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Found 14 results

  1. Let's try this all again! There has been many a view on Shallan's romantic arc in Oathbringer (otherwise known as the infamous "love triangle"), and considering a recent poll shows one-third of this board remains unconvinced that the marriage of our young married couple is really all she (um, he) wrote, it appears there is still division on the topic. Two preliminary points: One, I changed the title to reflect my personal feelings on the importance of the characters in this discussion. "S" for our girl Shallan (it is her romance regardless of outcome after all), "K" for our main character Kaladin, then "A" for our tertiary character Adolin (sorry, Adolin fans, that's the word of the man himself.) Plus that spells Ska, which just happens to be a word used elsewhere in the Cosmere! Could this be significant? Let's discuss! (Kidding, even I'm not that crazy.) Two, here is a link to a document compiled by the intrepid @Ailvara during the prior discussion. This is a little out of date, but suggestions for edits (and also counterpoints!) would be much welcome. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VqLjiUojkPqIfLJLyu7OnykTP3i-LG0f5f1KjRSJE6A/edit
  2. ....that it’s only a matter of time before they have sex. As soon as they met they hated each other — that is fiction-speak for “these two people will end up together”. It’s like the saying “if you see a gun in the first act, it had better go off by the third act.” Now that Shallan is married, it’ll be a torrid love affair. As I read Oathbringer I thought for sure it would happen by the end of the book, but no such luck. Maybe Brandon is a pleasure-delayer.... That begs the question: what would these books be rated? PG? PG-13? R? It would be cool to see more R rated stuff.... just saying but it’s probably more like PG-13.
  3. I have done so from the begining, but it increased even more when I read a tweet online asking Brandon if he was aware that he made Shallan sound bisexual with her crush on Jasnah, to which he replied that looking back on it, he did it subconciously, and that he was flattered/honored that there were people who saw this in her. I wish so much that it were canon between the two of them. I have read other fantasy novels where a writer would set a character up with another, only to have the relationship not work out, and have them shift to another that does. I wish so bad for that here in this series, to the point of being admittedly militant/irrational, lol! A girl can dream, right? Even though it may never happen, and I am stuck with Shallan/Adolin, I still wish there would come a time in the series that Shallan would throw caution to the wind, out herself to Jashah, and the two could unite together in heart and soul. If anyone can break the ice around jasnah's heart, I firmly believe Shallan can be the one. Please don't hate me....
  4. Let me preface this by saying that I do not think that Shallan and Kaladin should have ended up together in OB but I do think they will end up together in the future. This is also going to be a long post detailing my rationalisation of the love triangle so buckle your seatbelts. Credit to users @SLNC and @Dreamstorm for writing on this topic far more eloquently than I ever could. Before you dive in I would recommend a quick read of this for in-text evidence (credit to @Ailvara): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VqLjiUojkPqIfLJLyu7OnykTP3i-LG0f5f1KjRSJE6A/edit?usp=sharing The love triangle in OB was probably the most frustrated I have been left feeling by any of Brandon's writing to the point where I have barely re-read OB while I have enthusiastically re-read most Cosmere books multiple times. I disagree with the notion that the trope of love triangles is always indicative of lazy or low quality writing; I feel that it can be a very effective narrative driving tool if done well. However, you only need to glance at the locked love triangle discussion thread to see that a large portion of the community was left disappointed with how everything was handled. One of the things I keep coming back to when trying to rationalise the situation is this: What was the point of the love triangle in the first place? Brandon is my favourite writer and I feel comfortable saying that his writing has improved consistently over time. Everything from the structure to the prose to the fine details of magic systems and foreshadowing has been dialed up that extra little bit as his writing career has progressed. This pattern is what left me feeling most confused with the love triangle as I felt it was poorly handled (assuming it is a done deal). The narrative purpose of a love triangle should be to drive character growth and development yet I feel that none of the members of the triangle experienced tangible growth and it could even be said that some of the characters regressed (Shallan). Examining the effect of the love triangle on character development: Kaladin: The main thing that could be discussed here is how his prejudice against lighteyes was challenged by discovering the hardships that Shallan has faced, thus pushing Kaladin towards overcoming his spiteful attitude towards lighteyes. However, this character arc has been targeted from multiple angles with only the Shallan angle having any romantic implications. Kaladin's deep respect towards Dalinar, his friendship towards Adolin and his comeraderie in the Kholinar wall guard all help in tearing down the walls Kaladin has built up. A romantic angle is completely unnecessary to catalyse this process and would be poor justification for the love triangle. Kaladin's assertion that he never really loved Shallan and that she simply reminded him of Tien comes off as disingenuous to me. Kaladin is an honorable dude and he would not step in the way of a happy relationship, especially between two people he likes. This scene to me felt like Kaladin was trying to suppress his feelings and get on with his duty. Adolin: He really gets shafted by this entire narrative arc. He is a secondary character that was always meant to be a secondary character. Adolin is as close to a Mary Sue as we have seen from Brandon in my opinion. He is probably the most well rounded and least troubled human on Roshar for storm's sake, and therein lies the issue of developing his character. I personally like Adolin but I have not liked how his story has been handled recently. I thought that his murder of Sadeas might set him down a more interesting path so the lack of consequences so far has been underwhelming to say the least. Moving on to his relationship with Shallan; Adolin has no idea what he is getting himself into. The issue here lies in his identification and interaction with Shallan's personas which I think is putting a band aid on a very messed up situation. Shallan: I feel like Shallan regressed due to the love triangle arc. A point to realise here is that the personas Shallan constructs are exaggerated aspects of her personality. I can't find it right now but a user here had a great analogy where they said that the 'True Shallan' is the sum of her personas where she has fully