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[OB] Death Rattles, Revisited

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So, once again Brandon drops a few hundred thousand words of a monster in our laps, and it was a monster full of lore. So, while we all struggle to put our thoughts together and figure out what we want to talk about, I wanted to revisit the Death Rattles and see if we got any new resolutions out of them.

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The love of men is a frigid thing, a mountain stream only three steps from the ice. We are his. Oh Stormfather…we are his. It is but a thousand days, and the Everstorm comes.

This could actually be a reference to humans originally worshipping Odium. It's a bit tenuous, though.

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Ten orders. We were loved, once. Why have you forsaken us, Almighty! Shard of my soul, where have you gone?

I thought I remembered a line where Ash uses the phrase "shard of my soul", but I can't find it now...

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“Victory! We stand atop the mount! We scatter them before us! Their homes become our dens, their lands are now our farms! And they shall burn, as we once did, in a place that is hollow and forlorn.”    

The seems like it could refer to the humans' first arrival on Roshar. They take the parsh's homes and send their souls to Braize. Still not quite clear on how that last part works out, but I think it fits.

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Gadol spit up blood, coughing. “They break the land itself!” he hissed, eyes wild. “They want it, but in their rage they will destroy it. Like the jealous man burns his rich things rather than let them be taken by his enemies! They come!”    

I think this might refer to the arrival of the Fused. 

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“The burdens of nine become mine. Why must I carry the madness of them all? Oh, Almighty, release me.”    

While we've known - or at least strongly suspected - that this is Taln, we know understand the implications a little better. The burden of the other nine Heralds, the responsibility of holding back the Desolations, it's all his now. There is nobody else to share the pain with him.

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“Let me no longer hurt! Let me no longer weep! Dai-gonarthis! The Black Fisher holds my sorrow and consumes it!”    

I've been thinking about this one for a little bit. I've gone back and forth a couple of times on this, but I think Dai-gonarthis is the Black Fisher, the final Unmade, the only one Mythica is uncertain about. I agreed with @Pagerunner's assessment in another thread that Dai-gonarthis and Kai-ganis' names follow a similar naming scheme and therefore since the latter is not an Unmade, then the former wouldn't be either... but I no longer think that.

First, the Death Rattle is very much in line with some of the other Unmade's theme of consuming emotions - something they share with Odium, naturally. Not only that, but the Black Fisher is also mentioned in Oathbringer, by Jezrien no less:

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“Which one got to you, little child?” Ahu asked. “The Black Fisher? The Spawning Mother, the Faceless? Moelach is close. I can hear his wheezing, his scratching, his scraping at time like a rat breaking through walls.”

Right up there with a few other Unmade. I don't know if we've decided who the Faceless is (or if that's just another name for Re-shephir, the Spawning Mother), but the Black Fisher certainly fits there. 

Now, the only wrench in this is that the Death Rattle can be interpreted differently - that the speaker is calling to Dai-gonarthis (much like an Alethi might call to the Stormfather), and then simply makes a statement about the Black Fisher holding their sorrow and consuming it. I don't like that interpretation too much, but it's a valid one.

And other than these, I don't actually think any of the other Rattles need much of a second look.

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The seems like it could refer to the humans' first arrival on Roshar. They take the parsh's homes and send their souls to Braize. Still not quite clear on how that last part works out, but I think it fits.

Definitely, this was a huge eye-opening thing when I reread the Death Rattles.

“And all the world was shattered!” Maps yelled, back arching, eyes wide, flecks of red spittle on his cheeks. “The rocks trembled with their steps, and the stones reached toward the heavens. We die! We die!”

This one could refer to the humans destroying Roshar with Surgebinding.

Edited by Chaos
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Any Death Rattles come true? Bet there was!!

Victory! We stand atop the mount! We scatter them before us! Their homes become our dens, their lands are now our farms! And they shall burn, as we once did, in a place that is hollow and forlorn.

Collected on Ishashan 1172, 18 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a lighteyed spinster of the eighth dahn.

Humans killing Listeners after crossing the mountains and conquering?


Any others?

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Ooh, that's an interesting one. One other Death Rattle I noticed is

"Re-Shephir, the Midnight Mother, giving birth to abominations with her essence so dark, so terrible, so consuming. She is here! She watches me die!"

Which some people used during the preview chapters as a basis for their theories to say the mysterious spren in the tower was Re-Shephir, and well, they were right.

And then there's

"The darkness becomes a palace. Let it rule! Let it rule!"

That could potentially be about the events in Kholinar. But it's general enough that it could refer to a lot of other things.

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Any Death Rattles come true? Bet there was!!

Victory! We stand atop the mount! We scatter them before us! Their homes become our dens, their lands are now our farms! And they shall burn, as we once did, in a place that is hollow and forlorn.

Collected on Ishashan 1172, 18 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a lighteyed spinster of the eighth dahn.

Humans killing Listeners after crossing the mountains and conquering?


Any others?

 

 

All the Death Rattles refer to future events, right?  So it seems more likely that this is referring to when Kholinar fell to them.

