Use the Falchion

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  1. I think it's the opposite. What I heard Brandon say when talking about definitive endings is that he regrets teasing a sequel that's now been promised, because now he's obligated to write it but the wait hurts the fans (and also haunts him). He's apologizing for the long wait as well as the sequel hook. Outside of just that, Brandon's pretty open on what books he plans on giving us versus what books he'll give us if he has time; The Atzlanian falls in the first category, but it's not a major priority, so it's hard to deal with. Also, if it's any consolation, in the State of the Sanderson 2020 post, the user Inkthinker on Reddit (I can't remember if that's Isaac's username or Ben McSweeney's username...I think it's the former) notes that Brandon may try to squeeze in The Atzlanian during his time to write Mistborn Era 3, if Brandon feels like he needs a break.
  2. From roughly 4:30-7:30, Brandon and Dan talk about Dark One: Forgotten. It isn't too new of information, but it's being worked on. For those who don't know, DO:F is a(n audio) novella that is a prequel to the main story, and is framed like six episodes of a True Crimes podcast in-world, covering the capture of the serial killer from said story.
  3. When you debate with yourself the perfect year for Mistborn movie to come out in, and then are sad that you have no one else to talk to about it...because, yeah, your friends are Fans, but they're not fanatical like you...
  4. Post-RoW, and in the back five books, I could see Kaladin and Lift being a thing, but also not really, if that makes sense. There's a theory that Cultivation has been working to find new replacements for the Shards - Taravangian for Odium, Dalinar for Honor, and Lift for herself. But, I also think either Kaladin will become Honor, or Kaladin will become a Bondsmith. Or both.* Anyways, having Kaladin and Lift become Honor and Cultivation, and become a couple like the holders before them would be pretty cute. But I'm not sure that would be healthy for either of them. Yes, Kaladin is in a FAR healthier place than before, but I don't think his struggle with letting people go will ever fully go away, even if it's their choice. Meanwhile, Lift isn't someone who really likes being tied down, so I can't see her sticking around Kaladin for the long-run. Other than them: Szeth and Azure - Azure has been in shoes similar to Szeth's and I think he could learn what it means to be free but still hold an internal code from her. Everyone in Mistborn is already paired up for the most part, but maybe in Era 3 I could see that Terriswoman hacker/programmer hitting it off with one of Rock's kids. Or something like that. *A crackpot theory formed in my mind last night where the Stormfather more or less dies, and Syl has to take over his role, since she's the last of the "elder" Honorspren.
  5. Heh, thanks! No problem. That's part of the fun of having differing theories. No problem! I'll warn you now though, it's a bit messy. To me, Gavinor Taravangian's most sensible choice for a Champion...and his ultimate downfall. Taravangian would see it as I explained above. Dalinar wouldn't be able to give in and kill Gavinor because his Oaths, his direct Connection to Honor (and his own past trauma) wouldn't allow him to. Taravangian thinks he has this in the bag - either Dalinar gives up and he's free, Dalinar refuses to fight and there's a stalemate and he's free, or Dalinar offers himself up to Gavinor to kill and Odium wins.* But what Taravangian doesn't account for - what even Rayse himself didn't expect - is for the fact that Dalinar isn't your everyday Bondsmith. He's a Bondsmith Unchained, not unlike Ishar. Dalinar can play with Connection, as evidenced in his intervention with Kaladin. That's where I think this is all going. I think Dalinar is going to take the Connection of Odium's Champion upon himself while tossing his Connection as Honor's Champion to someone else (either Szeth or Taln), and possibly his bond to the Stormfather to a third person (most likely Kaladin IMO). Dalinar then sacrifices himself, and things go haywire from there. This makes sense in terms of the story too. Dalinar has always been a (Black)thorn in Taravangian's side. Taravangian kept sending Szeth after Dalinar in order to have him killed, since he wouldn't become the Blackthorn and be an ally. But all it did (no thanks to Moash and Graves) was result in Kaladin swearing the Third Ideal. From Words of Radiance Chapter 84, "The One Who Saves." In Oathbringer, Taravangian plots to take over the Coalition from Dalinar, first by revealing Dalinar's position as High-King, and then by revealing secrets about the Voidbringers. (I think there's a third plot too, but I can't remember at the moment.) From Oathbringer Chapter 121, "Ideals." Chapter 122, "A Debt Repaid," discusses this in greater detail when Taravangian and Odium talk. Dalinar was supposed to fall at Thaylen Fields, not Ascend and still lead the Coalition. Taravangian always seems to think that he can get the better of Dalinar, but then either Dalinar or someone around Dalinar does something to change the game. I don't see that pattern stopping in this final book. So yes, Odium loses, BUT Dalinar wasn't his chosen what happens? A lot of things could happen, but I think that Odium will gain some wiggle room and either escape or make a deadly blow to the planet/system that will eventually cause it to weaken so that he can escape later on, and causing the primary conflict for the next arc. (I have more theories about this, but this isn't the thread for them.) (Another potential outcome is that since Dalinar wasn't chosen, the rules of the Contest are more or less broken, and Odium is free.) From a meta-perspective, it feels like something weird almost has to happen. Book 5 is the smallest book to date, Sanderson has a LOT of storylines to wrap up in ten days. That's not a lot of time. So either he wraps them all up in ten days, does a few more days for denouements and epilogues, and the book is over. Or he could wrap up the Contest of Champions in ten days, have things go off the rails, and then spend the rest of the book dealing with that and whatever true finale will come. Still a third outcome is that Odium himself is splintered, with El and possibly Gavilar grabbing those pieces and doing their own things will them.