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[OB] The sudden ease of becoming a radiant

49 posts in this topic

I always liked thinking about the Knights Radiant as powerful chosen ones in ancient legends. It is said that they were not perfect but most of them were broken at some point (as regularly emphasized). But I get the impression that they were not ordinary. Not everyone could become a radiant even if they wanted to. You didn't only need to say the Words but you had to be worthy. 

The journey of Kaladin was detailed. We read his childhood, hardships he went through, bridge days, slave days, his personality. So his transformation felt natural and pacing made sense. The words came in order and it was not easy to say them sincerely. Afterall, being able to use stormlight or bonding a spren shouldn't be too easy, considering the power it grants.

So my question is, what do you think about the requisites before becoming a full radiant? Do you think Radiants should be rarer or is it more fun to have more of them around? 

I personally didn't even like the squire thing. Being able to suck in stormlight after just a few field trips to Shattered Plains with prof Kaladin... Seemed to undermine how hard it is to become a Radiant. You could say that Bridge 4 pushed through same nightmare as Kaladin in bridge days but the difference was that Kaladin changed those hopeless men and decided to protect them no matter what in that hellish situation. None of them even came close to what Kaladin did in those days. Following him is not the same thing. But now, they swear ideals left and right, when did Teft even said the second ideal before he said the third? It just feels too quick or even not justified. I like Bridge 4 characters but I don't think everyone needs to become a Radiant and they shouldn't.

What do you guys think?

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The reason it was so hard for Kal is he was discovering it with no guidance at all. 

The squires have him as a guide. There were thousands of Radiants in the past. It's up to the Spren, and the first will definitely have it the hardest... But considering everything they're facing, if they don't increase their numbers they're done for. 

The initial order members journeys are more significant because of the hardship they have to face in overcoming the discovery of the Oaths without a leader, much less an order, to guide them. That doesn't mean that the others are less than they are. They just have a guide to help them reach their goals. 

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I think quite a few Bridge Four members will actually stay squires - followers of Kaladin. Only those who are true leaders, like Teft and Rock, will progress to become full Radiants.

If every squire would become a Radiant - and then get their own squires - it wouldn't be long before the entire population of Roshar had bonded an honorspren.

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And they seem to "atract" the same kind of persons. 

Shallan's team is also starting to develop lightweaver habilities, and they're spies and liars.

Kaladin has chosen people with difficult paths as his.

Even Lyn with her ambition of chaniging woman roles may have such a background.

I don't feel it is more "cheap" now. Just different.

And I'm so deeply inlove with Teft's arc, that I cannot complain.

 

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1 hour ago, Leyrann said:

I think quite a few Bridge Four members will actually stay squires - followers of Kaladin. Only those who are true leaders, like Teft and Rock, will progress to become full Radiants.

Windrunners are also about protection, which is where the debate about Drehy and Skar potential radiancy really stems from. They may not be leaders, but they are protectors. 

For the OP, our view of KR is slanted, they are rare now, but before there were hundreds per order. The main pov characters will just be the first, and by extension have the hardest time and become the leaders of their order. If it helps, I suspect Windrunners will be the biggest order, which is why we see so many. 

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We've known since book one that there were thousands of Knights Radiants back in the day so its hard for me to see them as snowflake chosen ones and frankly I'm not sure how you came to hold such a view with the information provided. Since the Radiant orders have been written as massive organizations it's hard for me to see them as anything but it desire them to be smallers.....really the only thing I take issue with is squires. I would rather they have access to stormlight at all times rather than access to all surges only when in the vicinity of their Radiant.

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I think it may boils down to Kaladin/Shallan having been given nearly impossible stories where they keep being broken over and over again: it makes anyone else appear undeserving. 

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1 hour ago, maxal said:

I think it may boils down to Kaladin/Shallan having been given nearly impossible stories where they keep being broken over and over again: it makes anyone else appear undeserving. 

Undeserving? Are you IMPLYING TALN IS UNDESERVING OF SOMETHING THAT HASN'T EVEN HAPPENED YET?????? 

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1 hour ago, Steeldancer said:

Undeserving? Are you IMPLYING TALN IS UNDESERVING OF SOMETHING THAT HASN'T EVEN HAPPENED YET?????? 

