Argent

Dalinar's Flashback Chapter from Oathbringer

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On Dalinar's age here, he does mention that he bonded Oathbringer when he was "twenty Weepings old".  So since he is using a mundane blade here he must be younger than that.

 

Bah, twenty weepings old may be 20 years and 11 months and a half or even a round-up of 21... People often round up their ages, especially for events that happened so long in the past. It could also be he won his Blade the week after this chapter... At this point, we don't know.

 

Anyway, he is close enough for me. Besides, I doubt there is much different between 23 years old Adolin and the 19 years old one, not that we are likely to find out, but I will say they must be quite similar.

 

I think the most interesting observation about this chapter could be Dalinar's character and the difference to what Adolin perceives of his father. Obviously Adolin only knows the honourable Dalinar, but when Dalinar's sanity was in question in WoK, Adolin wanted to get the Blackthorn back, the see his father in his 'glory days', so to speak. Seeing how Dalinar conducts himself towards opponents on the battlefield, I don't think Adolin really knew what he was thinking when he wished for the Blackthorn to return, because Adolin himself shows more honour on the battlefield than the Blackthorn did. On a side note, Dalinar's arrogance and the arrogance Kaladin perceives of Adolin are differences like day and night. 

 

Yes. I have stated on numerous threads how I felt Adolin had an idolized vision for his father. There are clues he does not really know the extend of his father's "reputation". He heard of the good deeds, the stories of fame and glory, but he was never told the grim truth: he was never told how his father rammed his sword into a boy's belly crying for his mother or how he used children as hostages or he relinquish crushing his enemies until they were all dead.

 

I agree Dalinar's arrogance here makes anything we have seen from both Kaladin and Adolin seem like little kids playing at who piss the farthest. Besides, I also think Adolin's arrogance is a mask he puts on to hide the fact he actually doubts himself. I wonder what Dalinar's over the top arrogance hides....

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I agree that Dalinar and Adolin's fighting styles are completely different. Adolin has been described by Dalinar as 'a master artist with paint of only one shade'; Adolin fights what I always assumed to be a very talented and skillful way. His preference for duels shows that he doesn't revel in the slaughter as much as Dalinar, whose style is entirely different. Like maxal said, Dalinar fights brutally, smashing, crushing and destroying his enemies. To give a WoR parallel, Dalinar says of one of Adolin's duels that the best fights were those you won quickly, and with extreme advantage (that's old Dalinar saying so). Adolin's appreciation of duels is based on the idea that duels allow a staged challenge, 'man against man, mind against mind' I think the wording was in WoK or WoR; in any case, different from the butchery we see of the Blackthorn. 

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I agree Dalinar's arrogance here makes anything we have seen from both Kaladin and Adolin seem like little kids playing at who piss the farthest. Besides, I also think Adolin's arrogance is a mask he puts on to hide the fact he actually doubts himself. I wonder what Dalinar's over the top arrogance hides....

 

This is my complete speculation, but this flashback happens long before Dalinar goes to look for the Nightwatcher, long before he meets shshshsh, but presumably not far off the point where Navani and Gavilar marry (Elhokar is 27 or so I think, which might put his birth 3-5 years after the flashback, depending on whether Dalinar is 18 or 20, and depending on whether the flashback is actually 30 years ago, or really 34 or so). What we see of the Blackthorn is probably routine for him at this point, but I think it's possible that his behaviour stems at least partly from jealousy of his older brother. Old Dalinar reflects a few times on how jealous he was of Gavilar, wondering why Renarin isn't jealous of Adolin for example or remembering the time Dalinar nearly tried to kill Gavilar.

 

Edit: Actually, one second. Jasnah is 34. I think Navani and Gavilar probably are married at the point of this flashback; young Dalinar was crushed.

Edited by Cemci
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As I read this and start to process it, it becomes clear just how different young Dalinar is from "contemporary" Dalinar. No ethics on the battlefield... just win, baby.  Winning at any cost makes your actions ethical. (And to be fair, Alethi society rewards this kind of attitude.) Bloodthirsty, uncaring, and ruthlessly efficient... a perfect Alethi warlord for that society.   It's not surprising that a man with this kind of record would turn to alcohol during times of peace to escape the demons of his own mind... even to the point of being passed-out drunk during the great celebration of a peace his brother brokered with the Parshendi. I'm wondering how functional Dalinar even was between the time the Alethi war ended and the Parshendi were discovered.  I'll bet he was more often in the bottom of a bottle than not.