** (A likely outcome that doesn't really counter my own theories, but who knows.) IMO, the problem with nearly any victory for Odium in a straight-up duel is that it's not a satisfying conclusion, something Brandon is actively trying to achieve. The problem with Odium escaping and going to disrupt other planets at this time is that it makes it feel like the Stormlight Archive is necessary to understand those later books, or that you need those other books to finish the story. I have friends who don't read other Cosmere books, and they'd feel left out or cheated if they're told "now you have to understand the Cosmere to get the end of Odium's story." Despite the books becoming far more Cosmere-heavy, Sanderson still wants the series to be read separately until Mistborn Era 4 I believe. So yeah, Odium loses, but does so in a way that sets up our villains and main conflict for the second half, while also not letting our heroes win the way they wanted to. *Which would technically be breaking a potential promise to Gavinor, so he may be injured by that...assuming he made a lasting promise in the first place. **And now I'm picturing Gavilar leading misguided Rosharan forces vs Hoid or whoever would lead Scadrian forces in Mistborn Era 4.
  6. Up until Gavilar started receiving visions, that's a reasonable assumption. But it was when Gavilar started receiving visions that he sort of went...down the rabbit-hole, so to speak. And we know that Nahel Bonds seem to help cancel out the Thrill. Dalinar feels less of it after receiving the visions, and Kaladin doesn't feel it at all. If Gavilar was going to escape Rayse-Odium's notice, then it would be during those years.
  7. For the back five books and shenanigans there. Gavilar's search for immortality and potentially trying to become like a Herald (and maybe Rosharans leaving Roshar) would tie in nicely with how the Heralds became what they are (and how the Ashynites came to Roshar in the first place). And which character has been working on a biography of Gavilar who also has a book in the second half? Jasnah. That's where we disagree, it seems. To me, I just can't see the value of Gavilar being anywhere close to a challenge to Dalinar in any way. Gavilar represents both Dalinar's idealistic and flawed view of the past in his brother-worship, as well as his flaws and sins in their conquering of Alethkar. Gavilar coming back and facing off against Dalinar isn't a philosophical or moral conundrum either - Gavilar is bad because he willing choose Odium for his own personal gains, and doesn't have the excuse of naivety or ignorance that other potential Champions might claim. The problem here is that Dalinar no longer feels that guilt. From Words of Radiance Chapter 85, "Swallowed by the Sky" Gavinor on the other hand...I'm pretty sure there's a scene in RoW where Dailnar is with Gavinor but thinks about how much of Adolin and Renarin's childhood he missed. Gavinor represents Dalinar's regrets, with Evi, Adolin, Renarin, and even Elhokar. And from a meta-perspective, I think Gavinor works far better. Book 5 was going to be Dalinar's book originally. One of the big moments in Dalinar's past was looking like he killed a child in cold-blood...and then revealing that he didn't...only for that to lead to even further tragedy. To me, it feels as if Brandon's intent was to parallel that storyline with Dalinar once again being asked to kill a child in good blood, but this time for the "greater good." The first time is used to fake us out and make us hate Dalinar, but the second time is used to make us want him to do something we were horrified about earlier in the book. (And expose our own hypocrisy along the way...which Dalinar would then answer by refusing to bend, and forging his own path.) If Gavilar is Odium's Champion, and Dalinar's flashbacks were in Book 5, sure, it could work. Dalinar would have this idealistic view of this brother, only to find himself "breaking" a vow he made to him about a kingdom for the greater good. But that doesn't feel as narratively potent to me. Nor does it feel like there are any cathartic third options. It just feels like Cain vs Abel. I certainly think it will carry through, but again, I disagree about the fact that it won't play out here.* To me, it makes all too much sense, and is all too easy to do - Moash/Vyre is a broken tool now. He's failed multiple times to kill or dissuade Kaladin, and is now blinded. Taravangian wants to either win or tie the duel (probably tie, but I'm not entirely sure), but more importantly, he needs to make sure he doesn't lose. The best thing to do to ensure that is to prey upon his enemy's moral obligations, much like what Moash did to Kaladin at the beginning of RoW. That requires an innocent person to be chosen...and Taravangian isn't above using innocent people for his cause - his hospitals prove that. But you need extra safeguards. What if your enemies are willing to send someone like Szeth to do their dirty work, or are able to live with the guilt "for the greater good" ala Jasnah? Then you send someone you know they won't kill - one of their own that they don't feel conflicted about. And that person has a bone to pick with a defunct