mdross81

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543 King's Wit

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  1. This is a great point and frankly something else that I agree comes up over and over again. The theme of characters choosing. Also a really good point and presumably why that particular nightmare had such an impact on Kal, who at that point is used to feeling beloved by the winds.
  2. Ooh, good call! He does say that right after Dalinar opens the perp.
  3. That’s probably right. I debated about even including them because they don’t seem to fit with the others.
  4. Thanks! It’s one of my more unexpected theories considering where it started and where it ended up.
  5. I like the way you've framed this as Melishi and Dalinar serving as bait for the Unmade they were seeking to imprison. And that's an interesting theory about BAM wanting a Bondsmith. A bond with a Bondsmith kinda feels like a downgrade from the bond she had with Odium. Then again, Odium is probably a jerk to work for, and apparently the bond between Odium and the Unmade is cut off during an Isolation (see the Sja-anat interlude). So maybe in that circumstance a bond with a Bondsmith starts to look good.
  6. The idea for this post started as me just noticing and trying to catalog the various times when spren are described as appearing to ripple or flutter in an unseen/unfelt wind. I'd initially chalked this up to spren weirdness, but as I dug more into it, I started to cobble together a theory about something deeper going on here. Specifically, the TLDR is that I think when we see those unseen/unfelt winds, we are actually seeing waves or tides of power from the spiritual realm. And I think that Kaladin has shown how a human with honor in their heart can become attuned to that power and access it. More on the theory below, but first here's a rundown of the times when we see the rippling phenomenon, sorted by category. HONORSPREN Syl - Physical Realm The windspren stood in the air just beside his head, white dress rippling in a wind Kaladin couldn’t feel. (WoK 2) She walked with her hands clasped behind her back, her tiny, knee-length skirt fluttering in an intangible wind. (WoK 49) She slid down onto his shoulder, moving like a stiff breeze had blown her. She crossed her legs, sitting ladylike, skirt rippling as he walked. (WoR 41) She looked after Beard, her girlish dress rippling in wind that Kaladin couldn’t feel. (OB 73) Syl - Cognitive Realm Adolin jumped to his feet, scrambling back. He almost collided with a young woman with blue-white skin, pale as snow, wearing a filmy dress that rippled in the wind. (OB 87) Kaladin’s spren was different. She always seemed to be moving, slipping this way or that, girlish dress rippling as she walked, her hair swaying. (OB 93) She closed her eyes as she walked, chin up, as if basking in a wind he could not feel. (OB 95) Out through the room’s window, Kaladin could see Syl standing on the coast, watching out over the sea of beads. Her hair doesn’t ripple here, he thought. In the Physical Realm it often waved as if being brushed by an unseen breeze. Here, it acted like the hair of a human. (OB 97) Phendorana (Physical Realm) - Phendorana manifested as an older human woman, with mature features and non-nonsense Thaylen-style clothes, a skirt and a blouse. Her hair blew free as if in a phantom wind. (RoW 91) Yunfah (Physical Realm) - Yunfah stood on his cloud, his long beard whipping in the wind – though he had no real substance. (RoW 10) STORMFATHER - Cognitive Realm He searched the sky and discovered a ripple in the air, like heat rising from distant stone. A shimmer the size of a building. (OB 1) Dalinar backed up, letting Fen rejoin the people and experience the end of the vision. As he folded his arms to watch, he noted a shimmering in the air beside him. (OB 34) Dalinar turned to the side, to where he glimpsed the air shimmering. The Stormfather. (OB 38) OTHER SPREN - Physical Realm Anticipationspren Anticipationspren – like red streamers growing from the ground and whipping in the wind – clustered around them. (OB 3) Around the perimeter of the square, people hissed and whispered, anticipationspren flapping in an unseen wind. (OB 10) Translucent red streamers rose from the stone, whipping as if in the wind, one end connected to the ground. Anticipationspren. Lunamor gave them the sign of respect, hand to his shoulder, then his forehead. These were lesser gods, but still holy. He could see their true shapes beyond the streamers, a faint shadow of a larger creature at the bottom. (OB 37) The captain drew anticipationspren as he waited – ribbons that waved in the wind – and Kaza could see the beasts beyond, the creatures that accompanied the spren. (OB