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[OB] Characters' ages and Kalami


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So this is a question I had about a ridiciously small detail in chapter 12 of the book, which I originally wrote down just after those chapters had come out during the Oathbringer previews. This theory doesn't take anything past those chapters into account, but there was no new information in the rest of the book anyway.


In chapter 12 there was one detail that I found curious. That fact is that Kalami, Teleb’s widow, was described as ‘elderly’ (especially since she has dark hair, WoK, chapter 26). I always thought she, Teleb, and Dalinar were all roughly the same age, and Dalinar says in this chapter that middle age crept up on him, implying that's how old he considers himself. It was Inadara who was older: ‘She was a wizened matron, with grey hair..’ (WoR, chapter 51).
We finally got a rough age for Dalinar in chapter 3, so I figured I’d write down my reasoning, and people can tell me where I went wrong.

In the Way of Kings, we found out that Dalinar won Oathbringer when he ‘was 20 Weepings old’ (chapter 13). Since the second flashback was thirty-three years ago, we know that Dalinar is 53 years old (plus or minus half a year or so, but that doesn’t matter that much for this discussion).

This means that during our first flashback in this book (34 years ago), he was about 19, which fits with his thought that a 17 year old isn’t that much younger than him.
I’m also assuming here, based on our information from both flashback chapters (chapter 3 and 11), that Teleb is the archer from the first, unless Dalinar employs two oldblood archers who use black arrows.

In chapter 3, Teleb is in his twenties (as observed by Dalinar). So if we estimate him to be on the younger side of his twenties, he’s about 23, and 4 years older than Dalinar. If we go a bit older, he’s about 28, and 9 years older than Dalinar.

Now, on to Kalami. In our world, most men marry women their age or a few years younger (based on observation, not empirical data. Please tell me if I’m wrong). In Way of Kings, chapter 44 that Lirin states that Lighteyes marry younger women all the time. (Though on the other hand, we know that Shallan’s father wanted to marry Balat to a 50-year old woman (WoR, chapter 61), so the opposite isn’t unheard of.)

Either way, I’m going to say that Kalami is either roughly Teleb’s age, or a maximum of 5 years older. Assuming Teleb is also older, this would make her at most 14 years older than Dalinar (about 67, in which case he might be right about her being elderly). Assuming a more likely age gap between both Dalinar and Teleb, and Teleb and Kalami, this would make her about also four years older than Dalinar, and about 57. Of course, you could call this elderly, but considering Dalinar mentions in this chapter he’s only ‘middle aged’ that would seem surprising. :)

So now I’m wondering if I missed something, or if I’m being overly pedantic, or if Rosharans suddenly age rapidly after they turn 55. :)


Edited by Willow
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There's of course also the difference where Rosharan years are 1.1 times as long, so 57 would be like 63 years old in our terms, which I would argue would put her just over the edge compared to Dalinar, who would be 58 in our terms.

But yeah, it's probably got to do with viewpoint, or maybe Brandon just didn't properly think it out. He's had to adjust stuff in Dalinar's flashbacks because it didn't fit with character's ages, so he certainly hasn't planned it all out in advance.

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