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741 Elantrian

About kaellok

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    Pacific Northwest
  • Interests
    Reading. Writing. Teaching. Playing games! Video games, board games, tugging at the strings that all people have so that they dance to my will.

    Not murdering people. I have developed a large number of strategies to NOT murder people. Some of my closest friends are equal parts relieved and horrified at the number of people I haven't killed. (There was a year there where they were concerned that the number of people I have killed would exceed 0. Then I quit my job, and everything has been better.)

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  1. Lots of people have spent a lot of time debating this subject in this thread, but I figured I'd add my 2 cents as well. First, there are definitely characters that I feel are evil. Of course, that's based on my own definition of 'evil', which may differ from others. We don't really know Odium as a character, but more as a force of nature, and so I really don't have an opinion or judgment of him other than 'bad'. In much the same way that hurricanes are 'bad.' People, on the other hand--I have no problem freely judging them (and I judge myself in a negative light for how readily I judge people). Szeth: assuming that there is not some sort of extraordinary compulsion attached to the Oathstones, Szeth has done a LOT of stuff that HE believes to be evil. At a certain point, you are indistinguishable from the actions you have taken. The Szeth that we see in WoK and WoR is evil. (Perhaps sympathetically evil. But he's still a mass-murderer that knowingly assassinates leaders in a way designed to cause the maximum amount of chaos in the world KNOWING that that will be the end-result. If he's being literally controlled, he gets an exception from me, but that's the only way.) Sadeas: decides to see to the death and destruction of several thousand people who he has willingly allied himself with just so that he can feel like he did when he was younger. Perhaps he should have taken up drugs instead, and destroyed only himself? Such a limitless, selfish nature is evil. We even see that he relishes the idea of self-indulgence in the speech he gives Adolin shortly before his death. Amaram: he is a man who wants to be a good person, but is unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary for that to be possible. At every turn, we see him sacrificing others in order to benefit his own position and desires--including murder. He may regret his actions, but not enough to do the things that he thinks are right. Mr T: @Rogueshar does a great job of explaining how Mr T is evil if only for the hospital blood-letting. I've said in other posts that if he were to use only volunteers, then perhaps it wouldn't be evil. Instead, he specifically kills those that will not be missed by anyone, just to get a potential glimmer of the future. I do not care what your goal and intent is--at the point when you are murdering hundreds, thousands of people for your own purpose, then you are evil. Remorse and shame for actions do not mean that a person is good, just that they are not a monster. If you commit one evil act, that does not make you evil; just a person who did an evil thing. When there is a clear pattern of choosing the evil path, though, that is when I would call a person evil. All of the primary antagonists so far show this inclination. I really, really like @bo.montier's definition of what makes a person evil, too, since it fits really closely with my own, but is much more elegant. As I have said before, though, I think it is important to note that it is possible for an act to be both evil and necessary. Mr T's plan is certainly evil, and I believe that he is evil for following through with it--but if it succeeds in saving humanity on Roshar, then it would be seen as necessary.
  2. Emphasis added. First, I want to say that I agree with the basic premise of your bond-farming theory, specifically that ANY theory of the cause of the Recreance must explain why the Knights Radiant killed their spren, especially in the way that they did. However, this foundation does not intuitively suggest that revenge/punishment for spren transgressions (whether real or imagined) naturally follows. The basic foundation is that "The Knights Radiant thought that their bonded spren needed to die in a manner almost guaranteed to be permanent," and there are many ways that we can get there, including the spren themselves being party to the act and demanding the sacrifice be made. I find your theory more likely than many, but if I were you I would not consider it axiomatic that the Recreance was an act of punishment towards the spren. Personally, I find myself in the same predicament as @galendo, wherein I don't think that any reality is capable of making perfect sense and logic to me. My current head-canon is that a Mistborn (or several) used a Duralumin-Soothe to cause the KR to just give up. The way the Knights are described in Dalinar's vision is similar to how Straff Venture describes the Duralumin-Soothe Vin uses on him in HoA, so I like to think the idea isn't quite as ridiculous as it initially sounds
  3. I find it more likely that the advent of the Radiants caused Odium to be more Invested in the system in order to counter the threat, which resulted in stronger/deadlier Desolations overall. It's a small change from what you have written, but I think an important one. I see no indication or reason to expect that a Desolation will be less terrible just because there are fewer Surgebinders this time around. As for regular people fighting and defeating a thunderclast, I'm sure it's possible--people armed with alcohol, fire, and hammers have taken out tanks. At great cost, and under the right circumstances of course, but it's still possible. The speed that they can attack with is potentially a great limiter, as well as the intelligence behind those attacks. Of course, the overall numbers of them would determine how they are used. If there's dozens or low hundreds, then they would likely be mostly used for assaulting cities and heavy fortifications; if there's thousands, then they'll make heavy cavalry charges insignificant in comparison as they rip through entire armies.
