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Found 14 results

  1. My latest shardbearer, this time a truthwatcher riding into battle on a ryshadium. I will readily admit this was one of the hardest things I have ever drawn, horses have unusual anatomy and I have never drawn one before. I did a lot of erasing which is why parts of the image are a tad blotchy.
  2. Hey this is my first forum post and I have so many questions regarding Renarin and the order of Truthwatchers. So I was looking through the Coppermind, seeing if I could figure out what Glys would have looked like before being corrupted then correlating it with other confirmed Truthwatcher spren which both apparently look like spots of light. However, this can't be the case because it has been confirmed that Venli's spren, Timbre, looks like a spot of light which has been confirmed to actually be a Willshaper spren, a Light spren. So if it isn't a Light spren, then what is it? Well I have two theories. One is simply that a Truthwatcher spren is a Star spren. It fits the mirror reflection theory in all but I don't fully believe that. So my second theory is that a Truthwatcher spren is related to Passion spren? Hear my out. According the Coppermind, Passion spren look "like tiny flakes of crystalline snow, floated down in the air around them.” — The Way of Kings: Chapter Sixty-One[102] while Glys is described as taking "the form of a bright red crystalline structure, resembling a snowflake, which shimmers and drips light upwards." Pretty similar? Further, the Stump's spren looks like. "light reflected on a wall from a mirror." Each of these descriptions talk about light/ refraction of light but what I found interesting with Glys and Passion spren is that they are almost exactly the same but paralleled/ opposites. They both look like crystalline structures, like snow flakes but Glys is red to signify his corruption. Another note to make is Passion spren or their light go down while Glys' goes up, like a mirroring effect of possible corruption. I'm not necessarily saying Passion spren are Truthwatcher spren but it does fit. Even though Passion spren have only been seen in the romantic setting, I feel like a higher sort of Passion spren would be attracted to people who show passion towards finding the truth, searching for the truth, to learn and to help others through passion in learning. (It has also been proven that Wind spren are attracted to Kaladin but Windrunner spren are Honour spren, same with Lift as in Life spren and Cultivation spren) I'd like to know what people think because I'm really curious to know more about Truthwatchers and Renarin.
  3. New to the community, but I just wanted to post a picture of some fan art still in progress. Hark the heralds and happy holidays to all!
  4. My theory on why the Lightweavers and Truthwatchers are so close together on the Knight Radiant chart has to do with the fine line between the Truth and a Lie. We’ve seen that Cryptics are attrcted to anything that is NOT literally true, and we’ve seen how Shallan uses lies to inspire people. What little we know about the Truthwatchers was that they had a great deal of tact. I don’t know how Renarin differs from a standard Truthwatcher but as someone on the Autistic spectrum, although at a different point on it then he is (I was diagnosed with Asperger’s before it was rolled up under the umbrella in the latested DSM, so think more like Steris from Wax and Wayne) I can tell you about my relationship with the Truth. Not only does telling a lie have a strong effect on my concious, but so does not telling the whole truth. Leaving out details. Even the type of details that would make people uncomfortable. To use the sterotype here, don’t ask me if you look fat, unless you really want to know if you think you look fat. I won’t judge you for it or anything as I am overweight myself. But if you ask the question expect the answer. This is because, first off from my perspective, how am I supposed to tell if you are one if the people who fits the stereotype, or someone who genuinely wants to know if they look fat? If you are the latter then I am answering the question you asked, if you are the former, well “why did you ask a question if you didn’t want an answer in the first place?” At least that how it feels to me. It frustrates me. But I have come to realize that for much as people CLAIM they want the truth they often only want it when it clings to their point of view. That being said I can leave out details or give selective answers if I HAVE to but even something that is TECHNICALLY true rather than a flat out lie, will still bug because feels manipulative not telling the whole truth. Here’s where theory time comes into play. What if the difference between Lightweavers and Truthwatchers is such. Lightweavers are both broken by lies AND able to out and lie. But they also are able to inspire and hold things together by telling lies. They believe that everything about themselves is a lie. (Ironically they progress by telling truths.) (uber speculation) Truthwatchers on the other hand might still TECHNICALLY TELL the truth but by not TELLING the whole truth. They FEEL like they are lieing. The fact that they have to bend the truth in order to save others is what breaks them. That’s my theory. P.S. I am doing a reread and rereading sections with Renarin more closely. Anything I see that could help or hinder I will let you know.
