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[OB] Adolin-Shallan-Kaladin Discussion

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I don't think he will die, too, but the chance of him being severely damaged/injured because of Shallan is very likely. As you have stated, he already said that Shallan would eventually kill him, and this could be foreshadowing a situation where Shallan is close to lose him.

Edit: typed we instead of he.

Edited by Humming
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This thread is the gift that keeps on giving. But being absent for a few weeks is a terrible idea. I've caught up on the dozen or more pages I missed but it's hard to sum up all the thoughts I have now, but here goes.

On Adolin's wasted potential: there was some interesting discussion here. I get the argument that Brandon's intention has always been for Adolin to be a secondary character and a straightforward "normal guy." I don't follow that line of thinking to accept that as a good explanation for we don't get a clearer understanding or sense of emotional depth from Adolin's feelings for Shallan. The thing is I don't even accept lack of pages as a good reason for some missed opportunities on Adolin overall. For a secondary character he actually does have far more page time than anyone other than the main three characters. At the same time I have some hope that there will be more payoff for Adolin in the future. For some reason Brandon has chosen to give Adolin the page time he has, and if he really has no more significant arc in mind for him, why even make him a viewpoint character at all?

On Adolin's character flaws, overall I agree with the idea that none are really well developed. The main flaw that is clearly introduced in the beginning is Adolin's issues with relationships. I don't think womanizer is an accurate term to describe him. I don't think he has intentions to use women, but I also question how serious he is about a long term relationship for his own sake vs societal and family expectations. His heart doesn't really seem in it although the failures do get to him and that probably adds some incentive to finally make one work, especially once he is with Shallan who he sees as exceptional and does at least have some genuine liking and attraction for (what she allows him to see anyway). I would really expect there to be some stakes for Adolin when he talks to Shallan about giving her up, but we didn't get it (for no good reason) and so the most obvious explanation is that Adolin really is looking to get out at that point. But as others so astutely pointed out, she ropes him back in the most effective way possible by appealing to him to help her. Given who Adolin is and the pressure both internal and external he probably feels to make it work, it would be very hard for him to insist on walking away at that point, though I really wish he had. As for any other flaws I'm not really convinced by a lot of the arguments that have him as extreme in any quality. He seems middle of the road to me on a lot of the potential issues that were raised. Especially when it comes to perceptiveness, I think he did miss some important moments of Shallan not being okay, while he does much better with Renarin, so I don't really see this a character defining quality for good or bad.

There was some fascinating information shared from beta readers and the WoB on Shallan's masks. Unfortunately these kinds of tidbits worry me the most for the overall sense that maybe Brandon and the majority of readership has a very different perspective than I on the ending of this arc in OB. I go back and forth with feeling like I better prepare myself for being very disappointed with where things go from here and feeling really encouraged by moments of what appear to be clear symbolism such as Shallan sitting/standing at key moments. I do worry about my bias affecting how I read things. I'm still early in my reread and trying to really keep an open mind and pay attention to impressions as well as details.

i think the thing that would disappoint me the most is having to accept that Shallan's choice to marry Adolin (or anyone, wouldn't have been okay with Kaladin at that point either) at the time and under the circumstances she does was a healthy choice we should celebrate. I couldn't agree more that having Shallan supposedly recognize her true self because Adolin squeezes her hand at the right time and then marrying him because without him she loses her true self ("fades") is deeply troubling. There was great discussion about accepting support from romantic partners vs relying on them to make your crucial decisions. And I agree that the former is wonderful and realistic but the latter takes away agency from the character and is not something I want to see being portrayed as healthy. 

I would also be disappointed not to see further exploration of Shallan's response to Helaran, but on that I would be shocked if we don't see more. Her repressing those thoughts were so clear and really highlights how important that actually is to her. All the more reason for her to push all of her feelings for Kaladin into a personality that can deal with it. Between Jasnah, Adolin and Helaran it's really no wonder that she does. 

Finally, I firmly believe we will see a stress in the bond with Pattern explored in the next book, similar to what happened with Kaladin and Syl. Her lies multiplied and deepened in this book and we haven't seen the consequences for that yet. I certainly hope and don't really believe she will kill him. I hopes this is what causes her to embrace her full/true self and level up. 

 

 

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Thanks @Dreamstorm for that perspective on how much Shallan has progressed. I prefer her control over her masks to be her progression than her marrying Adolin being her progression. I just do not get how marrying Adolin right now with all the lies is a good thing.

4 hours ago, BraidedRose said:

 i think the thing that would disappoint me the most is having to accept that Shallan's choice to marry Adolin (or anyone, wouldn't have been okay with Kaladin at that point either) at the time and under the circumstances she does was a healthy choice we should celebrate.

I am with you here.

