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Found 28 results

  1. So I don't know if this is even a theory, as it doesn't really have consequences that might be proven right or wrong, but rather an interpretation that I really like of the Diagram storyline as presented. Matter of fact, I was wondering how many people defaulted to this interpetation, and I was just slow not getting it right away, or if there's anything in the text that counters it. We are told the Diagram is difficult to interpet because Taravangian was so smart on that faithful day that he had to trascend "linear note taking" and instead had to bunch information together in what became the Diagram. What I think makes more sense, is instead that Taravangian's plan was to become Odium since that day, the diagram had to be so complex to hide his endgame from both other people and dumb Taravangian himself. He needed to create the cult related to the Diagram to reach his goal, but its full understading was unattainable for them by design, if super smart Taravangian had wanted the Diagram to be understandable, he would have made it so, but hiding the endgame is vital for the plan itself to work.
  2. I’m going to sketch out this theory and maybe get around to providing quotes and stuff to substantiate it later. And I don’t love time travel mechanics. Just too messy. So I’m not thrilled with where the evidence is leading me. But a couple of thoughts, all paraphrased: * Cultivation to TOdium: “you’ve been on this path for a long time” - ie before you asked for a boon from me - “I just tried to help you learn to wield the power with honor.” This is in response to TOdium shocked that she would try something so audacious like putting him in position to because Odium - which would absolutely include the Diagram. In other words, the Diagram was NOT part of her boon+curse. I take this to be explicit in the text - that T’s path to TOdium-hood started long before Cultivation got involved directly, and that that path kicked off with the Diagram * Speaking of the Diagram, Taravangian: “thinking that the Diagram was about anything more than saving Kharbranth was dangerous.” Dangerous why? I think we know the answer especially when we reach T’s last days: “he cried over the lies [about trying to make utilitarian sacrifices to save a seed of humanity] he told Dalinar - because the truth was much more shameful”. Yeah the truth - namely that you were doing all this with the goal of usurping Odium - is pretty shameful. Finally, there’s that moment that I’m struggling to recall in detail where he says “you don’t understand, Odium sets things up so that if he loses, he still wins.” Does that sound like the Odium we know? L O L. Our Odium loses without winning left and right. Our Odium is almost a beautiful loser: he prioritizes sending a message about doing things his way over actually winning. (This was during his last conversation with Dalinar.) You know who sets things up so that if he loses, he wins? In fact you might say “the only way to agree to a deal is to make sure that no matter the outcome you are satisfied”? That level of craftiness I’ve only seen from T - especially as TOdium, when he makes fun of Odium’s foolishness and says this! One more related piece of evidence: the epigraphs in WoR: ”You must become King. Of Everything.” 1) Taravangian was still able to achieve his primary goal without being king of more than Jah Keved 2) Everything contains quite a bit more than Roshar! But it is consistent with trying to save the entire Cosmere from incompetent shards, and waging a “war for everything”. “You must destroy the Parshendi if this one starts to explore their powers it will form a bridge” Why destroy the Parshendi if they might form a bridge between the Singers and the Listeners? That would be bad for Odium if he loses the Singers as an ally! But it would be GOOD for TOdium who clearly does not want whatever is happening between Leshwi, Venli, Thude, Rlain (+Renarin perhaps), Sja-Anat, and their associated followers - very bridge-like. At a minimum, the Diagram contains information about Odium with Taravangian as the vessel. But I would go so far as to say that the Diagram was a vision Taravangian got of himself - not Rayse Odium - from the future, and that Cultivation was certainly not involved.
  3. I'd like to share my favorite theory that no longer seems possible. So, when I started reading stormlight archives, my brother shared several ideas he had about the series. He avoided spoilers, since he hates them, but since he was three books ahead of me at the start, he had a few ideas about the future of the series. My favorite one that he came up with involved Taravangian's diagram. Since Taravangian isn't able to remember what his super brilliant self (brilliant T) was thinking the day he wrote the diagram, there's always been a lot of speculation about what exactly he was planning on that day. Based on the translations a certain king of Karbranth and his people were able to make, it seemed to be pushing him to try and assume control of Roshar to put himself into the best position to negotiate with Odium. Now, like Dalinar, I think Taravangian's pride and desire to prove himself the best and smartest ruler influenced the not-so-brilliant Tarangian's actions, but this isn't about that. What interests me is what was his brilliant self really planning. This theory is probably not relevant any longer, since Taravangian is now Odium, but what if brilliant T was trying to maneuver his future self in a way that created an opening to defeat Odium? Not put him in a position to negotiate with him, but actually defeat him? However, there's not much to support this idea, other than the fact that it would be a truly spectacular plot twist. It seems similar to a detective style story where the protagonist was the killer the entire time, which is part of why I like it. Only in this case, it's the past self tricking the future self, knowing that the future self can't be trusted. It would have made for a great reveal, if present Taravangian realized he'd been tricked the entire time by his past self, and deciding what he'd do going forward. And again, I realize the theory is almost certainly debunked, now that Taravangian is Odium and no longer following the diagram. Unless he thinks on what his past brilliant self wrote him at some point in the next book and makes a decision based on that, it seems impossible. So, what are some of your favorite theories/ideas that didn't end up happening?
  4. While re-reading Warbreaker, a question came into my mind - we all know that Returned come back for a purpose, probably based on what Endowment sees in the future. We also know from Odium's scene with Taravangian that in the view of the future, some people are grayed out like Renarin. If I get any of the exact wording wrong, the idea is still there some there are individuals who have become wildcards/unreadable. I wondered if Brandon has said anything about whether the Returned would be similarly greyed out or not. I feel like they would be considered wildcards in a similar way.
  5. I just really want to talk about Taravangian and all the awful heinous things that he has done. I see that he is not even counted as one of the big villains! Whereas I think he has done much much worse things as compared to Moash or amaram or some might even argue Sadeas. The veden war the world leader assassinations through szeth all the stuff he pulls to undermine dalinar, trying to kill dalinar secret alliance with odium now and the worst, absolute worst is his death rattle fishing. I don’t think people discuss him enough.. so please if you have any views, please share.
  6. Um, OB spoilers. So, Cultivation removed Dalinar's memories in order to cultivate him, much like a gardner would remove branches or shoots from a tree that have fouled for some reason in order for growth to happen, maybe to be grafted in at a later date when they could help the tree instead of harm it. So Cultivation starts returning Dalinar's pruned memories, and Dalinar later in the book realizes that Odium intended to return the memories all at the same time, which probably would have overwhelmed him to the point of giving up his pain. So Cultivation had a really smart plot for foiling Odium by using Dalinar. Why the mysterious tenth pancake did the Diagram order Dalinar's execution, and when that failed, removal from power and humiliation? Why did cultivation not try to stop that? If she had the Foresight to cultivate Dalinar in order to be able to resist Odium, then why were her Diagrammists actively trying to subvert what she was working on?
