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      Oathbringer Spoiler Policy   11/13/2017

      Oathbringer is out! Let's make our policy on spoilers clear! 1. You must preface topics with Oathbringer spoilers with the prefix [OB] in the front 2. You are only allowed to post spoilers and spoiler topics in the Oathbringer Spoiler Board, Cosmere Theories, and some select work-related forums. 3. For posts in the Oathbringer Spoiler Board you do not need to use spoiler tags inside a topic marked [OB]. For Cosmere Theories, you also do not need to put spoiler tags inside your topic if the topic has [OB] in the title. However, for Cosmere Theories, if you are adding Oathbringer stuff to an old theory without the [OB] tag, those must go in spoiler tags and you must make it obvious outside the spoiler tag that the spoiler is regarding Oathbringer content. 4. For select things that do require talking about OB spoilers, in Events, Coppermind, and Arcanum forums, those are allowed but keep OB spoilers in spoiler tags 5. Avoid and minimize spoilers in topic titles--even though those two boards will not appear in the Recent Topics ticker, topic titles still appear in Recent Activity and the forum home.  6. You aren't allowed to post Oathbringer spoilers in places other than listed, even with spoiler tags.  It will be nine months and then the Oathbringer board will be re-merged with the Stormlight board and you will not need to tag these spoilers. If you'd like to move something in the Stormlight Archive board to the Oathbringer board, to update it with new Oathbringer information, Report the post and we will happily move it to the Oathbringer spoiler board. Part-by-part Reactions Though the Oathbringer Spoiler Board will be very spoilery, very fast (maybe don't come there until you've read the book, as people do have copies that bookstores sold early), you'll have these five topics for reactions if you want to nerd out: Part 1 Reactions
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About Starla

  1. @SLNC That makes sense. And note that Kaladin is captain of the cobalt guard, so wears the cobalt uniform, which is very close to sapphire.
  2. @SLNC As a web developer and color junkie, I've paid close attention to Kholin blue and my head canon is the Cobalt Guard uniforms are cobalt (#0047AB), the text says that non-cobalt guard uniforms are a darker shade of blue, most likely closer to navy (#000080), and sapphire is a tad lighter than cobalt (#0F52BA). So... I'm not sure what this tells us.
  3. @IndigoAjah Thank you! This is something I wasn't seeing. The progress of Bridge Four, Adolin taking care Kaladin after Kholinar, Syl, Dalinar, Rock saving his butt at the end... all of these things were possible because of his relationship with these people. They care about him. Thinking about Rock specifically, he has always been adamant about not fighting. Despite that, he was willing to put his personal beliefs aside to save Kaladin, no matter the cost to himself. That is true friendship and loyalty which is more important than any amount of fighting skills. Thank you. @eveorjoy I enjoyed your post. I agree that narratively the fourth oath is best moved to the next book, and the difficulty will make it all the sweeter when it comes, but man was it tough to read in the moment. Perhaps it's the way the scene is written, but you can feel how desperately he wants to help Dalinar, and how painful the memories are of all the people he's lost, and Adolin is bleeding to death beside him. A success in that moment would feel so satisfying. Logically I know it will feel even better later, but it was quite a let down the first read through, like a big build up that fizzled out. It's interesting, I just began a reread and got to Chapter 7, "Watcher on the Rim." I haven't read this since the preview chapters were released. All of Kaladin's best qualities are on full display in this chapter, and it really shows how far he has come since the pre-third oath days of WOR (which was only a couple weeks earlier). He realizes he can't hate Roshone and instead tries to encourage him to do better, he takes control of the whole house and inspires everyone to act, he talks with Lirin about who he is now and why he is a fighter rather than a surgeon, he holds his baby brother and cries and vows to keep him safe, he reveals himself as Knight Radiant and gives a pep talk to the townsfolk. He is so strong here. I feel that he is still in a similar place at the end of the book, when he is standing watch over Thaylen City, so he hasn't regressed in spite of all his failures between these two events (unlike Shallan, who I think slid backward in this book). We didn't get much inner dialog from him after the battle, but hopefully he has learned from all the failures and an inner growth is happening that we'll see in the next book.