I still see Shallan as very static in OB. (Kaladin didn't progress very much either but I still liked his arc. I think it is because we got a very direct confrontation in Kaladin's arc and a very clear failure to say the next ideal.) Shallan's arc is not so clear cut. To me there is very little difference between the Shallan at the beginning of OB and the Shallan at the end. At the beginning, we have Shallan and Veil and the newly made Radiant. Late in OB, we have Shallan, Veil, and Radiant and the quickly squashed possibility of other masks. Shallan's control over her masks is slightly better at the end of OB than it was throughout OB and that is it. That is a very minor change to me. My main take away is that Shallan is very, very good at ignoring her problems and that is what she is doing right up till the end of OB.

 

Like I said, I like Kaladin's arc because we know that he knows what his problem is and we know he is working on it. With Shallan I don't know that she knows what her problem is or if she is working on it. Actually, I think she is not working on it. Because of the way OB ends, we have no idea if Shallan is thinking about her mother or how she blames herself for her family collapsing. Since this is not mentioned, maybe we can assume she is ignoring this problem. I consider Shallan's latest truth (that she killed her mother) to be her main problem. Again, comparing her to Kaladin, Kaladin directly thinks about how and why he failed to say the next ideal. All through Shallan's last scenes we get zero thoughts about her mother or her conversation with Wit (The Girl who Stood Up), or Pattern.

 

I don't think Shallan will kill Pattern, but I do think her bond is in trouble or will be in trouble.

 

ETA: I know it should matter that Shallan is a stable three people now instead of an unstable 3-25 people, but I just roll my eyes at that since she was three people throughout all of OB. I'd say she's been pretty stable.

Edited by wotbibliophile
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10 hours ago, wotbibliophile said:

ETA: I know it should matter that Shallan is a stable three people now instead of an unstable 3-25 people, but I just roll my eyes at that since she was three people throughout all of OB. I'd say she's been pretty stable.

Well, she was wildly OOC after learning her attempts at kindness actually caused fatal harm to those she was helping. That was a very intense break down that could have left her a non functional psychotic. I'd say keeping to the big 3 was a great improvement.

Most of you seem to think Shallan made no power improvement in OB but when she(they) created the illusion in TC it went far beyond what she had done previously.  Granted that Dalinar power infused all the Radiants she still stepped up her game.

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On Shallan’s progress in OB I agree with a couple of different points made. 

On the one hand I agree with @GoddessIMHO that Shallan actually shows far greater power in her abilities at the end. That and confronting Unmade are some impressive tasks for someone who seems to be barely holding herself together.

On the other hand:

Quote
10 hours ago, wotbibliophile said:

Like I said, I like Kaladin's arc because we know that he knows what his problem is and we know he is working on it. With Shallan I don't know that she knows what her problem is or if she is working on it. Actually, I think she is not working on it. Because of the way OB ends, we have no idea if Shallan is thinking about her mother or how she blames herself for her family collapsing. Since this is not mentioned, maybe we can assume she is ignoring this problem. I consider Shallan's latest truth (that she killed her mother) to be her main problem. Again, comparing her to Kaladin, Kaladin directly thinks about how and why he failed to say the next ideal. All through Shallan's last scenes we get zero thoughts about her mother or her conversation with Wit (The Girl who Stood Up), or Pattern.

 

I couldn’t agree more with the above. There’s a lot of emphasis at the beginning on Shallan repressing thoughts of her mother and her hatred for Pattern. Then she adds repressing thoughts of Helaran to that and if anything we see her think about these things less at the end, suggesting for the time being she has successfully repressed those thoughts. One moment that was striking is when she is reunited with her brothers at the end I would expect that to be a moment when thoughts of her mother or Helaran would try to surface but we don’t see that at all. Instead Shallan is described as “giddy” and also quickly asks for her brothers to be taken away so she can read Mraize’s letter. So when it comes to confronting truths she doesn’t want to face I think she is clearly worse at the end than she was at the beginning of OB.

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3 hours ago, GoddessIMHO said:

Most of you seem to think Shallan made no power improvement in OB but when she(they) created the illusion in TC it went far beyond what she had done previously. 

Shallan definitely does insane things with lightweaving at the end of OB that she never could have done before. I am so concerned about her mental health that even her advances in lightweaving seem unstable to me. I feel like she could lose her new talents at any time because I feel like she is bound to have another mental break down.

 

3 hours ago, GoddessIMHO said:

Well, she was wildly OOC after learning her attempts at kindness actually caused fatal harm to those she was helping. That was a very intense break down that could have left her a non functional psychotic. I'd say keeping to the big 3 was a great improvement.