Interlude 4) Gloomspren - Kaladin looked up and noted an unusual spren whipping about. Long, grey, like a tattered streamer of cloth in the wind. It wound around him, fluttering. He’d seen it’s like only once or twice before. (OB 5) Creationspren - Around her, creationspren slowly vanished, most having taken the shapes of things about the camp. Swords that sheathed and unsheathed repeatedly, tiny tents that untied and blew in unseen wind. (WoR 78) OTHER SPREN - Cognitive Realm Oathgate Spren - Hovering in the air were two enormous spren – they looked like stretched-out versions of people, and stood some thirty feet tall, like sentinels. Once was pitch-black in coloring, the other red. He thought them statues at first, but their clothing rippled in the air, and they shifted, one turning eyes down to look at him. (OB 87) Notum's Steed - Notum’s grand white steed was almost a horse, though it was more graceful and supple, with long legs and a neck that bent in a way no physical spine could manage. It had large eyes but seemingly no mouth, and its hair waved in a phantom wind, like long glowing ribbons. (RoW 34) ODIUM'S FORCES Ulim - Physical Realm Ulim settled on a patch of broken branches, arms folded, his long hair rippling in an unseen wind. (OB INterlude 3) Indeed, it materialized into the shape of a small human – not a singer, but a human, with odd eyes and hair that waved in an unseen wind. (RoW 42) Aesudn/Yelig-nar (Physical Realm) - Aesudan stopped in the doorway to the king’s chambers. “I have outgrown you, Elhokar. I have taken the gemstone into me, and have harnessed Yelig-nar’s power.” Something started to twist around her, a black smoke, blown as if from an unseen wind. (OB 84) Sja-anat (Cognitive Realm) - She flowed up the steps in one realm, but barely moved in the other. Space was not entirely equal between the realms – it wasn’t that she had a foot in each realm; more, she was like two entities that shared a mind. In Shadesmar, she floated above the ocean of beads, her essence rippling. In the Physical Realm, she passed among singers who worked in the palace. (RoW Interlude 2) Odium (original flavor) - all realms at once presumably? Dalinar jumped, scrambling backward. The man was old, with a wide, furrowed face and bone-white hair that swept back from his head as if blown by wind. (OB 56) Odium held his hands to the sides, yellow-gold power streaming behind his figure like a wind made visible. (OB 115) OTHER Nale (Phyiscal Realm) - Darkness seemed to flow like smoke down the stairs, footsteps growing softer, uniform rippling in an unseen wind. (ED 19) Girl Who Looked Up (Lightweaving in Physical Realm, all from OB 25) A vibrant red scarf grew around the girl’s neck, twin tails extending far behind her and flapping in a phantom wind. “The girl traveled far,” Shallan said, looking back toward the stage. “No predators hunted her, and no storms assaulted her. The only wind was the pleasant one that played with her scarf, and the only creatures she saw were the cremlings that clicked at her as she walked.” Next to Shallan, the girl stood triumphantly on the wall’s top, her scarves and white hair streaming out behind her in a sudden wind. Unseen Tides/Currents Carefully, Kaladin entered the rows. The cloths billowed outward in the wind, but then fluttered down, reminiscent of the plants he’d often passed in the chasms. Living things that moved and flowed with the unseen tides of the blowing wind. (RoW 15) “There are currents to this world, Ishnah,” Shallan said. “They move unseen. They can tow you under suddenly, abruptly, when you thought you were swimming along perfectly safe.” (RoW 26) Honor's Perpendicularity (all three Realms, but in this scene viewed by Kaladin in the Cognitive during the climax of OB) - Sample of Particular Note - Shadesmar exploded with light. Fused screamed as a wind blasted them away, though Kaladin felt nothing. Beads clattered and roared. (OB 119) *** ON TO THEORIZING So that's pretty much all of them that I could find. You can see that in each of these examples, the thing doing the rippling/fluttering is something with a deep connection to the spiritual realm: spren, a Herald, the vessel of a Shard, a perpendiculity. But it's the very last instance - when Dalinar opens the perpendicularity - that really sparked the idea in my mind that what characters are seeing when they see this unseen/phantom wind is ripples of power from the spiritual realm. We know that in that scene, Dalinar has opened a direct conduit to the Spiritual Realm. And when he does so a powerful wind blasts away several Fused who are about to attack Kaladin in Shadesmar. But Kaladin doesn't feel the winds.Why? Well, I think it's because in that moment, struggling as he is with what