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[OB] Adolin-Shallan-Kaladin Discussion

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7 hours ago, maxal said:

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 isn't. It would fit in Brandon's use of Adolin. As a tool to show, that something like that might be possible, but nothing more. When he was asked if a blade revival was possible, he already was hesitant to answer and said, that it would need a lot to happen. I see it as a nod to these people, that asked these questions, but given the difficulty of the task and the still debatable Edgedancer compatibility for Adolin, e.g. Sadeas murder: when he did it, he did not remember the forgotten, the fallen soldiers at the Tower. That one was purely for himself.

See, same thing with the Rira storyline, I see where you're coming from, but I don't see it in the text. Adolin does not have perspectives given by the text. Where do they come from then? Wishes. I have wishes too and wishes are great, but the text is valued higher.

7 hours ago, maxal said:

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.

Correct. We've been there. And, once again, the text says something completely different. Remember, that Adolin almost died already? Look at what Kaladin thought exactly then.

Quote

“What do we do then?” Shallan asked.

No . . . Kaladin thought.

“Give me your knife,” Adolin said, trying to sit up.

It can’t be the end.

“Adolin, no. Rest. Maybe we can surrender.”

I can’t fail him!

[...]

“I . . .”

You know what you need to do.

“I . . . can’t,” Kaladin finally whispered, tears streaming down his cheeks. “I can’t lose him, but . . . oh, Almighty . . . I can’t save him.” Kaladin bowed his head, sagging forward, trembling.

He couldn’t say those Words.

He wasn’t strong enough.

Syl’s arms enfolded him from behind, and he felt softness as her cheek pressed against the back of his neck. She pulled him tight as he wept, sobbing, at his failure.

---

Chapters 117 & 118

Kaladin failed, because he couldn't let Adolin go. If he could have accepted that in that situation, he might have had the power to save him, but he couldn't accept it. Because he cares too much for him. Saying, that Adolin's death wouldn't severely shaken Kaladin is just wrong. The text shows it. Kaladin has learned to respect Adolin and care about him, so much so, that I'd say he's on the same level as Bridge Four at that. Just look at how he says, that he can't fail Adolin, which then turns into, that he can't lose him.

You can't diminish that emotional connection between them (not so sure about Adolin towards Kaladin, but definitely Kaladin towards Adolin), because the text shows it to be very strong indeed.

7 hours ago, maxal said:

Adolin had more of an arc in OB than he did in WoK/WoR.

He did? No. More page time != a character arc. He still was mainly there to give Shallan and Kaladin a shoulder to cry on, if needed and acted as a sidekick, providing a different perspective. That is all, that Adolin has always been doing, supporting the main cast as a supporting character, quite literally so. He did not have a character-specific arc and it shows in his lacking character growth/development. I'd even argue, that the duel stuff in WoR is more of an arc, than his sidekick role for Kaladin and Shallan in OB, driving them when they falter.

You personally might see Adolin dying as wasteful, but Brandon doesn't even hide, that he doesn't want to flesh out Adolin as a character, him being stuck in a strange support role for three books now. Emotional attachment aside, the narrative wouldn't lose much if Adolin died.

Edited by SLNC
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I think it would be fine if Adolin managed to get Maya up to a level where she might be bonded by a suitable person, but then found out that he himself is not compatible with Maya. And then someone else comes up and bonds Maya for him. Or then Adolin develops (wow, Adolin character development?!?!) into someone who is suitable for an Edgedancer, into someone who remembers the forgotten. I would be fine with either. I'm also a sucker for these kinds of emotional plot points so I want Mayalaran to get resurrected fully. :P

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12 hours ago, SLNC said:

It isn't. It would fit in Brandon's use of Adolin. As a tool to show, that something like that might be possible, but nothing more. When he was asked if a blade revival was possible, he already was hesitant to answer and said, that it would need a lot to happen. I see it as a nod to these people, that asked these questions, but given the difficulty of the task 

Spending all that page time just to show that something might be possible for some fans that asked a question seems like a huge waste, though.

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the still debatable Edgedancer compatibility for Adolin, e.g. Sadeas murder: when he did it, he did not remember the forgotten, the fallen soldiers at the Tower. That one was purely for himself.

I don't think what happened with Sadeas is enough to disqualify Adolin from being an Edgedancer.

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Just now, Mage of Lirigon said:

I don't think what happened with Sadeas is enough to disqualify Adolin from being an Edgedancer.

That is why I called it debatable and did not out right disqualify him.

1 minute ago, Mage of Lirigon said:

Spending all that page time just to show that something might be possible for some fans that asked a question seems like a huge waste, though.

Was it much page time? I remember a few miniscule scenes, a few sentences at most. (Maya saying her name and Maya attacking the Fused)

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I completely agree that Shallan made a choice between 2 men: Regardless of what went before. This isn't a shape shifter "one true mate" fantasy. She has free will.  At the time she made it she was somewhat stable at the 3 main masks.

I think just saying Veil is the real Shallan is wrong. Veil is the piece of Shallan that wants freedom/escape from who she is. Veil had a purpose for the Ghostbloods but she was based on a complete lie. No part of Shallan was EVER dark eyed or raised on the streets; that is part of why Veil fails in such a dramatic fashion. She really doesn't understand that life, she is play acting to boost her bravery and attitude. Later she also finds she can use this to avoid the pain.

Everyone acts differently in certain situations. The person I am at the bar with friends doesn't act the same as the person I am at work. But Shallan has magic and mental issues. How can we really compare her to our reality?

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1 hour ago, GoddessIMHO said:

At the time she made it she was somewhat stable at the 3 main masks.

 

1 hour ago, GoddessIMHO said:

But Shallan has magic and mental issues.

I strongly disagree that Shallan was stable enough to make this choice. OB convinced me Shallan is insane. She cannot keep track of reality. There is a WOB that she can't keep track of what is real and that is how I see her. Even what you wrote here is sort of supportive. 3 masks. 2 masks chose Kaladin. Shallan had to suppress Veil/Radiant and we had been lead to believe suppression was bad for Shallan.

I don't know that I believe Veil is more real than Shallan, but there are things about her that are part of real Shallan. Her affinity for theft and spying, her strong observational skills, her feelings for Kaladin. These are things Shallan has put on Veil, but are still an important part of her. Then there is the moment when she touched the unmade in Urithiru. There is a part of her that despises her Shallan mask (not wanting to be called nice or clever or diverting etc). I'm pretty sure those are descriptions for Shallan not Veil or Radiant. Because all 3 masks were not in agreement I do not trust Shallan's choice.

 

@maxal Great post. I like the reminder that WOB does not hold as much weight as what is in the book. I disagree with the WOB saying Shallan loves Adolin and Veil loves Kaladin. From what I read, love is too strong a word for any of the people in the triangle. Even though Shallan says she loves Adolin, I doubt her. 1. Because I believe she hates herself and I don't believe you can love someone romantically when you hate yourself. Shallan is needy, but not giving. 2. She does not appear to trust Adolin. Why does she only tell Adolin about the Ghostbloods after they are married? If she trusts him, why wait? Why have Veil tell him? She uses Veil as an excuse to not tell Jasnah about the Ghostbloods. I assume her relationship with Adolin is stronger than her relationship with Jasnah so she shouldn't need the same excuse of "Veil is the one involved with the Ghostbloods."

Edited by wotbibliophile
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13 hours ago, SLNC said:

It isn't. It would fit in Brandon's use of Adolin. As a tool to show, that something like that might be possible, but nothing more. When he was asked if a blade revival was possible, he already was hesitant to answer and said, that it would need a lot to happen. I see it as a nod to these people, that asked these questions, but given the difficulty of the task and the still debatable Edgedancer compatibility for Adolin, e.g. Sadeas murder: when he did it, he did not remember the forgotten, the fallen soldiers at the Tower. That one was purely for himself.

See, same thing with the Rira storyline, I see where you're coming from, but I don't see it in the text. Adolin does not have perspectives given by the text. Where do they come from then? Wishes. I have wishes too and wishes are great, but the text is valued higher.

Yes and no. I don't readily agree with you here.

Narrative-wise, there were no reasons for us to be acquainted with Maya, to meet her in Shadesmar, to have her save Adolin nor to have him finally hear her name combined with her appearing in less than 10 seconds. So while Adolin has been mostly use as a foil and a character offering contrast, starting in Part 4, the narrative he is given does belong to him, even if sparse (though his name comes up first onto the Part title page, the first name usually means "main character" for a given part). Every moment where he states he isn't good enough for Dalinar, when he thinks of how little he is really worth, where his inner thoughts speak of doubts his outside actions would never allow anyone to guess, well, every one of those moments are his story arc. They do not exist for any other reason than fleshing out Adolin: it doesn't serve neither Shallan nor Kaladin's narrative to have him use over who he is, to have him speak of the "inconsistency inside him".

