As noted by Dalinar, Danlan was barely in camp for a day before she started seeing Adolin. In fact, during the few hours that Dalinar was digging the latrine trench, Adolin had gone from merely being intrigued by Danlan and wondering if Malasha is the "one for him" to actively courting Danlan. Typical Adolin-paced relationships. But this courtship continues on far longer than normal.
It took me awhile to come up with a rough estimate of how long this period is. But it is a week and a day from Dalinar's decision to abdicate (at the end of Part 2, when Danlan and Adolin had started courting) until the beginning of Part 4, when Dalinar and Sadeas start cooperating. It is an unspecified number of days from the beginning of this cooperation until the battle when Dalinar starts using Sadeas's bridges (and when Kaladin starts wearing Parshendi armor). I'm going to guess five or six days as a rough estimate. It is another ten days until the second Tower assault, and until the end of the book. So all in all, a bit more than three weeks. And with no hints of their relationship slackening. So what? Does this mean that Adolin has finally settled down with a girl?
I doubt it. Danlan seems to have some special qualities about her. It appears that she is "just the type that attracted Adolin." And yet, she is intelligent enough to even impress Navani. She manages to land herself a job. Where? As a clerk, handling the spanreeds. The center of almost all private communication into and out of the Kholin camp. The perfect place for a spy.
When she is having lunch with Adolin's companions, Danlan further distinguishes herself. She makes a point to point out that she hasn't been in the camps very long and is ignorant about the political situation there. When Adolin contradicts her and says that she is incredibly clever, she looked "oddly annoyed for a moment." Oddly annoyed, as if she were trying to hide her intelligence. She makes another statement, trying to get Adolin to talk to Dalinar about "relaxing all of these foolish restrictions our camp is under." It strikes me that this is not something that an intelligent girl would say. My guess is that she is trying to play off the stereotype of an average court-going girl who is more concerned with feasts and balls than anything else.
Now, I am convinced that Danlan is not a simple lighteyed girl who happens to be dating Adolin. But what is her ultimate objective? I have some speculations, but not very much to back them up with. You can take your pick.
1. She is working for the Ghostbloods.
2. She is spying for Sadeas or another highlord.
3. She is a spy for Taravangian (who may or may not be a Ghostblood).
If number 2 is true, then there is another, highly interesting possibility. In the whole Stormlight Archives, there will be ten books, with a different character as the focus of each one. Brandon has pondered on the possibility of doing another book on Kaladin, but that is not a certainty. So chances are, this will be the only book with Kaladin's flashbacks. Kaladin briefly mentions that when he was bummed after letting Tien die, a girl named Tarah saved him from working himself to death. And he has also apparently failed her in some significant way. Though she is only mentioned two times in the whole book, those passages hint at some greater significance. And yet, she is in the past. The opportunity for Kaladin's flashbacks has come and gone, but this significant character from Kaladin's past has not been explained. Although it's possible that her name could have been thrown in as added flavor, but I do not believe that Brandon would add something like that in there, knowing that she will remain unexplained. Tarah is going to come back.
Two mysterious women, one from the past and one from the future. Both under the reign of Sadeas (I'm assuming that Tarah was somehow attached to Amaram's army, which is under Sadeas). There isn't much of a connection beyond these two points, but I find it an intriguing possibility nonetheless. There are a few minor problems with this particular option, though.
1. We don't know anything about Tarah. It is too soon to know for certain whether or not there is a possibility of Tarah and Danlan being the same person.
2. Amaram is coming to the Shattered Plains, but this becomes known around the time when Sadeas and Dalinar start working together--a week after Danlan first appears. This theory might have been more convincing if Danlan had arrived at the same time as Amaram. Of course, this can be explained away easily. The difference between an individual booking passage on a ship and an army marching overland, perhaps?
Regardless, it is my belief that these women are significant, and that we will be seeing more of them in Book Two.
For reference, the chapters that mentioned:
Danlan: 28, 52, 58
Tarah: 62, 63
I had to pull from various places to get the timeline somewhat accurate. Out of curiosity, has anyone gone and made a timeline for the book yet?
Edited by lil_literalist, 08 February 2013 - 05:07 PM.