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Harbour

[OB] Adolin-Shallan-Kaladin Discussion

2,008 posts in this topic

Here we go, people!

What do you think about our beloved, (maybe) former love triangle in Oathbringer?

How do you feel Shadolin was handled, Shadolin fans?

Do you think Kaladin and Shallan has the potential to hook up in the further books, Shalladin fans?

And which of the two ships you liked more in Oathbringer?

Great summary of the topic made by @Ailvara

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VqLjiUojkPqIfLJLyu7OnykTP3i-LG0f5f1KjRSJE6A/edit?usp=sharing

If you like it, if you agree with it, then please, twit that link to Brandon Sanderson. Let him notice that analysis and read it. That would be the great feedback for him.

Edited by Harbour
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I don't think there's anything wrong with Veil dating Kaladin and Shallan/Radiant dating Adolin. *Shrug* 

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The interlude starring the Ardent who loves romance novels Alethi Epics was great.

The love triangle was pretty subdued in the book itself, which is fine.  Kaladin is a great person, Adolin is a great person, Shallan is a nutty person with an occasional mean streak who tries hard.

Kaladin's one true love is Syl. It's hard to imagine he could ever love a person as much as he loves Syl, and that might be a problem for our brooding hero's future relationships.

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I mean I'm kinda eh about Shallan's romance in general as it applies to dudes. I prefer it as just a small thing. It's never really even been a love triangle, Kaladin's mostly just why does she keep looking at me funny sometimes

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10 minutes ago, Steeldancer said:

Hey. You know Syl has a physical form in Shadesmar...

I'm a proud Syladin shipper. Wonder what the kids would be, though... Aimians? Parshmen? A new kind of Cognitive Shadow?

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Who cares? I thought syl and Kal were way cuter than Shallan and kal. 

Especially now that Shallan is, idk, MARRIED. 

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I am glad. i am very very glad. I love all the three characters, and I hated how divisive the love triangle has been in the fandom. I would have wanted a better way resolving it, more discussion. I have been shipping shadolin since the start, and adolin didn't go dark, and he did get some badass parts in the end. I am happy 

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I'm still rather tired from staying awake for like 40 hours on Monday and maybe I'll change my mind on some things once I start re-reading it. Anyway, I'm happy enough with the final result but not so much how we got there - it didn't really feel like the pay-off was earned enough. A couple of random thoughts:

  • Unless I'm missing something, I don't think there was any reason given in text for the origins (or specifics) of Adolin's problems with forming long lasting romantic relationships. Can we consider this to be cured or mostly cured now? If so, why? If not, might it come up again in future? (I hope not as that would be really frustrating)
  • I would very much liked to have seen more of Shallan from Adolin's POV. I thought this was lacking in WoR and it's lacking again here. Putting it a different way, I think the romance-tinged views of Shallan we had from Kaladin would have been better spent on Adolin POVs.
  • On the positive side of things, I'm glad that Adolin opened up to Shallan first about Sadeas. As of Part 1, my feeling about the pair was that they were very nearly there and ideally needed to open up to each other about their darker sides to really form a lasting relationship so I had been hoping for a scene where Shallan and Adolin open up to each other and it was nicely done. Shallan's reaction to this reveal was pretty much what I expected. However, I had been expecting Shallan to open up about her old problems rather than her new problem, but this is just an observation not a complaint. However, during this scene (or later on) I would have liked to see a call-back to the things in Part 1 where Shallan had spotted various clues in Adolin's behaviour and I would have also liked to have seen Shallan re-assess her opinion on Adolin - for them as a couple, this was probably the most important development in the book but the follow-through seemed to be lacking.
  • It would have been nice to get an explanation for why Shallan was so nervous about Adolin finding out about Veil. As far as I can tell it was more of an irrational fear that Adolin might like "Veil" more than "Shallan".
  • The way in which Shallan and her personas viewed Kaladin and Adolin felt rather unnecessarily muddled. Veil and Radiant seemed to change their opinions for no obvious reason and Shallan seemed unable to commit for so long and then suddenly everything is okay. This was frustrating to me as it basically cheapens Shallan as a character. Well, at least we get a proper explanation from Shallan about why Adolin is best for her - he stabilises her (plus all sorts of other reasons). With Shallan, that's not a minor thing.
  • I'm glad Kaladin gets some closure on Shallan. As some have suggested before, she helps him in a way similar to how Tien did and they don't need a romantic relationship for that to happen. I dunno what we'll see longer term but it looks like Kaladin, Adolin and Shallan will form the core of any "away team" (SWAT team?) that needs to go off and solve problems.
  • The wedding at the end felt unnecessarily rushed. While there was a tiny bit of foreshadowing in Part 2 it would have been nice to see Shallan's thoughts on this in advance. Unsurprisingly, Shallan was happy to avoid being queen.

