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Descendants Gvori, Karavaniga, Ruli
Titles King of Kharbranth
King of Jah Keved[1]
Aliases Vargo
Groups The Diagram
Nationality Kharbranthian
World Roshar
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
This page or section contains spoilers for Oathbringer!
This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot for the reader. Proceed with caution if you have not read this book.
I am the monster who will save this world.
— Taravangian to Szeth[2]

Taravangian (Alethi pronunciation: [tɑ·rɑˈvæn·gi·æn] ta-ra-VAN-gi-an) is the king of Kharbranth [3] and Jah Keved. He is the leader of the secret society known as "the Diagram" which believes the truth and path to human salvation is written on a script created by him on a day when he was a genius.

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Taravangian is aged; with a clean-shaven, face. He has pale grey eyes and an open, kindly face.[4] He lives with perpetual aches in his body, and has other symptoms of old age.

He is popular among many for providing free access to city hospitals funded by an admittance fee to the Palanaeum.[5] He is known to visit the hospitals on a weekly basis.[6]

He was said to be a kindly if somewhat simple man. Perfect to rule a small city-state with the help of a council [7]. All his life he has been quiet and humble, because of this some people considered him to be slow witted [8], however people who knew him better know he had a keen intelligence until his "illness" 5 years before the Battle of Thaylen Field. [9]

The "illness" referred above was really a consequence of a visit to the Nightwatcher who granted him great intelligence and great compassion, but cursed him to never have them at the same time. As a result, he wakes up every morning with a fluctuation of both.

These fluctuations will cause him to spend some days crying and having compassion for everyone around him, but unable to have intelligent conversations [10] and other days, he would be brilliant but would easily talk of killing singing children [11].

Taravangian is a pragmatic man who considers his duty as taking the responsibility of doing whatever it takes to have a "better world". He has two quotes that show this: "Someone must stain their souls so others may live. Society offers us up to trudge through dirty waters so others may be clean" [12]. The other is when he is asked on what he would do if there are 4 men and you are sure 3 are guilty but not sure who is the innocent he replies "To prevent murder to happen again … I must hang them and weep" [13]

He doesn't believe in religion. He considers religion as something that fills gaps and brings a sense of comfort which prevents understanding. This is opposed to his trust in the diagram, as this is the result of his raw intelligence. [11]



When Taravangian was born, the surgeon said there was a chord around his neck. He made public that he might have diminished capacity and the recommendation was to keep him on outer estates in favor of others. Though the diminished capacity was not present, the reputation followed him all his life. [11] He was childhood friends with Adrotagia and his nickname was Vargo. [14] Taravangian meets Battahelin, a Herald who said that the true desolation is close. He visits the Nightwatcher asking for "the capacity to save humankind."

The Nightwatcher and the creation of the Diagram[edit]

Taravangian asked the Nightwatcher for "the capacity to save humankind." He was granted great intelligence and great compassion, but the curse of not having them at the same time. As a result, he wakes up every morning with a fluctuation of both. On his day of greatest genius, "20 hours of lucid insanity" he covered every surface of his bedroom in hieroglyphics he invented that day. They offer a brutal path for humanity's survival and he believes this is the Nightwatcher's response to saving human kind. [14] The writing was transcribed and annotated into a book by Adrotagia and other scribes. The book came to be known as the Diagram. Taravangian creates a secret society that interpret the diagram and plots to fulfill those interpretations.

One of the first things he does are "Death Rattles". These were run at a secret hospital hidden in his palace filled with hundreds of beds for the terminally ill, poor, and forgotten who will not be missed. The patients are slowly killed by draining their blood so the [15] Silent Gatherers [16] can record cryptic supernatural sentences spoken in the seconds before death by some of the victims. [17] Through these Death Rattles, Taravangian hopes to gain information with which he can update the Diagram.

Raise to King of Jah Keved[edit]

The diagram shows that to save human kind, he needs to unite Roshar under his rule. The first path is Jah Keved and per the scripts he needed to gain possession of Szeth's Oathstone [18]. He is able to do so and orders Szeth to kill a number of world leaders, including Hanavanar, the king of Jah Keved, as well as various other highprinces of Jah Keved. The power vacuum in Jah Keved resulted in a devastating succession war, which wiped out all of the remaining highprinces. Taravangian arrived at the city in time for the death of the last Veden Highprince Valam who named him king of Jah Keved. His first step to uniting humanity was complete. Taravangian is able to fullfil his plot without anyone suspecting his intervention. They believe he was given the title as an act of spite from Valam and accept Taravangian as King [7].

