fail420

[OB] Shallan Davar disgust thread

301 posts in this topic

I really didn't  like her in the first two books, but she grew on me with the third one. My biggest problem in the first two books was her lame humor and how completely out of touch she was with the lower classes (a rich woman taking a poor soldiers boots...really!). Now, she certainly isn't my favorite, but I no longer cringe when I get to her chapters. 

I know you are new, but they have this rule about anything with Oathbringer stuff needs to have (OB) in the title and be in the Oathbringer Spoiler section. I will flag it so a administrator can move it over. 

On another note. Welcome to the Shard!

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1 minute ago, Ammanas said:

 My biggest problem in the first two books was her lame humor and how completely out of touch she was with the lower classes (a rich woman taking a poor soldiers boots...really!).

Oh god, the jokes in the first book... You just reminded me of the most horrible moments of my life, I don't understand how can Sanderson be so talented on one hand, and then retch this bile on paper.

I remember her drawing Veil and imagining it in the WoR am I wrong? I thought it's vague enough so it doesn't qualify as a spoiler...

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Oh sorry I thought you were referring to stuff that happened in Oathbringer...Words of Radiance stuff is fine here! Sanderson writes so many characters that not all will like them them. With books this big there are also going to be plotlines that I also don't care for. 

Edited by Ammanas
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33 minutes ago, fail420 said:

I just had to sign up to the forums to get this out.

I just absolutely loath Shallan, every time I see her name in the book I just want to skip the whole chapter.

I kind of liked her when I started reading the series but the more we progress  through the story, the more I find she's just a badly written character.

I feel like a beta nerdy virgin would imagine women are just like her. It disgusts me and that comes in extreme contrast to all the other characters and the rest of the story that I love so much.

I don't want to hint to any spoilers, but when she starts imagining she's another person and drawing that rust on her pad... Eck, the cringe, I barely could finish reading the sentence, it physically hurts me to read these parts.

Anyone else feeling like that?

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Just out of curiosity, are you male or female? Please don't answer if you don't want to! :)

When I was in my mid-teens, still a virgin (and very much a nerd), I actually thought most girls were like Jasnah - super smart, seemingly self-obsessed, and way out of my league. I was relatively smart in middle school and high school, which meant I took classes with students 1-2 grades above my own. I have a strong feeling that my Jasnah-colored glasses came about as a result of being around students so much older than me. (I'm male, btw).

When I got to college, I met my first Shallan - someone who initially comes off as very quiet and demure, but who ends up being suuuuper sarcastic and smart when you get to know her. We ended up dating for a while and though it didn't work out, we are both still friends today. 

I say all this for a reason: Jasnah is the one who annoys me in Oathbringer. Shallan is actually one of my favorite characters and I love reading her PoVs. Clearly, my history has a huge influence on this, which is why I asked after your gender. I've found that most girls I know dislike Shallan, while a lot of the guys think she's cute.

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16 minutes ago, Isaiah Zayth said:

Just out of curiosity, are you male or female? Please don't answer if you don't want to! :)

When I was in my mid-teens, still a virgin (and very much a nerd), I actually thought most girls were like Jasnah - super smart, seemingly self-obsessed, and way out of my league. I was relatively smart in middle school and high school, which meant I took classes with students 1-2 grades above my own. I have a strong feeling that my Jasnah-colored glasses came about as a result of being around students so much older than me. (I'm male, btw).

When I got to college, I met my first Shallan - someone who initially comes off as very quiet and demure, but who ends up being suuuuper sarcastic and smart when you get to know her. We ended up dating for a while and though it didn't work out, we are both still friends today. 

I say all this for a reason: Jasnah is the one who annoys me in Oathbringer. Shallan is actually one of my favorite characters and I love reading her PoVs. Clearly, my history has a huge influence on this, which is why I asked after your gender. I've found that most girls I know dislike Shallan, while a lot of the guys think she's cute.

