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  1. 52 points
  2. 45 points
    Hello all, As we all know, until recently, the Shin had possession of nine out of ten Honorblades. They Lost Nale's when he stole it back (breaking the oath to leave them behind. Shame Nale, shame) and they lost Jezrien's when Szeth got taken out. We get an inkling as to how they find them in the first place during Dalinar's visions. When he brings Jasnah and Navani into the vision of the "final" battle, and they see Jezrien declare that it is over, the desolations have ended forever, they see the ring of nine blades, and they see a Shin scout find the blades first. It is not a huge leap to see the Shin declaring themselves the guardians of these blades and spiriting them off quietly. Especially seeing as we have direct confirmation from Szeth that they have them all, and he has trained with all of the surges. Then the Shin go on to become one of the most peaceful societies on Roshar, valuing those that add over those that take away. While they train warriors with the blades, they consider them to be the lowest rank in society. But they still train them. As a whole, they are isolationist, and rarely venture outside of their lands. I assume mostly to avoid violating the prohibition against walking on stone or interacting with the more other societies on Roshar. Except that one time they invaded. At some point in the past, the Shin invaded the rest of Roshar, for some reason. This was mentioned a few times in Oathbringer, the first instance I believe was in chapter 2. Why would they do this? Why would an isolationist culture that elevates farmers and artisans above all else decide to go to war with the rest of the world? Because the core of their society decided 4500 years ago that they, the Shin, would self appoint themselves the sole guardians and protectors of the Honorblades. Keeping them safe and out of circulation, not being used, until the Herald's ostensibly return to reclaim them. Who knows how much death and destruction they avoided by hiding them away from the world. They managed this secret for hundreds of years, peacefully. Until something changed that forced them to invade. I think that something was the Recreance. Dalinar saw in his vision of Feverstone Keep that hundreds of sets of Plate and Blade were dropped that day, far more than is currently in circulation. Enough to plunge the world into endless war over them. And most of them disappeared, so only a handful remain. Those that remain are high profile items, with detailed histories. But only recently (the last few hundred years) did scholars discover that they could add a gem to the hilt to allow a bearer to bond the blade, allowing them to summon and dismiss them at will. I think that the Shin invasion happened after the Recreance, but before bearers could bond their blades. I think the purpose of the invasion was that the Shin view themselves as the guardians of the Herald's blades and the Radiant's blades, and they invaded to take the blades and plate out of circulation. I think they are sitting on a stockpile that they will never use, to keep the rest of the world from destroying themselves. I think they stole as much as they could, and killed where they had to to get these. And then they retreated to their lands with their hidden stockpile, to wait for the return of the Heralds and Radiants, to keep the weapons safe. And they bunkered down. Complete Isolation. They don't leave, and let no one in. During Rysn's Interlude in WoK, it is mentioned that no outsider may progress beyond a certain point by either her or Vstim (I think, I will look for confirmation of that in that interlude). The rest of the world does not suspect they have them, because anyone else would have used them with pride, but the Shin view it as a shame, so they hid the blades and they disappeared from history. Then Szeth being declared Truthless takes on another light. If they are guarding that large a stockpile, thousands of weapons worth kingdoms, against the return of the Herald's and Radiants, having someone start saying they are back is a Big Deal. They don't want to flood the world with that much destructive power. They are afraid to. Far easier to outcast the single voice out of fear and keep their heads buried. They are watching for the return of Radiance, and terrified by what it would mean. The Shin have been preparing for this Desolation since the last one, but they don't want it to be true. They have been on high alert for thousands of years hoping this would never come, and are trying to find any valid reason to deny that it is hear, because it would mean they have to unleash death upon the world, when they value life. They are terrified, and they have all the shardblades. What do you think? Are the Shin a good candidate for possessing the missing blades? Was the Shin Invasions a cover for recovering the blades and plate left by the Recreance? Or am I off base? And I apologize if someone else already thought of and mentioned this elsewhere. I have not seen it posted, so I hope I'm original, but it would not surprise me if someone else got there first.
  3. 36 points
    Hey everyone, with Valentine's Day coming up, I thought it would be fun to post Stormlight Valentine's cards! All pairings and concepts allowed, but please no arguing. Text or images welcome! I'll start with some I came up with for OB. Have fun!!! (Hidden in spoilers because long)
  4. 35 points
  5. 31 points
    @Weltall you're totally right, I just found the package that Yelig-nar comes in: And just like you said, the warning label is quite explicit (zoomed in view below): Your warning label text is some funny rust brother, currently out of upvotes but I'll get you one when they come back online.
  6. 29 points
    My theory is that the spren were in agreement with their bondmates to die and cause the Recreance. Both the Knights and their spren decided that Honor was correct and that they would end up destroying the world if they were allowed to continue to surgebind. Without Honor, Notum and Ishar say there are fewer checks on their power, and we know they actually did destroy their previous planet. They deliberately allowed their Knights to break their Oaths, knowing that it would kill them, and alienate the remaining spren, so that no spren would be willing to seek out a bond for the foreseeable future. In this way, they save all of their fellow spren, friends, family, loved ones, as well as the humans and the Singers. We know that Honor was going mad and dying. He swore that the Knights would destroy the world. Whether that's true or not, he convinced the Knights and their spren that they were too dangerous to exist. 1. The spren are everywhere. It's nearly impossible to hide things from your own spren, and very difficult to hide things from others' spren. Most of them seem able to change size and some can change shape. Honorspren, at least, seem to be constantly curious, investigating anything interesting going on. Only the Knight they're bonded to can see them by default, so they can snoop around quite easily without being seen. An obviously coordinated effort like we see in Dalinar's vision of the Recreance would be impossible to plan without the spren finding out. 2. The spren can read thoughts. Syl can sometimes read Kaladin's thoughts, and definitely knows it on an instinctual level when he's not following his Oaths. Glys seems able to meld with Renarin, and definitely talks to him in his mind. We know that perception is important for whether a Nahel Bond is being kept or not. That it depends on the perception of the person and the spren. If the spren weren't in agreement that the Recreance needed to happen, then the Radiants who were planning on breaking their Oaths should have been losing their powers. 3. Honorspren are willing to let their Knights break Oaths if it's important enough. (WoB truncated for length). Honorspren are are willing to put the cause ahead of their own well-being. It's the nature of protecting. Kaladin is willing to die to save others, or at least put himself in harm's way. I think that this trait is not unique to honorspren, but to many of the Radiant spren. They're willing to die if it means a greater good--such as not destroying the planet. 4. Some spren don't see death the same way as humans do. Pattern is very nonchalant about dying. He fully expects, even encourages, Shallan to kill him, simply to spare her pain. Syl bounces back from being dead and doesn't really even give Kaladin grief over it. Ico doesn't seem particularly upset over his father being a dead-eye. He even is very understanding about why humans break Oaths. Other spren are downright friendly with humans. Even Wyndle, who is quite a fussy little voidbringer, mentions that they don't exactly die, though he is admittedly nervous about it happening to him. 5. The Radiants didn't lose their powers before the Recreance. As I mentioned in 1 (felt like it bore repeating), in Dalinar's vision of the Recreance, the Windrunners had their powers up to the point where they broke their Oaths. They flew to Feverstone Keep, their Blades and Plate were still glowing. 6. The other spren don't seem to know the reason for the Recreance. Ico thinks the reason for the Recreance was that humans couldn't honor Oaths. Notum just thinks Radiants are dangerous. Niether of them seem to care or mention much about the possibility of surgebinders destroying the planet. I think that the bonded spren at the time deliberately did not tell their friends and relatives what they were going to do, in order to enhance the shock factor, as well as the sense of betrayal by the humans. This would discourage just about all the spren from ever seeking a Radiant again, unless they were desperate. The best way to prevent future bonds was to shock and horrify all the other spren so much that the idea would be unthinkable for millennia. 7. The spren didn't leave or choose to have their Oath broken. Notum mentions there are "other ways" than killing the Knight, at least until the 5th Oath is sworn. Bui;ding on 6, if the spren didn't agree with their Knights, shouldn't some of them have tried to break their bond? It doesn't appear as if any of them did. 8. The skybreakers and highspren didn't break their Oaths. Highspren and Skybreakers hold the Law and Oaths as the highest possible Ideal, so to speak. The highspren would never have agreed to breaking the Oaths, and the Radiants likely wouldn't either, or weren't willing to kill their spren without their consent. They must have agreed to some degree though, because they've never told the other spren why all the other Orders foreswore their Oaths. 9. The spren didn't break their Oaths on their own (controversial). I believe that the spren can break the bond to their humans on their own. That they didn't also implies that they were complicit in the Recreance. This is a point of contention between me and some of the proponents of this theory, though, so I've marked it controversal. So, thoughts, opinions? Oh and thanks to @Calderis . Like Wit mentions, timeliness is important, and Calderis thought of this before me, although I came to it independently I posted this with his blessings.
  7. 29 points
  8. 23 points
  9. 23 points
    She went to live on a farm. She has lots of space to run around, and the people there are very nice to her, and don't even mind when she kills their ardents or eats their dark gems.
