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Secret Ardent Man

Character Ages on Earth

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This is a question leading out of an idle observation that I had during this interminable waiting period between Books 2 and 3. I don't know if it was already answered by a WoB, so I ask someone who knows to kindly illuminate me.

 

We know that Roshar's calendar year consists of 5-day weeks, 10-week months, and 10-month years, totalling to a 500 day year. This is obviously a significantly longer year than we have on Earth (365 days), yet all of SA's characters identify themselves as "X-years old." However, a SA character's corresponding age on Earth would be significantly higher. (I calculated each character's corresponding Earth age thusly: 

(Stated age of a character x 500 days) ÷ 365 = character's age in Earth-years

 

Kaladin, by the end of WoR, is 20 on Roshar. In Earth years that's 27.

Shallan is 17 on Roshar. 23 on Earth.

Adolin is 23 and Renarin is 19 on Roshar. 31 and 26 on Earth.

Sadeas and Dalinar are around the same age, which Sadeas reveals is 50. In Earth years, that's 68. 

 

From the descriptions of the characters in the books, it seems clear that Brandon wants us to picture the characters as their given ages rather than their Earth-equivalents, meaning that despite a 500 day year characters' ages and development closely correspond to an Earth equivalent. Does this mean that the planet Roshar has an approximately 1.4 times faster rotation on its axis than Earth? Are its days not 24 hours? Could it have something to do with the lighter gravity on the planet?

 

Any thoughts are appreciated!

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You're on the right track, but their days are shorter. Brandon has stated that their years are about 1.1 of ours. So you'd actually just mutliply their ages by 1.1.

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Earth year: 24 hours * 365.25 days = 8769.6 Hours

Roshar year: 20 hours * 500 days   = 10000 Hours

 

So the characters are older, but not too much older. Each Roshar year is 1.14 times as much as an Earth year. Ten-year-old Kaladin would actually be 11, by our reckoning. It's slightly different, but not too much.

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Well, Brandon also views his books as translations, so their ages could also have been translated into earth years for our convenience.  But that could also lead to all sorts of confusing

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kaladin: 20x1.14=22.8 = around 23 years. 

 

It's really not all that different.

 

This is also why they never use times like "3 o'clock"  just "noon" or vague things like "seventh bell"

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I agree with you that the younger a person on Roshar is the smaller the difference in age would be, but with people like Dalinar and Sadeas, their equivalent Earth age is nearly seventy! A twenty year difference for warriors is pretty significant. 

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I agree with you that the younger a person on Roshar is the smaller the difference in age would be, but with people like Dalinar and Sadeas, their equivalent Earth age is nearly seventy! A twenty year difference for warriors is pretty significant. 

Well, Rosharan year is 1.14 of the Earth year, as it was stated previously in this topic. 

 50 x 1.14 = 57 

 

So Dalinar  and Sadeas would be around 57 in Earth years. That's nowhere near 70, really.

Edited by Pestis the Spider
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Ah, their hours are actually a minute or two shorter than ours as well.  1.1 years is the better conversion, 1.14 years isn't neccessary or any more accurate.

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other people correctly pointed out the real conversion between ages, just another thought that came to my mind:

since on roshar there is less gravity, the earth makes less effort to push the blood all the way up, and the bones (especially the vertebrae) deteriorate less. loss of muscle in old age is not as disabling, at least to someone who excerciced all his life (a sedentary guy will have his muscles adapted for the reduced gravity, an active guy will just run longer).

So old age is probably less crippling on the organism, allowing dalinar and sadeas to be in better shape than they really have a right to for their age.

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Okay, I have confirmed that ages given in the books were given in Rosharan years and not "translated" already.

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So their days ARE shorter. 24 on Earth, 20 on Roshar. That answers a lot, and means my calculations are incorrect. Thanks, everyone!

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