Frostlander

"He's Here": Szeth, the Pinnacle, and Odium

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I’ve looked for an answer to this question, but haven’t been able to find one. Apologies if it has already been discussed to death. I don’t have a theory to associate with the following observation, but am wondering: it is significant and, if so, do we have enough information to make sense of it?

 

During the highstorm when Eshonai bonds the stormspren, Szeth also attacks the palace in an attempt to assassinate Dalinar. During this sequence, the Stormfather, Syl, and Pattern become extremely agitated. When I read the scene for the first time, I was so caught up in the atmosphere that I didn’t notice the possible overlapping. From the beginning of the chapter “The One Who Hates,” it is clear to the reader that the ongoing highstorm is Eshonai’s highstorm but not that Szeth is on the way. Eventually, based on Syl’s reaction and the narration, Szeth appears to be an agent of Odium.

 

Starting off, in Kaladin’s storm dream, he speaks with Stormfather:

 

AH, the Stormfather said. SO IT WILL END. “What?” Kaladin shouted into the winds. “What changed? I feel—” HE COMES FOR YOU, LITTLE TRAITOR. I AM SORRY. Something rose before Kaladin. A second storm, one of red lightning, so enormous as to make the continent— the world itself— into nothing by comparison. Everything fell into its shadow. I AM SORRY, the Stormfather said. HE COMES.

 

Sanderson, Brandon (2014-03-04). Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive, The) (p. 369). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.

 

Stormfather seems to be referring to Odium and the Everstorm that Eshonai will set into motion by bonding the stormspren and converting other Parshendi in a later storm. Pattern also agrees that something is off:

 

Pattern’s hums sounded almost like a whimper. Shallan frowned and leaned down close to him. Were those words? “Bad  .  .  . bad  .  .  . so bad  .  .  .”

 

Sanderson, Brandon (2014-03-04). Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive, The) (p. 370). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.

 

And when Syl finds Kaladin, she also expresses alarm:

 

Syl looked into the sky, then turned her head sharply over her shoulder. “Kaladin. Something is wrong.” “I know.” Syl spun about, twisting this way, then that. Her small eyes opened wide. “He’s coming.” “Who? The storm?” “The one who hates,” she whispered. “The darkness inside. Kaladin, he’s watching. Something’s going to happen. Something bad.”

 

Sanderson, Brandon (2014-03-04). Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive, The) (pp. 370-371). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition. 

 

Kaladin immediately begins to evacuate the palace, even though he still doesn’t know what is happening. It’s still not clear to the reader that Szeth is there. Syl's quote that "He's coming" still seems to refer to Odium. Once they reach the hallway where the spheres have been drained, but right before they see Szeth, Syl comments:

 

“He’s here,” Syl whispered.

 

Sanderson, Brandon (2014-03-04). Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive, The) (p. 373). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition. 

 

Finally, we (the readers and characters) know that an assassination attempt is happening. When Kaladin tries to explain Szeth’s powers as deriving from the Nahel bond, Syl is adamant that he is something else, either having seen the honorblade, his use of stormlight, or not sensing a spren.

 

“I can’t beat him,” Kaladin whispered, tears in his eyes. Tears of pain. Tears of frustration. “He’s one of us. A Radiant.” “No!” Syl said forcefully. “No. He’s something far more terrible. No spren guides him, Kaladin. Please. Get up.”

 

Sanderson, Brandon (2014-03-04). Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive, The) (p. 376). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition. 

 

Syl later points to Szeth’s blade as particularly troubling:

 

“It was different,” she repeated. “I feel I should know why. Something about the amount of Light he was consuming  .  .  .”

 

Sanderson, Brandon (2014-03-04). Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive, The) (p. 383). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition. 

 

What I don’t understand is why Syl makes the connection between the other ominous events and the arrival of Szeth. She clearly says “He’s here” in reference to Szeth when they find him during the evacuation. She’d already said “He’s coming,” but it seemed much more tied to the stormspren bonding and Odium. I know there are theories about Szeth having a connection to one of the unmade re: "the screams" as well as concerns about consuming so much stormlight. Is this Sanderson just writing an awesome chaotic scene or is there a clue in there?

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Szeth's Blade is Jezrien's Honorblade, so he doesn't need the oaths to get the powers. It is possible that Taravangian is using him as an agent for Odium, but he doesn't know it himself. Though he does reference the unmade a few times I think. Maybe it has to do with the Stone Shamanism and being a truthless/murdering people. 

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There's a theory that Yelig-Nar is following Szeth, which is why he hears the screams. If that's true, Syl might have noticed a large amount of Odium's Investiture. Personally, I'm inclined to think that Odium was following Szeth around. Maybe in order to keep him going and help him kill the Kholins, or maybe just because of Szeth's considerable hatred. It's possible that Odium's influence also was behind Szeth not wanting to believe that the Radiants were back.

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My impression of the timeline was that the events of Interlude 5, where Eshonai goes out into highstorm to change into stormform (and is subsequently taken over by the voidspren), occur simultaneously with or even slightly before Szeth's attack. So there is another likely reason for Odium's presence during that storm, and thus Syl and Pattern's distress.

