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About treblkickd

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    Envoy of the Ekumen

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  1. Agreed on all points, though I am still trying to get a clear understanding in my head of how the Fused came to be, and also how the Fused came to control surge (and also why they only seem to have access to nine of the ten surges). Two potentially related pieces of information that seem to complicate things are: 1) the Fused did not initially have access to the Surges according to the Stormfather (Oathbringer Ch 38), and specifically on this topic the Stormfather says, "...even before the Fused learned to command the surges...", which make it sounds like their surge-related abilities are learned skills that they picked up on their own (???) 2) it is still not clear what "voidbinding" actually is - does it refer generally to using voidlight to power surges, or is it a a specific mechanism for gaining access to surges (which could be powered by voidlight or stormlight)? I guess the other side of that question would be, "technically speaking, what is surgebinding?" Is it a mechanism (bonding with a spren) to gain access to surges, or is it the use of a specific source (stormlight) to use surges. For example, Renarin has some weird abilities, but how are we supposed to characterize them? Does he both voidbind and surgebind? He seems, so far, to exclusively use stormlight, so if he's doing any voidbinding then that would seem to imply that voidbinding can be powered with stormlight or voidlight (this makes sense to me in that different forms of investiture can power different systems, sometimes via "hacks" along the lines of Vasher substituting stormlight for breaths). The other pieces that must fit in here somewhere are the Regals, which seem to me to be the most likely cases of "pure" voidbinding (i.e., you become one by binding a voidspren in your gemheart). This would make the Regals the natural counterpart of the Knights Radiant, but it all feels very nebulous based on the available information. I'll also note that re: the Unmade, I just noticed that there is in fact a WoB that directly relates the Unmade to the "Great Spren", indicating that the analogs to the Unmade are indeed spren like the Stormfather and the Nightwatcher:
  2. Great thread - I've been looking for a discussion about the Fused and their powers! There are a few things about the fused that really puzzle me, and I'm kind of amazed at how little we actually know about them and their abilities. Based on the things that we do know I've started to wonder if the Fused are more like analogs to the Heralds than the Radiants. Specifically, consider the following: 1) The Fused seem to be fixed in number - Odium made them at some point in the past and we have no evidence (that I'm aware of, at least) of their ranks increasing over time. 2) Vasher basically tells us point blank in RoW that in "realmatic" terms the Fused are the same thing (cognitive shadows) as the Heralds. 3) We now know that the fundamental purpose of the Oathpact is to use the Heralds to bind the Fused on Braize. There is no evidence that I'm aware of that directly pits the Heralds' existence against the Unmade (rather it seems that the Unmade are spren-like forces that never leave Roshar). 4) There's a natural tendency to compare the Unmade to the Heralds, but many (most) of the Unmade are force-of-nature-like spren, and doesn't that make them more similar to the "great spren" associated with the Bondsmiths? Now, there are obviously no clear equivalents to the Honor blades among the Fused, but that could just reflect Odium's preference to divest less of himself into his minions. In any event, I'm super excited to learn more about the Fused and where they came from.
  3. Firstly, I think it's highly misleading to exclude Dalinar's flashbacks for the purpose of comparing relative dominance of the narrative. The flashbacks were just as much a part of his arc in OB as his present-time PoVs. That said, I think that it's a very good thing that Shallan was a prominent character in this book. Of the "main three" protagonists thusfar, I find Shallan to be the most interesting and well-written by a pretty wide margin. While Brandon generally struggles with "show, don't tell" character development, I think his writing of Shallan demonstrates some of the best signs of how much he's improved over the years. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but across all three Stormlight books so far, I've struggled the most getting into Dalinar's chapters, and I'm a little relieved that his flashback book is done and out of the way. It's going to get really interesting moving forward as we next have two books with flashbacks devoted to characters outside of the "main three".
  4. After reading through this thread and thinking on it a bit more, I had a new thought. As we've progressed through the Cosmere we've recognized more and more world-hoppers appearing in Sanderson's books, with most of these still being at the "easter egg" level of importance. How awesome would it be for Shallan to become a world-hopper, appearing in future non-SA Cosmere books? She'd be an entertaining addition to all kinds of scenes, and her connections to world-hoppers on Roshar, plus her lightweaving ability, make it pretty easy to imagine her as one who eventually traverses the Cosmere. She's also the kind of character that would pretty easy to identifying off of dialogue, alone, even if she were to always be lightweaving-up new costumes.