happened in Kholinar and his inability to swear the fourth Ideal, Kaladin is not properly attuned to Honor's power. To explain what I mean, this is where I first have to back up and bring in one of my favorite quotes around which to theorize. This is from WoR chapter 82, part of the first conversation between Dalinar and the Stormfather. Dalinar asks who he's speaking to, and the SF responds: But what happens when the honor of men is all but dead? At the start of present-day events in the SA, Alethi culture in particular has more or less inverted the words of the first ideal. Lives are not valued but carelessly thrown away. Strength is treated as something that makes the powerful worthy to rule, rather than worthy to serve. And the destination is all that matters - the ends always seem to justify the means with all the scheming of the highprinces. As a result, they can't feel "the winds that men must feel." Enter Kaladin Stormblessed. This is where I have to bring in another quote. This is something Tanavast says in one of Dalinar's visions. After the tragedy of Tien's death, our boy Kal begins seeking out and protecting other youngsters like Tien. He starts acting with honor. And even before he's started to really bond with Syl and/or take in and use Stormlight, the winds begin to aid him. From WoK 1 Same battle, but from Kal's POV in WoK 47 Here's a description of the kata in the chasms in WoK 27: Here's the other members of Bridge Four watching and remarking on Kal fighting at the Battle of the Tower: There are plenty of other examples later where, above and beyond what Kaladin can do intentionally with Surgebinding, it seems that the winds themselves come to his aid and seem to grant him an almost atium-like ability to know what is going to happen. For example, during Adolin's duel in WoR: What's going on here? Well, if we're talking about someting infinite, beyond the touch of men, that starts to sound a whole lot like a refernce to the spiritual realm. Conversely, look at what happens to Kaladin's interaction with the winds when he's broken his oaths. Here he is as at the sparring grounds in WoR 81: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER So what's happening here? Well, I think that in these moments when Kal is moving with inhuman speed and reflexes, anticipating what's going to happen, and being aided by the wind, he's actually accesing the Spiritual Realm in small bursts. Consider a few more quotes and then I'm gonna try to tie it all together. First, here's one of the earliest mentions of the winds on Roshar, in WoK 4: Next, from WoR 5, Syl continues to behave like a windspren even after remembering what she is: Next, here's Syl talking to Kaladin in OB 6 about how the winds are of honor: Speaking of Honor, we all know, of course that "Honor is not dead so long as he lives in the hearts of men!" Thanks Captain Notum. And here's Hoid talking to Jasnah in the WoR Epilogue about where to look for salvation: Here's Teft with an intriguing line just after seeing Kal suck in Stormlight in WoK 38: Lastly, consider that when he's not being likened to a storm or the winds, Kaladin is also compared to a banner flapping in the wind, a symbol for others to follow: He clung there, like a pennant flapping in the wind... (WoK 35) He was a symbol. A living banner to destroy. (WoK 65) "Or maybe they simply need something to keep them going, surgeon. A symbol they can trust when they can't trust their own hearts." (RoW 74) We know that although Tanavast is dead, Honor's power remains. It's still there, just not really accessible most of the time. I take all the lines about unseen wind as evidence of spiritual winds emanating from the spiritual realm - "the winds that men must feel." And Kal starts to look like someone who, by acting honorably, attunes his heart to Honor's power (much like how a listener might attune a particular rhythm). In so doing, he more or less functions as a focus for pulling some of Honor's power through from the Spiritual Realm in the form of winds, much as the metals on Scadrial or the symbols on Sel become a conduit for power. And by doing so, Kal becomes a banner, flapping in those winds, a symbol to others that Honor's power remains and can still be accessed. Someone to show them the way and increase the number of hearts in which Honor still lives. One thing I like about this theory is that it can explain the "Child of Tanavast" thing without requiring Kal to be some special chosen one. Anyone could have been the one to start acting honorably and, in so doing, call on Honor's power. It just so happens that, because of his upbringing and experiences, he ends up being the one to do so first. Thanks for reading. As always, would love to hear what others think.