 

And what he says in this passage maps rather well to the man that contemporary Dalinar continues to be... Dalinar didn't plan and politic, he just went where Gavilar pointed and killed people. And as an older man, he still is excellent at actual battlefield tactics and strategies, but he struggles mightily with the "bigger picture" of political maneuvering and intrigue.  His whole life, Dalinar has used to being a weapon, not an architect.

 

... and now I can't wait to read the rest of the book.  (Even more than before.) :)

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Edit: Actually, one second. Jasnah is 34. I think Navani and Gavilar probably are married at the point of this flashback; young Dalinar was crushed.

 

When they re-unite, at the beginning of WoK, Navani reminds Dalinar that she is only a few months older than he is. If the marriage age in Alethkar is 17, the youngest they both can be (at that time) is 53-54.

I'ma get all mathematical and extrapolate that Dalinar had Adolin when he was about ~ 30 (The Blond Wonder is ~23 in WoK). One of the only things he can remember about Shshshs is that he courted her for 3 years, so he would have met her at 27 - some few years after this flashback.

 

On another note: Peter, if you are still reading this - about the word decimate. I apologize for getting all nerdy about stuff like this, but considering the emphasis the series puts on the number 10, and that in Amaram's battalions the troupe wear Roman-style leather skirts - ya'll really should acknowledge the original meaning of the word. Maybe. Just me nerdy half dime.

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I agree that Dalinar and Adolin's fighting styles are completely different. Adolin has been described by Dalinar as 'a master artist with paint of only one shade'; Adolin fights what I always assumed to be a very talented and skillful way. His preference for duels shows that he doesn't revel in the slaughter as much as Dalinar, whose style is entirely different. Like maxal said, Dalinar fights brutally, smashing, crushing and destroying his enemies. To give a WoR parallel, Dalinar says of one of Adolin's duels that the best fights were those you won quickly, and with extreme advantage (that's old Dalinar saying so). Adolin's appreciation of duels is based on the idea that duels allow a staged challenge, 'man against man, mind against mind' I think the wording was in WoK or WoR; in any case, different from the butchery we see of the Blackthorn. 

 

Adolin does not enjoy the butchery: he says as much in his POV. Three times. The first two times, he was ranting against hunting, a "sport" into which young Dalinar revealed, but disgust young Adolin. The last time, he used the word to described the battlefield right before he dropped his Blade.

 

Good point about the dueling... Dalinar probably had no issues into how Adolin beat Salinor, but Adolin was clearly unsettled by it. Dalinar is not portrayed has spending much time wondering about his own brutality, which is much unlike his son.

 

I just can't believe how despicable he was! And I am loving it  :wub: It will make an awesome story.

 

 

This is my complete speculation, but this flashback happens long before Dalinar goes to look for the Nightwatcher, long before he meets shshshsh, but presumably not far off the point where Navani and Gavilar marry (Elhokar is 27 or so I think, which might put his birth 3-5 years after the flashback, depending on whether Dalinar is 18 or 20, and depending on whether the flashback is actually 30 years ago, or really 34 or so). What we see of the Blackthorn is probably routine for him at this point, but I think it's possible that his behaviour stems at least partly from jealousy of his older brother. Old Dalinar reflects a few times on how jealous he was of Gavilar, wondering why Renarin isn't jealous of Adolin for example or remembering the time Dalinar nearly tried to kill Gavilar.

 

Edit: Actually, one second. Jasnah is 34. I think Navani and Gavilar probably are married at the point of this flashback; young Dalinar was crushed.

 

Yeah Navani and Galivar are likely married at that point in time. It looks like Dalinar has not made his trip into the West yet, so my suspicions he met his wife then grows stronger. However, it did not appear as if he was jealous of Galivar here, he just sound petulant, arrogant, undisciplined. A youth who does not even bother to listen to the war counsels... He does not know why he kills or who he kills. Just WOW. 

