lookingglass

Eye Colour of Surgebinders

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This will probably sound stupid but I just finished a re-read of WoK and I was wondering if you started using stormlight would your eye colour change to a set colour or just become lighter? Szeth's eyes glow sapphire even though his eyes are green and Kaladin's glow amber but the Knights Radiants of each order have plates that glow a different colour (i.e. Blue, red and whatever) so does a similar thing happen to their eyes?

Edited by lookingglass
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So far, a number of people have suggested a backlighting effect due to being infused with stormlight.  As for me I don't have much of an opinion about it except that the eyes are going to be important.  They are mentioned too frequently, are too much a part of the Alethi culture, and show up as symbols in key places for them to not be an important feature of the plot.

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Another thing that I also noticed was Hoid's eye colour changing. I'm pretty sure he had a mid colour eye when he was Wit but at the very end of the book when he's left and he's at the gate waiting for the "end to come" the guards say he has light blue eyes. Is that lightweaving or stormlight?

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I would say lightweaving, likely.  I suspect at least an eye-color change is in order for Wit.  While the last scene is probably his true appearance.

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Gotta admit, I didn't pay attention to Wit's eye color being brown, just to Hoid's being blue at the end. Also don't recall if it's ever mentioned in other Cosmere books. You guys have a good point though, that he can easily disguise his eye color.

 

I'm sure that the origin of the lighteyes/darkeyes split is a leftover from the days when light colored eyes signified surgebinding, or at least, surgebinder parents. This may have predated even the Radiants. And I'm sure that when a surgebinder levels up to his or her final level, their eyes change color to their corresponding order.

 

This, in fact, is one of the pieces of evidence that I use to support the Szeth-has-Jezrien's-Honorblade theory. Kaladin's eyes initially become a lighter version of his original color. Even those lighteyes that are that way because they pick up a Blade seem to get a permanent change of color, but their eyes are never described as glowing, whether their Blade is summoned or not. And they certainly don't change, the way Szeth's do.

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There is a quote by Hoid near the end where he hints that there is a valid reason for the eye color making someone part of the ruling class. Not worth the effort to look it up really, but he is fairly explicit.

Edited by Aethling
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I'm almost positive that Hoid had lighteyes when he was being Wit. Adolin thinks something to the effect of "He wasn't really a lighteyes. He was Wit. That was a category all on its own." Which, to me, implies that if he wasn't the Kings Wit, he'd would be considered a normal lighteyes. I don't really see a reason why he would have changed disguises between the Shattered Planes and Kohlinar anyway. 

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legend has it that a dark eyed person picking up a shard blade becomes a light eye'd person. Szeth states that his blade only temporally changes his eye color is a unique feature of his blade. Side note his blade and shallan's blade are both described similarly.

I'm curious to find out what make the permanent change occur and if it is the blade why szeth is does not. 

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Another thing that I also noticed was Hoid's eye colour changing. I'm pretty sure he had a mid colour eye when he was Wit but at the very end of the book when he's left and he's at the gate waiting for the "end to come" the guards say he has light blue eyes. Is that lightweaving or stormlight?

I think you misremembered, his eyes are clearly stated as blue the first time he is introduced, it goes on to say that he isn't really a lighteyes or a darkeyes, but the context makes it pretty clear that thats more because of what he acts like than because of actual legal status

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 Side note his blade and shallan's blade are both described similarly.

 

Where did you see a description of Shallan's blade?  I only recall vague mentions of it.

Edited by Shardlet
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Side note his blade and shallan's blade are both described similarly.

I don't remember the description of Shallan's blade, but that would be very very interesting. It might effect the Szeth has an Honorblade theory and pull in Shallan has an Honorblade. The current theory on Szeth (the one where he has an Honorblade) typically attributes his surgebinding ability to having an Honorblade. If that is how things work, it might make sense then that Shallan has one. Both her and her father could Soulcast w/ a broken fabrial. Not sure if it was broken before her father stopped Soulcasting. Szeth doesn't have a spren, Shallan doesn't have a spren (Cryptics may not work the same way exactly, bond-wise, but I'm sure that statement will get a reaction, haha). 

Man, all that sounds really fun.... but I don't think we have any description of her blade, sooooo unless you can link it, those fun conversations probably die right there :(

 

I <3 wild theories

Edited by Bloodfalcon
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It was during one of her early flash backs she mentions it is a thin blade. i will look in my book later i noticed it while listening to the audio book.

