Dlyol

[OB] New Information about Taln

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In Oathbringer we learnt a couple of interesting new facts about Taln that differentiate him from the other Heralds

Quote

'THE NINE REALIZED, the Stormfather said, THAT ONE OF THEM HAD NEVER BROKEN. EACH OF THE OTHERS, AT SOME POINT, HAD BEEN THE ONE TO GIVE IN, TO START THE DESOLATION TO ESCAPE THE PAIN. [...] THE ONE [Taln] WHO WASN'T MEANT TO HAVE JOINED THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE, THE ONE WHO WAS NOT A KING, SCHOLAR, OR GENERAL.' 

- Oathbringer, Chapter 38, Broken People       

 
 

So we now know that Taln never broke and was never meant to be a Herald in the first place. I have no clear theory as to why this although the former presumably is linked to the later but it does have some interesting potential implications. Were there originally meant to be nine Heralds instead of ten? If there were originally supposed to be ten, who was supposed to be the tenth instead of Taln, as it feels like a waste of a potentially interesting storyline to have the other as some generic human that has no plot meaning? Is the fact that only nine of the heralds ever broke linked to the there being nine Unmade in some way? How did Taln come to be involved in the Oathpact if he was not intended to be a Herald? What was Taln before he was a Herald and was that linked to him being the 'bearer of all agonies'?

I don't know the answers to the questions, although for the last I think it would be thematically nice (if cliché) for Taln's lowly background being the source of his incredible will, but I think they are worth discussing and I love to hear people's thoughts

Edited by Dlyol
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Not at all accurate theory :

Taln was just a bum at the beginning of the first oathpact and had been trying to ask Jezrien for a bit of change or some stale bread when Honour appeared and was like 'Hey Jez great work gathering the best and brightest people in the realm lets get cracking' *proceeds to empower them as Heralds and create Honourblades with Taln getting caught up in the Invesiture ritual.*

 

Serious Theory : Hmm not sure. I imagine he may have just been a lower slave or something - Jexrien gathered people he thought were right for the job due to devotion to Honour, martial, technical skills (like Taln talks about how each herald will teach people certain things (like soulcasting bronze cos steel would take to long and tactics.)

Taln was no-one special or important - maybe 'involved' with Ash who had been picked because she was Jez's daughter or something... will think more and edit again accordingly.

Edited by Egomere
added serious theory
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6 minutes ago, Egomere said:

Not at all accurate theory :

Taln was just a bum at the beginning of the first oathpact and had been trying to ask Jezrien for a bit of change or some stale bread when Honour appeared and was like 'Hey Jez great work gathering the best and brightest people in the realm lets get cracking' *proceeds to empower them as Heralds and create Honourblades with Taln getting caught up in the Invesiture ritual.*

 

Serious Theory : Hmm not sure. I imagine he may have just been a lower slave or something - Jexrien gathered people he thought were right for the job due to devotion to Honour, martial, technical skills (like Taln talks about how each herald will teach people certain things (like soulcasting bronze cos steel would take to long and tactics.)

Taln was no-one special or important - maybe 'involved' with Ash who had been picked because she was Jez's daughter or something... will think more and edit again accordingly.

Taln is amazing. Don't diss him. 

He's better than all the other Heralds combined. 

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@Steeldancer Wasn't dissing Taln (i mean i think it would be awesome if he was a genuine nobody before and then it turns out not only is he a great character he was also the dude that showed up all the other supposedly amazing heralds by never have been broken even after 4500 years in Braize alone + all the previous years.

I just don't know what he could have done before the pact to be the one who Should never have been...

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9 minutes ago, Egomere said:

Not at all accurate theory :

Taln was just a bum at the beginning of the first oathpact and had been trying to ask Jezrien for a bit of change or some stale bread when Honour appeared and was like 'Hey Jez great work gathering the best and brightest people in the realm lets get cracking' *proceeds to empower them as Heralds and create Honourblades with Taln getting caught up in the Invesiture ritual.*

 

Serious Theory : Hmm not sure. I imagine he may have just been a lower slave or something - Jexrien gathered people he thought were right for the job due to devotion to Honour, martial, technical skills (like Taln talks about how each herald will teach people certain things (like soulcasting bronze cos steel would take to long and tactics.)

