Toaster Retribution

[OB] My problem with Jasnah

136 posts in this topic

Given Jasnah's observation skills, I wonder if she used the term just to light a fire under him.  Her mind is certainly quick enough to come up with a better insult, if that was what she intended.

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21 hours ago, RShara said:

If that were true, then Dalinar's forces would also have been corrupted, since they were there too.  And I'm pretty sure no one forced him to swallow Yelignar's orb.

It kind of baffles me how you're so willing to make excuses for rather despicable actions by the men while holding Jasnah to task for being blunt.

 

Not to mention, the whole, "It's not my fault" thing is a large part of why they WERE corruptible by Odium.

Fair enough, you and @Darvys have good points. Amaram was corrupted voluntarily. I still have a hard time buying that all Sadeas men willingly got corrupted, but that is another discussion for another time, I think. 

As for why I am willing to defend the men but not Jasnah... first off, I am not defending their actions as much as I am defending them as people. And insulting people for disagreeing with you is not being blunt. At least, it isn't an acceptable (in my opinion) form of bluntness. It is a bad argumentation tactic, and a generally bad move. But if I read your posts correctly, your main issue is why I'm able to like Amaram despite murdering people for a Shardblade, while disliking Jasnah over a bunch of insults. As I said, it is partly because I can identify more with Amaram than with Jasnah (for reasons stated before). Then, I also think that @Dreamstorm is correct in his/her (don't know your gender, mate) assessment of why I dislike Jasnah (something I didn't think about until I saw Dreamstorms last post): I don't get all her popularity. I can't identify with her, and she has issues of debateable size that bother me. And yet everyone loves her. I guess I find her overrated, and that I don't "get the hype". If we apply this to Amaram, we see the opposite pattern. I have always seen him as a more grey figure than most others, and have thus been defending him over, and over, and over (someone even accused him of being evil once on Discord just to to tease me a bit). If you keep on defending someone, they will eventually grow on you. I am probably an even bigger Amaram fan after starting to defend him than I was before.

Oh, and I should also admit that Jasnah is pretty badass. She knows her soulcasting :-)

21 hours ago, Dreamstorm said:

I know you mentioned upthread that you find Jasnah cold and the opposite of you, but I imagine (hopefully?) that Amaram is pretty different from you as well. 

No, I murder my friends for their Shardblades every day ;-)

On a more serious note, yes, he is very different from me. I am personally against the "doing bad stuff for the greater good" view of the world, but I don't consider the ones who support it evil. The part of Amaram I can identify with is the whole "saving souls part". As a catholic who very easily worries over stuff, especially stuff concerning sin and the afterlife, I can see why you would think that everyone would be better off following your faith, and the moral rules it teaches. I worry about people I know who I know are doing things prohibited by the Catholic Church, and wish that they would stop doing it, as part of me is worried that it will wind up being bad for them. So again, I can see why mass-converting people would be tempting. But then I obviously disagree with stuff like attempting to create a church-dictatorship, making church-law into state-law, or using violence except in self-defense. So in short, I disagree with Amaram method, and his ultimate goal, but I can see where he is coming from, which I why I don't consider him a bad person.

Lenghty post done, I hope people understand my points and where I come from a bit more now (you'll probably still disagree, and thats awesome, since we wouldn't be having interesting discussions without different opinions).

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6 hours ago, Toaster Retribution said:

Then, I also think that @Dreamstorm is correct in his/her (don't know your gender, mate) assessment of why I dislike Jasnah (something I didn't think about until I saw Dreamstorms last post): I don't get all her popularity. I can't identify with her, and she has issues of debateable size that bother me. And yet everyone loves her. I guess I find her overrated, and that I don't "get the hype". If we apply this to Amaram, we see the opposite pattern. I have always seen him as a more grey figure than most others, and have thus been defending him over, and over, and over (someone even accused him of being evil once on Discord just to to tease me a bit). If you keep on defending someone, they will eventually grow on you. I am probably an even bigger Amaram fan after starting to defend him than I was before.

This makes complete sense.  When group consensus is leading one way, I think it's natural to either get on board and agree with the group or (especially when you just can't quite get on board) search out the things that make you feel off about the person/situation/plot and then have those elements really stand out because it seems like everyone else is ignoring them/explaining them away. 

