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[OB] Will Dalinar's memories come back?


Elena

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Apologies if this has been brought up elsewhere, I haven't seen it :)

Anybody else here thinks that now that Dalinar is bonded to the Stormfather/married to Navani, some of his memories may start to come back?

This really doesn't have any factual basis in the text, except the fact that I personally believe the flashbacks we get would be somewhat cheapened if only the readers knew what happened and Dalinar were still missing large chuncks of his own story. His arc is not about memories in the same way Shallan is, but I think reconciling yourself with who you used to be (pre 'becoming broken') is an important step in the progression of any Radiants, if not for strictly Radiant-y reasons then because it makes for a more impactful climax to the flashback story. Even Kaladin had a moment where he flashed back to Tien's death before speaking the Second Ideal, and he'd remembered his brother's death all along. If Shshsh's death was such a pivotal moment in Dalinar's character development as it's looking like it could be, then it's important he remembers what happened so he can face the person he used to be.

There's also Navani: the woman Dalinar loves, a woman he's always loved. He doesn't even account for the years when he was married to another woman, someone whom by all account fit him very well and whom he also loved. It's like she'd never existed; this makes his feelings for Navani that much stronger, because as things stand she is the only woman Dalinar can remember loving, from the time he was in his late teens to his fifties. I'm not seeing they should go through a rough patch, but Dalinar remembering some things about his first wife would probably put his relationship with Navani into prospective and he'd need to get used to that. Also, whatever happened when Shshsh died is likely to influence his relationship with his sons as well, to an extent.

On the downside: I know it's kind of a hard sell that somehow the Stormfather would be able to 'counter' the influence of the Nighwatcher, since she is of Cultivation and probably just as powerful in her own way. If this were ever to happen, it would likely be a consequence of Dalinar being married again, to a woman he did not ask to forget, thus cancelling out the first boon/curse, whatever it was. Much like how some people thought that maybe the Nightwatcher's curse/boon would extend now to Navani as Dalinar's wife; what if instead it had been tied to both Shshsh's name and the fact that she was Dalinar's wife, and now that his wife is someone else it might start to lose power?? ...I know, unlikely. But cool!

tl;dr: If Dalinar started to remember some things about his first wife it would make the flashbacks more impactiful narrative-wise, and would also have a considerable effect on Dalinar's character development, since as things stand he seems quite at peace with the person he used to be - he was only upset about letting Gavilar die, until he finally got over it when he fought Szeth. He needs to deal with his past some more, and he can't exactly do that if he can barely remember any event involving his wife. Also this theory no textual foundations whatsoever, I just think it's cool :P

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The flashback chapters in both of the other books were for the benefit of the reader. There was no simultaneous rememberance of those events except for the last one in each, which happened mid chapter both times. Kaladin with Tien, Shallan when Pattern forced her to remember her mother. 

Dalinar's flashbacks have significance to us as readers in the story specifically because of the contrast between who he was in the past and who he is now. The majority of them I bet he even remembers. I don't think his memories of his wife are going to be recovered, unless we meet the Nightwatcher and for some reason she agrees to undo what was done. Her gifts are permanent. 

That said, a single memory at the end, that he thinks over or relives mid chapter is likely, as it will parallel the other books. We've learned via Syl in the chapters this week that spren seem to have some type of communal memory, so the Stormfather may even be able to show it to him as a vision, thereby bypassing him not having the memory himself. 

I don't think he's going to start regaining what the Nightwatcher took from him though. 

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54 minutes ago, 17th Splinter said:

Could it be possible now that Dalinar has the ability to invest, that the stormlight could heal his memories like Renarin's eyes?

I'm guessing that would run into the issue of perception.  I don't think that Dalinar sees himself currently as having "damaged memories", since it would appear that he sees himself as a man who has forgotten his wife.  Because it seems like he sees himself that way (and thus his cognitive self has the lost memories) I don't think stormlight would heal him.

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I feel like he will eventually remember something, but as @Andy92 has said, we just don't know enough about the old magic. Has there ever been a case when someone loses their boon or curse? If we see evidence of this ever come up, then I think it very possible for him to get his memory back.
Although, I can only really see Brandon doing this if it turns out that there is something about his wife that he needs to remember to progress the story or his character development.

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Obviously, we don't know very much about the Nightwatcher yet, but we do have an example of the Nightwatcher's magic interacting with Radiant powers in Lift. Even in her case, we don't know a whole lot, but we do know that she is able to turn food into Stormlight. Assuming that she began on the path to Radiancy after visiting the Nightwatcher, it may well be that something about what was granted her was modified by her becoming a Radiant. After all, it seems unlikely that the ability to turn food into Stormlight would be given to someone who can't do anything with Stormlight.