  10. 20 points
    So I was thinking more about the surge of Illumination, and we really haven't seen anything like the full combat potential for this surge yet. I think Illumination can be used both Defensively and Offensively. One of the big advancements in understanding for this surge during OB was that an illusion could be affixed to a gemstone, this opens up a ton of more possible uses for this fascinating surge. Here are some possible uses: The Combat Flash Grenade: We know that Shallan can manipulate light with her surge of illumination, we also know from the scene in WoR that she can have moving, animated illusions affixed to Pattern, and from OB we know that she can affix illumination illusions to gemstones. Combining all of these, I present to you the combat flash grenade, a complex predefined illusion that starts out as normal sphere and cycles to a state of extreme illumination (depleting the stormlight of the sphere). The effective radius of this combat grenade would probably be dependent on the size and quality of the encased gemstone (an emerald broam would probably be the best). But if Shallan sketched this sequence once in her sketchpad she could essentially (with a bag of spheres) blind the entire front ranks of an attacking phalanx of troops: The Archery Blind: Like the flash grenade, a simple illusion could be attached to a gem and given to a team of archer's. This gem would have an illusion of a natural looking rock formation, and if the archery team was positioned before the enemy troops got a good sight line on them, they would essentially be firing from a place of concealment, giving them an advantage when the enemy archers begin returning fire (this could also be combined with a natural cave, giving the archers a redoubt when the enemy has discovered their location). The yellow part of the illustration is just highlighting the portion that is illusion: The Burmese Tiger Trap with Pallisades: This is a pretty self explanatory defensive strategy, dig a pit, put some pallisades in the bottom, then cover the top with a seamless illusion. Wait for the enemy to fall in. Simple. The Heartbreaker: Given that Shallan can create sound waves with the use of her surge of Illumination, and that they are specific enough that (at least this is implied) she can modulate the frequencies of these waves well enough to imitate voices and other sounds, it stands to reason she has enough control over these generated sound waves to create sound waves of specific frequencies. So with enough research (which I'm sure Navanni would help her with) she could by trial and error discover the resonant frequency of sound that would be required to shatter the Fuzed's gemhearts. This has lots of advantages, because soundwaves propogate through matter, and can be used from a distance this would be a good way if properly deployed (maybe even with Fabrial technology) to take out the Fused. This is a lot like the DARPA project to find the resonant frequency of human eyeballs to disrupt enemy combatants vision (which actually was a project) to create a long distance sonic weapon, and some sonic weapons used to disperse protesters. Similar in operation to how the correct resonant frequency can destroy glass, Shallan with enough research could find the proper frequency and amplitude to shatter Fuzed hearts from a distance: I'm sure these are just the tip of the iceberg, what else have you guys got?
  11. 20 points
  12. 20 points
    I originally suspected this was the Dawnchant; like you, I thought the image felt older than others. Now, I think this is one of Ellista's "in-between, weird languages" (OB I-1, hardcover pp. 335) where different cultures used a Dawnate script to transliterate their own tongues. A-HA! Thank you! I was having problems with asymmetry, but you've solved that for me. I'm now reasonably certain I've correctly translated the entire sample. Here's the final product: Rishir: Valhav: Alethela: Natanatan: Thalath: Makabakam: Aimia: Shin Kak Nish: Iri: Sela Tales: Note that for all but one kingdom, there is a diacritic of two dots over the final character. I suspect that this indicates that the word should be mirrored for symmetry. If this is true, the different diacritic used in Valhav may be to indicate the additional 'H' before mirroring. Also note that for Sela Tales, I'm mostly guessing, as large sections of the writing are covered up by the coastline. Similarly, I'm unsure about the first letter in Aimia. I've labeled it 'A', since that fits the word, but it doesn't resemble any other 'A' we have. I'll try and put together a translation key with what I've got here, but I unfortunately don't have the time for that right now. EDIT: Oh, one last thing. For the most part diacritics appear over vowels, probably indicating how the vowel is voiced. The exceptions are the two dots at the end of most words, the special diacritic at the end of Valhav, and the '>' over Valhav's 'V'. I'm not at all sure what that last one might mean.
  13. 19 points
    Sorry to necro, but just thought of a new one. I am a sap, I know. Dear Navani, Roses are red, Violets are blue, I learned how to write, Just to send this to you. Love, Cool Dalinar.
  14. 19 points
    Congratulations you've chosen to wrestle the Hog
  15. 18 points
    It will be. I believe we've been told that the first five will all be centered around the night of Gavilar's death, and the back five will be centered around some other event. I personally think that book five will be Gavilar's PoV. All of the Prologues so far have been titled in a similar structure "To Kill" "To Question" "To Weep." I think book five will be Gavilar's and be "To Die"
  16. 18 points
    She didn't read the fine print on the warning label. "Consumption of Yelig-nar's gemstone may cause spontaneous crystal growths, the replacement of your entire internal organ system, delusions of grandeur, voidbinding powers and maybe the consumption of your soul. Consult your ardent to decide if Yelig-nar is right for you before ingesting."
  17. 17 points
    Yeah, this line uttered by Shallan during this scene is the one that more than any other prevents me from seeing her speech as 100% genuine to Adolin. I mean, come on. A true evaluation of her feelings or "not" feelings for Kaladin should have included the truth that she didn't like Kaladin just because he was pretty or as she put it "a piece of artwork" on the wall. A confession from a Shallan who had seriously considered the merits of a relationship with Kaladin would have included something like "you know, he is all these things, and a lot of them are good, others not so much. But I know that he's just not right FOR ME." Acknowledging that there are good things about Kaladin, but ultimately those things are not what Shallan considers good enough for a real long term relationship would have been a better way of convincing us and Adolin that she is done with Kaladin in that sense. But no, instead she immediately disparages Kaladin as not just being bad for her tastes, but bad for any woman's taste. Not even a recognition that other women might like Kaladin and match well with him, no, he's a bad man for any woman, Veil included. This just stinks of dishonesty, a means of trying to desperately convince Adolin and herself that Kaladin is not a concern. Unless Shadolin supporters honestly think Kaladin represents "bad taste in men" for all women. I dunno, maybe they do. But I don't, so therefore that one line seems to cast doubt on the rest of the things she says while trying to sell her feelings to Adolin. It's such a disparaging comment about someone that has mostly been good to her and Adolin, with growing empathy toward each other and their relationships. There is no reason for Brandon to have put that line in except to demonstrate the vast disconnect between what Shallan experiences, what she thinks, and what she feels...
  18. 17 points
    Skybreakers be like
  19. 17 points
    Time for a real meme dump. Spoilers for size.
  20. 17 points
    Ok, one more because I'm particularly proud of it.
  21. 16 points
    To repeat what's already been said in different words, "character development" does not mean improvement. Yes, Shallan regressed. And? This isn't a power up anime. We aren't trying to see what the next super sayan level is.
  22. 16 points
    Dear arms: I'm glad that we three can spend this year together, gon! I will make sure there is a lady for each of you! --The Lopen.
  23. 15 points
    Hello everyone, I do not expect this to be a popular post. My apologies in advance. But I have to step in here. We have deliberated and we have decided to close this topic. This post will be explaining exactly why that is. I'd like to state for the record that we are not out to get anyone. What is a forum if you can't post your opinions? That's obviously very important. People are allowed to dislike books. People are allowed to dislike things in books. This forum should be a safe place for everyone. That's the thing, though. Forums should be a place where people feel comfortable discussing things. We had this occur last month, for instance, the classic distinction in our community where some hardcore theorizers shot down some theories from newer, less hardcore members. We can do better as a community to balance, as always. So that leads us into this thread. We have seen many, many reports on this thread, with many people on all sides saying things like, "this is allowed? Seriously?" That's basically everyone. This thread has been described to us privately as "toxic" and "a cesspool." Many have told us that they never want to join in the thread again. They feel unsafe in the thread. Opinions would be attacked immediately. That's absolutely terrible and unacceptable, full stop, and we should not be okay with this being the status quo of discourse here. We on the mod team wanted to keep this open, because we know this is a contentious issue. Some will always think we're just doing this to silence criticism of Oathbringer, because I don't know, they think all the mods are yes-men who love everything Brandon written. (Never mind that that is completely false, and any day of the week you can chat with us on works some staff didn't like, some things very aggressively so.) Just know, we have let this sit for a very long time to see how things panned out, and as you can plainly see, plenty of threads that are critical of Oathbringer are visible and active right now. It's clear that this thread is causing people to feel unsafe, and that, as moderators, makes us very nervous. It really worries us that this might be the thread people see and it's one of the first they participate in, and they get into something that's very heated and they immediately nope out of the thread. You can very clearly see that members who briefly join the thread don't continue pages later. Generally discourse has been very poor in this thread, with all involved thinking they are excellent at arguing, and of course, you are definitely accepting the other side, but everyone else isn't listening to your amazing arguments. Is this you? Then you should think about that. People are making others feel unwelcome, and this is a major issue. Have rules been broken? There have definitely been attacks, and we've tried to tone things down, but the discourse hasn't really improved. I'm personally not sure what we should do as a moderator team to make better rules on things so we foster good discussion. This is a case where a thread hurts the spirit of the community while (for the most part) being within the letter of its rules. Here are some musings: A Reddit thread generally has a limited shelf life. Comments in a YouTube video die off after a while. But forums are somewhat perfectly designed for this sort of thing to evolve, where people have intense opinions and through sustained effort, drive away reasonable discourse. It's worse in this case because so much of Adolin/Shallan/Kaladin controversy has been in this thread, and so it's continually gotten more extreme as things progress. Forum topics don't close so this could literally progress ad infinitum, years from now, and that's very concerning. I think opinions have been said at this stage, in extensive detail, and don't need to be continued. When the cost to the community is the impression that the site is overall toxic, we need to act, so we have decided to close the thread, and hopefully things should cool down. Just to be clear: if you like Adolin, that is not an inherently bad thing and is not a thing that is to be said dismissively. (As in, "oh, you just like Adolin, so I'm disregarding what you say.") Similarly, critique of Adolin and saying that Kaladin and Shallan are way better for each other is a completely valid opinion to have, and we expect people to (obviously) continue to have that opinion. But we can treat people way more respectfully than has occurred in this thread. Please remember that as we move forward. People are entitled to their opinions, but at some point people are just talking over each other and it hasn't been productive for anyone. Please feel free to discuss this with me. We are always willing to listen if you have a concern, and are looking for ways to improve.
