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Early Life

Before serving as the Captain of Adarlan's Guard, Chaol was the heir to his father's lands and often traveled with him after their lands became secure against attacks from the White Fang Mountains. Chaol's father wanted him to focus more on politics, and so brought Chaol with him to Rifthold. His father was a hard man and treated him with little affection.

As members of the Royal Council, the Westfall family took up residence in the Glass Castle where Chaol befriended Crown Prince Dorian Havilliard. While at the Castle, Chaol was educated beside Dorian, and trained under Theodus Brullo. When he was thirteen, his father moved the family back to Anielle but Chaol missed his life in Rifthold. With the help of Brullo and Dorian, Chaol became the apprentice to the Captain of the Guard and abdicated his title as the Lord of Anielle to his younger brother, Terrin. At the age of twenty, he became the Captain of the Guard.

When Chaol explained his decision to his father to return to Rifthold, Lord Westfall became enraged and threw his son down a flight of stairs out of their home. Lady Westfall pleaded with her husband to stop, but he wouldn't listen to her. Due to his fall, Chaol was left with a scar on his temple from where his head hit the stone.

Ignoring their Lord's orders, three of the household guards supplied Chaol with a horse, clothing, and food to make his way to Rifthold. He later learned that his father banished the guards and their families into the White Fang Mountains and that only two of the families were alive come Summer. Chaol tried to send them money, but the messenger he sent reported the families were nowhere to be found, possibly killed by his father.

Plot

Throne of Glass

Chaol arrives at the salt mines of Endovier with Prince Dorian, as the Captain of the Guard. He introduces himself to the guards as Chaol Westfall and takes Celaena Sardothien to the prince. During their journey to the capital, and later on, he is mocked by her.

Gradually, Chaol changes his judgement of Celaena as he realizes she is a person with virtues and emotions and not a deadly and heartless killing machine - but he can never erase that fact completely from his mind. He trains with Celaena to prepare her for the King's Champion Tournament, and later tries to solve the murders of the other contestants. During Celaena's battle to become the Champion, Chaol watches her and worries when she is hurt. She then wins the King's competition to become the Champion.

Crown of Midnight

Chaol and Celaena's relationship takes on a whole new level of intimacy. At the very beginning, it seems that his and Celaena's friendship has greatly escalated and it is even hinted that he is falling in love with her. He notices himself watching her, and realizes that he has begun to immensely care about her. During their late night conversations by the fireplace in Chaol’s chamber, he reveals that he used to be a lover to a woman who betrayed him and has since never had any "lady friends," while Celaena talks about the events that led to her capture and what she felt for Sam Cortland.

Chaol finds it difficult to keep himself behind the imaginary line he drew between himself and Celaena and asks her to dance with him at the royal ball, which she does. He does not however realize that these may be feelings of love until he and Celaena share an intimate hug after he comforts her on the anniversary of her parents' deaths. Celaena also seems to realize that she has feelings for him too on that day.

Celaena and he go out for dinner for his birthday. Celaena had meant the dinner to show how much she appreciated him and she wanted him to feel cherished. Chaol even said that no one had ever done something like this for him and Celaena thought how long has it been since he had felt cherished. Celaena then tells him that she has not been killing the people the king had sent her to but helping them escape and change their identites. This leads to a discussion Chaol and her have in which she says that she plans to run away to a place where she can forget her life as an assassin and King's Champion. Chaol says that he will abandon his title as Captain and go with her. Celaena admits to him that he shows her how good the world can be, they share a passionate kiss and then return to the castle, where they make love to one another.

They both think about each other a lot in the days that follow, but an unexpected and unfortunate event leads to an enraged Celaena attacking him and getting locked up in a cell in the dungeons. Though the misunderstanding is cleared up later, Celaena tells him about the difficulty she would have in trusting him again. Dorian takes a back seat for a while as he has become even more entangled with court and Chaol is more focused on Celaena. Even though he and Chaol remain friends, at the very end they break off their friendship due to Chaol’s involvement in the king’s decision to send Celaena to Wendlyn for a mission, which according to Chaol, is ultimately for her own good.

Heir of Fire

Chaol's friendship with Dorian remains strained as a result of Chaol's involvement in sending Celaena to Wendlyn. Although Chaol resigns that he will not shed light on the real reason he sent Celaena away, Chaol continues to care deeply for Dorian and is even saddened by how things have changed.

Since learning of Celaena's true identity, Chaol continues to struggle with where his true loyalties lie. Upon the return of the king's general, Aedion Ashryver, Chaol's immediate reaction is to distrust him and to be disgusted by what kind of a man Aelin's cousin has become in her absence. Chaol is determined to learn more about Aedion and takes it upon himself to track the general's movements, learning that Aedion is far from the king's influence and is in fact in league with the rebellion. The only way to gain Aedion's trust is for Chaol to take a chance with the only leverage he truly has: the fact that Aelin Ashryver Galathynius is alive and her current whereabouts.

Fortunately, Aedion trusts him and the two begin working together, continuing Celaena's work in figuring out how magic was wiped away from Adarlan. Thus, Chaol teams up with Aedion as well as former members of the court of TerrasenRen Allsbrook and his grandfather, Murtaugh. Dorian sneaks up on Chaol and Aedion talking in the tomb of Elena, resulting in Chaol having to finally explain the truth about Celaena. Aedion questions Chaol's intentions and his response is that he is doing this to protect Dorian before he leaves to take his place as the heir of Anielle.

