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Act of Mercy by Xabi Gaztelua.jpg
Parents Father, mother
Born 1135[1]
Died 1163[2]
Residence Rathalas
Nationality Alethi
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

Tanalan is the lord of Rathalas (also known as the Rift). He has violet eyes and a nasally accent that is typical for the region.[3] Tanalan holds an intense hatred for Dalinar due to the death of his father.[3]



You can't have my daddy. Daddy said... we fight monsters. And with faith, we will win...

—Child Tanalan[1]

At the age of seven Tanalan witnessed his father die at the hands of Dalinar Kholin.[1] At the arrival of Gavilar Kholin's and Torol Sadeas' armies, Tanalan and his mother were sent to hide within a secret room, set within the rock and hidden behind a crem-covered door.[1] After Tanalan's father was gravely injured during battle with Dalinar, his guards attempted to hide him within the same hidden chamber; however, they were pursued by the Blackthorn. When Dalinar arrived, he found Tanalan's father dead and Tanalan attempting to defend his parents using the Shardblade Oathbringer.[1] Despite orders to kill Tanalan, Dalinar allowed him and his mother to escape.[4]

Return of the Heir and Rathalas Rebellion[edit]

Nine years later, Tanalan returned to Rathalas to take his place as city lord and demanded the return of his father's Shardblade.[4] His return threw the region into chaos, though open rebellion did not occur for at least another year.[5] Gavilar responded not with force but with diplomacy, hoping to nip the issue in the bud with politics.[4] During that time, Tanalan gained support and began working in secret with at least one of the other highprinces.[5]

Battle at the Rift (1163)[edit]

After failing to secure Rathalas through political means, Gavilar ordered Dalinar and Sadeas to return to the Rift and confront Tanalan directly to quell the rebellion.[6] The Kholin army arrived before that of Sadeas, and shortly before Dalinar's arrival on the battlefield, an armed convoy left the city heading southeast. Presumed to be from a highprince turned traitor, the convoy was tailed but not initially pursued.[3]

Dalinar, at his wife's request for mercy, met Tanalan on the battlefield, offering him a final chance to submit to the King and save his city from destruction. Tanalan seemingly accepted Dalinar's offer, choosing to pretend he was working with Dalinar and the King from the beginning in order to root out betrayal among the highprinces. He named Sadeas as the traitor.[3] However, when Dalinar pursued the escaping caravan, he found he had been betrayed not by Sadeas, but by Tanalan, who had hoped to draw Dalinar away from the city and assassinate him. Consumed by rage and the Thrill, Dalinar returned to the camp to find the newly arrived Sadeas preparing to blockade the city.[7]

Tanalan sent an envoy to negotiate with the armies after Evi Kholin stole into the city to attempt to convince him to surrender. The messengers were killed before they arrived at the camp, and Dalinar ordered the gates breached and the city burned to the ground. Tanalan was pulled from the burning city by Dalinar's men as he attempted to reach his trapped family, who shortly afterwards were killed when the palace collapsed. Tanalan died by asphyxiation after telling Dalinar that Evi had been imprisoned in the hidden room that had housed him and his mother all those years ago; Dalinar thus realized that she was dead by his own hand.[2]


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