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I’ve finished The Stormlight Archive twice (only twice, I know…), and my opinion of Moash has changed drastically during my reread. At first, I completely and utterly hated him without regret. Then, on my reread, I was able to appreciate the depth of his character. I find myself half wanting him dead, and half wanting him to get the best redemption arc ever. I’m pretty sure on other bases (like tumblr or reddit) there’s a really strong This post has been reported for attempting to skirt the rules Moash group which I don’t like the idea of, mostly because they don’t appreciate the dimensions of his character, at least from what I’ve seen. I’ll put my full opinion of Moash below, but I’m asking you guys what you think about Moash, and what you want to see happening to him in the next few books vs. what might actually happen etc. Also, my sister said she believes Moash “did what he had to do” but upon further questioning doesn’t give me any answers, so if someone could please explain what you think she might mean?

 

Okay, my opinion, all over the place, and based off several points i saw on reddit/tumblr + my own beliefs (so some of these arent my own):

(TL;DR - i have a love-hate relationship. i can understand why he did what he did, but i still hate him for it. i want him to drop dead and iw ant to see a sick redemption arc.still figuring out my position.)

  • People ask why we hate Moash so much when Dalinar did so much worse, and I definitely agree, but one of the reasons might be because Moash doesn’t take responsibility for his actions whilst Dalinar does (ft. epic Oathbringer you cannot have my pain) its not about fairness or jstuice for him most of the time, its revenge. hes eager to take advantange, but not to take responsibility. he takes the  path of cowardice and refuses to be held accountable for his choices. (but then, can we htae him for being human?) he feels bad, but a bad that leads to “I wish I could have done it without feeling pain” rather than “I wish I didnt do it” (yes, yes we can)
  • also he doesnt fight against oppression, he fights against lighteyed oppression, and thinks that fused oppression is better
  • HE KILLED TEFT </3
  • I’m open to the idea of a redemption arc, I don’t like him at all but understand the reasoning behind his choices. I’m willing to give him a chance.
  • About Elhokar…I don’t know how I feel about him still. Elhokar had potential and Brandon was trying to make us feel that, and I kidna WAS feeling that. But I do understand that Elhokar was Moash’s Amaram, almost.
  • His black cloak on the hill RoW scene was pretty cool I gotta admit it
  • SUICIDE BAITING KALADIN. I can’t seem to get past this. As someone who’s been struggling with getting help for my depression and suicidal thoughts for years, I felt this on a different level. NOT OKAY, MOASH! But my lovely sister (who compares my depression to Kaladin’s then invalidates both of ours) believes she understands why he did that, and in his own way he was genuinely trying to make Kaladin feel better. maybe he was. (he wasnt) HE LITERALLY TRIES TO KILL KAL, WHO SAVED HIS LIFE
  • he’s a nuanced character and i can appreciate that
  • he chooses to stay with bridge 4 then betrays them
  • betrays many oaths and promises he makes, constantly lies (but who didnt?)
  • in case you forgot, teft went from “im broken” to “im loved” as he died
  • Hes completely aware and happy that odium took away his emotions and whenever hte bond weakens he panics and tries to get it back immediately instead of going “omg no emotions made me do terrible stuff” I hope odium throws him off and leaves him blind, alone, and with a mountain of guilt. Once again I will support a redemption arc if he feels the pain of what hes done
  • i dont reeeallyyy appreciate how brandon (maybe unconsciously) framed the victim of racism, being a poc myself i can understand a few of the things moash felt (kinda) (ig) so i can feel some, SOME level of sympathy for moash. moash, not vyre :) id want more from brandon around the racism thing tho. lots of potential that moash had before he went into this downward arc.
  • i feel like hes being framed as ur typical villain and slowly losing hsi humanity so i dont really like that but yeah

 

I might add more later. 

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4 hours ago, kaladin x happiness said:

I’ve finished The Stormlight Archive twice (only twice, I know…), and my opinion of Moash has changed drastically during my reread. At first, I completely and utterly hated him without regret. Then, on my reread, I was able to appreciate the depth of his character. I find myself half wanting him dead, and half wanting him to get the best redemption arc ever. I’m pretty sure on other bases (like tumblr or reddit) there’s a really strong This post has been reported for attempting to skirt the rules Moash group which I don’t like the idea of, mostly because they don’t appreciate the dimensions of his character, at least from what I’ve seen. I’ll put my full opinion of Moash below, but I’m asking you guys what you think about Moash, and what you want to see happening to him in the next few books vs. what might actually happen etc. Also, my sister said she believes Moash “did what he had to do” but upon further questioning doesn’t give me any answers, so if someone could please explain what you think she might mean?

