blackmagic3

Why Joel didn't become a Rithmatist (spoilers)

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I'm really upset because I just spent the past three and a half hours writing an extremely well-crafted and thought out response that had a lot of different theories and evidence and it took me a lot of research but then when it was loading to upload my response my phone died and now it's all gone. Now I feel like I'm going to cry...

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On 5/19/2013 at 4:58 AM, Satsuoni said:

Well, it is quite likely that the Shadowblaze things are just counterparts of Forgotten, that also possess people and are sentient. Maybe they thought that Joel would be of more use as non-rithmatist for any number of reasons, including the fact that Nalizar seems to have trouble concentrating on non-rithmatist. I find coin unlikely for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the creature lives in a place surrounded by gears, and should have acclimated.

As for the Muns - one possibility that occurred to me is that they have their own family chamber. As long as it attracts even one Shadowblaze, they can present only their own children until it chooses one. Or maybe they'd have the means of forcing one, then.

I agree

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On 2/25/2017 at 1:32 AM, Jonathon said:

I'm really upset because I just spent the past three and a half hours writing an extremely well-crafted and thought out response that had a lot of different theories and evidence and it took me a lot of research but then when it was loading to upload my response my phone died and now it's all gone. Now I feel like I'm going to cry...

LOL

 

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I have a theory. What if charcoal is to Joel what chalk is to rithimatists? The forgotten was described as being "drawn with charcoal."

Edited by Oresuer_The_Mistwraith
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This is one of the basis of my theorys so please if you do get the chance to read it and criticise it. It is the final post on the fourth page

Edited by chop_ninja2
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12 hours ago, chop_ninja2 said:

This is one of the basis of my theorys so please if you do get the chance to read it and criticise it. It is the final post on the fourth page

I mostly agree, but I don't know if it gives 1/4 of it's soul...

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I don't know if it would be the soul it could be a quarter of its power for all I know. You can have a debate with some one else but I'm neither for or against it being a soul or any other thing. Thx though for the reply

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I think he will eventually become a Rithmatist in a David becoming an Epic type way- at the last possible moment in the middle of the climax. This is assuming that a second book is made.

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There can only be so many Rithmatists (presumably because there are only so many Shadowblazes), and the difference between Joel's usefulness to the cause as another Rithmatist and his usefulness as support for Melody is far less than for most candidates.

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I've cracked this one.

Why didn't Joel become a Rhythmatist?

Here's my explanation, and I believe I'm the first to connect the following dots to explain that he was supposed to.

Read page 321 "Father Stewart stopped talking. Joel blinked, realizing he hadn't been paying attention. He looked up, and Father Stewart nodded, his thin white beard shaking. He gestured toward the chamber of inception behind the alter."

Joel wasn't paying attention, and missed some key instruction regarding how to behave once inside the chamber. The author makes this clear. The shadow blaze appeared to him, but Joel interfered, not knowing what it was he was supposed to do (or not do). Joel specifically doesn't talk about what happened with any Rhythmatist, the only ones who would recognize Joel's folly, stating on page 354 "He already knew that the Rhythmatists, Melody included, wouldn't speak of the experience." Surely if he revealed what he saw to any Rhythmatist, they would point out Joel's error. I predict at some point in the sequel, Joel will eventually reveal to a Rhythmatist what happened in the chamber, and it will become obvious he botched his own inception, and he will get yet another chance after receiving proper instruction that he pays attention to, and he will finally become the Rhythmatist he was meant to be.

That, and I further predict that the timing of Joel's Father's death interfering with Joel's inception will turn out to not be a coincidence. Page 360 Shadow-Nalizar says "You all look alike. But you... you are special." Someone doesn't want Joel to enable his unique specialness through inception, and killed Joel's father to make him miss his ceremony at the age of 8 on purpose.

The clues to this are all laid out there in the text.

Edited by Gatkong
clarify detail
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Okay, I'm just going to try and summarize some of the general theories/ideas that appear on this thread, and my thoughts on them.

Firstly, we have confirmation that it was not the coin. It's back there somewhere.

Secondly, there is a possibility that Joel could try to gain Rithmatic powers through something "evil" such as the forgotten. However, rereading the book, it seems to me like what he thought about the whole forgotten/Rithmatics thing was that the fact that forgotten existed meant that other ways to gain Rithmatic abilities might too.

Thirdly, this is probably nothing, but the fact that a new Rithmatist can only be made when an old one dies is, I believe only mentioned once- by a Rithmatist (Melody, walking home from the ice cream parlor). No explanation for this is given, nor is it referenced when Joel enters the inception chamber. Which is odd, I feel. It seems pretty obvious that if Rithmatists can only be made when new ones die, then people should know how many and how likely one is to be made. Might this be a clue to the secret of the Rithmatists?

