Bliev

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About Bliev

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    Professor. Mom. Wife. Reader. Dancer. Lister of various social identities.

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  1. IMHO he already did this. He dealt with Tien dying, who was closer to him than anyone, AND he felt it was his fault. He also already thought he "killed" (really, lost) Syl. I don't see Brandon re-traversing this plot line since Kal's already overcome it. I know we see some characters do the Paula Abdul (two steps forward; one step back lol), but Kal's progress is mostly stalled, not reversed. I don't see this as his likely path (aside from the difficulties in logic around deepening a bond by swearing an oath that ends up breaking the bond/killing it?).
  2. Kal is a well-written character whom I enjoy reading about. But he's not my favorite--I don't identify with him as much, I am not as invested in him as much as other characters in SA or in the Cosmere writ large. Shallan/Jasnah in WoK hooked me, and I admit I skimmed so many Bridge 4 chapters in WoR that I had to go back and re-read just because of guilt lol. I just don't like the typical reluctant hero with all the angst trope as much, even if written as well as Brandon writes him. With that said, I would be upset if he weren't around because the story would suffer without him and Kadolin is the best ever (Adolin is growing to be my favorite character in all of SA on my 4th re-read of OB and his relationship with Kal is so perfect).
  3. *applause* First off, thanks for the link--I will be scrolling through that for sure! Second, you make a wonderful point about how others' identities become a point used for the growth of other characters and not something that stands alone, and I think that's exactly right. Being gay *is* part of who someone is. We are all collections of identities--personal and social--that make us who we are. Some are more salient in some spaces than in others, and just because you don't always see yourself as centrally "heterosexual" because it's not salient to you in every space doesn't mean it's not central to who you are. Shallan's heterosexuality is critical for her character because it defines her attraction to Adolin and her entire arc toward self awareness. Vin and Elend's heterosexuality is also highlighted. Ranette is only a Lesbian as a foil to Wayne's heterosexuality, not to help us understand her better so her own character can grow. And how many people list Kal and Bridge 4's reaction to Drehy as evidence of how "cool" they are but fail to discuss what it must be like to be Drehy? I think Brandon has opportunities for growth and because I think he's an excellent writer with a good heart, I hold him to a high standard. I also don't think it's fair to say "you can't force someone to write XYZ". Of course not. Verbalizing our concerns is not forcing--it's pressure, sure, but we can't *make* him do anything. What we can do is say, "here's what I expect from an author who values people like me, and if he/she doesn't do this, then maybe I won't read anymore because they aren't made for me." You can find that to be "forcing" but I see that as exercising our own self care and autonomy. (not to say that Honorless or anyone else is threatening to stop reading, but just generally speaking.) It's like me starting Dresden Files and being annoyed with all the "hormones" and "heaving chests" that he talks about. So juvenile "male". He's not written for me. And I don't see myself in him. And that's okay. And if I cared about the author, I might have spoken my mind on it. But I don't, so I just don't read them. Or when we talk about tropes of female characters in video games or comics as being unrealistic and not fully fleshed out women--but rather mechanisms for male growth (i.e., women in fridges). Oh, and thanks for everyone for the lit recs. I am stoked!
  4. I appreciate his LDS faith and background, and yours. But I will say this: if one seeks to justify the erasure of someone's identity, though religion or otherwise, then it's a signal that people with those identities are not valued readers. Thus it would be completely reasonable that they would take it as a sign that these books are not for them and we have to reckon with what we're actually saying when we say such things. We all have different backgrounds and teachings and beliefs. But when we tell people: "just be patient! I'm sure he'll include you later!" It can be wearying and frustrating and, yes, it sends a signal, even if you wish it didn't.
  5. I think the point, though, from my perspective anyways, is that the representation is skewed heavily in favor of heteronormativity. We all know it. We can justify it by Brandon's background, his lack of skill, or his desire not to get it wrong (all of which I think sells him short as an author), but it's definitively true. Fantasy is true creativity: you create a world that you want. And including people of varying sexual orientations has not been a key priority for him up to this point, which doesn't stand out or matter much to most straight folks, sure, but for others, lack of representation can be very jarring and a symbol of an authors' priorities and world-building. If someone can take the time to study world religions to create Shai's culture, to incorporate allusions to ancient texts and languages throughout one of the most epic world-building creations I've ever seen, then they can do better in terms of representation. I believe he can do it, and I believe he should.
  6. I think we disagree on this. The main plot of Warbreaker is driven by Siri's marriage to the god-king in place of Vivenna. We also get a relaitonship between Blushweaver and Lightsong that persists throughout. Regardless, though (and back to the point), there are so many centrally placed heterosexual relationships throughout Brandon's books that you can try and delineate between "romantic" and "non romantic" marriages and argue that a main character's arranged marriage is secondary to the plot. It's not a knock on romance! I read LOTS of romance (which is a place where you can really easily find a lot of fun queer and straight writers, actually, that write all kinds of relatable relationships along the spectrum of sexuality), so it's pretty clear to me when things are not very diverse in this area.
