Dreamstorm

SKA - Is it Resolved?

343 posts in this topic

This makes Shadolin more likely, but I don't think that put Shalladin to bed. If anything, I came off of this more convinced that Shalladin is going to happen. :lol:

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose it's always best to remember that just because I like his books doesn't mean Brandon is a great writer.

If that's the end of the triangle, it was a waste of everyone's time, and it was no better than any of the other really poorly written relationships elsewhere in the Cosmere. 

3 hours ago, Vissy said:

This makes Shadolin more likely, but I don't think that put Shalladin to bed. If anything, I came off of this more convinced that Shalladin is going to happen. :lol:

I wish I could take this attitude, and I've already started talking myself into it. Shallan made her choice, she isn't choosing again, but Adolin is doomed to die and once he's out of the way, the Great Ship Shalladin is launching on a great voyage!

I don't think I can stick to that, unfortunately. This whole episode is a reminder to focus on the parts that I actually like (the apocalypse) instead of the parts I can't stand (Shadolin). 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, cantabile21 said:

Actually i don't think that part of the conflict is resolved yet. i believe that Shallan's personas and her struggle to control them will continue to present problems for both her and Adolin, and how they overcome these problems will be a factor in Shallan's character development. For one, i don't take at face value Shallan's line about Veil being the one who's crushing on Kaladin, as Veil is part of Shallan, whether she acknowledges it or not.

i believe Shallan's eyes will continue to wander, but as she has made her choice and married Adolin, the struggle will shift from choosing between Kaladin and Adolin, to choosing to honour her marriage vows and to honour her husband's love for her. Now that is something i would actually like to read about, as for the rest of us real married people in real life, the story does not end at "I do". 

Now this would be good to explore. It doesn't make sense to involve Kaladin in this considering he is not the type who would make another person cheat(besides he is much better with open potential than the shallan ship). Dalinar/Navani can't explore the concept considering they're too old and settled to give a damnation about other people(they're basically living revisiting their "the one who got away") and it doesn't fit the nature of their relationship and just the people in general involves isn't like that. Both mutually just settled down.

Now Shadolin can be like this. They're a young couple with a one who can't pick one who settled down for one and another who isn't exactly satisfied with any arrangement who always wants more in anything. So the angle of young couple " but there could be somebody else" and infidelity could he explored.

Unsatisfaction in marriage that we often see in real life is something interesting to explore and it would be a good change on how he writes romance. Marriage isn't always happy or that "aw they love each other" setups aren't the only ones who can be setup that can be done. We already have a casual mostly sex relationship from era 2 mistborn but he turned into a "aw they do love each other" but he certainly doesn't seem to mind exploring it. 

But I doubt that'll happen considering that Sanderson loves his usual vanilla romance in his stories not that we could blame him. Sometimes a writer just wants to write things in a way just for him. Not for us for himself this is still his story after all and we don't have much say about it if he wants it written that way.

What I wanted to see is a variety in romance not just the good ol vanilla monogamy 

Edited by goody153
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, this WoB.

See this really doesn't "resolve" anything. It is good, that we finally have clarification, that Shallan made her choice and most likely will stand behind her choice. Although even this clarification has to be taken with a grain of salt, since WoBs aren't really definitive. But that is beside the point.

Thing is, that Shallan would actively go against her decision is something, that I have doubted straight from the beginning. She's way too invested into keeping it up - not only due to her mental stability, but also because I do believe, that she feels something for him  - for whatever reason -, yet I'm also convinced, that she did for Kaladin too. That just got shoveled on to Veil, which doesn't necessarily mean, that those feelings are gone. More like on hiatus is how it feels to me.

However, this WoB does nothing to alleviate some other concerns:

  1. It doesn't exclude possible external sources of disturbance. Like death.
  2. Veil. Shallan will definitely continue to struggle with that. Especially which how Veil functions as an "unwanted feelings cache".
  3. That Adolin's stance to the relationship is pretty much still up in the air. We have lip service, that he is committed, but his thoughts never reflect that very much, eventhough he is one of the characters with a quite high PoV chapter count. Funny how that is, isn't it? Sure, he gets jealous once, but more due to the fact, that he sees himself as insufficient, which is also presented as the sole motivation for him to even get into a relationship with Shallan. He didn't want to disappoint his family. Valid motivation, though the question is if he really can commit to it in the long run.

The WoB maybe resolves Shallan's side of the commitment, but Adolin's it doesn't even touch. Like the rest of the books don't either. There is always two to a relationship.