  5. A small theory. In allomancy, gold, electrum, atrium, and malatium all work in a similar way and reveals possible futures or alternative presents. Renarin's form of illumination seems to be a type of future sight, perhaps a type of spiritual illumination, and may work through similar realmatic process as atrium and electrum. What if regular illumination can reveal alternate presents like gold or malatium can? Shallan creates alternate personalities which are incomplete because she doesn't actually have the experiences these alternative personalities would have. What if it isn't so simple? She may not be able to recognize it, but what if she is using illumination to pull in little bits of alternate Shallan? Is it possible that as she becomes more accomplished at using Illumination that she will be able to pull on experience that is not her own?
  6. I thought the Reachers would be the Truthwatchers companion, but seeing evidence that Timbre is Ico's daughter I doubt they are. Other Radiant spren I've been able to guess (like ash spren for Dustbringers) but I haven't seen any to connect to the uncorrupted spren.
  7. Ok, so on the double eye of the almighty, the two orders in the middle are Bondsmiths and Truthwatchers. We have already seen that the Bondsmiths are like Honor’s main order, does this mean that the Truthwatchers are Cultivation’s Main order? Sanderson has said that Adhesion and Progression could be considered the “God” surges of Roshar. We have seen the god use of adhesion (summoning shardpool, binding realms) what is the Spirtual use of progression?
  8. So let’s talk Renarin, shall we? Now, if you fine folks are anything like myself, you might have found yourself confused by some of the reveals that Oathbringer brought about regarding Renarin and his powers. This was a twist that I saw coming a long way off, and so I was more than ready when we found out that Renarin had been affected by a voidish corruption and that this was the reason for his strange and ominous visions. If you’d like to see how WoR foreshadowed this moment, you can check out my theory Renarin’s Visions and Truthwatching and see all the reasoning for this twist. However, what I want to do here today is get into the nitty gritty of what’s really going on. Is Renarin a Voidbinder or a Surgebinder or both? Is Glys a Voidspren? How do the visions work? How did this happen? All those good questions are the ones that I’d like to try to tackle here. Theory Disclaimer: Most of these things have not been confirmed in canon and Brandon has been cagey about answering or confirming. However, this explanation is the one which seems most plausible to me based on the evidence at hand. So let me do a bullet point run-down of what I think is happening: Glys is actually a valid Truthwatcher spren, not a voidspren. Renarin is a valid Truthwatcher Radiant and therefore a Surgebinder with access to the surges of Progression and Illumination. Renarin uses Stormlight to power his surges, just like other Radiants. Glys has been corrupted by the Unmade Sja-anat. As a result of this corruption, in addition to his normal Truthwatcher powers, Renarin is afflicted by involuntary visions of the future which neither he nor Glys can control. The points above are those that I feel are fairly concrete, and I’ll go into the reasoning behind those ideas later below. However, upon this assumed situation, I believe that the following ideas are viable possibilities. The following points are less certain than those above, but these are the ideas that seem the most plausible to me, given the circumstances: The powers that the Fused display are expressions of Voidbinding. Renarin’s future visions are possibly also an expression of Voidbinding, but his other powers are not. If Renarin’s Voidbinding and Fused Voidbinding work in the same way, it is possible that all Voidbinding powers come from the influence of the Unmade, in that Sja-anat can grant Voidish future visions while other Unmade grant different powers, like illusions, frictionlessness, or gravity, as we see other Fused use. And upon these assumptions, we find several questions arise regarding the nature of the situation: If both Renarin and the Fused are Voidbinders, is a spren involved in the granting of Voidbinding powers to the Fused in the same way they were granted to Renarin? If Voidish powers are each affiliated with an Unmade, why are there seemingly 10 powers on the Voidbinding chart if there are only 9 Unmade? Does Odium grant a Bondsmith equivalent himself? If Voidbinding powers are not granted by the Unmade, how are they gained? In what way are Renarin and the Fused similar in situation that grants them the same powers? What caused the hypergraphia that accompanied the visions of the Everstorm, and why does that no longer happen when Renarin gets visions? All of which are fascinating, but unfortunately, more likely to get a RAFO than an answer in a signing line. The first I have already asked and been RAFO’d and I believe the others are going to be answered similarly, if attempted. If I had to guess, these are reveals that will happen in Renarin’s flashback book. Considering that book is in the back five, we’ve probably got a while to