Stand Still, Stay Silent Wiki

Emil Fredrik Västerström (born in Östersund , Sweden, year 71) is a Cleanser and former Academic. He is one of the main characters of Stand Still, Stay Silent.


Emil has a muscular build, but is not very tall. He has blue eyes, an oval face, and somewhat wavy chin-length hair. He wears the standard expedition uniform. 


Emil displays a passion for explosives and other pyrotechnics.

Emil is rather boastful and arrogant, constantly worrying about the impression he makes on others. He is very concerned with his appearance and is often seen fixing his hair. Due to his riches-to-rags background, he is often mortified at the depths his situation has sunk to, such as having to sleep on the worn sofas in a train station waiting room. Emil is shown to be enthusiastic to the prospect of gaining profit from the expedition and restoring his previous wealth.

Emil also has a caring side, shown when he worries for Lalli before the breach in the Dalahästen and again when Lalli leaves alone on his first scouting mission. He is good with children, and his cousins were very enthusiastic to see him again and get to play "hair salon" with him. He showed Tuuri around in several instances, and on the train to Mora offered to bring the Finns food.

It's suggested that Emil might have a passion for fire, most evidently in his character portrait and upon seeing a poster advertising the Cleansers. He brought explosives and flamethrowers for the expedition, but it is unknown whether due to his liking of them or because of their usefulness.

He apparently considers Finland to be an underdeveloped country, thinking they don't have any electricity, and is shown to be skeptical and dismissive of things he has little knowledge of, such as Lalli's abilities as a mage.



Emil was born into a wealthy family that has recently fallen on hard times. When he was young, his family was able to afford private Academic tutoring, and Emil was able to tailor his own curriculum. Consequently, he cannot speak Icelandic, an otherwise mandatory subject for Academics. When financial troubles forced him to enter a public university, Emil's academic progress dipped and lowered his self-esteem as a result. Noticing a poster advertising the Cleansers, he "discovered his true passion" and decided to leave Academics and join the Military.

Emil spent two years in the ranks of the Cleansers, before being recruited into the expedition to explore the Silent World by his aunt and uncle Siv and Torbjörn Västerström. During his military service, he never came face to face with a monster.

Emil's introduction.

Joining The Expedition[]

Emil was first seen at Björkörfjärden Train Station, mistakingly believing the Finns were to arrive that day. Not having any money to rent a room, he slept on a couch. The next morning he woke up late and with a stain on his clothes (from another guest) and was mortified for his bad first impression. On the train to Mora, he talked with Tuuri and had the meat from his sandwich stolen by Lalli.

Upon arrival at Mora, Emil's weapons were confiscated at the decontamination station because he lacked an official permission. At his uncle and aunt's house, he met his cousins, but had to depart very soon.


Emil and the rest of the crew took the Sveavägen Line to travel to Öresundbro Base, where they were to meet the rest of the official crew. Aboard the train, he took place near Lalli, and refused to wear his bed belt on the grounds that it would be impossible to sleep with. As both were unable to sleep anyway because of the turbulences, Emil tried to convince Lalli to sleep using some fairly direct methods due to the language barrier.


When Dalahästen was hit, Emil (being the only passenger without his bed belt) flew off his bed and hit his head. He tried to ask for information, but was told to get back in bed. When Lalli ran off to warn the crew of an imminent breach, Emil followed him to bring him back, but both were trapped in the room as a giant broke through the roof. The giant was soon killed by a tunnel, but a part of it survived long enough to ask for Emil's help, at which point Emil screamed and punched it.

The following morning they arrived at Öresundbro Base, where Emil wore his uniform for the first time and met the rest of the crew.


The Crew's first mission was to journey to Kastrup, a suburban area outside of the Copenhagen city ruins. Emil, Sigrun, Mikkel and Lalli went to explore a building which used to house a public library. Mikkel stood outside to guard, while the others went in. They did find a collection of books, and managed to take many out to their vehicle.

Amager Spot 24[]

Although the building seemed safe at first, Lalli realized that this might not be the case. The crew split up to explore the area. Emil is left on his own, and encountered a troll overhead on the ceiling. In a panic, he smashed the troll with his lantern, and ran away. Another troll rounded the corner and trapped him. He called out for help and was rescued by Sigrun, who by this time had realized that the building housed a troll nest. Sigrun killed the second troll and they started to run away. Emil's Cleansing abilities came in handy in killing the first troll which was still pursuing them. He lit some flammable liquid on fire, causing an explosion that slew the troll and set fire to the building. Sigrun and Emil ran outside to where Mikkel was waiting. Realizing that they had left Lalli, he quickly try to re-enter the burning building to find him but is stopped when Lalli defenestrates himself through the second floor window and lands


safely in Mikkel'ss arms. Emil runs to the Cattank with the rest of the crew, with Lalli flashing Emil a displeased look, inciting Emil to defend himself, stating that Lalli abandoned him first.

