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by User: Botanicaxu
Titles Herald of the Almighty,
Herald of War,
Patron of the Stonewards
World Roshar
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

Talenel, nicknamed Taln, and called Talenelat or Stonesinew in Vorinism, is one of the Ten Heralds of the Almighty.[1] Taln is also referred to as the bearer of all agonies.[2]

Talenel fought the Voidbringers in a series of Desolations. He typically chose fights believed to be impossible to win and came away victorious, although Taln himself usually lost his life in the process.[3] He is somehow related to the Order of Talenelat, a devotary whose membership includes Dalinar Kholin.[4] On Roshar, there is also a constellation of stars referred to as Taln's Scar, so it is likely that Taln has a scar of some sort.[5]

Talenel was the patron of the Order of Stonewards, which followed his lead in attempting to embody the traits of "resolve, strength, and dependability".[6]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Taln is bearded with dark brown eyes, and his Honorblade is narrow, long, and shaped like a spike.[1] He is one of the more physically powerful characters introduced in the series. He has dark brown skin, like a Makabaki man.[7][8]

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
— The Diagram, Book of the 2nd Ceiling Rotation: pattern 1[9]

After Aharietiam, Talenel was left as the only Herald to keep the Oathpact.[10] In doing so, he suffered the horrors of imprisonment in Damnation for 4,500 years in order to keep the desolations at bay.[11] His continued efforts in this way resulted in peace for mankind on Roshar for a long time in return for his own mental health. Although often considered to be simply insane, it appears he has managed to keep enough sanity in order to warn others of the coming desolation, but not much more. He does not think the words but simply recites them off.[12][7] At his introduction he still remembered who he was and his mission.[12]


Not much is known about Taln's life before he became a Herald or of his actions before the Last Desolation.


The burdens of nine become mine. Why must I carry the madness of them all? Oh, Almighty, release me.
— Dated Naneses 1173, unknown seconds pre-death. Subject: a wealthy lighteyes. Sample collected second-hand.[13]

During Aharietiam, also known as the Last Desolation, Talenel chose to attempt to hold a passage by a northern waterway, a near impossible task.[3] While he was successful, he also was killed. Taln was the only Herald to die in the Last Desolation. All of the other surviving Heralds chose to abandon the Oathpact, leaving only Taln bound to it, in hopes of ending the cycle of Desolations without breaking the Oathpact. Talenel alone returned to Damnation; due to his death he had no choice, but the rest of the Heralds walked free. Unfortunately, the Oathpact was shattered,[14] so their efforts to end the Desolations failed.

Return to Kholinar[edit]

Who am I? I . . . I am Talenel’Elin, Stonesinew, Herald of the Almighty. The Desolation has come. Oh, God . . . it has come. And I have failed.
— Talenel[1]

Not long after the Battle of the Tower, Talenel returned to Roshar from Damnation. It is uncertain where precisely he returned to, but he was covered in condensation, much like a Shardblade, and had twigs and leaves stuck in his beard. Taln quickly rushed to Kholinar, cutting through the city gate with his Honorblade to give warning to the Alethi that the True Desolation was upon them. Oddly, Hoid knew when and where Taln would arrive, and was waiting in Kholinar for him. After his proclamation, Taln promptly collapsed.[1] However, he did not die, as he appears in Words of Radiance. Unlike Shardblades, which remain when their holder dies,[15] Honorblades vanish when their owner dies[10].

Words of Radiance[edit]

Taln spent the vast amount of time in Words of Radiance in a mental asylum.

At some point, his Honorblade was swapped with another Shardblade.[16] When he arrived in Kholinar the weapon was described as "long, narrow, and shaped line an enormous spike".[1]. However, when the blade is summoned to confront Amaram it is described as "wider than most,... almost cleaver like in appearance".[17] Adolin implies it is the same blade that arrives at the Shattered Plains, though, saying "Bless the man for listening to reason and bonding that madman's blade" [18]. The blades are clearly different in shape, though Shardblades of living spren can change shape. It is unknown whether Honorblades can do the same.

In addition, the "cleaver-like" Shardblade screamed in Dalinar's mind after he bonded the Stormfather. Therefore, it must have been a normal Shardblade and not an Honorblade.

At one point, Shallan Davar visited him while acting as Veil, on orders from the Ghostbloods. He was repeatedly mumbling the same phrases over and over again, predicting the Everstorm.

Future Books[edit]

Taln will have an expanded role in future books of The Stormlight Archive.[19] He will have a flashback book at some point in the future.[20]

Powers and Abilities[edit]

Herald of War

As the Herald of War, it is likely that Taln was one of the more proficient generals and fighters of Roshar. He mentions to Dalinar and Elhokar that his role in preparing for the Desolation would be to train their soldiers.[12]


As the patron to the Order of Stonewards it is likely he used the surges of Cohesion and Tension.

Physical abilities

Taln is one of the larger characters shown in the series, described as being at least as tall as Amaram while stooped over but far more massive, to the point where he is described as "built like a wall." His speed and reflexes are also expert, as he was able to save Amaram from Iyatils assassination attempt purely by muscle memory and reflex.[8]

When he appears in Kholinar to warn of the coming Desolation, he does so by cutting right through the city gates and slamming them open, immediately after 4,500 years of torture, showing great endurance.[1]

He was also described as being a person who would continuously choose to take on seemingly impossible tasks and then give his life in realizing them.[10]


Although not yet shown, it is likely that he was a proficient swordsman, having taken part in countless battles and Desolations with his honorblade.


  • Taln has the pigmentation of a black person on Earth.[21]


  1. a b c d e f The Way of Kings epilogue
  2. The Way of Kings chapter 6
  3. a b Prelude to the Stormlight Archive
  4. The Way of Kings chapter 54
  5. The Way of Kings chapter 2
  6. Words of Radiance chapter 37 epigraph
  7. a b Words of Radiance chapter 64
  8. a b Words of Radiance chapter 88
  9. Words of Radiance chapter 83 epigraph
  10. a b c The Way of Kings chapter prelude
  11. The Way of Kings chapter 1
  12. a b c Words of Radiance interlude I-7
  13. The Way of Kings chapter 54 epigraph
  14. The Way of Kings chapter 46
  15. The Way of Kings chapter 47
  16. Why didn’t Dalinar get the powers of a Stoneward when he bonded Taln’s honorblade?
    — {{{site}}} - May 31, 2017
  17. Words of Radiance chapter 76
  18. Words of Radiance chapter 85
  19. Which minor Stormlight characters might get points of view?
    Theoryland - Jan 10th, 2011
  20. How do you plan to structure the points of view in Stormlight Archive?
    Theoryland - Aug 31st, 2011
  21. Taln has the pigmentation of a black person.
    — Reddit - Jul 12th, 2016
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