Jess

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  1. Theory: The "they" being brought back and forth from Braize are some of Nale's Skybreakers, and "The Connection is not severed, but can be warped to allow for travel" is about their Nahel bonds.
  2. Oh I know, I was only using it as shorthand because the sentence was already rather meandering. But yeah I probably should have just said "characters in the primary arc".
  3. The other pattern is that the interlude throughline has always been someone we haven't had POVs from before. Admittedly, that's only a two book pattern and we are quickly running out of characters it applies to. But because we got so much of Moash in OB, I doubt it will be him. I suggested Taravangian for OB's interlude throughline... maybe I was one book early. I would love for it to be Tezim but that feels like a long shot. Another interesting long shot: Leshwi, since this book seems to be getting a lot of Singer focus. Azure seems like a really solid guess though. If I were betting I think I'd put my money on her.
  4. Several people are separating Shallan from Jasnah, which to me goes a bit contrary to the end of OB. Also, Dalinar and Jasnah are likely at Urithiru, but we know Dalinar doesn't have much POV time in this book, and I suspect Branderson is holding back on giving us lots of Jasnah POVs just yet because she knows too much. So it makes perfect sense that we would be seeing both Dalinar and Jasnah primarily through Shallan's POV. Anyway, I'm inclined to say Primary and Secondary are "Kaladin on a Mission in Singer Territory" and "Politics and Scholarship at Urithiru"... not necessarily in that order. "Kaladin on a Mission in Singer Territory" would probably be told primarily through his POV and Venli's, and Eshonai's flashbacks. Branderson did say that all four Primaries were in the same place, so if this is the Primary arc then Eshonai's flashbacks wouldn't be contributing to his count of four (edit: unless it's at the Shattered Plains and he is being very sneaky about place vs time ). Possible appearances by Vyre, Rlain, Adolin, Szeth, or even Teft. "Politics and Scholarship at Urithiru" would be mostly Shallan POVs, with possible appearances by Jasnah, Dalinar, Renarin, Adolin, Navani, or Szeth doing bodyguard stuff and/or helping train KRs. Wherever Szeth is (and it's pretty much a tossup), I think he will probably get a decent amount of POV time to set up book five. Tertiary arc could be practically anything: Maybe Vyre, but paired with who? The obvious choice is Venli but I think she will get much more prominent placement than the Tertiary arc. Renarin could be doing something secretive, but again with who? Adolin maybe; they worked very well together in OB. Shallan would be a good candidate except for my hunch that she will be sticking by Jasnah. If he goes to the Horneater Peaks, perhaps he runs into Azure. I don't think Brandon will start giving us many Ash and/or Taln POVs this early, but you never know. Taravangian and... Malata? Highly unlikely I think. Lift and ???
  5. The sun in Shadesmar is consistently described as hanging low on the horizon. Has it always been in this position? For the curious, this question is inspired by a single line in Dalinar's final vision in tWoK: “Unite them. The sun approaches the horizon. The Everstorm comes. The True Desolation. The Night of Sorrows.” In the past I've always brushed by it as a metaphor... which is in itself practically enough to make me wonder if it's not some very cleverly hidden foreshadowing.