After the crew flee to the Cattank and drive away to safety, Mikkel appoints Tuuri to find a safe place for the crew to stay. Sigrun excitedly rants that the skirmish was "The Awesomest", surprising Emil who smiles, attempting to agree with Sigrun, but instead vomits, possibly out of the adrenaline rush and the taxing action on his body. Mikkel seperates the two, placing Sigrun in a corner to face the wall and decides it's best to clean up the crew.

Kastrup Fort[]

The next morning, the crew camp out at Kastrup Fort where Mikkel questions Sigrun about the choice of books but states that not all of them are irrelevant as the book that Lalli picked up captures his interest. The book is shown to detail the effects of the The Rash disease on a victim, likely a patient from the hospital who contracted the disease.

Mikkel, Sigrun and Tuuri continue to banter about whether the crew is ready to venture further into the city while Emil and Lalli rest in the Cattank.

Later, Emil is seen sitting outside waiting for Mikkel to finish cooking breakfast. Lalli soon joins him and Emil mistakenly interprets Lalli's 'Puhh!' to be impatience and agrees that it shouldn't take Mikkel so long to make breakfast.


As a Cleanser, his duty is to burn down the affected areas to purge them of the rash. He seems to be very enthusiastic of this role, as seen from his character portrait. Despite his self-aggrandizement, Emil seems to have no experience with dealing with live trolls . His first such encounter on a train ended with him in an almost catatonic state. He is also inexperienced at reading maps and seems to have very little knowledge on the relative speeds of trains and ships.

Emil's hair has a comical tendency to fall perfectly into place with a little handling.


Weaponry and Devices[]

Emil carries a rifle of yet-undetermined type, a double edged dagger (~10" blade) as a side arm, a bandolier with tablet-tube-sized incendiary and/or explosive charges, and an additional belt (not crossed like Sigrun's, though) with various pouches, which he so far pulled a flask of accelerant and a watch out of. He has also been seen using a compact flamethrower(link to SSSS) which is a signature weapon of the cleansers.


The charges have black ends on the bandolier, but as Emil deploys some on arc 1 page 264(link to SSSS), they suddenly have silvery ends. It stands to reason that they are secured by protective caps, in addition to the friction ignition shown, to prevent accidental activation.

The lantern that he has brought into "spot 24" was used to smash Tooth Scary's face and dropped, and might thus be lost.


Emil's Expedition Uniform[]

Base layer with shirt, pants, and socks.


Gloves, belt, and boots.


Lalli Hotakainen[]

Emil seems to be becoming fast friends with Lalli, although the exact nature of their friendship is so far unknown, as they do not share a common language. He has remarked to Sigrun that they "get along swimmingly", and it does appear that Emil is becoming adept at reading Lalli's moods and signals. Later pages show both trying to learn pieces of each other's language. Lalli has admitted that he had made a friend on the expedition, where it was implied to be Emil.

While Emil and Lalli were separated from the group, Lalli was living inside Emil's mind for a period of time, though he originally believed it wasn't really Lalli and that he was going insane. They begin to bond since they can speak together, and as a result, Emil teaches Lalli some social skills, such as how to thank someone.

During the second arc, it is shown that Emil has learned enough basic Finnish to translate for Lalli.

Tuuri Hotakainen[]

During the stopover in Mora, Emil seemed enthusiastic at showing Tuuri around the city and the Västerström home. In the Book 1 Kickstarter bonus comic, they go to a high-class bakery together.

Mikkel Madsen[]

While they seem to have made a good first impression, Emil's tendency to misunderstand Mikkel's Danish often leads to difficulties in communication. Mikkel also played a prank on Emil when they first met, convincing him that a bruise would eventually lead to "face cancer".

Sigrun Eide[]

Emil appears to look up to Sigrun and is keen to impress her on missions.


  • As shown in a flashback to his university days, Emil was somewhat chubby before joining the military.
  • Despite Tuuri's wish to meet "a tall, handsome Swede", Emil is the shortest male member of the expedition.
  • At 19, Emil is the youngest member of the group, with Lalli only a few months older.
  • Descended from the French Émile (and that, in turn, from Aemilius), "Emil" currently is a popular male first name in the Nordics, Germany, certain East European nations, and countries with Scandinavian immigrants. "Västerström" ("western river"), on the other hand, is rare enough that search engines like Google start their result lists with references to the SSSS characters, rather than actual people with that last name.
    • Emil also shares a name with the main character of the popular Swedish children's book series Emil i Lönneberga.

Family Tree[]


Portraits of the (except Mia) post-Rash-born members of the Västerström family, some non-appearing, from arc 1 page 629(link to SSSS)

Main Characters
Tuuri Hotakainen - Lalli Hotakainen - Emil Västerström - Sigrun Eide - Mikkel Madsen - Reynir Árnason - Kitty

Secondary Characters
Taru Hollola - Torbjörn Västerström - Siv Västerström - Trond Andersen - Onni Hotakainen

Prologue Characters