  24. 15 points
    Disagree on pretty much everything. Kaladin is one of many "main characters" and it was nice two not have this book bold down to Kaladin saves the day. And without digging into every point... There was a lot of character development in this book. Just because it didn't go in a direction you expected/wanted doesn't mean it wasn't there. Dalinar and Shallan both had major development. Dalinar is a more complete character and had to fight to maintain who he is in his own eyes because of it. Shallan is arguably not the same character as she was at the start of the book. Those kind of changes are character development. Edit: and no, Oathbringer isn't the story I thought it would be. And that's a fantastic thing. If a writer only gives me the story I expect what's the point?
  25. 15 points
    Doesn't he know that leaving it to our imagination is guaranteed to get our hopes up? When he leaves a title blank, I fill it with unreasonable expectations! Maybe 2018 won't be The Year Without Cosmere after all! Already the hypespren gather in great numbers! They float around my ears and whisper Nightblood, Nightblood. And disappointmentspren are waiting in the wings, knowing their day will come.
  26. 15 points
    Here's another one...
  27. 15 points
  28. 15 points
    Hello everyone. While talking with some other people recently, I hit on an idea that I think explains humanity's success in their first attack against the Singers. To set the stage, humanity at this point is living in Shinovar, does not have Surgebinding, and is probably less populous than the Singers. How is humanity so successful then, that the Singers feel the need to ally with Odium and create the Fused to fight back? Where does this power that allowed the initial conflicts go? I believe that the answer to both questions is that humanity still had access to Surges... from the diseases of Ashyn. 1) Ashyn's Investiture accesses Surges, and is disease based. This point is the keystone of the whole theory, so first let's look at some WoBs. This WoB vaguely details the mechanics of Ashyn's Investiture. Ashyn's powers are accessed when you grow ill, and they go away when you get better. Additionally we have this WoB. These two things together imply that catching a disease let you access the Surges, in slightly different forms than Radiants currently can. I think we can make a safe assumption that anyone with these diseases is going to be capable of similar feats to those we've see from our Radiants. This brings us to point number two. 2) The Surges allowed humanity the ability to expand aggressively So when humanity arrived on Roshar from Ashyn, they might have had some of these diseases among their population. Humans stayed in Shinovar long enough for some sembalance of peace to exist between Singer and human. However, at some point humanity aggressively expanded, to the point that every major Singer city was captured. Every Dawncity is likely a former Singer capital. How did humanity do this? The Elia Steele gives us a hint: So humanity was using Surges. The problem with this is that the nahel bond could not have existed at this point. The nahel bond mimics the Honorblades, and the Honorblades did not come into existence until the Fused came into existence, which had to have been after this initial aggressive expansion. So how was humanity using the Surges? The diseases of Ashyn. Where did these diseases go, then? Well... 3) The extra Investiture from repeated exposure to Stormlight made humanity too disease resistant Humans expanded aggressively, and then settled in Singer territories, probably very confident in their ability to hold on to their gains. Of course we know that they didn't, so what changed? Humans began to become Invested by the background Investiture of the storms. Every so often, humanity gets bombarded by large amounts of free floating Investiture. Unlike any native life form on Roshar, it has no way to express itself, so in the case of humans it just makes humanity as a whole healthier, and more resistant to disease. This WoB seems to back up this theory: So humanity becomes more disease resistant, the Ashyn diseases start dying off. This leads us to the Second Desolation. Somehow, the Singer have recovered their numbers, and in addition have made a bargain with Odium to create the Fused, the Regals, and access Surges. This puts humanity on the defensive, and requires the Oathpact and eventually the Radiants to give humanity relatively even footing. Conclusion: I think I've made a pretty good argument for the timeline of the first two conflicts between humanity and the Singers. I've left out any mention of Urithuru, because I don't know how it fits in yet. I am also not really sure how the Girl Who Looked Up fits in, unless she somehow allowed stormlight to inundate the Shinovar region like it does the rest of the world. Anyway, would like to hear people's thoughts.
  29. 15 points
    Ugghhh.....the thread blew up in my absence again... Beware the long post. I see that my comments are again applicable. But first, I want to outline the points I want to address: Thanks for clarifying. Definitely a cremhole move then... First off... Yes. On Shallan's part I think this was absolutely a cremhole move. I think Adolin got caught up in the moment. This was done to prove a point, though I think it was more to herself than to Adolin. More on this in a minute. You are partially correct and incorrect on this point. @SLNC does a good job of making a reply to this, but I'd like to tackle it from another angle. Get to that in a minute. This stems from an issue within Shallan, and I think it has to do with her deliberate degradation of him throughout Oathbringer. This is part of point #1. Good points here. There's definitely something different about the way Shallan treats Pattern versus Kaladin & Syl. More in a minute. Finally! Someone else mentioned this! Point #4. Lots of speculation in this paragraph. Shallan's conflicts are not just rooted in the past, like Dalinar. A lot of Shallan's issues are current, but have context from the past to further amplify the issue. The severely underlying problem, however, is rooted in the past and is absolutely one which must be resolved for her character to grow. Point #5. I have been thinking if a divorce happened it would come from Adolin. I think Shallan is too dependent on Adolin to divorce him and we have seen him try to break up with her already. I really do not know what to expect. I want to see Shallan more honest, but I don't know what the impetus will be for her to do that. She is going to need a shove. I don't see her gradually overcoming her problem. I foresee disaster. I got a lot to say on this topic. But I will try to make point #6 brief. Well put as always, my friend. This will be covered in points 1 & 2. Aaand yes, you're right that this is from Kal's POV, but taking this one line in Oathbringer to prove your point ignores both the context that follows (as SLNC pointed out) and the fact that, while Kaladin himself never had time for art (he was a soldier, always consumed with caring for him men), I think there is ample evidence in WoR and Oathbringer that he appreciates it. This is not a focus for this post, so I won't say more. I will be doing a reread of the entire SA soon, so I will look for evidence to support my statement at that time. Now. Here we go. Please bear in mind I do not have a physical copy of OB and am largely going off of my memory, so I may get some things wrong. Point # 1 - Shallan's degrading of Kaladin as a person is an attempt to demonize him and glorify Adolin. Shallan, as has been pointed out repeatedly, has a lot of mental issues going on here. From her appearance on the Shattered Plains in Words of Radiance, to the final marriage at the end of Oathbringer, Shallan and Kaladin have sparked like wildfire. There's ample textual evidence to support this--I'm not going to get into the debate on whether or not the potential was there. Suffice it to say, in the chasm scene in WoR, Shallan revealed more of her true self to Kaladin than she has done to anyone else in the SA, Hoid excluded, and Kaladin exposed himself to her as well. That kind of discourse creates a connection between people, and is largely the root for the "love triangle arc" that we see in OB. I'll admit wholeheartedly that I initially didn't like the way this was handled, but after some time and distance, I'm starting to see that this was actually very clever plot manipulation on Brandon's part. Back to my point, Shallan opened herself up to Kaladin in a very intimate way, and that occurrence is actually what caused this backlash in OB. She recognized that there was something there within her for Kaladin, but she wants Adolin. I've said it before and I'll say it again here: Adolin represents everything that Shallan wants and should have had in life. He is the charismatic lighteyes, the kind of man that every light-eyed girl dreamed of marrying. And he's here. He's obtainable. Had her life gone normally, she might have been married off to a lighteyed man like him, gotten married, had children, and had a happy family. Taking that into account, she clings to Adolin with a surprising level of franticness, desperate to hold on to this one part of her life that is going the way that it should. Look at the dialogue--every time she thinks Adolin is about to leave, she panics. Some part of her, buried deeply to be sure, is aware that Kaladin is an equally suited match, but on a surface level (which is where she operates for most of OB), she believes that Adolin is the one for her. Shallan (on the surface) doesn't want Adolin to leave. For any reason. So she retaliates at Kaladin. She demonizes him, scorns him, and even paints a picture of a really ugly man over him with lightweaving to further contrast that Adolin is the desirable one. You can also look at the dialogue--at the way she describes Kaladin when she is "Shallan"--she belittles him and almost caricaturizes him in her mind. Contrast that to Veil's reactions to Kaladin, which are much more reasonable and take into account more than just his brooding eyes, and that at the beginning of OB the vast majority of mentions of Kaladin's whereabouts and situation come from her POV. And that leads me to point # 2... Point # 2 - What we see in Oathbringer are three personas, with very little of the real Shallan in textual evidence. We also see Veil become more and more like the true Shallan (the one we've read in WoK and OB), while "Shallan" becomes a caricature of "Shallan, the light-eyed girl". First off, I would like to clarify that there is a difference between "persona" and "personality". A personality could be considered a separate entity, and would probably manifest as a different person in Shadesmar. A persona is an act, or a role, that a person assumes for a specific person, and would not manifest as a separate or distinct person in Shadesmar. Therefore, understand that when I say that "Shallan", Veil and Radiant are personas, I mean that they are all roles and acts. Let's recap. At the end of WoR, Shallan is confronted with a Truth that she is not ready to face. Her downward spiral and mental degradation actually begins here, during her breakdown where she laments that she wants her family. Her foundation of mentally ignoring what happened in the past has been cracked and has begun to crumble beneath her feet. She has to shore that up somehow to keep from falling into the abyss that is the broken, frightful monster she fears she truly is. She does this in multiple ways, and we see the beginnings of this at the beginning of OB. I'm not going to go into extreme detail (this will be a big part of my Shallan analysis during the reread), but suffice it to say that Shallan is left raw at the end of WoR, and rather than facing her problems begins to funnel herself into her personas, slicing off pieces of herself (mentally) to augment each of their "personalities" with a bit of herself and make the transition easier. While Veil was originally created for the purpose of infiltrating the Ghostbloods, in OB Veil took on a more realistic tone as Shallan used her to navigate Urithiru in secret. Shallan, by this point, was a very recognizable person, and in order to operate in stealth, she took the guise of Veil. However, when the killings by Re-Shephir began, she felt the need to go deeper into these personas--not because she needed more knowledge of infiltration (which Veil did not have, since she was still Shallan), but rather because as her personas she could ignore the pain of her previous Truth. Pattern also represents that pain, so she needed to create a persona to mentally sidestep that pain. The deeper she went, however, the more she sought to bury the true Shallan. She became "Shallan", a young woman who was easily distracted, who cared little for science (though that had always been the primary reason behind her art, as evidenced by her inner dialogue in WoR), who was "in love" with Adolin and thought Kaladin was "a pretty picture". You can actually see this transformation occur over the course of Oathbringer. Veil, then, her first persona, gradually began to take on more and more of the true Shallan, as "Shallan" perpetually siphoned off the parts of her that were not what she thought she wanted or needed to be. This is why the collapse of Veil near