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Found 2 results

  1. What We Know: Brandon, for some unknown reason, refuses to acknowledge this 'Taln' as the Herald Talenelat. He continually refers to him as "the man who calls himself Taln..." This 'Taln' does, however, display certain physical characteristics that have been associated with descriptions of the Heralds before. Namely, he has "dark skin," and speaks "perfect Alethi," without any "hint of an accent." He also catches darts at hyper-speed... He only speaks perfect Alethi in his first appearance by the gates of Kholinar. His accent changes to something like gibberish when Elhokar and Dalinar are 'interrogating' him. Further proof that something strange is going on is his apparent inability to immediately know who he is, as demonstrated by his hesitation ("Who am I? I... I am Talenel'Elin, Stonesinew..."). (I'm pretty sure this happens somewhere else, but I can't remember where, at the moment.) Theories: Here's a compilation of some of the theories I've seen regarding the dual identity of this character: He's the same Taln, but he's been broken over 4500 years of constant torture. Seems to imply that Brandon is just trolling us with his description, which seems highly unlikely to me considering the strange inconsistencies mentioned above. He's someone else (likely a Herald overcome with remorse) who went to the Nightwatcher and asked her to release Taln. The way she 'fulfilled' his wish was by placing Taln's mind in his body, thereby 'releasing' him. This seems plausible; the only issue I have with it is that it seems that just because we don't know the limitations of the Old Magic, we ascribe any unexplained occurrence to the Nightwatcher... Similar to the above, but removing the Nightwatcher aspect. Maybe he's just a Herald overcome by grief, who has developed a multiple personality syndrome as a way to cope. He could be an Aimian impersonating the Herald Talenelat, though that does not explain how he has the memories of being tortured on Braize or knows so much about the role of the Heralds. This is a little far-fetched, but, now that I think about it, he could just be a really good actor that is impersonating Taln... The current Comere-connecting theories are that he's either a kandra, Forgery, or Hemalurgy was involved. (BTW, if we're ruling in Scadrial Investiture, Allomancy could just as easily be an explanation for his lightning-fast reflexes...) My Theory: There is a chance that this has been said before, considering how long the books have been out for, although I did search for it and couldn't find this specific theory anywhere... If it is somewhere, hopefully I'll add something new to the discussion or provoke some new thoughts. Here goes: Could it be that the some form of the Heralds' minds are held in their Blades? Being that the Honorblades are a large part of what makes a Herald a Herald, that seems to make sense to me. Taking this a little further, it could be that the Heralds are tortured on Braize, not only until they break, but until they actually die. At least physically. Their minds live on in the Honorblades, which then return to Roshar and are bonded by the bodies which will eventually become the new Heralds. There is even a WoB (It's here, I believe) which says that they can remain on Roshar for a certain period of time before another Desolation begins. That could be a transitional phase when the bodies accustom themselves to holding the Herald's mind within them, allowing for them to be fully adjusted and ready to carry out their individual missions once the Desolation starts. This 'Taln' could simply be the body holding the Herald Talenelat, a suitable explanation for Brandon's cryptic way of referring to him. What do you guys think? (Now that I'm thinking about it, there is the issue that Brandon doesn't refer to the other Heralds we know of (Nalan and Shalash, for example) in this same obscure manner. Is there a way you can think to explain this or is my theory drowned already...)
