Confused

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  1. Isn't it equally possible that the Nightwatcher is a spren anthropomorphizing both Civilization and Odium - the boon and the curse? The Nightwatcher could still be Wyndle's "mother," but with a touch of Odium in her. (Just like Shallan's father...)
  2. At a recent book signing, Brandon mentioned that the two most influential authors he’s read are Robert Jordan (to which everyone laughed) and Victor Hugo. I’m glad that Brandon so far has avoided hundreds of pages detailing the history of the Paris sewers and the Battle of Waterloo (or their Rosharian equivalents), but I did notice what might be a few allusions to other sources: In the Prologue, Gavilar says to Jasnah, “Is it terribly difficult for you?...Living with the rest of us, suffering our average wits and simple thoughts? Is it lonely to be so singular in your brilliance, Jasnah?” This reminded me of the scene in the 1987 movie Broadcast News, where the station manager says to the hyper-obsessive Jane, played by Holly Hunter, something to the following effect: “It must be terrible always thinking you’re the smartest person in the room, that you’re always right and the rest of us are always wrong…” [Jane, in a very quiet voice, answers “It is.”] Then on page 217 of the hardcover book, Pattern tells Shallan she cannot be other than who she is: “I will not stop vibrating. The wind will not stop blowing. You will not stop drawing.” This line reminds me of the similar expression from T.S. Eliot’s 1927 essay, “Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca”: “The poet makes poetry, the metaphysician makes metaphysics, the bee makes honey, the spider secretes a filament…[each] merely does.” I also thought I read some comment by Shallan about how “amiable” Adolin is, but I couldn’t find it. The line seemed very Austenesque to me. Are there other references buried in WoR that you may have noticed?
  3. If opposites attract, Windrunners and Lightweavers are at the opposing ends of a central axis in the KR chart. Shalladin: its inevitable!
  4. Adolin may indeed become a KR and it is possible that he already has a new or revived spren. But his character has darkened irretrievably. Yes, Adolin is "going bad"... What bothers me about his murder of Sadeas wasn't the event itself but his callousness in its aftermath. During the murder, he was filled with "irrevocable rage" and a touch of amusement. But afterwards, he chose to hide from responsibility in a very cold-blooded way: cutting off his cuffs to ensure no one would see blood on them and hiding Oathbringer. Then he casually walked away and pretended to be elsewhere when he joined his group. I suspect he will be discovered. As we see on all the TV cop shows, some blood always finds its way into evidence. He may even confess to Renarin or Shallan. He is certainly no longer the golden boy of the story. Beyond the murder, it bothers me that he views his relationship with Shallan in "power" terms. First, he was the star and she was lucky to have him, even though she fascinated him. But now that she's a KR, he doesn't know where he fits. In a revealing comment, he says that she is now "more important than even a lighteyes." What arrogance! Unable to find his place in a newly positioned world, he just kills his principal tormentor. Yes, Adolin has gone bad.
  5. I thought that Nightblood determines who is "evil" based on who covets it, rather than the "opinion of its owner." According to the Coppermind Wiki article on Nightblood: "The Breaths it inherited decided 'evil was someone who would try to take the sword and use it for evil purposes, selling it, manipulating and extorting others, that sort of thing.' "Those it defines as 'evil' feel drawn to possess it; once an 'evil' person picks Nightblood up, the sword is able to take control and will murder anyone in the vicinity who is evil, finally killing its wielder when there is no one left. A 'good' person, someone who wouldn't want to use Nightblood for evil purposes, feels sick in Nightblood's vicinity. [Empasis added.]" Maybe Szeth would win a fight against Kaladin, or any Windrunner, because they'll all get sick and vomit their way through the fight, but Nightblood wouldn't attack him or them, given the primacy of honor to a Windrunner. Other orders though...
  6. Congratulations, Zandi! I think you've found it! But if it really is the last chapter of the series, I think this pasage refers to sometime later than the climax. Rather, to the time when Kaladin's body finally succumbs to death, long after the race (the series' battles and conflicts) has been won. The storm(light) has ceased to surge within his veins, but his soul rises to race the wind with the windspren. Kaladin will have become an idea, the dark-eyed champion who saved the world from Hatred - the "Kaladin-spren"!
