ZenBossanova

[OB] Kaladin & Jasnah: the case for Political Marriage

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I have to say though, purely for the sake of messing with people, I almost want to start shipping a different potential political pairing.

 

Spoiler

Kaladin and Venli.  Kaladin has the most positive experience of any human on team Honor with the parsh peoples.  A bridge must be made to close the gap between the two peoples and allow for peace to be an option.  Both have experienced disillusionment with their respective people's leadership.  Both have lost a sibling to war, and both feel at fault for that loss.  Both are Radiant.

 

But that's mostly me just trying to cause some light-hearted mischief.

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Stark,

I like this train of thought very much. This is the type of mischief I would very much like to be a part of!

Question before I proceed down the rabbit hole with you... is it necessary to hide the contents of theoretical storylines? I’m new to these boards and trying to figure out what constitutes a SPOILER and what doesn’t. Also haven’t quite figured out how to do the hidden text thing via mobile device. Is it the eyeball button that does it?

Spoiler

It is the eyeball button that does it... now I know GI Joe!

 

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@ThrillSeeker First things first, given what the thrill means on Roshar, I am unsure if I should be creeped out by your name or not.  Either way, I like it.  Second, for spoilers there are a few articles on the spoiler policy to reference.  But for the most part, if you are on a spoilers apply only to books that are less than a year old, and should be confined to the boards for those works.  Outside that, if the book is over a year old, spoilers are fair game.  That said, often times spoilers for say Mistborn will be put in spoiler tags in a thread for any other book, out of respect for the chance that others in the thread may not have read outside the currently discussed theories.  And listed with a warning that the tag contains spoilers for a given series.  

As for mischief, no not really.  A lot of people will spoiler some really long posts, just to save space.  For stuff like this, I'm not required to put it in spoilers, but I chose to because it is kind of off topic, and I don't want to distract or derail people who are here to talk exclusively about potential Jasnadin.  Or at least, I don't want to derail them more than would be tasteful in light-hearted mischief.  If it ends up popular enough to keep discussing, we can always open a new topic to discuss.  @Chaos would be best suited to give you the best guidelines for when you must use spoilers versus when it may just be a nice thing to do.  He may also be best suited for giving advice on math.

But as far as I know, my random though is not spoiler-tag-necessary.  But, it does not quite fit the seriousness of the current discussion, so I used it to not bug people who are not interested in my irreverence when it comes to shipping discussions

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@Stark, I’m going to take your reticence to embrace my handle as an extreme compliment!  Thank you for explaining that you hid the post to preserve the integrity of the thread. I had read the spoiler policy, and couldn’t think of why we were protecting theoretical spoilers!  Makes sense now. 

Spoiler

Should we not continue on with a discussion of a possible Venladin coupling? Maybe start a thread that encompasses any intriguing relationship combinations... like my previously mentioned Kalzure, or maybe a Pattersyl relationship? :wub:

 

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If you'd like to create a thread about Venli x Kaladin (and possibly support it with textual evidence / bits of text that might foreshadow them together or make it appear that they would hit it off), I'd love to read that. But please don't hijack this thread for that purpose. xD

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Oh, I got it!  The second perfect hook to force Jasnah+Kaladin to spend time together and become buddies (besides him giving her pointers on leadership): they're both going to feel responsible for Gavinor.

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18 hours ago, Subvisual Haze said:

Oh, I got it!  The second perfect hook to force Jasnah+Kaladin to spend time together and become buddies (besides him giving her pointers on leadership): they're both going to feel responsible for Gavinor.

Oh that is so totally going to come into play next book, Kaladin will return with Gavinor and Jasnah will immediately be like "THAT'S MINE NOW" 

Unless that's Navani. I feel like she's the mother hen. Or *gasp* Shallan. 

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I'd give good odds on it being Navani. That's what grandparents are for, and Jasnah's going to be busy.

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If you're going to have a political marriage of Radiants, why not Jasnah and Szeth?  They're much closer in age.

Plus, wow some interesting dynamics about choices, ethics, laws, necessities, power, etc.

(Admittedly he did murder her father, so I mean yikes.  But then again, DRAMA).

Edit: Don't really know much about Szeth's background.....but I wouldn't be surprised if he was fairly powerful/respected in Shinovar, at least before the whole Truthless debacle. 

Edited by Zellyia
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I feel like Szeth is who people are thinking about when they say that Kaladin is asexual or not really focused on relationships. Because that is Szeth to a T, the man was driven insane by his own creed and he's now like a walking sword basically, who's just trying to follow that code of his because it's the only thing he has.

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Actually, it is almost too bad that Rock is already married happily with kids.  He is definitely more important in the Horneater culture than he lets on, or wants to admit.  And he killed Amaram, Jasnah's nemesis.  And he is Radiant.

 

If you want a political marriage, there you have it.  Jasnah and Rock.  Guaranteed she'd be able to pronounce his name properly, and participate in the slam poetry style insults his people use based on the recipients name.  

 

Except, you know, he's married.  Happily.  With kids.  So not happening.

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Now I want to read a scene where Jasnah meets Rock. xD

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On 3/14/2018 at 6:02 PM, Subvisual Haze said:

"He must pick it up, the fallen title! The tower, the crown, and the spear!" -Death rattle. 

Hm, Tower and Crown is the Kholin glyph, Kaladin is the spear.  I could definitely buy this as hinting Kaladin marrying into the Kholin family and becoming High King.

I could almost interpret the spears on the chapter header image as being prongs on a symbolic crown.

Greetings - I've read a lot of your posts in threads on this topic and similar and they've made a lot of sense. I am curious on your more detailed thoughts on your post above - how would you imagine something like this coming about as far as Kaladin potentially becoming the high king? Do you imagine this happening in a situation where Jasnah would be dead and Kaladin would assume leadership for the good of the people, or do you see Jasnah stepping back and asking Kaladin to lead because it's a strength, or the two of them getting married and sort of co-leading, etc.?

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WARNING! INCOMING ALDERANT WALLPOST!

I've made it no secret that I'm totally into the idea of Jasnah and Kaladin. I have been casually since Way of Kings, and Oathbringer only cemented the idea in my head as not only viable, but an excellent opportunity for growth on both characters' parts. Before I get into why, I'm putting a segment in here as to what I look at when I make these kinds of judgments.

On analysis:

Spoiler

I put as my "title" on the Shard that I'm a character theorist and analyst. My theories and ideas go far beyond simple "oath compatibility" or whether or not a character or characters are currently compatible. What I look at are four basic ideas for characters (you can call these "Alderant's 4 tenets of character development" I guess):

1) Who is the character as they have been presented in the text? What are their ideals? What are their goals? What are their desires? What are their problems and vices?

2) Where is the character now? Are they a fully actualized character, or are they a character on a path of development? What extremes or slants do they embody?

3) How has the character developed thus far? Where have they come from, where can they go? (Where did they come from, Cotton-Eyed Joe?) What archetypes might they symbolize? How can their flaws become strengths, and vice versa?

4) How do existing world and sociopolitical influences affect this character? Does this character buck against those influences or go along with them?

