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[OB] Does anyone else like Jasnah?

15 posts in this topic

11 hours ago, Calyx said:

I don't think not wanting to marry Amaram points in that direction. Guy seemingly was always a douche.

While that's not exactly what I'm referring to, you are right. Amaram was an overall cremmy fellow. 

Regardless of orientation or strength, I think one of the coolest parts of Jasnah now is that

Spoiler

she's the storming Queen of Alethkar.

 

Edited by Ookla the Melodious
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14 hours ago, Ookla the Melodious said:

I quite like Jasnah! She's brilliant, sharp, independent, and powerful beyond measure. She knows her limits but still pushes them, because otherwise, how do you grow as a person? Also my headcanon is that she's a lesbian but that's not important I suppose.

I am opposed to this headcanon. Deeply, deeply opposed.
Because it goes against my headcanon that Jasnah is ace.

Anyhow...
The main reason I can see for people disliking Jasnah might come from the alleyway scene in Way of Kings. That whole question of vigilante justice, particularly since SHallan herself brings up the points for and against it. Other than that though?

I find Jasnah a really interesting character. And, personally, "interesting" counts for more than anything else when it comes to writing and characters.

Regardless of orientation or strength, I think one of the coolest parts of Jasnah now is that she's the storming Queen of Alethkar.

This is, indeed, cool. Actually, one of the things I was wondering while reading Oathbringer was how Jasnah fitted into line of sucession; the Kholin line are the new dynasty of Alethkar, so they have some liberty to define how they run things going forward. So I wasn't sure if Elhokar was made kind because he was the eldest male, because Vorinism and Alethi warrior society didn't approve of the ruling monarch being a woman, or if Jasnah was removed due to her heretical beliefs.

... of course, all those points could still be in play going forward. i don't expect Brandon to start writing Game of Thrones, but the idea of Jasnah dealing with Westerosi-style political conflicts makes me very happy.

(Also, if Jasnah doesn't bring Jochi to court as the court pastry chef/scholar, Iwill be very, very disappointed :P)

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3 minutes ago, Quiver said:

I am opposed to this headcanon. Deeply, deeply opposed.
Because it goes against my headcanon that Jasnah is ace.

Anyhow...
The main reason I can see for people disliking Jasnah might come from the alleyway scene in Way of Kings. That whole question of vigilante justice, particularly since SHallan herself brings up the points for and against it. Other than that though?

I find Jasnah a really interesting character. And, personally, "interesting" counts for more than anything else when it comes to writing and characters.

I respect your headcanon.

Also, as to your second point, I felt no opposition to her actions in the alleyway, but I had no moral qualms against Adolin killing Sadeas, so. 

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Split the topic from the non-spoiler Stormlight forum - if anyone wants to continue this discussion with all OB spoilers, you can do it here.

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On 12/14/2017 at 3:36 PM, Quiver said:

.. of course, all those points could still be in play going forward. i don't expect Brandon to start writing Game of Thrones, but the idea of Jasnah dealing with Westerosi-style political conflicts makes me very happy.

I would be very disappointed if she isn't a major POV character in the next book for this very reason. She's an intellectual queen of an androcentric, war-focused nation. If that doesn't provide some political conflict - were she battles to establish her unique vision for Alethkar while combating the normal highprince shenanigans (as well as the less explored espionage tactics of high ranking female adversaries) - then I'd have to question the direction her story is going.

I also kinda hope that her "pragmatic" take on justice lead to some interesting scenarios/frictions during her reign (long may it last). 

Also, she's totally gay in my mind but that's neither here nor there since I'm not a shipper.

Edited by eshu
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Why, yes, I do like my SA crush.

Intelligence, ruthless pragmatism, confidence, iconoclasm, and drive wrapped up in an beautiful warrior woman package?  Yes please.  (I met my wife while we were both in the Army, so I guess I have a type.  Also, I don't think she cares if I have an imaginary affair with a literary character since I'm 99.999% sure she is doing the same with Jamie Fraser from those Outlander books.)