  7. Name_Here: I think of the Skybreakers as B-52 bombers to the Windrunners fighter jets. The Skybreakers can deposit their laser "bombs" (that is, however they deliver their division surge) onto a single target simultaneously and repeatedly as a group. I'm sure such power could collectively create sufficient force to shatter the plains in the way Shallan indicated: "Vibrations? Like sand on a plate? An earthquake that could break rock..." Moogle: Decayform is "A form of gods to avoid, it seems" (Listener's Song of Secrets, 27th Stanza, WoR Epigraph to Chapter 24). But the Listener's Song of War, 55th Stanza (WoR Epigraph to Chapter 26), quoted above, explicitly states that "Our gods were not who shattered these plains..." (emphasis added). xbauks: "Subterfuge" (according to Merriam-Webster) is the "the use of tricks especially to hide, avoid, or get something." While Skybreakers may not be subtle like Lightweavers, anybody can use subterfuge to avoid a consequence, especially when they can fly. But this is just a theory, based primarily on my OP points 1 and 6: who shattered the plains if not the Parshendi (the only other candidates would be one of the three Shards, certainly a possibility); and why is Stormseat the only open Oathgate? The latter suggests that the other cities with Oathgates feared the KR after what happened to Stormseat. Aside: I very much enjoy reading the posts written by the three of you. Many others are great too, but many others aren't. Thanks for taking the time to respond!
  8. In an earlier thread, I suggested Shallan acquired her shardblade from the assassin Liss, who had just killed her “mother.” I still believe that (although I will probably be proven wrong tomorrow), but I have an additional thought: The Ghostbloods stole Shallan from her true parents and gave her to the Davars because they observed her surgebinding ability and thought she would be useful to their plans. I base this hypothesis primarily on the sketch that Shallan made right after Jasnah had killed the Kharbanth thugs. That sketch showed a long table in a lavish room where a man lay dead in a pool of blood beside a half-eaten meal. I believe this was Shallan’s real father, whom the Ghostbloods killed. She captured the memory, long-repressed, as the murderer(s) took her from the room. Shallan felt responsibility for his death, since she was the reason the Ghostbloods killed her father. Related points: Shallan may (or may not) have killed Brightlord Davar (whom she now calls her “father”), but she tells the Cryptics she is a “murderer” because she killed Liss, as I suggest in the linked thread. She may have felt killing Davar was justified in the circumstances, perhaps to defend her brothers. Davar treated Shallan differently than her “brothers,” not only because she was the sole girl and the youngest, but also because she fit so importantly in his plans. Just wanted to get this in before the book comes out. We’ll find out tomorrow!
  9. I keep asking myself why Odium would want to destroy humans. The Letter (written by Hoid?) from the epigraphs of WoK Part 2 suggests that Odium’s goal is to splinter the other Shards. Then he would stand without peers. On Roshar, he has already killed Tavanast and splintered Honor; and on Sel, he has killed Aona and Skai and splintered their respective Shards, Devotion and Dominion. He did not kill humans on Sel (although war is imminent between the Dakhor and everyone else, but that may be from the splinters of Dominion). Why does he need the Desolations and the Everstorm on Roshar? [The following speculations reveal my ignorance of Shard theory. This is where you folks come in. Help!] To me, Odium would want humans and whomever they are then fighting (currently the Listeners) to continue their war through eternity – the “Everstorm.” While Honor seeks to bind, Odium seeks to divide – it is the nature of hatred, the philosophic concept of the “Other.” Who will be left to hate if he has killed off all of Roshar’s peoples? In this respect, the real “Voidbringers,” at least metaphorically, are not the Unmade or the Ten Deaths, but everyone who lives by hatred and division – e.g., Alakavish, the surgebinder who caused a horrific war prior to the Desolation in Nohadon’s time, and Sadeas and his ilk, and maybe even most Alethi lighteyes. But SA does seem focused on human destruction, rather than everlasting war. I can think of only three possible answers why this would be so, none of which are completely satisfactory. Any suggestions or answers of your own would be most appreciated. Answer 