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Comatose last won the day on February 27

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About Comatose

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  1. In my opinion, I think one of the frustrating things about Adolin’s plot for me has to do with SA being a long series. As the three current major characters, Kaladin, Shallan, and Dalinar seem to drive the majority of the plot, they tend to have more satisfying resolutions each book. Secondary and tertiary characters who don’t get as many viewpoints seem to have less progress. In previous books, I saw Adolin’s plot line as having more momentum, but in this book some of that shifted to Renarin and Jasnah, who each got big moments at the finale, and Elhokar, whose arc met its conclusion. If Elhokar was my favourite, I think I would have been pretty impatient up until this point, so that thought helps me get some perspective on waiting for Adolin to get more resolution. I’m hoping that once the series is done (or even when the first five are done) Adolin’s side arc will be more cohesive and satisfying. I know Ialai is still around and I’m hoping the murder continues to be an issue going forward or gets some further resolution. Anyways, just my two cents. EDIT: So, on the subject of Adolin's likability, this analysis got me thinking about how Brandon describes Adolin, and how that might impact reader perceptions. I searched through the Stormlight Archive for the word "handsome" and the results were interesting. The two people who were associated with the word "handsome" the most in the positive sense (as a opposed to 'not handsome') were Kasbal and Adolin. Since both are often being viewed through Shallan's viewpoint, and she is attracted to both of them, this makes sense. What was interesting is that Adolin by far was described as handsome the most, and also by the most characters (Shallan, Dalinar, Jasnah and Kaladin, at least). Kaladin came in third. Well over 50% of times the word handsome was used was referring to Adolin. For most other characters, they are only described as 'handsome' once: Roshone's son (less handsome because of his wound) Elhokar (but less so than Adolin according to Adolin's lady friends) Gavilar Adolin's old man disguise Drehy "Handsomeness", of course, is just one aspect of the ways in which Adolin is perceived to be attractive, but it made me wonder what other ways Brandon is giving cues or signals that in-world Adolin is likeable, and how those cues influence reader perceptions. Sorry for the slight digression, but I thought it was somewhat relevant. (Note- this was just a quick search, so I definitely could have missed some things, but the general trend is interesting regardless, I think).
  2. Thanks! The Awakening was really fun to write, though I think I did stretch things a little bit. No worries! I linked the fic mostly just to give the head space I am starting this topic in. I was writing this topic, I realized my actual theory of how their relationship was may not necessarily match with what I wrote anyways. I took a lot of liberties in order to make things work, whereas I tend to be more conservative when theorizing about what happened. I really like the idea of the connection to Nightblood. One thing I've always assumed is that Vasher loves Shashara for her mind. (A) He does not seem very shallow at all, and he doesn't really comment on how attractive people are and (B) He has been at the upper heightenings, at least when he gave up Peacegiver's Treasure, so if he had that many during their relationship I would assume the some of the same reasoning Susebron gives to Siri would apply. Plus they were both scholars, so it would make sense that their connection has a strong intellectual component. So, if Shashara's mind is one of the things Vasher admires most, and Nightblood is both the greatest and most terrible of her creations/discoveries, I think destroying it would be like destroying the last vestiges of the part of Shashara he loved. Add in what you said about Nightblood being like their child, and I can totally see why Vasher would have difficulty destroying it (if that's even possible). I think what I would need to understand or see more of from their relationship is how Vasher got caught up in a romance that seems to have gotten the better of him. He seems so cautious and slow to trust, though I guess that may have come after. Part of me wonders if Vasher's 'blind spot' for Nightblood is an extension of his blind spot with Shashara. He viewed her a certain way, and thus did not see her ambitions coming. I also note that, though Vasher is often reserved, he also has very strong emotions. We see him lose his temper many times, so I guess it's equally possible (though likely rarer) that he could be equally overcome by feelings of love. I agree, he's quite the tragic figure, our Vasher. And I always think stories of heartbreak make the best love stories.
  3. So, I searched through six pages of "Shashara" and couldn't find this exact topic so I thought I would post it here, and see what discussion we get. I just wrote up this fanfic of my take on the whole Twilight Falls fiasco, and thinking up the story and writing it has really increased my interest in Vasher and Shashara's relationship. I am curious to know what other people think about it. Here's two of the most pertinent WoBs I think: So we know "they were in love" but that Shashara obviously had different ambitions than Vasher. We also know that their marriage was relatively short, but we don't really know how long their romance was. What I am picturing is a kind of rushed and passionate romance between two collaborators on an exciting project. It's also my opinion that Vasher wasn't aware of everything Shashara was up to or all of her motives, so I also get this image of Vasher being kind of infatuated with the mystery of Shashara, and her encouraging that, but that Vasher does not know her as well as he thinks and that is what leads to their conflict. We were joking on Discord the other day about how apparently Brandon loves writing in spouse killings into character's histories, but I think the Vasher/Shashara conflict is one of the most interesting to me because of the juicy heartbreak and emotional confusion Vasher must feel in the wake of destroying someone who obviously cared a great deal for, but who may not have cared much for him. I know Brandon states in the annotations that "they were in love" but I also think that can mean different things to different people, and that it may have meant something different to Shashara than to Vasher.