  4. You hit the nail on the head with this. I am looking for a tidy beginning/middle/end character arc, which isn’t happening here. I recently watched all of Brandon’s BYU lectures on fantasy writing, and he talks about making promises to the reader. If you make a promise in the beginning, it is important to resolve it otherwise the reader will feel disappointed. I know we are only three books in to a ten book series and Kaladin’s arc will continue in the next book, but Brandon has been good about making each book cover a specific story that mostly resolves in the end, without any major cliffhangers. I think I overly expected that here. He finished the Wheel of Time, so he knows the danger of leaving a lot of dangling bits between books. I should probably be glad Kaladin is in it at all, and doesn’t go missing for an entire book like Mat or Perrin. I agree that there was a lot of setup for the next book. I expect the Fourth Ideal to be a huge deal for him, considering it reduced him to tears. He'll probably get a huge moment of awesome around that. I think the timing would have been wrong at the point it came in this book, having it happen at the same time as Dalinar’s epiphany. I'm sure the wait for it will make it even more special, but holy cow it's hard to wait 3+ years. I agree that Kaladin needs to learn the lessons you state in order to become a true leader and not be driven mad with grief over every loss. However, that doesn’t lessen the positive attributes he already has, which have carried him through the darkest of times in previous books. Overall he was pretty positive in this book, so I would expect those good qualities to shine through even more as a natural part of his personality. He is a gifted fighter, and the few fight scenes we got were anticlimactic. I think he managed to kill two of the Flying Fused through the whole book. He also protected several townsfolk in Revolar with the wind shield, but he lost many more. During all the time he was in Kholinar, he never considered going back to check on the people being held hostage, or how the people in Hearthstone were doing, which seems out of character for him. I do like that others will there to help him. That alone is a mark of his talent as a person that inspires others to be their most awesome self. Still, I can't get past the Amaram thing. I really wanted him to win that fight.
  5. As much as I loved Oathbringer, there is one aspect that left me feeling unfulfilled, and that is Kaladin’s character progression, or lack thereof. He's my favorite character so I am attentive and sensitive to his specific storyline. By the end of the book I felt that he had no growth, no successes, several failures, and little impact on the story overall. I thought he had a few nice moments with his family, Bridge Four, and Syl, and made some progress with his negative thought patterns and mental state, but these things seemed to have very little effect on his actions within the story. Note the results of his specific plot threads: Hearthstone (Fail/No Impact/Unresolved) Kaladin’s goal here was to warn and prepare the town for the everstorm. He arrived too late for that. Once he reached the citylord manor, the town residents had already organized themselves, injuries were treated, and they were as safe as could be expected in the circumstance. He left to search for the parshmen with the promise to return at a later time. By the end of the book Alethkar had been taken over by voidbringers and the Alethi are captured or taking refuge in other countries. Kaladin never returned to check on his family and we don’t know their current status. Parshmen (Fail/Unresolved) Kaladin spent most of Part 1 traveling with the parshmen. He befriended them and taught them basic survival skills. This sets up an interesting dilemma for him. He feels empathy with these people and begins to question the “us and them” mentality, who the real enemies are, and the distinction between untransformed parshmen/former slaves vs. fused/voidforms/agents of Odium. He abruptly flies away from his friendly parshmen at the end of Part 1 and we never fully revisit this issue. He had one argument with Jasnah in Part 2, but otherwise there is no resolution or further discussion about how to handle the parshmen or the human prisoners left in pens in Alethkar. Additionally, Kaladin’s band of friendly parshmen became Moash’s team and participated in the king’s assassination and overtaking the palace. Kholinar (Fail) The objective here was to rescue the queen and prince and open the oathgate so the Alethi troops could retake Kholinar. Turns out that Aesudan is hosting an unmade, Gavinor is taken by the enemy, Elhokar is dead, the palace and Kholinar are lost, Kaladin goes catatonic while watching his men kill each other, the oathgate is inhabited by another unmade, and our four surviving heroes end up trapped in Shadesmar. Kaladin’s squires were left behind, and they were the ones to rescue Gavinor and bring him to safety, a task Elhokar has specifically assigned to Kaladin. Protect Dalinar (Fail/Low Impact) Kaladin’s time in Shadesmar primarily revolves around the vision of Dalinar with nine shadows and his strong sense of urgency to get to Thaylen City to protect Dalinar. They arrive at the Thaylen City oathgate to find it guarded by fused. Kaladin tries to distract them, but ultimately runs out of stormlight and falls into the sea of beads, where he is rescued by Syl. They are finally saved by Dalinar’s perpendicularity, which happens after his confrontation with Odium. Kaladin played no part in that fight, so his vision had no real purpose or payoff. He later distracts the fused as Dalinar confronts Nergaoul, but Kaladin had very little impact on that fight. Probably