The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season

by

N. K. Jemisin

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Stone Eaters Term Analysis

Stone eaters are a mysterious race of non-human intelligent beings in The Fifth Season. Little is known about them and few humans have seen them, but they are described as looking like stone carved into the shape of a human being. Their mouths don’t move when they speak, and they have frightening, faceted teeth. They also can move through solid rock as if it were air, though they are incredibly slow when moving through the actual air. Hoa is a stone eater who somehow has made himself seem more human so that he could travel with Essun.
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Stone Eaters Term Timeline in The Fifth Season

The timeline below shows where the term Stone Eaters appears in The Fifth Season. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue: you are here
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...she looks like she is made of stone and moves incredibly slowly—she is a “ stone eater .” The man asks her what she will do “when it’s done,” and if she... (full context)
Chapter 12: Syenite finds a new toy
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...human trapped inside. She looks closer and realizes that it’s not a human, but a stone eater , and that it’s dead. Overwhelmed, Syenite tries to process everything that has just happened.... (full context)
Chapter 14: Syenite breaks her toys
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...parts, she herself feels shattered and screams in agony. Finally, she stops, hovering before the stone eater trapped in the garnet—all while her physical body is still lying on the boardwalk, about... (full context)
Chapter 15: you’re among friends
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...on the porch. Essun finally examines her: she has red hair and is clearly a stone eater . This woman seems to smile, and Hoa hisses and smiles in return. (full context)
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...The woman’s teeth look similar but are transparent. Ykka suddenly steps forward and addresses the stone eater woman, telling her to stop. Essun then realizes that the woman and Hoa weren’t smiling... (full context)
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Ykka then turns to Hoa and tells him that there are other stone eater s here as well, and Hoa says that there are more than even Ykka knows.... (full context)
Chapter 16: Syen in the hidden land
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...carved to look like a woman, entirely pale with black and red hair and eyes—a stone eater . (full context)
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Behind them, Alabaster groans, and Syenite asks the stone eater why she brought them to this island. She responds that she did it to keep... (full context)
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...and begin to walk in that direction. As they walk, Alabaster tells Syen that the stone eater doesn’t have a name, but he calls her Antimony, which she has agreed to answer... (full context)
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Alabaster says that the stone eater s can move through rock as if it were air—Antimony is back in the earth... (full context)
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...make them their leaders. The chapter ends with a quotation from stonelore saying that “the stone eater is folly made flesh,” and to “learn the lesson of its creation.” (full context)
Chapter 18: you discover wonders down below
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...an old mine shaft. After walking for a long while, Essun asks where the red-haired stone eater is, and Ykka implies that she prefers to travel through stone, rather than walking. But... (full context)
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...toward Ykka herself. Ykka stops and then confirms that only roggas feel this, along with stone eater s, as she discovered later. (full context)
Interlude 2
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...the narrator says, while “you” and “she” rested, other factions—including the Guardians, the Seasons, the stone eater s, and Father Earth himself—have gathered for war. (full context)
Chapter 21: you’re getting the band back together
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...the room, and Essun prepares to talk to him. He admits that he is a stone eater , but Essun is still confused—unlike other stone eaters, he has real hair, skin that... (full context)
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Essun asks Hoa about the other stone eater s in Castrima, and he tenses up again, saying that they aren’t like him. Essun... (full context)
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...that Castrima should have just done things as stonelore says to do, instead of gathering stone eater s and roggas into a single underground chamber. Finally, they make it back to Essun’s... (full context)
Chapter 22: Syenite, fractured
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...his hands and legs are being drawn down into the earth. Syenite realizes that the stone eater Antimony must be dragging him down. (full context)
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Syenite 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... (full context)
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...asks where Alabaster himself is. Instinctively answering whatever Schaffa asks, Syen tells him that a stone eater took Alabaster away. Schaffa looks surprised to hear this, but he quickly recovers, starts smiling... (full context)
Chapter 23: you’re all you need
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...Essun silently warns Lerna to stay back, and she enters alone. First, she sees the stone eater Antimony, who looks exactly the same as she did when Essun saw her 12 years... (full context)
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...off, seemingly gnawed by teeth. Essun thinks of what she saw when Hoa and the stone eater bared their diamond teeth at each other, and she looks over at Antimony, realizing now... (full context)