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Found 9 results

  1. I've been thinking about how Szeth's oaths may play out in SA5; and some possible ways his narratives may come together, especially given that Szeth will be the flashback character in SA5. Here's our oaths to start as a reminder: I'm interested to see if Dalinar looses the contest of champions then how does Szeth's future play out in light of his Third Ideal? Does he become an agent of Odium by proxy of Dalinar's will? Does he break his oath to follow Dalinar consequently killing his (mysterious) Highspren? Does he say his Fifth Ideal, circumventing his Third Ideal? Or does Dalinar have the power of will to release Szeth from his Third Ideal without breaking it? What ever happens I think we will see a conflict for Szeth brought to light as we learn his backstory, particularly with that caveat in his Fourth Ideal: "So long as Dalinar Kholin agrees"... and it's going to be GOOD READING! Bonus theory: Imagine if Szeth-Nightblood are tricked/convinced into being (T)Odium's champion...? (T)Odium guy has so much emotional leverage over Szeth already, I can see him giving it a go... especially if Taravagian uses the advantage of no one knowing of his ascension to his advantage. Szeth has his Fifth Ideal as a nice little get out of my Third Ideal card to draw too! By the Almighties Tenth Name that would be a terrifying scenario for Dalinar, et., al! Nice knowing you team!
  2. This is a place to discuss any and all theories about who Odium’s champion for the contest of champions with Dalinar will be. To get you started, here are my thoughts on the topic. (This might run a little long, so I’ll put it in a spoiler box):
  3. TL;DR: It's Ishar. First off, let's get this out of the way. Why Moash cannot be the champion. As we can see, Odium chose Dalinar as his champion due to his fearsome prowess on the battlefield. Moash on the other hand, grew up as a caravan worker and picked up the spear for the first time under Kaladin's tutelage in the chasms. You'd ideally want the best of Odium's to become his champion and Moash is nowhere near that even with a newly bonded Honorblade. Meanwhile, Dalinar's side has so many deadly fighters. Szeth: trained to use all ten Surges and capable of killing multiple Shardbearers at once; Kaladin: master spearman; Adolin: master duelist; Jasnah: who can kill without even a touch; all of whom have been training for years. It'll hardly be a fair contest. Furthermore, Moash's role is to provide a perspective into what would drive a human to side with the Voidbringers. It has occurred in prior Desolations and thus a human fighting for the Voidbringers does not make Moash a champion to be. And then there's this: Moash is aware that humans are invaders on Roshar. We saw how troubled Bridge Four became when they learned about this in OB. I'm certain that we're going to see more humans side with the Voidbringers in the upcoming books. That Moash did it first does not make it special or unique. Hell, there are 26 countries on Roshar: Azir, Jah Keved, Thaylenah, Shinovar, Iri, Rira etc and nobody outside a handful in Alethkar are even aware Moash exists. Moash has just replaced Amaram as Kaladin's foil. Kaladin and Moash, two members from the same bridge crew in an Alethi Highprince's army, and with a history between them, fighting over the fate of all of Roshar? Nope. There's simply not enough depth to make Moash a compelling endgame villain threatening the entire human civilization in Book 5. The epic conflict brewing will deeply affect all of Roshar and thus it only makes sense that all the nations have a stake in the conflict. And that leads me perfectly to my next point: Who among the handful of people are known to all of Roshar and wield immense power? Why do I suspect the Heralds? Looking at the state of the war, we see similar occurrences being mirrored on both sides. Humans have begun to side with Odium; singers have begun to side with the Radiants. The Thrill, a cognitive shadow from Odium's side is captured; Jezrien, a cognitive shadow from Honor's side is killed. Sja-Anat, a cognitive shadow from Odium's side wants to betray him and join the Radiants; A Herald, a cognitive shadow from Honor's side has betrayed him and joined Odium. Or as the epigraph from Words Of Radiance, Chapter 86 says: The Heralds are incredibly weak after centuries of torture and I doubt they'd offer any resistance if Odium offered them the same deal he did to Dalinar: Give me your pain and in return, serve me. Narrowing down our list of suspects. Why do I suspect Ishar? Here's a detailed timeline of Ishar's activities with relevant quotes. Note that there's one section below which is pure speculation and I have called it out as such but it ties together several disparate plot lines neatly. Aharietiam - 4500 years ago Ishar agreed to serve Odium even before Aharietiam. He is the one who convinced the Heralds to abandon the Oathpact after a Desolation where