any member of Bridge Four could have filled this role for Dalinar. Fourth Ideal (Fail) Several scenes in the book seem to foreshadow Kaladin’s speaking the fourth ideal. This includes the wind-shield scene in Part 1 and the wind spren forming around him in Shadesmar. In part 5, he finally gets to the point where he knows the words and tries to speak them, but he cannot bring himself to do it. He breaks down in tears and is comforted by Syl, resulting in the biggest let-down moment of the entire book (for me). Compare this to Teft, who has apparently said three ideals in the same book and is now at the same level as Kaladin. Amaram (Fail) Amaram has been Kaladin's arch nemesis since Book 1 Chapter 1. A final confrontation between the two of them has been overshadowing Kaladin’s story for three books, and as a reader I have been anxiously awaiting it. We finally get to it in Part 5. Not only is he confronting Amaram, he is also confronting an unmade, Yelig-nar (Blightwind). The symmetry of having Shallan confront Re-Shephir, Dalinar confront Nergaoul, and Kaladin confront Yelig-nar in the same book seems so perfect. Each of these unmade have a resonance with their respective orders and personalities. Well, Kaladin fails again here. He runs out of stormlight and is nearly killed by Amaram/Yelig-nar, only to be rescued in the last minute by Rock, who makes the killing blow. Shallan (Fail/No impact) The weird love triangle. The entire purpose of this sub-plot seems to have been to highlight Shallan’s multiple personas. One of them likes Adolin, one of them likes Kaladin, they other one is just confused. In the end, Shallan determines that Veil, the persona who likes Kaladin, has bad taste in men. Shallan does not realize that these personalities are all part of her and that these are her own thoughts and feelings. She has no growth from this situation and she seems to be worse off at the end of the book than when she started. Kaladin also has no growth from it. The Helaran discussion did not come up at all. This whole arc seems to have had very little impact on the story or characters. Mental Issues (Progress/No Impact/Unresolved) This is one area that Kaladin seems to have made some progress. Unfortunately, none of this progress seemed to have any positive effect on the events of the story. He stepped up as a radiant and stopped hiding. His attitude towards lighteyes was greatly improved, to the point that he became friends with a group of lighteyed soldiers whose deaths he later mourned. He did not flinch when referred to as “Brightlord.” When he felt himself slipping into a dark place after the Kholinar catastrophe, he reflected on his depression, determined that it was illogical, and talked to Shallan about how she stays positive. These are big steps for him and I would have loved to see him be extra-awesome as a result of these positive changes. Instead, his actions and failures all seem to be ruled by his primary unresolved issue, which is guilt and grief over the people he failed to protect. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I find it odd that one of the main protagonists of the series would spend an entire 1200+ page book with very little growth, impact or resolution, so perhaps I am missing something important. Did others feel this way, or do you think he made progress as a character? Was he put on hold to be continued at a later date due to the vast amount of material in this book? Is the lack of forward momentum part of his development? Why would he go stagnant at a time where he is embracing his radiant-ness? Are all of these failures tied to his Fourth Ideal in some way? I want to find the progression for his character in this book, and I’m not sure what it is.
  6. I was under the impression that Timbre is Captain Ico's daughter. His father also was a nahel bond spren and was killed in the recreance. We saw the dad locked in a cabin with Maya on the ship. I am guessing the Reachers (lightspren) are Willshaper spren.
  7. @PhineasGage There is a WOB on the subject of Kaladin's parentage. Lirin and Hesina are his bio-parents. (Link) That said, I think there is something interesting in Hesina's lineage. My guess is that she has some lighteyed family members. I'll be curious to learn more about her at some point.
  8. Several times throughout the series Kaladin rattles off a list in his head of all the people he's failed and lost. He does it in this scene. This reminds of Rand's list of women in Wheel of Time. He repeats that list in his head every time someone dies because of him. Rand eventually had to let those people go and stop blaming himself for their deaths. I can't help but feel Kaladin's oath is something similar, and he's not ready yet to leave those people behind, especially with Tien on the list. I also wonder about Teft. Will his fourth ideal be similar, perhaps letting go of the Envisager members who were executed because of him? I assume most Windrunners need to face something like this, otherwise they will eventually become frozen by guilt and grief. @brandondash I've also considered Lirin's belief that "You cannot kill to protect" to be the inspiration for the next oath. Though I wonder how that applies to voidbringers. If a flying fused is wiping out a village of innocent people and Kaladin is the only person who can fight them, is it his duty to remove the threat? Does he try to chase it off without killing it (or killing the body it's inhabiting), or should he try to crack the gemheart to essentially kill it until it finds another host? At this point, I think he would have to fight to kill, otherwise the thing will keep coming back as soon as he leaves. I would be curious to see what Lirin things about killing the voidbringers.
