Dreamstorm

SKA - Is it Resolved?

343 posts in this topic

22 hours ago, insert_anagram_here said:

 A pivotal moment here is when Adolin tries to teach Shallan how to sword fight, but he completely misses the hints that she is uncomfortable in using Patternsword.

Didn't Pattern himself say that it needed to happen, though? That it was "good"? He is not infallible, of course, but we shouldn't completely dismiss his opinions, I think.

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Quite frankly I do not think that Shallan is supposed to be a sword fighter at all, I find her infiltrating role of uncovering secrets and espionage a lot more fitting to a Lightweaver (Veil as a disguise is the most genuine Shallan way of fighting) but also, in the battle of TC, her fighting style did not require her to sword fight, it was her creative side attached to Soulcasting and Lightweaving and a large amount of stormlight used. No sword fighting techniques needed.

Do you want her to be defenseless without stormlight? Because the glut that she had at her disposal in Thaylenah was a one-of-a-kind event. Stormlight will be a very limited commodity at some points in the future and anything that could conserve it would help. Sure, for somebody like Shallan, a shardblade is a weapon of last resort, but given how terrible the Desolations are supposed to be, she will find herself needing to use it often enough. In fact, I was very surprised that Dalinar didn't put her in training under Zahel straightaway.

We have seen that Jasnah learned to fight with her sharblade as well - and I'd really like to know where and how, and she is from a scholarly Order and a very skilled combat Soulcaster.

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 What about Shallan's involvement with the people that tried to get Jasnah killed, the Ghostbloods?

This, at least she was intending to share with Adolin when OB closed - IMHO we can assume that it happened. Which was a good first step, but yes, honesty will take lots of work yet.

Personally, I find Kaladin's comparisons between Shallan in Tien a bit problematic relationship-wise, not because Tien was his brother, but because Kal admits to himself that he was "living off Tien's light". Sure, it is Shallan's function as a Lightweaver to inspire people, give them hope, help them change for the better. She had been propping her relatives with her light since she became verbal again after her mother's death. But shouldn't her romantic partner be the one person whom she wouldn't need to prop? The one, who might, perhaps, prop her instead?

I freely admit that I am in the "resolved" camp, though mostly from my subjective preferences concerning the narrative. I don't want our single young female main PoV character's character arc to be dominated and overwhelmingly shaped by her romantic relationships. And I don't want our view of the events and interaction with non-PoV characters to narrow down even further, as would happen if Shallan got together with Kaladin and had to deal with the same people whom we already see from his PoVs.

I like Bridge Four well enough, but I am also very interested in Jasnah, the Highprinces and their wives, scholars, ardents, etc. with all of whom Shallan would have more reason to interact if she is with Adolin. Adolin's own PoVs are too few and likely to get fewer if he is not with Shallan, while Dalinar has moved on to foreign world leaders - whom I enjoy, make no mistake, but it does shift focus away from interesting Alethi.

Edited by Isilel
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42 minutes ago, Isilel said:

Pattern himself say that it needed to happen, though? That it was "good"?

Pattern wanted Shallan to use him as a blade, he wanted her to confront the fact that she used him to kill her mother and confront the memories that came along with that act. I do not think he meant that she should get sword-fighting training. His purpose is for Shallan to reach new self-awareness levels, it's not about physical training.

42 minutes ago, Isilel said:

Do you want her to be defenseless without stormlight?

Of course not, but I don't think a single or even a few lessons teach you how to sword fight. This isn't shooting practice that you can get better with a few tries at the shooting range. I would expect that sword fighting needs daily training and physical exercise to achieve. You can't really equate a couple of training sessions to the life long effort people give under Zahel's tutelage for example. It's like telling a wizard to use a rapier in DnD. They can do it sure, but they won't be using the most of their potential like that and will probably do a very bad job at it. If they run out of spells, I'd expect them to run instead.

42 minutes ago, Isilel said:

Because the glut that she had at her disposal in Thaylenah was a one-of-a-kind event

I agree on this, and I certainly hope she doesn't need to do that too often either, because it seemed to be like a last resort move and it was too draining for her. (That was more like a limit break move when you are low on HP, if you get FF references) Fortunately, she says that light weaving is more 'silent' while they are infiltrating Kholinar, so I'm hoping that maybe she won't be running out of stormlight that often.

