Macen

Theory: Dalinar is not a Radiant

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So, I know a lot of people aren't going to like this - but here we go.

Let's start off with the reasons people think that Dalinar is becoming a Radiant:

  • The back cover implies about a Bondsmith whom many feel is the name of the last unknown order of the KR.
  • He is acting more Honorably something we associate with KR
  • His visions
  • His obvious desire to reform the KR

OK, I'm probably missing a few in there, but that's the gist of it.

Now take a step back from your bias and your love for Dalinar (he is a bleeping amazing character). While I agree he is the Bondsmith (WoB have confirmed t he 5 PoV characters, and it would make sense if they matched up with the 5 titles on the cover) I personally believe that Bondsmith has a different meaning and is not an order of the KR. I think Dalinar is taking over for his brother and leading the front to reforging the Bond with the spren. What is another for when you forge something? You Smith something. This making me feel he is more playing the roll of Nohadon in the creation of the KR.

I believe that he is the Bondsmith for the radiants and his actions are helping unite the world in preperation for the Everstorm.

*Caveat* if there is a WoB stating he has a spren, just go ahead and tell me so I know my last 30 minutes looking up stuff was wasted for nothing. ;)

Pick it apart ladies and gentlemen!

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We have a WoB that Bondsmiths are an order of the Knights Radiant. Kinda seals the deal on Dalinar.

 

Since we're discussing Dalinar's possible Radianthood, though, I'd like to note that I find it very interesting that Dalinar is breaking the Alethi Codes of War by getting Adolin to steal Shards. It's probably unlikely to be a big deal, but given that we know that the path Dalinar is going down leads to ruin for the Alethi, I've been looking for things like that.

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Moogle, you're a dreamstomper - I thought I had a Gem here. :(

P.S. Thank you - I'll see if I can track down that WoB.

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We have a WoB that Bondsmiths are an order of the Knights Radiant. Kinda seals the deal on Dalinar.

 

Since we're discussing Dalinar's possible Radianthood, though, I'd like to note that I find it very interesting that Dalinar is breaking the Alethi Codes of War by getting Adolin to steal Shards. It's probably unlikely to be a big deal, but given that we know that the path Dalinar is going down leads to ruin for the Alethi, I've been looking for things like that.

? Steal Shards? I've seen him duel for one, but that is about it. It does break the Codes to duel in times of war, I believe, but I think that is the only infraction so far.

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Moogle, you're a dreamstomper - I thought I had a Gem here. :(

P.S. Thank you - I'll see if I can track down that WoB.

 

Sorry! Also, I also searched for the WoB because I know it was in one of the signing report threads, but urgh. Closest I could find was this. The actual WoB is something like "I asked Brandon for information he hadn't already given on the corrected chart, and he mentioned that Bondsmiths were an order."

 

? Steal Shards? I've seen him duel for one, but that is about it. It does break the Codes to duel in times of war, I believe, but I think that is the only infraction so far.

 

Lawfully taking Shards from people you defeat in combat? Steal? Same thing. :P I was only referring to breaking the no-dueling bit during war as the infraction against the Codes. Seems like a big infraction, particularly since Adolin's been feeling the Thrill more lately. (Others may disagree on Adolin's Thrill-feeling, but I have yet to be convinced.)

Edited by Moogle
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Sorry! Also, I also searched for the WoB because I know it was in one of the signing report threads, but urgh. Closest I could find was this. The actual WoB is something like "I asked Brandon for information he hadn't already given on the corrected chart, and he mentioned that Bondsmiths were an order."

 

 

Lawfully taking Shards from people you defeat in combat? Steal? Same thing. :P I was only referring to breaking the no-dueling bit during war as the infraction against the Codes. Seems like a big infraction, particularly since Adolin's been feeling the Thrill more lately. (Others may disagree on Adolin's Thrill-feeling, but I have yet to be convinced.)

I feel that the Duel and how it went is an argument against him feeling the thrill. I think he ended the duel so fast because he wasn't feeling the trill. So, his logical mind told him to end it fast.