I actually find it a bit amusing, that no one even considers the possibility, that Adolin might be the detriment to the relationship - and I'm not even discounting infidelity in that, looking at his past serial dating phase. I'm not surprised though, because his thoughts never give reason to think that. On the other hand, they also never give a clear cut picture about how he really feels about Shallan. Not denying him being attracted to her, that is shown often enough, but I'm talking about feelings. That is the whole thing, that seems so fishy. Shallan does indeed think about him a lot - her feelings make a lot of sense, even subjectively. Adolin doesn't think about her a lot - his supposed feelings might make sense objectively, due to his wish to not disappoint his family, but subjectively? Not really. Nothing I would really call loving. And that is what keeps me unconvinced about them.

Edited by SLNC
4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wobs can be definitive(they literally word of the author). Most of WoBs are not retconned. And only those meant ambiguous wobs are uncertain but even those if you can figure out the meaning and make Sanderson admit it should be good as the truth.

Nobody considers Adolin because he was a serial dater but Shallan was like her changing point of the story. He stopped trying out other women because of her. Tho I am not saying there is no possibility of Adolin the one wronging the relationship but Shallan is just more likely. 

But who are we kidding we haven't seen a dysfunctional marriage so far(the only one had a child killing her mother and her abusive father had been influenced by Odium) even the villains have a meaningful relationship(Sadeas couple) so I don't think any of the characters would likely have a toxic one. Even Roshone&Larals marriage was apparently content and that one was weird.

Edited by goody153
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, goody153 said:

Nobody considers Adolin because he was a serial dater but Shallan was like her changing point of the story. He stopped trying out other women because of her.

Or because his Dad got fed up with his endeavors, that got nowhere.

Or because he was put in a betrothal, so social pressure (A thing Adolin verrrry much cares about - social standing) dictated, that he can't pursue other women.

And the fact, that he already was through almost every eligible woman in the camps.

Aside from an offhand remark towards Kaladin (again, lip service - nothing conveyed through his own thoughts) nothing is indicative, that Shallan was the catalyst, while his need to be in good standing in society and his family is well documented. As is Dalinar (and Navani)'s annoyance about Adolin's escapades, before he finally decides to go with Jasnah's suggestion of the causal.

He would have never broken off this causal by himself, because of exactly that need to be in good standing with his family and society.

Edited by SLNC
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny then, that his relationship with Shallan, and her support that he doesn't have to be or do things for those reasons, are why he admitted to killing Sadeas, stood up to his father and isn't king. 

He valued her opinion of him more than Dalinar's. That's a remarkably strong shift that reflects exactly where his feelings lie. 

10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@SLNC what Calderis said.

Add to the point that he doesn't even have a hate relationship with his father which is usually a reason characters in fiction stand-up to their parent. That's not it he supports his father's dreams/claims even when he himself does not believe them. 

He respects his father's opinion so much that he feels shame for murdering Sadeas as Dalinar would not approve of it the way he approached it.

So he told Shallan a secret he can't even tell his family and stood up against his father on his decision to make him King (not even Elhokar alive was standing up to Dalinar lol). 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the title of this thread: “SKA – is it Resolved?”

Short answer? Yes! All you Shadolin shippers can be happy. You got your ending. Sadly, Shalladin shippers, what you got was less than…adequate.

Long answer? Yes, for now. And I’ll explain why.

Be forewarned, I have been gone a long time, and a lot of contextual updates have occurred, so this post will have some length to it. Long quotes are in spoiler tags, and the post is split into two segments. (It’s an Alderant post, did you really expect anything different?)

To begin with, I would like to reassert that, from the day I finished OB, I claimed that I was glad Kaladin and Shallan were not in a relationship at the end of OB. Kaladin was in no mental place for a relationship—he took too many knocks, fell too hard, for a romantic relationship with Shallan to be at all viable.

Kaladin will not be part of this discussion. He may be mentioned in direct association of an aspect, but this discussion is purely about the viability of Adolin and Shallan as a married couple.

Further, there are a couple of points I want to clarify before I get into the meat of my post:

On 10/8/2018 at 6:30 PM, cantabile21 said:

Actually i don't think that part of the conflict is resolved yet. i believe that Shallan's personas and her struggle to control them will continue to present problems for both her and Adolin, and how they overcome these problems will be a factor in Shallan's character development. For one, i don't take at face value Shallan's line about Veil being the one who's crushing on Kaladin, as Veil is part of Shallan, whether she acknowledges it or not.

i believe Shallan's eyes will continue to wander, but as she has made her choice and married Adolin, the struggle will shift from choosing between Kaladin and Adolin, to choosing to honour her marriage vows and to honour her husband's love for her. Now that is something i would actually like to read about, as for the rest of us real married people in real life, the story does not end at "I do". 