These four ideas shape much of the analysis on characters that I have. Spoilers for Mistborn 1 in the example below:
 

Spoiler

 

Kelsier, from Mistborn 1, for example, is presented as a bit of a madman and a rebel. His goals and desires revolve around freeing the skaa and bringing down the nobility and the Final Empire, and he's borderline sociopathic (Ideas 1 & 4). At the beginning of the story, Kelsier is a fully actualized character--his trauma, losing his wife, his snapping, his subsequent training--almost all of his development occurs before we ever meet him on screen, and over the course of Mistborn 1, he develops very little (idea 2) and as such, he fits the "Mentor" or "Hero" archetypes--characters that usually serve as mentoring roles to the main character and whose removal jump-start the main character's development in critical ways. the only place left for him to go is to either A) go down the path of darkness, or B ), learn to moderate his darker impulses (idea 3).

Contrasting Kelsier with Vin, therefore, becomes an interesting idea, since in taking Mistborn 1 alone, we can see that Vin is presented as  a smart and cunning, yet vulnerable young woman with a long history of abuse. She doesn't really have any goals or ideals beyond simple survival, and she has a severe problem with trusting others. She isn't fully developed at the start--you know, as soon as she comes on screen, that Vin is the MC, the heroine of the story. When Kelsier takes Vin under his wing, she goes on a long development process of learning to trust and to believe that some people aren't going to hurt her just because she exists. She is the stereotypical "chosen one" archetype, the insignificant nobody who becomes one of the most important people in the world by the end of the novel. And her growth is made even more manifest through her interactions with Elend.

 

I'll happily go into these points more at request. This is a very quick, rough overhead of how I look at characters.

Moving on now to Kaladin and Jasnah. First, I'll look at each character individually, then move on to how they could work and grow together.

Kaladin:

Spoiler

 

Let's start with Kaladin. Kaladin is a soldier, but also a surgeon. He is a man who cares deeply about those around him, a man who--sometimes mistakenly--believes that everyone's lives are his responsibility, and a man who takes loss and failure extremely hard. Some of this is due to his SAD, which affects his ability to look past those failures and forces him to believe that it's his fault that those failures and losses happen, that if only he were better, if only he were faster, stronger, more driven, he could have done something. Kaladin has a strong moral compass. He embodies the ideals of the protector, and his natural charisma and love of those he protects make him a natural leader.

As of OB's conclusion, Kaladin is well on his developmental path--he's largely gotten over his hatred of lighteyes, but he's still hung up on the idea that he has to protect everyone. Nowhere is this more blatant than in his failure to save Elhokar--possibly the worst thing to happen to him since becoming a slave. But it's not just Elhokar we have to look at here--much of his early arc in OB was in showcasing how when Kaladin found people in need, he felt compelled to help them. It demonstrates this with the Singers, the Kholinar wall guard, and through memories of his time as a slave. Even the short scene with Tarah seems to confirm this idea that Kaladin can't stop helping people, that he couldn't leave the army to go with her because of the idea that there might be another Tien out there.

The problem with this, is that when two groups of people he loves and wants to protect begin fighting and killing each other, Kaladin is too morally and psychologically locked to do anything. He can't bring himself to hurt those he loves to protect those he loves and to whom he holds his duty, and so shocking and appalling was this to him that when Moash came on scene, Kaladin was too shell-shocked to react quickly enough, and he was forced to watch Elhokar--a man he'd sworn to protect--die before his eyes. It's not a stretch to imagine that Elhokar's death brought back memories of all his other failures--Tien most especially--and this all gave Kaladin a severe knock to not only his confidence, but to his ability to act, and he was forced to be practically dragged away by Adolin.

I've always said I was glad Shallan didn't choose Kaladin at the end of OB. This is because at the end of OB, Kaladin is so beaten down, so discouraged (and not to mention poor Shallan's state), that their relationship would have been doomed to failure. Nowhere is this more obvious than in his final declaration that "her choice is made":

Quote

Some people could celebrate despite the scars. Kaladin accepted that. He merely wished he knew how they did it.

"Kaladin?" Syl said. She wove around him as a ribbon of light. "Don't feel bad. The Words have to come in their own time. You'll be all right."

"I always am." N1

He squinted down at Shallan and Adolin, and found that he couldn't be bitter. He didn't feel resignation either. Instead he felt...agreement? N2

So the question is, where does Kaladin need to go from here? Almost universally, the answer is that Kaladin needs to learn that sometimes he has to hurt those he cares about in order to protect the people he needs to. Which brings me to the other character in this equation...

Jasnah:

Spoiler

Jasnah is a powerhouse of a woman. One of the premiere scholars of her day, she is the figure all eyes are drawn to upon entering the room, capable of facing off against every adversary with her quick wit and vast knowledge and experience. She is smart, capable, confident, but she's also callous and indifferent. She has no compunctions about murdering four men for a moral lesson, assassinating her brother's wife for the sake of her brother's rule, or manipulating those around her if it will better her family. Her own mother said that Jasnah was born an adult in a child's body. However, we also know from first-hand experience through Shallan, that Jasnah does have a caring side, and has her mother's impulsivity. Jasnah, however, is not presented as a fully actualized character--we know very little about her, and that implies we are going to see her grow over time.

Prior to OB, we knew very little about Jasnah beyond what I just said. OB gave us some small new insights into her: and her sparing of Renarin at the end of OB was a significant change of character given what we know, since I, at least, fully expected her to kill Renarin despite her love for the boy. I'm glad she didn't. It gives us a better glimpse into the woman beneath the scholar.

We know from the given text that Jasnah is reserved. A quick curve of the lips--not really a smile, more an acknowledgement of approval--is a huge revelation. Jasnah is quick to temper, especially with those she considers foolish or arrogant, and has very little tolerance for either. We also know that Jasnah appreciates quick wit and banter, but only when tempered and utilized properly. This is a common theme between her and Shallan--Shallan, who often uses her verbal wit to flay and scathe, is repeatedly reprimanded by Jasnah as shortsighted. Jasnah's wit is surgical, subtle, and precise--attacking only those points that she deems vital to the conversation, rather than the person entirely as Wit does, or demeaning her opponent, as Shallan does.

And finally, another crucial point regarding Jasnah is how she is treated. Jasnah is universally placed on a pedestal. The text is heavy with implication that not only does Jasnah hate the idea of being under an abstract authority (such as religion), but that Jasnah is often treated differently from anyone else around her, both because of her position and because of her personality. Dalinar, Navani, Adolin--all of Jasnah's relatives acknowledge that Jasnah gets what Jasnah wants, you don't oppose Jasnah. Even Teravangian seems in Way of Kings to defer to Jasnah. And when Jasnah isn't being placed on a pedestal for worship or reverence, she's being shunned and reviled. You either admire Jasnah as a goddess, or you revile her as a demon. There seems to be no in between with regards to how she is perceived by others. Until this scene:

Quote

"Our only hope is to defeat their armies so soundly that even if their leaders are constantly reborn, they lack the manpower to overwhelm us."

"Protecting Alethkar," Kaladin said, "doesn't have to mean completely crushing the parshmen and--"

"If you wish, Captain," Jasnah snapped, "I can get you some mink kits to cuddle while the adults plan. None of us want to talk about this, but that does not make it any less inevitable." (Note here, Jasnah is attacking Kaladin's "childish" viewpoint of trying to consider the welfare of the enemy. This will be important in the later discussion.)

