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[OB] Adolin-Shallan-Kaladin Discussion

2,388 posts in this topic

4 minutes ago, SLNC said:

Also I don't think she has a big problem with the Truth, that she killed her father. She is pretty reconciled with that. Her Third Truth/Fourth Ideal, that she killed her mother, is her problem.

I don't think, that Adolin is acting as a foil there either. Shallan already did tell Truths the right way, even that she killed her father. She accepted that. She's struggling with her having killed her mother. She doesn't want to accept, that because of her long repression of it. Adolin never repressed, that he killed Sadeas.

That whole scene was just trustbuilding. Shallan refused to reciprocate the trust though.

True. She did accept the first three fairly easily. And that's just another on a laundry list of dissimilarities between Shallan and Adolin. As I said before, a relationship that is not built on trust is doomed to fail. Despite his "awesomeness" and "good-guyness" Shallan just does not trust Adolin, and that is a huge problem.

@ale I will get to your comments later tonight.

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5 hours ago, Dreamstorm said:

Like the art thing - it's explicit that Kaladin uses art for useful things and as a means of study, and that he's interested in Shallan's scholarly drawing.  It's explicit that Shallan chose natural history because she liked the study and observation elements of art.  Combine these two together, and you've got (another) commonality.

One additional thing that strikes me in this, is how it relates to that Brandon's video about crafting romance. Apart from braided roses, the thing he recommends to do, is to take two characters who seem completely not right for each other, and then tweak it bit by bit to completely turn it over. So it's exactly that, an artist and a soldier, two different worlds... but then not really. Brandon has used it a lot in the past too. And I think Shadolin is this turned 180 degrees... 

2 hours ago, DimChatz said:

That shows me these three things:

  • Shallan is no stranger to putting on masks to please others. She didn't start doing it when she became able to lightweave. It just helped.
  • Also isn't it strange that she puts up the same mask with Adolin as she did for her father. Although they are VERY different people, Shallan wants to be what she thinks they both want her to be. The perfect Vorin daughter or wife
  • (...) 

I didn't remember she was different around her brothers. Time for a reread. This is interesting, they might actually be capable of noticing that she's doing it again and that it means nothing good. I would like that twist - a happy ending with a wedding and a family reunion...  only to have one of these blessings undermine the other one next. 

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1 hour ago, Subvisual Haze said:

Oddly though, Adolin liked the pre-Oathbringer integrated Shallan just fine. 

Wait, what integrated Shallan? She creates Veil long before she gets to the Shattered Plains, and while she doesn't start slipping into other names in her internal monologue until Oathbringer, I think it's a stretch to say we've ever seen an integrated Shallan. The earliest glimpse we see of her is immediately after she killed her mother, and everything after that is her fractured personalities responding to her circumstances.

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1 hour ago, Rainier said:

Wait, what integrated Shallan? She creates Veil long before she gets to the Shattered Plains, and while she doesn't start slipping into other names in her internal monologue until Oathbringer, I think it's a stretch to say we've ever seen an integrated Shallan. The earliest glimpse we see of her is immediately after she killed her mother, and everything after that is her fractured personalities responding to her circumstances.

I'm not sure I agree about Veil. I think we see her make Veil in WOR. If you are talking about when Veil says she had her shardblade very young and her memories are confused, I thought that was just a slip up on Veil's part. She starts acting like Shallan's memories are hers then she backtracks and pretends they have nothing to do with her and they are only Shallan's problem. Then Pattern is concerned because that is not right.

I do think Shallan has been using masks since she killed her mother. The prim, perfect daughter was a mask. I think it is pretty clear that the cheerful, scholarly Shallan is a mask over her full self. When she confronts the unmade in Urithiru we see more of her real self.

Edited by wotbibliophile
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Wow guys! I returned from holidays and find 30 new pages! I´m so proud of you! 

I wanted to share this video with you. Is´t about Star Wars, but I think it relates to our issues with the ships and the habit of  overanalyzing that got us here (still trying to move on). Enjoy and tell me what you think :)

 

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59 minutes ago, Awesomness said:

I wanted to share this video with you. Is´t about Star Wars, but I think it relates to our issues with the ships and the habit of  overanalyzing that got us here (still trying to move on). Enjoy and tell me what you think :)

Totally worth the time to watch this.  My two cents - I like Star Wars (I've seen all the movies), but am not a "real" fan.  I don't even know if I watched a trailer prior to seeing the Last Jedi.  I certainly never read a single theory.  I went with a similarly situated friend.  We both left confused and disappointed in the movie.  (People actually walked out of our screening too.)  I can see how some of this was due to introduction on unfamiliar characters (the YouTubers point number 1), but I saw the Force Awakens with the same friend, and there we are introduced to a bunch of new characters, and we both really enjoyed that movie.  (The similarity in plot to a New Hope may have helped?)  The other ways that theories could ruin the movie don't apply to me since I wasn't exposed to any theories nor did I have lots of information to increase my confidence in what would happen.  (I literally had zero expectations and zero clue what might happen.)

So I have to say the elements the YouTuber mentions in the end probably weighed more on my opinion, namely that there wasn't a sense of consistency and things that happened/we saw in the movie had no bearing on what ended up happening.  I imagine for me a lot of this was subconscious; the movie just didn't set up the connections a story usually does for it to feel cohesive.  Sure, you can make an argument that it's great to subvert expectations (anti-Chekov's gun) and it's good to show that in the end, many things in life are meaningless, and I think that is what critics are getting at: The movie is different!  It doesn't make sense!  Life doesn't make sense!  Relating this to our dear ASK discussion, this definitely is an argument we've seen here; even though there was this setup for Shalladin, it's awesome that it was in the end it was ignored and subverted, because that's clever and different.  And OK, maybe that's what is going on.  And it's the author's prerogative to handle a plot line in that manner.  But, just like our YouTuber says, if you're going to craft a story where you can't trust that things actually mean anything, then you're going to lessen the enjoyment of a lot of readers, just like you lessened the enjoyment of a lot of people who saw the Last Jedi.

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17 hours ago, lu-tze said:

 

The basic premise I have is that the ground is set for Shallan to fall into the same position she took up in Jah Keved: that of trying to hold the family together, to silence internal discord, or pave over internal schisms. I think that similarities in kind will provoke her to confront her true motivations. 

Conflict between her brothers and the rest of the Kholin family could prompt these feelings; a reckoning regarding Sadeas' murder; or tensions between Shallan's continuing work for the ghostbloods, their relationship with Helaran, and the rest of her family. In fact, this may be the most likely: the external pressure on the family was (besides loss-of-status due to Shallan's killing her mother) indebtedness to the ghostbloods -- a debt which is considered not fully repaid. 

The lie upon which all the others are built. That her ends were (are?) noble and selfless, that the original purpose to her quest was the salvation of her brothers, and not her own respite.

Okay, after re-reading your post it makes a lot more sense. I see where you're coming from and I think, in large part, we're in agreement. Just so I make sure I'm understanding you correctly, you are saying that the foundational lie is that her ends were noble and selfless, correct?

I'm not sure that I agree that Shallan is going to fall into the same position she took up in Jah Keved. There are a lot more people and events that are tugging at Shallan now then there were before, when she was largely just a young daughter of a lesser-known noble family. That said, I do feel that a reckoning is in store for what is going on--I pointed out earlier that it's likely that her brothers are going to point out inconsistencies in who she pretends to be versus the girl they knew for so long. Plus...I tread hesitantly here, as it's largely speculative, but we don't know how much the Ghostbloods have interacted with her brothers. We don't know if they were told anything about what Shallan's been up to. If they were, then maybe there will be some conflict, but if not, I doubt that there going to be reason for tension between Davar and Kholin, especially with Jasnah as Queen, who was largely aware of the situation with Shallan's family.

17 hours ago, Ailvara said:

I didn't remember she was different around her brothers. Time for a reread. This is interesting, they might actually be capable of noticing that she's doing it again and that it means nothing good. I would like that twist - a happy ending with a wedding and a family reunion...  only to have one of these blessings undermine the other one next. 

Yes, she did act differently around her brothers, but rather she was a little more herself around them than that she put on a mask for them. I doubt they'll notice that "she's doing it again" and come to the conclusion it means nothing good--her mask for her father was a matter of survival, as was her brothers' behavior around their father. Lin Davar was a man with a quick and violent temper. Again, though, chances are high that any character inconsistencies will be pointed out by her brothers.

16 hours ago, Rainier said:

Wait, what integrated Shallan? She creates Veil long before she gets to the Shattered Plains, and while she doesn't start slipping into other names in her internal monologue until Oathbringer, I think it's a stretch to say we've ever seen an integrated Shallan. The earliest glimpse we see of her is immediately after she killed her mother, and everything after that is her fractured personalities responding to her circumstances.

