kaladin22

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  1. A Detailed Theory on the Identity of Odium's Champion TL;DR: It's Ishar. First off, let's get this out of the way. Why I don't think Moash is the champion. Odium chose Dalinar as his champion due to his fearsome prowess on the battlefield. Moash on the other hand, grew up as a caravan worker and picked up the spear for the first time under Kaladin's tutelage in the chasms. You'd ideally want the best of Odium's to become his champion and Moash is nowhere near that even with a newly bonded Honorblade. Meanwhile, Dalinar's side has so many deadly fighters. Szeth: trained to use all ten Surges and capable of killing multiple Shardbearers at once; Kaladin: master spearman; Adolin: master duelist; Jasnah: who can kill without even a touch; all of whom have been training for years. It'll hardly be a fair contest. Furthermore, Moash's role is to provide a perspective into what would drive a human to side with the Voidbringers. It has occurred in prior Desolations and thus a human fighting for the Voidbringers does not make Moash a champion to be. And then there's this: Moash is aware that humans are invaders on Roshar. We saw how troubled Bridge Four became when they learned about this in Oathbringer. I'm certain that we're going to see more humans side with the Voidbringers in the upcoming books. That Moash did it first does not make it unique. Hell, there are 26 countries on Roshar: Azir, Jah Keved, Thaylenah, Shinovar, Iri, Rira etc and nobody outside a handful in Alethkar are even aware Moash exists. If Moash and Kaladin were indeed set up to become champions of their respective sides, we'd ideally have them start off on opposite ends of the world and have their character arcs grow towards each other. Instead we have Kaladin and Moash, both from the same kingdom, under the same highprince, in the same bridge crew and with a personal history between them, now fighting over the fate of all of Roshar? It's just doesn't make sense. There's simply not enough depth to make Moash a compelling villain threatening the entire human civilization in Book 5. As we saw at the end of Oathbringer, the war has already affected several countries in Roshar; thus it only makes sense that all nations have a stake in the conflict. And that leads me perfectly to my next point: Who among the handful of people are known to all of Roshar and wield immense power? Why do I suspect the Heralds? We have begun seeing similar occurrences being mirrored on both sides of the war. Humans have begun to side with Odium; singers have begun to side with the Radiants. The Thrill, a Splinter from Odium's side is captured; Jezrien, a cognitive shadow from Honor's side is killed. Sja-Anat, a Splinter from Odium's side wants to betray him and join the Radiants; A Herald, a cognitive shadow from Honor's side has betrayed him and joined Odium. Or as the epigraph from Words Of Radiance cleverly alludes: The Heralds are incredibly weak after centuries of torture and I doubt they'd offer any resistance if Odium offered them the same deal he did to Dalinar: Give me your pain and in return, serve me. Narrowing down our list of suspects. Why do I suspect Ishar? Here's a detailed timeline of Ishar's activities with relevant quotes. Note that there's one section below which is pure speculation and I have called it out as such but it ties together several disparate plot lines neatly. Aharietiam - 4500 years ago Ishar agreed to serve Odium even before Aharietiam. He is the who convinced the Heralds to abandon the Oathpact after a Desolation where only Taln died in the course of battle. Ishar suggested that one person may be enough to keep the following Desolations at bay. And so, the nine agreed to abandon the Oathpact. From the prelude of The Way of Kings: Ishar is the only Herald who survived the Desolations with his mind intact. From Oathbringer: Speculation Start I suspect Ishar assumed Taln being the sole Herald would not hold out for long and decided to wait it out until Taln broke. However, Taln's iron will over the centuries held strong and Ishar grew increasingly frustrated and instigated the False Desolation. False Desolation and Recreance - 2000 years ago The False Desolation is key to understanding the events which lead to the Recreance. Here is a quote from Coppermind: Look at the last paragraph (highlighted in bold) above. Ba-Ado-Mishram somehow managed to Connect with a vast number of singers. Next, here's a quote from the Stormfather to Dalinar: Next up, here's a quote regarding the Dawnshards: Putting these quotes together, it's very likely that Ishar used a Dawnshard to bind / Connect with a Voidish entity: Ba-Ado-Mishram. Furthermore, only a Herald is capable of wielding Connection on a planet scale and bind with a vast number of minds. However Melishi, the sole Radiant Bondsmith of the era captured Ba-Ado-Mishram and due to the unnatural nature