JPark317

[OB] Jasnah's "Lunacy"

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Going back through Oathbringer for a re-read, and I noticed something I missed on my initial read: Jasnah mentions in her chapter a period in her life that taught her that "people she loved could hurt her too" or something along those lines, and she remembered being locked in a room and screaming and/or crying. Just a few chapters later, in Dalinar's flashback chapter where Adolin is born, when he and Gavilar are discussing problems with Rathalas/The Rift Dalinar initially thought that the problem Gavilar wanted to discuss was Jasnah's "lunacy," but Gavilar said she was recovering fine.

I haven't seen this discussed yet here, so I just wanted to see whether people thought this "lunacy" spell was significant for Jasnah's personal development, such as whether this episode was what formed the cracks in her soul enabling her to form a Nahel bond*, or whether it was just a passing illness that does not have much significance.

*I'm not suggesting she began to form her bond with Ivory at this time, just that this may have been what "broke" her as a person, allowing for her to later form the Nahel bond with Ivory.

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It is suggested in the text that Gavilar was not a good father to his children. I don't have the means to quickly find quotes but I have a vivid memory of that being at the very least implied in Oathbringer. I always thought, after OB, that Jasnah was very misunderstood as a child and suffered greatly perhaps from loneliness, perhaps even forced loneliness, perhaps from a violent father... well. The impression I got was that Gavilar was not a good father at all, and in fact, even compared to Dalinar he was a horrible parent. We will see in future books but I would not be surprised if it turns out he hit his children or abused them in some other way.

Edited by Vissy
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Interesting post.

I know you said you weren't saying this is when she began bonding ivory, i actually think it might be though.

For some reason when i read that, i immediately thought of the exorcist, so my thought on it was the vorin church were trying to "cure her" of her seeming lunacy at bonding ivory, and this instance also led to her being a heretic.

I have nothing to back this up, it was just a feeling i got when read it in book. 

I am probably completly wrong.

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I always saw Gavilar as the distant father.  He was too busy forming his kingdom to really pay attention to them.  Jasnah doesn't seem to hint at any abuse when we get her PoV in the WoR prologue, where she talks with her father.  Just that he was the only one who seemed to be able to rebuke her without making her angry.

That being said, I agree that she WAS abused by somebody in her past.  Almost certainly a male, and someone who had power over her, at least for a time.  Her intense hatred of the robbers in Kharbranth and her reaction to Amaram certainly hints at that.

And I think that she must have been ill, or been perceived as ill when she wasn't, at some point in her past.  The part about screaming in a dark room is extremely eerie and ominous, and I'm almost afraid of what we find out happened there.

 

@IronBars Jasnah thinks about the dark room and screaming, in the prologue of WoR, if I'm remembering correctly, doesn't she?  That's just as her bond to Ivory was starting, so it would have to be before then.

Edited by RShara
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I've always been very interested in Jasnahs past and what actually happened. I think its safe to assume, that whatever did happen, had a huge effect on her development as a person, and might have even been what lead her to being able to form a Nahel bond. Her book is probably the book I'm most looking forward to in the back 5, she's still a pretty big mystery at the moment though.

Edited by GarrethGrey
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24 minutes ago, GarrethGrey said:

I've always been very interested in Jasnahs past and what actually happened. I think its safe to assume, that whatever did happen, had a huge effect on her development as a person, and might have even been what lead her to being able to form a Nahel bond. Her book is probably the book I'm most looking forward to in the back 5, she's still a pretty big mystery at the moment though.

I agree that it's integral to her being able to bond.  I empathize with her so much.  Like everything she's said about herself, I'm like, DING! ME EXACTLY! that I devotedly want to know her backstory.  That it's going to be something like a decade before I get it almost kills me lol

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15 minutes ago, RShara said:

I agree that it's integral to her being able to bond.  I empathize with her so much.  Like everything she's said about herself, I'm like, DING! ME EXACTLY! that I devotedly want to know her backstory.  That it's going to be something like a decade before I get it almost kills me lol

That wait...its kind of depressing to be honest, I want more Jasnah now lol I find myself drawn to her, and I'm really excited for when she gets her chance to shine. Do we know which book is hers yet?