My only reservation about her, prior to the end of Oathbringer, was she seemed to have a major deficit in the area of compassion.  But she proved to us all that she's not heartless, then immediately went on to have the most kickass demonstration of KR potential yet.  So bummed we didn't get to see the immediate aftermath of Jasnah bursting into the room to greet the highprinces and monarchs as queen.  The odds of the good guys actually winning just went up considerably with that regime change, imo.

Edited by TheBrian
Edited for grammar
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On 14/12/2017 at 3:40 PM, Ookla the Melodious said:

I respect your headcanon.

Also, as to your second point, I felt no opposition to her actions in the alleyway, but I had no moral qualms against Adolin killing Sadeas, so. 

Meant to reply yesterday, but my internet fried out on me...

Anyhow, so far as the alleyway goes, I think the novel itself bring sup the complications about it (the idea of vigilante justice, baiting people, the fact that these were criminals who the law simply couldn't solve, etc) as something we're supposed to debate and wonder about, much the same way Adolin's actions led to people wondering if spren would approve or bond with him after it.

Anywhow.

2 hours ago, TheBrian said:

My only reservation about her, prior to the end of Oathbringer, was she seemed to have a major deficit in the area of compassion.  But she proved to us all that she's not heartless, then immediately went on to have the most kickass demonstration of KR potential yet.  So bummed we didn't get to see the immediate aftermath of Jasnah bursting into the room to greet the highprinces and monarchs as queen.  The odds of the good guys actually winning just went up considerably with that regime change, imo.

This. Also this. Jasnah's sequence at the end, when she swapped from her blade to her soulcasting on the fly, was awesome. It actually reminded me of Fullmetal Alchemist, and anything that reminds me of FMA is pretty awesome.

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I absolutely love Jasnah as a character, the brilliant and outwardly abrasive genius scholar.  She is going to be an utterly terrible choice for Queen of the Alethi though.  Jasnah is in many ways a great example of what not to look for when choosing a leader.  As an individual she is brilliant and competent and high performing.  The same personality characters that make her excel as a scholar will make her a terrible leader though.

I think this scene from Navani's perspective perfectly encapsulates why Jasnah will make a poor leader:

Quote

Jasnah gave her a dry look, then set her papers aside.  "I'm sorry, Mother.  I've been dealing with a lot of lesser ardents today.  My didactic side might have inflated."

"You have a didactic side?  Dear, you hate teaching."

"Which explains my mood, I should think.  I--"

A young scribe called for her from the other side of the room.  Jasnah sighed, then went to answer the question.

Jasnah preferred to work alone, which was odd, considering how good she was at getting people to do what she wanted.  Navani liked groups - but of course, Navani wasn't a scholar.  Oh, she knew how to pretend.  But all she really did was nudge here and there, perahps provide an idea.  Others did all the real engineering.

Jasnah is brilliant, and loves working with a very select group of people that can match her intellect, most other people just annoy or frustrate her though.  She grows easily frustrated with Shallan.  She manages to convey her arguments in the first Radiant meeting in such a way that Kaladin is perfectly motivated...to completely oppose her (this isn't implying that Kaladin is without fault or Jasnah is wrong, but to show that she is not persuasive in the way she crafts arguments and interacts with people).  She is full of intellectual skills and battle prowess, but seems very lacking in "soft" social skills.

I absolutely love that paragraph I quoted, because the offhand way Navani describes the minor part she takes in her projects is a perfect description of what role a good leader should take.  Leaders don't need to be the most intelligent and gifted person in a group, indeed this is secondary as they can't do all the work themselves.  What great leadership does require is the ability to assemble other gifted people, get them to work together, smooth over conflicts, and gently/subtly encourage and guide them to excel in their own ways.  Jasnah is very much not suited to this role, although it is remotely possible she could learn some of these skills as she is surrounded by many characters who have demonstrated great small or large group leadership skills (Navani and Kaladin in particular, Dalinar and Adolin in a lesser sense).

