Finished reading the Gaunts Ghosts novels in preperation for the Warmaster so my memory is fresh and one thing is bothering me a bit.

Does Dalin know that Kolea is his real father or not??

When Dalin is on RIP detail he keeps reffering to Caff and his real father but then on Jago where Tona is wounded he asks Kolea did you know my parents.

EDIT: Also in Salvations Reach When Kolea does the mad rush thing after it is done Dalin says " That was crazy" Kolea answers "It runs in the Family". Thre is nothing further on their relationship. It is really driving me up the wall. It is the biggest secret known to almost everybody in the regiment... Has Abnett comented on this or elaborated?? Does anybody know??

1 Answer 1


Dalin does know that Kolea is his father. When he is wondering why he hears Caffran's voice, he muses on the situation with Tona, Caff and Kolea:

Tona had explained on several occasions that Kolea decided it best, for the children's sake, not to upset their lives any further by stepping back into them. Dalin had little patience for this excuse. It felt like Kolea was washing his hands of them. He didn't understand it, and he'd never approached Kolea directly about it, because it made him angry.

- The Armour of Contempt, by Dan Abnett, page 354

This shows that Dalin clearly knows.

The confusion, I think, lies in the fact that Kolea and he have never spoken about the situation with each other, which causes unease between them.

The troopers closed in around Dalin, shaking his hand and scrubing his hair. 'Come on,!' Varl hissed.
'Not now,' replied Kolea. 'He's happy. I don't want to go walking in their...'
Kolea turned and walked away.

- The Armour of Contempt, by Dan Abnett, page 51

In a conversation between Tona and Kolea about how Dalin's training is going:

'You could ask him how he's doing yourself.' She said.
'I don't want to get in the way..'


'Dalin wouldn't mind if you showed an interest.'
'I'd go as far as to say he'd like it if you showed an interest'

- The Armour of Contempt, by Dan Abnett, pages 86-87

I think during the conversation in Only in Death, they are both talking around the subject, since it's really the first time we've seen them directly speak to each other. I think they find a way to reach an understanding about the whole situation, without actually having to address it with each other:

Kolea turned away. He halted. 'They loved you,' he said. 'You and Yoncy both, very much. And they'd be proud to know a woman like Tona took you in and made you safe.'
'They died in the the warm didn't they? My parents. They died in the Vervunhive war?' Dalin asked.
'They died in the war,' Kolea said.

- Only in Death, by Dan Abnett, page 236

I think this conversation was meant to show the characters putting the situation to bed. What they are really saying is that Kolea is never going to be the father he was to Dalin and that Dalin understands this.

The bit in Salvation reach you talk about has an extra bit you missed, which is vital:

'That was madness,' Dalin said.
'Yes, well, it runs in the family, so be warned,' Kolea replied.

- Salvation's Reach, by Dan Abnett, page 337 [emphasis mine]

The "so be warned" is a clear indication they are related and the lack of any reaction on Dalin's part further indicates he already knows this.

  • Ye the salvation reach book is like throwing a curveball at us... so im guessing they both know and are content/happy with the situation
    – Cherubel
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 7:36

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