Spinner16

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  1. I like this line of thinking, a sort of compromise where Dalinar technically wins but ends up holding the incredibly volatile shard of Odium. However, in my mind I see the duel being an objective loss for Dalinar and the radiants. The Blackthorn persisting as a Fused to rain terror upon the Cosmere is too tempting of an idea to pass up. Either way, Dalinar is not leaving this duel as a mortal.
  2. I could see that, some sort of Kholinar situation where spend Part One believing we know where the climax of the book falls, the BOOM, Brandon pull the rug away from us.
  3. At first I was on board when the Fused starting building their own version of Urithiru. It really seemed to add to the theme of a parallel arms race. But Brandon really lost me when he named it Urithitwo. That part was just silly.
  4. I'm glad someone else has faith in Brandon to pull this off. Historically, our ability as a fanbase to predict the endings of these books is not great, especially when we're steered towards a misdirection. I believe everything with Adolin and Maya is smoke and mirrors, and am still clinging to the theory that Adolin (sign of nine) Kholin will become Odium's champion.
  5. This is absolutely incredible! I love being part of this community.
  6. It a question of theme versus motif. A motif is a recurring idea in a story. A theme is a specific statement that reappears due to the intent (or Intent ) of the author. At least, those are the definitions I'm working with. I do not disagree that responsibility is a huge part of SA. However, the thing about a theme is it is generally a statement to take away. "Responsibility" is not specific enough, I'd say its considered more of a motif. My argument here was that SA books are special because their theme is not an answer, but rather a question. I'll admit that the question of "When do I take responsibility?" could be a theme. I was simply able to find more evidence in Way of Kings supporting the idea that the central question is "What is the value of a human life" -Also its a book so whatever your opinion is its a valid one.
  7. Syl dying would be absolutely heartbreaking. I don't want to admit it but it would go so well with Kaladin's character arc.
  8. The Stormlight Archive is my favorite book series, hands down. Its taken me a long time to express in words what it is about the series that speaks so strongly to me. A major hurdle in describing the series is naming themes among the books. Great books have clear themes, central ideas that the story exists in order to explore. I could name hundreds of books combed over by English classes, but within Brandon's own work there are strong themes. The first Mistborn book, for example, focuses on the idea of faith. The idea that faith gives people the strength to keep going. Sazed's endless conversations with Kelsier are an easy example of this. But take Kelsier himself, he chooses to martyr himself, trusting the rebellion will carry on. Vin learns to trust in the thieving crew, the first group she's ever been able to rely on. Elend has faith in Vin, falling in love with her even as he doubts her motives. And Elend has faith in his ideas of equality. He uses his "Enlightenment" ideals in order to save the city from a mob of rioters. There are dozens of other examples throughout the book. And while this idea of faith is not the only theme present in Mistborn, it is one of the core ones. Almost every single scene and character builds on this idea. Is there a similar central statement in the books of the Stormlight Archive? The short answer is no. The books of the Stormlight Archive are huge. There are dozens of plots and characters, and I am not able to come up with one statement of theme for any of the books. Anything I can come up with either falls short, unable to encompass the breadth of the book, or it is contradicted by some part in the story. Then I realized something. The Stormlight books are, in and of themselves, opposed to the idea one central truth. Coming up with a single theme to encompass one of the books would be contradictory to the message of the series. I believe a central part of the Stormlight Archive is that right and wrong do not exist in some sort of divine dichotomy. Morality is different depending on who's perspective you're seeing from. Now is this a theme for the series? I would say no, it's too broad. However, this idea of individual experiences working in shades of grey is supported in each book. Stormlight does not have these sweeping general statements, but it still contains themes. In Stormlight, the theme of each book is a question. Every moment in each book answers one central quandary presented. And here's the magical thing about that- there are different answers. Much as Radiant orders seek individualized paths to Honor, the books give readers individualized answers to the questions posed by the novel. Let me preface the following paragraphs by saying that this is simply my own interpretation of the books. In addition, I am aware of confirmation bias, and may be stretching some things to fit the theories I propose. I am writing this to put into words what makes Stormlight so powerful to me, and I hope it might allow other people to better voice their opinions about these books. The Way of Kings. The book varies incredibly in terms of characters, settings, and ideas. But the entire novel is working towards one goal. The Way of Kings is written to answer the following question. What is the value of a human life? Here are the different levels that idea works on. Abstract-On this first level, the book deals with the philosophical idea of a human