Adolin fighting the thunderclast also serve no narrative purpose other than fleshing out his growing relationship with Maya: those pages are 100% pure Adolin-related and they form, by themselves, the most complete narrative he has had so far. Hence, I think it unlikely Brandon went through the trouble of writing so many pages having no other purpose but introducing Maya just for the shake of hinting at something being perhaps possible, but no. Had he wanted to go down this road, then he wouldn't have bothered with Maya, he wouldn't have had her save Adolin nor would he have had her inter-act with him afterwards. He didn't need to write those arcs for his narrative to remain the same.

As for Brandon not having comment so much on the Blade revival process, well, were we really expecting him to tell readily state it was possible? He isn't going to spill all the beans in advance and this narrative works better because it is supposed to be impossible. 

The Rira story line is something Brandon could write, but likely won't. I wouldn't rate it as "wishes", more as a "possibility" among others, though arguably not the most likely one. However, in the scope of us discussing if Adolin still had a story arc to own, then this could be one. It is entirely up to the author, but it is false to say he has absolutely nothing going on for him. He does. The fact it may not pan into anything worth reading doesn't change the fact there are narrative possibilities with his character.

14 hours ago, SLNC said:

Kaladin failed, because he couldn't let Adolin go. If he could have accepted that in that situation, he might have had the power to save him, but he couldn't accept it. Because he cares too much for him. Saying, that Adolin's death wouldn't severely shaken Kaladin is just wrong. The text shows it. Kaladin has learned to respect Adolin and care about him, so much so, that I'd say he's on the same level as Bridge Four at that. Just look at how he says, that he can't fail Adolin, which then turns into, that he can't lose him.

You can't diminish that emotional connection between them (not so sure about Adolin towards Kaladin, but definitely Kaladin towards Adolin), because the text shows it to be very strong indeed.

I would personally refer to Kaladin wanting Bridge 4 to develop surgebinding abilities because he sincerely believes this will "protect them". I always took it the scene perhaps foreshadowed Kaladin needing to deal with someone crucial, within Bridge 4, to die. 

Arguably, you aren't wrong with anything you said except Kaladin didn't have such as dramatic reaction to Elhokar dying, a man he had stronger inclinations to protect. Either way, I think using Adolin dying, once again, to steer development within Kaladin would be repetitive. Brandon already used up this narrative. My two cents are Brandon will use another one to make Kaladin grow. By saying this I am certainly not dismissing the connection both characters have, I definitely agree with you here, but seeing how little emotional pay-off other characters death have had within the narrative so far, it seems a bad idea to waste Adolin's character just for two/three paragraphs of sadness. 

There are other better characters to kill, IMHO.

14 hours ago, SLNC said:

He did? No. More page time != a character arc. He still was mainly there to give Shallan and Kaladin a shoulder to cry on, if needed and acted as a sidekick, providing a different perspective. That is all, that Adolin has always been doing, supporting the main cast as a supporting character, quite literally so. He did not have a character-specific arc and it shows in his lacking character growth/development. I'd even argue, that the duel stuff in WoR is more of an arc, than his sidekick role for Kaladin and Shallan in OB, driving them when they falter.

You personally might see Adolin dying as wasteful, but Brandon doesn't even hide, that he doesn't want to flesh out Adolin as a character, him being stuck in a strange support role for three books now. Emotional attachment aside, the narrative wouldn't lose much if Adolin died.

Actually, Adolin had less page time in OB than in WoK/WoR.... I say he had a better story arc because some of it was actually about him and had no other serviceable purposes. Sure, he acted as the side-kick and the contrasting character, but Shallan's early chapters were very focused on Adolin. His page time within Part 4/5 truly focused on him which isn't something he got within WoR. Sure, he had a more define role within WoR, with the dueling spree, but this arc offered absolutely no internal development for Adolin's character whereas in OB, at least, part of his narrative does focus.

The reason we feel he didn't have enough growth isn't because there are no elements within the narrative which are internal to Adolin's character, it is because they are too diluted within the narrative. We loose the focus on Adolin, but he does have some development. 

For instance, Adolin does have self-worth issues which were hinted at in WoR, but spelled out in OB. There is a cleavage in between how Dalinar perceives Adolin and how Adolin really is: Adolin does feel the pressure to be this man Dalinar makes him out to be. It is a very core element of his narrative: it is there, but it pales in comparison to Shallan's endless story arc and Dalinar never-ending inner monologue.

I still think killing Adolin is wasteful is only because the superficial role he fulfills cannot be handed to any other character, not currently. I also feel there was a lot of page time invested into Adolin's character: it seems odd to just kill him off. In comparison, Elhokar had very little page time: there was a potential, but it never got any focus. I disagree the narrative wouldn't lose much by losing Adolin, remove his character from each book and we lose something. The resulting story is just... not as good.

I also find it hard to guess what Brandon's intentions may be: we think he has no intentions to better flesh out Adolin because we were disappointed with how he was handled in OB, but was he really handled this badly? He did get a more introspective arc in OB than he did within the previous books. He did get a short narrative which had no other purpose but being about him, namely Maya. It may not be as negative as we made it out to be.

10 hours ago, Vissy said:

I think it would be fine if Adolin managed to get Maya up to a level where she might be bonded by a suitable person, but then found out that he himself is not compatible with Maya. And then someone else comes up and bonds Maya for him. Or then Adolin develops (wow, Adolin character development?!?!) into someone who is suitable for an Edgedancer, into someone who remembers the forgotten. I would be fine with either. I'm also a sucker for these kinds of emotional plot points so I want Mayalaran to get resurrected fully. :P

The only way Maya could be revived is through forming a Nahel Bond: she cannot be "revived", then "freed" to bond "someone else". Besides, I think it is obvious Maya did choose Adolin, for better or for worst, she chose him. 

I personally find Adolin to be very suitable for the Edgedancers: he does have it in him to care for other people, to risk his life for strangers, to listen to low-born people. Back in WoR, readers made a big deal out of Lift returning to save Gawx at the risk of her life. Oddly enough, I have not seen the readers make an equally big deal out of Adolin rushing back into a crumbling house, to the risk of his own life, to rescue a young boy. It was the exact same narrative, but because one character was already introduced as a Radiant, readers gave one more credence than the others, but in the end, Adolin is not less suitable for the Edgedancers than Lift is. His narrative is filled with him caring for other people.

1 hour ago, SLNC said:

Was it much page time? I remember a few miniscule scenes, a few sentences at most. (Maya saying her name and Maya attacking the Fused)

Most of Part 4 was used up to introduce Maya: every single one of Adolin's viewpoints within Part 5 was made to flesh out his relationship with her. Sure, if we compare it to Shallan or Dalinar, it wasn't much, but within Adolin's entire arc, it was kind of most of it. In comparison, Venli morphing into a Willshaper (without any indications as to why she is even suitable) didn't have considerably more page time. Teft becoming a Windrunner had much less page time. Szeth bonding his Highspren took what, two pages?

I mean, I do want Adolin to get WAY more page time then what he's got, but apart from the main three, he's the one having the most of an arc. The Maya arc, in comparison to many other arc, had way more focus and page time.

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18 minutes ago, maxal said:

Back in WoR, readers made a big deal out of Lift returning to save Gawx at the risk of her life. Oddly enough, I have not seen the readers make an equally big deal out of Adolin rushing back into a crumbling house, to the risk of his own life, to rescue a young boy. It was the exact same narrative, but because one character was already introduced as a Radiant, readers gave one more credence than the others, but in the end, Adolin is not less suitable for the Edgedancers than Lift is. His narrative is filled with him caring for other people.

I do not see this as the same narrative. Adolin is an adult and a soldier. I expect him to risk his own life for a child. I would not think well of any soldier who would not risk their life for a child. Lift is a child. I do not expect her to risk her life for an adult (or a much older child). You could even say Gawx was not her business. Her business was her own survival; that is right for a child. Adolin's business was to protect the citizens of the city.

 

I don't have any problem with Adolin possibly becoming an Edgedancer. I do think he is a caring man. I don't want him to die. I want to see Maya revived. I like Maya a lot more than I like Adolin. (I do like Adolin.)

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2 hours ago, SLNC said:

That is why I called it debatable and did not out right disqualify him.

Was it much page time? I remember a few miniscule scenes, a few sentences at most. (Maya saying her name and Maya attacking the Fused)

Maxal already answered this wonderfully, but yes, a lot of Adolin's arc in the latter part of the book was developing his relationship with Maya. That's a significant investment to use as a throwaway Easter egg. I would even dare to say that reviving Maya might have deeper impications for spren-human relations going forward, but that's just me.

