Argent

Taln's Identity

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The words came, like they always came.

 

is anyone able to post where he goes on to talk about what each herald will do? if the words "came like they always came" perhaps any of the heralds he doesnt list could be the impersonator? or does he say "i will train your soldiers?" i cant remember and dont have the book handy.

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lol Aleksiel, we posted the same thing at almost the same time.

 

@taliefer
 

"Kalak will teach you to cast bronze, if you have forgotten this."

"Vedel can train your surgeons, and Jezrien . . . he will teach you leadership."

"I will train your soldiers. We should have time. Ishar keeps talking about a way to keep information from being lost following Desolations."

 

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"Kalak will teach you to cast bronze, if you have forgotten this."

"Vedel can train your surgeons, and Jezrien . . . he will teach you leadership."

"I will train your soldiers. We should have time. Ishar keeps talking about a way to keep information from being lost following Desolations."

 

Ooh, look at that pause after Jezrien. If this is Jezrien, that could be a clue. Thanks for pulling up that quote.

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thanks. shoots that thought down. the pause when talking about Jezrien does seem interesting tho. assuming thats what the ellipses is supposed to indicate.

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lol Aleksiel, we posted the same thing at almost the same time.

 

Yeah, and we both don't know what's the word for the things  :lol:

 

 

Crazy theory:

 

But Breath has to be willingly given and you die once you lose your devine breath.

 

 

if the words "came like they always came" perhaps any of the heralds he doesnt list could be the impersonator?

 

He doesn't really list all the Heralds. Nalan isn't mentioned, nor Paliah or Ash or Chana or Battar.

Edited by Aleksiel
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But Breath has to be willingly given and you die once you lose your devine breath.

 

Hemalurgy and Feruchemical aluminum would like a word with you. :P You don't have to be willing to lose your Breath.

 

Also: you can use the Divine Breath in Awakening, so it doesn't necessarily kill you to lose it.

Edited by Moogle
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Hemalurgy and Feruchemical aluminum would like a word with you. :P You don't have to be willing to lose your Breath.

 

Also: you can use the Divine Breath in Awakening, so it doesn't necessarily kill you to lose it.

Don't you die once your own breath is gone and only use for awakening other breaths you've taken? I don't know anything about that Feruchemical aluminum, so I've missed some options. 

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You only die if you're Returned.  Drabs are humans that don't have any Breath.

 

Edit:  Can't spell spoiler....

Edited by RShara
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Don't you die once your own breath is gone and only use for awakening other breaths you've taken? I don't know anything about that Feruchemical aluminum, so I've missed some options. 

Returned do not instantly die when they lose Breaths, from my understanding. They just die at the end of every week when their body wants to consume a Breath.

 

As to Feruchemical aluminum, it can be used to tap from the metalminds of others. It is very possible you could use it to steal other people's Breaths, though evidence is scant. My current theory on how magical stuff is 'keyed' to you means Feruchemical aluminum should be capable of it though (at least, theoretically). Larkins can steal Stormlight, after all...

Edited by Moogle
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Don't you die once your own breath is gone and only use for awakening other breaths you've taken? I don't know anything about that Feruchemical aluminum, so I've missed some options. 

But we're on Roshar, so would they die without divine breath, even if they have one? I don't know if the Heralds would technically count as "returned" would they?

 

I'm going off of very little sleep, so feel free to point out when my ramblings descend into madness because I won't be likely to notice lol.

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I suspect there is some Returned blood in several of the "races" on Roshar, but I don't think that it has any bearing on whether Taln is Taln or not :)

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Thank you Moogle and RShara :)

 

 

But we're on Roshar, so would they die without divine breath, even if they have one? I don't know if the Heralds would technically count as "returned" would they?

 

I was about to say the Heralds don't count as Returned because they haven't died an then I corrected myself immediately. Interesting. I need to think about it.  But a Returned will most likely survive on Roshar using stormlight as replacement of Breath, there are some WoB close to this.

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Pretty sure that's what Vasher is doing ;)

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Maybe the diffrence is from losing his honorblade...

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"Kalak will teach you to cast bronze, if you have forgotten this."

"Vedel can train your surgeons, and Jezrien . . . he will teach you leadership."

"I will train your soldiers. We should have time. Ishar keeps talking about a way to keep information from being lost following Desolations."

