WeiryWriter

Theory: The Dawnsingers are the Radiant Bonding Spren

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So a few months ago lunarubato over on tumblr posted a theory, and although I disagreed with it, it did spark a theory of my own and I'm finally sharing it with y'all.

 

Thesis: The Dawnsingers are the spren that grant surgebinding abilities through the Nahel Bond.

 

Article One: What are the Dawnsingers?

 

We don't really know, due to lack of information.  The following, from Chapter 45, is one of the only bits we have:

 

 

They were healers, kindly spren sent by the Almighty to care for humans once we were forced out of the Tranquiline Halls.

 

Now I must admit, I was always rather skeptical about them being spren, because I thought Rosharans might just refer to beings they don't really understand as "spren" even if that's not really what they are.  But now I am arguing that they are spren, specifically spren who are Splinters of Honor and/or Cultivation.  Personally, I think it would make a lot of sense for the two of them to create beings to act as "intermediaries" so-to-speak, beings that can interact with humans on their own level.  Where the Heralds take care of things during the Desolations, these spren would take care of things between Desolations.

 

Article Two: Granting Surgebinding

 

Part of my narrative for this theory is that as the Desolations the Dawnsingers saw how the Heralds were not enough, that humanity was losing.  And so they started to Nahel bond "worthy" individuals, granting them surgebinding abilities.  Part of this comes from this bit.  Which unfortunately is somewhat apocryphal.  Basically it mentions that the radiants were a surprise to Honor, and that the spren formed them in the same way he formed the Heralds.  (On a side note, so perhaps the heralds are Nahel bonded to the shards themselves in some way?)

 

This could all be just rampant theorycrafting, but I think it holds water.  What do you all think?

 

Edit (1): Here is the quote in question about the Radiants being a surprise, from Chapter 4 of Words of Radiance:

 

 

The Almighty turned to him. “I was surprised when these orders arrived. I did not teach my Heralds this. It was the spren—wishing to imitate what I had given men—who made it possible.

 

So I'm not really sure how I want to interpret this quote.  I could definitely see it supporting my above theory though.  Or perhaps the theory I mention in post 4 about how the spren used The Way of Kings as a model to form the Radiant Orders, and that that is why Honor was surprised.  Really, either one would work with the main part of this Theory.

Edited by WeiryWriter
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I like this Idea.

 

I wonder if maybe the Dawnsingers were splinters of Adonalsium the original Spren on Roshar. It would make more sense why the Radiants were a surprise to Honor. The Dawnsinger guided the spren created by Cultivation and Honor and taught them how to bond. Then later Vornisum claimed they were sent by the almighty at the same time they removed the worship of the other shards.

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I agree with your notion concerning the spren and how the original Surgebinders accessed their power.  In particular, I am more and more convinced that the Heralds themselves have splinters of Honor - just as Honor gave them access to power, the spren found a way to give everyone else power.

 

I am less enthusiastic about the nature of the Dawnsingers.  In particular, I would want to hear about the Dawnchant and Dawnshards; they share a linguistic root, and so I find it likely the are related.

 

A completely unresearched idea that I have considered is that the Parshendi are connected here - they sing a great deal.  Maybe these spren have influenced them in some complicated way.

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It's a good theory. However, people often lose sight of the fact that Surgebinders existed before the creation of the Radiants. The two are not interchangeable. From what we know, Surgebinders have existed on Roshar as long as humanity has, whereas the Radiants were founded by Nohadon. Circumstantially, it seems like during the Silver Kingdoms epoch, the Radiants were the only Surgebinders around, and that after the Recreance, there were no more Surgebinders at all, until now. But we know for 100% that Surgebinding predates the Orders, and there's something more than just the Nahel bond that's required for a person to become a Radiant.

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I like this Idea.

 

I wonder if maybe the Dawnsingers were splinters of Adonalsium the original Spren on Roshar. It would make more sense why the Radiants were a surprise to Honor. The Dawnsinger guided the spren created by Cultivation and Honor and taught them how to bond. Then later Vornisum claimed they were sent by the almighty at the same time they removed the worship of the other shards.

 

It's a thought, but I am definitely of the opinion that Adonalsium-invested spren are not involved in Surgebinding. Although it is possible they offered some guidance to the "younger" Honor/Cultivation-invested spren I don't think they were the Dawnsingers.

 

I agree with your notion concerning the spren and how the original Surgebinders accessed their power.  In particular, I am more and more convinced that the Heralds themselves have splinters of Honor - just as Honor gave them access to power, the spren found a way to give everyone else power.

 

I am less enthusiastic about the nature of the Dawnsingers.  In particular, I would want to hear about the Dawnchant and Dawnshards; they share a linguistic root, and so I find it likely the are related.

 

A completely unresearched idea that I have considered is that the Parshendi are connected here - they sing a great deal.  Maybe these spren have influenced them in some complicated way.