 

44 minutes ago, wotbibliophile said:

I do not see this as the same narrative. Adolin is an adult and a soldier. I expect him to risk his own life for a child. I would not think well of any soldier who would not risk their life for a child. Lift is a child. I do not expect her to risk her life for an adult (or a much older child). You could even say Gawx was not her business. Her business was her own survival; that is right for a child. Adolin's business was to protect the citizens of the city.

It's not the same narrative, but that doesn't mean it should be dismissed so simply. Adolin had just come back from a serious brush with death, was battling with self-esteem issues, was unarmoured, and, lest we forget, was fighting a monster he was totally unmatched for, and yet without hestitation, jumped back into a house to save someone.

You're right that that was his duty as a soldier, but I do think many people in his situation would have given up that child for dead out of sheer pragmatism. That was a clear sign of Edgedancer values: focusing on smaller issues rather than the big picture. 

 

Quote

I don't have any problem with Adolin possibly becoming an Edgedancer. I do think he is a caring man. I don't want him to die. I want to see Maya revived. I like Maya a lot more than I like Adolin. (I do like Adolin.)

No offense, but Maya is barely a character right now, so saying you like Adolin but you like her a lot more than Adolin doesn't say much.

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1 hour ago, wotbibliophile said:

I do not see this as the same narrative. Adolin is an adult and a soldier. I expect him to risk his own life for a child. I would not think well of any soldier who would not risk their life for a child. Lift is a child. I do not expect her to risk her life for an adult (or a much older child). You could even say Gawx was not her business. Her business was her own survival; that is right for a child. Adolin's business was to protect the citizens of the city.

 

I don't have any problem with Adolin possibly becoming an Edgedancer. I do think he is a caring man. I don't want him to die. I want to see Maya revived. I like Maya a lot more than I like Adolin. (I do like Adolin.)

I disagree. Adolin was fighting a fifty foot tall stone monster having turned into flesh pulp nearly everyone trying to battle it. He wasn't just fighting a regular battle with regular odds and he was nearly crushed when he tried to save that kid.

If we go down the argument of "oh but Lift is only a child whereas Adolin is a soldier", then we might as well completely disregard Kaladin and Dalinar's entire story arcs because they too are soldiers. We might as well state Kaladin shaping up Bridge 4 was unbelievably easy since, as a squad-leader, it is printed within his genetic to turn a bunch of disgruntled soldiers into a cohesive unit. Bottom line is Lift being a kid does not make her more "extraordinary" than Adolin. Adolin has been seen doing all he could to help those around him, to protect them: just because he has the means to do more than a mere child doesn't take away the merit he has.

Also, I need to reinforce the thunderclast was a creature out of a nightmare no one was able to defeat: just daring attacking it all by himself was pure folly. Hence, just because Adolin is a soldier, his act of saving one random child, to the risk of his own life, doesn't get to be disregarded: many soldiers wouldn't have saved the child. Many soldiers would have been way too scared to even think of saving a child.

2 hours ago, wotbibliophile said:

 

@maxal Great post. I like the reminder that WOB does not hold as much weight as what is in the book. I disagree with the WOB saying Shallan loves Adolin and Veil loves Kaladin. From what I read, love is too strong a word for any of the people in the triangle. Even though Shallan says she loves Adolin, I doubt her. 1. Because I believe she hates herself and I don't believe you can love someone romantically when you hate yourself. Shallan is needy, but not giving. 2. She does not appear to trust Adolin. Why does she only tell Adolin about the Ghostbloods after they are married? If she trusts him, why wait? Why have Veil tell him? She uses Veil as an excuse to not tell Jasnah about the Ghostbloods. I assume her relationship with Adolin is stronger than her relationship with Jasnah so she shouldn't need the same excuse of "Veil is the one involved with the Ghostbloods."

Brandon may intend the narrative to say one thing over the other, but as soon as the story is written, he cannot control how his readers will interpret it.

One classic example is the "Shallan is bisexual" discussion. A while ago, a reader managed to get Brandon's intentions by saying she felt Shallan/Jasnah's scenes, within WoK, spoke of a physical attraction in between the characters. In other words, this specific reader felt the narrative heavily implied Shallan was either homosexual or, at the very least, bisexual. Brandon answered by saying it didn't mean for those scenes to read as such, but if some readers wanted to give them another meaning, then it was their prerogative. 

Hence, even if Brandon planned for his narrative to state Shallan loves Adolin and Veil loves Kaladin (the unusual love triangle), his readers still have the freedom to interpret the narrative in whichever way they feel is best. I personally have no issues believing Shallan and Adolin love each other, but other readers obviously have some issues with it.

This being said, I do agree Shallan is greedy, needy and constantly demands of others to take care of her, not directly, but her behavior did create a situation where she is constantly blanketed and cuddled after each effort. I however see it as something she will grow out of: a relationship with Adolin does not prevent her from doing it. I would also argue we have seen her put herself behind Adolin, at times. Moments where she let him speak his mind, where she just supported him, moments such as when Adolin refused to be king. Shallan does not want to be queen, but she gives Adolin all the freedom he needs to make the decision: she does not factor herself in, she just supports him.

I do not agree Shallan is not trusting Adolin. My thoughts have always been she is so insecure, ill-at-ease about her secrets she cannot find the strength to tell them. The fact she loves Adolin is precisely why it is so hard to tell him of every single lies: what if he reacts badly? I mean, she is hardly able to deal with the truth herself, she may not have considered the possibility others may deal with it better. Either way, I'm pretty sure Shallan will tell Adolin about the Ghostbloods. Her family may take more time though.

1 hour ago, Mage of Lirigon said:

Maxal already answered this wonderfully, but yes, a lot of Adolin's arc in the latter part of the book was developing his relationship with Maya. That's a significant investment to use as a throwaway Easter egg. I would even dare to say that reviving Maya might have deeper impications for spren-human relations going forward, but that's just me

Yes precisely. An Easter egg is something small and having little consequences onto the narrative. Lift making a shardfork is a nice example: it was just a little something Brandon threw at his fans. No way Maya is just an Easter egg! If Brandon didn't mean for this arc to happen then he could just have... not written it. Readers spoke of Adolin potentially reviving his dead-Blade, but everyone agreed it may not have happened. Had Brandon decided against it, then well, he wouldn't have gone through the trouble of writing an arc about her.

I have no idea what may come out of Adolin reviving Maya. She is an ancient spren, so if she regains her memories, she may have information about the "old times". Or not. Either way, I do think Adolin reviving his Blade could be an event which will give sprens more confidence in mankind and have more of them decide to readily bond humans again. The non-represented orders might be more forward. The circle may send more "Wyndles" is they see Mayalaran being back. There is a lot of potential for the meta-narrative going down this specific arc and it is irrevocably one which revolves around Adolin, no way around it.

1 hour ago, Mage of Lirigon said:

It's not the same narrative, but that doesn't mean it should be dismissed so simply. Adolin had just come back from a serious brush with death, was battling with self-esteem issues, was unarmoured, and, lest we forget, was fighting a monster he was totally unmatched for, and yet without hestitation, jumped back into a house to save someone.

You're right that that was his duty as a soldier, but I do think many people in his situation would have given up that child for dead out of sheer pragmatism. That was a clear sign of Edgedancer values: focusing on smaller issues rather than the big picture. 

Yes. This. I don't know why Adolin's actions always get dismissed so easily: no matter what he does, it never seems to be enough for the readership. What he did was nothing sort of extraordinary and yet... he didn't get to kill the monster, Renarin did. It was impressive, genuine and shall we also mentioned the moment where he threw Maya, to the risk of being weaponless against the monster, to save the Taylen Shardbearer? Even he was surprised Adolin would do this for him... Why is this? Because he endangered himself for a man he barely knew: it is false to think everyone would have done the same.

I agree it was a clear sign of Edgedancer values: he stopped during something more important to care for someone unimportant and, by doing so, he put his life at risk. If this is not Edgedancer-y behavior, then nothing is.

And yeah, he did all this while thinking he was not worth much, unworthy of bathing into his father, the Almight himself, light. A murderer. A fool who's prowess onto the battlefield is more a by-product of him owning Shards as opposed to real worth. Oathbringer was not perfect, but it did put a big spotlight into those issues Adolin definitely has.