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I feel that the Duel and how it went is an argument against him feeling the thrill. I think he ended the duel so fast because he wasn't feeling the trill. So, his logical mind told him to end it fast.

 

Except that he wasn't feeling logical at all. I just don't understand the position that Adolin didn't feel the Thrill when he very clearly said he did.

 

 

Adolin growled, feeling the old Thrill of battle as he shoved aside Salinor’s attack—careless of the hit it scored on his side—then brought his Blade in two-handed and crashed it into his opponent’s breastplate, like he was chopping wood. Salinor grunted again and Adolin raised his foot and kicked the man backward, throwing him to the ground.

Salinor dropped his Blade—a weakness of Flamestance’s one-handed posture—and it vanished to mist. Adolin stepped over the man and dismissed his own Blade, then kicked down with a booted heel into Salinor’s helm. The piece of Plate exploded into molten bits, exposing a dazed, panicked face.

...

“You’ve lost,” Adolin growled.

“You cheated!” Salinor sputtered.

“How?”

“I don’t know how! It just—It’s not supposed to…”

He trailed off as Adolin carefully placed a gauntleted hand against his neck. Salinor’s eyes widened. “You wouldn’t.”

Fearspren crawled out of the sand around him.

“My prize,” Adolin said, suddenly feeling drained. The Thrill faded from him. Storms, he’d never before felt like this in a duel.

...

What he’d done was reckless. Dismissing his Blade? Putting himself in a position where the enemy could have gotten at his feet?

 

My view is that he felt the Thrill up until he realized he literally had a gauntlet on the guy's neck, ready to kill him. There was no logic here, this was a reckless rage. I find it difficult to see the other viewpoint here.

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Except that he wasn't feeling logical at all. I just don't understand the position that Adolin didn't feel the Thrill when he very clearly said he did.

 

 

My view is that he felt the Thrill up until he realized he literally had a gauntlet on the guy's neck, ready to kill him. There was no logic here, this was a reckless rage. I find it difficult to see the other viewpoint here.

You're right. I didn't go back and read it, I was just interpreting my memories. They apparently like Adolin a lot.

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Sorry! Also, I also searched for the WoB because I know it was in one of the signing report threads, but urgh. Closest I could find was this. The actual WoB is something like "I asked Brandon for information he hadn't already given on the corrected chart, and he mentioned that Bondsmiths were an order."

 

 

Lawfully taking Shards from people you defeat in combat? Steal? Same thing. :P I was only referring to breaking the no-dueling bit during war as the infraction against the Codes. Seems like a big infraction, particularly since Adolin's been feeling the Thrill more lately. (Others may disagree on Adolin's Thrill-feeling, but I have yet to be convinced.)

 

Yeah, I'm surprised Dalinar can enforce the Codes throughout the camp like they are super important, but then obviously overlook one. 

 

Adolin and the Thrill though... he feels it in combat, but I don't think it's any more than others. And that was just one duel when the Thrill took over, and it was right at the moment where he got too serious with it and started thinking about it as a "war." I think Adolin is going to look back on that and decide not to go down that road again. That or Dalinar will convince him. Anyway, it's not like it is a growing thing; it was just one incident. Still dangerous though.

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We assume Dalinar is the Bondsmith, but we don't know for certain. I have doubts he is a proto-radiant, unless he start seeing spren. One thing we do know for certain now is that you need that nahel-bond to become a radiant. Maybe Dalinar will start seeing a spren somewhere around part 3 of WoR, but by what we have now Renarin has a better chance of becoming the Bondsmith than Dalinar.

 

Further I'm worried about what happened with Dalinar the excerpt. If he wrote that message on his wall that is not a good sign.

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We assume Dalinar is the Bondsmith, but we don't know for certain. I have doubts he is a proto-radiant, unless he start seeing spren. One thing we do know for certain now is that you need that nahel-bond to become a radiant. Maybe Dalinar will start seeing a spren somewhere around part 3 of WoR, but by what we have now Renarin has a better chance of becoming the Bondsmith than Dalinar.

