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Almarenco

I am halfway through ROW and am so frustrated I feel I can’t continue if I don’t rant a bit

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I honestly don’t know who I’m more pissed off at. Lirin for being a self righteous ass, who is so obsessed with turning Kaladin into what he wants him to be, that he is unable to accept his son for the man he actually is, causing Kaladin ridiculous amounts of pain and grief in the process - this btw started as a kid, he screwed up his whole family (SPOILER WARNING FOR Way of Kings) stealing those spheres just so he could force teen Kaladin to pursue lirin’s dream of being a surgeon. He didn’t do that for Kaladin, he did it for his own selfish ass of a self. But, sometimes I thin what pisses me off most is tha fact that Jaladin won’t storming stand up for himself ONCE. I want him to kick Lirin’s ass at this point, he’s the worst piece of rust father ever, psychologically harming his CLINICALLY DEPRESSED SON WITH SEVERE PTSD on purpose just to manipulate him into doing what he wants, and Kaladin just takes it,. BTW how the hell is (Spoilers for ROW) Kaladin letting every soldier on the tower get slaughtered while he delivers storming towels not a breach of his storming oath to protect????? That’s even worse than what he did before that almost killed Syl? That’s so inconsistent. But finally, I think I am most pissed off at Brandon Sanderson, writing his characters into rehashing the same character arc, book after storming book, leaving Kaladin idle for the last two books btw, while he bulked up the page count with repetition and filler rust that bring no new information, doesn’t build character (repetitive dramatic beats over and over) and most importantly, doesn’t advance the story at all, making the character’s lack of progression, lack of change (until that magic moment in the last 100 pages when everyone conveniently figures out their rust at the same time) all the more painful to get through. For storms sake, you could cut 400 pages out of WOR and ROW each and not only not harm the books I’d argue they’d be better. storm, what’s most frustrating is that the core story, worlds and characters are so engaging (except Shallan and Lirin - they suck through and through), so storming phenomenal that you still want to get through to the end…. storm, these books are at the same time sooo freaking good, but also so storming annoying!!!! alright. Rant over, sorry for this, but now I feel better, and can perhaps continue reading XD

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9 hours ago, Almarenco said:

I honestly don’t know who I’m more pissed off at .  .  . Rant over, sorry for this, but now I feel better, and can perhaps continue reading XD

You are not the only one to feel this way. (link may have spoilers for the end of RoW)

Though, I think that it is important to note that while this type of character progression/regression seems annoying - it is quite realistic. For somebody like Kaladin struggling with depression; it is not only possible, but quite likely, that the progress made during WoR and OB (before going to Kholinar) would be set back by the events in Kholinar followed by a full year of almost non-stop combat.

I consider Lirin as bad as Sadeas, but not quite as bad as Moash. We can only hope that Lirin starts to recognize the damage he is causing and begins to improve as well.

Edited by Treamayne
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Another thing to consider is that depression is literally just being discovered. Or it might not even considering that kaladin is helping people with extreme ptsd. We know the proper treatment or at least that it’s serious. Lirin is literally just learning of it and is scared for his son. So what does he do? He pries on his sons weakness (not fulling knowing that it’s one of the worst things to do) to have him stay under his protection. 
as you might see I like lirin. He’s realistic. Sure he does things that hurt and on purpose, but he does it because he thinks it’s the best path. Also when he loses control of the situation he completely implodes. So yeah unpopular opinion but lirin is great.

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IMO Lirin is somewhere between Dalinar and Gavilar.  More actively abusive than Dalinar but without Gavilar's maliciousness and megalomania.  He's definitely not as bad as Moash or Sadeas. 

I 100% believe that Kaladin's 5th ideal will have to come after Lirin realizes what a cremling he's been and apologizes for being a self-righteous toolbag.  Kaladin needs his dad to tell him that it's OK to take care of himself, too. 

I disagree about Shallan sucking.  She's a mess, but who wouldn't be after that childhood? 

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17 hours ago, GroundPetrel said:

IMO Lirin is somewhere between Dalinar and Gavilar.  More actively abusive than Dalinar but without Gavilar's maliciousness and megalomania.  He's definitely not as bad as Moash or Sadeas. 

I 100% believe that Kaladin's 5th ideal will have to come after Lirin realizes what a cremling he's been and apologizes for being a self-righteous toolbag.  Kaladin needs his dad to tell him that it's OK to take care of himself, too. 