soldier of yours? I call that an upgrade. Szeth won't kill Gavinor - Navani wouldn't let him, even if Dalinar would. (And he wouldn't.) Jasnah isn't going to kill Gavinor. She set up assassins to kill Asuedan, yes, but she doesn't kill her own blood. She mourned for Gavilar, she hugged and refused to kill Renarin - she isn't going to kill Gavinor. But how do you convince Gavinor to side with you outside of this? You promise Gavinor his kingdom (technically true), you give him the chance to bring peace (technically true), and you give him the chance at revenge. If you want to make it even worse, appear as a "friend of your grandfather's in a special bind that only you can solve. I'm not bad - I took out the bad guy! - but I have to play by his rules. Can you help me end the game? Can you be my hero? My Champion?" Besides, Odium isn't above playing the "kind grandfather" card. Rayse played it, and Taravangian actually was a grandfather, so I could see him playing that incredibly easily. Heck, if you predict that Dalinar isn't even going to fight his own grand-nephew/step-grandson, then you can say "and you won't even have to fight anyone" and be proven technically correct. Yeah, El is definitely back-half material. Imagine how Dalinar would struggle if placed in a position where he’s reunited with his brother but then forced to fight him and potentially break this pledge. I really don't see it as breaking a pledge though. Dalinar isn't fighting to be the king of Alethkar, he's fighting to win his kingdom back and then hand it over to Jasnah (and later Gavinor). To me, the promise was honored in Gavilar's first life. There are no lines about carrying it on after his death. (And in a way, Dalinar forsook that promise when taking power from Elhokar in the first two books.) *In my head, in the back half, Gavinor would have to confront his own guilt over the actions in Book 5, as both a victim and survivor, as well as his anger at Moash for being the same. But he can't get to the place where he forgives Moash (if he does) if he doesn't do something to get there. Becoming Odium's Champion would certainly be something!
  8. I think the question more important than "is Gavilar alive" is "would Dalinar fight and ultimately kill Gavilar if Gavilar did come back?" And I think the answer to the latter is "yes." Not only would he do it for Navani's honor if she told him even half of what was implied (and for the honor and memory of Elhokar), but also because I don't think it'd be breaking any Oaths. Gavilar is far from innocent, and Dalinar isn't fighting to become king of Alethkar, so no personal promises get in the way. In terms of fighting capabilities, I'm pretty sure Dalinar would be the winner there too. ...although with Cognitive Shadows, things could get pretty sticky... But would Gavilar side with Odium? Absolutely, if it meant accomplishing his goals. But I still don't think his appearance would net the results Odium currently wants. I think Odium either needs to win or cause Dalinar to do something that would break the rules in order to get the desired results, and that screams moral conundrum to me. Gavilar, especially after RoW, doesn't feel like he'd cause too much of a moral conundrum.
  9. While I'm now thinking that Gavilar is probably a Cognitive Shadow somewhere, I'm still not convinced he'll be Odium's Champion. Too late for what indeed!? My personal guess is that Gavilar may have been a personal acquaintance of Thaidakar, and took something from him - that Gavilar betrayed Thaidakar. (Breaths that were going to Thaidakar?)
  10. Yeah I don't blame Brandon for the end-result too much - he took a troublesome situation and turned it into the best thing he could. But I feel like Brandon would be playing with fire if he did something similar, ala Odium's Champion. I agree with you on El being a back half character. EDIT: Changed "El" to "Brandon"
  11. Yup. To be fair, maybe Sanderson learned how to plan to implement El correctly to avoid that situation, but I'm still not sure one book is enough time for that type of villain.
  12. El is going to do something important, but I don't think he'll be the champion. That feels too much like a certain thing that happened in WoT's final book. Said thing was cool, but it also felt a little out of nowhere. Gavinor still makes the most sense for me.
  13. We just have to remember that when he says "exciting and cool announcements" he means for him. Sigh...
  14. Brandon just announced it in this week's update - it's a podcast.
  15. ...I was just thinking that it maybe an interesting way for a Kaladin/Leshwi/Syl OT3 or something of the sorts, but y'all took it to realmatics! On a more serious note, I was thinking that it may be useful for Leshwi and the four other Fused to purge Odium from their soul without risking anything else. Almost like a detox. They bond a spren that is both willing and not at risk (because they have a Nahel Bond with someone else), and can now use Stormlight and Voidlight...and probably Warlight. So they can then purge the Voidlight and other forms of Odium from their soul in successive stages...theoretically. I'm not actually sure if that would work. I think it only worked for Venli since Timbre captured the Voidspren in her gemheart. But that was the impetus of the question - what happens to a Radiant Spren that goes into the gemheart of one so Invested as a Fused? Culturally, I think it'd be cool to see Radiant Pairs between the two species ala the Parshendi War Pairs from the first two books. Implying that we aren't there already - we've got screaming out things to power up, fights in the sky, people returning from the dead, and actual level ups. Not to mention anime-esque multi-colored hair. We're already Stormlightball Z, and I can't wait for the next episode.