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Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#51 Copy

Questioner

If Kaladin and Dalinar were Magic cards, what color do you think they’d be?

Brandon Sanderson

Dalinar now is mono-White. He was mono-Red in his youth, inching toward Black-Red, but I would just call him mono-Red in his youth. Kaladin I would probably call Blue-White in Magic terms because they like things that fly and that have to do with the wind. So he would get the elemental Blue and personality White. Maybe a tinge of Red, but probably-- I would make a Blue-White Kaladin.

Skype Q&A ()
#59 Copy

Lerasium Mistborn

Will we know why Dalinar has a "warm feeling" sometimes? More specifically, in Oathbringer Hoid calls (covertly) Adonalsium's Power a "God's Light". Is it the same Light Dalinar senses?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO

Idaho Falls signing ()
#60 Copy

Questioner

Dalinar Ascends, right? Like, right then, there.

Brandon Sanderson

I have RAFO'd that. Whether he is Ascending or not is a RAFO.

Questioner

Okay, because I know he kind of mentions from that, I don't know how to say his name but the older guy who has the Diagram--

Brandon Sanderson

Taravangian, yeah. Whether that deserves to be a capital "A" or not is a matter of argument. It can be disputed.

Questioner

I guess my main question would just be Dalinar's now able to pull Stormlight and give it to people now.

Brandon Sanderson

He definitely can. That is a Bondsmith power, so.

Questioner

That is a Bondsmith power, okay.

Brandon Sanderson

That is specifically a Bondsmith power.

Questioner

Because my roommate was saying well, the Stormfather was surprised he could do that or was the Stormfather surprised that he was able to bridge--

Brandon Sanderson

He was surprised by what was happening to Dalinar as a whole.

Questioner

Oh okay, that's what I thought because I was like, because I felt like the Stormlight, that power would be a Bondsmith power.

Brandon Sanderson

Let's say that the Stormfather and Odium were seeing something in Dalinar that, perhaps, the average person watching even who is knowledgeable about Surges would not completely understand... But he will be able to use that power and Bondsmiths in the past have used that same power.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#61 Copy

Thadamin

Will we be finding out what dalinars Wife's name was or has her name been similarly wiped from the flashbacks like Dalinar's mind?

Brandon Sanderson

I feel I should RAFO questions about the flashbacks, except to say that I wouldn't jump into them without understanding what readers want to see--and either fulfilling that, or subverting it in the name of the story. (The latter happening very rarely.)

General Reddit 2020 ()
#62 Copy

CephandriusTW

We know for previous WoBs that Truthwatchers are worried about knowledge and helping people with it (wob#8500). In the test you recently released, the new info about them says that they are worried about the use of the knowledge and the leaders trying to deceive the people they lead. So, I think they have some things in common with Windrunners and Edgedancers, because the three Orders are more worried about the common people than about the elite. Protecting those who can not protect themselves, remembering those who had been forgotten; both of this Second Ideals refers to the common people, that people that the leaders don't really care about.

Considering all of this, and following the example of the Second Ideal of Windrunners and Edgedancers, which are the most worried about the common people with no epic powers, I wrote a theoric PURE (without corrupted sprens like Glysn) Second Ideal for Truthwatchers:

"I will seek truth, to prevent others from being deceived."

I know you are RAFO'ing this, but I would only like to know if my approach of the Truthwatchers Order is correct.

Brandon Sanderson

[That] is, I'm afraid, a RAFO as I don't want to talk too much about the oaths of given orders until I write books about those orders, as it would constrain the story a little too much. Your theorizing is sound, however.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
#63 Copy

Questioner

Who is your favorite character you've written, if you had to pick one?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a hard question, I can't pick a favorite character. Dalinar is what I normally say, just because I've been working on him the longest. Honestly, I don't know. It's whoever I'm working on at the time.

Questioner

Dalinar is a good character, I like Kaladin a lot too.

Brandon Sanderson

Kaladin has really worked out well. It's interesting because Kaladin-- the first time I wrote The Way of Kings, in 2002-- did not work and I had to rip him out and try a completely different personality and things for him. So it's cool to see it finally working.

Skype Q&A ()
#64 Copy

Lerasium Mistborn

Dalinar had two non-Stormfather visions. First at the end of Words of Radiance, and second with Nohadon in Oathbringer. I'm curious if these two are related or they come from different sources?

Brandon Sanderson

So, by even answering that, this is one of those questions I tend to RAFO because by answering it I'm implying that your postulations are correct, which I am not even willing to do. It's more of a RAFO in that... let's just say I'm not even willing to confirm the postulations.