?

I didn't say anything about Taln. The post is about whether or not readesr find becoming a Radiant has become easier. I say the fact the author made it so hard for Kaladin/Shallan makes basically any other Radiant's progression seem easy. By "any other", I am referring to existing Radiants such as Dalinar, Lift, Jasnah, Renarin, Lopen and Teft. Arguably, we do not know everyone's personal story, but it can be argued no one had it harder than Kaladin/Shallan with their constant regression, ups and mostly downs.

Taln's status currently is Herald, not Radiant.

Edited by maxal
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3 minutes ago, maxal said:

I didn't say anything about Taln.

He's misread, and thought you were implying that Kaladin and Shallan have had the hardest life of any of the characters, rather than any of the Radiants. The former implies that Taln's tenure on Braize wasn't as hard as Shallan/Kal's lives, while the latter is what you really said.

5 minutes ago, maxal said:

Taln's status currently is Herald, not Radiant.

With the revelation that is Nalan, that can change. And some people kinda want that to happen, apparently. I'm not one for it, as I'd rather at least one Herald stay self-contained to who they were.


As for you @Steeldancer, maybe a little less caps? :) I know that the Cult of Tanat has gotten a little.. intense at times now that OB is out, but being calm is always a plus on here. (Feel free to use "Cult of Tanat" by the way, I think it fits)

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8 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

He's misread, and thought you were implying that Kaladin and Shallan have had the hardest life of any of the characters, rather than any of the Radiants. The former implies that Taln's tenure on Braize wasn't as hard as Shallan/Kal's lives, while the latter is what you really said.

With the revelation that is Nalan, that can change. And some people kinda want that to happen, apparently. I'm not one for it, as I'd rather at least one Herald stay self-contained to who they were.


As for you @Steeldancer, maybe a little less caps? :) I know that the Cult of Tanat has gotten a little.. intense at times now that OB is out, but being calm is always a plus on here. (Feel free to use "Cult of Tanat" by the way, I think it fits)

Cult of Tanat... I like it... I like it. 

Sorry, i get a little defensive of Taln. 

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I think the Squire thing is a way to build up the numbers without every radiant having a dramatic back story, and still having the main characters be extra significant.

We don't yet know the back stories of the other Radiants. I don't think you could say that Kaladin and Shallan have the worst histories, everyone of our Radiants have been through hell, we are just not sure of the details yet.

And Taln literally went through hell so he probably does wins @Steeldancer

#cultoftanatforeva

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46 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

He's misread, and thought you were implying that Kaladin and Shallan have had the hardest life of any of the characters, rather than any of the Radiants. The former implies that Taln's tenure on Braize wasn't as hard as Shallan/Kal's lives, while the latter is what you really said.

Thanks for the explanation. I would however Taln's ordeal remains relatively unknown: we were told it was awful, but we haven't experienced it yet. Still, I did mean the known Radiants, not other characters who's status might change as the story evolves. Nothing is certain.

48 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

With the revelation that is Nalan, that can change. And some people kinda want that to happen, apparently. I'm not one for it, as I'd rather at least one Herald stay self-contained to who they were.

It could change, but with Nale being a "real" Radiant, with Ash being on her way "towards becoming a Dustbringer", I definitely agree it'd be nice if Taln remained... Taln the Herald. 

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Just because Lopen acts cheerful doesn't mean he's not hurting inside. We have literally no idea about his background. And we know Teft has been through a lot of stuff and he always seemed pretty damaged to me.

And Shallan was lightweaving when she was a child, even before all the tragic backstory we know about happened.

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6 hours ago, CrazyRioter said:

Just because Lopen acts cheerful doesn't mean he's not hurting inside. We have literally no idea about his background. And we know Teft has been through a lot of stuff and he always seemed pretty damaged to me.

And Shallan was lightweaving when she was a child, even before all the tragic backstory we know about happened.

That! I'm pretty sure Lopen has a super broken soul, but the same as Shallan, he's able of covering it with a smile and he makes everyone else's world better. I love Lopen!