Um...no. What we see after she killed her mother is a person in shock. It's not that her personalities are fractured and responding to her circumstances (she only has one personality), but rather that her mind has been so traumatized that it's shut down. This happens a lot to soldiers.

16 hours ago, wotbibliophile said:

I'm not sure I agree about Veil. I think we see her make Veil in WOR. If you are talking about when Veil says she had her shardblade very young and her memories are confused, I thought that was just a slip up on Veil's part. She starts acting like Shallan's memories are hers then she backtracks and pretends they have nothing to do with her and they are only Shallan's problem. Then Pattern is concerned because that is not right.

I do think Shallan has been using masks since she killed her mother. The prim, perfect daughter was a mask. I think it is pretty clear that the cheerful, scholarly Shallan is a mask over her full self. When she confronts the unmade in Urithiru we see more of her real self.

Again...Veil == Shallan. Veil is not a separate identity trapped in Shallan's body. Veil is Shallan, with all of Shallan's memories, so it was more of a slip on Shallan's part--she allowed a little bit more of herself to bleed into her Veil persona, rather than keeping it separate. This is part of the reason Veil is more like the true Shallan at the end of OB than the "Shallan" persona. Also, to head off argument here, I'm pretty sure there is even a WOB that states that Veil, Shallan, and Radiant would appear in the cognitive realm as one person, not three. I will find it and post it here.

EDIT: Here it is!

Quote

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Shallan's personas. How would they be viewed in the Spiritual Realm? Would they be an individual? Or would they be seen as being slightly separate?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

They would be seen as an individual.

That said, you're correct that she's been using masks since her childhood, though I'd disagree in that I think cheerful, scholarly Shallan of WoR and WoK was actually more true to herself than what we saw at the end of Oathbringer. That Shallan was on the path to healing. This Shallan is on a path to self-destruction. And you are also correct that the "real" Shallan is who confronted the Unmade--or rather, the frightened, broken girl is part of who Shallan really is. It's the part that she shuns, that she doesn't want to be, the part that she fears if others see, they'll leave.

Edited by Alderant
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10 minutes ago, Dreamstorm said:

Totally worth the time to watch this.  My two cents ....

I totally agree. Though I watched the movies, I am not really a fan. But what he says about expecting and demanding consistency rings a bell :D

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1 hour ago, Awesomness said:

I wanted to share this video with you. Is´t about Star Wars, but I think it relates to our issues with the ships and the habit of  overanalyzing that got us here (still trying to move on). Enjoy and tell me what you think

Let me preface this by saying that I liked The Last Jedi and I consider my self a bit of a fan. It's been 2 months since I watched it but here's my original assessment. Cool movie, some great parts and visuals. Some plotting things though need explaining but I can explain them away. What changed is that I realised that the fact that I can explain them away does not mean that they shouldn't have been better presented. It doesn't diminish my enjoyment but it is problematic for the movie. Yeah, I can rationalize and explain some of them, but should I have to? Shouldn't the creator be able to convince on the merits of what was presented? If something is so obviously good and hangs together so well noboby would find it unconvincing. The end of OB when it comes to the aspect we're discussing, is the least convincing conclusion I've experienced. It needs a lot of explaining and rationalizing and waving stuff away to be satisfying. Therefore there's a lot of room for interpretation and theorizing there. We cannot be expected to find this satisfying while so much were set up and not payed off. If theorizing is poisonous, then what should we call blind acceptance and the dismissal of criticism?

Even though I went in without preconceived expectations about Rey's parents or Snoke or Luke, I know and recognize that people went in with their expectations and when these where not met they were disappointed. And I agree on the point of Rey's parentage that the movie set expectations that were not met and I agree that it's disappointing.

Spoiler

(I'm not yet sure on that matter as it looks more like a convincing techinque on Kylo's part:ph34r:)

Spoiler

As for Snoke, you can bet that there's gonna be a book titled "Snoke" about him...

...because that's what Disney does nowadays and it's frustrating. Explain important stuff in other material. But money need to be made...:rolleyes:

Spoiler

As for Phasma? Yeah, that was weird... I mean she even had a book to present her backstory and Gwendoline Christie was heavily involved in the marketing and she had what? 5-10 minutes of screen time? What in damnation? And she went doen like a no name goon.

Also I see some difference in the way that this theorizing is taking place. No one here is using uncanonized material to support their theories. We mine the text we have for info or the nuggets we get from the creator (although I think WoBs are soft canon and stuff said there are susceptible to change during the creative proccess). For me when it comes to subscribing to a theory it comes to these things:

  • Is the theory supported by provided material that is recognised by the creator or the public as canonical?
  • Is what the theory possible and believable?
  • Does it make a good case for itself?

And even then I don't take it for granted and tout it as 100% probable.

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56 minutes ago, Alderant said:

What we see after she killed her mother is a person in shock. It's not that her personalities are fractured and responding to her circumstances (she only has one personality), but rather that her mind has been so traumatized that it's shut down.

I guess the short scene doesn't give us enough to determine if she's fractured or not, but that's beside the point. Afterwards we don't see a fully integrated Shallan, at all, in any scenes. Even when she's a girl she's still staring off into the distance, dissociating and suppressing her memories. She spends her time alternating between the perfect daughter and the subversive sister, donning masks as needed.

57 minutes ago, Alderant said:

That said, you're correct that she's been using masks since her childhood, though I'd disagree in that I think cheerful, scholarly Shallan of WoR and WoK was actually more true to herself than what we saw at the end of Oathbringer.

I'm not sure how you can have both Shallan-with-one-personality and Shallan-using-masks-since-childhood. The masks are the different personalities. She's not possessed, and she's not unaware of her different alters. Just like everyone else, she has certain roles to play in certain circumstances. Unlike everyone else she starts to personify one of those roles when she names it Veil in WoR, but she's been practicing switching back and forth her entire life. 

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Just now, Rainier said:

I guess the short scene doesn't give us enough to determine if she's fractured or not, but that's beside the point. Afterwards we don't see a fully integrated Shallan, at all, in any scenes. Even when she's a girl she's still staring off into the distance, dissociating and suppressing her memories. She spends her time alternating between the perfect daughter and the subversive sister, donning masks as needed.

I'm not sure how you can have both Shallan-with-one-personality and Shallan-using-masks-since-childhood. The masks are the different personalities. She's not possessed, and she's not unaware of her different alters. Just like everyone else, she has certain roles to play in certain circumstances. Unlike everyone else she starts to personify one of those roles when she names it Veil in WoR, but she's been practicing switching back and forth her entire life. 

The confusion lies in how you are defining what's going on.

First, there is no textual evidence to support the idea that she is splitting off personalities following the trauma of her mother from the time of the incident, up to the time that she kills her father. Yes, she is still suppressing memories and blanking out as a coping mechanism--however, "donning a mask" does not entail creating an entirely separate identity. Much like actors "take a role" during a stage production, Shallan is adopting a habit of living in order to survive in her father's household. I would argue that the "subversive sister", as you put it, is more akin to the true Shallan (who she would be/have been without the trauma) rather than a mask donned around her brothers.

Second, while I agree that she is donning masks, I do not agree in the manner that you are defining this. Part of this is the semantics you use--"personality" and "persona" mean two wholly different things. If you read through my other posts, you'll notice I explicitly use the word persona in describing what Shallan is doing and the roles she is assuming. A persona is a mask. A personality, however, could be considered a separate identity, different from the "host" personality as is common with DID.

Furthermore, under this definition of using personas versus personalities, I can state that she can have both one personality since her mother's death, and still have her using masks since childhood, because, while the masks have different characteristics and roles they are meant to fulfill, underneath the mask they are still the same personality, the same person, with all of her flaws and shortcomings.

With regards to Veil, Veil was created to be a disguise, a mask, to use during her infiltration of the Ghostbloods. However, if Veil acted exactly as Shallan in disguise, she might as well go as Shallan, because the connection would have been made instantly. This is even addressed in WoR, when Shallan--as Veil--slips up and reveals her memory and drawing capabilities to the Mraize. A good disguise, therefore, is one that is fully fleshed out and can be adopted at a moment's notice. How best to disguise that Veil isn't Shallan? Make her different, not just in physical feature, but in personality (as in how she acts), voice, and every other noticeable way. In Oathbringer, however, Shallan began to go down a very bad path of using her personas to deal with her own personal issues. She began slicing off problems that she didn't want to deal with as "Shallan", and segregated those problems into the personas. Combine these efforts with the augmentation provided by the magic system, and Shallan suffers an identity crisis.

