Fifth of Daybreak

[OB] Shallan's Transformation Magic

47 posts in this topic

I wanted to start a new discussion thread for Shallan's transformation magic. This has been refined by some very fine arguments against by @Alderant in another thread, so I'm going to try to summarize my evidence and logic here, along with my new theory and relevant WoB for discussion in its own thread.

Theory: Shallan is able to do some sort of combination of soulcasting and lightweaving to change people's perceptions of themselves, allowing a magical transformation which can alter who they are. (Update, appears to just be lightweaving, see reference to Renarin in Chapter 10 on page 2 of thread)

We have a WoB on the subject I wasn't aware of before

Quote

QUESTION

My first question is about Shallan and whether what she does with her drawings and the deserters in Words of Radiance, kind of changing them, at all similar to what Shai does in The Emperor’s Soul?

BRANDON SANDERSON

Umm, that’s a good question. There are similarities, but only in that The Emperor’s Soul is cosmere and is relying on the same foundation of magic. But good question. [...] somebody do it before. So you have seen what she does before, but that is not what I was pointing at. No one is going to expect it.
2

 

There's a whole bunch of supporting text about Shallan placing soulcastings on herself to fully adopt Radiant, and on the deserters. To see those passages, check this link.

But, as Shallan struggles with accepting the pain of killing her parents, she's started using her powers to perceive herself as different people, as Veil, and as Radiant, not just as an act, but as a full person. Shallan thinks she might have killed her brothers, and so Pattern mentions that something is wrong with the lies Shallan places on herself. In response, Shallan mentions she has to go deeper, and that's when she starts to behave strangely in the more recent chapters, which seems to be clearing up after her encounter in 30. I do want to point out a few passages from 29 though that support my point about her separating the personalities more completely. 

Quote

Veil prowled through the Breakaway market, hat pulled low, hands in her pockets. [Begining of the chapter, showing she is referring to herself as Veil for narrative purposes.]

...

 Her team was tired, as was Shallan, who suff red from the long nights as Veil. Fortunately, Shallan wasn’t doing anything particularly useful these days. Sword training with Adolin each day—more frolicking and flirting than useful swordplay—and the occasional meeting with Dalinar where she had nothing to add but a pretty map.

Veil though… Veil hunted the hunter. [She contrasts herself with Shallan and refers to her with scorn]

...

She watched the crowds while idly spinning her knife in her fingers. Veil liked watching people. That she shared with Shallan. It was good to know how the two of them were different, but it was also good to know what they had in common.

Veil wasn’t a true loner. She needed people. Yes, she scammed them on occasion, but she wasn’t a thief. She was a lover of experience. She was at her best in a crowded market, watching, thinking, enjoying.

Now Radiant… Radiant could take people or leave them. They were a tool, but also a nuisance. How could they so often act against their own best interests? The world would be a better place if they’d all simply do what Radiant said. Barring that, they could at least leave her alone.

Veil flipped her knife up and caught it. Radiant and Veil shared efficiency. They liked seeing things done well, in the right way. They didn’t suffer fools, though Veil could laugh at them, while Radiant simply ignored them. [This doesn't strike me as someone comparing roles for acting. If you're method acting to play Veil, you don't compare them to how your other roles would act, you spend you time thinking how Veil would act. She's thinking of Veil as a distinct person, perceiving her as a person.]

...

Veil ran, heedless of the danger. This thing might be able to hurt her— but the mystery was the greater threat. She needed to know these secrets.

Shallan skidded around a corner, then barreled down the next tunnel. She managed to follow the broken piece of shadow, but she couldn’t quite catch it.

The chase led her deeper into the far reaches of the tower’s ground floor, to areas barely explored, where the tunnels grew increasingly confusing. The air smelled of old things. Of dust and stone left alone for ages. The strata danced on the walls, the speed of her run making them seem to twist around her like threads in a loom.

The thing dropped to all fours, light from Shallan’s glow reflecting off its coal skin. It ran, frantic, until it hit a turn in the tunnel ahead and squeezed into a hole in the wall, two feet wide, near the floor.