1: Odium Hates Humans Because Honor and Cultivation Created Them Odium hates humans because Honor and Cultivation created them on Roshar (although there is apparently some question about this). Perhaps the romantic triangle among Tavanast, the unnamed Cultivation holder, and Rayse that some have (facetiously?) posited is true: Odium wants to eliminate the other Shards’ creations, just as the fairy tale stepmother wants to get rid of the first wife’s children. Without a romantic triangle, this answer is lame and there’s not much to say about it. If you have a different view, let’s hear it. If Rayse did hate Tavanast for personal reasons, other than Rayse’s desire to be the sole power, then I suppose this answer makes sense. Can’t see it otherwise… Answer 2: The Desolations and the Everstorm will Splinter Cultivation The Desolations and the Everstorm will ultimately kill the holder of the Cultivation Shard and splinter the Cultivation Shard itself. But if Odium had the ability to kill Tavanast and splinter Honor, why hasn’t he already splintered Cultivation? The Coppermind wiki states “It is not clear how splinters are formed.” When Odium splintered Devotion, Dominion and Honor, Odium did not destroy Sel, Roshar or their inhabitants. Is there something peculiar about Cultivation that makes the Desolations and the Everstorm a precondition to Cultivation’s splintering? Cultivation is concerned with growing things, and the Everstorm – through the pulverization of Roshar - will cut off all growth and life. Perhaps splintering occurs when a Shard is prevented from serving its intent. But why couldn’t Cultivation relocate to another planet and reinvest there, unless the Cultivation Shard is now somehow bound to Roshar? Answer 3: Periodic War and the Outpouring of Hatred Replenishes Odium’s Power The wellspring of hatred released by periodic Desolations replenishes or augments Odium’s power, just as the Well of Ascension regenerated Preservation’s power every 1,024 years. There is scant evidence for this assertion, primarily the epigraph to Chapter 11: “Three of sixteen ruled, but now the Broken One reigns.” It appears that Odium is the “Broken One,” since the face in the highstorm tells Kaladin that “Odium reigns.” If so, what might have “broken” Odium, and does hatred really heal him? Perhaps splintering three other Shards injured Odium. He took on Devotion and Dominion on Sel, were they were invested and he was not. Now he resides on Braize, another planet in the Rosharian system, but not on Roshar itself. Maybe being separated from Roshar “breaks” him (or maybe he is residing off-planet in view of Roshar’s impending destruction, which has nothing to do with being “broken” – or maybe he is avoiding Cultivation after having killed Tanavast). Perhaps his efforts at corrupting heralds and spren cost him? Maybe he is broken merely because his Shard is Odium, a dividing force. Maybe Odium was “broken” when he first came to Roshar, long after Honor and Cultivation according to WoB. Why did he follow them, and why did he not immediately kill Tavanast and instead entered into the Oathpact? Some have speculated that Rayse was Tavanast’s younger brother (Cain to his Abel). We don’t know why he is the “Broken One,” if in fact he is. (There must be SOME reason why those of you with lots of upvotes become “Broken Ones” yourselves…) But IF he is “broken,” widespread hatred may well be the thing that can heal him. Perhaps Odium entered into the Oathpact to secure periodic Desolations culminating in the Everstorm that will complete the healing. Moogle made the excellent suggestion that the Oathpact required force proportionality. Odium may have agreed to proportionality for at least three reasons. First, Honor and Cultivation at the time had twice Odium’s combined power, since Shards theoretically are equal in power. Second, Odium lacked Honor’s capacity to bind Rosharian allies to himself, since, as stated, hatred only divides. Most importantly, if hatred somehow replenishes or augments Odium’s power, then limited periodic proportional engagements are well-suited for this purpose (again, just like the Well of Ascension, but on a different timetable). Further Speculations Dalinar’s vision of the coming void, presented by Honor, may be inaccurate. Honor by his own admission is bad at seeing the future, so he may be wrong. Perhaps he foresees a world without any bonds of any kind, in which case that world would blow away as dust. But if the Everstorm is eternal hate-spawning war that helps Odium in some way – replenishment or augmentation - it doesn’t make sense for him to pulverize the planet. Maybe the Listeners began to understand Odium’s plan. They ran to exile to avoid the urge to fight instilled by the Listener gods (the Ten Unmade?). The Listeners murdered Gavilar because, I believe, he was planning to reinstate the KR, which the Listeners feared would return their gods. In this light, I wonder whether Dalinar’s visions (which I believe Gavilar also had) may have been sent by Odium to CAUSE another war between humans and the Listeners. The real war against Odium may be for the peoples of Roshar to find peace among themselves. When Honor says to Danilar “unite them” (if it IS Honor), he may be speaking in the context of the KR, but his message is much broader than them or the Alethi. He means EVERYONE on Roshar must unite peacefully to defeat Odium. The pivotal characters may be Kaladin (not Dalinar) and Eshonai. They are the ones from their respective races/cultures who desire peace and honor – Dalinar just wants to end the War of Reckoning on any terms that will permit the Alethi to return to Alethkar and reunite the kingdom. Kaladin and Eshonai, however, each respect the other’s culture and do not want to fight. How ironic (and unlikely) if these – the greatest fighters from their respective sides – should end up facing each other as the two champions…and then make peace! (And perhaps the second five book series will be about Odium turning to a war between another race and humans, or among humans…) Just some highly speculative thoughts, each with many holes... What DOES Odium gain by the Desolations and the Everstorm?
  10. WOW, Moogle!! What an interesting take on human nature! You think most people would turn down the chance to hold God-like power simply because their personality would too drastically change - "essentially killing [themselves]." Even in our world, Lord Acton's observation that "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" doesn't deter too many people from seeking power. I doubt such prior knowedge would stop many in the Cosmere from embracing a Shard if offered to them. More the case if one could hold multiple Shards. Whatever fears one may have about concentrating one's personality around a single Intent lessen with the leavening effect of the second, or third, or fourth Shards' Intents. Because Ruin and Preservation were directly opposite, combined they produced Harmony - how nice! Who wouldn't choose that? And if other Shards are not directly polar, they would still have an off-setting effect. Honor and Odium combined, hatred with honor? It almost sounds like the Geneva Conventions...hating your enemy but treating them humanely. Or Devotion and Dominion - the benign dictator who is devoted to his people. (Let's assume that with Shardal Intents ideal conduct actually wins out over practical implementation.) That is why I conclude that Odium's specific Intent - the divisive force of hatred - led him to decline dilution from other Shards. Hatred by its nature just doesn't combine.
  11. Thank you, Dros. I agree that Odium by now has probably internalized his Shard's hateful intent. His refusal to combine with the Shards he splintered - which according to the quoted WoB would change his nature - shows hatred's single-minded focus and unwillingness to bend or moderate. I further agree (and so asserted in my OP) that he WANTS to "put[] events into motion that will cause people to hate...." If that's all Odium did - ongoing Desolations causing hatefulness - that would make sense to me. But to eradicate the haters and the planet they live on seems to go beyond mere hatefulness. The explanation others gave for this further step was that Odium was "evil." Personally I don't think hatefulness is evil by itself. Odium's plan to commit "planetcide" (is there a word for this? - I keep imagining Krypton imploding or the lines from Yeats' "The Second Coming": "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world"), whether evil or not, seems counter-productive if his goal is to foster hatefulness. In any event, I don't think this plan stems from a mere "whim." I just feel that there is something else going on here, something we don't know about yet. Hence, the speculations...The best evidence, as stated in my OP and my follow up post, is that he didn't destroy Sel or its population when he splintered Dominion and Devotion. What is different about Roshar? Finally, Harmony is indeed more powerful than Odium, since Sazed holds two Shards, not just one. Destroying Roshar won't cure this deficiency; being "crafty" may...
