mdross81

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  1. That’s plausible enough. Makes me wonder whether Yolish Lightweaving is somehow more volatile/powerful, just like Khriss suggests that another Yolish version of a surge was in the RoW Ars Arcanum.
  2. Is this maybe a reference to how:[Dawnshard spoilers]
  3. No luck cracking this one yet, which is frustrating because we’re told that it doesn’t move. And our characters use its fixed position to navigate, but they never tell us just how they’re using it. OB 112: I mean, c’mon Brandon, just tell us that they’re keeping the distant sun to their right or left or behind them or heading towards it. In RoW 75 there’s another missed opportunity. Adolin is looking out from Lasting Integrity describing what he sees in different directions. But again it’s not clear which direction the sun is: It seems like maybe we can infer that - since he’s seeing the beads reflecting the light while looking toward Tukar - the sun is in that direction? Which would be North I think. But it’s not clear, and light and shadows seem to behave strangely in Shadesmar so who knows.
  4. Yeah, I think you’ve sold me on Odium being very much associated with dark flames/fire and intense heat, which shares some qualities with, but is distinct from, the sun. And it seems that the “god of gods” is: - Odium for Venli (and maybe the singers more broadly? I think she’s the only one who says it though) - probably Honor for the Shin; and - Tashi (Ishar) for the Tashikki
  5. Could be. I guess I was just focused on the similarities between Szeth and the Tashikkis talking about covering their face, and reading into this bit from Edgedancer: The Tashikki definitely seem to associate the need to cover their faces with hiding them from Odium. And the discussion of covering the face in this passage seems to be associated with being out in the sun. Though I concede that, as with Szeth, there’s a mention of liking being out in the sun. I can’t figure out how the underlined bit about “covering up before Nun Raylisi” fits.
  6. This has been debated elsewhere, but I don't agree with this take, that the terms ultimately settled upon do not protect Hoid. Rather, it seems to me they used Hoid’s contract as a starting point from which to negotiate. Odium pointed out certain terms that he couldn’t agree to from that proposal and they went back and forth from there. I mean he does “wave dismissively” at it, but the next line is about how he doesn’t want any more talk of delays or half measures, meaning they scrap the 1,000 year portion of the original. But otherwise the crux of it seems the same. Plus, if Hoid were no longer protected by the contract, then these lines in epilogue wouldn't make sense: and later, here's Odium thinking: Seems to me that the final terms still include Hoid as a contractual liaison. I suppose it's possible that Odium just needs to make it seem like he can't hurt Hoid so that Hoid continues to believe he is protected. But given the historical animosity and Hoid's previous references to needing hide from Odium, I feel like Odium would just attack him here if Hoid were not, in fact, protected. Also, FYI, this probably should go in either the Stormlight or Cosmere forums because it's got spoilers and seems to be a theory rather than a question.