I see what you're saying I just don't see it as improvement. I see it as the same old thing. Repression, repression, repression. Shallan has a moment when she is Veil where she is pretending to be a lighteyes woman. (This is when she is stealing food from lighteyes.) She gets really harsh with Vathah, but she reins it in and falls back to Veil. Do you see what I mean? There is a slight lack of control when she gets too into pretending to be the lighteyes woman, but she does control it and falls back to Veil. All through OB she has enough control to only rely on the big 3. The moment you mention in this quote (her collapse in Kholinar), she is broken down and flashing through faces, then chats with Wit and gets up and carries on. We don't really get a clear explanation for why she's not still catatonic. I think the only explanation is that she represses it. She shuts down Veil for a while and relies on Shallan, but notice there are no new masks. She didn't suddenly make Monica (from Friends). She is still relying only on the big 3.

3 hours ago, BraidedRose said:

confronting Unmade

I was with Shallan that she had no idea what she was doing. I don't find bumbling in ignorance very impressive.

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1 hour ago, wotbibliophile said:

Shallan definitely does insane things with lightweaving at the end of OB that she never could have done before. I am so concerned about her mental health that even her advances in lightweaving seem unstable to me. I feel like she could lose her new talents at any time because I feel like she is bound to have another mental break down.

I was with Shallan that she had no idea what she was doing. I don't find bumbling in ignorance very impressive.

 

So I generally agree that Shallan doesn’t really know what she is doing here. I would say she seems to be operating with a kind of instinct though as to what she should do, especially with Re-shephir. I haven’t reread the parts with Sja-anat yet so I don’t remember that in as much detail. But with her dealings with the Unmade, to me it is more her nerve/bravery that is impressive than it is skill. 

I do agree that she could lose her powered up light weaving skills at some point. In fact, I think it is a likely outcome of stress in her bond with Pattern, so I definitely expect to see that in the next book. I would like to see Shallan have much more control over her abilities after (hopefully) re-integrating and repairing the bond.

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One thing of note is that in her “powered up” moments in OB, the first (Re-Shephir) she is actively recalling her suppressed memories (before she gets nervous and pulls back) and appears to be channeling her “full” self (based on how she describes herself, though it is not explicit in text she is calling on her masks - admittedly she hadn’t developed as much reliance on Veil and Radiant as unique personas at this point - Radiant seems only needed at that time when Adolin was teaching her to sword fight), and the second (TC battle) she appears to be subconsciously, even if not actively, channeling her suppressed memories (she brings forth illusions from her lost sketch book and most notably an illusion of her mother) and is only able to create the army when she consciously is channeling her “full” self (locking hands with Veil and Radiant.) Her TC army would not been possible without the connection with Veil and Radiant in order to deal with her memories. (This makes it even more concerning when she “stuffed” Veil and Radiant in the “back part of her brain” just a few scenes later.) It seems for powerful Shallan we need (a) acceptance, or at least confrontation with, her painful memories and (b) integration of all three masks. Neither of those elements is present (as least based on the text we are given) in Shallan’s supposed “happy” moments at the end of the book.

@BraidedRose That’s a great point that the arrival of her brothers doesn’t seem to trigger her in any way... she now believes herself to blame for all of her father’s horrific behavior towards them we see in WoR (as false at that belief is) and she also knows definitively how Heleran died, and yet zero of that even goes through her mind when she sees them. The whole thing is very hard to reconcile.

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So, out of curiosity, does anyone feel that the Adolin-Shallan relationship is a subtle mimicry/dig at the Wheel of time?

Rand had three wives, so does Adolin, technically.  One was Min, an unpowered spy/manipulator, like Veil was designed to be (low-born, not supposed to be Radiant).  One was Elaine, the noble Lady with powers, like Shallan herself. And finally, we have Aviendha, the wise warrior with powers, like Radiant.

Am I stretching too far to see this link?  I know that the Adolin-Rand comparison is a bit off, Adolin was not a farmer, is not super-powered, still has both his hands, and as far as we know is not fated to be eternally reborn as the champion to duel Odium.  But on the female spectrum, in both cases we have the Spy, the Lady and the Warrior.  IS that a possible thing?

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3 hours ago, Stark said:

So, out of curiosity, does anyone feel that the Adolin-Shallan relationship is a subtle mimicry/dig at the Wheel of time?

Rand had three wives, so does Adolin, technically.  One was Min, an unpowered spy/manipulator, like Veil was designed to be (low-born, not supposed to be Radiant).  One was Elaine, the noble Lady with powers, like Shallan herself. And finally, we have Aviendha, the wise warrior with powers, like Radiant.

Am I stretching too far to see this link?  I know that the Adolin-Rand comparison is a bit off, Adolin was not a farmer, is not super-powered, still has both his hands, and as far as we know is not fated to be eternally reborn as the champion to duel Odium.  But on the female spectrum, in both cases we have the Spy, the Lady and the Warrior.  IS that a possible thing?