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The last I heard, Lift was going to be book 6.  Brandon's been alternating male/female viewpoints, so I would guess the next book is either Taln or Renarin.  So as of right now, the Jasnah book will be book 8 *sobs*

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39 minutes ago, GarrethGrey said:

Do we know which book is hers yet?

Rshara is correct. We've got a long wait ahead of us.

Quote

Brandon Sanderson (Sep 2016)
Back five are Lift, Renarin, Ash, Taln, Jasnah. Not necessarily in that order. (Though that is the planned order right now.)


Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased) (June 2017)
Lift, Renarin, Ash, Taln, and Jasnah are the back 5. Jasnah is book 8 right now, maybe book 10.


Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW] (Nov 2017)
Let's just have you Read on And Find Out on that one. There is-- Her book isn't 'til, like-- at the earliest, Book Eight. So, we've got a long ways to go before we're digging into Jasnah some more.

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No no no, thats not a 10 year wait, thats like 15-25...*go's to cry in the corner*

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Whatever it was, and I think @RShara's guesses seem solid, I expect it will definitely figure heavily in her flashbacks, when our distant descendants eventually get to read them. But whether it was "the thing that broke her" is not something I expect we'll learn, mostly because it doesn't seem like that's really how it works.

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7 minutes ago, digitalbusker said:

when our distant descendants eventually get to read them.

This made me laugh and cry.

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I agree with @RShara Jasnah does seem to have been abused by someone in her past for all the reasons she pointed out. And that could explain a lot about her cold, logical personality. We have yet to really understand a lot about her character—motivations, history, and ideology are all pretty hazy at this point, so I’m looking forward to the answer too

And come on guys...it will only be, like...15 years for book 8 at the rate he’s currently writing Stormlight books. Well still be around. :D

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12 minutes ago, Alderant said:

I agree with @RShara Jasnah does seem to have been abused by someone in her past for all the reasons she pointed out. And that could explain a lot about her cold, logical personality. We have yet to really understand a lot about her character—motivations, history, and ideology are all pretty hazy at this point, so I’m looking forward to the answer too

And come on guys...it will only be, like...15 years for book 8 at the rate he’s currently writing Stormlight books. Well still be around. :D

I'll be in my 50's.

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42 minutes ago, RShara said:

I'll be in my 50's.

You’ll still be around at least, though!

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53 minutes ago, RShara said:

I'll be in my 50's.

I'll be in my 50's too, the consolation on this front is that Brandon will be too.

Another consolation on this front is that if I ever end up in a retirement home, instead of Bridge I'll be playing Magic the Gathering. Not so bad.

One point to add to the Jasnah discussion is that in the WoR prologue, Jasnah takes it in stride that her shadow starts pointing towards the light. This, I think, hints at the fact that she has previous experience with these visits from Ivory, or has at the very least straddled the line between realms before this confrontation with Ivory where she finally earns his respect.

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10 minutes ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

I'll be in my 50's too, the consolation on this front is that Brandon will be too.

Another consolation on this front is that if I ever end up in a retirement home, instead of Bridge I'll be playing Magic the Gathering. Not so bad.

One point to add to the Jasnah discussion is that in the WoR prologue, Jasnah takes it in stride that her shadow starts pointing towards the light. This, I think, hints at the fact that she has previous experience with these visits from Ivory, or has at the very least straddled the line between realms before this confrontation with Ivory where she finally earns his respect.

It sounded like she was pretty panicked. 

Quote

Jasnah headed toward the doors but then stopped in place.

Her shadow was pointing in the wrong direction.

The stuffy, shuffling, chattering room seemed to grow distant. Highprince Sadeas walked right through the shadow, which quite distinctly pointed toward the sphere lamp on the wall nearby. Engaged in conversation with his companion, Sadeas didn’t notice. Jasnah stared at that shadow—skin growing clammy, stomach clenched, the way she felt when she was about to vomit. Not again. She searched for another light source. A reason. Could she find a reason? No.

I wonder if anyone else could have seen her shadow pointing the wrong way, or if only a budding Radiant could do it.

Edited by RShara
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1 minute ago, RShara said:

It sounded like she was pretty panicked.