42 minutes ago, Isilel said:

she was intending to share with Adolin when OB closed - IMHO we can assume that it happened

She said, that she should share with Adolin about the Ghostbloods but then said, that Veil could do it. That is not determination. So, yeah, maybe she did tell him when OB closed, maybe she didn't. Either way the fact that the whole Kholin family should've known that, especially Jasnah herself, is way too important at this point. Especially since Shallan supported Adolin to abdicate the throne, against his family's wishes. This could be considered national treason after all.

Also, I do not see any intention of Shallan sharing her parents' deaths, or at least, there is no hint of that in the text. Now that her brothers have showed up, I can see tensions rising.

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My thoughts on the matter will be highly unpopular within this thread. As I have said multiple times, while I do agree the romance arc could have been explored in a stronger, more satisfying way, I also do believe it is meant to be concluded within OB.

My other thoughts, perhaps less popular and perhaps others can help me progress with those, are had the same narrative been written, but concluded with Shallan taking the opportunity offered by Adolin, when he steps out, to actually choose Kaladin, the discussions would be entirely different. In other words, I do not believe there would be many readers to argue she chose badly or she allowed her "alter-egos" to make the choice which should have belonged to Shallan as Shallan is the only real individuals, Veil and Radiants being lies. 

I personally believe the idea Kaladin is the better prospect was so ingrained within the fandom, it has a hard time accepting Shallan might have genuinely chosen and might genuinely love Adolin. Had the situation been flipped, I doubt there would be much arguments stating her subsequent marriage to Kaladin is doomed to fail or would end in a divorce. I doubt many would feel sorry for Adolin either, all stating he just needs to move onto the next girl as, anyway, he never really loved Shallan as where are his viewpoints on the matter?

Thus, I have come to believe Brandon made a horrible mistake when he chose to have the romance be subtle, in the background and a relatively very small arc lost in the mist of everything else. I do believe Brandon read his readership very wrongly as I do think he probably thought the narrative he wrote was more than enough, he probably thought it wasn't required to give us Adolin's thoughts on the matter and surely the idea those two love each other was obvious enough it didn't need more page time.

Given the backlash the romance has gotten, mostly on the 17th Shard, my thoughts are Brandon needed to convince his readership the end game he wrote was the good one. When he wrote Mistborn, he was well aware of his readership rooting for a Wax/Marasi pairing, he was well aware his readership didn't think much of Steris, hence he wrote a romance arc which was both surprising and incredibly satisfying. How could he not have seen the same was happening with the Kaladin/Shallan/Adolin romance? How could he not have noticed he needed to make Shallan/Adolin a stronger union, to give Adolin a stronger narrative to convince his readers he made the right choice? How could he not have seen the readership felt he was going for a Kaladin/Shallan union much more strongly than the alternative just as it was the case in Mistborn?

Hence, given how Brandon did not succeed into making his readers buy the outcome he wrote, arguments as to whether or not it is the outcome became popular. My personal thoughts are the love triangle is most probably over, I felt there was a finality in OB in this regards, but it wasn't a satisfying one due to the author not acknowledging he actually needed to write a much stronger narrative if he were to convince his readers. Arguably, it is impossible to state this is the right interpretation, not unless we manage to get our hands on additional WoB which would help further the questioning.

It is not normal the only readers I have seen be satisfied with the romance were the ones openly hating romance arcs and wishing they would be as small as possible. It is basically the same as with the aftermath for Sadeas's death where the only readers having found it satisfying were those who were uninterested in this arc to being with or not caring so much about Adolin's character. I find it troubling the only readers who actually enjoyed some of the narratives Brandon proposed were those who didn't like previous development and were hoping for those narrative to disappear. It feels as if Brandon wrote for a given percentage of his readership and ignored the other. It is just puzzling how all readers having enjoyed the romance arcs and Adolin's character aren't pleased with the narrative, in a general manner.

My final thoughts are thus it is difficult to conclude on the romance arc. On one side, if we agree it is most probably over, then we agree Brandon wrote an unsatisfying conclusion to a popular arc, on purpose, which doesn't bode well for future books. On the flip side, if we agree it is not over, then we end up expecting additional developments which may never come, but by doing so, we keep on thinking Brandon did not make a mistake. I count myself within the first group: I do think it is over, I do think the narrative closed down all lose ends, but I do agree it wasn't done in a satisfying nor extraordinarily manner.