of the Connection, the capture led to all Connected singers losing their Identity. Quoted from Coppermind: I must take a moment to gush about the divine foreshadowing here. In the novella Edgedancer, we are introduced to the country of Tashikk. It is named after whom the Tashikki worship: Tashi. Here's a quote about Tashi from Coppermind: It is pretty clear that Tashi (the Binder of the World) is none other than Ishar. On Roshar, the character h is often used as a substitute for any or no character. Let's drop the h from Tashi to obtain Tasi. Now, let's revisit an earlier quote but this time look closely at the source: Rearrange the characters of the word ista; what do we get? Speculation End Now, there's one other significant event which ties into the Recreance: Nale's third ideal as a Skybreaker was to follow the word of Ishar. Nale seems incapable of making his own decisions and keeps visiting Ishar to seek guidance. Supporting quote from Edgedancer: Another one: From Oathbringer: Ishar is also the who sets Nale up on his mission to kill all budding Knights. Nale's a Skybreaker of the fifth ideal. He is the law. Hence all Skybreakers simply continued following Nale's will, and by extension, Ishar's will. Hierocracy - 500 years ago Ishar's next attempt at seizing power came during the Hierocracy, by which he had started wearing the guise of a God priest. Here's a very interesting quote, from The Way Of Kings: Here's another quote from Coppermind: Ishar almost certainly headed the Hierocracy and commanded his priests to conquer the world and control all people. He also did not want knowledge of the Radiants and Shadesmar to spread and thus rewrote significant portions of books and knowledge. However it was sometime during this time, a young conqueror from Alethkar, Sadees the Sunmaker began an ambitious quest to conquer all of Roshar. I'm also certain that the Sunmaker saw the same visions as Dalinar did from the Stormfather. Relevant quote: Sadees, being a ruthless warrior attempted to "unite them" via conquest and put down the Hierocracy. For reasons unknown, he was poisoned soon after, leading to his death. I suspect involvement by the Ghostbloods, as poison seems to be their MO: Kabsal attempts to poison Jasnah; Iyatil attempts to poison Amaram through a blow-dart. Present Day As the God Priest of Tukar, Ishar has been engaged in the Eighty's War against Emul for control of the city of Sesemalex Dar. Here's evidence of Voidspren mysteriously appearing near Tukar: Here's some very subtle foreshadowing that Odium's forces are lead by a "head ardent" aka God Priest. And finally, Book Five was supposed to Dalinar's book, ie the Bondsmiths' book, before Sanderson switched it to Book Three. The final showdown in Book Five will be Dalinar, the Radiant Bondsmith going head to head against Ishar, the Herald of Bondsmiths, with both dueling and influencing Connection on a vast scale.
  2. TL;DR: It's Ishar. First off, let's get this out of the way. Why Moash cannot be the champion. As we can see, Odium chose Dalinar as his champion due to his fearsome prowess on the battlefield. Moash on the other hand, grew up as a caravan worker and picked up the spear for the first time under Kaladin's tutelage in the chasms. You'd ideally want the best of Odium's to become his champion and Moash is nowhere near that even with a newly bonded Honorblade. Meanwhile, Dalinar's side has so many deadly fighters. Szeth: trained to use all ten Surges and capable of killing multiple Shardbearers at once; Kaladin: master spearman; Adolin: master duelist; Jasnah: who can kill without even a touch; all of whom have been training for years. It'll hardly be a fair contest. Furthermore, Moash's role is to provide a perspective into what would drive a human to side with the Voidbringers. It has occurred in prior Desolations and thus a human fighting for the Voidbringers does not make Moash a champion to be. And then there's this: Moash is aware that humans are invaders on Roshar. We saw how troubled Bridge Four became when they learned about this in OB. I'm certain that we're going to see more humans side with the Voidbringers in the upcoming books. That Moash did it first does not make it special or unique. Hell, there are 26 countries on Roshar: Azir, Jah Keved, Thaylenah, Shinovar, Iri, Rira etc and nobody outside a handful in Alethkar are even aware Moash exists. Moash has just replaced Amaram as Kaladin's foil. Kaladin and Moash, two members from the same bridge crew in an Alethi Highprince's army, and with a history between them, fighting over the fate of all of Roshar? Nope. There's simply not enough depth to make Moash a compelling endgame villain threatening the entire human civilization in Book 5. The epic conflict brewing will deeply affect all of Roshar and thus it only makes sense that all the nations have a stake in the conflict. And that leads me perfectly to my next point: Who among the