There are, of course, many caveats here. If the Nightwatcher is to Cultivation as the Stormfather is to Honor, it could be that the Nightwatcher just knew that Lift would become a Radiant. Also, I don't think we know for a fact that she visited the Nightwatcher before beginning to bond Wyndle. It is also possible that this was supposed to be her curse--that she would lose a lot of the nutrition she took in when she converted it to Investiture that she could do nothing with (a real curse for an orpahned street kid). The possibility does still remain that whatever she was granted by the Nightwatcher interacted with her Radiant powers--just as all powers interact with each other in the Cosmere--to give her this ability.

If it is the case that gaining Radiant powers can affect a Nightwatcher boon/curse, then I think it possible, if not probable, that Dalinar will regain some memory of his wife, even if he doesn't get it all back.

As an aside, it wouldn't surprise me if Dalinar asked to become a better person, and wiping his memories of his wife, along the trauma surrounding her death and/or other events, is how the Nightwatcher achieved that. 

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14 minutes ago, DSC01 said:

If it is the case that gaining Radiant powers can affect a Nightwatcher boon/curse, then I think it possible, if not probable, that Dalinar will regain some memory of his wife, even if he doesn't get it all back.

So...Nightwatcher injured him by removing the memories, the stormlight is healing the wounds a little but...

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37 minutes ago, DSC01 said:

Also, I don't think we know for a fact that she visited the Nightwatcher before beginning to bond Wyndle.

Wyndel comments that the circle choice her because "she has our mother's favor" or something like that. 

She was chosen by the Cultivation spren because of her gifts. 

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2 hours ago, ElephantEarwax said:

So...Nightwatcher injured him by removing the memories, the stormlight is healing the wounds a little but...

That is dependent on two factors, though:

1) Does what the Nightwatcher did to Dalinar's memory qualify as an injury?

and...

2) Knowing that Stormlight Healing is dependent on one's Cognitive self-image, how would Dalinar come to view himself as someone with those memories?

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We know based on a WoB that what happened to Lift was out of the ordinary.

So the character Lift, with her powers, why does she only have to eat food instead of sucking in stormlight?

BRANDON SANDERSON

So Lift is a really weird one. She visited the Old Magic and asked something very strange, and the Old Magic didn’t know how to treat that, and so answered with something equally strange. So you will actually see what happened with Lift and things like that, but suffice it to say some really weird things are going on.

As was stated we don't know enough about how the old magic works to determine what would happen if in fact the powers mixed. 

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25 minutes ago, DSC01 said:

That is dependent on two factors, though:

1) Does what the Nightwatcher did to Dalinar's memory qualify as an injury?

and...

2) Knowing that Stormlight Healing is dependent on one's Cognitive self-image, how would Dalinar come to view himself as someone with those memories?

3) does what the Nightwatcher does alter the soul enough that it is incorporated into the healing template. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

So if his memories are coming back, is that because of his growing powers as a Bondsmith or something else?

Shallan couldn't grow without accessing memories she had blocked out and there's some speculation that the Bondsmiths did something to remove the minds of the Parshmen. Do his powers cancel out what the Nightwatcher did?

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3 minutes ago, kmosiman said:

So if his memories are coming back, is that because of his growing powers as a Bondsmith or something else?

I saw it speculated in the reaction thread that it might be that the Stormlight is healing him. From a close reading it does seem that Dalinar is still holding Stormlight from his "demonstration." Maybe, since he believes that he should have memories of his wife, the Stormlight his removing whatever block the Nightwatcher put in place, or is even repairing physical brain damage. 

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3 hours ago, Steeldancer said:

Oh wait. Those are evil...

In the purelake, fish supposedly giving the ability to predict the time of visits by relatives are considered lucky. @Elena is just not Vorin.

1 hour ago, kmosiman said:

So if his memories are coming back, is that because of his growing powers as a Bondsmith or something else?

This is the great question. I would bet it has to do with Dalinar dismissing the Thrill entirely and seeing it as something bad. Other options are Stormlight healing or, perhaps, fiddling around with the Honorblade.

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12 minutes ago, maxal said:

While I think it is interesting Dalinar now remembers, I felt his lack of memories could have been better exploit to yield more drama into the story. I was somewhat disappointed it unraveled as it did.

I hope there will be drama about Dalinar's memories, and maybe thisnisbthe catalyst. Maybe Navani will bring it up at the next family/Radiant meeting, and Renarin and Adolin will figure out that he forgot about their mother completely and didn't tell them for years.

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5 minutes ago, Elena said:

I hope there will be drama about Dalinar's memories, and maybe thisnisbthe catalyst. Maybe Navani will bring it up at the next family/Radiant meeting, and Renarin and Adolin will figure out that he forgot about their mother completely and didn't tell them for years.

I find the fact Dalinar remembers her before the boys find out the truth diminishes the impact of the reveal.

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