  7. 1. I am, like, 99% certain Cultivation inspired the Diagram "It sure is suspicious" that Taravangian managed to figure out all those secret things about Roshar just from being really smart. The primary candidates for giving Mr. T a helping hand have been Odium and Cultivation. Odium's reaction to the Diagram at the end of OB implies that it's the first time he's seen it- and more importantly, there are parts that he can't perceive. It seems reasonable to me that the only being that can hide things from a Shard would be another Shard. And which bits can't Odium see? Something about Renarin Kholin. (Who, it may or may not be relevant, was the one who wrote the Diagram in WoK Prime). 2. Renarin the sorta-Radiant and Glys the sorta-voidspren The most unique thing about Renarin, of course, is that he bonded a corrupted spren. Whatever that means. As far as I can can tell from Renarin's PoVs, Glys is solidly on Team Kick Odium's Chull Back To Braize. This despite the fact that he was remade by an Unmade, and (as per Argent's Secret Hint) gives access to Voidbinding. I think Glys used to be a normal Truthwatcher spren, because he does give regular Progression, and because Renarin's visions sound like a corrupted version of normal Truthwatcher resonance. There's a very popular theory around here that the top of the Surgebinding diagram is the orders and spren closest to Honor, and the bottom is the closest to Cultivation. Truthwatchers are right in the double eye, smack in the middle of the presumed Cultivation-centric spren. 3. Sja-Anat Sja-anat, despite being an Unmade, wants to defect. I think this must be a recent development, or Odium would have noticed. If the epigraphs are to be believed, her ability to corrupt bondspren is a recent thing, too. 4. Theorycrafting: Cultivation's long game Renarin might just be a central piece in Cultivation's long game. What if Cultivation is working with Sja-anat to help her break free from Odium? Subtly, at first, so that at the right moment S-a can switch sides without getting squished by her former boss. What if Cultivation deliberately sent Glys to Sja-anat, to be corrupted in a very specific way which would further Cultivation's plans? Maybe she even helped S-a with the corruption process, which is why S-a was able to "enlighten" a bondspren in the first place. Thus, Odium eventually loses one of his nine strongest minions. And Team Honor-Cultivation gains a new type of Radiant, one that, for some reason, is in Odium's blind spot.
  8. In There meeting Teravangion warns Odium he must not meet with Dalinar again , or Dalinar would be able to force a battle of champions . In his infinite wisdom when he was hyper smart Me T saw a contingency where no matter what Dalinar wins ! So I want you guys to tell me what that contingency in your mind is ? For example “ There is no way Dalinar looses a contest of champions if :” and tell me your theory . I’ll go first : There is no way Dalinar looses if he orders Szeth to loan him Nightblood . Dalinar then slams his fist together opening Honor perpindicularity and throws a bunch of gems on the ground . He then draws Nightblood and tells whoever Odiums champion is “ go ahead , make my day ! “
  9. So we know that Renarin seems to have a special place in the Diagram, and Odium is unable to see his part in it. I can see two possible reasons for this, that might be inter-related. 1. His ability to see the future as Odium sees it changes the future. We know that Renarin seems to have his future seeing ability through Glys' corruption. Presumably (given that both Renarin and Odium incorrectly see Dalinar fall) the future he sees is the same future that Odium has predicted. But this knowledge changes things. For example, Jasnah is set to kill Renarin when he turns around and nods, knowing what she will do and accepting it. That act prompts her to stop. By knowing a future he ended up preventing it. It will be interesting to see if he will start using this information consciously, working against Odium by using his own assumptions about the future against him. 2. He is Like an anti-Odium In the scene "A small bottle" Dalinar reflects that he can't understand why his sons don't hate him. This is particularly striking for Renarin given that we have seen ample evidence of Dalinar' lack of love towards his youngest up to this point. Yet he doesn't hate him, instead he shows extrodinary love and empathy. It may be that Renarin is so different from Odium that he either slips under the radar or Odium simply can't predict his actions because they are so alien to his nature. Curious to hear other theories.
  10. Forgive me if someone else has suggested this, but I didn't see a post that looked likely. I'm not sure I 100% believe this theory, but the sequence in OB where Taravangian met Odium got me wondering... what if Taravangian is basically keeping secrets from himself? What if the "super smart" version of himself realized that he could never keep secrets from Odium, so he set things up so that he himself would think he was working towards one thing but was actually working towards something different. Perhaps cultivation gave him more than he currently thinks (Fortune? etc) -- but it's gone now and he has no idea. Perhaps Taravangian has actually been working towards exactly what is happening and doesn't even know it himself because the Diagram was set up so cleverly that it mislead him. Evidence: When Odium looked at the diagram, there were things that he apparently somehow could not see -- things that were hidden from him: The diagram seems to almost "change" as it goes -- this could be contingency planning, but it could also be that the goals they think they work towards are not actually the real goals. This feels far-fetched, but at the same time it looks like *something* strange is going on. Perhaps Taravangian has unwittingly set himself up as a double agent.
  11. Earlier today I was discussing Odium and his potential with future sight with some people and it led me down an interesting line of thought. We know Rayse is a schemer and he uses Moelach to collect Death Rattles in order to see the future, for whatever reason. It could be that he's capable of using them in order to gain access to Honor/Cultivation's abilities- humans on Roshar are of them after all- in order to more accurately pin down the future. If this is true, it might mean that Odium is using Moelach to scan for specific bits of info he's not capable of finding out on his own. However, Odium is a schemer and the Death Rattles being collected are flawed. Anyone that is near can hear them, giving them some insight into the future and possibly Rayse's plans. For someone that is supposedly crafty and dangerous, this seems like a huge flaw in one of his lieutenants, especially one he might be reliant upon. Then it came to mind that he could be using Moelach for another purpose, to mislead King T into following his will without him realizing it. When on his supposedly most brilliant day, he brought up Moelach, though the manner in which he did so was a little suspicious. The way he phrases it almost makes it seem that he wishes for his future self to ignore Moelach and focus on more important tasks, like becoming a proper ruler for the world to follow behind. Thus leading to the chaos in Jah Keved. Yet, why waste such a powerful resource? I believe King T. knew at the time of the Diagram's creation that it'd grow more and more inaccurate and the Death Rattles would possibly provide a way to alleviate that, however I also think he knew that if he did so then all of his actions would become suspect, possibly tainted by Odium's own influence. So he decided to steer his future self away from that simple fix and instead focus on rulership. As fate would have it however, the present King T. decided that the resource was too valuable to ignore and started to harvest it. Essentially allowing Moelach to control and direct King T's actions and thus polluting the Diagram. Moelach then decided to leave Kharbranth and focus on other tasks that were at hand, like the wars in Jah Keved. Thoughts?