Also, there are a group of characters who we see a lot of/see other characters talk a lot about but don't have too many viewpoints of and/or viewpoints with introspection.  This means there are a lot of gaps in that character for each person to fill in as they wish.  For me with Jasnah, I'm definitely putting her into the "independent woman who is bucking patriarchal institutions" bucket which is (obviously if you've read basically any post of mine ever) extremely appealing to me.  For others, it might be "Jasnah knows the most about realmatics", for others "Jasnah has mastered surges better than any other Radiant" or what not (not an exhaustive list at all btw.)  And since we have seen enough of the character to support the portrayal we find attractive, but not too much to be able to knock it down or find other negative traits, we can get rather attached.  (I think this is similar to the honeymoon phase when you first start dating someone.)  The true test will come when that character is more fully fleshed out and we have to face the good and bad things, just like you have to do with a real person.  For some reason (without knowing you at all, lol), I have a feeling that when Jasnah's faults come to light more and others are starting to feel she's losing her shine, you just might be jumping on board :D

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There really is a lot to like about Jasnah, she's brilliant, an obvious feminist figure, badass, eminently competent. However she really sucks at people. She's been misjudging people and treating them poorly since her first appearance. She's not cruel, or malicious; she's simply incredibly pragmatic and doesn't consider people's feelings (including her own) to be particularly important compared to what must be done

Herein lies the crux of Jasnah's character and what I believe to be the core tenet of the Elsecallers. An aspiration towards pure logic and pragmatism. Does this make her a little distasteful at times? Yes. Does is also make her the single most dangerous person on Roshar? Probably. 

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I think she does consider people's feelings, as far as she can.  But she realizes there's a point at which people's feelings are less important than the end result.

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43 minutes ago, RShara said:

I think she does consider people's feelings, as far as she can.  But she realizes there's a point at which people's feelings are less important than the end result.

I think "as far as she can" is not particularly far. And that's fine. Brandon has taken great care in crafting fantastically flawed characters for us. Remember that the nahel bond is filling the 'cracks' in a person't soul. Jasnah has the classic pain and isolation that only the truly brilliant can know. Her relationship with her parents was strained as she was such an abnormal and brilliant child. She has been shunned by the few people that would have welcomed her intelligence on account of her 'heresy'. Jasnah, for the most part, is ostracized from society due to both her incredible intelligence and her personal beliefs. I think it would be baffling if she could properly navigate a conversation without hurting someone's feelings. I think each major character cannot be properly viewed without understanding their flaws and loving them for having them.

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When she's contemplating the survival of her species, I agree that it's not very far.  But she's generally courteous and polite (unless someone irritates her).  Note how she treats Taravangian in WoK.

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We humans do not understand compassion. In each moment of our lives, we betray it. Aye, we know of its worth, yet in knowing we then attach to it a value, we guard the giving of it, believing it must be earned. Compassion is priceless in the truest sens of the world. It must be given freely. In abundance.

 

Jasnah is not compassionate. Yes, she spared Renarin, but only because it was Renarin, who she had known her entire life. If it wasn't someone of her family, crying and kneeling before her, I would say that Jasnah wouldn't have hesitated. She has other qualities though, she is intelligent, logical and resolute. But she doesn't possess an ounce of compassion.

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Hi @Toaster Retribution, I would like to primarily aim my thoughts at you as you have raised specific questions, and whilst I share many thoughts on Jasnah with others who have posted, I think there may be a few things I can add to hopefully help you see why Jasnah might be popular. I should probably point out that I do relate to her. I also tend towards the analytical rather than the emotional, and I am also an atheist. So in plenty of ways I can see myself in her. A better version of myself most of the time, but it makes me really cringe when her flaws come out.

So the first thing I wanted to say regarding Jasnah is that we only really see her through Shallan's eyes for quite a long time and Shallan is a very unreliable narrator. Her emotions colour everything she sees. Shallan's idea of Jasnah is pretty unrealistic - indeed iirc she thinks that she views Jasnah almost as divine - something she herself realises is ironic given Jasnah's lack of faith. It means that the reader is tempted to either side with Shallan or rail against it. Both are reasonable responses. It just happened that more people followed Shallan, than fought the instinct to do so. You are obviously in the latter group. There is something to be said for bucking the trend :)

On 11/26/2017 at 0:35 AM, Toaster Retribution said:

1. The Voidbringer talk in Part 2. Here Jasnah wants to condemn the Heralds to eternal torture as opposed to Kaladin, who wants to spare them. Jasnahs drastic methods aren't why I didlike her (I like both King T and Amaram). What I dislike is her being a total douchebag to Kaladin when he disagrees. She quickly starts insulting him, and talks down to him. That is what I don't like. Granted Kaladin asks if she is insane when hearing about her plan, but I don't really think of that as an insult, but more a strong objection. Jasnah instantly starts insulting Kaladin, suggesting that he lacks logic, and that he isn't grown-up. 

