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Skyward release party ()
#1 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

In the Prologue to Way of Kings, when Szeth kills Gavilar, Gavilar says, "Tell Thaidakar he's too late." What's Thaidakar too late for.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

*Evil laugh* RAFO. You'll find out. It's coming, not too far away.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#4 Copy

LongclawDescended

If Gavilar was still alive, would he most likely have aligned himself to or taken actions most similar to Dalinar, Amaram or Taravangian? In other words, which of the three is best acting out his will?

Brandon Sanderson

I can say he would align with one of them most certainly, but I want to RAFO this for now. (Though I might have made it clear elsewhere and not be remembering.)

General Reddit 2017 ()
#5 Copy

Shagomir

Here's the best I can do at what each of the dahns includes, without spoilers. Stuff in italics is unconfirmed but is reasonable to guess based on the information we have from the books and Brandon.

  • 1st Dahn: The King and the King's direct heir.
  • 2nd Dahn: Highprinces, their direct heirs, and the King's direct heir*.
  • 3rd Dahn: Generals?, Highlords, and the non-inheriting children of 1st and 2nd dahn lighteyes.
  • 4th Dahn: Battalionlords, Citylords, Shardbearers, and other mid-ranked nobles.
  • 5th Dahn: Companylords?, along with lower-ranked nobles.
  • 6th Dahn: Captainlords, along with the lowest-ranked nobles and landholders?
  • 7th Dahn: Lower-ranking landless officers, along with higher-ranking (or very wealthy) landless lighteyes?
  • 8th Dahn: Soldiers, along with high-ranking (or moderately wealthy) landless lighteyes?
  • 9th Dahn: Landless lighteyes with some wealth, like merchants and master craftsmen.
  • 10th Dahn: "Tenners", essentially any lighteyes who has to work for a living.

Brandon Sanderson

I'm very impressed by this list. You did a great job. Note that only the king is first Dahn under the Alethi system, however. His heir is second, until crowned. Sixth Dahn, as you've identified, is the "landed" cutoff--if you have land, even a little, you're at least Sixth Dahn.

If you were of a specific dahn (say, seventh) but were elevated by something unusual (say, you got appointed to an appointment that would raise you above this) your children will often be elevated to a rank just beneath you. So, for instance, if a tenner got a shard, he'd immediately be elevated to fourth, and his family would likely be elevated to fifth.

The only thing I'd offer a warning on is that sometimes, people shortcut "Captainlord" to just "Captain" which drives Peter crazy, and so it can be hard to pick out rank from title.

Oudeis16

That's interesting... so, is the dahn system new since Alethkar was unified? Or was it modified once they got a king? Or was it always this way, and there just used to not be someone at the 1st Dahn?

Brandon Sanderson

Kings existed in other places, and had existed in Alethkar before. (Dahn is a Vorin cultural ideal, not just Alethi.) So the system is not new, but for many years, the Alethi refused to accept a king. (Following the division of the kingdom among the Sunmaker's sons.)

Oudeis16

Oooooooh... fascinating. So, this implies that before Gavilar unified Alethkar, King Taravangian and the King of Jah Keved would both have been First Dahn, while the highest-ranked ten people in Alethkar were only Second Dahn. Interesting. In the interests of adding a few more names to the list of "known people of the First Dahn" on the Coppermind, would you be willing to confirm if King Taravangian (let's say at the start of the Way of Kings to avoid spoilers) was First Dahn?

Brandon Sanderson

Traditionally, the monarchs of city-states (like Kharbranth, Bavland, and at some points Silnasen) do not claim the first dahn. There have been leaders of New Natanan who have, same with Herdaz. Depends on how much they want to aggravate the Alethi.

Unification era, there'd be two people of the first dahn: The queen of Thaylenah and the king of Jah Keved. Non-vorin monarchs in the west would be treated like first dahn, sometimes, depending on the situation.

Oudeis16

Did we know that Thaylenah is currently ruled by a Queen, or is this a small tidbit you have just given us?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it or not, honestly. Queen Fen. You'll get to meet her soon. Note that Thaylenah is kind of a plutocracy, with merchant councils holding a lot of power, which changes its dynamic a little when compared to Alethi or Jah Keved.

Shagomir

I see you may have sneakily included an explanation for the 4th/5th dahn thing I noticed in a certain father-daughter duo. I promise not to read too much into it....