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3 hours ago, wotbibliophile said:

 

I strongly disagree that Shallan was stable enough to make this choice. OB convinced me Shallan is insane. She cannot keep track of reality. There is a WOB that she can't keep track of what is real and that is how I see her. Even what you wrote here is sort of supportive. 3 masks. 2 masks chose Kaladin. Shallan had to suppress Veil/Radiant and we had been lead to believe suppression was bad for Shallan.

I don't know that I believe Veil is more real than Shallan, but there are things about her that are part of real Shallan. Her affinity for theft and spying, her strong observational skills, her feelings for Kaladin. These are things Shallan has put on Veil, but are still an important part of her. Then there is the moment when she touched the unmade in Urithiru. There is a part of her that despises her Shallan mask (not wanting to be called nice or clever or diverting etc). I'm pretty sure those are descriptions for Shallan not Veil or Radiant. Because all 3 masks were not in agreement I do not trust Shallan's choice.

 

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Great post! I agree on your point about Veil having attributes of Shallan. I've been re-reading OB and I'm beginning to toy with the idea that the "masks", by the end of the book at least, are extensions of Shallan. You mentioned the theft and spying part of her, as well as her feelings for Kaladin, being put on Veil.

To add onto that, I think the parts of her that were able to kill Tyn, and her parents, basically the "soldier" in her, have been pushed onto Radiant. I also think the traditional and religious part of her have been pushed onto Radiant as well. I noticed in WoR and WoK, Shallan was religious, or at least more religious than the average Alethi. Some examples were the prayer to herself when Jasnah was speaking of the Almighty being dead, and the ones she did after people died at the camps she met Vatath, but on her Wedding day, it was only Radiant that was concerned about her doing a prayer before her Wedding, and she eventually doesn't do it. Which I think add on to the point of her being fractured by the end OB and the "Shallan" that has married Adolin isn't the complete version of her.

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3 hours ago, maxal said:

Every moment where he states he isn't good enough for Dalinar, when he thinks of how little he is really worth, where his inner thoughts speak of doubts his outside actions would never allow anyone to guess, well, every one of those moments are his story arc. They do not exist for any other reason than fleshing out Adolin: it doesn't serve neither Shallan nor Kaladin's narrative to have him use over who he is, to have him speak of the "inconsistency inside him".

How does this flesh out his character? It doesn't add anything. It doesn't even deepen anything. We already knew, that he always has had these doubts.

3 hours ago, maxal said:

Adolin fighting the thunderclast also serve no narrative purpose other than fleshing out his growing relationship with Maya: those pages are 100% pure Adolin-related and they form, by themselves, the most complete narrative he has had so far.

That is crem dung and I think you know it. It was part of the end avalanche of Oathbringer: that was the main purpose of it. Him talking to his sword is nothing new, only that he now knows Maya's name. It is the extra part, but not the main purpose.

3 hours ago, maxal said:

Either way, I think using Adolin dying, once again, to steer development within Kaladin would be repetitive. Brandon already used up this narrative. My two cents are Brandon will use another one to make Kaladin grow.

By saying this I am certainly not dismissing the connection both characters have, I definitely agree with you here, but seeing how little emotional pay-off other characters death have had within the narrative so far, it seems a bad idea to waste Adolin's character just for two/three paragraphs of sadness. 

There are other better characters to kill, IMHO.

My point has always been, that Adolin dying would drive the development of multiple characters and not just Kaladin.

And, once again, repetitiveness is a non-factor. It doesn't change the impact it would have.

3 hours ago, maxal said:

Most of Part 4 was used up to introduce Maya

No, it was used to introduce a closer look at Shadesmar and spren society, including deadeyes. World-building. Maya just happened to be there.

3 hours ago, maxal said:

every single one of Adolin's viewpoints within Part 5 was made to flesh out his relationship with her.

No, to provide the non-Radiant perspective to the Battle of TC. Once again, the talking to Maya thing is nothing new. He already did that.

I don't deny, that there are hints at a possible revival, but once again, and my point stays undefeated in that, the text doesn't give us a clear picture, that Adolin will do it and actively pursue it. It isn't even on his mind. Which always was my point to begin with.

3 hours ago, maxal said:

I still think killing Adolin is wasteful is only because the superficial role he fulfills cannot be handed to any other character, not currently. I also feel there was a lot of page time invested into Adolin's character: it seems odd to just kill him off.

And once again, page time does not equal meaningful character development. Just because we see a lot through his eyes, it does not mean, that his character changed and developed in a meaningful way.

I very much agree, that he once presented a very important perspective in a world where suddenly Radiants appeared, but now the Desolation is here and I'm wondering how important this viewpoint still is and, quite frankly, he is definitely out of his league right now.

3 hours ago, maxal said:

I personally find Adolin to be very suitable for the Edgedancers: he does have it in him to care for other people, to risk his life for strangers, to listen to low-born people. Back in WoR, readers made a big deal out of Lift returning to save Gawx at the risk of her life. Oddly enough, I have not seen the readers make an equally big deal out of Adolin rushing back into a crumbling house, to the risk of his own life, to rescue a young boy. It was the exact same narrative, but because one character was already introduced as a Radiant, readers gave one more credence than the others, but in the end, Adolin is not less suitable for the Edgedancers than Lift is. His narrative is filled with him caring for other people.

 

2 hours ago, Mage of Lirigon said:

You're right that that was his duty as a soldier, but I do think many people in his situation would have given up that child for dead out of sheer pragmatism. That was a clear sign of Edgedancer values: focusing on smaller issues rather than the big picture. 

 

1 hour ago, maxal said:

I agree it was a clear sign of Edgedancer values: he stopped during something more important to care for someone unimportant and, by doing so, he put his life at risk. If this is not Edgedancer-y behavior, then nothing is.

There is one huge, significant difference between what Adolin did and Lift did:

Lift went back for Gawx. She went back with the sole goal to help him. It wasn't just because she had the opportunity to do so, but she was determined to do so.

Does Adolin go out his way to save prostitutes? No, he saved that one prostitute in WoK, because he simply had the opportunity there.

Does Adolin go out his way to save kids in warzones? No, he saved one kid, because he simply had the opportunity to do that there. He wouldn't have won against the thunderclast anyway, so he did what he could do. He was way out of his league and I commend him for his bravery, but it wasn't his main intent to go in there and "remember those that have been forgotten". His intent was to contribute to the fight as good as he could.

Did he kill Sadeas to avenge his fallen comrades at the Tower? No, he did it because he wanted to protect his family. And, he himself doesn't even deny it, because it felt good.

Adolin has a great sense of morality and doing good things, but whenever he did those things, he did them out of opportunity. Never because he intently cared for it. Lift did. That is the difference.

1 hour ago, maxal said:

It was impressive, genuine and shall we also mentioned the moment where he threw Maya, to the risk of being weaponless against the monster, to save the Taylen Shardbearer?

Good job Adolin on showing prime Windrunner behavior.

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4 hours ago, maxal said:

I agree it was a clear sign of Edgedancer values: he stopped during something more important to care for someone unimportant and, by doing so, he put his life at risk. If this is not Edgedancer-y behavior, then nothing is.

And yeah, he did all this while thinking he was not worth much, unworthy of bathing into his father, the Almight himself, light. A murderer. A fool who's prowess onto the battlefield is more a by-product of him owning Shards as opposed to real worth. Oathbringer was not perfect, but it did put a big spotlight into those issues Adolin definitely has.

Exactly. That whole scene there was basically like Adolin's Knight Radiant interview. Just before rushing in to save that child, he thinks to himself that he needs a Radiant, and then he starts acting Radiant. He went above and beyond the call of duty there.

 

3 hours ago, SLNC said:

How does this flesh out his character? It doesn't add anything. It doesn't even deepen anything. We already knew, that he always has had these doubts.

You're just nitpicking now. You could easily say the same of Kaladin or Shallan. IMHO, we learned a lot of about why Adolin doubts himself, and how all those issues are getting magnified by the fact that he's surrounded by Radiants. There was plenty of fleshing out.

 

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That is crem dung and I think you know it. It was part of the end avalanche of Oathbringer: that was the main purpose of it.

It didn't have to be Adolin. We could have easily gotten more Renarin, Shallan or even Teft or the rest of Bridge Four with that time. Brandon gave us Adolin for a reason.

 

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Him talking to his sword is nothing new, only that he now knows Maya's name. It is the extra part, but not the main purpose.

It's not simply that he knows Maya's name, it's that she tells it to him, and that they're starting to talk, if in a rudimentary fashion.

 

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No, it was used to introduce a closer look at Shadesmar and spren society, including deadeyes. World-building. Maya just happened to be there.

So the scene with Adolin talking with Ico about Maya or Maya saving him were just there for nothing then?

 

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No, to provide the non-Radiant perspective to the Battle of TC.