 

Okay, my opinion, all over the place, and based off several points i saw on reddit/tumblr + my own beliefs (so some of these arent my own):

(TL;DR - i have a love-hate relationship. i can understand why he did what he did, but i still hate him for it. i want him to drop dead and iw ant to see a sick redemption arc.still figuring out my position.)

  • People ask why we hate Moash so much when Dalinar did so much worse, and I definitely agree, but one of the reasons might be because Moash doesn’t take responsibility for his actions whilst Dalinar does (ft. epic Oathbringer you cannot have my pain) its not about fairness or jstuice for him most of the time, its revenge. hes eager to take advantange, but not to take responsibility. he takes the  path of cowardice and refuses to be held accountable for his choices. (but then, can we htae him for being human?) he feels bad, but a bad that leads to “I wish I could have done it without feeling pain” rather than “I wish I didnt do it” (yes, yes we can)
  • also he doesnt fight against oppression, he fights against lighteyed oppression, and thinks that fused oppression is better
  • HE KILLED TEFT </3
  • I’m open to the idea of a redemption arc, I don’t like him at all but understand the reasoning behind his choices. I’m willing to give him a chance.
  • About Elhokar…I don’t know how I feel about him still. Elhokar had potential and Brandon was trying to make us feel that, and I kidna WAS feeling that. But I do understand that Elhokar was Moash’s Amaram, almost.
  • His black cloak on the hill RoW scene was pretty cool I gotta admit it
  • SUICIDE BAITING KALADIN. I can’t seem to get past this. As someone who’s been struggling with getting help for my depression and suicidal thoughts for years, I felt this on a different level. NOT OKAY, MOASH! But my lovely sister (who compares my depression to Kaladin’s then invalidates both of ours) believes she understands why he did that, and in his own way he was genuinely trying to make Kaladin feel better. maybe he was. (he wasnt) HE LITERALLY TRIES TO KILL KAL, WHO SAVED HIS LIFE
  • he’s a nuanced character and i can appreciate that
  • he chooses to stay with bridge 4 then betrays them
  • betrays many oaths and promises he makes, constantly lies (but who didnt?)
  • in case you forgot, teft went from “im broken” to “im loved” as he died
  • Hes completely aware and happy that odium took away his emotions and whenever hte bond weakens he panics and tries to get it back immediately instead of going “omg no emotions made me do terrible stuff” I hope odium throws him off and leaves him blind, alone, and with a mountain of guilt. Once again I will support a redemption arc if he feels the pain of what hes done
  • i dont reeeallyyy appreciate how brandon (maybe unconsciously) framed the victim of racism, being a poc myself i can understand a few of the things moash felt (kinda) (ig) so i can feel some, SOME level of sympathy for moash. moash, not vyre :) id want more from brandon around the racism thing tho. lots of potential that moash had before he went into this downward arc.
  • i feel like hes being framed as ur typical villain and slowly losing hsi humanity so i dont really like that but yeah

 

I might add more later. 

 I actually don't think moash  Will end his story a villain for two reasons.  First  If Brandon was going to have him die  He would have at the end of rhythm of war instead he blinded him. 

 

Second moash is a singer name other singer names is are Jewish.  So moash is probably supposed to be a version Moses.  I don't think that  Brandon Sanderson would have given him The name of such an important and well known Jewish figure  If he intended him to die a villain.

 

My personal opinion is that moash will reflect aspects of paul the way kelsier reflects aspects of Jesus.  

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Posted (edited)

Moash I feel is nothing but wasted potential.

He could have been a foil to Kaladin, but Brandon tries to build sympathy for him, so he can't fill that role. He could have been an intimidating villain, but he feels bad for his actions, and seems more motivated by a wierd fasination with Kaladin than any nefarious means. He could have been a lost sheep, but it's clear he doesn't regret his actions. His injuries don't feel cathardic, they just feel wasteful.