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Ok I guess I was  wrong she described it as a long silvery sword not thin guess I miss heard. 123/1036 ebook

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I'm almost positive that Hoid had lighteyes when he was being Wit. Adolin thinks something to the effect of "He wasn't really a lighteyes. He was Wit. That was a category all on its own." Which, to me, implies that if he wasn't the Kings Wit, he'd would be considered a normal lighteyes. I don't really see a reason why he would have changed disguises between the Shattered Planes and Kohlinar anyway. 

 

 I did check the book and it said he had blue eyes. It might have been dark though.

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There is a quote by Hoid near the end where he hints that there is a valid reason for the eye color making someone part of the ruling class. Not worth the effort to look it up really, but he is fairly explicit.

 

I question whether Hoid is hinting that there is a valid reason for eye color making someone part of the ruling class.  I guess it's a matter of how you interpret his somewhat vague comment:

 

 

...Perhaps Wit should have been bemused by the stock these people put in something as simple as eye color, but he had been many places and seen many methods of rule.  This didn't seem any more ridiculous than most others.

 

And, of course, there was a reason the people did what they did.  Well, there was usually a reason.  In this case, it just happened to be a good one.

Epilogue, WoK

 

I guess it's a matter of whether you see "valid" as "justified" or "correct."  I'm still not sure.  I think it could be argued that over time, Alethi associated the light, glowing eyes of Knights Radiant with that of leadership; and that after a few generations the distinction between following a KR with light eyes and following anyone with light eyes was lost.  In that sense, the reason is valid, but not necessarily the correct one.

 

In rereading your post, I don't necessarily think you're advocating for that type of association (valid = correct); I just wanted to make sure the distinction in what Hoid is actually saying is noted.

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I guess it's a matter of whether you see "valid" as "justified" or "correct."  I'm still not sure.  I think it could be argued that over time, Alethi associated the light, glowing eyes of Knights Radiant with that of leadership; and that after a few generations the distinction between following a KR with light eyes and following anyone with light eyes was lost.  In that sense, the reason is valid, but not necessarily the correct one.

 

In rereading your post, I don't necessarily think you're advocating for that type of association (valid = correct); I just wanted to make sure the distinction in what Hoid is actually saying is noted.

   

i always felt that it was a trait of the Radiant's having light eyes then people making the jump to

 

radiant's = leaders of men = rulers of men

 

and 

 

shard holders = light eyes

 

shard holders = power 

 

power = rule

 

light eyes = rule

Edited by Arook
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OK... this also might sound stupid but what if having lighter eyes meant you had more innate investiture (possibly using the wrong words) in you. For example you had a higher chance in becoming a surgebinder than a normal person. Think like the nobles and Skaa. The pureblood nobles had a higher chance of becoming allomancers than skaa-noble pairings. I might be totally insane and yes I do know that kaladin is a darkeyes. But think of all the others who show powers: Jasnah, Shallan and etc.

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This is a good thought. 

OK... this also might sound stupid but what if having lighter eyes meant you had more innate investiture (possibly using the wrong words) in you. For example you had a higher chance in becoming a surgebinder than a normal person. Think like the nobles and Skaa. The pureblood nobles had a higher chance of becoming allomancers than skaa-noble pairings. I might be totally insane and yes I do know that kaladin is a darkeyes. But think of all the others who show powers: Jasnah, Shallan and etc.

While my ability to find quotes is failing me, Brandon has said that it is actions that qualify one to become a surgebinder on Roshar, rather than inheritance as in the mistborn world.

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I agree with hoser here (he is a sensible guy ;)).

 

I think this is slightly backwards, rather than light eyes giving you more investiture, I think the investiture on Roshar gives you light eyes.

 

I do not think it is  much of a leap to assume that all Vorin lighteyes are the descendants of either former KR directly or the darkeyes who took up the shards at Feverstone Keep.

Edited by The Count
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I agree with hoser here (he is a sensible guy ;)).

 

I think this is slightly backwards, rather than light eyes giving you more investiture, I think the investiture on Roshar gives you light eyes.

 

I do not think it is  much of a leap to assume that all Vorin lighteyes are the descendants of either former KR directly or the darkeyes who took up the shards at Feverstone Keep.

 

Isn't that the same thing? investiture = lighter eyes. 

 

Also I'm not sure if the darkeyes' eye colour changed at Feverstone keep. my reasons are:

 

1) They didn't care about eye colour then so they cold as equally have been light eyes

2) the whole "light eyes become darkeyes" is a myth. Your eye colour and shards would change if you were a surgebinder.