Spoiler

It's actually an interesting point in Shallan-Min/Aviendha/Min. But Adolin doesnt remind me of Rand. Not even a bit.

Rand tries his best to carry the burden in his shoulders and his flawed. Jordan made sure to point that Rand is not perfect, he made mistakes and paid for them. (Twice and twice shall he be marked lol), but adolin is more line a Disney prince charming, perfect and gets away with his mistakes because he 'is too good'.

 

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4 hours ago, Stark said:

So, out of curiosity, does anyone feel that the Adolin-Shallan relationship is a subtle mimicry/dig at the Wheel of time?

Rand had three wives, so does Adolin, technically.  One was Min, an unpowered spy/manipulator, like Veil was designed to be (low-born, not supposed to be Radiant).  One was Elaine, the noble Lady with powers, like Shallan herself. And finally, we have Aviendha, the wise warrior with powers, like Radiant.

Am I stretching too far to see this link?  I know that the Adolin-Rand comparison is a bit off, Adolin was not a farmer, is not super-powered, still has both his hands, and as far as we know is not fated to be eternally reborn as the champion to duel Odium.  But on the female spectrum, in both cases we have the Spy, the Lady and the Warrior.  IS that a possible thing?

 

So I think this idea is fun, but to be honest, at the same time I think you’re probably stretching a little far to make it fit. The main parallel is one man with three women. But like @Humming said, Adolin doesn’t really remind me of Rand at all either. And we have Adolin saying clearly he only wants Shallan, not Veil. And does he even explicitly know Radiant as her own identity? I know he has interacted with her during sparring but I’m not sure how aware he is that Shallan is different at those times.

The rest behind a spoiler tag for discussion of WoT characters:

Spoiler

I wouldn’t really say that Min is unpowered even though she can’t channel, she has her unique ability to read the pattern. As an archetype she doesn’t exactly remind me of Veil as Min is definitely not a con woman. But they both do like to wear pants and keep daggers on their person.

Elayne is far more confident than Shallan, though both are somewhat prim around men initially due to their cultural upbringings.

Aviendha does have a sort of straightforward practicality that might be similar to Radiant and she is certainly a warrior archetype, but she also seems far more passionate.

All in all though, it isn’t really the female personalities or archetypes that make it a stretch. I definitely see enough similarities to think you could be on to something. But in the end Rand and Adolin just do not seem parallel to me and Adolin clearly doesn’t seem to be in love with all three. It remains to be seen if he can be in love with an integrated, true Shallan. Interesting to think about though!

Edited by BraidedRose
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9 minutes ago, BraidedRose said:

But in the end Rand and Adolin just do not seem parallel to me

I completely agree, and even pointed out the Adolin-Rand comparison was off for some rather superficial reasons.  There are many reasons why the Rand Adolin axis does not work, and even the women break down under some scrutiny, but seem to have some links.

 

And I like comparing Shallan's personas to the three ladies in WoT better than going basic psych and trying to declare Veil=Id, Shallan=Ego, and Radiant=Superego.  That kind of works too, but I have more fun looking at links to other fiction.

 

But other than having a magic sword and three wives, Rand and Adolin don't have much in common.

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Okay...so I'm not going to pretend I read this whole thing. I read the summary, and glanced through the discussion on the 81st page.

I have had to take some time and distance from the Stormlight Archive in recent months. Oathbringer was an emotionally damaging book for me to read. That said, I agree with a large part of the summary--As I said in my "I'm back" post, I was largely dissatisfied with how Shallan's arc went in Oathbringer. The so-called "resolution" at the end seemed forced and rushed to me, and it left me feeling sour. However, I also feel that had Brandon pursued a "Shalladin" relationship in this book it would have been a disservice.

Kaladin was emotionally unavailable in this book. He started high, but he crashed in this book. Adolin, on the other hand, was emotionally there for Shallan, but as has been stated, Adolin enabled and actually seems to unintentionally support Shallan's identity crisis.

I don't have a lot to add to what has already been said, but I mentioned ad nauseum prior to OB's release that what Shallan is doing is dangerous. Veil and Radiant are not separate people from Shallan--they are still her. For her to splice them like that and for Adolin to acknowledge that they are different people is kind of like feeding the lie. It's counter intuitive and counter-productive to her mental health. It's like telling a person with depression "You know what? You're right, you are a terrible person."

Add to this, presumably Shallan and Adolin are going to be intimate now that they are married. Intimacy has a chance of leading to pregnancy. If Shallan were to get pregnant, with all of the hormones and emotional instability that comes with it, how would that affect her already fragile mental state?

