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Kaladin Warrior vs. Soldier

9 posts in this topic

Dalinar says it multiple times: Kaladin's not a warrior, he's a soldier. What exactly does he mean by this? Kaladin is definitely a good fighter. So what does Dalinar mean by this?

Also, the most recent repeat of this idea is after Navani says "And I doubt anyone the enemy presents can best Stormblessed." To which Dalinar says he's not picking Kaladin.

Navani says, "Why not? He's our best warrior."

Navani has joined the Kaladin Is Unbeatable Club, accompanied by all of Bridge Four, Dalinar, Vyre, Venli, Leshwi, and all of the citizens of Urithiru.

Dalinar says "no he's our best soldier." 

What is the difference? I don't understand...?

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I think the idea is individual fighter vs. team leader/fighter/coordinator/order follower

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A soldier will follow orders, polish his spear and will do whatever he is commanded to do. Ordered to go on patrol? Of course! 
ordered to fight bandits? Part of the job. 
ordered to help bridges be built? Well I work for the crown. 
basically be a soldier is a job. We only think of the fighting part but it’s much more then that.

a warrior is someone that is essentially a skilled killer. 
Dalinar in his youth is a warrior.  His “guards” are people that can “keep up” with him. he runs through literal flames to attack a flank. He doesn’t do combat in a traditional sense, literally hitting the hardest parts to just to make the other person lose footing so that he can kill them. He chases the leaders tO the top of a mountain and fights a deadly duel instead of surrounding them. He doesn’t fight in a team. He fights by himself and dominates his competitors. 
so wile kaladin is a soldier that protects, Dalinar is a savage warrior that will do anything to win. 

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Well, in that case*, one could, maybe say that Kaladin acts as a warrior in Rhythm of War.

 

*For some reason, using this phrase might make this feel sarcastic or taunting. It's not supposed to be.

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More at the end, when he was dominating the fused. 
I think a defining moment between kaladins soldierness and Dalinar being a warrior. Is that kaladin has a harder time fighting without back up. He’s good with team work but when he was outnumbered he was constantly in a panic it seems. Trying not to Be overwhelmed.

where as when Dalinar who it seems was constantly being surrounded and was constantly being outnumbered, still dominated the battlefield it’s a difference in styles ultimately 

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Well... the debate is based on semantics. It's whatever Dalinar and by extension Brandon thinks is the difference is, no matter how we might interpret the distinction between the terms. It really only matters what Dalinar thinks, and Dalinar is still really bad at letting go of any responsibility. Unless something major happens, Dalinar is quite likely to try to see things through himself for the contest of champions.

Off the cuff here's my distinction, though it may not matter:

Kaladin as a soldier - he is there to protect: his people, his squad, random singers, etc. Until he more or less snapped at the end of RoW (and Dalinar wasn't there to watch), Kaladin doesn't really think like a killer, nor does he fight like a killer (though when he started targeting to cripple with the scalpel, that's a bit closer). He fights with a code of conduct and will hold to honor on a battlefield. Kaladin does not inflict unnecessary casualties because he generally wants to accomplish the goal while keeping as many people alive as possible. Kaladin is terrible at dealing with casualties. Look at the start of RoW, Kaladin's focus was primarily on keeping Bridge 4 and the civilians alive, to the extent that he was adopting the combat etiquette of the Heavenly Ones. Kaladin makes a fantastic frontline soldier, but for most of his story he would make a terrible field commander. These days, if there were peace, I doubt Kaladin would get bored like Dalinar used to.

Dalinar as a warrior - until he adopted the Codes, there was no honor on his battlefield. Dalinar was fantastic at killing, and would use any and every trick he could think of: shooting the horse out from a combatant, cutting the ground out from under someone on a cliff, burning a city with oil, or using whatever weapon that came to hand to dominate a battlefield and slaughter his foes. The way he thinks is about besting his opponent and killing them, about overwhelming an opposing force by sheer momentum and by terrifying the opponent until they will run away, using fear as a weapon as he would a halberd. Dalinar will knowingly throw tens of thousands of soldiers into a conflict knowing that many of them will die in order to obtain an objective. Dalinar today will get beaten in a fair fight if he doesn't use dirty tricks, as seen when he wrestles with another soldier and loses without the Thrill, but that's not why he was terrifying as the Blackthorn. 

In essence, though Kaladin can kill, he is not a killer in the same way that Dalinar made it his life and career. Kaladin watches for his men, Dalinar wins contests as he has his whole life. This is not me saying that Dalinar is the best choice, it's just the distinction I'm making. Brandon would probably say something quite different if asked next Q&A.

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21 hours ago, Shallan Stormblessed said:

Well, in that case*, one could, maybe say that Kaladin acts as a warrior in Rhythm of War.

Kinda, but not really. After all, even though he was the primary "fighter" he was still leading a team of Dabbid, Rlain, Lift and Teft.

My 20 yen, based on military experience:

Soldiers work as a team to complete an objective (which may or may not involve fighting and killing)

Warriors are defined by how they fight - and they fight to win (within whatever moral framework to which they adhere)

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I have always been under the impression a "Warrior" is someone who fights without needing to follow orders or rules of engagement. Whereas a "Soldier" is a warrior that follows orders and ethical code of conduct when it comes to fighting. 

We see that with Kaladin, someone who follows orders with fervor and does what he is told. 

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Soldiers are icy, direct, and focused on protecting others, no matter the cost. You might think of them as the personification of Honor.

Warriors are passionate about winning the fight in front of them, no matter the cost. You might think of them as the personification of Odium.

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