Diomedes

[OB] the timeskip after OB

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For those who did not know: there is going to be a timeskip after OB and the next book lasting roughly one year.  We know from one of the last  few chapters that the general Alethi plan for the next few months is to take Tu Bayla, a minor kingdom between Azir and Jah Keved. I think the timeskip is due to that part not being that interesting to witness. I somehow cannot imagine some major battle or an attempt of assassination etc. happening off-screen.

The next book will rather set in when the next significant phase of the conflict begins, possibly the defence of Jah Keved or the attempted recapture of Alethkar. And, as we all know, personal conflict thrives when people are in challenging circumstances. The timeline also fits into this rather nicely. The armies cannot take an Oathgate between Urithiru, Tu Bayla and the border to Alethkar. They would have to walk the way, which combined with preparations and the actual fighting in that kingdom would take the better part of a year.

As for the development of the characters… I would really like to see the interaction between Shallan and her family in the months after the wedding. This would be crucial to her development since she would need to face her past represented by her family. But maybe she finds a way to send them away?    

Likewise, how is the Kholin family going to spin the murder of Sadeas? I presume that Dalinar will not make this public despite his strict adherence to the codes. Maybe in a years’ time rumors concerning the murder will be spreading around and we will witness everyone facing the consequences then?

So what are your thoughts? How could this all work out?

I personally do not understand any need for a timeskip in terms of character development. Only considering the strategical circumstances would it make sense to introduce the skip. That way we do not see one year of skirmishes and the army marching from A to B.  

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Things that could happen during the timeskip:

-Someone conquers Tu Bayla.

-Shallan gets pregnant/gives birth to a baby.

-More Radiants appear at Urithiru (almost a guarantee).

-Different people learn their surges a bit better. 

-Kaladins family moves to Urithiru.

-Taln snaps out of his madness.

-Mraize takes a vacation.

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13 minutes ago, Toaster Retribution said:

Taln snaps out of his madness.

This is the only one on the list I don't see happening. I can see that happening just after the time skip... But to have us come back to Taln being somewhat normal again and gloss over that would be... Odd.

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My thoughts are... 

Spoiler

BROTHER I AM PINNED HERE

No but in all seriousness, I expect there to be a lot more Radiants. The one-year timeskip means essentially we can return to our cast when they've mustered a (hopefully) critical mass of Radiants to turn the tide. 

I sincerely hope that Kaladin will get to save a ton of people with his epic oath-transformation again. I wouldn't mind it if he just got the powerup early on in the book though.

Venli will have gotten mostly rid of Odium's influence. She's on the run from him now as well. 

Moash/Vyre will (hopefully) have more confidence and clearer goals and motivations. 

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17 minutes ago, Toaster Retribution said:

Things that could happen during the timeskip:

-Someone conquers Tu Bayla.

-Shallan gets pregnant/gives birth to a baby.

-More Radiants appear at Urithiru (almost a guarantee).

-Different people learn their surges a bit better. 

-Kaladins family moves to Urithiru.

-Taln snaps out of his madness.

-Mraize takes a vacation.

Meh.

Keep Shallan's  brothers far away!

Bring on anything other than more windrunners!

I should hope so otherwise Dalinar's school for magic and fabrials will receive a failing score from the Urithiru school board.

Oh I'm sure that Dalinar and Lirin's meeting will go splendidly. 

YAY!! Finally a helpful herald.

The ghostblood's have a budget for that sort of thing?

 

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I don't think anything significant will happen during the timeskip.  It's probably going to be everyone consolidating their forces, getting agents out in the field and information back to their commands.  There was a similar timeskip between Well of Ascension and Hero of Ages, and that's what happened during that timeskip.

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7 minutes ago, RShara said:

I don't think anything significant will happen during the timeskip.  It's probably going to be everyone consolidating their forces, getting agents out in the field and information back to their commands.  There was a similar timeskip between Well of Ascension and Hero of Ages, and that's what happened during that timeskip.