We had Navani for that. Why bother with seeing a non-Radiant fight when he could have gotten Bridge Four or more Radiants unless it was for a reason?

 

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I don't deny, that there are hints at a possible revival, but once again, and my point stays undefeated in that, the text doesn't give us a clear picture, that Adolin will do it and actively pursue it. It isn't even on his mind. Which always was my point to begin with.

Why would it be on his mind? He doesn't even know it's possible, and even if he did, he's already convinced himself he isn't worthy of being a Radiant. We the readers, on the other hand, can see the writing on the wall. The fact that Adolin doesn't is part of his character arc.

 

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There is one huge, significant difference between what Adolin did and Lift did:

Lift went back for Gawx. She went back with the sole goal to help him. It wasn't just because she had the opportunity to do so, but she was determined to do so.

Does Adolin go out his way to save prostitutes? No, he saved that one prostitute in WoK, because he simply had the opportunity there.

You're really determined to undersell Adolin here. Look at that scene, everyone else aside from Kaladin saw what happened and ignored it. Adolin was in unfriendly territory and yet decided to help her. The point was not that he helped because he had an opportunity, it was that he helped when everyone else ignored her, when he himself could have gone on his way with the rest of them.

 

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Does Adolin go out his way to save kids in warzones? No, he saved one kid, because he simply had the opportunity to do that there. He wouldn't have won against the thunderclast anyway, so he did what he could do.

As a Shardbearer, Adolin was a significant part of the defense of the city. Many people would have thought that rather than risk themselves getting crushed saving one kid, the cleverer choice would be to focus on the thunderclast. It's pointless to say he wouldn't have won anyway, because while we the readers know that, Adolin was under the impression that he could make a difference against the thing the whole time, and so were the men he was with, and yet he chose to risk all to save that child, because he thought her life was at least equally important than him defending the city.

 

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He was way out of his league and I commend him for his bravery, but it wasn't his main intent to go in there and "remember those that have been forgotten". His intent was to contribute to the fight as good as he could.

Adolin wasn't swearing any Oaths, we don't need his intent to swear to them there. It's enough to know that he is doing what any Edgedancer would, as a starting point for his journey.

 

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Did he kill Sadeas to avenge his fallen comrades at the Tower? No, he did it because he wanted to protect his family. And, he himself doesn't even deny it, because it felt good.

We already heard him mention wanting to get Sadeas for the men that died earlier in the book. That desire didn't disappear because he didn't mention it during the deed itelf, nor does his desire to protect his family or his satisfaction at getting rid of the little cremling negate it either. 

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37 minutes ago, SLNC said:

How does this flesh out his character? It doesn't add anything. It doesn't even deepen anything. We already knew, that he always has had these doubts.

No we didn't. It was hinted at, but never confirmed. It is an argument I had a very hard time to pass before OB because it wasn't obvious enough within the narrative. It adds to his character because it is the first time we see him having more introspective viewpoints. He never got those, before. On a scale from one to ten of superficiality, Oathbringer added more depth to Adolin's character. Of course, since his character is always compared to Kaladin/Shallan/Dalinar is isn't enough, it is dim, but what if we started comparing him to Jasnah, Renarin or Navani? Can we seriously make the argument any of those three characters had better development than Adolin? Jasnah had one introspective sentence within the entire book, Renarin one paragraph and it was even lighter than Adolin's, Navani had perhaps one paragraph and it was mostly her musing on politics. 

From my perspective, the problem with SA is it focuses too much onto three characters and it gets tiresome. However, if we start to look into the other characters, Adolin's entire arc suddenly doesn't look so shabby.

43 minutes ago, SLNC said:

That is crem dung and I think you know it. It was part of the end avalanche of Oathbringer: that was the main purpose of it. Him talking to his sword is nothing new, only that he now knows Maya's name. It is the extra part, but not the main purpose.

The end avalanche of Oathgbringer did not need to have Adolin's viewpoints. Brandon did not need to show us what he was doing: it wasn't required. He didn't win the battle, he didn't kill the thunderclast. Adolin is not one of the ten, he is not a Radiant. The thing is, if you take the basic narrative, we can almost always do without Adolin's viewpoints just as there are times we could have done with Dalinar/Shallan/Kaladin's viewpoints, but they exist for a reason.

I for one stopped believing Brandon is giving out the biggest of the tertiary characters story arcs to Adolin merely because he is a convenient foil. You may not believe it and I will agree there are possibilities you are right (I hope you are not, sorry), but I also think you are discrediting Adolin's story arc. Maya was something new, it was something gigantic even. I understand, after reading the disappointing aftermath of Adolin having murdered Sadeas, we are all reluctant to believe anything with respect to Adolin's character may pan out into a satisfying arc. Brandon really pulled the rug under our feet with the Sadeas thing-y, but let's say we ignore this disappointment and just look at the narrative.

Adolin did hear his Blade's name. Him speaking to it is not new, but him hearing her is. Her gaining the ability to influence him, to make her presence knows is also new. That's something and unlike the murder of Sadeas, it cannot be taken away from Adolin's character. None one else can step in and claim Maya: to belongs to him. For the very first time, his character has a story arc which cannot pan out into a foil arc for another character.

50 minutes ago, SLNC said:

My point has always been, that Adolin dying would drive the development of multiple characters and not just Kaladin.

And, once again, repetitiveness is a non-factor. It doesn't change the impact it would have.

And once again my point is, having seen how little development Elhokar's death actually caused, I persist in thinking it would be wasting a character for very little rate of return.

51 minutes ago, SLNC said:

No, it was used to introduce a closer look at Shadesmar and spren society, including deadeyes. World-building. Maya just happened to be there.

The trip to Shadesmar had multiple purposes, this is true, but Maya was one of them. She did not just "happened to be there", Brandon deliberately wrote a narrative which allowed Adolin to meet her in Shadesmar. He deliberately wrote Maya being curious of Adolin and, later, saving him from a sure death. Maya needed not being there, Adolin needed not having viewpoints: Brandon could have used Shallan or Kaladin to narrate the Shadesmar narrative, but he chose Adolin.

We may draw all the conclusions we want, but the Maya arc definitely seems a great deal lot more than just a an Easter egg.

56 minutes ago, SLNC said:

No, to provide the non-Radiant perspective to the Battle of TC. Once again, the talking to Maya thing is nothing new. He already did that.

I don't deny, that there are hints at a possible revival, but once again, and my point stays undefeated in that, the text doesn't give us a clear picture, that Adolin will do it and actively pursue it. It isn't even on his mind. Which always was my point to begin with.

We did not need a non-Radiant perspective from the battle. Worst, Adolin's viewpoints essentially focused on him fighting the thunderclast, not on his organizing and leadership skills. The elements Brandon chose to show were important. He could have written the same narrative differently and, more importantly, he did NOT need to have Maya start to respond to Adolin. Him talking to her perhaps isn't new, but her responding to him is. 

I don't know what you want from the narrative... Adolin was being trashed, crushed by a monster made of stones. He hurt his arms, his leg and he most likely had internal bleeding not to forget he hit his head hard enough he blacked out. He could barely stand. He was mangled even Renarin's healing was not enough to heal him completely. He still ached after the healing, his cuts were still open, his arms were still painful. How is it, while being in the middle of pure agony, Adolin ought to have reflected on trying to revive Maya? He has no idea it is even possible: he just wanted to use Maya to fight creatures she was made to fight. He didn't want to use her to fight mere humans. He did not want to fight humans. Hence, I have no idea what sort of evidence you are looking for. My perspective is there never was the opportunity for Adolin to muse on what happened and even if he did, he may not even believe it is possible. He does not think he is worthy of the Radiants: this was what his entire internal story arc was about. So why would he think he is suddenly becoming one through his dead-Blade to boot it all?

I personally believe Adolin will revive his Blade, but he won't be actively decide to do it. It will happened. Now Maya has a hold on him, I suspect she will try to guide him and he will say the words, eventually, but it will take time. A lot of time before he starts believing it, before he stars saying them with a purpose. I mean, the fact the narrative isn't clear where it is going is exactly why it is interesting. How far will he go? Will Maya meet him half-way? Why settle for yet another Radiant story when we can get one which is slightly different?

1 hour ago, SLNC said:

And once again, page time does not equal meaningful character development. Just because we see a lot through his eyes, it does not mean, that his character changed and developed in a meaningful way.

I very much agree, that he once presented a very important perspective in a world where suddenly Radiants appeared, but now the Desolation is here and I'm wondering how important this viewpoint still is and, quite frankly, he is definitely out of his league right now.

