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KaladinWorldsinger

Let's discuss this wob

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Fantastic-Eggplant-9

It's stated that the Fused can hold Voidlight nearly indefinitely. Does this mean their gemhearts are perfect gems?

Brandon Sanderson

So, kind of. It does not necessarily mean that, how about that. But a similar mechanic is happening.

Fantastic-Eggplant-9

Is this why they are so strict with how they handle their dead?

Brandon Sanderson

It is part of why. You are picking up on the right foreshadowing that I have seeded into the books

How does the singers having perfect retaining of voidlight have a connection with why they don't move their dead? And Brandon says it is part of the answer. So why do the singers not move their dead?

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It's mentioned in Oathbringer that humans used to harvest gemhearts from dead listeners:

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The old songs spoke of days when humans had hacked apart listener corpses, searching for gemhearts. Leave the dead to peace instead; it was their way.

I never made the connection with Listeners and perfect gemstones, and now this line makes more sense.

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Well, the most basic answer is that a gemheart plus the Singer's soul allows for indefinite holding of Investiture, and the Singer's gemhearts were taken because humans like shiny things. (Also, as was said above, the Singers have so much respect for their dead because the humans desecrated Singer corpses in the past in order to take their gemhearts.)

Of course, the most basic answer doesn't explain what similar mechanic is happening, or entirely explain why humans would spend time hacking Singers apart to get their gemhearts. That WoB implies that they aren't perfect gemstones exactly, but perhaps they can be fooled into thinking they are still in a Singer's body, and thereby become functionally perfect? That would explain it.

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Posted (edited)

Devils Advocate stament on the whole discussion is that the WOB was specific to Voidlight which has a lot of properties we dont fully understand yet, but other WOBs imply it's a lot more sticky than stormlight all on it's own.  But that being said, Singer gemhearts are unique in at least two ways: they dont look like any known Essence Gem, and they are apparently compatible with more (or perhaps just a strange cross-section) of spren compared to the normal 10 gems.   

The way they are described as cloudy spheres makes me think they are layered Pearls made up of all the other ten Essence Gem types.  

 

EDIT: also, and this WOB reminded me of it, I do have a tangent Theory.  Two of the three Yolen Sapient races had whole ecosystems associated with them, and I suspect the Gemheart/spren ecosystem of Roshar either IS the Ecosystem of Dragons or is an off-shoot modeled after them (which would have been created by Adonalsium, for some reason...).  But part of that is that I suspect Larkin are larval Dragons.  

 

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Questioner

I was wondering, in Stormlight, what kind of gem the [singer] gemhearts were, or do they just, do they hold Stormlight well?

Brandon Sanderson

So, this is a good question. This is one that people have been asking me since the first book, if they had one, and I've finally kind of confirmed it in book three. So the reason people don't think [singers] have a gemheart is it is milky white, and looks like bone.

Questioner

But aren't their bones red?

Brandon Sanderson

Their bones, well-- Their bones are red-- not completely. If you're going to pull out the bone, what you're going to see-- I'll explain it in the next book. So what you're going to do is, if you break open the bone, you're going to find this white-- It's not marrow but it is, yeah I guess it's marrow. Anyway at the center kind of in their sternum there is a gemheart there, but it is fused to the bone and it is grown into the bone, and you have to kind of snap it open and find it inside, and it kind of just looks like marrow, but there's a gemheart in there. And it kind of relates to some stuff in Dragonsteel that I'm not gonna get into. But you'll see in the next books. But there's a good reason people just don't think that [singers] have a gemheart. 

Questioner

So they must not glow much then, I'm assuming.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, well, it's surrounded by bone. So it's a different special thing. We'll bring it out in the following books. It might not be the next one.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 (March 1, 2018)

 

  Edited by Quantus
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Yeah, "milky white" doesn't fit any of the Polestones, does it?

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There is also the weird bit where the Fused do not want to be the ones to knife-kill a Herald. The Fused almost seemed afraid to try and really wanted a human to do it (which I also felt was some kind of foreshadowing)

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After the description, I always pictured the Singer heart as a type of quartz (especially since it's SiO2 structure is a component of many beryl gemstones as well)

9 hours ago, teknopathetic said:

There is also the weird bit where the Fused do not want to be the ones to knife-kill a Herald. The Fused almost seemed afraid to try and really wanted a human to do it (which I also felt was some kind of foreshadowing)

Well, Heralds and Fused are similar beings, and that knife cuts both ways. So, while we can say that the Shanay-Im weren't willing to Rays-knife Jezrien; I don't know that we can expand that to any Fused unwilling to Rays-knife any Herald. It could just have been that that Heavenly Ones would be vulnerable to the same pole stone to which he was vulnerable.

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Posted (edited)

A few thoughts.

First, the Listeners definitely had a taboo on moving the dead. Do the Fused have the same qualm? I know Ulim doesn't, and Raboniel's actions with the dead body of Essu seemed to be more concerned with the parents of the former Singer than some sanctity for the body.

Second, do we think that the gemheart of the Singer body that is inhabited by the Fused changes with the transformation or do all Singers have this ability to near perfectly retain Light? It doesn't necessarily have to but it could. Does the gemheart itself change with each new form to accommodate the spren, and perhaps it reverts to the cloudy variety upon death and release of the spren? 

Third, I'm guessing that Radiants become better containers for Stormlight as they swear higher and higher Ideals, despite the lack of gemheart. Do we think this level of... devotion(?) to an ideology or Passion is at all related to Fused being able to retain Voidlight so effectively?

Fourth, Venli seemed to have Stormlight rise off of her skin just like a human as a first Oath proto-Radiant. She did not seem to be a perfect Stormlight container. Is this to do with the difference in Light, attunement (bot sure if there is a better word) to the Investiture, or by nature of being in a Regal form provided by Odium?

Edited by Duxredux
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17 hours ago, Duxredux said:

A few thoughts.

First, the Listeners definitely had a taboo on moving the dead. Do the Fused have the same qualm? I know Ulim doesn't, and Raboniel's actions with the dead body of Essu seemed to be more concerned with the parents of the former Singer than some sanctity for the body.

Second, do we think that the gemheart of the Singer body that is inhabited by the Fused changes with the transformation or do all Singers have this ability to near perfectly retain Light?

I'd be surprised if they do... Fused swap bodies, I doubt they see the body as important in the way mortals do.

I think all Singers' gemhearts hold Voidlight (possibly/likely not Stormlight) near perfectly. We're told that Venli as a Regal has a small amount of Voidlight inflaming her emotions, and I don't think she's being resupplied continuously with it - she's not even consciously aware it's there until she's told.

18 hours ago, Treamayne said:

After the description, I always pictured the Singer heart as a type of quartz (especially since it's SiO2 structure is a component of many beryl gemstones as well)

Yeah, "milky white" could suggest milky quartz - but that's still not a Polestone. Smokestone might be smoky quartz(?) but since color is pretty defining for Rosharan gems, milky quartz shouldn't count.

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