  4. So, I had a lot of fun writing the Ati and Leras piece a little while ago, so I thought I would try another speculative Cosmere History. One of the pieces of Cosmere History I would love to know more about is the Five Scholars, and Shashara in particular. Despite how little we know about her, her story has always really intrigued me, so this is my take on her. Let me know what you guys think :). [I know I might be suspending disbelief a little with what Vasher can see here, and what he’s capable of doing with the spy-glass, but let’s just say it works for now so I do not have to figure out how it actually works. My angle is he has a good vantage point, and he’s doing a combination of looking through the glass and using his naked eye]. [Also, I know that Brandon has said that "Nightblood" is not the original name, and that Vasher only named it that after killing Shashara, but without another name to fill in I used Nightblood as a placeholder.] Here are my two primary reference points: "There's something particularly chilling about watching dead men kill living ones." Shashara stepped back from the spyglass, but her eyes continued to dart back and forth across the battlefield, no doubt calculating the odds of their success. "What's that?" Vasher stepped forward to join his wife, though he took little pleasure in what he saw. As one of the leaders of this army, he felt obligated to make an appearance, but he would have much preferred to be back in their laboratory, puzzling out what exactly had went wrong with that sword. . . Shashara laughed, it was strange to hear such a beautiful sound when men screamed and died below them. The couple stood alone on a high platform, suspended in the air by giant Awakened ropes, giving them an impressive view of the battlefield below. "Have I ever told you that you have the lyricism of a lifeless?" Her hair was a vibrant blonde, but Vasher had trouble discerning whether that was for appearances or a genuine show of emotion. Is she enjoying this? "Oh, a couple of times." It was an old joke, between them. Shashara's perfect lips quirked into a familiar smirk. They had both chosen to reveal themselves as Returned for this battle, rather than concealing their divinity beneath facades of humanity. The colours of Shashara's hair and eyes were dazzling, and her well tailored white uniform shone in the light of her Bio Chroma. Aside from her shoes, which looked rather flimsy compared to standard military boots, she looked the part of a general. Today, Glorysinger was revealing herself in all her splendor. "You were saying?" "It's just strange isn't it? Before Lifeless, war was a contest of the living, and the dead were the defeated. But who can win a a battle against the dead, and what does it mean to defeat your enemies if they will rise again as to join your army? We Awaken them and preserve them, then we command them to kill so we can create more. The dead multiply as humanity diminishes. Not a very good survival strategy for the living, is it?" "No, I do not think it is." "Well, it's a good thing we picked the right side then. Us dead people need to stick together." "That. . . was not a funny joke." "The moment I trust your taste is the moment I know my sense of humour is lost beyond all hope." Shashara stiffened suddenly as the battle seemed to shift below them. Vasher watched as her fingers played with the clasp on the weapon. Her hands seemed to have a darker tone than was normal, their colour deepened by Nightblood's aura. "It's not ready. You know that." "How are we to know anything without testing its potential? It's sentient, isn't it? I can hear its voice even now. It can sense the evil down there Vasher. It knows its purpose." "The blades on Roshar. . ." "Colours, who cares about the blades on Roshar. Nightblood is more than some. . . splinter of divinity bound by foolish ideals. I think even those poor fools who call themselves Heralds would fear what we've accomplished." Her grip on the sword tightened. "Shashara. . ." She finally looked up from the battle to meet his eyes. Her gaze was cold and determined. You are not the person you think you are. You are a brilliant scholar and a fearless leader. You drive me mad while being the love of my life. There are other ways. Don't do this. Shashara sighed and re-slung the weapon across her back. "Oh, fine." She stepped towards him, and they embraced. "I don't know what I'd do without your love and support, dear one." Vasher allowed himself a smile--only because Shashara's face was so buried in his shoulder that she could not see him, of course. "Good thing you will never have to find out." He tightened his grip on her, wanting to hold on to the moment for as long as possible. All too soon he could feel her begin to pull away. Reluctantly, he let his hands fall to his sides. Shashara smiled, letting her fingers linger as she straightened his scarf. "Gag and hold to ground." Vasher's eyes widened as one end of his scarf forced itself between his lips and down his throat, while the other encircled his body and yanked him to the floor of the platform. From his new angle, he could see where Shashara had discarded one of her shoes when she walked over to him, and the patch of grey where she had leeched the colour from the floor. Shashara wasted no time, and was already reaching into her satchel