Death Rattle/list

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This page or section deals with theories or speculation.
Please read carefully and note that this is not necessarily canonical.

Known Death Rattles[edit]

Known Meanings[edit]

The love of men is a frigid thing, a mountain stream only three steps from the ice. We are his. Oh Stormfather... we are his. It is but a thousand days, and the Everstorm comes.

—Collected on Shashahes 1171, 31 seconds before death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a darkeyed pregnant woman of middle years. The child did not survive.[1]
This rattle came exactly 1227 days before the advent of the Everstorm.[4] It is possible that these rattles are less than fully accurate, or that whoever gave this death rattle valued poetry over technically accurate detail or, given the specific phrasing, that this was perhaps a foreshadowing to a time 227 days in the future when someone else would prophesy that it would be 1000 days until the Everstorm.


I'm dying, aren't I? Healer, why do you take my blood? Who is that beside you, with his head of lines? I can see a distant sun, dark and cold, shining in a black sky.

—Collected on Jesnanach 1172, 11 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers.[5]
The description of the sun and sky, as well as the appearance of a Cryptic, indicate the speaker here was viewing Shadesmar. The subject also apparently retained some consciousness while dying, evidenced by them asking the Silent Gatherers "Healer, why do you take my blood?" In light of those conditions, the speaker may not have actually been affected by Moelach.


I have seen the end, and have heard it named. The Night of Sorrows, the True Desolation. The Everstorm.

—Collected on Naneses 1172, 15 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a darkeyed youth of unknown origin.[6]


Three of sixteen ruled, but now the Broken One reigns.

—Collected on Chachanan 1173, 84 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a cutpurse with the wasting sickness, of partial Iriali descent.[7]
Most likely refers to Honor, Cultivation, and Odium--three Shards out of sixteen total. It is unclear what "Broken One" means, however.


The burdens of nine become mine. Why must I carry the madness of them all? Oh, Almighty, release me.

—Observed on Palaheses 1173, collected secondhand and later reported to the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a wealthy lighteyes.[8]
This rattle appears to be from the perspective of the Herald Talenel, the only Herald to return to Braize at the end of the Last Desolation.


A woman sits and scratches out her own eyes. Daughter of kings and winds, the vandal.

—Collected on Palahevan 1173, 73 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a beggar of some renown, known for his elegant songs.[9]
This rattle likely refers to the Herald Shalash, the daughter of the Herald Jezrien, Herald of Kings and patron of the Order of Windrunners.[10] Shalash has defaced depictions of herself by scratching her face out of paintings or by destroying statues depicting her.


Re-Shephir, the Midnight Mother, giving birth to abominations with her essence so dark, so terrible, so consuming. She is here! She watches me die!

—Collected on Shashabev 1173, 8 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a darkeyed dock-worker in his forties, father of three.[11]
This rattle refers to the Unmade Re-Shephir and her Midnight Essence.


Above the final void I hang, friends behind, friends before. The feast I must drink clings to their faces, and the words I must speak spark in my mind. The old oaths will be spoken anew.

—Collected on Betabanan 1173, 45 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a lighteyed child of five years. Diction improved remarkably when giving sample.[12]
This rattle appears to be from the perspective of Kaladin during the Battle of the Tower, moments before he swears the Second Ideal of the Windrunners. The "final void" is a chasm over which he is jumping. The "friends behind, friends before" are the members of Bridge Four behind him and the army of Dalinar Kholin trapped by Parshendi before him. The "feast I must drink" is Stormlight stored in the gemstones knotted into the malen Parshendi's beards. The "words I must speak" is the Second Ideal. The "old oaths" are the Immortal Words.


In the storm I awaken, falling, spinning, grieving.

—Collected on Kakanev 1173, 13 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a city guardsman.[13]
This rattle likely refer to Kaladin swearing the Fourth Ideal of the Windrunners while falling in the highstorm towards the end of Raboniel's occupation of Urithiru. The events of this Death Rattle had not occurred as of the Battle of Thaylen Field.[14]


I wish to sleep. I know now why you do what you do, and I hate you for it. I will not speak of the truths I see.

—Collected on Kakashah 1173, 142 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a Shin sailor, left behind by his crew, reportedly for bringing them ill luck. Sample largely useless.[15]
It appears this subject is aware that the Silent Gatherers are killing people in order to obtain their death rattles and refuses to share his visions.


They come from the pit, two dead men, a heart in their hands, and I know that I have seen true glory.