  4. No, no no no no! "Dig things" is how you end up without planets. Such an open-ended statement, when given to a sentient being who is incapable of understanding the context and intent of the language, is as rife for abuse as Nightblood's "Destroy evil" command. (Tangent: Intent matters a great deal with the Oaths of Roshar and in Awakening things in general, so why does it seem to have failed so spectacularly with Nightblood? The creators of Nightblood would have had to have imbued the Command with the intent of what evil is, but it didn't translate well at all. Is this because Nightblood became sentient?) So one day you'd take your NightShovel and tell it to dig a hole so that you could plant some crops, but it just keeps digging. And digging. And digging. Consuming all the investiture around, even any latent bits that might be in the ground or plants. And it doesn't stop until it runs out of Investiture. Given an infinite amount, and it'll dig the planet until it's just an asteroid field. Maybe also some weird things with actively vaporizing the things it comes into contact with. MUCH more study is needed to use Awakened metals, at least to the degree that Nightblood was, in anything approaching safety. (I would agree that a shovel is inherently safer than a sword, and concrete commands are safer than nebulous ones.)
  5. I agree with you almost completely. The only disagreement is that my word choice was deliberate. From my perception and according to my morals, killing a person is not always evil, but it is always wrong. And I would absolutely say that TLR is evil for perpetuating the society he created in the way that he did, even if it was necessary to save the world. I draw hard and bright lines about what is wrong or what is evil, but it is very possible for every action possible to be wrong. However, not everything is equally wrong; killing person A is not necessarily as bad as killing person B or better than killing person C thru L. Context tells us which is the least wrong option, but the least wrong option does not make the action itself 'good' or the person committing it 'good' just because they did so 'for the right reasons.' An evil or wrong act is an evil or wrong act, no matter the reasoning. Similarly, a good or right act is a good or right act, no matter the reasoning. Towards Adonalsium, we do not know many of the details surrounding the Shattering of Them. If the 16 acted in concert to Shatter Adonalsium in order to obtain Their power, then all 16 of them were wrong to do so. If it was only one of them, then that one would be. If Adonalsium had asked them for their help in effectively committing suicide, that might make it less wrong--but would not make the act itself good, even if a great deal of good came about from it. All of this is a tangent to the thread, though, and I apologize for being a large part of the drift in conversation. Antagonists are those that oppose the protagonists. I do not think that Radiants will be antagonistic towards each other due to the arrival of Desolation. Books 6-10 may see this happen, as it seems from the epigraphs in WoR that the Orders were not in true alignment with each other. In the current series, Szeth would be the most likely Surgebinder to continue to be an antagonist, if only because his honor will have him working towards goals that may be counter to what the others wish (ie, a focus on revenge on the Stone Shamanate while the others would welcome their aid). Whether Szeth becomes a Radiant at all is questionable, imo, but still probable.
  6. I find Amaram despicable because he is aware of the path that should be walked to be honorable, and he pretends to everyone that he walks this path, but in reality he makes large detours. If he were open about his mistakes and sins, then to me he would be less of a terrible person. As far as his goals, we know that he wants to return Vorinism to the world. What we do not know in detail is why or the end-purpose. Many religious people believe that worship is required for survival or existence in the afterlife. It is possible that Amaram is willing to sacrifice the lives of many in the Physical Realm in order to save them on the Spiritual--is that really worse than what Mr T is willing to do? And what actions did he take or participate in that had any direct effect in the greater scheme of things? Mr T and Szeth plunged the world into chaos; Amaram was a selfish twit who wanted the result that is occurring, but does not appear to have actually helped cause it. We may find out more later on, though, especially depending on what dealings he had with the Parshendi, and with whom. We'll have to agree to disagree here. I do not separate the specific actions of murder, mass-murder, assassination, etc. from the person who is responsible for them. Feeling bad after causing such actions to occur will never, in my mind, result in a person being 'good.' After all, Mr T's plan in a nutshell is to murder people until he is king of everything, so that he can then lead the chosen survivors to survival. He might be interesting, or sympathetic. Hells, he might even be necessary for the survival of the species. That doesn't make him a good person. For comparison, and since I think we come at things from drastically different viewpoints, Kelsier from Mistborn: TFE also wasn't a good person during what we see of his life. I feel that The Lord Ruler was equal parts necessary and monstrous--would you consider him to be a good person as well? (An honest question, as to me, TLR is the end-state of Mr T's Diagram.)