The underlying problem, however, remains the same. Veil, Radiant, and "Shallan" are still just Shallan with a mask on. They're not separate identities with their own existence--they're figmentations born of Shallan's attempts to avoid her own mental problems, augmented by Shallan's own mental gymnastic proficiency and the magic system.

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9 hours ago, Alderant said:

Again...Veil == Shallan. Veil is not a separate identity trapped in Shallan's body. Veil is Shallan, with all of Shallan's memories, so it was more of a slip on Shallan's part--she allowed a little bit more of herself to bleed into her Veil persona, rather than keeping it separate. This is part of the reason Veil is more like the true Shallan at the end of OB than the "Shallan" persona. Also, to head off argument here, I'm pretty sure there is even a WOB that states that Veil, Shallan, and Radiant would appear in the cognitive realm as one person, not three. I will find it and post it here.

 

7 hours ago, Alderant said:

Furthermore, under this definition of using personas versus personalities, I can state that she can have both one personality since her mother's death, and still have her using masks since childhood, because, while the masks have different characteristics and roles they are meant to fulfill, underneath the mask they are still the same personality, the same person, with all of her flaws and shortcomings.

With regards to Veil, Veil was created to be a disguise, a mask, to use during her infiltration of the Ghostbloods. However, if Veil acted exactly as Shallan in disguise, she might as well go as Shallan, because the connection would have been made instantly. This is even addressed in WoR, when Shallan--as Veil--slips up and reveals her memory and drawing capabilities to the Mraize. A good disguise, therefore, is one that is fully fleshed out and can be adopted at a moment's notice. How best to disguise that Veil isn't Shallan? Make her different, not just in physical feature, but in personality (as in how she acts), voice, and every other noticeable way. In Oathbringer, however, Shallan began to go down a very bad path of using her personas to deal with her own personal issues. She began slicing off problems that she didn't want to deal with as "Shallan", and segregated those problems into the personas. Combine these efforts with the augmentation provided by the magic system, and Shallan suffers an identity crisis.

The underlying problem, however, remains the same. Veil, Radiant, and "Shallan" are still just Shallan with a mask on. They're not separate identities with their own existence--they're figmentations born of Shallan's attempts to avoid her own mental problems, augmented by Shallan's own mental gymnastic proficiency and the magic system.

Shallan is giving me a headache again. I am just confused. First, I think Veil = Shallan. I never thought Veil or Radiant somehow existed separate from Shallan. They are not real. When I said Veil slipped up I meant that Veil was acting like Shallan's memories were hers. I know Veil has all of Shallan's memories but imaginary Veil imagines she has had a different childhood than Shallan. The mistake in that scene with Vathah was that Veil said she had a shardblade when she was young. She then backtracks and says that was Shallan's childhood not hers. Second, I think of Shallan in WOK and WOR as a mask because Shallan calls it a mask, both in WOR and OB. She is always talking about putting a mask over the pathetic mess she thinks she is and in OB she calls Veil and Shallan equally false. I agree 100% that Shallan was healthier mentally in WOR than she is by the end of OB.

In the second quote here, it seems like you are using persona and personality for Veil. Like I said, I am really confused. I feel like you could interpret Shallan and her messed up head space 50 different ways. I said before that I think Shallan has been using masks since she killed her mother. I think she usually uses masks to please other people. In OB, Veil may have been used to please Shallan rather than other people. Shallan used Veil to avoid feeling pain. I agree that Veil and Radiant are not real.

ETA:

@Awesomness I liked the Last Jedi. I was pleased with the way they subverted expectations. Like @DimChatz I am a fan and I could wave away some of the plot holes. Actually, the Force Awakens (which I liked) had a plot whole that still annoys me a lot more. That death ray thing should only have worked once. After that they could never use it again. I do try to go into a movie with low expectations and that helps my enjoyment.

With books I tend to expect a lot more; a lot better story telling. And I expect everything to be significant in a story. I think there should be a reason for every word used in a book. I don't know how Shallan/Adolin can feel resolved, even though they are married, when Veil is still around, still out of Shallan's control, still interested in Kaladin, and Shallan lied about being interested in Kaladin.

Edited by wotbibliophile
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On 1/30/2018 at 1:13 PM, Dreamstorm said:

A lot of the evidence other than the obvious "Shallan married Adolin" (accompanied by "Brandon will never break up a marriage") seems to point away from this being the ending of the arc. 

See, this is the issue I have with the entire discussion: I disagree with most within this thread as to what constitute evidence and what does not. My impressions are many just want the Adolin/Shallan union to fail, for various reasons which fluctuate from one poster to the next, and, as a result, are specifically looking for evidence it will. I have yet to see people start to actively post evidence of the opposite. This thread is heavily geared towards either Kaladin/Shallan or a failed Adolin/Shallan marriage and while the reasons for wanting either of those things are numerous, it does not change the fact it has geared the discussion towards one conclusion and only one.

My personal stance is I actually do not agree with either what some are referring to as "foreshadowing" nor with the "evidence" Brandon is hinting towards something else than what we have read. In fact, I am of the opinion he is hinting towards the end of the love triangle, not the continuity. I however do not wish to engage myself into a lengthy discussion on the matter as I do not feel here and now is the right time for it. My views on the romance, apart from the parts I do agree with which is the satisfaction level it brought, are so widely opposed from most respondents within this thread further arguing has become... pointless. Not pointless because the topic is uninteresting nor it shouldn't exist, pointless because there isn't a lot of place within the middle ground to meet.

On 1/30/2018 at 1:13 PM, Dreamstorm said:

So going back to the above since you expressing how you weren't satisfied with the romance made me think of it... I am confused why a reader who loves Adolin is happy with Shadolin.  (Not particular to you Maxal, but just in general for the fact we seem to always see "Adolin lover" = "Shadolin lover".)  Taking aside some of the debatable aspects of Shadolin, we know two things to be true: (1) Brandon has said parts of Shallan are in love with Adolin and parts are in love with Kaladin and (2) Brandon did not write strong feelings for Shallan into Adolin's PoV.  I do not see how a reader who is in love with Adolin can be happy with a romance for Adolin with these two elements!  Adolin married a woman who we know (because the author told us) loves another man as well as Adolin, and the author chose not to show Adolin having any strong feelings for his now wife (either by design or just through omission.)  Wouldn't a lover of Adolin want him in a relationship with a woman where the woman only loved Adolin and all parts of her wanted to marry Adolin?  Wouldn't a lover of Adolin want to see from Adolin's PoV his love for that woman?  I just don't see how an Adolin lover can be satisfied with what we got and want that romance to be the end all and be all of Adolin's romance!  Doesn't he deserve better?

I can see a couple (maybe subconscious) motivations though.  One, Adolin being married to one of our three main characters keeps him as a central character, so this tepid romance is OK as a compromise for keeping Adolin in the forefront of the story.  Two, the love of Adolin means a desire for Adolin to "win" in all situations, and marrying Shallan is considered a "win" over Kaladin (I see this also come into the idea that Adolin had zero other options for women to court/marry, and thus it must be Shallan.  So Adolin "needs" this "win".)  Three, the reader identifies with Shallan, and thus can insert her/himself in the relationship and imagine her/himself as the one in the relationship with Adolin.  Four, the reader recognizes the Shadolin relationship doesn't have much depth and likes the idea of Adolin not being that attached to his romantic partner, because then the reader can keep up the fantasy that he/she is the one who is right for Adolin.  (I realize these get a bit more crazy as they go along :D)  But in conclusion, I don't get why loving Adolin equates to loving Shadolin!  (And vice versa that disliking Shadolin means disliking Adolin!)  It just doesn't add up.  Would you want to be married to someone who also loves someone else?  Or married to someone who you don't feel strong feelings for (or where the author who created you doesn't feel the need to show these feelings)?  Absolutely not on my end!  (Currently auditioning for president of the newest SA fan club:  Adolin fans who believe he deserves better than his romance with Shallan :P)

I can better answer this question. I need however to state I am speaking for myself and not on the behalf of all of the Adolin fans, just myself. 

The reasons I did not find the romance entirely satisfying aren't because of the conclusion. I don't mind how Shallan comes to realize she loves Adolin (and yes, I do think this is what the narrative is telling us) nor do I mind Adolin being able to point out when Shallan is being herself from when she is pretending to be someone else (and yes, I do think this is what those scenes are about). It could have been handled better in the sense the emotions didn't exactly flew in a spectacular way. Brandon gave us a book where inter-character scenes were, on average, poor. He skipped too much of the emotions, he focused too much on the internal, not enough on the external impact of those emotions and, for this reason, a lot of the development feels flat to me, no matter what and whom it was about.