  7. So, I know that not every minor character has to be someone mysterious. But I was looking through WoK recently and one small detail about Roshone’s steward, Natir jumped out at me: For anyone who’s read MB Era 2, you can probably tell which word jumps out at me here. It’s the cravat, which is a fairly common fashion accessory in Era 2 Scadrial. But this is the only time we ever hear of someone wearing one on Roshar. And we actually hear quite a lot about Rosharan fashion in the SA books, so it just seems weird. On the other hand, the scene is from Kal’s POV, and he presumably knows the word. So maybe it’s nothing. The only other things we learn about Natir are that he’s got slender hands and is married to a stern-looking woman named Alaxia. Not a super Alethi-sounding name that. We don’t ever see either of them again after WoK, so who knows if they’re still kicking around. Anyway, probably scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but just throwing it out there since we’ve got a tall steward wearing an article of clothing we’ve only ever seen on Scadrial.
  8. If I had to choose one of these options, I'd say it was more the former. But I don't think I would describe it as an either/or. I think it can be both. There were ongoing and growing fears that spiked at a certain point (the imprisonment of BAM I think), prompting a "decision in the heat of the moment by the spren and their knights" as Brandon said in the recent WoB. Let's just set the scene. The False Desolation is ongoing and the KR are fighting singers with forms of power and Voidlight provided by BAM. The Heralds are MIA. We know that the generation of Radiants that committed the Recreance learned the truth about humankind's origins. They learned that humans had originally come from Ashyn but had destroyed Ashyn through Surgebinding. They learned that humans were the invaders in the war with the singers over Roshar. Honor was going mad and/or dying. And so, rather than reassuring them that their cause was righteous as he had with previous generations, Honor raved and told them they would destroy Roshar just as they had Ashyn. There's also friction between the Radiants and the rest of the world, and in-fighting between the orders. Oh, and the Sibling has lost trust in humans and is expelling them from Urithiru. So imagine all of that going on and then the imprisonment of Ba-Ado-Mishram happens. This tears out the the Connection and Identity of an entire species, leaving them shells of beings. We're also told in RoW that the imprisonment wounded Roshar itself and "touched the souls of all who belong to Roshar. Spren too." So this would have included all of the Radiant spren, who are bound to the spirit web of Roshar. (in RoW 75, Vaiu tells Adolin that "Deadeyes cannot think, but they are still spren - bound to the spiritweb of Roshar herself.") And because the Nahel bond involves linking the spirits of spren and human, one imagines that the Knights might have felt something too. So imagine, already burdened with worries about the dangers of the Nahel bond and the Surgebinding it allows, the KR and their spren witness/feel the extent of the damage that can be done with powerful Surgebinding. So now you've got a concrete example of harm to go with the existing fears. I can buy that that freaked them out enough that they acted rashly, thinking they needed to make sure they put a stop to Radiant Surgebinding right away. As a postscript on BAM's imprisonment and its relation to deadeyes, I'll note that I think BAM Connected to all of the singers by Connecting to some portion/aspect of Roshar itself. And as I noted above, spren are connected to the spirit web of Roshar. So when BAM was imprisoned, I think some crucial Spiritual aspect of Roshar (maybe something to do with how Honor's Investing in Roshar created sapient spren?) was also sealed away and therefore torn away from the spren. This made the Radiant sprens' spiritual Connections to their Knights all the more crucial, and when the Knights foresook their oaths, that left the Radiant sprens' minds untethered, causing the deadeye phenomenon. Ooohh, running with this idea that BAM's imprisonment messed with whatever Honor did to create sapient spren, what if before the imprisonment, spren were able to come to the Physical Realm without giving up their minds? Do we know whether that's always been the case? Might explain a bit of what happened with Adolin and Maya - maybe it was him forging a Connection with her and then sharing his mind with her while in the the Cognitive Realm that allowed her to regain some level of sapience.