"I'd love that," Kaladin responded. "In turn, I'll get you some eels to cuddle. You'll feel right at home." N3

Jasnah, curiously, smiled. "Let me ask this, Captain. Do you think ignoring the movement of Voidbringer troops would be wise?" N4

"Probably not," he admitted.

"And do you think, perhaps, that you could train your squire Windrunners to fly up high and scout for us? If spanreeds are proving unreliable these days, we'll need another method of watching the enemy. I'd happily cuddle skyeels, as you offer, if your team would be willing to spend time imitating them." N5; additionally, see paragraph below.

Kaladin looked to Dalinar, who nodded appreciatively.

"Excellent," Jasnah said.

What is significant about this scene, is that Jasnah has someone confront her on a social level. And rather than getting upset, Jasnah appears to shift and even appreciate the opposition. Almost like she was being intentionally extreme in order to draw the opposition out, and her bluff was called. And with respect to the discussion to follow, what is interesting is that Jasnah and her opponent are coming from opposite extremes in this scene.

Kaladin & Jasnah:

Spoiler

So what makes these two such an excellent pairing? Well, it's a wonderful authorial tool I call growth potential.

There is a phrase that says "Opposites attract." But what seems to be more common to me, is that opposites only attract when there is an avenue for those opposites to attract. More often than not, without an avenue those opposites will repel, and repel, and repel. So the big question here is whether or not there actually is an avenue for that attraction to occur, and for this, I really want to rely on textual evidence, more than speculation.

Most of the arguments against Jasnahdin seem to stem from one of three arguments: That there's too much of an age gap, that they're too morally opposite, and that either A) Jasnah's lack of interest in men means that she is either asexual or lesbian, or B ) that Kaladin shouldn't be paired with anyone in the main cast. I'd like to address each of these points.

1) There's too much of an age gap.

Frankly, this argument is asinine. There are older/younger relationships in the real world all the time, from old men marrying young women, to old women hooking up with young men due to sexual drives, to a couple I met when I was nineteen where the wife had a son her husband's age (there was a 21 year gap between). Looking at the pair in question, not only is Jasnah unnaturally beautiful (Shallan has a point of envy about it in chapter 5 of Way of Kings), but Kaladin is unusually mature for his age. To say it's okay for an older man to be with a younger woman (in discrepancies of sometimes 30 years) but that a younger man with an older woman (in a discrepancy of likely less than 15 years), while at the same time saying that Kaladin and Lift should be paired (a discrepancy of 7-9 years), is absurdly misogynistic and sexist. Stop making this argument.

2) Jasnah's lack of interest in men means that she is either asexual or lesbian

I don't understand this point. Lack of interest does not inherently mean that there is a different preference. It just means that Jasnah hasn't had a reason to be interested. And considering how deeply she throws herself into her work, and how she's often socially isolated from those around her, it's not absurd to believe that she's simply never found a man she could consider to be an equal. Of important note here, is that Jasnah is inherently a feminist--she doesn't believe that a woman should be "beholden" to a man. According to Mirriam-Webster, the word beholden means: " being under obligation for a favor or gift". Naturally, Jasnah wouldn't want to be obligated to obeying a man simply because he deigned to favor her with affection. Such an idea runs counter to the very core of her being. Of additional note is her interactions with Amaram--which demonstrate that very point.

Further, I'd wager (and this is speculation) that Jasnah, with her love of authority and control, wouldn't want a man (or woman) who would try to demean her or place themselves above her. She would want someone who not only did she view as an equal, but most importantly would treat her that way as well.

My point is, there isn't any textual evidence Jasnah is asexual or lesbian. The textual evidence, is that she hasn't had a reason to express any interest. Jasnah can still be a strong, independent woman and potentially love a man--one does not have to detract from the other, but I agree wholeheartedly that a man who did that would be an extreme disservice to the character.

3) Kaladin shouldn't be paired with anyone in the main cast

I've seen this one over and over, and it makes no sense. Why? Because he has depression? Because he's broody? Because he's the MC? Because the MC having a love interest that's also an MC is tropy and overdone? These are all terrible arguments. Kaladin is a main character--and he's honestly the character of the lot who really needs someone the most, someone who is dynamic and can help him progress in ways only a main character can. But honestly, this oppositional point is largely subjective, so I'm not going to cover it very deeply.

Now that those points are out of the way, I want to get into the point that the astute reader will notice I skipped: that Kaladin and Jasnah are moral opposites.

Why moral opposition is a breeding ground for development (pun intended)

Kaladin is stuck in a rut. Jasnah is a somewhat amoral figure in a position of power. Left unchecked, these two have the potential to run themselves into the ground. There is a saying I would warn any fans of Jasnah to consider: "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." There is also a quote I'd warn Kaladin fans to consider: "I deserve what I've been given. My unhappiness is my fault."

The benefits of these two in a relationship begin here. Kaladin and Jasnah's moral opposition means that they each pull against the other's morality. Jasnah's callousness gives her the perfect grounds for teaching Kaladin a lesson he's needed to learn since childhood--that losses happen, and that sometimes you have to hurt in order to do what needs to be done. Sometimes you need to set the bone, cauterize the wound, so that healing can occur. Jasnah, with her knowledge of philosophy and abstract morality, could teach Kaladin that not everything is his fault.

Kaladin, on the other hand, with his strong moral compass, is the perfect person to rein Jasnah in. Jasnah, left unchecked, could commit genocide in the pursuit of what is good for her and hers. Kaladin would be the voice of reason, the voice that says, "let's find another way. We don't have to do this."

Social implications

Kaladin is no longer really considered a darkeyes by the public. Jasnah is a queen in a society where leadership is a male thing. All consideration that these two can't work together because of social politics completely ignores the societal revolution that occurred at the end of OB. Jasnah is in a unique position to make an Alethkar that isn't subject to Vorinism's gender laws, to bring to light the very causes she's been championing her entire life. Kaladin, on the other hand, is duty-bound to "Protect the King of Alethkar," which according to the WoB, is what the Alethi consider Jasnah: the "King" of Alethkar.

This is an easy one to see. Kaladin will likely be avoiding Adolin and Shallan for some time--his absence at their wedding is of unique note. What does Kaladin do when he wants to avoid something? He throws himself into his duties. Despite their opposition in the planning council, we know Kaladin takes his job very seriously, and he's not going to make the same mistake with Jasnah he made with Elhokar. He's going to make sure she's guarded. That means they'll probably spend a lot of time together, and though they do oppose each other, I imagine they're both capable of seeing the good in each other as well.

Further, I think the previous analysis on Jasnah's leadership and Kaladin becoming "High King" is misguided. If they end up together, make no mistake--Jasnah will be the ruler. At best, Kaladin will be her equal. More likely, Kaladin will be her general, overseeing the machinations of the kingdom's armies and her safety, rather than ruling in her stead. Kaladin will not be "High King", Jasnah will be "High Queen." And Kaladin, I think, won't have an issue with this. Kaladin takes people on their merits, not on their gender or preference. He will be the tempering voice, the voice of caution and reason, while she will be the determining factor.

But...but the conflicts!