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Thanks for posting this. It's something I remember thinking when I read this passage, that Syl was reacting to more than Szeth. I wasn't aware of a theory that one of the unmade is following Szeth, but it would explain a lot. His deeds, although adhering to his sense of honor, do all seem to get twisted towards evil. And it may explain his "I suppose I can kill one more, on my own time" towards Adolin - I personally was surprised at that particular turn of Szeth, since he was so disciplined otherwise and he hated killing for much of the books.

 

This topic actually points to the nature of Odium himself. Was it He that was running around in the storm influencing, or his unmade? Does he have that kind of power to choose and influence a single person? Wait, is Szeth spiked? :lol:

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Finally, we (the readers and characters) know that an assassination attempt is happening. When Kaladin tries to explain Szeth’s powers as deriving from the Nahel bond, Syl is adamant that he is something else, either having seen the honorblade, his use of stormlight, or not sensing a spren.

...

 

Syl later points to Szeth’s blade as particularly troubling:

 

...as well as concerns about consuming so much stormlight. 

 

I don't think the stormlight usage is anything more than using an Honor blade. We know from WoB that Honor Blades consume stormlight at the same time the wielder is using it for their power, so the total usage is much higher than for Radiants. Also, the Nahel Bond puts some checks and balances in place which can help keep the Radiant from evil. Not so with the Honor Blade.

 

However, even with those issues, I wonder why Syl seems to hate the Honor Blade so much. I mean, they are a creation of Honor, aren't they? Is it possible that normal mortals just can't wield them without being corrupted? Or is there something more going on?

 

Back to your original point: I like your ideas and I think there might be a connection. I think Odium is there at the point of the assassination. I think when Syl says "He's here" she is not talking about Szeth, but Odium.

 

But when I read it the last time I wondered if she was talking about Odium traveling from Braize to Roshar, and his subsequent arrival at Roshar. In other words, rather than say that Odium was at their location, he just arrived at the planet, which is as good as being every place at once.

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Thanks for posting this. It's something I remember thinking when I read this passage, that Syl was reacting to more than Szeth. I wasn't aware of a theory that one of the unmade is following Szeth, but it would explain a lot. His deeds, although adhering to his sense of honor, do all seem to get twisted towards evil. And it may explain his "I suppose I can kill one more, on my own time" towards Adolin - I personally was surprised at that particular turn of Szeth, since he was so disciplined otherwise and he hated killing for much of the books.

 

This topic actually points to the nature of Odium himself. Was it He that was running around in the storm influencing, or his unmade? Does he have that kind of power to choose and influence a single person? Wait, is Szeth spiked? :lol:

The Unmade, at least, have the ability to directly influence people without them choosing (Nergaoul has the Thrill, for example). Most of them are apparently mindless, but if Yelig-Nar is a sentient one, it's conceivable that he or Odium could have done it.

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However, even with those issues, I wonder why Syl seems to hate the Honor Blade so much. I mean, they are a creation of Honor, aren't they? Is it possible that normal mortals just can't wield them without being corrupted? Or is there something more going on?

 

Back to your original point: I like your ideas and I think there might be a connection. I think Odium is there at the point of the assassination. I think when Syl says "He's here" she is not talking about Szeth, but Odium.

 

But when I read it the last time I wondered if she was talking about Odium traveling from Braize to Roshar, and his subsequent arrival at Roshar. In other words, rather than say that Odium was at their location, he just arrived at the planet, which is as good as being every place at once.

I would say either because syl thinks of the Honorblades independent of honor and instead as something uncontrolled or it´s because the Heralds abandoned the Oathpact and the blades are associated with them.

 

As for "he´s here" she could also mean Odium reached the shattered plain in specific, now that he created his Voidbringers with Eshonai.

Edited by Edgedancer
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I don't think the stormlight usage is anything more than using an Honor blade. We know from WoB that Honor Blades consume stormlight at the same time the wielder is using it for their power, so the total usage is much higher than for Radiants. Also, the Nahel Bond puts some checks and balances in place which can help keep the Radiant from evil. Not so with the Honor Blade.

 

However, even with those issues, I wonder why Syl seems to hate the Honor Blade so much. I mean, they are a creation of Honor, aren't they? Is it possible that normal mortals just can't wield them without being corrupted? Or is there something more going on?

 

Back to your original point: I like your ideas and I think there might be a connection. I think Odium is there at the point of the assassination. I think when Syl says "He's here" she is not talking about Szeth, but Odium.

 

But when I read it the last time I wondered if she was talking about Odium traveling from Braize to Roshar, and his subsequent arrival at Roshar. In other words, rather than say that Odium was at their location, he just arrived at the planet, which is as good as being every place at once.

 

No where does it say that Syl hates Szeth's blade... I just re-red those sections.

 

All she says is that "it's different", and she can't remember why. If she hated it, she wouldn't have told Kal to rush after it at the end in the storm either. 

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That scene with Syl reminded me of the TV from Poltergeist.

 

poltergeist9-100330.jpg

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No where does it say that Syl hates Szeth's blade... I just re-red those sections.

 

All she says is that "it's different", and she can't remember why. If she hated it, she wouldn't have told Kal to rush after it at the end in the storm either. 

 

When I read it, I felt like it would have been fairly crafty for Odium to take/use/influence a tool designed by Honor (and even named after him).

 

Mistborn:

Sort of like Ruin trying to use Preservation's tool (Vin), only different :)

Edited by Moogle
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