life's worth. Slavery is a powerful motif throughout the story. Front and center are the bridgemen, who have been bought as arrow-fodder. Sadeas throws his slave's lives away in order to protect the "more valuable" lives of his troops. In contrast, Dalinar and Adolin attack by hopping the chasms themselves. Although this spares the lives of bridgemen, Dalinar notes that if he were to fall in battle, many lives would be lost. Yet still Dalinar continues his strategy of charging across. He believes throwing away the lives of men is a dishonorable thing to do. When Dalinar trades his Shardblade to save Kaladin's men from slavery, he asks Kaladin what value a human life carries. Kaladin replies, "a life is priceless" (Chapter 69). This notion has been drummed into Kaladin's mine by his father. Lirin pushed Kaladin to become a surgeon, the best way to preserve precious lives in the harsh world that is Roshar. Lirin taught Kaladin that there are two types of men, those who save life and those who take it. Kaladin struggles for the entire book with the suspicion that he might be the second kind. Pair this with the discussion in Chapter 36, The Lesson. Jasnah uses her Soulcaster to utterly destroy three thieves who attack her and Shallan. Was this the right thing to do? Lirin would say no. Jasnah used her power to take three lives, people that might have be reformed or simply imprisoned. Furthermore, Jasnah exposed herself to danger, deliberately allowing the thieves to attack her. On the other hand, Jasnah sees herself as justice. She stopped the thieves from harming anyone else. She acted for the common good. Allowing the thieves to live might be allowing them to slip through the fingers of ineffective Kharbranthian courts, and harm the lives of innocent people. This ideology is also found in the actions of Taranvangian. Taranvangian is willing to murder patients in his hospital, reasoning that their lives are worth the information they give in their Death Rattles. Jasnah and Taranvangian say lives can and should be ended in order to protect innocents, but Lirin states every life is priceless and to kill is a crime, no matter the intention. Who is right? The book supports both arguments, providing different answers to the question on hand. Individual-On this level, the book examines how far people will go to preserve a life close to them. To Kaladin, his brother's life was worth enlisting in the army. Kaladin followed his brother Tien into military service in order to protect him. This is a direct parallel to Shallan, who aims to steal Jasnah's Soulcaster in order to save the remaining family she has. Both characters are forced into horrible things to protect the ones they love. Then there is the Vengeance Pact. An entire kingdom is going to war to avenge the death of a single man. On the other side, there are characters willing to sacrifice a life to prevent horrible things. The Listeners assassinate King Gavilar to prevent him from bringing back the Voidbringers, knowing very well a bloody war will follow. The Heralds condemn Taln to eternal torture so that they might walk free. Dalinar falls on this side as well. He decides that Elhokar is too weak to sit on the throne, and shoulders him aside. He does not take Elhokar's life, but instead the dignity associated with it. In addition, Dalinar begins to question the Vengeance Pact. Was the life of his brother really worth all of this fighting and bloodshed? Nale strikes down burgeoning Radiants, believing he is stopping a Desolation. Amaram murders Kaladin's squad, believing the Shards will do the most good in his hands. How far will you go to save a life? How dire do the consequences need to be before you take one? These questions tie back into the concept of the value of life, and once again, many different answers are proposed. The Vengeance Pact is wrong, and yet what Nale is doing is also wrong. How much should we value our loved ones? Personal-How much do we value our own lives? This is a tough one. There is a strong motif of suicide throughout the books. The vision of Kaladin standing at the edge of a chasm is one that has haunted his character arc ever since. He was willing to proclaim his life meaningless, not worth the pain it brings. Later, Kaladin becomes a symbol to his fellow bridgemen. His life becomes more once he survives the highstorm. By standing for something greater, his life gains value. Shallan, when poisoned by Kabsal, reveals the Soulcaster in order to save her own life. Elhokar makes up assassination attempts in order to convince Dalinar that his life matters and he is in danger. Dalinar, struggling with hallucinations, questions whether or not he is worthy to still lead. The doubt Dalinar feels in himself seeps through much of his viewpoints in this book, he is willing to step aside, devaluing his life in for the betterment of others. Then there is Szeth. The Assassin in White does not commit mass murder because of some sort of magical bond, but simply does so because of his ideals. Szeth values his view on life enough to slaughter hundreds in the name of it. What is the value of a human life? Its a hard question. To provide only one answer would be a disservice to the depth the question demands. The Way of Kings gives many many answers. And the thing that makes this book so powerful for me is that the answers make sense. I do not agree with all of them, but when I'm given context into the characters, I can sympathize with the choices they make. And thats what reading Stormlight does. I may not always find answers, but I do find compassion. I'll be back later with deep dives into Words of Radiance and Oathbringer. Until then, let me know what you think.
