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Biographical information
Alternative name(s)

Vrett (while in disguise at the factory)


Southwall in Weld (formerly)
The Harbour (formerly)


17 (at the start of The Three Doors)
19 (at the end of The Three Doors)



Physical description




Eye colour


Hair colour


Personal information

Lisbeth (mother)
Kaz (father)
Rye (brother)
Dirk (brother)

Love interest(s)





The Shadow Lord

Chronological and political information

Healer apprentice


Tallus the healer's apprentice Volunteer

First appearance

The Golden Door

Last appearance

The Third Door


Letter from Sholto to his mother, noting his intention to volunteer to save Weld.

Sholto is a young man from Weld. He is the second son of Kaz and Lisbeth and the brother of Rye and Dirk. He worked for Tallus, Southwall's healer as an apprentice.[1] Once the Wall of Weld was broken open, Sholto moved to Riverside outside the city, along with Annocki.[2]


Early life

Sholto spent most of his time reading books. Despite all his time spent reading, Sholto was still athletically nimble, being as agile as Dirk was strong.[1] He was described by Rye as having lightning reflexes, being able to dodge a danger or duck into hiding faster than anyone Rye knew.[3] The three brothers would also play games such as hide and seek and at times, Dirk would climb on the roof while Sholto watched in fear.[3] Sholto had always been afraid of heights and therefore could not participate in climbing games such as this.[3]

The Golden Door

Sholto lived with his mother and two brothers in Southwall. He studied with and worked as an apprentice to Tallus, the Southwall healer and his work would involve grinding powders and mixing potions. Together with Dirk and Lisbeth, Sholto supported the family with the money he made from his work, although Sholto earned only very little as he was still learning the art.

Since the plague of the skimmers on Weld, Sholto and Tallus had been examining skimmer specimens and Sholto was even able to invent a skimmer repellent from his discoveries. The advent of this repellent was claimed as ‘famous’ by Joliffe, although rather light-heartedly. The skimmer repellent, however, was not in use throughout the city.[nb 1] Sholto believed that the skimmers bred in the Fell Zone and suggested that they came of their own accord. In contrast, Dirk believed that there was an Enemy of Weld that was intentionally breeding skimmers in an attempt to conquer the great city, although Sholto was dubious of this.

Like the other citizens of Weld, Sholto did not know much of the world beyond the walls of Weld. He believed that being trapped within the walls as they were, made them “nothing but a giant feeding bowl” for skimmers.

When the Warden offered the opportunity to leave Weld in search of the skimmers’ source, Sholto initially could not volunteer as he was underage and instead he and Rye remained at home, in the absence of Dirk, maintaining the routine of sealing the house every summer night.

A year and a day after Dirk’s departure from Weld, Lisbeth received a letter that Dirk had been declared as having perished. Sholto believed that the declaration was likely one of many that had been sent to the families of volunteers and did not think the Warden cared about the loss as much as the letter expressed. Despite the shock of the news, Sholto apathetically went about the routine of sealing the house that night. Later the same night, the nearby house of Joliffe’s family was attacked, likely as a result of them being distracted over their own death declaration of Joliffe and failing to seal their house properly. Rye believed that if it were not for Sholto and his capacity to put aside his grief to remember to seal the house, their family may have met the same fate.

The incident of Joliffe’s family disconcerted Sholto, driving his desire to stop the suffering of Weld. The following morning, Sholto made the decision to leave Weld to finally find the source of the skimmers, and by this time, Sholto had turned 18 two weeks prior and was therefore suitable to be a volunteer. He took a lantern from the house and left without telling Rye or Lisbeth, leaving only a note to explain his absence.

Sholto travelled through the silver Door and arrived in the Fell Zone. In his time spent away from Weld, Sholto had been managing to survive the wilderness in which the Fellan inhabited and in his notebook, he wrote that he was often watched by the mysterious onlookers of the forest. Whilst in the Fell Zone, Sholto used rain pots to collect water for washing, shaving and drinking and slept in a cave. He also examined skimmers that had died trying to reach their home within the mountain walls. In his explorations, he began to develop a theory that Weld was inside a hollow mountain-top.

Another year and a day passed and Sholto, like his older brother, was declared dead. Rye however, had a feeling that both his brothers were alive. He had had dreams of his brothers and in a particular dream he saw Sholto sitting in a cave, writing in a notebook.

