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I’ve been rereading The Way of Kings and it stood out to me how Hesina in Kaladin’s flashbacks seems very scholarly, and she also seems to be interested in and to know a lot about spren, and now I can’t stop thinking that she is actually Hessi, the author of Hessi’s Mythica! We know that Hesina’s past is shrouded in mystery but that she comes from a more high ranking family. As such, it makes sense to me that she would have been highly educated in the Alethi feminine arts and pursued scholarship. And there is of course the obvious connection with the name Hessi and Hesina being very similar. It is said that she and Lirin met during Lirin’s travels, and we know that Lirin was training to be a surgeon in Kharbranth so my guess is that this is where they met. I believe that Hesina was in Kharbranth at that time studying the Unmade - 1) because the Palaneum would be the best place to research such a topic, and 2) because perhaps she figured out that Moelach was there and was studying the Death Rattles (which would have brought her into contact with Lirin if she was in the hospital to observe the Death Rattles herself). Hessi’s Mythica appears to be very certain about and familiar with the Death Rattles: Throughout Kaladin’s flashbacks we get a sense of Hesina’s intellectual nature. We know that she can read and write unlike other women in Hearthstone. Then there is the way she offhandedly corrects Kaladin’s use of words, and her use of wit and logic, for example: When Kaladin is upset about the townspeople gossiping about his father, Hesina tells him: The way she explains things to Kaladin in such a wise and level way reminds me of Jasnah, or rather it reminds me of a scholar. However this quote I think is even more significant. We know that Hessi’s Mythica was poorly received due its controversial arguments about the Unmade. So when Hesina says that people are “frightened of knowledge” and that things they don’t understand must be dark and mysterious, I think she is drawing on her own experience here too. Perhaps what stands out to me most of all is that the focus of one of the few interactions we see between Hesina and Kaladin is her knowledge of spren. It does not seem to be a superstitious kind of knowledge, nor does it seem to be common knowledge. To me it comes across as a scholarly knowledge, and something Hesina is very confident about. If we turn to Hessi’s Mythica, Hessi too seems to have a deep knowledge of spren. Mythica makes a point of identifying the Unmade as types of spren. The fact that Hessi makes reference to Jasnah shows that Hessi was writing in this current period, so Hesina is around the right age that Hessi would likely be. But it also means that in order for Hesina to actually be Hessi, she would have had to have published it while living in Hearthstone, not 19 years ago in Kharbranth when Jasnah would have been only about 15 years old. This isn't too big of an issue for me though. Hesina could have amassed her research and evidence and then finished writing it later on in Hearthstone, perhaps continuing her research in other ways that Kaladin wouldn't have been aware of as a child. These are my main thoughts, although I admit it is a bit of a crackpot theory!
If anyone noticed, both Way of Kings and Words of Radiance were named after books inside of the books (yeah, it's a bit strange.) Therefore, the book really should have been titled Mythica, after the book on the unnamed. It has more relevance to the novel than Oathbringer, too. What's up with that?
My research into the Unmade has convinced me that these things were not simply "spirits of the void" or "nine shadows who moved in the night." They were each a specific kind of spren, endowed with vast powers. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 3 I have done my best to separate fact from fiction, but the two blend like mixing paint when the Voidbringers are involved. Each of the Unmade has a dozen names, and the powers ascribed to them range from the fanciful to the terrifying. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 4 I should point out that although many personalities and motives are ascribed to them, I'm convinced that the Unmade were still spren. As such, they were as much manifestations of concepts or divine forces as they were individuals. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 7 The most important point I wish to make is that the Unmade are still among us. I realize this will be contentious, as much of the lore surrounding them is intertwined with theology. However, it is clear to me that some of their effects are common in the world -- and we simply treat them as we would the manifestations of other spren. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 12 Taxil mentions Yelig-nar, named Blightwind, in an oft-cited quote. Though Jasnah Kholin has famously called its accuracy into question, I believe it. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 26 Yelig-nar had great powers, perhaps the powers of all Surges compounded into one. He could transform any Voidbringer into an extremely dangerous enemy. Curiously, three legends I found mention swallowing a gemstone to engage the process. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 27 Yelig-nar is said to consume souls, but I can't find a specific explanation. I'm uncertain this lore is correct. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 51 Of the Unmade, Sja-anat was most feared by the Radiants. They spoke extensively of her ability to corrupt spren, though only "lesser" spren -- whatever that means. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 89 Lore suggested leaving a city if the spren there start acting strangely. Curiously, Sja-anat was often regarded as an individual, when others -- like Moelach or Ashertmarn -- were seen as forces. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 90 Nergaoul was known for driving forces into a battle rage, lending them great ferocity. Curiously, he did this to both sides of a conflict, Voidbringer and human. This seems common of the less self-aware spren. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 121 I am convinced that Nergaoul is still active on Roshar. The accounts of the Alethi "Thrill" of battle align too well with ancient records -- including the visions of red mist and dying creatures. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 140 Moelach is very similar to Nergaoul, though instead of inspiring a battle rage, he supposedly granted visions of the future. In this, lore and theology align. Seeing the future originates with the Unmade, and is from the enemy. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 143 Moelach was said to grant visions of the future at different times -- but most commonly at the transition point between realms. When a soul was nearing the Tranquiline Halls. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 144 Many cultures speak of the so-called Death Rattles that sometimes overtake people as they die. Tradition ascribes them to the Almighty, but I find too many to be seemingly prophetic. This will be my most contentious assertion I am sure, but I think these are the effects of Moelach persisting in our current times. Proof is easy to provide: the effect is regionalized, and tends to move across Roshar. This is the roving of the Unmade. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 170 Ashertmarn, the Heart of the Revel, is the final of the three great mindless Unmade. His gift to men is not prophecy or battle focus, but a lust for indulgence. Indeed, the great debauchery recorded from the court of Bayala in 480 -- which led to dynastic collapse -- might be attributable to the influence of Ashertmarn. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 203 I find Bo-Ado-Mishram to be the most interesting of the Unmade. She is said to have been keen of mind, a highprincess among the enemy forces, their commander during some of the Desolations. I do not know how this relates to the ancient god of the enemy, named Odium. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 224 There is very little information about Bo-Ado-Mishram in more modern times. I can only assume she, unlike many of them, returned to Damnation or was destroyed during Aharietiam. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 226 Chemoarish, the Dustmother, has some of the most varied lore surrounding her. The wealth of it makes sorting lies from truths extremely difficult. I do believe she is not the Nightwatcher, contrary to what some stories claim. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 231 Re-Shephir, the Midnight Mother, is another Unmade who appears to have been destroyed at Aharietiam. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 250 The Midnight Mother created monsters of shadow and oil, dark imitations of creatures she saw or consumed. Their description matches no spren I can find in modern literature. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 252 It will not take a careful reader to ascertain I have listed only eight of the Unmade here. Lore is confident there were nine, an unholy number, asymmetrical and often associated with the enemy. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 266 I am certain there are nine Unmade. There are many legends and names that I could have misinterpreted, conflating two Unmade into one. In the next section, I will discuss my theories on this. - From Hessi's Mythica, page 266 If I'm correct and my research true, then the question remains. Who is the ninth Unmade? Is it truly Dai-Gonarthis? If so, could their actions have actually caused the complete destruction of Aimia? - From Hessi's Mythica, page 307