  7. As promised, I'm back to list some of the numerous examples of Renarin symbolism/foreshadowing I found. Shades/Shadows (in in-world chronological order) OB 94: Dalinar wept and clung to that youth, that child, as if he were the only real thing left in a world of shadows. WoK 18: Shardplate wouldn't solve everything, but Renarin would have his chance. Dalinar would see to it. I know what it's like to be a second son, he thought, as they continued toward the king's chambers, overshadowed by an older brother you love yet envy at the same time. WoR 5: Kaladin wasn't sure what to make of Renarin. The youth - he might have been older than Kaladin, but sure didn't look it - wore spectacles and walked after his brother like a shadow. WoR 41: "My father and my brother," Renarin said softly, face shadowed, "they're warriors. Soldiers. I'm not, if you haven't noticed." WoR 76 (bonus mention of awkwardness too): Renarin stood like a shade at the back of the group. The bridgemen were coming to accept him, but he still seemed very awkward around them. Of course, he seemed awkward around most people. WoR 89: "Four," a voice said from the shadows of the stairwell. Renarin stepped into the lit room. He looked at them, then shank back. ... Renarin remained in the darkness, looking down. The really cool thing, is that this last one is pretty much the end of the shadow/shade references, which I think is meant to represent Renarin coming forward and revealing that he's bonded a spren. What takes the place, however, are references to darkness/clouding the future. Darkness/clouding the future: OB 2: His sons, steady Adolin and impenetrable Renarin. OB 122: As he drew near, Taravangian saw that the words were blacked out into eternity starting from this point on his wall. As if something had happened here. A ripple in what Odium could see.... At it's root, a name. Renarin Kholin. RoW I-6: Why specifically can't the Diagram see Renarin Kholin? Why is he invisible? RoW I-6: I'm close to Renarin, Taravangian realized. Everyone close to the boy has their future clouded. RoW 54: "Friction between the two of you," Renarin said, pointing up at the stained glass. "And a blackness interfering, marring the beauty of the window. Like a sickness infecting both of you, at the edges." ... "Oh, that one's easy, Father," Renarin said. "That's me." I'm not going to list all of the various references to him not fitting in, not knowing his place, being awkward, or straddling two worlds. Trust me when I say they are plentiful and fit nicely with him bonding a spren who similarly doesn't fit. Here are a few other little connections that I found that I really liked Turning around and finding things different WoR 22, talking to Kal about fabrials: "Every time I turn around, it seems the world has changed somehow." Now check out OB 63, when Shallan is investigating the gloom covering the Kholinar palace, which is likely being caused by Sja-anat: She kept feeling that she wasn't seeing it al. When she'd glance away and look back, she could swear that something was different. Arrows WoK 26: The room fell silent. Renarin had a habit of doing that, felling conversations like an enemy archer hunting officers on the battlefield. (maybe a reference to Teleb?) RoW 54: "I see you in this vision," Renarin said to his father. "You're in a lot of them. In this one you stand tall, formed as if from stained glass, and you wear Shardplate. Stark white Shardplate, though you are pierced with a black arrow." ... "I think it might be a symbol of you, who you were, who you became." Oh the irony, Jasnah And finally, these couple of lines from OB 53 I'm including because it they hit so many of the foreshadowing beats, and because I'm amused by just how ironic Jasnah's thoughts ends up being: Anyway, thanks for posting the topic and giving me a chance to share these. The foreshading/symbolism is certainly impressive, but here's hoping we get a little bit more substance for Renarin in book 5.
  8. First of all, no worries about this. I've seen enough of your posts on Shard to know you are thorough, and perhaps ... strident? ... stringent? ... I'm not sure the right word, but no offense take. And I concede that, in my desire to pull all of these various sun references together and weave them into a cohesive theory, I probably read more into some of them than is warranted, and/or shoehorned things that don't necessarily fit. Now, on to some substantive points. These are good points that definitely call into question whether the folklore about Voidbringers inhabiting mens' hearts is based on ancient Fused literally doing just that. It's probably more likely that the folklore grew out of the actions of the Unmade. However, I stand by the fact that, as demonstrated by what happens at the Battle of Thaylen field, Fused can, given the proper mindset and environment, bond humans. It seems like it may be very difficult to do however. Odium mentions that he had been preparing the soldiers for decades. So maybe his line making it sound like it's no big deal to inhabit humans is puffery. Fair enough. I'm not wedded to the term "possessed," and yet despite Turash referring to what happened as the Fused "bonding" with the soldiers in Amaram's army, that didn't really seem like the right word either. Maybe "inhabited" or "temporarily bonded" is the sweet spot. Also fair. However, I do still think that he attempted to subtly influence/corrupt