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[OB] Fourth Windrunner Ideal

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9 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Well, no, it does not. Kaladin was not asked to accept that he will fail protecting. That actually would be a gigantic hubris. He is not omnipotent and he knows it.

His problem was that his job was to attack people who deserved to be protected.

 

I think you've said multiple times that Kaladin is not omnipotent, and that is absolutely true. However, one of the main points of his characterisation is that he feels he should be. He feels that he should be able to save everyone, and can't accept that he is not living up to the obligation he feels he is under. 

Also, I think the Windrunners do not have as purely a black and white notion of sides as you imply, and in any case it would be inaccurate to compare them to real life militaries. It's been a little while since I read Oathbringer, but from memory it's all but explicitly stated that Kaladin's time with the singers meant that he had trouble distinguishing between who to protect (i.e. which side to take). Admittedly, there's a difference between 'Roshar vs Odium' and 'singers vs humans', but he is still conflicted between who to protect.

As for real world armed forces, the Windrunners are in an entirely different world and culture, even if you ignore the obvious fact that real world militaries aren't magically bound by oaths to protect/enforce law/whatever on pain of losing their superhuman powers. Plus, it just feels a little war-crimey to suggest that killing the enemy is 'desirable' in warfare.

For what it's worth, I used to be super on board with the idea that the Fourth Ideal was to do with having to 'make a conscious decision to save some at the expense of others' (whether that is killing them or letting them die/fend for themselves, the latter of which ties into other theories of letting others make their own choices), but I'm warming to the idea that it is to do with protecting himself so he can protect others in the future (similar to how rescue personnel won't put themselves in a position where they will add to the people who need rescuing).

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On 5/1/2020 at 11:46 PM, Blind Radiant said:

I think the fourth ideal will be something like, “I will let go of those I cannot save, even if those are the ones I cannot lose.”

It fits so perfectly, both with the situation in which Kaladin fails to say the words, and with the things that happened leading up to that moment. It also fits with Kaladin’s backstory and the ideas that truly matter to him. His past and persistent inability to let go of perceived failures would make it nearly impossible for him to say and mean these words. And so, he failed to say them, and will have to grow and begin healing from his past failures if he is ever to successfully speak the ideal with intent and meaning.

Alternatively, the fourth ideal could be something like, “I will learn to care, and when to let go.”

This thought is inspired by chapter 20 of The Way of Kings.

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I think that the fourth ideal is about realizing that we aren't infallible, that we can make mistakes. 

For Szeth and the Skybreakers, that means following someone. 

For the Windrunners, I think that it's an acknowledgement that "I can't save everyone but I'll persist nonetheless".

What do you think?

Edited by Redhawk317
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On 17/05/2020 at 8:03 AM, Redhawk317 said:

For the Windrunners, I think that it's an acknowledgement that "I can't save everyone but I'll persist nonetheless".

The gem archive states that one should not want to protect everybody due to the fourth oath.

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47 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

The gem archive states that one should not want to protect everybody due to the fourth oath.

I do not think that is an accurate way of thinking about it(otherwise ideal four would already have been sworn).

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1 hour ago, Karger said:

I do not think that is an accurate way of thinking about it(otherwise ideal four would already have been sworn).

Why? The oaths are not wholly independant. We are sure of that among the Windrunners. The 3rd oath is arguably fully redundant.

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2 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Why? The oaths are not wholly independant. We are sure of that among the Windrunners. The 3rd oath is arguably fully redundant.

It really isn't. It's a tighter restriction. Elhokar was a highly trained shardbearer. He could protect himself(people fight while falling down drunk). But sometimes you protect others because it's right, even if they can handle themself. 

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6 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

The gem archive states that one should not want to protect everybody due to the fourth oath.

I still think you are misinterpreting the gem archive.  If you read the excerpts that appear in the OB epigraphs, the gem archive seems to be a diary or journal of various radiants.  It does not seem like it's a history book or rule book, etc.  It almost looks like an (old style) blog - a diary written that is meant to be read by others or maybe like letters written for a time capsule that they know will be opened at some unknown day in the future.  You interpret that quote to mean that the 4th Windrunner Oath literally means that the Windrunner should not want to protect everyone.  This just does not make sense in context.  https://coppermind.net/wiki/Oathbringer/Epigraphs#Urithiru_Gem_Archive  Look at the other phrases recorded in the gems - they're all just personal thoughts and memories.  

That section about not wanting to protecting people seems a lot like the words a frustrated Windrunner would write down in his diary when he is experiencing the kinds of dilemmas that Kaladin is facing.  In the quote, it even says he is told by his spren to record on the gem to help him come to terms with the 4th Oath.  It's an emotional phrase - not a literal matter of fact statement. 

