Diagram (literature)

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Diagram (literature)
Mastermind by Ari Ibarra.jpg
Author Taravangian
World of Origin Roshar
Universe Cosmere
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The Diagram is a text that King Taravangian created on a day when he was a genius. It contains instructions on what to do to unite mankind and was written in a language that Taravangian invented on that day. Some sentences from it are in the Words of Radiance epigraphs. Those who seek to use the Diagram to save mankind are also called the Diagram. Thinking the Diagram has been fulfilled, Taravangian burned his copy of the book Diagram shortly before he betrayed the coalition.[1] It is unknown whether other copies still exist or not.


Taravangian has varying intelligence from his visit to the Nightwatcher's valley (although his encounter was actually with Cultivation).[2] "He'd asked for the capacity to save his people. He'd begged for compassion and acumen--and he'd gotten them. Just never at the same time."[3]

On his day of greatest genius, "20 hours of lucid insanity," he covered every surface of his bedroom in writing, codes, and even hieroglyphics he invented that day.[4] The compiled writings were translated and transcribed by Adrotagia and tell of the coming wars. They offer a brutal path for mankind's survival that calls for Taravangian uniting all Roshar under his kingship. Parts of the Diagram are open to interpretation, thus subject to misinterpretation and error. The Diagram also becomes less reliable with time, forcing Taravangian to try to update it.[1]


Though the original Diagram was written on various surfaces, it has been compiled into "a thick book bound in hogshide." The words Taravangian wrote on the day of brilliance have been copied over to it "spots, scratches, and all." Taravangian wonders if this bound form has influenced the way the Diagram was interpreted.[5]


Book of the 2nd Ceiling Rotation[edit]

Obviously they are fools The Desolation needs no usher It can and will sit where it wishes and the signs are obvious that the spren anticipate it doing so soon The Ancient of Stones must finally begin to crack It is a wonder that upon his will rested the prosperity and peace of a world for over four millennia

—Pattern 1[6]

This section refers to the action of the Sons of Honor and the Herald Talenel, who has held back Desolations for over four millennia.


—Pattern 15[7]

This is a code that translates to "Hold the secret that broke the Knights Radiant. You may need it to destroy the new orders when they return."[8] The key is found in Pattern 1 of the Book of the 2nd Rotation, each letter is represented by the number corresponding to the first instance of that letter in Pattern 1, i.e. "h" is 11, "o" is 1, and "l" is 8.[9]

Book of the 2nd Desk Drawer[edit]

The Unmade are a deviation, a flair, a conundrum that may not be worth your time. You cannot help but think of them. They are fascinating. Many are mindless. Like the spren of human emotions, only much more nasty. I do believe a few can think, however.

—Paragraph 14[10]

There is one you will watch. Though all of them have some relevance to precognition, Moelach is one of the most powerful in this regard. His touch seeps into a soul as it breaks apart from the body, creating manifestations powered by the spark of death itself. But no, this is a distraction. Deviation. Kingship. We must discuss the nature of kingship.

—Paragraph 15[11]

This instructs the collection of Death Rattles.

One is almost certainly a traitor to the others.

—Paragraph 27[12]

This is a reference of the Unmade Sja-anat, who seems willing to betray Odium.[13]

Catechism of the Back of the Flowered Painting[edit]

Q: For what essential must we strive? A: The essential of preservation, to shelter a seed of humanity through the coming storm. Q: What cost must we bear? A: The cost is irrelevant. Mankind must survive. Our burden is that of the species, and all other considerations are but dust by comparison.

—Paragraph 1[14]

Coda of the Northwest Bottom Corner[edit]

They will come you cannot stop their oaths look for those who survive when they should not that pattern will be your clue.

—Paragraph 3[15]

This section notices the budding of Knights Radiant and how to look for them.

Floorboard 17[edit]

AThhbeurtethhaesytwoebreealneafntsbweehriWnhdaIttiisstohbevainosuwsefrrSotmotphTehneaPtaurrsehoefntdhieObnoenodfBtuhtewmhYeersetwhheeyr aerwehtehreemwihsesrienSgeptioefcfeOPbuvsihofuosrRtehaelAilzeatthiiotnoldieksetarporyitchietmyoTuhteryiagrhetwbietfhotrheetShhiisnoWneemoubstta fiinnsdtohneeiCrapnowweemraIktewtiolulsfeoarTmraubtrhildegsesCanwecraftaweapon

—Paragraph 2[16][17]

This splits into two messages by taking every second letter starting with the first, and every second letter starting with the second.

Ah ​but ​they ​were ​left ​behind. ​It ​is ​obvious ​from ​the n​ature ​of ​the ​bond. ​But ​where ​where ​where ​where? ​Set off. ​Obvious. ​Realization​ like apricity​. They​ are ​with ​the ​Shin. ​We ​must ​find ​one. ​Can ​we ​make ​to ​use ​a ​Truthless? ​Can ​we ​craft​ a ​weapon?

—starting with the first[16]

This likely refers to the Honorblades and Szeth, who will become the Assassin in white.