only Taln died in the course of battle. Ishar suggested that one person may be enough to keep the following Desolations at bay. And so, the nine agreed to abandon the Oathpact. From the prelude of The Way of Kings: Ishar is the only Herald who survived the Desolations with his mind intact. From Oathbringer: Speculation Start I suspect Ishar assumed Taln being the sole Herald would not hold out for long and decided to wait it out until Taln broke. However, Taln's iron will over the centuries held strong and Ishar grew increasingly frustrated and instigated the False Desolation. False Desolation and Recreance - 2000 years ago The False Desolation is key to understanding the events which lead to the Recreance. Here is a quote from Coppermind: Look at the last paragraph (highlighted in bold) above. Ba-Ado-Mishram somehow managed to Connect with vast majority of the singers. Next, here's a quote from the Stormfather to Dalinar: Next up, here's a quote regarding the Dawnshards: Putting these quotes together, it's very likely that Ishar used a Dawnshard and Ba-Ado-Mishram to Connect with the vast majority of the singers and provide them Voidlight and forms of power. However Melishi, the sole Radiant Bondsmith of the era captured Ba-Ado-Mishram and due to the unnatural nature of the Connection, the capture of Ba-Ado-Mishram lead to all Connected singers losing their Identity. Quoted from Coppermind: Speculation End Now, there's one other significant event which ties into the Recreance: Nale's third ideal as a Skybreaker was to follow the word of Ishar. Nale seems incapable of making his own decisions and keeps visiting Ishar to seek guidance. Supporting quote from Edgedancer: Another one: From Oathbringer: Ishar is also the who sets Nale up on his mission to kill all budding Knights. Nale's a Skybreaker of the fifth ideal. He is the law. Hence all Skybreakers simply continued following Nale's will, and by extension, Ishar's will. Hierocracy - 500 years ago Ishar's next attempt at seizing power came during the Hierocracy, by which he had started wearing the guise of a God priest. Here's a very interesting quote, from The Way Of Kings: Here's another quote from Coppermind: Ishar almost certainly headed the Hierocracy and commanded his priests to conquer the world and control all people. He also did not want knowledge of the Radiants and Shadesmar to spread and thus rewrote significant portions of books and knowledge. However it was sometime during this time, a conqueror from Alethkar, Sadees the Sunmaker began an ambitious quest to conquer all of Roshar. I'm also certain that the Sunmaker saw the same visions as Dalinar did from the Stormfather. Relevant quote: Sadees, being a ruthless warrior attempted to "unite them" via conquest and put down the Hierocracy. For reasons unknown, he was poisoned soon after, leading to his death. I suspect involvement by the Ghostbloods, as poison seems to be their MO. Kabsal attempts to poison Jasnah, Iyatil attempts to poison Amaram through a blow-dart. Present Day As the God Priest of Tukar, Ishar has been engaged in the Eighty's War against Emul for control of the city of Sesemalex Dar. Here's evidence of Voidspren mysteriously appearing near Tukar: Here's some very subtle foreshadowing that Odium's forces are lead by a "head ardent" aka God Priest. And finally, Book Five was supposed to Dalinar's book before Sanderson switched it to Book Three. The final showdown in Book Five will be Dalinar, the Radiant Bondsmith going head to head against Ishar, the Herald of Bondsmiths, with both dueling and influencing Connection on a vast scale. Feel free to poke holes! Eager to hear what the community thinks
  4. So in (one of) the climactic scenes in Oathbringer, Dalinar does what Honor suggested in his visions to him and gets Odium to agree to a "contest of champions" for the fate of Roshar. A few questions come to mind. First and most basic - are the terms of the contest what Dalinar imagines? Odium phrases it as "As Bondsmith, you can offer this deal" - as if there were a standing clause in what binds him to Roshar that specified that a Bondsmith do it, or more likely (since the KRs were not created by Honor and the Order of Bondsmiths would not have existed before the Desolations began), that Dalinar is bonded to the Stormfather who is the "heir" to Honor as the biggest Splinter of him, the spren that was tasked with passing on the visions from Honor to a chosen recipient (Gavilar, at first, then Dalinar). Clearly Dalinar was thinking of the Alethi dueling tradition of single combat, with specified stakes. But Odium's agreement could be read one of two ways - agreement with the stakes that Dalinar just laid out ("your freedom if we win, our lives if humans win"), or agreement to a "contest of champions" according to some earlier compact where Dalinar is unaware of the details, including what exactly form the contest would be. Secondly - who is humanity's champion? Dalinar assumed it would be himself, as the