Yes. There will be conflict between them. Jasnah will make calls Kaladin doesn't agree with, and Kaladin will do things for her safety that Jasnah finds demeaning or belittling. A good bodyguard cares about their charge's protection first, reputation and opinion second. Conversely, a good ruler does what must be done, even if it means sending friends to their deaths in battle. But the important thing to note here is that those things do not have to be mutually exclusive. They aren't disproving points, but areas where growth can occur. Kaladin and Jasnah stand only to gain from their conflicts.

But what about Gavinor?

What about him, really? He's a child. At best, they'll bond over mutual care about him, at worst, he'll be relegated to the background until the back five if he comes to the fore at all. Gavinor was Kaladin's way of making amends to the Kholins for letting Elhokar die. It's a mark in favor, but I really don't think Gavinor is really an important part of the discussion beyond the social implications. Jasnah won't be adopting him, of that I'm fairly certain.

The juicy bits

Those who don't want to consider the idea of Shalladin, do not read further, since this will be a strongly slanted bit.

Spoiler

Assuming that Shallan (perhaps through Veil) still has feelings for Kaladin, a Jasnahdin romance also opens up the idea for further development for Shallan as well. I don't see her relationship with Adolin succeeding, or lasting. Not unless she suddenly stops using him as a crutch. Jasnah is the one woman in all Roshar that Shallan truly envies. To have the man she passed up but still wants suddenly snatched by Jasnah would be a blow to her. It would certainly give the Veil side some reasons for sabotaging "Shallan's" efforts regarding her marriage. This isn't the point of the discussion, though, so I'll leave it there.

 

And that's my 2 cents regarding this. Hope you enjoyed the post!

Footnotes:

N1.) Note: This is a callback to his earlier assertion in Way of Kings that no matter what happened to those around him, he always survived--a fact that made him severely depressed and melancholic.

N2.) Again, this is a callback to Words of Radiance, when Kaladin said that Shallan and Adolin "fit." And both of these declarations are accompanying a time when Kaladin is at a low. First after the chasms, when Kaladin thought he'd killed Syl, then here, when Kaladin is beaten down by repeated failures--including his failure to save Amaram from himself, and Elhokar in Kholinar.

N3.) Kaladin is subtly calling her out. An "eel" is someone who fights dirty, like Sadeas.

N4.) Note the retraction and change of language here. This isn't "Oh, I'm going to rip this guy apart," this is "Oh, okay. This guy isn't going to simply roll over when I get stern." As most people she interacts with do.

N5.) Jasnah does not ask. Jasnah demands, and others obey. In this paragraph, she asks Kaladin if he could train his squires. And sidenote for the shipper within: Jasnah compares the Windrunners to skyeels, and says she'd happily cuddle a skyeel. The fact that this comes immediately after Kaladin's confrontation and opposition, which should have upset her and made for a hostile encounter, could be significant.

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@Razrback16 As an FYI, you should avoid necro'ing threads that have been dead this long, especially since there are a few more recent threads on this same topic.

But since we're here...

 

I do not believe that a political marriage between Jasnah and Kaladin makes much sense, and considering Jasnah's position on marriage for herself and for others, I believe a political marriage is just about the only kind of marriage she'd engage in, and with major reservations at that.

Kaladin is already effectively part of House Kholin. As a Shardbearer, he's a lighteyes of the fourth nahn already. Practically, he's probably the most important non-highprince highlord in all of Alethkar, especially now that Amaram is dead. He has Kholin lands, and he's been in just about every Kholin strategy meeting since he got made Captain of Dalinar's Guard in Words of Radiance. And on a personal level, Dalinar gave him the house cloak at the end of WoK and told Kaladin that anyone who had that cloak was "part of [his] family, in a way." (I have not read WoK Prime, but I understand that in that Dalinar actually formally made Kaladin family.) Certainly after having sworn his Third Ideal, his loyalty to Dalinar personally is pretty beyond question. I don't see what, exactly, would be gained by the Kholin family/dynasty politically if Jasnah were to marry Kaladin. You couldn't tie Kaladin more tightly to the Kholins than he already is.

However, Kaladin is effectively part of House Kholin. As a Shardbearer, he's a lighteyes of the fourth nahn with immense influence within House Kholin. And as a Knight Radiant, he is probably the most important highlord in all Alethkhar. And (unlike Teft, who at least on paper shares many of these qualities) he's young and single. If the Kholins wanted the loyalty of a family/nation not already part of Team Dalinar, a marriage to Kaladin Stormblessed is a huge bargaining chip. And I don't think Queen Jasnah is above using one of her liegelords to gain political advantage, especially when the fate of the world could be on the line.

To speak to @Alderant's perspective on character growth, one of the major areas that Kaladin has been avoiding dealing with is the fact that he is a lighteyes, part of the Alethi nobility. There's a lot that Kaladin needs to learn in order to properly discharge those sorts of duties, and more importantly there's a lot that Kaladin needs to accept. A really good example of this is how Kaladin needed three separate encouragements to find married housing for Bridge Four. Sigzil brought it up in Urithiru, and is apparently was a revisitation of a conversation they'd had in the warcamps. Even then, it wasn't until Rock's family showed up that Kaladin realized he needed to do something about it. This is basic lighteyes type stuff. You have to take care of your people off the battlefield, not just on it, and Kaladin has been pretty happy to ignore any needs that don't really feed into Bridge Four's performance as soldiers.

And arranged marriage is part of the territory when you're nobility. If an arranged marriage between Kaladin and someone foreign noble can assuage the concerns of that foreign family and bring them into the Urithiru fold, thereby maximizing the lives saved of that foreign noble's people, Kaladin should jump in willingly. He doesn't even have to kill anyone! But I think we can all agree how he'd take being informed that he's going to get married to someone he's never met. Certainly not teeth grit and resigned, like Wax. He'd balk, probably refuse up front and have to swear his fourth Ideal half a book later just to get in the right mindset (I'm being a little flippant here, but not that flippant). And I've said it in other threads, but I think this is the most likely thing to happen on the Kaladin front. It would challenge Kaladin in all of the ways that he's been ignoring so far. And from a storytelling perspective (not that this is the most important thing), it allows Brandon to keep Jasnah mysterious and a little removed from the main narrative, which is something that it seems pretty clear that he's trying to do. I don't see Stormlight 4 as being the book where he changes that. I do see him pressuring Kaladin on the relationship front and on the lighteyes front, and political marriage challenges both of those things for him.

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9 minutes ago, Kon-Tiki said:

I don't see what, exactly, would be gained by the Kholin family/dynasty politically if Jasnah were to marry Kaladin. You couldn't tie Kaladin more tightly to the Kholins than he already is.

However, Kaladin is effectively part of House Kholin. As a Shardbearer, he's a lighteyes of the fourth nahn with immense influence within House Kholin. And as a Knight Radiant, he is probably the most important highlord in all Alethkhar. And (unlike Teft, who at least on paper shares many of these qualities) he's young and single. If the Kholins wanted the loyalty of a family/nation not already part of Team Dalinar, a marriage to Kaladin Stormblessed is a huge bargaining chip. And I don't think Queen Jasnah is above using one of her liegelords to gain political advantage, especially when the fate of the world could be on the line.