Dalinar's coalition of Roshar[edit]

One of the Diagrams interpretation results in the request to kill Dalinar and Taravangian sends Seth to kill him. During the Battle of Narak, Seth goes after him but is beaten by Kaladin. Shortly after, Szeth discovers he is not Truthless, and forsakes his oathstone, Taravangian loses his allegiance. After this failure, Taravangian decides to move closer to Daliar. He is the first and only King to answer and unite with Dalinar [12] and moves to Urithiru. When he finds out no other King will be part of the coalition, he recommends invasion [4]. After his surprise on Dalinar's negotiation strategy, he agrees to follow him and eventually moves with him to Thaylen city. [19] Though he seems to work with Dalinar, he is secretly plotting to gain political advantage. He bursts the market by sending supplies via Jah Keved, he has his Radiant working the oath gate[20] and he sends merchant ships to Thaylen City with healers. He shared their knowledge in fabrials with Navani[21] and let them know of technology that will create half-shards [22]. After having another brilliant day, he decides that the best action is to take Dalinar's place on the Coalition and after will push for the its collapse. He believes this will make Odium meet his agreements and save "what he can, abandon the rest". [11]. Though he was dismissed or not needed on the tactic meetings where the defense for Jah Keved was being planned, he was secretly plotting to find secrets that will destroy Dalinar. He sends his Radiant's spren Spark to spy on him and along with his scholars and other diagram followers is able to pull a very strong strategy. During a meeting with all the other kingdom's representatives, where they figure out that the strike of the enemy would be Thaylen City, he stroke by leaking three facts. [23] 1) Elhokar had sworn to Dalinar as High King, and though this was meant to be as an Alethkar political tactic, some other Kingdoms felt threatened that Dalinar would ask the same from them. 2) The vision where Dalinar meets with Odium and threatens on destroying the world. This causes conflict with using powers that can´t be controlled, in this case, Dalinar's. 3) The translation of the dawnchants proving that the voidbringers are really the humans, putting the war's legitimacy in question. This was enough to destroy most of the coalition and only the Thaylan queen stayed with Dalinar.

Battle of Thaylen Field and Aftermath[edit]

Taravangian was decided to ensure Dalinar's failure at Thaylen. By the time Odium strikes them, he and his people had already left and had retrieved their ships. He also wrote to the singers and opened the gate to Urithiru to attack there and avoid them from sending help to Thaylen. [24] Much to Taravangian's surprise, Dalinar and his allies win the battle and after doing so confronts him. He comes clean on several plots including his plotting to take the throne of Jah Keved, Szeth and knowledge of the desolation. He however kept to himself the existence of the Diagram or that he brought the singers to Urithiru. Though Dalinar would never trust him again as before, this does clear the air and their relationship is not fully broken. [24] Eight days after the battle, on a day where he was not so smart the received the visit from Odium, who looked Shin, tall and with a scepter. Taravangian tried to convince him that he only wants to serve him or to visit him another day, but Odium sees through him and asks him not to prostrate. He explained he would visit him on a day of idiocy as he would never let him negotiate from a position of power and made an agreement with him. The agreement would trade his help by sharing the diagram's information (through he could not read Renarin´s participation) and giving him the honor blade in exchange for sparing the people from Kharbranth (city itself, any humans born into it, along with their spouses).[24]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Every morning he takes an intelligence test that he devised for himself on intelligent days. The test takes the better part of an hour and is made up of mathematical problems. A trio of stormwardens consult regarding his answers and decide his intelligence for the day. The stormwardens as well as Mrall, his head bodyguard, also decide if he is fit to rule and what restrictions he will be subject to. He is restricted to his room on both his worst and best of days because during both he tends to make irrational regulation. He also tends to be more compassionate the less intelligent he is.

Taravangian has surprising knowledge of the Shin and the Shin language, which is rare outside of Shinovar. [15] He also knows women's script. He has also solved Fabrisan's Conundrum. He is responsible for Dalinar's knowledge of giving a spren what they want to capture them. This is key for his victory at the battle of Thaylen. [25]


Taravangian's head scribe and closest friend. Even on his days of genius he is aware of her intelligence. He has real fondness for her. They are childhood friends.
She is a Taravangian Thaylen bodyguard who is also a Dustbringer. She works for him and follows his lead, however she had said she "is not his" and they were there because her spren Spark suggested visiting Urithiru now that it has been rediscovered. [26]
Taravangian is fully aware of Odium's power. In desperation, he makes a deal with him. The agreement would trade his help by sharing the diagram's information (through he could not read Renarin´s participation) and giving him the honor blade in exchange for sparing the people from Kharbranth (city itself, any humans born into it, along with their spouses).

Odium recognizes Taravangian's passion. Quoting "Your passion does you credit". [24]

Taravangian's Grandchildren
Taravangian has three grandchildren who write to him. They are oblivious to the Diagram and his plans. The eldest is Gvon, accepted at the school of storms, Karavaniga, the middle accepted forwardship and little Ruli.


Our law will claim innocent men-for all judges are flawed, as is our knowledge. Eventually, you will execute someone who does not deserve it. This is the burden society must carry in exchange for order.
— Taravangian to Dalinar on executing three murderers and one innocent [13]
Someone must bear the responsibility, someone must be dragged down by it, ruined by it. Someone must stain their souls so others may live. Society offers us up to trudge through dirtly waters to others may be clean.
— Taravangian to Dalinar [12]
Nightwatcher, Odiums victory will kill you too. Couldn't you gift me and not curse me?
— Taravangian reflecting alone [24]


Preceded by
King of Jah Keved
Succeeded by
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