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Sure, it works in English, because we've got weird, illogical rules about which vowels get pronounced and which don't and which get changed depending on which other vowels they're next to. But going by just the sounds? Unless Alethi just happens to have the same exact vowel idiosyncrasies, Ialai's blasphemous parents should have called her something like "Ilalai". For that matter, what about SA's overseas translations? Do the versions in, say, Polish, just say "trust us, this name is symmetrical in Brandon's native language", or do they change it?
From Mraize's letter, we know: And then back in the prologue of Oathbringer, we have: So, the prologue meeting that Eshonai stumbles into appears to be a Sons of Honor meeting between Gavilar and Amaram and four others (one soldier, two fine ladies, and one old man in robes), where no guards were even at the door, presumably because they wanted a very secretive meeting where even guards were not allowed to listen in. My question is, who are the four others? Restares, perhaps Taravangian The old man in robes appears to be Restares. Amaram writes in a spanreed to Restares (WoR Page 1059), saying, "It has ever been our burden as the Sons of Honor." Amaram had also presumably consulted with Restares via spanreed when deciding slaughter his own men so that he could steal Kal's Shardblade: "Restares is right— this is what must be done. For the good of Alethkar.” (WoK, Page 703) Restares is only mentioned in three places over all three books: as one of three of Gavilar's suspects during his assassination (WoK prologue), when Amaram slaughters Kal's men (WoK), and when Amaram writes to Restares via spanreed (WoR). The Stormlight Archive Wiki states that Restares is an Alethi brightlord, but I'm not sure that we know this even though Amaram implies that Restares said the theft of the Shardblade was for the good of Alethkar. We never hear anything of Restares at all, which knowing Sanderson makes me suspect that Restares is a fake name given how often he gives other names to characters - Heralds like Darkness, Ash, Ahu, and Tezim or the five Scholars - to obfuscate their true identities. I wonder if Restares is not in fact Taravangian or some other old dude we know well. In Oathbringer (Page 242), Dalinar tells us that he had met Mr. T before "his strange illness five years ago." And then the strongest evidence that Taravangian is Restares and a Son of Honor is this quote from WoR: After Gavilar's death and access to the visions ended, Mr. T seeks the Nightwatcher, asking that he be the one to unite them, which led to the Diagram. I will leave all discussion of the Diagram to other wonderful threads, though it does seem that followers of the Diagram and Sons of Honor diverge a bit. However, keeping his position in the Sons of Honor (if he is Restares) would be a brilliant way to keep the information flowing from surviving allies there. Torol and Ialai Sadeas Torol Sadeas is undeniably close to Gavilar, willing to sacrifice his life for Gavilar's own during the assassination attempt and always 100% loyal to Gavilar despite the fact that, following Gavilar's death, he's tried his best to undermine and even kill Dalinar at every possible step. Why the difference? Apparently, Torol was privy to secrets about Gavilar's true, ruthless and Machiavellian nature - secrets of which Dalinar and Elohkar and even Jasnah apparently had no inkling. How is that possible? What secrets did he know? And wouldn't we peg Torol as Gavilar's closest and most trusted companion outside of family? Didn't Torol do all of the politicking with Gavilar when Dalinar refused? So to me, it makes enormous sense that Torol was a Son of Honor, sharing the same ruthlessness and Machiavellian approaches as Gavilar and Taravangian and Amaram. In fact, Meridas was likely recruited by Torol, as was Ialai. Just like House of Cards, Torol and Ialai are playing this game together, 100%. So my thoughts are that Torol actually dressed in his soldier attire for the signing of the treaty with the Parshendi (hence he and Amaram make the two soldiers), and Ialai is one of the two women in long dresses. So the other woman could be... Aesudan We see Gavilar pushing Jasnah into Amaram's arms. Obviously, Gavilar wants to keep the Sons in the family. And Aesudan tells El in OB that his father was ever so much better than he was: Aesudan knows of one (but perhaps not the other) of Gavilar's spheres, and she seems to have continued trapping more bad spren, going even a step further by bonding. But how was she privy to Gavilar's grand plans? How did she know of his father's work and his ancient (evil) spren? I'm thinking that was because she was one of the lady Sons. Yet again, we see the same ruthless, Machiavellian nature in Aesudan as we do in Gavilar, Amaram, Torol, Ialai, and Taravangian. They all fit beautifully together.
That is really worrying, this apparently deep affection those two show. I now think, Ialai is deep in mourning and suffering badly. That makes her much more dangerous, than I previously thought. A scheming person would have been something much more rational.
So in Words of Radiance (can't give the direct quote or page number since I am moving and my copy is in a taped-up box), Sadeas says that he likes his wife Ialai's name because unlike most Rosharan names, which are palindromes except one letter off, her name is a perfect palindrome and therefore a bit arrogant. Similarly, Kabsal compliments Shallan on her name in Way of Kings because it's one sound off from a palindrome. So why does Laral, Kaladin's childhood friend/almost-fiancee/it's complicated, have a perfect palindrome name? Or, for that matter, Rillir, Brightlord Roshone's ill-fated son who died of idiocy when he tried to kill a whitespine? Any ideas on the inconsistency? Perhaps giving your (light-eyed) kid a perfect palindrome name was less of a taboo in the countryside, but Rillir came from the capital city, where it would have been heavily frowned upon.