wait. Alas. Regardless, no use fretting over the information we don’t have when it’s so much more fun to dissect the information we do have. And Oathbringer certainly gave us plenty to dissect. So, let’s take the situation that I’ve outlined above and break it down with some textual evidence to help explain where these ideas come from. Glys the Truthwatcher spren and Renarin the Radiant This is one of the easiest points to guess, considering the wealth of information we have on the topic. A lot of this is due to the Renarin point of view chapters in Part 5. (Thank you, Brandon, I owe you my soul for those.) Renarin’s surges seem to work perfectly normally. He heals people with Regrowth at several points in the novel, fairly naturally. I believe we see a slight, unconscious use of Illumination in the scene with Adolin and Gallant, when Renarin makes a perfected vision of Adolin appear. Renarin also mentions trying to train with Shallan in using Illumination, but he has difficulty with it. Now, it could be assumed that Renarin’s failure to grasp Illumination is a sign that his surges are wrong, and yet I think this is simply another example of a Radiant finding one surge more easy to pick up than another. Shallan is naturally better at Illumination than Transformation. Lift is better at Abrasion than Progression. It seems common enough that Radiants have an affinity for one of their surges over the other. For Renarin, I believe this is that Progression is easier than Illumination. In addition to his surges, Renarin’s other expressions of Radiant abilities seem normal. Glys is able to form as a Shardblade, which no one deems as looking out of the ordinary. It also functions to open Oathgates. His healing factor works as the other Radiants’, albeit augmented by his power of Progression to make healing extremely rapid. Most tellingly, his powers use Stormlight, just as all the others do. Ivory says that there is a rightness to the bond between Renarin and Glys and that spren of Odium should not be able to bond with humans under normal circumstances. Through all of these things, one can assume that Renarin and Glys have a valid Nahel bond and are bonded as Radiant and spren, just as the others are. Sja-anat’s Corruption However, in addition to the normal suite of a Truthwatcher’s powers and the Nahel bond, there is another factor in the mix: Sja-anat. When Sja-anat speaks with Shallan she speaks of her son when telling Shallan that she is not an enemy, as though he would vouch for her. This is undoubtedly Glys. It’s interesting to note that this seems to indicate that Glys is working with Sja-anat, possibly willingly. Perhaps she approached a Radiant spren hoping that by giving changing one of them, she would have an ally who would help the Radiants trust her. Or perhaps it’s something else. Hard to say at this point. Regardless, it is because of this that Renarin can see the future, and why he is consumed with visions. Though it is possible that other Truthwatchers have a manner of foresight, I don’t believe it would manifest as Renarin’s does. Ivory states that future sight is a power of Odium, as the Vorins believe. I believe Sja-anat has been hoping to swap sides and is using Glys as a way to do it, as well as helping Shallan instead of killing them when they went through the Oathgate. Voidbinding So in the end, what is Voidbinding? Hard to say with certainty, since despite how often we see Voidbinders, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of answers about it. Working under the assumption that the Fused’s powers are Voidbinding we can see a few things, at least: Voidbinding seems to line up with surges in many cases, as we see Fused manipulating gravity and friction, just like Kaladin and Lift. It’s hard to tell if this means that Renarin’s corrupted sight is also a form of Voidbinding as well, since it doesn’t seem to line up with a Surge the way the others are. The Listener Song of Secrets speaks of Nightform, a form of power which can see the future, which seems as though it might be more similar to what Renarin can do than anything else we’ve seen. The question is, Renarin is getting his void-powers from a corrupted spren, but I don’t believe that the Fused have a corrupted spren giving them powers, which initially made me think that Renarin’s visions were not Voidbinding like the Fused. Now, I’m not so sure. For the moment, I think I will lean toward the idea that Renarin’s visions and the powers of the Fused are both Voidbinding somehow, even if we don’t have details to confirm anything either way. There’s just not enough answers for the moment. Time will tell. If anyone can get answers out of Brandon regarding this topic, I’d be greatly appreciative but I doubt he’s going to answer things. Conclusion There’s a lot that we just don’t know yet, but I’m excited to see where this goes in the future. For now, this is my best guess at what’s really going on until we get some more information on all of it. One thing that hasn’t changed is that I adore Renarin with all of my heart and somehow Brandon continues to write his plotline and character arc in ways which are intensely fascinating to me. Oathbringer has been a triumph and I can’t wait to see what’s in store!
