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About thorongil

  • Birthday 07/17/1986

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  1. Great episode (as always), thanks for getting Brandon on there and for asking him so much interesting stuff.
  2. If I recall correctly I compared Oathbringer to a good red wine back in 2017 in that it just keeps getting better and better. Now this book is more like I imagine Rock's famous stew. It is heart-warming, firmly establishes a sense of community (with different peoples and characters) but boy its aftermath is taxing on the stomach. I really wanted to to go slow and easy on RoW and I actually managed to in the beginning. Courtesy of the curious intricacies of international shipping in 2020 I actually had the book in my hands four days prior to release. I then read books one and two in the first week and actually managed to put the book down for a week or so to give me some breathing space. After picking it up again, however, there was no putting it to rest and I finished it in a 3-day-frenzy. Let's start with the questionable: I had a hard time reading Kaladin in this book as - surprise, surprise - his depression is just so depressing. I also had a hard time reading Dalinar in this book as he is such a rock (no pun intended). He feels so static and at times slow-witted while reading - even though I have since realized that he actually has changed quite a bit during RoW. I also suspect that I am so used to young and unsettled characters in fantasy that Dalinar is an outlier who challenges my accustomed ways by virtue of his, well, actually being a fully-fledged adult. On the more clearly positive: I loved Kaladin's shift towards a civilian role and I actually had no problem with him reverting to his fighty-fighty ways later (I'm not Lirin, after all). The shift was enormously powerful and it was maybe the first time in a long while (ever?) that I felt there could be a positive future for Kaladin. Kaladin's arc also raised the enormously interesting question of what Radiants could achieve were they to use their powers in a civilian context. This is fascinating stuff to me because it hints at a future for Roshar (and possibly the Cosmere) which is not solely centered around different Shards using different non-Shard proxys (i.e. people) to fight each other. If Kaladin can a find a future without war - and I feel he can, even though he chooses not to during RoW - anybody can. I also loved Shallan's arc and found her character very relatable on many levels. She is so much the 18-year old who wrestles with stuff but has simply no grasp on her own personality. I understand that many people - me included - had a different experience during their teenage years, but it feels extremely relatable to me nonetheless. She just struggles and puts on the smiley-face whenever she needs to but in this book her shell is finally pierced and it is utterly heart-wrenching but also heart-warming. As for Navani: Great stuff with all her science, but I couldn't relate too much to her character-wise, since it was quite obvious that Raboniel played her the whole time. Her not seeing through (or not wanting to) this ploy felt a bit shallow for the lifetime Queen and mastermind of palace machinations, but, at the same time, it didn't bother me too much. On the other hand, I loved the context and social structure the Singers/Listeners but also the Fused have gotten. This really feels like a/several people(s) now. I had a hard time relating to them in Oathbringer but I can do so much better after RoW. The ending (I'm talking epilogue here) was the gut-punch and I still haven't digested that particular piece of the literary feast that is RoW. Well, three years aren't so long, I guess. Coda: Amazing stuff again Brandon; I can't and don't want to compare it to other Stormlight-books. It stands on its own weight and I feel that this blew the barn-door to the Cosmere wide, wide open. No closig it now.
  3. Oh my, I never thought that Cultivation's boon would still be in effect. If that is the case, Cultivation has effectively created an infinitely more dangerous variant of Whimsy...
  4. Why not Nale? He already switched to Odium's side, so he should be quite willing and his fighting skills are pretty sublime as we have seen in RoW. Also, it could make for an intriguing setup when Szeth goes up against his former master.
  5. Shouldn't be a problem for Lift to be perfectly healthy according to this WoB:
  6. I could totally see Kelsier having a bit of a crisis should he meet Shallan and recognize that he is fighting against someone who resembles Vin in many regards.
  7. I feel that one was more a plot device than anything. If there is no mystery about Ialai's murder, there is no reason to go spy-hunting which is the only thing Shallan does right until the very end of RoW.
  8. Random (but related) thought: In a way Wax is quite the antithesis to Kelsier. He's a lawman of noble descent who is intent on upholding the societal status quo. Of course, he's also a pariah, but I could see a development where there is a climactic encounter of Wax vs. Kelsier on Scadrial.
  9. I only recalled that yesterday, when I wanted to make a thread about how we haven't seen Hoid in Sixth of the Dusk and whether that could hint that he doesn't survive the next Stormlight book. Yeah, he doesn't seem all too different in the Wax & Wayne books, his behavior and appearance are, I'd argue, consistent with what we have seen from him before, so the the damage done to him by Odium can't be that extreme (or he has since found a way to reverse the effects).