  9. Love this one: Also, there was a moment in Shadesmar where Shallan off-handedly mentions that Pattern is standing around thinking about numbers. The math geek in me was rolling on the floor with that one. I've tried to find the exact quote and can't, so I may have made it up in the midst of my delirious reading frenzy.
  10. Thank you for this. Shallan’s mental state is my main concern in this whole story arc. She doesn’t even consider the option of taking some time to sort out her issues before jumping into a permanent commitment. As soon as Adolin offers to step aside she latches onto him for dear life, like the thought of being alone terrifies her. Once she made the split-second decision on which man she wanted to be with (ugh), the wedding couldn’t come fast enough. There is no time for thought and reflection on all that has happened in the past weeks and months, including the fact that just a few minutes earlier she auto-shifted into another persona and gaped openly at another man. She waves it off that those are Veil’s thoughts, not her own. Adolin doesn’t seem concerned about it either, which is another red flag. She says re. Veil's infatuation with Kaladin "I won’t let her act on it. I promise," and he waves it off like it's nothing, and they are married within the week. This was another scene that really bothered me. She creates these illusions and they talk to her. Where does she think Veil's and Radiant’s thoughts are coming from? Did she consciously create their responses, or does she think they are speaking of their own volition? I half expected Tyler Durden to show up at this point. I am a bit bummed that I became disillusioned with Shallan in this book (pun intended). She had an interesting arc in Part 1 with the unmade storyline, and the beautiful scene with Wit in Part 3, where he gave great advice and the freedom to talk openly about her identity issues. I thought this would be a turning point for her and she would begin to stabilize and heal. However by the end of the book it seemed she was worse than ever. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I love Kaladin and want what’s best for him, and by the end of the book I was relieved she didn’t “choose” him. I don’t think she's ready for a strong, lasting relationship. Maybe Adolin will help her heal, but that is not the kind of growth I had hoped to see for her. I was hoping she would find the strength within herself to re-integrate the broken facets of her mind, and then make relationship choices and commitments from a strong healthy place. The way this was written, there seems to be setup for drama or problems in future books, but at this point my primary hope is that Kaladin and Adolin can stay close friends and that Kaladin can find his happiness elsewhere, whether alone or with someone else. I do not want to see him watching Adolin and Shallan and ruminating over what might have been, or Shallan continuing to waver between the needs and desires of each of her personas. I also hope I come around on Shallan, but at this point I’m not feeling her, which makes me sad.
  11. The Shadesmar section was my favorite part of the book. I love the spren and am fascinated by the Cognitive Realm. A few observations from this section: Is Captain Ico Timbre’s father? Ico said his father was a radiant spren who is now a dead shardblade, and that his daughter used to work in Celebrant before leaving to chase stupid dreams. Timbre said her grandfather was killed by a radiant. If they are related, this would make the Reachers Willshaper spren, if that’s what Venli bonded. I loved getting Syl’s backstory. She's an ancient Honor princess who is so well known in Shadesmar that people recognized her despite Shallan’s illusion and a big floppy hat. And the Stormfather is an overprotective dad. I also loved her and Kaladin’s interactions. She’s very loving and cuddly and it was nice to see them interact in a different way. Pattern is not very cuddly, but is awesome in his own way. At one point Shallan said he was standing around thinking about numbers and I laughed out loud. Also, it seems that he and Syl like each other, which is nice. I would love that have seen a little more from him in this section. What’s deal with the oracle orb in the lighthouse that showed Kaladin a future vision? It seemed connected to the highstorm, and the stormfather sensed his presence when he touched it, but I don’t believe Honor has any access to foretelling. Could it use magic from another world, maybe Sel? It's great to see Kaladin and Dalinar’s strong connection in this section. Poor Maya. I am curious about what happens to her when Adolin is in the physical realm. Does she disappear in the CR when he summons his blade? And when it’s not summoned, does she move around in the CR to follow his movements? With all of the oathgates and Cultivation’s perpendicularity guarded by voidspren, it seems Azure and other worldhoppers may be trapped in Shadesmar for a while. I hope Jasnah can perfect her Elsecalling abilities so someone can move between realms. I want to see more of it. What’s the deal with painting Kaladin saw in Celebrant? The merchant said it was from the Court of the Gods. Could this be related to Lightsong in some way? It’s been a while since I read Warbreaker, but I recall paintings being a big deal for him.
