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Necromancer

What is Kaladin? (Full spoilers)

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When Szeth met the dimwitted genius unscheduled, everyone who knew it was him feared for their lives. Szeth has been killing for at least 6 years (Gavillar) and he killed Roion and his men like, in Adolin's words, a chull fighting rats.

Kaladin could fight, no question about that, but he couldn't do what Szeth did, skill and power-wise. Yet he held his own against Szeth and chased him down in a storm.

I realize Kaladin is a KR at this point, but does that really defeat all of Szeth's experience and skill? Could Kaladin be more than just a KR?

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You should probably move this to the words of radiance thread since its huge WoR spoiler. I know you say spoilers in the title but it would be safer in there.

 

Kaladin did have a few advantages of his own.

 

1. He is a 3rd level radiant while Szeth is getting his abilities from an honorblade. As such, Kaladin gets more efficient use of his stormlight.

2. Having your blade be able to morph from a sword, to a spear, to a shield at a thought is a pretty big advantage.

3. Szeth was a little out of his mind (even more than usual) with his realization that he wasn't really truthless so probably wasn't at his peak performance level.

4. Technically, Kaladin didn't really beat Szeth. He gave up.

 

Really, the only skill advantage Szeth has that mattered in that fight was the flying ability which, once you had a little practice with changing directions, would come down more to reactions and tactical instincts than it would experience. 

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I suppose thats true, mostly the first point you made. Sanderson even mentioned Szeth seeming to run out quicker, but I thought that didn't play a large role in the fight because they both seemed to charge off the coming storms. Also, his shield did block quite a few attacks. 

 

Though I think Szeth is always out of his mind, he thanked Dalanar and grinned at him for prolonging his agony. As for the fourth point, just the fact that Kaladin could be an equal match against Szeth is a big deal. 

 

After Szeth gets

reborn as a KR

he talks about Kaladin, referencing him as 'the man who owned the skies'. Kaladin just started flying (or shifting his gravity) and Szeth had done it for years. So I thought Kaladin was even more than a KR, but your right about the honorblade.

 

Also, how do I move a thread?

Edited by Necromancer
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Moving the thread...

 

I think that it is just that Kaladin gets the power-boost from the Ideals with a living shardblade?  And he's just a fantastic warrior period.

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He demonstrated new powers from his status as a KR that prevented the superior Szeth from killing him.

 

Szeth burst up beside Kaladin a second later, striking with three quick blows. One took Kaladin in the arm, and he dropped Syl. Damnation. He Lashed himself back away from Szeth, then forced Stormlight into his greying, lifeless hand. With an effort, he made the color return, but Szeth was already upon him with an airborne lunge. Mist formed in Kaladin’s left hand as he raised it to ward, and a silvery shield appeared, glowing with a soft light. Szeth’s Blade deflected away, causing the man to grunt in surprise.

 

 

He would have died if it wasn't for him suddenly demonstrating new powers that Szeth didn't know about.

 

The assassin cursed, but responded with his Blade. A shield was in Kaladin’s hand a split second later, and he slammed away the attack. Syl shattered even as he did so, forming back into a sword as Kaladin thrust forward with empty hands. The sword appeared, and the weapon bit deeply into Szeth’s shoulder.

 

 

Then, using this surprise new power he managed to injure him.

 

Szeth then fled him due to emotional issues. Kaladin got several non critical blows in.

 

Szeth looked him in the eyes, then nodded. He pushed Kaladin back, then moved to swing. Kaladin drove his hands forward, forming Syl into a sword. He expected a parry. The move was intended to draw Szeth out of his attack pattern. Szeth did not parry. He just closed his eyes.

 

 

 

Then Szeth let him kill him because he was depressed.

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I don't think this has been mentioned before...but I also think Kaladin can use the pressure surge to feel where attacks are coming from. This is alluded to pretty strongly in the duel scene where he's able to dodge attacks without even looking. I think he can feel the pressure when a blade is passing through the air. So this is also a pretty big advantage.

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I would also like to point out that Kaladin is bonded to a type of windspren. Kaladin is the dominant force in the bond, but when he just lets himself go, like he did in that fight, it is very likely that Sylphrena is far more experienced at moving through the sky than Szeth would ever be. Sylphrena is even pretty handy with a sword. I find it likely that when Kaladin just stops thinking about what he is doing and acts, he is giving Sylphrena at least partial control over his actions and his surgebinding.