  10. I really enjoyed Shallan in RoW. To me, the split-persona thing was much easier to digest and better handled than it was before. In RoW it felt quite natural and I could see reason in the whole thing, even though the conflict in Shallan was much more clearly established and on the surface. Shallan felt like she was developing, whereas I found most Kaladin-chapters a bit of a slog, since there was no drive, no nothing (although that probably means that his deep depression was well written by Brandon). Shallan just felt more dynamic, more anchored (of course, she - as opposed to Kaladin - has an actual human anchor in Adolin) and more streamlined. It also felt very natural to me that the "real" Shallan would finally retreat after all the mental abuse she has suffered through the first three books. The hot-potato threeway of who controlled Shallan at any given time also felt relatable to me. In my experience, people actually do this (although it might not be that drastic or so visibly on display), for example in challenging workplaces or difficult social situations. People indeed have different personas for these situations which are adapted to handle a given challenge. I'm not saying everybody does this but I don't feel it is far-fetched at all and I think it was handled well by Brandon. So: don't agree with the premise; I enjoyed Shallan and found her relatable, much more so than Kaladin for most of the book.
  11. I quite enjoyed his arc in RoW. It was probably the one which suprised me the most (well, apart from a certain new Vessel). First, I didn't expect him to be Restares and, naturally, I also didn't expect him to be the judge. And then, after I spotted that the letter in the epigraphs was his I was absolutely convinced that he would be done for at the end. And all of it makes perfect sense to me in hindsight. Well done Brandon on this particular arc and also I'm quite interested in learning more about him. Also: one of my favorite scenes in this whole book is the one where he lets the whole audience during the trial hanging for more than ten minutes just to dig into his lunch. Amazing stuff (hopefully his food tasted well, too!).
  12. I'm not so sure about this. Have we actually seen Odium directly corrupt anyone? I might be totally wrong here, but in my mind the corruption has been done by Unmade like Sja-Anat and we know that red signifies corrupted Investiture as such; but have we actually seen Odium himself do it? How would his intent fit with corrupting, instead of destroying? On the other hand, so far we do not have any confirmation that Breaths can be taken against the will of somebody - quite the contrary, if I remember Warbreaker correctly - so the idea that he removed some of Hoid's breaths is also sketchy to me.
  13. It's not explicitly quoted but it's heavily implied in my reading that he lost enough Breaths to fall below the Fifth Heigthening.
  14. I totally forgot that, but it makes a lot of sense since Breath in a more philosophical sense seems to be what makes people human in Warbreaker. Memories are a huge part of humanity and of how we construct our collective history as a species.
  15. It has been discussed in similar threads and as of now (and probably at least until Stormlight 5) there is no consensus in the debate who exactly tricked whom in this scene. My take on your points: 1.) There have to be some memories in those breaths since I cannot see how a Shard would be fooled into thinking there are, when there are none. Just because it is not in Warbreaker does not mean it can't be done. In terms of Cosmere-knowledge Warbreaker is quite shallow and we have since seen - Navani is the prime example for this - that Investiture can be used quite creatively if one has the right means and Intent. We know that memories can be stored using Feruchemy so I would generally assume that knowing the right techniques memories can be stored using other forms of Investiture. And the scene clearly shows that Wit is terrified for at least the moment he realizes that something is up he has not expected. Also, the perfect pitch would be a side effect of falling below a certain Hightening, not of someone messing with his perfect pitch. I believe the answer to this is ambivalent. I feel that in some capacity Hoid has been bested in this scene as he encountered something he just has not expected. That said, if he is as crafty and careful as we have gotten him to know I also assume that he had some measure of security in place for such an event. Maybe the memories are somehow altered or maybe they are a careful selection of information to present a certain picture. In any case, the way this is written I cannot see a way in which Hoid has not been bested in this situation at least partly; his terror and his surprise are too real and in my mind Brandon would lose a lot of credibility as a writer if this was merely duplicity by Hoid. 2.) That sounds quite reasonable. However, after thinking about the scene some more I feel that the coins might actually be Hoid's safety net copperminds, so he has some fallback in case all else goes to hell. 3.) "Perfectly well" seems like a strong statement to me; sounds more like he was at least aware that something might be amiss, a clue for him to figure it out. Random thought: Maybe it's not so bad for Hoid to lose some of his memories. We how taxing these insanely long lifespans (and thus memories) can be for individuals (although, of course, Heralds and Fused have problems like constant torture as well). We also see that many mistakes the Vessels make tend to be rooted in their underestimating individuals and the potential of their action. Maybe losing some of his mega-awareness could be beneficial for Hoid in that he has to focus on the here and now a bit more and invest himself into Roshar (and maybe, who knows, his relationship with Jasnah) more dedicatedly.