I like that you said that Shallan’s personas and her struggle to control them will present problems. I agree with that completely, and your comment here about them being part of her is spot on.

It is a matter of great speculation in other circles whether or not “Shallan”’s eyes will wander. I for one, have said from fairly early on that I would like to see Brandon showcase her working through her marriage problems, rather than writing those problems away or making them a non-issue. I agree that this provides a route for a more compelling narrative than simply “Will they, won’t they” or romantic dithering between Adolin and Kaladin.

6 hours ago, goody153 said:

Nobody considers Adolin because he was a serial dater but Shallan was like her changing point of the story. He stopped trying out other women because of her. Tho I am not saying there is no possibility of Adolin the one wronging the relationship but Shallan is just more likely.

First, I would like to point out that your second paragraph makes very little sense. However, if I understand you correctly, your point is that Shallan was a pivoting point in Adolin’s story and the sole reason he changed from serial dating to monogamy, and therefore all potential blame for infidelity must come from Shallan.

Not only is this a logical fallacy, but it’s not even true—Adolin stopped seeing other women because Shallan was a pre-arranged deal that required very little effort, and in large part because Danlan spread some pretty harsh tales about him to the camp’s young women—as is indicated by these quotes from Words of Radiance:

Spoiler

 

“[He] felt a sudden worry that he might not get to meet the girl, Shallan, when expected. Of course the causal betrothal wasn't likely to work out--but a piece of him wished that it would. Letting someone else choose for him had a strange appeal, considering how loudly Danlan had cursed at him when he'd broken off that particular relationship....but storm it, that one was not his fault. The things she'd said to her friends...”

“He still didn’t know how he felt about all this. Part of him had wanted to push back simply because he resisted being subject to Jasnah’s manipulation. But then, his recent track record wasn’t anything to boast of. After what had happened with Danlan…It wasn’t his fault, was it, that he was a friendly man? Why did every woman have to be so jealous? The idea of letting someone else just take care of it all for him was more tempting than he’d ever publicly admit.

 

This is further evidenced by the fact that his statements regarding Danlan strongly implicate that she sabotaged his chances at any of the camp’s other women (many of whom he’d already offended).

6 hours ago, goody153 said:

But who are we kidding we haven't seen a dysfunctional marriage so far(the only one had a child killing her mother and her abusive father had been influenced by Odium) even the villains have a meaningful relationship(Sadeas couple) so I don't think any of the characters would likely have a toxic one. Even Roshone&Larals marriage was apparently content and that one was weird.

Second, I’m not sure where you are drawing this claim from. We have evidence of at least two explicitly dysfunctional marriages by OB: Dalinar & Evi, and Navani & Gavilar. To recap, one of Navani’s assertions to Dalinar in Way of Kings is that Gavilar wasn’t the man everyone thought him to be, and implies that, though she may have loved him, their marriage was not one of fully functional bliss:

Spoiler

 

“Gavilar was not the man everyone thought him to be. I was fond of him, but he—”

“Gavilar is dead,” Navani said, resting her head back against his chest. “I was never unfaithful while he lived, though the Stormfather knows I had ample reason.”

 

Further, we learn through OB’s flashbacks that Dalinar & Evi were quite unhappy and constantly fighting and arguing with each other, frequently ending with Dalinar drinking or leaving to go fight, and Evi in tears. Evi was a wonderful woman, much better than Dalinar deserved, but their marriage was not functional.

5 hours ago, Calderis said:

Funny then, that his relationship with Shallan, and her support that he doesn't have to be or do things for those reasons, are why he admitted to killing Sadeas, stood up to his father and isn't king. 

He valued her opinion of him more than Dalinar's. That's a remarkably strong shift that reflects exactly where his feelings lie. 

Calderis, I’m not even sure where to begin with your comment here.

Quote

“Shallan, and her support that he doesn’t have to be or do things for those reasons, are why he admitted to killing Sadeas, stood up to his father and isn’t king.”

This is…utterly inaccurate. That might be a small influence, but let us keep in mind that the scene in question is from Shallan’s perspective, not Adolin’s, so any explanation as to why (including my own) is based on inference and guesswork—hardly grounds for a definitive argument, especially given her unreliability as a narrator. Here is the text in question, and even from Shallan, it’s rather vague on motivation:

Spoiler

 

“Alethkar needs a king. More so now than ever.”