As a rule of thumb, authors will not waste page time on static characters not meant to grow. Working with books, authors are forced to chose who's eyes they will use to tell their story. Brandon chose Adolin's. It might not have been his first choice, but the fact is he had the opportunity to stop writing his character and he didn't take it. Sure, OB was kind of disappointing, I realize now it was mostly because I wanted to read something so badly, I skimmed through the book... to never read it. I bet the book reads much better when you don't step into it with any expectations.

Adolin had a few interesting bits. He had more interesting bits then nearly everyone, besides Dalinar/Shallan. I have seen readers make the argument Adolin has more character development than Kaladin in OB. I am not sure I agree, but some have made the argument. Has his character changed? No, not really, but neither did Kaladin nor Dalinar. Not everyone changes through their arcs, though it can be argued Adolin refusing to let Dalinar order him around was a change. Not a very climatic one, but a change nonethesless. Small, but still a change.

I also think the fact Radiants are starting to pop around are what will make Adolin more important... As I said, there are many story arcs the author can spin around his character. I wouldn't state he has out-lived his usefulness, not until we find out more about book 4. 

1 hour ago, SLNC said:

There is one huge, significant difference between what Adolin did and Lift did:

Lift went back for Gawx. She went back with the sole goal to help him. It wasn't just because she had the opportunity to do so, but she was determined to do so.

Does Adolin go out his way to save prostitutes? No, he saved that one prostitute in WoK, because he simply had the opportunity there.

Does Adolin go out his way to save kids in warzones? No, he saved one kid, because he simply had the opportunity to do that there. He wouldn't have won against the thunderclast anyway, so he did what he could do. He was way out of his league and I commend him for his bravery, but it wasn't his main intent to go in there and "remember those that have been forgotten". His intent was to contribute to the fight as good as he could.

Did he kill Sadeas to avenge his fallen comrades at the Tower? No, he did it because he wanted to protect his family. And, he himself doesn't even deny it, because it felt good.

Adolin has a great sense of morality and doing good things, but whenever he did those things, he did them out of opportunity. Never because he intently cared for it. Lift did. That is the difference.

You are right: there is distinctive difference in between Adolin saving the boy and Lift saving Gawx. Lift actually knew Gawx and felt sorry for him whereas Adolin went back for a total stranger.

This being said, Adolin went back with the sole purpose of saving the boy. He heard a whimper and he went back into the house to save the boy. It happened very quickly, so he did not have the luxury of having her grand thoughts on his selfless act such as Lift did, but in the end he did the exact same thing. He put someone else's life before his own.

Did Lift went out of her ways to do ANYTHING for anyone or did she just act onto the random people she randomly met? Need I also emphasis Lift is actually an Edgedancer with oaths having had a progression onto her journey while Adolin just got to meet his spren. Readers keep on asking Adolin to do more, more what? Lift isn't doing more than Adolin.

Did Lift try to save just one kid into the war zone? Nope. I think there are many misconceptions with respect to the Edgedancers: Brandon described them as the good Samaritans of the Radiant, not the social workers nor the altruists one. Edgedancer are just those people who'll stop to help a random stranger, but they will not start a crusade to change the world: they are not idealistic, they just act when they see something needing to be fixed. Adolin falls right into this description.

Did Lift ever did any action with the intend of remembering the forgotten? Apart fro Gawx, has she reinforced this ideal in a particular manner? Nope and she's the one who said the oath, not Adolin. Adolin muses over the fact he had to kill Alethi men. 

Adolin did not kill to get revenge, revenge seems a rather un-Radiant feeling, IMHO, but he did do it to prevent further harm. Was it spot perfect Edgedancer behavior? Perhaps not, but the Radiants do not need to be perfect at all time. I mean, look at Shallan

I disagree. Adolin does good thing because they are the right thing to do at the time where he does them. He never has to, but he chooses to. And yeah, he did care. I mean, I find it hard to read those books and come up with the argumentation "Adolin does not care". He has had more moments where he cared than Lift.

1 hour ago, SLNC said:

Good job Adolin on showing prime Windrunner behavior.

Not all orders are mutually exclusive. Adolin does not have the stubborn limitless sense of honor the Windrunners require their members to have. It does not mean he cannot be protective too. It just means he wouldn't translate it into a way of life.

17 minutes ago, Mage of Lirigon said:

Exactly. That whole scene there was basically like Adolin's Knight Radiant interview. Just before rushing in to save that child, he thinks to himself that he needs a Radiant, and then he starts acting Radiant. He went above and beyond the call of duty there.

Oh good one. I didn't see the scene from this angle: good linking of the moment where Adolin thinks the Radiant should be there and him behaving like one.

For the rest, great post, loved reading it.

 

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@maxal

I know, that you are highly defensive of Adolin, but at this point you are just victimizing him. So please stop with the theatrics, about "how much else do I want for Adolin to suffer?", that wasn't my point and never will be. 

If you want to give him importance, of course I will compare him to the more important characters. Jasnah, Renarin and Navani are irrelevant to this discussion. It is completely convoluted already, so could we please not lose focus?

That said, at the end of WoR, by him having doubts about his place in the world now, they were basically spelled out for us already. They weren't "hinted" at back then. It was blatant and on the nose what was going on. Oathbringer did nothing to deepen that.

All I'm saying, that you are blowing the Maya "arc" way out of proportion, by saying, that Part 4 and 5 were all just for Adolin. There were a few nice bits and pieces there and I never even denied it, but these things were never the main narrative or even as much that could constitute an "arc", a story. Even Moash had a larger character arc. That was an arc. Hints at something don't constitute that.

And now we're back to the "Adolin has potential" argument again: Yeah, he does. For three books now - with a load of chapters to begin with and never has Sanderson shown to be willing to make him more. 

Almost every other secondary character has been given a personal outlook where his character will go, what he will do in the future, Adolin hasn't. That is the evidence I'm looking for. All we're doing is speculating. That's the bottom line in the end. It is all just speculation - and it is getting quite like derailment of this thread.

So to say something about the actual topic of this thread:

Quote

The fact she loves Adolin is precisely why it is so hard to tell him of every single lies: what if he reacts badly? I mean, she is hardly able to deal with the truth herself, she may not have considered the possibility others may deal with it better. Either way, I'm pretty sure Shallan will tell Adolin about the Ghostbloods. Her family may take more time though.

Shallan is planning to let Veil tell Adolin about the Ghostbloods. Not herself. All she is doing is telling Adolin another lie, if she tells him, that Veil is the one acting with the Ghostbloods, since Adolin already believes Veil to be a different person from Shallan.

What a huge show of love and trust.

There is a difference between saying, that Veil did that or to say, that Shallan herself did that under the guise of Veil - which would be the truth.

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Moments where she let him speak his mind, where she just supported him, moments such as when Adolin refused to be king. Shallan does not want to be queen, but she gives Adolin all the freedom he needs to make the decision: she does not factor herself in, she just supports him.

Flip it around. Suppose Shallan wants to be queen. Would she have supported Adolin in the same way?

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5 hours ago, maxal said:

how little development Elhokar's death actually caused,

Seriously? Are we even reading the same books? Are you saying that Elhokar's death didn't cause any change in the story of the book? Why was Adolin asked to be king then?

5 hours ago, maxal said:

From my perspective, the problem with SA is it focuses too much onto three characters and it gets tiresome.

If it's a matter of personal perspective, from my perspective 10 POVs for the 10 SA books are way too many characters to focus on, I'd be glad if we didn't have any more side characters.

5 hours ago, maxal said:

The thing is, if you take the basic narrative, we can almost always do without Adolin's viewpoints just as there are times we could have done with Dalinar/Shallan/Kaladin's viewpoints, but they exist for a reason.

Yeah, sorry to break your bubble but they are basically the three main characters of SA. We were introduced to these people from Book 1 and the focus has been on them all along because that's the main story. The reason why people are interested in these books, in any book, in the first place, is the compelling story of its main characters and not the seasoning secondary ones add to the story. 

5 hours ago, maxal said:

Brandon really pulled the rug under our feet with the Sadeas thing-y,

Personally, I wasn't disappointed at all. I found the twist refreshing to Adolin's lukewarm character. He actually peaked my interest at that point.

 

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1 hour ago, SLNC said:

All I'm saying, that you are blowing the Maya "arc" way out of proportion, by saying, that Part 4 and 5 were all just for Adolin. There were a few nice bits and pieces there and I never even denied it, but these things were never the main narrative or even as much that could constitute an "arc"

It's also worth pointing out that this isn't an "Adolin character-building arc," it's more of a pre-"resurrect ALL the blades" arc. This particular blade isn't special, so if it's possible to bring this one back, then it makes sense to devote resources for the rest (the very least to prevent the blades from being used by the enemy!)