Brandon Sanderson

Note that getting a Shardblade isn't the only reason someone could be elevated, and isn't the only reason why children might not be the same dahn as their parent. Most of it has to do with titles, and who inherits, and that sort of thing. The answer is probably more boring than you're hoping.

xland44

Not sure if this is entering RAFO territory, but are highprince candidates (that is, people who can be elevated to highprince status if the post is empty) only people from the 3rd dahn? Or can a 4th dahn also be elevated to highprince, for example?

Brandon Sanderson

Highprince is a tricky one, as the definition of "highprince" is a person who can convince others to call him by the title. I guess that's the same for all of them, but as highprinces tend to be near the top of the pecking order, it's more about military than anything else.

Gavilar was 4th dahn before becoming highprince, for example. His branch of the Kholin family wasn't considered a prime contender for the highprince throne--until he took it for himself.

Enasor

His branch of the Kholin family? Does this imply there are other branches of the Kholin family? Meaning, there are other Kholins elsewhere?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, not as many as there once were...

uchoo786

So if I'm understanding this correctly, before Gavilar's branch of the Kholin family started their conquest of Alethkar they conquered Kholinar?

Brandon Sanderson

Yup. (There's some minor mention of this in Book Three, I believe.)

A Memory of Light Seattle Signing ()
#6 Copy

Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

So, according to King Taravangian, the... erm... I don't actually know the name for it, the uh, death-babbling phenomenon...

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Death rattles.

Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

OK, death rattles have been going on since about the time the Parshendi were first discovered. Soon after this, King Gavilar was killed, and he said something that sounds kind of nonsensical. Was that him talking, or someone else?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

No, that was Gavilar.

Leipzig Book Fair ()
#7 Copy

Questioner

The visions Dalinar gets in WoK always struck me as odd - you don't just look at the past, you are able to act within this experience. Now we know that Gavilar was also on the way to being a Bondsmith - was he acting in a different way? Were the visions only basically the same but different in the end depending on the personal reactions? Is this something like a test?

Brandon Sanderson

He did see the same visions. They were the same thing. But... I will say that his reaction to them were very different from Dalinar's reactions to them. Anyway it was difficult for the Stormfather without a bond to determine/to tell the difference between very easily. When Spren are bonded, they gain a lot more ability to understand the world around then, so you'll find out soon more stuff about this in the third book.

Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
#8 Copy

Questioner

When Hoid is talking to Dalinar he seems to expect that Dalinar may have heard of Adonalsium.

Brandon Sanderson

Adonalsium.  Yes.

Questioner

Why is that?  Why would he think that Dalinar would have knowledge about that?

Brandon Sanderson

He thought that Dalinar was part of some of the secret societies on Roshar, and he had thought his way into thinking Dalinar was part of them and that was how Dalinar was knowing certain things he was knowing.  Which he really wasn't, he was getting from the storms and things like this, but he thought that Gavilar had confided things in Dalinar and that Dalinar would know more about this.  And so he was kind of testing to see, and he was wrong.  

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#9 Copy

Questioner

I want to know if Taravangian, the Ghostbloods, Amaram, is there any kind of like connecting... are they working together or anything like that?

Brandon Sanderson

Taravangian, so the Diagram, the Ghostbloods, is that the two you mentioned? Amaram is Sons of Honor; Amaram and Gavilar are Sons of Honor. These are three different groups who are aware of what is happening and have different philosophies on how to deal with what is coming. They have opposed views, for example, the Sons of Honor are trying to bring back Voidbringers because they believe it will return the heralds as well. Where as the diagram has his plan... y'know, I wont give them away. Some of the are hinted at, you can read. He talks about it, but you can see what he's doing. The Ghostbloods, they have not talked about their motives very much. They have different motives. The Sons of Honor are the easiest to figure out and they are also the most wrong, right. If you read what Taravangian says you can probably see what the Diagram is trying to do.

Skyward release party ()
#10 Copy

JoyBlu [PENDING REVIEW]

Szeth, when he writes when Gavilar dies, what language was that written in?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That was written in Alethi.

JoyBlu [PENDING REVIEW]

Where did Szeth learn Alethi?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

He has been living among them for a long time, and Alethi was also part of his training.

Legion Release Party ()
#12 Copy

Wyndlerunner [PENDING REVIEW]

Queen Aesudan, when we see her in Kholinar, seems to have some knowledge of Gavilar's doings and his plans. And given Gavilar's propensity for trying to marry his children to members of secret societies, as seen with Jasnah and Amaram, was Queen Aesudan a member or affiliate of the Sons of Honor?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

RAFO!