As a reader loving Adolin, what do I want, what am I looking for? Interesting character development and satisfying resolution of said character issues. This is where my level of discontentment increases. Adolin didn't, IMHO, have either. The romance, as it is written, doesn't bring a satisfying resolution coming from Adolin's character. I find it relatively satisfying coming from Shallan's character: she wondered who she loves, she tried on a few personalities, but in the end, she realizes herself is not so bad. She also figures, once Adolin leaves, it is him she wants to be with, not Kaladin nor anyone else. For me, this was fine, not perfectly handled, but fine. The development was not spectacular, but I found it acceptable and coherent enough. What bothered me more is the fact the romance angle is never explored from Adolin's character's perspective. It bothers me even more his character is described as the one having relationship issues, not Shallan, hence the choice of making the romance solely be about her, felt wrong to me and not very satisfying. This was discussed at some point within the thread: Adolin's issues with relationships are never really explored and he seems to get resolution without needing to reflect on his/try to correct behavior. As an Adolin fan, this is where I am not satisfied. I am fine with the conclusion: I still find Adolin/Shallan, as a couple, have greater potential for interesting development than Kaladin/Shallan or I should perhaps say, their potential for development goes into story arcs I personally find interesting as opposed to the other option. This however purely is my personal's perspective: there are just stuff I prefer reading over other stuff. I guess everyone can stay the same, so this isn't mean as a judgment or anything. I am merely stating the kind of narrative I enjoy: others will enjoy other narratives.

As I said, what I want is relatively simple: I want a good Adolin centrist arc, an arc which would focus on him, on issues revolving around his character and how they influence those of the other characters evolving near him. Is Adolin marrying Shallan, both being in perfect harmony without any secret and nothing less than deep love while all of his previous issues evaporate because he has finally found the "right one", interesting? From my perspective, not in the slightest. This reads as an ending, but an ending without a resolution for one of its protagonists and a half-resolution for the other. The perfect romance isn't, IMHO, interesting. The less perfect romance, the union where things are still left unsaid, where issues may arise (because honestly they always do) is considerably more interesting than the alternative, well, to me it is. Hence, it isn't about what Adolin deserves, it is about what makes the best story to read. The story where Adolin gets everything he's ever wanted, it is perfect, he is perfect and there isn't more to say about it doesn't really deserve to be told. It is fine, it may be realistic, but it doesn't make it to the front lines of a narrative.

What we got wasn't perfect. Skipping over the fact I would have liked if the romance were a bigger narrative (I however understand this isn't Brandon's writing style, he never puts much focus on romance, in a general manner), ignoring the fact Adolin is more or less a pot plant when it comes to it, the fact there may be hardships within this romance's future is not uninteresting. It is what may redeem it actually. Adolin is not written as having strong feelings for Shallan? I personally believe we were supposed to get from the narrative he does (Brandon never thinks he needs to write much of Adolin, IMHO, a mistake), but a good author could recycle this within a future book and make it sound right. We never had Adolin's POV on the matter, this is true, but maybe we will within the next book or not but, I mean, there is still some (not a lot though) hope Brandon will feel he needs to work better on this part of the narrative. Some readers find there is something iffy about Shallan's feelings? I personally believe we were supposed to get from the narrative she does love him, but she has her secrets which she hasn't told. She will be the Highlady: much is at stakes, much could turn into hardships. Is it unsatisfying Brandon would join these two characters? Of course not! It brings something new to the table, it unites two important viewpoint characters together, it ties their story arcs together and it offers opportunities for conflicts, trials and, well, a storming story to read out of it.

To me, what Adolin's character deserved was a good narrative, a bit of focus and some fleshing out, which he didn't get, independently of the romance arc. The romance arc is not was sinks nor harms the character: it is merely an arc into which he evolves. Also, as I said above, his character was written around the need, the desire to form up meaningful relationships combined with his inability to do so. In this optic, I never felt his character would ever have a satisfying resolution unless he tackles at romance. So it isn't so much "being an Adolin fan equates Shadolin", I find it is more "being an Adolin fan equates GOOD character development for him", no matter how it may happen. I personally happen to like the idea, the tropes and the narrative going through him developing a romantic relationship with Shallan. I find it interesting.

As for the points you listed, I'd say number one is definitely something which has come across some readers thoughts, including my own. I'd however argue, after OB, Adolin's place within the narrative is really not secure. Brandon has not demonstrated he had the intention of taking the character down a decent story arc worthy of his viewpoints: him being married to Shallan is unlikely to change anything about it. The romance was so focused on Shallan anyway, it hardly did anything for his character, so this really can't be a reason now we read OB. For the second point, I never met anyone wanting Adolin to "win them all": this is an attitude I find most prevalent within some (not all of course, but the sentient has been voiced out within parts of the fandom, not this thread though, but elsewhere) Kaladin's fans, the "I want him to be happy, so I want him within a romance and Shallan is the only girl available for this". I don't think there is the equivalent for Adolin or it isn't phrased in the same way, on average, I'd say Adolin fans just want his character to have an interesting story arc, most Adolin fans thought his predicament was really interesting at the end of WoR, not so much now. Sure, there are those who like his light comical viewpoint, but I tend not to perceive those readers as real Adolin fans (a mistake on my part perhaps) as they aren't really rooting for his character to have a narrative, they just liked reading him, like some like reading Lopen. To me, not the same thing, others may disagree. I met anyone befitting number three, but maybe it exists, I can't say. Some people like number 4, usually on Tumblr where they like to keep the options wider and more open: there prerogative, but I never saw the movement as the predominant one. It certainly isn't the one which came across the most within the more elaborated parts of the fandom.

Well, all this to say being an Adolin fan, for myself, isn't about the romance, it is about him getting good, enthralling and interesting character development combined with later resolution. This resolution, in my mind, always passed through relationships and much page time was spend developing his story with Shallan. Together, I find they both have much potential, even if it is not perfect and I honestly hope it won't be, though I also hope those imperfections won't pass through more of Shallan's "issues" as I don't find they are what makes it interesting. To me, they don't, others millage certainly vary.

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@Awesomness I loved the "a theory about a theory" video! Even if it's arguments aren't exactly right, it was an interesting experience! My two cents, movies are way too different than books, mostly because of the time invested watching/reading. Also books are meant to excite your thought process a lot more than impress your visual sense. So it makes a lot more sense that a book should actually come through with it's Chekhov's guns, instead of diverging your attention to beautiful visuals of high contrast.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that, with a friend's help, I've come up with a theory (without much evidence to support nor refute it) that could potentially explain Shallan's circumstances but I do not know how to express it, because it is kind of a huge tinfoilhat-y one. For anyone interested PM me.

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11 hours ago, wotbibliophile said:

hallan is giving me a headache again. I am just confused. First, I think Veil = Shallan. I never thought Veil or Radiant somehow existed separate from Shallan. They are not real. When I said Veil slipped up I meant that Veil was acting like Shallan's memories were hers. I know Veil has all of Shallan's memories but imaginary Veil imagines she has had a different childhood than Shallan. The mistake in that scene with Vathah was that Veil said she had a shardblade when she was young. She then backtracks and says that was Shallan's childhood not hers. Second, I think of Shallan in WOK and WOR as a mask because Shallan calls it a mask, both in WOR and OB. She is always talking about putting a mask over the pathetic mess she thinks she is and in OB she calls Veil and Shallan equally false. I agree 100% that Shallan was healthier mentally in WOR than she is by the end of OB.

Oh okay. I must have misread your comment because I read that as you saying that Veil was a separate identity--looks like we're on the same page here, then. I don't disagree that the Shallan in WoK and WoR may be a mask--however, I feel that of all her masks, this one is perhaps the most genuine and closest to her true self.

11 hours ago, wotbibliophile said:

In the second quote here, it seems like you are using persona and personality for Veil. Like I said, I am really confused. I feel like you could interpret Shallan and her messed up head space 50 different ways. I said before that I think Shallan has been using masks since she killed her mother. I think she usually uses masks to please other people. In OB, Veil may have been used to please Shallan rather than other people. Shallan used Veil to avoid feeling pain. I agree that Veil and Radiant are not real.

I apologize for the confusion. I use/think of Veil explicitly as a persona, or a mask. However, the magic system allows Shallan to more fully separate pieces of herself from herself (in her mind), and I believe that most of the pieces that are closest to who Shallan really is were sliced off and contained within her Veil persona during OB. I think you hit an interesting point that Veil was used to please Shallan, instead of others. It's certainly worth further analysis.