There ​has ​to ​be ​an ​answer​. What​ is ​the ​answer? ​Stop. ​The ​Parshendi​. One​ of ​them. ​Yes ​they ​are ​the ​missing​ piece. ​Push ​for ​the ​Alethi ​to ​destroy ​them ​outright ​before ​this ​one ​obtains ​their ​power. ​It ​will ​form ​a bridge.

—starting with the second[17]

This refers to a parshendi becoming a radiant, and potentially derailing the war the Diagram has planned around.[18]

Floorboard 27[edit]

One danger in deploying such a potent weapon will be the potential encouragement of those exploring the Nahel bond. Care must be taken to avoid placing these subjects in situations of powerful stress unless you accept the consequences of their potential Investiture.

—Paragraph 6[19]

North Wall Coda[edit]

Windowsill region

1173090605 1173090801 1173090901 1173091001 1173091004 1173100105 1173100205 1173100401 1173100603 1173100804

—Paragraph 2[20]

This is a sequence of dates corresponding to the last ten highstorms leading up to the arrival of the everstorm.

Tenets of Instruction[edit]

Back of the Footboard

You must become king. Of Everything.

—Paragraph 1[21]

West Wall Psalm of Wonders[edit]

But who is the wanderer, the wild piece, the one who makes no sense? I glimpse at his implications, and the world opens to me. I shy back. Impossible. Is it?

—Paragraph 8[22]

A note by Adrotagia accompanies this excerpt asking whether it refers to Mraize.[22] However, the wanderer, the wild piece and the one who makes no sense seems to imply this is talking about Hoid.

Writings upon the Bedstand Lamp[edit]

Chaos in Alethkar is, of course, inevitable. Watch carefully, and do not let power in the kingdom solidify. The Blackthorn could become an ally or our greatest foe, depending on whether he takes the path of the warlord or not. If he seems likely to sue for peace, assassinate him expeditiously. The risk of competition is too great.

—Paragraph 4[23]

This is Adrotagia's third translation from the original hieroglyphics.[23] However, this section of the Diagram has gone extremely off, with the fact that both assassination attempts on Dalinar were stopped by Kaladin.


Several predictions of the Diagram are mentioned in the text, but not necessarily tied to specific fragments in the epigraphs.

  • The soldiers of Jah Kaved cheering Taravangian as he appeared at the battlefield.[4]
  • The return of the Fused and their use of Voidlight.[24]
  • The Honorblades, and the fact that they give their wielders powers, were known in the Diagram.[3]
  • The Ghostbloods are in the Diagram.[25]
  • The fall of Dalinar to become the enemy's champion. This has, however, turned out to be false.[3]
  • One or more of the Unmade setting up in Shinovar.[1] This is confirmed by Ishar. But while the Shin had started worshiping the Unmade, Ishar interfered somehow and saved the Shin from it.[26]
  • The Diagram implied that it cannot see Renarin's future, and neither can anyone else.[27] This is because Renarin can sometimes see glimpses of the future and thus interfere with Odium's future sight.
  • Nothing is mentioned about Nightblood in the Diagram.[28]


Several incidents in the text have been noted as deviations from the Diagram.

  • Seven factions fighting in the Jah Keved succession war, rather than the six predicted.[4]
  • The presence of a male Radiant at the Shattered Plains.[4] Szeth's announcement that he fought a Radiant causes Tarvangian to reinterpret a section and identify the bridgemen as a likely source of Radiants.



  1. a b c Rhythm of War interlude I-3#
  2. Tel Aviv Signing
    Arcanum - 2019-10-18#
  3. a b c d Oathbringer chapter 122#
  4. a b c d Words of Radiance interlude I-14#
  5. Oathbringer interlude I-5#
  6. Words of Radiance chapter 83 epigraph#
  7. Words of Radiance chapter 84 epigraph#
  8. Decryption of the code
    17th Shard forums - 12 March 2014#
  9. Method for decryption
    17th Shard forums - 12 March 2014#
  10. Words of Radiance chapter 81 epigraph#
  11. Words of Radiance chapter 82 epigraph#
  12. Words of Radiance chapter 86 epigraph#
  13. Oathbringer chapter 84#
  14. Words of Radiance chapter 79 epigraph#
  15. Words of Radiance chapter 76 epigraph#
  16. a b Words of Radiance chapter 78 epigraph#
  17. a b Words of Radiance chapter 89 epigraph#
  18. Metaphorical bridge.
    17th Shard forums - 14 December 2016#
  19. Words of Radiance chapter 77 epigraph#
  20. Words of Radiance chapter 88 epigraph#
  21. Words of Radiance chapter 80 epigraph#
  22. a b Words of Radiance chapter 85 epigraph#
  23. a b Words of Radiance chapter 87 epigraph#
  24. Oathbringer chapter 43#
  25. Words of Radiance signing Houston
    Arcanum - 2014-03-11#
  26. Rhythm of War chapter 111#
  27. Rhythm of War interlude I-6#
  28. Rhythm of War interlude I-12#
  29. General Twitter 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-06-17#
  30. Boskone 54
    Arcanum - 2017-02-17#
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