 

I don't really have any firm thoughts on the source of the Heralds' powers. It is possible they have splinters of Honor and/or Cultivation. I know there is a theory on the boards about how their powers were a result of their honorblades, which could be splinters. The side theory thing I mention in the OP though is that instead of being bonded to splinters, they were Nahel bonded to the Shard itself. How exactly that would work, I don't know. But since the Nahel Bond does go both ways, the Heralds breaking it could have contributed to Honor's death, not directly but rather creating circumstances where it could happen (There is a WoB about how the Heralds abandoning their jobs was only tangentially related to Honor's death? or something like that)

Actually in a later post discussing the theory lunarubato proposes the idea that the "dawn-" prefix connotes a relation to Honor/Almighty, simliar to how the "void-" prefix seems to connote a relation to Odium. Personally I'm more inclined to believe that since all of the words with the "dawn-" prefix are "modern" terms it simply signifies "this thing is really old, from before the 'dawn' of our recorded history".

Dawnsingers being the Parshendi is a good idea. If I didn't support this theory, I would probably support that.

 

It's a good theory. However, people often lose sight of the fact that Surgebinders existed before the creation of the Radiants. The two are not interchangeable. From what we know, Surgebinders have existed on Roshar as long as humanity has, whereas the Radiants were founded by Nohadon. Circumstantially, it seems like during the Silver Kingdoms epoch, the Radiants were the only Surgebinders around, and that after the Recreance, there were no more Surgebinders at all, until now. But we know for 100% that Surgebinding predates the Orders, and there's something more than just the Nahel bond that's required for a person to become a Radiant.

I am aware of the distinction between Surgebinders and the Knights Radiant. However, it is conceivable that in his visions Honor is using words that the receivers would understand. Surgebinding is practically unheard of in modern Roshar, however everyone knows of the Radiants. Since Honor dies post-Recreance and has (admittedly poor, but still existent) future-sight, he could be aware of this fact and has adjusted his language accordingly. Or the part of my theory about the origin of Surgebinding is wrong, and Honor and/or Cultivation planned from the beginning for these spren to grant Surgebinding. Either way I think the main part of my theory (radiant bonding spren being the Dawnsingers) could still stand.

Although, this does prompt a new line of thought... Perhaps it was the spren (according to this theory, the Dawnsingers) that took the Way of Kings and used it to form the Knights Radiant. That would account for Honor's "surprise".

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Sorry for the double post, but I updated the OP with the actual "Honor was surprised" quote.

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It's a thought, but I am definitely of the opinion that Adonalsium-invested spren are not involved in Surgebinding. Although it is possible they offered some guidance to the "younger" Honor/Cultivation-invested spren I don't think they were the Dawnsingers.

 

 

I don't really have any firm thoughts on the source of the Heralds' powers. It is possible they have splinters of Honor and/or Cultivation. I know there is a theory on the boards about how their powers were a result of their honorblades, which could be splinters. The side theory thing I mention in the OP though is that instead of being bonded to splinters, they were Nahel bonded to the Shard itself. How exactly that would work, I don't know. But since the Nahel Bond does go both ways, the Heralds breaking it could have contributed to Honor's death, not directly but rather creating circumstances where it could happen (There is a WoB about how the Heralds abandoning their jobs was only tangentially related to Honor's death? or something like that)

Actually in a later post discussing the theory lunarubato proposes the idea that the "dawn-" prefix connotes a relation to Honor/Almighty, simliar to how the "void-" prefix seems to connote a relation to Odium. Personally I'm more inclined to believe that since all of the words with the "dawn-" prefix are "modern" terms it simply signifies "this thing is really old, from before the 'dawn' of our recorded history".

Dawnsingers being the Parshendi is a good idea. If I didn't support this theory, I would probably support that.

 

I am aware of the distinction between Surgebinders and the Knights Radiant. However, it is conceivable that in his visions Honor is using words that the receivers would understand. Surgebinding is practically unheard of in modern Roshar, however everyone knows of the Radiants. Since Honor dies post-Recreance and has (admittedly poor, but still existent) future-sight, he could be aware of this fact and has adjusted his language accordingly. Or the part of my theory about the origin of Surgebinding is wrong, and Honor and/or Cultivation planned from the beginning for these spren to grant Surgebinding. Either way I think the main part of my theory (radiant bonding spren being the Dawnsingers) could still stand.

Although, this does prompt a new line of thought... Perhaps it was the spren (according to this theory, the Dawnsingers) that took the Way of Kings and used it to form the Knights Radiant. That would account for Honor's "surprise".

Perhaps Truthless were the pre KR surgebinders, who can manipulate Stormlight genetically or as a result of a ceremony not involving spren. Maybe the short Shardblades predate the Nahel Bond, and allow their wielders to inhale Stormlight?