  5. I think Shallan is the best character that Brandon has ever written, by a wide margin. The Stormlight Archive (and to some degree, most Cosmere novels) feature a ton of characters with serious psychological and emotional issues. In all cases it's pretty clear what Sanderson is going for (e.g., Kaladin is manic-depressive, Jasnah relies on strict behavioral crutches to handle emotional trauma, Renarin is Renarin) but I've found the execution many of these characters' personalities to be wooden at times (Kaladin being the worst offender, I think). Shallan, on the other hand, is a joy to read. I think my favorite piece from Oathbringer might be this bit of Shallan PoV from Chapter 30:
  6. Love this thread, but here are you maybe referring more to the comic relief elements that Nightblood brings? I've never gotten the impression that Nightblood possesses anything close to a sense of humor (along with other subtle/nuanced "human" qualities). This is a big part of what makes Nightblood such a frightening entity, it doesn't seem to know how to behave like anything other than something between an over-eager puppy and a single minded child.
  7. Well, so far she also serves the purpose of aggressively taunting us as to what it looks like when a Dustbringer cuts loose.
  8. I see where you're coming from with this opinion of Jasnah's character, but I think that her appearance of cold logic/reason are quite clearly revealed to be a defensive veneer that she puts up. Two scenes in particular in Oathbringer make it clear that Jasnah is just as compassionate and vulnerable as any other character in the book: the first is her spanreed/IRC chat session with her scholar friends, and the second is when she tracks down Renarin during the battle at Thaylen City. The thing about Jasnah is that she does not, in fact, just do "what must be done". She explicitly does the opposite with Renarin. We don't currently know a whole lot about Jasnah's backstory, but there have been clear hints that she suffered some sort of severe trauma. I would guess that the public face that Jasnah wears in her current state is very much the result of coping with trauma, possibly abuse. To your argument that her character is the core tenet of the Elsecallers, i.e. aspiring toward pure logic and pragmatism, I just had a new thought about how to interpret the various "core tenets" or archetypal Radiant personalities. It may actually make more sense if these archetypal personality traits of the various orders of KR are really more about the coping mechanisms that broken people use to manage their trauma. Shallan, for example, handles her trauma with lies and self-deception. Jasnah handles it by imposing upon herself a strict logical code of thought. Lift copes by aggressively empathizing with the downtrodden and disadvantaged and pushing back against opportunities to live a life of luxury and privilege. Kaladin is haunted by the friends and companions he's lost, and he copes by finding new groups/friends to fight for and try to help survive. I'm literally just thinking of these as I type them now, but I think it makes much more sense to think about the archetypal Radiant traits/tropes as differences in coping mechanisms rather than fundamental differences in character.
  9. Could not agree with this more. Jasnah is a kind of strong female protagonist that very rarely appears in fantasy. I also loved the Thaylen City battle where she is revealed to be an absolute BAMF.
  10. This! I want to know what's going on with that chain. Probably more of a fun easter egg than anything else, but that was super tantalizing.
  11. Personally I think Shallan might be the best, most fully realized character that Brandon has ever created. It took me a while to warm up to her, but by the end of WoR I think she had cemented herself as SA's strongest character. I feel Kaladin has trended in the opposite direction, in that he feels more and more one dimensional as I read more of the SA.
  12. I just want to say that I love this summary of the Odium meeting. Is it too early to say that Odium is the true Chris Brown of Shards?
  13. I believe there's a WoB that we can expect another Letter correspondence epigraph sequence in OB (and presumably in each SA novel?).
  14. It seems that Kaladin's time among the Parsh-folk is a natural follow-up to his experiences with Rlain in WoR. Looking at the bigger picture, I think Kaladin's part 1 arc is another major step along the path to drawing non-traditional (at least relative to much of the "common wisdom" we've been presented with) battle lines in the larger Stormlight Archive story arc. I think we're going to see groups of Parsh-folk peeling off from the void-controlled ranks, and just as we're going to have some major human factions fighting against our protagonists.
  15. I agree that Jasnah is the likely only new arrival, mainly because Adolin says "someone" just arrived at the tower, which is singular. It makes sense that Jasnah's family would be motivated to stick close to her now upon learning that she's alive.