issuer of the challenge, but then Odium went and designated him as his own champion - and Dalinar recognized that indeed, he had been so groomed for much of his life. So now what? By definition, no matter what Dalinar does, it would be a tie if he were BOTH champions in the contest. And he never named humanity's champion - his request, agreed to by Odium, was just to have the deciding contest at all. Odium naming him has his own champion suggests that Dalinar was "in play", which would also mean Dalinar could still pick someone else to be humanity's champion. Thirdly, who is Odium's champion, now? Dalinar's refusal to "give Odium his pain" was him refusing to fall under Odium's control, the way Amaram and Moash did. Does that mean Odium will have to choose someone else, or are there "no backsies" on his choice, and it's just too bad that his appointed champion is going to be working to lose on his behalf? Or... Did Odium technically choose Dalinar? Re-reading that scene, he never actually names Dalinar as his champion. He only points out that Dalinar fits all the criteria as to who he groomed to be his champion, as Nergaoul, The Thrill, consumes him, replaying all the gleefully violent acts from his past. Odium never throws that Pokeball and says, "Dalinar Kholin, I choose you!" And finally, when will the contest occur? When Odium has his little chat with Taravangian, he sees that the Diagram had predicted this scenario: How "Super-Genius Mr. T", "without access to Fortune, or the Spiritual Realm" as Odium noted, even knew about the possibility of a "battle of champions" between Odium and Dalinar is breathtaking. Odium does not dispute this assessment - which is not quite the same as admitting it is true, but let's take it as such. So, it is a "battle", which surely means combat mortal of some kind. It seems that Odium is bound by his agreement to the contest and its being binding, but the conditions are still left open - i.e., who the champions are - and that if he ever met with Dalinar again, he could force the deal to be completed. My call: Kaladin vs. Vyre/Moash. And... Storm it... Maybe Kaladin talks to him like he did to Amaram about how he still hurts... And Moash takes back his pain from Odium? Can he be redeemed? Or is that too obvious a storyline? It would probably depend on how we would get there in the next two books. What's that, you say? There are ten books in the Stormlight Archive? Yeah, but the way Oathbringer moved things along, I'm starting to suspect the "battle of champions" with Odium is the climactic element of "SA Part I" (Books 1-5), and the jump forward in time to the second quintet (?) is to represent how long it takes for the "final" conflict - possibly much wider in Cosmere scope than just Roshar - to bubble up and play out.
  5. So we know that Dalinar will eventually have to face Odium's champion, and who that will be is not yet known. But do we know whether Dalinar himself will actually fight? Or rather appoint his own champion? Dalinar is still a capable warrior yes, particularly with stormlight to aid him, but he's getting older now. He may opt to have someone, such as Kaladin, serve as his champion against Odium's. However, Dalinar is a bondsmith and the Stormfather mentions on at least one occasion that he has the most powerful of the surges, so perhaps Dalinar has an advantage there. Even if he were to fight himself, what weapon would he use? He wouldn't have a shardblade, unless that is when the stormfather finally gives in on that matter. Perhaps he could use one of the honorblades? I believe Vyre now has Jezrien's, but if Dalinar could get hold of one of the honorblades then he would have a shard and hopefully new surges to play around with. But still, how will he face his enemy do we think? The nine shadows of Odium's champion sounds dangerously like a reference to the unmade (perhaps somehow fused into the one champion?). So even with a blade and possibly two extra surges, how could he even hope to defeat his enemy? I realise I am not very familiar with the deeper lore of these books, but that's why I'm here asking questions, right? Anyway, I welcome your thoughts.
  6. I don’t really have any evidence for this assumption, at least not hard evidence. However, in the scene where he accidentally walks in on Shallan in a nightgown, I noticed something odd he said. He said, “ name is Adolin Kholin, I was born under the sign of the nine...” Knowing Brandon, I wouldn’t dismiss this as coincidence out of hand. We know Braize, Odium’s Invested planet, is related to the number nine. Since Preservation’s number was 16, Honor seems to be 10, while Odium is 9. Nine shadows of his Champion, Nine Unmade, etc. We have WoB on that, can’t find it. Anyway, what is “the sign of nine”? Why does it happen that a main character, who has had nothing special happen to him as an individual thus far (at least in comparison) suddenly mention this supposedly unimportant fact in passing? Coincidence? Not likely.