Radiant dropped to her knees, spotting the thing as it wriggled out the other side of the hole. Not that thick, she thought, standing. “Pattern!” she demanded, thrusting her hand to the side.

She attacked the wall with her Shardblade, slicing chunks free, dropping them to the floor with a clatter. The strata ran all the way through the stone, and the pieces she carved off had a forlorn, broken beauty to them. [This is the critical part here. She's infused with Stormlight in this chase, I've cut that, but she's referred to as Veil, then she's going to need Pattern. She drops to Shallan in the narration, then to Radiant. She has to perceive herself differently and use stormlight in order to avoid the pain from her ideals.]

 

 

 

 

So to summarize my comments inside the quotes, she is comparing her own personality in character with other personalities and has to transition through Shallan to get to Radiant.  Since it affects her internal narration, we obviously can infer that this is coming from her internal perceptions of herself, and her contact and influence over bluth began, as @Alderant points out, wiht Jasnah teaching Shallan the importance of self-perception and image and the power it conveys. That's because it's fundamentally important to this type of magic if I'm correct about where we have seen if before and who we have seen use it. Warbreaker Spoilers:

 

Spoiler

. "How do you keep yourself from looking like a Returned?"

"That's my secret," he said, not looking at her. "Though you should have figured out that Returned can change their forms."

She raised an eyebrow.

"You've got Returned blood in you," he said. "The royal line. Where do you think that ability to change your hair color comes from?"

"Does that mean I can change more than just my hair?""Maybe," he said. "Takes time to learn. Go stroll around the Hallandren Court of the Gods sometime, though. You'll find that the Gods look exactly as they think they should. The old ones look old, the heroic ones become strong, the ones who think a Goddess should be beautiful become unnaturally voluptuous. It's all about how they perceive themselves."

Warbreaker, Epilogue

 

I think that Shallan's combination of Lightweaving and Soulcasting is triggered by both her artistic abilities in her drawing and her leadership qualities taught by Jasnah, and this triggers a magical effect similar to that we've seen before in the spoiler tag. 

Quote

So she lied. She insisted that she wasn’t afraid. She was committed. She’d always been that way. She would continue that way forever.

Power could be an illusion of perception. Even within yourself.

OB Chapter 30

 

Alright, rip me to pieces! :P

Edited by Fifth of Daybreak
10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like it. Soulcasting seems to be related to changing an Identity and then changing reality to fit the new Identity. Indeed, that is very much what Shallan is doing.

Shame I'm out of upvotes already.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

I like it. Soulcasting seems to be related to changing an Identity and then changing reality to fit the new Identity. Indeed, that is very much what Shallan is doing.

Shame I'm out of upvotes already.

Here, have one of mine...oh wait.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

I like it. Soulcasting seems to be related to changing an Identity and then changing reality to fit the new Identity. Indeed, that is very much what Shallan is doing.

Shame I'm out of upvotes already.

I think you hit the nail on the head. Soulcasting involves how an object identifies/sees itself, and affects a change on that object's Identity. The changes in the physical realm (as we've seen with Shai) are merely reflectation of that change in the cognitive realm.

1 hour ago, Fifth of Daybreak said:

Theory: Shallan is able to do some sort of combination of soulcasting and lightweaving to change people's perceptions of themselves, allowing a magical transformation which can alter who they are. 

I think the refinements you've made to this theory are quite in line with what I was saying. My point wasn't that the combination of the magic was impossible, but rather that the magic was not the source of the changes. And I think, given the recent additions to Shallan's dialogue, your theory has merit.

I don't actually disagree with a lot of this. Thank you for posting this, by the way. You gave me an inlet for a of thoughts I had when reading the chapters:

Quote

She watched the crowds while idly spinning her knife in her fingers. Veil liked watching people. That she shared with Shallan. It was good to know how the two of them were different, but it was also good to know what they had in common.