2. Her treatment of Shallan. Shallan has become an accomplished Radiant, who has saved the entire Alethi force, found Urithiru, and fought off an Unmade. Jasnah makes her a scribe. I understand that Jasnah is more experienced, that she can teach, and that Shallan needs to learn things, but giving her scribe duty is stupid. For one, it shows that Jasnah considers Shallan to be below her in status. Two, Jasnah should be able to figure out that Shallan might start to feel rebellious if she is treated like a random servant. Three, Shallan deserves to be treated as more of an equal, after all she has done.

Now looking at your points, as has been pointed out by @hoiditthroughthegrapevine earlier, Jasnah went through a period of "lunacy" during her childhood (Dalinar flashback) and that she herself seems to think no-one else remembers the episode as she did. We know how the insane are treated on Roshar, and it isn't pretty. Chances are Jasnah, despite being a kid, was locked up in a darkened room with little or no interaction with outsiders. I'm feeling a link with Ophelia in Hamlet here. Jasnah, though, unlike Ophelia, comes out of whatever the episode is (and we will hopefully get an understanding by her flashback book if not before) and seems to be normal. That said, I think she has an underlying concern that she is actually mad. Logically she knows she shouldn't be, but I think she is genuinely worried that perhaps she is and all this is but a madness-induced dream. Her cleverness leads to an isolation that likely would reinforce it. She also felt betrayed by loved ones, and thus pushed people away. Its even better if they never get close in the first place.

So, whilst I don't think Kaladin meant to be that insulting, I am not surprised Jasnah completely lost it for a moment. In my first read, I was shocked, but I found it much less jarring when I re-read it and realised that she is very vulnerable to that kind of idea. It doesn't condone her actions, but it makes them understandable, and to me at least, relatable. I think Dalinar steps in and she shuts up quickly as much because they know about her past as because the conversation was going off track.

On the second point, I actually side with Jasnah on this one. Shallan is wasting herself until Jasnah arrives. She shows up late to meetings, she doodles, and she ignores what's going on around her rather than partake and attempt to learn so that she could be helpful in future. It's irritating. Shallan had spent so long trying to get in with the Kholins and trying to do the right thing regarding getting to Urithiru etc and now she's throwing it all away. I don't blame Shallan - she's having trouble reconciling herself to her latest truth, but at the same time, Jasnah comes back and see Shallan wasting her potential. It is incredibly annoying to watch someone do that. Jasnah can't know exactly what Shallan is going through and presumably has no idea that Shallan killed her parents etc. She also won't know that Shallan has only recently progressed as a KR. Whilst Jasnah's treatment of Shallan is strict, actually trying to make Shallan take notes will force her to actually learn something without being expected to contribute given that she doesn't know much of value to the political discussions yet. How else is she supposed to learn it if not through going to the meetings? Why not make her learn it through being a scribe. Jasnah would likely do it herself if Shallan didn't need a reason to focus. Interestingly she thinks Shallan needs more challenges rather than structure later, but I actually think she needs both. And anyway, if Shallan can't concentrate for long enough to take notes for a meeting then making her scribe is a challenge. She's engaged to Adolin, she'll have to do it for him once they are married.

On 11/26/2017 at 1:15 AM, Ookla of Daybreak said:

Jasnah's exchange with Amaram parallels Shallan's earlier exchange with Janala. I think that Jasnah is mostly worried that she sees herself in Shallan and that's part of why she's so harsh with her. She doesn't want Shallan to push people away in the same fashion, especially seeing that Shallan is already more sociable, so she tries extra hard to stamp out that same sort of intellectual elitism that pushes people away. The drive to stop people from making your own mistakes can make you come across especially harsh as well.

I agree that these 2 conversations parallel each other but I viewed it that both Shallan and Jasnah respond with aggression (albeit in a verbal form) when they feel threatened. I think something about Amaram makes Jasnah feel threatened. I am not sure what and I don't think we've got enough evidence to get more than a vague feeling about it. It just strikes me that her reaction to him on the night of Gavilar's death, whilst cool, was much less vociferous than her attack on him in OB. And given that she might even have agreed with his moral philosoply regarding the way he dealt with the Shardblade/Kaladin thing, I don't think it is that that is the cause of it.

On 11/26/2017 at 3:00 AM, Toaster Retribution said:

I do see Jasnahs point, and her suggestions are not what makes me dislike her. It is her attitude toward those who disagree that is my issue. The reason for why I am discussing her compassion is because I disagreed with the idea that Heralds and parshmen didn't deserve symphaty, because they do. Their actions are understandable, and you can fight someone and feel symphaty for them at the same time. 

