In Warbreaker, it the history seems to be that the royal family ruled until the Manywar, and then the God Kings took over, with the events of the book taking place about 300 years and six God Kings later. The problem is that in the book, it says that there were God kings that lived for centuries. How does that fit according to the history?

  • Might help if you offered exact quotes from the text. For instance, saying "In the middle of Chapter 7, Page 101 in my paperback copy, it says:" -- and then quote the paragraph that says some of the previous God Kings had lived for centuries.
    – Lorendiac
    Mar 11, 2019 at 1:31
  • chapter 44 has Siri said. "Some of those God Kings lasted centuries" can't find reference to there being only six god kings
    – fbstj
    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:28
  • ahhh there's only been five (including Susebron but not Vasher) after the Manywar (Hoid's stories in chapter 32)
    – fbstj
    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:39

1 Answer 1


To answer the question in the title: According to Hoid's story (chapter 32) there were four God Kings between the end of the Manywar and Susebron's ascension.

"And how many God Kings have there been?"

"Five, Your Majesty," the man said. "Including His Immortal Majesty, Lord Susebron, but not including Peacegiver."

"Five kings," she said. "In three hundred years?"

and then later:

"But why have there been five God Kings?" she asked. "Why did the first one die?"

"Why do any Returned pass on, Your Majesty?" Hoid asked.

“Because they are loony,” Lightsong said.

The storyteller smiled. "Because they tire. Gods are not like ordinary men. They come back for us, not for themselves, and when they can no longer endure life, they pass on. God Kings live only as long as it takes them to produce an heir."

Siri started. "That's commonly known?" she asked, then cringed slightly at the potentially suspicious comment.

"Of course it is, Your Majesty," the storyteller said. "At least, to storytellers and scholars. Each God King has passed from this world shortly after his son and heir was born. It is natural. Once the heir has arrived, the God King grows restless. Each one has sought out an opportunity to use up his Breath to benefit the realm. And then..."

He threw up a hand, snapping his fingers, throwing up a little spray of water, which puffed to mist.

"And then they pass on," he said. "Leaving their people blessed and their heir to rule."

Though later we find out that Susebron isn't a direct descendant, more the closest infant Returned at the time of the previous king's death (chapter 44).

  • Does the text mention anything about the line being directly maintained up to his predecessors? I just kinda assumed the bloodline aspect went out the window pretty quick, and it's basically just a "large breath storage system and leadership puppet" role nowadays.
    – JMac
    Mar 11, 2019 at 18:06
  • thank you for the quote but the question actually was how god kings could live for centuries if there were only 5 in 300 years
    – Antheloth
    Mar 11, 2019 at 20:39
  • probably casual exaggeration, there's no other mentions of the past iirc. it was possibly overlooked during continuity checks (as the book was first written publicly/serially) or it could imply that maybe the first lasted a long time but then the political manipulators grew in strength and started refreshing them more rapidly to continue with their control. or might just be inferring from the average age of other Returned "gods"
    – fbstj
    Mar 15, 2019 at 11:49

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