I can see how you could argue that Shallan/Veil is referring to two people, rather than to herself. However, this isn't actually outside the realm of "method acting" (which you referenced). Method acting (which is a different technique to achieve the same goal to what I was talking about in the other thread) is actually very similar to what Shallan is doing by "going deeper". Method actors don't just debate how a character would think and perceive in their mind, they wholeheartedly jump into the role and for a time actually live as if they were that person. Which is exactly what Shallan has started doing since the "going deeper" comment.

What I see going on here is that Veil is comparing "personas" at this point--kind of like weighing the pros and cons of who she is. We actually see her do the same with Radiant, but I just don't read this as being two separate people. I read this as comparing her personas, which she's done since she started adopting them. Lies and truth. Truth and lies. How these personas are her, and aren't.

However, I will submit that stormlight is perhaps augmenting that effort in a rather unexpected way, and combined with her mental avoidance issues (running to these personas to avoid dealing with the pain), she is losing herself--which is a point I've made: that she's trying to destroy "Shallan" in her efforts to avoid the pain. That's partially indicated in the text:

Quote

Shallan. She was Shallan again—innocent, lively Shallan. Quick with a quip, even when nobody wanted to hear it. Earnest, but sometimes over-eager. She could be that person.

That’s you, a part of her cried as she adopted the persona. That’s the real you. Isn’t it? Why do you have to paint that face over another?

...

She didn’t attack like the prim, excitable girl who had been trained by cautious Vorin society. (notice here she refers to the light-eyed noble version of herself in much the same way she refers to Veil and Radiant.)

The above quoted text is split as it is because it reinforces a point I've made before: That "Shallan the bright-eyed lady" is a persona meant to guard against the pain of Shallan, the child. I will go into this more upon request, but it's a tangent to the main topic here.

1 hour ago, Fifth of Daybreak said:

[This is the critical part here. She's infused with Stormlight in this chase, I've cut that, but she's referred to as Veil, then she's going to need Pattern. She drops to Shallan in the narration, then to Radiant. She has to perceive herself differently and use stormlight in order to avoid the pain from her ideals.]

What's interesting to me here is that the reversion to Shallan doesn't seem to be intentional. If you notice, she actually switches between Veil and Shallan three times once things start going down, before switching to Radiant:

Quote

Veil followed, heart beating violently, Stormlight raging within her.

...

“Where?” Shallan asked. (first)

...

Veil ran, heedless of the danger. (second)

...

Shallan skidded around a corner (third)

...

Radiant dropped to her knees, spotting the thing as it wriggled out the other side of the hole. Not that thick, she thought, standing. “Pattern!” she demanded, thrusting her hand to the side.

Now, up until Shallan began using stormlight, she was maintaining the Veil persona pretty deeply. Indeed, all of your mention about persona analysis (my term) occurs prior to this. However, what is interesting here is that once she starts using stormlight, her personas become harder to maintain a hold on. Radiant's use came after she discovered the thing dive into a hole in the stone--which means Shardblade, and that means Radiant. And if "Shallan the light-eyes" is indeed a persona, and not Shallan's core, then our previous debate regarding stormlight and the personas takes on a new light, and might actually reinforce your theory.

Once she enters the fight with Re-Shephir, she seems to become more grounded, and actually addresses her pain (which is a huge step!):

Quote

Shallan clasped her hands before herself, and the Patternblade formed in her palms. She twisted it in a sweaty grip, falling into the dueling stance Adolin had been teaching her.

Holding it immediately brought pain. Not the screaming of a dead spren. Pain inside. The pain of an Ideal sworn, but not yet overcome.

This calls to a later passage during the cognitive battle with Re-Shephir:

Quote

She didn’t attack like the prim, excitable girl who had been trained by cautious Vorin society. She attacked like the frenzied child who had murdered her mother. The cornered woman who had stabbed Tyn through the chest. She drew upon the part of her that hated the way everyone assumed she was so nice, so sweet. The part of her that hated being described as diverting or clever.

...

