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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 he witnessed his father die at the hands of Dalinar Kholin.[1] At the arrival of the Gavilar Kholin 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 is gravely injured during battle with Dalinar, his guards attempt to hide him within the same hidden chamber, however they are pursued by the Blackthorn. Dalinar finds Tanalan's father dead on arrival as well as Tanalan attempting to defend his parents using the shardblade Oathbringer.[1] Despite orders to kill Tanalan, Dalinar allows him and his mother to escape.[4]

Return of the Heir and Rathalas Rebellion[edit]

Nine years later, Tanalan returns to Rathalas to take his place as city lord and demands the return of his father's shardblade.[4] His return throws the region into chaos, however, open rebellion does not occur for at least another year.[5] Gavilar responds not with force but with diplomacy, hoping to nip the issue in the bud with politics.[4] During this time, Tanalan gains support and begins 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 orders Dalinar and Sadeas to return to the rift and confront Tanalan directly and quell the rebellion.[6] The Kholin army arrives before that of Sadeas and shortly before Dalinar's arrival on the battlefield, an armed convoy leaves the city heading south east. Presumed to be from a highprince turned traitor, the convoy is tailed, but not initially pursued.

Dalinar, at his wife's request for mercy, meets Tanalan on the battlefield, offering him a final chance to submit to the King and save his city from destruction.[3] Tanalan seemingly accepts 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 names Sadeas as the traitor. However, when Dalinar pursues the escaping caravan he finds he has been betrayed not by Sadeas, but by Tanalan, who hoped to draw Dalinar away from the city and assassinate him. Consumed by rage and the Thrill, Dalinar returns to the warcamp to find the newly arrived Sadeas preparing to blockade the city.

Tanalan sends an envoy to negotiate with the armies, after Evi Kholin steals away into the city to attempt to convince him to surrender.[2] The messengers are killed before they arrive at the camp and Dalinar orders the gates to be breached and the city to be burned to the ground. Tanalan is pulled from the burning city by Dalinar's men as he attempts to reach his trapped family, who shortly afterwards are killed when the palace collapses.[2] Tanalan dies 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 realizes that she is now be dead by his own hand.[2]


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