Edited by Frustration
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I loved his character till Oathbringer... especially in Oathbringer. Then Rhythm of War happened. He completely spiralled and I can't help but feel very uncomfortable about his plotline because he's not just a character, he's a representation of an issue... and the way his storyline went feels... yeah... just no

As for Elhokar... I don't like him, it was still a bit yikes but I can't say I also felt a bit like, eh, what goes around comes around. I get that he didn't get what all that power he had meant, I really do, that just isn't enough to get over the fact that he let people rot away to save himself from some embarrassment. Though mostly I just didn't care about him, and continued to not care about him. During the... face-stab then double-tap scene, I was much more worried about Kaladin, and even more worried about Moash. I thought Elhokar would say the words, heal, and kill him, right there, right in front of Kal. So... it was mostly a relief.

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Honestly Moash is dead. He died when he betrayed bridge 4

He had the potential to be kaladin but on the other side (and he kinda is) but now he is kaladin if kaladin became kelsier. 
he’s kaladin if kaladin gives up 

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11 hours ago, kaladin x happiness said:

I find myself half wanting him dead, and half wanting him to get the best redemption arc ever.

This is pretty much where I am on Moash’s character. I love him, but also I hate him. I have sympathy for him, but also he has fallen so far that many of his choices are unjustifiably terrible. I’m on the edge of my seat to see what he does next.

I’m hoping for an epic redemption arc, but I can also see him being killed off sans redemption in a satisfying way. Or he could have something in the middle (as in, arguably sort of redeem himself) and the fandom will argue forever about whether or not we’re cool with Moash now. That would be fun.

I really appreciate that he is so complex and doesn’t have an easy moral answer.

11 hours ago, kaladin x happiness said:

Also, my sister said she believes Moash “did what he had to do” but upon further questioning doesn’t give me any answers, so if someone could please explain what you think she might mean?

 I don’t know your sister, but I have heard people on the Shard argue that killing Elhokar was morally the right thing to do in those circumstances because regicide would lead to political reform. That might be what she is referring to?

(Personally, I disagree with that sentiment strongly. Killing Elhokar can’t and didn’t solve anyone’s problems, and Elhokar didn’t deserve to die. Also, Moash was not motivated by a desire to do the right or ‘necessary’ thing anyway.)

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Posted (edited)

Moash (Vyre) is a depiction of Nietzsche's quote:

Quote

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

As far as the bigotry goes (it's not racism, since lighteyes and darkeyes are the same race - Alethi); its important to note that Moash was not the victim (at least not more than any other darkeyed male), his Grandparents were the victims. He himself is as bigotted, or more so, than the lighteyes he "fights" against. To me, he's even worse, because when he's telling the Singer's that their way is better (or convincing them to be better when he sees them punishing Sah and Khen's group in OB Ch 48) he's essentially saying that he thinks all leaders in humanity are *just like* Alethi Ligheyes (which is already heavily stereotyping).

Let's face it - stereotyping is essential to human survival (these red berries killed my friend, so those red berries might be dangerous too); what people need to realize, teach, and espouse is that while sterotypes exist - you should not judge an Individual exclusively on a stereotype. That's what Kaladin has started learning - such as his interactions with the tenners in OB (realizing how similar they are to his previous darkeyed spear squads - and - how they treat Adolin without knowing anything about him because they assume he's a middle-dahn lighteyes and a dandy based on his dress; but Kal is torn between agreeing and sticking up for Adolin then thinks he should feel guilty for thinking about defending a lighteyes).

I don't think Moash would allow himself a redemption arc. He's far too selfish to ever allow himself to change that much. . .

Edited by Treamayne
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Posted (edited)

Moash has gone the full evil route, but any or all of it could end up being blamed on Odium (and/or the Black Fisher, who I think might be riding Moash in some way or another). The complete absence of feeling due to surrendering that feeling to Odium has been brought up too many times to be meaningless. I also think that overcoming what seemed insurmountable self-loathing is a strong theme in SA, so redemption isn't out of the question for him narratively. But even then I think we'd be looking at an epiphany leading to immediate self-sacrifice rather than any return to the Urithiru group; I just don't think that anyone would have him back under any circumstances. We've already got Szeth for that plot role anyways.

But Moash's plot has been thin. He had a handful of moments of character development, but virtually all of it happened before he left the Shattered Plains. At this point he just seems like Dark Kaladin, a view of what might have come from all the choices Kaladin might have made in his despairing resentment but didn't. There is already too much recurrence of SA characters for me (like Jor), and Moash has burned too much on-camera time doing nothing but being empty and evil. I'm more than ready for him to be cycled out for good, not unlike Amaram was. And, frankly, I'm ready to have fewer named villains who appear only to be short-term rivals for established characters anyways (I'm looking at you, Pursuer).