  12. Interesting, I hadn't made this connection. I'm pretty sure whoever kills the shardearer can claim the shards. He gave Oathbringer to Dalinar, and I wondered if he would give Heleran's blade and plate to Shallan. Maybe he will keep them and bring them home to his people. He may not want to be King though. Perhaps that's why he was sitting alone with his head in his hands.
  13. I agree with others that this plot thread was a little clunky. Kaladin is my main man, so I usually look at things from his angle. I want whatever is good for him. I went into Oathbringer open to him having a relationship with Shallan if that’s what made him happy and nobody got hurt (I also love Adolin so I wouldn't want it at his expense.) However, by the end of the book I felt that Kaladin dodged a bullet. This is mainly due to Shallan’s increasingly erratic behavior throughout the book. I don't think she's ready for a long term committed relationship to anyone, and I would be concerned for Kaladin if he ended up in a relationship with her at this point. He has too much going on with the desolation and his own growth as a radiant to deal with all that. I like Shallan and hope she can heal and find stability, but I am concerned that she will rely on her partner for that stability, rather than finding it within herself. At the end of the book it felt like she was completely rattled by her rapidly shifting feelings and personalities and grabbed a life raft wherever she could find it. Adolin is stable and steady and he makes her feel safe. He’ll be there when she needs him. I don’t think this will fix her issues, it is the illusion of security, and I worry for them in the long run. Also, the Shadesmar section revealed some character traits I hadn’t considered before. Looking at Kaladin and Syl’s interactions, they are very much a dynamic duo, fiercely loyal, each looking out for the other before they look out for themselves. This Kaladin’s nature, he works well in a team and usually puts others' needs first. Shallan, on the other hand, is independent and focused on her own goals. I get the sense that this is part of her fundamental nature as an artist and a Lightweaver. Artists are focused on their own ideas and creations. Even her relationship with Pattern seems more academic than personal. They had very little interaction in Shadesmar, aside from whatever information Pattern could give. If and when Kaladin ever does have a relationship, I feel like he would work best with a strong, grounded partner who will have his back when he needs it, and I’m no longer sure Shallan can do that. Aside from all that, I love the continuing bromance between Kaladin and Adolin, so I’m rooting for that to continue no matter where the romantic relationships lead.
  14. This is an interesting distinction, and I think it is why it is such a difficult oath to make. In the text he says "Could he really say these Words? Could he mean them?" (italics in the book) He knows that he needs to truly embody the oath once he makes it, and he is not ready. He has to make a fundamental change in himself, and this takes time, healing, and growth as a person. The epigraph about the Windrunners implies that the fourth ideal is a hard one, not just for Kaladin but the order as a whole. It makes sense that a person whose fundamental nature is to save and protect would have a hard time dealing with losing those under under their protection. An oath related to letting go of the lost would help keep them from eventually being consumed by grief. I do think there are ways to change repetitive emotions and thought patterns. It's not easy, it takes time and practice, but I think it is will be necessary for Kaladin, or any Knight Radiant, to fulfill their potential in a healthy way. The KR are at war and Kaladin will keep losing people. He can't shove the hard feelings into the back of his mind like Shallan can, so he's going to have to learn to deal with it sooner or later. Hopefully sooner, so it's not too drawn out (plus I want to see that shardplate).
  15. Here is the three parts of this scene put together: The fact that he knows the words but cannot speak them, while thinking of all the people he failed to protect, makes me think it relates to letting go of people he lost. He cares deeply for these people and is still grieving over every one, and probably feels that letting go of them is too painful or a betrayal of his connection to them. This is common in the loss of a loved one, where people can’t move on because they are afraid they will lose that person forever, and it can cripple them to where they can't act in the present. I can't think of anything else that would make him sob openly than the thought of letting Tien go. There is a fine line between caring too much and caring too little, and I think he'll need to find that to be able to say these words.