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Crylorenzo

Dalinar's Experience with Nale: What Can We Learn

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Perhaps this has been discussed at length already, but I wanted to see if I could break down the incident where Dalinar touches Nale and sees into his history.

First off, unless I am mistaken, the flashbacks that Dalinar sees are seen in reverse to when they happened. The alternative, for me, is that the flashbacks are out of order like deathrattles, but I don't see the point of that and the reverse chronology makes sense.

"Dalinar saw Nale stepping away from a discarded Blade rammed into the stone"

This sounds like Aharietiam and I believe is the clue given that these events are going to progress backward. There is no other time I can think of that Nale would discard  Blade, capital B.

Nale cradling a child in one arm, his Blade out as dark forces crawled across a ridge nearby

Immediately this makes me think of the child deathrattle and it makes me wonder if we will see Nale again next book in a similar circumstance. There must be some significance here or it wouldn't be here. Did he save someone significant that we will hear about later? Perhaps someone important to Aharietiam? The minimum is that it shows Nale used to protect against the "dark forces".

Nale standing with a group of scholars and unrolling a large writ, filled with writing. "The law cannot be moral," Nale said to them. "But you can be moral as you create laws. Ever must you protect the weakest, those most likely to be taken advantage of. Institute a right of movement, so that a family who feels their lord is unrighteous can leave his area. Then tie a lord's authority to people who follow him."

Great snippit here showing how Nale used to be - a believer in laws, but with a focus on morality and protection of those weakest. Depending on who these scholars were, perhaps we can, have, or will see this system of rule somewhere? Sounds like a pretty good system to me. Note that this one is made after the next one (bonding a highspren) and so it might be at or around the time Nale swore the 5th ideal. I find it unlikely he swore the 5th ideal after Aharietiam. This is the first place we can see the humongous contrast between Past-Nale and current Nale - here morality is fundamental to law and protection at its core. With Nale being so moral and protection minded, the fifth ideal "I am the Law" gains new meaning and might have relevance for book 5 and Szeth (who it wouldn't surprise me to see swear the 5th ideal, but that's another topic).

Nale kneeling before a highspren

A reminder here from Brandon that Nale is a skybreaker in addition to being a Herald - this is clearly a thread not to forget.

Nale fighting on a battlefield... Another fight... Another fight...

Then endless desolations which come with more and more frequency towards Aharietiam, though these fights are probably pretty far from Aharietiam, time-wise.

Nale clasping hands with a  bearded Alethi man, regal and wise. [Jezerezeh]...
"I will take this charge," Nale said softly. "With honor."
"Do not consider it an honor," Jezerezeh said. "A duty, yes, but not an honor."
"I understand, though I did not expect you would come to an enemy with this offer."

"An enemy, yes," Jezerezeh said. "But an enemy who was correct all along, making me a villain, not you. We will fix what we've broken. Ishar and I agreed. There is no person we would welcome more eagerly into this pact than you. You are the single most honorable man I have ever had the privilege of opposing."
"I wish that were true," Nale said. "But I will serve the best I can."

There's a lot to unpack here, but I think the first thing we can all agree on is that this conversation happens right before the formation of the Oathpact, placing this at the beginning of the struggle between the singers and the humans. Oddities of word choice abound. First off, it is clear that Nale is honorable - is this therefore after Honor sided with the humans, or did Honor side with the humans AFTER/IN CONJUNCTION WITH the creation of the Oathpact? After all, Ishar had bondsmith powers well before the exodus from Ashyn and Ishar is the one who made the Oathpact.

There is a discussion of enemies and villains and fixing what was broken. This is all laden with implications we can only guess at. So let's guess at them. If I remember correctly, all the heralds save Taln were royalty of some form or another, meaning Nale was likely a king at the beginning - whether starting on Ashyn or while staying in the Shin Valley where the humans first resided. So were he and Jezrian battle opponents (and if so was their war part of what broke Ashyn or part of what started the conflict on Roshar?) or were they political opponents - two sides of an argument. I think the latter is more likely as it leads directly into the fact that whatever the contention, Jezrian here admits wrong and the need to fix what was broken (is there any connection here to The Girl Who Looked Up?). Nale, it seems was always a little more aligned with actions that wouldn't upset or disrupt the singers and Jezrian, not. Little wonder the Fused killed Jezrian first if he was the start of it all.