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So just re-read Oathbringer, and the moment he's closest to saying the ideal, he's wondering which side is right. The thing that keeps from speaking his ideal is thinking about the people he's known and failed. My money's on the following:

Instead of a lessening of responsibility (like accepting loss), I think the next ideal is increasing responsibility. Something along the lines of "I will protect all people, regardless of faction." This is would distinguish them from skybreakers (which pick a side consciously) and be REALLY hard for Kaladin. Kaladin does feel compelled to protect people, but he also feels crushed by the responsibility because he does not know how to accept when he fails people. This also is thematically appropriate for the book, because Kaladin's plot line in the book is exposure: exposure to the singers, exposure to light eyes, and realizing that all these people are the same, which comes to a head when he sees them killing each other. He's so close to the ideal, but he's horrified of the responsibility for casualties on both sides (or all sides) of a conflict. He hasn't been able to protect the people closest to him, how can be strong enough to protect all people?

I think Kaladin also fundamentally doesn't understand that the ideals are just that: ideals to strive for, not codes one is expected to live up to.

This does seem to run contrary to the gem where a Windrunner feels like the 4th ideal encourages him not to help people... however, that note could still make sense of the person interpreted the 4th ideal of not taking sides as not helping. Or alternatively, that they meant "humans" when they said people.

 

 

Edited by ansorensen
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Dalinar hated to have left so many wounded on the slopes, but the Codes were clear. In this case, protecting the men he could save was more important.

This adds to others arguments, that there is an Ideal related to prioritizing. And I think the word "protect" was Brandon giving us a hint at Windrunner ideals. 

I believe the first half of the ideal will be "I will protect the ones I can save" the second half which relates to Kaladin I don't have a firm opinion on. I'd be happy with people's guesses of forgiveness, trusting others, protecting himself, etc. 

I'm quoting a few of the people below who had my favorite bits of evidence. And because I failed to grab the quote of the members who said it first, I'll just quote Lirin and the gemstone archive directly:

 

Quote

“The third guideline supersedes them both, Roshone,” Lirin said, leaning down. “A surgeon must know when someone is beyond their ability to help. I’m sorry, Roshone. I would save him if I could, I promise you. But I cannot.”

Quote

I simply don’t think that I can. Am I not supposed to want to help people?

On 11/20/2017 at 2:08 PM, TheBrian said:

Supporting evidence #1: The first time Kaladin came close to leveling up (using the presence of windspren as an indicator) was when he was trying to protect a specific group of humans racing to stormshelters. He was thinking that there were lots more humans failing to get to storm shelters but that he could only protect the ones closest to him.

Supporting evidence #2: When his human-friends and parsh-friends went all West Side Story on each other, Kaladin froze up because he couldn't prioritize helping one group over the other. It was obvious he should have helped the humans. He was previously committed to saving them and the parshmen were working in service of the unmade and an evil god intent on destruction. His failure to prioritize here based on the big picture predicts his failure to swear the next ideal.

Supporting evidence #3: The next time Kaladin came close to leveling up was between chats with the honorspren captain in Shadesmar. He was arguing that the mission to bring Syl to the honorspren city was less important than the mission to save Dalinar in Thaylenar. He was seeking to maximize the outcome of their efforts.

Supporting evidence #4: When he stumbled on saying the words, they would have had an immediate impact. There was no way to return to the physical realm to save Dalinar, so swearing to a utilitarian oath would mean giving up on the Bondsmith. Failing to do so would almost certainly damnation Adolin, Shallan, and himself to death; but he wouldn't have to write anyone off.

 

On 12/5/2017 at 1:13 PM, onircsword said:

"“Elhokar,” Kaladin said, gripping the king’s shoulder. “Be a hero to the one you can save.”

So I think that last sentence is the basic concept of the 4th Windrunner Ideal.

 

On 12/15/2017 at 5:08 PM, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but the Chapter title for the Chapter where Kaladin watches all the people/listeners that he cares about Kill each other and freezes is called "The One You Can Save".

 

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3 hours ago, Requiem17 said:

I believe the first half of the ideal will be "I will protect the ones I can save" the second half which relates to Kaladin I don't have a firm opinion on. I'd be happy with people's guesses of forgiveness, trusting others, protecting himself, etc. 

What about,

"I will protect only the ones I can save, even if the only one I can save is myself"

I think this would be perfect for Kaladin, it follows suit with the second part of Teft's 3rd ideal "even if the one I hate most is myself". The 2nd part of Tefts 4th then would have to be less personal, as was Kaladins 3rd "so long as it is right". Perhaps

"I will protect only the ones I can save, and accept when I cannot"

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17 hours ago, Cammac said:

What about,

"I will protect only the ones I can save, even if the only one I can save is myself"

I think this would be perfect for Kaladin, it follows suit with the second part of Teft's 3rd ideal "even if the one I hate most is myself". The 2nd part of Tefts 4th then would have to be less personal, as was Kaladins 3rd "so long as it is right". Perhaps

"I will protect only the ones I can save, and accept when I cannot"That’s definitely a possibility. I don’t think that’s it though. It doesn’t quite fit with what Kaladin was thinking about when he failed to say the ideal. If that was it, why would he be thinking of all the people who, in his mind, he failed to protect?