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Yea, we have been told from the beginning that the Orders tended to increase their numbers significantly during the Desolations, which would be impossible if every Radiant had to be super special and unique. And since WoR we have also known about the squires and that Nahel spren sometimes make mistakes, pick people who aren't all that compatible and the bond can't progress as a result. I.e. that epigraph about a notable warrior with a very straithforward, direct way of thinking having been bonded by a Cryptic... I can only imagine that something like this usually happens with "orphaned" spren who don't have much choice, like Eshonai's and Elhokar's ones in OB.

There used to be another restriction on Radiant numbers in the past - namely that quantity of Nahel spren willing to bond was limited and lower prior to Honor's splintering. So, not every squire would have been eventually able to bond a spren of their own and spren could evaluate for years and chose the candidates that they liked most. They don't have that luxury in SA, however, so becoming a Radiant will be "easier" for a time, as various spren peoples become convinced that they need to bond again and fight Odium.

Oh, and Nale has surely suffered more than Kaladin and Shallan, but that's neither here nor there.

I am also fairly certain that most of the Heralds won't become Radiants, but Ash and Taln most likely will, IMHO.

23 hours ago, Nymeros said:

 I would rather they have access to stormlight at all times rather than access to all surges only when in the vicinity of their Radiant.

Well, the Skybreaker squires can only use one of their surges - as Nale explained to Szeth, access to Division comes only after swearing the Third Ideal and bonding your own spren. It is very likely to be the case for all the other Orders that have squires except for the Windrunners, whose Resonance is specifically "strength of the squires", which applies both to their numbers and their abilities.

And well, if squires didn't have surges, then Radiant numbers couldn't be ramped up quickly enough for anti-Odium side to be able to resist the Fused without truly making the full spren-bond too cheap and easy.

I also very much hope that it is possible to become a squire of one Order, but eventually attract and bond a spren of another. Since becoming a squire is very much a luck of a draw thing and Bridge 4 is such an overhelmingly prominent source of somewhat fleshed-out back-up Radiants, some of whom  would fit other Orders better than the Windrunners (Sigzil, Rock, etc.).

Edited by Isilel
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A lot of this probably has to do with the spren as much as humans, they're probably just as confused and inexperienced with the whole nahel-bonding process.  I think pre-Recreance the higher spren spent the large majority of their time either bonded to a radiant or actively searching for a new Radiant to bond.  In the current batch of higher spren though, they've spent thousands of years unbonded to anyone, and they likely don't even know how to go about seeking out and forming a bond.

Once Kal and Syl did bond though, and the Desolation has clearly returned, suddenly a lot of Honorspren likely wanted to form a bond but have no real idea how to find an ideal human to bond. I imagine a lot of Honorspren were drawn to Bridge 4 almost of out default, like moths to a flame.  

Or another possibility is that the Windrunners of past were organizationally structured almost like an army, and Honorspren naturally gravitated towards choosing those that existing Windrunners were close to and had made squires of.  Not all squires make Windrunner, but just being a squire makes you much more noticeable to other unbonded honorspren.  Like a letter of recommendation.  This would make Syl the dramatic exception, but one that was necessary since no Windrunner hierarchy existed currently.

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13 hours ago, Carla Bridge Four said:

That! I'm pretty sure Lopen has a super broken soul, but the same as Shallan, he's able of covering it with a smile and he makes everyone else's world better. I love Lopen!

I'm pretty sure there's a very big difference between Lopen and Shallan...I feel like Lopen is actually genuine in his smiles. Some people react to hardship with smiles and laughter. Shallan, though...that's not the case.

 

On 1/21/2018 at 1:56 PM, borg said:

I personally didn't even like the squire thing. Being able to suck in stormlight after just a few field trips to Shattered Plains with prof Kaladin... Seemed to undermine how hard it is to become a Radiant. You could say that Bridge 4 pushed through same nightmare as Kaladin in bridge days but the difference was that Kaladin changed those hopeless men and decided to protect them no matter what in that hellish situation. None of them even came close to what Kaladin did in those days. Following him is not the same thing. But now, they swear ideals left and right, when did Teft even said the second ideal before he said the third? It just feels too quick or even not justified. I like Bridge 4 characters but I don't think everyone needs to become a Radiant and they shouldn't.