When Rye volunteered for himself and entered the Chamber of the Doors, he stood before the three Doors and felt sure that Sholto had chosen the silver Door. He decided, however, to go through the golden Door to retrieve Dirk first.[1]

The Silver Door

After Rye’s journey beyond the golden Door and the consequent death of Olt, Sholto was suddenly sent into the alternate future Fell Zone known as the Saltings. Sholto began to think that his previous setting had all been an illusion and that perhaps his rainwater had been drugged by the ones who had been watching him. In the Saltings, his survival became more difficult with there being little water and no food as the snails would eat everything and they themselves could not be eaten.

In a phenomenal event, Sholto saw a gigantic bird fly overhead with prey in its clutches, but suddenly, as if called, the bird dropped the animal it held and sped away in the direction it had come. Curious to find out what had caused the bird to turn back, Sholto decided to follow it. Before he did so, he built a small pyramid of stones and left his notes within it for another volunteer to find them and possibly return them to Tallus and his family. Sholto set off in the wake of the bird and constructed stone pyramids as he went, leaving a trail.

Sholto stumbled through the Scour and met a trader named Four-Eyes from whom he gained the cloak of a man named Vrett along with its name tag through a trade. He traded his services by painting a sign for the deceptive trader and also traded the lantern he had taken from home. Four-Eyes then gave Sholto a complementary ride to the Diggings where he was found by the slave-hunter Kyte who mistook Sholto as being the real Vrett. The real Vrett, however, had shipwrecked onto the island together with a crew of laboratory workers who had come to serve the Master. Leaving the others who had died on shore, Vrett had staggered his way into a Jell mine where he fell to his death. Desperate to find at least one of the surviving laboratory workers from the shipwreck, Kyte thought Sholto to be her salvation and brought him back to the Harbour with her. At the Harbour, Sholto discovered that the Master had an entire facility dedicated to the breeding of skimmers and that through the special qualities of Jell, the Master was even breeding skimmers that could attack in daylight. Sholto continued to work undercover as a laboratory worker, searching for the opportunity and the means to eradicate the store of skimmers.

After Rye, Dirk and Sonia were captured by Kyte to be test subjects for the new daylight skimmers, they were brought to the Harbour. Arriving there, Rye was shocked to see Sholto, alive and well. Rye, seeing Sholto working as a scientist, believed that his brother had perhaps lost his mind to the extent that he no longer remembered his true identity and that the sorcery of the Harbour was controlling him. However, in a professional inspection of Rye’s body, Sholto left a note in Rye’s pocket implying that he recognised Rye and that he was in fact using ‘Vrett’ as a disguise.

When the guards were gone, Sholto released Rye from the prisoners’ cell and together, concealed by Rye’s hood, they went to carry out Sholto’s plan to destroy the skimmers. Sholto brought Rye to the skimmer storeroom and to a section of wall that separated the storeroom from the sea. Sholto said that he had planned to open the section of wall in order to drown the skimmers, but the wall was sealed with no apparent means of opening. Rye experimented with the magic key from his bag of powers and to his delight, opened the section of wall and allowed the storeroom to be flooded. Rye used his magic serpent’s scale to escape the flood with Sholto and the skimmers of the storeroom were left to drown.

Sholto and Rye returned to the prisoners’ cell to find that the other prisoners had gone. The two then ventured to the sleeping chamber of the guards and used the magic feather to fly up a high wall. At the top, through metal bars, they could see into the hall where Sonia and the prisoners were about to be attacked by the remaining test skimmers. Dirk and Bones arrived at the same spot through the roof and together they all formed a plan to rescue the prisoners. When the prisoners were ready and concealed by the power of Rye’s hood, Sholto helped Dirk haul the prisoners up with the rope Bones supplied.

In the final rescue attempt, Sholto baited Kyte into shooting at the wall that caged two Ak-Baba. This set the ravenous gigantic birds free and allowed them to face the test skimmers in the companions’ stead.[3]

The Third Door

Sholto arrived back in Weld with Rye, Dirk and Sonia. When the companions saw that the Keep had endured a skimmer attack, Sholto went immediately to help in the medical treatment of the injured. He demonstrated his competency in working with children as he re-bandaged the arm of a young Keep orphan and playfully told the child that the bandage was a friend and drew a face on it. Sholto reunited with Tallus and attempted to tell him of their findings but Tallus, preoccupied with the treatment of the injured, initially would not listen. When Sholto was finally able to tell Tallus of the Master and his breeding of daylight skimmers, Tallus told them that they needed to leave quickly to continue their quest.

