Felt

[OB] Dalinar is old

17 posts in this topic

Looney theory time 

Dalinar is old, as in maybe a reincarnation of Tanavast or the Sunmaker. Maybe something entirely different.

Reasons : in Oatbringer he states that he never felt young and that he has a feeling that the light (spiritual realm?) is familiar to him. 

I'm not sure about the reincarnation, any WOB about that?

Anyways rip away guys!

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I don't think that Dalinar is a reincarnation of Tanavast or the Sunmaker, mainly because he's a very strong character by himself and that if anything that would cheapen him in my opinion.

However, I have thought before that Dalinar is indeed old, at least older than we realize while reading the book, because of the fact that the Rosharan year is longer.  I think he is said at some point to be in his fifties, which I think translates into him actually being in his sixties (remember, Jasnah is 40 so he must be at least 20 years older than her if not more).  Not that 60 is very old, but it still puts him in a new light for me at least to imagine him as a 60-something man, wielding the power of the Bondsmith and standing front and center as the main character of Oathbringer.  It's very unusual for a fantasy book to focus so heavily on an older character like that, and I really appreciate it - I think it gives the story much more perspective and maturity.   

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Eh, he's only 53-ish and in great physical shape. He's more middle-aged than elderly.

I see no reason to think he is a reincarnation regardless.

6 hours ago, Llarimar said:

(remember, Jasnah is 40 so he must be at least 20 years older than her if not more).  

Jasnah isn't 40 and the age gap is less than 20 between the two.

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2 hours ago, Nymeros said:

Eh, he's only 53-ish and in great physical shape. He's more middle-aged than elderly.

I see no reason to think he is a reincarnation regardless.

Jasnah isn't 40 and the age gap is less than 20 between the two.

You're thinking in Rosharan years. If translated to Earth years. A Rosharan year is 1.1 of our years. So according to this post:

Quote
  • Kaladin is born in 1154 EoS (Era of Solitude) and is 19 by the end (year 1173 EoS) of the Way of Kings, which is around 21 (between 20,9 and 22,8) in Earth years.
  • Shallan is one year his junior, and is 18, which is also around 21 years old (between 19,8 and 21,6).
  • Jasnah is born in 1139 EoS and is actually 34 by the end of the Way of Kings, which is somewhere between 38 and 41 in Earth years.
  • Dalinar is born in 1123 EoS and is somewhere between 55 and 60.
  • Navani is born in the same year as Dalinar, so she's around the same age.
  • Elhokar is 26, so between 28(,6) and 31(,2) Earth years old.

The Weeping has passed, by OB, so it's 1174, now.  Jasnah is pretty close to 40, and Dalinar is pretty close to 60.

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I haven't seen anything indicating that I should convert Rosharan years to Earth years though. Why should Rosharans (or any Cosmere humans but Scadrians) age at the same rate as earthlings? Their genetics are different from ours and some groups of humans on Roshar even have alien blood. Heck, they're all aliens really. When Sanderson writes that a character is 17 or 35 or 60, I take it at face value.

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1 minute ago, Nymeros said:

I haven't seen anything indicating that I should convert Rosharan years to Earth years though. Why should Rosharans (or any Cosmere humans but Scadrians) age at the same rate as earthlings? Their genetics are different from ours and some groups of humans on Roshar even have alien blood. Heck, they're all aliens really. When Sanderson writes that a character is 17 or 35 or 60, I take it at face value.

It's certainly up to you. Some people like to imagine their "real" ages and some like to imagine their in-world ages.

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1 hour ago, Nymeros said:

I haven't seen anything indicating that I should convert Rosharan years to Earth years though. Why should Rosharans (or any Cosmere humans but Scadrians) age at the same rate as earthlings? Their genetics are different from ours and some groups of humans on Roshar even have alien blood. Heck, they're all aliens really. When Sanderson writes that a character is 17 or 35 or 60, I take it at face value.

