The Night Watcher

[OB spoilers] Is Maya alive?

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Adolin's Blade. Is she actually dead? She shows some cognizant abilities, but she's unresponsive. She knows her name. She's able to decide how fast she appears in Adolin's hand. So...is she becoming less dead? Or was she never dead in the first place?

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She is maybe becoming less dead. It seems like Adolin has a stronger bond with her than is normal with a dead shardblade.

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15 minutes ago, The Night Watcher said:

Adolin's Blade. Is she actually dead? She shows some cognizant abilities, but she's unresponsive. She knows her name. She's able to decide how fast she appears in Adolin's hand. So...is she becoming less dead? Or was she never dead in the first place?

I think that nothing can be all the way dead and still follow it's corpse arround. Also she summoned in 7 beats in fear of 10 in the end of OB. My theory is that the radiant destroyed the mind and a piece of the souls of their spren in the recreance.  Whether or not someone can heal their souls has yet to be seen.

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None of the Shardblades are actually dead, in the sense that we think of death. It's more that they are mindless, since part of them has been ripped away.

There's a spoiler for Elantris in this WoB, so be warned.

Spoiler

 

Quote

 

Jerich

Is the Hoed from Elantris similar to the state of [dead] Shardblades? If so is it possible to awaken a Shardblade if the bearer speaks the oaths of the Knights Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

The status is... I would say not as similar as you're probably thinking, but it does have a similarity in that two bacteria causing a disease are both caused by a bacteria, so there is a similarity there.

I can imagine a sequence where a Shardblade would be reawakened, but I think it would be very difficult.

It's not the same that they're in the middle of a transition, like in Elantris.

Jerich

Oh, okay. So you have to actually... it'd be harder.

Brandon Sanderson

It'd be harder, yeah. It's not the same, they're not in the middle of a transition. They have had something ripped from them, and it's very painful and it's left them mostly mindless.

Jerich

So they have to have that something added back?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. So what you've got going on: the spren gain-- the bond lets them have sentience in the physical plane, like they can think and all these things, and when that was ripped away from them-- imagine... (this is a very bad metaphor, it's the first one coming to my head though): imagine you had wetwear, you had a head-jack or something like that, and someone just ripped it out of your head. 

Jerich

*stunned/horrified*

Oh.

Brandon Sanderson

Instead of surgically operating it out. Like that's what's happened, a piece of their soul's been ripped off.

source

 

 

 

 

It seems that Knight Radiant spren typically have sentience in Shadesmar, but do not have sentience in the physical plane (except for some, e.g. Stormfather). A nahel bond grants them sentience in the physical realm (as we see with Syl and Pattern, who are "dumb" at first but start to remember and gain new understanding of things the longer and stronger the nahel bond gets). The "dead" Shardblades are spren that used to be bonded with humans and gained this sentience in the physical realm. However something the KR did during the Recreance appears to have carried over to Shadesmar and actually damaged the spren there.

So no, Maya is not "dead." I would say she's more mindless, and something is happening that is returning her mind (most likely a nahel bond is forming with Adolin).

e.g. We've also seen one other "dead" spren show favoritism towards a human. Oathbringer (the shardblade) did not scream as loudly when Dalinar was handling him after it was found outside. Dalinar comments on this, and the Stormfather says it's something about Oathbringer trusting Dalinar more than others (something like that).

EDIT: This also makes me wonder if the state of the Parshmen and the Shardblades are similar, where their mind had been ripped away.

Edited by Govir
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I think he's also said that in order to restore the dead blades the wielder would need to say the oaths but also something else would have to happen and he hasn't specified what that is.

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13 minutes ago, CrazyRioter said:

I think he's also said that in order to restore the dead blades the wielder would need to say the oaths but also something else would have to happen and he hasn't specified what that is.

For radiant to bond spren a piece of their spirit web must be cracked. What if the bond being broken broke a piece of the sprens spirit web so to speak. The person trying to bond them may need an intact spirit web to make the spren whole again.

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21 minutes ago, CrazyRioter said:

I think he's also said that in order to restore the dead blades the wielder would need to say the oaths but also something else would have to happen and he hasn't specified what that is.