My thoughts exactly. It will be a time of consolidation and construction that is both necessary, and boring to read. 

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Yep.  Lots of "so the soulcasters got enough stormlight to clear out the latrines, oh and we figured out how the plumbing works."  Maybe a few, "catalogued how much stormlight in a chip vs a mark vs a broam" and "diminishing by x amount per day after highstorm infusion."

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It seems unbelievable that an entire year could go by in the middle of an active war and nothing of significance happens.

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52 minutes ago, CrazyRioter said:

It seems unbelievable that an entire year could go by in the middle of an active war and nothing of significance happens.

Looking at history... I find it perfectly believable. There will have been battles on both sides, no real ground lost or gained, and no decisive wins on either side. Tension will be building, and people will have been worn down and exhausted and frustrated at the lack of progress. 

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Odium was getting ready to start a Hitler-esque assault, and he got stonewalled. A one year gap with no major battles while both sides prepare isn't too unrealistic. 

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Brandon recently on Reddit:

Quote

Mrrobot112

Thanks! But please, don't do things like Alien 3-movie, if you know what I mean. It's when they did a time gap between two movies and at the beginning of the new movie they told you that your favorite character died during the time gap, deal with it. This is the worst thing ever and a reason I'm always a bit skeptical about time gaps in fiction. Just hate when things like that happen off-screen.Just don't do it with your books, please.At least can you promise you wouldn't?And what do you think about this trope in general?

Brandon Sanderson

I actually want to write an essay about that very trope (I call it the Newt Principle.) You might see it on my website at some point.

Things will happen during the gap, I'm afraid. You might like it, you might not, but I do plan some of the flashbacks in the second half to help cover this time--so you'll see it eventually. If it helps, I'm pretty sure I understand the dangers of the Newt Principle, and how to not fall into that trap.

[Source]

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It's not to unrealistic that in an active war nothing major happens. WWI last 4 years and nothing much happens for 99% of that time. During the middle ages, gaps routinely, especially without mass transit. WWI was more a case of stuff that almost happened but didn't.

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I suspect that there will be some suring up of regions, and some spying by the lightwevers, working with the windrunners to travel round. Lots of training and planning but not much fighting.

I think we will get more radiants over the break.

My theory is that one of the POV characters (probably Kalladin) will have been away from Urithiru for most of the gap and will come back and be "introduced" (along with us) to the new radiants.

And I think over the time gap we won't have much more than an occasionally lucid Taln. 

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I wouldn’t be surprised with major off screen events in the one year break.

I can picture starts like Catch-22’s chapter openings... “Major Major was dead.”

Edited by Wax
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I doubt a major point of view character would die. Maybe a Bridge Four character other than Kaladin, Lopen, Teft, Rock or Sigzil, someone like that.

I would argue that all bets are off as early as the prologue (if it's not Gavilar's murder again) or chapter 1.

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1 hour ago, Calderis said:

I personally think that book five will be Gavilar's PoV. All of the Prologues so far have been titled in a similar structure "To Kill" "To Question" "To Weep." 

I think book five will be Gavilar's and be "To Die" 

Brilliant!

Then logically book four's prologue would be "To Answer"? Do we know who's PoV it will be?

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13 minutes ago, Varenus said:

Brilliant!

Then logically book four's prologue would be "To Answer"? Do we know who's PoV it will be?

We’ve had a discussion in the past on this matter.

But happy to hear if anything new has come to light?

 

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Well, I am normally all for time-skips - honestly, a couple of fantasy series that would have been very much improved by them immediately come to mind. But there are some things at the end of OB that _should_ provoke an immediate response:

Nale and the Skybreakers defection to the Fused. This would not only be a massive moral blow to the nations of the anti-Odium alliance due to a Herald turning against them, but it should also be pretty effective in eliminating nascent Radiants from the other Orders. Skybreakers have a somewhat reliable way of detecting them, after all, and wouldn't need to dance around the local legal restrictions to kill their targets (and their spren?) any longer. All the Fused have to do is make a law that forbids humans to form Nahel bonds, on the pain of death. Presto! Not even the territories of the alliance would be safe, as the Skybreakers have lots of  connections and cover identities in these countries, built over the centuries, and could easily slip in and out.