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Kaladin could fight, no question about that, but he couldn't do what Szeth did, skill and power-wise. 

Think back to what Kaladin was able to do with a spear at the end of WoK and in the WoR duel against multiple shard bearers, all before saying the 3rd ideal and without a shardblade. In the duel he even lost the spear and fought with a gauntlet on his hand. Szeth has more experience with Lashings but Kaladin is plenty skilled when it comes to fighting so I think he could of won all the fights Szeth won in WoK. As for the duel between the two, the ability to heal shardblade wounds and a shape shifting Syl responding instinctively to his needs was what gave him an edge over Szeth's experience. And as Gloom pointed out, Syl is much more experienced flying.

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1. He is a 3rd level radiant while Szeth is getting his abilities from an honorblade. As such, Kaladin gets more efficient use of his stormlight.

 

I am not sure if you can rank the Radiants from the number of oaths they have spoken, since lightweavers only say the First Words, common to all orders.

The third oath could have been the last for a windrunner. Actually, I don't have WoK at hand now to look it up.

Though, Kaladin seems to be attracting more windspren in this fight, so he might end up bonding more than one spren.

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Also remember that when you've been cutting your enemies as easily as Szeth has, your skill tend to become stagnant unless you continually practice. I don't know what Szeth does in his spare time, but Kaladin's been training with Bridge Four and constantly gets put in life-or-death situation. I think his instinctual battle skill may be naturally higher than Szeth.

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If Szeth really has nightblood, I don't think it would matter how much stormlight Kaladin holds. If they meet against each other again that is!

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Let's not forget that this was Szeth's first skyduel as well.

Exactly, the thing is almost every trick Szeth normally uses to make him such a killing machine will not work against Kaladin.

 

Szeth sticks someone to the ceiling? he tries that on Kaladin and Kaladin can likely just suck it in.

 

Szeth reverses gravity? Kaladin does the same but at a lower stormlight cost.

 

They were evenly matched in terms of abilities however:

 

The cost factor is the bigger factor than most people give it credit. Szeth could not afford to heal his injuries while fighting at the same level. Kaladin could, and not only could he heal while still fighting at the same level as Szeth but he had Syl shard shifting to be whatever was needed for the situation.

 

Every time Szeth has fought in the past has been against normal people, even normal people in shardplate are not really a challenge when you can do things that make them insignificant, and heal almost anything they do to you.

 

I dont really think Szeth is a Knights Radiant now though, at least not yet. I dont think he can become one at all or he would not have needed Nightblood.

 

Think about it. a true Skybreaker has similar abilities to Kaladin but instead of the clause to protect, they have a charge to uphold justice. They are essentially the anti-windrunner, If they could not counter what a wind runner does they would not be able to police them. But just like Wind Runners are able to beat most people, they are held in check by their oaths. I suspect that Skybreakers are bound just as tightly.

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I am not sure if you can rank the Radiants from the number of oaths they have spoken, since lightweavers only say the First Words, common to all orders.

The third oath could have been the last for a windrunner. Actually, I don't have WoK at hand now to look it up.

You can't rank all of them exactly that way but yes the windrunners have five ideals so that would be a valid way to rank Kaladin. Other orders, such as the Lightweavers having to speak truths, makes the ranking a little more difficult for them so I should have said Kaladin is a third level windrunner rather than a third level radiant.

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I'm not sure if Kal is/will be anything more than a KR, but I should like to think so!

 

One thing that I did find interesting and am waiting to see how it plays out is if the Parshendi will have any bearing on Kal progressing as a KR, or if they will have some other tie to him in the future. I say this based on a knife that was found in the chasms by bridge 4 in TWoK:

 

There was a figure at the center of the hilt, nicely carved. It was a man in fine armor, Shardplate, certainly. A symbol was etched behind him, surrounding him, spreading out from his back like wings.

 

 Kaladin showed it to Rock, who had walked up to see what he found so fascinating. "The Parshendi out here are supposed to be barbarians," Kaladin said. "WIthout culture. Where did they get knives like these? I'd swear this is a picture of one of the Heralds. Jezerezeh or Nalan."

 

And when Kaladin says the 3rd oath in WoR:

 

Behind Kaladin, frost crystalized on the ground, growing backward away from him. A glyph formed in the frost, almost in the shape of wings.