integrated them. In this system, Radiant as the shallowest persona has a value of 1, Veil as a more developed persona has a value of 2 and the 'Shallan' persona has a value of 3. The Shallan that we as an audience see is in fact a persona. We have never truly seen the real Shallan. The 'Shallan' persona is denoted fShallan for fake Shallan, not to be confused with feruchemical Shallan. So tShallan= Veil+Radiant+fShallan for a combined score of 6. Brandon has said that Shallan's personas would be seen as a single individual in the cognitive realm which shows that they all herald (hehe) from the same original individual, tShallan. You could write a thesis on Shallan's psyche and someone here probably already has, and I simply do not have the time or willpower to do so myself so I will summarise the implications here; Shallan and Adolin identify the personas as separate individuals which allows Shallan to ignore her psychological issues. Shallan pushes her problems that she can't deal with onto her personas, as seen with Veil's lust for Kaladin. Shallan's willful ignorance of her true feelings could potentially lead to the death of Pattern as Lightweaver oaths are based on truths and self-awareness which Shallan needs a healthy dose of e.g. dismissing her feelings for Kaladin by saying that 'Veil has poor taste in men'/ Conclusion: I admire Brandon's qualities as a writer too much to believe that he would construct the love triangle arc for seemingly no purpose. If someone could explain why the love triangle was written in the first place then I could rest easy. The love triangle did not stimulate appreciable character development and left a foul taste in the mouth of many readers here which begs the question of why it was done in the first place. The most rational explanation I can come up with is that the love triangle is not resolved and Brandon's foreshadowing will have a big payoff. Addressing the fans who are content with how the love triangle has panned out: I am not trying to personally attack any of the groups I mention here. I am simply sharing my own though process and encouraging others to reflect on their own. There are a large number of fans who were satisfied or indifferent to the romance in OB so I will attempt to persuade you below. These groups are: Non Romance fans: Some readers do not care for romance arcs in their fantasy books. I personally believe that romance is an integral part of storytelling. Many say that literature is the exploration of the human experience, and the human experience is incomplete without that spark of intimacy that romance provides. Sure, there are those who are asexual, but that is not the norm and it could be argued that Jasnah is a good representation of an asexual character. Fantasy as a genre is simply one of many storytelling mediums, a medium where fantastical elements interact with our relatable characters. So while Stormlight Archive is a fantasy series, it is the characters in the series who we fall in love with as fans. A good character has flaws and experiences challenges which resonate with the audience on a profound level. Romance is a natural part of life that helps ground characters in reality, thus improving the quality of storytelling. Adolin fans: I did not like Adolin very much at first, but he has really grown on me and has become one of my more liked characters. Many Adolin fans want the best for Adolin's character, which they equate to a happy relationship with Shallan. I would argue that Adolin is getting screwed over by his marriage as he does not know Shallan nearly as well as he thinks he does. He does not know that she killed her parents and does not know the depths to which she is broken. Neither he nor Kaladin know of Shallan's dangerous involvement with the Ghostbloods which may come back to bite her. I want Adolin to get a happy ending as much as anyone but I simply don't see it happening through his relationship with Shallan. Those who think Kaladin should remain single: I don't see Kaladin as an asexual character or a character that will always place duty over love. Kaladin's lack of romantic involvement stems from his own lack of self-worth. He blames himself for the loss of Tien and his men which is the likely reason why his scars have not healed as they are marks of his failure. I absolutely agree that Kaladin is not in the right place mentally for a relationship right now, but this is a temporary state of affairs until he manages to forgive himself in his pursuit of the fourth windrunner oath.
  5. So I love Brandon. I think he is a very good writer in general and great in some areas. He's especially good at connecting theme to story and world. He's on Pixar's level of connecting the world he's built, the story, and the characters to the theme he is exploring. (Seriously, Pixar is amazing at connecting theme to character and story, except The Incredibles which struggles to nail down a theme, but is still great.) But Brandon does have a flaw. A flaw that finally became clear to me after finishing another reread of Stormlight and rereading MIstborn (both eras): Brandon is bad at writing convincing romantic relationships. I acknowledge that my personal taste does not match everyone else' s. Romances I think work (they are narratively satisfying, I like both characters, I think they work well together, Brandon has done the legwork to set the up together) Vin and Elend: Brandon's most successful romantic plot. He successfully ties it into Vin's main theme of learning to trust people and learning to be her real self. Dalinar and Navani: Brandon cheats on this one and skips all the setup and we start at; they both like each other, but Dalinar doesn't think he can be with her. They work well together as two people who have both decided to be above the judgement of society and it's nice to see an older couple done well. Those are the two. Romances I'm ok with, but fail for one reason or another: Siri and Susebron: I debated bumping this one up. It mostly works I think, but it just seems too unbalanced. Siri, who is the only one we get to see, spend the whole first half thinking she is his prisoner. Then we find out they're both prisoners. Then Siri has to teach Susebron how to read and Siri is the one in power over Susebron. 