Aleksiel

[OB] Shallan celebration thread

35 posts in this topic

Basically every time she thinks about Jasnah.
She legitimately gave Radiant more curves in order to look like Jasnah. 
(Shallan's perpetual crush on Study Mom gives me life)

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She's cool. Some of her thought processes aggravate me, but it is okay.

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Pattern. Just...Pattern. <3

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Shallan.

The greatest controversy on the Shard since the Zucchini.

You're the best girl. Not very many people can do that. 

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Shallan is the best one-time limited offer discount deal ever experienced in an epic fantasy:  three characters for the price of one!

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From a more meta perspective, Shallan is one of the few characters I've seen that manages to hit so many people on a very personal level.

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This is somewhat going back to my impression of Shallan from tWoK but I think it's still fairly relevant:

  • Shallan clearly has both a "creative" side and a "logical" side. Certainly her creative side is stronger but she can do plenty of logical type work, even including accounting. She's an artist first, a scientist second. The reason why I raise this is that often characters are shown to be one or the other when such things are emphasised - having both sides emphasised in a single character was something I liked. (This is not to say that other characters are binary - Jasnah clearly has a creative/artistic side to her as well).
  • Shallan is self-taught to a significant degree and also wants to learn more. I thought it was a bit of a shame that we didn't see more of Shallan teaching herself in her flashbacks but we did see her doing all sorts of problem-solving. I also particularly liked the scenes in WoR where we see Shallan experiment with her powers. People who are taught by rote are generally quite poor at such activities.
  • All things great and small - Shallan can find something interesting about just about anything and everyone. She draws anything and everyone.
  • She's a religious moderate. We very rarely see these in fantasy. I'm a lifelong atheist but this side of her was also interesting.
  • She's active and willing to take risks, though somewhat crash-tastic. Shallan is often juggling several problems at once and will often make a mess of at least one problem. Life is rarely boring with Shallan - she's certainly living in interesting times.

In terms of skills, Shallan is the most broad-based though the one thing she stands out in (drawing) is generally not considered to be especially useful. Her Radiant powers are the most open-ended as well - make stuff (Soulcasting) and visualise stuff (Lightweaving). In terms of emotion and personality she shows the most variety as well.

She's one of the three main characters in the first 5 books. I wonder what her main achievement will be.

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33 minutes ago, kari-no-sugata said:

This is somewhat going back to my impression of Shallan from tWoK but I think it's still fairly relevant:

  • Shallan clearly has both a "creative" side and a "logical" side. Certainly her creative side is stronger but she can do plenty of logical type work, even including accounting. She's an artist first, a scientist second. The reason why I raise this is that often characters are shown to be one or the other when such things are emphasised - having both sides emphasised in a single character was something I liked. (This is not to say that other characters are binary - Jasnah clearly has a creative/artistic side to her as well).
  • Shallan is self-taught to a significant degree and also wants to learn more. I thought it was a bit of a shame that we didn't see more of Shallan teaching herself in her flashbacks but we did see her doing all sorts of problem-solving. I also particularly liked the scenes in WoR where we see Shallan experiment with her powers. People who are taught by rote are generally quite poor at such activities.
  • All things great and small - Shallan can find something interesting about just about anything and everyone. She draws anything and everyone.
  • She's a religious moderate. We very rarely see these in fantasy. I'm a lifelong atheist but this side of her was also interesting.
  • She's active and willing to take risks, though somewhat crash-tastic. Shallan is often juggling several problems at once and will often make a mess of at least one problem. Life is rarely boring with Shallan - she's certainly living in interesting times.

In terms of skills, Shallan is the most broad-based though the one thing she stands out in (drawing) is generally not considered to be especially useful. Her Radiant powers are the most open-ended as well - make stuff (Soulcasting) and visualise stuff (Lightweaving). In terms of emotion and personality she shows the most variety as well.

She's one of the three main characters in the first 5 books. I wonder what her main achievement will be.