I also don’t know if it quite flows with the earlier ideals. There’s a scene earlier in Oathbringer where Kaladin is thinking about the ideals and what they mean. He thinks about how difficult the ideals he already knows are, then he thinks something like, “If the first three ideals are this hard, what will the fourth one ask of me?” Then I think it says that he had an idea of what it would be, and it terrified him.

I’m not sure if your suggestion is something that would scare Kaladin to consider. Maybe he’s scared of the implication of having to choose who to protect and who he can’t save. Viewed that way, I can see how this could be very difficult for Kaladin to say. I still don’t think that’s it though.

I could definitely be wrong, and this is all speculation anyway. That’s why we’re on this thread, after all. :)

 

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56 minutes ago, Blind Radiant said:

I’m not sure if your suggestion is something that would scare Kaladin to consider. Maybe he’s scared of the implication of having to choose who to protect and who he can’t save. Viewed that way, I can see how this could be very difficult for Kaladin to say. I still don’t think that’s it though.

I could definitely be wrong, and this is all speculation anyway. That’s why we’re on this thread, after all. :)

The way I imagined it was that he saw his friends on both sides killing each other, there was nothing he could do, he should have saved Elhokar and his son. When he couldn't do that he should have fled to save himself, instead he froze up not knowing what to do, blaming himself and would have likely let himself be killed.

The same goes in shadesmar. He couldn't get to Dalinar and he couldn't help his friends so he should have protected himself. Instead he again focused on who he couldn't help and would have been killed if not for the perpendicularity opening.

Edited by Cammac
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19 hours ago, Cammac said:

"I will protect only the ones I can save, even if the only one I can save is myself"

It would not work. Kaladin will be frequently be able to save either side, but not both.

Nor, frankly, could he effectively fight Odium's forces if he tries to save as many as possible.

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11 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

It would not work. Kaladin will be frequently be able to save either side, but not both.

Nor, frankly, could he effectively fight Odium's forces if he tries to save as many as possible.

There will be times when he realistically cant save either and must save himself. The stonewards have the honor of self sacrifice and a tendency of fighting losing battles. Windrunners are leaders, you cannot lead if your dead.

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1 hour ago, Cammac said:

There will be times when he realistically cant save either and must save himself. The stonewards have the honor of self sacrifice and a tendency of fighting losing battles. Windrunners are leaders, you cannot lead if your dead.

Yet they are soldiers. You cannot protect your enemy.

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46 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Yet they are soldiers. You cannot protect your enemy.

Yes they are soldiers, not kamikaze pilots. Knowing when to retreat and have to leave men behind to save the rest also comes with the job.

I'm not saying he should protect his enemies, at the time he met them they weren't. They were run away slaves just as he had been once. It was only when he saw them killing his other friends they became enemies.

That's not the point I'm getting at though. Like lirin said, you have to know when you cant save someone and concentrate on the one you can. In Kohlinar that would been leaving the wall gaurd behind and saving Elhokar, then when the king was being killed my Moah, save himself.

The same in shadesmar. He should accept he cant help Dalinar and concentrate on protecting Shallon, Adolin and himself.

Edited by Cammac
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5 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Yet they are soldiers. You cannot protect your enemy.

You absolutely can.  Offering chances of surrender, target supplies so that they can't fight back effectively, taking diplomatic options before attacking, making sure your own attacks are proportional so that he don't continue the cycle of voilence.

5 hours ago, Cammac said:

That's not the point I'm getting at though. Like lirin said, you have to know when you cant save someone and concentrate on the one you can. In Kohlinar that would been leaving the wall gaurd behind and saving Elhokar, then when the king was being killed my Moah, save himself.

Instead he did not save anyone.  Making a choice was far more important then making what might have been the right choice.

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6 hours ago, Karger said:

Instead he did not save anyone.  Making a choice was far more important then making what might have been the right choice.

You've just said in one post what I have tried to say in about 10.

Just to add, in not choosing or accepting that he couldn't save everyone, he also nearly got himself killed.

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12 hours ago, Cammac said:

That's not the point I'm getting at though. Like lirin said, you have to know when you cant save someone and concentrate on the one you can. In Kohlinar that would been leaving the wall gaurd behind and saving Elhokar, then when the king was being killed my Moah, save himself.

The same in shadesmar. He should accept he cant help Dalinar and concentrate on protecting Shallon, Adolin and himself.

