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Ishar
Herald Ishi.png
Drawing by Isaac Stewart
Biographical information
Race Herald
Gender Male
Status Unknown
Abilities Surgebinding (Bondsmith), Shardbearer
Social Information
Aliases Ishi'Elin
Title(s) Herald of Luck
Occupation Herald of the Almighty
Appears in The Way of Kings (mentioned),
Words of Radiance (mentioned),
Oathbringer (mentioned),
Rhythm of War

Ishar is one of the ten Heralds of the Almighty, the Herald of Luck. He is associated with the number Ishi, the essence Sinew, and the divine attributes Pious and Guiding. He is the patron Herald of the order of Knights Radiant known as Bondsmiths.

Ishar speculated that if only one Herald remained bound to the Oathpact, that it would be sufficient. All of the Heralds (except for Taln) used this reasoning to abandon the Oathpact, during the time that became known as the Last Desolation.[1]

Appearance[]

Ishar wears a beard, is balding, and would probably be seen as Shin.[2]

Personality[]

He is known to be incredibly charismatic, capable of swaying entire nations to follow him, as well as to convince the other Heralds of his opinions and his sanity.[3][4] He also seems to be scholarly, and deeply interested in the inner working of the Oathpact and the mechanics surrounding it.[1]

This megalomania and charisma together make for a highly dangerous combination, as even now, the other Heralds hold Ishar in particularly high esteem. Nale claims that Ishar has always been the wisest of them all, and Shalash believes that he would know how to cure Taln's madness.[5]

Mental Health[]

In the present day, Ishar is, like other Heralds, by and large insane. [6] His particular brand of madness seems to reflect his nature as a spiritual leader. He alternately believes himself to be above all other men, and hates who he is and wishes to die.[4][7] The latter does not stop him from presenting himself as the ultimate authority and demanding utter respect as the god-priest of Tukar.[7]

Later he even believes he is the Almighty himself; reborn after being Shattered. Because of his delusions, he is convinced he has to fight Odium's champion and claim the Shard of power, becoming a god among gods, "Adonalsium reborn".[8]

History[]

Ishar was the first Herald to recognize the importance of Surgebinders and began organizing them into their respective orders.[9]

But as for Ishi’Elin, his was the part most important at their inception; he readily understood the implications of Surges being granted to men, and caused organization to be thrust upon them; as having too great power, he let it be known that he would destroy each and every one, unless they agreed to be bound by precepts and laws.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 2, page 4[9]

Ishar
Endpaper for Oathbringer by Dan dos Santos

When Shallan sucked in Stormlight in Taln's presence in an attempt to recreate an Illusion, he referred to her as one of "Ishar's Knights."[10]

"I remember ... He founded them? Yes. Several Desolations ago. No longer just talk. It hasn't been talk for thousands of years." [10]

Thus, the concept of the Radiants developed over time and became realized over thousands of years.

Much later, Ishar did something in addition to just Connecting spren to the Physical Realm.[citation needed][11]

Oathpact[]

When Navani speaks her First Ideal as one of the Bondsmiths, Ishar has a clear head and speaks to Dalinar. He tells him that whenever a Bondsmith speaks an Ideal, he gains some moments of mental clarity. He says that he knows a way of restoring the Oathpact, and that Dalinar should seek him in Shinovar.[8]

Abilities[]

When Dalinar comes to Ishar to ask him for help in finding his powers as a Bondsmith, Ishar attacks him, thinking he is Odium's champion. He starts fighting Dalinar and the Windrunners that Dalinar brought for protection. During this fight, it is revealed how incredible a fighter Ishar is, fighting like he can anticipate where they would strike next. The Windrunners don't stand a chance against him. The Stormfather notes that Ishar has defended mankind for millennia. "Not all of the heralds were warriors when they began, but all were by the end." He also notes that Ishar was only of average skill among the Heralds.[8]

Research[]

In Ishar's pavilion, Dalinar and his men find strange looking corpses. They soon realise that the corpses are dead spren. It shouldn't be possible that spren manifest like this in the Physical Realm, but Ishar seems to have experimented with bringing spren to the Physical Realm. In his ledger, it says that they only last a couple of minutes before their physical form collapses, with honorspren lasting the longest. The Stormfather recognises one of the dead honorspren as Vespen.[8]

Notes[]

Ishar is also Tezim, a warlord in Tukar who claims he's an aspect of the Almighty.[12] He is the leader/god-priest of the Tukari people/religion ... and he is quite mad.[13]

According to Nale, Szeth knows Ishar as Ishu-son-God.[3]

Q&A with Brandon[]

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.[14]

Q. ... if Ishar looks like he’s from Shinovar, how did the Tukkari accept him as the God-Priest?

A. That's a RAFO - but is a question you're supposed to be asking.[15]

Q. Ishar, when fighting Dalinar, showed similar powers to Hemalurgy, (stealing the Nahel bond). Could an unchained Bondsmith steal other stuff from a person? Strength, Breaths, ability to use Allomancy, etc.

A. Among those are things that they could steal.[16]

References[]

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