the end of OB was such a drastic situation for Shallan--up until this point, she'd been using Veil more and more to be herself, as "Shallan" had to be someone else. And yet, because of her very proficient mental gymnastics, Veil was still a different identity so she didn't have to hurt, as Shallan did. Therefore, when Veil failed in Kholinar to save anyone (despite her best efforts), Shallan became lost. Veil had actually become the grounding persona, the one closest to Shallan herself, and now, suddenly Veil hurt. She couldn't be Veil anymore--to do so would be to face that pain. But she because of this she was lost. She didn't know who she was anymore, and she couldn't pick to ground herself because she'd been shying away from who she was for so long. Thus, when Adolin squeezed her hand and she stopped at "Shallan", she immediately jumped on it and said "He knows who I am!" Because, at that moment, she could not function without an outside source to tell her who she was. As others have pointed out, we see that this is not truly the case at the end of OB. She has not suddenly grounded herself, but she has decided that she needs to be "Shallan," because "Adolin knows who I am, so that must be who I am." However, the true Shallan by this point has been siphoned off to Veil and Radiant. Veil's much more toned down at the end. Veil hurts too much, so we barely see Shallan dip back into Veil after that, but the evidence is there when even Radiant begins to side with Veil, and Shallan begins wearing Veil's clothing as herself instead of just as Veil. Point # 3 - Shallan's relationship with Pattern is a dark reflection of Kaladin's relationship with Syl. There's a key phrase at the end of WoR and beginning of OB that is largely ignored in the discussion with regards to Shallan and Pattern's relationship: End of Words of Radiance: Shallan say she hates Pattern. Pattern replies with "I know..." Beginning of Oathbringer: Pattern acknowledges that Shallan hates him, and Shallan doesn't refute that fact, though she replies with "I hate myself, too." This is an underlying current with Shallan and Pattern, and it's a dark reflection of Kaladin and Syl. Kaladin needs Syl, Shallan needs Pattern. Kaladin, however, cherishes Syl and I think, truly views Syl as almost like his best, most closest friend. He shows several times in OB that he is concerned about his bond with Syl, and in Shadesmar, he has just suffered a psychological blow. I don't think their relationship is in question here--Kaladin loves Syl, Syl loves Kaladin, and it's not romantic in any way. Shallan and Pattern, on the other hand, have a very different relationship. Pattern obviously wants the bond to progress, but I think Pattern truly wants Shallan to progress as well. I think he genuinely cares about Shallan's well being. He states several times that what she is doing with her mental gymnastics is dangerous and not right. Shallan, meanwhile, has a very deeply buried hatred for Pattern. She acknowledges that he is necessary as part of her Radiancy, but she hates what he represents, she hates what he has forced her to do. I would argue that without Pattern's intervention in WoR, Shallan's arc in OB would have been very, very different. When Shallan and Pattern separate in the sea of beads, I really do think this is symbolic as well as literal. Yes, Shallan in her academic mind would know that Pattern would be just fine in Shadesmar--it's his home, after all. But she doesn't show the care for Pattern that Kaladin shows for Syl. Yes, Adolin would have been in trouble without help, since he didn't have stormlight. That's a valid point. I don't think the symbolism here is that Shallan is choosing Adolin over Pattern--I think the symbolism is that Shallan is choosing to be "Shallan", which (back to my above point) since Adolin represents everything she should have had, and "Shallan" is the persona of that part of her, she is choosing that over healing and coming to an understanding of who she is. Which brings me to... Point # 4 - Lightweavers do not swear oaths beyond the first. They speak Truths as a means of becoming self-aware. Shallan, therefore, in turning away from her problems is fraying the Nahel bond she shares with Pattern. She is not "breaking oaths" as Kaladin had done with Syl. However, she is, in fact, regressing from her Truths. She is turning away from becoming self aware, instead turning to other people to determine what or who she must be. This is the exact opposite of the process of declaring her Truths, and therefore it is not a stretch to imagine that the bond is suffering because of it. Kaladin was on the path to breaking his oath to Syl to "protect those who cannot protect themselves," of which his duty to Elhokar was an extension. He did not break the oath, therefore he did not break the bond. However, his decisions during that period of time were a step in the opposite direction of his oaths, so the bond was strained. This is a direct parallel to Shallan's relationship with Pattern in OB. Point # 5 - The Root of all Shallan's problems lie with Lin, but most of her problems are due to her continued habit of running away from her problems. I will make this brief, since this will be part of the coming analysis, but Shallan's habits of running from her problems began with Lin covering up her mother's death. While I understand the necessity at the time, the entire family encouraged Shallan that it was okay not to think of the death, and this was further encouraged by the family's reticence to talk about it. The point was made that if Shallan can come to grips with her past that everything will be okay--I hope my discourse here has shown that that's not the case. Her problems are in her mental schema--in her methods of excising from her mind the things she doesn't want to think about. Point # 6A - Shallan jumped into marriage because of the emotion at the time, and because Adolin wanted to step back. I know some here will disagree with this statement, and that's okay. But I agree with @Dreamstorm and @wotbibliophile. I don't think the decision to marry Adolin was one of carefully thought out and weighed options. Marriage is a commitment, and it's something that should not be just jumped into, but that's exactly what Shallan did. As I mentioned before, Shallan clings to Adolin desperately, and every time she thinks he is going to step back for some reason, she pounces on the opportunity to reinforce that that's not the case. This is born of insecurity on her part. Point #6B - "Shallan is too dependent on Adolin" and why a divorce will likely not occur. As I've hopefully explained here, it's not that Shallan is dependent on Adolin, per se, but rather that he is and represents what she thinks she wants. Unless she comes to some startling self-awareness between books 3 & 4, I seriously doubt Shallan intentionally divorce Adolin because of a change of heart. As of the end of OB, she is largely still unaware of who she is. She thinks she is "Shallan" because Adolin says so, but I think the arrival of her brothers is going to point out that she's not being honest. Her brothers will likely recognize she is missing her love of natural science. They will probably remark on the changes in her personality. This will happen over time, but in large part she wants to be with Adolin. Adolin, on the other hand, will probably not divorce Shallan. He's tired of courting, and Shallan is pretty much the girl of his dreams. He's finally got her hand in marriage. Yes, he might step back if Shallan told him that she loves Kaladin, but I don't see that happening any time soon. Right now, Shallan's arc with Adolin and Kaladin is at a pseudo-resting place. I think both Shallan and Kaladin have things they have to work through before there can be a possibility that they will have a meaningful relationship. Kaladin was not at a place in OB to pursue one, and Shallan really wasn't either. For that matter, when we analyze things like plots, we have to look at what a plot stands to gain or lose by a specific occurrence. Divorce is a big deal, and I think one of the reasons it's so touted is because we all like Adolin. Divorce is the easiest way for us to possibly have a Shalladin relationship without getting rid of Adolin entirely. "Adolin and Shallan get divorced, and then we still get to enjoy Adolin while Shallan and Kaladin get together." In terms of plot, however, what do we stand to gain from this, other than the pleasure of all three characters staying alive? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It creates unnecessary relationship drama (that dreaded "love triangle" thing we all hate), but other than that, it doesn't serve the plot. Adolin is not a main character, so most of the angst from that will come from Shallan, which we don't want to read. In fact, isn't that the exact thing that most of us are against? Plus, Brandon doesn't really do relationship drama like we would see in a more romance-centric plot. Now, I know the argument floats out there that it's a terrible thing for main characters to get together because all we read is relationship drama, yada yada. Think of the relationships throughout his various series, however. The best example is Vin and Elend. Both are viewpoint characters. Both are in love with each other and marry each other, but their relationship never gets in the way of the plot. That's not how Brandon writes, so I doubt divorce is really on the table. Therefore, if Brandon is setting us up with a love triangle and not resolving it in a seemingly satisfactory, it stands to reason that it is going to affect the plot. He doesn't just put that stuff in there for drama, but because these things are crucial to the way he wants these characters to develop. This is why I have stated before that we stand to gain more, plotwise, from Adolin's untimely removal from the scene (via death, dark Adolin, etc), rather than a divorce. A good example of what I am talking about is Sazed and Tindwyl. Sazed and Tindwyl were only a romantic item for a brief period of time--however, her death devastated Sazed and catapulted him into his entire arc for HoA. I believe that Brandon has set Adolin up for a similar fall--personally, I'd rather see him die than go dark. I'd love for Adolin to be the shining guy he is right up to the end. And that death would exponentially serve the plot better than his continued existence. It would impact Kaladin, sure, but Shallan and Dalinar would have severe blowbacks, from this, I think. To head off the more erroneous arguments "But Dalinar didn't react to--" "But we never saw Navani mourn--" "But the Maya revival arc--" "But I'd rather Shallan leave and be happy than try to stay in an unhappy marriage--"
  30. 15 points
    Excellent post on the summation of the various attitudes in the thread, and the inherent problem as to why it can feel so overwhelmingly one sided with regards to the discussion. Excellent work, and upvote. Ultimately, people who were satisfied with the "end" of the romantic arc have very little reason to come here, and that is why I appreciate those that did and expressed so (though I personally may find it difficult to understand their reasoning behind interpretations). People who are happy with Shadolin, have no reason to look into why the "closing" of the Shalladin aspects were so mishandled. They have no reason to try to understand why Shalladin even existed in the first place. If your team won the game, why would you care about going back and evaluating that bad call by the ref, or evaluate whether some rule had been violated, or if there was cheating, or whatever. So I get it. And honestly, I don't really see much more new discussion to be had on the "is Shalladin over" front until some drastically new piece of information from the author is dropped, hence why you haven't seen much participation from me in active theorizing in a while. Also, I think it is better for me to just forget about OB and the SA for a while. It's really weird. nearly 3 months after release, and I still have not done a full reread of this book. I haven't done a full reread of a book within the book, or even fully reread any particular chapters. I've only pulled open certain sections to make quotes for this thread, and not much else. By this time after WoR, I must have read that thing cover to cover 4 times. Couldn't get enough. That desire just isn't there this time. Not only that, I can't even bring myself to try and go back and reread WoR, which was my favorite of the three. I had no idea I was so hung up on Shalladin like that. That has never happened to me over a book series before, and I read A LOT across multiple genres. It's so weird that I'm embarrassed to even admit it out loud, but...there it is, gotta at least be honest with myself. My wife thinks its adorable, but I think it's torturous. It's torturous that such a stupidly small plot element of this narrative has potentially turned me off of these books for a while. Anyway, like @maxal has said many times before, Brandon is not responsible for my interpretation and reactions to his writing. He doesn't owe me anything in regards to my expectations. So I'll either get it figured out by book 4, or find something else to read. Everyone keep up the good discussion tho, and posting any new information as you get it. Always a pleasure to read an untapped theory or thought.