Their genetics are the same and they age the same.  Their concept of a "year" is just different.  There are 365 in the Earth year, based on our specific planetary orbit.  Of course it makes sense that on another planet, that planetary orbit would be different and the year would therefore be a different length, or alternatively, they base their "year" on something completely unrelated to astronomy - some cultures base their year on the human gestation period (nine months) or something else.  When a person on Earth is 1 years old, they are 365 days old, but on Roshar a 1-year-old baby would be over 500 days old.  This doesn't make a huge difference in the context of the story, so it doesn't really bother me - it doesn't change the story that much if Dalinar is in his fifties or his sixties, or if Kaladin is 19 or 21.  

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At least in terms of pregnancy, they seem to function exactly the same as we do. 

On 12/23/2017 at 10:53 AM, Calderis said:

365 * 24 = 8760 hours * 1.1 = 9636.

So a Rosharan year is the equivalent of 9636 earth hours... 

20 * 500 = 10000 Roshar hours in a year. Makes for easy math. A Rosharan hour is 0.9636 hours. 

I can't find an actual hour length for average pregnancy. But if we take the 38 week model 38 * 7 * 24 = 6384 hours. 

6384 / 0.9636 = 6625 (rounded down the 0.155) 

6625 Rosharan hours / 20 = 331 1/4 Rosharan days. 

So a Rosharan Pregnancy should last 331 days, or roughly 6 and a half months. 

And Jasnah's insult to Amaram about his mother during the "7 months" he was in the womb pretty much confirms this. 

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as far as aging, the reduced gravity should mean less problems with the whole bone structure, particularly the spine, and possibly less heart problems too.

On the other hand, more oxygen means a greater oxidative stress. I'm not sure how that translates exactly into aging, but I'd certainly surmise a greater likelyhood of cancer. Rosharans would probably look older than they are, because it also hits the skin. but they'd be fitter.

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23 minutes ago, king of nowhere said:

On the other hand, more oxygen means a greater oxidative stress. I'm not sure how that translates exactly into aging, but I'd certainly surmise a greater likelyhood of cancer. Rosharans would probably look older than they are, because it also hits the skin. but they'd be fitter.

I think Brandon has counteracted this by making Roshar very high in ambient investiture. (Whether that was intentional or not, I don't know, but the concept seems sound)


As for character ages, here's my opinion:

There are things that a your average person in their sixties can't do very easily/at all that people in their fifties can due without issue to the physical states of their body at those ages. One of the biggest suspension of disbelief issues consumers of any media have is characters doing things they are physically incapable of doing. Brandon is good at minimizing suspension of disbelief when it comes to this subject, and the easiest way to do that is to write characters at the age they say they are. Most every author knows that, because they've been a reader who has probably had an issue with this in the past.

If Brandon says that a character is 55, I expect that character to be physically equivalent with a 55 year old Terran Human. And I expect that Brandon will try to write said character like a 55 year old Terran Human because that character is 55 in Brandon's head, regardless of what age he'd be in Terran years(60.5 in this case).

At the end of the day, this point is one that I think really matters: How old does Brandon see the character as when he is writing them?

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3 hours ago, Llarimar said:

Their genetics are the same and they age the same.

The 1st point isn't true (which is why we have the mixed hair colors, light eyes, stone nails, etc).

The 2nd isn't confirmed.

2 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

as far as aging, the reduced gravity should mean less problems with the whole bone structure, particularly the spine, and possibly less heart problems too.

On the other hand, more oxygen means a greater oxidative stress. I'm not sure how that translates exactly into aging, but I'd certainly surmise a greater likelyhood of cancer. Rosharans would probably look older than they are, because it also hits the skin. but they'd be fitter.

I think Sanderson confirmed that Rosharans are usually more healthy than not due to the Highstorms and blowing Stormlight around.

1 hour ago, The One Who Connects said:

At the end of the day, this point is one that I think really matters: How old does Brandon see the character as when he is writing them?

Exactly. 

Shallan feels like a teenager, Lift feels like a child and not a teen, Dalinar feels like a middle aged man just past his prime and not like one nearing elder years....same for Sadeas.

Edited by Nymeros
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On 6/4/2018 at 11:09 PM, Felt said:

Looney theory time 

Dalinar is old, as in maybe a reincarnation of Tanavast or the Sunmaker. Maybe something entirely different.

Reasons : in Oatbringer he states that he never felt young and that he has a feeling that the light (spiritual realm?) is familiar to him. 

I'm not sure about the reincarnation, any WOB about that?

Anyways rip away guys!