“The heir—” Adolin began. [Note, this is his first deflection from responsibility]

“Too young. This isn’t time for a regency. Gavinor can be named your heir, Adolin, but we must see you two married and the monarchy secured. For the good of Alethkar, and also the world…The coalition needs more than I can provide. I will continue to lead it, but I have never been good at diplomacy. I need someone on the throne who can inspire Alethkar and command the respect of the monarchs.”

Adolin grew tense, and Shallan took his hand, holding it tight. You can be this man, if you want, she thought to him. But you don’t have to be what he makes of you.

Adolin looked to Shallan, then set his jaw and seized his father by the arm. “I killed Sadeas, Father,” Adolin whispered. [I presume this is where most of your argument is taken from, but this is also his second attempt at deflection—as though admitting to murder would change Dalinar’s mind.]

Dalinar froze.

“It was me,” Adolin continued. “I broke the Codes of War and killed him in the corridor. For speaking against our family. For betraying us time and time again. I stopped him because it needed to be done, and because I knew you would never be able to do it.”

Dalinar turned, speaking in a harsh whisper. “What? Son, why did you hide this from me?”

“Because you’re you…It’s already fixed. I’m not sorry for what I did—and I’d do it again, right now.”

“We’ll talk about this further once the coronation—”

“I’m not going to be king, Father,” Adolin said. He glanced at Shallan, and she nodded to him, then squeezed his hand again. “Didn’t you listen to what I just said? I broke the Codes.” [Third attempt at deflecting responsibility, Dalinar holds the Codes dearly.]

“Everyone in this storming country breaks the Codes,” Dalinar said, loudly, then looked over his shoulder. He continued, more softly. “I broke the Codes hundreds of times. You don’t have to be perfect, you only have to do your duty.”

No. I’ll be highprince, but not king. I just…no. I don’t want that burden. And before you complain that none of us want it, I’d also be terrible at the job. You think the monarchs would listen to me?” [Four deflection, this one emphatic and so over the top pointed that Dalinar can’t help but reconsider.]

 

In that one segment, Adolin deflects four times the responsibility of being king. Yes, Dalinar is a steamroller, but the point is that Shallan wasn’t the reason he admitted it. She might like to think so, and from her point of view we see he responded following her input, but the main reason he admitted it was to avoid responsibility. When saying he killed Sadeas didn’t work, he tried to appeal to Dalinar’s love of the codes. When that didn’t work, then he admitted the truth. He’s even shocked that the appeal to the Codes didn’t work.

Quote

“Didn’t you listen to what I just said? I broke the Codes.”

Further, this is hardly the first time he’s stood up to Dalinar. First the visions in Way of Kings, where he asserts Dalinar seek help—until Dalinar decides to abdicate, after which Adolin begins panicking at the responsibility and the is relieved that Dalinar’s visions are true. Secondly, he complains to his father about being ordered to do all the work leading the army when Dalinar is debating abdicating. Third, there’s this quote in Way of Kings that I absolutely love:

“Adolin forced himself to smile, however. He tried to be relaxed and confident for Renarin. Generally that wasn’t difficult. He’d happily spend his entire life dueling, lounging, and courting the occasional pretty girl. Of late, however, life didn’t seem content to let him enjoy its simple pleasures.

As I have said before, the phrases used to describe a character in their opening chapters are of tantamount importance to the understanding of that character.

3 hours ago, goody153 said:

@SLNC what Calderis said.

Add to the point that he doesn't even have a hate relationship with his father which is usually a reason characters in fiction stand-up to their parent. That's not it he supports his father's dreams/claims even when he himself does not believe them. 

He respects his father's opinion so much that he feels shame for murdering Sadeas as Dalinar would not approve of it the way he approached it.

So he told Shallan a secret he can't even tell his family and stood up against his father on his decision to make him King (not even Elhokar alive was standing up to Dalinar lol). 

Quote

“Add to the point that he doesn't even have a hate relationship with his father which is usually a reason characters in fiction stand-up to their parent. That's not it he supports his father's dreams/claims even when he himself does not believe them.”

Again, this isn’t entirely accurate, in either sentence. There are a plethora of reasons characters in fiction stand up to their parents. Most characters have loving parents that they have to leave, and standing up is an emblematic representation of them becoming their own person and going out into the world on their own. And Adolin outright calls his father crazy in Way of Kings, calling his father’s dreams and visions “delusions.” In Words, he flaunts his father’s will concerning Sadeas multiple times, until the point where he murders the highprince in a fit of rage.