  12. My first post! I began reading this forum when Tor posted the last set of preview chapters… I believe WoR climaxes with an invasion by the Listeners of the Alethi warcamps. Navani’s epigraphic Journal entries presage this disaster. The Listeners come in stormform, following a highstorm, and are joined by the Parshmen in camp. “Sixty Two Days, Death Follows” may have been a message that Dalinar received (purposefully or accidentally) stating the date the Listeners intended their attack. In fact, I think WoR’s entire narrative occurs over less than a three-month period, culminating in this battle. (And the much-anticipated Szeth vs. Kaladin fight won’t occur until Szeth’s book…) The Tor preface to the preview chapters states Dalinar and his armies are out on the Shattered Plains seeking the Listeners. The Listeners will use Dalinar’s absence to attack the Alethi home base. “The Ones Left Behind” in the camps are the women and children; merchants and other civilians (including Navani, Renarin, Shallan, and maybe Elkhoar if he didn't accompany Dalinar); the Parshmen (ouch!); the Bridgemen Battalion, and some troops from the other camps the Highprinces left behind as minders but not fighters. Amaram and his army will also stay, since they are inexperienced at combat on the Shattered Plains, and Dalinar will want some fighters in the camps besides the nascent Bridgemen Battalion. Shen Reveals Shen, I believe, is a Listeners spy. He knows when the attack will come. But honor will be returned for honor: Kaladin’s treatment of Shen and his respect for the Listeners will lead Shen to warn Kaladin that the attack is imminent. That will give Kaladin just enough time to organize the barest defense. Shen thus saves Kaladin’s life and many others. The “Glimpses” that Tor has released include someone (probably Kaladin) viewing the oncoming highstorm and seeing figures behind the front wall – the Listeners in stormform. Kaladin Flies With the outcome desperate, Kaladin will state the Third Windrunner ideal. This may also be when he first publicly reveals himself as a KR. The Third Ideal will combine the Windrunner leadership and protection attributes into something like “I will lead the defense of the defenseless,” only more elegantly stated. Because Kaladin will need a way to coordinate the defense of the warcamps, and because the battle occurs during a highstorm, I believe the Third Ideal will enable Kaladin to become a Windrunner in fact: he will fly from one battle scene to the next, organizing the resistance and fighting where he is most needed. Amaram Squeals: Amaram’s troops will be routed. We know they are poorly trained and undisciplined. Amaram himself will attract a swarm of Listeners, since he is a shardbearer. He will be beaten down, and Kaladin will come to rescue him. There is a thread entitled “Kaladin betrays Dalinar” that discusses the following epigraph (one of the “dying statements”) from WoK: “All is withdrawn for me. I stand against the one who saved my life. I protect the one who killed my promises. I raise my hand. The storm responds.” I believe this statement instead refers to Kaladin standing against Shen (who warned him of the attack) and rescuing Amaram. However Amaram acquired his shards, they cannot be allowed to fall into Listener hands. But Kaladin won’t fight Shen, so he raises his hand to fly up into the storm, carrying Amaram (and his heavy shards) to safety. Amaram may die from his wounds, after having fought honorably to defend the camps, thereby redeeming himself (at least in part…) Renarin Dies: With sincere condolences to FeatherWriter, I believe Renarin will die during this battle. He will sacrifice himself to protect his aunt and the other Kholin civilians. Kaladin will arrive just too late to save him (perhaps because he first tried to save Amaram?). If Renarin is an incipient KR, as many suspect, to me he most resembles Order 9 – Taln’s order – “dependable/resourceful” – always there for his father and brother, doing whatever needs to be done. Kalak states in the Prelude that Taln “had a tendency to choose seemingly hopeless fights and win them. He also had a tendency to die in the process.” That will be Renarin’s fate. Because the essence of Order 9 is talus, with soulcasting properties of rock and stone, I think he may collapse a wall or something similar as his dying contribution to the fight, using his shardblade to do so, and taking many Listeners with him. As others have suggested. the spren Renarin will see “that others will not see” (WoB) is a death spren. Kaladin’s late arrival will remind him of Tien’s death – once again unable to save someone he has grown to care for. (I believe that prior to this battle Renarin and Kaladin will have become friends and sparring partners.) Renarin’s death will exacerbate Adolin’s