humans. Perhaps in the medium term is more correct - influencing humans with things like the Thrill is what kept them fighting. I also think, though I concede we haven't seen firm evidence of this yet, that he probably tried to gain influence/control over some humans as a means of fielding agents to help him work around Taln and what remained of the Oathpact. For example, here's a couple of quotes from Ulim and Venli discussing their plans in RoW 73: And even if it really was just Axindweth at this point (which I don't buy, she would have needed the help of others to get out to the place in the ocean and collect Ulim), Venli later gives her scholars gems that she says contain voidspren like Ulim. Though, curiously, we never see evidence that this is true. Nor do we get any explanation of how she got ahold of the gems if it is true. But that certainly would have required human agents. Not necessarily humans swayed by Odium I grant. Could be other worldhoppers who are aligned with Odium for some reason (like Axindweth). So, even if we take Rayse at his word that his long game involved building a force strong warriors, attempting to influence the hearts of men may have still been a part of that. On the god of gods thing, I think we at least agree that when Venli says it, she is referring to Odium. And I buy your explanation for why - he's the god above their old gods, the Fused. As for Szeth and the Tashikki, it's possible that they are not referring to Odium when they say that. Let's take them one at a time. For Szeth, at the very least, whomever he's referencing when he says "god of gods" he definitely equates that entity with the sun. And he believes he should (1) not look upon that entity; (2) should not be out during the day; and (3) should hide his face. From WoK 71, when he arrives in Kharbranth: And these two are from WoR I-10 when he's atop Urithiru: So we have bright sunlight shining down, Szeth experiencing strong feeling of hatred, and again we have him averting his gaze. Then he looks up at the sun and shouts about keeping his oath, and doing what was demanded of him, presumably talking about obeying the holders of his oathstone, which is something that was required of him because of the Stone Shamans. So, whatever entity he's addressing there, is definitely associated in some way with the Shin religion. I'll note that when the "god of gods" was first referenced in the WoK except neither god was with a capital G, but in the WoR mention, both are capitalized. Not sure if that means anything or not. I don't know. To me, the strong hatred he finds himself experiencing when the bright sunlight shines down makes me think that he's referencing Odium. But I can understand if others do not agree. Turning to the Tashikki, it seems like we're in agreement that when they reference Nun-Raylisi, who is "the enemy of their god" that is a reference to Rayse/Odium. And, as with Szeth, they have religious taboos involving being out in the sun and showing their face. Although there's an additional component with the Tashikki in that it's ok for them to do so if they are in "lands that know Tashi." Here's a slightly expanded version of the quote I included above from ED 13, featuring the scribe Ghenna: The exclamation here is at least a little bit ambiguous as to whether or not "God of Gods" and "Binder of the World" are the same entity. But I grant that by starting off saying "Tashi!" it seems like both of those epithets refer to Tashi, their name for Ishar, who they seem to set above the other 9 heralds, which makes him the god of gods. But I come back to the idea that they seem to equate the sun, or - at the very least - something in the same direction as the sun, with Rayse/Odium (whom they call Nun-Raylisi), the enemy of their god, Tashi. Unless they are in the home lands (or lands that know Tashi, which may be synonymous) they need to hide their face from Nun-Raylisi. Same thing with Szeth. He equates something in the sky, whether it's the sun, or merely something in the same direction as the sun, with the god of gods. And I see at least some evidence that when he uses that phrase he means Odium. But I can understand why you think it's tenuous. Anyway, thanks for the thoughtful response.
  9. Oh, my friend. I’ve got a lengthy document preparing a post about this exact topic. Renarin is really interesting because we still really don’t know a whole lot about him as a character, and haven’t spent much time in his POV. But the foreshadowing is constant. He frequently appears in shadows or is referred to as a shade and he later bonds an enlightened mist spren. (Sja-Anat is said to be made of shadows and mist). His spectacles are mentioned frequently early on, which may have resulted in reflected light, which is necessary to see Sja-anat. (note that Ym, another proto-Truthwatcher also wore them). There are constant references to him not fitting in, just like how Sja-anat laments that her enlightened spren don’t fit in anywhere. Jasnah remarks at one point that she won’t have him wasting his time trying to predict the future with the Stormwardens. He now sees the future. He’s the one who has the idea to try to find evidence that Dalinar’s visions are true (foreshadowing him becoming a Truthwatcher). You’re definitely right that the foreshadowing is really frequent with him. Its a bit late tonight to try to list all of the examples, but I’ll try to add them here tomorrow if I have time.