taking out a length of starched cord and one of the little straw men Vasher had made her. "Hold things". The chord shot towards him, further restricting his movement. "Explore and disarm". The straw man sprung to life in her hands and scampered over to Vasher. It began to clamber over him, digging under his clothes and exploring hidden pockets, searching for hidden weapons or coloured objects it could remove. Though the Command was simple, the visualization was complex, and difficult to master. Shashara replaced her shoe, and then cautiously approached Vasher has he desperately tried to escape his bonds. Breathing through his nose, he tried mouthing the words he needed to Break the Command on his scarf, desperately trying to force any air he could to make a sound. She has more breath than you, fool. You couldn't break her Commands even if you could make a sound. With the precision of a master inventor, Shashara methodically began stealing the colour from Vasher's clothing, using it to Awaken her own. The tails of her own scarf rose, preparing to snatch arrows from the air or entangle would-be attackers, and tendrils of rope uncoiled from where they hung at her waste, reaching out like the tentacles of an octopus. As she continued, her pant legs seemed to stiffen and the tassels on her sleeves sprung to life. This can't be happening. She won't do this to you. She can't. "I'm sorry to do this Vasher, but I won't let your softness stifle our vision. Nightblood is the future, and we cannot let its potential be wasted for the sake of sentiment. Just watch. You'll see." Shashara gave a few more careful Commands, causing Vasher's bonds to prop him upright and bring him over to the spyglass. "There you are. Nightblood will make us proud. I promise." Shashara turned and clambered over the edge of the railing, using her scarf, her sleeves, and the ropes at her belt to climb down to the ground. The front lines had moved and been pushed into the shallows of the river below. With the magnificent waterfalls in the background, the sight might have been breathtaking if it weren't accompanied by the sound of the more grisly breath -taking going on, and the increasing redness of the waters down stream. Shashara came into view again, gliding across the land on the back of one of the giant ropes their Awakeners used as catapults. In the brilliant uniform, with her hair, still blonde, flowing behind her, and her brilliant Bio Chroma, she seemed like a hero of out legend riding a serpentine dragon into battle. Hero, or villain? The enemy archers and Awakeners recognized Glorysinger instantly, and began training their arrows and boulders on her, hoping to take out a powerful enemy before she could join the battle. It was fruitless, of course. Shashara was too well prepared and her Commands were the most nuanced in existence. The rope she rode wove deftly down the hill, dodging between the falling stones, while her scarf deftly plucked arrows from the air mid-flight. Before the archers and Awakeners could get off a second round Shashara had joined the fray. She didn't draw Nightblood. As the large rope carried her through the battle, the cords at her waist unfurled lashed out, wrapping around necks and breaking them, or slamming soldiers, both living and Lifeless, into the ground. Others found themselves flying backward, pulled back and held by their own uniforms. Though it was inefficient, the ninth heightening allowed her to Awaken using only the sound of her voice. Vasher knew she kept some coloured scarves in her satchel for exactly that purpose. The tails of her scarf continued to defend her, narrowly deflecting the few attacks that managed to catch her as she slid past. Soon, Shashara had crossed to the other side of the battle. The rope she was on arched, lifting her into the air. Though many of the living soldiers turned to regard her with wonder, the Lifeless continued to fight, ignorant of her glory. With the falls to her back, Shashara looked down on the battlefield like a goddess descending from the heavens to smite her enemies. Arguably, that was exactly what she was. And then she drew Nightblood. She cried out as she held the weapon aloft, slamming nearby Lifeless to the ground with a forceful Command. Nightblood began to leak black smoke, it’s flaw corrupting Shashara’s Breath. An enemy Awakener, seeing an opportunity, sent a boulder flying towards her. The hurtling stone met Nightblood and vanished, dissolving into smoke. Shashara smiled. Her rope turned and dove back into the fray. A trail of black smoke followed in Shashara’s wake as both living and Lifeless were vapourized by Nightblood. Finally, unable to watch anymore but unable to turn away, Vasher closed his eyes. **** Later, when Vasher found her, Shashara was picking through corpses, scavenging for Breath to recover. VaraTreledees, only recently arrived, glanced down at them occasionally as he discussed the battle with some of their officers. “I can’t say I’m surprised you managed to free yourself, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let you get away with keeping it a secret.” Shashara smiled, but Vasher could hear the strain in her voice. Her Bio Chroma was significantly weaker than before, putting her just shy of the Eighth Heightening. “You don’t get to do that.” “Specificity is a scholar’s friend, Vasher. Vagueries