The Traveller

Taravangian and his great plans

78 posts in this topic

I just really want to talk about Taravangian and all the awful heinous things that he has done. I see that he is not even counted as one of the big villains! Whereas I think he has done much much worse things as compared to Moash or amaram or some might even argue Sadeas. 

The veden war

the world leader assassinations through szeth

all the stuff he pulls to undermine dalinar, trying to kill dalinar

secret alliance with odium now 

and the worst, absolute worst is his death rattle fishing. 

I don’t think people discuss him enough.. so please if you have any views, please share. 

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Cue @RShara

Edited by ChickenLiberty
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Just now, ChickenLiberty said:

Que @RShara

Hmmm? Oh. *Ahem*

T is a plant!

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1 hour ago, The traveller said:

I just really want to talk about Taravangian

Obligatory repost! 

Quote

Weeeee, Taravangian thread! My favorite.

First thing first, his boon and curse. There is no storming way that this was the Nightwatcher. She couldn't grasp the concept of forgiveness, or why someone would want it. Capacity? And the craziness of this boon/curse? 

Every example given to us of a Nightwatcher boon/curse are two distinct things. A boon, and numb hands. Cloth, and seeing the world upside down. The very way that people speak of a boon and a curse. But in Dalinar we saw a boon and curse intertwined. I think with both Taravangian and Lift we're seeing the same things. Far more complicated, and far more powerful gifts than the Nightwatcher is capable of. Cultivation's work, used with Cultivation's foresight. 

So the Diagram... Is not what it seems to be. Taravangian believes that his interpretations have failed, and there are contingencies and branches. That the further he gets from the day it was made the more it diverges from its accuracy. And yet it was able to foresee the circumstances of him being met with by Odium on a low intelligence day? So much so that it includes details about Odium have agreed to a trial of champions and being unable to confront Dalinar directly any longer? 

Quote

“You need me,” Taravangian whispered.
“I need nobody.”
Taravangian looked up and there, glowing in front of him, was a set of words. A message from himself, in the past. Incredible! Had he somehow seen even this?
Thank you.
He read them out loud. “You have agreed to a battle of champions. You must withdraw to prevent this contest from occurring, and so must not meet with Dalinar Kholin again. Otherwise, he can force you to fight. This means you must let your agents do your work. You need me.”

 

I don't believe that for a moment. The Diagram has been absolutely accurate up to this point. It's "failures" have steered events precisely. Szeth's slaughter of world leaders created the ground on which the coalition was built. The release of information to undermine the coalition lead directly to Dalinar's desperate situation and rejection of Odium during the battle of Thaylen city which in turn led to the meeting with Odium where he read those words. 

Taravangian on the day of the Diagram laid out this plan to steer his less intelligent self (and even on genius days, he's still far less intelligent) by the nose to follow the true plan he had on that day. That plan did not exist outside of his head. Odium is aware of everything that is in the Diagram, and to have written down the plan would mean to expose it to scrutiny.

The goals of the Diagram are not, and have never been what Taravangian believes. This is not about saving a remnant. This is not capitulation. This is about positioning himself where he can do the most to undermine Odium directly. He is now a "servant" of Odium, ruling one of the most powerful nations on Roshar. Odium believes him to be loyal out of necessity, because Taravangian himself believes that. Which is the entire point. He is a trusted tool of the enemy. It's in that "capacity" that he'll be able to do what needs to be done. 

Or as @RShara likes to put it. "T is a plant" 

 

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I actually do not really want to discuss the diagram. I am sure it has been discussed. I just wanted to discuss that how taravangian is a major villain in SA and nobody seems to be counting him in the major villains. 

Whether his villainous actions following the diagram have led to desired outcomes or has accidentally helped dalinar or not, should be irrelevant as far as judgement of his character is concerned. 

 

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Then that would come down to personal philosophical beliefs. With the amount of information he has, Odium is a God, with all the connotative meanings attached. We don't yet know how much the Sons of Honour knew, from whom Taravangian initially got his information (alongside Gavilar). That only leaves what he did.

He prioritized his people over his world

He prioritized on achieving results over his own mental well-being (as well as possible physical well-being)

He is a consequencialist, to him the ends justify the means (Jasnah too, freely admits to the same school of ethics)

He sabotaged his former colleague Gavilar and then Dalinar, stabbing them in the back 

He has not considered the possibility of his predictions being wrong or insufficient by themselves, only potentially not being enough in the face of the enemy he plans to face (whom he had reason to believe, he could not truly meaningfully resist, only negotiate with)...