  10. The short answer is, of course, that we don't yet know. But there are a few references that may shed some light. The Stormfather says that "Odium is sealed by the powers of Honor and Cultivation" (OB 38) As to the means through which Odium is trapped, I think this line from RoW 75 might have some relevance. This is Vaiu, Adolin's guard talking to him about the deadeyes congregating outside Lasting Integrity: Presumably it's this bond to Roshar's spiritweb that prevents spren from being able to travel too far away. So it stands to reason that Odium's entrapment may similarly involve him being somehow bonded to Roshar's spirit web. Elsewhere, Rayse talks about the prohibitions Honor placed on him. This is from RoW 112, discussing about what would happen if he broke his word: But that begs the question, why/how was Honor able to place these restrictions on him? It seems possible that Odium was at risk because he violated the Shards' non-interference pact, described here by Edgli in the epigraph to OB 39: I mean, splintering another Shard has got to count as "interfering" with it. Although Odium may claim that - at least with respect to Dominion, Devotion, and Honor - he was actually enforcing the non-interference agreement against other Shards who had violated it. Hard to say how he might justify going after Ambition because we just don't know much about their conflict. So maybe he was at risk and Honor/Cultivation threatened him into agreeing to be bound. But I tend to think that Tanavast challenged Rayse to a one-on-one contest for the hearts of men, and that both sides agreed to remain within the system until one side won. But before either side could win, Rayse splintered Honor and killed Tanavast. This idea is based on a couple of different pieces of evidence. One is Rayse's line about Honor imposing prohibitions that prevented Rayse from using his powers on most individuals. I think this is an extension of the Shards' non-interference pact, and that Honor made humans, collectively, his representative, which then afforded them protection (just as Wit gained protection and stopped hiding from Rayse once he became a contractual liaison of Honor). Speaking of Wit, another piece of evidence for this theory is something Wit says a couple of times: that the contest of champions will be about "the hearts of men." More specifically, I think Honor and Odium's conflict has to do with whether Honor still lives in the hearts of men. A third piece of this is how Odium uses the Unmade - to try to push humans into an emotional state where they're susceptible to Odium's influence. See the scene where Odium takes control of Amaram's army in OB 115: See also, the words of the one Radiant in the Starfalls vision (OB 34): And Brandon, himself has suggested this is how Odium uses the Unmade: Put it all together, and I think there's pretty good evidence for a battle for the hearts of men between Odium and Honor.
  11. It's like you read my mind. I had hoped to be able to attend the con, but it didn't work out, so I was just thinking of coming on here and asking if anyone attending would be willing to ask a question. I have a long running list, but don't want to overwhelm, so here's just a few. If any of them seem interesting to you, I'd love it if you'd ask. Spoilering (all cosmere) just in case:
  12. Perhaps we can revive it a bit with a suggestion I don't see among those above. You know who might be a good pick? Renarin. We know that Brandon is mostly saving him for the back 5. And his role in present-day events is largely as a cloaking device for Team Dalinar, interfering with Odium's ability to see the future. But given Taravodium's keen awareness of that ability, even that role might be diminished in book 5. They might even need to hide Renarin away somewhere (maybe with Rlain along to protect him eh?), because if I'm Taravodium, one of my first orders of business is to try to neutralize Renarin and Sja-Anat. It's also kinda weird, given that Renarin is a fairly major character, that he still doesn't have his own chapter icon. I think Shalash is the only other planned flashback character for whom we don't have a chapter icon. Obviously, he doesn't have to be the interlude character to get a chapter icon, but it might make it more likely.
