Warbreaker Annotations chapter 44
so there is something sound to the Hallandren reasoning that you have to do something heroic in order to Return. (That's not true, but it is more sound a doctrine than Siri thinks it is.)
So we know that it is related slightly to bravery. My next thought was to look at the conditions of their Returning to see if there is a clue there. We all know what Lightsong did, sacrificing his life to save his niece's life. The next one we know of is Calmseer
Warbreaker Annotations Chapter 47
She did complain about not being able to do enough for people, though she had that personality even before Returning. She was the self-sacrificing type who took care of those around her and always had a kindly attitude. She died from an illness she caught while caring for the sick family who lived next door to her. (They'd lost their father to the same illness, and while all eventually recovered, Calmseer herself came down with their disease and passed away from it.)
Again another sacrifice, Calmseer gives her life caring for a sick family. The last Returned who's circumstances of Returning we know is Blushweaver.
Warbreaker Annotations Chapter 58
Before her Return, Blushweaver was a powerful merchant in the city, and very well known. She was assassinated after denouncing a group of dye merchants she'd worked with for their deceptive and criminal practices. Her testimony ended with them in jail, but it got her killed. That's how she earned the title of Blushweaver the Honest (which, if you'll remember, she eventually got changed to Blushweaver the Beautiful).
This one is a bit different from the other two, Blushweaver gives up her life to denounce criminals. So now I started to try to draw parallels, that also fit in with the intent Endowmwnt, Nalthis's Shard. And my conclusion? It's not just dying in a heroic way that allows you to Return, although it could. If you give up (endow!) your life for someone else, or something you believe in, you are given the ability to Return. Lightsong gave up his life for his niece, Calmseer gave up her's to help people, something she found important, and Blushweaver gave up her's for the truth, something it seems likely she believed in, since she was willing to risk her life to reveal it. And infant Returned? The best idea I have is perhaps their mother's weren't going to be able to survive giving birth to the infants, so they subconsciously give their lives to let their mother's live, allowing them to Return. That last one feels a bit contrived. Any ideas, comments, or questions? Feel free to post them and let me know what you think.
Edited by Windrunner, 21 December 2011 - 01:00 PM.