Someone to overcome, perhaps but not truly a villain

Spoiler

Plus originally, Renarin was supposed to have lead the Diagram. So I don't believe that Mr T would end up having an antagonistic role, on top of him being influenced by Cultivation

 

Edited by Honorless
Agreed, he seems to part of the long game by Cultivation, same as Dalinar and Lift
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47 minutes ago, The traveller said:

I actually do not really want to discuss the diagram. I am sure it has been discussed. I just wanted to discuss that how taravangian is a major villain in SA and nobody seems to be counting him in the major villains. 

Fair enough, though I honestly find it hard to separate the two because of my views of both him and the Diagram. 

I see four different Taravangians in total. 

Diagram day Taravangian (some argue Cultivation directly here), who foresaw things and tried to steer them, who if I'm correctly will prove himself a hero. 

"low day" Taravangian, who depending on deserves varying levels of pity. 

"high day" Taravangian, who... While he serves a purpose in the greater plan is a monster. 

And last, and most common. Average good old every day Taravangian, who does do monstrous things... But from his perspective I can't say I'd disagree with him. 

From his perspective, he truly believes, even knowing the radiants are returning, that Odium will win. The only option is to try and make due and allow humanity to survive as a species. He shows genuine remorse for the necessity of his actions. He's said that he will spend eternity in Damnation for what he's done and reprimanded his underlings for celebratng their successes. 

I can't see him as a villain... But his is most definitely a tragic antagonist. 

35 minutes ago, Honorless said:

He sabotaged his former colleague Gavilar and then Dalinar, stabbing them in the back 

He learned of Gavilar's visions on the night of Gavilar's death. He didn't have time to betray him. 

It was learning of those visions, and dwelling on them that eventually sent him to the Nightwatcher... Half a year after Dalinar. 

37 minutes ago, Honorless said:

He is a consequencialist, to him the ends justify the means (Jasnah too, freely admits to the same school of ethics)

Which is probably why I view both of them so favorably. That philosophy, when twisted towards self gain, can be very very destructive... But when used properly for a true greater good (not the "greater good" of justification, but actual good), it can be very effective but must be tempered with empathy... Or you end up with some of Jasnah's darker suggestions. 

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Right, I forgot that Gavilar had directly told the Listener Five Elders of his plans that led to his assassination (I'm so sorry, Eshonai. I, for one will not forget you!).

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@Honorless

Spoiler

I am quite sure that if Renarin had remained as the creator of diagram as originally planned, then the whole thing would have panned out differently in the first place. I dont think that Renarin could have planned the mass murder and the civil war in Vedenar in his misguided attempt to unify humanity by becoming king of all.

May be that is one of the reasons that brandon changed it because where he saw diagram going, did not match the character of Renarin that he has developed.

 

2 hours ago, Honorless said:

He prioritized his people over his world

may be he sees himself as saviour of humankind. But the everyday taravangian as Calderis would put it, it feels like is more worried about being the saviour than doing the actual saving. His vanity is more important to him as of now. May be because he feels that he has given up so much that he deserves to be touted as ultimate saviour of Humanity on Roshar.

His actions in OB come across as being more motivated by a need to defeat Dalinar, not really because he thinks that Dalinar will lose or doom all but because he is afraid that Dalinar will succeed and Taravangian will not get to the leader of humans.

2 hours ago, Honorless said:

He prioritized on achieving results over his own mental well-being (as well as possible physical well-being)

He did not really know that he is going to lose his mental or physical well being when he went to Nightwatcher and asked for his boon. So I dont see that as a sacrifice he willingly made on his part to achieve his results.

2 hours ago, Honorless said:

He is a consequencialist, to him the ends justify the means (Jasnah too, freely admits to the same school of ethics)

Well that is my problem. I disagree with his philosophy, ends do not justify means.

well as for Jasnah and Mr. T, there is a difference between ascribing to a school of ethics and following it fanatically and over-zealously. Jasnah too had some terrible ideas, and i am glad that she is willing to try moderate measures first, and that she highly respects Dalinar/Kaladin who is there to temper her ideas with reasoning and compassion. 

 Please keep her away form Taravangian and let her not see the diagram!!

1 hour ago, Calderis said:

Diagram day Taravangian (some argue Cultivation directly here), who foresaw things and tried to steer them, who if I'm correctly will prove himself a hero. 

I can agree with that. I think he might be right all along and has come up with the way to save all, even if everyday T is too incapable of understanding it.

Plus, i am very curious about the diagram part myself because i see cultivation either directly or through NW, having played some major part here. It could be one of the many many things that cultivation is doing behind the scenes that we dont have much idea about.

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Wonderfully articulated, @The traveller!