Realization washed over her—the understanding that this thing was going to know her completely, discover each and every one of her secrets.

Her ferocity and determination wavered; her commitment began to seep away.

So she lied. She insisted that she wasn’t afraid. She was committed. She’d always been that way. She would continue that way forever.

Power could be an illusion of perception. Even within yourself.

Notice in this segment that for the first time Shallan takes the aspects of both Veil and Radiant, but uses them as herself

Quote

Shallan wove Light, and a version of Radiant appeared near Renarin. The creatures attacked it, leaving Renarin for a moment—unfortunately, most of her illusions had fallen, collapsing into Stormlight as they were disrupted again and again. She could have kept them going, she thought, with more practice.

Instead, she wove versions of herself. Young and old, confident and frightened. A dozen different Shallans. With a shock, she realized that several were pictures she’d lost, self-portraits she’d practiced with a mirror, as Dandos the Oilsworn had insisted was vital for an aspiring artist.

Some of her selves cowered; others fought. For a moment Shallan lost herself, and she even let Veil appear among them. She was those women, those girls, every one of them. And none of them were her. They were things she used, manipulated. Illusions.

So I respectfully submit this idea that runs alongside your theory (again, if anyone wants a more fully analysed theory, ask and I'll get it up on the forums at a later date):

Child-Shallan, after murdering her mother, created a persona to avoid all of the trauma and mental anguish. This persona eventually became the "Shallan" that everyone met and interacted with. As Shallan begins to dive into more personas, augmented through a combination of the illumination and transformation surges, she begins to lose her sense of self, as she is not grounded in who she really is, but the fight with Re-Shephir causes her to become more grounded.

(I'm sorry if my thoughts are disjunct. I'm tired and not at my best.)

Finally, @Fifth of Daybreak, @Leyrann have some cookies!

Spoiler

maxresdefault.jpg

Edit: @Fifth of Daybreak Could you put the beginning text inside a quote to more easily differentiate what is from Oathbringer, what's from a Fifth of Daybreak fanfic ;), and what's from your theory?

Edited by Alderant
7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Alderant said:

Finally, @Fifth of Daybreak, @Leyrann have some cookies!

  Reveal hidden contents

Ooooh! Is that white chocolate in those cookies?

*yummie*

(also, great post you wrote. Again, shame I'm out of upvotes, but I might give this thread a special visit tomorrow)

Edited by Leyrann
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While your idea isn't outside the realm of possibility with the magic systems, as you've shown, a lot of you evidence hinges on her personas, and I'm of the opinion that she is legitimately just loosing her mind, and there doesn't need to be a cosmere-aware explanation for it. That's just my thoughts though, and I wouldn't be too surprised to be wrong

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 

I think it has to do with the philosophical implications of the Radiants. 

Shallan uses Illumination and Transformation. So she Illuminates what one could be, and inspires transformation of that person. I've always gotten the vibe that Shallan's order will have a lot to do with hope. She brought hope to her brothers, to her slavers, etc. The greatest "lie" is hope. 

Kaladin uses Gravitation and Adhesion. He draws men to him and keeps them together as his squires, elevating them beyond what they would normally be.  

Renarin we haven't seen much of, but so far from his healing of Adolin, he seems to Illuminate truth, or the Ideal truth of what someone could be, and cause Progression through that. The truth setting free and such. 

From what we've heard of Elsecallers, they seem to do a lot with the spren. So maybe Transformation through travel, like the Worldsingers. Helping humans and spren understand each other by being a go between. 

Skybreakers are said to be able to tell when someone's guilty. So perhaps they Gravitate others together and Divide into guilty and innocent? 

Anyway, it's just a theory I've had for a while and kind of thought about from time to time. 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Gigalemesh said:

While your idea isn't outside the realm of possibility with the magic systems, as you've shown, a lot of you evidence hinges on her personas, and I'm of the opinion that she is legitimately just loosing her mind, and there doesn't need to be a cosmere-aware explanation for it. That's just my thoughts though, and I wouldn't be too surprised to be wrong

Ehhh....it's not that she's losing her mind, per se, as much as it is she's losing her sense of self. Grief and trauma do funny things to people. Some run from it (like Shallan), some drown in it (like Kaladin), some become hard because of it (like Kelsier), others become soft because of it (like Vivenna). Note I don't mean soft as in "weak", but rather soft as in "pliable".