Fourthly, "The chaining of a Shadowblaze, fourth entity removed, is an often indeterminable process, and the bindagent should consider wisely the situation before making any decision regarding the vessels to be indentured". This phrase is likely included mostly to indicate the obfuscating nature of the text. It is entirely possible that all that is said by this statement is explained in the paragraphs following, except for one thing: bindagent. Interestingly enough, this is not actually a word in English, indicating that this is something that refers directly to the magic system. Another interesting thing is that the way the sentence is worded, it sounds like the "bindagent" is supposed to be either the reader, or someone who the reader is going to be advising. The latter possibility brings up the idea that <wildspeculationzone> the reader is meant to advise a Shadowblaze on who they should choose. <\wildspeculationzone>

Fifthly, my own idea about what happened in the inception chamber, which of course is the real reason for this thread: Everything seemed to be going what would be normal for a Rithmatist inception, until Joel touched it. As someone pointed out earlier, it is unlikely that some eight-year-olds would touch the things, so that is probably not the problem. (Someone also said that some might have seen it but their stories were discounted, but the same story again and again? They have to know something's up). I do think it is plausible that there is something about Joel that the Shadowblaze didn't recognize until it touched him. As I believe someone pointed out earlier, Nalizar commented on how Joel was special and wondered why "they" did not want him, which may have something to do with this scene. Given this, there is a significant possibility that revealing what happened in the inception chamber will cause a reaction from Rithmatists who might know what, exactly, went wrong, like Gatkong just said.

Sixthly the idea of secrecy among Rithmatists on inception. Someone pointed out that eight year olds would probably not be able to keep a secret, and someone else voiced the idea that they were perhaps forced to secrecy. I don't think this is really the case, as Melody seemed perfectly able to tell Joel what was secret about the inception ceremony.  In addition, although she reacted strongly to Joel saying that he'd figured something out, she didn't seem to mention it to anyone, and didn't speak of it the rest of the book. This seems odd to me: if the secret was really a big deal, why did she not get authorities involved?

Seventhly, The idea that the ceremony is controlled by people. This seems backed up by the fact that the Muns family is entirely Rithmatists. However, if there is a way to control the system, then why didn't Melody use it on Joel? <speculationzone>Unless, of course, she did, and that's why the Shadowblaze appeared, but this strange way isn't entirely perfect (thus the indeterminable in the quote from the book) and when he doesn't develop powers, she assumed it failed.<\speculationzone> If the ceremony is not controlled, then the Muns might be explained by <speculationzone> genetics. Although Rithmatic abilities isn't genetic, the tendency to develop it may be, or may be passed down by teachings from the parents, although I think this is less likely; someone mentioned that who becomes a Rithmatist may be dependent on character, and Joel didn't become one because he was a bully, but the Shadowblaze appeared and if it did this to even people who weren't going to become a Rithmatist, it wouldn't be able to be hidden very well.<\speculationzone> This seems to be an important factor in the overarching question, and good evidence has been provided for both sides.

To be honest, we probably won't know the answer to this until the next book, but it is probably not any one of these things but a combination of them. Until then, however, we can make guesses. :-)

One last thing: if you feel like I've missed something, please tell me so I can update this. I probably have holes all over this, and I could use some patching.

(apologies for the rushed sentences: half of this I thought up while writing it)

 

 

Edited by xinoehp512
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Sorry for bringing this thread back up again but I just reread the Rithmatist again and then read this thread and thought I would add my two cents. 

 

I believe that what gives someone the ability to bind a shadow blaze would actually make someone a subpar Rithmatist. I am not entirely sure how to phrase it, but let's look at the differences between Joel and other Rithmatists. 

 

Joel is very analytical, he must understand things, he does not understand chalklings because there is no "number". He demands that things be understandable and ordered much like how time is an alien concept to them, the order of his mind would also be an alien concept which is actually intriguing to them. However Joel cannot accept the shadowblaze because it is just as alien to him, he cannot understand it so he rejects it. 

Melody is a terrible Rithmatist by societies standards because she is the opposite, however she has a keen understanding of chalklings and to me chalklings seem to be "lesser" shadowblazes. Perhaps her ability to accept that the chalklings understand her and she can understand them makes her a more acceptable vessel than Joel.

I believe the bindingagent is acceptance or belief or wonder, the ability to see something and just accept it as it is. It seems important to me that the two cases we know of where someone was older than 8 and binds a shadowblaze are a 9 year old (not much different than an 8 year old in their ability to accept that which is unnatural) and the head of a church. Who could be more accepting of something not of this world than the head of a religious order. Perhaps he thought of it as an angel or a vision from God but he would have accepted it as it. 

Everyone says Joel should be a Rithmatist because he embodies what Rithmatists become after years of training, not because he embodies what a Rithmatist is at the start of their journey. I believe Joel did not become a Rithmatist because he could not accept it. I believe Melody believed he would because of their previous conversation. She had explained chalklings to him and from her point of view he accepted her explanation even though he could not understand it. He rejection of her explanation was internalized. Perhaps the Mun family grasps this and teaches acceptance to their children. Their may still be a set number of Rithmatists but by being completely open to the possibility they would be more likely to be chosen. So what seems to be a statistical impossibility becomes slightly more probable.

We also know that the church has little or nothing to do with someone becoming a Rithmatist. It states that sunjeong become Rithmatists despite being Buddhist. I believe that is telling that Mr. Sanderson specifically mentions Buddhists as they absolutely accept things that are even things very difficult or impossible to accept by others. Suffering is a natural symptom of being unable to accept what is. If you desire what is not then you suffer. Accepting what is and not desiring what isn't will lead to enlightenment. 

TLDR: kids become Rithmatists because they accept a shadowblaze as it is. Kids spend 10 years learning to understand, becoming analytical, more reserved in their acceptance because the wonder is gone because of understanding to become "good" Rithmatists. To become a Rithmatist you must see a shadowblaze and be able to accept it as it is for what it is without understanding it. 

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