You have to be right . The warmth, hoid asking Dalinar about adolnodium, odium saying "we killed you", Dalinar's mystery voices... It all points to a deep secret about Dalinar we don't know yet.

We don't really know anything about his and Gavilar's parents. Or should I say alleged parents. 

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It's all speculation at this point, but I feel brandon is preparing something there for a reveal later on in the series :) 

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18 hours ago, The One Who Connects said:

There are things that a your average person in their sixties can't do very easily/at all that people in their fifties can due without issue to the physical states of their body at those ages.

true, but keep in mind that physical fitness at old age is very dependent upon the person, and that someone with rregular training can do a lot of stuff that wouuld be assumed impossible. You only have to look at badass grandpa on tvtropes, go to the real life folder, there are people running marathons or climbing mountains in their ninties.

I have to say, dalinar feels a realistic depiction of a 55-years-old very fit for his age.

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39 minutes ago, king of nowhere said:

but keep in mind that physical fitness at old age is very dependent upon the person,

I had a couple (barring athletic folks) in my post before, but it felt too clunky, so I switched it out to read "your average person" because it flowed better.

I felt that the "very fit for their age" was a bit of an outlier, but it's not that big of a deal. If a character was in exceptionally good shape, Brandon would make a note of it, even if it was a couple inner thoughts by other people, and it'd be obvious that we weren't dealing with the average "insert age here."

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I recall seeing somewhere that Rosharan's grow biologically at the same rate as other humans, so they experience puberty and pregnancies at the normal rate, even if they're years are different. But Brandon tries not to get bogged down over the details of when characters hit certain age milestones, notably between 10-8. I can't find the exact one I'm thinking of, but this one covers it kinda.

Spoiler

Questioner

Kaladin is a lot younger than his knowledge and training levels are... *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

It just depends, he's led-- you have to keep two things in mind, he's led a very hard life, which aged him experience-wise differently, and also Roshar years are longer than ours, so when they say in this book [that] he's 19, he's not actually 19, he's more like-- I can't remember the exact equation, but he's actually 23, or something like that. So do keep that in mind.

source

So Dalinar would still be a 60 year old man. In surprising health considering his past. Sure, he's fit, but he's also received a large number of injuries that should be almost crippling at that age. But Roshar is a high investiture environment. Crem in particular is indicated to be infused, or at least connected to Investiture, so some of the more elderly SA characters that act younger than expected could possibly be explained by having a diet of plants watered with crem, or even drinking crem water on occasions.

Spoiler

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Has stormwater tasted metallic always?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Even pre-Shattering?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Even pre-Shattering it would get a metallic taste, that's the crem. So. That is an indication of Investiture and things. But it was there-- it was in place first, before.

source

 

Edited by Wandering Investor
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On 6/4/2018 at 11:09 PM, Felt said:

Dalinar is old, as in maybe a reincarnation of Tanavast

I'm not sure about the reincarnation, any WOB about that?

On the first point specifically, it would be rather hard for anyone to be a reincarnation of Tanavast since his Cognitive Shadow (which as the soul is what would be reincarnated if such a tihng were possible) is merged with the Stormfather. Other historical individuals could be possible, but see below.

On the second, we don't have any specific WoBs on the topic but we've got some general ideas. For the vast majority of people in the Cosmere, when you die you hang around the Cognitive Realm for a span of time measured in minutes, then you pass Beyond, nobody knows what happens next and not even the Shards can reach there. So, once you've passed Beyond reincarnation is certainly impossible. There are Realmatic mechanisms for reincarnation in the Cosmere provided that you're able to become a Cognitive Shadow and we've seen several in SA. The Heralds create new bodies for themselves whenever they reincarnate, which match themselves to their Spiritual ideal, hence they always look like themselves. The Fused are another type which take over another body to regain Physical form, then the body begins changing to match the new soul.

However, given the whole 'Physical body gets shaped by the Spiritual ideal' thing, it would be tricky to imagine a Cognitive Shadow being reborn in a new body and going through the whole developmental cycle without some Shardic meddling. We don't have any currently known mechanisms on Roshar for someone to alter the relevant aspects of their spiritweb (like Scadrial has with F-Atium) short of Cultivation or Odium intervening.

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