2/4 of arranged marriages. Spook and Beldre almost work, but it's too rushed, and we don't know Beldre well enough. It's well implied but too far from the main events of the story. Beldre is a tertiary character at best and Spook is a strong secondary character. Raoden and Serene: Mostly good.They both work well as individual characters and I buy them liking each other, but they just don't spend enough time together. This is also the beginning of Brandon's troubling trend of arranged marriages working out. Vivenna and Vasher: It works on all levels... except, I'm not sure if we're supposed to think of the romantically. Are they a couple? Sazed and Tindwyl: This one mostly works, but it's a little rushed, and seems a little like Fridging, introducing a romantic plot for Sazed just to kill her off to give him a crises of faith. The ones that just don't work (either I don't buy them together, Brandon hasn't done the legwork, or one side is not set up enough) Wax and Steris: My main issue with this is the main issue I will be discussing later with another controversial opinion I have about a couple, is Brandon doing all the legwork to show us that Marasi is a better fit, Marasi works better with the eventual lessie reveal, Marasi has better chemistry with Wax, and then Brandon completely runs away from it in the later books. Wax had a "great love" and it was Lessie, Steris would work fine if there was no Marasi and Marasi and Steris would work with no Lessie. Brandon also runs away from the dynamic he set up a bit (he does this much worse in Oathbringer) but he spends a lot of time setting up a love triangle in book one, only to run away from it, and try to pretend he never did in later books. And another arranged marriage that works out... And we've reached my largest issue with Brandon's romance plots, the one that combines all my issues together... Adolin and Shallan: First of all, I will acknowledge that Brandon could make this work later through soom reveal in future books or by really selling me on them together in the future, but... My issues are: I feel like Brandon changed course between Words of Radiance and Oathbringer, and tried to hand-wave away the set-up he did there. The main event of all of Words of Radiance before the climax was Shallan and Kaladin in the Shattered Plains. I can buy that Shallan didn't really like Kaladin, that she just thinks he's handsome and that his intensity and absurdness of righteousness is more frightening to her than Adolin's simple loyalty and good-naturedness, but I don't buy that, no, it was really Veil who liked him, there is no mention of Veil in the cravaces, in fact it was the only time in WoR that Shallan was honest and open with another person. Kaladin is the only person she has ever told about her life and her father, up to this point no one else other than her brothers know anything about her life before she arrived in Kharbranth, I don't buy Kaladin's decision that he doesn't really like her, that he just thinks of her like Tien. Shallan is that only person that Kaladin has told about his past, she is the only one he tells the full story of Amaram to. It seems like Brandon changed his mind (which is fine) but decided to just undo everything he set up in WoR in OB by just declaring that Shallan is like Tien to Kaladin, and it was really Veil who liked Kaladin. I also don't feel like Shallan had reached the point in her arc to get married and resolve her romantic issues permanently. It is treated as a casual decision that she can make along the way to figuring out everything else about herself. Brandon handles this so well in Mistborn wit Vin and completely botches the same situation with Shallan. Shallan ends OB in a much worse state than Vin was ever in, but decides that getting married will help solve all her identity problems. If someone did that in the real world we would consider it a panic move that was doomed to fail. I think Shallan and Adolin's relationship is shallow, they think each other are pretty and Adolin knows nothing about Shallan's past, her family, or her dark secrets. Another arranged marriage. I know that all of these are culturally appropriate for the characters, but it just grates against everything I expect in a novel. Undermining expectations is good, unless you develop a pattern of undermining them in the same way four times in a row. My issue isn't that Shallan picked Adolin and Kaladin has moved on. I just don't think Brandon did the legwork to get us to the point we were at at the end of OB and I think he casually dismissed some things he set up in WoR. Maybe he knows this and Shallan and Adolin's marriage will not be the end of this issue, but it seemed like Brandon was tying everything up in a neat little bow.
  6. Warning: This post discusses romantic relationships, so do not proceed if that it not your thing At Brandon's signing last weekend, we got an interesting WoB where a fan asked about Kaladin's proficiency with the spear... and Brandon ended up taking the conversation around to a Connection (appears to be Cosmere capitalized Connection) between Syl and Shallan. I am specifically interested in the latter point. The link for the WoB is here and text below, with the part about Syl and Shallan in bold. I'll discuss my thoughts after the text. The scene Brandon is mentioning is in WoR, text copied below, and I personally had no idea this was supposed to be Shallan. At the very least, this is a specific reveal that Syl "knew" Shallan, in a similar way to the fact she "knew" Kaladin prior to actually meeting her. (With hopefully a different outcome though! Don't know how I'd feel about Syl bonding Shallan... ) The context for this is that Kaladin is training his men in the chasms, and Syl is discussing the danger she faced in coming to find Kaladin. On the face of it, she is encouraging Kaladin that he is not alone, that other spren are struggling against the prohibition for bonding humans, and there will be other Radiants. Syl of course doesn't actually know Shallan, when Shallan finally shows up at the Shattered Plains, Syl doesn't recognize her, know she is a Radiant, or even sense Pattern except maybe vaguely at the 4v1 duel (there's a number of spren she could have sensed then though.) But something about the Connection between Shallan and Syl in the Spiritual Realm allows Syl to "see" Shallan in that moment. Brandon analogizes that moment to Kaladin's affinity for his spear and Syl and Kaladin's own bond. In other words... "fun Cosmere connections" language aside, it seems pretty significant. One of the things we see in OB is that Syl really likes Shallan. She encourages Kaladin multiples times to pursue Shallan, pushing against his own wishes; I would argue Kaladin would not have made even the (small) overtures he did towards Shallan if it wasn't for Syl's insistence. Syl and Shallan hang out in Shadesmar without Kaladin, including the fact Syl wants to remain with Shallan in Celebrant. (This is of course partially due to Shallan's lightweaving skills, but Syl at that point already had a lightwoven disguise.) Syl is also skeptical of Shallan's choice of Adolin at the end of OB, encouraging Kaladin to continue his pursuit, and indicating she can't see Shallan's "choice is made". All in all, we know Syl has a Connection to Shallan through the Spiritual Realm (where everything is one), and that these types of connections are "echoes" of events that are forming, not something as strong as "destiny", but still a definite "something is there." And since Syl is constantly pushing Kaladin towards Shallan, I think there's a great inference to made that Syl is "knowing" something about Shallan which is not yet explicit in real time in the Physical Realm. While not for certain (as nothing is until confirmed as such), the fact Brandon spontaneously brought this up in a question that had literally nothing to do with romance or Shallan at all, seems to be him pointing towards yet another piece of foreshadowing for Shalladin, one which was not apparent from the text, but he obviously seeded a long time ago.