Quote

“He respects his father's opinion so much that he feels shame for murdering Sadeas as Dalinar would not approve of it the way he approached it.”

I’m sorry, but this sentence is 100% false. From Words (warning, slightly graphic):

Spoiler

 

Adolin stood for a moment, staring Sadeas in the eyes, and then something finally snapped.

That’s it.

Adolin grabbed Sadeas by the throat with his unwounded hand, slamming the highprince back against the wall. The look of utter shock on Sadeas’s face amused a part of Adolin, the very small part that wasn’t completely, totally, and irrevocably enraged.

Adolin grunted, forcing the knife closer, clutched in his off hand. He brought the right in anyway, the wrist flaring in pain, as he leaned it against the crossguard. Sweat prickled on Sadeas’s brow, the knife’s tip touching the end of his left nostril.

“My father,” Adolin said with a grunt, sweat from his nose dripping down onto the blade of the knife, “thinks I’m a better man than he is.” He strained, and felt Sadeas’s grip weaken. “Unfortunately for you, he’s wrong.”

Sadeas whimpered.

With a surge, Adolin forced the blade up past Sadeas’s nose and into the eye socket—piercing the eye like a ripe berry—and rammed it home into the brain.

Sadeas shook for a moment, blood pooling around the blade as Adolin worked it to be certain.”

 

This implies quite a bit of savagery. One would assume he would be ashamed of it, as you stated, however we have this line from Oathbringer that informs us otherwise:

Quote

“I’m not sorry for what I did—and I’d do it again, right now.”

 

Now, onto the Shallan and Adolin analysis.

First off, let me start by saying that traditionally, I have always approached this from the standpoint of why I don’t like this marriage for Shallan. However, with Adolin’s now elevated status to “Main Character,” I feel it’s warranted to spend a little bit of time looking at things from his perspective.

I hope my responses above have been adequate in providing a base layer that indicates Adolin entered into this marriage, at least initially, because it was easier than finding the “one” on his own, and he’d made such a poor job of it. Further, there is the strong possibility of social sabotage by Danlan.

The next question we would want to address is whether or not we see Adolin’s affection actually grow for her over the course of their courtship. This is a matter of some debate, however it is my belief that while, yes, his affection does grow for her over the course of their courtship, that affection does not travel in a romantic and love vector, but rather in the “fast friends” direction. Following his appreciation of her looks, there is one—one—mention in Words of Radiance that he truly cares for her well-being on the level we’d expect of someone deeply in love with another:

Quote

“I will make sure you aren’t ever hurt,” Adolin said fiercely. “I should have realized that you could be caught in an assassination attempt intended for Father. We’ll have to make it so that you aren’t ever in that kind of position again.”

Of course, this is right after her infamous return from the chasm, where Adolin saved Dalinar (arguably a smart choice) instead of Shallan. Fortunately, things turned out well here.

From this scene, we progress throughout the expedition. In all of Adolin’s subsequent POVs (including Oathbringer), we rarely see him give much thought to Shallan. We see plenty of thinking of Adolin from her perspective, and indeed, the vast majority (if not all) of his “affectionate” scenes occur in her POV. What’s odd about this is that, aside from some jealousy on the boat in Shadesmar, we don’t actually see him think about Shallan all that often. He thinks about Renarin, Kaladin, his father, bridge 4, but conspicuously lacking on the Shallan front, when she should probably be at the forefront of his thoughts. This is further amplified during the scene where he tells Shallan (in one of the most disturbing, objectifying scenes in all of Stormlight) that he would let Kaladin have her. Not fight for her, not have his chance to win her, but “have” her, as though she were a possession. Indeed, aside from a few observations about her clothing, he doesn’t even show all that much interest in her—repeatedly ignoring cues that she is extremely upset or disturbed (creation of Radiant, dropping the Helaran bomb), and glossing over what are huge internal bits of anguish (who she is/who she should be, again—Helaran).

This doesn’t sell me on the idea that Adolin is madly and irrevocably devoted to her.

Next, let us look at the nature of their relationship.

Their relationship, like many other Branderson relationships, starts off as an arranged marriage. Neither really gets a whole lot of say in the matter, though presumably they could have refused.

They get to know one another, Shallan makes a lot of witticisms that go over Adolin’s head, and he in turn is gorgeous, dashing and “intoxicatingly handsome” with a “rugged ‘I punched a lot of people today’ quality that was fetching in its own right.”