Yes, the combination between artistic talent and scientific affinity is very refreshing. I like how she chose natural history as her Calling. I think she'll make for an amazing world-hopper, may be create a gorgeous in-world Cosmere encyclopedia. I know we have Khriss for research and she has Nazh to draw, but still...

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Umm...  er.... Oh, oh, she has an awesome spren!... Yeah.

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I love Shallan! I love her awkward teenagerdom. (FTR, I think BS does a pretty good job of representing teenagers and the combo of complexity and simplicity, maturity and immaturity, bravery and insecurity that I think is a hallmark of that time in most of our lives--Shallan is no different in this regard.) I love what a quick study she is and her innate drive to protect her brothers and to put others at their ease, either by making jokes or otherwise. I like how she sticks up for Adolin when Kal mocks him in WOR. I like how she doesn't get everything right. I like how her talent has become a source of her power, even if it's "traditionally" seen as a talent that isn't useful (drawing). I like her vulnerability and her strength. I just think she's a well-written character, and she's very relatable to me. And I'm glad to see her making progress at the end of OB. (And, I mean, an entire army of lightwoven characters? Which she sustains alone? That's unbelievable. Going after an unmade--touching it! Also unbelievable. She's pretty badass. lol) 

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After all the Shallan negativity, this thread is a huge releaf.

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Shallan is my favorite character (other than possibly Pattern, and you can't have one without the other).

While I was disappointed in many of her decisions in Oathbringer - namely, not sharing information or problems with anyone who could have helped, i.e. Jasnah, Navani, Adolin - I think she is on the path towards self control and confidence, which is great! Her persistent determination was what made me fall in love with her in the first book, and once she gets a handle on her personal problems she will be unstoppable.

I really love her relationships with Jasnah and Hoid; Hoid seems to treat her almost as a daughter, and is certainly nicer to her than he is to any other character. Jasnah has some of that as well, and one of my only disappointments with Oathbringer was that Shallan and Jasnah's reunion did not involve a hug. I was really happy about her requesting to remain Jasnah's ward at the end, and of course suggesting Jasnah for Queen, which should be awesome in subsequent books - nobody is going to think of Jasnah as a weak monarch!

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I really like that she consciously recognizes that her personas are coping mechanisms. Even though she is using them to avoid painful memories and situations, she acknowledges, if only to herself, that that is what she is doing.

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I don't like Shallan. I don't like to beat her up either. And there is one reason for both: she reminds me too much of myself. Of some good things, but mostly of the bad ones. 

I was also raised in a somewhat sheltered environment (in a mostly good way though, as much as it can be). The way she turns issues into a joke and can be insensitive when she's nervous is too familiar. The way she escapes problems by applying "I'll think about it tomorrow (or not at all)". How she sometimes gets invested in a task and forgets everything around for better or for worse. Even her prejudices, it's something that I have to actively fight in my mind. The way she grows, but remains somewhat childish and selfish nevertheless.

I could probably go on. My point is, she simply makes me cringy and uneasy, because she makes me look these things in the face... And I must admit, it gives her great credit as a literary character.

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I think my absolute favourite thing about Shallan is how she can so clearly show the best version of someone to a person. My favourite scenes with her are always when she draws someone, and they see it and are overcome. "That's what I look like?" Her ability to reach that and give such a valuable gift to others is where she is at her best.

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I love Shallan. She is a wonderfully written character and, honestly, she has inspired me a lot.

I learned to draw way better because of her, I learned to pay more attention to my surroundings, I learned to try to see the best in people. ..

I relate to her a lot. Even though I don't have the extent of having full separate personalities, I do have trouble with being unable to be myself around people. I am almost always acting - pretending - around people, because I don't want anyone to see the flaws in me. For me, it got so bad once, that when someone told me to be myself, I kind of froze and said, "i. . . Don't know how." 

Even though Shallan hasn't yet gotten better with this problem (we don't even know if she even will), seeing how those bad things could happen still encouraged me to try to be better, and has inspired me to start being more genuine.

