Would Adolin or Dalinar have a heron-marked blade if they were in Randland?
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.
How would Adolin fare against the greats like Lan, Rand, Galad, and how would Kaladin and his spear fare against Mat?
It’s really hard to say this, because what are different characters’ skill levels and things? For instance, I generally count Lan as the strongest and the best. My [Wheel of Time] books that I wrote show that. I think Lan would beat Adolin. You just can’t replace the twenty years of intense practice that Lan has, and the wisdom, no matter how talented of a rookie you are -- even though Adolin is not a rookie. I think Lan could go toe-to-toe with anyone non-immortal in the cosmere, because a lot of the cosmere people have an advantage, right? Taln has spent 4,000 years practicing with weapons. Granted, he spent a bunch of that time being tortured as well, but you know. He has many lifetimes behind him, and has been able to be killed making mistakes and never make those mistakes again. That is a leg up on someone like Lan or like Adolin that is just of a supernatural level. And so, while I think Lan would beat any swordsman in a fair fight from the Cosmere, I would count anyone who has a greatly expanded lifespan as an unfair fight. Like, I don’t think Lan would be able to stand against the better duelists among the Heralds or even against Vasher. Vasher’s got multiple lifetimes of practicing with the sword.
How would Kaladin do against Mat? It depends, Mat’s luck is a very big wildcard, and how is the luck on Mat’s side and how is karma working in Mat’s favor or against him in that given moment? That’s part of what makes Mat fun. So Kaladin is a soldier, again, not a duelist. Kaladin is really good with a spear, but his training is in war, his training is to be a battlefield captain. What even is Mat? Mat has been trained by fate itself with weapons, which is just really hard to play. Let’s call that a tie, edge probably to Kaladin.
Lan beats Adolin or basically any duelist but you put him up against the Heralds and he has a much harder time.