I'm a guy.

You really do find Jasnah more annoying than Shallan? I can see where you're coming from and yeah I can think of a few nerds imagining women as Jasnah.
My problem is not with strong female characters, I don't even mind that she's a lying snake - she's an angel compared to Cersei from GoT and I absolutely love Cersei Lannister (even though I think she desrves death... soon). Shallan just feels poorly written, and I just get the feeling that she comes from some kind of weird ideas about women in general...
Can you honestly say you ever laughed from one of her jokes?
I think she also reminds me of an obnoxious Japanese anime girl character... She just feels cheap!

You're getting my vibe?

edit: Thanks for the warm welcome everyone!

Edited by fail420
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8 minutes ago, fail420 said:

I'm a guy.

You really do find Jasnah more annoying than Shallan? I can see where you're coming from and yeah I can think of a few nerds imagining women as Jasnah.
My problem is not with strong female characters, I don't even mind that she's a lying snake - she's an angel compared to Cersei from GoT and I absolutely love Cersei Lannister (even though I think she desrves death... soon). Shallan just feels poorly written, and I just get the feeling that she comes from some kind of weird ideas about women in general...
Can you honestly say you ever laughed from one of her jokes?
I think she also reminds me of an obnoxious Japanese anime girl character... She just feels cheap!

You're getting my vibe?

edit: Thanks for the warm welcome everyone!

I don't view woman as either Jasnah or Shallan. Every person has their own background history which makes them who they are. Shallan's jokes got her through the roughest times with her brothers, and uplifting them, whilst their father was wreaking havoc. 

I don't think it's a matter of 'nerds' picturing woman to be like 'blah' or 'blah' but how they fit into he the stories plot and how the character arcs interweave with one another. 

And no, I'm not a beta nerdy virgin. :lol:

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I personally really don’t like Shallan either. She really gets on my nerves. I understand the wanting to completely skip over her whole chapters (especially when rereading), but she is an important part of the story, so I kind of have to read them anyway. <_< I haven’t read Oathbringer yet, so maybe she’ll be better in that book, but at least for now, Shallan may be my least favorite character in the Stormlight Archive.

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2 minutes ago, Ookla the Lightweaver said:

Here is a things I think may be important to understand: while, in reality no one can draw, use stormlight, and turn themselves into different people, some people do something similar in their life. I can relate to Shallan because, I ,  no matter how much it hurts changing, end up almost "becoming" a different person, depending on who I'm talking to. At one point I found it so difficult to be myself around anyone including those who have known me my whole life. And honestly, one of the best ways that I could be with people and still be as close to being myself as possible, I make jokes. Aweful ones. I'm not so good at humor, but I make some people laugh occasionally, and I sure found Shallan's jokes hilarious. If you don't find her jokes funny, that's fine, you probably just don't have the same sense of humor.

I understand that you may feel she's written crappily, but understand that she is more real to some people than others. That is what is fun about having a diverse cast of character like in SA. None are catered to be likeable for everyone, and any characters I hate you may love and vice versa, and that is one of the joys of reading these books, and talking to others in the community.

I hope my aggressive tone is not offending anyone, my anger is directed only towards Shallan, I do understand that people have different opinions and I'm not trying to argue!
I was just reading Oathbringer and started this thread in a burst of anger and hate, hoping that others feel like me :P

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Ok, I can see why people hate her, but I truly love her as a character

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15 minutes ago, fail420 said:

I hope my aggressive tone is not offending anyone, my anger is directed only towards Shallan, I do understand that people have different opinions and I'm not trying to argue!
I was just reading Oathbringer and started this thread in a burst of anger and hate, hoping that others feel like me :P

Nah, I wasn't offended or anything - I just hoped y'all would understand why he has her in the book. (I have a tendency to show peopole the other sides to things often) 

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Welcome! Hope to see you around in the future!