I want to thank you all for this thread though. I think you nailed down what's been troubling me about this part of Oathbringer.

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11 minutes ago, Alderant said:

Okay...so I'm not going to pretend I read this whole thing. I read the summary, and glanced through the discussion on the 81st page.

:D I wouldn't expect you to, but I have been waiting for your thoughts on this matter!

11 minutes ago, Alderant said:

Kaladin was emotionally unavailable in this book. He started high, but he crashed in this book. Adolin, on the other hand, was emotionally there for Shallan, but as has been stated, Adolin enabled and actually seems to unintentionally support Shallan's identity crisis.

I very much agree. I think, that Shallan should have chose no one and should have focused on herself for now.

11 minutes ago, Alderant said:

For her to splice them like that and for Adolin to acknowledge that they are different people is kind of like feeding the lie. It's counter intuitive and counter-productive to her mental health. It's like telling a person with depression "You know what? You're right, you are a terrible person."

Thank you. Many seem to think, that Adolin is doing the right thing, but I firmly believe, that by treating Veil like a different person, he isn't getting the gist of Shallan's problems. Shallan is trying to fit many roles and as a consequence fractured into different personalites, but like you said, they are all Shallan. Adolin is only really knowing and loving a part of Shallan.

11 minutes ago, Alderant said:

Add to this, presumably Shallan and Adolin are going to be intimate now that they are married. Intimacy has a chance of leading to pregnancy. If Shallan were to get pregnant, with all of the hormones and emotional instability that comes with it, how would that affect her already fragile mental state?

I hope this doesn't happen. Desperately. Either Brandon would choose to make the child be the catalyst of solving Shallan's mental state, which would be highly unrealistic and unsatisfying or Shallan's child would grow up with figuring out "who is Mom today"...

On a more personal level, I hope, that this doesn't happen from the pure egoistical point, that I'm not interested in reading a teenage motherhood story.

Edited by SLNC
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2 minutes ago, SLNC said:

I have been waiting for your thoughts on this matter!

To be honest...I'm still sorting through my thoughts on this. I think this thread is a help in that endeavor.

3 minutes ago, SLNC said:

Thank you. Many seem to think, that Adolin is doing the right thing, but I firmly believe, that by treating Veil like a different person, he isn't getting the gist of Shallan's problems. Shallan is trying to fit many roles and as a consequence fractured into different personalites, but like you said, they are all Shallan. Adolin is only really knowing and loving a part of Shallan.

I seem to be one of a very few that understands the gravity of what she's doing. The whole "He knows who I am" part felt REALLY forced to me, but admittedly at the time I was going on the third day of listening to a 55 hour book and was too consumed with everything else going on in the book that I wasn't considering the possibility that Brandon was setting something up with Shallan's arc here...

I am going to reread Oathbringer soon, and I will have a more concise and thought out view on all of this then. Now that I know what's going on, I'll be able to pay more attention to some of these things...but to be honest the thing I was really analyzing in my first read was Dalinar's arc, haha.

6 minutes ago, SLNC said:

I hope this doesn't happen. Desperately. Either Brandon would choose to make the child be the catalyst of solving Shallan's mental state, which would be highly unrealistic and unsatisfying or Shallan's child would grow up with figuring out "who is Mom today"...

On a more personal level, I hope, that this doesn't happen from the pure egoistical point, that I'm not interested in reading a teenage motherhood story.

Honestly, I hope this doesn't happen either. I don't think Brandon would go the route you propose, e.g. "who is Mom today". I do think that were it to happen, though, we might have something like Shallan's emotions going haywire, revealing things she wanted to keep secret, etc. From that standpoint I think it would be a powerful conflict generation. I doubt he'll take that route, though, because I think there are better avenues for him to resolve Shallan's mental disasters.

I do think, however, that Shallan and Adolin are in for a rough ride. Her brothers are finally in Urithiru, and they know the real Shallan. She's still got everything going on with the Ghostbloods.

And I think Adolin dying might now be on the table. I never really thought he would kill off Adolin, but he took Elhokar out in a pretty drastic way, and I found it pretty blindsiding when it occurred. As has been noted, the plot now has much more to gain through the ramification of Adolin's death, than through keeping him alive.

But after I reread Oathbringer I am going to get around to that Shallan analysis post. So keep me informed on topics you want addressed.

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1 minute ago, Alderant said:

And I think Adolin dying might now be on the table. I never really thought he would kill off Adolin, but he took Elhokar out in a pretty drastic way, and I found it pretty blindsiding when it occurred. As has been noted, the plot now has much more to gain through the ramification of Adolin's death, than through keeping him alive.

I personally am also very much in that camp.

Well, let us look at the character of Adolin right now.

  1. He has no remaining internal conflicts to address or resolve, no (meaningful) flaws to explore or confront. There would have been his temper, but, well, yeah there were no consequences of it.