There are a couple of reasons for why I like Amaram and King T. The main thing is the fact that I can understand them and relate to them. As I stated, I have a hard time relating to Jasnah because of our how hugely different we are. I never feel that Amaram or King T are cold in the same way that Jasnah is. If you wish, I will try to explain it better tomorrow when I have had some sleep and acess to a computer instead of a phone.

The other main thing about Amaram and King T is that they never treat people badly because they disagree. Jasnah did. 

 

Regarding the bold part - I think this will somehow relate to Kaladin's 4th ideal.

On the rest; I actually agree with your several points that Amaram is not so black and white as we sometimes perceive him. I think the phrase "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" is how I would describe Amaram's life. It is sad. I think he was a true believer and thought that sacrifice was necessary to bring back the importance of his faith to a people he considered to be struggling without it. That said, I think at some point he made a small decision "for the greater good" that he struggled with, but ended up saying it had been necessary. He then used that idea to reconcile himself to doing more and more despicable things. I don't think he started at killing Kaladin's men and I don't think it happened overnight. Nor do I think he realised what was happening as he was going along. It wasn't until the very end that he realised, and by then it was too late.

I actually see this as being the reason he ended up on Odium's side. I think until that point he'd hidden away his flaws, rationalised his decisions, surrounded himself with the idea of Honour so thoroughly that he didn't even realise how far he'd gone. Then I think Odium stripped it away and he couldn't handle the sudden onslaught of pain/guilt. So he buckled. Perhaps, if he had been given time to face his failings, the way Dalinar did, he would have managed to stand firm, but then, he would have had to face his situation earlier and he would not have been the effective man he'd been up until the end of OB. Strength isn't always about standing firm about your positions, it can be about admitting your mistakes and learning from them. Dalinar did this, and I think Jasnah can do this (tho we haven't seen her do so under such difficult circumstances of course). 

To me, Taravangian is a bit more difficult. I think he too started on the right lines - he wanted to save the world, its hardly a bad thing! . I personally think that the "real" Taravangian was pretty clever (not genius but above average) and understood the major implications of a real desolation. He knew about Gavilar's visions and may  have also been a Son of Honor iirc. He was definitely there when Gavilar showed the spheres anyway. The boon/curse thing with the Nighwatcher makes him unreliable however because without compassion, how can you logically view anything? As I said, I'm an unbeliever myself, and I don't believe in universal morality, but if you are thinking about how to act in people's best interest, then you have to have compassion for them because otherwise you'll end up locking them up for their own safety or worse. Thus, I don't view Taravangian as "evil" per se because I simply don't think he has the control to be evil. He is more like a flood or a drought - we need water, and we need sunshine, but too much of either makes it impossible to grow and flourish.

do  therefore see him as quite a good foil to Jasnah because she doesn't fluctuate. She tempers her compassion with logic (look at the thieves incident or her wanting to kill the heralds) - but also tempers her logic with compassion (Renarin). I think she is geting better at being compassionate though and hopefully will realise that her actions, whilst not necessarily completely wrong are not always the best option because people are unpredictable creatures and we generally respond better to kindness than cruelty.

I must say though that I found her philosphical arguments about both the thieves deaths and the idea of killing the Heralds wrong purely on a logical basis. The best way to handle thieves is to sort out poverty that drives people to steal. And you can't just kill people for stealing - I doubt Kharbranth has the death penalty for most crimes. Those men might have done unspeakable to things to Jasnah and Shallan if Jasnah hadn't killed them, but what if they hadn't? Presumably Jasnah can't see the future. I could go on about the logical flaws here but I won't. Regarding the Heralds, I agree with Jasnah that killing them might be the only answer - especially as she definitely has more information on what is going on than most (she knew about the cause of the Recreance from Wit for example). However, she isn't all knowing, and whilst finding the Heralds, and making sure the enemy doesn't have them is a perfectly logical thing to do - indeed you can ask them questions to find out more, and killing them might have unintended side effects that could make things worse.

I don't think she lacks compassion in either case however, it is perhaps that I feel that with a bit more compassion she might take an extra logical step. This is something I think we are seeing and I suspect it is linked to her oaths. Elsecallers seem to have been a more scholar-type order in general but you can't go through life's journey without using the information you've learned.

On 11/26/2017 at 4:52 AM, Bliev said:

Pertinent, but as an aside, my area of academic research is related to gender and stereotyping, and it’s interesting how many similar tropes and stereotypes exist in Roshar as exist today. Of course part of that is that BS is a man raised on earth and filtering through that (lol) but the competence vs warmth dichotomy is so omnipresent (women are seen as either competent but cold, or incompetent/unreliable but warm/likable) even in fantasy. Hard to escape.