And here is some ground here for a cosmere-aware explanation--considering the nature of how the magic systems are granted involves someone's soul developing "cracks". But I usually choose to ascribe it as effectation, rather than causation.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Alderant said:

 Could you put the beginning text inside a quote to more easily differentiate what is from Oathbringer, what's from a Fifth of Daybreak fanfic ;), and what's from your theory?

Urgh! My cpu had a small rebellious moment with the copy paste. That wasn't supposed to be there at all. 

 

46 minutes ago, Alderant said:

Once she enters the fight with Re-Shephir, she seems to become more grounded, and actually addresses her pain (which is a huge step!):

Yeah, I think she took a huge step toward solving everything in this chapter.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Alderant said:

Ehhh....it's not that she's losing her mind, per se, as much as it is she's losing her sense of self. Grief and trauma do funny things to people. Some run from it (like Shallan), some drown in it (like Kaladin), some become hard because of it (like Kelsier), others become soft because of it (like Vivenna). Note I don't mean soft as in "weak", but rather soft as in "pliable".

And here is some ground here for a cosmere-aware explanation--considering the nature of how the magic systems are granted involves someone's soul developing "cracks". But I usually choose to ascribe it as effectation, rather than causation.

Maybe my wording was insensitive, I struggle myself with mental health so I realise it's a sensitive topic and I didn't mean to be flippant about it. My point was merely that there doesn't have to be a magical explanation, there could just be a psychological one.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Gigalemesh said:

Maybe my wording was insensitive, I struggle myself with mental health so I realise it's a sensitive topic and I didn't mean to be flippant about it. My point was merely that there doesn't have to be a magical explanation, there could just be a psychological one.

Oh don't worry on my account, I deal with a form of it as well. :)

And I'm actually agreeing with you. This is a point I make frequently--a lot of people are quick to ascribe a magical explanation for the problems a character goes through because the magic systems are just so fascinating. I tend to think the other way--that these stories would play out much the same way without the magic system, and that the magic system is augmentative to the problems at hand, rather than the cause of those problems. Take Shallan for example--is her identity crisis the result of her use of the magic system, or is it the result of something already present that the magic system is magnifying? I look at it as the latter, some look at it as the former. From the sounds of it, you think of it as the latter as well.

Edited by Alderant
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Alderant said:

Oh don't worry on my account, I deal with a form of it as well. :)

And I'm actually agreeing with you. This is a point I make frequently--a lot of people are quick to ascribe a magical explanation for the problems a character goes through because the magic systems are just so fascinating. I tend to think the other way--that these stories would play out much the same way without the magic system, but rather the magic system is augmentative to the problems at hand, rather than the cause of those problems. Take Shallan for example--is her identity crisis the result of her use of the magic system, or is it the result of something already present that the magic system is magnifying? I look at it as the latter, some look at it as the former. From the sounds of it, you think of it as the latter as well.

Aha I see what you're saying, and yes I definitely do agree with you 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Fifth of Daybreak said:

Urgh! My cpu had a small rebellious moment with the copy paste. That wasn't supposed to be there at all. 

Ahaha. I hate it when that happens. :lol:

14 minutes ago, Fifth of Daybreak said:

Yeah, I think she took a huge step toward solving everything in this chapter.