  31. 15 points
    Oh I absolutely don't think they'd end up together, I've always seen Adolin as more in the way of Shallan and Kaladin post-chasms. But there is just no way Shallan splits from Adolin once the causal was in place, he's handsome, nice and genuine, oh and a prince, more than she ever hoped for growing up knowing she'd eventually be married off to someone of her father's choosing. Then you have the fact she needed his family's standing in order to save hers (not when they got married, but by then it was far too late to back out) Jasnah reprimanding her for wandering eyes, and her basically not really being able to back out even if she gave herself that choice, that wasn't an option. She was too indebted to the Kholins, particularly Jasnah, and she had gotten close to Navani. Sure, she made the decision to marry Adolin and pass on Kaladin, but circumstances essentially forced that decision, which wasn't even really a decision (she thought about it for all of 15 seconds before she realised Adolin "knows" her, and then repressed her feelings about Kaladin). She felt she needed to honor the causal, and well Adolin is a great guy and super handsome, so things could be worse right? So she clings to him and basically starts chopping off pieces of herself she doesn't think Adolin would like, or things she doesn't feel she should have as a prim, proper, lighteyed Alethi woman, betrothed to an Alethi prince. And then these things remanifest in Veil, who she claims is "not her", even though we know it is her, underneath that mask of Veil, its Shallan, hiding and lying to herself. But I digress, if you take out the causal, and give both Kaladin and Adolin a fair playing field (Adolin isn't given a 9 second head start in a 100 meter dash by automatically being betrothed to her) I can almost guarantee 100% it's Kaladin in the end. Even with her handsome prince who's everything she could have ever wanted, she still started falling for Kaladin, while only having limited interactions with him. Does she start falling for Adolin if she's in a relationship with Kaladin first? I just don't see anything in the text that would imply she would, they'd become pretty good friends, she would appreciate his sculpted appearance, but nothing deeper would develop, she would not be drawn to him, like she is with Kaladin.
  32. 15 points
    Marsh being made into Steel Inquisitor, year 0003 before Catacendre, colorized.
  33. 14 points
    Personally, I’m hoping for it to be the behind the scenes Marsh story he mentioned to me at a signing a couple months ago. It’s probably not, but I can hope, right? EDIT: by the way @Dunny, you totally failed with your thread title. You should have named it “there’s always another secret project”
  34. 14 points
    Sadeas - Decomposing Lopen - The Jasnah - Peerless Mraize - Amraizeing Kaladin -Super-Kal-fabuloustic-extra-freaking-awesome Hoid - Impenetrable Sebarial - Flatulent Nightblood - Devi
  35. 14 points
    Come on now. I've been pretty fair in my assessments of Shallan and Adolin's feelings for one another: [OB] Adolin-Shallan-Kaladin Discussion I for one have never argued that Shallan does not have feelings for Adolin, or vice versa. I believe their feelings for each other exist, and have always merited exploration of their relationship. That being said, what I cannot get around is the fact that Brandon has laid out plenty of evidence both in text and in WoB for Shallan and Kaladin: 1. Brandon chose to write romantic interplay between them, that was both based on physical attraction, as well as emotional attraction. 2. This romantic interplay was not "resolved" in any manner where either party had an honest reflection of their feelings. They both chose to ignore them, which means instead of being "resolved", it is now "shelved". Because the author is intentionally shelving these feelings between the two instead of either of them addressing it, then it logically follows that the author intends to pull it off the shelf to be used in the Narrative later. 3. The author is also ON RECORD as saying that it was crucial to get the backstory of both Kaladin and Shallan done up front, because they are going to spend a SIGNIFICANT amount of time interacting together in forthcoming novels. 4. The author is ON RECORD saying that the feelings that Shallan had been experiencing for Kaladin was more akin to "love", and was elevated to that of her feelings for Adolin. The author has revealed that in his mind, the two relationships have the potential to be of the similar level, but with different manifestations (i.e. what Shallan wants now, vs what she might want in the future). 5. The author is ON RECORD saying that what you are seeing with regards to Shallan, Kaladin, Adolin has been seen before. Whether you want to consider that to be comparable to Dalinar, Gavilar, and Navani, or maybe even the more controversial Dalinar, Evi, Navani. Regardless, what we see in either case is the story of a relationship and love between two that ENDS, and the starting of a relationship between one of them and the other. Because the author has plans to increase the amount of signifiant time spent between Kaladin and Shallan, AND because he chose to not have them address their romantic feelings (Chekhov's gun) at this time, then it logically follows that it will be addressed in the future (firing the gun). This is the evidence presented for us both in text, and by the author, and it has no bearing on how Shallan and Adolin feel about each other right now. However, it does present strong evidence that what Shallan and Adolin do have is likely to END. We can quibble about the details of how this might come about, but there is significant foreshadowing and presented evidence both in text and by the author that this is the direction we are heading. So my point is this, when you don't see a lot of discussion here defending the long term viability of Shallan and Adolin's marriage, it is because most of us have considered the evidence presented and decided that there IS NO long term viability for them from a narrative. So, we try to imagine how that ending might come about. I do not feel like I am taking exceedingly wild leaps in my logical processing of the evidence, or the way I am using that to project onto future narrative possibilities. And that processing of the available evidence to date is this: Shallan loves Adolin now, Shallan is highly likely to love Kaladin in the future. She can love both, and she will love both. Do I like it that the author has decided to go this way? Not necessarily. I wish some things had been different, but wishing is not meaningful. We got what we got. All that is left is to come to terms with it, both of us.
  36. 14 points
    Brandon recently on Reddit: [Source]
  37. 14 points
    It almost feels like you are being deliberately obtuse in regards to this, as you fail to acknowledge the extreme social and emotional pressures on both of them to ignore each other. There are many reasons neither of them could interact with each other in a regular in meaningful fashion: 1. They had separate duties and responsibilities that occupied their time, and what little free time she had, Shallan was obligated to spend time with her betrothed, due to expectations from both society and from herself. I'll need to go back and read through the sections to confirm, but I find it interesting to note that Shallan did very little active pursuit of Adolin herself, it was always Adolin who had to come and find her. She was always happy when he did show up, but I find it strange that there is very little proactiveness on her part during OB in her pursuit of Adolin, unlike her initial pursuit of him during WoR, where she was very much on a mission. 2. If you are harboring romantic interest in someone who is not your betrothed or significant other, and you are trying to ensure you are meeting the expectations for your current situation, do you a) risk all of that by actively choosing to spend more time with the person who is potentially a threat to your budding relationship and place in Alethi society, or do you b ) pretend that person doesn't exist outside the times where your responsibilities force you to interact with them? Shallan doesn't want to betray Adolin, and she doesn't want to fail in the commitment that she made with the causal betrothal, so what else is she to do but intentionally ignore Kaladin and where these fledgling feelings she has for him could lead. Not to mention that before Kaladin even returns, she learns that he was the one who slew her brother on the battlefield. Not to mention that she was actively chastised by Jasnah for even spending some of her free thoughts thinking about Kaladin. When you feel something is potentially wrong, and other people insinuate to you it is wrong, then yeah, you're going to try to avoid that thing. This isn't rocket science, you can see this kind of human behavior in your own life. I know I've seen it in mine. 3. The same goes for Kaladin as it did in my second point about Shallan. The expectations are there, and have always been there. I like Shallan, but she is off limits, because she is Adolin's. When you like someone, and you know you CAN'T HAVE THEM, you don't seek out their company to become best friends. You avoid them until you can either confront your emotions about them, or get over them entirely. Unless of course you want to actively seek to disrupt an existing relationship to insert yourself. But again, neither of these characters are that kind of person. It's one giant game of circling the elephant in the room, looking at the walls, and going about your tasks while pretending its not there. It's avoidance, and it's a perfectly natural response for human beings in this kind of situation.
