soyperson

All Must Dine With The Nightwatcher (spoilers all 'round)

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"But all men have the same ultimate destination. Whether we find our end in a hallowed sepulcher or a pauper’s ditch, all save the Heralds themselves must dine with the Nightwatcher." (The Way of Kings, chapter 58)

This passage from WoK sort of stuck with me. I've been rereading the Archive recently (I'm on WoR currently), and have been picking up on things I never thought of previously. 

For example, in the Mistborn series, when a character dies and is in "limbo" in the Cognitive realm, one of the Shards (Preservation, then Harmony) greets the deceased and guides them to what I assume to be the Spiritual Realm. This happened with Kelsier, The Lord Ruler, Ati, Vin, Elend, and Waxillium, to name a few. To all save Waxillium, Preservation/Harmony led the shade to the Beyond, but to Wax he offered a choice: to live or to pass. 

I propose that the Nightwatcher is a manifestation of Cultivation that resides Physically in "the Valley" wherever that may be, and that those who "dine with the Nightwatcher" have died and gone to the Cognitive Realm. The Nightwatcher greets the newly dead, dines with them (literally or metaphorically, take your pick) and offers them a choice. 

Perhaps one way of getting a boon and a curse is getting a second chance at life after transitioning to the Cognitive Realm, maybe even with the boon and curse as anchors, holding you to the Physical Realm.

 

Or I could be off my head, reading way too deeply into this whole thing. 

Either way, thanks for entertaining this little pet theory.

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Just a quick nitpick, those who die don't go to the Spiritual Realm, but to The Beyond, which even the Shards can't see into or affect.  Easy mixup to make considering how we would think of a Spiritual Realm by default.

I had to look up the context of the quote to see what it's saying. It's a quote of Nohadon from the in-world "The Way of Kings", talking about taking the slow journey to Urithiru.  I suspect it's founded only in the mythology in-world, which is likely only loosely based in truth at best, but it does seem very likely that the Nightwatcher is of Cultivation, and that she does help guide those who die to the Beyond.  We know others interact with them sometimes too, though, like Moelach, who causes the death rattles, though we don't know in what way.  It's implied that that is a duty many of the Shards take on themselves, though without any actual confirmation.

We do know the Nightwatcher is of Cultivation, btw.  Brandon said she is to Cultivation what the Stormfather is to Honor, sort of (since Cultivation isn't dead).

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1 minute ago, Jondesu said:

Just a quick nitpick, those who die don't go to the Spiritual Realm, but to The Beyond, which even the Shards can't see into or affect.  Easy mixup to make considering how we would think of a Spiritual Realm by default.

I had to look up the context of the quote to see what it's saying. It's a quote of Nohadon from the in-world "The Way of Kings", talking about taking the slow journey to Urithiru.  I suspect it's founded only in the mythology in-world, which is likely only loosely based in truth at best, but it does seem very likely that the Nightwatcher is of Cultivation, and that she does help guide those who die to the Beyond.  We know others interact with them sometimes too, though, like Moelach, who causes the death rattles, though we don't know in what way.  It's implied that that is a duty many of the Shards take on themselves, though without any actual confirmation.

We do know the Nightwatcher is of Cultivation, btw.  Brandon said she is to Cultivation what the Stormfather is to Honor, sort of (since Cultivation isn't dead).

Sweet! Thanks for the tidbit, Jond. 

Since the Unmade are of Odium, d'you think maybe they are to Odie what the Nightwatcher is to Cultivation and what Stormydad is to Tanavast? At least tangentially?

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Just now, bleeder said:

Sweet! Thanks for the tidbit, Jond. 

Since the Unmade are of Odium, d'you think maybe they are to Odie what the Nightwatcher is to Cultivation and what Stormydad is to Tanavast? At least tangentially?

They're a good bit less than that, I would assume.  There's 9 of them, to start, and we have been told they're splinters of Odium (voluntary, I would assume, since we know he's not splintered, though there could have been some other method of forcing him to create them I suppose), and they don't seem to represent Odium directly.  I think the Nightwatcher is actually Cultivation's Vessel taking on a physical form and interacting with people, which makes it the closest equivalent we've seen to a Cognitive Shadow, but for someone who's not dead (just doesn't have a physical body anymore).

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11 minutes ago, Jondesu said:

They're a good bit less than that, I would assume.  There's 9 of them, to start, and we have been told they're splinters of Odium (voluntary, I would assume, since we know he's not splintered, though there could have been some other method of forcing him to create them I suppose), and they don't seem to represent Odium directly.  I think the Nightwatcher is actually Cultivation's Vessel taking on a physical form and interacting with people, which makes it the closest equivalent we've seen to a Cognitive Shadow, but for someone who's not dead (just doesn't have a physical body anymore).