Brandon's just said that it's *really hard* to revive a dead spren without its original bondholder.  He's also RAFO'd whether Maya will be revived.

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Though I wouldn't be surprised, if Adolin, blessed by Fortuna herself, does it without a hitch and through circumstance. :rolleyes:

Edited by SLNC
grammar
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I'd say spren are neither alive nor dead. Spren do not exist like mortals on the physical realm, but their existence is based on their sentience rather than their body. So yes, Maya lost her sentience along with the rest of the spren at the Recreance. And yes, she's slowing regaining some form of sentience, just like we saw with Syl and Kaladin. Obviously she's broken/wounded in a way that Syl isn't, or wasn't when Kal broke his oaths, but I would absolutely expect more from the pair of them in book 4. Maybe not full-on revival that turns Adolin into an Edgedancer, but I wouldn't be surprised if Maya had some lines in the next book.

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5 hours ago, Govir said:

None of the Shardblades are actually dead, in the sense that we think of death. It's more that they are mindless, since part of them has been ripped away.

There's a spoiler for Elantris in this WoB, so be warned.

  Hide contents

 

 

 

 

It seems that Knight Radiant spren typically have sentience in Shadesmar, but do not have sentience in the physical plane (except for some, e.g. Stormfather). A nahel bond grants them sentience in the physical realm (as we see with Syl and Pattern, who are "dumb" at first but start to remember and gain new understanding of things the longer and stronger the nahel bond gets). The "dead" Shardblades are spren that used to be bonded with humans and gained this sentience in the physical realm. However something the KR did during the Recreance appears to have carried over to Shadesmar and actually damaged the spren there.

So no, Maya is not "dead." I would say she's more mindless, and something is happening that is returning her mind (most likely a nahel bond is forming with Adolin).

e.g. We've also seen one other "dead" spren show favoritism towards a human. Oathbringer (the shardblade) did not scream as loudly when Dalinar was handling him after it was found outside. Dalinar comments on this, and the Stormfather says it's something about Oathbringer trusting Dalinar more than others (something like that).

EDIT: This also makes me wonder if the state of the Parshmen and the Shardblades are similar, where their mind had been ripped away.

Well. I found that little dialogue to be quite entertaining, so thanks for that. But this whole thing is interesting to me. The books keep bringing up how hard it is to kill spren, but it's very easy to hurt them. Sounds more like a liability than a help, if you ask me, but anyway. I wonder what happens to the deadeyes. What do they think about? Is Maya a special case in that she remembers her name, or do all Shardblades retain memories of their past like that? I feel that maybe it's more of a personal decision on the sprens' parts, sort of like a traumatized victim refusing to associate with anyone because of the harm done to them. Like, the spren were hurt so bad they don't trust people anymore. And also, they (I keep saying 'they' as if I have more to reference than Maya but really I don't) seem almost feral, if that makes any sense? So maybe their soul being ripped from them is sort of like their humanity taken away. It'd explain why they (Maya) seem like mindless robots, and the screaming, and how other spren are so uncomfortable around them. 

There's my mind belch. Any thoughts?

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We can't really make a lot of inferences about Maya's mental state at this point I don't think, let alone other deadeyes.

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As many have pointed out, a spren's definition of dead is more akin to being broken. All of the pieces are still there, unlike a human who's soul would pass on(or something).

As for reviving a dead spren, Brandon has stated its possible but very difficult and unlikely. I theorize that the reason its unlikely is you'd have to build the right connection/bond with a broken spren that can replace the old connection. Not only would you have to build the right connection, but its a one sided effort.

That said, we're seeing several things in Adolin's scenario that may allow this to take place. First is the number of years that Adolin has carried the blade, which will have formed a connection, albiet not the right one. Second is Adonlin's interactions with his blade's spren in Shademar. Third and probably most important is that Adolin appears to be a good candidate for Edgedancers, and his blade is a cultivationspren and used to belong to an edgedancer. Adolin is similar to Lift in that he listens to people. He gets along with everyone, he doesn't see rank, he sees people.

To answer the original questions, Maya is more alive than she was, but is still likely to be mostly dead. But if anyone can pull off a revival, I think Adolin is in a position to do so.