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There still seems to be some confusion in regards to Shallan and her "masks". While this topic has already been discussed at significant length, I'll try to explain it again here briefly. For starters, Shallan does not have multiple personalities, DID, OSDD, or any type of alter egos; Veil and Radiant are masks, but underneath those masks, it's still Shallan, hiding and lying to herself. We have a WoB that confirms this. Everything Shallan thinks, does, or says as Veil or Radiant, are things she's thinking, doing and saying as Shallan.

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.

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1 hour ago, GarrethGrey said:

There still seems to be some confusion in regards to Shallan and her "masks". While this topic has already been discussed at significant length, I'll try to explain it again here briefly. For starters, Shallan does not have multiple personalities, DID, OSDD, or any type of alter egos; Veil and Radiant are masks, but underneath those masks, it's still Shallan, hiding and lying to herself. We have a WoB that confirms this. Everything Shallan thinks, does, or says as Veil or Radiant, are things she's thinking, doing and saying as Shallan.

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 personally do not believe either Veil nor Radiant are "real", I believe they are "lies". Brandon's answer stipulates Shallan doesn't have any disorder, but he also states Veil is an alter-ego which would have never been trapped into loving Lin and hence would have never been broken by murdering him. The entire backstory Shallan crafts for Veil is also a precise net of falseness. Veil doesn't know about urchins, she isn't street savvy, she knows nothing about taverns and miscreants: she doesn't know because Shallan doesn't know.

Hence, to me, the real Shallan remains Shallan. Anything else are lies she created to escape to, to avoid facing the truths she has spoken. They are just people she pretends she is so the truth wouldn't hurt. It's OK to have admitted she killed her mother when she is Veil because Veil doesn't care. It's OK to use Pattern as a Blade when she is Radiant because Radiants agrees it is her responsibility to do so. However both "personas" remain lies. The only real individual which grew up in Jah Keved, whicj bonded Pattern as a child, which murdered her mother and her father, which became Jasnah's ward and which ultimately chooses Adolin is Shallan. Everything else is the very same Shallan playing at make-believe and convincing herself her lies could be truths.

This is how I read it anyway.

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When I read your posts, I totally see how it's possible to see it either way. In-world. But what makes me sway towards the "unresolved" side is the odd mix of Brandon's attitude to writing and our reactions. 

One WoB that I recall is that he would never make a triangle other than with an obvious outcome. There was a poll after WoR where the predictions for Shadolin and Shalladin were 50/50. A spectacular stormup. If it was unintentional. 

Then, we know he pays attention to the promises made in the books. There was another WoB recently about how Shadesmar arc was tweaked because of that - it was a fairly minor thing. ASK is a much bigger one, and it turned out to be an empty bubble whose grand finale about 1/3 of people here didn't buy. It would be very easy to leave it out altogether. Or to resolve it better, adding a few lines of thoughts from the characters and building up to it gradually. So it's another spectacular stormup... If it's unintentional. 

One last WoB I recall at the moment is that Brandon actually took quite good care of the triangle business and was adjusting it using the beta feedback. So I find it very unlikely that he didn't see these stormups coming. Unless, of course, it's all intentional. 

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45 minutes ago, Ailvara said:

When I read your posts, I totally see how it's possible to see it either way. In-world. But what makes me sway towards the "unresolved" side is the odd mix of Brandon's attitude to writing and our reactions. 

One WoB that I recall is that he would never make a triangle other than with an obvious outcome. There was a poll after WoR where the predictions for Shadolin and Shalladin were 50/50. A spectacular stormup. If it was unintentional. 

Then, we know he pays attention to the promises made in the books. There was another WoB recently about how Shadesmar arc was tweaked because of that - it was a fairly minor thing. ASK is a much bigger one, and it turned out to be an empty bubble whose grand finale about 1/3 of people here didn't buy. It would be very easy to leave it out altogether. Or to resolve it better, adding a few lines of thoughts from the characters and building up to it gradually. So it's another spectacular stormup... If it's unintentional. 

One last WoB I recall at the moment is that Brandon actually took quite good care of the triangle business and was adjusting it using the beta feedback. So I find it very unlikely that he didn't see these stormups coming. Unless, of course, it's all intentional. 

We are stuck into quite a conendrum, now aren't we?