  7. Almost every book has a central romantic heterosexual relationship. Elantris (arranged heterosexual marriage!). Warbreaker (arranged heterosexual marriage?!). Shallan/Adolin (arranged heterosexual marriage!?). Dalinar/Navani. Even Taln/Ash is imbued with heteronormativity. The speculation on Jasnah's relationships and Kaladin's disappointments in love are all over. It's all heterocentric. If you can't see it, it's because it's essentially neutral to you, but I assure you that when that is not your status quo, the lack of other types of relationships on "screen" are very noticeable. I would also encourage us that while we are empathetic to Brandon who does seem to try more than some authors do and has not been afraid to respond to questions on this front which shows courage that other authors often do not, we don't make excuses either. Brandon has never been friends with a teenage Skaa. He's never seen a Koloss. He's never been a god. But he writes them in authentic and touching ways because he works at his skill, observes the world around him, reads voraciously, and asks questions. If he wants to do this, he can. Gay writers write heterosexual relationships all the time. Women writers write men.
  8. @Honorless I want to acknowledge how much I appreciate the work you've put into this thread and how thoughtful you've been about it. It can be easy to say it should be "all about the character" and that "sexuality" (or gender, or race, or whatever) shouldn't matter or isn't even something that stands out to you when the default normal in almost every book ever is heterosexuality (or traditional gender norms, etc.). It's painfully obvious to those of us who aren't represented, even when we enjoy a writer otherwise. Heterosexual relationships are the backbone of every one of Brandon's books. All of them. Yet we have seen no homosexual relationships enacted on screen and had allusions only to two. It feels like erasure no matter the authors' intent. I'm not in the LGBTQ community, but I've had a similar experience over my decades reading traditional and high fantasy as a girl and then a woman. It's so very often the same gendered tropes over and over and the male as the neutral. Brandon has improved on this because he's worked at it and developed it. He should do the same with sexuality. I also take exception to the writing off of inclusion in fantasy and literature as being some sort of "woke" unimportant nonsense. Representation matters in every way, shape, and form. Sociological and psychological has shown this over and over again. Books should reflect life, and life is a diverse collection of people. And if you create a fantasy world that is not a diverse collection of people, well, that tells me something too.
  9. Agreed. I also like King of the World from @Darontal above if indefinite articles and other prepositions don’t count.
  10. Indeed. Perhaps A Killing Wind rips through the shameful ribbon until the arrival of A Kind Warrior delivers it from its sad fate? (too much?)
  11. Might the O’s, the prepositions, be ignored? I don’t know the in-world conventions for such. So: WK-WR-O-RW-? Then we might get something like: A Killing Wind or A Kind Warrior (those suck but you get my drift)—something with an indefinite article?
  12. I love these threads, thank you. I wonder, too, if there is a broader element of the "cold" utilitarianism in their oaths, particularly the service one--something to the effect of, "I will do what needs to be done, even if it means some may be harmed" so long as the intent is to serve the greater good. So I think about her utilizing a network of assassins for instance, and how she rather logically--some say coldly--analyzes the threats around her and her family. Where as the third may be, with judgement, something about accepting additional information, even if it means you were wrong before? Maybe as she had to accept certain components of the Recreance, for instance...and judge that you must follow where logic leads. I do think that she might have sworn the 4th oath during that Renarin scene, or soon thereafter as they left for Thaylan fields. It fits really perfectly with what you have described: that sometimes benevolence may seem illogical, but it is still the right thing to do. Edited to add: their logic and machiavellianism explains their Recreance participation, btw--if they deemed it likely that surge binders would destroy the world, then it is logical to remove that threat.
  13. Hmm. I guess I don't have many "fears"? Except maybe what was stated above about Hoid making progress on his truths off screen... I think much of the above could be done either well or poorly, depending on how the plot unfolds, and I tend to think that Brando does these things well most of the time, even if it's not how my head canon would have constructed it. Adolin as Edgedancer with healed Maya? Sure. Adolin as a pseudo Edgedancer with zombie Maya? Ok! Adolin as non-Radiant? That works! I think they can all work if all the pieces around them fit too. I suppose it's my natural optimism, but I don't really have many fears about book 4. I'm just psyched about it.
  14. Today, my favorite character is Adolin. Mostly because I just finished another re read of OB, focusing on his parts (sometimes I like to zero in on one character for a bit). I’m feeling a bit Adolin like these days...extraverted, outwardly confident. But inwardly insecure with a bit of imposter syndrome. So I’m channeling all my energy to help all the people around me to feel and be better in order to stave off any introspective moments that could make me face my own insecurities. but everyone else pretty much thinks I’m living a charmed life. def feeling Adolin right now. (this next month I’ll be doing a Shallan close read so maybe that’ll change haha)
  15. See that’s one of the main things I think Shallan and Adolin helped him with early on and was the main reason they had to become close (as much as others want to focus on the love triangle that isn’t—I said what I said lol). Kal had to learn that his resentment of light eyes was wrong. He had to progress through that. Just like he had to get over Laral. He harbored too many resentments about them that weren’t fair.