  9. === This theory has been moved from the Stormlight Board and updated for Oathbringer. Spoilers start at this post. Read at your own risk === So, this is a theory that I've kinda been kicking around in the back of my head for a while, and I've written some posts using this assumption. However, I've never atually gone and typed up a formal theory post. I... kinda made one on tumblr, but that doesn't count, so I've gotta get it up over here. For those of you alergic to tumblr posts, fret not. I'm going to put all that information over here. Now, as of the Shadows of Self signing, I've got some Word of Brandon on the subject as well! So it's high time we got this thing out here. I'll put the theory itself first, in-book justification, and then Brandon's responses to my questions. Theory: Renarin Kholin's visions throughout Words of Radiance are not a normal manifestation of Truthwatcher powers. They are likely not regular Surgebinding at all and may not even be related to his status as a Truthwatcher. Now, perhaps this seems counter-intuitive. Renarin says in WoR Ch. 89 that he's a Truthwatcher, which means he "sees." He's been seeing throughout the whole book, counting down to the arrival of the Everstorm. Why wouldn't those two be the same thing? Well, there's a few very good reasons why there seems to be more going on with Renarin than originally meets the eye: Arguments: #1 - Renarin's visions do not match other Radiants' expressions of his Surges. Admittedly, we have seen very little use of shared Surges by different orders, but from what we have seen, Surge expression seems to be very similar between sharing orders. Jasnah and Shallan's Soulcasting seems to work the same way, to the point that Jasnah believes she can teach Shallan how Soulcasting works, even though they have different Orders. We see both Ym (who is a Truthwatcher!) and Lift use their shared surge of Regrowth, and in both cases, it seems to work in an almost identical way. We would expect therefore, that Renarin's Surges, Regrowth and Illumination, would manifest in the same way as other users of these Surges. As stated above, we had two separate practitioners of Regrowth in WoR, one of whom was actually a Truthwatcher. On the other side, we've seen extensive use of Illumination thanks to Shallan, who goes through all kinds of self-training and uses of her Illumination powers. With these examples, we should be able to make a very educated guess as to what Renarin's Surgebinding capabilities are, even though we don't actually see him using these powers himself. The problem? Neither of those two surges seem to do anything close to what Renarin's visions do. The visions don't line up with either Illumination as we know it or Regrowth. You might be able to argue that Truthwatchers use Illumination differently than Lightweavers (which I'll support wholeheartedly, but that's a different topic) but this level of difference is difficult to justify. The more logical explanation is that something entirely different is going on. #2 - Renarin's visions appear to be involuntary, compulsive, and entirely outside of his control. [ CONFIRMED: See below ] Renarin is seeing the future, which is highly taboo in Vorin culture. This isn’t something I believe he would choose to do. Considering the way that he hides this from his family throughout the book and the high level of distress he shows in the finale with Shallan, this does not appear to be something he is choosing to experience on his own. In the same way that seeing the future is taboo, so is writing for men. If Renarin does not want to reveal that he’s seeing the future, we wouldn’t expect him to voluntarily write things down. Seeing him succumb to the vision at the end, he cries out and screams as he writes, and the way that he continues to write the same thing over and over make this seem like an involuntary reaction, going as far to be something he would fight if he could, but cannot. He loses control and is forced to write the glyphs. Additionally, Renarin cannot control entering or leaving the visions. While we do see Kaladin and Shallan using their surges unintentionally, we never see them using Stormlight against their will. With Shallan and Kaladin, it is a subconcious thing, rather than something done with them actively fighting it. Shallan is never trapped within an illusion, struggling to get out of it. Kaladin does not ever find himself unable to stop using Stormlight, or toppling into the sky as gravity suddenly yanks him the wrong way without him asking it to. As soon as those two become