In another confrontation with Dorian, the prince claims that Chaol neither accepts his newly found abilities or the truth about Celaena being the heir of Terrasen, Aelin Galathynius. Chaol sees some merit in Dorian's claims and upon further contemplation he comes to understand that although he may still love her he will have to let her go. When word spreads of Aelin Galathynius taking part in a battle against men sent by the King of Adarlan to Mistward, Chaol and Aedion both rejoice in knowing that not only is she alive but also that she is reclaiming her name. Chaol is also saddened by this because he realizes that even though Celaena would always pick him, Aelin would not. As events unfold in the castle, resulting in Aedion taking the fall as traitor in Chaol's stead and Dorian exposing his raw magic in front of the king to protect his friend, Chaol flees the castle with Fleetfoot and the sword named Damaris. Chaol forsakes his former position as Captain of the Royal Guard and goes back on his agreement with his father to return to Anielle. Chaol himself is now a traitor to Adarlan and hides in Celaena's old apartment along with Ren Allsbrook and Fleetfoot, awaiting her return.

Queen of Shadows

Chaol becomes one of the rebels. He especially struggles with saving Dorian, who has been possesed by a Valg; unlike Aelin, who believes that killing the prince would be the greatest act of mercy, Chaol firmly believes that Dorian can be still saved from the valg that possesses him.

When they see Dorian meet with the witches, however, he abandons this hope and tries to kill Dorian. He is stopped by the Thirteen, and is almost killed himself.

Chaol later participates in a battle against the King and is grievously injured, resulting in his legs being paralysed. He decides to travel with Nesryn Faliq to Torre Cesme, a building in which skilled healers reside and are trained, in Antica, where he might find people who can fix his spinal injury. He says goodbye to Dorian, who names him as Hand of the King before he leaves.

Empire of Storms Exclusive (WHSmith)

Chaol and Nesryn travel across the sea on their way to Antica on a ship procured for them by Aelin. Chaol and Nesryn grow closer, though Chaol struggles with being unable to be intimate with her. His negative attitude begins to grate on Nesryn, who tells him off for feeling sorry for himself.

Tower of Dawn

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After a three week journey by sea, Chaol and Nesryn arrive at Antica and are immediately taken to the Khagan's palace for an audience. Tasked with gaining Antica's support for the war against Erawan, Chaol pleads their case and attempts to flatter the Khagan with jewels provided by Aelin. The Khagan examines the treasure and dismisses it, and reveals to Chaol and Nesryn that Rifthold has been invaded and is under Valg rule. Chaol fears for Dorian, who has disappeared and cannot be located by the Khagan's spies, nor that of his five children. The Khagan also reveals that his youngest daughter is dead. Chaol realizes how callous his request for aid seems during the time of mourning, and apologizes.

The Khagan has Chaol and Nesryn shown to their rooms in the palace and arranges for a healer from the Torre Cesme to examine him the next day. True to his word, a gifted healer named Yrene Towers arrives the following day and carries out an examination, though she is visibly reluctant to be near him. Chaol asks her questions and irritates her, and she responds by asking him awkward questions relating to his injury.

Over the next few weeks, Yrene attempts to heal Chaol. They have a hateful relationship at first, with Chaol not understanding that she hates him for his former position as Captain to the King of Adarlan's guard. Their relationship improves over time as they get to know each other.

Initially, Yrene is unable to help Chaol as she discovers a knot of black magic resting in the location of his injury that resists her healing magic and causes him excruciating pain when she attempts to touch it. The two spend hours trying to work past it, with each session leaving Yrene weak and exhausted and Chaol wiped out from the pain he has to endure. While they continue their sessions, Chaol is approached by one of the Princes, Kashin, who is in love with Yrene and frustrated by her rebuffs. Following a murder of one of the healers at the Torre, Chaol becomes concerned that the Valg have infiltrated Antica and are trying to kill Yrene for helping him. He and Kashin exchange information and Kashin enlists Chaol's help in searching for anyone with outward signs of Valg possession.

At one point, Chaol agrees to help teach Yrene's self-defence class. Having ordered a custom saddle built to allow him to ride, Yrene and the former captain ride to the Torre and Yrene instructs her interns to help Chaol down from his horse. The ensuing situation angers Chaol greatly, as he is bitter about his helplessness and the way he is handled by the interns makes him feel like a toy. Despite his anger, he teaches the class.

After many failed sessions Yrene makes a breakthrough when she pushes past the dark magic inside him and manages to move it further down his back, giving him the ability to move his toes. Further sessions allow him to move his ankles and feel his legs to some degree. Yrene shows Chaol the texts she used to learn about the Valg, and they learn that there are actually three Valg kings, ErawanMantyx and Orcus. Scared by this new revelation, Chaol tries to learn more about what the texts say.

During a party thrown by the Khagan's children where opiate smoke is pumped into the room, Yrene and Chaol share an intimate moment and almost kiss, though Chaol pulls away after remembering that Nesryn is present. Feeling guilty, he makes a point of asking after her family that night and listens to her talk all night. Yrene walks into his room at dawn for their session and mistakes Nesryn sleeping in his bed for a sign that they slept together. He rushes to explain the situation.

Nesryn realises that Chaol doesn't love her and leaves with Prince Sartaq on a long journey to the rukhin nests, leaving Chaol a blunt note about not holding him to any promises. After reading the note Chaol becomes upset as he feels guilty and treats Yrene harshly, throwing her out of his room when she admonishes him for his behavior. To cope with his guilt he pushes his body to the limit with exercises.

Yrene returns to his room later on to yell at him, and is followed by the Valg who murdered the healer at the Torre. She runs to Chaol's room and they barricade the door, with him keeping her calm as she panics. Kashin and his guards arrive and the Valg leaves, and Yrene chooses to stay with Chaol as he makes her feel safe.

Feeling hopeful and happy with her trust in him, Chaol begins training with the Khagan's Captain of Guards and his soldiers, and learns their way of fighting.

Kingdom of Ash

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