Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Dalinar's Fate After “Wind and Truth"

With Brandon Sanderson finishing Wind and Truth with 491k words (Largest novel yet in the series) I thought this would be appropriate to make predictions on one of my top favorite characters in Stormlight Archive. Dalinar Kholin, the Blackthorn, has undergone one of the most profound transformations in the Stormlight Archive series. From a warlord with a thirst for blood to a repentant leader seeking unity and peace, Dalinar’s journey is both central and pivotal to the overarching narrative of Roshar. As we anticipate the aftermath of Wind and Truth, several potential paths for Dalinar can be envisioned, each influenced by his past, his Oaths, and the looming challenges of Odium.

Potential Outcomes for Dalinar

Artist: Conj

1. Ascension to a Higher Role:

Dalinar’s trajectory towards divinity or a higher state of existence seems plausible. As a Bondsmith, his powers and connection to the Stormfather suggest he may transcend mortal limitations. Dalinar’s struggle with his dual nature—both a builder and a destroyer—could culminate in him embodying the ideals of Honor. This transformation might lead him to take on a role similar to Sazed (and Taravangian), becoming a spiritual guide or even assuming a divine mantle to safeguard Roshar from future threats.

Artist: Pines

Artist: Pines

2. A Sacrificial Demise:

Given Dalinar’s deep sense of responsibility and guilt, a sacrificial end is a likely possibility. Dalinar might offer his life in exchange for peace or to protect those he loves, fulfilling his oaths to unite and protect. His death could serve as the future despair for Roshar, causing the separation of the delicate united that is being made.

3. Continued Leadership and Reformation:

If Dalinar survive the climactic events of Wind and Truth, his role as a leader will likely evolve. He may focus on rebuilding Alethkar and the wider Rosharan society, fostering unity among the disparate peoples and cultures. Dalinar’s vision for a united world could become a reality, with him leading efforts to bridge gaps between humans and the listeners, and even among different human nations. His experiences and wisdom would be crucial in shaping a new era of cooperation and understanding.

Artist: Unknown

4. A Hermit’s Path:

After the intense conflicts and personal losses, Dalinar might choose a path of solitude, seeking atonement and inner peace. This journey could see him stepping away from the political and military spheres, perhaps taking on a role similar to a wandering sage or a monk. His wisdom and insights would still influence the world, but from a distance, allowing him to focus on personal growth and spiritual fulfillment.

Influences on Dalinar’s Future

His Bond with the Stormfather:

The nature of Dalinar’s bond with the Stormfather is unique and potent. Any changes in this bond, whether through new oaths or mystical revelations, will significantly impact his fate. The Stormfather’s perspective and guidance will continue to shape Dalinar’s decisions and actions.

Relationships and Personal Connections:

Dalinar’s relationships with characters like Navani, Kaladin, and his children will play crucial roles in his decisions. These bonds may either anchor him to his mortal life or propel him towards greater responsibilities and sacrifices.

Artist: Rich Clark

The Battle with Odium:

The outcome of the struggle against Odium and his influence over Roshar will be a defining factor. Whether Dalinar emerges victorious, defeated, or transformed by this conflict will set the stage for his future path.

Conclusion

Dalinar Kholin’s journey is hopefully far from over. Whether he ascends to a higher plane, sacrifices himself for the greater good, continues to lead and reform Roshar, or retreats into a life of contemplation, his actions and legacy will profoundly influence the future of Roshar. Dalinar’s fate will be both impactful and resonant, leaving a lasting imprint on the world he has fought so hard to protect and unite. He is my all time favorite character in Stormlight Archive and I cannot wait to read what happens to him in this novel. Who is your favorite character? and Why is it not Moash?

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