That said, I disagree with you :-P Shallan is one of my favorite characters. First off, I like her jokes, and I do find them funny. I also feel symphaty for her because of her past, which I found extremely tragic. In addition, she has some awesome moments, such as when she uses her drawings to make others see the best side of themselves, which has led to some heart-warming moments. Her insecurities, mental unstableness, and split-personas also makes her interesting to read. As an added bonus, she has the best spren (Pattern). 

That said, I know she is a controversial character. People mostly tend to like Kaladin and Dalinar, but Shallan has always been subject to discussion.

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I really like Shallan too. I found her jokes funny, and her character both believable and awesome. The only time I had a problem with her was the boots scene. But otherwise, I liked her.

Oh, and Pattern is hysterical.

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I have mixed feelings about Shallan.  As a woman, I identify with her being insecure, but she does pull it together (mostly) and deals with what needs to be done.  But it infuriates me that she has to create persona to deal with her baggage, it's like she has multiple personality disorder... or PTSD. But I think Adolin will help her and she will help him and I think she'll continue to get better.  It's like group therapy or couples therapy.

 

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No OB stuff outside of the OB board. I've moved this appropriately now given the conversation seems to be leading to book 3 stuff.

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15 hours ago, fail420 said:

I just had to sign up to the forums to get this out.

I just absolutely loath Shallan, every time I see her name in the book I just want to skip the whole chapter.

I kind of liked her when I started reading the series but the more we progress  through the story, the more I find she's just a badly written character.
(edit: Someone reminded me of the "jokes" she was telling in the first book, Jesus, I guess I never liked her at all)

I feel like a beta nerdy virgin would imagine women are just like her. It disgusts me and that comes in extreme contrast to all the other characters and the rest of the story that I love so much.

I don't want to hint to any spoilers, but when she starts imagining she's another person and drawing that rust on her pad... Eck, the cringe, I barely could finish reading the sentence, it physically hurts me to read these parts.

Anyone else feeling like that?

 

12 hours ago, fail420 said:

I hope my aggressive tone is not offending anyone, my anger is directed only towards Shallan, I do understand that people have different opinions and I'm not trying to argue!
I was just reading Oathbringer and started this thread in a burst of anger and hate, hoping that others feel like me :P

So, I do understand. But your phrasing, especially the bold bit can be seen as insulting by a great many people. And I get that you feel she is cringeworthy, but based on extensive analysis, we can conclude that Shallan suffers from a mental disorder known as OSDD. Most of your criticisms derive from the results of that disorder, but that can be seen as hurtful by people with similar issues. Also, while you may dislike her, she is very realistically written. Food for thought, I guess.

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My thoughts on her are that I'm also personally not a huge fan of her character. However, I don't think she's poorly written. 

I do cringe when I read about some of the things Shallan does/says. But I cringe because of the decisions she makes and the way she acts. I don't cringe because I think it's bad writing. 

If a character tells annoying jokes, it's probably a good thing if you're annoyed by them. That means that the character is written properly. I do understand where you're coming from, but I disagree that your distaste must exist because of poor writing. I think your distaste comes from the character's personality, and imo, that's okay. 

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15 hours ago, fail420 said:

Can you honestly say you ever laughed from one of her jokes?

To be honest I laugh at her jokes all the time...

That being said Shallan is probably one of my least favorite characters but for a different reason, I dont feel she is poorly written but I feel like she is slipping backwards in so many ways with the multiple personalities and I just want her to "get it". The way she blames anything that makes her feel uncomfortable on one of her other personalities (Veil is the one that likes Kaladin) bugs me.

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I'm on the fence about Shallan.  Sometimes I like her, sometimes I love her, sometimes I want to slap some sense into her.  I like her quips, I do find her funny at times.  But the way she wastes so much of her potential drives me nuts.  I know it's because of her childhood trauma, and I have no idea how horrible it is for her.  So I can empathize, while at the same time, wanting to shake her silly.  Does that make sense?