  7. Credit to Athelia who made the most recent one, and BreathTaker, who made one before that. Hmmm... How many of these have been made over the years? With that out of the way, let the hilarity ensue! One good one is from the Reckoners, though it's technically a reference; here's a paraphrased version: "I like you, but I'm too afraid to say it, so here's an awkward flirtation instead!" what am I doing with my life
  8. I have been wanting to share some thoughts (and some theories) on here for some time as i have on Reddit. i have a few but have decided to start with the one that gained the largest response on Reddit here first to see how it goes. I know its a little controversial, which is why I am starting with this one. I have other more tinfoil ideas as well and hope this goes okay. I have never really shared on here before and i am a little nervous. I hope everyone enjoys my thoughts. Sorry its so long! The first topic I have decided to do was the idea of Kaladin and Shallan and why I feel they are headed toward a romantic relationship. A controversial topic, I know, and not one I exactly relished in when I started WoR. But by the end of the book and where we are left as far as the characters go, it seemed to make more sense to me. 1. parallel stories Sanderson goes to great pains to show parallelism is Kaladin and Shallan’s story arcs while including some obvious differences. I know the same can be said for Kaladin and Dalinar’s story arcs, and that is something I can go into another time, but this is not the place. The mentor and apprentice relationship can be seen through various stories in Stormlight. But the parallelism and relationship that Kaladin and Shallan develop is unique in Stormlight from what we have seen thus far. A nice subtle example of Kaladin and Shallan’s parallel stories is the slave caravan. The caravan that helps Shallan is the same one that had enslaved Kaladin. We are meant to pick up on this. Their travels to the shattered plains are similar yet different. Sanderson points out the marks in the wagon that Shallan notices and contemplates. These are the same marks that were present when Kaladin was in the wagon. This is a nod to their very similar journeys and how their similar yet unshared experiences later help them understand each other and in turn develop further. Some of the other more obvious examples are their hard lives, isolated small town upbringing, love for their siblings, and the intense tragedy they have both witnessed or been part of. An interesting note that I haven’t seen mentioned much is the fact that one of Kaladin’s slave brands, Shash (means dangerous), is also the number that is meant to represent Shalash, the Herald of Beauty and patron to the Lightweavers. 2. pride and prejudice trope I call this the pride and prejudice trope because it is the best, longest lasting, and most well-known of the trope. Two people from different classes dislike each other and butt heads. It is also an opposites attract trope. There are so many examples of this between Kaladin and Shallan I doubt I will be able to remember them all. For starters, the passion that they seem to show in their squabbles are some of the best examples of the characters actually displaying outward extreme emotions other than in flashbacks, even if that emotion is hate. But it is a well-known trope in story-telling that the strong emotion of hate can easily transfer to the strong emotion of love. So really, the stronger the feeling the more likely it is to swing in the polar opposite direction. The class issue that is present and addressed in part 4 of WoR is also the premise of why Darcy and Elizabeth take a while to understand one another in the novel Pride and Prejudice. It is to be noted that this also seems to parallel Kaladin and Shallan as far as who seems to accept the attraction first. The person who is more open about the difference in their classes is also the one who is the first to admit to the attraction to the other person (Darcy and Kaladin). Elizabeth and Shallan both express less concern about class but are clearly very affected by it subconsciously. This trope also is a great example of respect for the other person based on empathy and mutual understanding as well as respect for the other person’s intellect. This is something that is clearly lacking in Shallan’s relationship with Adolin. A shared level of intellect is not absolutely necessary for a solid relationship in every case, but in my experience in real life as well as storytelling, two people in a relationship where a large difference in intellect occurs can be a problem. The opposites attract part is something that I have seen discussed before in depth. Some of the things that have been previously discussed are as follows: Kaladin is a morning person, Shallan is not. Shallan likes wine, Kaladin avoids alcohol. Their spren hate each other (the issue I see as being the most problematic, even more so than the engagement to Adolin). Shallan loves the weeping, Kaladin hates it (and we do know that Kaladin suffers from seasonal affective disorder). These are all little things mentioned throughout the books. 3. shared stories = bond The part of the story I found most interesting when it has come to our two main POV characters thus far is how and when they choose to talk to others about their past. Both are quite close-lipped on the subject, but occasionally let information out to others. Shallan tells Jasnah and Adolin a little bit (note that she opens up to Jasnah more than Adolin, although I see nothing strange in this. Its just an observation). And Kaladin talks to his fellow bridgemen about his past sometimes. But neither of them tells another soul anywhere near as much as they tell each other. Adolin has only seen once the implications of what Shallan has gone through once when she snapped at him for wanting to protect her (that scene was awesome by the way). The bond that is formed from sharing your deepest darkest secrets with another is usually a very intense one in fiction. That person usually goes on to be the other person’s greatest ally or their greatest foe. The intensity of their situation and the dramatic way of revealing their true selves to each other only ­adds to this. 4. same position = continued understanding of each other The story is being set up as two young attractive people who are attracted to each other being placed in similar situations where no one on Roshar except a very few can relate. And we are to expect nothing happens? The fact that they start off the next book apart has me curious when this is going to move forward, but move forward it will. As we are starting to see it, Kaladin and Shallan