Oh that's really interesting. I saw some things said about that during the US election (I'm not American and I don't want to start talking about the politics) but Clinton always seemed to get called cold during that. Do you have any recommendations on books/articles to read on the broader subject? Are there parallels with male archetypes? Also, it might be an interesting (if possibly heated) debate for a thread on here.

On 11/26/2017 at 4:38 PM, Toaster Retribution said:

@RShara

Actually, as far as we know, Amaram hasn't killed anyone except for Kaladins three spearmen, (and random enemies on the battlefield) and that wasn't because they disagreed with him. He generally appears polite even with those who dislike him, and who he disagrees with (with an exception for Jasnah). King T mostly kills because he has to in order to fulfill the Diagram, or to cover himself from threats. His douchiness when smart can probably be blamed on the Noghtwatcher as much as on himself. 

As a point, I doubt very much if Amaram has killed more people than that. If he did, it was likely after Kaladin's men. He wasn't all bad as I said, he seemed to take good care of his servants for example. He was downright fatherly to that maid in his household in WoR. Jasnah seems more likely to kill in self-defence though - even if that is a situation that she allows herself to get into (ie Kharbranth thieves). This makes it rather less awful because ultimately she doesn't make people choose to go up against her. They choose, then they lose. 

I'm a storming poet ;)

On 11/26/2017 at 6:34 PM, Toaster Retribution said:

I actually think that it is unfair to say that Amaram did it for himself only. Restares had to talk him into doing what he did. 

 

This is from tWoK iirc? Does anyone have the quote - I can't find it!

On 11/26/2017 at 6:59 PM, Awesomness said:

Well have to read her backstory, but I was under the impression that her lunacy as a child made her that way. She relies extremely on logic. In a way, I think she's not as confident as she seems, she just built an army of logic arguments to sustain herself.

...

She is right, though, that some sacrifice will have to be done.

The beauty of SA is in its complexity, and BS makes a great job addressing and confronting different moral philosophies :)

I agree. I think what made the KR a strong and lasting organisation (it did last circa 2000years) is that when put together the orders filled in the flaws of the others and made them all greater than the sum of their parts. I actually think the Jasnah/Kaladin spoke volumes about this. Once they get to know each other I could see them arguing against each other in meetings (because they come at ideas from different angles) but afterwards walk out and be completely relaxed and friendly rather than taking it personally. This will be easier for them because Kaladin is clever so Jasnah won't get so annoyed with him as she might with someone less intelligent. 

But no, I'm not here to ship Jasnadin....

13 hours ago, Toaster Retribution said:

Then, I also think that @Dreamstorm is correct in his/her (don't know your gender, mate) assessment of why I dislike Jasnah (something I didn't think about until I saw Dreamstorms last post): I don't get all her popularity. I can't identify with her, and she has issues of debateable size that bother me. And yet everyone loves her. I guess I find her overrated, and that I don't "get the hype".

...

No, I murder my friends for their Shardblades every day ;-)

On a more serious note, yes, he is very different from me. I am personally against the "doing bad stuff for the greater good" view of the world, but I don't consider the ones who support it evil. The part of Amaram I can identify with is the whole "saving souls part". As a catholic who very easily worries over stuff, especially stuff concerning sin and the afterlife, I can see why you would think that everyone would be better off following your faith, and the moral rules it teaches. I worry about people I know who I know are doing things prohibited by the Catholic Church, and wish that they would stop doing it, as part of me is worried that it will wind up being bad for them. So again, I can see why mass-converting people would be tempting. But then I obviously disagree with stuff like attempting to create a church-dictatorship, making church-law into state-law, or using violence except in self-defense. So in short, I disagree with Amaram method, and his ultimate goal, but I can see where he is coming from, which I why I don't consider him a bad person.

Lenghty post done, I hope people understand my points and where I come from a bit more now (you'll probably still disagree, and thats awesome, since we wouldn't be having interesting discussions without different opinions).

Regarding that you "don't get the hype" I know exactly where you are coming from. I am pretty ambivalent about Adolin. I know loads of people like him though. I have occasionally struggled to reconcile myself to it.

It doesn't worry me unduly that you kill your friends for shardblades - As you feel you wouldn't like Jasnah IRL, and I feel I am a stupider form of Jasnah IRL presumably we wouldn't be friends. Not my problem ;)

7 hours ago, Dreamstorm said:

This makes complete sense.  When group consensus is leading one way, I think it's natural to either get on board and agree with the group or (especially when you just can't quite get on board) search out the things that make you feel off about the person/situation/plot and then have those elements really stand out because it seems like everyone else is ignoring them/explaining them away. 