  7. I bolded the part of your post that, to me, makes him an interesting character. I just draw a very distinct line in calling him a 'good' person. I am very much not a subscriber to "ends justify the means" in terms of philosophy because it is so very open to abuse. Even Mr T uses the poor and the desperate as his victims for the death rattles, killing the people that are not likely to be missed, when his supply of deathly ill patients grows too weak. However, since "the ends justify the means" is so incredibly prevalent in all types of stories, media, and real-life, it's good to have that included. I even think that if the Diagram is to be proven false in-world, that the story itself would suffer. I want the Diagram to be a real, valid alternative to the Radiants and Heralds as a way to save humanity from the Desolation. But based on what Mr T has already done, even if he goes on to save all of the rest of humanity along with life on Roshar, it will not make me like him or consider him a good person. Good people should be praised, or emulated, or treated as heroes; even if Mr T saves everyone, he should be, at best, ignored afterward. Perhaps treated with a kind of horrified respect. Edit: I just want to say that one reason that I love the Stormlight Archive books is that they seem to encourage discussion and thought about what is right or wrong, and then we see examples that prove and disprove the answers found, so that there are no neat pat answers. Morality is messy, and the story goes out of its way to prove just how messy it can be. Even a character that I find to be rather loathsome, I can understand where he is coming from and why others think they are great (ie, Szeth and Mr T).
  8. I'm saying that there are things that are evil, and will always be evil, period. For instance, I think killing people is always wrong. There are times when it is wrong to not kill someone. I believe that it is very possible for every action or inaction a person can take to be morally wrong. Life sucks.
  9. @Nathrangking I think that he could back out of the path he is on. Few people know what he has done, or the extent of his actions. If he were to stop dividing nations (in order to conquer them easier later), then he can do that. Worst case scenario will be loyal Diagrammists that speak out against him if he chooses to stop, but how much of the world would blame OR condemn him? After all, he is the kindly but dull king--everyone 'knows' this, even if they're from a backwater state in a kingdom far away. So if those that he is working with reveals the plan, he would be pitied while they would be reviled twice over; first for their actions, second for trying to pin it all on Mr T, and thrice for convincing him that he was responsible. There are almost definitely sections of the Diagram that he could choose to follow or not, as well. Working with Dalinar to unite the kingdoms of the world, instead of assassinating him, comes to mind. He already focused efforts on undermining Jah Keved instead of having the Alethi wipe out the Parshendi. It seems to me that the Diagram is the opposite of a path that you cannot leave once you have started down it; rather, you must continually choose to follow its path. The only reason to feel you have no choice but to continue on the path of the Diagram is because of the terrible atrocities that you have already committed in its name and not seen any good come from them yet. Mr T and Szeth are interesting, but they are very much antagonists at this point in the books, and are likely to remain such simply because they do not believe in acting the way that the protagonists of the story (Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, etc.) do, and with a very strong thematic focus on how the actions of a person matter as much as the intent behind them. I mean, that's essentially Kaladin's character arc in WoR.
