Chaos

[OB] Interlude 3!

161 posts in this topic

4 minutes ago, StormingTexan said:

Well there goes that. Couldn’t remeber for sure. 

@maxal so I think a lot of us thought she was a Proto-Radiant but I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how she would have had a Nahel bond and have been bonded by the storm spren (or what ever it’s called). The only proof we have that she could have a Nahel Bond is a spren around her. I just can’t see how she wouldn’t have talked about it in her POV before she transformed and for sure can’t see her forming a Nahel Bond after she transformed. I agree it’s weird the spren was around her and possible it was attempting to bond with her but I would think even if she had been bond transforming would have been a bad thing for this. Of course we really don’t know anything about listeners becoming Radiants except the WoB stating people on Roshar would think it’s impossible. 

 

I will just say this. If we see Eshonai walking around in the PR on Roshar I will never believe another death again in SA. 

 Until Dalinar gets ripped in half by a Thundeclast. Whoops. 

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The fact that the evil spren mentions that he obeys the Listener Ancestors makes me think that Eshonai will become one of the Ancestors too. That way, she remains "dead", but she still has an impact on the story, and we can see viewpoints of what she does in the Cognitive Realm in the next book. 

Or maybe she is still alive. I don't know, but I can't wait to find out. 

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9 hours ago, Darvys said:

How does that fit with lending your blade to others for practice ? Elhokar spends his days focusing on maintaining his blades formed ? That would explain much in a way.

I always assumed the challenge was in conveying your will to the blade, and once that was accomplished you would only need to send a command to dispel it or summon it back when you needed to.

After checking, it looks like you're right. I just read Kaladin thought concerning Shallan lending him Pattern during the chasmfiend fight.

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Okay, this chapter was a whirlwind for me. I listened to about the first ten minutes on the way to a dance rehearsal, then was forced to stop. I spent the first half of that rehearsal freaking out. Eshonai is one of my favorite characters, and I have always been a strong supporter of the Willshaper Eshonai theory. Killing her now makes no narrative sense. You have a deeply sympathetic character who is ingrained enough in the lore of the series to have a prologue POV and flashback chapters. She has a strongly tragic backstory and a sister who is obviously the villain to her hero. You establish that she is an incredibly strong-willed person, fighting her possession from the inside, that she has a spren who happens to be near her multiple times, and the descriptions of Willshapers sound like they were written about her. And the result of all of this is that she destroys her people then dies in between books by being kicked into a chasm during a Highstorm by a secondary protagonist. That seemed like a betrayal of a character I had so quickly come to love. But I knew that people were all up in arms about the fake Jasnah and Szeth deaths, and that Brandon explicitly said he regretted making Jasnah's death so convincing, so having Eshonai live, while being what I would prefer, wasn't exactly a great option either. So yeah, I was upset and really pissed.

Then I listened to the last 3 minutes during a break and it all fell into place. The chapter is from Venli's POV- of course she has to be sure that Eshonai is dead, so she can leave her alone and take her shards. But the spren is as clear a sign that Brandon can give (without tipping Venli off) that Eshonai will survive. Why put that scene in there if that was not his intent? The spren plus the spent gems on the Shardplate (has someone been taking in Stormlight?) are pretty big signs that Eshonai is a Radiant for people who like to pay attention to things like that. And we know from Kaladin and Jasnah that a Radiant can come back from literally the brink of death if they have Stormlight. I don't think twists like fake-out deaths are bad if you clearly have the foreshadowing there, so perceptive readers can go, "Oh yeah, that makes sense!" That's where Brandon went wrong with Jasnah, but the groundwork for Eshonai is all there. So yeah, I have hope this will all work out.

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35 minutes ago, kiapet said:

Killing her now makes no narrative sense. You have a deeply sympathetic character who is ingrained enough in the lore of the series to have a prologue POV and flashback chapters. She has a strongly tragic backstory and a sister who is obviously the villain to her hero. You establish that she is an incredibly strong-willed person, fighting her possession from the inside, that she has a spren who happens to be near her multiple times, and the descriptions of Willshapers sound like they were written about her. And the result of all of this is that she destroys her people then dies in between books by being kicked into a chasm during a Highstorm by a secondary protagonist. That seemed like a betrayal of a character I had so quickly come to love.