From here, we go two directions. For Shallan, the relationship becomes one of desperation and lust. Most of their physical contact and affection is initiated by Shallan. She pulls, forces, and presses kisses on him. Again, from Words:

Quote

She grabbed him in an embrace and forced him into a kiss, a deep and passionate one. He tried to mumble something, but she kept on kissing, pressing her lips against his, letting him feel her desire.

From Oathbringer:

Quote

 

I’ve screwed it up! Shallan thought immediately. Stormfather, I’ve gone and ruined it.

Storms. Now he’s trying to ruin it! “No,” Shallan said.

She grabbed his ripped coat and pulled him into a kiss, passionspren crystallizing in the air around them.”

 

Now, before anyone jumps down my throat here, let me be clear: I believe Shallan, at least some part of her, loves Adolin. I believe that at least one part of her is as madly in love with him as she describes. As the quote from Brandon says, Shallan has made her choice. I am not disputing that.

What I want to point out is the parallelism between these two scenes. The first, from Words, is just after Adolin tries to back out, or at the very least express doubt of, their relationship and its workability. The second, after Adolin tries to hand her off to Kaladin. The use of language is, I believe, intentional—in both instances, arguably the most defining moments of their respective books, Shallan initiates an over-the-top, passionate kiss to convince Adolin to stay with her.

There are many reasons she does this—I will not go into them in this already lengthy post, as that would require an even lengthier explanation.

Let’s look at Adolin, now. For Adolin, he appears, in the beginning of the book, to still have doubts. He worries about not being good enough, worries that she’s too good, etc. Most of these are expressed through Shallan’s POVs, because as I mentioned earlier, their relationship is surprisingly largely absent from his POVs. As the book progresses, he becomes more and more aware of her “feelings” for Kaladin, ending with the above scene.

Again, neither of these two avenues screams a “madly in love” couple. One is desperate and (pardon my French) horny, and the other has hardly any screen time devoted to the relationship.

So let’s talk about their interactions with each other. Surely, even if their love started flawed, they can mature and grow as a couple and develop true love.

When push comes to shove, however, Shallan and Adolin are a master/yes-man pair. Adolin does not stand up to Shallan. What Shallan wants, Shallan gets, whether that be a trip onto the Shattered Plains, a kiss from Adolin, or a marriage—ultimately, if Adolin didn’t want any of those things, we’ll never really know, because Shallan effectively steam-rolls him into every one.

We’ve already clarified that most physical affection shared between the two is initiated by Shallan.

Intellectually, Shallan typically views Adolin as beneath her, and he never really stands up for himself in that right, either.

The one area Adolin appears to have some modicum of control, is in that Shallan is severely dependent on him, inevitably using his view of her to form the entire basis of her existence. This is not healthy behavior.

So how would this pan out, in the long run?

I’ve seen a few people comment that they think that so long as Shallan and Adolin talk things out, everything will be fine. That could not be further from the truth. Marriages have to be built on trust, and dependent relationships, as well as dominating relationships, rarely work well, and this has both. Further, Shallan, despite being dependent on Adolin, despite feeling warm around him and feeling a burning lust for him, doesn’t trust him. She tries to, I think. She tries to open up about her past at one point in the book. But she doesn’t. And at every opportunity she has to tell him, she doesn’t. Conversely, she hides a lot of things from him, even deflecting feelings for another man onto a persona, treating it as a different person—which is a lie.

Additionally, we know that there will be a one year time gap between books 3 and 4. At the end of Oathbringer, Shallan is not well. She has a massive amount of rebuilding to do, and I’m afraid she hasn’t even hit the bottom yet—she’s just built up a temporary scaffolding to survive on (Adolin’s image of her). When all of those revelations get brought up, Adolin’s going to have a lot to deal with, from parenticide, to feelings for another man, to the idea that those people Shallan says aren’t her? They actually are. That’s a lot to have to deal with.

To compound the complications, Adolin is now highprince. Shallan is a radiant. They will be spending a lot of time apart because of their respective duties—and this is why I brought up the time skip: the first year of marriage is absolutely, quintessentially vital to a marriage’s success. It’s during the first year of living together that you learn most of the other person’s idiosyncrasies, the quirks of their personality, the irreconcilable differences that distinguish you as separate people. And if Adolin and Shallan are frequently going two different directions, only sparing time to play bunnies, then it’s going to be a very, very difficult road for them.

Finally, with respect to Adolin, there is the matter with Dalinar. Adolin doesn’t do well with facing things he doesn’t like—he couldn’t ever let Sadeas go, even though most were able to. He dwelt on Kaladin for much of Oathbringer, to the point of jealousy. Dalinar’s revelation concerning Rathalas has yet to really hit, and Adolin will have to deal with that. Which will also impact their relationship.