I too want there to be substantially more Radiants, hailing from all corners of the world and all walks of life, in Book 4, but with the Skybreakers on the rampage that doesn't appear to be possible - only the potential candidates in Urithiru  would be able to survive long enough to become capable of defending themselves.

The second issue is the threatened famine. It has been mentioned several times that destruction caused by the Everstorm,  defection of the parshmen, breakdown of trade and banking, war, change of the highstorm schedule would all lead to an acute shortage of food. Add to that the flood of destitute Alethi refugees to the neighboring regions. The famine should start within several weeks of the ending of OB and I would find it very contrived if it was glossed over, like in WoT.

Oh, and this is minor, but somehow Ash will provide our Heroes with no useful information for the whole year? I mean, I can't imagine any of the important revelations about the past happening off-screen...

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On the matter of the time skip, I would like to refer to Brandon's following post onto Reddit:

Quote

Things will happen during the gap, I'm afraid. You might like it, you might not, but I do plan some of the flashbacks in the second half to help cover this time--so you'll see it eventually. If it helps, I'm pretty sure I understand the dangers of the Newt Principle, and how to not fall into that trap.

Hence, things will happen during this time gap and Brandon is already aware some readers will not like it. Some readers will love it, others, not so much. Some of the elements happening behind closed doors are so important, he planned future flashbacks to speak of them. 

I am thus thinking we can expect development for characters such as Jasnah, Renarin, Lift, Ash and Taln happens during the time gap. It is not impossible Ash will reveal information or we'll see it in a completely different context once we reach book 4. It is highly possible Lift will say an additional oath during the time gap just as it is highly possible both Jasnah/Renarin will progress. It is also possible denouement, with respect to Renarin's corrupted spren, will happen and we won't get to read it until Renarin's book.

On the more tragic side of things, it could also be book 4 will start in a drastically different way: perhaps our heroes are running out of luck. Alethkar is in rumbles, all which is left of it is clustered in Urithiru. Perhaps the Vorin Church is making trouble of Queen Jasnah's reign ended up prematurely. 

A LOT could happen within this one year gap and I trust Brandon planned it because he wanted the story to move forward without having to write every steps along the way. Seeing how slow going Dalinar's political machinations were in OB, I am utterly pleased Brandon seems to want to skip them.

There are however things I hope/think won't happen during the time skip... stuff like Adolin progressing with Maya or Kaladin saying the fourth oath. These are about the two elements I am not seeing Brandon not write about, but I could be wrong. Let's say, I hope those two elements do not happen within the time gap, though arguably, characters could be dead once we reach book 4. 

Personally, if I were Brandon, I'd start book 4 is a drastic manner: I'll have our characters be in a very bad spot. I'll take this opportunity to make the narrative move forward to a climax and I'll start right here and there. If it were up to me, I'll salvage the Sadeas's arc by having his nephew/Ialai get revenge on Adolin in the same way Tanalan Jr got his revenge on Dalinar, but this is just me wishing for it. It probably won't happen.

 

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Oh god no. That quote makes me kind of afraid now xD I reaally hope it won't be Shallan having a baby or something like that.

I'd love it if the next book started in a very involved way. Let's say, beginning just as they're losing a major battle. Would be a nice way to hammer home the grimdarkness of a Desolution.

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8 minutes ago, Vissy said:

Oh god no. That quote makes me kind of afraid now xD I reaally hope it won't be Shallan having a baby or something like that.

I'd love it if the next book started in a very involved way. Let's say, beginning just as they're losing a major battle. Would be a nice way to hammer home the grimdarkness of a Desolution.