Can we just phrase it like this instead?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Gigalemesh said:

While your idea isn't outside the realm of possibility with the magic systems, as you've shown, a lot of you evidence hinges on her personas, and I'm of the opinion that she is legitimately just loosing her mind, and there doesn't need to be a cosmere-aware explanation for it. That's just my thoughts though, and I wouldn't be too surprised to be wrong

I think, actually, that we should look for a Cosmere-related explanation for what has been happening to Shallan. I've recently been working on creating a theory in order to explain all different kinds of magic, and I think I have a reasonable idea what Transformation (Soulcasting) does on an elementary level. Basically, every single thing there is has an Identity (the bead in Shadesmar), and if you Soulcast, you pressure an Identity with Investiture until it budges and changes, and your Investiture additionally changes reality to fit that. Now, if this is indeed what Shallan has been doing to her own Identity, allowing her to so effectively become someone like Veil (seriously, you're not gonna be able to stab your own hand without screaming just because of some method acting), then it stands to reason, that every time she changes her Identity, that Identity is a little less clear. Every next time, the Investiture needed to convince the Identity to change is lower, until at some point the Identity doesn't know which one is 'real' anymore.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

I think, actually, that we should look for a Cosmere-related explanation for what has been happening to Shallan. I've recently been working on creating a theory in order to explain all different kinds of magic, and I think I have a reasonable idea what Transformation (Soulcasting) does on an elementary level. Basically, every single thing there is has an Identity (the bead in Shadesmar), and if you Soulcast, you pressure an Identity with Investiture until it budges and changes, and your Investiture additionally changes reality to fit that. Now, if this is indeed what Shallan has been doing to her own Identity, allowing her to so effectively become someone like Veil (seriously, you're not gonna be able to stab your own hand without screaming just because of some method acting), then it stands to reason, that every time she changes her Identity, that Identity is a little less clear. Every next time, the Investiture needed to convince the Identity to change is lower, until at some point the Identity doesn't know which one is 'real' anymore.

That all makes sense, and provides a reasonable magic-based explanation, it doesn't necessarily prove there has to be a magic based solution though. She isn't actually using Soulcasting at all that we have seen, just lightweaving, so we can't say for certain she has been meddling with her identity, though as I've said it's certainly possible. But I still feel there doesn't need to be a magical explanation just because there could be one

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

Now, if this is indeed what Shallan has been doing to her own Identity, allowing her to so effectively become someone like Veil (seriously, you're not gonna be able to stab your own hand without screaming just because of some method acting), then it stands to reason, that every time she changes her Identity, that Identity is a little less clear. Every next time, the Investiture needed to convince the Identity to change is lower, until at some point the Identity doesn't know which one is 'real' anymore.

Not if she's accessing the same perception altering Cosmere skill set Zahel uses as I suggest in my OP.

Edited by Fifth of Daybreak
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Fifth of Daybreak said:

Not if she's accessing the same perception altering Cosmere skill set Zahel uses as I suggest in my OP.

I'm afraid I haven't finished Warbreaker yet. :(

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

I'm afraid I haven't finished Warbreaker yet. :(

Don't open the spoiler box and keep reading Warbreaker :D It's so good. Come back here when you're done and give me your opinion.

Edited by Fifth of Daybreak
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

I think, actually, that we should look for a Cosmere-related explanation for what has been happening to Shallan. I've recently been working on creating a theory in order to explain all different kinds of magic, and I think I have a reasonable idea what Transformation (Soulcasting) does on an elementary level. Basically, every single thing there is has an Identity (the bead in Shadesmar), and if you Soulcast, you pressure an Identity with Investiture until it budges and changes, and your Investiture additionally changes reality to fit that. Now, if this is indeed what Shallan has been doing to her own Identity, allowing her to so effectively become someone like Veil (seriously, you're not gonna be able to stab your own hand without screaming just because of some method acting), then it stands to reason, that every time she changes her Identity, that Identity is a little less clear. Every next time, the Investiture needed to convince the Identity to change is lower, until at some point the Identity doesn't know which one is 'real' anymore.

