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The following article/section is from the Pandava Quintet continuity under Rick Riordan Presents and not the Riordanverse canon.

Way back when, everything I did was to avenge what I thought was an insult to my sister, I was wrong.

–Boo, Aru Shah and the Song of Death

Gandhari ("Gaan-dha-ree") was the powerful queen of Hastinapura.


Boo, the pigeon form of Shakhuni, her brother

Gandhari was born to Sudarma and King Subala of Gandhara, she had an older brother named Shakhuni. Bhishma, her second half-cousin-in-law,[2] arranged Gandhari to marry the sightless king, Dhritrashtra. She chose to wear a blindfold in order to share his blindness. Shakhuni was enraged at this marriage, Bhishma had already humiliated his sister in a where he killed Shakhuni's brothers. This is why Shakhuni vowed destroy the Kuru dynasty.

Because of her devotion to a visiting sage named Vyasa, as well as being a devoted husband, Vyasa gave a boon that allowed her to have one hundred children. However after two years, Gandhari only gave birth to a hard piece of lifeless flesh, while Kunti gave birth Yudhishthira from Dharma Raja. Vyasa advised her to fill one hundred jars with ghee ("GHEE"), clarified butter often used in Hindu rituals.[3] Vyasa would cut the flesh and put them in each jar and they would develop into the children she desired. Two years later, the first jar opened with her eldest son, he was named Suyodhana and later Duryodhana for his bad deeds. Gandhari then opened the other jars and out came ninety-nine sons, plus one daughter she asked for name named Dushala.[4]

Gandhari only once let her blindfold drop: to see Duryodhana. Had he been naked at the time, her gaze would’ve made him invincible. But her eldest son was modest and left his underwear on, thereby remaining vulnerable.[5]

Rick Riordan Presents

Pandava Quintet

Aru Shah and the End of Time

After Aru Shah met Boo, she remembered when her mother told her stories of Gandhari.

Aru Shah and the Song of Death

When Boo had heard what happened to Surpanakha, he remembers when he also took a dark path when avenging his sister.


  • The tale of Gandhari meeting her son is similar to the story of Achilles.
  • Gandhari means "A girl from Gandhara" in Sanskrit, she was named after her father's kingdom.
  • In some versions, Shiva is the one who gave Gandhari her boon for for her penance.


Pandava Quintet
Books: Aru Shah and the End of Time | Aru Shah and the Song of Death | Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes | Aru Shah and the City of Gold | Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality
Main Characters: Aru Shah | Mini | Brynne Rao | Nikita | Sheela | Kara | Aiden Acharya | Sleeper | Meenakshi | Takshaka | Rudy
Council of Guardians: Boo | Urvashi | Hanuman | Jambavan | Uloopi | Kubera | Surasa
Secondary Characters: Krithika P. Shah | Palace of Illusions | Durvasa | Navdeep | Hira | Opal | Ravana
Minor Characters: Pandavas | Arielle Reddy | Poppy Lopez | Burton Prater | Brahmasura | Valmiki | Shukra | Gandhari | Shakuntula | Rambha | Jaya and Vijaya | Rahuketu | Garuda | Kadru | Uttanka | Shikhandi
Devas: Indra | Dharma Raja | Vayu | Ashvins | Vishnu (Mohini, Narasimha, Rama, and Krishna) | Shiva | Chitrigupta | Ganesh | Lakshmi | Ritus | Kamadeva | Varuni | Varuna | Ratri | Ushas | Agni | Brahma | Maruts | Aranyani | Vishwakarma | Surya | Yamuna | Chandra | Rohini | Shani | Saranyu | Chhaya
Creatures: Makara | Asura | Chakora | Naga | Rakshasa | Vahanas | Ek and Do | Timingala | Time | Wish | Zombie | Apsara | Yaksha | Yali | Vanara
Related Content: Roshani Chokshi | The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities: New Stories About Mythic Heroes | Rick Riordan Presents