Robin Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings Wiki

Elderlings are humans that have been changed by interaction with dragons, or by consuming dragon scales or blood. In ancient times, they worked and lived alongside dragons and tended to their needs. Remains of ancient Elderling cities and settlements have been found in the Outislands, the Six Duchies, Chalced, and of course, the Rain Wilds. Prior to the return of Elderlings to the world, so little was found written about them that many in the Six Duchies confused them for the live dragons seen in tapestries, or the Stone Dragons that have historically come to their aid during times of war.


As they change, Elderlings develop features that resemble those of dragons, making their appearance both otherworldly and beautiful. Features typically include greater height, elongated limbs, fine colorful scaling, and changes to the color of their eyes, hair, and nails. An Elderling's scaling often matches the colors and patterns of their dragon. Rarer features include forehead crests and, in one case, wings. Elderlings also experience increased lifespan and reduced fertility.


While simple interaction with dragons (their mind, essence, or even breath), especially from a young age, is enough to elicit some changes, there are ways the process can be sped up. The consumption of a scale from a dragon's face and a few drops of its blood is a typical method by which Elderlings are created. The dragon then guides the changes the human experiences, which grow more prominent over time. In some cases, a change may be precipitated by an injury, which develops into an Elderling feature.

Historically, Elderlings were intentionally transformed from humans by dragons; being selected for such changes was considered a great honor. Elderlings typically have strong mental and emotional bonds with the dragon who starts their changes, but this is not a requirement for transformation. The dragon parts consumed do not have to be given willingly, nor does a dragon even need to be alive for consumption of its parts to effect changes. However, changes unguided by the dragon that started them run the risk of being unhealthy or even deadly. In addition, the dragons related to the changes of one or both parents will need to supervise the changes of any offspring in the rare case an Elderling procreates, or run the risk of losing that child to changes no human can survive.


Elderlings have some ability to work with Silver safely and more control over the magical objects created from working Silver than the typical human. See also Elderling Magic.

Known Elderlings Alive During the Realm of the Elderlings Books[]