  6. It has become a commonly expressed theory that the Ideals of the various KR orders progress from the primary Divine Attribute to the secondary Divine Attribute, specifically that the Second and Third Ideals express/reflect DA1, and the Fourth and Fifth Ideals express/reflect DA2. I do not like this theory and I don’t think it holds up to scrutiny. On a storytelling level, it is overly formulaic, literal, predictable, rigid. Obviously this is a matter of personal taste, but the thing about Brandon’s magic systems is: even though they are systems, even though you can predict parts of them just by thinking logically, they are also filled with enough complexity and exceptions to be surprising at times. They are logical but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are obvious. There’s just enough pattern-breaking to be interesting, and I think this theory misses that aspect of Brandon’s magic systems. The table in the Ars Arcanum is described as “an imperfect gathering of traditional Vorin symbolism”. For this reason alone I think it is silly to treat the DAs as prescriptive. It probably reflects an outsider’s view of the orders’ temperaments, and while that does of course correlate somewhat with the Ideals, there’s no reason to believe in a perfectly structured 1-to-1 relationship. We know all the ideals of one order, and the early ideals of three more orders. This is not actually that much data to try to extrapolate such a rigid pattern from! But, let’s go through and examine how well the Ideals we do know fit their respective DAs: Windrunners “I will protect those who cannot protect themselves” and “I will protect even those I hate, so long as it is right”. Yes, these very cleanly fit DA1, “protecting”. Edgedancers “I will remember those who have been forgotten” and “I will listen to those who have been ignored”. I think it’s fair to say these also fit DA1, “loving”, however I would like to point out that they are both very specific manifestations of the broad concept “loving”, rather than something more obvious like “I will love the unloved”. This indicates to me that even in cases where the Ideals do reflect the DAs, it may not be easy or even possible to guess the Ideals based on the DAs alone. If we knew as little about the Edgedancers as we do about, say, the Dustbringers or the Willshapers, do you really think anybody would be able to guess their ideals based only on the description “loving”? Lightweavers Lightweavers are of course major wildcards. However, I find it interesting that it is their secondary DA, “honest”, that is clearly reflected in their Words and how they advance in their power. Their primary DA, “creative”, is only reflected in their temperament, not in their Words. This to me is evidence that the DAs are mostly about how the orders are perceived, and do not have a predictive structural relationship to the Ideals. Bondsmiths “I will unite instead of divide. I will bring men together.” The Bondsmiths’ DA1 is “pious” and I don’t see that reflected in this ideal at all. If anything, this ideal seems to be a manifestation of DA2, “guiding”. “I will take responsibility for what I have done. If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man.” It’s actually weird to me that these two statements are bound together as a single ideal because they seem to me to be quite distinct ideas. Nevertheless, I still wouldn’t call either one inherently “pious”. However, there is one hypothetical way in which these could be construed as pious: they are both very Honorable. This raises a very important question: Does a Nightwatcher Bondsmith have the same oaths as a Stormfather Bondsmith? Maybe a Nightwatcher Bondsmith has very Cultivationy oaths instead. In that case, the Bondsmith Ideals could be called “pious”, for a very specific in-world idea of piety: reflecting Shardic intents. But this is a *very big If.* I have no idea how the Sibling would fit into it, and no idea how likely any of this is. It seems like kind of a reach honestly. So, even though the Bondsmiths are mysterious enough that there is some wiggle room, on balance I do not really think that their Second and Third Ideals are closely related to their DA1. The Second Ideal seems to neatly express DA2, in fact. Skybreakers Ironically, even though we have more information about the Skybreaker Ideals than those of any other order, it also seems to me that this is the area where the relationship between Ideals and DAs is most muddied. My analysis of the Skybreaker Ideals and DAs is much longer than the rest of the orders put together. If you don’t care for extended musing on the pursuit of justice, feel free to scroll down to the bolded tldr at the bottom. Nale is insane and untrustworthy. We cannot take his view of how Skybreakers ought to conduct themselves at face value. The modern Skybreakers haven’t achieved the Fifth Ideal in centuries, and they don’t all achieve the Fourth Ideal either. The order is, I think, a shadow of its former self, far short of its true potential, far more narrow than it necessarily has to be. This is not to say that Ideals we learn in OB are wrong (after all, modern Skybreakers are still attracting spren), but rather that the interpretation and application of the Ideals shown in OB (as well as the general temperament of the order) may very well have drifted since the Recreance. That said, this is a straightforward reflection of their DA1, “just”. So far so good. The function of this Ideal seems to be that as a Skybreaker matures, they don’t just abstractly seek justice; they eventually must come up with an answer to questions like “What is justice anyway? How do I determine what is and is not just?” Once an individual Skybreaker has an idea of what the answers to those questions might be, the Third Ideal “locks them in” to that specific path to justice. This raises so many questions. Presumably a Skybreaker’s Third Ideal must reflect what that individual genuinely believes to be a valid path to justice. For instance, if a