aware of their surgebinding, they can control it, even if they started unintentionally. Renarin’s visions show no such control. He seems to be able to feel them coming on, but can't do anything to stop them. Once within a vision, he can't get out until the vision itself decides to end. Renarin cannot do anything to stop or resist the visions. They are entirely against his will. #3 - Dalinar's visions are another example of involuntary, uncontrolled, compulsive visions which are not Surgebinding. Now, don't say it. Yes I know that Dalinar is a Surgebinder by the end of Words of Radiance. However, I am fairly certain that he was not a Surgebinder before the very end, when he actually bonds with the Stormfather. And he has been experiencing visions since before Way of Kings started. I take this to mean that they're not Surgebinding. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but that's the assumption I'm working under for now. Dalinar's and Renarin's visions are incredibly similar actually. Both are involuntary and unable to be resisted. Both involve visions. Both have an element of compulsive actions, as Dalinar moves and speaks in other languages and Renarin has an almost hypergraphic need to write during his visions, despite that Renarin probably hasn't ever written before this. They also appear to both be tied to highstorms, since they happen at the same time. Perhaps most telling is the fact that Dalinar seems to think that Renarin's future-sight is his own up until the reveal, and that he simply can't remember it happening. That said, there are differences. Dalinar sees the past, Renarin sees the future. Dalinar is completely unaware of the real world while in the midst of his visions. Renarin seems to know and be aware of what's happening to him, even though he can no longer control his body. Dalinar seems to act out what he's experiencing, Renarin writes. Still, I would argue that Renarin's visions have more in common with Dalinar's visions than with Shallan's Illumination. If Dalinar and Renarin shared a Surge, I'd be comfortable saying that they were a shared Surge. But Truthwatchers and Bondsmiths are actually on directly opposite ends of the Radiant Orders. If this is supposed to be Surgebinding, why are they manifesting similar powers in opposite Orders? Why did Dalinar's start before his Nahel bond? My answer: they're not Surgebinding. Neither one of them. Relevant Canon Texts and Commentary: All are from WoR, because I can’t find any significant evidence of Renarin's powers in WoK. Does Renarin use his powers somehow to hide his coming into the room and writing the glyphs? Does he put Dalinar to sleep somehow? It’s possible. The sudden break between the paragraphs is strange here... Sloppy lines, unpracticed at drawing glyphs. Renarin is not used to writing. He also might have been fighting against the complusion to write as he did it. This is right after the fight with Szeth. Renarin was towed back by Moash at the beginning, and then Kaladin, Dalinar, and Adolin fought. After Kaladin ran Szeth off outside the palace, he was unconscious for an indeterminate amount of time, and then the glyphs were found when he got back. It’s interesting that Renarin would choose to provide the translation, when Navani is there and could read it herself. I would have thought he would not want to implicate himself in the glyphs by reading them. Or perhaps his compulsion pushed him to provide the translation here? I’m mostly putting this in here because it’s another iteration of the glyphs and I wanted them all. The real interesting stuff comes from the discussion afterward between Dalinar and Adolin. Seeing as Renarin is the one doing the carving and not Dalinar, Adolin’s theory is undoubtedly what happened. One wonders if Renarin maintains enough control during the visions to be able to hide himself. Does he have enough autonomy to be able to frame Dalinar for the carvings and keep himself from being implicated? And here we see the reason that Renarin doesn’t come forward with the fact that it’s him. Adolin is used to the idea of his father losing control of himself during Highstorms, but this is taking it a step too far, it seems. Considering that Renarin is already quite an outsider in Vorin culture, he doesn’t want to make it worse. Dalinar is very self-assured even though his own visions are making him lose credit among the other lighteyes. Renarin is not. Over the sounds of me hissing protectively while clutched around my darling and glaring at Shallan, here we have the first time that Renarin is shown