BraidedRose

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  1. @Alderant I had to come back after a long hiatus just to respond to your awesome post. I always appreciate how well thought out your points are and how well you support your point of view with quotes from the text. I think I could appreciate and respect that even if I didn't agree with your analysis and interpretation. In this case though I can only agree, particularly in your analysis of where Shallan and Adolin's relationship stands at the end of OB. If I only took one thing away from your post, it would be that with the depth of problems that these two have really cannot be satisfyingly resolved with a conversation or any other expedient confrontation, scene, etc. Maybe that will be done, but it would not be satisfying to sweep all that under the rug, so I hope not. If Brandon really wanted to I suppose he could take the next book to really dig in depth into all their relationship conflict and try to find a way to make a stronger, more compelling love story. But this is a very strange foundation to try to build that on, and it would take a lot of page time to do it in a believable way, even considering the time gap. The year time gap could well bring us into the middle of their growing problems, that at least seems plausible. I have my own preferences about where it could go from there, but that I won't go into in this post.
  2. Agreed. Maybe Wit. And at that point in the story I wouldn’t have been happy with her marrying anyone (Pattern and Wit included ).
  3. There were quite a number of people who were disappointed in this part of OB. I think a lot of them have been posting less or not at all recently. For me, I was very disappointed that Shadolin got married because it seemed so abrupt and not justified by the rest of OB, and Shallan seemed in such a bad state to be making a decision like that. Honestly I don’t really feel it was Shallan who made the decision, and I wish she hadn’t gotten married or chosen a partner at all given that both of them had doubts. And now she is married to a person who she continues to keep enormous secrets from and in my opinion hasn’t even shown her real self to. I can only hope that not all is as it seems and isn’t really over. If in the next book Shadolin are happy and everything is magically fine between them I will think this was very poor writing sadly.
  4. @Chaos and @WhiteLeeopard thanks for the acknowledgement, I appreciate that. As for the reason Adolin is so polarizing, I do agree that some of it is backlash. The people who love Adolin (at least some who do) are really passionate about it, and as this poll indicates Adolin is actually enormously popular on 17S so the few who don’t enjoy him as much may get wearied by the number of posts about him. I’d actually be curious how Adolin’s overall popularity compares with the major characters (I wouldn’t be surprised if it is overall more positive after seeing this poll). As for why Adolin brings out such extreme positive views on the other side, I am sure there is not just one reason. But one possibility is that he is the “normal” guy in the story which may make people relate to him more or connect him more to people they know or could know. Another reason is his viewpoints are not very internal. Some people may like the more action or external focus which is different. But on the other hand a lot of times even when we get viewpoints from him we don’t get a lot of his own thoughts (or his thoughts don’t tell us much about him). We’re not given nothing to go on with him but we’re also not given a lot considering the number of pages he has had. That makes it possible to insert our own assumptions or wishes onto him or make him what we want him to be more or less. Some people will love that and others will be frustrated by it (I often am). What this also leads to is wildly different interpretations of the character and that can lead to polarization as well. For me though, if I am looking for flaws in Adolin it’s actually my way of trying to like him better. I’m not as interested in reading about “perfect” characters. Case in point, I love me some Shallan, and my girl has issues . So if people object when I talk about possible flaws that could make me more annoyed with the character to be honest. I know I will likely end up enjoying his character more if he goes in a less expected direction.
  5. We definitely agree on that. I would like to understand why he is so polarizing as well. I could speculate but it’s time for me to call it a night!
  6. @Calderis maybe not that exact phrase in this exact thread. But this is an exact quote from this thread: “Adolin is an absolute GEM. GEM GEM GEM.” Honestly I could point to others as well but I’m not interested in calling people out for saying glowing things about Adolin. People have every right to do that, and I’m not here to criticize them for it. People should also be allowed to offer disagreement without being called hateful or the like.
  7. I know you are trying to be diplomatic here and to take a balanced position, so I don’t want to respond negatively but this bolded part seems to illustrate my point about exaggeration. No one in this thread has said anything like that. The worst criticism I have seen here is that he is not that important to the narrative or boring or cliche, etc. Of course, I can’t say that no one has said things like that ever, but what I have seen is people criticizing Adolin for the Sadeas murder. I can’t help but feel these two things are being conflated. It should be possible to discuss the murder, or Adolin’s response to the Thrill without it being taken as writing someone off as a monster. And I have seen people call Dalinar a monster literally without anyone seeming to be personally offended. So I agree with you that there is something about Adolin that seems to bring out overly emotional responses.
