The Heralds are servants of the Almighty worshiped in Vorinism. They were once considered deities by the people during the Heraldic Epochs, and are still revered in Vorin Kingdoms. Bound by the Oathpact, they would come from Damnation to fight the Desolations and then return for millennia of torture until the next Desolation. They founded the orders of the Knights Radiant to protect mankind against the Voidbringers.
Most of the Heralds were born on Ashyn prior to humanity's migration to Roshar. The possible exception to this is Shalash, who might've been born after the move. In later legend and lore, Ashyn became known as the Tranquiline Halls, both their home and their heaven, from whence they'd supposedly been driven by the Voidbringers.
There are ten Heralds; five male and five female. Each represents an Ideal and is associated with one of the ten essences, numbers, gemstones, body focuses, Soulcasting properties, primary and secondary divine attributes, and orders of Knights Radiant.
Investiture extends the lives of the Heralds. Though they've died many times, they are now what are known as Cognitive Shadows. They are not Shards, like Honor. In local religions, they're more like saints than gods.
|“||"The Heralds were sent to teach mankind," Lirin said. "They led us against the Voidbringers after we were cast from heaven. The Radiants were the orders of knights they founded."||”|
Eventually, following a victory in yet another Desolation and weighed down by the prospect of millennia of torture, nine Heralds chose to abandon their self-appointed burden, hoping that Talenel'Elin might be enough to uphold the Oathpact. They told the people that mankind had finally won; thus, the event was known for the past 4,500 years as the Last Desolation, or Aharietiam in Vorinism.
It is not known what became of all nine Heralds who abandoned the Oathpact. However, Jezrien is first seen in the Prelude to The Way of Kings. Then, he is seen in the Prologue to The Way of Kings.
Taln first appears in Words of Radiance as a madman; he had been brought into Dalinar's warcamp. Much later, in an attempt to remove Taln from the temple complex, Amaram is attacked by Iyatil with her blow darts and Taln intercepts them. He stands tall, then enters Amaram's coach.
Names & AttributesEdit
|#||Number||Herald||Primary/Sec Divine Attribute||Image|
|2||Nan||Nalan (Nale)||Just||Confident||Hooded man|
|3||Chach||Chanarach (Chana)||Brave||Obedient||Woman with something akin to a helmet|
|5||Palah||Paliah (Pali)||Learned||Giving||Woman with hair going all directions|
|6||Shash||Shalash (Ash)||Creative||Honest||Woman with large jewel on forehead|
|7||Betab||Battar||Wise||Careful||Woman with band around head, over hair|
|8||Kak||Kalak (Kelek)||Resolute||Builder||Man with uncovered hair, long bangs|
|9||Tanat||Talenel (Taln)||Dependable||Resourceful||Helmed man|
|10||Ishi||Ishar||Pious||Guiding||Old man with long beard|
|“|| "I'm worried about Ash."
"You're worried about everything."
"She's getting worse," the voice continued. "We weren't supposed to get worse. Am I getting worse? I think I feel worse."
"I don't like this. What we've done is wrong. That creature carries /my lord's/ own Blade. We shouldn't have let him keep it. He - "
The two passed through the intersection ahead of Jasnah. They were ambassadors from the West, including the Azish man with the white birthmark on his cheek. ...
The Azish man, the one dressed in black and silver, stopped and looked her up and down.
There is an extensive article at tor.com on what readers know of the Heralds thus far here.
Following is a list of things which could be reasons why certain Heraldic images get chosen. Further, at Tor, re-reads of TWoK, WoR and Ob contain dedicated "Heraldic Symbolism" subsections for each chapter which detail such things. Within, the re-readers speculate as to why specific Herald(s) were chosen.
- Herald themselves (mentioned, talked about, or actually has an appearance).
- Some object associated with a Herald (example: a specific Herald's Honorblade.
- Member of order (ex: Kaladin=Windrunners=Jezrien), Characters portraying divine attribute behavior (example: Loving and Healing).
- Characters portraying the inverse of divine attribute behavior (example: Hating and Destroying).
- Herald of <concept> - things associated with that concept. Known examples: 1) Shalash: Herald of Beauty 2) Nalan: Herald of Justice 3) Jezrien: Herald of Kings 4) Taln: Herald of War 5) Ishar: Herald of Luck.
- Roles associated with a Herald. Known Examples: 1) Chana: Guards 2) Taln: Soldiers/war 3) Ishar: Ardents/religion 4) Vedel: Physicians.
- Essences: Essence, body focus, soulcasting properties ... (this one is a stretch as I never really could pinpoint this well enough).
- Jester/Masked face: This can be tied to chapters with Wit in them or tied to concepts related to him, the biggest one (I think) being storytelling.
Note: The "Four Lifetimes" chapter's Heraldic symbolism in Oathbringer, shows the different roles/lives Kaladin has filled: Surgeon (Vedel), Soldier (Taln), Guard (Chana), and Leader/Windrunner (Jezrien).
|“|| "There's only one thing you're missing, which you may have implied, and that's the gemstones. Also, there's a little bit more to #5 that will be explored further later in the series."
"Your "Four Lifetimes" analysis is spot-on. Congratulations."
So, every Herald has some madness related to his or her divine attributes.
Nale, Herald of Justice, is following the law by the letter. Not the spirit, but what is written down.
Ash, Herald of Beauty, who should be Creative, is destroying artwork depicting her.
Kalak, whose order is the adventurous Willshapers is rather paranoid now.
Q. Did Ishar deceive Nalan on purpose or was he just wrong - he had wrong information?
A. All the Heralds are insane.
... It manifests in different ways. Do not trust anything any Herald says. Ever.
... Nale trusts Ishar too much.
Q. Okay, but so did he do it on purpose, or ... ?
A. Um ... So "on purpose" is a difficult thing when you're referring to someone with the psychology that Ishar has.
Q. Did he know what it was - that it was a lie?
A. ... I'll RAFO that until I get to him, but the answer is kind of a yes and a no. So, there is part of him that knows and there is part of him that doesn't want to believe it. And yet the things he's been doing lately in Roshar are done because he knows what's coming.
Q. Now that we have canon art of Ishar, Shalash, Jezrien, and Vedel, what Rosharan nationalities would you say they resemble the most?
Q. Wait, but if Ishar looks like he’s from Shinovar, how did the Tukari accept him as the God-Priest?
A. That's a RAFO - but is a question you're supposed to be asking.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Words of Radiance, 42. Mere Vapors
- ↑ Book signing, Denver, CO, 11/15/18
- ↑ Origin
- ↑ Ars Arcanum
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 10. Stories of Surgeons
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 The Way of Kings, Prelude
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 The Way of Kings, Prologue - To Kill
- ↑ The Way of Kings, Epilogue - Of Most Worth
- ↑ Book signing, London, UK, 11/19/11
- ↑ Words of Radiance, Inter2.
- ↑ Words of Radiance, Inter7.
- ↑ Words of Radiance, 88. The Man Who Owned The Winds
- ↑ Shalash in TWoK
- ↑ 12/6/16 book signing, Orem, UT
- ↑ Words of Radiance, 63. A Burning World
- ↑ Edgedancer, 9.
- ↑ Edgedancer, 19.
- ↑ Oathbringer, 121. Ideals
- ↑ Words of Radiance, Prologue - To Question
- ↑ Oathbringer, 6. Four Lifetimes
- ↑ General Reddit, 11/22/17
- ↑ Book signing, Hoboken, NJ, 12/3/16
- ↑ Skyward Pre-Release AMA, 10/4/18