@maxal

Though your views may be contrary, I for one have always found your thoughts and comments insightful and well thought out. I personally view myself as a little more middle ground on the subject (though based on your words I'm sure I'm still quite far away from the middle ground in your eyes), in that I'm not 100% in the camp of ShallanxKaladin. Personally, what you say about Adolin getting a good, centric arc of his own I agree with 100%. That would be nice, especially with the extra role he seems to have taken on, as we discussed in the "Adoling Breaking" thread.

That said, I, at least, appreciate your input in the discussion. It's nice to have someone speaking the opposite views, especially when you have a large amount of views in one direction. It helps to have someone to say "stop, let's look at this from another angle". :)

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@maxal I really like your post about Adolin. Thanks for writing it. Not seeing the romance from Adolin's perspective is a part of my dissatisfaction with the romance. Not a big part, but a part. Adolin thinks about Shallan just a little bit in OB. The most Adolin thinks about Shallan is in WOR when he lists the things he likes about her. I assume their relationship has developed since then, so it would have been good to have his thoughts about her updated in OB, especially since the end of OB is their marriage. I also don't think it is a good thing that the little he thinks about Shallan is mostly him concluding she prefers Kaladin to him. I don't understand Adolin's thought process. He goes from breaking up with Shallan to marriage very fast.

@Alderant I think we pretty much agree about Shallan and her masks. Just because she puts on a mask doesn't mean their aren't real parts of her fueling certain aspects of her mask. I think her masks show real parts of her, just not the whole picture. Part of the problem in OB is that Shallan thinks she can't be all these things; that she has to be one thing instead of more complex.

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On 2/7/2018 at 8:41 AM, Alderant said:

Though your views may be contrary, I for one have always found your thoughts and comments insightful and well thought out. I personally view myself as a little more middle ground on the subject (though based on your words I'm sure I'm still quite far away from the middle ground in your eyes), in that I'm not 100% in the camp of ShallanxKaladin. Personally, what you say about Adolin getting a good, centric arc of his own I agree with 100%. That would be nice, especially with the extra role he seems to have taken on, as we discussed in the "Adoling Breaking" thread.

That said, I, at least, appreciate your input in the discussion. It's nice to have someone speaking the opposite views, especially when you have a large amount of views in one direction. It helps to have someone to say "stop, let's look at this from another angle". :)

I feel the middle ground is pretty vacant at the moment: most readers invested within this discussion are intend on proving how negative the Adolin/Shallan marriage is. I have yet to see readers put the same amount of effort to... prove the opposite, hence the middle ground seems very lonely these days.

As an Adolin fan, I have been rooting for an Adolin centrist arc ever since WoR finished. The little arc surrounding Maya, towards the end of OB, was not enough. It however is interesting and is exactly the kind of arc which could pan out into something more meaty within book 4, shall the author wish it. Unfortunately, Brandon's intentions towards Adolin's character are near impossible to decipher: it always seemed to me he isn't agreeing with myself over what makes up for an interesting narrative for him.

Thanks. I find it hard to post contradicting views because they are often met with strong opposition and little support. It isn't so much I wish for others to change their minds, but as I said above, there hasn't been a lot of readers coming forth to defend the Adolin/Shallan union.

On 2/7/2018 at 4:45 PM, wotbibliophile said:

@maxal I really like your post about Adolin. Thanks for writing it. Not seeing the romance from Adolin's perspective is a part of my dissatisfaction with the romance. Not a big part, but a part. Adolin thinks about Shallan just a little bit in OB. The most Adolin thinks about Shallan is in WOR when he lists the things he likes about her. I assume their relationship has developed since then, so it would have been good to have his thoughts about her updated in OB, especially since the end of OB is their marriage. I also don't think it is a good thing that the little he thinks about Shallan is mostly him concluding she prefers Kaladin to him. I don't understand Adolin's thought process. He goes from breaking up with Shallan to marriage very fast.

I have seen readers voice out their concerns on how Brandon has made the romance be one-sided. I have seen the posts where readers are complaining, within this thread, over the lack of thought process on Adolin's part, when it comes down to it. It has often been interpreted as him not really caring about Shallan: my thoughts are different. I believe we aren't getting more from Adolin because most of his viewpoints have another purpose. In other words, within Brandon's mind, the romance is written solely from the Shallan angle. Readers have noted, ever before the release of OB, how Brandon has not seen fit to write one date from Adolin's perspective apart from this very short snippet within WoR. OB didn't offer anything different as, still, all of the intimate Adolin/Shallan scenes were written within her perspective and not him. Hence it isn't surprising we aren't really reading it: it isn't in the book. Now why did Brandon thought it served the narrative better to make the romance arc be one-sided, I honestly cannot say. I am baffled this is how he planned it.

As for how Adolin can go from breaking up to marriage: this works for me. Adolin is notorious for ruining his courtships. A WoB told us he did mostly out of not feeling he was good enough. OB certainly highlighted how unworthy Adolin thinks he is, how lesser compared to everyone else he feels he is: while he is able to appreciate his own talents, he keeps on thinking they are... not enough. Hence, upon seeing Shallan and Kaladin glow together, it wasn't long he started to believe Kaladin would make the better match. Even if he does love Shallan, he has no intentions to fight for her because, in his mind, he already lost. This is the one battle Adolin never won: the battle of worth. He can step into the arena, beat his foes, be a grand duelist, take command without even realizing he is doing it, but he could never make Dalinar proud, not until it was too late. 

My perspective is thus, when he breaks up with Shallan, he does not really want to break it up: he only does it because he sincerely believes Kaladin is the better man while thinking Shallan loves him more. He wants to do the right thing which is allowing Shallan to make her choice, removing the obligation to marry him, giving her the freedom to choose, without any ties. He however does love her, so when she chooses him, well, he's happy. I also took note how surprised he sounded upon hearing Shallan lists the things she loves about Adolin: he really never thought he was enough. He voices out his concerns later on, but Shallan insisted it didn't matter if he weren't a Radiant.

Adolin's thought process remain, IMHO, consistent with themselves. He has fears, a given lack of self-confidence, perhaps some lack of self-esteem, but the narrative is never strong enough to push him over the edge. As such, with a bit of encouragement, he moves past it, refuses to be the king and marries Shallan. Where Brandon will go from there? Well, it could go down many very interesting paths or he could reinforced Adolin as the one stable character. I find the later would be a waste.

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30 minutes ago, maxal said:

OB certainly highlighted how unworthy Adolin thinks he is, how lesser compared to everyone else he feels he is: while he is able to appreciate his own talents, he keeps on thinking they are... not enough. Hence, upon seeing Shallan and Kaladin glow together, it wasn't long he started to believe Kaladin would make the better match. Even if he does love Shallan, he has no intentions to fight for her because, in his mind, he already lost. This is the one battle Adolin never won: the battle of worth. He can step into the arena, beat his foes, be a grand duelist, take command without even realizing he is doing it, but he could never make Dalinar proud, not until it was too late. 

My perspective is thus, when he breaks up with Shallan, he does not really want to break it up: he only does it because he sincerely believes Kaladin is the better man while thinking Shallan loves him more. He wants to do the right thing which is allowing Shallan to make her choice, removing the obligation to marry him, giving her the freedom to choose, without any ties. He however does love her, so when she chooses him, well, he's happy. I also took note how surprised he sounded upon hearing Shallan lists the things she loves about Adolin: he really never thought he was enough. He voices out his concerns later on, but Shallan insisted it didn't matter if he weren't a Radiant.

Adolin's thought process remain, IMHO, consistent with themselves. He has fears, a given lack of self-confidence, perhaps some lack of self-esteem, but the narrative is never strong enough to push him over the edge. As such, with a bit of encouragement, he moves past it, refuses to be the king and marries Shallan.

Ahh, this is exactly my thoughts, is extremely consistent with his POV in previous books. Nicely said.

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I hope that angle gets explored in Book 4. I'd really love for Adolin to actually grow into the role he seemed to have already kind of taken by the end of WoR. It's a mistake to artificially limit and cut a character's role when they've already grown into it - I think ultimately, while planning and plotting is the basis, you've got to let the characters drive the plot and plan around them. 

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19 hours ago, maxal said:

Thanks. I find it hard to post contradicting views because they are often met with strong opposition and little support. It isn't so much I wish for others to change their minds, but as I said above, there hasn't been a lot of readers coming forth to defend the Adolin/Shallan union.

Come on now.  I've been pretty fair in my assessments of Shallan and Adolin's feelings for one another:

[OB] Adolin-Shallan-Kaladin Discussion

I for one have never argued that Shallan does not have feelings for Adolin, or vice versa.  I believe their feelings for each other exist, and have always merited exploration of their relationship.  That being said, what I cannot get around is the fact that Brandon has laid out plenty of evidence both in text and in WoB for Shallan and Kaladin:

1. Brandon chose to write romantic interplay between them, that was both based on physical attraction, as well as emotional attraction.