will not likely have any other KR’s that they feel like they can relate to any time soon. Renarin is a mess and Shallan thinks he is crazy. Not to mention he belongs to a notoriously secretive Order of the KR. Kaladin has his bridgemen and Adolin but none of them will fully understand. Shallan also has Adolin, but he is a mess and will not likely want to deal with Shallan’s issues with his own mess to take care of. That is if she confides in him at all. One would imagine she may have Jasnah in the near future but I believe Sanderson has said Jasnah is kind of off on her own for a while. Bonds form between people sharing high stress situations. Kaladin and Shallan have already done this and will likely be forced to do it again. Shallan ended WoR super pissed at Pattern and may want to get rid of him, but who has lost their spren before and may understand what the cost of this may be? And Kaladin is going to have a tough time coming to terms with his new station, but who has knocked him straight on that front a few times before? It may be nothing, but I noticed on the diagram of all the Orders, Windrunners and Lightweavers are placed a polar opposites sides of the chart (Windrunners upper left and Lightweavers lower right) with a direct line attaching the two. Is this a nod to their opposite personalities yet connected paths? 5. the adolin factor The way Adolin and Kaladin both treat Shallan is also very different. Adolin clearly respects Shallan as he has been brought up to respect women but feels the need to protect her. He doesn’t do this because he views her as his property or anything else like that. He does it because he is a good person who wants to help those in need, especially women. Kaladin mistrusts and does not respect her at first. She has to earn his trust and respect. And because of this he lets her be herself and more self-sufficient. She shows resentment of this behavior at first, being angry that he walks to fast and that he doesn’t immediately offer to carry her pack. But she must subconsciously appreciate it as she starts to actually care that he sees her in a negative light. He is some-what helpful to her in the chasms, but for the most part he expects her to keep up with him and pull her own weight in their travels. This in turn allows her to show more of herself to him as there isn’t a level of expectation of who she should be. Later she appears to go to great pains to prove to him she is not who he thinks she is. Shallan’s attraction to Adolin is significantly more physical than spiritual or intellectual. Most of the time when she is describing him positively its by his physical attributes. She acknowledges he is not intelligent and accepts this. The one time she does describe his deeper qualities such as his kindness and his loyalty she immediately proceeds to compare them to Kaladin. Her deepest description of Kaladin involves her saying he is brilliant, passionate, has smoldering resolve, and tempting arrogance. These words are meant to convey a much deeper feeling than kind, noble, and genuine that she uses to describe Adolin. We as readers are meant to see the large differences in the description of these two men. I love Adolin. He is a great character and is promising to be an even better one in the next book. I am the most excited to see where his story is going out of all of the characters. But the guy is not ready to settle down and be married. Even Navani points out in TWoK that Adolin should court various girls and gives him a “good for you.” He has enough interest to want to keep Shallan, but continues to look at other women. I am not saying this is a bad thing, but maybe just don’t do it in front of Shallan, dude. She sees it at the beginning, and that’s fair. They didn’t know each other and he didn’t realize at that point she was different. But then he keeps doing it! She is fully aware of this and lets it go. And honestly, if her feelings were completely invested she would have expressed more irritation to this at least in her own thoughts. I totally understand not acting on jealousy, but we get to hear her thoughts and she barely seems to care that he does it other than as a hurdle to get over to ensure the engagement goes through. And this brings me to my next point, Shallan herself is the biggest hurtle to this relationship in three ways. Don’t get me wrong, all of the things I am about to mention could be taken care of through story-telling. She could easily get over every one of these and make this relationship work. But where I see this going, her getting over the next three hurdles can only result in the engagement and potential marriage becoming null and void. 1. This whole basis of this relationship is that Shallan is using Adolin. She’s not using him for any selfish or diabolic reasons, and I can respect that. But the stakes are high for her, much higher than they are for him. She is desperate for it to work in order to save her family. Desperation makes us ignore many things that we would otherwise find important, like feelings of love and passion. 2. She is not herself with him, at least not completely. We see some awesome bits and pieces on how Shallan shows she is not like other girls, but much of it seems forced and its not complete. The scene about talking about BM’s while in shardplate is great to show this, but to me it just highlights how much she isn’t showing him of herself. She never shows him the extent of her drawing from memory abilities. He is not the first person she tells or shows her KR powers to-both Dalinar and Kaladin are aware of her abilities before he is as well as her artistic prowess. She blows up at him after leaving the chasms but fails to explain her actions as she should to make him better understand why she responded in that way. He knows nothing of her past experiences with her parents. This is huge and way more important than people seem to realize. Brushing aside the fact that she told Kaladin all about it first, I would imagine once she got it off her chest to someone (even in an intense and highly emotional situation), she would have felt more comfortable telling Adolin if it was that important for him to know and understand her. Especially as she was given a very good opportunity for this very early on after leaving the chasm. Which leads me to my next point that maybe Shallan doesn’t actually fully know her real self. 3. This is by far the most important-the lies. Mraize tells Shallan when he last confronts her that Veil is the real her and that the noble woman Shallan is her pretend self. This is important because the noble women is the only version of Shallan that Adolin sees. So in case the reader hasn’t picked up on it