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On 2/9/2018 at 10:54 PM, SLNC said:

Just look at how he says, that he can't fail Adolin, which then turns into, that he can't lose him.

I really interpreted Kaladin's focus as being on Dalinar. That was the source of all the urgency for getting through the Oathgate. Dalinar was in trouble. Expanding the quote a little:

 

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Kaladin thought, finally, of Dalinar. Could Kaladin do it? Could he really say these Words? Could he mean them? The Fused swept close. Adolin bled. “I…” You know what you need to do. “I … can’t,” Kaladin finally whispered, tears streaming down his cheeks. “I can’t lose him, but … oh, Almighty … I can’t save him.”

 

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4 minutes ago, lu-tze said:

This particular blade isn't special, so if it's possible to bring this one back, then it makes sense to devote resources for the rest (the very least to prevent the blades from being used by the enemy!)

I think it might be a very specific process, being very reliant on both wielder and Blade, so it might not be possible to adapt it in a more industrial way, but if it was possible? Yup, there definitely would be a good reason to devote resources to it. I agree.

2 minutes ago, lu-tze said:

I really interpreted Kaladin's focus as being on Dalinar. That was the source of all the urgency for getting through the Oathgate. Dalinar was in trouble. Expanding the quote a little:

"Adolin bled." is also in there.

The whole thing with Kaladin saying the words to get a power surge, started with Kaladin not wanting Adolin to sacrifice himself for them.

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8 hours ago, SLNC said:

@maxal

I know, that you are highly defensive of Adolin, but at this point you are just victimizing him. So please stop with the theatrics, about "how much else do I want for Adolin to suffer?", that wasn't my point and never will be. 

You always say this when you disagree with me. You jump in and say I am victimizing Adolin. Where did I victimize him? You are arguing his story arc is all for nothing, he has nothing going on for him and the Maya arc is an Easter egg. I wasn't aware arguing for the opposite was victimizing him, but if this is how you feel about it, then I fear I have nothing else to add on the matter. 

My personal thoughts is you are downplaying the entire Maya arc for reasons I cannot understand. We all know it may not turn out as we want it to turn, but I do think tossing it away as if it were inconsequential is going a tad too far into the other direction.

8 hours ago, SLNC said:

If you want to give him importance, of course I will compare him to the more important characters. Jasnah, Renarin and Navani are irrelevant to this discussion. It is completely convoluted already, so could we please not lose focus?

It is not irrelevant because you are arguing Adolin's page time is meaningless, you are arguing he has ZERO character development within those pages. I got out examples of other characters, having page time, having even less development than he got. My purpose was to say comparing Adolin to Shallan is pointless: Brandon will never write an equivalent arc for Adolin, but if we compare him to character having a more similar page time than him, then his story arc suddenly looks much better. You disagree? Fine, there isn't much I can add.

8 hours ago, SLNC said:

That said, at the end of WoR, by him having doubts about his place in the world now, they were basically spelled out for us already. They weren't "hinted" at back then. It was blatant and on the nose what was going on. Oathbringer did nothing to deepen that.

At the end of WoR we had ONE sentence: I hardly consider it to be character development. OB extended on it It also highlighted his relationship with Dalinar IS troubled which is a point I never managed to sell before we all read OB. Hence, OB did add things to his character even if you insist it didn't.

8 hours ago, SLNC said:

All I'm saying, that you are blowing the Maya "arc" way out of proportion, by saying, that Part 4 and 5 were all just for Adolin. There were a few nice bits and pieces there and I never even denied it, but these things were never the main narrative or even as much that could constitute an "arc", a story. Even Moash had a larger character arc. That was an arc. Hints at something don't constitute that.

I misspoke, my bad. I didn't mean to say Part 4 and 5 were all about Adolin, but Adolin's viewpoints within those parts were about him. You were arguing Adolin's entire page time is serviceable and only exists to make other character shine. I brought out Part 4 and 5 to highlight the fact his viewpoints, within those parts, had no other purpose but developing his character. In other words, he was a foil to no one during those. It wasn't perfect, it could/should have been better: Adolin's arc is not cohesive from beginning to end because, yes, Brandon does over-use his character for foil purposes, but it still was better than what he got in WoK/WoR which is the point I was getting at. 

My take is saying Adolin's viewpoint is meaningless is going out of proportion, let's push fair here. It wasn't what we all wanted, true, but he wasn't the train wreck we are describing either.

8 hours ago, SLNC said:

And now we're back to the "Adolin has potential" argument again: Yeah, he does. For three books now - with a load of chapters to begin with and never has Sanderson shown to be willing to make him more. 

To be honest, Adolin only had potential after WoR, he never read much potential after WoK, so we ought to say he's had potential for two books. Sanderson had Adolin start reviving his Blde: if this is not an arc, then I don't know what it is. This was the very first time Brandon wrote something which belongs to Adolin's character and only him. You don't want to read it as is? Fine, but I tend to think that's actually something, it is more than what he got at the end of WoR.

8 hours ago, SLNC said:

Almost every other secondary character has been given a personal outlook where his character will go, what he will do in the future, Adolin hasn't. That is the evidence I'm looking for. All we're doing is speculating. That's the bottom line in the end. It is all just speculation - and it is getting quite like derailment of this thread.

Yes and no. Kaladin currently has no story arc, his entire story arc in OB could have hold within half as less chapters. Renarin never got a story arc, he remains a very minor character. Sure, he's got a corrupted spren, but this isn't a bigger story arc than Adolin reviving his Blade. Lift as zero story arc either, neither does Navani. Szeth story arc is to follow Dalinar. 

It is false to think every single character has a defined story arc and a purpose. They don't all have. Adolin is the Highprince now and he has started reviving his Blade not to forget he has married Shallan. What does Jasnah got? Oh yeah, she's the Queen.... I am sorry, but Adolin's character got a lot more going on for himself than her.

8 hours ago, SLNC said:

Flip it around. Suppose Shallan wants to be queen. Would she have supported Adolin in the same way?

Yes. Shallan stood by Adolin and allowed him to make his decision. Trying to re-write the scene to turn into something negative is just ill-faith. She basically told him he could be what he wants to be and she would support him no matter what. She never told him to refuse the kingship nor to accept it. She never spoke of what she wanted: she accepted his decision.

7 hours ago, insert_anagram_here said:

Seriously? Are we even reading the same books? Are you saying that Elhokar's death didn't cause any change in the story of the book? Why was Adolin asked to be king then?

Seriously? Where was the big emotional impact of Elhokar dying? Dalinar thought about it for one sentence and then it was gone. Navani cried for one paragraph and then it was done. Sure, there were some consequences, but they could hold up within a handful of paragraphs. If this is all the pay-off killing a character gets, then killing a more important one such as Adolin seems like a bad gamble, still IMHO.

7 hours ago, insert_anagram_here said:

If it's a matter of personal perspective, from my perspective 10 POVs for the 10 SA books are way too many characters to focus on, I'd be glad if we didn't have any more side characters.

Agreed. It is why I mentioned it was my personal's perspective: I cannot hope it will be shared by everyone. My personal preferences are I would prefer if the narrative was more evenly split in between 4-5 main protagonists, less minor ones. I do not mind the focus changing within the second arc, but I don't get why those character need to have a narrative and viewpoints, NOW, but YMMV.

7 hours ago, insert_anagram_here said:

Yeah, sorry to break your bubble but they are basically the three main characters of SA. We were introduced to these people from Book 1 and the focus has been on them all along because that's the main story. The reason why people are interested in these books, in any book, in the first place, is the compelling story of its main characters and not the seasoning secondary ones add to the story. 

Which bubble are you trying to break? I've just told you the narrative could have done without Adolin's viewpoints, but it didn't. I have also said it could have done with less viewpoints from Dalinar/Shallan/Kaladin, but all of these viewpoints exist for a reason AND THIS INCLUDES ADOLIN. The idea Brandon is just writing viewpoints for fun, because it amuses him for no purpose at all is rather hilarious. He chose to gave us Adolin's viewpoints, hence he must have a plan. 

SA is the compelling story about its main character? Do you realize Dalinar doesn't have more viewpoints than Adolin in WoR? Before OB, both character had exactly the same page time. It is false to think those books have just been about those three: they never were. Adolin never was the seasoning: Jasnah is the seasoning, Renarin is the seasoning, Navani is the seasoning.

In OB, I do think Brandon did gave too many viewpoints to those three and, as a result, part of the narrative dragged. Dalinar's chapters mostly. A lot of them were repetitive. Of course, everyone is free to disagree, but I think you are going too far onto the other end.