2. This romantic interplay was not "resolved" in any manner where either party had an honest reflection of their feelings.  They both chose to ignore them, which means instead of being "resolved", it is now "shelved".  Because the author is intentionally shelving these feelings between the two instead of either of them addressing it, then it logically follows that the author intends to pull it off the shelf to be used in the Narrative later.

3. The author is also ON RECORD as saying that it was crucial to get the backstory of both Kaladin and Shallan done up front, because they are going to spend a SIGNIFICANT amount of time interacting together in forthcoming novels.

4.  The author is ON RECORD saying that the feelings that Shallan had been experiencing for Kaladin was more akin to "love", and was elevated to that of her feelings for Adolin.  The author has revealed that in his mind, the two relationships have the potential to be of the similar level, but with different manifestations (i.e. what Shallan wants now, vs what she might want in the future).  

5. The author is ON RECORD saying that what you are seeing with regards to Shallan, Kaladin, Adolin has been seen before.  Whether you want to consider that to be comparable to Dalinar, Gavilar, and Navani, or maybe even the more controversial Dalinar, Evi, Navani.  Regardless, what we see in either case is the story of a relationship and love between two that ENDS, and the starting of a relationship between one of them and the other.

Because the author has plans to increase the amount of signifiant time spent between Kaladin and Shallan, AND because he chose to not have them address their romantic feelings (Chekhov's gun) at this time, then it logically follows that it will be addressed in the future (firing the gun).

This is the evidence presented for us both in text, and by the author, and it has no bearing on how Shallan and Adolin feel about each other right now.  However, it does present strong evidence that what Shallan and Adolin do have is likely to END.  We can quibble about the details of how this might come about, but there is significant foreshadowing and presented evidence both in text and by the author that this is the direction we are heading.  

So my point is this, when you don't see a lot of discussion here defending the long term viability of Shallan and Adolin's marriage, it is because most of us have considered the evidence presented and decided that there IS NO long term viability for them from a narrative.  So, we try to imagine how that ending might come about.

I do not feel like I am taking exceedingly wild leaps in my logical processing of the evidence, or the way I am using that to project onto future narrative possibilities.  And that processing of the available evidence to date is this:  Shallan loves Adolin now, Shallan is highly likely to love Kaladin in the future.  She can love both, and she will love both.  

Do I like it that the author has decided to go this way?  Not necessarily.  I wish some things had been different, but wishing is not meaningful. We got what we got.  All that is left is to come to terms with it, both of us.

Edited by DeployParachute
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@maxal Your interpretation makes sense; it follows logically. For me, POV is the deciding factor so without it I am left guessing. Your interpretation is supported by what is in the book, but there is no Adolin POV for the end of OB so we can’t know. I agree that Adolin can have low self esteem and that he was breaking up with Shallan because he believed she had chosen Kaladin. I am not convinced he loves her.

 

We have quite a bit of Shallan thinking of Adolin in WOR and OB. Adolin thinks about Shallan positively two or three times in WOR. I was fine with that balance. Adolin doesn’t think about Shallan in OB except to decide how she looks in her clothes and that Shallan prefers Kaladin. This is very unbalanced and nothing is going to change it.

 

Aside: Adolin uses Shallan’s drawings of Kaladin as evidence that she prefers Kaladin. I really want to know what her drawings were like. How can just drawing Kaladin mean she likes him? She draws lots of people.

 

@DeployParachute I can follow your logic. I am trying not to think that Shallan/Kaladin will be a thing (I am mostly failing) because I really thought they would be a thing in OB. They hardly even spoke. I was very disappointed and I don’t want to go through the same thing with the next book. Also, nothing will change how unsatisfying OB was for me.

 

As for the similar triangles theory: I thought of something else that might apply to D-N-G and N-D-E and maybe A-S-K. Looking at Dalinar and Evi, I thought that Evi loved Dalinar and Dalinar did not love Evi. We don’t know a lot about Navani and Gavilar, but we know Navani didn’t feel much grief when Gavilar died so I thought, at least by the end of their marriage, Navani did not love Gavilar. I can’t know if Gavilar loved Navani, but I thought there was the implication he was cheating on her. So Gavilar may have loved Navani or they may have had a loveless marriage by the end.

 

Looking at Shallan and Adolin, Shallan says she is in love with Adolin and Adolin has not said he is in love with Shallan. I think Adolin cares for Shallan but is not in love with her. It seems likely that Adolin would have had thoughts about marriage similar to Shallan. That love does not have to be a part of marriage; marriage is about power and alliance. Dalinar never pressured Adolin about marriage so he had more freedom to choose someone he was compatible with, but his ideas about marriage would have come from those around him. His peers would see marriage as a tool.

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21 minutes ago, wotbibliophile said:

 

@DeployParachute I can follow your logic. I am trying not to think that Shallan/Kaladin will be a thing (I am mostly failing) because I really thought they would be a thing in OB. They hardly even spoke. I was very disappointed and I don’t want to go through the same thing with the next book. Also, nothing will change how unsatisfying OB was for me.

I would love to jump off the Shalladin ship before the next book. Believe me, I do not want to think any more about it, I want to be able to believe that it is done. All somebody need do is answer one question for me:

"To what purpose did introducing a romantic triangle with Kaladin serve the narrative?"

That is all I need. No one has been able to put forth a suggestion and argue it convincingly using the evidence provided. I am still waiting...

Edited by DeployParachute
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22 minutes ago, DeployParachute said:

"To what purpose did introducing a romantic triangle with Kaladin serve the narrative?"

That is the question, right?...

Well, there is the thing Brandon mentioned on how he wanted to show how Veil was developing different aspirations from Shallan (or more how Shallan developed these different aspirations for her Veil persona, which just reinforces, that she is the root of feelings for Kaladin. It is all just in her head. I know, I repeat it again and again, but I believe it to be very important for understanding Shallan.)

But then I ask: "Why make Kaladin feel the same about Shallan?"

I can only get to one conclusion - It will be explored in the future. Especially because of this:

2 hours ago, DeployParachute said:

The author is ON RECORD saying that the feelings that Shallan had been experiencing for Kaladin was more akin to "love", and was elevated to that of her feelings for Adolin.  The author has revealed that in his mind, the two relationships have the potential to be of the similar level, but with different manifestations (i.e. what Shallan wants now, vs what she might want in the future).  

There could be a mutual end to the union. I don't believe the Vorin church would be thrilled about that, but, hey, their God is dead. How long will they stay relevant once that truth comes out? The society is changing anyway. With darkeyes becoming Radiants and all.

Adolin could go dark. I find this one to be highly speculative and a lot would have to happen, but I do think, that his temperament is an exploitable hole in his "armor".

And, I know many don't like it, but it the possibility is there so it needs to be mentioned: Adolin might die. He's universally liked by our focus characters, so it would be quite a dramatic event, impacting the cast and maybe even ignite new interesting plot threads. Drive character development.

Adolin has mainly been used as a tool, a typical support character to get some characters to meet and provide a different angle on things, by the author and not as a full member of the main cast. And the author doesn't show any motivations to change that. He isn't planned as a focus character and after three books wasn't given a character arc yet. After OB, there are no hints on where his character goes. What he will do. Shallan has Sja-anat. Kaladin has his Windrunners. Dalinar has his political dealings and get supply for the war going. Even Taravangian has his dealings with Odium. Adolin - nothing. Sure, Maya. But there is no indication, that this will be an active process or keeps being passive as it was. Adolin doesn't show if he might pursue a possible revival arc. He might go to Rira/Iri? Sure. He might. But it is still not given as a perspective after OB. It is just speculative. Dalinar was married to Evi, he could just as well act as the connection to Rira. Would fit with is political shenanigans and unification stuff, too.

My point is, that for most characters we have perspectives. For Adolin, we don't. Any perspectives there are guesses. He has been manouvered into a position where he can be taken out of the story, without largely changing the narrative, but driving character development. Especially for Shallan, who seems to be reaching a mesa and needs a nudge to keep going climbing the hill. She has to lose her anchor or I fear, that she will come to a standstill development-wise - choosing the Vorin wife life before the harder, even painful, path of Radiancy. But also Kaladin, who needs to learn, that he will never be able to save everyone. For that, he needs to be confronted with the issue. Adolin's death might be such another confrontation, perhaps finally in a situation, where Kaladin really couldn't help, because he wasn't there. Maybe he finally has an epiphany then.