I feel like SA has reached a point where there are a lot of characters reappearing for the sake of reappearing more than appearing to further the plot or to deepen worldbuilding elements. More and more Moash has been tipping the the wrong way on that (at least for my tastes).

Edited by Returned
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Maybe an unpopular opinion, but I find this entire "taking pain" thing from Odium kinda weird. I wish it wouldn't exist. 

With regards to Moash, I feel like his Oathbringer version doesn't really fit the RoW version. Oathbringer Moash was still (in a sense) very loyal to Kaladin, he would have never actually tried to drive him into suicide. And he wasn't an evil person. For a while I thought we'd see a Windrunner Moash build some sort of resistance against Odium on the singer side. Basically, I would have given Moash the Venli arc (or made him a part of it), only as a Windrunner instead of as a Willshaper. And I still think it would fit the Moash we see in WoK and WoR a lot more. Don't forget his bravery and self-sacrifice at the Battle of the Tower, where he was one of the men who took charge. But that chance obviously died when he randomly decided to kill Jezrien. It would have been an interesting conflict for the Kholins, too: Imagine if the murderer of Elhokar came back as a hero who freed thousands of innocent singers from Odium and the Fused. 

I do not want to see a Moash redemption arc after RoW though because there are already too many of those in the story. Between at least Gaz, Venli, Szeth and Dalinar. 

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One big difference between what old Dalinar did and what Moash did is that Dalinar didn't really *betray*. As bloody as his actions were, and as guilty as he feels, they're probably not actually against Alethi war customs. The Blackthorn was after all pretty admired.

The difference is not so significant to us, in our post World Wars environment, but in a world without anything like our international law and with a strongly oath based society its significant to the characters.

--

Yeah Elhokar is interesting. I don't approve of assassinating him, but I do feel like the narrative/Kaladin in OB gives him too much of a free pass. He's the monarch, this stuff IS his fault. Even the things that aren't directly his fault kind of are his fault anyway, that's what being the ultimate authority means.

It's arguable (from a strong pro-democracy perspective) that killing him was excusable since there's no legal means to remove a bad king & the likely regent for Gavinor would have been Dalinar who obviously would rule better.

In one sense his meaning well isn't relevant; he IS a bad king and everyone in the kingdom (except Sadeas lol) would be better off if Dalinar was in charge.

But still... assassinating him seems wrong. Not just because it's dishonorable/murderous but also there was real hope of him becoming a better king.

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4 minutes ago, cometaryorbit said:

Yeah Elhokar is interesting. I don't approve of assassinating him, but I do feel like the narrative/Kaladin in OB gives him too much of a free pass. He's the monarch, this stuff IS his fault. Even the things that aren't directly his fault kind of are his fault anyway, that's what being the ultimate authority means.

What Elhokar really needed was a session or three with Tindwyl

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12 hours ago, Treamayne said:

What Elhokar really needed was a session or three with Tindwyl

Yeah

I guess what really bothers me is "the king is Dalinar's Tien" thing. So Elhokar should continue to live & rule because his death would make Dalinar feel that he'd failed to protect him?

I mean I am all for not assassinating people but that is a really weak justification for his continued rule.

Maybe that's just Kaladin's mindset but...

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30 minutes ago, cometaryorbit said:

Yeah

I guess what really bothers me is "the king is Dalinar's Tien" thing. So Elhokar should continue to live & rule because his death would make Dalinar feel that he'd failed to protect him?

I mean I am all for not assassinating people but that is a really weak justification for his continued rule.

Maybe that's just Kaladin's mindset but...

Continue to live, at any rate. Kaladin did try to convince him to abdicate, though it seems clear he would never have done so.

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1 hour ago, cometaryorbit said:

I guess what really bothers me is "the king is Dalinar's Tien" thing. So Elhokar should continue to live & rule because his death would make Dalinar feel that he'd failed to protect him?

I take the ‘king is Dalinar’s Tien’ thing to mean that Kaladin is learning to see Elhokar as a person, not as just an enemy or a bad king. In Kaladin’s mind, Elhokar is no longer defined by his job and his incompetence. He is an incompetent king, but he’s also a fallible human who does what he can with what his life throws at him. This doesn’t mean he deserves to be king, or that he should keep being the king. But being a bad king doesn’t mean Elhokar deserves to die, any more than Tien being a bad soldier meant he deserved to die. 