...

The true test will come when that character is more fully fleshed out and we have to face the good and bad things, just like you have to do with a real person.  For some reason (without knowing you at all, lol), I have a feeling that when Jasnah's faults come to light more and others are starting to feel she's losing her shine, you just might be jumping on board :D

Very well put @Dreamstorm (as always). I agree that having more PoVs will definitely let us see Jasnah's feet of clay and that will make people able to judge her more clearly and consensus will be better. I think this is true of most of the characters. There are always going to be outliers but I think Shallan, Dalinar and Kaladin are probably as close to being universally popular with the fandom as is possible. Side characters are more at risk of being polarising because they have less screentime and we therefore project onto them more because we have less idea of their true motivations. 

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I can see why some do not like Jasnah as she does come across as cold and condescending at times. She is not a character that gives you the warm fuzzes at all (except the scene with Renarin which was pretty heart warming). I love her though. Kaladin is obviously a fan favorite and in some ways an opposite to Jasnah. He is extremely driven on his emotions where Jasnah uses her logic as a driving force (my guess is this may in part be to her "insanity" from her youth). She has been researching what is going on for years now and in a way is being redeemed when I am sure many people would have thought her a crackpot. She sees a problem and takes a logical (although incorrect at times such as killing Heralds) action to solve the problem. Kaladin in contrast is extremely driven by his emotions and thus creates an emotional bond with us. I thought the scene with the two of them was perfect and true to character. Jasnah is Spock and Kaladin is Kirk. You need both. 

The interaction with Shallan did annoy me I will admit. I understand it and again think it was perfectly in character but that does not mean I had to like it. In the end I really think Jasnah just wanted to help progress Shallan and her methods may not have been the best. Of course Shallan is kinda a hot mess and if I was Jasnah I might have wanted to knock her down a peg or two as well. 

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#JasnahBestRadiant

I am so glad that there is a fiercely intelligent, extremely educated, and highly capable woman in a fantasy novel, whose Awesomeness (I see you, Lift) is not tempered by being there as a sex object. I agree with the other Jasnah fangirls/guys, and they've explained how I feel particularly well.

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6 minutes ago, StormingTexan said:

I thought the scene with the two of them was perfect and true to character. Jasnah is Spock and Kaladin is Kirk. You need both.

My problem with this is that I thought Jasnah's conclusion wasn't logical. In the epilogue of WoR she said the Everstorm was something she had never seen before, and now all her knowledge is wrong and outdated, which she reaffirmed in this book. Even if sending the Heralds back to Damnation stopped the Fused in the past, she knows from the visions that this is no longer true (they do not return to Damnation at all), and that they're reborn with the new Everstorm. She also knows that the Heralds most likely won't manage to stay on Braize for more than a year (probably a lot shorter than that even, the last 4500 years weren't that therapeutic for them). There's just not enough evidence that doing this will not change things for the better instead of worsening the situation and straining the Oathpact even more.

I don't mind them disagreeing, their personal mindsets make it almost inevitable, but for someone who thinks so logically about all of this, her plan makes very little sense, as far as I can see.

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2 minutes ago, Willow said:

My problem with this is that I thought Jasnah's conclusion wasn't logical. In the epilogue of WoR she said the Everstorm was something she had never seen before, and now all her knowledge is wrong and outdated, which she reaffirmed in this book.

Just bear in mind that she does still have more data than everyone else at that meeting because she got it from Wit after the epilogue of WoR. She may know enough to think this is a sensible course of action. That said - as i said in my very long post above, I agree with you that I don't think it is a sensible starting point. It might, however, be necessary eventually.

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6 minutes ago, PhineasGage said:

Just bear in mind that she does still have more data than everyone else at that meeting because she got it from Wit after the epilogue of WoR. She may know enough to think this is a sensible course of action. That said - as i said in my very long post above, I agree with you that I don't think it is a sensible starting point. It might, however, be necessary eventually.

I'm 100% with Kaladin here that it should not even be considered as an option, but I guess not all fictional characters from militaristic societies agree with me *sighs*.

Edited by Willow
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@PhineasGage Great post! You do a really good job of explaining Jasnah :-) I like your reasoning about Amaram as well. As for the quote about Restares having to talk him into the murders, it isn't explicitly stated, but implied. Here you have it:

Quote

"It took hours to decide, but Restares is right - this is what must be done. For the good of Alethkar" - Amaram (WoK chapter 51: Sas Nahn).