  2. He had no external conflicts with other characters too explore or confront. The Sadeas plot had gone nowhere, he doesn't have to be king, he isn't competing for Shallan's affection anymore.

So much for the personal stuff. Now what does he bring to the main narrative (and other characters)?

  1. Adolin has now been painted as the stabilizing force for Shallan's personality issues. He is someone who is heavily depended on by her moving forward. If he were absent, Shallan likely would be forced to do something about her condition sooner.

  2. Clearly, Kaladin and Adolin have grown closer as companions. I'm not going to call them best buds yet, but out of all the characters in the narrative outside of bridge four, Adolin is right up there with Dalinar with regards to respect and a sense of dependability that Kaladin has.

  3. Everyone in the narrative (other than clearly defined antagonist elements) likes Adolin, and don't have any serious problems with him. He is a very strong and prominent figure in what remains of Alethi society

  4. He is the only Kholin to not have any measure of Radiancy

There is the Mayalaran revival plot, but, while it would be interesting to see, it doesn't bring anything to the main narrative. We don't need another Edgedancer PoV, we already have Lift.

He has been seemingly set up to be a ripe tragic plot device just waiting to be picked at the right time by the author. He can be lifted right out, while providing the narrative with several interesting avenues to explore, both from a plot perspective, and a character growth/regression perspective from the rest of the mains.

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7 minutes ago, SLNC said:

He has been seemingly set up to be a ripe tragic plot device just waiting to be picked at the right time by the author. He can be lifted right out, while providing the narrative with several interesting avenues to explore, both from a plot perspective, and a character growth/regression perspective from the rest of the mains.

The people who stand to fall the most from this are Dalinar and Shallan. Dalinar, of course, is now public enemy # 1 for Odium. He stands in Honor's shoes. I could easily see taking Adolin out being a plot device for Odium to attempt to crush Dalinar, and the ramifications of that blowing back on Shallan and Kaladin. But since that's so easily apparent, that's probably not the route Brandon will take...

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21 minutes ago, Alderant said:

The people who stand to fall the most from this are Dalinar and Shallan. Dalinar, of course, is now public enemy # 1 for Odium. He stands in Honor's shoes. I could easily see taking Adolin out being a plot device for Odium to attempt to crush Dalinar, and the ramifications of that blowing back on Shallan and Kaladin. But since that's so easily apparent, that's probably not the route Brandon will take...

It just made me think about the things that Brandon was moving between books. The way Adolin almost died in Oathbringer but was so conveniently and quickly healed by Renarin felt a little anticlimactic. There is no way to know I suppose, but do you think it's possible Adolin was supposed to be killed off then, but because of certain storylines being not exactly in the right place yet he couldn't? The scene of Adolin getting wounded would stay because it's important for Kaladin's arc, just with a tweaked resolution. I don't know. I'm still partly in the "Adolin getting dark" camp, which doesn't fit at all, but I guess it's fun to consider all possibilities.

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3 minutes ago, Ailvara said:

It just made me think about the things that Brandon was moving between books. The way Adolin almost died in Oathbringer but was so conveniently and quickly healed by Renarin felt a little anticlimactic. There is no way to know I suppose, but do you think it's possible Adolin was supposed to be killed off then, but because of certain storylines being not exactly in the right place yet he couldn't? The scene of Adolin getting wounded would stay because it's important for Kaladin's arc, just with a tweaked resolution. I don't know. I'm still partly in the "Adolin getting dark" camp, which doesn't fit at all, but I guess it's fun to consider all possibilities.

No, I really don't think that was the right time for Adolin to die. His death wouldn't have really had meaning at that point, other than to slam home to Kaladin how worthless he was. While Brandon does shift things around between books, I don't think that's why he forebeared.

As far as the Adolin getting dark idea, I thought that once, but now I feel it would just make the plot convoluted. What would be the point? There's no driving plot element that would make that a reasonable plot point.

As @SLNC mentioned above--Adolin's plot largely appears to be finished. As of the end of Oathbringer, he has very little, if any, remaining conflicts to be resolved that are necessary to the development of the plot. Everyone else, on the other hand, has a whole heap of baggage to work through still. And this was Adolin's biggest book. I think he was in Oathbringer more than either of the two previous books.

It is fun to consider possibilities though.

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20 hours ago, SLNC said:

There is the Mayalaran revival plot, but, while it would be interesting to see, it doesn't bring anything to the main narrative.

 

Now, I know that this thread is focussed on a single aspect of the novel to the exclusion of everything else, but this is just plain untrue. Reviving a pre-Recreance spren would be huge for the main narrative - not only would it reconcile some spren peoples who have sworn off bonding - like the Stoneward and Elsecaller, possibly even swaying the vengeful Nahel spren like Malata's Spark, but it would also provide an avenue for rescuing other dead shardblades and give Our Heroes access to precious information about the past, as  the bond matures and Mayalaran regains her memories.