harsh feelings toward Kaladin. Dalinar may return from his futile hunt in time to end the battle. He will find Renarin dead and bloodied. That is when he will become a Bondsmith (from the Glimpses). And Shallan Will Lightweave Shallan may state her Second Ideal during the battle (assuming she utters the First sometime earlier). Given her attributes of creativity and honesty, it will be something like “I will illuminate the truth.” I can see her creating illusions to help the Alethi, culminating in a “Fifth Element” moment when she lights up the entire warcamp after the highstorm has darkened it. It’s possible the Listeners in stormform are affected by too bright light. I don’t see her summoning her shardblade, though, because where would she have learned to wield it? Final Predictions: Book 3, Szeth’s book, will begin with Sadeas and his allies maligning Kaladin as an untrustworthy and traitorous KR. They cannot allow his growing fame and power to continue unabated. He undermines everything Sadeas wants to accomplish. They will call him “traitor” because of his prior knowledge of the attack, which could only have been obtained from the Listeners (which it was). The fact that Kaladin’s actions saved many will be compared with the massive death and destruction the attack caused, including Dalinar’s own son. Shallan, on the other hand, may come to care for Kaladin, beginning in WoR. These initial feelings may only be respect and admiration, but they may grow over time. Until Kaladin saves Dalinar’s (and possibly Adolin’s) life while fighting Szeth, Adolin may begin to feel downright “odious” towards Kaladin… Thoughts?
  13. Thanks for your thoughts, good responses all. But it seems to me that merely being "evil," "crafty," "loathesome," "manipulative" or "dangerous" are not sufficient reasons for destroying humanity and Roshar itself. Nor do I buy the "liquidating his investment" in Roshar theory. More specifically: 1. I think it's too simple to say Odium is "evil" and therefore wants to destroy humanity. Can the essence of hatred be "evil"? Can a moral judgment be associated with hatred? Evil people may hate, but so do good people - it is simply an emotion. Because I think that Odium, despite concentrating Rayse's "loathsome" character, would not be "evil," even if Odium wishes to remain pure in his hatefulness without altering his character by combining with other Shards. If the Letter writer is correct, then Odium's greatest defect is ambition - to be the sole Cosmere Shard - not hatred. He has no more reason to hate humans than any other thing in the Cosmere, unless he hates all life everywhere (like the dark sphere in "The Fifth Element)." But that has not been hinted at yet. 2. And there is a question whether the Letter writer (whom we assume is Hoid) is correct. On the thread where Brandon revealed that Hoid and Rayse were once friends, someone suggested that a foiled friendship could cause each former friend to malign the other's character. We don't know who was in the wrong here. Maybe Hoid wanted Rayse's Shard, but Rayse took it first, using legitimate means. Hoid may simply be jealous. 3. I like hoser's suggestion that Odium must "liquidate his investment" in Roshar to maintain his power before moving on to challenge the other Shards. But he didn't need that additional power during his "brief visit" to Sel to splinter Dominion and Devotion. Why would he need it now? So I'm still Confused...
  14. My second post! In this one, I posit that Jasnah ordered Liss to assassinate Shallan’s mother. Shallan in turn killed Liss and took possession of Liss’s shardblade. Known Facts: Jasnah planned to assassinate her sister-in-law by using a shardblade-bearing female assassin named Liss and nicknamed “the Weeper.” Instead, she used Liss to “observe” Aesudan and gather information. Despite Liss’s voluptuous figure and long hair (at least for the palace maid assignment), hardly anyone knew she was a woman. She gouged out her victims’ eyes to hide the fact that she killed with a shardblade. One of the two corpses laid out in the room was Shallan’s mother (the “woman in white”). She was killed by a shardblade (reference to her “horrible eyes”). The other, according to Shallan, was a “man” with blood on him. Someone (presumably Shallan’s father) had flipped Shallan’s mother’s corpse face down to hide the eyes from Shallan. In WoK, Shallan had been surprised that Jasnah knew her family, minor rural nobility in a neighboring kingdom. Shallan’s father bore the tattoo of the Ghostbloods. WoB suggests that Shallan’s mother was someone important. Theory: The Ghostblood Conspiracy I believe the Ghostbloods desire to reinstate Hierocracy rule of Roshar to better prepare for the Desolation. (Thanks to my son for this insight.) I believe Taravangian is a Ghostblood (its