I disagree about Shallan sucking.  She's a mess, but who wouldn't be after that childhood? 

Dalinar was a horrible dad. Only ever cared about adolin (forgetting that Renarin existed at times) and was constantly at war for his own greed to feel the thrill, missing over half of his kids life’s. 
So yeah, lirin wanted kaladin to follow in his path of life a bit forcefully but he is a part of his sons life’s. He never drunkenly hated them. (Like Dalinar did to Renarin right before falling apart and crying in front of him) 

litterally lirin is the best dad in the series. Not understanding at all times but he’s like pacifist kaladin, and we know how unlikable kaladin can be at times to the people around him. 

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Lirin would be the best dad in the series if he shaped up a lot. 

Dalinar was just neglectful as far as his impact on Adolin and Renarin goes, and he has acknowledged that he neglected Renarin (though now he's more actively emotionally suppressive to Adolin, which he needs to shape up on).  They supported each other and came out mostly functional, in fact I would say that Renarin is basically emotionally healthy on a fundamental level and has good means of coping with a nightmarish situation, while Adolin's baggage manifests mostly as self-deprecation and reflexive kindness. 

Lirin is a domineering uncompromising ass who got one of his kids killed and emotionally abused the other (who's STILL messed up) in his pursuit of his dream of having a surgeon son. 

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Also, Dalinar isn't greedy, Dalinar's an addict and a workaholic who has trouble giving up control. 

(hmm, now that gives me a fanfic idea.  Thanks, Inner Navani.)

Adolin and Renarin grew up in the land of toxic masculinity being neglected by an addict.  They're two kids who grew up in a crack house surrounded by macho bullies.  Adolin grew up too fast by necessity and has a lot of baggage from that; Renarin is clearly really really smart and has enough inward-facing smarts to recognize how he and his brother are and train himself to function as an adult human being, something Adolin does not have.  Dalinar only started being a judgemental cremling to Adolin recently, because he's an insecure addict who's terrified of his kids going the same way. 

(I don't want to completely derail this thread, but the fundamental point is that Adolin and Renarin are screwed up in ways very different from how Kaladin is, because their father's mistreatment of them was just neglect rather than browbeating and hyper-judgementalism until quite recently). 

Lirin otoh spent Kaladin's entire childhood and adolescence telling him what to be, judging him harshly if he didn't conform to Lirin's narrow standards of appropriate behavior and interests, and got into a social conflict he had zero hope of winning against a man with far more power (legal and otherwise) than Lirin could ever hope to have, so that he could live vicariously through Kaladin.  Kaladin is still deeply messed up by this, and Lirin's stupid ego got Tien killed, which honestly hurt Kal even MORE. 

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RoW was a frustrating book for me too, for a lot of reasons, and especially including the pacing of character arcs. And Lirin, who was never my favorite character, is becoming (in my eyes) more intransigent. That is not great, even though I believe that his commitment to nonviolence was originally (and may still be) a deeply felt, carefully reasoned one. While he fell short in many ways many times, he loved his sons and tried his best his entire life to teach them what he felt they needed to know and to set them up for successful futures. I'm not sure I'd agree that he's an outright abusive parent, at least not in a way that leaves "abusive parent" with much meaning. Though I will 100% agree he's far from perfect.

I don't really like people dragging on Lirin this way. From his comments it's clear that he doesn't believe there is a maintainable dividing line you can draw between being a Kaladin (violence here and there, where you think it's appropriate, to support better ends) and being a Blackthorn, Sadeas, or Moash (unlimited violence whenever others are in your way or resist you for any reason). He certainly doesn't know all the details of history but he's obviously correct that millennia of violence, even by the "right" people with the "right" objectives and motivations, hasn't solved violence or evil. It's not unreasonable to resist the idea that the past's problem is that it was not violent enough. I'll paraphrase Shallan and say that he might be mistaken, and he might be misguided, but he's sincere and has the courage of his convictions.