  10. I strongly disagree your point re: Mr T here. First, he is forced to do nothing. The evil, despicable things that he does are entirely by his own will. Even if the Diagram itself is a creation of some other entity, or was shaped and influenced by some other entity, blindly following it is still his choice. There is NO evidence for coercion or force that I have seen evidence of, or that people have presented. This means he is a legitimately terrible human being. He understands this, and because he believes it is the surest way to preserve humanity he persists. But he is NOT a good person. Wholesale murder is never the answer or response for someone who is good, except for those that have a defined morality that is very opposed to my own. Just because his intent is good does not mean that he is. What I find interesting about his character is that he realizes these things, but persists anyway. There are times when you can choose evil (let people die) or evil (kill some, to attempt to save the rest). I don't find the character himself sympathetic at all, let alone likable. However, he IS interesting and adds a great deal more to the story than being a different type of Sadeas or Straff, who essentially seek power only for the sake of power. Personally, the absolute faith that everyone is placing in the Diagram lets me know that it is doomed to fail. On his other super-intelligent days, Mr T is not allowed to be king because he is wrong; adding significantly more of the attribute disqualifying him from making permanent changes or laws does not seem likely to overcome that fatal flaw. I know there are many who believe that he was so smart on that day that he broke through the barrier, and I certainly believe that Mr T and Crew believe this, but I have not seen anything to convince me of the same. Instead, I see a man who is devoted to chaos, death, and slaughter at a time when the world needs to be perfectly united; a man who knew that the Parshendi needed to be eliminated (according to the Diagram itself! In floorboard 17, from https://coppermind.net/wiki/Diagram) but decided to take over Jah Keved instead.
  11. See, I agree with you here, except that he was obsessed with 'getting Faile back' from basically the day he meets her on the Ferry until the absolute last book (maybe it was second last?) So there's a good 9-10 books in there where I dread every time it's another Perrin scene. Dealing with two novels of him freeing her from the Shaido was enough to absolutely kill any enjoyment I had of him finally coming into his own in Tel'Aran'Rhiod later (which were scenes that I could tell should be awesome and entertaining and enjoyable, but instead I just wanted them to end because I did. not. care.). Still, more enjoyable to read than Elayne.
  12. odium

    @Secret Ardent Man and @Crucible of Shards It could very easily be said that, during the Cold War, the US and the USSR both ruled--but neither of them reigned.
  13. odium

    A few thoughts: First, remember that the Stormfather tells Kaladin that humans fight all the time because "Odium reigns." (The Way of Kings, hardcover, p.648. First edition, August 2010.) Second, there is a WoB from some years ago that I remember but cannot find again where some question had been asked regarding a Shard's name that we hadn't learned yet, and the answer was essentially that he is very careful and deliberate with the name of the Shard (Preservation and not Life, Odium and not Hate, etc.) and that at times the name that he has imagined for them changes somewhat. So, we know that Odium is the one that reigns, because of in-text using that specific word. But what is the difference between Rule and Reign? That seems to be the root question. A quick Google search gives us a few useful differences. In particular I find the sentence "Reign is also used to indicate something that is predominant or prevalent as in the reign of terror or panic reigned" to be fascinating and mostly appropriate. This seems particularly appropriate given a contrast between what life would be like when Odium reigns vs. Honor; hatred and hostility towards people that are different seems to be closer to the standard nature of people on Roshar, with those that are tolerant being the exceptions. We can see this direct contrast referred to frequently by people who mock Dalinar's adherence to the Codes, especially from Sadeas. Those people who view the Codes as something written after the fact so that the people seemed honorable, rather than a way of life. So this all means, to me, that at one point in time 3 Shards ruled over the planets in the Roshar system, but ever since Odium Splintered Honor and caused Cultivation to retreat into listlessness and passivity, Odium reigns supreme. If the question is more about why Odium is referred to as the Broken One, there's a few options. Again, looking at the definition and synonyms for the word. From dictionary.com, definitions 4 (not working properly; out of order) and 7 (fragmentary or incomplete) or 8 (infringed or violated) seem interesting. Of course, many of these seem to imply that they could be referring to Honor instead. The problem with that is that Honor is dead; the Stormfather watched him die, and then fled. Coming as it does in Words of Radiance, where there are already supposedly dead people returning to life, I really hope this is not another case of "no body, no death" and that Honor is just hiding out somewhere alive, but divested of the vast majority of his power. (Of course, that is an unrelated tangent, since someone without power by definition cannot reign.) End rambling wall of text.
  14. Thanks guys! almost complete with my latest re read, and was seeing things that could have implied that the two were the same. the WoB saying I'm wrong is pretty solid tho, haha
  15. I feel like the grammar of the topic title is wrong, but it's 2am and I'm having troubles fixing it. Anyway. Basically what it says: do we know if the science behind fabrials is actually voidbinding? Anyone know of WoB that specifically differentiates between the two?