 

Hmmmmmm....thoughts?

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During Kal's first fight with Szeth he manages to hit a Wind awareness Lethani state, Warriors intuition. This seems a little like Shallan's drawings and Renarins crazy number crunching, an extra gift from the bond. Szeth wouldn't have that.

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Hmmmmmm....thoughts?

The glyph on the ground was almost certainly a stylized version of the Windrunner glyph from the KR chart. All of the KR glyphs also show up on Elhokar's Shardblade, and would likely be decoration on other weaponry. If it was a depiction of Jezrien on the Parshindi blade, it seems easily plausible that the Windrunner glyph went along with him, as he is the "patron Herald" of that order.

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And when Kaladin says the 3rd oath in WoR:

 

Hmmmmmm....thoughts?

 

Not sure it tells us anything about Kaladin we didn't already know, but maybe that Syl is kind of a show-off.

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Kaladin shows some natural aptitude for fighting even against the peasant boy in Hearthstone.  He is an obvious candidate to be Honor's champion (along with Shallan and Jasnah, of course, but their orders are more linked to Cultivation).  When he advances in level, it seems to get announced with great fanfare.  He could be "just" a KR, while being an exceptional KR. 

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Agreed on both accounts above Lomeon and PudgyNinja! I was more so questioning two specific points in those quotes. 

 

1) The symbol being etched behind him like wings...while I do get that this is presumed to be Jezzrien on the hilt and the same symbol appears behind Kal because of him being the Herald of the Windrunners, we just don't know yet if the "WOW" factor of the way the glyph appeared behind him is "normal" for a Windrunner taking the 3rd oath, or if it makes him special in some way, or as pointed out, if Syl was just showing off :)

 

2) What is the significance, if any, of a dead Parshendi warrior carrying a knife that depicts Jezzrien on the hilt? A lot of what we've seen of the Parshendi thus far leads us to believe that their "God" may be Odium/Odiumspren. While my personal belief is that they were once, and have the potential to be again "on the good side", we just haven't seen anything that I can recall that specifically links them to Jezzrien or any of the other Heralds. Am I wrong about that?

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I had originally thought when reading WOK that Kaladin might be a descendant of Tanavast ("Child of Honor" literally).

 

I don't think that's possible now, but I think we still need an explanation for his innate facility with the spear in childhood which we see in the flashback chapters. Stormlight or surgebinding can't really account for that. And we know from Mistborn that genetic abilities do play a large part in Brandon's world. Maybe Kaladin is a descendant of one of the Heralds?

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I believe the windrunners also have a natural aptitude for fighting, like Shallan has her memory ability.

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Nothing more than a hunch really, but I have thought that his mother might have been a herald.

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I had originally thought when reading WOK that Kaladin might be a descendant of Tanavast ("Child of Honor" literally).

 

I don't think that's possible now, but I think we still need an explanation for his innate facility with the spear in childhood which we see in the flashback chapters. Stormlight or surgebinding can't really account for that. And we know from Mistborn that genetic abilities do play a large part in Brandon's world. Maybe Kaladin is a descendant of one of the Heralds?

 

That's an interesting theory. I've been wondering what, exactly, "Son of Honor" is referring too, since we hear it in two contexts. (1) The Stormfather calling Kaladin "Son of Honor." (2) Amaram, in his letter to Restares, talking about "our burden as the Sons of Honor." Whether it refers to literal ancestry or some sort of innate power, there's definitely something going on here. (And every time Amaram shows up, I swear he becomes a bigger threat. haha)

 

Nothing more than a hunch really, but I have thought that his mother might have been a herald.

 

I keep expecting everyone to have some secret in their parentage. Shallan's mother, Kaladin's parents/ancestors (back to the Son of Honor thing)... Though if anyone is the child of a Herald or someone equally important, my money's on Adolin and Renarin. Zahel's words from chapter 20 really stuck in my head:

 

"If you knew how many spoiled ten-year-old lighteyed brats came through here," Zahel said, "you'd think it worth noting. I thought a nineteen-year-old like him would be insufferable. And don't call him a boy, boy. He's probably close to your own age, and is the son of the most powerful human on this--"

Words of Radiance, p 261

The obvious implication is that Dalinar is powerful, but I don't think he's that powerful. We're probably going to have to wait a long time to find out about Dalinar's wife, but whoever she is, she's important.

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