I do agree with you when you state Brandon has often commented on "promises to the readers", how he did say he wouldn't write a traditional love triangle. I agree with those statements as I have read the WoB too. 

My problem however is Brandon has proven me "promises" readers feel he has "made to them" do not necessarily pan out into satisfying story arcs. For instance, I did feel the ending of WoR "promises" future developments, ramifications and consequences for Adolin's character. A lot of readers did feel the exact same way and this arc became one of the most anticipated arc for OB. Brandon himself publicly acknowledged he did understand "what will happen to Adolin" was a much anticipated arc and yet, yet, yet, his initial draft didn't even include any of Adolin's viewpoints until late into Part 3. The first two chapters Adolin got were added because the beta readers reacted negatively to the lack of Adolin early in the book. So how can I, as a reader, reconcile those facts:

1) Brandon made Adolin's character arc end in a cliffhanger towards the end of WoR. He specifically made sure we knew the consequences for murdering a Highprince was either death or exile. He wrote Adolin as being rather traumatized by his own actions. A lot of readers expected denouement with respect to this arc, the only readers I saw suggesting the "nothing" arc where those who didn't like this particular twist and thus, naturally, hoped it would take up too much page time.

2) Brandon publicly stated he understood this was an anticipated story arc. He also said he did know readers were anxious to read what will happen to Adolin now.

3) Brandon said "promises to the readers" were important and couldn't be disregarded.

4) Brandon didn't think he needed to give Adolin any viewpoint until late in the book. He publicly stated this was "the best way to narrate the story".

5) Ultimately, Brandon wrote a narrative where nothing happens with the murder, where Adolin has no reaction which clashes with how the character reacts after having done the deed back in WoR. He didn't see fit to make the character face any consequences and managed to turn an anticipated arc into a wet flake most readers agree was disappointing on one level or the other.

Hence, how can I now believe Brandon's vision of what are "promises to the readers" and how "to address them" coincide enough with my own to determine whether or not he has answered them?

I can't. Oathbringer has shown me what I find satisfying and what Brandon finds satisfying are two widely different things. I also found out Brandon didn't think he needs to write Adolin's character, finding him self-explanatory which also caused the romance arc to fell flat for many readers.

Thus, when it comes to the romance, I do agree the relationship Brandon ended up writing didn't convince any readers except those who were convinced of it in advance. It is the same as with the Mayalaran arc where the only readers being convinced it is 1) a good idea, 2) possible, 3) fits with Adolin's character are those having argued it was a plausible narrative to begin with. Those who never saw the character as an Edgedancer aren't anymore convinced he is now.

The same is true with the romance: readers not finding Adolin/Shallan suitable one for another, for whichever reason, on average, weren't convinced with the narrative. It had many, based on the fact Brandon has stated he would answer to "readers promises", stipulate it must not be over because what we read wasn't satisfying.

I say it is entirely possible Brandon has never really been aware of how his readership feels towards the romance. Very few character related questions are asked at signings and many readers came forth to state they hate romance and hope there will not be a triangle. The fact a non-negligible percentage of the readers, while not necessarily enjoying the idea of triangle, did like the romance and while all understanding this wasn't a major arc, still expected it would be addressed in a more meaningful way within the narrative seems to have never made it to Brandon. It is why I started my Grand List of Character related Question, it is why I have decided I would try, as best as I can, to make the character discussion be known to Brandon, so he'll know.

I do not believe "more will come" because my experience with other narratives has shown me there is a sharp disconnect in between what Brandon believes is satisfying and what I believe is satisfying. I also recall the beta readers tip-toeing into their experience, half admitting there has been essays and long posts being made of the topic of romance (and a few others): the adjustments Brandon made all seemed to have been rather minor (my perception), but ultimately he wrote a narrative which didn't answer to a given percentage of his readership's expectations, not in terms of the end game (we all knew it could go both ways), but in terms to how it was broached and with how many levels of depth.

The result is I do think it is over, but it is a conendrum because saying this is what it is equates to admitting Brandon wrote a disappointing outcome. It also opens the door for him to keep on disappointing with the character arcs within future books which isn't an interesting feeling to have.

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I'll agree that the romance could have been handled better in Oathbringer, but in my mind it's a small disappointment, comparatively.  I'm pretty certain the romance arc wouldn't make my top five list of things to change within Oathbringer.  It might or might not make my top ten.

