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Naerin

[OB] What is it about the Kholins?

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So this is just an open question, to see if anyone has theories or knows of WoB that pertain to this. 

It's been bugging me for a while now how, for lack of a better term, special the Kholins seem to be. To my knowledge, becoming a Knight Radiant is not a matter of genetics (again, unless there's a WoB somewhere about this). This makes sense given how the magic system is essentially sentient; the spren choose the humans they bond with, and I don't think there has been any mention of them being limited by or drawn to different bloodlines. 

So why the Kholin's??? Dalinar is a Bondsmith, Renarin is a Truthwatcher, Jasnah is an Elsecaller. Elhokar describes seeing Cryptics in WoK (and keeps making obvious references to searching for the pattern of how things work, in both books - it is actually a defining, and very whiny, character trait), implying that he at least has the potenital to be a Lightweaver (maybe he is or was on some kind of shortlist of candidates :P). Beyond that, before Dalinar was chosen by the Stormfather to receive Honor's video diary, it is heavily implied that it was shown to Gavilar first. It is mentioned that he told Taravangian just before his death that he had visions about the Almighty and a storm. 

So yeah, that's a lot! Of the six Kholin's we've seen in the books (not counting Navani, since she is Kholin by - double! - marriage), five are either Knights Radiant or in some way special. No real theory on my part yet, still thinking it over, but it strikes me as very odd and I'm wondering if anyone has a theory or WoB to help shed light on this. 

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I think a lot of what we've seen so far has been filtered through those eyes, so that brings those names to the forefront.  We never even met T's radiant until she met the Kholins.  There is also the fact that a lot of the spren politics seem to be involved and the spren societies chose who would be bonded.  It kind of makes sense for them to pick the son of the king of the ost, powerful nation or the son of the  kings brother who kind of usurped leadership.  As individuals Jasnah seems to be known as the foremost researcher/scholar/smart person on the planet.  Gavilar was self made king of the most powerful nation, and by all accounts an exceptional individual.  We recently found out that The Stormfather was under certain instructions on who to pick as Bondsmith.  Dalinar checks all the same boxes his brother did once he came to power. 

 

Pluus I do think we had a in book quote or a WOB or something that it does tend to run in families or something.

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57 minutes ago, Naerin said:

It's been bugging me for a while now how, for lack of a better term, special the Kholins seem to be.

From Arcanum searching "family+radiant": https://wob.coppermind.net/basic_search/?query=family%2Bradiant

Quote

Questioner

Why are there so many Kholins that are Radiants?  

Brandon Sanderson

There is a story reason, kind of. So the Kholin family is in Alethkar, which was the hereditary...one of the homes of the Knights Radiant.  It’s still kind of in the forefront of the, how shall we say, collective unconscious and things like this.  Plus there’s...  

Questioner

And then they are on the forefront of that.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. I mean... yeah. And so the spren, some of them are naturally looking for where a lot of Radiants used to be. So it’s just a higher concentration of spren around the area, if that makes sense?

Quote

Questioner

Is being a Knight Radiant at all genetic? Because you have Jasnah, Dalinar, and Renarin in the same family.

Brandon Sanderson

It is not genetic, however… Um… Families or people close to one another are more likely. It’s not genetic. So for instance, if everyone were adopted it would still have the same prevalence.

Questioner

Okay, fascinating!

Questioner

[interruption hard to hear]

Brandon Sanderson

Well, there are a couple of reasons for that. One is which, attracting the attention of a spren can mean that other spren are paying attention to that area. There are also things in the Cosmere (the shared universe of them) where people are connected spiritually. Um… and that’s part of the magic as well. So… You are more likely to become a Radiant if you know a Radiant.

 

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I can see what you're talking about. It does feel a bit too much "Keeping Up With the Kholins".

I don't think that I would enjoy every Kholin character being "Special". It feels more real if a few of them are too flawed for Radiance. Maybe Elhokar heads back to Kholinar and makes a hash of things, and perhaps one of the other Kholins will kill their spren similar to how Kaladin nearly did. I'm sure Brandon will smooth this out as his world gets bigger and introduces more characters.

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The Kholins are messed up but stubborn. Dalinar's well and truly broken(and used to be an awful person). Renarin has huge issues. Jasnah has made comments that suggest she was abused. Leadership breaks people. Responsibility breaks people. Power breaks people. Find strong people in those situations and you'll find people with the right cracks in their soul for a spren to fill. 

Add that up with the WoB and you get a good explanation. 

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Two thoughts:

1. It may be that they were simply very visible to the Spren due to Gavilars involvement with the stormfather. Aka, Gavilar gains the stormfather attention by uniting an entire country and thus his family members come to the attention of the stormfather as well. The stormfather, or Spren with some connection to him then notices that several members of this family have strong radiant qualities as well.

 

2. It's a family trait. Not that I'm saying radiant is in the blood, but rather it is not uncommon for one exceptional person to have an exceptional family. Gavilar and Dalinar are exceptional people so it shouldn't be a surprise that they have produced a handful of exceptional offspring. The attributes which make them generically viable candidates to become Knights Radiant are likely to have been genetically passed on or nurtured into their children

 

I'm thinking a combination of the two.

 

Edit: you guys are quick on the draw!

Edited by Asrael
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