before this point, its spelled out for you that Shallan is never herself with Adolin. The fiery con-artist who calls it like it is, that’s the real Shallan. In reality she is more likely a mix of the two and could never truly live without the lies, at least not while she is a KR. Her lies are the whole point of her becoming a KR and what draws Pattern to her. But the point is made. 6. History repeats itself There are clear comparisons, especially as WoR goes on, of the Kaladin/Shallan/Adolin love triangle and the Dalinar/Navani/Gavilar love triangle. The one worth noting the most is that both Navani and Shallan admit to being afraid of the intensity that Dalinar and Kaladin display, respectively. In TWoK Navani says, “I chose him because you frightened me. That intensity of yours… it scared your brother too, you know.” The phrasing is ironically similar. In the chasms Shallan is looking at Kaladin, thinking “There was a sort of rugged handsomeness to the fellow. Like the beauty of a natural rock formation, as opposed to a fine sculpture like Adolin. But Kaladin’s intensity, that frightened her.” When Shallan mentions it in WoR you are meant as a reader to recall what Navani had said about Dalinar in TWoK. The wording is almost exactly the same. Similar lines (and scenes) are thrown into books, movies, tv to draw comparisons. I would also like to point out that Shallan considers herself a naturalist, wanting to focus her scholarship on documenting flora and fauna. She compares Kaladin to something she is passionate about and Adolin to something that is secondary to her in art. 7. The complications The way I see it, there are only two major hurtles to this potentially romantic relationship. That is if you discount the imminent end of the world they appear to be going through and their “spren conflict.” The first hurtle is obviously Adolin. If history does truly repeat itself then Shallan will choose Adolin and that will be that. However, we are left at the end WoR with the question of where Adolin is headed in the story. He is surrounded by Knights Radiant but is not one himself. He just killed a man in cold blood and will likely have some serious guilt over that. We are left with Adolin at a fork in the road, unclear which path he will take. The second hurdle is the huge issue that Kaladin knows he is the one to kill Shallan’s brother. Based on her response to Amaram we know she is going to be devastated by the news that Kaladin is the one who actually killed Heleran. He will tell her eventually because he is honorable and could never live with himself without telling her the truth. This is an excellent plot device for them and the biggest hindrance to a potential relationship for them. I do not see it as being a long lasting issue. Shallan wound eventually have to acknowledge that people do terrible things sometimes, no one more than herself. She cannot fault Kaladin for killing her brother when her brother killed all his men. Also, there is a lot of foreshadowing in WoR that Heleran was up to a lot of stuff including potential involvement in the ghostbloods. So Shallan may not be in a place to be missing her brother overly much when she does find out about his death. One last thought on this, I had previously mentioned that the fact that Kaladin and Shallan’s spren hate each other would be a potential issue for a relationship. However, Syl doesn't seem to mind the idea based on the sample chapters, so i doubt Pattern would either.
  9. Okay, as I have said on previous posts, I am new to this series and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has expressed some of these ideas. That being said, I am 100% behind the love triangle between Kaladin, Shallan, and Adolin. I love the teasing that Brandon does for it especially with Kaladin starting to get weak at the knees around her after their stint in the chasms. I just kind of wanted to pick some brains on the subject. Sorry Adolin, but I'm on the side of Kaladin with this one. Let me know what you guys think. But I definitely think that this love triangle will have some more time in the sun especially with the slight hints that Brandon gave to them from both Kaladin's and Shallan's point of view.
  10. So I've been stewing about this for reasons. I was remembering the scene in WoR when Shallan hugs Wit and Adolin starts to get all jealous because she had yet to be so openly affectionate with him. Adolin responds by citing how Wit is too old for Shallan, to which he wholeheartedly agrees. He mentions that there is only one other person of the female persuasion who would even come close to his age but that she hates him (I've heard Khriss is that person but I'm not sure I believe that) But this has got me thinking about the life of a Worldhopper, especially a long-lived one. If you are familiar with Dr. Who during the Rose Tyler story arch then you will be familiar with this issue. It's the problem of falling in love. I mean, when you are 300 hundred going on infinity how could someone even see love and passion the same way? In their eyes, the people around them would be like a lovable dog. Wonderful and fulfilling, and yet their time is so short compared to our own. It's a sad fact that anyone who is effectively immortal would face the inevitable heartache of watching those they grow to love wither and die before their unchanging eyes. Now I used to think that it doesn't matter, but in reality, that prospect would probably make such relationships difficult. When thinking about this I asked Brandon in his most recent Reddit AMA if Worldhoppers had ever fallen in love and started families on other worlds. The TLDR; When Worldhoppers travel, they can and have entered into relationships and had children. This has sometimes given those children powers from another world (Think an allomancer being born on Roshar) Brand said that this has happened. Now I know what you are thinking, it's probably just Silverlight. But the question was specific and we know that Worldhoppers appear all over the place. It must have happened. It just gets me thinking. This post is mostly just me thinking about the nature of relationships for long-lived Worldhoppers. But I want to hear your thoughts about this issue. try to imagine watching those you love growing old and dying, and their children, and their children's children, while you are still the same. Perhaps these issues don't come up often because they would be too hard to bear so most avoid the issue. Or worse, imagine learning that your SO will never age and you will grow frail before their eyes. Please let me know what you think. Also, as a bonus, what are the chances that Hoid has had children before (maybe Sigzil?)