I'll listen to the case if anyone wants to make it, but I think it's outrageous to say that he got one of his kids killed; even though Lirin was unpleasant initially and should have known to "act his station" (itself a gross injustice with a weasel like Roshone), Roshone spitefully conscripted Tien when he didn't have to, and a random officer in the field chose to use him as an insubstantial human shield. After their disastrous first meeting, what could Lirin have done that would have caused Roshone to behave better towards him? I honestly believe that a lot of the posters here on 17th Shard would have preferred Lirin just kill Roshone outright at the earliest opportunity, and would never question that that was an awesome choice. Killing a "bad" person is so direct and tidy, how could there ever be something wrong with it? I'm no Lirin, but I find that position disturbing and morally dangerous, although certainly people can make reasonable arguments in that direction.

We (mostly, at the 17th Shard) like Kaladin and wish there were more people like him on Roshar, but it seems clear that there are more people like Sadeas-- those who are similarly flexible in when, how, and why violence is applied, and who just bend it in ways that we independently label as "bad". Kaladin struggles with this, too, even though he generally feels that violence is sometimes unavoidable. Frankly, that it's generally immediately easier to kill than to do something else to address a problem or obstacle should give all Radiants pause, given the nature of their common oath.

Edited by Returned
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RAFO on Lirin, but he does get some light shed on his view of things later on in the book. But the gist of it is that Lirin is a broken man who is trying to protect who he loves in a broken way. In a very similar way to how Kaladin has trouble letting go of people and accepting their own decisions, Lirin has trouble letting Kaladin accept his choices, and it's worse because it's a son he's failed to protect once before. 

Lirin and Kaladin's disagreements are also fundamental to the core message of the story, or at least what I personally found the core message of the story to be in 2020. 

Personally, I find Lirin to be a bit more nuanced than what other people see. Maybe that's because I never disliked him (most of Kaladin's Oaths from the first two books are based off of what Lirin taught him after all), maybe it's because I never had to worry about having a relationship with my own father like one Kaladin has with Lirin - my father is my top fan and supporter in life, and he's the first person I go to when I'm troubled or have a problem. 

My point is that it's fine to hate Lirin, as I think doing so means that Sanderson did a good job in writing him. At the same time, I don't think that Lirin is a bad person or even a bad father overall. (And honestly, he's one of the best fathers Sanderson has written, despite the flaws...that being said, the bar for good fathers is pretty low...) Like Kaladin, he's on a journey, and it's far from over. 

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I can't remember who said this first, but part of Lirin's problem is that his pacifism is a very moral response to typical Alethi pointless conflict but doesn't work so well in the True Desolation.

I agree with @Returnedthat his nonviolence is a thought-out, honest, deep commitment. And up until a year and a few months ago it was a 100% correct one. The Alethi were first killing each other & their neighbors in pointless skirmishes, then fighting a bloody war supposedly for vengeance but in reality for wealth and glory.

The Alethi version of Vorinism sees war as the highest calling so they need to seek out excuses for war. That's *very* twisted and Lirin is absolutely right to reject it.

But once the Fused show up, not so much. As long as Odium is directing forces conflict is unavoidable, I think. Even if humans unconditionally surrendered and became the lowest class in the Singer hierarchy, Odium would find a way to spur more conflict. It's kind of what he does.

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There's a small chance that giving the spheres to Roshone (or not taking them in the first place) would have kept Roshone from sending the boys to war, but you need to remember that Roshone is a vindictive greedy manchild and events would likely have played out the same regardless (Roshone's son still gets mortally wounded by a whitespine, Lirin fails to save him, and Roshone decides to punish Lirin by sending his boys to war).

In survival situations, disagreeableness and stubbornness are often valuable traits -- because a highly agreeable person who lets selfish people walk all over them will be entirely reliant on the whims of the powerful and can't protect themselves or their loved ones. Had life in Alethkar continued as it had for the past few decades (and Roshone's son not been killed), Lirin's plan probably was the best bet for giving Kaladin a decent future.

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1 hour ago, cometaryorbit said:

Even if humans unconditionally surrendered and became the lowest class in the Singer hierarchy, Odium would find a way to spur more conflict. It's kind of what he does.

Odium would wait a generation then use angry humans on the bottom rung to find a nascent Kelsier expy, warp them to his side, and use them as a dark messiah to overthrow the Singer hierarchy while strategically weakening "his" own side, then turn it all into a genocide of singers, then flip back to the singers again a generation or two down the line, etc. 

Warping justified anger at oppression into mindless hate seems to me to have been a thing Rayse did a lot. 

