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Dear fellow 17th Shard members. Do to recent revelations about my character and actions I am leaving the cosmere fandom. If there is anything anyone would have me know or would like me to do, please let me know asap. Greatest apologies. -lwd24era
Is it just me or do Lighteyes have no idea what a real apology actually involves? I was thinking of Dalinar and Shallan when I came up with this but Elhokar and Amaram both provided an interesting counterpoint to them as I thought more on it. So I guess you can call this a thread about the philosophy of apologies instead of just Lighteyes as the title suggests but it does contain WOR spoilers so here it should live. (PS there are a few Wheel of Time spoilers at the end too.) It started when I connected Shallan and Dalinar’s apologies to Kaladin together. First off Shallan claims to have apologised to Kaladin, when by my reading she didn’t really, then later Dalinar states “I believe an apology is due” but does not really deliver one himself. At first I thought he was referring to the apology that he himself owed to Kaladin but he apparently just meant that Amaram should deliver a simple ‘Sorry I murdered your men, mutilated your face and made you a slave’ (which admittedly he then did.) Shallan’s apology was pretty lacking by my standards. Kaladin (rightfully) called her out on the way she stole his boots then sighed and told her he was not holding a grudge over it and that she was not as bad as others. - “Not as bad as the others? What a delightful compliment. Well, let’s say you’re right. Perhaps I am an insensitive rich woman. That doesn’t change the fact that you can be downright mean and offensive, Kaladin Stormblessed” It was her next line that confused me - “I apologize, and all I get in return is a shrug?” I had to reread it looking for the apology, maybe it’s just me but as apologies go that was… not one. (his was closer) Dalinar was better in that his actions spoke of apology but he really should have said the words (Words are important on Roshar). He needed to acknowledge out loud that he more or less dismissed what he did not want to hear and that he was wrong to do so. Doing things correctly eventually is not an apology, admitting fault to yourself and those wronged is. Initially I was simply amused that he said an apology was due then failed to actually deliver one. Combined with Shallan’s failure I thought of this thread but we can look a bit further into it by using Amaram and Elhokar. Amaram. Now he did apologise, in the strictest sense of the word, the only problem was the sincerity of it. He was caught out in one direct lie and had to admit the truth, he apologised with all formality and admitted that he was sorry for what he did. The only problem being that his sorrow was in no way proportional to his sin, he may actually regret that innocent men were killed but he admits that this was not as important to him as gaining Shards ‘for the greater good’ and that he would do it again in a heartbeat. It is the forced apology that a child gives when caught out and made to apologise, an insincere formality. In his later viewpoint he makes it clear that his only real regret was not killing Kaladin too. (I think that once Amaram had confessed what he had done before witnesses Dalinar should have demanded he immediately surrender his Plate and Blade. What else could Amaram have done? It would have gone a long way towards Dalinar's apology) Elhokar is the only one who makes a real job of it, though he does not say the words ‘I’m sorry’ he does say what matters. He admits that he was wrong and he admits why he did it, he does this both to himself and to the person that he wronged. He humbles himself, he explains his hopes and his (many) faults and even asks for help in doing what is right. Of course he is drunk, in vino veritas as they say. A bewildered Kaladin shoots him down but he is still determined to figure how to do things better. You could also argue that there is strength in not saying ‘I’m sorry’ because when you formalise an apology too much you run the risk of doing it simply to clear your own conscience by getting forgiveness. The Wheel of Time is also good for looking at apologies specifically Elayne, Nynaeve and Egwene’s apologies to Mat. Let’s be honest, they each owed him big time for both rescuing them and for their treatment of him afterwards. Elayne and Nynaeve both get called out on their behaviour by Birgitte and Aviendha and made to apologise but as with Amaram above these apologies are completely insincere and only done with extreme reluctance. Elayne only regrets that she has somehow disappointed Aviendha and Nynaeve is… Nynaeve. Neither truly regrets their actions and their apologies are simply expected formality. It is only later that they work out Mat’s value as a person (and a friend) and they both make it up to him, Elayne in the way she treats him when they meet up again in Andor and Nynaeve in defending him when Tuon insults him (specifically mentioning the rescue). Both girls made a reluctant apology then backed it up later with actions, justifying their growth. Egwene on the other hand never apologises for any of her actions, she doesn’t learn to be a better person she learns to be an Aes Sedai. Perhaps if she had made friends willing to call her out more often (she sadly lost Aviendha to Elayne in that regard) she would not have been the only main character to… well, you know.., karma for not growing. (um, that is that she wouldn’t have… not that others would too). Thoughts?