That being said, I do believe the SKA triangle is resolved, if for no other reason that Adolin and Shallan are getting/have gotten married.  Unless anyone expects their relationship to end in divorce, there isn't much of a way to continue it.  Kaladin (and even Syl, I think) has too much respect for marriage vows to pursue a ruinous relationship with Shallan despite them.  I do sometimes get Lancelot/Guinevere/Arthur vibes from these characters, so perhaps it's more that I hope that it's not going to happen than that I can't see it happening, because I technically could see it, but I really hope not.  Drawing out the triangle is arguably among the worst things Brandon could do with the characters.  Honestly, I'm pretty certain the whole thing would have been much more enjoyable if there hadn't been a love triangle in the first place.

If Adolin dies, well, then the Shallan-Kaladin relationship may be back on the table but Adolin is definitely out of it.  So no triangle that way, either.  Thank goodness, and good riddance.

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On 3/16/2018 at 11:58 PM, Calderis said:

They leave out the struggles, and the choice to work through the hard times. They focus on how everything makes each other feel fantastic and leave out the parts where you realize that even when your angry you wouldn't want to be angry at anyone else in the same way. 

I guess I hope it's over, because stories don't show love. They show infatuation and attraction and make light of something that is a choice you have to continue to make all the time. 

The attitudes of characters in stories are the attitudes of people who fall in and out of love just as easily. I'd rather it be done.

I think this is an excellent point, but I'd actually counter that Brandon has become IMO pretty good at showing the "ever after" part of relationships.  I totally agree that some of them (Sarene/Raoden, Suri/Susebron) are rote romantic tropes/infatuation/dramatic hijinks to create a good story, but Brandon's best romances are those which shows the next steps.  I think Navani and Dalinar exemplify this well.  I wasn't too blown away by it in WoK - we were kind of dropped in at the middle of their story after all - but seeing a bit of the "before" in flashbacks, plus especially how Navani (from her PoV) deals with Dalinar's descent into alcoholism, made me a true believer in the couple.  It was seeing the really hard work which is required to sustain that relationship (any relationship really) that sold it for me, and it make reading their story in WoK again an absolute pleasure.  I imagine we are going to get more of that dynamic (or I hope we do!)  I experienced similar feelings with Vin/Elend.  Don't get me wrong, I loved the ball scenes (I'm a sucker for secret nobility, though I'm a sucker for most romantic tropes :D), but I found the "omg I love him/her!" at the end of FE and all the back and forth in WoA a bit eye rolling.  By the time we get a real relationship in HoA, I started to feel like they were real.  One of my huge gripes about female heroines in many books is that once the woman meets her man, she suddenly becomes less competent and independent.  I loved, loved how Vin and Elend were able to maintain separate roles in the story in HoA, though it remained clear that their bond was strong.  I'm curious (if you're interested in discussing) your thoughts on Wax and Steris.  I thought that was Brandon's best "falling in love" story so far, and one which IMO felt like it was developed into actual love (the honeymoon phase, to be sure, but a real love.)  That (and I can't wait to see where that relationship goes in W&W4!) and how Dalinar and Navani is developing just made me all the more sad that we got a rather superficial romance for Shallan, where I definitely see it composed of infatuation and attraction, and like you mention, that is just not as satisfying.

On 3/17/2018 at 4:19 PM, WhiteLeeopard said:

My opinion is this poll is the best thread on the triangle I have seen. Pure statistics on opinons around the 17th Shard.

I also have really enjoyed the poll, though perhaps I had a little different take on it than you had.  I found a couple things interesting.  First, in the post-WoR poll on Shallan's romantic choices, those who chose either Kaladin or Adolin were split 50/50.  Here we currently have a 60% Shadolin post-WoR/40% Shalladin post-WoR split, which means the Shard has swung a bit more Shadolin in the past few years.  (Curious to see if this moves as more people vote, maybe should bump that in a couple weeks?  It's shifted a bit more Shalladin (33% to 40%) in the past few days.)  Secondly, we currently have 34% of those who care about the outcome unconvinced that's over.  I'm going to make an assumption here that all of those who do not believe it's over were Shalladin fans pre-OB (realizing that some of the disappointed Shadolin fans may have switched or the don't cares have a perspective), but if we take that assumption at face value, 96% of Shalladin fans remain convinced it's not over.  So either Brandon wildly missed the mark in convincing the people who needed to be convinced (as its not the Shadolin fans who need to be won over, of course, as they were looking for reasons for the choice to be Adolin in the first place) of the veracity of the ending, or....