When the companions left Weld for the outside world again, they arrived in the Fell Zone and Sholto seemed to remember their surroundings. He explained to the others about his theory of Weld’s location being within the mountain – within an inactive volcano. Sholto then found a dead, regular nocturnal skimmer trapped within vines by the mountainside. From this, the group began to think that the Master had another stronghold closer to Weld from which he was sending skimmers. This allowed them to explain the recent attack on Weld despite the ridding of the skimmer stores at the Harbour.

Their search for the Master’s other stronghold took them to the nearby town of Fell End. In Fell End, Sholto, Dirk and Rye listened to the local chieftain’s speech in which he stated his plan to stop the attack of the slays. Dirk then decided that they must tell Chieftain Farr of whom he was up against and that they needed to first mingle with the crowd to get close to him. Sholto, Dirk and Rye, leaving Sonia as she slept under the protection of a canoe, went to eat together with the townspeople. Soon afterwards, dances began and Dirk went to dance. He forced Sholto to dance as well in order to talk and find out more about the people of Fell End, even though Sholto hated dancing. As Sholto danced, Rye had an encounter with a beast that tried to attack the Chieftain’s son, Zak. The beast spat white flames and struck down all who came against it. In the commotion and the beast’s destruction, many people were injured including Sholto who hurt his leg. After the beast had vanished, Sholto, along with others who were injured such as Dirk, was taken to the town of Riverside to be treated.

After many days, Sholto and Dirk were reunited with Rye and Sonia in Riverside. Sholto had heard a mental call from Rye and Sonia and moved over to them as they hid in the invisibility of Rye’s hood. Sholto in particular was overjoyed at the reunion of the four and could not hide his joy. The four of them then began to discuss what they knew of Chieftain Farr’s plans. They discussed the weapons that Farr’s soldiers would use and Sholto concluded that, regardless of what weapons they used, they would pale in comparison to the mysterious powers of the Master. This was the closest Sholto had been to admitting the Shadow Lord was a sorcerer.

Rye then explained to both Dirk and Sholto his intention to negotiate with Farr on the basis of the Fellan’s oath that he had come to discover. Both Dirk and Sholto, however, showed distrust in the Fellan. Sholto in particular, believing that the Fellan were the ones who drove him into the Saltings, said they were not to be trusted. Sholto, although still dubious, became interested in the book that Rye had procured and began to read it. Seeing that Sholto did not want to part with it, Rye left the book it in his care.

Sholto and the others then made plans to rescue Jett who had been detained for ostensibly plotting to kill Farr. Sholto and Dirk stayed out of the tower due to their injuries as Rye and Sonia went to release Jett. Before Rye and Sonia departed, Sholto gave Sonia a bottle of myrmon extract that he had stolen from the healer’s stores.

When Rye and Sonia returned, Sholto and Dirk were taken suddenly by their companions and forced into a rushed escape. Rye, forgetting to put his invisibility hood on, had been seen flying with Sonia, and the townsfolk had shown hostility to the magical intruders. Rye carried Sholto, Dirk and Sonia over the river, descended into the water and, with the power of the sea serpent scale, swam together with them upriver towards Fell End. When they arrived, they saw that the pipe Farr had been working on ended in tubing that resembled the Master’s design. The companions became convinced that Farr was working with the Master as Sholto believed Farr could not have obtained the piping from anyone else.

The group decided to follow Rye and Sonia’s plan to seek the Fellan’s help. Dirk declared himself unfit to fly with the rest so Sholto decided to stay behind with him as well. When Rye and Sonia left to carry out the plan, Dirk and Sholto left to hide amongst the crowd. Before separating, Sholto returned the book to Rye, although it had become drenched after the river journey. As Rye and Sonia continued with the mission, Sholto and Dirk attempted to take matters into their own hands by seeking the Chieftain’s wife, Janna, for help. Janna agreed to persuade Farr’s soldiers to stop and Sholto and Dirk helped her get to them. The three were caught by council member Sigrid and she required six people to restrain them. Sholto and Dirk were subsequently taken into a guardhouse for questioning.

Rye and Sonia continued with their plan which eventually led to them preventing Farr’s attack on the Fellan. Rye asked for Sholto and Dirk to be released and, together with Sonia, he shared his knowledge of the skimmer’s nesting place that he had seen earlier whilst flying over the Fell Zone – the Wall of Weld itself.

Sholto returned to Weld with Rye, Sonia, Dirk and Jett, and watched as Rye and Jett began breaking the Wall of Weld as part of their predetermined plan. In conversation with Tallus, Sholto comprehensively explained his theory surrounding the origin of the skimmers, particularly how they had adapted from the creatures known as clinks and lived in the Wall. He followed this by stating as well how they planned to rid of them.