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Also I'm not sure if the darkeyes' eye colour changed at Feverstone keep. my reasons are:

 

1) They didn't care about eye colour then so they cold as equally have been light eyes

2) the whole "light eyes become darkeyes" is a myth. Your eye colour and shards would change if you were a surgebinder.

 

I don't know i would jump straight to they don't care just that you could still be dark eyes and have authority and its only vorin nations that use light eyes as rule it is not that way on all of roshar. Oppression would have sprung up later. Myth implies that its not true and we don't know that.

 

Had kalidan chose to take the sword and plate he would have been given power Amaram would not have taken the sword from him. it was only due to kalidans's rejection of the blade that Amaram took advantage of the situation. I think that there is truth to the belief that the eyes will change.

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Isn't that the same thing? investiture = lighter eyes. 

 

Also I'm not sure if the darkeyes' eye colour changed at Feverstone keep. my reasons are:

 

1) They didn't care about eye colour then so they cold as equally have been light eyes

2) the whole "light eyes become darkeyes" is a myth. Your eye colour and shards would change if you were a surgebinder.

If the light eyes are inherited and investiture is not, then one could have light eyes without investiture. 

 

Dalinar is surprised that the person in command at Feverstone is a darkeye.  I assume you mean "darkeyes become lighteyes" is a myth rather than vice versa.  Post-Recreance, we have Shardbearers, but no surgebinders.  If Shardblade use does not make eyes light, how do we end up with a society ruled by lighteyed Shardblade owners who are not surgebinders?

 

I suppose the ex-Radiants could have gone full-Kaladin and taken the Shardblades back, but I think we would have heard about it, and why did they give them up in the first place?

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If the light eyes are inherited and investiture is not, then one could have light eyes without investiture. 

 

Dalinar is surprised that the person in command at Feverstone is a darkeye.  I assume you mean "darkeyes become lighteyes" is a myth rather than vice versa.  Post-Recreance, we have Shardbearers, but no surgebinders.  If Shardblade use does not make eyes light, how do we end up with a society ruled by lighteyed Shardblade owners who are not surgebinders?

 

I suppose the ex-Radiants could have gone full-Kaladin and taken the Shardblades back, but I think we would have heard about it, and why did they give them up in the first place?

 

Yes I did mean that. darkeyes becoming light eyes :) I don't think its the shards that make your eyes glow but rather the stormlight. The myths didn't distinguish between the two because most radiants had shards anyway and if they did "back in the day" most vorin people hate KR so they just tried to forget the information and it was lost over the centuries.

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I don't know i would jump straight to they don't care just that you could still be dark eyes and have authority and its only vorin nations that use light eyes as rule it is not that way on all of roshar. Oppression would have sprung up later. Myth implies that its not true and we don't know that.

 

Had kalidan chose to take the sword and plate he would have been given power Amaram would not have taken the sword from him. it was only due to kalidans's rejection of the blade that Amaram took advantage of the situation. I think that there is truth to the belief that the eyes will chan

 

Szeth has a shardblade but his eyes arent constantly light only when he uses stormlight. Also I think that Amaram would have gotten the shards one way or another. I think Brandon said in an interview or somewhere else that in the first edition of WoK he had Kaladin accept the shards but Amaran took them anyway and made him a slave.

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FYI, no big deal and I personally don't care, but local custom prefers that we unify our posts and avoid double-posting. One can multi-quote to respond to multiple posts or edit the first post. 

Yes I did mean that. darkeyes becoming light eyes :) I don't think its the shards that make your eyes glow but rather the stormlight. The myths didn't distinguish between the two because most radiants had shards anyway and if they did "back in the day" most vorin people hate KR so they just tried to forget the information and it was lost over the centuries.

So the current lighteyes are all descended from Radiants who didn't give up their blades?  I'm just trying to understand. 

 

Szeth has a shardblade but his eyes arent constantly light only when he uses stormlight. Also I think that Amaram would have gotten the shards one way or another. I think Brandon said in an interview or somewhere else that in the first edition of WoK he had Kaladin accept the shards but Amaran took them anyway and made him a slave.

IIRC, in the previous version, Merin, who became Kaladin, took up the Shards and his life was too easy, so I don't think Amaram took them and made him a slave.  He might even have saved Dalinar, not Amaram, but I am even less certain about that. 

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