Blazenella

[OB] My Issue With Kaladin

42 posts in this topic

Now before you people start prosecuting me, or denouncing me as a heretic hear me out. I love Kaladin, and relate to him on a personal level, but there's just one issue...

Ask yourself this question: How many problems could be solved if Kaladin just told people he was a Radiant?

In Words of Radiance I was practically screaming at Kaladin to tell Dalinar about his powers, which would have ended the conflict with Amaram, allowed Kaladin to protect people better by using his powers openly, and many more. Also when Kaladin goes to Hearthstone again, he does tell them, and no one cares about the "Lost Radiants" they just want protection from the Singers. 

In both cases there was no uproar when he said anything about his powers.

Now let's take Kholinar. How much you want to bet that if Kaladin, or Shallan for that matter had told people about their powers. They could have rallied the people behind them, assaulting the palace, and saving Kholinar. This would result in many lives saved, and stopped Alethkar's collapse.

I love Kaladin, and I know him being smart wouldn't make for an interesting book or character arc, but it still severely annoys me.

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I can totally relate to this opinion, Kal is a great character, but he is frustrating beyond belief at times

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I too dislike it when fictional characters do not preform at perfect logical consistency and have inner "flaws" which they need to strive against and overcome in a journey of personal growth which I the reader can emotionally identity with.

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You are not alone in this frustration. 

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46 minutes ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I too dislike it when fictional characters do not preform at perfect logical consistency and have inner "flaws" which they need to strive against and overcome in a journey of personal growth which I the reader can emotionally identity with.

Alas, Kaladin has never had a lord he thought he could trust steal away things of great import to him. Indeed, it's almost like these so-called inner flaws are a large part of why Kaladin is a good character.

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53 minutes ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I too dislike it when fictional characters do not preform at perfect logical consistency and have inner "flaws" which they need to strive against and overcome in a journey of personal growth which I the reader can emotionally identity with.

You can appreciate and sympathize with what he's going through while also wanting to smack him upside the head :)

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2 minutes ago, RShara said:

You can appreciate and sympathize with what he's going through while also wanting to smack him upside the head :)

Yeah, Kaladin's issues make sense given his trauma, but I couldn't help wanting to yell at him to stop being an idiot at times.

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11 minutes ago, GarrethGrey said:

I don't really understand the point of this thread. It seems to me, that people want to complain that Kaladin isn't perfect, and that it bothers them? 

Almighty forbid we have dramatic tension and character development, otherwise the story might be interesting and *horrified gasp* meaningful.

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In a more serious note, I do sometimes get annoyed at Kaladin, but it always seemed like that was what those moments were written to convey. Alas, for now, we must stick with Syl, cheering small encouragements from the headboard.

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Kaladin did some good improvements in OB, he wasn't as gloomy as on TWoK and WoR although he still has a long way to go. Kaladin is generally a well loved character that you somtimes want to slap.

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3 hours ago, Blazenella said:

Now let's take Kholinar. How much you want to bet that if Kaladin, or Shallan for that matter had told people about their powers. They could have rallied the people behind them, assaulting the palace, and saving Kholinar. This would result in many lives saved, and stopped Alethkar's collapse.

I have another one for you... How much can we bet Kaladin infiltrating the guards and winning Azure's confidence would have been completely pointless had Adolin and/or Elhokar just showed themselves? The whole "trying to find an army to attack the Palace" is, IMHO, one of the weakest point within the narrative as it was a false struggle. Have Adolin walk into the guards rooms and meet with Azure: end of problem. Have use a disguise to approach them, if need be, then have him remove it in privacy. Everyone would have rallied to him or even to Elhokar for that matters. Kaladin was absolutely not needed for this to happen.

The whole Kholinar arc was badly framed and not just because Kaladin didn't talk. It was badly framed because the whole time they were trying to find support, they had Adolin/Elhokar to get it for them without any effort.

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I'll freely admit to loving the hell out of Kaladin.  I think it's a lot easier to understand what makes him tick if you've ever suffered from depression though.  Even though he hasn't been in a full depressive episode since the earliest part of Way of Kings, he's always living in fear that he'll slide into another episode of "the wretch" at any moment.  The remembered pain from his previous depressive episodes and traumatic past events is so vivid that he's terrified of doing anything that could disrupt his current relative happiness.  He knows it isn't very logical that someone would steal Syl if he revealed his powers, but panic and anxiety by their very nature aren't rational processes.

When you get annoyed at and frustrated at Kaladin for his failures, you can be 100% certain that he is even more annoyed and frustrated at himself.  One of the hardest parts of living with depression is breaking this cycle of self-hatred/guilt and ruminating on your failures.  