Orem Signing ()
#67 Copy

JoyBlu's Friend

Many of my questions have to do with the Dalinar-Adolin relationship because I love families and I find this particular relationship very strained. I wish to know stuff like what Dalinar really feels for Adolin, as I find he treats him more like a tool than a son. Or whether or not we've seen the end of the Adolin murdered Sadeas narrative arc, as no character really had the time to react to it yet.

Brandon Sanderson

You have not seen the end of that arc. Dalinar loves his son but has trouble treating anyone as anything other than tools.

JoyBlu's Friend

What are Brandon's thoughts on the relationship? I'd also die to hear Brandon speak about what to expect for Adolin within book 4 in terms of length, scope—

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO! RAFO!

JoyBlu's Friend

—as I just wished to give Brandon comment on the fact that some readers were disappointed with the outcome of this narrative arc.

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO, RAFO.

General Reddit 2020 ()
#68 Copy

delvin

Is it a coincidence that Dalinar was touched by all three Rosharian Shards? Does it have any significance for the plot or is this something I should not ponder about? I think there is something big in store for Dalinar.

Brandon Sanderson

It is significant that Dalinar was touched by all three shards.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#69 Copy

DammyJerry

Does Dalinar know about Adonalsium? Stormfather dropped the term during one of their talks, so did he tell Dalinar the whole story of Shattering and Shards? Also, does he understand what exactly he did when summoned perpendicularity or not? Does he understand what’s going on with him now (that he’s connected with Honor’s remnants)? Does he even know what “Shard” means?

I guess, the question is “How cosmere-aware Dalinar is?”

Brandon Sanderson

As of Oathbringer, Dalinar isn't specifically aware of the larger cosmere story--though he would have numerous "Aha" moments if it were explained to him, as pieces of what he does know would fall into place. The Stormfather isn't particularly interested in the larger story, however, and that's one reason.

Jasnah is a different story...

General Reddit 2019 ()
#71 Copy

allofthe11

Is Dalinar based off of Genghis Khan to any extent, and if so did you blend him with other historical figures?

Brandon Sanderson

One inspiration for the Alethi is the Yuan Dynasty, which has Mongolian roots. Because of that, I've included little hints here and there connecting the peoples. I'd imagine Dalinar more as a Subutai than a Genghis, but the episode where he recruits a guy who shot him with an arrow is based off of a piece of folklore that surrounds Genghis, so it's not off base to note the connections there.

Shadows of Self London UK signing ()
#72 Copy

Questioner

It must be very difficult to write Dalinar, since it's--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah he's a very different person, it's kind of brutal to write him now. But it works, it's a good counterpoint.

Questioner

*inaudible* Shallan and Kal are both younger, so you have less to write about than Dalinar?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh yeah the flashbacks cross about 20, 30 years with Dalinar so it is a challenge. But you get to see a lot of sweeping changes in his personality which is really fun.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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Stromeng

In Oathbringer Cultivation calls Dalinar Son of Honor and Son of Odium. Why? Does he Connected to both Shards and technically can be a Vessel for Odium.

Also, why Cultivation says it'd be good for her to have a part of Dalinar inside of her? Is it important?

Brandon Sanderson

This is partially RAFO territory, but let's just say that Cultivation takes the long view on someone--and to her, Dalinar represents both the the best and worst of both Honor and Odium.

Oathbringer Portland signing ()
#78 Copy

Questioner

Are there historical figures that were inspirations for Elhokar?

Brandon Sanderson

Dalinar is based very slightly on Subutai, the great Mongol general. Elhokar, no one specific. I thought of him when I was a kid, when I was, like, fourteen, I wanted to do a story about a weak king and his uncle who's a really strong figure, and that interplay, and that's where he came from.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#79 Copy

Questioner

Would Dalinar make it so they couldn't retreat to make it more a challenge or would he just--

Brandon Sanderson

He will follow good tactics when it's time for good tactics. He won't lose a battle because he wants a better challenge. In an individual sense he will seek the best challenge for himself on the battlefield.

Tor.com The Way of Kings Re-Read Interview ()
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thanners

Dalinar can't hear his wife's name (or at least it seems to be magically censored to him, anyway), nor can he recall anything about her. But what happens if another woman with the same name is mentioned. Can he not hear her name? Or will he instead be unable to retain the fact that that name is the same as his wife's name?

Brandon Sanderson

It would be more the second.

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
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Arcanist

According to [Sanderson's Second Law of Magic] your characters have flaws, weaknesses. What is the reason, that in a lot of them (Vin, Elend, Kaladin, Dalinar, Spook, etc) the most significant weakness is the lack of self-confidence?

Brandon Sanderson

It's because of mode-shifting. The people you noted have been doing one thing for a long time, and are now forced into something else. The self confidence is a side effect of that. However, I wouldn't say it's the primary character attribute for any of them, however. I think you're blanketing self confidence as a larger issue, when it's the smaller part of something larger for each character.