  12. Chapters 10-12 were released today, and everyone's talking about the big comedy moment: the image of Syl watching Kaladin have sex. Yes, the peeping spren is indeed hilarious. But it's also so much more. I think Brandon may have just dropped some epic foreshadowing, disguised as an innocuous joke. Spren do not respect closed doors. Spren are usually invisible to most people. Radiants are popping up all over Roshar, so sapient spren are about to be almost as common as regular spren. Conclusion? There is no more privacy on Roshar. Every single private conversation and covert activity is vulnerable to spyspren. No secret is safe. The Sleepless are nothing compared to spyspren. We've already seen Pattern used this way, but any Radiant spren should be able to do the same. And it's too big an advantage not to use. In fact, I'm a little disappointed that Shallan hasn't shared this technique with Dalinar and the others. It would probably be a big help in the murder investigation. Speaking of which... Adolin did a bad thing at the end of WoR, and he doesn't think there were any witnesses. Same for the copycat killer. (Assuming Adolin himself isn't the copycat killer.) But there could always be a spyspren. And what about voidspren? What if Odium has little eyes and ears all over the place, and no one can see them?
  13. Hi all, I come here frequently reading through the various theories. First time posting. I had an idea about Taravangian that I haven't seen around. First, I assume that his request to Nightwatcher was made like he quotes in WoR "The capacity to stop what is coming. The capacity to save humankind" Secondly, I'm a fan of the theory that this request could have been interpreted as two separate requests (not sure of an original theory source, but mentioned here Not mentioned is the possibility that he might have two curses. I don't recall there being a limit of one boon/curse for the Old Magic. I don't necessarily think this theory will turn out to be true, and it's not necessary for my theory, but I like its possibility. Finally, my addition to the discussion of Mr. T's plot: What if he's mostly right, the diagram will work, defeat Odium, stop the voidbringers, but it will destroy all (most?) life on Roshar other than "humankind". His solution will work, but it will only save humans. It stands to reason that, as apparent slaves to Odium, the Listeners also need saving at the very least. Then the various non-human and partial-human races and maybe even non-sentient life (if anything on Roshar can really be called that) Also, of course, the spren. It just seemed to me that the solution of the diagram may work but be incomplete and that the larger strife between the Diagram-ites and the Radiants when the big battle comes won't be who needs to win, but rather who needs to survive. Mr. T saving only humans, Radiants desiring to save everyone.
  14. "One is almost certainly a traitor to the others".--paragraph 27, book of the second desk drawer. All other quotes from the 2dd are about the unmade. Jasnah says in an epigraph of WoK that the unmade are considered "personifications of kinds of destruction". What if the traitorous unmade is the personification of betrayal?
  15. I have seen a few threads about the Diagram, but I think I have a different take on it. Apologizes if this has been discussed before! My theory is that the on the day the Diagram was written, Taravangian was NOT actually as smart as he thinks he was. Instead, something ELSE was influencing/affecting his mind on that day. Evidence: 1. The level of intelligence needed was statistically very unlikely Brandon gives us several pages where Taravangian and an advisor are discussing the probability distribution of Taravangian's intelligence, and the conclusion is that the "Day of Brilliance" was VERY unlikely: This interlude makes it clear that the "Day of Brilliance" was significantly outside Taravangian's normal intelligence range. I believe that this whole section is a hint from Brandon that maybe we should treat that day with suspicion, because Taravangian's supposed super-intelligence doesn't fit his usual curve. 2. The Day of Brilliance was different from other smart days On the day he created the Diagram, Taravangian's behavior was described as "babbling the whole time", "lucid insanity", and "madness". He also has no memory of that day: On his second most brilliant day, there is no evidence of insanity or madness, and he remembers it clearly: Taravangian's theory seems to be that both the madness and forgetfulness were byproducts of being off-the-charts brilliant, but I don't think we necessarily need to accept that explanation. I don't see why becoming smarter would lead to insanity or forgetfulness. In fact, I believe that the passages above, providing a direct contrast between remembering one bout of intelligence and not remembering the other, might be another hint that the Day of Brilliance wasn't what it seemed - it's another way in which it doesn't fit his usual pattern. Another discrepancy that I have seen others mention: Typically on Taravangian's smart days, he is correspondingly stupid about predicting human behavior. Yet, that doesn't seem to be the case on the Day of Brilliance. In fact, MOST of his predictions are about human behavior. Some have theorized that he could get smart enough to make up for his lack of empathy with sheer deduction ability, but that explanation is unsatisfying to me. 3. Raw intelligence could not have predicted the future so accurately In my opinion, creating the Diagram should have been impossible with ANY level of raw intelligence. Taravangian would only be able to extrapolate from what he already knew, and some of his knowledge seems like it couldn't just be rationally deduced (e.g. "the secret that broke the Knights Radiant" or "the nature of the bond", specific concepts like "Nahel bond" and "Investiture"). Also, extrapolating human behavior years into the future, even with infinitely high intelligence, just seems implausible to me. It seems like you would just have too much error and uncertainty adding up. Words of Brandon I asked Brandon about this on Reddit, and his answer was not conclusive, but he also didn't outright deny my suspicion: Conclusion? Whatever The Diagram is, it's not just rational deduction To me, Taravangian's theory that he predicted the future through sheer deduction seems far-fetched. A much better explanation is that this is exactly what it seems: - Madness - Scribbling on walls - Predicting the future - Not remembering ...Sounds like prophecy, right? My guess is that some other power was able to influence his mind on that day and give him knowledge of the future. Whether that "other power" is helpful or harmful is up for debate! Other misc thoughts 1. Cultivation has been associated with prophecy, and also has a link to the Nightmother... maybe there is some connection there. 2. If this theory is correct, it means that Dalinar and Taravangian both visited the Nightmother, and were both mentally influenced by prophetic visions... maybe receiving a "gift" from the Nightmother makes you open/vulnerable to something? (I'm thinking, similar to Ruin with Hemalurgy?) 3. Taravangian thinks that he invented the script that he used to write the Diagram, but since he doesn't remember that day, how can he be sure? Maybe during that day, he simply had knowledge of some other preexisting script? Might set up an interesting reveal later when somebody recognizes that script somewhere else! Thank you for reading!!