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16 minutes ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I'll freely admit to loving the hell out of Kaladin.  I think it's a lot easier to understand what makes him tick if you've ever suffered from depression though.  Even though he hasn't been in a full depressive episode since the earliest part of Way of Kings, he's always living in fear that he'll slide into another episode of "the wretch" at any moment.  The remembered pain from his previous depressive episodes and traumatic past events is so vivid that he's terrified of doing anything that could disrupt his current relative happiness.  He knows it isn't very logical that someone would steal Syl if he revealed his powers, but panic and anxiety by their very nature aren't rational processes.

When you get annoyed at and frustrated at Kaladin for his failures, you can be 100% certain that he is even more annoyed and frustrated at himself.  One of the hardest parts of living with depression is breaking this cycle of self-hatred/guilt and ruminating on your failures.  

As I said, I can sympathize with him while wanting to whack him upside the head :)  Yes, I've felt the way he does.  I just also still want to whack him one.

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@Blazenella oh dear me. Can’t unsee that now. I guess one way to look at it- most of the time we are our own worst enemy. 

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8 hours ago, Blazenella said:

Ask yourself this question: How many problems could be solved if Kaladin just told people he was a Radiant?

Probably a number. But remember the reasoning why he didn't want to do it, even though a lot of Bridge 4 was telling him to? He doesn't trust lighteyes, and with his history, that's not completely unjustified. Personally, while frustrating to watch, I find it makes sense for him to act that way, so it's not a flaw with the narrative pushing him in a certain direction just to create conflict. So overall, it's not annoying. 

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I love Kaladin so much. I feel really protective of him, and it kills me how much of his behaviour is a huge defense mechanism. I identify with him a lot, so while there are some times I can recognize something as unhealthy or unhelpful, I've never been mad or annoyed at him. He's grown and healed a lot, and still trucking, so I don't feel like like's much else to add. Me as a spectator talking to my book never had any more wisdom than he or Syl already knew, so I've been very happy with his character and arc. I'm very proud of him, and I wish for his every happiness going forward. 

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2 hours ago, Spoolofwhool said:

Probably a number. But remember the reasoning why he didn't want to do it, even though a lot of Bridge 4 was telling him to? He doesn't trust lighteyes, and with his history, that's not completely unjustified. Personally, while frustrating to watch, I find it makes sense for him to act that way, so it's not a flaw with the narrative pushing him in a certain direction just to create conflict. So overall, it's not annoying. 

Absolutely it makes sense for his character.  I don't think anyone has said it doesn't.  Just that sometimes it gets frustrating or annoying.

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We could probably solve even more problems on Roshar if we just, you know, replace Kaladin as a character entirely with someone else. Perhaps a person who gets everything right the first time, maybe someone that fate and fortune always smiles down on. Someone who just seems to have everything work out for them regardless of what bad things might be thrown their way. Someone who just doesn't seem to get down about what few failures (if any) they may make. It would require every ounce of an author's immense skill to create such a well nuanced character. Also, I'm sure you needn't worry about feeling like slapping this character at all, he'd probably be too pretty for that.

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So is this topic going to serve a purpose beyond dumping on the OPs feelings? 

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A lot of the problems that the characters encountered in this book could have been avoided if Odium was just a chill dude. 

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Is it my imagination or has the 17th Shard become meaner in recent months? It used to be one of the nicest places in the web.

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Well, after one of the ideals in the end of book 2, Kaladin answers the question with "Yes, NOW I'm a radiant". So, before that it would probably be a lie.

 

P.S. Hi everyone! Have a good day.

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@Blazenella, I'm with you on Kaladin during Words of Radiance. As a WoT vet, I'm allergic to plotlines where the inciting factor is allies not sharing information. (Although as a WoT vet, having one of those resolved in the same book as its introduction is quite refreshing!) It doesn't bother me as much on rereads, because I know it'll end soon, but the first time through I was headdesking all the time.

I do think you're underestimating the difficulty of pacifying Kholinar by revealing everybody, but it would have been an interesting read.

Edited by digitalbusker
Manualcorrect
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First of all, Kaladin not telling Dalinar about his radiant powers was perfectly understandable, due to his hatred and mistrust of light eyes. When he gets over that and is about to reveal his radiancy, good old Amaram steps in. Obviously Kaladin won't reveal anything now.

The hearthstone scene was very satisfactory to me.

The issue with Kholinar was that the city was under siege by Voidbringers, and everything seemed messed up. Weird spren, weird cult, suspicion about the queens loyalty, all of this encouraged their discretion.

Btw I'll bet that the instant the people rallied behind Kaladin And the others (if it happened), the voidbringers would take the offensive.

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