To speak to @Alderant's perspective on character growth, one of the major areas that Kaladin has been avoiding dealing with is the fact that he is a lighteyes, part of the Alethi nobility. There's a lot that Kaladin needs to learn in order to properly discharge those sorts of duties, and more importantly there's a lot that Kaladin needs to accept. A really good example of this is how Kaladin needed three separate encouragements to find married housing for Bridge Four. Sigzil brought it up in Urithiru, and is apparently was a revisitation of a conversation they'd had in the warcamps. Even then, it wasn't until Rock's family showed up that Kaladin realized he needed to do something about it. This is basic lighteyes type stuff. You have to take care of your people off the battlefield, not just on it, and Kaladin has been pretty happy to ignore any needs that don't really feed into Bridge Four's performance as soldiers.

And arranged marriage is part of the territory when you're nobility. If an arranged marriage between Kaladin and someone foreign noble can assuage the concerns of that foreign family and bring them into the Urithiru fold, thereby maximizing the lives saved of that foreign noble's people, Kaladin should jump in willingly. He doesn't even have to kill anyone! But I think we can all agree how he'd take being informed that he's going to get married to someone he's never met. Certainly not teeth grit and resigned, like Wax. He'd balk, probably refuse up front and have to swear his fourth Ideal half a book later just to get in the right mindset (I'm being a little flippant here, but not that flippant). And I've said it in other threads, but I think this is the most likely thing to happen on the Kaladin front. It would challenge Kaladin in all of the ways that he's been ignoring so far. And from a storytelling perspective (not that this is the most important thing), it allows Brandon to keep Jasnah mysterious and a little removed from the main narrative, which is something that it seems pretty clear that he's trying to do. I don't see Stormlight 4 as being the book where he changes that. I do see him pressuring Kaladin on the relationship front and on the lighteyes front, and political marriage challenges both of those things for him.

I agree with pretty much most of this, with regards to Kaladin. I left out a lot of other information, but Kaladin being lighteyes is an important part of the situation as well.

I don't know that Brandon is trying to keep Jasnah secret as much as he's trying to keep what Jasnah knows secret. He's gradually giving us more information about her and what she knows, which seems to largely pertain to the Knights Radiant and the Desolations. As for Jasnah, it seems that she's coming more to the fore narratively & politically, so we'll get to the see a lot more of and about her in 4 & 5. There are many ways in which a Kaladin / Jasnah relationship could work, while still keeping Jasnah fairly removed--such as most of the "relationship" scenes coming from Kaladin's perspective (a la Shallan and Adolin), and the point I mentioned before on how their social standings could likely work, with him largely taking on her bodyguard detail.

I think part of the problem with a "political marriage" is that it seems to undercut Jasnah's authority, and I don't think that's a necessary feature. That said, I don't think a relationship is as out of the question as has been said elsewhere.

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1 minute ago, Alderant said:

I think part of the problem with a "political marriage" is that it seems to undercut Jasnah's authority, and I don't think that's a necessary feature. That said, I don't think a relationship is as out of the question as has been said elsewhere.

I think some sort of genuine relationship is much more likely than a political marriage between Kaladin and Jasnah, and even then I think its frankly incredibly unlikely. I hate saying that that way because I know a lot of people ship the two and I don't like kicking over people's sandcastles, but I just don't see it.

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2 minutes ago, Kon-Tiki said:

I think some sort of genuine relationship is much more likely than a political marriage between Kaladin and Jasnah, and even then I think its frankly incredibly unlikely. I hate saying that that way because I know a lot of people ship the two and I don't like kicking over people's sandcastles, but I just don't see it.

I think that's fair to say, though the better answer would be why you don't think it's likely. You're not kicking over my sandcastle though, because while I don't know that it's going to happen, I think the seeds of it are there. It largely depends on how Brandon writes the narrative. I believe they were paired in the original (or at least that's what I was told), which is an interesting thing to consider in addition to the wallpost I made.

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Do you mean WoK Prime? I didn't know that. In any case, I don't know that I can point to something specific and say "this is prohibitive to a relationship between Jasnah and Kaladin". Its more of a feel thing to me. Even if they learn to work together (inevitably they'll have to), I don't really see either of them looking at each other and saying to themselves "this is what I want". But, even in real life I've found myself looking at a couple and saying "I have no idea how that worked out but I'm glad they're happy together" and that's probably the closest I could get to buying that relationship.

And, to clarify, I didn't feel like I was kicking over your sandcastle specifically. Some people become passionate about their ships, so I avoid criticism of them. Your post was clearly a lot more than a passionate ship.

At the end of the day, I think you're right, it depends on how Brandon writes it. Brandon could probably sell me Kaladin and a chull and while I might wonder how we got where we are, I'd go with it.

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Just now, Kon-Tiki said:

Some people become passionate about their ships

I think I know what you mean. :D

2 minutes ago, Kon-Tiki said:

Your post was clearly a lot more than a passionate ship.

Thanks! I work hard on my wallposts.

1 minute ago, Kon-Tiki said:

At the end of the day, I think you're right, it depends on how Brandon writes it. Brandon could probably sell me Kaladin and a chull and while I might wonder how we got where we are, I'd go with it.

Truer words have never been spoken.

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Thanks for the long, detailed post Alderant, I certainly enjoyed checking it out with all the detailed references!

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6 hours ago, Alderant said:

WARNING! INCOMING ALDERANT WALLPOST!

I've made it no secret that I'm totally into the idea of Jasnah and Kaladin. I have been casually since Way of Kings, and Oathbringer only cemented the idea in my head as not only viable, but an excellent opportunity for growth on both characters' parts. Before I get into why, I'm putting a segment in here as to what I look at when I make these kinds of judgments.

On analysis:

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I put as my "title" on the Shard that I'm a character theorist and analyst. My theories and ideas go far beyond simple "oath compatibility" or whether or not a character or characters are currently compatible. What I look at are four basic ideas for characters (you can call these "Alderant's 4 tenets of character development" I guess):

1) Who is the character as they have been presented in the text? What are their ideals? What are their goals? What are their desires? What are their problems and vices?

2) Where is the character now? Are they a fully actualized character, or are they a character on a path of development? What extremes or slants do they embody?

3) How has the character developed thus far? Where have they come from, where can they go? (Where did they come from, Cotton-Eyed Joe?) What archetypes might they symbolize? How can their flaws become strengths, and vice versa?

4) How do existing world and sociopolitical influences affect this character? Does this character buck against those influences or go along with them?

These four ideas shape much of the analysis on characters that I have. Spoilers for Mistborn 1 in the example below:
 

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Kelsier, from Mistborn 1, for example, is presented as a bit of a madman and a rebel. His goals and desires revolve around freeing the skaa and bringing down the nobility and the Final Empire, and he's borderline sociopathic (Ideas 1 & 4). At the beginning of the story, Kelsier is a fully actualized character--his trauma, losing his wife, his snapping, his subsequent training--almost all of his development occurs before we ever meet him on screen, and over the course of Mistborn 1, he develops very little (idea 2) and as such, he fits the "Mentor" or "Hero" archetypes--characters that usually serve as mentoring roles to the main character and whose removal jump-start the main character's development in critical ways. the only place left for him to go is to either A) go down the path of darkness, or B ), learn to moderate his darker impulses (idea 3).