  16. Soooooo.... I always loved the concept of Taravangian , a man with varying intelligence and compassion. So recently I re-read the interlude from WoR that explains (sort of) how his boon and curse work . And then something peaked my interest but to give you my point of view I would like to clarify some points Taravangian got this "power" when he asked for the capacity to stop what is coming the nightwacher doesn't give you what you as (no matter how well you phrase it) but intead what she thinks you deserve and a curse to go along with it -as we learn from the shalash interlude (don't remember the number) in one of Dalinar's visions Tanavast (Haonor) tells him that although he can read the future Cultivation is far better at doing so So, is it possible that Cultivation through the Nightwacher gave Taravangian this power predicting his actions and knowing that this way it would be better for Roshar in the long run? I think yes
  17. So, most people seem to believe, as Taravangian does, that the Diagram is the result of his most genius of days (though a few mentions have been made of "something more supernatural" going on). My theory is that the Diagram was written at his most empathetic, and that Cultivation is the true author (though it was written by Taravangian's hand). My reasons: In WoR I-14, Taravangian comments that "genius and idiocy are so similar," that on his "most stupid days and [his] most incredible, [he] is unable to interact with those around him in a meaningful way." In fact, about the day of the diagram: "Then, too, he'd spent the day staring at the wall." (Emphasis added, presumably drawing a parallel to his behaviour on his supposedly most stupid days). Perhaps he feels that, at the extremes, the only way to tell the two apart is the result? Taravangian treats the Diagram with "reverence", as if it is "holy". The author of the Diagram repeatedly refers to someone (presumed to be Taravangian) in the second person (presumed to be his most brilliant self talking to his future, less intelligent self). The only quoted time, in fact, that the author uses the first person is in reference to "the wanderer," whom many people posit is Hoid, whom Taravangian seems to have no reason to know of. The entire Diagram is prophetic, to a high degree of detail on a massive scale. The Diagram is in a hitherto unknown language that is more expressive in ways required to discuss some of the advanced concepts it covers. [Intuitive leap, based on other speculation and thematics] Taravangian at his most intelligent is introspective, so rejects external influence in favour of his own knowledge and reasoning. At his most compassionate/empathetic he is most susceptible to external influence, having no conscious thought to get in the way. Also: Cultivation is known to be one of the Shards with greatest foresight. The vessel of Cultivation existed in an advanced civilisation prior to humanity existing on Roshar. The Nightwatcher: ...seems to be, or be connected to, Cultivation, with Wyndle (Cultivationspren, according to WoB) appearing to call it "Mother" in WoR I-9. ...granted Taravangian the "capacity to save the world". Therefore, the author of the diagram is Cultivation, while Taravangian was at his most dull, and so most susceptible to Her. This aligns Taravangian's interpretation of the intent (Intent?) of Diagram, being to tear civilisation almost to the ground in order to build it stronger, with a ubiquitous gardening technique that would come totally naturally to Cultivation: pruning back plants, in some cases to the ground, helps them grow fast and stronger. This actually aligns with a previous theory, in which it is by Taranvangian's empathy that the world will be saved, and also with the last comment on that theory, which is that Taravangian's (Cultivation's?) approach to saving the world is a valid-but-conflicting alternative to that of the known KRs (particularly Kaladin, guided by Honor):
  18. Sounds crazy, I know, but hear me out. From the Diagram, Book of the Second Desk Drawer: This is sort of speculative considering we only have 3 short exerts from the book, but it sounds like the Book of the 2nd Desk Drawer might be largely devoted to discussing the Unmade. Mr. T recognizes they might not be worth his time, but he can't help but obsess over them, even building "hospitals" to harvest death rattles from homeless people, drifters, and the terminally ill (as well as others...) If that's true, then the phrase: "One is almost certainly a traitor to the others," would most likely be referring to one of the Unmade. We know that Moelach is, in some capacity, intelligent and appears to have been deliberately helping Taravangian augment the Diagram with death rattles. For the record, I suspect that the Death Rattles are what tipped the Diagramists off that a Desolation was coming and that they needed to start getting ready in the first place since they don't appear to be Cosmere aware (speculation). I theorize then that Moelach, a Splinter of Odium, has turned on its creator and fellow Unmade (it is made from the power of hatred after all, so loyalty was probably never a virtue), and has decided to aid humanity. What could be its motivation for this betrayal you ask? Well, it probably found out that Odium was planning on reabsorbing it and leaving Roshar if he succeeds in killing Cultivation. This would make it a good candidate as a Godspren for a Bondsmith to join with (the others being the Stormfather, and possibly the Nightwatcher). (ASIDE: We don't technically know that Cultivation is alive, there have only been hints so far as I'm aware) Parshendi can bond voidspren pretty easily I hear, but I believe it's been stated by Sanderson that they would have a pretty hard time bonding a normal highspren (radiant-spren). Conversely, a human would have a very difficult time bonding a voidspren, even if they were really evil. Back in the day (before the Recreance) there were 3 Bondsmiths. It's often speculated that they each bonded a different Godspren, and two obvious choices are the Nightwatcher (a spren related to cultivation in an as-yet unrevealed way) and the Stormfather (a spren of Honor who has merged with Honor's cognitive shadow). I think it makes an elegant sort of sense for the third Godspren to be of Odium. Enter: Moelach. Eshonai is going to be a viewpoint character so I'm assuming she'll break free of her enslavement by Odium at some point, otherwise, why point out so heavily that she is possessed (and not just evil) and that her real personality is both alive and watching in (seemingly) helpless horror? What better way for her to break free than by forcing the spren possessing her out by bonding a more powerful spren? One that she wouldn't have a difficult time bonding (voidspren) and who appears to desperately want to resist Odium out of self-preservation. She is a natural and compassionate leader of her people and possesses, in my understanding, many of the qualities that allowed Dalinar to become a Bondsmith. What better general for the remnants of the Parshendi (and maybe Parshmen) who either have, or will, avoid being possessed by voidspren? Note, she's not slated to have a book dedicated to her for a good long while yet, know...get settled in because I don't think she's going to be breaking her chains for a few years. In summary, my theory boils down to: 1. Moelach is helping humanity because he (she?) knows Odium is going to throw him away like a used tissue once their business on Roshar is concluded, ie: Moelach wants to splinter Odium. (think rogue AI trying to kill its creator to keep them from unplugging it, ie: classic sci-fi) 2. Moelach would be a good candidate for a Godspren capable of making a Bondsmith, but he would have to bond a Parshendi (or Parshmen I guess...) 3. Eshonai is a high-profile Parshendi view-point character, who exhibits a similar temperament and moral code to Dalinar (a known Bondsmith), is probably going to need to break free of Odium's enslavement over the course of her story-arc, and is (was?) a natural and beloved leader and military strategist. 4. Eshonai will be a Bondsmith with Moelach's help and lead the remnants of the Parshendi race that, somehow, avoid being possessed by voidspren. (maybe they wrap themselves in aluminum foil and stay indoors during highstorms?) That's all folks! Thoughts? Criticisms? Critiques? I've been told my writing can occasionally come off as cumbersome/confusing, so, for a limited time, we're also accepting general stylistic commentary and (constructive) feedback.
  19. From the end of WOR, it seems we have two groups who are or will grow to be the main powers on Roshar: the Taravangian led Diagram; and the Dalinar led Radiants (I know that he does not truly lead them but he is the closest that they have right now). While I am sure other groups will come into play, I am not sure that they will be able to match these groups easily. What I want to discuss is the different plans for weathering the coming storm. It seems to me that the Radiant strategy will rely more around fighting their way through the desolation. I know many orders were not necessarily fighters (although they all seem to possibly get a shardblade anyway) but in my mind, the strategy is more directly confrontational. They want to protect as many people as they can while also fighting back against the voidbringers. This is what they have done in the past but never without the Heralds. It may not work well to use this same strategy, with or without them. Taravangian, on the other hand, seems to be more about survival by any means. This may be what is required to make it past the desolation this time but one wonders at the cost. It seems to me (from the quote above) that he believes as long as enough of humanity survives to allow them to repopulate, he has done his job. But this may even mean sacrificing all other humans besides this necessary seed population. The Diagram would likely see no difference between using all remaining humans to fight/protect this seed or slitting their throats themselves as long as it served their ultimate goal. Obviously, I am somewhat skeptical of the morality of the Diagram. Like I said, it may offer the best hope for Roshar but the sacrifices of the innocent that it could allow makes me wonder. I am also somewhat biased towards the glory of Radiant battles (how Alethi of me). But I do know that the Radiants will have to be and do more than they have in the past if the hope to actually make it through this fight. What do you guys think?