 

The pause before Jezrien could mean that he is Jezrien, or that there is something related going on. I am not going to explore this for now.

 

What I am growing more and more interested in is his language and/or accent. He seems to speak perfect Alethi when he arrives in Kholinar, then reverts to a barely understandable northern accent, but goes back to perfect Alethi when Shallan goes to visit him. 

 

Another interesting point. He says that "Ishar keeps talking about a way to keep information from being lost following Desolations." Epigraphs and some thinking lead me to believe that this way manifested itself in the Knights Radiant - so at this point he has no memory of the Knights. But when Shallan draws some Stormlight in, he seems to break through the madness and recognizes her as "“One of Ishar’s Knights ... I remember . . . He founded them? Yes. Several Desolations ago. No longer just talk. It hasn’t been talk for thousands of years." Now he does remember the Knights. 

 

Is this Talenelat'Elin, Herald of the Almighty, but with mind jumping between the different Desolations? This is the best theory I can come up with. When he arrives before the gates of Kholinar he is himself, as sane as we will ever see him in Words of Radiance. He speaks perfect Alethi, because for one reasons or another, he can. Not important right now. Then he falls unconscious, some stuff happens, Bordin gets a hold of him and decides to drive him to the Shattered Plains. During the journey he continues speaking good Alethi, presumably, because when Bordin takes Amaram to see him (while Shallan hides behind an illusion), he tells Amaram that the ramble is what he has been repeating during the entire journey from Kholinar. When Shallan talks to him, his Alethi is perfect, and the only two times he seems to break from his madness is when she asks him about his identity and when she draws Stormlight. So far everything is pretty consistent - this is really the Herald Talenelat'Elin, his mind broken and wandering from the millenia of torture in Damnation, capable of forcing its way to the present only when prompted the right way - apparently his identity and Stormlight are two ways to maybe do this. The big exception to the rule is when Dalinar and Elhokar are first introduced to him, when Bordin arrives in the Planes. I need to look into this interlude and see if something about it seems off... 

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“I can make out some of it, Elhokar. It’s Alethi. Northern accent. Not what I’d have expected from one with such dark skin.”

Here, he speaks with an accent but he didn't on his introduction in Kholinar.

 

What I am growing more and more interested in is his language and/or accent. He seems to speak perfect Alethi when he arrives in Kholinar, then reverts to a barely understandable northern accent, but goes back to perfect Alethi when Shallan goes to visit him.

 

Considering that Kholinar is in the north of Alethkar, a northern Alethi accent would be considered "no accent" there. The reason they comment on it isn't because it's a distinctive accent to them in its own right, it's because they expected from his appearance that he'd have a different accent than they do. They can't make out everything he's saying because it's overlaid with delirious-mumble-accent. 

 

So none of that is necessarily self-contradictory.

 

I do think something fishy is going on with "the Gift and the words," though, since my current most likely translation would be the Nahel bond and the Radiant Oaths.

Which a Herald shouldn't have. Or at least, it's a really strange occurrence for him to have gotten one now, for the first time ever in his very long memory, and when he's spent all his on-screen time on Roshar as a delirious mumbler.

 

Oh, and the fracturing of his memory is definitely interesting. Also interesting that the Radiants seem to have been a failure at keeping knowledge going between Desolations... the ordinary people fighting at Aharietiam, according to the Prelude, were armed pretty crudely.

Edited by FingerstyleFunk
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Taln wasn't the one to back and get his Honorblade because he was already in Damnation with his Blade. He was killed during the Desolation. I suspect that the Herald that retrieved their Blade was Nalan.

 

 

?

 

I'm not sure where that contradicts what I wrote (aside from the idea that the Herald who retrieved his blade was Nalan; if Darkness really is Nalan as he claims to be, then obviously he can't also be pretending to be Taln).  What I wrote was that it's possible that the Herald who retrieved his blade is pretending to be Taln.  And that said Herald's mental state is possibly now so far gone that he actually believes himself to be Taln.

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?

 

I'm not sure where that contradicts what I wrote (aside from the idea that the Herald who retrieved his blade was Nalan; if Darkness really is Nalan as he claims to be, then obviously he can't also be pretending to be Taln).  What I wrote was that it's possible that the Herald who retrieved his blade is pretending to be Taln.  And that said Herald's mental state is possibly now so far gone that he actually believes himself to be Taln.