handful of people are known to all of Roshar and wield immense power? Why do I suspect the Heralds? Looking at the state of the war, we see similar occurrences being mirrored on both sides. Humans have begun to side with Odium; singers have begun to side with the Radiants. The Thrill, a cognitive shadow from Odium's side is captured; Jezrien, a cognitive shadow from Honor's side is killed. Sja-Anat, a cognitive shadow from Odium's side wants to betray him and join the Radiants; A Herald, a cognitive shadow from Honor's side has betrayed him and joined Odium. Or as the epigraph from Words Of Radiance, Chapter 86 says: The Heralds are incredibly weak after centuries of torture and I doubt they'd offer any resistance if Odium offered them the same deal he did to Dalinar: Give me your pain and in return, serve me. Narrowing down our list of suspects. Why do I suspect Ishar? Here's a detailed timeline of Ishar's activities with relevant quotes. Note that there's one section below which is pure speculation and I have called it out as such but it ties together several disparate plot lines neatly. Aharietiam - 4500 years ago Ishar agreed to serve Odium even before Aharietiam. He is the one who convinced the Heralds to abandon the Oathpact after a Desolation where only Taln died in the course of battle. Ishar suggested that one person may be enough to keep the following Desolations at bay. And so, the nine agreed to abandon the Oathpact. From the prelude of The Way of Kings: Ishar is the only Herald who survived the Desolations with his mind intact. From Oathbringer: Speculation Start I suspect Ishar assumed Taln being the sole Herald would not hold out for long and decided to wait it out until Taln broke. However, Taln's iron will over the centuries held strong and Ishar grew increasingly frustrated and instigated the False Desolation. False Desolation and Recreance - 2000 years ago The False Desolation is key to understanding the events which lead to the Recreance. Here is a quote from Coppermind: Look at the last paragraph (highlighted in bold) above. Ba-Ado-Mishram somehow managed to Connect with vast majority of the singers. Next, here's a quote from the Stormfather to Dalinar: Next up, here's a quote regarding the Dawnshards: Putting these quotes together, it's very likely that Ishar used a Dawnshard and Ba-Ado-Mishram to Connect with the vast majority of the singers and provide them Voidlight and forms of power. However Melishi, the sole Radiant Bondsmith of the era captured Ba-Ado-Mishram and due to the unnatural nature of the Connection, the capture of Ba-Ado-Mishram lead to all Connected singers losing their Identity. Quoted from Coppermind: Speculation End Now, there's one other significant event which ties into the Recreance: Nale's third ideal as a Skybreaker was to follow the word of Ishar. Nale seems incapable of making his own decisions and keeps visiting Ishar to seek guidance. Supporting quote from Edgedancer: Another one: From Oathbringer: Ishar is also the who sets Nale up on his mission to kill all budding Knights. Nale's a Skybreaker of the fifth ideal. He is the law. Hence all Skybreakers simply continued following Nale's will, and by extension, Ishar's will. Hierocracy - 500 years ago Ishar's next attempt at seizing power came during the Hierocracy, by which he had started wearing the guise of a God priest. Here's a very interesting quote, from The Way Of Kings: Here's another quote from Coppermind: Ishar almost certainly headed the Hierocracy and commanded his priests to conquer the world and control all people. He also did not want knowledge of the Radiants and Shadesmar to spread and thus rewrote significant portions of books and knowledge. However it was sometime during this time, a conqueror from Alethkar, Sadees the Sunmaker began an ambitious quest to conquer all of Roshar. I'm also certain that the Sunmaker saw the same visions as Dalinar did from the Stormfather. Relevant quote: Sadees, being a ruthless warrior attempted to "unite them" via conquest and put down the Hierocracy. For reasons unknown, he was poisoned soon after, leading to his death. I suspect involvement by the Ghostbloods, as poison seems to be their MO. Kabsal attempts to poison Jasnah, Iyatil attempts to poison Amaram through a blow-dart. Present Day As the God Priest of Tukar, Ishar has been engaged in the Eighty's War against Emul for control of the city of Sesemalex Dar. Here's evidence of Voidspren mysteriously appearing near Tukar: Here's some very subtle foreshadowing that Odium's forces are lead by a "head ardent" aka God Priest. And finally, Book Five was supposed to Dalinar's book before Sanderson switched it to Book Three. The final showdown in Book Five will be Dalinar, the Radiant Bondsmith going head to head against Ishar, the Herald of Bondsmiths, with both dueling and influencing Connection on a vast scale. Feel free to poke holes! Eager to hear what the community thinks