  8. I really hesitated about jumping into this, seeing how contentious it has been, which, unfortunately is what I expected from any thread relating to Adolin. The last thing I am looking to do is stir the pot again but I do want to offer a perspective from the other side. Adolin is not my favorite character. Prior to OB I would say I was probably mostly positive to neutral about him but OB didn’t do his character any favors in my view. If Adolin were a person, I’m sure I would like him. As Kaladin says, you almost have to like him. But as a character he leaves some important things to be desired. That may change for me, depending on where his character goes from here and what his overall purpose in the narrative ends up being, but for now my feelings have swung more negative. The problem I have observed though is often there are reactions to any criticism of Adolin that seem over the top, that exaggerate what is being said or seem to take the criticism of Adolin personally. To the point where I have extreme trepidation about posting this. But from my perspective it’s not just one side that leads to escalation of tensions. If someone offers some criticism or disagreement and then it is overreacted to it seems to easily escalate from there, but often it feels like an overreaction to reasonable criticism is where it starts. You’ve used some extremely strong words to describe criticism of Adolin. To be honest, a lot of the words you used feel like an exaggeration and are the kinds of things that could lead to an escalation of tensions (sheer hatred, Adolin-bashing, spewing poison). To be clear, I know you weren’t directing that at me and this is the first time I have even posted in this thread, but this just illustrates why I haven’t. But I do want to be able to disagree with an Adolin theory or offer some criticism of his character without being accused of such things (or even just responded to as if I had bashed him). And honestly, though I may not do this myself, if someone wants to “bash” Adolin, I have a hard time understanding why that is taken so personally. As long as it isn’t turned around on the person holding a different opinion, I don’t see why all opinions on a character shouldn’t be welcome in an open topic.
  9. Despite my earlier post arguing that we don't have enough information to be sure what Adolin's motivation is for stepping aside, I still think this is actually the most reasonable and balanced interpretation of it that I have seen so far. Bringing his past failures in relationships into it makes sense since that is at least something we have known for sure about Adolin's character from the beginning. Interpreting it as a mix of both makes sense because most people have a mix of selfish and altruistic reasons for doing things the majority of the time, and there is nothing wrong with that. Besides, in books it would be both boring and unrealistic to only read about characters that are purely selfless or purely selfish
  10. I want to emphasize this point that you made. Regardless of what one thinks Adolin is thinking in that moment it is interpretation and speculation because the text doesn't allow us to see Adolin's viewpoint on ending things with Shallan either in that moment or before/afterward. We have a couple instances where Adolin seems to notice Shallan looking at Kaladin and he doesn't seem to like it (though he seems to think it understandable in some way). That seems to have played into his decision since he mentions it, but beyond that we can't be sure of much. Is he heartbroken thinking Shallan loves another man? Does he just not want to play second fiddle in his relationship? Is he using it as an excuse to get out of a complicated relationship? We just don't know. So it's a moment that almost invites the reader to insert their own assumptions or wishes. I wish we had been given a clearer sense of Adolin's feelings towards Shallan but Brandon chose not to spell that out. I'm not really believing the argument I have seen that it is a lack of page time for Adolin that caused this lack of clarity because I think it could have been done in the pages we had. For instance, one completely minor change that would have made things clearer is when Shallan offers to be anyone for him and he says, "I don't want anyone. I want you" - if he had even just said "I love you" there instead of "I want you" that would have shown stronger feelings. Adolin has strong motivation to follow through on the marriage once she makes her case that she wants him. Both Shallan and Adolin were willing to agree to an engagement even without the presumption of love, because there were other advantages in it to them. It ended up that they got along and were attracted to each other as well. Adolin does seem to care about Shallan and I would also say he admires the person she has shown him. But he was still willing to walk away. I'm not convinced that he did a purely selfless thing in giving her up because he loves her and is choosing her happiness over his own. Is that possible? Sure, but there's not much in the text to support it to the exclusion of other possibilities. Again, I just come back to Brandon could have chosen to make things clearer. As an example (Mistborn 1 spoilers): I know some people may say Brandon may have thought he didn't need to make it clearer. I can't agree with that, however, because Brandon certainly must have been aware at how much he had built up the possibility of Shalladin. He has spoken about fulfilling and breaking promises to readers in a way that makes it believable. He needed to make a stronger case for Shadolin being right for each other and Shalladin wrong for each other if he wanted it to end there believably and in a satisfying way (or else he could have just never brought Kaladin's feelings into it in the first place since so far that has gone nowhere). There's too much explicitly in the text to cause doubt and there's too much conspicuously absent from the text (as in the case of Adolin's feelings, and interactions that we could have seen between Shallan and Kaladin but didn't). Of course, there will always be some readers who are convinced and happy with what we have regardless and there will always be some readers who aren't so we can't really go by reader reaction alone. That's why I've been focusing on the text as much as I can, because I think it is the better guide, especially after the initial reaction fades and I am able to look at it more carefully.