On 3/17/2018 at 5:22 PM, RainStorm said:

Personally, I hated the love triangle. Love triangles are bad at the best of times but very difficult when it concerns three of your favourite characters.

@RainStorm this is not directed specifically at you, but just a general comment.  Brandon loves a love triangle.  It's kind of what he does.  It's been in every series in one form or another.  Are aforementioned SKA drama, Dalinar-Navani-Gavilar, Wax-Steris-Marasi, Vin-Elend-Zane, and I know some might not see it that way, but Suri-Susebron-Vivenna and Sarene-Raoden-Hrathen were also love triangles, as in the insertion of another person into the main romantic storyline was used to create tension in the relationship.  So like them or not, this does seem to be Brandon's MO.

13 hours ago, Isilel said:

Didn't Pattern himself say that it needed to happen, though? That it was "good"? He is not infallible, of course, but we shouldn't completely dismiss his opinions, I think.

I'm pretty confident in my opinion on this subject in general (though that's not to say I can't discuss it for the next three years :ph34r:), but Pattern is my main sticking point.  I 100% agree (although this was not exactly your point), that Pattern seems to be on Team Shadolin, and I've found that to be the most convincing argument that maybe this whole thing is over.  But I don't buy Pattern's opinion (or opinion at some junctures) overrides the rest of the narrative elements which convince me that's not the case and well, I'm just confused by aspects of Pattern's relationship with Shallan in general.  (It's a bit off topic, but he seems to love Shallan's lies, but also not like them at the same time.  Actually I think my next topic may be discussing this, hmmmm, especially if it can stay out of the love arc...) 

7 hours ago, maxal said:

I personally believe the idea Kaladin is the better prospect was so ingrained within the fandom, it has a hard time accepting Shallan might have genuinely chosen and might genuinely love Adolin.

You should take a look at @Ailvara's poll that was linked earlier, as you'll find that Shalladin as the better romance was definitely not ingrained in the fandom.  The best I've seen is 50/50, and it appears that the majority of the fandom at this point in time was pro-Shadolin prior to OB.  (This mirrors my own experience; when I found this board over the summer, I found the fandom to be highly pro-Shadolin.)  Additionally, 2/3rds believe it to be over, and though we don't know how happy all 2/3rds of those are, that's the number which think Shallan chose Adolin with finality.  So your opinion on who is the better prospect and whether there was a final choice is definitely the majority opinion!

That being said, I agree with your point is that if this is the ending, it was poorly done, as it wasn't convincing to the half/less than half of the fandom who did need convincing, the Shalladin fans.  I wasn't even a strong Shalladin fan (I'd say I was 60% Shalladin/40% Shadolin pre-OB, though would have chosen Shalladin if forced to pick), but mostly I just wanted a good romance.  And in the end, that's what I don't think Brandon delivered.  But, you're absolutely correct when you say that I'm now hoping it's not over partly because I really want there to be a good romance for Shallan in the future.  I've found a lot of textual evidence to back up that it's not over, but absolutely that dissatisfaction was while I went looking in the first place.  That being said...

7 hours ago, maxal said:

My other thoughts, perhaps less popular and perhaps others can help me progress with those, are had the same narrative been written, but concluded with Shallan taking the opportunity offered by Adolin, when he steps out, to actually choose Kaladin, the discussions would be entirely different. In other words, I do not believe there would be many readers to argue she chose badly or she allowed her "alter-egos" to make the choice

I absolutely disagree that this would have been the reaction of most Shalladin fans.  I actually have not seen a single person express the opinion on the prior thread that the wish was for Shallan to choose Kaladin at the end of OB.  I've actually heard mostly (like I feel) that it would have been way worse for her to choose Kaladin, as that would have felt even more rushed and false.  Those two haven't even broached their feelings for one another after all.  What would have rung true for me, is that we know via WoB that these "alters" aren't actually alters, but instead masks.  As Brandon said, "She's playing roles as she puts them on, but I make it very clear (with deliberate slip-ups of self-reference in the prose) that it's always Shallan in there, and she's specifically playing this role because it lets her ignore the things she doesn't want to face."  It's very clear at the end that these roles Shallan is playing are not in agreement, and Shallan seems to realize that.  They are actually fighting in the text about this decision!  I would have loved if instead of pushing two of these "roles" (which are all her) into the back of her brain, Shallan realized that she's so storming confused she needs to take a step back from romance and figure out her own self.  Now that, that I would have cheered wholeheartedly, regardless of which guy she ended up dating down the line.