 

Further I'm worried about what happened with Dalinar the excerpt. If he wrote that message on his wall that is not a good sign.

I feel that Syl's words about telling the future being of the voidbringer are mildly skewed by the fact that Honor was so bad at it. Cultivation is supposedly supposed to be very good at it.

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I feel that Syl's words about telling the future being of the voidbringer are mildly skewed by the fact that Honor was so bad at it. Cultivation is supposedly supposed to be very good at it.

 

What makes you think Cultivation isn't behind Voidbinding? :P She's sort of on the Voidbinding chart.

Edited by Moogle
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I feel that Syl's words about telling the future being of the voidbringer are mildly skewed by the fact that Honor was so bad at it. Cultivation is supposedly supposed to be very good at it.

 

I'm worried more by the journal excerpt before chapter 9

 

 

 

 

The sign on the wall proposed a greater danger, even, than its deadline. To foresee the future is of the Voidbringers.

—From the journal of Navani Kholin, Jeseses 1174

 

That was written after the disaster.

 

Then in Dalinar's next chapter he seem certain he wrote it.

 

Maybe nothing is wrong, but it is worrisome and at this point it is as likely for Dalinar to be possessed by a voidbringer as it is for him to be the Bondsmith.

Edited by eveorjoy
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Yeah, I'm surprised Dalinar can enforce the Codes throughout the camp like they are super important, but then obviously overlook one.

 

Restraint - The officer will refrain from needless duels, arguments, or squabbles with other officers in camp, to prevent injury to men who may be needed to command.

 

I'm wouldn't necessarily say that he's ignoring the Codes here. Certainly, from his POV, this is a necessary step to begin enforcing discipline upon the unruly highprinces. If anyone's guilty of unnecessary squabbles it's them, and it's arguable whether any of them (shardbearers and highprinces alike) are suited to command in an army/nation that's he's trying to prepare to pursue an honorable and disciplined path.

 

If he could just confiscate them, he would, but it's pretty clear that the only way to get a shardbearer to give up his shards is to take him down in front of an audience. Also, even before pursuing this strategy it was clear that Dalinar considered insults against the family as sufficient justification to allow Adolin to duel, and this doesn't seem too far removed.

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I'm wouldn't necessarily say that he's ignoring the Codes here.

 

The codes say that there is to be no dueling during times of the war. There's really no middle ground here. Dalinar's has always been breaking them with Adolin, and the highprinces will likely call him out on it. Rightfully, too. If he's enforcing the codes and then sending his son to duel he's being hypocritical, no matter the justification. There's always a justification. Journey before destination and all that jazz.

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I agree that it is technically a violation of the codes to duel with other people in one's own army.  I confess to being biased in favor of Dalinar & co. 

 

I also think that the forces of some of the highprinces are really not even allies, much less part of their own army.  If the highprinces were accepting the orders of their king (which we know they are not, as Roion did not go on the gem run when ordered to) they would have to be following the codes.  As they are not, they are being subjected to military discipline, which generally runs against the codes. 

 

It is a politebrutal fiction to say they are a unified force.  Constraining themselves to adhere to that fiction is not being honorable and it is not leading.  If they duel for Shards with another highprince's vassal, where that highprince is following orders, including following the codes, that would be a real violation of the codes. 

 

As FingerstyleFunk quoted above, the codes forbid "needless" dueling.  This is arguably needed to create a unified, code-following army. 

Edited by hoser
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As FingerstyleFunk quoted above, the codes forbid "needless" dueling.  This is arguably needed to create a unified, code-following army. 

 

The code itself says:

 

Restraint: The officer will refrain from needless duels, arguments, or squabbles with other officers in camp, to prevent injury to men who may be needed to command.

