Bloodfalcon

Chasmfiends and Parshmen

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Had a thought on the relationship between Chasmfiends and Parshmen yesterday, though it has been a couple months since I read WoK.

If I recall correctly, the released excerpts from Words of Radiance confirmed that the Parshmen do take on different forms. Forgive my haste, I haven't gone back to confirm what I am thinking, but I believe I remember that these transformations have to do with their interaction with different kinds of spren?

So let me throw something your way: What if Chasmfiends are the reaction between Parshmen and Death spren? Perhaps the reason the Parshendi are so obsessed with dealing with their own dead is because if they do not, they will turn into Chasmfiends over time.They could even be working for the inverse goal. Maybe it is some kind of honor to be turned into a Chasmfiend, and toying with the body limits your ability to attain godhood or something of the sort? Maybe they purposely sacrifice certain Parshendi to grow gemhearts in this way? It does explain their weird obsession with handling the dead. 

Now I'm not sure if this explanation has been debunked yet, but I thought this thread might be an interesting discussion, if not just a confirmation that I should stop thinking about this. 

 

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The most significant quote relating to this theory that I know of is this:

 

Quote

Q: Have any Chasmfiends managed to mature? Or have they all been caught before they could finish?
Brandon: You've already seen one. The enormous Chasmfiend that Dalinar fought was one that had successfully matured. You haven't seen what they start out as...

Source

 

This suggests strongly that the parshman/parshendi are not part of the chasmfiends lifecycle.

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You seem like you are the on that is on the ball in this forum, haha. BUT! A quote that suggests we haven't seen what they start out as does not imply they aren't connected at all. There could be a stage right in between Parshendi body and Chasmfiend body, and there could be a stage before Parshendi that is the starting point. Both scenarios would allow for this quote from Brandon without it appearing misleading. I mean, where the Parshendi come from (although we know they do mate) is also a mystery to us right now. Technically we have not seen what they start out as either. Could be the same.

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You could be correct.  But, Brandon is not generally evasive with volunteered info.  If he is going to be evasive, he typically is evasive in his direct response to the question.  Though, this is why I said "suggests strongly" rather than 'WoB says no'.

 

Edit: I am not the only one on the ball.  I am just doing my morning catch-up and I happened to be first in the door.  There will likely be others who will chime in throughout the day :) .

Edited by Shardlet
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I find this theory unlikely for other reasons, firstly the Parshendi are clearly sentient, while the chasmfiends are not, and it makes almost no sense for a lifeform to get less intelligent through its life.  

 

Secondly and far more significantly, Parshendi, are the same as parshmen, we already suspected that but the WoR readings confirm that, and if parshmen were turning into chasmfiends whenever they found themselves in a highstorm with a deathspren then there would be chasmfiends in places that were not the shattered plains, and they would have been around for a lot longer as well.

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I find this theory unlikely for other reasons, firstly the Parshendi are clearly sentient, while the chasmfiends are not, and it makes almost no sense for a lifeform to get less intelligent through its life.  

But this would be a transformation when they are dead. Not them losing intelligence through its life. 

And I think you are limiting the possibilities to the most general, high level possibilities. Now, we are talking about a stretch here, but couldn't it be possible that it would only happen to parshendi who have the gems in their hair? Maybe that is what the death spren reacts with, and uses the parshendi body as a chamber for growing the gemheart as the body grows. I mean, that is a possibility that can't just be ignored by saying "it would have to happen to them all, and it doesn't." You could look at it like - the parshendi need large gems to make food and feed their people -> certain warriors risk their lives knowing that death will provide larger gems - > they don't like it when you mess with the bodies because this limits their food source. 

Again, not likely, and I certainly won't defend it as my favorite theory, but this is the kind of open theorizing that I think is needed when an author says he is releasing a 10 book epic fantasy series, and dishes out RAFO's like business cards. Maybe one of these unlikely roads will spawn a theory that actually does click, I don't know.

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This theory fails to address the fact that we have no documentation of any other organism on this planet going through a similar transition from death to new life. By this reckoning, anything with a gem heart should go through the same metamorphosis after death so long as the gem heart remained.

 

Even should we agree that the Parshendi are the exception to the rule, this theory goes counter to the fact that chrysalis are become less common on the plains. If dead Parshendi were transforming into Chasm Fiends, it would make sense that chrysalis were popping up more and more often due to the number of dead Parshendi that have fallen into the chasms or been abandoned on the field.

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No evidence that something is possible is not evidence that it is impossible. 
 

By this reckoning, anything with a gem heart should go through the same metamorphosis after death so long as the gem heart remained.

This doesn't necessarily have to be true either. What if the Parshendi are a creation of Cultivation. They need to give certain things up in order to grow into something new. If gems are, as they appear to be, a way of storing stormlight that can have many methods of being used. They are used in armor, soulcasting, and inside of living beings. So maybe Cultivation produced creatures that convert as storlight charges the gems. I don't know. But in MB you see different types of beings using powers differently to operate. The Kondra, Koloss and Inquisitors.  The point is, it is an option. We don't know if there is a certain ceremony that would need to be done in order for the transformation to occur, a song maybe, that is the reason behind them wanting to wheel away their own bodies. Maybe only certain ones are eligible after that. So many potential explanations that should not be thrown out because there isn't direct evidence for them or against them. 

And as I said, that was only one path that could support the general idea, and one that I don't have a lot of stock in.

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Nice quote. Upvote for you.  :D

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Yeah, thanks, much appreciated.

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Moving this to the WoR subforums. The forms are WoR spoilers, so this should be there. :)

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Moving this to the WoR subforums. The forms are WoR spoilers, so this should be there. :)

Hah, thanks Windrunner. When I wrote this post, I didn't even know WoR had separate forums xD

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