doing something strange and/or powery. No one else can sense the Everstorm yet. Pattern mentioned that the storm was coming to Shallan but Renarin seems to be able to sense it on his own. Even being warned about it, Shallan doesn’t see anything. Feather continues to be generally upset in Shallan’s direction. It’s interesting again that he says something here. If he’s trying to hide the fact he can see the future, wouldn’t he keep quiet? Is this right here voluntary or compelled? Feather continues to be GENERALLY STRESSED ABOUT RENARIN’S WELLBEING. By this point we’re definitely getting into involuntary territory. He’s feverish and crying out and screaming. I’m guessing we’re watching Renarin on the cusp of succumbing to the vision, yelling out in defiance right on the edge of it taking him over. Then he’s lost and the writing happens. That said, even as he’s lost control, he continues to talk, whispering as he writes. (UNRELATED SCREAMS OF RAGE) Okay this quote doesn’t really show much of his powers. We’ll say it’s here for the sake of completeness and not because Feather felt like raging at the heavens. Honestly, by this point, I’m really surprised that Shallan continues to think that Renarin is mad or crazy. Considering he’s been giving the exact same warnings as Pattern you’d think she’d catch on that this is a real thing. In some cases, Renarin’s warnings came before Pattern's. So here we see what is really the only argument for Renarin's visions being Truthwatching. I'm not convinced. I think that Renarin probably is a Truthwatcher, since there's other evidence that his Nahel bond is legitimate - screaming Shardblades, healed eyes, Glys, etc. -- but I don't take this as immediately confirming that what's happening with his visions is an expression of Surgebinding. I think the visions are either unrelated, or if related (less likely in my opinion), somehow influenced by an outside force as well. It’s also worth noting here that Glys uses masculine pronouns. Aside from Dalinar and the Stormfather, all other Nahel bonds have been between opposite gender pairs: Shallan/Pattern, Kaladin/Syl, Jasnah/Ivory, Lift/Wyndle, Ym/unnamed spren. Word of Brandon: These questions were asked by me, the first at the Words of Radiance Midnight Release (I'd already finished it at that point) and the latter two at the Shadows of Self Midnight Release. Unfortunately, I don't have direct quotes, though I think the SoS questions were recorded, but haven't been transcribed yet. The WoR Release question is unfortunately very far from verbatim as I just asked and didn't write down the answer until a few hours later. Silly Feather. The SoS two, while also not direct quotes, were written down right after being given. Feather: Is there something important in the fact that Glys and Renarin both have masculine pronouns, while other Nahel bonds have been opposite gender? Brandon: There is something to it, though maybe not what you're thinking of. (Answer is very paraphrased, sorry. I'm not entirely sure what he thought I was thinking of...) Feather: Are Renarin's visions compulsive/involuntary? Brandon: There is an element of that to them, yes. Feather: Are Renarin's visions Surgebinding? Brandon: *evil laughter* RAFO!
  10. So far I have seen primarily focus on the future when talking about what Truthwatchers can possibly see. When Renarin says that he "sees" at the end of WoR could it include past, present, and future? We have the countdown indicating future. I don't see any evidence for present, but I speculate that they will be able to. Oathbringer chapter 6 excerpt below indicates seeing into the past is possible through connection. In Oathbringer Chapter 6 Syl walked up to him in the air. “They’re like I remember them.” “Remember them?” Kaladin whispered. “Syl, you never knew me when I lived here.” “That’s true,” she said. “So how can you remember them?” Kaladin said, frowning. “Because I do,” Syl said, flitting around him. “Everyone is connected, Kaladin. Everything is connected. I didn’t know you then, but the winds did, and I am of the winds.” “You’re honorspren.” “The winds are of Honor,” she said, laughing as if he’d said something ridiculous. “We are kindred blood.”
  11. Is Wit a Surgebinder? When he tells Kaladin stories, like in the plateau with his flute, or when Kal's in jail, Kaladin describes being able to physically see the stories that Wit tells. We know that Truthwatchers and Lightweavers have access to the illumination surge, so could he be a Surgebinder? I don't have any detailed theories, but I'd like to hear yours!