So basically, while I enjoyed the Adolin and Shallan scenes, the Kaladin and Shallan scenes felt like unnecessary baiting, was dragged out too long and considering the end result I think we deserved to see more of Shallan from Adolin's point of view.

On a side note, I think that Adolin's POVs were too focused on external problems rather than internal problems.

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21 minutes ago, kari-no-sugata said:

Well, at least we get a proper explanation from Shallan about why Adolin is best for her - he stabilises her (plus all sorts of other reasons). With Shallan, that's not a minor thing.

But this is exactly what I find so irritating. This reasoning is so god damnation thin. And when she says, that Adolin even interacted with Veil and that they liked each other? This may be stable (for the time being), but far from healthy. Adolin enables her. He simply chooses to ignore the problem, aside from mentioning that it is 'worrisome' once. Which is damnation ironic, considering that is exactly what she criticized about Kal, what she just assumed he meant.

 

Edited by SLNC
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I never cared for the triangle, and am not a Shallan fan in general, so her and Kaladin together was never something I considered right. So I’m glad that’s mostly over with. Hopefully we won’t need to read any more about this romantic entanglement. 

 

By the end of the book, I mostly decided that Shallan isn’t good enough for either of them, and that they should date each other.

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Here are my thoughts on this situation from a post I made in the wrong thread earlier:

4 hours ago, Bridge Boy said:

@Harbour It seemed pretty clearly implied to me that all three figmented projections of Shallan are pieces of who she really is but not actually her true self and that includes the projection of herself that we are introduced to as she is seeking Jasnah in WoK. 

So to me, as touchy feely as the ending was where Adolin is able to identify Shallan's "true self" it just further emphasizes that he doesn't understand her at.

But in fairness to Adolin, how in damnation could he? Her personal issues are shrouded in more mystery and pattern mmmmmming lies than the secrets of all the mad heralds combined. 

Adolin is a good dude. Quite frankly, he and Kaladin both deserve better than Shallan can offer in her current state.

I'd hate the storyline where one of them saves her from her personal issues. Those are her issues, they cannot have them; she needs to save herself.

@SLNC My bad. I'll look for the new thread.

I still believe that we as the reader don't know who the real Shallan is. There is another secret of hers that predates WoK that obscures our interpretation of who she really is. Until this is resolved she is not going to find herself in a healthy enough place to enter a relationship with anyone.

Adolin enables Shallan to continue lying to herself.

She reminds Kaladin of Tien which draws him to her, and he only understands her in that he can relate to her pain. Eventually I think he will seek to save her from this but it is not his place. He has no right to do so.

Shallan needs to solve her issues herself. She needs to find the courage to face her past and in a similar vein to Dalinar accept that it is part of what has made her into who she is today. This varies for her character arc however in that she has the added difficulty of not knowing who she is today because she continually hides from her problems.

I very much want to see this story line progress, and am disappointed as I feel as if her character arc remained mostly stagnant throughout OB.

Edited by Bridge Boy
Typo
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11 minutes ago, SLNC said:

But this is exactly what I find so irritating. This reasoning is so god damnation thin. And when she says, that Adolin even interacted with Veil and that they liked each other? This may be stable (for the time being), but far from healthy. Adolin enables her. He simply chooses to ignore the problem. Which is damnation ironic, considering that is exactly what she criticized about Kal, what she just assumed he meant.

I always suspected that Shallan would keep some personas long term. It would be too good/fun a tool for Brandon to ditch it. But Shallan needed to go through some pain to earn it, I guess.

I don't find the reasoning itself to be thin but the emotional payoff was lacking for me. Or putting it another way, it works logically for me but not emotionally. It really didn't help that Shallan kept backsliding on this issue. Putting it another way, even though the plot seems to indicate that the issue is resolved (since Shallan and Adolin marry) it doesn't feel resolved enough - I think it would have been better to move some of the Shallan/Adolin scenes from the end of Part 5 to the end of Part 4 so that we can see that it's resolved.

On a general thought on Shallan: I have argued before that she builds Connection to people and this explicitly comes up in OB. Maybe the downside of this is that she feels pulled in many directions due to this Connection and this is part of the reason why she is unstable? We see in Ash's POV that she hates it when people invoke her name (which can be considered a form of Connection) so this might be a Lightweaver thing in general and the Heraldic picture of her also seems to indicate that. So perhaps for Shallan, having someone she has very strong Connection to (ie Adolin) helps stabilise her because it dampens her Connection to others?

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Again, Sanderson is taking a bit from WoT here, so maybe One True Threesome on the cards? (I doubt it, but it would be a bit cool)

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Things that made me confused or irritated in OB about Adolin, Shallan and Kaladin.

1)BS only once mentioned Adolin noticing how Shallan looked at Kaladin, in the end of the Part 4. Then he brought that "i saw you looking at each other all the time" arguement. Id prefer BS to build up this arguement better, cause it looks like brought it as a fast made up point for Adolin to wish to broke up with Shallan.