Those are all valid points. That does not really take the tragic aspects of his character however. And his PoVs as well as daily interactions are so... well, human. It's hard to hate an old man!

Hmm, maybe the fact that most of us believe him to be a Cultivation plant also mitigate his actions in our eyes.

Definitely not a liked character though

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8 minutes ago, The traveller said:

may be he sees himself as saviour of humankind. But the everyday taravangian as Calderis would put it, it feels like is more worried about being the saviour than doing the actual saving. His vanity is more important to him as of now. May be because he feels that he has given up so much that he deserves to be touted as ultimate saviour of Humanity on Roshar.

His actions in OB come across as being more motivated by a need to defeat Dalinar, not really because he thinks that Dalinar will lose or doom all but because he is afraid that Dalinar will succeed and Taravangian will not get to the leader of humans

I understand why you feel this way. But I still disagree. 

He has intentionally kept everything about the Diagram as secret as he can from anyone not involved in it. His family knows nothing of it. 

I think from what we've seen of it, and kf the remorse that average Taravangian seems to generally feel, that he wants to see the Diagram to fruition for humanity's survival, and then let the evil he agrees he's done to achieve be forgotten with him. 

That I think is naive in his part, but from his perspective, I don't think he sees another choice. His attempts to overthrow Dalinar are precisely because it's what the Diagram says to do. He has faith in it. 

And as I've said, I think that he will be successful in that... But that success isn't going to be what he believes it is. 

"smart Taravangian" is a monster who... Needs to be contained, but he's also the key to finding the clues in the Diagram left in it to continue its effectiveness. They may believe that his level of intelligence is random, but it's entirely too convenient that he achieves smart days, reworks the Diagram and finds new direction that is relevant to the current situation... And which as always works to help Dalinar indirectly while appear to attempt to undermine him. 

I absolutely believe that T will be integral to Odium’s defeat, while the whole time he'll believe he's working to help him out of necessity. 

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12 minutes ago, Honorless said:

It's hard to hate an old man!

Hence i was very cautious about not using the word "Hate" anywhere in my posts. I dont want ppl to hate him, not at all but i just want ppl to acknowledge that Mr. T 

 has done far far worse things than some of the other characters that ppl love trashing cough Moash cough

 

7 minutes ago, Calderis said:

He has intentionally kept everything about the Diagram as secret as he can from anyone not involved in it. His family knows nothing of it.

yea ok may be not touted as a saviour but i think he still wants to be that saviour more than anything else. 

8 minutes ago, Calderis said:

His attempts to overthrow Dalinar are precisely because it's what the Diagram says to do. He has faith in it. 

This is what he interprets what the diagram is saying. And the ''He'' who is interpreting is the monster he. 

And i really do not trust this monster T, because i think this monster T just wants to take out the competition i.e. Dalinar for the privilege of saving humanity. 

12 minutes ago, Calderis said:

And as I've said, I think that he will be successful in that... But that success isn't going to be what he believes it is. 

"smart Taravangian" is a monster who... Needs to be contained, but he's also the key to finding the clues in the Diagram left in it to continue its effectiveness. They may believe that his level of intelligence is random, but it's entirely too convenient that he achieves smart days, reworks the Diagram and finds new direction that is relevant to the current situation... And which as always works to help Dalinar indirectly while appear to attempt to undermine him. 

I absolutely believe that T will be integral to Odium’s defeat, while the whole time he'll believe he's working to help him out of necessity.

I agree with all of this and it makes it sound so much more interesting. There is so much potential of success here and of things going terribly wrong here.

In a way, he is also a tool in the hand of odium that may be at the right moment turn out to be cultivations tool all along. So similar to Dalinar! Yes i can definitely see Mr. T dancing to cultivation's strings right now. 

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5 hours ago, The traveller said:

@Honorless

well as for Jasnah and Mr. T, there is a difference between ascribing to a school of ethics and following it fanatically and over-zealously. Jasnah too had some terrible ideas, and i am glad that she is willing to try moderate measures first, and that she highly respects Dalinar/Kaladin who is there to temper her ideas with reasoning and compassion. 

This is a view of Jasnah I tend to take an issue with. It always feels to me that it is saying Dalinar and or Kaladin have to stand by Jasnah with a rolled up newspaper to smack the back of her head and go "no Jasnah, bad, bad, we don't do that!" all because of one scene between her and Kaladin that I feel is taken out of context and paints her in a more negative light than I think is warranted. To me Jasnah is very compassionate and empathic, but is guarded. I have gone in depth quote by quote through all three books to show that. I do not want to digress this thread, so if you are open to it, please read the below thread, and if you still feel the way you do, please comment on that thread because I would love to discuss it with the quotes on hand to back up any assertions regarding Jasnah.