Skybreaker, having sworn the Second Ideal to seek justice, genuinely believed that the law was not a very effective route to justice, they would have to find some other moral philosophy or code to use as their Third Ideal. But what happens if, after a few years, the Skybreaker’s conception of justice changes? What if their Third Ideal conflicts with their earlier oath to seek justice? What if, hypothetically, Dalinar ordered Szeth to do something which Szeth genuinely and fundamentally believed to be unjust? In these cases, it seems like the Third Ideal actually supercedes the Second Ideal and its inherent pursuit of justice. This is borne out by the wording of Szeth’s Second Ideal (“...until I find a more perfect Ideal.”) So how well does the Third Ideal reflect the DA “just”? In practice, it probably does still reflect it for most Skybreakers. But this is hardly a guarantee. The Third Ideal (at least as presented by Nale and the modern Skybreakers) actually prioritizes consistency over justice: In fact, Nale (and by extension the Skybreakers that he has recruited and trained) seem to believe that consistency basically is justice, that it’s not possible for the Second and Third Ideals to conflict in the first place. Perhaps anybody who has the capacity to question whether their chosen code will actually enact justice is simply not cut out to be a Skybreaker. I find this unsatisfying. The idea of relying on an external moral code instead of your own fallible judgement is fascinating and valid, and I believe Skybreakers at their best could exemplify the strengths of such an approach. But that requires the Skybreakers to actually care whether their chosen code really is a viable path to justice, to actually wrestle with the question “What is justice?” After all, how is a new Skybreaker supposed to decide what code to use as their Third Ideal in the first place? It’s not a decision to be taken lightly. But Nale and the modern Skybreakers seem to take the attitude that any old code will do, and the actual contents of the Ideal aren’t important—up to and including swearing to follow another equally flawed and malleable human! That’s not justice, and it’s not an adequate answer to human fallibility. This is the paradox of the modern Skybreakers: they know they are fallible, they do not trust themselves to judge what is right or wrong, so they follow an external moral code. But first they must choose the moral code. So, the relationship of the Third Ideal to DA1 is murky. What about DA2, “confident”? On its face, the idea that you must replace your own moral intuition with an external code seems extremely unconfident. In fact, it almost sounds obedient, which is a DA for a whole different order. Nale is always going on about how even he cannot really trust himself. And yet, it seems that a strict code is exactly what gives Skybreakers relief from self-doubt and the confidence to act decisively: So it seems that the Third Ideal is concerned with both DAs, and may in fact be more concerned with the secondary one that the primary one. Finally, on to the Fourth Ideal. Presumably, there are limits on what kinds of quests a Highspren will accept as a Fourth Ideal. Taking it upon yourself to complete a quest seems to be a manifestation of confidence, but the quest itself is presumably concerned with dispensing justice. Without more detailed information, it seems like this Ideal reflects both DAs. Ah, the mysterious one. I really have no idea what it means to “become law”. I wonder what Nale’s exact Words were. On the surface, becoming the law seems pretty confident, but… well, as I alluded to before, Skybreaker confidence is about as paradoxical as Skybreaker justice. They lack confidence in their own flawed judgement and choices. But they are confident in their choice to follow the law. But they admit that the law is flawed too. And then when they achieve the Fifth Ideal, they are allowed to have some confidence in their own judgement again? But the only existing Fifth Ideal Skybreaker still doesn’t have any confidence in himself. So is becoming the law an expression of confidence? Honestly at this point it is a toss-up. On top of that, this Ideal is clearly still concerned with the primary DA as well. Skybreakers Summary: Second Ideal: Straightforwardly expresses DA1, ‘just’. Third Ideal: Can potentially express DA1, but not guaranteed to do so. Arguably the focus on consistency means that DA2, ‘confident’ is a better fit. Fourth Ideal: Seems to be a mix of both DAs, but more information is needed. Fifth Ideal: Ultra mysterious. Definitely expresses DA1; relationship to DA2 is much murkier. Nale is insane and his Skybreakers are paradoxical. ----- In conclusion, the Divine Attributes are surely related to the Ideals, but since these are in-world cultural associations, they have just as much to do with the orders’ temperaments. In particular, there is no good reason to believe in a neat, clean, predictable schema where the Second and Third Ideals reflect the primary Divine Attribute, and the Fourth and Fifth Ideals reflect the secondary Divine Attribute. We just don't know enough about the late ideals, and many of the Ideals we do know are far too complex, nuanced, and flexible to force such a simplistic pattern on them.
  7. So far, all the flashback sequences have culminated in some pretty significant bombshells. It's possible that simply won't be the case this time, but nevertheless I'm trying to brainstorm some possibilities. Perhaps the Listeners were sitting on the secret of how the Shattered Plains were shattered? Do we know for sure how the Listeners got their hands on shards? It's been a while since I last read her WoR interludes though so I'm not sure how compliant these ideas are with her thoughts there. Maybe we will get a flashback of her death from her POV, and she saw/learned something of great import during the brief stopover in Shadesmar. I'm not fully sure how that would work but well, theories have to be half formed before they are fully formed.