  13. While working on a previous post about the unseen winds that are referenced from time to time in the SA, my attention was also drawn to the extensive symbolic use of the sun. But I noticed that the sun symbolism didn't necessarily seem consistent. At various times, the sun seemed to be characterized or experienced differently by different characters. Sometimes, the same character is compared to, or experiences, the sun differently at different times. The most obvious example I can think of is Odium, who is sometimes associated with darkness, blocking out the sun, or with the idea of the sun setting, but at other times is actually likened to the sun, with descriptions of intense heat and brightness. (a thorough list of examples is included toward the bottom of the post) My initial take on this seeming inconsistency was that maybe Brandon's symbolic use of the sun/sunlight was just all over the place. But as I dug a little deeper, I hit upon a different, more subtle possible explanation; one that ties in with some of the other themes that crop up over and over. Specifically, I'm thinking here about the power of perception, the exercise of free choice, and the (in)ability to exert control over one's emotions. What I've found is that the ways that characters perceive/experience the sun changes depending on their behaviors, their emotions, and their environment. And I think this idea - that two different people (or a single person at different times) can see the same sun in different ways - also ties in with the idea that the conflict between Honor's and Odium's forces is in part a battle for the hearts of men. A struggle to see which side will have more hearts open to it. Wit even tells us this in RoW 99: But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start with the excerpt that I think cuts to the heart (har har) of this matter, which is essentially that Odium can, at least for periods of time, possess humans if they open themselves up to it. And I don't just mean cause them to experience the Thril or the gluttony inspired by Ashertmarn. This is from OB 115, the scene where Odium takes control of Amaram's army: A couple of things to point out here. First, I don't know if others have caught this, but upon doing a close read of this sequence I realized that I had, for quite some time, mistakenly believed that it was the Thrill that bonded to the soldiers in Amaram's army. It's not. The Thrill is just there to get them in the right mindset. Those are Fused souls that possess Amaram's men. Explanation is below and spoilered for length. Second, and more interesting is the highlighted line, where Odium talks about the two requirements for him to take control of a human: the right mindset and the right environment. As I went through the various times when characters describe/experience the sun, it became clear that whether they saw it positively or negatively was based on their mindset and their environment at the time, essentially showing us when characters were most at risk of falling victim to Odium's influence. There are actually a couple of other places where this idea - of humans opening themselves up to Odium's influence - comes up. One is waayyyy back in WoK Chapter 45. Shallan is trying to figure out what the Voidbringers were, and gets answers from three different sources: Jasnah: Jasnah studied her with a curious expression. “Nobody knows for sure. Most scholars consider them, like Urithiru, mere myths, while theologians accept them as counterparts of the Almighty – monsters that dwelled in the hearts of men, much as the Almighty once lived there.” The folk tales that Jasnah had compiled: It seemed that everybody knew something about the Voidbringers. People in rural areas spoke of them as mysterious creatures that came out at night, stealing from the unlucky and punishing the foolish. Those Voidbringers seemed more mischievous than evil. But then there would be the odd story about a Voidbringer taking on the form of a wayward traveler who – after receiving kindness from a tallew farmer – would slaughter the entire family, drink their blood, then write voidish symbols across the walls in black ash. Most people in the cities, however, saw the Voidbringers as spirits who stalked at night, a kind of evil spren that invaded the hearts of men and made them do terrible things. When a good man grew angry, it was the work of a Voidbringer. And lastly, Kabsal: “Everything has its opposite, Shallan. The Almighty is a force for good. To balance his goodness, the cosmere needed the Voidbringers as his opposite.” “I don’t think you want to get into the deep theology of this. Suffice it to say that the Almighty’s pure goodness created the Voidbringers, but men may choose good without creating evil because as mortals they have a dual nature. Thus the only way for good to increase in the cosmere is for men to create it – in that way, good may come to outweigh evil.” One of the things we slowly realize over the first three books of the series is just how wrong most of the present-day Rosharan beliefs are about the Voidbringers, the Desolations, the Heralds, and the Knights Radiant. But I think Brandon may have pulled a fast one on us here and hidden something