  12. So I was thinking about the fact that Renarin, we know, is a Truthwatcher and so has the two surges of Illumination and Progression. From the interludes, we know that Lift can use the food she eats to surgebind and heal herself but if she uses it too much it makes her tired and weak. My theory is that Renarin is doing this unknowingly and using up his energy which may be why he apeares 'weak' or 'sickly'. What do you guys think??
  13. First, this forum is such a cool space to have conversation and speculation among people with similar interests yet such different backgrounds. The different experiences that we have definitely feeds into how each of us reads and interprets, which makes for such a fascinating opportunity to share insights and see things in ways that we might not have thought of or picked up on. Certainly, there are aspects of the fantasy genre that are meant for entertainment – I, for one, love to get lost in a different world every once in a while, disconnecting from ‘reality’ and plugging into dreams and imaginations. However, much of the world deems writing, poetry, imagination, fiction, especially fantasy, as a luxury that is separate from and irrelevant to what is commonly known as ‘real life.’ So I wanted to begin, since this is my very first post in the forum, with a word of encouragement to you fine folks. As the saying goes, fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth (I am sure the progression of Shallan Davar and Pattern would agree with this), and fantasy, as removed from ‘truth’ as it often seems, is a pertinent example of lies through which much truth is often spoken. To those of you who are mocked for choosing to spend your time in a corner, head buried in a book, take heart and confidence in what you learn from your imagination, and in that confidence share your insights with those who might be afraid of the truths they might find within the lies they tell themselves: that reality is what it seems, fantasy is only escape and distraction, and survival is for the ‘fittest.’ Imagination is not a luxury, it is life. I think Brandon Sanderson does well in showing this in the Stormlight Archive, making manifest what we cannot naturally see in our world through spren. As said in one of the books, spren is change, or, at least in Roshar, a visual manifestation of change. To relate this to our world, things are changing all the time. We do not notice, and we take it for granted, but it’s true. Cells are constantly dying and growing; when we stand still, we are moving with the earth’s rotation; we are thinking, always thinking; etc. etc. One thing I wanted to touch on specifically, however, is the nature of light, which I promise I will relate to Truthwatching and Illumination eventually, so bear with me. Questions of sight do not usually inspire responses of detailed reality, with the physics of how one actually sees, in terms of what might even allow for sight – that is, for example, one does not think to tell of the light that reflects off of opaque surfaces and into eyes, or the lack or distortion thereof that might affect vision, or the scattering of such that red might be distinguished from blue, black and white and the shades between. For most, light is rarely thought of as an independent actor, but just a medium through which we see. Even for the blind, however, light exists: at the very least they can feel its warmth, its energy – they would not see in the same way because light exists differently for them. The point is that light is everywhere but it is often not considered – perhaps we actually see more than we think. Perhaps spren really do exist. I first noticed the correlation between spren and quantum theory in the interlude chapter in Way of Kings where two ardents are measuring spren. As a disclaimer, I am not a theoretical physicist, nor will I include any math here on this forum, but it is fascinating to compare the similarities. In classical physics, what we all perhaps learned in high school in one form or another, measurement does not change the state of what is being measured. For example, the weight of one paperclip today will be the same tomorrow, more or less. In quantum physics, however, the rules are different – measurement changes everything. To tangent a little, this discovery in the early 20th century has made physicists rethink how even reality works – what if quantum theory applies not just at the quantum (very very miniscule) level, but to everything? Not just physically, but cognitively as well? This is the context I am placing the Stormlight Archive in. Through fantasy, Sanderson has made manifest and broken down certain theories that pervade contemporary thought. In the previously mentioned interlude chapter, spren stop moving when they are measured. This is similarly the case in quantum theory (if interested, look up wave function collapse). Okay, cool. But so what? Here is where my theory on Truthwatching comes in. When Renarin says he sees, what he means is that he actually sees. Not ‘see’ in the conventional sense, but literally sees. Wow, really clear man. I know, I know. The closest analogy I could think of is The Matrix, where at the end -SPOILER-, Neo literally sees reality as the code of the Matrix since it is a computer program. What I’m saying is the Truthwatching is a similar thing, except instead of code, what Renarin, and other Truthwatchers, see is the spren (quanta) of everything. Everything. This