 

Adolin kicking the living daylights out of a Shardbearer causes injury to a man who may be needed to command. Dalinar is quite clearly breaking the spirit of the code as well as technically violating it. The real question is what is meant by 'needless' and what is considered a valid need under the Codes. For some reason I suspect attempting to force people to follow your commands by taking away their stuff (after you purposefully took power and became a dictator, essentially) does not constitute a 'needful' duel under the Codes.

 

There's plenty of justifications for what Dalinar is doing. A united Alethkar could be rather pleasant, even if I feel Dalinar is doing a terrible job at it. The fact remains that he's violating the Codes and then expecting other people to follow them. It makes him a hypocrite. Not that I find anything wrong with being a hypocrite - as I said, there are justifications. I was just saying that the highprinces will be able to rightfully call Dalinar one.

 

Dalinar is constrained by following the Codes when he knows full well that ignoring them is a good idea. Fortunately, he's got some utilitarian spirit hiding away in his old bones, so he does ignore them. I just sort of wish he'd apply that reasoning to more things.

Edited by Moogle
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I agree that it is technically a violation of the codes to duel with other people in one's own army.  I also admit to being biased in favor of Dalinar & co. 

 

I also think that the forces of some of the highprinces are really not even allies, much less part of their own army.  If the highprinces were accepting the orders of their king (which we know they are not, as Roion did not go on the gem run when ordered to) they would have to be following the codes.  As they are not, they are being subjected to military discipline, which generally runs against the codes. 

 

It is a politebrutal fiction to say they are a unified force.  Constraining themselves to adhere to that fiction is not being honorable and it is not leading.  If they duel for Shards with another highprince's vassal, where that highprince is following orders, including following the codes, that would be a real violation of the codes. 

 

As FingerstyleFunk quoted above, the codes forbid "needless" dueling.  This is arguably needed to create a unified, code-following army. 

Yeah, I'm also bias toward Dalinar. I think he is one of the most respectable characters in any book I've read recently. It is easy here to call him out and slam him for being a hypocrite, which he kind of is doing, but every time I try to back up and think "What's his purpose? Is it worth it?" The answer is usually that Dalinar is doing what he thinks is right in the long run. Moogle likes to quote the journey before destination line, and I think he is right to do so here, but maybe this is how Dalinar learns it. He's been trying to live it, but maybe it will take Adolin curbstomping somebody before he realizes what he is doing. All in all, Dalinar appears to be doing what he thinks is best for his kingdom, so right now it all evens out in my eyes.

 

If I have the character's POV and I can see that he's just doing what he thinks he should, I can usually cut some slack for anyone. 

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The real question is what is meant by 'needless' and what is considered a valid need under the Codes. For some reason I suspect attempting to force people to follow your commands by taking away their stuff (after you purposefully took power and became a dictator, essentially) does not constitute a 'needful' duel under the Codes.

I strongly disagree.  In my mind, securing the chain of command and unifying the army is probably the biggest example I can think of for a "needful" duel.

My reading is that you shouldn't be dueling for personal reasons.  If they were dueling for fun, or over insignificant points of honour, then I'd be with you.  But the point of that code is that you shouldn't let duels weaken your army.  This is doing the opposite.  

Edited by Tarion
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I strongly disagree.  In my mind, securing the chain of command and unifying the army is probably the biggest example I can think of for a "needful" duel.

My reading is that you shouldn't be dueling for personal reasons.  If they were dueling for fun, or over insignificant points of honour, then I'd be with you.  But the point of that code is that you shouldn't let duels weaken your army.  This is doing the opposite.  

 

Dalinar is doing this for personal reasons. He's doing it to cement his power as Highprince of War. The duels themselves weaken the army - Dalinar's power play is almost causing a civil war. The highprinces are going kicking and screaming, and throughout it Dalinar is forcing the highprinces to work together to attack Parshendi, losing more and more soldiers in the process.

 

Perhaps his goals are worthwhile (i think stopping the Alethi border skirmishes would be nice), but I am not convinced at this 'need' for Dalinar to take command. What Dalinar is doing is telling everyone that the chain of command doesn't matter - just beat up your king until he gives you the position of Highprince of War, and you too can command your own army!