leader?). His discussion with Szeth at the end of WoK suggests the Ghostbloods’ method for achieving their goal was to destroy Roshar’s political structure. One element of this plan was to put Shallan’s father in a position where he could lead Jah Keved to join the Hierocracy, but that tactic failed with his death. Immediately prior to Gavilar’s murder, Jasnah sees him conversing with Amaram. I believe Gavilar was ordering Amaram to lead a covert war against the Ghostbloods, the war in which Kaladin fought. It was covert in the sense that the war was portrayed as being about a border dispute. Gavilar initially thought that Thaidakar (the Ghostblood leader – alias for Taravangian? WoK Ch. 51) had hired Szeth. I believe Jasnah was also concerned about the Ghostbloods and suspected Aesudan, Elkohar’s wife, of working on their behalf to undermine Alethkar. After deciding to have Liss observe but not kill Aesudan, Jasnah discovered, through Liss, communications between Shallan’s mother and Aesudan. Shallan’s mother was someone high up in the Ghostbloods. Perhaps she was bribing or blackmailing Aesudan to weaken Alethkar. Jasnah ordered Liss to assassinate her. Shallan Kills Liss and Gains the Shardblade Shallan saw Liss enter Shallan’s mother’s room, or heard a commotion, or just entered the room at the wrong time. She saw Liss kill her mother. Liss then bent over Shallan’s mother to gouge out her eyes and remove the evidence of the shardblade. Shallan either held or found a knife, or took one from Liss while Liss was kneeling over her mother, and stabbed Liss in the back. (Perhaps Shallan unknowingly used Lightweaving to hide her presence.) Because Shallan killed Liss, she inherited her shardblade. Shallan thought she had killed a man because Liss dressed like a man (that is, not wearing a dress) and fell forward onto her stomach, hiding her female anatomy. Shallan was too traumatized to notice otherwise. When Shallan’s father showed up, Shallan was holding the shardblade. He realized what had happened. He asked Shallan if he could have the shardblade. Because she gave him permission to take it, he was able to put it in his safe – the “other monster.” First theory problem: what would make the shardblade glow? Perhaps Shallan inadvertently “Lightwove” the glow around the blade, at least in her own perception? Perhaps her heightened senses imagined the glow? Perhaps something else in the safebox glowed? Second theory problem: if Jasnah ordered the assassination, why did she later accept Shallan as her ward? Did she feel guilt? Did she know that Shallan had no knowledge of the Ghostbloods? Did she think she could learn more from Shallan than Shallan could learn from her? Did she want to co-opt Shallan? Thoughts?
  15. I think this is a new character, an incipient Dustbringer. Don't Dustbringers have the ability to burn things and blow them up? In the Prelude, as Kalak passes through the carnage, he sees "Smoke curled from the occasional patches of growth or heaps of burning corpses...The Dustbringers had done their work well."
  16. Thank you all for your kind and insightful comments. Some responses: 1. Shardlet: I'm sure Sadeas would have known of what Amaram was doing and why. He, along with Dalinar, were Gavilar's two closest advisors. Sadeas may even have suggested to Gavilar that Amaram should command the army and prosecute the war from Sadeas's territory. That would make the war look like a border dispute. Alethkar's national security needs don't change simply because the prior monarch had been replaced. I believe Amaram finally came to the Shattered Plains because the Ghostbloods abandoned the war after Shallan's father's death became known to them. That would have occurred fairly recently. 2. Moogle: Excellent ideas in your linked post. If I had known of the post, I would have simply cited it, rather than reinvent the same ideas. 3. Regarding the likelihood of Shallan killing a skilled assassin: First, Liss would have dressed in utilitarian clothing, which probably meant pants and a head covering, to keep her hair from interfering with her vision. In Shallan's limited experience, particularly at her age, that would have identified Liss as a man. I also suspect that Shallan showed her proto-surgebinding abilities at a young age (Pattern seems so to imply) - the reason her father coddled her? Couldn't a Lightweaver make herself invisible by bending the light around her? Or at least create an illusion of the room in which Liss and Shallan's mother appeared to be the only occupants? And the Interlude does not state that it was a "bloodbath," just that the "man" had "bled." Liss killed her mother with "little blood there" because she killed with her shardblade. In short, Liss was not "sloppy"; she just didn't anticipate a Lightweaver sneaking up on her from behind.