  11. UPDATE: This whole story can be found broken into cohesive chapters on Archive of Our Own. It is a more up-to-date and better proofread version with proper formatting, without all the random comments from other people scattered in between. Feel free to comment or leave a review here or in the comments section on AO3. There is also an option to download the story in EPUB or PDF format to read on your eReader or mobile phone. This was originally posted as part of this thread, but since it was a multiple part entry I decided to post it here where it would be more visible and easier to find. The original idea started here and I decided to extend it. The author I was stylistically trying to emulate was Charlotte Bronte, but if you read through you can tell that there are more modern influences in my writing style. The Stormlight Archives Regency Romance PART ONE "That ship, you may have noticed, had two very fine cabins that I hired out for us at no small expense," said Countess Jasnah, with a sigh of dignified resignation. "It is rather a shame that I cannot say likewise for the quality of these...lodgings. And it seems my dearest cousin shan't be gracing us with his presence – he has engaged a proxy to escort us to the Court." Shallan hadn't thought the journey tedious - not at all: it was one thousand nautical miles from Kharbranth to the great port of Varikev in Roionshire, most of it spent splendidly barefoot and scandalously clad only in her chemise and petticoats. The days on the road since had been less pleasant, of course: fifty miles a day by carriage, a night spent in a common coaching house, fifty miles the next. It was only a wonder that the constant rhythmic rattle and clop of the horses hadn't been drummed permanently into her head. But now they had arrived at the very last coaching house, curiously named "The Black Thorn Inn". The idea of her marrying still seemed strange to Shallan, though it hadn't necessarily been one she was dreading. Day by day the journey had shortened ahead of her, and though she was glad of it, she had mused on what few joys she had left. Kholinar Court, the hereditary seat of the Kholin dukes, was the destination - the terminal, one could say, and Shallan was briefly solemn as she was reminded that it could very well be the place where her body was interred. It was not her home; it could never be - it was not a place where friends awaited her arrival with fond welcome. Shallan and Countess Jasnah stood under the shaded eaves of the inn, porters scurrying around them to pile up their numerous steamer trunks, travel valises and awkwardly shaped hatboxes. As they watched, a cloud of dust slowly drifted over the horizon to soften the sharp blue of the sky with a fringe of golden mist. A line of carts - that was it - clattering down the road, gaily painted in Kholin blue, preceded by a carriage with the Duke's arms in white upon the doors. "Hallo!" cried the man sitting on the high driver's seat next to the coachman. He was a lanky man whose long legs bumped up against the coachman's on the narrow shelf of a seat. With unexpected grace, he swung himself to the ground, and Shallan noticed that his shoulder-length hair had not been tied into a tail as current fashion dictated. He had on a plain gentleman's suit - no sign of ducal livery - the wool worn shiny on knees and elbows. "There you are. We must make haste-" "If it pleases you...sir," said Countess Jasnah, rather coldly. "Might I have the pleasure of an introduction? Cousin Adolin promised a trusted proxy to receive us, but I am afraid I do not recognise you." She did not hold out her hand for a kiss. He did not bow. "Doctor Kaladin," said he, pulling a leather wallet from the inside of his coat. "The Duke's personal physician. My letter of introduction, addendum by the Prince Dalinar and reference from the Duke's brother the Marquess of Kholinshire." He held it out to Countess Jasnah, who stared at it for a second, then took it stiffly. "You must be the girl, then. A Scot," Doctor Kaladin said, as he turned to Shallan, looking her up and down, then added, "though I can hardly imagine that you would be any more of a nuisance than the Duke's, ah, previous matches." Shallan felt unpleasant emotions rise up in her throat; she was scarcely aware of what exactly they were, though she was certain they were neither becoming nor ladylike. She did know, however, that impertinence answered by impudence was fair and just, and that Jasnah was out of earshot directing the porters to load the carts with their luggage. If this stranger, this Doctor Kaladin, had been properly courteous - or even good-humoured in the least, in his manner - Shallan would have felt no inclination to respond with insolence. But he had not the air of an elegant gentleman; that surely would have made her shy instinctively towards girlish hesitance. Doctor Kaladin had instead a dark face with heavy brow furrowed in irritation; though he was young - not much older than her, on inspection - his face had none of the softness or gentleness of youth; his lips were set into a stern line. This Kaladin creature spoke with the cultured tones of gentle breeding; despite this, he seemed set on being disagreeable from the start: Shallan had always thought herself sympathetic with those of lesser station, but here, she could feel nothing but antipathy. "Aye, ye be addressing the Lady Shallan," said Shallan, exaggerating her rural accent to one fitting of the servants back home. Her former governess, Madame Tyn, made a study of regional accents and dialects, and had taught her on the condition to never speak like that in front of distinguished company. That would hardly apply to Kaladin. "Pledged clanswoman and shieldbearer to The McValam." "You don't sound like a lady," remarked Kaladin bluntly. She gave him shallow curtsey, no more than a mere dip of the knees, and with a curt toss of her head, circled around him. "Ye dinna look like any doctor I ken," Shallan said. "A real surgeon would ha' better hair than yers, I reckon. Do ye keep it for emergency bandages?" Kaladin sputtered. "Emergency bandages-" "Too stringy fer tha', maybe. Emergency sutures, more like." Kaladin's brows gathered together, and his mouth twisted down with ire. "You do not seem like any lady, would I not be mistaken if I judge you an opportunistic impostor who has managed to deceive herself into Lady Jasnah's good graces? And I, Miss, am no leech-peddling barber surgeon." "E'en tha' job's got folks looking foward to yer comin', aye," said Shallan, "I'd think ye'd be better suited fer bailiff...or hangman. Ye would'na need a rope when yer breath would work faster." Kaladin's face reddened pleasantly, or so Shallan thought, and his body stiffened. He took a breath, then stepped closer to her, hands clenched in tense fists by his side. "Look, you-," he began. "Lady Shallan, the carriage awaits," called Countess Jasnah. The last trunk had been loaded onto the last cart; the first had already departed and was now a merry puff of golden dust on the road ahead. "Doctor, your credentials are in order. My uncle the prince recommends you warmly, I am most astonished to see." "Yes," Kaladin said, and after a pause, "thank you." He turned finally away from Shallan, and took the offered wallet from Jasnah's hands. He did not offer the wallet to Shallan; instead