Shawn Hargreaves

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About Shawn Hargreaves

  1. Prediction: M-Bot's obsession with mushrooms is the Vin's Earring of the Skyward series. A seemingly unimportant (yet frequently mentioned!) bit of characterization, which eventually turns out to be a massive clue hiding in plain sight the whole time. We're supposed to accept that a software glitch led M-Bot to misinterpret the command "lay low and take stock" as "obsessively catalog the local mushroom species", but I bet that's just his attempt to rationalize a behavior which, prior to his memory loss, originally had some other motivation. I'm looking forward to a future revelation being followed by M-Bot saying something like "Why are you all acting so surprised? Glitchy humans. I told you it was important to understand fungus biology way back when we first met..." Further more tentative prediction: some kind of human/fungal symbiosis is the source of cyto abilities (hence why understanding the mushrooms is important). We have nothing concrete so far about where these powers come from. Gran-Gran -> Chaser -> Spensa makes it seem hereditary, but that's never explicitly confirmed, and in Defending Elysium this seemed more like some kind of scientific research (bioengineered?) discovery. After Spensa figures this out, she'll be able to share these powers with her entire flight. Also, it would be hilarious if Brandon really did write a story in which mind expanding powers are gained by eating the right kind of mushroom :-)
  2. Unless Brandon feels he has done so much of the whole hidden secret plot twist thing that we'll all be expecting it this time, so the giant surprise is that there is no secret at all and everything is in fact exactly as it appears to the most superficial first glance!
  3. If I'm right, then she is wrong :-) Or at least partially confused: my guess is that most of her theory is correct, but she will turn out to have misinterpreted at least one key detail that will flip everything on its head. I believe this for two reasons: This is Brandon! We know that the man enjoys a good surprise :-) Not one of his books to date has been without at least one significant "OMG, everything I thought I knew was going on is now totally backward" moment. And we know this is an epic, order of magnitude larger than anything he has written to date. It just doesn't make sense that what we think we know at the end of book 1 will turn out to be accurate by the end of book 10. Just consider how many twists still lay in store 1/10 of the way through the Mistborn series, which was only 30% of the way through Final Empire! Secondly, we know that honor is more than just an abstract ideal in this world. It has a very direct and real connection to a shard, and acting honorably produces tangible changes in power and abilities. I just don't buy that there can be any such concept as a "lawful evil" character in such a world, so if the Parshendi are consistently seen to act honorably, I believe that means they truly are honorable. But then why the reluctance to kill Dalinar, and what does the "I have found you ate last" quote mean? That is one of the few facts we know for sure :-)
  4. 'tis true, the fact that Gavilar was pursuing Way of Kings is a powerful counterargument :-) There's just so much we don't know about those early events, though, I'm not ready to discard this theory just yet. What if Gavilar was following the Way of Kings, but was not the right person to follow it? Something wrong with him, some flaw in his personality, some way that Odium had managed to influence him, meant he needed to be removed so that Dalinar could follow this path instead? Or the other way around: what if Gavilar was the right person to do this and Dalinar the flawed one, and the Parshendi removed Gavilar for malicious reasons? (I don't really buy that thought - there is far too much evidence of the Parshendi being honorable)
  5. This is mostly speculation, but I figure I should post it in search of "told you so" bragging rights when book 2 or 3 proves me right :-) Some disconnected facts: It was Dalinar, not Gavilar, who first made contact with the Parshendi. Navani: "Gavilar was not the man everyone thought him to be. I was fond of him, but he---" In the final battle, when the Parshendi Shardbearer has Dalinar disarmed and at his mercy, instead of finishing him off he leans down and says "It is you. I have found you at last." Then Kaladin interrupts, so we never find out where this was going. Theory: the Parshendi made their initial judgement of the Alethi after meeting Dalinar, not Gavilar (thanks to language and cultural barriers, perhaps they were even confused enough to think Dalinar was in charge), and it was on this basis they decided to sign the treaty. But there was something seriously wrong with Gavilar, who had been corrupted by Odium via the Thrill, and the Parshendi knew it. They killed Gavilar to remove him from power and make way for Dalinar (again cultural barriers: they didn't understand how inheritance would leave Elhokar in charge instead). Since then, their strange conduct of the war (fighting a holding pattern, defending their turf but only bringing matching size armies, not chasing retreating armies or making any kind of attempt to get far ahead enough to end the conflict) was all about trying to get in touch with Dalinar again. And we would have found out why, if it wasn't for that pesky spearman!
  6. I like this theory a lot. I was thinking along similar lines about the use of color, how easily forgettable and seemingly peripheral to the magic it is, yet it would be unlike Brandon to include something that wasn't absolutely necessary and there for good reason! I hadn't put together that each magic system could have three parts, but this feels right to me and matches what we know about the three realms. I do not agree about touching being the physical component on Roshar, though. Prior to reading this thread, I was thinking about the similarities between metal, color, and Stormlight: - All commonly exist in the world, but are inert until activated by a magic user. - All are consumed when magic is performed. - Magic cannot be done without them. Vin with no metal, Vasher with no color, or Szeth with no Stormlight, are all equally helpless. - All can be stored in some way, and are frequently carried around by magic users. Metal in vials or inside the body, Awakeners wearing colorful scarves, Stormlight captured in gemstones or (rarely and imperfectly) inside the body. I'm less clear on this, but I also see parallels between Breath and spren. Intangible things, somehow important in activating magic, not themselves sentient but somehow linked to sentience or enhance it in some way. The way all spren are identical and have no memories, but then Syl develops a unique personality after becoming attached to Kaladin, reminds me of how Breath can be transferred between people, but it does not transfer specific memories or abilities while doing so (all Breaths are fundamentally alike, in the same way as all spren?) I don't feel like we understand enough about spren to judge if this is a true similarity, but will be interested to keep it in mind as we learn more.