Interesting idea, though from what you've presented there are some holes you'll need to work through. Specifically, the stick. If Shallan could simply "force" a change by feeding it enough stormlight, then why didn't the stick change to fire? :D

In seriousness, however, your proposal hinges on the speculation that Shallan is actually using Soulcasting when she is Lightweaving. Granted, Fifth makes some compelling arguments that she may be, subconsciously, however there is not enough definitive proof within the text to declare that she is, as the text in question can be interpreted in many ways. We haven't seen, to date, any evidence of Soulcasting being a temporary process, which your theory would also have to account for, since the changes Shallan undergoes are temporary in nature. Also, Fifth's theory involves a being deliberately altering how their cognitive entity perceives itself, which is the point I made earlier about how Soulcasting works.

2 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

I'm afraid I haven't finished Warbreaker yet. :(

You are missing out, my friend.

As I mentioned above, fascinating magical systems often results in people ascribing everything to magic. This isn't Brandon's style of writing. His conflicts are organic in nature--they are about mundane, real-world things, not magical conflicts and feats (War of the Spider Queen, I'm looking at you right now). While magic is often the field, tool, and/or conduit whereby those conflicts take place, it's really important to keep in mind that the real conflict at hand is Shallan's mental struggle and identity crisis--not how she's using Lightweaving or Soulcasting.

I'm sorry if I come off as harsh. I don't mean to be, but sometimes I can be a bit brusque--nearly every person who knows me has told me that at one point. If I ruffled some feathers...I'm sorry. Really, it is an interesting theory. Have a cookie.

Spoiler

carousel2.png

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Alderant said:

Interesting idea, though from what you've presented there are some holes you'll need to work through. Specifically, the stick. If Shallan could simply "force" a change by feeding it enough stormlight, then why didn't the stick change to fire? :D

In seriousness, however, your proposal hinges on the speculation that Shallan is actually using Soulcasting when she is Lightweaving. Granted, Fifth makes some compelling arguments that she may be, subconsciously, however there is not enough definitive proof within the text to declare that she is, as the text in question can be interpreted in many ways. We haven't seen, to date, any evidence of Soulcasting being a temporary process, which your theory would also have to account for, since the changes Shallan undergoes are temporary in nature. Also, Fifth's theory involves a being deliberately altering how their cognitive entity perceives itself, which is the point I made earlier about how Soulcasting works.

You are missing out, my friend.

As I mentioned above, fascinating magical systems often results in people ascribing everything to magic. This isn't Brandon's style of writing. His conflicts are organic in nature--they are about mundane, real-world things, not magical conflicts and feats (War of the Spider Queen, I'm looking at you right now). While magic is often the field, tool, and/or conduit whereby those conflicts take place, it's really important to keep in mind that the real conflict at hand is Shallan's mental struggle and identity crisis--not how she's using Lightweaving or Soulcasting.

I'm sorry if I come off as harsh. I don't mean to be, but sometimes I can be a bit brusque--nearly every person who knows me has told me that at one point. If I ruffled some feathers...I'm sorry. Really, it is an interesting theory. Have a cookie.

To the first part (I have no idea how to split posts, sorry): I'm not convinced either way myself, I am merely proposing something that could be happening. I'm afraid that, without a deeper understanding of what is happening to Shallan's Identity (be it caused by magic or not), we cannot say for sure. That said, the magic goes deep. Right now, no joke, I am finishing up on a theory that derives the electromagnetic force from the Three Realms system.

As for the Soulcasting being temporary, I assumed that, if this theory is correct, Shallan also Soulcasts herself back. This would actually give a way to test the theory, however, as, if the Soulcasting variant is correct, she'd be "stuck" being Veil if her Stormlight ran out, even though she'd look like Shallan.

And yes, I'm working on Warbreaker. It's just... Ever since I got ahold of Realmatic Theory it's hard to spend my free time on anything else.

Also, no worries, you don't come off as harsh to me.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

As for the Soulcasting being temporary, I assumed that, if this theory is correct, Shallan also Soulcasts herself back.

It's more that she's changing her innate perception of herself which allows her magical abilities to make the change, once she changes how she views herself, she no longer has that trigger point, and the change reverts. That concentrated and held perception, that she's different than she is, acts as a sort of internal mental soulstamp.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Fifth of Daybreak said:

It's more that she's changing her innate perception of herself which allows her magical abilities to make the change, once she changes how she views herself, she no longer has that trigger point, and the change reverts. That concentrated and held perception, that she's different than she is, acts as a sort of internal mental soulstamp.