The big gripe I have with this is that becoming a squire has less to do with hardship than it does with having a Connection to a Radiant. Think about it in medieval terms. The first knights were lords who had been given their titles by a man they called their king. They then trained others who were raised to that position to become knights. The first group had to work much harder to gain that status than those that followed.

That said, it's not the person entirely that determines whether or not they become a Knight Radiant. A large part of that is dependent on the spren. And we don't have any explicitly full Knights Radiant yet (except Nale). Knights Radiant are what is achieved after all five ideals have been spoken. What we are seeing is just Knights Radiant in training, Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, and co. being the furthest in their progression.

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10 minutes ago, Alderant said:

The big gripe I have with this is that becoming a squire has less to do with hardship than it does with having a Connection to a Radiant. Think about it in medieval terms. The first knights were lords who had been given their titles by a man they called their king. They then trained others who were raised to that position to become knights. The first group had to work much harder to gain that status than those that followed.

I very much agree with this. Everyone kinda has the possibility to become a squire, if he follows the ideals of the knight, but to fully become a knight he is dependent of a spren bonding with him and speaking all ideals.

Edited by SLNC
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6 minutes ago, SLNC said:

I very much agree with this. Everyone kinda has the possibility to become a squire, if he follows the ideals of the knight, but to fully become a knight he is dependent of a spren bonding with him and speaking all ideals.

Yes, and as long as the cracks are present, and they are living up to the Ideals of their order, a spren choosing them is likely. 

Which is the entire reason I said that having the guidance of Radiants who have already achieved the Oaths makes things much easier. 

A squire/knight relationship is all about the teacher and the student. It makes perfect sense that one leads to the other, because that is the definition of the relationship. 

Not all squires will become Knights, because there are bound to be those who fail to follow the Ideals, and they won't be chosen by spren. 

The Radiants are based on the concept of old school Knights. Blade, Plate and Horse, by Brandon's own words. Squires are just another piece of that structure taken from real world midieval Knights. 

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I think the other thing to consider here is that now the Spren are becoming more desperate. Syl disobeyed to find her Radiant, and Wyndle was chosen. Now the Desolation has arrived, the Spren are all looking to see if they can stave off disaster.

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1 hour ago, Calderis said:

Yes, and as long as the cracks are present, and they are living up to the Ideals of their order, a spren choosing them is likely. 

Except for this WoB stating there are "other ways" to open a mind to the Nahel Bond than being broken.

I would personally argue Lopen became a Radiant not because he was broken, but because he wanted it to so badly, he opened his mind to a bond even without having lived through a valid trauma. Ever since he found out about Kaladin, he tried to breath in stormlight, he practiced, he sought every opportunity he had to grow into a full Radiant. He was open for "a change" to happen.

I think it can also be argued opening one self to the Nahel Bond without having suffered trauma demands courage because it implies you are giving up something which isn't broken to reforge yourself into something new. It seems to be it is easier to welcome change when you are standing near the bottom of the barrel: it is much harder when you actually have something to lose.

I definitely think Lopen was made a Radiant to show us how someone could open his own mind to the Nahel Bond without the trauma. He was the perfect character for this: nobody is going to call it a "cheap shot" for having Lopen grow too fast into a Radiant because his purpose within the story is mostly comical. Using the same ploy on other characters though would have the opposite effect on readers, IMO.

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I doubt Lopen always smiled, like when he was relearning how to do everything with one arm and Jasnah was probably sex abuse. Point being, the MC's are all broken but we only know a few stories at this point.

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5 minutes ago, Angsos said:

I doubt Lopen always smiled, like when he was relearning how to do everything with one arm and Jasnah was probably sex abuse. Point being, the MC's are all broken but we only know a few stories at this point.

We don't know how old Lopen was when he lost his arm: he could have been a young child. Children can be surprisingly resilient towards losing a limb: his attitude, his behavior, everything suggest Lopen is just one very normal unbroken one-harmed Herdazian.

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Severely physically handicapped, member of a low status minority group, somehow assigned to a bridge crew.... Yeah, we definitely need an alternate explanation for how the Lopen could be receptive to a bond.

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