Actually, killing Eshonai could make excellent narrative sense, if you step back and look at the narrative from a broader perspective. This is a classic George R.R. Martin trick - make a character appear central to the apparent narrative arc, make you get attached to them, and then kill them off just when you thought things were getting interesting. It's a great trick because it makes the reader realise that the no one character is entirely essential to the events unfolding in the world, and the reader can't fall back on the safe assumption that narrative convention will protect their favourite characters. The narrative moves on, but it isn't necessarily tied to a small set of individual character arcs - rather, it is passed like a torch from character to character as they play their part. 

As many people have already pointed out, including @kiapet in the quote above, Eshonai was a perfect character - one that both the readers, and Venli herself, had huge faith in. The very fact that so many people were certain that she was going to be a Willshaper, and the fact that Venli believed she would always be there to keep her in line, and even the fact that Ulim thought she'd eventually break out of Stormform, all show why her death is such a powerful narrative turning point. For us readers, our assumptions about how the Listeners might break out from the influence of the voidbringers have to be reconsidered. But most importantly, for Venli, Eshonai's death may have given her the nudge she needed to realise the mistake she has made, and escape stormform herself. From the narrative perspective, Eshonai was the perfect hero and sister, so that her death could have the power to propel the other characters around her to action and transformation. Thus the Listener's narrative torch is passed from Eshonai to Venli, who may seem far less qualified to be the hero we pictured, but could nevertheless be the one we cheer for in the end. 

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2 hours ago, Varion said:

Actually, killing Eshonai could make excellent narrative sense, if you step back and look at the narrative from a broader perspective. This is a classic George R.R. Martin trick - make a character appear central to the apparent narrative arc, make you get attached to them, and then kill them off just when you thought things were getting interesting. It's a great trick because it makes the reader realise that the no one character is entirely essential to the events unfolding in the world, and the reader can't fall back on the safe assumption that narrative convention will protect their favourite characters. The narrative moves on, but it isn't necessarily tied to a small set of individual character arcs - rather, it is passed like a torch from character to character as they play their part. 

As many people have already pointed out, including @kiapet in the quote above, Eshonai was a perfect character - one that both the readers, and Venli herself, had huge faith in. The very fact that so many people were certain that she was going to be a Willshaper, and the fact that Venli believed she would always be there to keep her in line, and even the fact that Ulim thought she'd eventually break out of Stormform, all show why her death is such a powerful narrative turning point. For us readers, our assumptions about how the Listeners might break out from the influence of the voidbringers have to be reconsidered. But most importantly, for Venli, Eshonai's death may have given her the nudge she needed to realise the mistake she has made, and escape stormform herself. From the narrative perspective, Eshonai was the perfect hero and sister, so that her death could have the power to propel the other characters around her to action and transformation. Thus the Listener's narrative torch is passed from Eshonai to Venli, who may seem far less qualified to be the hero we pictured, but could nevertheless be the one we cheer for in the end. 

My problem with this is that Brandon Sanderson has said repeatedly that he is not George R.R. Martin. There is a place for a narrative where anyone can die and deaths are sudden and shocking. The Stormlight Archive isn't that type of series, or at least it hasn't been in the past. The Stormlight Archive is a series about heroes, where ordinary people who persevere through the worst of circumstances are empowered to become paragons to others. Eshonai really seemed like she was being set up to be that hero for the remaining Parshendi. In my opinion, to deliberately set her up like that and then abruptly kill her off for shock value doesn't align with SA's tone and message, and honestly it would erode my faith in the series more than another fake-out death. I am up for a Venli redemption arc, but it can just as easily happen with Eshonai secretly alive and otherwise occupied as with Eshonai dead.