 

 

As I read this and start to process it, it becomes clear just how different young Dalinar is from "contemporary" Dalinar. No ethics on the battlefield... just win, baby.  Winning at any cost makes your actions ethical. (And to be fair, Alethi society rewards this kind of attitude.) Bloodthirsty, uncaring, and ruthlessly efficient... a perfect Alethi warlord for that society.   It's not surprising that a man with this kind of record would turn to alcohol during times of peace to escape the demons of his own mind... even to the point of being passed-out drunk during the great celebration of a peace his brother brokered with the Parshendi. I'm wondering how functional Dalinar even was between the time the Alethi war ended and the Parshendi were discovered.  I'll bet he was more often in the bottom of a bottle than not.

 

And what he says in this passage maps rather well to the man that contemporary Dalinar continues to be... Dalinar didn't plan and politic, he just went where Gavilar pointed and killed people. And as an older man, he still is excellent at actual battlefield tactics and strategies, but he struggles mightily with the "bigger picture" of political maneuvering and intrigue.  His whole life, Dalinar has used to being a weapon, not an architect.

 

... and now I can't wait to read the rest of the book.  (Even more than before.) :)

 

Dalinar has shows inklings on how little he knows his own sons. At times, I felt as if he was barely starting to get acknowledge with both of them and it goes both ways... The boys don't seem to know their father all that well... There are huge gaps in Adolin's portrayals of his father.

 

My current thinking are Dalinar, prior to Galivar's death, has not been a great dad. It is true he has a hard time adjusting to being a political leader, him who yearned to have his brother's throne, find himself badly equipped to actually do the job. All he knows is how to impose himself, he has yet to learn the art of compromises.

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Thank you for posting this. This the first time I've watched Brandon speak and I was impressed. Dalinar is definately a bad chull and seems the sort who might have left many potential regrets in his wake.

 

As for killing the wounded, that is actually a kindness on the battlefield much of the time. There wouldn't likely be any of the losers supporters out there to tend to the wounded so the choice is die quick or die slowly and painfully. 

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Thank you for posting this. This the first time I've watched Brandon speak and I was impressed. Dalinar is definately a bad chull and seems the sort who might have left many potential regrets in his wake.

 

As for killing the wounded, that is actually a kindness on the battlefield much of the time. There wouldn't likely be any of the losers supporters out there to tend to the wounded so the choice is die quick or die slowly and painfully. 

It's not just that,  it's pragmatic it some ways.  Never leave a live enemy behind you.  Though vs anyone but alethi you might want to cripple large numbers so that they spend their resources caring for their wounded.  However vs the Alethi this likely wouldn't work because I can't see the Highprinces expending resources on caring for injured troops that couldn't be quickly made to return to the battlefield.

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This is the whole excerpt he has been reading, but it does not go up to the end of the chapter. He hasn't read the rest of the chapter publicly.

 

Even better. But that's what I meant, it's all he's read.

 

Also, because I forgot to scratch my pet peeve about "decimate". Most of the time it's used, it's used to mean "devastate" - destroying a tenth of the enemy's army is not that much of a loss.

Edited by Argent
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decimate[/url]. I apologize for getting all nerdy about stuff like this, but considering the emphasis the series puts on the number 10, and that in Amaram's battalions the troupe wear Roman-style leather skirts - ya'll really should acknowledge the original meaning of the word. Maybe. Just me nerdy half dime.

Harry Dresden style?

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I just posted a thread about Brandon's talk at Google where he reads the Dalinar flashback he's been reading during every signing in the Shadows of Self tour, and now Tor has also released it, only in written form. 

 

You can read it here.

Thanks dude.  You're awesome!

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Harry Dresden style?

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought of that.

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First time i have seen people being happy that a beloved character is awful. Actually I am happy too because this fulfilled all expectations and more besides

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Enough about Dalinar the Awful, how about the description of the Thrill sounding just like a Parshendi rhythm. Do the Listeners have their own name for the Thrill? The Rhythm of Fury/Conquest/Slaughter?

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ow in Taravangean's POV, he mentions that the thrill has something to do with the unmade or some other evil thing. I think it's sort of like this evil being, whatever it's called, influencing the minds of men, which seems scary, it is scary. But I am not exactly sure how these evil beings such as Mouilach affect men.

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Aww - once again I'm in awe about Mr Sanderson's ability to surpass my bad feelings.

I was expecting Dalinar as a warlord, a ruthless fighter for his goals, but not a sociopath.

Without the Thrill he nearly doesn't show any emotions, he doesn't even need a reason for killing.

A few thoughts:

"Why...why we..."

The enemy - we don't get a name or a reason for this attack - hadn't had a clue what is happening.