that is actually true - that humans really can be possessed by Team Odium if they open themselves up to it - in plain sight in a way where we're inclined to think it's ridiculous. Want another example? How about Jezrien (Ahu) talking to Dalinar in OB 88 about which one of the Unmade might have gotten to him: It's fairly clear that Odium's long game involved trying to subtly influence humanity and exploit what Kabsal calls their "dual nature," trying to push them in subtle ways (often though the Unmade) to make dishonorable choices. We're told as much in the blurbs authored by the Sleepless on that back covers of the books. From WoK: And then WoR back-cover blurb notes the dangerous duality experienced by Radiants: Dual Nature Here are some other textual references to dual natures - seeing the same thing in different ways depending on how you're approaching it. Tien in WoK 37: Bringing things back around the to sun references, here's Shallan in WoR 48, engaging in word play with her brothers: Let's stay with Shallan for another weather-related reference, this time from RoW 26: Here's young-Nohadon from the vision in WoK 60: And then let's jump to old-Nohadon and bring the sun back into it, from OB 103: I'm with you Dalinar. How, indeed, could the sun be pointing in those two different directions? Maybe because adopting a different mindset or being placed in a different environment literally changes not only the way you see the sun but also which Shard you're open to. I ... don't really know if this theory came together the way I thought it might. But I feel like there's something here. I'm interested as always to hear others thoughts. Textual Evidence If you're interested in a rundown of the changing characterizations of the sun, here's my list, broken down by character and the nature of the sun symbolism. I'm going to spoiler these for space. If you read nothing else, I recommend you read through the section discussing times when Odium is associated with the sun and referred to as the "god of gods." It seems to me like juicy stuff that may feature prominently when we get to Shinovar in book 5. Dalinar With Dalinar, the ratio tilts toward negative associations with the sun, which makes sense given all the years he spent beholden to the Thrill. Dalinar: sun = bad (there's a pretty consistent theme here tying a setting sun to Odium, the Thrill, and Desolations) Dalinar: sun = good Kaladin With Kaldin, who is so closely aligned with Honor, the sun is pretty much always viewed favorably as something that Kal needs and misses when he doesn't get enough. Kal: sun = good Kal: sun = bad (not too many of these, but they demonstrate the connection between mindset and characterization of the sun nicely) Odium As noted at the top of the post, Odium is a weird one because sometimes he's associated with the sun, while other times he's associated with darkness. Odum - sun (some of these don't mention the sun but are included becasue they refer to Odium as the "god of gods" which Szeth and others associate with the sun) Odium - darkness In addition to the specific examples below, I'd also say that most of the negative associations up in the Dalinar and Kaladin sections above also count as examples of Odium being portrayed as shadows/darkness/setting sun. Other Notable Sun symbolism Lastly, just wanted to note that I'm intentionally leaving out for now the exploding sun mural in Akinah, seen in Dawnshard. I'm also leaving out the "other light" that Dalinar says the sunlight is distracting him from in OB 122. I suspect those two are related in some way, and I may revise later to incorporate them, if I feel like I have anything coherent to say. Thanks for reading!
  14. That’s right. And to whatever extent there was an agreement, it was only that they wouldn’t interfere with one another. This is from Endowment’s reply to Hoid in the OB 39 epigraph: I take her statement to mean that she thinks co-location is a bad idea because it will inevitably lead to interference.
  15. I think you might be on to something here. But I wonder if it wasn't simply a matter of jealousy, but more that when the spren were drawn to humans, it impacted the singers' ability to work with the spren to manipulate surges to build and create. We see how this used to happen when Venli is practicing her stoneshaping in RoW 67: Although it's only said that the "stone would sing to them," I think it's fairly likely that spren were involved in this kind of manipulation of stone. The ancient singers could communicate with them via the rhythms and the spren would then help them manipulate the surges, without any more permanent bond being required. But, as noted in the listener song you quoted, the singers' minds were too close to the Cognitive Realm. Presumably they could not pull the spren through to the Physical as well as the humans could. And we've heard from at least one spren who has suggested that spren had an interest in exploring the Physical Realm. Here's Pattern in RoW 75: So the spren flock to the humans, and the singers lose their abilities to work with the spren to shape stone (and presumably manipulate other surges as well). So not just jealousy but an actual threat to their ability to build and create.