they know she’s a rogga and still choose to follow her. Only one other time in her life has Essun... (full context)
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...have just done things as stonelore says to do, instead of gathering stone eaters and roggas into a single underground chamber. Finally, they make it back to Essun’s chambers, where Tonkee... (full context)
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...didn’t clarify what “it” is. Hoa says that the man is like Essun—not just a rogga, but something else. The man also said that Essun owes him, for Corundum’s sake. Essun... (full context)
Chapter 22: Syenite, fractured
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Syenite thinks about this: Misalem’s rage was certainly justifiable, but roggas aren’t allowed the luxury of rage, and Shemshena was made a hero for killing him.... (full context)
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Disaster, Violence, and Survival Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...what they mean to do—bring down Alabaster’s wall around the harbor. She can sess the rogga’s attack on the wall as she runs back down to the docks where the Clalsu... (full context)