If they were opposing Gavilar it wouldn't be necessary to ask.

Perhaps some other Highprince wanted this Princedom for his loyality to Gavilar (yes, totally speculative, but....).

Kaladin

This was a slap in my face - the discrepance between the reaction to a salute.

In WoK it's something honourable - within the rules of war - now Dalinar only thought is: "Idiot".

Szeth

I have never expected to see a Dalinar who reminds me of his arc - only without consciousness and oathstone.

Gavilar as a "owner" and Dalinar as his weapon.

Dalinar

He can't even remember being young - was he born this way or is it perhaps the result of something like a cranial trauma? As a part of a warrior-sociaty this wouldn't be unusual.

Last thought - this isn't the end of the chapter - how much worse will this become?

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Whoah, this was such a great chapter. I'm so glad we got to read it, and also incredibly curious about what comes after it. Why did Brandon stop here, if the actual chapter is longer? It could be nothing, but I'm also wondering if it means that some other mordern-Roshar characters will show up later on.

 

Also, on a side note, I really don't get why people in-universe compare Adolin to young Dalinar after reading this. Their attitudes are so completely different.

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Whoah, this was such a great chapter. I'm so glad we got to read it, and also incredibly curious about what comes after it. Why did Brandon stop here, if the actual chapter is longer? It could be nothing, but I'm also wondering if it means that some other mordern-Roshar characters will show up later on.

 

Also, on a side note, I really don't get why people in-universe compare Adolin to young Dalinar after reading this. Their attitudes are so completely different.

 

I have often stated how different Adolin was from Dalinar: this chapter just highlights by how much. I have always been troubled when people claimed Adolin would turn into another Blackthorn... Seriously, he can never be this monster who just wanted to crush is enemy into a bloody pulp. He is just too emphatic for this: the second he saw the fear sprens around Salinor's he backed away, disgusted at himself while young Dalinar glossed in happiness at seeing his enemy tremble before him. 

 

I personally keen on seeing Kadash in those flashbacks...

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Dalinar

He can't even remember being young - was he born this way or is it perhaps the result of something like a cranial trauma? As a part of a warrior-sociaty this wouldn't be unusual.

Last thought - this isn't the end of the chapter - how much worse will this become?

I don't think Dalinar meant that he couldn't remember being young. He said that he'd never felt young. In some ways he actually kind of reminds me of Jasnah. They both value ability and seem willing to kill without remorse. They were also both described as feeling older than their actual age.

Szeth

I have never expected to see a Dalinar who reminds me of his arc - only without consciousness and oathstone.

Gavilar as a "owner" and Dalinar as his weapon.

I don't think he's really that similar to Szeth. Szeth hated everything he was forced to do, and Dalinar barely needed an excuse to kill.
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What an amazing chapter, such insight into the man Dalinar was when he was younger. Such a chulling beast! I'm glad we see the man Dalinar is now before being introduced to him as a young man, he's despicable. This highlights just how much Dalinar has grown and matured over his lifetime (possibly only since Gavilars death?).

I would say Dalinar is on the lower side of his age, maybe 19/20,he's very childish in manner. He also does seem to live his life by "momentum" and as others have said, I think one would often find him at the bottom of a bottle outside the battlefield.

I wonder if Dalinar has been offered plate, but wants to earn it? Or something is going on. He says "I don't need Shards.." I kind of got the impression he has Shards but feels he doesn't need them? Also surprised he hasn't bonded Gallant yet, can't wait for that flashback.

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What an amazing chapter, such insight into the man Dalinar was when he was younger. Such a chulling beast! I'm glad we see the man Dalinar is now before being introduced to him as a young man, he's despicable. This highlights just how much Dalinar has grown and matured over his lifetime (possibly only since Gavilars death?).

I would say Dalinar is on the lower side of his age, maybe 19/20,he's very childish in manner. He also does seem to live his life by "momentum" and as others have said, I think one would often find him at the bottom of a bottle outside the battlefield.

I wonder if Dalinar has been offered plate, but wants to earn it? Or something is going on. He says "I don't need Shards.." I kind of got the impression he has Shards but feels he doesn't need them? Also surprised he hasn't bonded Gallant yet, can't wait for that flashback.

 

I can't believe such a creature would have bonded a Rhysadium... If anything, we'll find out he bonded Gallant at the same time as Adolin bonded Sureblood. 