are a waste of time.” Vasher stepped forward, unconsciously increasing his size. “You know what I mean.” His tone was low and menacing, but thankfully he kept the trembling in his hands from creeping into his voice. Shashara met his eyes for a moment and then shrugged, unconcerned with his anger. “Fine then, pout if you need to. When you’re done sulking we can go over the Nightblood’s performance. Now that we have a proto-type we can start discussing a test group. We will need more Breath though, lots of it. It might be a good idea to get a team together to test the weapons so we can save our Breath for Awakening. Conversely, I suppose we could teach others the Command and then handle testing personally, though I do worry about them being able grasp the nuances of the visualization.” Vasher stepped back. “You want to create more?” Sashara frowned. “Of course I want to make more. Did you see what it did, Vasher? I was. . . Nightblood was unstoppable. A few more victories as decisive as that one and the war will be over. A thousand Breaths is really a pittance when you think about it. If we equipped some elites with these weapons, and then backed them with a squad of lifeless, even Yesteel would have to admit our superiority.” Sensing his hesitation, and no doubt anticipating his arguments, Shashara continued before he could get a word in. “And who is to say we need only create weapons? The potential of Type IV Biochormatic Entities could be limitless. I know you disagree, but what if we could create Biochromatic poets, or even scholars? We know Roshar’s Radiants gained valuable counsel from the Spren. Think how our research could be enriched by getting an Awakened perspective.” “No.” “No?” Shashara scoffed. “No.” Shashara's eyes narrowed. “I promised to be your wife, Vasher, not your slave. You don’t control me. Here. . .” Vasher flinched as Shashara reached for Nightblood. Noting his discomfort, Shashara smirked as she unslung the sheath from her back and held the weapon out for Vasher to take. From anyone else, freely offering a weapon like Nightblood would have been a sign of trust. Shashara made it seem like an act of defiance, emphasizing his failure to intimidate her. She was handing him what might be the most deadly object in the Cosmere, confident that even then he would not be able to stop her from achieving her goals. She’s right. She’s always right. He saw that now. No matter what arguments he used, or what pressures he applied, he could not control Shashara. Nalthis itself would be dissolved into nothing before she let anyone get in her way. “Go on, take it. If I can’t talk some sense into you, maybe Nightblood can. It was drowsy after the fight, but it’s seeming to wake up now.” Hesitating, Vasher took the sword. Vasher? Shashara was right. Nightblood’s voice did sound strange. Did you see me? I think. . . I think I. . . um. . . I think I destroyed a lot of evil. Shashara says I did verrrrry well. I think she’s going to make new friends for me. Vasher scowled. “You can’t make friends Nightblood. You’re a sword.” Shashara smiled and turned, searching for more Awakened clothing she could recover breath from. Who sayssss? Shashara’s my friend. And I think you are too. “How do you know what friendship even is?” It’s. . . It’s like you and Shashara. You’re friends. You do friend things. The sword’s voice, which Vasher couldn’t help but see as masculine, seemed to be growing more clear, and less muddled. Nearby, Vasher watched as Shashara recovered some breath from a fallen soldier’s tunic, causing her Bio Chroma to brighten slightly. Giving a woman like Shashara an idealized appearance and Bio Chroma had always seemed painfully unfair. She could dazzle kings and charm the most skeptical of scholars with her mind and wits alone. Adding inhuman beauty and a glowing aura seemed like overkill. See? Frieeeendsssss. Are you two going to do that thing? “I’m going to do something, Nightblood, but probably not what you think.” I mean that thing where you . . . DESTROY EVIL. Shashara--Vasher’s brilliant, fearless, incredible wife--turned in surprise as Vasher drew Nightblood. “Don’t worry, I will.”
  5. If you take a look at what Brandon says here: And here It seems to me like he would be hesitant to make a book where a character’s sexuality is a major plot point, and personally I would prefer it if the queerness of the characters is just an aspect of who they are rather than a central issue. Sexuality is just one aspect of who a person is, and I know it can be frustrating for people when the few representations of queer people in media are defined by their sexuality and prevented from being well rounded fully realized characters. Personally, I would love to see a queer spy who hasn’t even got time to think about romance, but maybe in the back of their mind (as a sub plot) is wondering how they are going to come out to a parent or mentor. To me that would be cool. I would also say there are lots of ways to give a queer hero (or villain!) a personal stake without making the conflict about sexuality, just like most straight characters can be given a personal stake without it being about “straightness”. For the club scene, I was thinking something like a chase scene through a dark and crowded dance club would be cool, but you would be correct that Brandon's opinions might differ.