  7. Raw speculation: The first five books are about gathering Roshar’s humans in Urithiru (“uniting” them). The gap between the arcs is the “Night of Sorrows,” when the Everstorm rises to submerge Urithiru in darkness. The last five books are about humans fighting back, causing Odium to question whether he can win. The culmination is the Duel between Honor’s and Odium’s Champions. My basis for this speculation? It just feels right…. There is one item of evidence – the image of the ten Shardblades held aloft against the Voidbringer hordes. I suggest these are the Honorblades, not KR Shardblades. Honorblades, we know, consume Stormlight. I think they consume any Investiture, especially if Nale’s “Sword of Retribution” turns out to be Nightblood. I speculate these Blades will be used to remove voidspren from the Voidbringers, returning them to their normal state. With his army gone, Odium chooses to Duel. I have more confidence projecing the saga’s ending. Brandon says he foreshadows that ending somewhere in the first two books. @zandi opined the story of Fleet (WoR, Chapter 59) tells that ending. I agree. I reconstruct that story to fill in what I think happens during the race. It goes without saying this is complete speculation and guesswork. Preliminary Thought: If @Zandi is correct, the race is the Duel of Champions. How then to explain the person Dalinar thinks is Odium’s Champion? I suggest (again with no evidence) that the ten former Silver Kingdoms each fall to a different Voidbringer army led by an opposing Champion. Each Kingdom has an Oathgate That’s why I think the first five books chronicle the human retreat to Urithiru. Dalinar sees someone recognizable who embodies the Thrill. I think he sees Nergaoul in possession of the “unmade” soul of the recently murdered Sadeas. The Thrill is peculiarly Alethi. KR in Dalinar’s "Starfall" vision (IIRC) say their warrior class congregates in “Alethela.” I speculate each Odium Champion is a listener “god” in a mortal's form who has ties to that Kingdom. When Odium fears he may lose, he calls upon his true Champion, the “God of Storms,” IMO a corrupted version of the Stormfather. Let’s begin the final Duel of Champions: The storm begins in the east, so it’s not the Everstorm. But the chapter never identifies the storm as a highstorm. The reference to the “God of Storms” could mean the Stormfather or the listener’s Rider of Storms. Again, I speculate Odium has injected his Investiture into the Stormfather, giving Odium control over the storms. If Odium controls the Stormfather, does that mean Dalinar is the “one who betrays us” from the WoK back cover? Nale mentions the danger of making the Nahel bond oaths without Honor. Maybe this is what he means? Through the corrupt Stormfather, who makes a corrupt Nahel bond, the Bondsmith himself is unknowingly corrupt? Fleet’s description matches Kaladin. Fleet runs, he doesn’t Windrun. That suggests the storm doesn’t hold Stormlight. I think this confirms the storm is not a highstorm. Fleet’s soul is a “sun.” On Roshar, spren are “souls,” and Syl is Kaladin’s “soul.” I think Kaladin must hold Stormlight to glow. By then he’s a full Windrunner and can store and use Stormlight with peak efficiency. He must saturate himself with Stormlight. I have only guesses why he doesn’t fly. Maybe running conserves Stormlight better. Maybe Odium set the Duel rules. Or worse, maybe an unknowingly corrupt Dalinar set the rules, thinking he was acting Honorably. Could that be Dalinar's betrayal? Kaladin runs out of Stormlight, but still makes it into Shinovar: I think the storm “wilts” because it loses its Investiture – Odium’s Investiture – when the storm hits the mountains east of Shinovar. Highstorms likewise lose Stormlight there. IMO, that’s why there are no spren in Shinovar. As with the Voidbringers, pulling Odium’s Investiture from the storm leaves it in its natural state. The Stormfather, the personification of Honor, recognizes Kaladin’s sacrifice to protect Roshar. Is there anything more “Honorable”? Kaladin fully merges with Syl. His body is dead, but their fully-mingled soul remains, “forever free to race the wind.” And that’s how humans defeat Odium. What their prize is – Odium leaving Greater Roshar with reduced power? – is unclear. A final thought: I think Cultivation is more prescient than Odium. I think she knew the terms of the Duel he would someday want to fight. She prepared for that day by making Shinovar a sinkhole for Investiture. She won and reaped her revenge on him for killing Honor. Highly speculative, but what do you think?
  8. On page 385 of Hero of Ages, I found an interesting quote: The Stormfather gives Kaladin some interesting information as well: Doesn't this sound like an interesting coincidence of words? Maybe I'm missing something entirely, but do you think there's an in-Cosmere connection to what Elend is saying and what's happening on Roshar, or do you think this is just Brandon introducing this foreshadowing as an easter egg into the Stormlight Archive?