ETA: @maxal I think all your points on the narrative fail/disconnect/reason for the Adolin/Sadeas plotline or lack thereof in OB are really interesting, and I'd love to discuss in another thread.  (Trying to keep with the moderator request that subjects not get consolidated into one thread!)

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@Dreamstorm yeah. Dalinar and Navani are great, precisely because you see the some of the ugly parts and the work of it. There's still passion there and that's obvious, but they're well past lying to themselves about who the other person is. Their both aware of the faults in the other and rather than seeing those as major issues to be "fixed" they're a part of what makes the person who they are. I wasn't even aware of it until you said it, but they're one of the only ones that I've seen acknowledge the faults and not want them to be changed, but have them accepted. 

Mistborn spoilers. 

Spoiler

Also true of Wax and Steris. The progression there from business contract, to real affection was great, and both of them are very aware of their own, and each other's, faults. They compliment each other well. 

In contrast, Zane, and the "triangle" there are to date,  in my opinion, the worst things Brandon has written hands down. 

Navani knows Dalinar well enough to see that when he's got his mind on something, she's going to have to wait, and she accepts that. She also knows his past and was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he'd pull through his relapse. 

Dalinar knows that Navani is a schemer, and her passion for fabrials, and knows that he's going to be a test subject at times and just rolls with it. 

They accept each other completely. Yes there's still passion there, and yes that's necessary. I just hate how you rarely see the hardships, and the times that it would be easier to just leave, but you choose to stay anyways because you have faith in the relationship and the other person. 

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16 minutes ago, Dreamstorm said:

You should take a look at @Ailvara's poll that was linked earlier, as you'll find that Shalladin as the better romance was definitely not ingrained in the fandom.  The best I've seen is 50/50, and it appears that the majority of the fandom at this point in time was pro-Shadolin prior to OB.  (This mirrors my own experience; when I found this board over the summer, I found the fandom to be highly pro-Shadolin.)  Additionally, 2/3rds believe it to be over, and though we don't know how happy all 2/3rds of those are, that's the number which think Shallan chose Adolin with finality.  So your opinion on who is the better prospect and whether there was a final choice is definitely the majority opinion!

That being said, I agree with your point is that if this is the ending, it was poorly done, as it wasn't convincing to the half/less than half of the fandom who did need convincing, the Shalladin fans.  I wasn't even a strong Shalladin fan (I'd say I was 60% Shalladin/40% Shadolin pre-OB, though would have chosen Shalladin if forced to pick), but mostly I just wanted a good romance.  And in the end, that's what I don't think Brandon delivered.  But, you're absolutely correct when you say that I'm now hoping it's not over partly because I really want there to be a good romance for Shallan in the future.  I've found a lot of textual evidence to back up that it's not over, but absolutely that dissatisfaction was while I went looking in the first place.  That being said...

I have been within the fandom for quite some time I would argue opinions have fluctuate greatly. So while it is true the latest poll does show a stronger support for the Adolin/Shallan relationship, it swear it hasn't always been the case. There has always been a strong support for the Kaladin/Shallan relationship, especially within the threads dedicated to this discussion. Arguably, those threads never took into consideration those choosing not to partake in them, but having answered the poll. A past poll has shown the support for the Kaladin/Shallan ship was equally as strong as the one for the Adolin/Shallan. 

Either way, no matter how the fandom divides itself, forces are to admit most of the discussion with respect to the "love triangle" perhaps not being over steams mostly from readers being dissatisfied with the outcome. I can understand the sentient, though I do believe it is meant to be over.

The last paragraph rings very true to me. In the end, it boils down to this: the percentage of the fandom which needed to be convinced wasn't. Arguably anyone hoping for a good romance, no matter which end game they personally prefer weren't satisfied. I recalled how I felt there was little being written for the love triangle, at some point, during part 3. I too felt there was a need to further explore Shallan and Kaladin's feelings one to the other is a stronger manner, but it didn't happen. So while the outcome ultimately ended up being one I personally preferred, I can't say it was well brought apart. I can definitely understand the desire for a proper resolution within a future book, though I do not understand why no one is arguing this resolution could happen while Shallan remains married to Adolin.