—Collected on Kakashah 1173, 13 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a rickshaw puller.[16]
This rattle appears to refer to Kaladin and Shallan returning to the warcamps at the Shattered Plains following their fall into the chasms. The "pit" is a reference to the chasms and the "two dead men" are Kaladin and Shallan, presumed to be dead after the fall. The "heart" is an emerald gemheart they harvested from a chasmfiend they encountered and killed on their return journey.


I see them. They are the rocks. They are the vengeful spirits. Eyes of red.

—Collected on Kakakes 1173, 8 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a darkeyed young woman of fifteen who was reportedly mentally unstable since childhood.[17]
This rattle refers to the awakening of Thunderclasts.[18]


They named it the Final Desolation, but they lied. Our gods lied. Oh, how they lied. The Everstorm comes. I hear its whispers, see its stormwall, know its heart.

—Collected on Tanatanes 1173, 8 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was an Azish itinerant worker. Sample of particular note.[19]
When all Heralds, except Taln, broke the Oathpact after Aharietiam they lied and told humanity that the Voidbringers finally were defeated.


All is withdrawn for me. I stand against the one who saved my life. I protect the one who killed my promises. I raise my hand. The storm responds.

—Collected on Tanatanev 1173, 18 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a darkeyed mother of four in her sixty-second year.[20]
This rattle appears to refer to Kaladin saving Elhokar from Moash, an event during which Kaladin swears the Third Ideal of the Windrunners. "The one who killed my promises" likely refers to the fact that Elokhar, through a string of related events, was responsible for Kaladin being unable to keep is promise to protect Tien in battle. "I raise my hand. The storm responds." refers to the fact that Kaladin's words are accepted and Syl returns to him as a Shardblade.

I'm standing over the body of a brother. I'm weeping. Is that his blood or mine? What have we done?

—Collected on Vevanev 1173, 107 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was an out-of-work Veden sailor.[21]
Likely refers to Kaladin weeping over the body of his brother Tien, but the meaning of the comments about blood and what have they done is unknowm.

Unknown Meanings[edit]

You've killed me. Bastards, you've killed me! While the sun is still hot, I die!

—Collected on Betabachah 1171, 10 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a darkeyed soldier thirty-one years of age. Sample is considered questionable.[22]


Ten orders. We were loved, once. Why have you forsaken us, Almighty! Shard of my soul, where have you gone?

—Collected on Kakashan 1171, 5 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a lighteyed woman in her third decade.[23]


A man stood on a cliffside and watched his homeland fall into dust. The waters surged beneath, so far beneath. And he heard a child crying. They were his own tears.

—Collected on Tanatesev 1171, 30 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a cobbler of some renown.[24]


I'm cold. Mother, I'm cold. Mother? Why can I still hear the rain? Will it stop?

—Collected on Vevishes 1172, 32 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a lighteyed female child, approximately six years old.[25]


They are aflame. They burn. They bring the darkness when they come, and so all you can see is that their skin is aflame. Burn, burn, burn...

—Collected on Palahishev 1172, 21 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a baker's apprentice.[26]
May be a description of the humans when they first arrived on Roshar, covered in ash and burns from their experimentation with Surgebinding[27] or of the singers, who, as the Voidbringers, are associated in legend with fire, ash, char, and terrible, burned skin.[28]


He watches! The black piper in the night. He holds us in his palm... playing a tune that no man can hear!

—Observed circa Tanat ? 1172. Subject was Cenn, a member of Kaladin's squad in Brightlord Meridas Amaram's army.[29]
This is not a reference to Hoid.[30]


Victory! We stand atop the mount! We scatter them before us! Their homes become our dens, their lands are now our farms! And they shall burn, as we once did, in a place that is hollow and forlorn.

—Collected on Ishashan 1172, 18 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a lighteyed spinster of the eighth dahn.[31]
May refer to how the humans took Roshar from the singers during the First Desolation or a Fused victory over humans.

They break the land itself! They want it, but in their rage they will destroy it. Like the jealous man burns his rich things rather than let them be taken by his enemies! They come!

—Observed circa ? 1173. Subject was Gadol, a member of Bridge Four.[32]
May refer to the souls of the Fused, destroying the whole world in order to destroy humankind.[33]

Ten people, with Shardblades alight, standing before a wall of black and white and red.

—Collected on Jesachev 1173, 12 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was an ardent member of the Silent Gatherers, overheard during his last moments.[34]
May refer to the refounding of the ten orders of Knights Radiant standing against the Singers and the Fused. The "ten people" may also refer to the ten Heralds.

He must pick it up, the fallen title! The tower, the crown, and the spear!