 

As for not needing Shards, I suspect it is because he was not offered the family's Shards, being the youngest. They would go to Galivar, but at their age, their old man is likely still soldering, so neither boys probably have Shards at this point in time. Sadeas told us, back in WoK, how most young men are supposed to wait until their fathers grow too old for the fights to carry on their Shards... So unless a family has many Shards, the children are not offered Shards until well into their adulthood, under normal circumstances.

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I can't believe such a creature would have bonded a Rhysadium... If anything, we'll find out he bonded Gallant at the same time as Adolin bonded Sureblood.

 

This is now my favourite headcanon.

Did Gavilar ever bond a Rhysadium, I wonder?

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Quite the change we see between young Dalinar and old Dalinar. And even putting it that way is an understatement. It's almost as though they're two different people….except that I can see echoes of young Dalinar in old Dalinar. 

 

As for the similarities and differences between young Dalinar and Adolin, my best guess is that Dalinar raised Adolin to be different than he was. Let his son learn from his mistakes, whether or not he shared those mistakes with him. 

 

In all, I think seeing young, brutal, despicable Dalinar makes me appreciate the kind, wise, honorable Dalinar more. It's clear he went through a lot to become what he is. 

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This is now my favourite headcanon.

Did Gavilar ever bond a Rhysadium, I wonder?

 

I sincerely have no idea, but I had wonder as well... I guess we are going to find out in book 3.

 

 

Quite the change we see between young Dalinar and old Dalinar. And even putting it that way is an understatement. It's almost as though they're two different people….except that I can see echoes of young Dalinar in old Dalinar. 

 

As for the similarities and differences between young Dalinar and Adolin, my best guess is that Dalinar raised Adolin to be different than he was. Let his son learn from his mistakes, whether or not he shared those mistakes with him. 

 

In all, I think seeing young, brutal, despicable Dalinar makes me appreciate the kind, wise, honorable Dalinar more. It's clear he went through a lot to become what he is. 

 

As a child, Adolin was likely raised by his mother as his father was most probably away warring. He can't have fought the war of unification while being a dedicated father to his young sons. If anything, he was an absent father who only came home once every few months and was seen as a true hero straight out of stories by his young easily impressionable eldest son.

 

Brandon did tell us Adolin's early sense of morality came from his mother, so I'd say a large part of the difference we see is her strong influence. He was raised to be kind, compassionate, helpful, to never let bullies get their way, to never be the quiet by-stander and more importantly, to never become one. These, I wager, come directly from the mother and not Dalinar. Older Dalinar taught Adolin to be disciplined, ordered and rigorous. He taught him to not use violence as a first resort to solve conflicts and to avoid open-war as much as possible, but he didn't taught him to care for prostitutes... or to befriend his soldiers or to be disgusted by dishonorable fight where the opponent can't fight back.

 

We still see the Blackthorn in Dalinar... when he rushes to meet the challenges, when he is thrilled to go kill a massive beast, when he is happy to go kill some Parshendis at the end while Adolin is just... tired. He is not thrilled or exhilarated over the prospect of fighting like Dalinar. Adolin also thought Elhokar was foolish to launch the challenge (he does not wish to engage in it) and is disgusted by hunting.

 

Apart from this, we saw Dalinar respected skill over rank or eye color, thought he did so in a rather contemptuous way He passed that down to his son who acts the same way. This is the only glimpse of older Dalinar I managed to grasp within this chapter.

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I can't believe such a creature would have bonded a Rhysadium... If anything, we'll find out he bonded Gallant at the same time as Adolin bonded Sureblood.

As for not needing Shards, I suspect it is because he was not offered the family's Shards, being the youngest. They would go to Galivar, but at their age, their old man is likely still soldering, so neither boys probably have Shards at this point in time. Sadeas told us, back in WoK, how most young men are supposed to wait until their fathers grow too old for the fights to carry on their Shards... So unless a family has many Shards, the children are not offered Shards until well into their adulthood, under normal circumstances.

Ah, yes I highly doubt a Ryshadium would bond a man like Dalinar in this scene. I meant that in an unrelated manner, I guess I just always assumed Dalinar was born with Gallant much as I underestimated his bloodlust!

Hmm this could be true - Gavilar was recently given Shards and Dalinar is jealous, trying to convince himself he doesn't want them..

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