---

That's what I've gleaned from these passages. I imagine by book 10 we'll have seen in more detail each of these events as they will supposedly dive more into the heralds. Please let me know if I missed a clue or got something wrong (or something right). I'd love for more people to add if I've missed any connections that'll let us tease out details of the early history of Roshar.

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14 minutes ago, Crylorenzo said:

Great snippit here showing how Nale used to be - a believer in laws, but with a focus on morality and protection of those weakest. Depending on who these scholars were, perhaps we can, have, or will see this system of rule somewhere?

We have, it's the Vorin system, Anyone of a certain Nahn or higher has the right of movement

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I'd forgotten that - thanks for reminding me! A shame it didn't become or last as a basic right.

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6 minutes ago, Crylorenzo said:



"Dalinar saw Nale stepping away from a discarded Blade rammed into the stone"



Nale cradling a child in one arm, his Blade out as dark forces crawled across a ridge nearby



Nale standing with a group of scholars and unrolling a large writ, filled with writing. "The law cannot be moral," Nale said to them. "But you can be moral as you create laws. Ever must you protect the weakest, those most likely to be taken advantage of. Institute a right of movement, so that a family who feels their lord is unrighteous can leave his area. Then tie a lord's authority to people who follow him."



Nale kneeling before a highspren



Nale fighting on a battlefield... Another fight... Another fight...



Nale clasping hands with a  bearded Alethi man, regal and wise. [Jezerezeh]...
"I will take this charge," Nale said softly. "With honor."
"Do not consider it an honor," Jezerezeh said. "A duty, yes, but not an honor."
"I understand, though I did not expect you would come to an enemy with this offer."

"An enemy, yes," Jezerezeh said. "But an enemy who was correct all along, making me a villain, not you. We will fix what we've broken. Ishar and I agreed. There is no person we would welcome more eagerly into this pact than you. You are the single most honorable man I have ever had the privilege of opposing."
"I wish that were true," Nale said. "But I will serve the best I can."

 

To me this appears to be something similar to what happened to Rand when he went to Rhuidean. It's my opinion that Dalinar is learning how to use his bond smith powers to control/handle connection and these moments where nearest easiest to Dalinar to connect to (for whatever reason) with the most recent at the top and the oldest at the bottom.

At the very least I think these 'visions of the past' serve as a reminder that the heralds are broken to a point and in such a way they go against the things that they stood for in the past. Almost purposefully contrary in my opinion. 

 

As far as info we can glean and speculate off of I think the only one that provides helpful not before known/assumed info is where Nale is talking to Jezrien. I'm not sure however, if there is enough new info to postulate a guess about things otherwise unknown.  

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On 9/15/2021 at 5:19 PM, Shinwarrior said:

To me this appears to be something similar to what happened to Rand when he went to Rhuidean. It's my opinion that Dalinar is learning how to use his bond smith powers to control/handle connection and these moments where nearest easiest to Dalinar to connect to (for whatever reason) with the most recent at the top and the oldest at the bottom.

At the very least I think these 'visions of the past' serve as a reminder that the heralds are broken to a point and in such a way they go against the things that they stood for in the past. Almost purposefully contrary in my opinion. 

 

As far as info we can glean and speculate off of I think the only one that provides helpful not before known/assumed info is where Nale is talking to Jezrien. I'm not sure however, if there is enough new info to postulate a guess about things otherwise unknown.  

What parallels can we make between what Jezrien did with the first oath pact and what Dalinar is doing now? Is there some sort of symmetry?

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47 minutes ago, Master Silver said:

What parallels can we make between what Jezrien did with the first oath pact and what Dalinar is doing now? Is there some sort of symmetry?

Considering we know next to nothing about the original oathpact, none.

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