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5 hours ago, kiapet said:

My problem with this is that Brandon Sanderson has said repeatedly that he is not George R.R. Martin. There is a place for a narrative where anyone can die and deaths are sudden and shocking. The Stormlight Archive isn't that type of series, or at least it hasn't been in the past. The Stormlight Archive is a series about heroes, where ordinary people who persevere through the worst of circumstances are empowered to become paragons to others. Eshonai really seemed like she was being set up to be that hero for the remaining Parshendi. In my opinion, to deliberately set her up like that and then abruptly kill her off for shock value doesn't align with SA's tone and message, and honestly it would erode my faith in the series more than another fake-out death. I am up for a Venli redemption arc, but it can just as easily happen with Eshonai secretly alive and otherwise occupied as with Eshonai dead.

Any series with this much violence has to have death. Otherwise it comes across as meaningless. The tone is still not GoT. There's less debauchery, less hate, and way less death. But at some point we have to lose a few good guys. And this series has been plenty dark. Look at the Bridge Runs. What we know of the desolations. If more characters die in the Bridge Runs than the next Desolation Brandon will have failed to live up to the stakes he's set. 

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I don't really think she's still alive but I suppose that she could have unbonded the blade. If it was a nahel spren that was interested in bonding with her perhaps it offered her assistance but told her she had to unbond the dead blade first? 

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52 minutes ago, Aminar said:

Any series with this much violence has to have death. Otherwise it comes across as meaningless. The tone is still not GoT. There's less debauchery, less hate, and way less death. But at some point we have to lose a few good guys. And this series has been plenty dark. Look at the Bridge Runs. What we know of the desolations. If more characters die in the Bridge Runs than the next Desolation Brandon will have failed to live up to the stakes he's set. 

I'm not saying no one should die, or even that major characters shouldn't die. I'm saying this shouldn't be the type of series to establish a character as likely major, make us care about and expect a lot out of them, then kill them in an ignominious manner after having them forced to betray everything they believed in. Character death should mean something, otherwise it becomes deeply unsatisfying, and all this death means to me is that a good and heroic person was used and tossed aside without being given a chance at redemption. I get if other people feel differently, but it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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18 hours ago, Dryone_2 said:

I don't think so. Eshonai lives!

Ah yes, the old "Dress a random corpse in my armor, weapons and gear so I can escape my problems undetected while violating all of my people's deeply held beliefs and taboos by manipulating said corpse" plan.  I totally see this working.

 

I had hoped Eshonai would live.  But I do not see any path to her survival in the physical realm.  The spren Ulim's comment about following the Listener ancestors, assuming it was not an outright lie, and assuming he is not following orders millenia out of date, would indicate the potential for listeners to live on after death in the cognitive.  But that is a couple og big ifs.  I wonder if there is a restriction on how that happens - why they would not pass into the beyond.  Or are they just closer to the cognitive realm than humans, and therefore can Hold on better?  Or do they never go to the beyond?  Does shardblade severing death prevent them from holding on in the cognitive?

 

We will see Eshonai's flashbacks, either through Venli's point of view, or possibly from her cognitive shadow?  But I do not think we will see her physically alive.

 

Crazy theory time:  We see a ton of butteryfly like life on Roshar - a lot of the life has many different stages that require pupation before a final form, sometimes two or more pupations (Chulls).  What if the higher forms of spren, the so-called true spren, are the final form of the listeners after death?  This would make the spren's betrayal of the listeners in the past so very relevant and interesting, right?

 

In other news, really, really hoping to find a package from Weller's books when I get home.  But not holding my breath either.  Meaning this is all based on pre-release info, and not anything from the book itself.

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34 minutes ago, kiapet said:

I'm not saying no one should die, or even that major characters shouldn't die. I'm saying this shouldn't be the type of series to establish a character as likely major, make us care about and expect a lot out of them, then kill them in an ignominious manner after having them forced to betray everything they believed in. Character death should mean something, otherwise it becomes deeply unsatisfying, and all this death means to me is that a good and heroic person was used and tossed aside without being given a chance at redemption. I get if other people feel differently, but it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I don't think you're remembering her death in the right context. She let a spen of Odium in. It coopted her body and put her in conflict with one of the best fighters the Alethi have. He killed her, freeing her from Odium's control. Otherwise she'd have been held by the enemy, slowly dying inside. This scene is just confirming the death we should have known happened. 

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