Vin: Trusting Others

Elend: Idealism

Dalinar: Conflict between the killer he was and the man he wishes to be.

Spook: Self Worth

BookCon 2018 ()
#88 Copy

Questioner

This book seemed a little sadder, I thought Kaladin would reach the next level.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, he's still got some things to work out. 

Questioner

I was surprised that Elhokar getting killed *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

At least, in this draft, it wasn't Dalinar that that killed him like in the original version... That didn't work.

Skyward Denver signing ()
#89 Copy

Questioner

We're doing a piece of art for a friend that's a crossover between The Stormlight Archive and Harry Potter. How would you sort Dalinar, Kaladin, Jasnah, and Shallan...

Brandon Sanderson

Jasnah's a Slytherin. Hands down, very easy.

Dalinar's would depend on which Dalinar you're talking about. Dalinar is probably going to be Gryffindor either way, would be my guess.

Shallan's a Ravenclaw, straight up.

Kaladin's tough. You could Hufflepuff Kaladin. You could totally Hufflepuff Kaladin. I think that works.

You got one of each in that case.

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
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Arcanist

As Dalinar gave his Shardblade to Highprince Sadeas, was his motivation only to free the Brigdemen as "Thank you" for the help? Or did he already plan to build a team from soldiers who are loyal only to him?

Brandon Sanderson

He certainly saw the side benefits. However, his primary motive was to make a statement. Not just as a thank you, but as a way of proclaiming to all of the Alethi "What we have been doing is wrong. This wealth is not worth the lives of men."

Oathbringer release party ()
#91 Copy

Questioner

What was your opinion of the Blackthorn?

Brandon Sanderson

What about it? What do you mean?

Questioner

Like, in general, people call him a monster, when I ask, ask around. I think he's a badass.

Brandon Sanderson

He totally was a badass. He was also not morally centered.

Skyward San Francisco signing ()
#93 Copy

Questioner

What inspired you to write Dalinar's amnesia and all that? What was your inspiration for that?

Brandon Sanderson

That, all of that, was really just partially narrative necessity. I didn't want to dig into that until I got to the right book, and so I needed the meddling to have pulled a little bit of that back. Plus, the fact that he was an alcoholic let me get away with a little bit of what was going on there. I really liked the intriguing element of someone who had had a piece of their memories ripped away and then was being given it back at the right time, right? That deliberateness of it was really interesting to me. I thought it made for an interesting story hook, when you meet a character and then realize he's had part of his memory excised. It's a bunch of things moving together.

YouTube Livestream 16 ()
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Chad

Would Adolin or Dalinar have a heron-marked blade if they were in Randland?

Brandon Sanderson

Adolin would, Dalinar would not. Dalinar is not a duelist, Dalinar is a destroyer. Dalinar is someone you let loose on a battlefield and couldn’t -- he does not care if he has a heron-marked blade, if he’s considered a swordmaster. He will use any weapon he can get his hands on, and is proficient in a lot of them. What he is most proficient at is striking terror into your heart and laying waste (this is young Dalinar) to everything in his path. Dalinar is a general and a warlord, not a swordsman. 

Footnote: “Randland” refers to the Wheel of Time universe in this context, where swordmasters are given marked with a heron.
YouTube Livestream 9 ()
#97 Copy

Questioner

Who would win: Dalinar with his Shards, or Szeth in Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

Young Dalinar with his Shards, Dalinar in his prime versus Szeth? I think, long run, Szeth wins. The reason for this being, Stormlight is just an unfair advantage. You take away the Honorblade from Szeth and Dalinar does win. Szeth is good. But Szeth doesn't have experience with Plate nearly as much. He has been trained almost exclusively on Honorblades and Surges. His fighting styles are all built around them. He is an expert at using Surges, but if he doesn't have those, he's got nothing. Dalinar is good at a lot of different fighting styles, has been in war a ton, and even if he didn't have Plate and you put the two of them without powers against each other, Dalinar's probably going to win. But if Szeth has an Honorblade... being able to heal and being able to fly, these are two almost insurmountable advantages in a one-on-one combat.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#99 Copy

dvoraen

When Dalinar teleports away from Vedenar back to Urithiru, the Thrill immediately comes to him even though he just went a very large distance away. Was this due to Odium talking to him directly at that point, or did Odium move Nergaoul there to maintain the effect of the Thrill, or was Dalinar already Connected to/consumed by Nergaoul and the distance effectively didn't matter because Spiritual Realm Things(tm)?

Brandon Sanderson

Dalinar's feelings are not always the Thrill. A part of him legitimately feels these emotions--and there are other things happening as well. (Either way, Odium did not move Negaoul in that scene.)