It could be Shallan will indeed have a baby, but the fact Brandon states he plans for future flashbacks to cover the gap makes me think this isn't what he was referring to.

I do agree it'd be amazing if Brandon were to take the opportunity to start book 4 in a rather tragic, drastic manner, say in the middle of a climax. I thought it'd be neat.

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6 hours ago, maxal said:

On the more tragic side of things, it could also be book 4 will start in a drastically different way: perhaps our heroes are running out of luck. Alethkar is in rumbles, all which is left of it is clustered in Urithiru. Perhaps the Vorin Church is making trouble of Queen Jasnah's reign ended up prematurely. 

Alethkar is already taken by Team Odium, it is most definitely in rumbles. The Vorin church will also certainly make trouble. Jasnah though, she will not be forced to abdicate, nobody forces Jasnah Kholin to do anything. 

 

20 hours ago, Andy92 said:

Odium was getting ready to start a Hitler-esque assault, and he got stonewalled. A one year gap with no major battles while both sides prepare isn't too unrealistic. 

Exactly what I am thinking, but the minor western kingdoms will fall to the alliance, since they are without support of Odiums main forces in Alethkar. Odium is probably setting some kind of trap for the Alethi to walk into. I imagine this will be the betrayal of King T and his Veden armies. I see the next book featuring a gigantic battle in Jah Keved, where King T switches sides and thus Dalinar is handed a devastating defeat. 

 

10 minutes ago, Vissy said:

Oh god no. That quote makes me kind of afraid now xD I reaally hope it won't be Shallan having a baby or something like that.

I'd love it if the next book started in a very involved way. Let's say, beginning just as they're losing a major battle. Would be a nice way to hammer home the grimdarkness of a Desolution.

oh noooo, some major stuff happening would be awful. :o

Edited by Diomedes
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1 minute ago, Diomedes said:

Alethkar is already taken by Team Odium, it is most definitely in rumbles. The Vorin church will also certainly make trouble. Jasnah though, she will not be forced to abdicate, nobody forces Jasnah Kholin to do anything. 

I was thinking more along the lines of Queen Jasnah turning out being the Queen of not much as what remains of Alethkar falls under Odium's control. It may also be the Vorin Church will organize a coup to dethrone her and to over-throw the Kholin household. Logically, this particular story can't be over: if it were the real world, it certainly would not be over. A cunning vengeful woman such as Ialai would wait for the right time to strike independently of what else is happening within the world, but since this isn't real life it may fall into the cracks. 

I personally would love to read an arc where house Kholin loses power, where its members are broken down and scattered around, where they face adversity they can't fight, but this may not be the scope of SA. 

4 minutes ago, Diomedes said:

Exactly what I am thinking, but the minor kongdoms will fall to the alliance, since they are without support of Odiums main forces in Alethkar. Odium is probably setting some kind of trap for the Alethi to walk into. I imagine this will be the betrayal of King T and his Veden armies. I see the next book featuring a gigantic battle in Jah Keved, where King T switches sides and thus Dalinar is handed a devastating defeat. 

I personally hope for the Iri/Rira story arc to take form into book 4. Early in OB, we were told Iriali would side with Odium unless Dalinar hands over what Evi has stolen. We never got to the end of this story and I was so intrigued by it, I wanted the narrative to go there. Hence, I am going to hope for my wishes to come true. I find those smaller story arcs more interesting than Unmades and Fuses and Parshendis and the likes.

I also really want something to happen with regards to Dalinar having murdered, even if not directly, Evi. I want this thread to take form and for Adolin to see the truth about his father: I want this crushing moment where he realizes his life-long hero is not as heroic as he always thought he was. This last bout however is me laying down my wishful list of hopes: based on my experience with OB, I can be nearly guaranteed anything I wish for... won't happen.

Oh another one for the one year gap: Dalinar finishes his book.

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