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Found 5 results

  1. I've been thinking for some time about the presentation of disability and chronic pain in Brandon's novels. I've been rereading a number of his books to refresh my memory on some of the details as well and I ended up with a lot of thoughts. I've written him a letter trying to provide some insight and I think it's a topic worth discussing here as well. Fair warning: it's kind of...long. But I think it needed to be to really unpack and explain what I wanted to talk about. Spoiler Warning: The letter includes direct spoilers for Mistborn, Stormlight, Elantris, Warbreaker and Reckoners. But other books are relevant to the topic as well. If you haven't read some of Brandon's books and are concerned about spoilers this is not a safe thread to read.
  2. I know Rhythm of War just came out and there’s a deluge of material for the Shardcast. I wish, SO MUCH, they there’d been more time between Dawnshard and RoW because I feel like DS has kind of been forgotten. I would love to see a Shardcast episode dedicated to the representation of Disabilities in the Cosmere. I realize this would be a ways down the list... but it would make me so happy.
  3. Throughout almost all books about disabled people written by abled authors, I've never seen a portrayal of the disability community. They'll write about the *struggle* or the depression or the isolation and they even sometimes write about moving on and finding the happiness in life, but something abled people never seem to think about or understand is the absolute joy and solidarity found in talking to other disabled people. Before I read the acknowledgements, I could tell with absolute certainty Brandon had worked with actual disabled people (not just able-bodied "experts" or those with disabled family members). When I read this part, I laughed out loud from happiness. Disabled people coming together and creating a community is a detail that seems obvious when you hear about it, but able-bodied people hardly ever consider it. This stems partly from how disabled people are treated in real life. Historically, disabled people who need primary caregivers are purposefully isolated from other disabled people. This goes double for disabled children in schools. Now, there are more and more special education classes where disabled kids interact with one another, but there is also a disconnect between SpEd kids and mainstreamed disabled kids fostered by both SpEd and mainstream teachers. Similarly to how the ardents considered it a bad idea to have mentally ill patients interact with each other, caregivers and experts throughout history have separated disabled people (by forbidding them to play with each other as kids, discouraging support groups, and drawing arbitrary lines between "real" or "tragic" disabled people and "basically normal" disabled people). THIS! There is something about struggling alone your whole life, thinking that you're always going to be a disabled person struggling in an abled world, and then finding a community full of people just like you. Finding out that there is a disabled world, and that you truly belong somewhere for the first time. There is a space for everyone, and you will find someone who is just like you. People of all backgrounds and beliefs are a part of the community, as anyone can become disabled at any point in their life and personal development. It seems obvious, but there is something profound about realizing that you don't have to do things the abled way. You don't have to dress yourself typically, you don't have to tie your shoes if you have velcro, you don't have to put all your clothes in drawers, you don't have to drink from cups, and so many more other little things everyone takes for granted. Also, the point about how disabled people are invisible is a detail that I love. How often do abled people on earth think about disabled people and how small things pertain to us? How often do they think about the possibility of a disabled person interacting with their world? If you don't use a wheelchair, think about what it would take for a wheelchair user to visit your house/apartment for a week. Do you have front steps? Is there a slight drop-off at your front door? Do you have thick rugs or deep carpet? How high are your kitchen and bathroom counters? Do you have a top-loading washing machine or dryer? How wide are your bathroom doorways? Of course, none of these things makes you a bad person or prohibits disabled people from becoming friends with you or visiting. I just think it's interesting and important for abled people to think about how much the world around us is only designed for abled people. It's also good to think about what kinds of adaptive devices and changes to the environment it would take to accommodate someone who is not completely able-bodied. Rysn probably never really thought about disabled people before she became disabled herself. She's really had such a compelling character arc through these books, and with so little screen time. I personally disliked her when I read her first interlude, but she has grown and changed in a way that had me cheering for her even before reading these parts of Dawnshard. I can't wait to see where she goes from here, not even considering that fact that she is (has?) a freaking Dawnshard. (sorry this is so long lol)
  4. So, from the information we currently have on Dawnshard from the released prologue makes it seem that Rysn and Lopen will be at the helm of the journey to Aimia. Until recently, they had something in common, disability. Rysn lost use of her legs in the Reshi Isles in Words of Radiance, Lopen was one-handed till he became a Radiant. Despite Lopen's injuries being much older he never viewed himself as a cripple and constantly cracked one-armed Herdazian jokes. Rysn, on the other hand, started seeing herself differently after the incident, to the point that Renarin couldn't heal her with Regrowth. There could be another journey that the characters make, Lopen might teach Rysn to view herself differently, possibly enough for her to deal or maybe even enough for her to heal.