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IMHO it's not just the length of time he's carried her (I bet there's lots of people who've carried blades for longer), but the way he treated her as something more than a tool from the start. I really feel like that's an important factor.

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1 hour ago, CrazyRioter said:

IMHO it's not just the length of time he's carried her (I bet there's lots of people who've carried blades for longer), but the way he treated her as something more than a tool from the start. I really feel like that's an important factor.

True. The length of time he's carried her will form a connection as it would for anyone, but the way he considers the blade likely makes that connection a lot stronger.

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23 hours ago, The Night Watcher said:

Adolin's Blade. Is she actually dead?

Definitely yes, she is dead.  But also maybe not.  She may be somewhere in between, only mostly dead.  Her state is harder to pin down than Schrödinger's Cat when you aren't looking at it.  Spren are weird.  How do you kill an concept?  You get everyone to stop thinking about it and forget it.  But she is the blade of the most famous Alethi swordsman, no one will ever forget her.

 

So she is definitely dead.  But she is also maybe, probably not dead.  Not entirely.  Just enough to give hope.

 

Death doesn't quite work the same way for spren.  Syl was killed by Kaladin, and he is still apologizing to her for that.  Oathbringer is dead, but it screams slightly less when Dalinar holds it.  Dead things scream.  Maya is dead, but she walks, follows and protects, yet sees nothing.  She is angry, and she is dead.  Her oath holder is dead, so there is no renewal of Oath's loophole that un-killed Syl, and all spren would consider her to be irevoccably dead.  Even if she is walking around and screeching while being kinda creepy and gross.

 

If you are getting a headache, you're in the right mindset.  She is definitely dead.  She also might be alive.  Spren are weird.

 

To better answer your question, maybe you should define what you consider to be alive, and what is dead, or non-living.  Biologists have been struggling with a single, unified method to define something as living, or not.  And they don't have to deal with spren.

 

So when asking if a Deadeye is alive or dead, I can only really give an answer of yes.

 

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5 hours ago, Wandering Investor said:

To answer the original questions, Maya is more alive than she was, but is still likely to be mostly dead.

Quick, someone find Miracle Max! ^_^

(Sorry. Couldn't help it.)

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9 hours ago, Stark said:

So she is definitely dead.  But she is also maybe, probably not dead.  Not entirely.  Just enough to give hope.

 

That...sums it up pretty well, thanks.

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Maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but when I read this, I wondered if it was subtle foreshadowing:

"She (Shallan) opened her eyes to find Adolin scrambling across the wall to her. He skidded a little as he fell to his knees beside her, the raised his hands..." OB pg. 1194 (hardcover)

I thought if Lyft slipping around on her knees, and wondered, could Adolin be gaining Edgedancer powers as Maya slowly comes closer to sentience? It reminded me of the subtle babysteps Kaladin had in WOK as he gained powers.

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It’s also important to not that when Maya seems to be coming more “awake”, giving her name faintly to Adolin, Dalinar had just summoned Honor’s Perpendicularity and brought the three realms very close together. It’s entirely plausible that, due to the way Adolin has treated his Shardblade historically and the closeness of the spiritual and cognitive realms to the physical, Maya was more whole in that moment than she had been until now, but we would need a much longer timeframe to determine if she is actually reawakening or not.

At this point, there’s just not enough textual evidence to say yay or nay, especially since spren don’t follow normal patterns of life and death.

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On 1/26/2018 at 3:07 PM, Brightlord Brooding Eyes said:

Quick, someone find Miracle Max! ^_^

(Sorry. Couldn't help it.)

Oh come on, this thread is practically begging for these references.  From Maya being mostly dead, to the Stormfather pulling a pseudo Inigo Montoya on Kaladin in the fourth act of WOR...  

So no apologies! Let the references loose!

Also, what do you think Miracle Max was, Edgedancer or Truthwatcher?

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I would say Miracle Max would definitely be a Truthwatcher.

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On 1/25/2018 at 3:55 PM, Palindrome said:

For radiant to bond spren a piece of their spirit web must be cracked. What if the bond being broken broke a piece of the sprens spirit web so to speak. The person trying to bond them may need an intact spirit web to make the spren whole again.