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2 hours ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I absolutely love Jasnah as a character, the brilliant and outwardly abrasive genius scholar.  She is going to be an utterly terrible choice for Queen of the Alethi though.  Jasnah is in many ways a great example of what not to look for when choosing a leader.  As an individual she is brilliant and competent and high performing.  The same personality characters that make her excel as a scholar will make her a terrible leader though.

I think this scene from Navani's perspective perfectly encapsulates why Jasnah will make a poor leader:

Jasnah is brilliant, and loves working with a very select group of people that can match her intellect, most other people just annoy or frustrate her though.  She grows easily frustrated with Shallan.  She manages to convey her arguments in the first Radiant meeting in such a way that Kaladin is perfectly motivated...to completely oppose her (this isn't implying that Kaladin is without fault or Jasnah is wrong, but to show that she is not persuasive in the way she crafts arguments and interacts with people).  She is full of intellectual skills and battle prowess, but seems very lacking in "soft" social skills.

I don't agree. While those critiques of her have merit, they aren't about her leadership ability - they're about her personality while teaching. I do think she has some things to learn as new leader of a powerful nation, but her having those personality traits does not mean she's going to be a failure. In my opinion, she's already a  lot farther than Elhokar in some ways: she believes in herself, she's not easily cowed and won't back down when challenged, she's willing and able to seriously consider other people's views when other people present their concerns, she explains herself and is willing to be held accountable, she's not narrow-minded and thinks about problems from all angles... She might not enjoy being a monarch as much as she is so clearly satisfied by being a scholar, but perhaps we'll see more of that in SA4.

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Jasnah, or at least the concept of Jasnah, is probably my favorite character in Stormlight Archive. It's great to see a rational character who can actually logically justify their actions.

My main issue with her is when she doesn't really do a good job of demonstrating her intelligence. I thought TWoK did a very good job for the most part, but she makes some questionable decisions during Oathbringer. The mark of being intelligent is not so much about bring right frequently, but being able to accept new information (and thus being able to estimate how much information you actually have):

Quote

Jasnah had once defined a fool as a person who ignored information because it disagreed with desired results.

Sanderson, Brandon. Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive, The) (p. 937). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.

Which is the perfect quote for her, but she doesn't necessarily do a good job of living up to that in Oathbringer. Still, that definition is awesome, and is a pretty good example why Jasnah is awesome. Still, I wish I could reminder her to check her error bars.

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The concept of intelligence as a single attribute is considered dated. In fact, the IQ test which was widely employed for purposes it was not intended, originally had a very simple purpose - to identify children who should be allocated to special schools for the intellectually impaired in order to maximise their chances for success and not disadvantage other children with more normal IQ scores. Since then it has been used extensively to attempt to predict a bunch of things it shouldn't be used to predict, including whether the POTUS is smarter than the SOS <_<.

Modern theories of intelligence include multi-factor models of intelligence such as Gardners theory of multiple intelligence's. In that model there are 8 different kinds of intelligence (linguistic, logical, musical, spatial, kinaesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic) with the possibility of a 9th (spiritual/existential). They may be more predictive of a wider range of outcomes than the more simplistic IQ tests that predate them. In this model for example, Jasnah would likely be highly intelligent on the logical and spiritual/existential (yes, I know, that seems a first glance a mistake. It's not, have a think about it) attributes, but sorely lacking on the interpersonal attribute, with others falling variously in between.

So, basically what I'm saying is you shouldn't really expect any character to always be right, because that would imply they have perfect intelligence in every attribute. It's entirely possible to be a genius at certain aspects and dumb as a stump at others, and I think Jasnah, with her lack of empathy is a good example of this. Just because we have developed a process of valuing the logical aspects of intelligence from the earliest measures, and through the importance of that particular measure in schooling, does not make it predictive of success in all endeavours. I like to think Jasnah scores high enough on the intrapersonal attribute to agree with me on this ;).