To keep up the tool comparisons: His death might be the largest, most impactful, log for Adolin to split, with the result of the axe handle breaking. Tools have a limited lifetime and I'm afraid, that Adolin might have started to outlive his usefulness.

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2 hours ago, DeployParachute said:

I would love to jump off the Shalladin ship before the next book. Believe me, I do not want to think any more about it, I want to be able to believe that it is done. All somebody need do is answer one question for me:

"To what purpose did introducing a romantic triangle with Kaladin serve the narrative?"

That is all I need. No one has been able to put forth a suggestion and argue it convincingly using the evidence provided. I am still waiting...

Pretty much this. I understand Brandon wanted to showcase Shallans identity issues and fracturing, and having her develop feelings for Kaladin was a way to show that. But there was absolutely no reason to have Kaladin reciprocate those feelings, we're practically beaten over the head with how much Syl approves of, and wants Shallan and Kaladin together, and then Kaladin himself starts to accept that he has feelings for her. It makes no sense, all we needed was Shallans feelings for these two men to show her indecision and identity issues, not Kaladins for her as well.

I would much rather be convinced and completely on board with Shallan and Adolin, but I'm just not. And that's not because its not Kaladin, its because of the way he wrote it. Shallan and Adolin were written in a very unconvincing way, and I understand this isn't a romance novel, but then why include a triangle at all, especially with two of your main characters, if its going to be written so poorly? For all the time Shallan and Kaladin don't spend together, their interactions were far more convincing of real, tangible feelings and understanding than Shallan and Adolin who spent significantly more time together, it just doesn't add up. How hard would it have been to give some of those more genuine scenes to Adolin? Why didn't Adolin get a Chasm-esque scene? Brandon says he spent alot of time tweaking the romance to get it right, you're telling me this is what he spent so much time on? As such, its impossible for me to push Shalladin aside and just accept this rushed conclusion to the romance arc as a whole.

I don't want more relationship drama, I dont want to be so invested in this sub-plot, I do however want to be convinced of something, not strung along and then blindsided with rushed decisions and vain declarations of love from a girl who was barely functional 10 minutes prior. As I said, I wish I could get on board with Shallan and Adolin, it would make my life easier. But unfortunately the text is telling me something different, that not everything is adding up, and as things are, I can't come to terms with how everything played out, and just accept that this is the end of all of it.

@SLNC Well said on everything. In regards to Adolin, having him die or go dark would both serve as very interesting and impactful uses of his character (I prefer death if we're picking between the two, I'm not really a fan of going dark, but it could happen). Although as you mentioned, there are other avenues his character could go (Rira would very interesting to read, and be a nice change of pace for his character).

But, as you said, he's largely been used as a tool to drive other characters narratives, never a fully fleshed out character on his own. His death could be the ultimate use of his character in driving forward our core characters development, without having much impact on the overall narrative.

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12 hours ago, Vissy said:

I hope that angle gets explored in Book 4. I'd really love for Adolin to actually grow into the role he seemed to have already kind of taken by the end of WoR. It's a mistake to artificially limit and cut a character's role when they've already grown into it - I think ultimately, while planning and plotting is the basis, you've got to let the characters drive the plot and plan around them. 

Brandon often commented on how he needed to allow his book planning flexible enough for the characters to grow into it. Unfortunately, it seems there is a disconnect in between what Brandon feels Adolin needs in terms of story arc and what some readers believe he needs. For some readers, such as myself, it definitely feels as if Brandon is purposefully not giving Adolin a bigger story arc because it falls outside the scope of the narrative he has planned. The author however sees it in a rather different way which created some level of discontentment over Adolin's character in OB as well as the romance arc as both complained are, IMO, linked. I voiced it out at some point within this thread: if we remove the shipping element out of the discussion, it falls back to a bunch of readers not being entirely satisfied with how Brandon handled his inter-character exchanges/developments. 

This is something, I think, we all agree on, so may be this is the middle ground I've been looking for.

31 minutes ago, DeployParachute said:

Come on now.  I've been pretty fair in my assessments of Shallan and Adolin's feelings for one another:

I said there hasn't been a lot of readers defending the other camp, I did not say there were none ;) Overall, we have to admit, most of this thread argues either in favor of Kaladin/Shallan or in disfavor of Adolin/Shallan. I split it into two different camps because my perception are several readers are arguing the Adolin/Shallan marriage is doomed to fail or unhealthy without necessarily rooting for a future Kaladin/Shallan romance. These two sides of the on-going discussion is not mutually exclusive. 

35 minutes ago, DeployParachute said:

1. Brandon chose to write romantic interplay between them, that was both based on physical attraction, as well as emotional attraction.

2. This romantic interplay was not "resolved" in any manner where either party had an honest reflection of their feelings.  They both chose to ignore them, which means instead of being "resolved", it is now "shelved".  Because the author is intentionally shelving these feelings between the two instead of either of them addressing it, then it logically follows that the author intends to pull it off the shelf to be used in the Narrative later.

This is one way of interpreting the narrative. What some read as romantic interplay, others read as two teenagers musing on what they may feel which also happens to be what Brandon had to say on the love triangle. I, for instance, never got a very strong romantic vibe coming in between Kaladin/Shallan: I read two young people being curious about one another, but in the end those feelings turned out being platonic. I felt OB brought this around in a more or less satisfying way, but I definitely did not read emotional attraction nor any of the sorts. Of course, others disagree with this statement, but I meant to highlight how we aren't all getting the same vibe out of the same words.

38 minutes ago, DeployParachute said:

3. The author is also ON RECORD as saying that it was crucial to get the backstory of both Kaladin and Shallan done up front, because they are going to spend a SIGNIFICANT amount of time interacting together in forthcoming novels.

Kaladin and Shallan's backstory were done within the first two books of the series: at that point in time, it seems not only obvious, but incredibly likely they will spend some time together, both being the major protagonists of the story. It however does not imply romantic developments, it just implies them sharing some narrative, which they did in OB. Most of their narrative was shared, even if they didn't inter-act much. On average, very few characters inter-acted in OB, but Brandon's perspective may be entirely different. 

Also, what is "significant" really depends on a given's person's perspective. Brandon is often using qualitative words such as this one in a very different manner than readers are. For instance, he did say Adolin had as much page time in OB as within the previous book. Truth is, he had much less. Brandon's perception is not always the same as his readers, weird, but true.

41 minutes ago, DeployParachute said:

4.  The author is ON RECORD saying that the feelings that Shallan had been experiencing for Kaladin was more akin to "love", and was elevated to that of her feelings for Adolin.  The author has revealed that in his mind, the two relationships have the potential to be of the similar level, but with different manifestations (i.e. what Shallan wants now, vs what she might want in the future).  

I did not see this record, so I will not comment. I can't comment something I haven't listened nor read. I would however state there are many things Brandon said which didn't really happened as readers thought it would....

Brandon said the major romance arc was Dalinar/Navani as he preferred writing about older people being in love as opposed to younger people. I don't think this is how the books turned out, so either Brandon changed his mind or his perspective differs from mine or he screwed it up and his readers are digging more into the kiddie romance arc as opposed to their parents.

Brandon mentioned there would be ramifications for Adolin for having murdered Sadeas just as he said there would be people to think what he did was totally, TOTALLY (he emphasized on the word totally) wrong. This definitely made some readers think there would be denouement for his character into OB with regards to this arc. Turns out we were all wrong, turns out those WoB were meaningless. He said those things on RECORD too.

Hence, those interviews/WoB are not a guarantee of future developments. Whatever Brandon might have said is not a false-proof argument the story will pan out as some are stating it will: we have enough examples now to be very wary of such an approach. I would also point out the WoB where Brandon warned readers... against WoB stating many were reading too much into them and reminding everyone, a WoB, an interview is not canon. He reserves himself the right to disapprove anything he might have said, though he tries to be consistent, especially for the more technical matters such as how the magic works.

Therefore, even if Brandon did say, in his mind, Shallan's feeling towards Kaladin were genuine, real and akin to love, it still does not mean he will write a narrative featuring them. I personally believe we can fall in love with more than one person within a lifetime, but sometimes, we make a choice, we choose a love and discard another. The other might have been, but never got to be because the individuals made their choice.

This is just like this one time when I nearly kissed this other man, right before I started dating my husband. I chose not to because I was interested in someone else, someone who turned being the man I eventually married. I remember thinking as to whether or not I should kiss this guy. Those feelings I might or might not have for this other man, they might have blossomed, they might have eventually become love, but I chose someone else. I made my choice just as I believe Shallan made her choice and whatever I might have thought I may have felt for this other guy, it disappeared, but had the circumstances been different, who knows? This is exactly how I would read the Kaladin/Shallan arc, something which might have been, but isn't because the protagonists made a different choice. It by no way means the choice they made is the bad one: I sure didn't choose badly, it just means, sometimes, we choose one path over the other. Anyway, this is how I read it.