  20. I were comparing some epigraphs from my book with the original ones in English, when I spotted something in Taravangian's Interlude. The one when Szeth comes to him to tell him about Kaladin. Mr T. is scared that Szeth will break and turn on him, so he tells Szeth that it must have been somebody with a Honorblade. Two things: So Diagram knew about Skybreakers (not surprising), about Helaran and about Shallan being a Surgebinder... But what made him think that Helaran was a Surgebinder? Or maybe he really was? But at that point in the book Kaladin already got out of the chasms, so Graves was introduced to Kaladin long ago and Kaladin already broke his bond by deciding to help him. He even told them that he agrees with them. Is this Interlude anachronical? I doubt it, since Szeth was given an order and went to fulfill it. If it happened earlier he would also had come earlier to kill Dalinar, not in the middle of battle between Voidbringers and Alethi, with two Highstorms colliding. I'm sure he would pick a time when the armies were marching, maybe some time when Dalinar went scouting with a smaller squad of soldiers or something. If this Interlude happened chronically, then why Graves haven't reported to Taravangian about Kaladin? Even if Moash didn't tell him about Kaladin being Surgebinder, Graves would be able to put two and two together (since there is a passage in Diagram about looking for those who survived when they shouldn't). He must have heard stories about the Stormblessed, who survived a Highstorm and bridgeruns (statistically, Bridge Four had a higher survival rate than others), so of all people somebody familiar with Diagram would realise what's going on.
  21. A Rosharan Political Analysis: Secret Societies Ghostbloods, Diagramists, Skybreakers, Sons of Honor, Envisagers, Stone Shamans, Ardentia The following is intended to be a comprehensive guide on known secret societies on Roshar, especially ones interfering in The Stormlight Archive. Due to the complexity and excessive number of such societies, this will hopefully be a useful reference for newcomers, confused fans, and those that want to double check or reference any information. If you note any inaccuracies or things that I missed, feel free to let me know so that I can update the information to be as accurate as possible. The Ghostbloods: The Ghostbloods are the most encountered secret society with the least information given. As Mraize told Shallan at the end of Words of Radiance, we know next to nothing about the Ghostbloods or their purpose. We can, however, make some educated approximations, and codify the information we have been given. · Jasnah Kholin: She and the Ghostbloods seem to be engaged in a policy of mutual assassination; but unfortunately we don’t know the history or reasons behind this. · Sons of Honor: There seems to be a specific rivalry between the Ghostbloods and the Sons of Honor. The Ghostbloods have a keen interest in Amaram at the Shattered Plains, and Iyatil tried to assassinate him at the end of Words of Radiance (most likely, she has at least one nonlethal poison); Amaram also suspected the Ghostbloods of sending Helaran as the Shardbearer to kill him, though later evidence indicates that it was really the Skybreakers. Gavilar’s two suspects for his assassination were Thaidakar (probable leader of the Ghostbloods) and Restares (probable leader of the Sons of Honor). Both are also seeking maps and Urithiru. · Maps and Urithiru: The Ghostbloods have an uncanny interest in maps. (This is not singular to the Ghostbloods; the Sons of Honor, Parshendi, and others seem to have the same interest.) Either they (as well as the others) are putting plenty of effort into the search for Urithiru (as seems likely), or the maps have something else of interest. · Taravangian and Tukar: Mraize, in his conversation with Raspy Voice, seemed to indicate that he thinks Taravangian and the Diagram of little importance. Either he is unaware of the Diagram or its extent, or the Diagram is of less importance than we are led to believe. In the same conversation, he speaks of a “creature in Tukar” that is either not human or not of the local species. As pointed out, this is likely the "god-priest, Tezim," leading the Tukari in the conflict over Sesemalex Dar. · Worldhoppers: Secret conversations, key props, the Diagram, and Words of Brandon confirm that Mraize and Iyatil are worldhoppers. The conversation Shallan overheard in Chapter 54 of Words of Radiance seems to indicate that there may be at least one other. A person with a raspy voice. Conspiracy theory! Dreok Crushthroat! The Ghostbloods could, therefore, be a Cosmere-wide organization in either membership, expanse, or at least information. Significant Members: · Mraize: A man who, on first sight, reminds Shallan of Hoid. He is twisted an scarred, fixates on courage (in his first conversation with Shallan), and likes to use local weapons to learn of different cultures. He is the ward of Iyatil, and a worldhopper. In fact, Adrotagia wondered (in her annotations to the Diagram) if he was the “wanderer Taravangian spoke of. · Iyatil: She is considered the “babsk” of Mraize. The only other babsk we see is Vstim, and from Rysn we learn that the babsk is considered the parent of the apprentice, in charge of “rearing” them to be a full trader. I am not sure how this relationship works with the Ghostbloods. She has an orange carapace mask she refuses to remove, is a skilled actress, and is also a worldhopper. · Tyn: An expert con artist that took Shallan under her wing. She was in league with the Ghostbloods but may not have been an actual member. She was in charge of the operation to assassinate Jasnah Kholin. Shallan killed her with her Shardblade when Tyn discovered her identity and tried to kill her. · Thaidakar: This appears to be a leader or high ranking member of the Ghostbloods (he is spoken of in conjunction with the Ghostbloods in a way that implies he is the head of the organization by Amaram in The Way of Kings, and Words of Radiance reaffirms a Ghostblood position, with the term “Master Thaidakar” used by Mraize. Gavilar suspected Thaidakar for his assassination, telling him that he was “too late;” though Restares (a Son of Honor) and Sadeas were also suspects. We have no other information at the moment. Lin Davar: Father of Shallan and Helaran (along with three other siblings). He assumed the blame for the deaths of Shallan's mother and her friend in order to preserve the secret of Shallan's Radiancy and the fact that Shallan had killed them (albeit in self-defense). He grew politically ambitious, increasing House Davar's importance and preparing to make a bid for Highprince, but making enemies and alienating allies. His steward, Luesh, was his intermediary with the rest of the Ghostblood organization, which had been backing his bid for the Highprince succession and had loaned him the Soulcaster. He was killed by Shallan when he tried to kill Nan Balat during one of his rages. Luesh: Steward to Lin Davar and his intermediary with the Ghostbloods as they backed him politically. He was trained to use a Soulcaster. He (purportedly) died in his sleep after Lin's death, while Shallan was in Kharbranth. Kabsal: A Ghostblood posting as a Kharbranthian Ardent. He befriended and fell in love with Shallan, but his main purpose was to assassinate Jasnah Kholin. He died from poisoned bread during the assassination attempt after Jasnah inadvertently Soulcast the antidote. Shallan: Following Jasnah's "death," Shallan's encounter with Tyn, and her arrival at the Shattered Plains, Shallan infiltrated the Ghostblood organization under the alias Veil. She was ultimately admitted as a full Ghostblood member, but her true identity was ultimately discovered. Despite this, Mraize still offered her the membership. "Let Shallan Davar