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

This is a view of Jasnah I tend to take an issue with. It always feels to me that it is saying Dalinar and or Kaladin have to stand by Jasnah with a rolled up newspaper to smack the back of her head and go "no Jasnah, bad, bad, we don't do that!" all because of one scene between her and Kaladin that I feel is taken out of context and paints her in a more negative light than I think is warranted. To me Jasnah is very compassionate and empathic, but is guarded. I have gone in depth quote by quote through all three books to show that. I do not want to digress this thread, so if you are open to it, please read the below thread, and if you still feel the way you do, please comment on that thread because I would love to discuss it with the quotes on hand to back up any assertions regarding Jasnah.

 

 

Yes I guess it came across as wrong, that is not what I intended to say at all. My comment was specifically in relation to that particular scene only. But even there I myself believe that she was just stating the various possibilities. And she has good judgement with regard to situations and people. She was correct about Kabsal, amaram and aesudan.  I also know that if it is really needed, she can make a tough choice. 

I actually really like Jasnah, much much more than shallan or even lift. She has certainly proven her humanity in that beautiful scene she had with renarin. 

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29 minutes ago, The traveller said:

Yes I guess it came across as wrong, that is not what I intended to say at all. My comment was specifically in relation to that particular scene only. But even there I myself believe that she was just stating the various possibilities. And she has good judgement with regard to situations and people. She was correct about Kabsal, amaram and aesudan.  I also know that if it is really needed, she can make a tough choice. 

I actually really like Jasnah, much much more than shallan or even lift. She has certainly proven her humanity in that beautiful scene she had with renarin. 

No problem. Thank you for clarifying. Its a shame that she tends to get a bad rep, and it makes me all the more excited to read her book when the back five comes. 

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Oh yes no issues. She is my favourite female character in SA so yup cannot wait for her book too. 

I really want her to get some squire too.. 

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I'm fully on board with Taravangian as a tool of Cultivation, just like Dalinar is.

Both Taravangian and Dalinar came to the Nightwatcher and got Cultivation. Both came away with mixed boons and curses. Both of them were deeply affected by their experience and set on a path of growth/pruning. If you want to call Taravangian a plant, then that's OK because that's what he is now: a tool of Cultivation embedded within Odium's faction. However, he has served many roles before now and it's possible he will serve others. Cultivation brought both Dalinar and Taravangian to their respective points, and needed both of them to achieve bring this all to fruition. After all, that's why the text Taravangian reads includes Dalinar in it.

Cultivation / Plant is a great pun, though, so no complaints there.

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This question leads to the whole point of "Journey before destination." what good is saving people and seeds and animals in a huge vault to outlive the nuclear holocaust, if you remove the very people smart enough to avoid the holocaust, and place them in a vault? What good is protecting your city, if the rest of the world becomes an unlivable place? Why rule the world through fabulous wars, if the result is a slave/master society? The journey matters because it determines the destination better than the goals do.

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Journey before destination means different things to different characters. 

It is not a universal oath in meaning, only in word. 

There will be disagreements on the methods of achieving things as long as there are multiple people to act. 

The Windrunners would not accept a Machiavellian, as Teft and Kal's interpretation of the first oath makes abundantly clear... But per WoB both the Skybreakers and Elsecallers would. And considering that Gavilar was beginning to bond with the Stormfather... I'd have to assume that a Bondsmiths oaths could be twisted through interpretation to allow it to some degree. 

I still have this little nearly dead hope that Taravangian will bond the Nightwatcher and be a rival Bondsmith, even though in my mind OB pretty much killed the idea... But it was a fun pet theory. 

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I would still say that taravangian takes the ends justifies the means too far. I also do not accept that even his goal is all that good. Mere survival of the species is a very uninspiring goal. Diagrams ultimate goal as taravangian who created it saw, may not necessarily align with what cultivation plans to be the outcome of the diagram. 

And The more than average taravangian certainly loses sight of the goal and cares more about ending up on the top. 

I would say that gavilar was seen as a Potential candidate by stormfather but I do not think that he progressed on that front at all. I would not say that he was beginning to bond with SF. Did he? Is there any wob?

I see one major reason why T would not be NW bondsmith. It will be too obvious then to odium that he is cultivation’s agent/pawn. I think this way it is better. He is a sleeper agent in the enemy ranks who at the last moment may just redeem himself. 