  5. Here’s something I’ve been considering since reading the Stormlight Archive for the first time, and I’ve been thinking about it even more since rereading it. I’d like to hear everyone’s thoughts on this. As my screen name says, I’m blind. I’ve been wondering how the mechanics of a blind Knight Radiant would work (healing by stormlight is an unacceptable answer in this case). Here are my thoughts on the plausibility of a blind person being a member of each of the orders, and why. I would appreciate additional input or insights anyone has to offer on this. This is a topic I haven’t seen discussed in the Cosmere community at all, so I want to be the one to start bringing it into the light. Here is my list of all ten orders of Knights Radiant, how plausible I think it would be for a blind person to belong to each of them, and my reasoning behind my decisions. Order of Windrunners (surges of adhesion and gravitation): I actually think this could be quite plausible if the radiant was progressed enough in their oaths. I think this because of how attuned Kaladin is to the winds at different points in the books. There are times when he seems to be able to anticipate what is about to happen around him through feeling the winds. This could be a huge asset to a blind Windrunner. This, combined with a possible clever application of lashings to sense when the blind Windrunner is getting too close to obstacles around them, makes me think that it would be quite possible for someone like me to belong to this order. Order of Skybreakers (surges of gravitation and division): I think this is somewhat less plausible than a blind Windrunner. Since Skybreakers only have access to basic lashings. A blind person of this order would still be able to use a similar method of taking advantage of lashings to sense their environment. I don’t think a Skybreaker would have the same relationship with the winds that a Windrunner would though, so that would be a definite disadvantage. I don’t know enough about the surge of division to say much about how that would come into play for a blind person belonging to this order, but it could be an interesting factor. Order of Dustbringers (surges of division and abrasion): I think this one is pretty implausible. I can’t think of a way that a blind Dustbringer would be able to use the surge of abrasion to get a feel for their environment. I guess they could just use the surge of division to destroy any obstacles in their path, but that sounds extremely dangerous and unwieldy. Order of Edgedancers (surges of abrasion and progression): Like the Dustbringers, I think this is also pretty implausible. There are similar issues with me being unable to think of a way in which a blind Edgedancer could use the surge of abrasion to their advantage. They could always use stormlight to heal themselves after crashing into things, but again, that sounds impractical. Order of Truthwatchers (surges of progression and illumination): I think this may be slightly more plausible than either the Dustbringers or Edgedancers. Assuming that Truthwatchers can use illumination to weave sound, a blind person belonging to this order would definitely be able to use that to their advantage, probably in ways most people would find unexpected. They could also use the surge of progression to great effect, similar to the two other Truthwatchers we’ve met so far in the books. Order of Lightweavers (surges of illumination and transformation): I think this would be about as plausible as the Truthwatchers. A blind Lightweaver would be able to use the surge of illumination similar to what I mentioned before, and they could use transformation very effectively. They’d probably be limited to using transformation only when they could get their hands on whatever they’re trying to transform, but if I understand correctly, that wouldn’t be much more limiting than what most Solecasters have to do in order to transform things. Order of Elsecallers (surges of transformation and transportation): I’m honestly unsure about this one, since we still know relatively little about what Elsecallers can actually do. A blind Elsecaller would definitely be able to use transformation similarly to how I explained earlier, but I don’t know how easy or difficult it would be for them to use transportation. I guess they could do it, as long as they had someone to guide them on the Shadesmar side. Order of Willshapers (surges of transportation and cohesion): I know almost nothing about this order, so I’m very unsure of how plausible it would be for a blind person to become a Willshaper. I already explained how they could possibly use the surge of transportation, but I have no idea what the surge of cohesion does, or how a blind person could use it to their advantage. Order of Stonewards (surges of cohesion and tension): I know even less about this order than I do about the Willshapers, so I can’t guess how plausible or not it would be for a blind person to become a Stoneward. Order of Bondsmiths (surges of tension and adhesion): This one is very interesting to consider. I think it could be quite plausible under the right circumstances. I don’t know enough about the surge of tension to guess how it could benefit or hinder a blind Bondsmith, but I do know that they could use adhesion, especially spiritual adhesion, to great advantage. The one Bondsmith we know so far only uses spiritual adhesion to be able to speak other languages and boost the abilities of other Radiants, but I’d be willing to bet that a blind person of this order could find creative applications of this surge to assist them with different things. Again, I don’t know enough about the surge of tension to guess how a blind Bondsmith could use it. This was quite interesting to consider. As things stand with my current understanding of the Knights Radiant and their powers, this is my current ranking of how plausible I think it would be for a blind person to belong to each order: 1. Windrunners 2. Bondsmiths 3. Skybreakers 4. Lightweavers 5. Truthwatchers 6. Elsecallers 7. Edgedancers 8. Dustbringers 9. Willshapers 10. Stonewards Those last two are at the very bottom mostly because I know so little about either of them. I love the Stormlight books a lot, and this is one way in which I try to insert myself into the story in a more meaningful way. This ranking is not set in stone, and is very likely to change with input and as we continue learning more about each order of Knights Radiant. Please let me know if I overlooked something in my considerations, or if there’s more information about the surges I know so little about.