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So perhaps this is not what anyone wants to hear, but it is a good thing to have bad people in books. And I'm not even talking about having villains. The truth is that no person has ever or will ever be truly good. We all hold each other to impossible standards. One of the main advantages books give us is the ability to practice liking people despite their faults. For example, as has been said in this thread, Dalinar has made a ton of mistakes and if you look at his past, he was a terrible person. Some threads have seen people saying he's unforgivably bad. Maybe he is. But people, myself included, like him. We can get to a point in life where because we don't know anything about people beyond how they treat us, we act as though their interactions with us are their whole life. Books let us see the whole lives of unlikable characters, and thus give us the opportunity to like them despite their faults. Its good practice.

Anyway, I'm not saying you have to like Lirin, or even that you should like RoW. That's all subjective. I think objectively its a good book, but that's a different and somewhat irrelevant matter. The point I'm trying to get to is, yeah, Lirin sucks. Kaladin repeating the same mistakes over and over again sucks. But those things might be more bearable if you consider what they mean about you and the people you interact with. If it doesn't help, feel free to forget everything I've said.

Edited by HSuperLee
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3 hours ago, cometaryorbit said:

I can't remember who said this first, but part of Lirin's problem is that his pacifism is a very moral response to typical Alethi pointless conflict but doesn't work so well in the True Desolation.

Here's that reference:

Quote

Lirin's POV/Frame of mind (non-specific spoilers for Lirin's characterization):

Spoiler

Lirin had to know that marriage to Laral was no longer an option as soon as Wistiow died. However. because he is a "My Opinion IS Fact" pacifist father, he uses mental and emotional abuse (especially in OB and RoW, but visible in TWoK on reread) to coerce the choice(s) he decides Kaladin should make. It's not that Lirin doesn't have points - but he absolutely refuses to acknowledge anybody else's (including Hesina) ideas and opinions (until her final interlude in RoW).

TV Tropes character page makes a great point here: In any normal war (especially Alethi border skirmishes), his stance and opinions would have considerable weight; but they are painfully naive during the True Desolation.

To him, becoming a Surgeon was the only correct choice, and Kal failed him. We'll see if the improvements at the end of RoW actually stick.

 

6 hours ago, Returned said:

I'll listen to the case if anyone wants to make it, but I think it's outrageous to say that he got one of his kids killed;

I agree. It's a far stretch to claim he is responsible for Tien's death (even if he seems to blame himself - much as Kaladin does). There are many things of which Lirin is guilty, this just isn't one of them.

26 minutes ago, HSuperLee said:

So perhaps this is not what anyone wants to hear, but it is a good thing to have bad people in books. And I'm not even talking about having villains.

Exactly. It also allows us to have discussions like this and learn about other sets of morals and values. I'm glad Lirin is in the book, I just don't like him.

Edited by Treamayne
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Did...yall read the same books I did?

Lirin never pushed Kaladin to do anything before Kal left for the war.  Oh, sure, he had him as his apprentice, but you can't fault someone for that.  That's just normal.  A parent wants their child to have something better than they had it, and learning to be a Surgeon would give him a valuable skill later in life (as we've seen).  It isn't "Bad parenting" to give your child a skill.  

But beyond that, keep in mind Kaladin never shared his desire to join the army with anyone.  He told Lirin only AFTER he had decided for himself he wanted to be a Surgeon.  We have no idea how Lirin would have taken it if Kal had come to him and said the opposite.  In fact, his mother explicitly states in the book that both her and Lirin would support Kaladin if he decided he didn't want to be a Surgeon.  But when you have a child who has such an obvious talent, you foster that talent until they are old enough to decide if they want to continue training it.  This isn't Vicariously Living through your child.  This is looking out for their own best interest.  People are naturally lazy.  Often, a child will choose to go off and play rather than do hard homework that will help them later in life.  So you force them to do the homework.  That's just life.  

Now, as for how Lirin changed in RoW, you have to see the bigger picture.  Lirin was a fighter before.  He stood up to Lighteyes when they weren't being honorable.  He stood up to everyone.  He stole those spheres in order to "make sure promises were kept", so his children, or at least one, could have a better life.  He bucked the system, fought off the other townsfolk using words and righteous indignation, and even manipulated Rashone into thinking he was winning.  Lirin was a fighter.  He just fought in different ways.