A couple of clarifications:

  • Each of the three Shards on Roshar has a 'super-splinter' of them. The Stormfather is Honor's, Nightwatcher is Culviation's, and the Unmade collectively are Odium's. So, yes, the Unmade are less powerful than Stormfather/Nightwatcher, and less sentient to some degree as well.
  • The Stormfather has 'absorbed' Honor's Cognitive Shadow. That's why he refers to himself as a Sliver. Nightwatcher, however, is just a spren.
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18 minutes ago, Pagerunner said:

A couple of clarifications:

  • Each of the three Shards on Roshar has a 'super-splinter' of them. The Stormfather is Honor's, Nightwatcher is Culviation's, and the Unmade collectively are Odium's. So, yes, the Unmade are less powerful than Stormfather/Nightwatcher, and less sentient to some degree as well.
  • The Stormfather has 'absorbed' Honor's Cognitive Shadow. That's why he refers to himself as a Sliver. Nightwatcher, however, is just a spren.

Ohh, I see. Thanks!

Now, on a slightly related note, what are we thinking about The Ring? My personal theory is that The Ring is Cultivation, the Cultivationspren's "Mother" as Honor is the Honorspren's "Father". Or perhaps a spren council of sorts led by Cultivation/Nightwatcher.

Edited by bleeder
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3 hours ago, bleeder said:

Ohh, I see. Thanks!

Now, on a slightly related note, what are we thinking about The Ring? My personal theory is that The Ring is Cultivation, the Cultivationspren's "Mother" as Honor is the Honorspren's "Father". Or perhaps a spren council of sorts led by Cultivation/Nightwatcher.

Ring?

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4 hours ago, bleeder said:

Now, on a slightly related note, what are we thinking about The Ring? My personal theory is that The Ring is Cultivation, the Cultivationspren's "Mother" as Honor is the Honorspren's "Father". Or perhaps a spren council of sorts led by Cultivation/Nightwatcher.

 
 
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From Lift's Interlude in Words of Radiance:

Quote

"I wanted to pick a distinguished Iriali matron. A grandmother, an accomplished gardener. But no, the Ring said we should choose you. 'She has visited the Old Magic,' they said. 'Our mother has blessed her,' they said.

 

The Ring clearly referred to the Nightwatcher as their mother here. This should automatically rule out the Ring as being Cultivation. I'd guess that it's a council of some kind that has the authority to govern Cultivationspren. Whether it's made up entirely of Cultivationspren itself, only in part of Cultivationspren, or not at all of Cultivationspren, and whether or not it only has authority over Cultivationspren, or even whether it has authority over all Cultivationspren, I have no idea. (:o I never thought I'd ever have that many instances of "Cultivationspren" in a single sentence. :ph34r:)

Given that Jasnah referred to the Cryptics as being like "the lighteyes of the Cognitive Realm", I wouldn't be surprised if they're involved in it somehow, but that's basically conjecture at this point.

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Wyndel refers to the "ring" as having selected Lift as the edgedancer to be bound. I doubt the Nightwatcher is directly involved because they settled on lift because of her boon.

 

They appear to be the leadership of Wyndel's spren type. 

 

Edit:@BlackYeti beat me to it

Edited by Calderis
Ninja'd
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Also it could be the same thing that happened to Marsh. Nightwatcher somehow got associated with Death.

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6 hours ago, Jondesu said:

There's 9 of them

Whoa whoa whoa. Is this confirmed? Last I knew, Brandon had RAFO'd specific numbers, and just said there weren't ten.

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8 minutes ago, PallonianFire said:

Whoa whoa whoa. Is this confirmed? Last I knew, Brandon had RAFO'd specific numbers, and just said there weren't ten.

You know, I thought it was confirmed, but I'm not absolutely certain.

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A theoryland search has nothing confirming number, but I know there are a ton of WoBs on reddit that never make it to theoryland, so I just wanted to check. Cuz that'd be really interesting to know.

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8 hours ago, bleeder said:

Sweet! Thanks for the tidbit, Jond. 

Since the Unmade are of Odium, d'you think maybe they are to Odie what the Nightwatcher is to Cultivation and what Stormydad is to Tanavast? At least tangentially?

We have this.

Quote

KHYRINDOR

Are the Unmade and the Stormfather the same "class" of being?

BRANDON SANDERSON (PARAPHRASED)

Technically no, but they are on a similar level. It is a good analogy.

I think the distinction is yes they're Splinters (that's confirmed) but with the Stormfather (as was noted) also being a pre-existing Spren that was combined with Tanavast's cognitive shadow. The 'similar' level just makes me question whether they're quite up there.

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1 hour ago, PallonianFire said:

Whoa whoa whoa. Is this confirmed? Last I knew, Brandon had RAFO'd specific numbers, and just said there weren't ten.

I had a WoB from San Francisco signing last year that Braize is 9-centric. 

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Oooooh nice, so a definite point in favor of there being 9 Unmade. But not explicit confirmation yet, which would explain why I couldn't find it

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