  6. Thanks folks! I appreciate the comments. It was really fun to write :).
  7. So, at the risk of being the guy who is always posting about queer topics, this has been bouncing around in my head for a while and I thought I would see what others thought about it. So, going off of this (careful clicking the source, as there is some Stormlight discussion as well): along with other WoBs, we know that Brandon is considering writing a gay main viewpoint character at some point. I know this is something I personally would love to see, but I also understand Brandon's hesitation. Indeed, given the relative lack of queer history on earth (it is out there, but not super extensive) and the very particular relationship between dominant world religions and human sexuality on earth, I can understand how it would be difficult to write queer characters in period fantasies--it would be easy to come across as too modern or to fall into historical stereotypes about queer people. Now, I do not think that is an excuse, and eventually I hope Brandon does get to a point where he can integrate queer characters with major roles into the Cosmere no matter the time period, but I do think that a 1980s era Mistborn novel is a great opportunity for him to give it a (hopefully successful) try. Here's what I think would make a major queer viewpoint character in the Era 3 Trilogy a possiblity: (1) Scadriel is probably the closest Earth analogue in the Cosmere, so it is a world on which it wouldn't be out of place to have queer narratives which resemble our Earth ones (they even have a dominant world religion (Survivorism) which disapproves of same sex relationships); (2) As there is a lot of media and art about depicting the lives of queer people in the 80s, it would be an easier time period to research, and it would hopefully be easier to write a queer viewpoint without seeming anachronistic; and (3) It would be SO FUN! I mean, I know he always says 1980s technology level, and that in Mistborn especially fashion/tech/culture are often out of sync, but how fun would it be to have a scene in the spy thriller set in a 1980s gay club? So anyways, that's what has been bouncing around in my head the past while. What do other people think?
  8. This story has been bouncing around as my mind since a Discord discussion on the motivations of Ati and Leras in taking up the shards they did. Since we don't know much about their original ascensions, I had to take some creative license, but I hope you guys enjoy. "I will take Ruin." The setting sun glinted in Ati's red hair. "Perhaps I can contain it's power, at least for a time, and prevent its destructive potential from being realized." The others remained silent as Ati stepped forward, hands outstretched to take in the power. Leras felt unable to speak, paralyzed, though his heart was racing in his chest. This is happening too quickly. Some of the others were already gone, racing off into the Cosmere with their newfound divinity, no doubt setting out to find a position of advantage from which to fortify themselves from attack by the others. No, no, no. This can't be happening. Ati was the best of them. His kindness and laughter had saved Leras in his darkest moments. This was not supposed to be that way. He could see the logic in Ati's sacrifice, of course. Though Uli Da, Rayse, and Bavadin had already departed with their shards moments before, and those remaining would count themselves lucky that none of them had taken Ruin as their own, Leras was not sure who he would trust with that kind of power. Edgli, cautious as ever, continued to watch, no doubt calculating which of the sixteen was most likely to renege on their pact the quickest. The logic did not make it any easier to accept that Ati the person was gone, and what remained of him would live the rest of his eons of existence in a constant struggle to contain the power he had claimed. I have to do something. Leras's eyes darted between the impassive faces of his remaining companions. Why weren't any of them doing something to stop this? They don't care. All they see is their own chance to ascend; their own piece of godhood. I have to protect him. Please, Ati, don't leave me. "Chin up, Leras," Ati smiled, meeting Leras's eyes as the black mist continued to wind its way around his body. "Surely there are worse things to fear than becoming a dark god of destruction." As he finished speaking, Ati's form seemed to evaporate as it was consumed by the black mist. His human self was burned away by the god-like power he now held, leaving only divinity behind. "ATI!!!!" Leras stumbled forward into the space Ati had occupied only moments before. A light sprung up, seemingly in response to his shout. It was a white mist, contrasting the black one that had consumed Ati. In horror, Leras watched as the mists began to envelop him. His entire body began to burn as if his veins were being set alight beneath his skin. A thousand pleasures and pains assaulted him at once, and his back arched in simultaneous torment and ecstasy as the power