  2. So... The Heralds. Lots of interesting things going on here, and I just wanted to make a thread compiling all the information in one place, as well as adding some theories here and there. One thing I find interesting is that Brandon seems to take extra care to not confirm the appearances of any of the Heralds. I believe that even the so-called confirmed Heralds, namely Nalan and Shalash, have actually not been explicitly stated to be who we think they are. With all of the discussion centering around Taln description, Brandon may just have pulled a beautiful distraction from the fact that all the other Heralds are in the same boat as our Mad Talenel. Nevertheless, looking for them throughout the book is quite a bit of fun, and so here it is: The Heralds, and Where to Find Them. (Any information that can be added would be great. I'm probably missing quite a bit...) P.S.: I've included the phrases/curses used in the Heralds' names as I believe they conceal more information than we're giving them credit for. They are obviously each used in specific situations, but they may even be hints towards aspects of the heralds themselves. I believe there's a WoB somewhere that says the Heralds are not necessarily all from Roshar, which can lead to some interesting theories... Jezrien (Jezerezeh/Prime Kadasix/Kadasix of Kings): Order: Windrunners Physical Description: Regal; Wears blue and white; Young, looking barely into his thirtieth year; Short black beard, neatly trimmed. Quotes: "Praise Yaezir, Herald of Kings. May he lead in wisdom. If he ever stops drooling." (This is the line that implies that the beggar at the feast might actually be Jezrien. More on that below. It also draws a comparison to the "Kadasix of Kings" title. 'Kadasix' seems to be the word for 'Herald' in Azir, as proven in a statement by Nalan below.) Phrases: There don't seem to be any curses in Jezrien's name. The Azir have the "Praise Yaezir," but that's pretty much it. I wonder if that means something... Theories: There's been a theory that Kaladin's predecessor as head of the Cobalt Guard, Niter, is actually Jezrien in disguise. This is mainly due to the fact that Niter wears the Kholin blue and white, and is described as "tan-faced," with a "black beard, cut short," an extremely similar description to Jezrien's in the prelude. Nale (Nalan/Nin): (Herald of Justice) Order: Skybreakers Physical Description: Dark skin; has a pale crescent birthmark on his cheek; wears a black uniform with a double row of silver buttons down the coat's front, a stiff silver collar poking up from a shirt underneath; thick gloves with collars extending halfway back around his forearms; has a dead, lifeless stare. Quotes: "She glanced down the hallway. She could swear he was glowing faintly, and he was certainly running too quickly. Darkness was awesome too." (If he really is using Stormlight, he may be the Herald who we know took back his Blade. Then again, it may just be one of Nalan's little gadgets...) “The Kadasixes have spoken,” said one of the scions. “The Heralds?” Darkness said. “They have done no such thing. You are mistaken.” (This seems to me to be further proof that 'Darkness' is a Herald (as if it was needed).) Phrases: Nalan's Hand (Used when acknowledging a decision regarding justice) Theories: He is one of the most 'confirmed' Heralds, and is believed to be Darkness, one of the Azish ambassadors at Gavilar's feast, and the one who gives Nightblood to Szeth in the WoR Epilogue. Chana (Chanaranach/Chanarach): Order: Dustbringers (Releasers) Physical Description: Unknown Quotes: "The fastest man e’er known to live. The surest feet e’er known to roam. In time long past, in times I’ve known, he raced the Herald Chan-a-rach." (The fact that Fleet's speed is validated through its comparison to Chana makes sense, seeing as she also has access to the surge of Abrasion which, as Lift has demonstrated, can definitely make one quite fast.) Phrases: Chana knows, Chana help (Used when referring to something that concerns family, more specifically motherhood.) Theories: Vedel (Vedeledev): (Herald of Healing) Order: Edgedancers Physical Description: Unknown Quotes: Phrases: Vedeledev's Golden Keys (This is an interesting one. I haven't come up with anything for this one just yet, but there's obviously a story behind this.) Theories: Pali (Pailiah/Paliah): Order: Truthwatchers Physical Description: Unknown (Unless the Palanaeum theory is true, in which case we know she's old...) Quotes: Phrases: Pailiah knew Theories: It is confirmed that the Palanaeum was named after her, but there is a theory that the "berobed female ardent" Shallan sees is actually the Herald Pailiah in disguise. (More below.) Ash (Shalash): (Herald of Beauty) Order: Lightweavers Physical Description: Extremely beautiful; Dark skin; Long, beautiful black hair; "Eyes like a Shin, but tall and lean, like an Alethi"; Hair worn free, reaches down