 

He's not being a very good example to his men, forcing them to follow the Codes while he breaks them. His power move struck all the right 'tyrant' notes to me, and you will notice the other highprinces feeling the same way. The reasonable one Dalinar meets in WoR Chapter 8 (?) notes that Dalinar is reverting back to Dalinar and Gavilar's unification war with daggers in the back and the like, though Dalinar is being significantly less subtle.

 

Again: I'm not finding fault with Dalinar, per se. I think a benevolent dictatorship would be the ideal system of government (though impossible in practice). I just think it's hard to find his current actions as anything other than a clear-cut violation of the Codes. Trying to hem and haw and talk about how what he's doing is 'needed' is... odd, and seems to me like trying to bend the rules just because Dalinar seems like a great guy. (I apologize if I have horribly misinterpreted you/put words in your mouth.)

 

I think it's easier just to say that yes, Dalinar is breaking the Codes, and that's okay because he has a very good reason for it.

Edited by Moogle
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Dalinar is doing this for personal reasons. He's doing it to cement his power as Highprince of War. The duels themselves weaken the army - Dalinar's power play is almost causing a civil war. The highprinces are going kicking and screaming, and throughout it Dalinar is forcing the highprinces to work together to attack Parshendi, losing more and more soldiers in the process.

 

Perhaps his goals are worthwhile (i think stopping the Alethi border skirmishes would be nice), but I am not convinced at this 'need' for Dalinar to take command. What Dalinar is doing is telling everyone that the chain of command doesn't matter - just beat up your king until he gives you the position of Highprince of War, and you too can command your own army!

 

Right but in context we know that Dalinar is literally the only person in all of the warcamps that would consider ending those disputes as well as leave the Shattered Plains. If it were the standard power grab, that would be one thing, but he is seizing power with the knowledge that he is the only one that will bring change. It's maybe the least personal reason ever - trying to unify Alethkar instead of leaving them in an endless string of competition with one another that ultimately weakens them and the chances for the world to survive the Everstorm. 

 

Any other Alethi highprince seizing control in this way would be that personal reason. Dalinar's reason is a global concern - one that he is convinced is being given to him by the Almighty. Sadeas can't claim that, haha.

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he is seizing power with the knowledge that he is the only one that will bring change. It's maybe the least personal reason ever - trying to unify Alethkar instead of leaving them in an endless string of competition with one another that ultimately weakens them and the chances for the world to survive the Everstorm. 

 

Any other Alethi highprince seizing control in this way would be that personal reason. Dalinar's reason is a global concern - one that he is convinced is being given to him by the Almighty. Sadeas can't claim that, haha.

 

The issue to me is that Dalinar's actions are leading the Alethi to ruin. The fight against the Parshendi is essentially forcing them to use stormform just to survive. Dalinar knows there's something wrong - he suspects he wrote the prophecy of 62 days, and yet he is continuing ahead full-steam instead of thinking that maybe with something about to go wrong in a month, he should be a bit more cautious and change his plans up.

 

I don't want to become a broken record and keep repeating the same points, but Dalinar is making a power play for (possibly good) reasons, but he's going about it stupidly, and his actions lead directly to ruin in several directions. Highprinces vying for dominance (Sadeas), assassins everywhere, near-civil war, and the Parshend can all be attributed to Dalinar.

 

He's forcing too big of a change too fast.

Edited by Moogle
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He's not being a very good example to his men, forcing them to follow the Codes while he breaks them. His power move struck all the right 'tyrant' notes to me, and you will notice the other highprinces feeling the same way. The reasonable one Dalinar meets in WoR Chapter 8 (?) notes that Dalinar is reverting back to Dalinar and Gavilar's unification war with daggers in the back and the like, though Dalinar is being significantly less subtle.

 

 

The reasonable one?  Which one would that be?