43 minutes ago, DeployParachute said:

5. The author is ON RECORD saying that what you are seeing with regards to Shallan, Kaladin, Adolin has been seen before.  Whether you want to consider that to be comparable to Dalinar, Gavilar, and Navani, or maybe even the more controversial Dalinar, Evi, Navani.  Regardless, what we see in either case is the story of a relationship and love between two that ENDS, and the starting of a relationship between one of them and the other.

He said it was a mimicry from something done in the past: he never said what it was. Some readers are firmly believing it is Gavilar/Navani/Dalinar and it makes the Kaladin/Shallan romance more probable. A handful are thinking it may be the Dalinar/Evi/Navani which would, once again, favor Kaladin/Shallan. I personally feel these are just guesses: the mimicry could turn out being something else entirely: it may not be a love triangle and it may have nothing to do with it. I do not consider this to be a false-proof argument.

The mimicry could also be Taln/Ash, a love which outlives all hardships or something we haven't read of yet or not thought of. It doesn't have to be one which disfavor Adolin over Kaladint. This argument is, IMHO, very thin.

45 minutes ago, DeployParachute said:

Because the author has plans to increase the amount of signifiant time spent between Kaladin and Shallan, AND because he chose to not have them address their romantic feelings (Chekhov's gun) at this time, then it logically follows that it will be addressed in the future (firing the gun).

This is the evidence presented for us both in text, and by the author, and it has no bearing on how Shallan and Adolin feel about each other right now.  However, it does present strong evidence that what Shallan and Adolin do have is likely to END.  We can quibble about the details of how this might come about, but there is significant foreshadowing and presented evidence both in text and by the author that this is the direction we are heading.  

So my point is this, when you don't see a lot of discussion here defending the long term viability of Shallan and Adolin's marriage, it is because most of us have considered the evidence presented and decided that there IS NO long term viability for them from a narrative.  So, we try to imagine how that ending might come about.

I do not feel like I am taking exceedingly wild leaps in my logical processing of the evidence, or the way I am using that to project onto future narrative possibilities.  And that processing of the available evidence to date is this:  Shallan loves Adolin now, Shallan is highly likely to love Kaladin in the future.  She can love both, and she will love both.  

Do I like it that the author has decided to go this way?  Not necessarily.  I wish some things had been different, but wishing is not meaningful. We got what we got.  All that is left is to come to terms with it, both of us.

I am thinking Brandon's plans with respect to Kaladin/Shallan may have already been answered within OB, arguably not to the satisfaction of some readers, but the characters did spend a lot of page time together. It may just be yet another matter of readers not interpreting the author's words as he intended them. Moreover, Brandon also recently said how he would need to diminish the story arc of many characters in order to accommodate Venli/Szeth, this could include both Kaladin and Shallan, especially considering Shallan has had a very large arc within OB. I do not expect the same in book 4. 

The romantic feelings, as I pointed out, are something some readers read, but other readers are not reading them. My personal take are those were addressed within OB: they did not blossom into anything more than a friendship. Now it may be there weren't addressed in a satisfying manner, I agree with this, but by all means I do think they were addressed. It wasn't great, but this is what I think we are supposed to get from the narrative. This being said, I understand other reader have a different perspective and no way am I thinking they are wrong to think differently, I can only speak of how I perceive things and this is it.

Also, what is seen as evidence and foreshadowing for some readers may not actually be it. For instance, some readers strongly argue it has been foreshadowed Adolin would become a Willshaper because he was featured in a chapter entitled "Uncut Gem" and its epigraph spoke of the Willshapers. Another recent one is readers thinking it has been foreshadowed Adolin would become a Stoneward because he stands against the thunderclast, while being within stonestance. The first foreshadowing has come to pass: it wasn't foreshadowing, the second, I firmly believe will pass as well. Just because a story element can be interpret as foreshadowing does not mean it really is.

Making leaps, even reasonable ones, is dangerous: there were a thousand reasonable leaps I made for Adolin's character for OB. None happened, my worst-case scenario happened, wait no. I never predicted, even in my worst scenarios, Brandon would not broached the fact Adolin murdered Sadeas. It was very logical he would: all the clues were there and yet... nothing. Hence, just because some personally interpret the narrative in a given way does not mean it will come to pass as stated. What is read as foreshadowing may not be foreshadowing. Or it may be, but no way is it a sure thing.

Mind, there is nothing wrong with trying to guess where the author may go with the narrative and to have a personal interpretation (I do this often enough, but the experience of OB has made me extremely wary of it), but I have grown wary of discussion being too geared too strongly one way. The evidence being brought forward is not, IMHO, strong evidence. It relies too much on interpretation of various story elements in ways which aren't unanimously agreed upon. It does not mean it is wrong or I am right, but it means I do not personally consider it is strong enough to change my personal mind nor to have myself, stop, reflect and ponder if I should. Maybe at some point, I will change my mind. Another one I forgot to mention, Brandon did say Kaladin/Shallan would have "moments" within OB which I definitely took as meaning they would have romance. I was convinced it would happen because of this WoB and.... I was wrong. I can't say I consider any "moments" Kaladin/Shallan have had within OB as real Shalladin moments, to me they weren't, but obviously Brandon has another perspective.

Lastly, my personal thoughts are there is nothing which guarantees an outcome over the other: we can have preferences, but it is absolutely not a given there will be future romantic inter-actions in between Kaladin/Shallan nor is it a given she and Adolin will break up.

4 hours ago, wotbibliophile said:

@maxal Your interpretation makes sense; it follows logically. For me, POV is the deciding factor so without it I am left guessing. Your interpretation is supported by what is in the book, but there is no Adolin POV for the end of OB so we can’t know. I agree that Adolin can have low self esteem and that he was breaking up with Shallan because he believed she had chosen Kaladin. I am not convinced he loves her.

We have quite a bit of Shallan thinking of Adolin in WOR and OB. Adolin thinks about Shallan positively two or three times in WOR. I was fine with that balance. Adolin doesn’t think about Shallan in OB except to decide how she looks in her clothes and that Shallan prefers Kaladin. This is very unbalanced and nothing is going to change it.

 

As I said a few times, I do believe Brandon is not giving out Adolin's perspective because he does not believe he needs to give it. The end result is some readers have a hard time finding the romance believable: I cannot blame them. I too wish Brandon would stop toying with Adolin's character and give him the place he deserves within the narrative, but I don't think the author has such plans.

And yeah, it is unbalanced. Brandon has decided the romance would be written from the Shallan angle. Why? I don't know. It may just be how he wanted to write it. I disagree this was best, but what is my disagreement going to achieve?

2 hours ago, SLNC said:

...

Adolin could die, this is true. Of all characters, he is the one having absolutely no plot immunity. I mean, I think we can safely say Kaladin/Shallan will not die until book 5, if they die at all, but Adolin? Sincerely, we've all been expecting his death since WoK which makes me think Brandon will not go down this road. He did kill Eshonai and Elhokar, two characters having a narrative and been given "something to do", but he flip the cards on us and toss them six feet deep under the ground.

This being said, I do agree Adolin doesn't seem to have a definite purpose, other than contrasting the other characters, within the narrative. He has Maya though which I consider to be a bigger narrative element than you feel it is.  A Blade revival arc is a story arc and, quite frankly, if Brandon meant for the relationship to be platonic, then he wouldn't have written it. Having Maya start to come back to life only to stagnate is, IMHO, a poor narrative choice. It makes more sense for this to be Adolin's arc within book 4, but it would work better if Brandon were to give him a stronger, longer narrative.

It would have been great if his character had been given more directions, but maybe it works better this way. As much as I hate to admit it, Adolin had more of an arc in OB than he did in WoK/WoR. It just wasn't... explored well enough to truly come to life, but he certainly had more "moments" than within the previous books. Hence, while Adolin could die and be used as mean to create drama (though I would argue the drama over anyone dying has been so sparse, it would likely translate into a wasted character), he could also be used for other narratives. There is the matter of Dalinar killing Evi which hasn't been broached, Rira, his stolen Plate, his entire relationship with Dalinar, him being the Highprince, Maya: there is stuff. 

For my part, Adolin's future is not a done deal and he sure hasn't extended his welcome: he just suffers from not getting enough viewpoints. Oh something else which come to mind, I do think Kaladin will deal with his 4th oath through Bridge 4: he will have to accept they may die. It feels more powerful than Adolin: we already been there.

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