he tucked it into his coat's inner pocket. Lady Jasnah nodded; a footman bowed as he held open the carriage door painted with the tower-and-crown in white with gold details. The folding steps had already been pulled out. "A Kharbranth Academy scholar, I was naturally impressed to see that," said Jasnah, holding her skirts, as she ducked into the soft curtained dimness. "Will you be joining us for the ride to the house, Doctor?" Doctor Kaladin's eyes flicked sideways at Shallan. He had composed himself by now, and she observed that when he wasn't dis-tempered, he made a well-formed figure of a man - taller than most, with handsome breadth of shoulders, and graceful hands etched here and there with pale white scars over tanned fingers and knuckles. His face, though it lacked in beauty or elegance, had its own decisive character made more distinguished by darkly perceptive eyes. Shallan tore herself away and took the footman's guiding arm into the carriage. She did not look back. "I shall ride with the coachman, if it pleases you, Lady Jasnah," said Kaladin after a few moments. "I would not want the road dust from my journey here to soil your clothes nor the upholstery - my Duke had it cleaned for your arrival. He comes from The City to-night and expects Lady Shallan's informal presentation for this evening after supper." There were a few clinks and creaks as footmen found their places, and the horses shuffled impatiently in their traces, then the carriage started moving. Shallan twitched aside the pale blue lace curtains on the window and watched the warm green countryside trundle by, dotted and dashed with the occasional hayrick or wind-breaking treeline. She now felt a thrill; elation gently warmed in her chest: the world suddenly seemed to blossom around her when not very long ago she had imagined that it was like a box folding inwards and unstoppably inwards. She had dealt with that Doctor Kaladin, unpleasant as he was, with remarkable ease; no doubt this unfamiliar southern land would be filled with many such as he, but she could - yes she would - crest over such trifling difficulties and find herself comfortably settled as a lady Duchess that all of Anglethi society would look to. Author's Notes: The last time I wrote short stories or fanfiction was 4 or 5 years ago, so I'm a little rusty with my prose. For stylistic influences in this work, though I'm copying the writing style of classic period romances in general (not the modern paperback bodice-rippers), I would name Charlotte Bronte as the main inspiration to fit with the thread topic. Of course there's some Austen in there as well, mixed with more modern authors for the dialogue lines because I feel using old-style for that sounds too stiff and lacks emotional impact. A few hundred years ago, barbers and surgeons were the same thing. Physicians diagnosed illnesses, but it was barber-surgeons who did the actual surgery and amputations. Their razors could cut skin and give a close shave. Shallan is joking Kaladin on his unfashionable and messy hair. A bailiff in medieval times collected taxes as part of their job. I also referenced the scene in the hallway of Elhokar's palace when Shallan meets Kaladin for the second time in Words of Radiance. If you're wondering why I made Shallan Scottish, it's a reference to the post from a similar thread here, and since all those classic romances took place in England, I tried to make a weird fusion for humourous reasons.
  12. So! I am new here and I JUST read Elantris for the first time. (I realize, most of you have probably read it years ago and are on your 5th or one-hundred and fifth reading :-P) I have searched this forum topic and have not found a single thread pertaining to the romance in this book (if I missed it, please excuse my rookie mistake ;-) ) Let me just say how much I loved Sarene and Raoden's love story! It was refreshing and enjoyable throughout the book. Perhaps my favorite aspect of their romance is that you see both sides - particularly Raoden's perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed the little gem of him confessing to Galladon that what he wanted most in Elantris were Sarene's letters. I think this could have been cheesy if it didn't feel like a victory moment for Sarene. The fact that she battles with feelings of self-reproach, despair and being unwanted by men made his confession that much more powerful. It made me happy to think that - even without meeting her - he really did like her. I enjoyed that Raoden's identity was hidden from Sarene; the mystery was fun. I think typically, (maybe just in cheesy, chick-flicks) when one character is trying to keep his true identity secret from the other, it is usually that he has initial reasons for "spying" on the person in question. He is doing so to settle a bet, help a friend, win a trophy...whatever. And then, in the process, despite himself, he falls for the person he was deceiving. I thought it was a nice take that Raoden wanted to watch Sarene and be close to her because he liked her. (His reasons for keeping his identity secret were also more of a defensive nature, wanting to protect New Elantris, his people and her.) And thus we get all those beautiful little moments of him being proud of her intellect, her political skills, her courage, her kindness and really coming to love her even when she doesn't really know who he is. I absolutely loved seeing his side of the story. I also enjoyed the fact that it was not an "opposites attract" romance; everything about Sarene complimented Raoden. You can see that from when she first reorganizes the group of noblemen. You can see before they officially meet, how they would naturally love each other and work together. Even when Sarene is suspicious of Spirit while distributing food in Elantris, instead of frustration and annoyance on his side, he is amuse and proud of her. Her caution makes him love her more, even if it is directed at him. At the same time, his openness and honesty with her eventually opens the door to a more natural attraction when she enters Elantris as an "Elantrian." No battle of wills, no false-hatred, no question of does he like her? Does she like him? It just kind of happens. I think that's much more true to life. I could go on, but this post is getting really long...:-P Suffice it to say that overall, I thought it was a beautiful romance and it made this book that much more enjoyable. Thank you, Mr. Sanderson :-) Feel free to share your favorite Sarene & Raoden moments :-D
  13. I thought this would be a fun idea for a thread: which character from Brandon's books would you date, and why? For me, it's probably between Sarene, Marasi, or Shallan. They are all intellectuals, which is very appealing. But knowing me, I'd probably end up falling for Shallan. I always end up falling for more artsy girls (which is cool, I'd teach her calculus or something), and no offense Shallan, you're awesome, but she's got some serious issues, too (which is also normal for my dating life ). Who would you pick?
  14. I am writing a fantasy novel, but have found myself unable to focus on most of the plot, except where the primary romance is concerned. I want the romance to be felt and profound, but it's not the primary plot of the novel. How do I keep it from overwhelming everything else? How do I get myself back to the main plot?