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11 hours ago, Greywatch said:

I don't agree. While those critiques of her have merit, they aren't about her leadership ability - they're about her personality while teaching. I do think she has some things to learn as new leader of a powerful nation, but her having those personality traits does not mean she's going to be a failure. In my opinion, she's already a  lot farther than Elhokar in some ways: she believes in herself, she's not easily cowed and won't back down when challenged, she's willing and able to seriously consider other people's views when other people present their concerns, she explains herself and is willing to be held accountable, she's not narrow-minded and thinks about problems from all angles... She might not enjoy being a monarch as much as she is so clearly satisfied by being a scholar, but perhaps we'll see more of that in SA4.

I do think what he is saying is that those traits about Jasnah while teaching will transfer over to how she lead people. She doesn't like to lower the level of her conversations, she grows frustrated when people don't follow her line of thinking well enough. Yes she can learn, but Elhokar could learn also, and he was trying and getting better. Jasnah isn't without compassion, especially within her own agenda, which is her family, she can recognize it in others, but it isn't her strong suit. She would try to make her political decisions and navigations with way more logic than it is possible to do.

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Jasnah has my favorite quote in Oathbringer when she says to Dalinar “I don’t need company to be confident." This sums up why I love her so much. She's strong and secure in her own skin, relies on her own internal compass for direction, and stands her ground without needing approval or validation from others. I was also pleased to see her displaying signs of empathy, so she isn't completely cold and logical. This gives me hope that she will be a good queen. I think she is capable of making it work if she continues to tap into to her empathetic side while standing firm in her calm confidence in her own abilities.

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10 hours ago, aemetha said:

The concept of intelligence as a single attribute is considered dated. In fact, the IQ test which was widely employed for purposes it was not intended, originally had a very simple purpose - to identify children who should be allocated to special schools for the intellectually impaired in order to maximise their chances for success and not disadvantage other children with more normal IQ scores. Since then it has been used extensively to attempt to predict a bunch of things it shouldn't be used to predict, including whether the POTUS is smarter than the SOS <_<.

Modern theories of intelligence include multi-factor models of intelligence such as Gardners theory of multiple intelligence's. In that model there are 8 different kinds of intelligence (linguistic, logical, musical, spatial, kinaesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic) with the possibility of a 9th (spiritual/existential). They may be more predictive of a wider range of outcomes than the more simplistic IQ tests that predate them. In this model for example, Jasnah would likely be highly intelligent on the logical and spiritual/existential (yes, I know, that seems a first glance a mistake. It's not, have a think about it) attributes, but sorely lacking on the interpersonal attribute, with others falling variously in between.

So, basically what I'm saying is you shouldn't really expect any character to always be right, because that would imply they have perfect intelligence in every attribute. It's entirely possible to be a genius at certain aspects and dumb as a stump at others, and I think Jasnah, with her lack of empathy is a good example of this. Just because we have developed a process of valuing the logical aspects of intelligence from the earliest measures, and through the importance of that particular measure in schooling, does not make it predictive of success in all endeavours. I like to think Jasnah scores high enough on the intrapersonal attribute to agree with me on this ;).

Some might even say brevity and the ability to present information in a succinct manner is a key component of intelligence!

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I think Jasnah should be an excellent ruler because she's such an excellent scholar. She's adept at surveying all the available information and making logical, informed decisions. She won't let her judgment be clouded by personal biases, emotions, or superstitions. Who better to lead the fight against Odium than a woman famous for keeping her passions in check? And she's obviously not weak.

She's in for a rough time because the world isn't ready for her. A lot of Alethkar will not be happy with a heretical monarch, or a female one. A lot of people will have trouble taking orders from her, and she won't have the time to explain her flawless logic to them. In order to rule effectively, she'll have to rely on more patient and diplomatic people to form a buffer between her and the world. Shallan, Dalinar, and Navani will all do their best, but they won't be able to stop Jasnah stirring up a lot of conflict over the next two books.

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