And that, my friends, is my rather lengthy addition to this thread. Good night.

10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, the turning point was here.

Quote

“I…” He pulled her tight again as the ship rocked. “Shallan, I killed Sadeas.”
-snip-

“Good for you.”

“Shallan! You’re a Radiant. You’re not supposed to condone something like this!”
“I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I only know that the world is a better place for the death of Torol Sadeas.”
“Father wouldn’t like it, if he knew.”
“Your father is a great man,” Shallan said, “who is, perhaps, better off not knowing everything. For his own good.”

Add in his conversation with Azure to show him that people can walk away from a leadership role. 

Shallan simultaneously told him he was right, and that his judgments don't have to align with his father. Yes the scene in which he makes the admission is from Shallan's PoV, but I think that gesture of support was both acknowledged and understood, and without it he wouldn't have followed through. 

The idea that he's with Shallan only because he cares about what society and Dalinar think falls flat to me precisely because of this shift. He's Alethi. Everything with them is about ambition, wealth, and power. Yes, he'll still be a Highprince, but he'll forever be the idiot who declined the throne. And he I stand by what I said before concerning his feelings in regards to Shallan and Dalinar. She won out. 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Alderant, I always enjoy reading your wallposts. Please never stop writing them.

All of the reasons you highlighted made me very interested to read OB 4... and I think I agree with your interpretation too. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Alderant, I agree with much of what you said, but there is one point of contention for me.

When you say that they can’t talk out their problems, I disagree... partially. Once Shallan opens up her can of worms, there is no doubt that she will pull the “master/yes-ma’am” relationship card to make her stay with him, as if to say, “You love me. You need to accept me.”

From this point forward, we don’t know what will happen, which is what I meant by partially agreeing. Can they talk it out? Yes. Will it be effective? Perhaps so, perhaps not, and perhaps it will be countereffective, leading to a breakup. 

Just my take on the situation. :)

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ashspren said:

When you say that they can’t talk out their problems, I disagree... partially. Once Shallan opens up her can of worms, there is no doubt that she will pull the “master/yes-ma’am” relationship card to make her stay with him, as if to say, “You love me. You need to accept me.”

Mmm. Let me clarify. I didn't mean they can't talk out their problems, that they're incapable of doing so, but rather that only talking about their problems will not fix the underlying issues. It'd be like airing your laundry in a rainstorm.

And your point about the master/yes-ma'am response to those revelations is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about--talking about all her problems (and his), only to have her steam-roll any of his objections (if he dares voice any), is precisely why talking is not the solution to their issues. And the longer she takes to tell him the truth, the longer she takes to accept those things about her, the worse the eventual fight will be. This is why I said I think it's a more compelling narrative to have had them rush into the marriage and then have to make it work, than to just wipe away or make their marriage problems a non-issue.

<Personal speculation below>

And I do see her potentially trying to pull a card like you mention, but I think it would probably be more along the lines of "You love me, I need you, here let me sex you up to make you forget this conversation and all your concerns." Which would present its own line of problems.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Alderant said:

Mmm. Let me clarify. I didn't mean they can't talk out their problems, that they're incapable of doing so, but rather that only talking about their problems will not fix the underlying issues. It'd be like airing your laundry in a rainstorm.

And your point about the master/yes-ma'am response to those revelations is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about--talking about all her problems (and his), only to have her steam-roll any of his objections (if he dares voice any), is precisely why talking is not the solution to their issues. And the longer she takes to tell him the truth, the longer she takes to accept those things about her, the worse the eventual fight will be. This is why I said I think it's a more compelling narrative to have had them rush into the marriage and then have to make it work, than to just wipe away or make their marriage problems a non-issue.

I believe I misunderstood your previous point; thanks for clarifying. 

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Alderant I had to come back after a long hiatus just to respond to your awesome post. I always appreciate how well thought out your points are and how well you support your point of view with quotes from the text. I think I could appreciate and respect that even if I didn't agree with your analysis and interpretation. In this case though I can only agree, particularly in your analysis of where Shallan and Adolin's relationship stands at the end of OB.

If I only took one thing away from your post, it would be that with the depth of problems that these two have really cannot be satisfyingly resolved with a conversation or any other expedient confrontation, scene, etc. Maybe that will be done, but it would not be satisfying to sweep all that under the rug, so I hope not. If Brandon really wanted to I suppose he could take the next book to really dig in depth into all their relationship conflict and try to find a way to make a stronger, more compelling love story. But this is a very strange foundation to try to build that on, and it would take a lot of page time to do it in a believable way, even considering the time gap. The year time gap could well bring us into the middle of their growing problems, that at least seems plausible. I have my own preferences about where it could go from there, but that I won't go into in this post. 