Contrasting Kelsier with Vin, therefore, becomes an interesting idea, since in taking Mistborn 1 alone, we can see that Vin is presented as  a smart and cunning, yet vulnerable young woman with a long history of abuse. She doesn't really have any goals or ideals beyond simple survival, and she has a severe problem with trusting others. She isn't fully developed at the start--you know, as soon as she comes on screen, that Vin is the MC, the heroine of the story. When Kelsier takes Vin under his wing, she goes on a long development process of learning to trust and to believe that some people aren't going to hurt her just because she exists. She is the stereotypical "chosen one" archetype, the insignificant nobody who becomes one of the most important people in the world by the end of the novel. And her growth is made even more manifest through her interactions with Elend.

 

I'll happily go into these points more at request. This is a very quick, rough overhead of how I look at characters.

Moving on now to Kaladin and Jasnah. First, I'll look at each character individually, then move on to how they could work and grow together.

Kaladin:

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Let's start with Kaladin. Kaladin is a soldier, but also a surgeon. He is a man who cares deeply about those around him, a man who--sometimes mistakenly--believes that everyone's lives are his responsibility, and a man who takes loss and failure extremely hard. Some of this is due to his SAD, which affects his ability to look past those failures and forces him to believe that it's his fault that those failures and losses happen, that if only he were better, if only he were faster, stronger, more driven, he could have done something. Kaladin has a strong moral compass. He embodies the ideals of the protector, and his natural charisma and love of those he protects make him a natural leader.

As of OB's conclusion, Kaladin is well on his developmental path--he's largely gotten over his hatred of lighteyes, but he's still hung up on the idea that he has to protect everyone. Nowhere is this more blatant than in his failure to save Elhokar--possibly the worst thing to happen to him since becoming a slave. But it's not just Elhokar we have to look at here--much of his early arc in OB was in showcasing how when Kaladin found people in need, he felt compelled to help them. It demonstrates this with the Singers, the Kholinar wall guard, and through memories of his time as a slave. Even the short scene with Tarah seems to confirm this idea that Kaladin can't stop helping people, that he couldn't leave the army to go with her because of the idea that there might be another Tien out there.

The problem with this, is that when two groups of people he loves and wants to protect begin fighting and killing each other, Kaladin is too morally and psychologically locked to do anything. He can't bring himself to hurt those he loves to protect those he loves and to whom he holds his duty, and so shocking and appalling was this to him that when Moash came on scene, Kaladin was too shell-shocked to react quickly enough, and he was forced to watch Elhokar--a man he'd sworn to protect--die before his eyes. It's not a stretch to imagine that Elhokar's death brought back memories of all his other failures--Tien most especially--and this all gave Kaladin a severe knock to not only his confidence, but to his ability to act, and he was forced to be practically dragged away by Adolin.

I've always said I was glad Shallan didn't choose Kaladin at the end of OB. This is because at the end of OB, Kaladin is so beaten down, so discouraged (and not to mention poor Shallan's state), that their relationship would have been doomed to failure. Nowhere is this more obvious than in his final declaration that "her choice is made":

So the question is, where does Kaladin need to go from here? Almost universally, the answer is that Kaladin needs to learn that sometimes he has to hurt those he cares about in order to protect the people he needs to. Which brings me to the other character in this equation...

Jasnah:

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Jasnah is a powerhouse of a woman. One of the premiere scholars of her day, she is the figure all eyes are drawn to upon entering the room, capable of facing off against every adversary with her quick wit and vast knowledge and experience. She is smart, capable, confident, but she's also callous and indifferent. She has no compunctions about murdering four men for a moral lesson, assassinating her brother's wife for the sake of her brother's rule, or manipulating those around her if it will better her family. Her own mother said that Jasnah was born an adult in a child's body. However, we also know from first-hand experience through Shallan, that Jasnah does have a caring side, and has her mother's impulsivity. Jasnah, however, is not presented as a fully actualized character--we know very little about her, and that implies we are going to see her grow over time.

Prior to OB, we knew very little about Jasnah beyond what I just said. OB gave us some small new insights into her: and her sparing of Renarin at the end of OB was a significant change of character given what we know, since I, at least, fully expected her to kill Renarin despite her love for the boy. I'm glad she didn't. It gives us a better glimpse into the woman beneath the scholar.

We know from the given text that Jasnah is reserved. A quick curve of the lips--not really a smile, more an acknowledgement of approval--is a huge revelation. Jasnah is quick to temper, especially with those she considers foolish or arrogant, and has very little tolerance for either. We also know that Jasnah appreciates quick wit and banter, but only when tempered and utilized properly. This is a common theme between her and Shallan--Shallan, who often uses her verbal wit to flay and scathe, is repeatedly reprimanded by Jasnah as shortsighted. Jasnah's wit is surgical, subtle, and precise--attacking only those points that she deems vital to the conversation, rather than the person entirely as Wit does, or demeaning her opponent, as Shallan does.

And finally, another crucial point regarding Jasnah is how she is treated. Jasnah is universally placed on a pedestal. The text is heavy with implication that not only does Jasnah hate the idea of being under an abstract authority (such as religion), but that Jasnah is often treated differently from anyone else around her, both because of her position and because of her personality. Dalinar, Navani, Adolin--all of Jasnah's relatives acknowledge that Jasnah gets what Jasnah wants, you don't oppose Jasnah. Even Teravangian seems in Way of Kings to defer to Jasnah. And when Jasnah isn't being placed on a pedestal for worship or reverence, she's being shunned and reviled. You either admire Jasnah as a goddess, or you revile her as a demon. There seems to be no in between with regards to how she is perceived by others. Until this scene:

What is significant about this scene, is that Jasnah has someone confront her on a social level. And rather than getting upset, Jasnah appears to shift and even appreciate the opposition. Almost like she was being intentionally extreme in order to draw the opposition out, and her bluff was called. And with respect to the discussion to follow, what is interesting is that Jasnah and her opponent are coming from opposite extremes in this scene.

Kaladin & Jasnah:

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So what makes these two such an excellent pairing? Well, it's a wonderful authorial tool I call growth potential.

There is a phrase that says "Opposites attract." But what seems to be more common to me, is that opposites only attract when there is an avenue for those opposites to attract. More often than not, without an avenue those opposites will repel, and repel, and repel. So the big question here is whether or not there actually is an avenue for that attraction to occur, and for this, I really want to rely on textual evidence, more than speculation.

Most of the arguments against Jasnahdin seem to stem from one of three arguments: That there's too much of an age gap, that they're too morally opposite, and that either A) Jasnah's lack of interest in men means that she is either asexual or lesbian, or B ) that Kaladin shouldn't be paired with anyone in the main cast. I'd like to address each of these points.

1) There's too much of an age gap.

Frankly, this argument is asinine. There are older/younger relationships in the real world all the time, from old men marrying young women, to old women hooking up with young men due to sexual drives, to a couple I met when I was nineteen where the wife had a son her husband's age (there was a 21 year gap between). Looking at the pair in question, not only is Jasnah unnaturally beautiful (Shallan has a point of envy about it in chapter 5 of Way of Kings), but Kaladin is unusually mature for his age. To say it's okay for an older man to be with a younger woman (in discrepancies of sometimes 30 years) but that a younger man with an older woman (in a discrepancy of likely less than 15 years), while at the same time saying that Kaladin and Lift should be paired (a discrepancy of 7-9 years), is absurdly misogynistic and sexist. Stop making this argument.

