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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos

24 THINGS WITH REBECCA YARROS


Image: Katerina Papathanasopoulos


The following text has been faithfully transcribed from the Rebecca Yarros Supanova panel (22/23-06-24) into a piece that includes spoilers from both Fourth Wing and Iron Flame. As well as some potential insight into Onyx Storm. All events are true taken from the notes of those who attended. These are the twenty four points we learnt from the panel.



  1. That Yarros was in love with the idea of fated mates being between two dragons, instead of two people. And then having their riders just not be able to stand each other, but be put together in like a forced proximity.

  2. Discussion commenced about Yarros having just completed book three ‘Onyx Storm’, the author was then asked if she knows what's happening with the rest of the books and if she's planned them out, to which she responds "I do". Furthering the point that she had to develop synopsis for the TV show (in the works) and that she may have deviated a bit from the original. Yarros mentioned that she already knows how it's going to end, and that she has the last visual. "You know how you can see the scene in your head? I know that last scene in the book."

  3. Discussing her backlist, she mentioned she can't write two books at once, that she has to live in that book.

  4. On creating and expanding the world her Empyrean series lives in. She enjoyed exploring the world, especially in Iron Flame. That we'll be seeing more of the world in the next book and the books that follow, referencing the map in battle brief, and how you watch it expand as Violet learns more. Ending with the fact this is a favourite part for Yarros.

  5. She wanted to show a heroine who was developing her strength differently, by using her mind and her wit.

  6. Yarros loves how snotty adolescent Andarna is.

  7. Commencing discussion on Xaden and the enemies to lovers aspect of the story, she stated that she loves exploring the internal character dynamics of what makes someone fall in love.

  8. This isn't really new, that she loves Dain. 

  9. On Jack Barlowe and why he's still around, and if he'll have more of a role in the next book, Yarros responds with, "he’s like, around... he's around and he serves a purpose." Expanding with the thought that characters who do bad things are never two dimensional to her, there's always a reason. That if you're going to have someone who does truly villainous things you have to give them a realistic reason that you could almost empathise with, to be able to see both sides of it, and Jack's always wanted power.

  10. As Lynette Noni stated, speaking of redemption arcs... Dain. In response to writing Dain from the beginning, knowing he was the best friend, to the massive betrayal, to the redemption arc in Iron Flame. Yarros responds with, "you guys give Dain so much shit for the same things Xaden does." The crowd was divided with this response, some laughing, others oohing. Stating both characters violate Violet's boundaries, but that Dain did so because he trusted his dad, and his best friend no longer spoke to him. That whilst she was writing Fourth Wing, she already knew what was going to happen in the interrogation chamber. That Yarros already knew how it was going to play out and those very lines when Dain looks at her and says, "if you had just told me, none of this would have happened." That he's not just talking about the interrogation, he's talking about Liam, he's talking about everything that happened, if she had just trusted him in the last book. (To be fair, Yarros convinced me. As someone who LOVES Liam, on reflection there were too many factors that played a role in that end result. I did find myself thinking whilst reading Fourth Wing, she could just tell him, he cares more to protect her than following the rules. (And fine there are instances where that may have appeared unlikely, ultimately he wouldn’t want to be the one responsible for killing her.) I get he might not have shown it, but something was telling me she should have told him.)

  11. And then we move on to Liam, and the found family aspect of the book. Yarros discusses her own life and her found family within the military. She and Noni talk about the relatability of this trope. Pressing on to talk about how powerful this aspect is, and the realities within this theme. That she loves examining things within the fantasy perspective. Just because, ‘fantasy gives us a unique environment to critique our own world, by viewing it through the lens of another.’

  12. Besides writing for the dragons, she loves writing for Imogen and Ridoc. 

  13. Yarros' favourite scenes include the disarming scene (showing her exactly how to disarm him) between Violet and Xaden, it being important when it comes to the romantic development and their chemistry. As well as the first kiss scene. And in Iron Flame it was the interrogation scene and how that ends.

  14. When Yarros was asked if she could provide us with a hint (in an obscure way) about a scene from Onyx Storm, or if there's anything she could tell us about it, she responds, "you're not going to like it." Noni replies with, "well, ok, more vague..." and Yarros responds, “no that's it, you're not going to like the scenes." To which she and those in the audience laugh in recognition of what was just said.

  15. An audience member asked about Garrick's signet, particularly why it hasn't appeared or shown yet? And Yarros responds with, "because you haven't read book three." To which the audience react with woahs and laughter. Yarros continues, "It's very much in book three, I love it."

  16. After a question from an audience member, Yarros discussed cutting scenes to move the plot. Providing an example with the ending of Fourth Wing. Stating the ending is different to the first draft, that the first draft ends with Violet's perspective, it had no Xaden in it whatsoever. And when she finished the first draft the last chapter was "like a 7000 word info dump" Yarros mentions that she [Violet] was going to drive the answers out of him [Zaden] and Yarros realised she had to cut that entire scene and write it from Zaden's point of view because that was the correct way to end the book. With the questions needing to be answered,  and also to let the reader into his head just a little bit.

  17. Yarros discuses the Andarna second dragon plotline and how Andarna is more of a balance. As Tairn is extremely, extremely powerful, and that "Andarna is powerful in her own right but we have to balance it out."

  18. When asked, what motivated you to pursue writing in the first place? Yarros responded with, "I've always written since I was a kid." That she wrote a book of poetry when she was in fourth grade and won a contest. Since that moment, that's all she's wanted to do. That she's always had stories in her head, and that she probably always will.

  19. A question was asked regarding the original six founders of Basgiath as well as Andarna and whether we'd be finding out anything else about them, and the whole origin story, or if she's closed that storyline? To which Yarros responds with, "maybe." [I instantly turn into Jennifer Lawrence repeating, "what do you mean?"]

  20. Someone asks about Sgaeyl and whether we'll be seeing a lot more of her, Yarros responds by saying, "we do, but holy crap is she pissed. So she's really, really... and I will tell you that about Onyx Storm, she's really being mad at Zaden."

  21. When asked about a possible romance (from the past) between Violet and one of the Princes of Basgiath Yarros says, "I think you should read the third book." Many oohs were uttered throughout the audience.

  22. When discussing her inspiration for Imogen, Yarros said, "Imogen came to me fully fleshed." That she loves Imogen, and watching that friendship grow [between Imogen and Violet.]  Yarros called her a curmudgeon, and I kid you not I had the word curmudgeon stuck in my head all weekend.

  23. On the TV series, she says she's so happy with how it's going and the development and where it's at. How careful they've been with it, that the production team have come to the signings in LA and they see what we [as the audience] love and what we're passionate about and they're making sure that that's on there. That they've already taken steps to make sure that what we love about the story is envisioned.

  24. This is taken from the literary panel the following day, where the authors were asked about plot changes, and Yarros said she wanted Violet (at the end of Iron Flame) to be venin. The audience was collectively shocked. Funnily enough Noni stated exactly what I was thinking, I had a feeling that's the direction it seemed to be heading in and then it didn't. 



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