Taln was no-one special or important - maybe 'involved' with Ash who had been picked because she was Jez's daughter or something... will think more and edit again accordingly.

I say the unedited version first and thought you were dismissing OP's claim and stating fact. I see I was wrong now.

 

I got a romance vibe between Ash and Taln for some reason, so I had a thought that maybe Ash was chosen / volunteered to be a Herald and Taln decided to join her so they could be together. Something like, they went around to all the leaders of the time and asked them to be part of the Oathpact. Ash could have been a leader and Taln was not. Ash accepted, told Taln about it and Taln was like "Not without me you aren't!"

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I'm thinking since he's the Herald of Soldiers he was some sort of common front line grunt who loved the princess (Ash) and somehow convinced Honor to include him so he could try to protect her. Just spit-balling here.

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27 minutes ago, Govir said:

I got a romance vibe between Ash and Taln for some reason, so I had a thought that maybe Ash was chosen / volunteered to be a Herald and Taln decided to join her so they could be together. Something like, they went around to all the leaders of the time and asked them to be part of the Oathpact. Ash could have been a leader and Taln was not. Ash accepted, told Taln about it and Taln was like "Not without me you aren't!"

 

2 minutes ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I agree with the Taln followed Ash to stay by her side theory.

Taln was the Samwise Gamgee of the Herald Fellowship.  He joined as the least important one, but turned out to be the most heroic in the end.

I think I agree and could easily see Taln following Ash - whether they were a genuine couple before hand or whether he cared for Ash yet unreciprocated wouldn't matter. I could see him forcing himself into the pact in order to keep a protective eye on Ash.

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He was selfless, he didn't have the responsibility, nor the most relevant competencies. I´d like to thing he didn't do it for Ash, that would be undermining his work.

I can't´wait to see more of him. He went to be mildly intriguing to best-character-ever/watch-out-Kal in half a page.

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I'm guessing Taln's flashback chapters will start by showing how he got included in the Oathpact.  I believe he was a skilled soldier low down on the totem pole when the oathpact was planned.  At the last minute the planned participant either died or chickened out as Odium tried to stop Honor's plan, and Taln stepped in after he proved himself to everyone with a great show of bravery and grit.

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I definitely get the princess and her bodyguard vibe from Taln and Ash. 

 

Also Taln with only one small speaking part officially became the most amazing, incredible, selfless character in the entire cosmere. I personally cannot wait for his book now. 

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Actually I couldn’t wait for his book from the the beg. Of prolouge in wok... I mean the book of the one one who got left behind was bound to be the best duhhhh!

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Has Brandon said which book is Taln's?

He is now officially one of my favorite characters now!

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Unless he was her masseuse, I’m pretty sure the below quote shows Ash and Taln were romantically involved. 

Quote

Ash looked at his fingers, thick and callused. Thousands of years could come and pass, and she could lose lifetimes to the dream, but those hands … she’d never forget those hands.

 

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On 11/20/2017 at 10:39 PM, Egomere said:

Taln was no-one special or important - maybe 'involved' with Ash who had been picked because she was Jez's daughter or something... will think more and edit again accordingly.

Maybe this is a stupid question, but do we know for a fact that Jez was in fact Shalash's father, and it wasn't just an epithet/ honorific title she was using? He's described as the Father of the Heralds somewhere, so at first I didn't think much of Ash's words. But the more and more I've seen people convinced he's actually her biological father, so now I'm wondering if there's some WoB I missed?

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Firstly this epigraph

Chapter 55 "A woman sits and scratches out her own eyes. Daughter of kings and winds, the vandal."

which I believe led to this exhange: http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=1034#26

CHRIS KING (MIYABI)

Is Shalash the daughter of Jezrien?

BRANDON SANDERSON

Umm... Oh, yes, she is his daughter.
Edited by PhineasGage
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Here’s my take that has no factual basis. Jezrien and the other 8 were originally from Ashyn, had experience world hopping, and access to magic. Taln was from the first few generations of people born on Roshar when they were still confined to the Shin lands. That’s it, that’s all I got.