After the breaking of the Wall of Weld and the ridding of the skimmers, Sholto and the others shared a meal in the Keep kitchen as they recounted their experiences. The group retired to their beds afterwards, despite the lively rejoicing of Weld outside.

The following morning, the Warden gathered Sholto, Rye, Dirk and Jett to decide who had earned the right to be his heir as well as marry his daughter. Dirk and Jett withdrew and Sholto followed saying that he was more of an advisor than a leader. He also said that he did not wish to marry the Warden’s daughter but instead had other plans.

Sholto and his family, along with Faene, Annocki and Sonia decided that they no longer wished to live in Weld but longed for the outside world. Sholto stated that he and Annocki had decided to be in the present time with Sonia, Rye and the others but his yearning look at the silver door suggested that later they may decide to go beyond the Door, into the future.[2]

Physical appearance

Sholto has dark skin, black hair and dark eyes. He is thin and lean.[1]


He is described as thin, cautious, and clever.

Sholto is very solitary and quiet by nature. He prefers to plan before acting, and uses his wits to solve a problem, rather than choosing to engage in combat. Lisbeth says that Sholto has always been the same since he was a child, managing to get what he wants, using trickery if he has to.[1]

He is resistant to the idea that there is any such thing as magic, and scoffs when Dirk or his friends suggest the possibility. When Rye appears in the Harbour and utilises his magical items that the Fellan gave him, Sholto is initially skeptical of them and rationalises that they must be some sort of technological advancement.[3] However, he seems to accept the possibility of magic by the end of the trilogy and is not skeptical of the magic of the Fellan.[2]

Sholto is afraid of heights and has been since childhood. As Rye spends time with Sholto in the alternative future, he begins to realise that Sholto has always had the feeling of not being good enough because of this, as he is unable to work on the Wall like Dirk and his father and working on the Wall is considered prestigious and a source of pride among the people of Weld.


As much as Sholto may have had the feeling of not being good enough due to his fear of heights, he is very intelligent, making a skimmer repellent. All those of Southwall believe that he is destined to become the Southwall healer after Tallus.[1] Sholto is also the person who figures out the truth of the skimmers and where they originated from.[2] Sholto is a capable actor, as he was able to deceive Brand, Kyte, the supervisor and most at the Harbour that he was Vrett and maintained this image whilst secretly attempting to destroy the skimmers. He is also evidently an expert at subtly interrogating others, as shown when he gently extracted information from Kyte. While pretending to be Vrett, Sholto, as a Harbour worker, was presumably given some command over the lesser staff, such as grey guards.[3]


Main article: Sholto's relationships




The Three Doors


  • Sholto is one of the two deuteragonists or secondary main characters of The Three Doors, the other being Dirk.
  • At a Q&A Emily Rodda said that when writing his character, she chose the name "Sholto" because she found it interesting as it ended with 'O' and had an 'Sh' at the beginning, making it sound softer and very differently shaped than "Dirk", the oldest of Lisbeth's sons and Sholto's older brother. The name fit Sholto, as he is nearly the polar opposite of Dirk, being very clever, having a very dry wit, as opposed to Dirk's straightforwardness, he was learning to be a doctor and he was completely non-aggressive, preferred to step aside from danger and hastily get away from it instead of going at it head-on like Dirk. "Sholto" is a real given name, and in fact Rodda knows someone by the name of "Sholto", but not very well.[4]
  • Dirk was almost 20 when he left the city of Weld and was gone for a year and a day before Sholto, having turned 18 two weeks prior, went and was gone for a year and a day himself, before Rye, at the age of 16, left. This makes the relative ages of the brothers at the time 22 for Dirk, 19 for Sholto and 16 for Rye. This is a 3-year gap between the three brothers. This is not surprising, seeing as Emily Rodda is fascinated by classic fairytale tropes, such as the rule of three - three brothers, three choices, three Doors.[1]


  1. In The Silver Door, Rye says that Tallus had unsuccessfully tried to persuade the Warden to put Sholto's skimmer repellent into mass use.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Rodda, Emily. The Golden Door. Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia. January 1, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Rodda, Emily. The Third Door. Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia. October 1, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Rodda, Emily. The Silver Door. Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia. April 4, 2012.
  4. Video: Emily Rodda Author Talk by CityLibrariesGC from, go to 27:23 (13 September 2011)

See also