I've had the same basic idea. Instead of Adolin bonding Maya, Maya is going to bond Adolin. He's going to fill in the cracks in her spiritweb. He's otherwise not a great Radiant candidate, as he's not really broken, but if he were to become a Radiant, Edgedancer seems like a good order for him for the reasons posted above.

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So I'm not keen on Adolin being an Edgedancer. Mainly because I just don't see enough evidence that he fits the mold. 

Let me go through some points people tend to bring up about Adolin's suitability;

1) He saves people in need - eg child in TC, the prostitute etc.

True, he does. This does not automatically mean he is ED material. Most people in such circumstances are actually decent enough to help others. I'm not suggesting Adolin isn't being a good guy in those circumstances, because of course he is. My point is that does this show he acts in such a way as to make him ED appropriate? 

Let's compare with our only know ED, Lift. Lift knowingly goes back into a palace to save Gawx even though she is being hunted by Nalan and saving Gawx will likely get her caught. She puts his safety and needs ahead of her own. I don't think we see Adolin really do this - he was already fighting the Thunderclast when he saves the kid in TC - he made the kid more vulnerable because of proximity - saving them was essentially trying to right the situation he'd (accidentlly) caused. Again, this doesn't make Adolin bad because he isn't - he just isn't trying to save someone who is a) to all intents and purposes already dead (NB Gawx's throat had been slit) and b ) he isn't putting himself in more harm by doing so.

Now let's look at the prostitute situation. Yes he goes to help her and stop her getting beaten up by a Sadeas soldier/officer. Great, that's a good thing. Does he actually try to make her life better in any other way though? No, he helps her in the immediate setting but let's face it, even if she moved to a safer war camp, she probably continued in her profession. Whilst I don't blame him for this, prostitution is a job filled with risks, violence, drug addiction, disease amongst them. Adolin doesn't ever make any effort to right these situations despite the fact that he actually has some power to do so as a highly ranked noble who can alter the course of the way Alethi society treats people. Lift, in comparison makes more effort to help people in a wider sense, especially those at the bottom of society. From we see in the memory crystals - the EDs were the group who spent their time at the closing of Urithiru helping the ordinary people get away - rather than recording their thoughts for posterity. Adolin is decent to people below him on the social ladder, but he doesn't really make any effort to make their lives better - he just makes sure the lives of his people are better than the lives of other highprinces. That doesn't mean that the lives of his people couldn't be improved further.

2) He remembers people - eg the friends he lost at the Tower, his mother.

Well really? I mean who forgets their friends and mum after they are dead? Remembering those who have been forgotten means thinking about people that others have forgotten - Evi is clearly not universally forgotten - hence we spent 2.5 books thinking of her as Shshsh because she had come up in conversation enough. Just because Dalinar had forotten her doesn;t automatically make Adolin ED material. I bet Renarin remembered her too but no-one is asking why he is TW not ED. Adolin does spend a great deal of energy thinking about lost friends and blaming Sadeas. That's fine. But how much time does he spend thinking about the lives lost from the ordinary foot soldiers etc? He wasn't friends with all of them? Also, it was a horrific situation so it is bound to prey on his mind. Is his reaction so very unusual? I personally don't think so. I would be very surprised if other survivors from that disaster didn't also feel the same way yet we aren't talking about expecting a sudden surge of EDs amongst their ranks.

Later, we see him lose his mother's chain, but not once does that come up in his inner thoughts. Why? Wasn't it an important memento of her? Seems something he has brushed off. We see him dismiss it before he goes out to fight and then it never appears again in his thoughts throughout the next 1.5 books. So how important was it to him? A single line of a twinge of regret or guilt about losing it would have negated this argument entirely.

Finally, we see both Kaladin and Shallan think a lot about the ordinary people of Kholinar while they are there. Shallan goes out of her way to help them (it backfires but at least she tries) but we don't see Adolin think this way or discuss these ideas. He is more concerned with the greater picture of regaining the city as a strategic point. He isn't wrong in this - but Edgedancers (as Nalan says) were concerned with the small detail stuff, not the bigger picture. Adolin just doesn't fit this mold.