Edited by The traveller
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34 minutes ago, The traveller said:

I would still say that taravangian takes the ends justifies the means too far. I also do not accept that even his goal is all that good. Mere survival of the species is a very uninspiring goal. Diagrams ultimate goal as taravangian who created it saw, may not necessarily align with what cultivation plans to be the outcome of the diagram.

If I truly believed that the alternative to horrific acts was the death of humanity as a species... Can't say I wouldn't commit some horrific acts. 

35 minutes ago, The traveller said:

I would say that gavilar was seen as a Potential candidate by stormfather but I do not think that he progressed on that front at all. I would not say that he was beginning to bond with SF. Did he? Is there any wob?

He saw the same visions as Dalinar and was on the road to being a Bondsmith. Even if he never said the first oath, that's still a bond. Kaladin didn't say the first oath until well after Syl was speaking to him.

42 minutes ago, The traveller said:

I see one major reason why T would not be NW bondsmith. It will be too obvious then to odium that he is cultivation’s agent/pawn. I think this way it is better. He is a sleeper agent in the enemy ranks who at the last moment may just redeem himself. 

I don't see why that would be an issue. He's got Malata with the Diagram, and the Skybreakers under Nale. I fully expect to see more Surgebinder "bad guys" 

I don't think that the Nightwatcher would choose Taravangian because of the relationship he has now with Odium, not because of Odium suspecting things. 

And there's the reservation that I had even before OB, that his shifting mental capacity would make him unable to hold to his oaths. 

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16 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

 

 

I had read it in its entirety and loved it! Wonderfully compiled! 

But you too missed that scene in WoK where they discuss schools of ethics! Why?! I loved that scene! 

Agreed, with all of the points there.

Jasnah is misunderstood in both Roshar and by many readers and that post was scary long! It took me hours to go through it all!

Edited by Honorless
Oh god, I didn't see there was an Oathbringer update... gotta go read that now, again excellent work!
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7 hours ago, Honorless said:

I had read it in its entirety and loved it! Wonderfully compiled! 

But you too missed that scene in WoK where they discuss schools of ethics! Why?! I loved that scene! 

Agreed, with all of the points there.

Jasnah is misunderstood in both Roshar and by many readers and that post was scary long! It took me hours to go through it all!

I mentioned that in my post. I was coming from the perspective of Jasnah. Trying to show the why of what she does and says. I felt arguing the ethics of what occurred would prevent that, as in prior discussions with those scenes, for some people simply mentioning the possibility means advocating it, and following through. I felt that was reductionist, and disregards the character, her personality, and her motivations. So I thought it was better not to discuss it at all. However if you would like to, feel free to comment on that thread and I will respond there. What is great about it (to me), is I have all the quotes right there readily available. So if you wanted to say something, you could literally copy paste, and go "the book says this. this line is what made me think that". And then I can, taking the same quote point to this spot or that spot, and say why I disagree, or agree. So please feel free to post in the thread. I feel a large part of the problem with Jasnah for people, is they go off of recollection with these charged scenes, and do not remember things entirely accurately. So with the quotes present, that is no longer an issue. Or at least that is what I believe.

Edited by Pathfinder
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3 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

I mentioned that in my post. I was coming from the perspective of Jasnah. Trying to show the why of what she does and says. I felt arguing the ethics of what occurred would prevent that, as in prior discussions with those scenes, for some people simply mentioning the possibility means advocating it, and following through. I felt that was reductionist, and disregards the character, her personality, and her motivations. So I thought it was better not to discuss it at all. However if you would like to, feel free to comment on that thread. What is great about it (to me), is I have all the quotes right there readily available. So if you wanted to say something, you could literally copy paste, and go "the book says this. this line is what made me think that". And then I can, taking the same quote point to this spot or that spot, and say why I disagree, or agree. So please feel free to post in the thread. I feel a large part of the problem with Jasnah for people, is they go off of recollection with these charged scenes, and do not remember things entirely accurately. So with the quotes present, that is no longer an issue. Or at least that is what I believe.

I am planning too. In fact I had been looking for a thread to discuss jasnah. But I don’t think it is going to be a short one, because I do intend to give my take on each one of those quotes. And phew u have found a whole lot of them.. 

A big problem is that we see jasnah mostly from shallan’s perspective. I think that colours people’s opinion of J. But just focus on what J is actually doing guys! 

Edited by The traveller
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23 minutes ago, The traveller said:

I am planning too. In fact I had been looking for a thread to discuss jasnah. But I don’t think it is going to be a short one, because I do intend to give my take on each one of those quotes. And phew u have found a whole lot of them.. 

A big problem is that we see jasnah mostly from shallan’s perspective. I think that colours people’s opinion of J. But just focus on what J is actually doing guys! 

I look forward to reading your post!

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