  38. 14 points
    Well, I was trying to put it in a logical timeline for myself, so I wrote you a whole novel (it has mini-chapters!) on this subject. I hope it's all correct: Desolations and Heralds: start As far as I've understood it, based on the book and some of the theorizing on this site (credit to everyone discussing this), it goes something like this: There's a cataclysm on Ashyn, and the humans flee in terror to Roshar, bringing in their wake their god, Odium. Eventually the humans expand beyond the land they were given, stuff happens, and the Singers switch to Odium. During or just before what they now presumably call the first Desolation, Odium turns several of the Singers into Cognitive Shadows, beings who can return after they've been killed, and possess the bodies of other Singers, and who can also use Surges (presumably Voidbinding). These newly dubbed Fused could come back almost immediately after they were killed, which prolonged the fighting, etc. As a solution, Honor (who was now aligned with the humans instead of the Singers) gathered nine of the highest kings, scholars and important people of the age (and Taln, who wasn't supposed to join but did the best job anyway), and turned them into Cognitive Shadows. These newly dubbed Heralds would, at the end of a Desolation, willingly (or not-so-willingly, if they were killed during the fighting) go to Braize (Odium's home base, AKA Damnation), and as long as the Heralds were there, the Fused were held prisoner, and could not return to Roshar. The Heralds then spend some time (at first several centuries) being tortured, until one of them gave in to stop the torture, at which point it seems both they and the Fused were returned to Roshar, to prepare for a new Desolation. Desolations and Heralds: end As you can imagine, spending several centuries being tortured, fighting a Desolation, and then having to go back for more torture (lasting centuries) was not great for these Heralds' mental health, and so every round they broke faster and faster, until their last period on Braize lasted less than a year, and the last Desolation started (Aharietiam). Most of the Heralds were, frankly, broken, done, and didn't want to go back, and they were looking for a way out (as stated in the prelude, Jezrien says they took up the burden willingly, and now they could put it down if they wanted to). Only problem is, as soon as they break the Oathpact, there are no longer any restrictions on the Fused, and humanity would die out very quickly. At this point they realized that out of all 10 of them, nine of them had given up and started a new Desolation at one point.. except for Taln. So they figured, if we leave him on Braize (since he already died, and had already gone there in the prelude), the Oathpact won't technically be broken, the Fused can't come back, and we can stay on Roshar. Since they are Cognitive Shadows, and no longer really human, they didn't age or die during the 4500 (!) they left Taln to suffer alone, holding the Oathpact together all by himself (this is the Heralds betraying their fellow Herald bit). The Stormfather, being a spren (of Oaths) and not a human, was very offended by this bit of Oathbreaking, since he didn't really understand how humans work. Spren aren't as changeable, and probably couldn't be broken mentally the way the Heralds were. After Oathbringer, as far as we know, basically all the Heralds are still alive (and back on Roshar), except Jezrien (blame Moash). Knights Radiant However, a few Desolations before this last one, the spren had figured out how to bond with humans, and the organisation of the Knights Radiant formed. These Radiants also fought in the Desolations, guided humankind, etc. I'm not sure we have any information on how they reacted when the Heralds wandered off, maybe they believed this Desolation ended the same way all the ones before did, and the Heralds were back on Braize. Well, at this time, several thousand years back, humans were aware that they were refugees from Ashyn (they figured this out on occasion), since at that time they were still talking to spren who were around before that, among other things. But Honor always managed to convince them that they were righteous (in basically taking over the entire continent of Roshar). Honor's Death However, in between all these reaffirmations, Honor (and Cultivation) was trying to dodge around Odium, who was doing his best to kill both of them. Eventually, at one point, Honor took a fatal blow, and started the long process of dying (which took him quite a while). Unfortunately, near the end, the intent of his shard (keeping Oaths) started to overwhelm the rest of his personality a bit, and he started to rant and rave about how the humans destroyed their old world with Surgebinding, and the Heralds were Oathbreakers, and everything was going bad, etc. These humans, who were already centuries or more removed from Ashyn, and had mostly forgotten about it, were rather shocked and shaken, but as far as I know, still willing to continue on Knight Radianting. Then on top of all of that, the False Desolation happened, which eventually led to the Recreance and the ending of the Knights Radiant, which the Stormfather took as more Oathbreaking, which led him to the belief that humans can't be trusted. So what I think the Stormfather is blaming Honor for, is from switching from reassuring the Radiants to saying 'it was all your fault, and you will do this again.'
  39. 13 points
  40. 13 points
    Shallan's character shines when she's pushed and reality comes crushing on top of her. She killed her father when the things got really bad, when Lin started hurting her step-mother, threatening to hurt others for her disobedience and when he brought Balat's romance to a head by calling Eylita to the mansion. She was happy to play along as the perfect Vorin daughter until she was pushed too far. She killed Tyn when she was attacked by using her shardblade, which she had seriously considered using only once before, in the alley with Jasnah. She knew Tyn could be dangerous but she extended her charade for her because she was comfortable around her and was fascinated by her swave behavior. One of Shallan's greatest moments is when she recruits the deserters, but she only does it at the last moment when there's no other options, otherwise she was content to sketch and look worryingly over her shoulder. She only acts like her true self, according to that tWoK annotation, when she's refused. I'm talking about this: That's just after Jasnah refused to take her as a ward. She took action and formulated a bold plan to change Jasnah's mind. What I'm trying to say is that Shallan shines, for good or ill, when she's pushed and taken out of her comfort zone. Actually "shines" is the wrong term. I'll go with takes decisive action. But here's the thing. Adolin treats her masks as separate people and panders to them and prefers the one she puts on as being the perfect one according to his expectations.That's not helpful for her mental state and it isn't what she needs in order to be an interesting character to read. She's the kind of person that needs to be spurred and stimulated into being her best self, which is her whole self. When things are at the worst for her, she tries her hardest and becomes closer with her true self. One of Kaladin's best qualities isn't just that he's a good soldier or a good protector but that he also actively pushes others around him to be better. He is a leader. Think how Rock or Teft were in the beginning of tWoK and when or why they started helping Kaladin. He, also, sets an example for others to follow. Sometimes he doesn't even want to set an example but especially at those times people choose to follow him (think the whole armoured bridgemen in Parshendi carapace). He pushes people around him to rise and even lifts them when they're unwilling. He dragged Bridge 4 out of their desperate stupor by providing them camaraderie. Soups, reassuring smiles when he felt they needed them, a sympathetic ear to tell their stories. He listened and got to know them, while dealing with his own issues and guilt. Also I'm going to put this here: That shows me these three things: Shallan is no stranger to putting on masks to please others. She didn't start doing it when she became able to lightweave. It just helped. Also isn't it strange that she puts up the same mask with Adolin as she did for her father. Although they are VERY different people, Shallan wants to be what she thinks they both want her to be. The perfect Vorin daughter or wife. She's comfortable enough with Kaladin to drop the mask and reveal her self. The confession in the chasms that she killed her father was her revealing painful parts of herself to him. She feels comfortable with him as she does with a member of her family. Much more comfortable than she does with Adolin or Jasnah or Dalinar or Navani that are members of her actual family now. And I get it that this could be interpreted that Brandon is setting a siblings relationship between them, and that could fit with the whole "She reminds me of Tien" thing. But frankly that's weak. By the same logic every potential romantic interest should be dismissed if they vaguely remind you of a sibling. Is your crush funny like your sibling? Tough luck buddy, you can't love them romantically. Oh, you're as comfortable around this person as if they were your family or as if you've known them for a long time? Tough break.
  41. 13 points
    I listed all the scenes where Dalinar feels this strange "warm light" which comes from unknown source.Just list of scenes, no theories, cause I have no idea what it means:)But maybe others have any thoughts.All I can say, it's certainly not from Honor, Cultivation, or Odium. 1)"Warm light bathed him. A deep, enveloping, piercing warmth.A warmth that soaked down deep through his skin, into his very self. He stared at that light, and was not blinded. The source was distant, but he knew it. Knew it well. He smiled. Then he awoke." Words of Radiance, chapter 89 2)"What was the meaning of the last vision I received?” Dalinar said. “The one this morning, that came with no highstorm.” NO VISION WAS SENT THIS MORNING. “ "Yes it was. I saw light and warmth.” A SIMPLE DREAM. NOT OF ME, NOR OF GODS. Curious. Dalinar could have sworn it felt the same way as the visions, if not stronger.” Words of Radiance, chapter 89 3)“Old friend,” Dalinar said softly, “Honor might be dead, but I have felt… something else. Something beyond. A warmth and a light. It is not that God has died, it is that the Almighty was never God. He did his best to guide us, but he was an impostor. Or perhaps only an agent. A being not unlike a spren—he had the power of a god, but not the pedigree.” Oathbringer, chapter 5 4)“I have felt warmth,” Dalinar said, “coming from a place beyond. A light I can almost see. If there is a God, it was not the Almighty, the one who called himself Honor. He was a creature. Powerful, but still merely a creature.” Oathbringer, chapter 28 5)"Something stirred inside of Dalinar. A warmth that he had known once before. A warm, calming light. Unite them. "I will take responsibility for what I have done," Dalinar whispered." Oathbringer, chapter 119 6)"He dipped his pen again. “Would you close the balcony doors again, gemheart?” he asked her. “The sunlight is distracting me from the other light.” “Other light?” As Navani shut the balcony doors, he closed his eyes and felt the warmth of a distant, unseen light." Oathbringer, chapter 122.