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5 minutes ago, RedBlue said:

I take the ‘king is Dalinar’s Tien’ thing to mean that Kaladin is learning to see Elhokar as a person, not as just an enemy or a bad king

Maybe but it sounded to me more like he was thinking of him as being defined by his relationship to Dalinar now...

Your interpretation would be a lot more sensible.

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I think part of what really turned Moash into a full villain is that he continued on his vengeance after the larger external threat of Odium became obvious, and indeed turned to Odium to achieve that vengeance, and also after it became irrelevant.

His original intent against Elhokar was arguably justified, depending on your political/moral philosophy about when it's justified to revolt against a bad government/monarch... at that time, also, Odium wasn't known to anybody except Dalinar as a current threat.

But now that threat is obvious, and anyway Elhokar is dead and Jasnah is beginning to put through major reforms, including abolishing slavery, with an eye to weakening/balancing the power of the Alethi monarchy.

I think there's a parallel to the Fused pursuing their war after it's lost its initial purpose- now they're basically parasites enslaving and even stealing the bodies of the singers, not fighting for their freedom in any real sense.

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A lot of interesting stuff in this thread. My two cents: 

I didn't like Moash from day 1. Even when he was Kaladins friend and lieutenant in WoK and WoR he felt like a pretty unpleasant person. The other bridgemen always felt like nice guys beneath the depression and anger that came with being enslaved by Sadeas, but Moash always felt off to me. So his journey towards evil hasn't really been surprising to me. What I do appreciate is that he hasn't had a redemption arc, and I kind of hope he won't have one, if only because the kind of character that Moash is always seems to get one. 

On 2022-05-28 at 9:14 AM, kaladin x happiness said:

i dont reeeallyyy appreciate how brandon (maybe unconsciously) framed the victim of racism, being a poc myself i can understand a few of the things moash felt (kinda) (ig) so i can feel some, SOME level of sympathy for moash. moash, not vyre :) id want more from brandon around the racism thing tho. lots of potential that moash had before he went into this downward arc.

I think that the racism-thing is explored with Kaladin. Kaladin does, in a lot of instances, particularly during WoR, feel the same anger due to being a victim that Moash does. The difference between them is that Kaladin deals with it in the right way, while Moash doesn't. Kaladin chooses to be better than those who enslaved him and discriminated against him, while Moash allows himself to be consumed by anger and hate. That anger is justified, but it doesn't excuse Moash's actions. 

On 2022-05-29 at 1:07 AM, Returned said:

But Moash's plot has been thin. He had a handful of moments of character development, but virtually all of it happened before he left the Shattered Plains. At this point he just seems like Dark Kaladin, a view of what might have come from all the choices Kaladin might have made in his despairing resentment but didn't. There is already too much recurrence of SA characters for me (like Jor), and Moash has burned too much on-camera time doing nothing but being empty and evil. I'm more than ready for him to be cycled out for good, not unlike Amaram was. And, frankly, I'm ready to have fewer named villains who appear only to be short-term rivals for established characters anyways (I'm looking at you, Pursuer).

While I don't feel this way myself, I can emphatize with it. Moash has more or less been the Ramsay Bolton of Stormlight, i.e, showing up a bunch of times per book and doing unlikeable stuff and killing off well-liked characters. I do think that having Moash be "free" from his pain means that he risks losing the sense of inner conflict that makes a villain interesting. Other characters like Taravangian, Szeth in the first books, and even Amaram, did have internal conflicts regarding their villainy. Moash doesn't really have that to that large of an extent, and he gets too little page-time for us to be able to delve into his very wierd psyche. This basically just makes him an evil henchman who shows up to kill a good guy and get his ass kicked. 

(I did like the Pursuer though, I think his role was great).

On 2022-05-28 at 9:05 PM, RedBlue said:

(Personally, I disagree with that sentiment strongly. Killing Elhokar can’t and didn’t solve anyone’s problems, and Elhokar didn’t deserve to die. Also, Moash was not motivated by a desire to do the right or ‘necessary’ thing anyway.)

Agreed. I'd also add that Moash killed Elhokar in front of Elhokars six-something age old son. That is insanely awful. 

 

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