3) Maya is waking up

Yes, it happens during/immediately after Dalinar creates the perpendicularity. Taln also temporaily got his mind back as a result - Adolin clearly had nothing to do with that. Adolin's treatment of the word might be unusual, but we don't actually know that - he is the only duellist we've seen in his pre-match rituals - maybe every other shardbearer does something similar? We just don't know.

What we do know is that Maya has gone through a number of unique situations:

A ) Her bearer entered Shadesmar (NB prior to the Recreance people entering Shadesmar would have been bonded to live spren, not deadeyes) and saw her "true" form.

B ) She was not only near the perpendicularity, she actually went through it

C ) She was summoned and dismissed in the vicinity of the perpendicularity a number of times whilst she had sentience. This may have reinforced her mind/body connection - there were very few dead shardblades at the battle of TC so we have no info to compare her situation.

 

My point here is that whilst Adolin's treatment of her may have helped her reconnect, doesn't it seem much more likely that the perpendicularity (a completely unique event in the cosmere afaik) was actually the catalyst of her revival? Granted that Adolin's understanding of her true nature probably made him more receptive to hearing her voice and thus we get reinforcement of her mind/body connection, but it seems unlikely that without the perpendicularity that he would ever have revived her.

So, with this in mind, can she be revived fully? And if so, will they automatically be bonded?

I would postulate no. Adolin has, ultimately, committed a murder. In my opinion he doesn't meet the necessary criteria to maintain a bond with a cultivationspren in the first place a a result - Lift clearly states she is happy to steal food from wealthy people who can afford it, but she is not interested at all in hurting them. Adolin not only killed Sadeas, he enjoyed it (NB felt amused and later feels proud of it). So perhaps he helps Maya revive, but I can't see him becoming an ED without some serious changes. Not only that, but after the battle of TC we don't see him think about her again - granted this may be because he gets limited page time, but that hardly shouts about how good he is at remembering the forgotten - we'll have to see in the next book. I doubt we will open up chapter 1 and find him already bonded, and if that hasn't happened in the 1 year timeskip I would guess it either won't happen at all or Adolin will have to change dramatically to become eligible for the bond.

 

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@PhineasGage first of, I'm exhausted, so I'm sorry if this doesn't come across as well argued as I would like.

What do you think an potential Edgedancer should be? Kaladin is obviously not perfect as far as Windrunners go. He's already broken his bond once, and yet he's our penultimate Windrunner example. I don't think someone needs to fit perfectly in order to be a recipient of a bond. That said, I don't think you give Adolin enough credit. 

From what we've seen of most high ranking lighteyes, Dalinar included, the common soldiers are nothing but pieces on a playing board. Adolin took the time to connect with his men enough to mourn them in the first place. 

In the prostitute situation, yes he didn't do anything to try and change her life... But what should he have done? Would it have been a feasible option for him to somehow take her and try to change her life somehow? He offered what help he could. 

"remembering those forgotten," in my mind is relative. It's not just about the tower. He takes the time to interact with darkeyed children. He shows attention to people that members of his own station intentionally ignore. 

Most importantly though is Maya. No, we haven't seen the way that everyone treats their Blades, but of those we have Adolin is the only one to have treated the blade as anything more than a tool to be used. 

I doubt that the perpendicularity had anything to do with Maya Awakening for one main reason. She acted to save Adolin from the Fused before the perpendicularity occurred. I do think that seeing her in Shadesmar was a crucial part of her Awakening, because after his initial shock, Adolin accepted her. Her acting of her own volition to help him though tells me that the Awakening was already happening. 

We don't know how many blades were in Thaylen city. I strongly doubt anything happened with the others. 

This post has taken. Even nearly an hour to write. I'm mentally out of it. I feel like I have a bunch more to say and just... Can't process it. I'll try to either come back and discuss more, or edit this post if the thread hasn't moved on. 

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The vast majority of people wouldn't have done even as much as Adolin did for that prostitute because they would have considered it not their problem and not wanted to get involved. That's even more true of the subset of people to which Adolin belongs (people with money and privilege). Maybe he could have done more, but what he did was still significant.

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