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Facts:

Taln is awesome. He is the herald of soldiers, and was to teach people the art of war on his return. He had incredible will. He had a tendency to die in last ditch efforts. He is just so awesome. Ash thinks incredibly highly of him - and this certainly contributes to her incredible guilt/partial insanity - and references how wel she knows his hands. Taln was not supposed to be one of the original heralds. 

 

Inferences: Taln was a soldier, likely an NCO. He was an intimate of Ash’s, possibly bodyguard, likely lover, possibly both. Taln was lower ‘class’ than the other heralds, but got in anyway. 

 

Speculation: Taln was a soldier and Ash’s lover who fell into the role of Herald. He either stepped up to the plate when someone else stepped down, or he pushed himself into the role when he heard Ash was taking it on. 

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I think the Ash/Taln is mirrored in Kal/Shallan, and that our main characters are going to take the places of our Heralds, so Kaladin and Shallan will end up being tortured in Damnation for the duration between books 5 and 6.

I'll get behind Taln as soldier/bodyguard to Ask, and he fell in love.

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My poorly-substantiated idea is that he was a stonemason. Partly because of the obvious stone motif, but also because his sword is a very utilitarian shape that I imagine to be reminiscent of a stonemason's tools.

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My mind immediately jumps to weird theories. Its more likely that its something simple like the ones mentioned above where he jumped in when someone of higher status didn't take the role (death or chickening out). However, some other things I thought of that could fit the line.

1. Honour made a deal with Odium to create the Oathpact and trap Odium, but used a loophole. The deal would be similar to Tanavast's suggestion of a contest of Champions. Odium expected 9 Heralds but Honour added Taln as an extra one that was allowed by the specific wording of the deal but wasn't something Odium expected. It could explain why there are 9 unmade (They would be Odium's champions).

2. Taln was a powerful member of Odium's followers that turned.

3. The Oathpact was created without Taln. Taln went to the Nightwatcher (or Cultivation) asking his boon be that he's made part of the pact. It seems like the perfect thing for Cultivation to grant (if she has the power) since being part of the pact is really not just a boon but also a curse. It's possible that he didn't even ask to be let into the Pact, but if he did love Ash then he merely asked for the ability to protect Ash, and Cultivation granted it this way.

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2 hours ago, Maximus said:

My poorly-substantiated idea is that he was a stonemason. Partly because of the obvious stone motif, but also because his sword is a very utilitarian shape that I imagine to be reminiscent of a stonemason's tools.

I agree with this. This is also my gut feeling - that he was a stone mason or some other profession like that. A builder. Also, the fact that he is a Stoneward, and I feel his Surges fit with being a stone mason or something.

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I'm not prepared to guess who Taln was before the Oathpact, and what his relationship was with the other 9. A high ranking soldier seems likely. But as to why they needed to add a tenth person, I figured that has to do with Odium and Honor's associations with the numbers 9 and 10.

It's not by chance that modern Alethkar is ruled by ten High Princes -- ten is a sacred number in the Vorin religion, which follows Honor. So the Alethi social structure is built around the number ten, with ten Princedoms, ruling over a society broken into ten dahns of lighteyes, and ten nahns of darkeyes. However, when humans arrived on Roshar they worshipped Odium, so the number nine would have been significant. It makes sense that their society would have constructed their leadership around groups of nine. Whether this was true for the entire society (nine kingdoms), or just for the Oathpact (nine members of the royalty), it was probably no accident that the group who negotiated the pact with Honor was made up of nine people.

However, since the Oathpact is of Honor, they needed a tenth Herald to satisfy him. The question is, did Honor make this clear to the group, giving them the chance to recruit Taln, or have Taln volunteer? Or was Taln swept up in the pact because he just happened to be the closest person in proximity when the Oathpact was formed, and Honor's magic went to work? This might have happened if he was a General, or perhaps a bodyguard, who was important enough to be 'in the room' when the deal went down. And it seems to ring true with the fact that Taln was never meant to be one of the Heralds.

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