  8. There's probably more to Transportation than just going to Shadesmar. The AA implies as much when it refers to Transportation as "the Surge of Motion and Realmatic Transition", i.e. not just Realmatic Transition. Motion potentially encompasses... a lot. In fact, we might have seen it on screen: In the battle of Thaylenah, Jasnah was throwing soldiers around bodily in a way not really explained by Soulcasting. My pet theory is that an advanced enough Elsecaller/Willshaper might be able to teleport around the Physical Realm without using Shadesmar as an intermediary. This is admittedly a totally blind guess on my part, based on nothing more than how storming cool it would be. To answer the original question, I would want to be an Elsecaller... but I'm probably a bit more of a Willshaper by nature. Other than those, the order I'm dying to know more about is the Truthwatchers, just cause they are too dang mysterious!
  9. Haha thank you. Another thing that just popped into my head: The Blue Spirit as Lightwoven alter-ego.
  10. Zuko's hard to pin down but I actually think I might put him in with the Lightweavers. His whole arc is about figuring out who the real him is, deep down, as opposed to the role(s) he was raised to be. I try to imagine him swearing Windrunner oaths and it lacks impact. But him slowly facing up to personal truths like "My hunt for the avatar is wrong" or "I don't need my father's approval"? The hypothetical crossover fic would write itself...
  11. Jasnah. Need more Jasnah. Gimme all the Jasnah.
  12. To be fair, I don't think the Stormfather's word that Odium "lies when he claims to have sole ownership of passion" (lowercase) completely disproves the idea "Rayse's shard might be better described as Passion (uppercase) than Odium". But I do think that Odium's attempts to distort Honor's nature are much more important than they first seem.
  13. Team Odium all the way. I keep coming back to the Eila Stele's description of him as "...the void. The empty pit that sucks in emotion", the way he encourages Dalinar to dull his own emotions ("Give me your pain"), and this exchange in Ch. 121, right before the Fused pass on Odium's command to kill Jezrien: Odium may speak of passion very... passionately... but his actions are those of someone who views it as merely a tool. I hadn't seen the "I don't think Odium is capable of being honest with himself" WoB until I listened to this episode, but since I've never bought into his claim to be Passion, I felt somewhat vindicated upon hearing it. Really though, I do think it casts serious doubt on Odium's self-concept (or Rayse's concept of the shard he holds, perhaps). So while I'm on the topic of Odium being a liar: in the same speech where Odium claims to be Passion, he makes some other claims which, to me, are obvious falsehoods: 1. "I am emotion incarnate." - As noted in the podcast, while Dalinar's desription of Odium covers more than hatred, it still does not cover the full gamut of human emotion. 2. “Honor cared only for bonds. Not the meaning of bonds and oaths, merely that they were kept." - The Stormfather explicitly refutes this in Ch. 111: 3. "Cultivation only wants to see transformation. Growth. It can be good or bad, for all she cares. The pain of men is nothing to her." - Admittedly there is more wiggle room on this one since Cultivation is mysterious, but her scene in Ch. 114 certainly did not leave me with the impression that Dalinar's pain meant nothing to her. 4. "Separate the emotion from men, and you have creatures like Nale and his Skybreakers. That is what Honor would have given you.” - I would argue that the order most representative of Honor is the Windrunners. Also, I don't think Nale's current state is representative of what Skybreakers are "supposed" to be like; Odium's reference to him and the modern Skybreakers as if they are "normal" Skybreakers strikes me as deliberately deceptive. Something else that, to me, casts doubts on Odium's purported relationship with emotion/Passion, is that Honor has been associated with human emotion at least once: Emphasis mine. Granted, "ideal human emotion" is not quite the same thing as passion-as-framed-by-Odium, but this three-way juxtaposition of nature vs ideal emotion vs void is, I think, a more accurate picture of Cultivation, Honor, and Odium than something like nature vs bonds vs passion would be. Without getting into a giant rabbithole about the complexity of Honor's nature, we do at least have to account for the fact that Roshar's various non-sapient emotion spren are tied to Honor. Oh, and one last thing: I don't think we can rule out the idea that Dalinar's description/vision of Odium was manipulated by Odium himself. I don't really think this is the case, but the possibility still seems worth mentioning.
  14. Yeah, I got the same idea after reading SoS, hence why I asked the question (and also this one)
  15. I had a question that didn't get recorded. Unfortunately I have to paraphrase Brandon's answer, but fortunately it was pretty unambiguous. Me: In one of the Mistborn epigraphs, Alendi quotes the prophecies about the Hero of Ages, and one of the lines is "His name shall be Discord" with a capital D. Was that line in the original prophecies? Brandon said yes, and then to clarify, he asked something like, "You're asking if Ruin added that line." Me: Or altered it. To which Brandon said no, he did not.