 

My mistake! Really sorry... I thought you were suggesting that the Herald that retrieved their blade was ACTUALLY Taln. Not another Herald that this now disguised as Taln. I guess that could be possible, but I still think that the guy we saw at the end of WoK was actually Taln.

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My mistake! Really sorry... I thought you were suggesting that the Herald that retrieved their blade was ACTUALLY Taln. Not another Herald that this now disguised as Taln. I guess that could be possible, but I still think that the guy we saw at the end of WoK was actually Taln.

 

No worries.

 

 

One other item that I've recalled to add fuel to the fire.  The "madman" in WoR recognizes Shallan's illusion as a product of one of "Ishal's Knights".  That seems to imply a certain amount of knowledge regarding surges and where they come from.

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Considering that Kholinar is in the north of Alethkar, a northern Alethi accent would be considered "no accent" there. The reason they comment on it isn't because it's a distinctive accent to them in its own right, it's because they expected from his appearance that he'd have a different accent than they do. They can't make out everything he's saying because it's overlaid with delirious-mumble-accent. 

 

So none of that is necessarily self-contradictory.

 

Except that Dalinar and Elhokar are both from Kholinar, so they would hear it as no-accent if it were Kholinar-an north.  I'm thinking north as in almost into Herdaz, (Mourn's Vault???) so the accent is a mixture of Alethi and Herdazian.

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instead of just repeating his mantra.

 

Not to derail the discussion too far, but does this remind anyone of anything, or is it just me?  Maybe there's some sort of similarity between what's happening to "Taln" and what happened elsewhere in the past?

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Are you saying that

Taln is a Hoed now?

:D

If so, well, it wouldn't be TOO surprising.  They'd both be broken by the same things--endless unrelenting pain...

Edited by RShara
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Except that Dalinar and Elhokar are both from Kholinar, so they would hear it as no-accent if it were Kholinar-an north.  I'm thinking north as in almost into Herdaz, (Mourn's Vault???) so the accent is a mixture of Alethi and Herdazian.

 

while true, they would also be educated enough to realize he is speaking in a manner that conveys no accent to them, but that is unusual given his appearance.

 

a crude real life analogy might be having a "Traditional" native american show up in australia and speaking with an australian accent...it wouldnt sound like an accent to them, but i imagine they sure wouldnt have been expecting it enough and itd be somethin theyd notice

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I know I'm not a commoner on this board and I have not contributed much to these theory discussions, but I assure you I have likely spent more time listening to the audiobooks for both WoK and WoR than is healthy. I bring that up because I never got the impression that Taln was anyone but who he said he was.
The reason I assume he is who he says is, Taln is "The Herald of War". Which matters because, during a vision of Dalinar's it's made clear  that Alethela is both the former kingdom that turned into Alethkar and it's the kingdom that maintains Roshar's knowledge of war. So, Taln being from there would only make sense.
There are so many things that are unanswerable in relation to Taln that I find it hard to speculate on his identity thus far. As far as the differences in dialect that are described. Who's to say the powers that his blade gives him may be something that relates to his ability to understand language (not as it's primary power but maybe a side effect. Like the SkyBreaker's ability to intuitively understand the law and justice, his is the understanding of certain things which happen to encompass language.) We know hardly anything about Stonewards or the two adjacent orders. So it's not impossible that he can speak with the trees like a Lorax. That in turn tell him which accent is appropriate for that situation. Also, language is a very peculiar thing. Years can cause utter deviations to certain words and leave others completely unchanged. The phrasing and syllabic retention is not enough for me to think he's anyone other than who he claims to be.
One thing I keep thinking is, that in this story's contemporary setting, every single person who sees Szeth is going batsh*t crazy when they see what he can do. Even Kaladin who can perform two out of the three tricks, is still left jaw agape when he witnesses the one he doesn't know about. So, for someone to see Shallan, watch her not only morph into someone else, but then reach and grab her out of the illusion as if he'd seen it a thousand times before and knew exactly what was going on, means he is at worst a fellow radiant at best the Herald he claims to be. 

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@snote:  Welcome!  I know all we have are crackpot theories so far :)  I'm lining up in the "That's really Jezrien for some Hoidish reason" line right now, myself.  Well, that and the "Brandon is trolling us" line.  It could be anything right now!

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