has nothing to do with his visions. I am in the camp that says his visions are not a result of Truthwatching since Dalinar, Kaladin (dream), and Shallan (drawings), have the same experience (I believe FeatherWriter has a really good and well-written post on this). This brings a new connotation to Illumination. What “illumination” means is to shed light on or clarify. If Lightweavers use Illumination to create illusions (perhaps because of its combination with Transformation), maybe Truthwatchers see through illusions. To relate, if we look at an apple sitting on a table, we see it as still. If we shine a strong light (must be coherent light) on it, however, the shadow that appears will show a hole in the middle; i.e. the solidity of the apple is an illusion. Or, if we shine a light on any object, the boundary of the shadow will appear fuzzy even though the boundary of the object is solid; i.e. static boundaries are illusions – this is due to the property of diffraction and the wave-particle duality that light has, another consequence that quantum theory attempts to explain. The perfect place to extend this theory from merely the physical to the cognitive, emotional, spiritual, etc., is the space of imagination and fiction, which are as real as physical reality. I think this is what Sanderson is experimenting with through the separation of Physical Realm, Cognitive Realm, etc. Truthwatchers might be the only ones able to see what is actually going on. In our world, our eyes often deceive us. Perhaps to see as Renarin does would be to see through the deception of reality. See spren. See what matters. See the stories behind people (Ym). See beauty. And to be able to see would certainly help knowing how to heal whatever is damaged – I am defining ‘heal’ here not as cure or fix, which implies some sort of wholeness, but ‘heal’ as in growth (i.e. Progression not towards, but Progression from). Sometimes a word of encouragement or a pair of comfortable shoes might go a longer way than stabbing someone with a Shardblade, deposing an incompetent king, or summoning highstorms, and this is what Renarin can see. Of course, this is all speculation, and I’m sure what I’ve written is full of holes. So, thoughts?
  14. This is my speculation about the nature of the Truthwatcher Immortal Words, and most below is a direct trascription of my post in the "Anything you felt should have been done differently in The Stormlight Archive?" topic: First, I believe the Lightweavers are not the only order with only one oath. I believe all orders that don't operate with a strict hierarchy and are unlikely to be part of "field action" don't need rigid guidelines and can act under a more subjetive and nuanced morality. Or, if the spren is not picky, just follow the first oath and be done with it. Now, lets look at some what we know of truthwatchers: 1.They were secretive. 2.They were esoteric. 3.They were tactful and careful. 4.They see the future. Now, lets look at what we know about another form of future sight: From the reddit AMA.I have theorized that this is how all future sight in the cosmere works: you plug your subcounciouss mind directly into all nearby cognitive aspects and their perceptions and calculate what will happen if no new element enters the system. What does this have to do with the Words? Well, look at what I posted in the other thread: The truthwatchers are said to be one of the most secretive orders. I believe there is a pragmatic aspect to it. If we consider true the theory that all "future sight" in the cosmere is actualy mathematical predictions done with temporary nigh onmiscience, like a powered up diagram, then it makes sense to withold information until it is most useful, since any new element added to the system makes predictions made before it was know more likely to fall apart. However, if the only people with the knowledge have a strong natural predisposition to keep it to themselves, then they risk being uselessly fatalistic, since their prophecies always come true because they decided it was better to endure them than risking change. This way, the progression of the order would relate to keeping this balance: holding on to secrets and staying in the shadows, but revealing the truth and stepping into the spotlight when it is needed. This means their progression depends on first keeping something hidden and holding on to it long enough before revealing it, much like the lies lightweavers must tell themselves in order to later destroy them, except in relation to other people. This also applies in a more personal scale, with stepping into the light or staying in the shadows. I believe it will be an as important part of Renarin's journey to stop risking himself uselessly for his family as it will be to learn to be more open about his actions. The interplay of light and shadows, revelation and occultation, also enhaces the esoteric air of the order and works as a powerful imagery, but on the same hand enforces the isolation of the truthwatchers, because their preference for watching over acting, their extreme discretion and their openly mysterious attitude make them seem suspicious, and when they come forward with information that changes everything without saying why they witheld it for so long, it comes as if they were manipulating everything like shadowy puppetmasters, when those who are more likely to be the ones manipulating people do so under a mask of normalcy.