  42. 13 points
    Could ideal 4 already be written out? It can't that simple but... Vasher did guide him to the third ideal. “Sometimes, Vasher wondered if the two weren’t really the same thing. Protect a flower, destroy the pests who wanted to feed on it. Protect a building, destroy the plants that could have grown in the soil. Protect a man. Live with the destruction he creates.” Excerpt From Warbreaker Brandon Sanderson
  43. 13 points
    I think it is a rushed plot to have them marry right now, but not necessarily unrealistic, and it felt like a good moment to make a decision like that in terms of just how the decision was executed, on part of writing. When Adolin x Shallan continues down the line it will need more work and attention though, to avoid a complete flattening of an interesting plot in my opinion. If it will be treated like a normal marriage in Book 4 I would be disappointed - I'd expect there to be a lot of difficulties at first, especially from Adolin's POV, adapting to a life like that. I'd be disappointed if Adolin just took it all in stride or with minimal effort and never struggled again. I guess for me it's that I want to care about Adolin and Shallan as a pairing, but I only have a lukewarm opinion of it because they never struggled for that relationship, and the hardships they did face were superficial and hardly any of their relationship was explored beyond the "you complete me" and "he gets me / she's so different and wonderful" tropes. At least with Shalladin I felt as if they had clicked on a deeper level, but maybe that's just because the chasm sequence was miles better than any single Shadolin scene I've ever read.
  44. 13 points
    Exactly this. And what do we have now? A completed arranged union between a woman, who doesn't know who she wants to be and what she wants to do (no, that ambivalence isn't gone as we have confirmation, that she still will use her masks and only has marginal control over them), torn between duties to her highprince husband and to humanity as a Radiant, and a man, who never really thinks about his wife, but still has an obligation to make it work due to social expectations, still tried to get out, but in the end didn't, because his now wife begged him for help with her ambivalence problems (so she could anchor Shallan to him). Great foundations, great chemistry between them (/s). This union is one of social expectations and necessity. Feelings never factored in. Sexual attractions are not feelings of love, but often get confused. Regarding Kaladin and Shallan not understanding each other: I beg to differ, extremely. Kaladin and Shallan spent 1 - one - day together by circumstance and understood more about each other, than Adolin has understood about Shallan during the whole of their courtship. Their respective illnesses are not what defines their character! It is a part of their characterization, yes, but it is not what they really are. Shallan completely switched her view of Kaladin from perceived hatefulness, to seeing him as a man of passion, dedication and determination, which is spot on. What Kaladin once saw as lighteyed arrogance, he then saw as what Shallan really is. A survivor, that was forced to do terrible things to her own family, but despite her brokenness - she survived. Regarding Adolin understanding Shallan's mental issues: He doesn't. Plain and simple. How could he? Not even Shallan herself understands it. Adolin thinks, that she is becoming different persons. Which is just plain wrong. She is still Shallan - there is one WoB a few pages back that confirms that. She has been crafting masks to fix perceived shortcomings of herself, but she lost control over them. And we also know, that she not yet has regained control over them through another WoB. Thing is, that she only perceives these shortcomings. In reality, she would be perfectly capable of doing these things without Veil and Radiant. It is all in her head. There is a dichotomy, that @Dreamstorm mentioned a long time ago now: Adolin is saying the right things and doing the wrong things, because by handling Veil as a different person, he confirms Shallan's own perception of her problem and forces her to hold onto her masks, because he is also making clear, that he isn't interested in anything Veil represents, which are intrinsic parts of Shallan though. Everything Veil did, Shallan also did. Everything Veil will do, Shallan will also do. Her mask doesn't matter, her thoughts on the masks don't matter. Veil isn't different from Shallan. It is all Shallan. Including her feelings for Kaladin, which certainly aren't gone from Veil. Kaladin, on the other hand, is saying the wrong things, but doing the right things, by dealing with Veil as if she was Shallan too. Because she is.
  45. 12 points
    So we know that Renarin seems to have a special place in the Diagram, and Odium is unable to see his part in it. I can see two possible reasons for this, that might be inter-related. 1. His ability to see the future as Odium sees it changes the future. We know that Renarin seems to have his future seeing ability through Glys' corruption. Presumably (given that both Renarin and Odium incorrectly see Dalinar fall) the future he sees is the same future that Odium has predicted. But this knowledge changes things. For example, Jasnah is set to kill Renarin when he turns around and nods, knowing what she will do and accepting it. That act prompts her to stop. By knowing a future he ended up preventing it. It will be interesting to see if he will start using this information consciously, working against Odium by using his own assumptions about the future against him. 2. He is Like an anti-Odium In the scene "A small bottle" Dalinar reflects that he can't understand why his sons don't hate him. This is particularly striking for Renarin given that we have seen ample evidence of Dalinar' lack of love towards his youngest up to this point. Yet he doesn't hate him, instead he shows extrodinary love and empathy. It may be that Renarin is so different from Odium that he either slips under the radar or Odium simply can't predict his actions because they are so alien to his nature. Curious to hear other theories.
  46. 12 points
    When you reach the end of Hero of Ages and need a drink:
  47. 12 points
    Most of us dislike this romance, so you're in good company here (I know that wasn't the exact point you were getting at though, haha.) That being said, don't worry about jumping in late! We won't hold you down and make you stay You'll also see a lot of people asking for evidence in the opposite direction, so that is very welcome! It makes a much stronger argument to confront bias and try and see the other side. I personally started in this thread because I wanted people to convince me the ending was one which was satisfying; I was desperate for evidence that there was something magical about the Shallan-Adolin romance that I missed. My big turning point was when I realized Shallan was sitting when Adolin "sees" the "real" Shallan and then stands up when Kaladin lands (this dynamic - sitting with Adolin and then standing to look at Kaladin is also present in a scene in Honor's Path.) Given Brandon's obvious symbolism regarding Shallan needing to be the girl who stood up (OB, Chapter 82, The Girl Who Stood Up), I was left with either that symbolism having to mean something or that Brandon was very sloppy in ignoring it later in the book. I chose the former and here we are! To get more to your point - evidence is what is written in the book or in a WoB. You can argue about the meaning behind it, but you can't argue that it isn't on the page (/website in the case of WoB.) To get to one conclusion or the other (Adolin or Kaladin), either side has to explain around some evidence. For a pro-Kaladin argument, it's mostly explaining around that Shallan chose Adolin and married him (which is why you get a lot of discussions about whether or not Brandon would do a divorce or otherwise how could they break up), but there doesn't seem to be a lot of meta evidence which points towards Adolin to contend with. For a pro-Adolin argument, you should read the document linked in the very first post on this thread, as it contains a lot of quotes and WoB which are theorized to point towards Kaladin that need to be contended with to arrive at a pro-Adolin conclusion. Some of these form stronger arguments than others, but there is a lot to explain around in order to come to the conclusion that Shallan and Adolin are meant to last. This quote has led to theories about how Shallan would need to divorce Adolin to save Pattern from dying earlier in the thread, yet _this_ comes shortly after: "Syl", kaladin repeated. "We jumped hand-in-hand, but she let go". And, funnily enough gets soundly ignored. No furious theorising about how Syl will abandon Kaladin or he will kill her yet again, no far-reaching predictions about his character. Crickets. Never mind that there was actually a very good reason for Shallan to prioritize Adolin, who, of them all, was in most immediate danger of suffocating if she lost him in the beads, as the only human unable to inhale stormlight in their group, while there is no such excuse for Kaladin/Syl. This has actually been brought up before (but not like I expect you to have read this whole thing!, just pointing it out.) I personally think the theory that the Shallan/Pattern bond is fraying is one which has some of the more speculative evidence - there's some there (including this quote and Pattern's lack of presence at the end of OB), but there is also evidence of them having a good bond (interactions in Shadesmar for instance.) Your point regarding Kaladin/Syl is a good one, though if you're re-reading that scene, I would look at the difference between Shallan's reaction to Pattern being missing and Kaladin's over Syl. Kaladin is frantic (immediately asking for Syl, pacing - we see this from Shallan's PoV) whereas Shallan is very nonchalant about Pattern not making it to the room, not mentioning him from when his hand slipped out of hers until he finds his way back to the room. Kaladin's reaction makes sense given what he's been through; he's lost Syl once before and is desperate to not do so again. Shallan's reaction...? Who knows. Maybe it's showing she's more rational about the fact spren don't need to breath (even if we don't hear her thought about this.) Maybe it's showing she isn't as attached to her spren as Kaladin. We can theorize about what it means, but the fact (i) Shallan clung to Adolin and lost hold of Pattern and (ii) Shallan has a vastly different reaction to losing hold of her spren than Kaladin, are things which did happened, so are open to interpretation as to their meaning. This is something which is complained about a lot with regards to the Jasnah and Elhokar deaths in particular, and I agree that neither was handled with a lot of emotion. (Not totally disregarded - there is definitely mention in the books, but not treated with a ton of emotional weight.) Do lack of expected reactions/thoughts in a PoV mean something though? Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. There have been arguments (not here but other places where I saw this complained about) that neither Jasnah nor Elhokar was a main character, so others' reactions to their deaths were only used when needed, i.e. Navani's journal and missing signs of the Parshendi changing tactics related to grief over Jasnah's death or Kaladin's comatose reaction to Moash killing Elhokar. To point out an obvious "lack of reaction means something" moment, there is Jasnah's non-reaction to Shallan stealing her soulcaster. I agree with you it's very hard to prove a negative - it's always better evidence when you have the benefit of an explicit passage rather than just the absence of anything on point. (Adolin's feelings for Shallan fall into this category for me. We have no evidence from his PoV that he has strong feelings for Shallan, but it's just absence of any strong feelings rather than Adolin explicitly thinking that he doesn't.) In my mind, it's still an open point until we have evidence one way or another, but that doesn't mean the absence of something can't be used as evidence; it's still proof that the author decided to not include something (intentionally or not.) It's just not as strong of evidence as something which directly addresses an issue, because as you point out, it may not mean anything. I'm actually not sure if you're a big Adolin fan? And are you saying this is why you're OK with Adolin being in a romance with someone not totally devoted to him/where he doesn't show feelings? (This was the point of the post of mine you quoted.) If so, I see this as being a subset of "Shadolin is good to keep Adolin in the story more" so that's good I was on the right track about why some Adolin fans are so willing to accept a romance which is not-so-satisfying from an Adolin perspective! Where does this come from? We see Kaladin in WoK flashbacks as being fascinated with drawings of human bodies (which is very akin to Shallan's interest in natural history actually.) Is there something I forget where Kaladin is anti-art? I wholeheartedly agree with this. Kaladin (as a character) got nothing from the arc. He got something from the chasms as an example of judging a lighteyes before knowing more of their story, but there was no reason to keep it going from a character-development perspective. The hypocrisy of "Kaladin has depression and shouldn't be in a relationship" coupled with "it's great Shallan got married to Adolin" drives me batty! Also the idea (as @SLNC pointed out) that Kaladin is the overprotective one, when Adolin is the one shown on the page annoying Shallan with his over-protectiveness. (This does continue into OB though in milder form, such as the beginning of Chapter 110, A Million Stars. "Shallan put her freehand on the frame of the open cargo door and leaned out over the churning depths. Adolin tried to tug her back, but she remained in place.") Notably, in the Re-Shephir confrontation, Shallan is channeling and using her difficult past to make her stronger. (This is one of my favorite Shallan passages ever, so I'm going to re-quote is below .) Shallan then realizes Re-Shephir is going to learn all of her (Shallan's) secrets ("know her completely, discover each and every one of her secrets"), since Shallan is so open at that moment, and Shallan loses her "ferocity and determination" until she decides to lie ("So she lied... She'd always been that way. She would continue that way forever.") I don't think it's any coincidence that after this Shallan huddles in her room for a day (note: I believe I read somewhere this was a week in either the alpha or beta version, but changed as readers found it unrealistic Shallan would remain holed up for so long after Jasnah's return) and then starts fracturing even more distinctly. I think this exposure of "herself" and subsequent decision to solve her doubt (or perceived shortcomings) by lying was quite detrimental to her mental health. Shallan doesn't regain the ability to face her painful memories until Thaylen City, and at that point she explicitly needs Veil and Radiant in order to do so, as her illusions start to fail when she Lightweaves her mother until Veil and Radiant emerge and grab her hands. (OB, Ch. 120, The Spear That Would Not Break, pg. 1149 US kindle edition)
  48. 12 points
    Yes, right after Shallan told him, that she needs to steal some food for the cult. He was simply asking her, what she was doing out there. A completely valid question, considering he knows of her ability to alter her appearance, as in disgusing herself, through Lightweaving. Context is so important to interpret things. It is obvious, that she is donning a disguise out there: "Who do you become?" is simply alluding to that. Right. I'm pulling it out of context, when you are not even providing the context, selectively quoting one sentence passages, that fit your narrative better. The narrative doesn't suggest that. It suggests the opposite. We have multiple chapters (Crimson to Break and Deadeye) which are both Adolin chapters and are both huge on introspection. He even thinks about Shallan in these chapters, but never about any weird behavior or "visual cues" he's picked up. Instead he comments on her fetching outfit (Crimson to Break) and how her clothes don't really fit her (Deadeye). Enough space to put in a sentence about it in, but Adolin doesn't think about it. So your statement, that Adolin has no introspective chapters is just plain wrong. Even if it were true, the bolded sentence makes absolutely no sense, because by asking her there, if it really is a question about her masks, shows that he doesn't wait. Shallan definitely wasn't ready to talk about it, considering her response was "Everyone." Then later she tells him about Veil and Radiant. Great time to press the issue right? No, he rather spins the conversation to him killing Sadeas. If Adolin knew and was just waiting for her to be ready, why wouldn't he talk with her then? Simple, he doesn't know. He then knows about Veil and Radiant and then begins to look for signs until he can distinguish them by the end of Oathbringer. So no. The narrative doesn't suggest he already knew. In fact, it highly contradicts it.
  49. 12 points
    Thank you! I can talk about Kaladin all day. I'd like to give some thoughts on why I think he made huge progress in this book. I know some folks see his inability to say the fourth oath as a failure, but I see it as a sign of progress and self-awareness. He came very close to it a couple of times, to the point where the windspren gathered around him, and Syl told him he was close when he asked her about it. I'm pretty sure he knows the words. However, he knows himself well enough that he is not ready to say them yet. He learned the hard way in WOR how important his oaths are, and breaking one of his oaths will break his bond and kill Syl. I don't think he will say any oath until he is certain he can embody it 100%. The fact that he knows the ideal, realizes "I'm not ready for this," and decides not say it, is a sign of maturity and self-awareness. We know from one of the epigraphs that the Windrunner fourth ideal is a tough one, and I am excited to see Kaladin's process of working towards it, rather than it coming easily in a moment of need. Compare Kaladin's fourth ideal to the end of WOR when Shallan said her fourth truth. I don't think she was ready for it, and her entire arc in Oathbringer is the fallout from a pre-mature oath. We don't know yet if this has damaged her bond with Pattern (I am one who thinks their bond is fraying throughout Oathbringer), but it has certainly damaged her mental health. I know Pattern was pushing her into that truth at the end of the last book, but ultimately it was her choice and I think she should have said "not yet" if she knew she wasn't ready. Now back to Kaladin... I also think he made great progress with his mental state compared to the previous two books. His prejudice of lighteyes is nearly gone, he has fully embraced being a Knight Radiant, and he was downright chipper in the first three parts of the book. Then Elhokar died. Losing Elhokar and seeing his friends kill each other put a damper on his mood. Even so, he realized he was sinking into depression and tried to figure out how to stop it. I think this is a huge step for him. At one point he says "My emotions are irrational. I’ll try to contain them." During another depressive moment, he has this lovely thought: "He’d come far in the last half year. He seemed a man distant from the one who carried bridges against Parshendi arrows. That man had welcomed death, but now— even on the bad days, when everything was cast in greys— he defied death. It could not have him, for while life was painful, life was also sweet." These are just two of several instances where he questions his own negative thoughts and pulls himself out of his funk. By the time they reach Thaylen City, he is back in kick chull radiant mode and there are no more depressive thoughts for the rest of the book. Finally, during the fight with Amaram we have one of my favorite quotes in all of Stormlight: "Ten spears go to battle and nine shatter. Did that war forge the one that remained? No, Amaram. All the war did was identify the spear that would not break.” Kaladin is referring to himself as the spear that would not break. I think this is his greatest moment of strength in the whole series so far. For so long he felt like he a victim, betrayed by Amaram and other lighteyes, with so much hate and resentment. But here, he is taking responsibility for his own awesomeness. He became a radiant because he was strong, not because of what Amaram did to him. It ties in to the overall theme of personal responsibility in Oathbringer, and is also a nice parallel to Taln, who was the ultimate spear who would not break. So yeah, I think Kaladin had a great arc in Oathbringer! I can't wait to see what happens with him in the next book with his progress as a radiant, and how he handles the conflicts between the humans and Singers. I think he'll play a crucial role in whether the Singers become enemies or allies with humans. I've noticed that Kaladin seems to be moving in a direction of compassionate non-violence over the course of the three books, and I look forward to seeing if he can help bridge the gap between the two species with everyone killing each other. As a pacifist myself, I am looking forward to him offering up some creative peaceful solutions. Whether the other radiants and world leaders will listen is another story. I have a feeling they won't, which will set up some fun conflict.
  50. 12 points
    One thing baffles me. Brandon is remarkably good at avoiding Mary Sues, especially considering how OP his characters tend to get. Just look at storming Kaladin. He basically stepped out from the "Mary Sue for beginners" cooking book, and after a few additional spices here and there... he's awesome. There were certain concerns about him after WoR, but from what I've read, OB left mostly everyone satisfied (hopefully we'll have a similar effect with Adolin in books 3+4). All in all, what a fine line Brandon's walking here, and how well he does it. So what in the world is Adolin doing here, especially if it all goes on as some people think? (and, sigh, they might partly be right) Prince Charming, handsome, talented, supportive, influential (and seemingly above the law), with scarce flaws talked about but never shown, blah, blah, everything has been said about that. PLUS he gets the girl and lives happily ever after since book 3/10 PLUS he becomes a KR - and in no typical circumstances for that matter, but achieves the thing that is impossible among impossible, all thanks to his heart of gold. Is Brandon suddenly a 12-year old girl switching to fanfiction business? Does it stand to reason that this could be the course of action? Either Adolin takes a very back seat, dies or something of the above explodes in his face, or I bet there'll be more readers than me throwing the next book out of the window. I for one refuse to believe that any author with a half of Brandon's talent would go much further into this fairy tale.
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