 

20 hours ago, SLNC said:

We don't need another Edgedancer PoV, we already have Lift.

 

This isn't "Highlander". We have gotten 2 other Windrunner PoVs despite having Kaladin - who has vastly more page-space than Lift, and a few aspiring ones to boot. Not to mention that Lift's pecularities make her very different from standard Edgedancers and may even result in inabilty to have squires. Oh, and she will be mostly with the Azish until the second series at least, whereas they desperately need some Edgedancers in Urithiru and on the Shattered Plains/Unclaimed Hills, which are going to be flooded with starving refugees from Alethkar. After all, unlike with Lift, normal Edgedancers using Regrowth on plants would result in more food. And there are going to be a lot of sick and hurt people for them to tend to as well. So, yea, we need lots and lots of Edgedancers ASAP.

And to touch briefly on the actual topic - I personally would have preferred if Shallan didn't marry quite yet and took time to work through her issues instead - but it seems that the whole "end of the world" scenario, where Our Heroes have just narrowly escaped death  isn't sufficiently taken into consideration in this discussion. The characters are probably keenly aware that they if they don't seize the day immediately, they might not have the opportunity later... 

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16 minutes ago, Isilel said:

Reviving a pre-Recreance spren would be huge for the main narrative - not only would it reconcile some spren peoples who have sworn off bonding - like the Stoneward and Elsecaller

Elsecallers already have a Radiant, so they've not sworn off bonding entirely.

17 minutes ago, Isilel said:

We have gotten 2 other Windrunner PoVs despite having Kaladin - who has vastly more page-space than Lift, and a few aspiring ones to boot

Also, bear in mind that Lift is a main character for the back five. Kaladin is a main character for the front five. Teft, and the other Bridge Four windrunners, serve two functions: A) they serve as a plot device to show how the orders are growing under their Radiants and that squires can potentially become Radiants without the trials the original Radiants endured, and B ) they also serve as a plot reflection on the situation of squires directly related to a main character Radiant. Kaladin's arcs are inextricably tied to Bridge Four, so plotwise it makes sense to include them.

Having Adolin revive his spren just to provide another Edgedancer POV logically makes no sense. We have Lift as our main Edgedancer, and while their order wasn't known for large numbers of squires, though they probably had a few. Adolin is not tied to Lift in any way, so having him as a POV Edgedancer doesn't make sense there, either.

And yes, while it would be cool, the "precious memories from the past" is already filled with the caches discovered at Urithiru. We're also seeing the return of spren to mankind despite their hesitance already. And finally, having Adolin revive his blade doesn't necessarily mean that suddenly all the old shardblades would be able to be revived. Many of those dead spren hate hate hate humanity for what happened to them, and since most who wield shardblades regard them as weapons and not spren, it would be extraordinarily difficult and convoluted to make that a plot point, since you would need a slew of other POVs where people were "reawakening" their shardblades in addition to Adolin's own. I don't think that's the direction Brandon is headed with this story, especially since Adolin isn't a main character. If he was, maybe. But as it stands now, doubt it.

29 minutes ago, Isilel said:

I personally would have preferred if Shallan didn't marry quite yet and took time to work through her issues instead - but it seems that the whole "end of the world" scenario, where Our Heroes have just narrowly escaped death  isn't sufficiently taken into consideration in this discussion. The characters are probably keenly aware that they if they don't seize the day immediately, they might not have the opportunity later... 

I think this may have been more of an act of desperation on Shallan's part--a way to avoid confronting her problems, as she's so keen to do--rather than a "yeah, getting married right now's a good idea" scenario.

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41 minutes ago, Isilel said:

Now, I know that this thread is focussed on a single aspect of the novel to the exclusion of everything else

You clearly didn't read all 81 pages :D  There are pages of just Adolin discussion and pages and pages of just Shallan discussion.  (Poor Kaladin does seem to get the shaft.)  So anything related to either Adolin or Shallan or Kaladin is fair game!

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OK, then. Hopefully, this isn't too much of a digression:

 

3 hours ago, Alderant said:

Elsecallers already have a Radiant, so they've not sworn off bonding entirely.

 

They have, this is specifically mentioned in the first of Jasnah's PoVs. Ivory is the lone rebel and his fellows even wanted to kill Jasnah because of it at some point - maybe during her soujourn in Shadesmar?