  9. I had this exact same thought while listening to the Shardcast episode. This sounds exactly like something young Shallan would have spoken to her spren while seeking refuge from the turmoil in her family. Also, we see Kaladin do something similar in WoR, mentally reviewing and maybe reswearing, his prior oaths just before he swears the third.
  10. I think you're right that the process of abandoning the tower and recording of the gems began, and largely took place, before the imprisonment of BAM and the Recreance. If any of the gems were recorded after the imprisonment, I would say that the most likely are: the three zircons in drawer 1-1 (detailing the failing of some systems and research into the cognitive reflections of the spren at the tower); the garnet in 3-11 ("I am worried about the tower's protections failing. If we are not safe from the Unmade here, then where?"); and the particularly small emerald in drawer 30-20 ("Don't tell anyone. I can't say it. I must whisper. I foresaw this.") Of these, the small emerald seems the most likely because it hints at something bad having happened. The first two are probably related and seem like they could have happened during the "days" over which the Recreance happened. If, however, they happened before the imprisonment of BAM, and if the Elsecaller who recorded those zircons is correct, we're still left to wonder what caused the unintentional withdrawal of the Sibling prior to the imprisonment. The most likely culprit I'd guess would be the "Honor himself is changing" thing or just generally the fact that Honor was going mad/dying. A final question, does anyone have thoughts on which of the Unmade might have attacked the tower? I don't think we get any clues, but it seems to me the three most likely would be: sja-anat - we've been told that Radiants feared her the most and the comment about cognitive reflections of spren makes me wonder if they were seeing corrupted spren re-shephir - we know that she eventually makes her way to the tower; maybe there was an earlier effort? yelig-nar - Nohadon mentioned that yelig-nar broke into his chancery once and slaughtered all his scribes, and with the whole swallowing a gem to activate seems like it would maybe be the easiest way to sneak one in Curious what others think.
  11. He uses a knife while fighting Lift in ED chapter 19. I had thought maybe there was another time too, but that’s the only one I can find right now.
  12. Pretty sure we also see him fighting with a knife a couple of times. Which seems kinda surprising given his two Shardblades
  13. I had the same thought on a re-read, but haven’t done a deep dive looking for additional support for this theory.
  14. I’ve spent a bunch of time this week trying to piece together how the singers might have betrayed the spren. So I feel like I can fairly confidently say that this is as solid a theory as any I’ve seen/come up with. All we really know is that it happened a long time ago, it wasn’t as bad a betrayal as the Recreance, and at least some of the singers (Leshwi) feel like it was bad enough to require forgiveness. The through line of the singers’ sense of betrayal really seems to be outrage that the spren bonded with and granted Surgebinding to humans. So the idea that they might have then helped corrupt BAM in a way that allowed her to eventually provide forms of power and Voidlight to singers feels consistent. It has the added appeal of the singer betrayal eventually contributing to the human betrayal (assuming that horror over what the imprisonment of BAM did to the singers played at least some role in prompting the Recreance).
  15. There’s not a lot to go on, but I like it as well. In particular I recall the WoB you got on the linguistics of the name lends some support. Makes one wonder if the Sibling wasn’t a replacement of sorts after BAM was Unmade. But H & C got smarter the second go-round, so they housed the Sibling inside a big tower full of Knights Radiant.