consumed him. I will save Ati. I will Preserve him. As his body dissolved, Leras shot off, knowing Ati would have tried to get as far as possible to avoid causing any unintended harm. Already, he could feel his mind expanding much as his body had. Time and space seemed to lose meaning. He reached out into the beyond, grasping at millions of possible futures, understanding them in an instant. Why am I chasing him? Leras pushed forward, locating the futures in which he and Ati were together, and willed himself to that place, passing over whole solar systems in an instant. "Leras? What are you doing here? My power it. . . it burns. You . . ." Leras received the impression of Ati, as he remembered him, reaching out with a hand. Leras reached out his own power eagerly, seeking to envelop Ati in his embrace. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH" They screamed in unison, and the echoes of their cries seemed to reverberate through the very fabric of the Cosmere. Leras recoiled from Ati, slowly regaining his senses as the intense pain faded. "What, what was that?" "I don't know." Leras examined his own power more closely. Mingling his power with Ati's had felt explosive, like a volcano erupting under a frozen lake. Despite the pain of the experience, part of Leras seemed to call out to record it perfectly in his memory, to preserve it for all time. Preservation. It sensed my desire to preserve Ati, and accepted me as its Vessel. "Our powers, it appears, are in conflict. Ruin and Preservation: we are opposites. Our powers will not mingle easily. " "Yes." Leras could sense, rather than hear, the hesitation in Ati's voice as he considered the new knowledge. Leras mentally cursed Adonalsium. How was it that he had ended up with the one Shard that would prevent him from remaining close to Ati? Already he could feel himself drifting away from Ati, pulled by his own power away from its opposite. No! Desperate, Leras again reached into the beyond, searching for a future in which he and Ati could remain together. His power seemed to navigate through the unmeasurable expanse of possibility easily, appearing eager to find futures where current circumstances were preserved. "Leras?" "Got it! Our powers may not mingle easily, but we can use them together. I've seen it. Ati, together, we can create anything. We could form entire worlds out of the abyss if we wanted." As he spoke, Leras felt his power seeming shrink into itself, as if resiling from the thought of so much change. "Neither of us can alone, of course, but together. . ." "No, Leras. I have made up my mind. We must abide by our pact, remember? I will find some dark corner of the Cosmere, and find a way to keep myself there, so that my power cannot harm anyone." "But you don't have to only destroy Ati, together we can create." "Leras, this is my burden to bear. Leave, and find a planet to protect. If we do as you say, your plan will only lead to the destruction of all we have made, and likely you as well." Unbidden, a vision of the future Ati spoke of came into view, a world consumed by fire and ash. And yet, that was not all Leras saw. I can preserve them. "Ati, friend, if you must destroy one day, would it not be better to ruin something we ourselves have created? That way, the rest of the Cosmere may be preserved. Our powers will counteract each other for a time, and perhaps delay the events you fear." Or prevent them completely. Though the thought of misleading Ati twisted his heart, the power Leras held seemed to pulse eagerly at the thought of having an entire world to preserve against destruction. "Leras. . . I can't. I cannot bear the thought of killing you. I will only ask once more. Leave this place. If I destroy you I may never forgive myself." If you destroy at all, you will never forgive yourself. And I would rather see the Cosmere consumed by your power then spend eons apart from you. "I am resolute, Ati, you will not convince me. Give this a chance, and we can create something beautiful together. Our powers will balance each other. You can force things to evolve and change, and my power will protect what we create from complete annihilation." It took further negotiation, but eventually, a deal was struck. Together, Ati and Leras stretched out until they found an empty system, and there they pulled a planet from the void and set about creating life there. Ati, already succumbing to influence of his power, secured the promise that one day Leras would allow him to destroy that which they created. Leras agreed, and with a heavy heart began to plan the betrayal of the person he loved most. Dimly, he saw one future where mists, black and white, intertwined, becoming something greater.
  9. All good points! One clarification for point 3 - I didn’t mean to imply that Adolin was gay simply because of his love of fashion (which would be highly erroneous). All I meant to say is that if Adolin were gay, I would not find his appreciation of fashion problematic. I agree with your interpretation of his reasons for enjoying fashion.