—Collected on Vevahach 1173, 8 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a prostitute of unknown background.[35]
This has not happened, on or off screen, by 1175.[36]


Light grows so distant. The storm never stops. I am broken, and all around me have died. I weep for the end of all things. He has won. Oh, he has beaten us.

—Collected on Palahakev 1173, 16 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a Thaylen sailor.[37]


I hold the suckling child in my hands, a knife at his throat, and know that all who live wish me to let the blade slip. Spill its blood upon the ground, over my hands, and with it gain us further breath to draw.

—Collected on Shashanan 1173, 23 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a darkeyed youth of sixteen years. Sample is of particular note.[38]


And all the world was shattered! The rocks trembled with their steps, and the stones reached toward the heavens. We die! We die!

—Observed circa ? 1173. Subject was Maps, a member of Bridge Four.[39]


The death is my life, the strength becomes my weakness, the journey has ended.

—Observed on Betabanes 1173, 95 seconds pre-death, collected secondhand and later reported to the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a scholar of some minor renown. Sample considered questionable.[40]
An inversion of the First Ideal of the Knights Radiant.


The darkness becomes a palace. Let it rule! Let it rule!

—Collected on Kakevah 1173, 22 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a darkeyed Selay man of unknown profession.[41]


That chanting, that singing, those rasping voices.

—Collected on Kaktach 1173, 16 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a middle-aged potter who reported seeing strange dreams during highstorms during the previous two years.[42]
May refer to Fused rhythms.


Let me no longer hurt! Let me no longer weep! Dai-gonarthis! The Black Fisher holds my sorrow and consumes it!

—Collected on Tanatesach 1173, 28 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was a darkeyed female street juggler. Note similarity to sample 1172-89.[43]


The day was ours, but they took it. Stormfather! You cannot have it. The day is ours. They come, rasping, and the lights fail. Oh, Stormfather!

—Collected circa Tanat ? 1173 by Taravangian. Subject was a young boy.[44]


Above silence, the illuminating storms—dying storms—illuminate the silence above.

—Collected on Tanatanev 1173 by the Silent Gatherers. Subject was an illiterate Herdazian.[45]


So the night will reign, for the choice of honor is life...

—Observed circa Ishi ? 1173 by Taravangian. Subject was King Valam of Jah Keved.[46]

Notes[edit]

  1. a b The Way of Kings prologue epigraph#
  2. Words of Radiance chapter 50#
  3. Words of Radiance chapter 81#
  4. This rattle was collected on 1171.6.5.1[1] and the Everstorm arrived on 1173.10.10.3[2][3]
  5. The Way of Kings chapter 4 epigraph#
  6. The Way of Kings chapter 5 epigraph#
  7. The Way of Kings chapter 11 epigraph#
  8. The Way of Kings chapter 54 epigraph#
  9. The Way of Kings chapter 55 epigraph#
  10. Oathbringer chapter 122#
  11. The Way of Kings chapter 58 epigraph#
  12. The Way of Kings chapter 59 epigraph#
  13. The Way of Kings chapter 61 epigraph#
  14. Skyward San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-08#
  15. The Way of Kings chapter 63 epigraph#
  16. The Way of Kings chapter 64 epigraph#
  17. The Way of Kings chapter 65 epigraph#
  18. Oathbringer chapter 115#
  19. The Way of Kings chapter 68 epigraph#
  20. The Way of Kings chapter 69 epigraph#
  21. The Way of Kings chapter 52 epigraph#
  22. The Way of Kings chapter 1 epigraph#
  23. The Way of Kings chapter 2 epigraph#
  24. The Way of Kings chapter 3 epigraph#
  25. The Way of Kings chapter 6 epigraph#
  26. The Way of Kings chapter 7 epigraph#
  27. Rhythm of War chapter 76#
  28. The Way of Kings/Epigraphs#Jasnah's Notes#
  29. The Way of Kings chapter 47#
  30. Oathbringer release party
    Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
  31. The Way of Kings chapter 8 epigraph#
  32. The Way of Kings chapter 17#
  33. Oathbringer chapter 38#
  34. The Way of Kings chapter 9 epigraph#
  35. The Way of Kings chapter 53 epigraph#
  36. Mini-Con 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-11-22#
  37. The Way of Kings chapter 56 epigraph#
  38. The Way of Kings chapter 57 epigraph#
  39. The Way of Kings chapter 57#
  40. The Way of Kings chapter 60 epigraph#
  41. The Way of Kings chapter 62 epigraph#
  42. The Way of Kings chapter 66 epigraph#
  43. The Way of Kings chapter 67 epigraph#
  44. The Way of Kings chapter 71#
  45. The Way of Kings endnote#
  46. Words of Radiance interlude I-14#