 

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8 minutes ago, Willow said:

I'm 100% with Kaladin here that it should not even be considered as an option, but I guess not all fictional characters from militaristic societies agree with me *sighs*.

I'm sorry to say it but I think that by the time Kaladin swears the 5th ideal he'll probably have to review this opinion. We put soldiers on the frontline of a battle so that civilians don't have to fight. 

I think everything possible should be done to help the heralds. They need to heal and they are making a mess of things on their own. Ideas like having other groups take their place may be an option in re-binding Odium, I don't know. They certainly have knowledge and with help might be useful in all kinds of ways. But if the humans are losing, and they only have 9 people available to them to actually make a huge difference, then don't they have to send them back? Is letting the entire world of Roshar burn really better? Because eventually Odium will turn on the Fused/singers. He's not going to let them live either if he wins. What about all the other cosmere worlds? I know Jasnah may not know about those, but we do. Are we ok with letting Odium continue on his rampage?

4 minutes ago, Toaster Retribution said:

@PhineasGage Great post! You do a really good job of explaining Jasnah :-) I like your reasoning about Amaram as well. As for the quote about Restares having to talk him into the murders, it isn't explicitly stated, but implied. Here you have it:

 

Why thank you - and thanks for that quote! It does sound like Amaram had to be convinced. I suspect it was a major turning point, but I bet he'd made similar smaller errors of judgement "for the greater good" as before.

Anyway, how do you feel about Jasnah now? Have I convinced you? ;) (jk I don't actually expect to have done!)

 

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10 hours ago, Sprendiferous said:

There really is a lot to like about Jasnah, she's brilliant, an obvious feminist figure, badass, eminently competent. However she really sucks at people. She's been misjudging people and treating them poorly since her first appearance. She's not cruel, or malicious; she's simply incredibly pragmatic and doesn't consider people's feelings (including her own) to be particularly important compared to what must be done

Herein lies the crux of Jasnah's character and what I believe to be the core tenet of the Elsecallers. An aspiration towards pure logic and pragmatism. Does this make her a little distasteful at times? Yes. Does is also make her the single most dangerous person on Roshar? Probably. 

I see where you're coming from with this opinion of Jasnah's character, but I think that her appearance of cold logic/reason are quite clearly revealed to be a defensive veneer that she puts up. Two scenes in particular in Oathbringer make it clear that Jasnah is just as compassionate and vulnerable as any other character in the book: the first is her spanreed/IRC chat session with her scholar friends, and the second is when she tracks down Renarin during the battle at Thaylen City. The thing about Jasnah is that she does not, in fact, just do "what must be done". She explicitly does the opposite with Renarin. 

We don't currently know a whole lot about Jasnah's backstory, but there have been clear hints that she suffered some sort of severe trauma. I would guess that the public face that Jasnah wears in her current state is very much the result of coping with trauma, possibly abuse. 

To your argument that her character is the core tenet of the Elsecallers, i.e. aspiring toward pure logic and pragmatism, I just had a new thought about how to interpret the various "core tenets" or archetypal Radiant personalities. It may actually make more sense if these archetypal personality traits of the various orders of KR are really more about the coping mechanisms that broken people use to manage their trauma. Shallan, for example, handles her trauma with lies and self-deception. Jasnah handles it by imposing upon herself a strict logical code of thought. Lift copes by aggressively empathizing with the downtrodden and disadvantaged and pushing back against opportunities to live a life of luxury and privilege. Kaladin is haunted by the friends and companions he's lost, and he copes by finding new groups/friends to fight for and try to help survive. I'm literally just thinking of these as I type them now, but I think it makes much more sense to think about the archetypal Radiant traits/tropes as differences in coping mechanisms rather than fundamental differences in character.

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15 minutes ago, PhineasGage said:

Anyway, how do you feel about Jasnah now? Have I convinced you? ;) (jk I don't actually expect to have done!)

I'm still not overly fond of her, and I don't think I will be anytime soon :-) But you (and others) have brought up great posts, and helped me understand why so many like her, and also why she acts like she does. The thing you said about her being worrying about her sanity was a great point for example, and makes her character more interesting. 

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6 minutes ago, Toaster Retribution said:

The thing you said about her being worrying about her sanity was a great point for example, and makes her character more interesting. 

Oh I'm actually really pleased with that :D An interesting character is much better than a boring one. It doesn't matter if you "don't like them", but its a pity to be bored reading about a character.