In RoW, he is NOT a fighter.  He helps runaway soldiers, but that's about it.  He capitulates to whoever is in charge.  He doesn't buck the system.  And he encourages everyone else to do the same.  Why?

Because the last time he bucked the system, it got both of his children taken from him.  One died in war, the other broke.  Not only broke, but became an extremely efficient killer.  The opposite of a Surgeon.  In Lirin's mind, standing up against those in charge leads to nothing but death and bloodshed for him and his own.

In short. Lirin broke.  When his sons were taken from him to become killers, he broke.  When Tien died, he broke.  When he got word that Kal had died as well, he broke.  He is shattered.  And he blames his actions in resisting for his children dying.  Mistakenly.  But that's what he blames.  He resisted, his kids died, so he shouldn't resist.   It's a flawed perspective, but it is HIS perspective.

When Kal shows up again, he is overjoyed, but then he finds out he's just a killer.  That breaks him a little more.  Kal is resisting.  Kal is fighting.  He's fighting just like Lirin did.  And Lirin knows (believes) that this kind of resistance will only lead to death for those around him.  To his family.  And who is Kal's family?  Lirin.  His wife.  And their new baby.  Lirin is afraid that if Kal continues to resist, it will get them all killed.  

He is broken. He is afraid.  He has changed since Kal was younger.  Once, maybe Lirin could have been convinced that a soldier is necessary sometimes.  Now, as of the beginning of RoW, he is only convinced that Soldiers only cause death and despair.  He doesn't understand that Odium will not just allow people to live peacefully, that if Odium lives then everyone suffers.  He just sees his child is acting the way he did, and knows what happened when he acted that way.

Lirin has his own story to play out.  So RAFO.  

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People actually found Lirin abusive?

I found Lirin a stand up father, who in any other time than now would be completely right.

He has high expectations for his children, but what good parent doesn't?

He critiques some choices they make but ultimately he supports them, otherwise he would never have gone along with Kaladin's plan to sneak the Mink into the city.

He fought exactly once with Kaladin, which is completely normal, especially as children begin to leave home.

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I find that people that have problems with their own fathers compound it together with lirin. Not saying y’all do but I have a hard time reading lirin when I’m angry with my dad

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On 9/23/2022 at 9:27 PM, Almarenco said:

I honestly don’t know who I’m more pissed off at. Lirin for being a self righteous ass, who is so obsessed with turning Kaladin into what he wants him to be, that he is unable to accept his son for the man he actually is, causing Kaladin ridiculous amounts of pain and grief in the process - this btw started as a kid, he screwed up his whole family (SPOILER WARNING FOR Way of Kings) stealing those spheres just so he could force teen Kaladin to pursue lirin’s dream of being a surgeon. He didn’t do that for Kaladin, he did it for his own selfish ass of a self. But, sometimes I thin what pisses me off most is tha fact that Jaladin won’t storming stand up for himself ONCE. I want him to kick Lirin’s ass at this point, he’s the worst piece of rust father ever, psychologically harming his CLINICALLY DEPRESSED SON WITH SEVERE PTSD on purpose just to manipulate him into doing what he wants, and Kaladin just takes it,. BTW how the hell is (Spoilers for ROW) Kaladin letting every soldier on the tower get slaughtered while he delivers storming towels not a breach of his storming oath to protect????? That’s even worse than what he did before that almost killed Syl? That’s so inconsistent. But finally, I think I am most pissed off at Brandon Sanderson, writing his characters into rehashing the same character arc, book after storming book, leaving Kaladin idle for the last two books btw, while he bulked up the page count with repetition and filler rust that bring no new information, doesn’t build character (repetitive dramatic beats over and over) and most importantly, doesn’t advance the story at all, making the character’s lack of progression, lack of change (until that magic moment in the last 100 pages when everyone conveniently figures out their rust at the same time) all the more painful to get through. For storms sake, you could cut 400 pages out of WOR and ROW each and not only not harm the books I’d argue they’d be better. storm, what’s most frustrating is that the core story, worlds and characters are so engaging (except Shallan and Lirin - they suck through and through), so storming phenomenal that you still want to get through to the end…. storm, these books are at the same time sooo freaking good, but also so storming annoying!!!! alright. Rant over, sorry for this, but now I feel better, and can perhaps continue reading XD

Got to disagree on almost every point Lirin is one of my favorite characters and his not a bad father. 

Edited by bmcclure7
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