I really really hope that she and Adolin make it work.  I feel like he could be her tether and that her being secure about him will (hopefully) help her deal with her issues.

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10 hours ago, FieldSurgeon said:

I have mixed feelings about Shallan.  As a woman, I identify with her being insecure, but she does pull it together (mostly) and deals with what needs to be done.  But it infuriates me that she has to create persona to deal with her baggage, it's like she has multiple personality disorder... or PTSD. But I think Adolin will help her and she will help him and I think she'll continue to get better.  It's like group therapy or couples therapy.

 

Um, as a point, her situation up until the end of OB is written very like a textbook case of a disorder called OSDD which is related to dissociative identity disorder (which used to be called multiple personality disorder). There are a number of variations to this condition and Shallan fits this IRL diagnosis very well. Depending on whether Sanderson chooses to continue her on a path that would mimic RL OSDD or not will depend on whether Adolin is good for her. If Adolin continues to identify her identities as separate, then he will make things worse for Shallan in the long term if Sanderson continues to use OSDD for inspiration. It doesn't mean Adolin will always  be bad for her or anything, but his current mode of thinking there is a real Shallan and being drinking buddies with Veil etc is the worst thing you can do for someone with OSDD.

Anyway.

Regarding Shallan, I really like her. I find her funny some of the time (though her jokes when she is relaxed are much better) and I can relate to her insecurities. I do want to point out that she wears a mask, especially for Adolin (tho she does it to an extent with everyone), to make herself more suitable as his betrothed, and this makes her feel more 2D when she is in company. Her studies, her need to prove herself, her desire to get to Urithiru and her difficulty reconciling the different aspects of her character with the role she feels she has to play make her very interesting to me. And also very believable. 

I don't think I was particularly like Shallan when I was her age or anything, but as a woman, I can see her reflect some of the girls I knew at that age and also some aspects of myself. I certainly wouldn't expect her to be universally popular - she's too complex for that - but I am surprised anyone would find her unbelievable. Can I ask what specific issues you had that made her feel unrealistic?

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I like Shallan. I like her character depth and I don't think she is unrealistically written. Sure, her jokes might not be for everyone, but I always liked trashy humor so it works for me. She's an incredibly complex character, that, understandibly, won't be appealing to everyone and I can see why she is so polarizing.

I really liked the way she developed through the books, but the ending of Oathbringer left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.

See, Shallan has issues, big issues, she has so many different roles to fulfill, that she doesn't want to disappoint and split herself in multiple personalities, that she wanted to use as tools in the right situation. Obviously, that spiraled out of control, which I liked, but I hate how the ending gives this notion, that she can't get over it herself or atleast without emotional attachment.

11 hours ago, FieldSurgeon said:

But I think Adolin will help her and she will help him and I think she'll continue to get better.

 

4 hours ago, RShara said:

I really really hope that she and Adolin make it work.  I feel like he could be her tether and that her being secure about him will (hopefully) help her deal with her issues.

These are things, that will make or break Shallan for me. If a suddenly successful relationship will be the key to her relief from her mental issues, I'd be sorely disappointed, because it robs her of agency. Not to mention it would be incredibly cliché, not to mention unrealistic. I don't hate romantic subplots and, even though, I think, that Shallan and Adolin don't fit for a serious relationship (there is a lot of passion, but not much that constitutes real love for me), I don't like when they get intertwined with the main character arcs. Also, why I would have hated if Shallan and Kaladin would have gotten together "just because she keeps the 'darkness' at bay". It gives all of this a feeling of necessity on Shallan's side and, for me, absolutely diminishes her character.

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Shallan not appealing to everyone isn't because she's too complex, simplistic characters don't appeal to people. This sounds rather snobbish, basically saying 'not everyone is smart enough to get her'. 

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6 minutes ago, Aleksiel said:

simplistic characters don't appeal to people

Then why is Adolin almost universally liked? SCNR

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