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Dawnsingers seem to be closely related to dawnshards and dawnchants. We know that dawnshards can bind any creature human or voidish. So it has to be something common to both honor and odium considering that odium is behind voidbringers. If so, then they have to be shards of adonalsium which is common to honor odium and cultivation and can bind any of those. Someone bonded to dawnshards could be referred to as dawnsingers and their songs/chants as dawnchants. *wild speculation*

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It's certainly an interesting theory. To expand on the discussion, I think it's more likely that, if the Dawnsingers are spren, they would be responsible for the creation of Surgebinders (other than the Heralds) but not the Radiants. They were likely closely tied with Honor, and if they created the Radiants, I don't see how Honor could be surprised by it. I think it's more likely that the Cryptics and Honorspren got a bunch of others on board to form the Radiants with Nohadon, and they were lowly enough that Honor wasn't working directly with them and didn't see it coming.

Side theory - what if the Dawnsingers are still around and are the "Circle" that Wyndle is talking about? I'm not sold on it as Ivory and Jasnah made it sound like the Cryptics and Honorspren are pulling the strings in Shadesmar. But it's the very first thing that popped into my head upon reading this theory.

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there was some q&a in the live writing event with brandon.

 

a question about dawnsingers or was it dawnshard and the KR was asked and answered,

i dont realy remember, but someone could remember better or check it out =)

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there was some q&a in the live writing event with brandon.

 

a question about dawnsingers or was it dawnshard and the KR was asked and answered,

i dont realy remember, but someone could remember better or check it out =)

i think he said that dawnsingers aren't a KR order. 

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Perhaps Truthless were the pre KR surgebinders, who can manipulate Stormlight genetically or as a result of a ceremony not involving spren. Maybe the short Shardblades predate the Nahel Bond, and allow their wielders to inhale Stormlight?

 

I don't think so. Szeth's status as Truthless has to do with him being perceived as betraying his people in a fundamental way. I also think we can say no to the "manipulating Stormlight genetically" because that's not how magic works on Roshar. On Roshar it is determined by a person's actions and not their genetics.

 

Dawnsingers seem to be closely related to dawnshards and dawnchants. We know that dawnshards can bind any creature human or voidish. So it has to be something common to both honor and odium considering that odium is behind voidbringers. If so, then they have to be shards of adonalsium which is common to honor odium and cultivation and can bind any of those. Someone bonded to dawnshards could be referred to as dawnsingers and their songs/chants as dawnchants. *wild speculation*

 

I'm definitely of the opinion that the "dawn-" prefix just denotes age, as well that dawnsingers/shards/chant, were not the original names for these things but rather "modern" constructions.

 

It's certainly an interesting theory. To expand on the discussion, I think it's more likely that, if the Dawnsingers are spren, they would be responsible for the creation of Surgebinders (other than the Heralds) but not the Radiants. They were likely closely tied with Honor, and if they created the Radiants, I don't see how Honor could be surprised by it. I think it's more likely that the Cryptics and Honorspren got a bunch of others on board to form the Radiants with Nohadon, and they were lowly enough that Honor wasn't working directly with them and didn't see it coming.

Side theory - what if the Dawnsingers are still around and are the "Circle" that Wyndle is talking about? I'm not sold on it as Ivory and Jasnah made it sound like the Cryptics and Honorspren are pulling the strings in Shadesmar. But it's the very first thing that popped into my head upon reading this theory.

 

Well, I think the Dawnsingers would be fairly autonomous, Honor/Cultivation made them to be sentient afterall. They wouldn't necessairly check in with their "parents", who are busy being gods, for everything. Especially if they wanted the creation to be a surprise. I also think there were only ever 10 sub-types that grant surgebinding so I don't think pre-Radiant surgebinders and Knights Radiant bonded to different spren.

I think the "Circle" is the ruling body for Crystal Vine spren like Wyndle.

 

there was some q&a in the live writing event with brandon.

 

a question about dawnsingers or was it dawnshard and the KR was asked and answered,

i dont realy remember, but someone could remember better or check it out =)

i think he said that dawnsingers aren't a KR order.

I remember this, Maresia is correct. The question was "Are Dawnsingers an order of Radiants?" to which Brandon said no.

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An interesting thought, however I find it highly unlikely after the things revealed in the preview chapters, I'll just list my reasons.

 

1)  In the preview chapter with Dalinar's vision, Honor (Tavanast) tells him that the Radiants formed from the spren imitating what he had given mankind, aka the dawnshards.  Now we know they gave the ability to use surges because of the preview with the parshendi pov.  This implies that when the spren started to create "normal humans" into surgebinders that the Radiants were formed to organize them.

 

2)  The name.  Why would they be called "The Dawn Singers"?  Why not literally anything else?  What does singing have to do with surgebinders?

 

3) In WoK it seemed to be implied that the Dawnsingers were a "civilized" people (however this is not really substantiated since they are mentioned only briefly), and we know from Dalinar's visions that humans were pretty much in the stone age in the time period were talking about with the Dawnsingers.

 

I had previously posted my opinion that the Dawnsingers will turn out to be the Parshendi, but thats another discussion.  Regardless this is a topic I would like to see discussed more; who were the Dawnsingers?

Edited by Mr_Doe
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