 

Dalinar : What if I can bring the others around? What if I can prove to you that they’re worthy of trust? What if I can change the direction of this kingdom, and this war? Will you follow me then?

 

Aladar : No.  I'm sorry.

 

That reasonable one?  By rejecting Dalinar's authority as Highprince of War he is by proxy rejecting Elhokar's authority.  Which is arguably an act of treason since Aladar and all the highprinces swore an oath to obey Elhokar.

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The issue to me is that Dalinar's actions are leading the Alethi to ruin. The fight against the Parshendi is essentially forcing them to use stormform just to survive. Dalinar knows there's something wrong - he suspects he wrote the prophecy of 62 days, and yet he is continuing ahead full-steam instead of thinking that maybe with something about to go wrong in a month, he should be a bit more cautious and change his plans up.

 

I don't want to become a broken record and keep repeating the same points, but Dalinar is making a power play for (possibly good) reasons, but he's going about it stupidly, and his actions lead directly to ruin in several directions. Highprinces vying for dominance (Sadeas), assassins everywhere, near-civil war, and the Parshend can all be attributed to Dalinar.

 

He's forcing too big of a change too fast.

 

Not much choice here. I think that he are in a hard situation doing everthing that he can to achieve his goals without compromise his beliefs. He could hire assassins, duels to death his enemies, blackmail, etc. He is trying to uphold something in the "honorable way" but is dificult todo so when everyone are trying to cheat.

 

I like playing poker with everyone but you cheating, it's possible to win but hard as hell. 

Edited by Natans
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Dalinar is doing this for personal reasons. He's doing it to cement his power as Highprince of War. The duels themselves weaken the army - Dalinar's power play is almost causing a civil war. The highprinces are going kicking and screaming, and throughout it Dalinar is forcing the highprinces to work together to attack Parshendi, losing more and more soldiers in the process.

 

Perhaps his goals are worthwhile (i think stopping the Alethi border skirmishes would be nice), but I am not convinced at this 'need' for Dalinar to take command. What Dalinar is doing is telling everyone that the chain of command doesn't matter - just beat up your king until he gives you the position of Highprince of War, and you too can command your own army!

 

He's not being a very good example to his men, forcing them to follow the Codes while he breaks them. His power move struck all the right 'tyrant' notes to me, and you will notice the other highprinces feeling the same way. The reasonable one Dalinar meets in WoR Chapter 8 (?) notes that Dalinar is reverting back to Dalinar and Gavilar's unification war with daggers in the back and the like, though Dalinar is being significantly less subtle.

 

Again: I'm not finding fault with Dalinar, per se. I think a benevolent dictatorship would be the ideal system of government (though impossible in practice). I just think it's hard to find his current actions as anything other than a clear-cut violation of the Codes. Trying to hem and haw and talk about how what he's doing is 'needed' is... odd, and seems to me like trying to bend the rules just because Dalinar seems like a great guy. (I apologize if I have horribly misinterpreted you/put words in your mouth.)

 

I think it's easier just to say that yes, Dalinar is breaking the Codes, and that's okay because he has a very good reason for it.

I wouldn't say Dalinar is doing it for personal reasons. In his mind he has the remnants of the Almighty telling him to unify the knights radiants for the coming everstorm.

He is also trying to unite the 10 highprinces so they can finish this war and prepare for the everstorm.

He doesn't show much joy or excitement from politics, he is doing it out of necessity. In my opinion this all sounds pretty selfless not selfish.

As far as breaking the codes goes, it states officers of this camp. After Sadeas' betrayal can you really say you see the Highprinces as being part of the same camp? They are virtually all individual armies with a common enemy. They follow the king because it benefits their pockets.

If they really were all one army then I highly doubt that Dalinar would need to go to such lengths to make them follow his orders...

Also, the codes say they may be needed to command - there is nothing in the preview chapter that states the Lighteyes he fought was hurt, you are all just inferring that because of the damage to his armor. We have seen armor getting shattered before with no damage to the wielder, why would this be different? He should still be able to command and fight.

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