  11. I think you are right that something like this would have to happen before Jasnah and Shallan could be friends. I think as long as they have a mentor-ward relationship it would be very hard to get past that. But I also think not just Jasnah but Shallan as well would need some kind of push before she would open up to Jasnah. Jasnah tried to get her to open up a bit and tell her some of the secrets she knew Shallan must be hiding but Shallan didn’t even bite a little bit. She currently seems to have some major baggage where Jasnah is concerned that she would have to get over for it to work. I’d love to read it, if it goes that way though.
  12. She absolutely needs one! I can’t think of any obvious candidates. There aren’t a lot of young female named characters around (Ishnah? Lyn? Lift?). Syl likes her so there is that! I know this will probably never happen but I would love her to meet and make friends with Rysn.
  13. I know you said you would never change your mind on this subject so I'm not trying to question your overall conclusion, but I did want to open up the point I think you are making here. If I understand you correctly, I believe you are saying that you think when Kaladin sees Shallan's darkness and her smile, he is coming to a false understanding of her or making assumptions that aren't true. In a small way I agree. I think the Shallan we saw in the chasms is not the same Shallan we saw in OB. In OB she does pile further torment on herself and is not able to deal with her pain. I think Shallan did already have some unhealthy habits of pushing things out of mind prior to OB but it's on a whole new level in OB. In the chasms she seemed most closer to her true self and specifically much closer to the image of herself that Wit shows her and tells her is who she has always been. The Shallan that Kaladin sees in that moment seems very similar to the image of Shallan that Wit shows her. To compare the text: To me these two ideas of Shallan are very much the same. Darkness underneath and something covering it (a smile, forgiveness) that allows her to go on, to stand up. Wit tells her she is the woman who stood up. Kaladin sees her as the woman who smiles anyway. I think these are two different ways of saying the same thing. So I don't think Kaladin gets the wrong idea in the chasms. The mistake he made was in assuming that's still who she was when he spoke with her in Shadesmar. At that moment she isn't the same woman because she has "piled on more torment" as you said or found new ways of hiding from herself. But if we believe Wit (and I do) that's not really her, she has always been the one who is standing up (or the one who smiles anyway). You mentioned one other thing that is interesting which is the idea that Kaladin might see Shallan as a "talisman," something that he would rely on to keep his own darkness away. You bring up a good point and that would not be healthy. He would need to see and treat Shallan as much more than that if they were to have a healthy relationship. It's probably way premature to assume that is or is not what would happen if they ever get together. One counterpoint to this is that Kaladin seems to be actively working on dealing with his own depression without Shallan in OB. He won't ever be rid of it entirely of course and he had another tough episode after Kholinar but he seems miles beyond where we have seen him before in being able to recognize it and think through it. And he was able to pull himself out of that episode with some help from Syl but also through working through it on his own. I found that impressive and I think it hopefully shows he will not need a talisman to rely on.