7 hours ago, insert_anagram_here said:

Personally, I wasn't disappointed at all. I found the twist refreshing to Adolin's lukewarm character. He actually peaked my interest at that point.

Some readers like it, some readers disliked it. I never said opinions were unanimous, but I for one was disappointed about it. It made me wary to expect more our of Brandon: he disappointed me here.

Edited by maxal
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1 hour ago, maxal said:

Where did I victimize him?

 

16 hours ago, maxal said:

Yes. This. I don't know why Adolin's actions always get dismissed so easily: no matter what he does, it never seems to be enough for the readership.

There.

1 hour ago, maxal said:

It also highlighted his relationship with Dalinar IS troubled which is a point I never managed to sell before we all read OB.

How? What? Why?

Because he stood up against him once? How is his relationship with his father troubled?

1 hour ago, maxal said:

SA is the compelling story about its main character? Do you realize Dalinar doesn't have more viewpoints than Adolin in WoR? Before OB, both character had exactly the same page time. It is false to think those books have just been about those three: they never were. Adolin never was the seasoning: Jasnah is the seasoning, Renarin is the seasoning, Navani is the seasoning.

And still you are trying to tell us, that the amount of viewpoints is a metric to measure the importance of a character.

What is important is how these viewpoints are USED. And Adolin's viewpoints have primarily been one of an observer. Whenever he actually does something, he either does it as a part of something bigger (Battle of the Tower, Battle of Narak, following Shallan and Kaladin into the palace in Kholinar, while he before has been doing storm-all joking with his good friend the tailor (so important!), following them around in Shadesmar, Battle of Thaylen City)

1 hour ago, maxal said:

Seriously? Where was the big emotional impact of Elhokar dying? Dalinar thought about it for one sentence and then it was gone. Navani cried for one paragraph and then it was done. Sure, there were some consequences, but they could hold up within a handful of paragraphs. If this is all the pay-off killing a character gets, then killing a more important one such as Adolin seems like a bad gamble, still IMHO.

That was not anagram's point. The point was, that Elhokar's death impacted the story.

1 hour ago, maxal said:

What does Jasnah got? Oh yeah, she's the Queen.... I am sorry, but Adolin's character got a lot more going on for himself than her.

And her continued teaching of Shallan... And dealing with the Heralds, what she started in OB... And all the other things that come with being the Queen. Highprince duties pale in comparison. Especially when your princedom is overrun by Odium's forces. At the moment, it is just a symbolic position. What is a ruler without land to rule?

1 hour ago, maxal said:

but this isn't a bigger story arc than Adolin reviving his Blade.

Which isn't confirmed to even be an active story arc, which is all I'm constantly saying. It is hinted, but not confirmed.

Regaring the active vs. passive thing:

14 hours ago, maxal said:

I personally believe Adolin will revive his Blade, but he won't be actively decide to do it. It will happened. Now Maya has a hold on him, I suspect she will try to guide him and he will say the words, eventually, but it will take time. A lot of time before he starts believing it, before he stars saying them with a purpose. I mean, the fact the narrative isn't clear where it is going is exactly why it is interesting. How far will he go? Will Maya meet him half-way? Why settle for yet another Radiant story when we can get one which is slightly different?

So, you're happy with that? Adolin once again just getting everything handed to him? Because that is what you are predicting and something, that you yourself have been criticizing in the past.

Or is it a case of beggars can't be choosers?

1 hour ago, maxal said:

Szeth story arc is to follow Dalinar.

No, his next Ideal involves a personal quest.

Quote

I will cleanse the Shin of their false leaders, so long as Dalinar Kholin agrees.

1 hour ago, maxal said:

neither does Navani

Fabrial research. Developing weapons and vehicles for the Radiants.

1 hour ago, maxal said:

She basically told him he could be what he wants to be and she would support him no matter what.

She didn't tell him anything. She "thought it to him", whatever that means. I'd be surprised if they suddenly had developed telepathic abilites.

Quote

Adolin grew tense, and Shallan took his hand, holding tight. You can be this man, if you want, she thought to him. But you don’t have to be what he makes of you.

My point is, that she has been highly manipulative in the past (I'm even arguing, that her convincing him to follow through with the marriage at the end of OB, was her manipulating him by asking him for help. Of course, Adolin wouldn't say no to that. She didn't care about his doubts. She just brushed them away.). Would she have squeezed his hand, if she would have wanted to be Queen? Would she have thought the same in that situation? That are the questions I'm asking.

Edited by SLNC
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37 minutes ago, SLNC said:

There.

How is pointing out that certain parts of the readership treat Adolin unfairly victimizing him?

 

Quote

How? What? Why?

Because he stood up against him once? How is his relationship with his father troubled?

Did you perhaps miss the parts where we see Dalinar trying to live vicariously through Adolin while also neglecting him, and how that shaped Adolin's self-estem issues?

 

Quote

And still you are trying to tell us, that the amount of viewpoints is a metric to measure the importance of a character.

What is important is how these viewpoints are USED. And Adolin's viewpoints have primarily been one of an observer. Whenever he actually does something, he either does it as a part of something bigger (Battle of the Tower, Battle of Narak, following Shallan and Kaladin into the palace in Kholinar, while he before has been doing storm-all joking with his good friend the tailor (so important!), following them around in Shadesmar, Battle of Thaylen City)

I admit you have a point here, about how viewpoints are used being more than the sheer number of them. And yet, I can't imagine Brandon would would spend so much time giving Adolin so many viewpoints if he was only ever going to be an observer of events.

 

Quote

Which isn't confirmed to even be an active story arc, which is all I'm constantly saying. It is hinted, but not confirmed.

So Maya saves Adolin, gives him her name, communicates with him isn't confirmation enough? If you saw another character doing the same with a spren, would you say the same thing? Will he have to swear an Oath before you see it as confirmed?

 

Quote

So, you're happy with that? Adolin once again just getting everything handed to him? 

So why do you see it as Adolin getting everything handed to him? 

No Radiant has ever had an easy path so far, and Maya is still kinda dead, so that makes it even harder. What makes you think this will somehow be easy?

Edited by Mage of Lirigon
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31 minutes ago, Mage of Lirigon said:

How is pointing out that certain parts of the readership treat Adolin unfairly victimizing him?

Playing the "the readership treats Adolin so badly" card is a form of victimization.

31 minutes ago, Mage of Lirigon said:

Did you perhaps miss the parts where we see Dalinar trying to live vicariously through Adolin while also neglecting him, and how that shaped Adolin's self-estem issues?

And how is this evidence, that the relationship between them is troubled right now? I don't see it. Adolin hasn't changed his attitude towards his father. Or vice versa.

31 minutes ago, Mage of Lirigon said:

So Maya saves Adolin, gives him her name, communicates with him isn't confirmation enough?

No it isn't. We have confirmation through the Stormfather, that Oathbringer remembered Dalinar when Dalinar picked Oathbringer up. I don't deny a spiritual Connection might be building, but I don't see it as confirmation in the form of the revival must and will happen, which is what is constantly being propagated here.

The talking could also just be, because Adolin was close to the Cognitive Realm at the time so he was able to communicate with Maya, who while deadeyed is still a spren. Humans apparently don't have a problem with communicating with spren as long as they are in the Cognitive Realm. Also, during the fight Dalinar created a perpendicularity pulling the realms closer together, count these facts together and she might have been able to communicate with him because of that. There are too many variables to undeniably prove a forming Nahel bond.

31 minutes ago, Mage of Lirigon said:

So why do you see it as Adolin getting everything handed to him? 

Because maxal's prediction is, that it will just happen? Just like Adolin, oh surprise, has a fitting dead Shardblade. And, oh surprise, of course is acting JUST right to revive Maya. That is just getting everything handed to him.

Edited by SLNC
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45 minutes ago, SLNC said:

And, oh surprise, of course is acting JUST right to revive Maya. That is just getting everything handed to him.

This isn't entirely fair. Since Adolin is non-PoV we don't have access to his thoughts and troubles. Granted, he personally doesn't express much interest (re: his blade) to others, but there may be some internal struggle we don't get to see.

I think if there's anything to take from Teft, Moash, and Rock's PoVs in OB, it's that just about everyone is struggling. There's room for Adolin on this train, too. If Adolin/Maya OathMending becomes a Thing, it wouldn't be an inconceivable shocker; but it would be a bit like a very wet man wandering in from the desert: some pieces of the story are very obviously missing.

Edited by lu-tze
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2 minutes ago, lu-tze said:

Adolin is non-PoV

What? Adolin has lots of PoVs. My point is, that these PoVs are almost never used to convey these supposed thoughts and troubles. And when there is introspection it is exceptionally superficial.

Edited by SLNC
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