Edited by RShara
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I know this isn't a death rattle, but this epigraph of a listener song certainly has new meaning:

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'Tis said it was warm in the land far away
When Voidbringers entered our songs.
We brought them home to stay
And then those homes became their own,
It happened gradually.
And years ahead 'twil still be said '’tis how it has to be.

Pretty obvious in retrospect.

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3 hours ago, Chaos said:

'Tis said it was warm in the land far away

Voidbringers come from California, you say?

 

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You've killed me. Bastards, you've killed me! While the sun is still hot, I die!

Do you think this could refer to Jezrien being killed by Moash?

 

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A woman sits and scratches out her own eyes. Daughter of kings and winds, the vandal.

Is this when Syl "died" in book 2? Or just Shallash doing her thing?

 

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Re-Shephir, the Midnight Mother, giving birth to abominations with her essence so dark, so terrible, so consuming. She is here! She watches me die!

One of the people killed in imitation in Urithiru?

Edited by RShara
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13 hours ago, RShara said:

Is this when Syl "died" in book 2? Or just Shallash doing her thing?

Yeah, that's Shalash. Daughter of Jezrien, king of the Heralds, patron of the Windrunners. Her vandalism is obvious. 

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On 11/16/2017 at 1:12 AM, Chaos said:
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The seems like it could refer to the humans' first arrival on Roshar. They take the parsh's homes and send their souls to Braize. Still not quite clear on how that last part works out, but I think it fits.

Definitely, this was a huge eye-opening thing when I reread the Death Rattles.

Technically could also go the other way - it may be referring to the future (actually, pretty much the present as of the end of Oathbringer)  in which the Dawnsingers are reclaiming their lands. It is possible that human souls will now be sent to Damnation again.

 

21 hours ago, Chaos said:
Quote

'Tis said it was warm in the land far away
When Voidbringers entered our songs.
We brought them home to stay
And then those homes became their own,
It happened gradually.
And years ahead 'twil still be said '’tis how it has to be.

Pretty obvious in retrospect.

 

A side question, but question nevertheless. We now have two origin stories. One is this: humans brought by Odium after they somehow f-ed up their previous planet.  The second is the story that Shallan keeps on remembering - with the wall separating light and dark, which appears to be the story of the origin of Stormlight abd highstorms on Roshar (a very Prometheus story, mind you).  If this story was mentioned only once in the book, I'd let it slide. But it is brought up, in excruciating detail twice, and the second time it is brought up, guess who is there essentially telling it? The one effing person who might actually know what is going on there.  

That second story has a couple of interesting things in it. While the boundary between light and dark is a Taldain thing, the way it works on Taldain is very different, and the way the story refers to things that are so clearly Roshar suggests to me that it was not brought to Roshar by humans. But at the same time, highstorms predate appearance of humans on Roshar (we knew that even before Oathbringer).  So... is this a Dawnsinger story coopted by humans?

 

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5 minutes ago, emailanimal said:

the wall separating light and dark

Like the Shin mountains perhaps? A human climbing the wall to find that they are the evil being kept out? Sounds like the same origin story to me, turned into a fable.

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4 minutes ago, aemetha said:
11 minutes ago, emailanimal said:

the wall separating light and dark

Like the Shin mountains perhaps? A human climbing the wall to find that they are the evil being kept out? Sounds like the same origin story to me, turned into a fable.

This was another thought I have.  I think if we stop thinking of this as a story of the origin of highstorms, you may be right. Humans live in Shinovar, with no access to Stormlight and a huge wall. One day someone climbs the wall, goes to the other side, and finds Stormlight. Brings this notion back, and the rest is depicted in the Dawnsinger folklore.

 

So maybe you are correct.

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On 18/11/2017 at 6:35 PM, aemetha said:

Like the Shin mountains perhaps? A human climbing the wall to find that they are the evil being kept out? Sounds like the same origin story to me, turned into a fable.

Could this be related with the Shin Invasion? 

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Ten people, with Shardblades alight, standing before a wall of black and white and red.

This isn’t perfect, but could this be the end Battle, when there are 10 representatives from the orders? They don’t all use or have shardblades, but it’s the closest so far. 

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On 11/16/2017 at 3:29 PM, RShara said:
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Victory! We stand atop the mount! We scatter them before us! Their homes become our dens, their lands are now our farms! And they shall burn, as we once did, in a place that is hollow and forlorn.

All the Death Rattles refer to future events, right?  So it seems more likely that this is referring to when Kholinar fell to them.

I agree. I think the Death Rattles are a foretelling of the future and, therefore, would not refer to events long past. Whether this refers to the fall of Kholinar or to something else is not something I am sure about yet.

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On 11/20/2017 at 0:33 PM, CaptainRyan said:

I agree. I think the Death Rattles are a foretelling of the future and, therefore, would not refer to events long past. Whether this refers to the fall of Kholinar or to something else is not something I am sure about yet.

My understanding of the way things work is that the Death Rattles allow a glimpse into the Spiritual Realm at the point of a soul fracturing.  Further, time is essentially compressed/happening all at once in the Spiritual Realm, which is what allows for seeing the future.  This certainly means that Death Rattles can be used to see the future; I think it is faulty to say that they can only see the future (unless someone has a relevant WoB to say otherwise).