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1 hour ago, Willow said:

Even if sending the Heralds back to Damnation stopped the Fused in the past, she knows from the visions that this is no longer true (they do not return to Damnation at all),

Quote

 

“The Stormfather laid it out,” Jasnah said, unperturbed. “The Heralds made a pact. When they died, their souls traveled to Damnation and trapped the spirits of the Voidbringers, preventing them from returning.” “Yeah. Then the Heralds were tortured until they broke.” “The Stormfather said their pact was weakened, but did not say it was destroyed,” Jasnah said. “I suggest that we at least see if one of them is willing to return to Damnation. Perhaps they can still prevent the spirits of the enemy from being reborn. It’s either that, or we completely exterminate the parshmen so that the enemy has no hosts.” She met Kaladin’s eyes. “In the face of such an atrocity, I would consider the sacrifice of one or more Heralds to be a small price.”

Sanderson, Brandon. Oathbringer: Book Three of the Stormlight Archive (p. 415). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition. 

 

I'd argue that with the knowledge she has at the time this is the most logical course of action even if it is a gamble it is the lesser of two evils. 

Edited by StormingTexan
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18 minutes ago, StormingTexan said:

I'd argue that with the knowledge she has at the time this is the most logical course of action even if it is a gamble it is the lesser of two evils. 

But that's not what the Stormfather told them.

Quote

The Fused do not return to Damnation when killed. They are reborn in the next Everstorm.

  If Jasnah believes the Stormfather is wrong about this, as the quote you shared seems to suggest, she has information she hasn't shared with the readers.

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3 hours ago, Rasha said:

 

Jasnah is not compassionate. Yes, she spared Renarin, but only because it was Renarin, who she had known her entire life. If it wasn't someone of her family, crying and kneeling before her, I would say that Jasnah wouldn't have hesitated. She has other qualities though, she is intelligent, logical and resolute. But she doesn't possess an ounce of compassion.

Sorry but I feel like you're completely wrong here.  She's compassionate to Shallan, apologizes when she's wrong.  She's compassionate to Renarin, both throughout their lives and when she spares his life.  She's compassionate to Taravangian, who she thinks is simply a kind man.  She's compassionate toward the human race, whom she wants to survive.  Actions speak louder than words, and she acts quite compassionate, whenever she can without risking bad consequences.

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52 minutes ago, treblkickd said:

I'm literally just thinking of these as I type them now, but I think it makes much more sense to think about the archetypal Radiant traits/tropes as differences in coping mechanisms rather than fundamental differences in character.

Upvoted for this, very good interpretation. It would go in line with the "need to be broken to form a nahel bond" stuff.

We need more case studies... The only currently known radiant I wonder about is Lift (and Venli, but we don't have much informaron about her...)

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12 minutes ago, Willow said:

But that's not what the Stormfather told them.

  If Jasnah believes the Stormfather is wrong about this, as the quote you shared seems to suggest, she has information she hasn't shared with the readers.

He also said 

Quote

 

THE OATHPACT HAS BEEN WEAKENED ALMOST TO ANNIHILATION,

Sanderson, Brandon. Oathbringer: Book Three of the Stormlight Archive (p. 408). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition. 

 

Which is the basis of Jasnah's argument that it should be tried before killing all the Parshman. Yes though I agree with you she has more information than we do from her time with Hoid and he gave her real drawings of the Heralds so she can identify them so he must have given Jasnah sound reasoning on why this may be an option. 

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See what many people don't "like" about Jasnah, I just regard as signs that she's a well written character with actual flaws.  I love Jasnah because she isn't particularly "nice" on the surface.  Not every hero can be a ball of empathy and joy to others like Adolin, some try to do the right thing but still come off as unpleasant to others (Vasher is a great example of this).  Jasnah strikes me as someone embittered by her experiences with the world, but still willing to fight to do what is right (although with harsher and more realistic methods than others we've seen).

Also, despite her outward confidence, I think it is important to realize that Jasnah isn't entirely happy with herself.  When Ivory "compliments" her as being like a spren, unchanging and logical, you can read between the lines that the assessment really stings her.  Ultimately I think Jasnah keeps an extremely tight reign on her outward expression of emotions out of fear they will get away from her control (due to vague traumatic childhood insanity phase that I'm sure will be elaborated on later), which makes her appear extremely cold and uncaring to others.  It's not that she doesn't have emotions, they're just subtle to detect and she's not particularly great at interacting with others.

I actually really liked her early reunion scene with Shallan because they're so terrible at interacting with each other.  Shallan has loud outward expressions of her emotions alternating with withdrawing/sulking when she's upset about something, while Jasnah is very subtle and guarded, and as a result neither can communicate well with the other.

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