be a Radiant, conformist and noble. Let Veil come to us. And let her find truth." Interesting quote (from Mraize's conversation with Shallan at the end of Words of Radiance): "Your family [the Davar's] has a long history of involvement in these events." The Sons of Honor: The Sons of Honor are a group of Vorin extremists. Fortunately (or unfortunately), we see a lot of them through the interactions and investigations of Amaram, especially from Words of Radiance. (Ironically, the English singular – Son of Honor – is only one letter away from perfect Rosharan symmetry, a good Vorin name.) Their purpose is to return the Desolations in order to bring back the Heralds and restore the Heirocratic dominance of Old Vorinism. While obviously misguided and misinformed, and seemingly unimportant, they still manage to kick up quite the storm. Restares: We know little more of Restares than we do of Thaidakar. The apparent leader of the Sons of Honor, all we truly know is that he is Amaram’s superior, one of Gavilar’s murder suspects, and that his cronies were “close,” according to Mraize, presumably to finding Urithiru. He is usually mentioned in context with Thaidakar. He is the individual to whom Amaram sent his progress report at the end of Words of Radiance. Amaram: A devout Son of Honor, he has been seeking Heralds (namely the “person who calls himself Taln), gathering maps (presumably seeking Urithiru), and trying to get the Parshendi to transform into Voidbringers. While he has garnered much dislike in the novels and among fans for murdering Kaladin’s men and being generally dishonorable, I feel he is no worse (and absolutely no better) than many of the other misguided, semi-antagonistic members of such secret societies; while he is more misguided than most, he honestly feels he is doing what is best for Roshar, without regard to himself, but has a very destination-before-journey mindset that is common in similar individuals (Taravangian, Mraize, and even Hoid to an extent). The Diagramists: The most appreciated and generally understood secret organization, the society of the Diagram is the prime example of “Destination before Journey,” summarized by the Catechism of the Back of the Flowered Painting: Q: What cost must we bear? A: The cost is irrelevant. Mankind must survive. Our burden is that of the species, and all other considerations are but dust by comparison On the night of his death, Gavilar confided in King Taravangian of Kharbranth, telling him of his visions of the Almighty. Following this, Taravangian sought out the Nightwatcher, asking for the capacity to save humankind. The result? Daily intelligence fluctuations, inversely connected with compassion levels. Then came one “singular day of unparalleled brilliance,” “making connections no man had ever before made”: The Diagram. Information written in an alien script (devised by Taravangian that day to express information more clearly) all over Taravangian’s bedroom, with a key fortunately carved into his table; now codified (in its original form) for more practical use. Although Taravangian’s Interlude maintains that he did not truly see into the future, the Diagram has made “eerily accurate” (though not entirely infallible) predictions of the results of specific actions necessary to unite the world (under Taravangian) to resist the Desolation, as his interpretation of Gavilar’s visions required: “You must become king. Of everything.” Quotes: · Inaccuracies: The Diagram, while startlingly accurate, has been off about a few things, more so the farther into the future it goes. Taravangian hopes for another day of equivalent intelligence to revamp the Diagram, but Adrotagia’s calculations declare this to be unlikely. Therefore, the current method is to use Death Rattles, little precognitive phrases uttered by the dying, created by Moelach (according to the Diagram, one of the Unmade) and powered by the “spark of life itself.” Two problems thus arise: First, that the Diagram is gradually decreasing in accuracy; Second, that the method of updating the Diagram is controlled by an evil, powerful being most likely a Splinter of Odium. These could have interesting future ramifications. · Death Rattles: · Sleepers: These are members of the Diagramist group, likely a term for a specific type of undercover agent. “Wake every Alethi sleeper we have; send every agent in the area.” These may include Graves and his men. · Silent Gatherers: These Diagramists are headed by Joshor and are in charge of murdering the terminally ill in the Kharbranthian hospitals in order to find and record as many Death Rattles as possible to augment the Diagram. Members: · Taravangian: King of Kharbranth and now Jah Keved, Taravangian was the confidante of Gavilar Kholin on his final night. After seeking out the Nightwatcher, he received the boon of intelligence fluctuation and created the Diagram on a day of unparalleled genius (as explained above). Through his occasional brilliance, he is able to interpret the Diagram and is the leader of the society. “Besides, in dealing with the Diagram, he might not remember what he had written or why – but there were echoes sometimes.” · Adrotagia: Head of Taravangian’s scholars and his boyhood friend. Following Taravangian, she probably knows the most about the Diagram. · Mrall: Taravangian’s bodyguard, in charge of determining his capacity to serve in public on a daily basis. A peculiar figure, he claims to be able to “change emotions on a whim,” such as ceasing to take pleasure in suffering. · Graves: A self-styled Alethi patriot and a Shardbearer, he was in charge of the group trying to assassinate King Elhokar. He is now fleeing the Shattered Plains. Through the assassination attempt, he recruited Moash to their cause. · Szeth-son-son-Vallano: Truthless of Shinovar, the Assassin in White. An explanation should be unnecessary. From the middle of The Way of Kings to the end of Words of Radiance, he is under the control of Taravangian and acts on his orders. The Skybreakers: The name originally applied to an order of the Knights Radiant. Whether they remain so, are the organizational remnant of what used to be Radiants, are Radiants ("This act of great villainy went beyond the impudence which had hitherto been ascribed to the orders; as the fighting was particularly intense at the time, many attributed this act to a sense of inherent betrayal; and after they withdrew, about two thousand made assault upon them, destroying much of the membership; but this was only nine of the ten, as one said they would not abandon their arms and flee, but instead entertained great subterfuge at the expense of the other nine."), or merely share the same name and Heraldic leader remains unknown. In any case, they are a group headed by Nalan, Herald of Justice. They do seem to “put the law above all else,” though laws are twisted to suit their needs, and they certainly have a proliferation of Shardblades; however, their actions do not seem Radiant-worthy and they seem to be trying to assassinate – pseudolegally, of course – Surgebinders along the path to Radianthood, all in the name of preventing another Desolation. The best knowledge comes from the Interludes of Ym and Lift, along with Szeth’s portion of chapter 88 of Words of Radiance. I hope for a vast increase of information with the release of the next book (such as the information and references in The Way of Kings versus those in Words of Radiance.) · Nalan’elin: “Nin” to Szeth, almost certainly Darkness to Lift and the man in Ym’s story; Herald of Justice, Divine Attributes of Just and Confident. We don’t know what the years since Aharietiam have truly done to the Heralds, though they seem to be “doing worse.” This one has gained a penchant for assassinating Surgebinders and (Jezerezah only knows what else he’s been up to! I’ll leave it up to your