  17. I'm not sure Shallan did kill him. One important aspect of the drawing Shallan made of his death scene was that he lay in a pool of blood. A shardblade wouldn't leave blood. Also, her view of the scene was from the far end of the room, and her father was already laying in blood, presumably dead. It is unlikely Shallan killed him and then paused on her way out to take her mental picture. There are a lot of reasons she may think he killed him. Maybe whatever happened caused her to blame herself for the death. Maybe she blanked out and Balat told her she killed him. He is, after all, a cruel and self-identified coward. Maybe her memory was inaccurate, caused by Pattern. Maybe in fact she did kill him, for whatever reason, but not with her shardblade. We'll find out soon enough...
  18. Thanks, all, for your comments! Responses: 1. The Count and Natans: On reflection, and re-reading Alice Arneson's "Beta-Reading..." posting, you both are probably right. I didn't see Szeth attacking Dalinar when Dalinar was surrounded by his army out on the Shattered Plains. But in view of the "Bang, BANG, ULTRA-BANG" ending that Alice (and Natans) described, Szeth probably goes after Dalinar immediately after the Battle at the Warcamps, when Dalinar, Kaladin and the Bridgemen Bodyguard are all exhausted from the fighting. If Szeth has watched the Battle, he will know that Kalandin can surgebind and will be prepared for him. Alice made the following comment in her "Reflections" posting "(::stunned silence:: (Seriously. It took me several days to find anything coherent to say about this scene.) Please tell me it’s not true. I don’t know what I dare hope for; it won’t surprise me if it’s true, but I still want it not to be. I’m trying not to hope anything in particular, but this is tough." Although her comments were probably not in order, this sounds like an end-of-book comment. While we know that neither Dalinar nor Kaladin will die in WoR, perhaps before Szeth is stopped one of them becomes seriously wounded by his shardblade and loses the use of part of his body. 2. EvilKetchupCow: First, great name! I'm just confused...Second, thanks for mentioning this. I recalled that there are 500 days in a Rosharian year, but didn't know that there are only 10 months. It doesn't change the timeline, just my characterization of it. 3. Swimmingly: Yes, Kaladin began without understanding Parshendi honor and disrespected them and their culture. Shen was outraged to the core by what Kaladin did. (Shen's response was one reason that I think he's a spy - if a normal Parshman were souless, as Eshonai says, he might not have had that reaction.) But the Battle of the Tower changed Kaladin's attitude and understanding of the Parshendi. He came to respect them. As a result, Shen has become more integrated into Bridge 4, as evidenced by Rock's affection toward him at one of the evening cookouts. He may even know that Kaladin does not want to fight the Parshendi because of his respect for them. I do think in turn Shen has come to appreciate and respect Kaladin and Bridge 4. 4. Aminar: I disagree. First, it makes military sense to attack your enemy's weakly-defended base camp, stripping them of the ability to resupply and perhaps forcing them out of your territory completely. Why meet the Alethi army head-on when you are the numerically inferior force? Second, as Shinintendo points out, Shallan is the central figure of WoR. She must have a major role in the battle. She would not have accompanied Dalinar's expedition, and I can't imagine Adolin, as sexist as Alethi men seem to be, to permit his betrothed to join them. The battle must be at the warcamps for her to participate. 5. Shinintendo: Also a great name! I agree with you. Perhaps my posting didn't adequately express my feelings on this, but I think Shallan's lightweaving will preserve the Alethi defense until Dalinar and his army return. Alice Arneson's comment in her "Reflictions" piece - "As expected, the Parshendi receive some… illumination" - to me confirms that Shallan's role in the battle is critical. The stress of the battle will force her to state the Second Ideal and use her enhanced powers to blunt the attack. That's what happened to Kaladin at the Tower battle, and I expect to see the same happen with Shallan here. Thanks again, everybody!