I've said this before, but I still think this might be true. The 4th ideal probably is something utilitarian in nature, but I hope Kaladin doesn't swear it. The fact that he can't accept losing someone and that he internalizes that pain is one of the things that makes him Kaladin. He's not going to swear an ideal he doesn't believe in just to get plate, and I for one am hoping he refuses the 4th ideal, just like he twice refused shards. The power of Kaladin's principles are stronger than the shardplate he could have already had by trading them in.

We've got lots of Windrunners who will be capable of swearing the 4th ideal, I say Kaladin is stronger without it, and I suspect with the hinted parallel of him freezing during spear practice when he first enlisted that he might opt for a path where he protects all lives, foreswearing killing as much as he can.

Edited by hoiditthroughthegrapevine
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1 hour ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

I've said this before, but I still think this might be true. The 4th ideal probably is something utilitarian in nature, but I hope Kaladin doesn't swear it. The fact that he can't accept losing someone and that he internalizes that pain is one of the things that makes him Kaladin. He's not going to swear an ideal he doesn't believe in just to get plate, and I for one am hoping he refuses the 4th ideal, just like he twice refused shards. The power of Kaladin's principles are stronger than the shardplate he could have already had by trading them in.

We've got lots of Windrunners who will be capable of swearing the 4th ideal, I say Kaladin is stronger without it, and I suspect with the hinted parallel of him freezing during spear practice when he first enlisted that he might opt for a path where he protects all lives, foreswearing killing as much as he can.

I wonder if Kaladin may be able to swear his own 4th ideal that takes him down a different path from previous Windrunners, particularly after Jezrien died in Oathbringer.

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4 hours ago, BloomAgeOne said:

I wonder if Kaladin may be able to swear his own 4th ideal that takes him down a different path from previous Windrunners, particularly after Jezrien died in Oathbringer.

I would love to see that! I think it could very well be possible. We’ve already seen Kaladin do something that, as far as I know, was unique when he used all those windspren to get people to safety in a highstorm. That may hint at Kaladin at least being able to make his own way.

I do hope that he manages to say a fourth ideal, even if it isn’t the typical one. If he doesn’t, he won’t be able to progress. I can definitely imagine Kaladin finding a way to progress without turning his back on his morals and previous development. Plus, I remember reading somewhere that Radiant ideals have some degree of flexibility from person to person. I think Kaladin can and probably will use that to his advantage.

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I've come up with a little mini theory on how Kaladin will swear the fourth oath. Feel free to delete this if someone's already mentioned it.

We know that the ideal is somewhere along the lines of giving up on lost causes when necessary so the theory goes as follows.

We remember that at the end of TWoK all the bridgemen from Sadeas' camp were set free but those that remained numbered roughly 2,000 if I remember correctly which is the amount of a battalion. Since he's properly recognised as a Bright Lord now I can assume that he's been given a higher rank like Battalion or perhaps even General, therefore more men under his command but that isn't the main point I'm trying argue.

What if during the conflicts as an officer he is hesitant to commit troops lives in certain engagements that would have undoubtedly led to more substantial victories and less losses. What if he finds himself in a key battle and has commit a good number of lives in order to achieve victory and in doing so achieves the fourth ideal while fighting. Just to be extra I could see him inspiring the soldiers and therefore using his new tuned powers to save those he can. A bittersweet growth for him. 

That would be an epic reveal for his shardplate and go in hand with what Brandon would want but maybe this is too obvious. 

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On 6/21/2020 at 1:11 PM, BrightLordSwageas said:

I've come up with a little mini theory on how Kaladin will swear the fourth oath. Feel free to delete this if someone's already mentioned it.

We know that the ideal is somewhere along the lines of giving up on lost causes when necessary so the theory goes as follows.

We remember that at the end of TWoK all the bridgemen from Sadeas' camp were set free but those that remained numbered roughly 2,000 if I remember correctly which is the amount of a battalion. Since he's properly recognised as a Bright Lord now I can assume that he's been given a higher rank like Battalion or perhaps even General, therefore more men under his command but that isn't the main point I'm trying argue.

What if during the conflicts as an officer he is hesitant to commit troops lives in certain engagements that would have undoubtedly led to more substantial victories and less losses. What if he finds himself in a key battle and has commit a good number of lives in order to achieve victory and in doing so achieves the fourth ideal while fighting. Just to be extra I could see him inspiring the soldiers and therefore using his new tuned powers to save those he can. A bittersweet growth for him. 

That would be an epic reveal for his shardplate and go in hand with what Brandon would want but maybe this is too obvious. 

I actually really like that idea. I think we have been too focused in general with the divine attribute of protecting, but not of leading. Kaladin's failure in the palace was that his desire not to lose those he protects caused him to fail to continue to lead. So perhaps it will be, I will not fear loss, but will continue to lead to save the ones I can. 

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