2) Jasnah's lack of interest in men means that she is either asexual or lesbian

I don't understand this point. Lack of interest does not inherently mean that there is a different preference. It just means that Jasnah hasn't had a reason to be interested. And considering how deeply she throws herself into her work, and how she's often socially isolated from those around her, it's not absurd to believe that she's simply never found a man she could consider to be an equal. Of important note here, is that Jasnah is inherently a feminist--she doesn't believe that a woman should be "beholden" to a man. According to Mirriam-Webster, the word beholden means: " being under obligation for a favor or gift". Naturally, Jasnah wouldn't want to be obligated to obeying a man simply because he deigned to favor her with affection. Such an idea runs counter to the very core of her being. Of additional note is her interactions with Amaram--which demonstrate that very point.

Further, I'd wager (and this is speculation) that Jasnah, with her love of authority and control, wouldn't want a man (or woman) who would try to demean her or place themselves above her. She would want someone who not only did she view as an equal, but most importantly would treat her that way as well.

My point is, there isn't any textual evidence Jasnah is asexual or lesbian. The textual evidence, is that she hasn't had a reason to express any interest. Jasnah can still be a strong, independent woman and potentially love a man--one does not have to detract from the other, but I agree wholeheartedly that a man who did that would be an extreme disservice to the character.

3) Kaladin shouldn't be paired with anyone in the main cast

I've seen this one over and over, and it makes no sense. Why? Because he has depression? Because he's broody? Because he's the MC? Because the MC having a love interest that's also an MC is tropy and overdone? These are all terrible arguments. Kaladin is a main character--and he's honestly the character of the lot who really needs someone the most, someone who is dynamic and can help him progress in ways only a main character can. But honestly, this oppositional point is largely subjective, so I'm not going to cover it very deeply.

Now that those points are out of the way, I want to get into the point that the astute reader will notice I skipped: that Kaladin and Jasnah are moral opposites.

Why moral opposition is a breeding ground for development (pun intended)

Kaladin is stuck in a rut. Jasnah is a somewhat amoral figure in a position of power. Left unchecked, these two have the potential to run themselves into the ground. There is a saying I would warn any fans of Jasnah to consider: "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." There is also a quote I'd warn Kaladin fans to consider: "I deserve what I've been given. My unhappiness is my fault."

The benefits of these two in a relationship begin here. Kaladin and Jasnah's moral opposition means that they each pull against the other's morality. Jasnah's callousness gives her the perfect grounds for teaching Kaladin a lesson he's needed to learn since childhood--that losses happen, and that sometimes you have to hurt in order to do what needs to be done. Sometimes you need to set the bone, cauterize the wound, so that healing can occur. Jasnah, with her knowledge of philosophy and abstract morality, could teach Kaladin that not everything is his fault.

Kaladin, on the other hand, with his strong moral compass, is the perfect person to rein Jasnah in. Jasnah, left unchecked, could commit genocide in the pursuit of what is good for her and hers. Kaladin would be the voice of reason, the voice that says, "let's find another way. We don't have to do this."

Social implications

Kaladin is no longer really considered a darkeyes by the public. Jasnah is a queen in a society where leadership is a male thing. All consideration that these two can't work together because of social politics completely ignores the societal revolution that occurred at the end of OB. Jasnah is in a unique position to make an Alethkar that isn't subject to Vorinism's gender laws, to bring to light the very causes she's been championing her entire life. Kaladin, on the other hand, is duty-bound to "Protect the King of Alethkar," which according to the WoB, is what the Alethi consider Jasnah: the "King" of Alethkar.

This is an easy one to see. Kaladin will likely be avoiding Adolin and Shallan for some time--his absence at their wedding is of unique note. What does Kaladin do when he wants to avoid something? He throws himself into his duties. Despite their opposition in the planning council, we know Kaladin takes his job very seriously, and he's not going to make the same mistake with Jasnah he made with Elhokar. He's going to make sure she's guarded. That means they'll probably spend a lot of time together, and though they do oppose each other, I imagine they're both capable of seeing the good in each other as well.

Further, I think the previous analysis on Jasnah's leadership and Kaladin becoming "High King" is misguided. If they end up together, make no mistake--Jasnah will be the ruler. At best, Kaladin will be her equal. More likely, Kaladin will be her general, overseeing the machinations of the kingdom's armies and her safety, rather than ruling in her stead. Kaladin will not be "High King", Jasnah will be "High Queen." And Kaladin, I think, won't have an issue with this. Kaladin takes people on their merits, not on their gender or preference. He will be the tempering voice, the voice of caution and reason, while she will be the determining factor.

But...but the conflicts!

Yes. There will be conflict between them. Jasnah will make calls Kaladin doesn't agree with, and Kaladin will do things for her safety that Jasnah finds demeaning or belittling. A good bodyguard cares about their charge's protection first, reputation and opinion second. Conversely, a good ruler does what must be done, even if it means sending friends to their deaths in battle. But the important thing to note here is that those things do not have to be mutually exclusive. They aren't disproving points, but areas where growth can occur. Kaladin and Jasnah stand only to gain from their conflicts.

But what about Gavinor?

What about him, really? He's a child. At best, they'll bond over mutual care about him, at worst, he'll be relegated to the background until the back five if he comes to the fore at all. Gavinor was Kaladin's way of making amends to the Kholins for letting Elhokar die. It's a mark in favor, but I really don't think Gavinor is really an important part of the discussion beyond the social implications. Jasnah won't be adopting him, of that I'm fairly certain.

The juicy bits

Those who don't want to consider the idea of Shalladin, do not read further, since this will be a strongly slanted bit.

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Assuming that Shallan (perhaps through Veil) still has feelings for Kaladin, a Jasnahdin romance also opens up the idea for further development for Shallan as well. I don't see her relationship with Adolin succeeding, or lasting. Not unless she suddenly stops using him as a crutch. Jasnah is the one woman in all Roshar that Shallan truly envies. To have the man she passed up but still wants suddenly snatched by Jasnah would be a blow to her. It would certainly give the Veil side some reasons for sabotaging "Shallan's" efforts regarding her marriage. This isn't the point of the discussion, though, so I'll leave it there.

 

And that's my 2 cents regarding this. Hope you enjoyed the post!

Footnotes:

N1.) Note: This is a callback to his earlier assertion in Way of Kings that no matter what happened to those around him, he always survived--a fact that made him severely depressed and melancholic.

N2.) Again, this is a callback to Words of Radiance, when Kaladin said that Shallan and Adolin "fit." And both of these declarations are accompanying a time when Kaladin is at a low. First after the chasms, when Kaladin thought he'd killed Syl, then here, when Kaladin is beaten down by repeated failures--including his failure to save Amaram from himself, and Elhokar in Kholinar.

N3.) Kaladin is subtly calling her out. An "eel" is someone who fights dirty, like Sadeas.

N4.) Note the retraction and change of language here. This isn't "Oh, I'm going to rip this guy apart," this is "Oh, okay. This guy isn't going to simply roll over when I get stern." As most people she interacts with do.

