Shardlet

Shadesmar sun is countdown clock?

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I have one last theory before WoR is released.  So we all know that there is a fancy pants weird sun in the sky in Shadesmar.  What is the purpose of this sun in Shadesmar?  Is it there just to give light?  Or is there a higher function?  Well, I finished up my pre-WoR WoK reread today (not that is really matters since Amazon is the Devil) and I came across this tidbit spoken by Honor in Ch. 75, "In the Top Room":

 

Unite them.  The sun approaches the horizon.  The Everstorm comes.  The True Desolation.  The Night of Sorrows.

 

 

So, obviously there is the mundane figurative imagery of the sun setting on a time of relative peace.  But, perhaps there is more to this.  Perhaps the sun in Shadesmar rises after a desolation and begins to set as a desolation begins to approach.  The setting of the sun signalling the start of the desolation.

 

As some evidence of this, I note that in Ch. 45 "Shadesmar", Shallan notes that the small white sun in Shadesmar "hung on the horizon".

 

So the perhaps figurative sun spoken of by Honor is in a similar position to the Shadesmar sun seen by Shallan.  Obviously not conclusive by any margin.  But, an interesting thought nonetheless.

 

What say ye?

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I bet you're right. Great timing, Shardlet, especially since we know you'll be vindicated within a few days.

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Yeah, great observation. When the sun approaches the horizon, the Night of Sorrows comes. Makes sense, and it could totally work with Shadesmar's sun, given we know almost nothing about it.

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If that's not true, it should be. That's how awesome this idea is.

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My concern with this is that Shadesmar is not just a thing of Roshar. Desolations, the Everstorm included, don't strike me Cosmere-wide events, they seem to be contained to one (maybe two, maaaybeee three) Shardworld, so having an element as... global as the sun in Shadesmar be their timer feels odd. 

 

I could play the devil's advocate too, though, and say that since Shadesmar is an aspect of cognition, it's possible that the sun Shallan and Jasnah see in Shadesmar is not the sun of Shadesmar, it's the cognitive representation of the knowledge of the Last Desolation. It's a cognitive construct, created purely so it can count down to the Everstorm, and it can only be seen from regions of Shadesmar that correspond to areas on Roshar. Or something.

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My concern with this is that Shadesmar is not just a thing of Roshar. Desolations, the Everstorm included, don't strike me Cosmere-wide events, they seem to be contained to one (maybe two, maaaybeee three) Shardworld, so having an element as... global as the sun in Shadesmar be their timer feels odd. 

 

I could play the devil's advocate too, though, and say that since Shadesmar is an aspect of cognition, it's possible that the sun Shallan and Jasnah see in Shadesmar is not the sun of Shadesmar, it's the cognitive representation of the knowledge of the Last Desolation. It's a cognitive construct, created purely so it can count down to the Everstorm, and it can only be seen from regions of Shadesmar that correspond to areas on Roshar. Or something.

 

These are good points and I did consider whether or not the same sun rises and sets on all of Shadesmar.  Unfortunately, we have not much in the way of info on the 'geography' of Shadesmar (particularly inter-regional 'geography').  I personally am dubious as to whether it is actually a sun per se. While it must necessarily provide some illumination, I doubt it provides much more than our moon.  Shallan describes the sky as black and I suspect that much of the local light is provided by the 'flames' (if you even need a proper light-source in a cognitively-based location).  For my part, I am inclined to believe it's exclusive to Roshar-Shadesmar.  There is the niggling detail though where Shallan also describes the sun as 'too far' or 'too distant'. 

Edited by Shardlet
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I like this theory as well.  But it implies a level of prophecy to Desolations that seems out of sync with Brandon's writing.  It implies that the time of each desolation is predictable, but it seems to me that this desolation has been held off.  Unless Whoever held it off also moved the sun/reset the countdown clock some basic trigonometry in Shadesmar could perfectly predict the Desolation...(Said resets are a possibility as well.

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I don't know that it would be a straight-up countdown (and thus the date of the next desolation be calculable).  I would lean more to a gauge sort of operation.  Conceptually, kind of like the doomsday clock.  As to the desolation being held off, Honor's words in "In the Top Room" suggest to me that Odium sat back and waited rather than the delay resulting from anyone's or any group's efforts to stave off the arrival of the desolation.

Edited by Shardlet
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I would say the sun in Shadesmar is not linked to the "real' sun at all, given that there should be no cognitive thought going on in/on/around an uninhabited star... a sun should be an empty space like much of the rest of space between the cognitive worlds. 

 

I wonder what a Shard looks like in Shadesmar? 

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I don't know that it would be a straight-up countdown (and thus the date of the next desolation be calculable).  I would lean more to a gauge sort of operation.  Conceptually, kind of like the doomsday clock.  As to the desolation being held off, Honor's words in "In the Top Room" suggest to me that Odium sat back and waited rather than the delay resulting from anyone's or any group's efforts to stave off the arrival of the desolation.

Which would imply Odium was the one turning back the clock.  I suppose it could be a marker of Odium's proximity, but that seems odd...  And I'm not sure how it would be unprdictable(unless it's more of a probability thing...  Where the universe makes it jump back and forth depending on it's analysis of Odium's mood...

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This is a compelling theory. I can't wait for more knowledge about the geography of Shadesmar. For example, if the various Expanses and Seas in Shadesmar correlate with physical Shardworlds, can the Spren travel to them? Or, do Spren exist throughout all of Shadesmar but only manifest in the Physical Realm on Roshar? Or, can a Spren be born/created, say, in the Expanse in Shadesmar that correlates with Scadrial, travel to the Expanse that correlates with Roshar, and from there manifest in the Physical Realm?

I'll have to fine-tune some of those questions and add them to the Ultimate List of Questions.

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