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Warning! This page contains spoilers for Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes.
|“||"Please! You don’t understand—I have a daughter on the way. I can’t let her inherit a world I am destined to destroy. Tell me what I must do. Please, tell me—"||”|
–Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes
Suyodhana was the eldest son of the blind king Dhritarashtra and queen Gandhari of Hastinapura, he changed his name to Duryodhana due to his bad deeds. Once, his mother took off the blindfold she wore due to wanting to see his son. Her power made Duryodhana almost entirely strong as a thunderbolt, but since he was wearing underpants he had a weak spot on his loins.
The family loved the Pandavas, his cousins, more than Duryodhana. He got furious when Dhritarashtra renounced the throne in favor of his younger brother, Pandu, stepfather of the Pandavas. He believed that the firstborns were to receive the throne, meaning Yudhishthira would be the heir instead of himself. But he hated Bhima out of all the Pandavas the most for his strength and bullying. However, he became good friends with Karna at a martial exhibition after the former defended the latter when someone said that everyone's lineage should be the same saying that actions are what really define a warrior. Although at the time, Duryodhana didn't know that Karna was actually a Pandava. He also had a close relationship with his younger brother, Dushasana.
When he went to the Pandavas' newly built Palace of Illusions, he fell through a floor tile that was actually water and nearly broke his foot jumping into a pool that turned out to be cleverly polished sapphires. On seeing this spectacle, Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, laughed out loud. Duryordhana was humiliated and swore to take revenge. When he went back to Shakhuni to complain, his uncle got the idea of playing a dice game with Yudhishthira at the price of their kingdom. The plan was successful due to Yudhishthira's gambling addiction and the Pandavas were exiled for thirteen years, after that they were refused their kingdom due to a year of anonymity resulting in a war. On the 18th day of the war, Duryodhana fought Bhima in a mace fight. Having received instructions by Krishna, Bhima broke Duryodhana's thighs causing him to eventually die on the battlefield.
At some point after his reincarnation, Suyodhana had a romantic relationship with Krithika P. Shah. The two once strolled along the banks of a river, laughing and occasionally stopping to kiss, the two even had a daughter named Aru who was also the reincarnation of Indra's son, Arjuna. But as soon as Aru grows up, Suyodhana will become the Sleeper and awaken Shiva who will perform a cosmic dance and destroy the world. So Krithika reluctantly imprisoned him in the Diya of Bharata, but she vowed to find a way to free both him and Aru.
In the beginning of the novel, the Sleeper is still safely bound within the Diya of Bharata. Aru Shah inadvertently releases him by lighting it while she tries to prove herself to her classmates. Once the Sleeper is free, he freezes time in the museum, trapping everyone in place except for Aru. He plans to freeze all of time permanently when the new moon arrives.
The Sleeper was trying to gain more allies, he appeared in front of Aru and Mini when they exit Brahmasura's beauty salon. He squeezes Aru mentioning her to be similar to her mother in being deceptive. Using her "Enchanted Ping-Pong ball," Aru distracts the Sleeper and jumps into the Otherworld portal with Mini. He later appears trying to obtain the second key to the underworld before the girls, but fails due to being slowed down by a freezing cloak made by Winter, one of the Ritus. Although, he does manage to capture Boo and reveal his true identity before escaping. However, he wore the headband of forgetting that Summer, another Ritu, gave Aru causing him to leave the bird cage filled with the gods' vahanas behind.
Aru witnesses the Sleeper in the Pool of the Past. She sees her mother putting away the diya on order of her grandfather. She learned that the Sleeper's real name was Suyodhana and he was her biological father. He was summoned to the museum to fight her daughter and Mini. Suyodhana gets trapped in a circle, attacked by the vahanas, and loses Boo. However, he disappeared into the walls and taunted Aru for being such a liar. In response, she uses Vajra to cut the chandelier down onto him. The demons he summoned have either fallen asleep or are currently out of commission, Aru transformed Vajra into a whip to get rid of the rest of them. Suyodhana breaks free and pins Mini and Boo to the wall, Aru had no choice but to surrender. Her father grabbed Vajra, he says he's killing her to free her as her mother didn't. He loses Vajra and it returns to Aru. After Aru gets nauseous from having a future vision of her spiritual sisters turning on her, the Sleeper says he is not an enemy and that she shouldn't kill her. Aru doesn't believe her father, she tries to kill him but he escapes probably due to Shukra's curse. However, he was not in the Kingdom of Death when the new moon arrived so time was restored. But Boo advised the Pandavas that the Sleeper will be adding to his army.
The Sleeper has not been found since he was defeated. He met up with Meenakshi, or Surpanakha, who had the same problem with him and others: their stories were being told where only their worst moments are focused on. The Sleeper gave Meenakshi the idea to steal the amrita hidden under the Ocean of Milk and use it to make their, along with all who feel the same way as them, stories immortal. But the labyrinth containing the amrita was guarded by snakes whose fire can kill anything with a heartbeat. So Takshaka, who wanted revenge on the Pandavas and is now friends with the Sleeper, helped Meenakshi steal the bow and arrow of Kamadeva to create an army of Heartless zombies.
Uloopi mentions the awakened Sleeper building his army to Boo regarding whether or not he is on the side of the devas. When Aru questioned her mother about the Sleeper, she never wanted to talk about him. Aru later mentions her birth father when deciding which is worse: having him as a parent or an asura like Brynne Rao. She also thought about the Sleeper when Takshaka mentioned that her "father" failed him, she was worried that the naga was going to say she was like him, destined not to keep promises. But Takshaka was actually talking about her soul dad, Indra, who failed to save the Khandava Forest. However, Takshaka then mentioned that was now friends with Aru's birth dad. The Sleeper also appeared in the eyes of one of the three black hounds in the Grove of Ratri when Aru Shah was trapped in a nightmare. She was horrified when she heard her father taunting her saying she was never meant to be a hero.
When confronting Meenakshi in the Ocean of Milk, Aru Shah hears from her that her father misses her very much. But she doubted that that is true considering that he tried to kill her, she admitted that he's not that great. It was because of him as his foul army of demons and asuras that she decided against joining Meenakshi's cause. Aru stabbed the rakshasa with Kamadeva's arrow causing her to fade, as a result the Heartless were restored and the amrita was untouched, but the Pandavas still vowed to remember Meenakshi's full story. Despite all that happened, the Sleeper was still not found. Boo warned Aru that she would face him again and she knew that he and Takshaka, who escaped, were clever.
The Sleeper takes on many forms. When he first emerges from the diya as a shadow, he looked like a tall and spidery shadow with horns, fangs, and fur.
In a photo at Aru's house, he was handsome and dark-haired, with skin the color of dark amber. One of his eyes were blue and the other was brown.
When outside Brahmasura's beauty salon, the Sleeper was a massive form of twisted ink and ice. He had a long dark snake tail.
When encountered at the library, the Sleeper no longer had a star-studded snake tail. His hair was the same inky shade of night and it looked as if there were stars caught in it. He was tall and thin. His cheekbones stuck out and he wore a black sherwani jacket over dark jeans.
During his battle against Aru in he museum, the Sleeper looked and didn't look like a man. His eyes were slitted and gem bright, like a cat's eyes gone narrow with fury. When he smiled, small tusks curled out from his bottom lip.
- The name "Suyodhana" means "great warrior" while "Duryodhana" means "the unconquerable."
- Aru Shah and the End of Time, Glossary
- Aru Shah and the End of Time, Ch. 34