imagination). · Szeth-son-Neturo: Once again, the Assassin in White needs little introduction. Now he has and a mission to bring justice to the leaders of the Shin, and he is learning at the feet of a dangerous Herald who may or may not be just as unstable as Szeth. · Helaran: Shallan’s oldest brother apparently “sought out the Skybreakers,” presumably where he received his Shardblade and Plate. Taravangian and Adrotagia considered him a possible tutor of Shallan in her Surgebinding. Nothing else is known, despite Shallan’s flashbacks (I am beginning to tire of saying that. I expect some good information from the third book!) The Envisagers: A cult, as Teft called them, that “believed in the Radiants, Heralds, and Old Vorinism; especially Old Vorinism.” They believed that if they could return the Voidbringers, it would bring back the Knights Radiant (comparable to the Sons of Honor in the preceding respects). They believed that if they put their members in mortal danger, they would manifest Surgebinding powers – a Snapping concept, of sorts. None did, but many (including Teft’s mother) died trying. Teft turned the Envisagers in to his citylord, who executed them all. If other groups exist, he (and we) is unaware. NOTE: This concludes the section on all known secret societies – at least, those known to be secret societies. The two following are potential candidates once more information is known; as things stand, any accusations of ulterior goals remain theorization. I hope the information is helpful, regardless. The Ardentia: The Vorin ardentia are the religious officials that remain after the Sunmaker destroyed the Heirocracy and Old Vorinism. While they lack the overwhelming political power they had previously, they are extraordinarily well placed to be a massive secret society in the Vorin nations of the East: ardents include cutting-edge scientists, scholars with access to practically all of the Eastern world’s knowledge (especially the Palanaeum), politicians (though they technically aren’t supposed to be), religious authorities and advisors, fighters, Shard-trained soldiers, and Soulcasters – in fact, they control all known Soulcasting fabrials. They seem too suspicious and well-positioned, especially with the fact that they once controlled the major Vorin nations. Stone Shamans and the Shin: I hesitated to include these, but the information, while mildly speculative and not truly a secret society, could still be of use. Stone Shamans seem to be the leaders of the Shin – certainly of their religion, which worships the spren of stone. They have the Honorblades and have kept them safe “for millennia” – likely since the Last Desolation. Szeth mentions eight of the nine, specifically (though he wasn’t terribly surprised with the fabricated news that one was stolen), and we have WOB that a Herald came back for his. Unfortunately, insofar as I know, we lack a time indicator – whether it was immediately following the Desolation, before Szeth’s expulsion, or afterwards is unknown, and the latter would mean that there is another unaccounted Honorblade. Presumably, the Stone Shamans use them, for they would have been able to retrieve the Honorblade following Szeth’s death in normal circumstances (whether they will try or succeed to regain the Honorblade from the new Knights Radiant remains to be seen) – though how this reconciles with the societal abhorrence of weapons and soldiery is unknown. Regardless, we know Szeth plans to “face enemies with Shards and with power.” Besides the ownership of the Honorblades (and potentially other Shards), however, is the potential knowledge, both generally held and that discovered by Szeth, leading to his naming as Truthless. Unfortunately, all that we know is very vague and will likely remain so until Szeth visits Shinovar or we see his flashbacks. Regardless, we can extrapolate from the few glimpses Szeth does give us, namely in Interlude 9 of The Way of Kings and phrases screamed while fighting Kaladin. Something made Szeth believe that the Radiants and Voidbringers had returned. He told others, probably the Stone Shamans, but was convinced or forced - despite what he claims his honor demanded - to become Truthless. (I am of the opinion that he was forced religiously, and he complied in the name of law and order, which Nalan claimed Szeth worshipped - “They told me I was Truthless,” emphasis added, and “There was no place for him in the Valley of Truth,” a name that seems to imply religious significance. There is also an interesting dichotomy following his acceptance of his station; while “his honor demanded” that the Voidbringers existed despite the fact that “his punishment declared that they did not,” the appearance of Kaladin as a budding Radiant made Szeth question his nature as Truthless until Taravangian’s explanation forced him to remain in his place.) Along with a possible knowledge of Radiants and Voidbringers, Szeth recognizes a Herald on sight (albeit by a different name than they are called in Vorin nations), and he knows more about Surgebinding than the Ars Arcanum from The Way of Kings and arguably that of Words of Radiance, despite Shinovar’s lack of access to Stormlight. They also had a knowledge of Urithiru. It will be very interesting to learn more of the Shin in future novels. Honorable mention: These are groups that deserve notice but lack requisite information for full consideration. Worldsingers: An order that travels across Roshar, "spreading knowledge of cultures, peoples, thoughts, and dreams; bringing peace through understanding." They claim that their charge to do so came directly from the Heralds. Related to the Worldbringers of Terris and probably founded by Hoid, Hoid is a member and was the mentor to Sigzil, graduating him during The Way of Kings. Veristitalians: A group of scholars that seeks to find the truth of what has happened in the past, such as finding natural explanations for supernatural phenomena and discovering unbiased history. Jasnah is a prominent member. Stormwardens: A group of make scholars finding loopholes in Vorin restrictions. They mathematically predict highstorms, use glyphs as a written phonetic script, etc. Several stormwardens have been involved with secret societies, but nothing indicates that the organization as a whole is. Vanrial: Am order of artists at Silent Mount in Jah Keved, responsible for preserving the full text of The Way of Kings throughout the Hierocracy. Each year they sing songs believed to be in the Dawnchant, of which Dalinar's visions seem to be giving a translation. Oldbloods: The descendants of the dynasty that once, long ago, ruled Alethkar. They mark themselves with blue tattoos on the cheek. Teleb, a Kholin highofficer and ultimately a Shardbearer, is an Oldblood. "In Yulay, there are groups of people who talk of the Radiants. And wish for their return." This quote from Sigzil may refer to the Envisagers or a separate group. I hope that this compilation is helpful. If you note any inaccuracies or know of anything I overlooked, any and all help is appreciated – I mean this to be a full, complete resource for anyone that could use it. Thank you! Edit 1: Updated the Ghostblood information, switching Iyatil for Mraize (as the assassin fit Amaram), added nonlethal poison as an option, fixed ambiguity of worldhopper status for Mraize and Iyatil, fixed "creature in Tukar," and added Lin Davar, Luesh, Kabsal, and Shallan/Veil. Edit 2: Added Worldsingers, Veristitalians, Stormwardens, Vanrial, Oldbloods, and Yulay groups.
  22. The quote itself is taken from the Diagram and Androtagia thinks that it may be referencing Mraize. It makes more sense that it would be referencing Hoid instead. But who is the wanderer, the wild piece, the one who makes no sense? I glimpse at his implications, and the world opens to me. I shy back. Impossible. Is it?