You're totally right, the text doesn't lie. I guess, based on what a dervish of awesomeness she was at the end of OB, I edited that memory. Edit the sad parts right, everything's better when you remember it because you are constantly modifying memory by just retrieving it. Really, it's hard to imagine Jasnah non-plussed (in the perturbed sense).

Like everyone here I am dying to get more Jasnah. Part of her mystique is how opaque and guarded she is. But when she steps out of her shell, holy crap, stand back or you'll get Amaramed! That scene was so amazing, and the totally in character self-recrimination that followed her losing her cool (even though amaram probably tinkled a little in fear) was so good.

I'll probably be eating a lot more bran and wearing my pants quite a bit higher, but I look forward to when I can read about Jasnah's story in detail.

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Is it possible that that “not again” line might reference the aforementioned locked room? Like the reasoning for it?

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1 hour ago, RShara said:

I wonder if anyone else could have seen her shadow pointing the wrong way, or if only a budding Radiant could do it.

I find it interesting that her reaction is to think "Not again" and panic. Could it be that seeing things like this and telling adults about it is what got her labeled insane in the first place? She would be panicked to think this disease she was 'cured' of as a child by being locked in a dark room is coming back. 

Finding out she was right would just make her feelings for those responsible for her treatment worse. Shallan says in WoR that the ardents treat insanity with quiet, dark rooms. Imagine Jasnah, as a young girl, coming to her mother with stories about her shadow facing the wrong way. When she keeps insisting it is real, she is sent by her parents to the ardents for treatment. They lock her in a dark room to 'help' her. That level of isolation is a form of abuse and she would have every right to feel betrayed by the people who were supposed to love her. 

EDIT: @Alderant you posted right before I did, but it looks like we were on exactly the same page. 

Edited by thegatorgirl00
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As to the possibility of Gavilar being her abuser... She seems to have had respected him far to much for that. 

And her lines in OB make me think that what happened to her as a child weren't the same thing as we see in her Prologue, because if that were the case she would have an explanation of those events to alleviate the fear that she expresses to Ivory as being still present. 

I frankly have no idea what did happen to her as a child, but whatever it was seems to have been something that truly made her doubt her own perceptions that she is still unable to explain. 

The "help" administered by the Ardent does seem to fit though. 

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I too think @RShara has got this right and agree that the hatred of the robbers in Kharbranth is significant.   It certainly struck Shallan that way:

Quote

Jasnah: "Besides, men like those …” There was something in her voice, an edge Shallan had never heard before.

What was done to you? Shallan wondered with horror. And who did it?

Sanderson, Brandon. The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, Book 1) (p. 535). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.

 

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A while before OB came out, someone (I don't remember who or where, sorry) suggested that her hatred of the robbers could be because of something that happened to one of her wards based on her comments about being bad with them. I really liked that theory at the time. It would be interesting to revisit it with some of the new information and comments we got in OB. 

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Navani mentioned that Gavilar was a poor husband, in WoR if I recall correctly, I don't recall any mention of Gavilar being a poor father. Both Jasnah and Elocar...Elhocar...The boy king, appear to have great respect for their father, so I doubt he abused Jasnah. 

I am liking this theory of being locked up by the ardents for "lunacy". We have the example of Shallan bonding pattern when she was little, so it makes sense that Jasnah could have started this process. Brandon has stated that having cracks in the soul isn't the only way to bond spren, just the easiest/most common. I subscribe to the theory that the flexibility of children extends to their souls, allowing them to easily form bonds with spren. So Jasnah starts to bond Ivory, or another spren, freaks out and tells someone. The ardents lock her up in a room with minimal input (dark and quiet), as research suggest is best for mad people. Jasnah is now locked into a dark room with her imagination and occasional glimpses into shadesmar, a lovely recipe for torture.

This would also explain why the ever in control Jasnah freaked when her shadow changed direction at Gavilar's last party. Because it was a childhood trauma come back, something she was not at all prepared for.

It would not however explain her hatred for the robbers. I'm inclined to believe that was gained when she was older, although there's nothing to support that either way, beyond it appears to be a hatred without fear, a more mature adult feeling than that of a child.

Boy King = Elhokar, had to look that one up.

Edited by Wandering Investor
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