  9. I will retract my statement that all Radiants are broken. However I still think its really interesting that becoming a Knight is about accepting pain, and its often a much more difficult path.
  10. As we learn more and more about the war between Radiants and Voidbringers, we begin to see a sort of parallel arms race type thing. Surgebinding vs Voidbinding, Fused vs Heralds, Shardblades vs Thunderclasts, the list of mirrored structures goes on. Now in Oathbringer, we learn about Odium's main campaign pitch. He can take away your pain. This offer made me think. In almost a religious sort of sense, followers of Odium are rewarded for their service with removal of their pain. What do followers of Honor receive? Let's get into Radiant oaths. There are five of them, no matter the order, and they're often viewed as a sort of ladder, a 5 step program to becoming whole. And why is this tempting? Radiants are, as a rule, broken people. They seek fulfillment in pursuit of a higher cause. However, this is not the same offer as Odium. In fact, I see it as the opposite. As Radiants further their oaths, they expose themselves to more pain. Swearing oaths has provided characters with answers, with solutions to problems. However, swearing oaths has never spared a Radiant from pain. Being a follower of Odium means you are set free from pain. Being a Knight Radiant means you push yourself deeper into it. Now what do I mean by pain? I mean the guilt Dalinar faces as he relives The Rift. I mean the anguish in Kaladin's heart after seeing his men die. I mean the world-shattering trauma Shallan bears after murdering her parents. Becoming Radiant did not alleviate these pains, rather, it exacerbated them. Dalinar swore an oath to take responsibility for his war crimes, he must now face his actions with only himself to blame. Shallan has to confront herself about what she has done, living with her truth instead of suppressing it. And Kaladin. Kaladin is the strongest example of oaths bringing pain. It would have been easier to remain selfish, but Kaladin swore to protect others. It would have been simpler to allow for Elhokar to die, but Kaladin swore to protect even those he hates. And now, Kaladin is faced with the realization that he cannot protect everyone. If Kaladin swears his Fourth Ideal, he will not find peace. He will only find more sorrow. Sorrow in admitting to himself that even with all his abilities, he is not enough. The Fourth Ideal does not bring the peace of accepting you can't be infallible, it brings the guilt of knowing you're skills are insufficient to save the people you love. So why become a Radiant? The farther you go, the more pain you receive. You have to confront your darkest self, and once you're there, you don't move on, you don't get to forget. You must move forward, accepting more pain and more responsibility all while staring your darkest demons straight in the face. Being a Radiant makes the pain worse, but here's the thing- "Ten spears go to battle, all but one shatter. Did the war forge the spear that remains? No. The war identified the spear that would not break" Accept your pain, move forward, and you'll get stronger. With Odium, you can find peace, that's what makes his offer so potent. But swear an oath, become a Knight, and you'll become something new. Through pain, you will become Radiant. -Spinner
  11. I absolutely love the vision of Kaladin just walking away. Wit chilling with Moash would also be really funny. I could definitely see Brandon creating the most hateable character imaginable and then letting him stick around for the rest of the cosmere.
  12. The Rysn interlude will be from Chiri-Chiri's perspective.
  13. Moash's fall from grace has been such a protracted thing that it would be a waste to have him get redeemed. I absolutely love him as a villain and I'd hate to lose him in any way other than in an incredible climactic battle with Kaladin.
  14. I love this. Somehow every minute detail in these 1200 page books has some sort of importance. I really like the idea that the Nightwatcher changed Dalinar's order.