  23. Hi all, I recently saw Brandon at the London signing and got to ask him the following question: Me: "In Mistborn, we saw that Ruin was able to manipulate writings not written in Metal and essentially alter the prophecy. Has or is something happening to Taravangian's Diagram" Brandon: *Smiles* "Oh, here you go" *hands me a RAFO card*, "Let's just say that seeing the not of Honour" I can't remember if that is the exact wording, he might have said "is not genuinely of Honour". Now the way he said originally made me think that Odium would have been the one who would have the most to prophet from providing a false diagram. But then again apparently Odium is locked on Braize without being able to do any harm. Maybe his influence is still able to affect others. However the other option, and perhaps slightly more likely is that as the Nightwatcher gave Taravangian the power to create the Diagram, and I think that the Nightwatcher is of Cultivation (or even Cultivation itself), so the Diagram is designed to suit Cultivation's purpose. Now if you type Cultivation into google it comes up with 2 meanings striaght away: 1.the action of cultivating land, or the state of being cultivated 2.the process of trying to acquire or develop a quality or skill If we look at what Taravangian is doing, the Diagram is leading him to shape the land or cultivate in it in some way. He also mentioned the possibility of killing off everyone below the average intelligence, which ties in with the 2nd meaning. It got me thinking about other times we have seen the future, and I thought of Atium and how it provides you with a breif glimpse. This is of Ruin who is the main antoganist and I have the feeling from what Brandon said that seeing the future is supposed to be a bad/evil thing or at least related to evil. This would make sense if the Diagram was of Odium but if it is of Cultivation, maybe there is a purpose that we don't understand that perhaps is quite that compasionate to human race. The other mention of seeing the future that I found was in Warbreaker where The First Returned, Vo, saw the 5 visions. I can't remember if we've seen all these visions yet and maybe they're not even related but I'm just throughing it out there for speculation. So to Summarise: We know that the Diagram is not of Honour, and we can pretty much guess that is either being altered or was orginally designed to manipulate. However it's still uncertain which shard it comes from. Would love to hear your thoughts.
  24. First of all, forgive me if someone else has already posited this. I will freely admit that I lost track of all the new posts during the post-WoR explosion, and I'm actually quite bad at finding stuff that I haven't read at least once before. That said, I have had an assumption about how the Diagram is so accurate floating around in the back of my head ever since I first saw someone question how a smart Taravangian (hereafter referred to by his proper title of "Mr. T") could make accurate predictions about human behavior given his previously demonstrated idiocy in that regard whenever he's really smart. Like how one day a smart Mr. T tried to get all the dumb people to commit suicide, and actually thoughts that everyone would agree with him so long as he explained it all well enough. So the question naturally arises in many minds: How could the super-ultra-duper-mega-smart Mr. T who wrote the Diagram predict the course of a conversation, let alone the course of human events on an entire planet? My immediate thought when I saw this question was as follows: Super-Mr. T crossed a very important threshold that day: he became intelligent enough to model human thought and behavior (on the macro scale, at the very least) as a pure abstraction, a pure exercise of thought without any reference at all to his own feelings, intuitions, or proclivities. It's as if you dropped a Mr. T-shaped AI on Roshar with all of Mr. T's memories and the directive "save humanity" and then let it figure it all out on its own. Where I would think that normally we model how other people will think and behave based in large part on our own capacities—our empathy and how we'd react in their situation and the like—it seems that intelligent Mr. T, besides not having compassion to care for the suffering of others, doesn't have that ability to empathize, and quite likely doesn't really even think in the same ways as normal people. So any attempt by an intelligent Mr. T to predict the behavior of others will necessarily be poisoned by his own atypical intuitions and proclivities. There may even be another threshold that Super-Mr. T had to cross before he was intelligent enough to recognize and consciously ignore his own intuitions about how other people will behave, such as his incorrect intuitions in the dumb-person-suicide case. --- So, in concluding, I think that the Diagram faction is entitled to trust in Super-Mr. T's predictions and directions because Super-Mr. T was so smart that he could model how us puny humans would react and take those reactions into account. Given the assumption that the Diagram's end goal is the salvation of some part of humanity, and given that Diagramists are heavily skewed towards the "ends justify the means" camp, Super-Mr. T is worth trusting. EDIT: I'm "espousing" the main idea in the OP (and other threads, as it turns out), not necessarily all the morality discussion that follows.
  25. The Recreance - why, how, and when it happened - is obviously going to play a central role in the upcoming books. We know precious little, but I would like to propose a simple (if outlandish) theory as to why it happened. The Knights Radiant could be mind-controlled by Odium. Yes, you read that correctly. I would like to propose that the Knights gave up their power to prevent Odium from taking them over en masse following the most recent Desolation. To properly motivate this idea, I need to lay out some facts: * The cause of the Recreance can be communicated simply * The cause must be sufficiently dangerous that almost all of the Knights gave up simultaneously * The spren would interpret these actions as a betrayal The first fact follows from the Diagram, and the fact that Taravangian could somehow use the secret to break up the new Knights. I take this to mean that he would announce whatever the secret is, and the Knights would be compelled in some way to give up their power. In particular, I think the Knights themselves have to decide to give up their own power. The second fact follows from the Feverstone Keep vision and the in-world Words of Radiance. This isn't a gradual event - suddenly, within a fairly short time window, all of the Knights give up their power. I take this to be an indication of the magnitude of the damage caused by the secret. The third fact follows directly from Jasnah, the Stormfather, and Pattern. How does this mind control work? We have seen on other worlds how a Shard can interact with damaged souls, and it isn't much of a leap to assume a similar thing can happen here. Knights are, by construction, damaged souls. Odium simply reaches in, granting him anything from direct control to simply changing viewpoints. There may be some restriction on this ability, some requisite hatred or similar that allows Odium to take hold. Thus, a particularly emotionless Knight might be able to resist Odium if she could properly banish emotion. The Skybreakers fit this well, but the other Orders don't generically have their control. Note Szeth's unnatural hatred towards the people he has killed and Kaladin's unhealthy hatred of lighteyes. Why at the particular time? I assume that the Heralds provide some sort of "prison" for Odium during their time in Damnation. When all ten Heralds are present, Odium has very little touch on Roshar. But with only one Herald present, his touch may be more drastic. With no other Voidbringers to control and only Talenel, sometime after the most recent Desolation would be a good opportunity for him. In this scenario, I imagine that the Heralds/Knights realize that this possible and move to destroy the Orders before Odium can act. Depending on Odium's speed, the execution referenced in Words of Radiance may in fact be one of the first of these case. Finally, the spren consider this a betrayal because Odium can only take over when the Knight fails to keep hatred away. Thus, the preemptive abandonment rather than fighting his influence goes against the First Ideal and everything the Knights stood for. In conclusion, without the other Heralds to guard him (or Voidbringers to distract him), Odium can take advantage of a emotionally susceptible Knight's broken soul to mind control her. When the Knights realized this, they abandoned their Oaths instead of fighting Odium's influence which to the spren was a betrayal. Closing thoughts - any theory for the Recreance has to account for the fact that all of the Knights gave up at once. Given what else we have seen, this seems like a sufficiently drastic scenario.