I just love her, and it is really refreshing to see others that do too

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5 hours ago, kari-no-sugata said:

Shallan is self-taught to a significant degree and also wants to learn more

Yes, I liked this in book 1, and I thought it was a shame this disappeared a bit in Oathbringer, where I think her sudden disinterest in learning scared even herself. I was glad to see the spren drawings near the end of the book.

5 hours ago, kari-no-sugata said:

She's a religious moderate. We very rarely see these in fantasy. I'm a lifelong atheist but this side of her was also interesting.

I'm very curious to see why you would say this, as I think a lot of the evidence points to the fact that Shallan is actually quite religiously conservative (I find the different religious stances held by the main cast a very interesting part of the story), especially compared to most Alethi, who are much more hands-off in their worship.

Vedens (and thus Shallan) seem to enforce the gender divide much more, and Shallan mentions long periods of praying and memorizing religous texts. In the beginning of WoR, Jasnah's atheist musings made her nervous enough that she started praying, and in OB (at least in part 1) she holds very strictly to the feminine side of Vorinism (no swords, and she thought it was weird Alethi 'drag their women out on the battlefield and to murder scenes').

I found these differences very fascinating, and while I am not really religious, I am very curious to find out how her opinions on Vorinism  have changed after the events of the past few books, and staying in a different country with people who seem to practice a different form of the same religion.

I think it's very refreshing to see a main female character who wants to be part of things, but who finds a different way to do this, rather than doing this by learning to fight, I was a bit disappointed to see Brightness Radiant, actually.

2 hours ago, Ookla the Obtuse said:

After all the Shallan negativity, this thread is a huge releaf.

While there are a lot of valid criticisms to be made about Shallan, I do think her flaws are an indispensible part of her, and what make her a more realistic character, and the beginning of that thread started out needlessly negative.

 

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1 hour ago, Willow said:

the beginning of that thread started out needlessly negative.

 

I withheld from posting in that thread, and it was probably a good decision on my part, but for the post you quoted I pretty much just wanted a good lead in for the Shallan Pun.

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8 minutes ago, Ookla the Obtuse said:

I withheld from posting in that thread, and it was probably a good decision on my part, but for the post you quoted I pretty much just wanted a good lead in for the Shallan Pun.

I figured, but I still wanted to make my point. It now seems as if people are dividing into 'disgust' and 'celebration' teams, and I don't think that's a very good or nuanced way to have a discussion.

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4 minutes ago, Willow said:

I figured, but I still wanted to make my point. It now seems as if people are dividing into 'disgust' and 'celebration' teams, and I don't think that's a very good or nuanced way to have a discussion.

There's already a thread about discussing Shallan in general. I didn't intend to divide us in teams, just thought we could use a positive one to shift a bit the focus. 

Edited by Aleksiel
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8 minutes ago, Aleksiel said:

There's already a thread about discussing Shallan in general. I didn't intend to divide us in teams, just thought we could use a positive one to shift a bit the focus. 

Is there? I must've missed it (so.. many.. new threads.. every day). And yeah, I'm not blaming you, but with the two threads (especially with very.. opinionated names) it does seem to have turned out that way a bit, which is a shame. Shallan is such a faceted character, with so many different sides.

Edited by Willow
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3 minutes ago, Willow said:

Is there? I must've missed it (so.. many.. new threads.. every day). And yeah, I'm not blaming you, but with the two threads (especially with very.. opinionated names) it does seem to have turned out that way a bit, which is a shame.

Well, there are several and one of them specifically calls for no ship stuff as other topics about Shallan seem to revolve too much around the boys and turn into shipwars and we have threads for those, too. Yes, I decided on this name and direction of the thread as opposed to the 'disgust'. Also because my impression is we tend to focus more on the negative, including me, but there are still positive things to say about her. One can feel disgust with the character and celebrate other elements of her. In an ideal world those two threads would be one, but like with Shallan's personality they aren't.

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Like I said, it was probably a good thing I didn't post in there, and that's entirely removed from what anyone thinks about Shallan, my problem was not with that opinion. That's all I want to say on this 

Edited by Ookla the Obtuse
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