2)Repeating of the same back and forth. I swear someday ill put the whole OB into MSWord and use the search of "his blue eyes", "handsome" and "dangerous eyes" objects. I bet i fill find alot of the scene where Shallan said this stuff.

The same with Kaladin. How many times he told himself "Im not going to be with her"? At least three times. damnation, that some delightfull masochism.

3)For some reason since the Part 2 or Part 3 of OB BS for some reason started to heavily imply that its Veil who liked Kaladin, parallelly baiting us with Shallan showing the hints of interest in him too. Thats confusing and irritating.

4)They dont talk each other. BS wave away Adolin murder like nothing, as well as make Kaladin to not be bothered with telling to Shallan about Helaran, and make Shallan be absolutely fine with Helaran death. Well, given how she bullied Kaladin, she is not fine but dont bother to explain to Kaladin why she does this. Thats pretty egoistic behaviour id say.

5)The whole solution. That was pretty painfull. BS did everything to show that both Adolin and Shallan ruin their relationship in that scene showing all their issues yet decided to hook up nevertheless basically saying "Lets Ignore It". Also "I really love him" thing. Well, i dont get the "real thing" vibe from that. There was no proper build up and it just didnt work for me.

6)Yet BS continued teasing us untill the very end bringing Shallan staring at Kaladin hovering above the roof even during Shallan-Adolin conversation. He could have avoid it but no.

 

Edited by Harbour
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@kari-no-sugata

But the issue isn't resolved... Like how she is glad that Veil and Adolin start to get along, so that Veil can tell him about the Ghostbloods...

Like why does she even use Veil around Adolin? And why does he let her? I actually feel like we're back at square one. Shallan made some progress and then it all reverses back so she can live in her fairytale with Prince Charming.

And her reasoning doesn't make any sense logically... She is making assumptions and convinces herself.

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Shallan's mental state is all over the place in this book. She has the tools to fix it, but like Kal she can't quite yet. And I like that these characters (and others) can't just have a single revelation and then "develop" past their problems. Because that's not how these things actually work 

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2 minutes ago, firegazer said:

I really liked the book, but the romance stuff felt off to me, and it took me a while to really chew on why. This is not the first, the second, or even the third time that Sanderson has done the exact same romantic plotline: boy meets girl, they enter into an arranged marriage, there are potential troubles in there, but in the end they both discover the arranged marriage unexpectedly works perfectly for them. In point of fact, we got the same thing from Laral in this book too, so that's TWICE that female characters have decided they actually like their situation IN ONE BOOK.

The first time I read it, I thought it was a refreshingly different take than what you normally see in the media -- i.e. asking the question 'in societies where marriages are based on factors other than love, can you still make them positive relationships.' But at this point, the feminist in me is honestly starting to get deeply irritated with this weird idealization of arranged marriages. Once was interesting. This many times is really starting to bother me as a female reader. It takes me out of immersion because I have such a distasteful knee-jerk backlash to it that colours the way I feel about all characters involved, no matter how much I otherwise like them as characters. I don't know if that makes sense, or even if it's a feeling that extends to other readers at all (I might well be unique and everyone else has zero problems with this).

As a fellow feminist, I somewhat agree with you, though I feel that Shallan had quite a bit more agency in her relationship with Adolin than say,

Spoiler

Steris in the Wax & Wayne novels or Siri in Warbreaker (though I have not read that in a long time)

Shallan decides to continue with the Causal when she arrives in the Shattered Plains, even though she likely could have ended it without much retribution.  She also drives much of their relationship.  And at the end of Oathbringer, chastises Adolin for still thinking that she is a "prize."  I appreciated her knocking that thought out of his head, because the other way around would have deeply upset my sensibilities. Overall, I feel that Adolin and Shallan would have gotten together even without the arrangement. I don't think I feel that about some of the other arranged situations in the Cosmere. 

That being said, is IS a common theme, and maybe one that he should stop relying on...or maybe one he should consider somehow flipping on its head and approaching from a different perspective. 

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1 minute ago, Ryshadium said:

That being said, is IS a common theme, and maybe one that he should stop relying on...or maybe one he should consider somehow flipping on its head and approaching from a different perspective. 

That's all I really mean. Taken on its own, I would have appreciated the agency Shallan shows, for sure. But the sheer frequency of this 'arranged marriages always work out if you just put in the work' trope is starting to grate on me in its totality.

That said, I deeply appreciate the richness Sanderson has shown in his female characters in this series. Jasnah is badass, I just plain like Navani, and Lift is probably one of my favourite characters at this point. I wish this one thing didn't bother me so deeply, because I so enjoy those other bits.

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He has improved his writing for women over the years. I don’t think he’s quite there yet 100%, but he clearly strives to create complex and multidimensional women in his books, who are not pigeonholed into various stereotypes. Or over aggressive nagging know it alls (I’m looking at you, Nynaeve Sedai)

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