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/18/2018 at 3:54 PM, GarrethGrey said:

Throughout OB Shallan is systematically chopping off pieces of herself that she doesn't want or things she perceives as shortcomings in herself. We then later see these things she chops off, re-manifest in Veil or Radiant; a big example of this is her feelings for Kaladin, she goes from drawing passionate pictures of him, to basically reverting to how she was when she first met him, while at the same time, Veil suddenly had a very strong attraction to him. Coincidence? Not likely. The "Shallan" we see at the end of OB is just as much a mask as Veil and Radiant are, all three of them together make up the larger "whole" Shallan. Veil and Radiant are not the lie, the lie, is that Veil and Radiant are not her.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. This also brings up something that I’ve heard a few people talk about. When Adolin chose “Shallan” and Shallan chose him, the person he chose wasn’t any more “Shallan” than Veil, though maybe a bit more than Radiant (Radiant is partially a manifestation of Shallan, but also what Shallan think people expect of a Knight Radiant). When he chose “Shallan” over Veil and Radiant, it shows that he doesn’t really know and love her, just the part of herself that she presents to society.

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for bringing this thread up!

No, I definitely think it is not resolved. For at least two little things:

  1. Girl who stood up. This is something that couldn't be written accidentally, that Shallan stands on both her feet when she sees Kaladin two times.
  2. The storming lullaby. Why bother composing a rhyme about some absolutely unimportant event in Shallan's life? Just to hint that her father was influenced by the Unmade and could see the future? I don't think so.

Other countless forshadowing things have been mentioned a lot of times already, but I'll remind again (and will add something I haven't seen on this forum yet in the end): shash brand, Wind's Pleasure, same caravan and even wagon, Gaz, parallelism in stories, like learning to fly and infiltrating Amaram at the same time, meeting outside the camps, keteks like "winds alight" and "illuminating storms". I also want to add to this list those things:

  1. Boots. I mean this is literally the first thing they both wanted when arrived to the Shattered Plains. They were both bare-footed for a very long time with their feet wounded and bleeding. And Shallan had been even harvesting knobweed as Kaladin did with his men.
  2. Part three of WoK is called "Dying". In this part Kaladin is strung up in a highstorm and Shallan is poisoned. It is regarding parallelism, though.
  3. When Shallan thinks about coming to Dalinar's warcamp she thinks that she hopefully meets her destiny there. Well, she meets Adolin, but only after Kaladin and the amazing shouting match (storms, I love it).
  4. Blackbane. They both had it and both kind of failed to use it.
  5. Have I already mentioned the storming lullaby?

There is also lack of the purpose for the whole Kaladin-Shallan romantic arc. Why is it there in the first place plot-wise? How did it influence the story? What have they achieved in the chasms? Shallan discovered, that Shattered Plains were symmetrical and Kaladin got his leg wounded? I mean, four chapters just for that? Well, all right, let it be just for that, but why add romance there? And why make it so Damnation awesome?! And why then do this:

Quote

Passionate, with an intense, smoldering resolve. A leashed anger that he used, because he had dominated it. And a certain tempting arrogance. Not the haughty pride of a highlord. Instead, the secure, stable sense of determination that whispered that no matter who you were—or what you did—you could not hurt him. Could not change him.

He was. Like the wind and rocks were.

And then you just dismiss all of this into "bad taste in men", "he knows me", "oh look at his hair!" and "I want to rip his shirt off"?

Well, I think Shalladin is a destination, though I'm not sure that it will be fully resolved. I have a feeling, that they are meant to be some kind of bittersweet love. I could speculate about some stuff like being together in Damnation, but the Everstorm ruined it :) Thougt what I see for now that it is kind of trope "they are born for each other, but there is always something keeping them from being together". For Kaladin it is her betrothal/marriage and his constant feeling of not deserving happiness. For Shallan it is social mesalliance at first, then need to save her brothers, then mental health + a bit of Helaran, then I believe it will be Kaladin's marriage as well.

And this is only Shalladin part of the triangle. I've described my vision of Shadolin part here.

Edited by Sedside
7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Sedside said:

Well, I think Shalladin is a destination, though I'm not sure that it will be fully resolved.

Journey before destination. 

Shadolin before Shalladin.

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.