  14. I’ll try to address what I think Adolin should have done. For starters I think a big part of the issue for me is that he just doesn’t question Shallan on this enough. He says she becomes “other people.” She kind of implies that so that’s where he gets the idea and then she never corrects him because at some point she seems to think that herself. I’ve already gone into detail on why I don’t believe Veil and Radiant are “other people.” But the problem with that is, if he thinks she is just playing roles, why doesn’t he question why one of the roles is in love with another man? He thinks Shallan is in love with Kaladin and she claims she just likes looking at him and it’s all Veil who is attracted to him. I guess he assumes she just gets so deep into the role but it doesn’t make any sense. Veil is not a person that exists outside of Shallan so there would be no need for her to emulate someone else’s feelings. Those feelings do come from her. Adolin just accepts that rather lame excuse and Shallan manages to overwhelm him into marrying her despite his doubts. He should challenge her more, ask her more questions, try to actually understand what is going on, rather than just taking her at her word. Essentially that is what I think Kaladin would do if he knew Veil and Radiant existed. I just can’t see him letting that go and not trying to understand more. As @SLNC said he has good reason to believe that Shallan sometimes acts like Veil and Radiant because he has seen her with those traits (ones Shallan admits she hides from Adolin). He does notice a difference in her attitude towards him between Shallan and Veil once she starts splitting that in Kholinar but he doesn’t have enough information to even guess at what is going on nor is he in a position to demand answers from her as Adolin is. People may bring up how Kaladin seems to admire her ignoring her pain (based on the conversation they have in Shadesmar) but I think the reason that conversation went so sideways is because he doesn’t know Veil and Radiant exist. What he is thinking of is the Shallan he saw in the chasms who was far more whole, not the fracturing she has been doing since which he is unaware of. He saw a woman who had experienced pain that would be crippling for most (as it had been for Kaladin at times), but she was able to smile and go on living. That’s what he admires and that fits with the image Wit shows Shallan of the Shallan who stands up, who has all the painful memories underneath but covers that with forgiveness for herself.
  15. I think the point you are making here is actually the same point I tried to make in my original post in this thread: that how you read the ending and whether you think it is over depends largely on whether you believe that the Shallan we see at the end is her whole/true self or only one of her personas. In other words, whether you believe that Veil and Radiant are part of Shallan or as you put it "invaders." I know you're mostly playing Devil's advocate here so I won't lay it all out again, but in that first post of mine I included a lot of the evidence as I see it in the text as well as WoB that Veil and Radiant are part of Shallan. Or another way I've seen it explained that makes sense to me is that, Shallan is only allowing herself to express certain parts of herself while wearing either the Veil or Radiant mask, but underneath she's always herself doing those things. The lie she tells is that she is not herself when she does or feels the things she does as Veil or Radiant. Wit tells Shallan that she is the one who "birthed" Veil and Radiant, they come from her. When Shallan is poised to try to give up on Veil after her breakdown in Kholinar, Wit gives her Veil's hat back (a significant gesture from someone who is trying to get her to accept herself). If Wit, who I believe truly understands what is happening with Shallan, thought that Veil was just escapism, a fantasy or a fake, why would he encourage her to hold on to Veil with that gesture? When Shallan leaves Wit and is temporarily feeling more herself she notices that she is dressed as Veil but looks like Shallan. For a moment she thinks it feels uncomfortable but then realizes that it actually feels right. She is actually a combination of all three. So needless to say it is obvious that affects how I view the "without you I fade" line as well as Shallan's decision to marry at all. I will add though that even if I am wrong and Shallan really is only herself without Veil and Radiant then I still would have a problem with "without you I fade" and Adolin having to choose which "one" she really is. That is simply a story I would not enjoy. Let's just leave gender out of it, I wouldn't enjoy either a woman or a man being dependent on their partner to tell them who they are and to keep them from losing themselves entirely. That is not romantic to me. And a person in that condition really isn't in any frame of mind to make life altering decisions. I hope and believe that Brandon is a better writer than that. In real life could a couple perhaps overcome such fundamental flaws in the foundation of their relationship? Maybe, but it would be extremely difficult. But we have to remember this is literature and Brandon is writing in subtext and foreshadowing with some intention. Again, why give us such an odd pre-wedding scene (and not show the wedding) if he was trying to tell us Adolin and Shallan are right for each other? I believe he intends to show that Shallan is actually ambivalent about Adolin (part of her loves him, part of her does not and is drawn to another man). Adolin's own feelings are in question since Brandon chose not to make them explicit. When Shallan is inevitably forced to accept and forgive herself as Wit has encouraged her and when she therefore stops pushing so much of herself into Veil and Radiant, there will be a reckoning about how she really feels. My guess is then we will find out if there is enough there between Adolin and Shallan to weather it. And hopefully we will eventually get a much more satisfying romance than we have so far!