to waist; wears sleek and tight trousers; light violet eyes; wears a thin-bladed sword Quotes: "The mistress has good ears. Strangely good ears." - (WoK pg. 707) "Perhaps I should get myself a Shardblade." (Indicates that not only is the "thin-bladed sword" not a Shardblade, but she likely doesn't have one at all.) "A woman sits and scratches out her own eyes. Daughter of kings and winds, the vandal." (This fits with her being Jezrien's daughter (confirmed here), and is also the most solid evidence that the Mistress is Shalash.) “I’m worried about Ash...She's getting worse.” (WoR Prologue - A Herald talking about Shalash's condition to Nalan. Likely referring to her recent destructive streak.) Phrases: Ash's Eyes (Used when referring to something that concerns beauty) Theories: She's destroying pieces of art that she appears in. (This is actually already confirmed.) The reasons for this could be an entire thread all on its own, although I particularly like Argent's theory that the Heralds are rebounding off of their divine attributes. Creativity and Honesty seem to be the exact opposite of breaking in to places and vandalizing art. there is also the quote in the WoR Prologue that mentions how "Ash is getting worse." Cases of destroyed art include a missing Shalash statue in the WoK Prologue (pg. 23), the Baxil Interlude (WoK pg. 707), and Lift noticing a scratched out face in a portrait of the Heralds (WoR pg. 690). Battar (Battah): Order: Elsecallers Physical Description: Unknown Quotes: Phrases: Battah send that girl some sense... Theories: Kalak (Kelek): Order: Willshapers Physical Description: Unknown Quotes: Phrases: Kelek's Breath, Kelek's Tongue, Kelek knows (It's been postulated for a while that Kelek's Breath may be a hint towards his having come from Nalthis. Something I just thought of, however, is that Kelek's Tongue could also refer to the removal of the God Kings' tongues... Could it be that Kelek has no tongue?) Theories: There is a wounded bridgeman whom Kaladin helps that may turn out to be the Herald Kalak. He reacts slightly differently than the other bridgemen Kaladin cares for, but this is very much just a theory. (More below.) Alternatively, some have theorized that he is the man Nalan is talking to in the WoR Prologue. This seems to have a little more basis to support it. Taln (Talenelat/Talenel): (Herald of War/Stonesinew) Order: Stonewards Physical Description: Dark brown skin and eyes; back beard Quotes: “The burdens of nine become mine. Why must I carry the madness of them all? Oh, Almighty, release me.” —Dated Palaheses, 1173, unknown seconds pre-death. Subject: a wealthy lighteyes. Sample collected secondhand.” "...The Ancient of Stones must finally begin to crack It is a wonder that upon his will rested the prosperity and peace of a world for over four millennia." Phrases: Talat's Hand, Constellation named Taln's Scar Theories: I have a whole other thread on this. Ishar (Ishi): (Herald of Luck) Order: Bondsmiths Physical Description: Not much. He might have a long beard though, and is probably the scholar-figure of the Heralds. Quotes: Phrases: Ishar's Soul Theories: Is he the beggar mentioned below? The beard does seem to match Ishar's appearance in the Heraldic Icons that appear above certain chapters... ??? (Theorized Heralds): One thing to keep in mind is that Brandon has obviously seeded in certain red herrings with 'Heraldic' descriptions. Regardless, here are some of the more suspicious ones of the bunch: WoK pg. 23 - "A man with a long grey and black beard slumped in the doorway, smiling foolishly--though whether from wine or a weak mind, Szeth could not tell. "Have you seen me?" the man asked with slurred speech. He laughed, then began to speak in gibberish, reaching for the wineskin." (There are arguments for this being either Jezrien or Ishar. He is almost certainly a Herald, however, due to his comment of "Have you seen me?" when there are a line of Herald statues across the hall.) WoK pg. 40 - "The soldier on the other side of Cenn nodded. He was a lanky, red-haired Veden, with a darker tan skin than the Alethi. Why was he fighting in an Alethi army?" WoK pg. 502 - "It turned out to be just an old, berobed female ardent, shuffling with a lantern and followed by a parshman servant... Lit that way--with her figure hidden but the light streaming between the shelves--it looked as if one of the Heralds themselves were walking through the stacks." (Theorized to be Pali. The reason for this seems to be because we have a WoB saying that the Palanaeum, where Shallan is at the time, was named after her.) WoK pg. 745-746 - "He had dark brown skin and brown eyes, his thick black hair pulled back into a long, braided tail... He didn't have even a hint of an accent. Kaladin had expected him to be Azish because of the dark skin." (This is tentatively theorized to be Kalak, more through process of elimination than anything else.)