  10. Accept the actual canon as truth? What is this ridiculousity? Obviously you are expressing a totally valid viewpoint here (and thank-you for sharing it!). For me, the fact that Brandon has chosen a different route doesn't take away the fun of theorizing the paths not traveled, even as I enjoy the canon path. I have bolded a few points for the purpose of discussion. To be clear, I do not think there is anything wrong or incorrect about the statements, they just piqued my interest and I wanted to make the following observations: (1) Sufficient Expression of Attraction - The only thing I would add to this point is that, if he is not aware of his attraction, the attraction may be subliminal rather than explicit. Some of the passages quoted above show an appreciation of Kaladin that some are arguing implies an attraction that Adolin himself might not be aware of. If he were not aware of his same-sex attraction, then the expressions would not be explicit. (2) Feelings of Unworthiness - What if the feelings of unworthiness you identified are a reason for Adolin not to examine his sexuality? He feels unworthy, and wants to live up to his father's legacy. Many if not all of his role models are straight. Regardless of whether or not people would look down on him for being same-sex attracted, his feelings of not being worthy might make him hesitant to even examine himself in depth, preferring to focus on who he wants to be/become. (3) Stereotypes - I am of two minds on the stereotypes thing. On one hand, it is frustrating when characters from minority groups are conglomerations of stereotypes and do not feel like true individuals. On the other hand, as many (but not all) stereotypes are based in truth, portraying a gay character who is 100% not stereotypically gay also seems problematic to me. Stereotypes can be used to make harmful generalizations, but commonly held interests are part of what forms community for minority groups. I think Adolin is a wonderfully imagined three dimensional character, and so I see him being stereotypically interested in fashion (if he were gay) as realistic and relateable, rather than problematic. His interest in fashion does not define him, but as I wrote above, I think it does comment on his hyper awareness of how others perceive him, whatever the root cause. I am perhaps a little too attached to this line of reasoning, mostly because I relate to Adolin on many levels, and this is similar to my own coming out journey. I have always known, for example, that my family and friends were accepting of same-sex attracted people, and yet, I did not realize I was gay until I started meeting and spending time with other same-sex attracted people. Before that, I thought "Do I like guys? Nope!" and proceeded to date women, thinking that was the end of the matter. However, when I started spending time with other gay men, I started to realize how much I had in common with them, and it was only then that I was able to examine my sexuality on a deeper level, and come to the realization that I was, in fact, gay. So, that is a long (and potentially over-sharing) way of saying I 100% agree with this. Even if Adolin knows he would be accepted if he came out as same sex attracted, that does not mean he is aware of his own attraction to men. He may be attached--as I, in hindsight, was--to the image of a certain future involving a female partner, and likely does not have any same sex attracted friends or role-models to compare himself to. The issue could also be one of concentration. Most of our viewpoint characters are straight, and it is not clear that Shallan is aware she is Bi (I am guessing not since Brandon didn't even know). The general statistic I have heard thrown around in our world is 10% of the population or so is same-sex attracted (if I'm wrong on that, I do not think it is detrimental to my point, but feel free to correct me). If I think of my own friends, however, I would say close to 50-60% of people I regularly associate with are same sex attracted. In my workplace (which I estimate employs 80-100 people), to my knowledge I am the only gay person. The purpose of these examples is to demonstrate that the distribution of minority groups (especially invisible ones like sexual minorities) is not uniform. Like attracts like, and you will often find minority groups existing in pockets. So, if Drehy, as an out gay man, for example, was a viewpoint character, I would guess we would see a lot more same sex attracted Alethi (surely Dru wasn't the only other person, or the two of them finding each other would be rather implausible). The other issue is that there may be other characters we have seen who are same sex attracted, but their preference has not become relevant to the story yet (as was the case of Drehy prior to OB). All of this is just to say I think it is too soon to rule out that the Rosharan incidence of same sex attraction is similar to Earth's.
  11. I agree with pretty much everything you pointed out here. I really love unrequited love stories, and I think this one would have some interesting twists and turns to keep it from falling into tropes. I can see the plotline of Adolin coming to terms with his sexuality and his love and respect for Shallan being a really interesting plot line to follow. I would separate, I think, his desire to be a perfect prince (which he gets away from in OB) with his desire to be perfectly masculine and live up to his father. With Evi raising Adolin and Renarin to be more sensitive and emotionally intelligent than your average Alethi male, I'm sure Adolin faced a lot of pressure to 'man up' as a child. Masculine arts, such as dueling, seem to have come easily to him, but he lacks the temperament of 'role models' like Gavilar, Sadeas, and the Blackthorn. Taking this a step further, now I am thinking about Adolin's shame over Dalinar's loss of reputation in WoK (in our scenario) would come partially from the internal pressure he feels to fit in. After trying for so long to fit in by emulating his father, watching Dalinar become the odd man out could have been really difficult for him. I agree 100% on the three way relationship not being the way to go here. I would love if Brandon explored a poly relationship at some point, but personally I do not like the idea of A-S-K being that relationship. I was referring to Adolin and Kaladin when I said Brandon has pretty much written a queer viewpoint relationship (you may have realized that but I wasn't certain from your response and wanted to make sure). On Drehy - I felt uncomfortable with the discussion of masculinity and same-sex attraction, but in the end I decided I liked it because it made me feel uncomfortable. While problematic, these conversations are ones that happen all the time in real life, and it made sense for the Bridgemen who, despite their acceptance of Drehy, might not be familiar with the views of a minority group. It definitely made me squirm in my seat reading it though, so I had to consider it really carefully and determine whether the writing was making me uncomfortable because it was forced or poorly done, or whether the situation was merely being accurately depicted as awkward. I had the same thought about a highly gendered society like Alethkar's stance on sexuality, but I think the greek comparison works well. While it seems gay men in Alethkar aren't expected to marry (at least darkeyes ones aren't - Adolin may have been expected to), as in Ancient Greece, it seems men with a sexual preference for other men are somewhat accepted so long as they continue to conform to traditionally masculine roles. What's interesting about this set up is that although couples like Drehy and Dru (or Adolin and... whoever) do not face much direct discrimination from other people, they would still be facing a great deal of systemic discrimination, in that the culture of Alethkar makes their lives more difficult because of their sexual orientation. I can totally see gay and lesbian couples facing all kinds of disadvantages because they lack someone of the other gender to fulfill certain duties and roles. I'll bet that same sex couples are sometimes treated as 'single' for some purposes (hiring a woman to read and write, as you suggested, or a man to perform physical labour, where normally one's spouse might). I also agree that a platonic relationship can be just as or more satisfying than a romantic one. In fact, I think romance is often over done in books, and that there should be more where platonic relationships are highlighted as compelling. That being said, my preference would be for greater representation of opposite sex platonic relationships and more romantic queer relationships, as things tend to skew the other way. I'm really hoping Kaladin/Shallan develop a great friendship going forward, since I feel that a good example of a man and a woman being friends with a deep and complex relationship would be really cool to read.