Now, the honorspren/Syl situation used to be similar, but they have changed their position because their follow the leadersip of the Stormfather and he has changed his opinion on the matter. There is no such option for the  other spren peoples that have forsworn bonding once and for all, though. Not to mention that even among spren peoples not generally opposed to the bond, many individual spren are going to hold back out of fear. Proving that there is a chance of reviving the dead shardblade spren will be critically important for uniting  Nahel spren against Odium and forestalling vengeful individuals like Malata's Spark from causing trouble. Both because it would offer hope for the dead spren and because Mayalaran will, hopefully, be able to explain that the Recreance was a mutual decision and the responsibility for it doesn't rest with humans alone.

 

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Having Adolin revive his spren just to provide another Edgedancer POV logically makes no sense.

You have it backwards - Adolin reviving his spren will be necessary to motivate the Nahel spren to bond/bond in great numbers respectively. Getting another Edgedancer is a beneficial by-product.

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We have Lift as our main Edgedancer, and while their order wasn't known for large numbers of squires, though they probably had a few. Adolin is not tied to Lift in any way, so having him as a POV Edgedancer doesn't make sense there, either.

This is a completely artificial limitation. Because it was one way with Kaladin and the other Windrunners doesn't mean that it has to be the same way with all the other "extra" Radiants. They are going to spring up independantly, as well as via apprenticeships to the already existing POVs. Ym wasn't tied to Renarin either.

The thing is, revival of a dead spren is an important enough plot-line that it has to be performed by a PoV-character to have proper significance. So, it might as well be somebody who we already care about, and who has already demonstrated requisite qualities, instead of a new character, who'd need to be built up from zero. It certainly doesn't hurt that the Orders need to grow and that they badly need standard Edgedancers in Urithiru and on the Shattered Plains.

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And yes, while it would be cool, the "precious memories from the past" is already filled with the caches discovered at Urithiru.

So far, it doesn't seem like those have much in the way of useful information and, of course they were made 2.5 millenia after the last Desolation, so no.

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 Many of those dead spren hate hate hate humanity for what happened to them, and since most who wield shardblades regard them as weapons and not spren, it would be extraordinarily difficult and convoluted to make that a plot point, since you would need a slew of other POVs where people were "reawakening" their shardblades in addition to Adolin's own.

It is already a plot point. And why should any extra PoVs be needed? Once they learn what needs to be done, they'd just identify to which Order the shardblades originally belonged  and try to match them up with compatible people, who would then receive the same instruction as the squires of that Order and get help with whatever extra stuff  Adolin discovers is needed for revival. We'll then occasionally hear about the successes, though those won't be particularly common.

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I think this may have been more of an act of desperation on Shallan's part--a way to avoid confronting her problems, as she's so keen to do--rather than a "yeah, getting married right now's a good idea" scenario.

Why not both? It is the end of the world, they did just nearly die and will continue to take on risky responsibilities. There is a real danger of her missing her chance if she waits too long. Not that it is a good situation, mind you.

As to confronting her problems and finally fully integrating the Truth about her mother - that's why Shallan's brothers have arrived.  Confessing the truth to them will be the neccessary step in this process. Also, with them being safe and sound despite her fears, there is one less thing for her to lock into the back of her mind.

Edited by Isilel
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Okay, so were back to complete speculation? Yes, we have a WoB, that it is generally possible, that a deadeyed spren can be revived, but we have no idea what that entails and thus we can't even make a proper argument, that he is actually in the process of reviving Maya. For instance, the shortened summoning time could also be attributed to a simple building Spiritual Connection, since we know that dead Shardblades are also kinda "close" to their holders in the Spiritual Realm.

But I have no proof for that theory, so it remains just speculative.

Same goes for how the other greater spren would react to one human making an effort to actually care about a dead spren. It is just speculation, that by one revival all Nahel spren suddenly are so eager to bond with humans... No, spren like Ivory and Syl going rogue and actually showing, that bonding with humans can go well is much, much more convincing - as attributed by more honorspren bonding now -, than 1 of a few dozen Shardbearers being different. I don't know how that should change the view on the whole of humanity.

Edited by SLNC
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27 minutes ago, SLNC said:

 Yes, we have a WoB, that it is generally possible, that a deadeyed spren can be revived, but we have no idea what that entails and thus we can't even make a proper argument, that he is actually in the process of reviving Maya.

She was talking to Adolin in his mind during the Thaylenah battle - unless we hear that other dead-blade Sharbearers experienced the same, this is a pretty convincing evidence that he is in the process of reviving her.

27 minutes ago, SLNC said:

Same goes for how the other greater spren would react to one human making an effort to actually care about a dead spren.

The point is, if a Recreance spren testifies that it wasn't a terrible betrayal of spren by humans, but a mutual, if tragically mistaken decision, that would change everything in a way that a few successful modern bonds can't. Hope that the dead spren can be eventually revived will help too.

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