N5.) Jasnah does not ask. Jasnah demands, and others obey. In this paragraph, she asks Kaladin if he could train his squires. And sidenote for the shipper within: Jasnah compares the Windrunners to skyeels, and says she'd happily cuddle a skyeel. The fact that this comes immediately after Kaladin's confrontation and opposition, which should have upset her and made for a hostile encounter, could be significant.

So I come into this feeling a relationship between Kaladin and Jasnah is not necessary on numerous levels (political, emotional, and intellectual). You feel it would, I feel differently. We can totally respect each others views on that. However, further than that, I greatly disagree with your reading on Jasnah’s character on whole which is ultimately used to support your opinion that they would benefit from a relationship. This is the biggest point I disagree with

"She is smart, capable, confident, but she's also callous and indifferent. She has no compunctions about murdering four men for a moral lesson, assassinating her brother's wife for the sake of her brother's rule, or manipulating those around her if it will better her family."

As we see in numerous occasions across Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and Oathbringer, Jasnah is not callous and indifferent. She was not callous and indifferent the night her father died. She was not callous and indifferent when she read Way of Kings to Dalinar. She was not callous and indifferent when speaking with Dalinar via spanreed (in fact she was fondly protective of her beloved Uncle). She was not callous and indifferent when she killed the four men (more on that later). She was not callous and indifferent when Shallan nearly died in her arms from Kabsal’s poison. She was not callous and indifferent when she was stressed to the point of breaking on the ship sailing to the shattered plains trying to stop the desolation from happening. She was not callous and indifferent when she was reunited with Navani (though we see that off screen, Dalinar comments on how loving it was). She was not callous and indifferent regarding Shallan, her education, and how best to handle their relationship going forward. And finally she was most certainly not callous and indifferent when concerning Renarin.

Now I said I would go more into how Jasnah was not callous and indifferent regarding the four men she killed in the alley. I argue it was not solely to prove a moral lesson, but in deference and respect to Taravangian. She commented on how that location has been a repeated problem. She also mentions on how Taravangian has repeatedly tried to get the guards to patrol it, and investigate the crimes. It is also shown that the guards are being bribed to look the other way  so the problem has not been resolved. This problem effects the city she is residing in, at the pleasure of a man (Taravangian) she respects, who loves the city he rules over. She states it herself, she feels she has taken his generosity for granted and it is time she repay it. Feel free to disagree with the logic, but again that is most certainly not callous and not indifferent.

The thing to keep in mind (at least in my opinion) is 90 percent of the impressions you are basing your character reading on, is how other characters in the narrative view her. The few times we get to “peak behind the curtain”, we see the reality is very very different. Jasnah cares. She deeply loves her family, by her own words when she has memories of the dark room with screams. I have heard so many people, in my opinion, mis-interpret the scene between Jasnah and Kaladin that I am tempted to keep a word doc, just so I can copy paste my response to every point, so I do not have to type it out all over again. Jasnah did not call for genocide. She said that in the face of such a horrible option (considering the fused can possess the parshendi and parshmen, so it does not matter how well you get along with them, they can turn into a investiture powered enemy at any time), that talking to the heralds, and even killing them (fully knowing they are immortal, and can return to life at anytime) on the chance it could buy them some time to find a real solution, is worth it. If the building is on fire, and we are on the 10th floor, and I say we have to push through the stairs to escape. You turn around and say I am insane, we will die of smoke inhalation, and I retort “well unless you want to jump out the window, we need to go through the stairs” does not mean I am saying committing suicide by jumping out the window is the only option. It does not mean I am advocating it. And finally it does not mean I consider it a valid option. It means I am using a term called juxtaposition. It means I am showing two things side by side to show contrasting effect.

I also personally do not feel from what we have seen of Jasnah, that that means she is amoral and needs Kaladin to “teach” her how to be moral. Jasnah is plenty moral. She is as moral as all the other characters. She just derives her morality in a different way from Kaladin. That does not make her amoral. Dalinar in the above scene agreed with Jasnah, and pointed out to Kaladin about the grim realities of war. Does that make Dalinar amoral? Every point Jasnah made during a war counsel made sense and needed to be considered. Placing a persons head in the sand and pretending the problem doesn’t exist doesn’t help.

So all of this leads to how I see Jasnah’s character developing. I see her as she is, is how you described Kelsier. Most of her development has happened off screen, in her past. Her issues with Amaram. The ardent she thinks of fondly regarding the book of endless pages (yet another example where she is not callous and indifferent). The dark room where she screamed herself hoarse at the hands of those she loved. There are tons of character development there. Development we will she during her flashback chapters that have been confirmed will occur in the back half of the stormlight archive. For me, Jasnah’s current role is to be present in the narrative, in the background, keeping things stable, till we get to really dig into her story. Much like Renarin, she is a pandora’s box. Once you open her up, you have to dedicate a whole lot of page time, that Brandon is not ready to do so yet. He moved her back when he edited Way of Kings because there were so many characters that required so much page time. So he had to split them up. As we meet Jasnah’s past and how it effects her present, then her narrative will develop and grow. Autonomously from Kaladin. So in summation, what you posit she needs to learn to develop as a character, I disagree with. I do not think she needs to learn morality, and I do not think she needs to learn it from Kaladin of all people. I think her growth will come in the back five books, with her learning through her interaction with Ivory about her emotions, her vulnerability, and her strength, just like kaladin is with syl, shallan is with pattern, dalinar is with the stormfather, and lift is with wyndle.  

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Let's not forget:

Kaladin let Elhokar die, Kaladin knew about the assassination attempt on him earlier, Moash is still alive and now some people know about him. Jasnah is intelligent and will probably figure things out and look into(be suspicious) of Kaladin.

Maybe we'll get more of Kaladin's backstory as part of her "background check" of him. 

I think this relationship might happen but it wont be simple.

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46 minutes ago, YKDG22 said:

I think this relationship might happen but it wont be simple.

That's actually good if it turns out that way - I'd enjoy reading about a relationship between them developing over several books to be honest rather than something quick and easy - and Sanderson likes conflict in his relationships per some interviews he's given.

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On 3/13/2018 at 7:00 PM, WhiteLeeopard said:

If you want to add another point, I think there is a good chance Windrunner 4th Oath is about been more coolly logical and knowing when to protect, and Elsecaller 4th Oath about doing what is right regardless of logic. If that is true they could help each other on their respective 4th Oaths :P

I think windrunners 4th oath is about admitting they can’t take responsibility for everything, in Kaladin case that he can’t save everyone, I think it’s pretty conclusive from Kal storyline in OB, he is depressed on the way to hearthstone when he is sure that he failed to save it, he breaks down in front of his parents because he failed to save Tien, he is furious and depressed that he couldn’t save more people from the highstorm, he freezes up in Kholinar when can’t stop his friends from killing each other, and the biggest clue is when he tries to say the 4th oath and can’t, because it means admitting that he can’t save Dalinar and need to focus on saving Adolin, Shallan, Syl, Pattern, Maya and himself from the fused, he can’t do it, he won’t stop trying to save everyone.

Maybe Jasnah can help him see it, it’s a very interesting theory which I would love to see in book four.

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