  12. That is a great compilation of moments and analysis Grey. Queering Adolin and Kaladin's relationship in this way, it makes me wonder if Brandon does not give himself enough credit about his ability to write a same-sex attracted viewpoint character. I mean, with a few changes, he basically has written what could be a same-sex relationship between viewpoint characters already, and one that would be compelling and believable. If he puts what he is doing with Adolin and Kaladin here (perhaps unintentionally) into practice when writing a canonically queer character, I think he would do very well with it, personally. On the other hand, part of me does worry that trying too hard to write a queer character viewpoint might interfere with what happened organically for Kaladin and Adolin. Usually Brandon is really good at proving worries of this type unfounded for me, but it is still a concern I carry. EDIT: As an afterthought, based on the recent moderation discussion, I did want to make it clear in case it was not already that I am speaking on my personally held views, and not those of the staff team. I feel fairly comfortable in doing this because this topic is fairly subjective, for the most part I have been speaking from personal experiences or interpretations, and it is not heated or contentious. I do note, however, that we have not had many dissenting views about the Kadolin relationship put forward. It could be this is because of the way the OP was framed, but I did want to make it clear that I am responding to this thread because I am enthusiastic about it, and not out of a desire to control the narrative. I hope people with views that contradict mine do feel comfortable posting them here, keeping in mind the spirit of the OP and the general expectations of respectful discourse.
  13. Good point! My favourite Adolin ship, Padolin (mostly because it involves my two favourite characters) was basically confirmed by Pattern, so I will stick with that for now, haha. But maybe I will keep a candle lit for Kadolin, or Adolin/Another Guy, going forward. That brings up another dilemma. I love Shallan to pieces, and now if I want to ship Adolin with anyone else I have to hope for the failure of her marriage. Yikes!
  14. To be fair, Brandon has also said that he reserves the right to change his mind on WoBs and only the books are canon. I don’t think that makes it any more likely that he will explore this aspect of Adolin’s character. He’s had a lot of this series planned for a long time, and that would be a pretty major change. So some hope, but not too much haha. In an AU, a Drehy friendship would be a really interesting line to follow. If I go along with the idea, I’d see Adolin as being unaware of his sexuality at this point, so meeting and finding commonality with other same sex attracted folks would be a good way for him to start building self-awareness. I do have to be careful though. Adolin is my #1 Cosmere Crush, so I could easily become too attached to a gay Adolin fanon.
  15. It’s interesting reading this because my husband just finished OB and came to an almost identical conclusion. I got subtext definitely, but I’m still a Shadolin supporter. For my husband, the subtext actually ruined Shadolin for him and he finds the relationship completely unbelievable. He still reads Kaladin as straight, but reads Adolin as exclusively or predominately gay, and sees Kadolin as a sort of wrong timing/unrequited love narrative. I definitely love them as both a romantic couple and as friends. I agree that the subtext here is especially heavy (and I think readers of queer relationships are trained to look for subtext since queer relationships are often not openly acknowledged). In my personal view, even though I love Shadolin, on further reflection I think that Kadolin is a real missed opportunity for Brandon and I wonder if he realizes the extent of the subtext he put in. On the fashion point, I don’t think it has to be a stereotype. Gay men who live in the closet, either knowingly or unknowingly, are often hyper aware of how they are perceived and what codes signals of their identity they are giving off. If Adolin were gay, it would make sense for him to be hyper aware of his appearance in my opinion. Even though Alethkar is more relaxed, I think as a prince it would make sense that he remains sensitive about people’s perception with him. I love the point about avoiding hetero intimacy through serial dating. My husband raised it as well and I hadn’t considered it before. Great analysis