(I also haven't yet read The Emperor's Soul, by the way)

Okay. While writing a reply I actually got convinced that it isn't caused by Soulcasting. Soulcasting very much is a permanent change. However, it also changes the physical form of someone. Shallan, quite clearly, has not done this. In the theory I'm in the process of writing, I've established that Identity is created by a combination of the Spiritual (through Connection) and the Physical Realm. It is, however, also related to how a consciousness views itself, and if this view changes, so does Identity. However, if this consciousness is not imprinting it's view on the Identity, then the Identity is related only to what it is told to be by the Spiritual and Physical Realms, so it automatically swaps back to 'normal'.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

(I have no idea how to split posts, sorry)

You go up to the part that you want to quote, specifically, and highlight it with your mouse. It will pop up with a little black box that says "Quote this". Click it, and you get the above. :)

14 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

That said, the magic goes deep. Right now, no joke, I am finishing up on a theory that derives the electromagnetic force from the Three Realms system.

Interesting. Tag me in it when you post it so I can read it without having to look for it.

14 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

As for the Soulcasting being temporary, I assumed that, if this theory is correct, Shallan also Soulcasts herself back. This would actually give a way to test the theory, however, as, if the Soulcasting variant is correct, she'd be "stuck" being Veil if her Stormlight ran out, even though she'd look like Shallan.

This is exactly what I'm talking about. It's too convoluted to make sense. Magical conflicts get messy, very quickly, because a magical conflict usually requires magic to solve. And that can leave readers with a very "Deus ex Machina" feel to it that makes the entire novel sour. Like I said, this isn't Brandon's style of writing. However, he does frequently use the magic systems as a conduit whereby the real "organic" conflict can take place, such as Kaladin's internal conflict in WoR over Elhokar.

EDIT: Nice! Way to be adaptable.

8 minutes ago, Fifth of Daybreak said:

It's more that she's changing her innate perception of herself which allows her magical abilities to make the change, once she changes how she views herself, she no longer has that trigger point, and the change reverts. That concentrated and held perception, that she's different than she is, acts as a sort of internal mental soulstamp.

The difference is just whether you believe that change is magical or mental in nature... ;)

2 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

However, if this consciousness is not imprinting it's view on the Identity, then the Identity is related only to what it is told to be by the Spiritual and Physical Realms, so it automatically swaps back to 'normal'.

This confuses me a little bit. What do you mean?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've recently posted some thoughts on this subject here:

A few extra thoughts: The Surge of Transformation quite possibly extends beyond the Cognitive Realm - it's almost certainly not "just" Soulcasting. If it can also reach the Spiritual Realm as well then a lot of possible effects would make sense - and if it doesn't then they become hard to explain.

I think when Shallan dons a persona she combines the Illumination and Transformation Surges together as a temporary layer - both visually and spiritually. So unlike Soulcasting the effect is not permanent and when the Stormlight runs out or the magic is dispelled then both effects drop at the same time.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Alderant said:

The difference is just whether you believe that change is magical or mental in nature... ;)

Words of Brandon on the subject seem pretty definitive, but I think that your arguments were absolutely convincing and that your ideas on perception are crucial to this and instrumental in making the magic work which is why I was even cued into the Warbreker tie. 

Quote

QUESTION

My first question is about Shallan and whether what she does with her drawings and the deserters in Words of Radiance, kind of changing them, at all similar to what Shai does in The Emperor’s Soul?

BRANDON SANDERSON

Umm, that’s a good question. There are similarities, but only in that The Emperor’s Soul is cosmere and is relying on the same foundation of magic. But good question. [...] somebody do it before. So you have seen what she does before, but that is not what I was pointing at. No one is going to expect it.

 

Edited by Fifth of Daybreak
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.