It could certainly make sense to analyze the ones in the epigraphs from WoK as if they are future events only, since the ones that we have identified were all seeings of the future.  In particular, I think that the "Victory!..." Death Rattle is certainly referring to Alethkar falling to the Singers, and not some ancient invasion.

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I swear there's a WoB that says all of the Death Rattles are of future events, but having trouble finding it.

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On 11/25/2017 at 7:58 PM, RShara said:

I swear there's a WoB that says all of the Death Rattles are of future events, but having trouble finding it.

It would fit with with what the Mythica has to say about Moelach, the source of the death rattles:

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Moelach was said to grant visions of the future at different times—but most commonly at the transition point between realms. When a soul was nearing the Tranquiline Halls.

 

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Death rattles are supposed to be about the future, yet you interpret some as if they are about the past. I can't say I agree with this.

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Ten people, with Shardblades alight, standing before a wall of black and white and red. 

Dalinar counts nine and thinks how there should be one more, which is speculated to be Venli, so I think we can say it's about the new Radinats and two Heralds.

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I hold the suckling child in my hands, a knife at his throat, and know that all who live wish me to let the blade slip. Spill its blood upon the ground, over my hands, and with it gain us further breath to draw.

I wonder if this is Jasnah choosing to not kill Renarin. Though I'd say this rattle goes with 'and so the night will rein because the choice of honor is life', which doesn't apply to the situation.

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The darkness becomes a palace. Let it rule! Let it rule! 

Kholinar taken over by the Unmade, the palace was described as dark.

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On 11/16/2017 at 0:41 AM, Argent said:
  Quote

“Victory! We stand atop the mount! We scatter them before us! Their homes become our dens, their lands are now our farms! And they shall burn, as we once did, in a place that is hollow and forlorn.”    

I think these death rattles are meant to be from the future and not the past. Some have happened during the first three books. 

I'm thinking this one hasn't happened yet. "We stand atop the mount!" sounds like the parsh conquering Urithiru.

 

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/161-words-of-radiance-washington-dc-signing/#e6923

#16 Share
Play/Pause
 

Questioner

With the different headings [epigraphs] of each chapter of the Stormlight Archive books, obviously they don't all make sense as you go along, but five years from now, if I read the five books and I am reading at the start of The Way of Kings, all the words, all the last words of people [the death rattles], is it going to be this huge foreshadowing moment--

Brandon Sanderson

It will make a lot more sense.

 
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On 18.11.2017 at 8:40 AM, RShara said:

Is this when Syl "died" in book 2? Or just Shallash doing her thing?

On 18.11.2017 at 10:09 PM, Argent said:

Yeah, that's Shalash. Daughter of Jezrien, king of the Heralds, patron of the Windrunners. Her vandalism is obvious. 

Ahemm... eyes scratched out, why shouldn't this be Mayalaran? Perhaps she is a daughter of a King of Spren and perhaps she scratched out her eyes when in pain after her Radiant broke the bond.

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1 hour ago, Michael Portz said:

Ahemm... eyes scratched out, why shouldn't this be Mayalaran? Perhaps she is a daughter of a King of Spren and perhaps she scratched out her eyes when in pain after her Radiant broke the bond.

Because we've literally seen Shalash (who is the daughter of Jezrien, a king and wind-person) going around scratching out the eyes on various depictions of herself. It fits perfectly already. If it were not Shalash, why would it be Mayalaran? There are a bunch of other dead Shardblades around, presumably all with scratched out eyes (hence the "deadeye" term).

This seems pretty open and shut to me.

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While the death rattles do show glimpses of the future, I am fairly confident that they do not exclusively show glimpses of the future, just primarily show glimpses of the future (as that’s more relevant to the story, the ones we’ve seen will be mostly future). 

It makes far more sense, magic wise, for the rattles to be glimpses of the spiritual realm, and thus could be future, past, or far distant present. All time and space is blended together in the spiritual realm; I don’t see why Moelach’s Connection to the dead would only show the future - that doesn’t seem to make sense with the magic? Rather, I think what they see are ‘truths’, as the Shin sailor so aptly named them.

 

I could, of course, be 100% wrong. 

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52 minutes ago, BeskarKomrk said:

Because we've literally seen Shalash (who is the daughter of Jezrien, a king and wind-person) going around scratching out the eyes on various depictions of herself. It fits perfectly already. If it were not Shalash, why would it be Mayalaran? There are a bunch of other dead Shardblades around, presumably all with scratched out eyes (hence the "deadeye" term).

This seems pretty open and shut to me.

It's probably Shalash, yeah.  But it's interesting that dead spren also have their eyes scratched out.

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3 minutes ago, RShara said:

It's probably Shalash, yeah.  But it's interesting that dead spren also have their eyes scratched out.

For sure. There's definitely something going with eyes in general, between those two things and the glowing eyes of the Fused and the way that Shardblades/Radiancy change eye color.

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