31 minutes ago, Dreamstorm said:

I absolutely disagree that this would have been the reaction of most Shalladin fans.  I actually have not seen a single person express the opinion on the prior thread that the wish was for Shallan to choose Kaladin at the end of OB.  I've actually heard mostly (like I feel) that it would have been way worse for her to choose Kaladin, as that would have felt even more rushed and false.  Those two haven't even broached their feelings for one another after all.  What would have rung true for me, is that we know via WoB that these "alters" aren't actually alters, but instead masks.  As Brandon said, "She's playing roles as she puts them on, but I make it very clear (with deliberate slip-ups of self-reference in the prose) that it's always Shallan in there, and she's specifically playing this role because it lets her ignore the things she doesn't want to face."  It's very clear at the end that these roles Shallan is playing are not in agreement, and Shallan seems to realize that.  They are actually fighting in the text about this decision!  I would have loved if instead of pushing two of these "roles" (which are all her) into the back of her brain, Shallan realized that she's so storming confused she needs to take a step back from romance and figure out her own self.  Now that, that I would have cheered wholeheartedly, regardless of which guy she ended up dating down the line.

ETA: @maxal I think all your points on the narrative fail/disconnect/reason for the Adolin/Sadeas plotline or lack thereof in OB are really interesting, and I'd love to discuss in another thread.  (Trying to keep with the moderator request that subjects not get consolidated into one thread!)

These are valid points. Perhaps I have made a mistake in thinking had the outcome been different, it would have been more satisfying for more readers. I agree about the rest of the commentary: Shallan marrying while not having reached a stable self, while still being unable to face reality and without having told the truth to her husband to me also didn't feel the like most satisfying of conclusions. 

I thought the commentaries befitted the thread as it tackled the topic as to whether or not the love triangle was over, but we could move it elsewhere.

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There is some really interesting discussion going on about how Brandon failed to convince the segment of the readers that he needed to as @maxal and @Dreamstorm have pointed out. This really is the fundamental question. Since such a significant segment of readers didn't think this storyline was satisfying and those who did are largely those who are less interested in romantic arcs, the question is did Brandon fail or is there more to it? As explained before, I initially thought Brandon failed but I changed my mind. I think Brandon knows he set up some expectations that Kaladin and Shallan would have a love story. Brandon has said himself that when subverting expectations you have to really sell the audience on your alternative and make them believe it is even better. An important scene for doing that would have been the scene immediately before the wedding. I want to examine it in detail, because it seems to indicate a different intention entirely. I've quoted most of it and spoilered it for length. I left out two sections, the first is most of the reunion with her brothers and the second is the letter from Mraize since these didn't give much to go on (I included ellipses where those sections were left out).

Spoiler
Quote

Though Shallan had been given months to grow accustomed to the idea of getting married, on the actual day, she didn’t feel ready.

 It was such an ordeal and a hassle.

Everyone was determined that, after Dalinar and Navani’s rushed wedding, they’d do this one right. So Shallan had to sit here and be fussed over, primped, her hair braided and her face painted by the royal Alethi makeup artists. Who’d known there even was such a thing?

She suffered it, then was deposited on a throne while scribes lined up and gave her piles of keteks and glyphwards. Noura delivered a box of incense from the Azish emperor, along with a dried fish from Lift. A Marati rug came from Queen Fen. Dried fruit. Perfumes.

A pair of boots. Ka seemed embarrassed as she opened the box and revealed them as a gift from Kaladin and Bridge Four, but Shallan just laughed. It was a much-needed moment of relief in the stress of the day.

She got gifts from professional organizations, family members, and one from each highprince except for Ialai—who had left Urithiru in disgrace. Though Shallan was grateful, she found herself trying to vanish into her dress. So many things that she didn’t want—most of all, this attention.

Well, you’re marrying an Alethi highprince, she thought as she squirmed on her wedding throne. What did you expect? At least she wasn’t going to end up as queen.

Finally—after ardents arrived and pronounced blessings, anointings, and prayers—she was shuffled off into a little room by herself with a brazier, a window, and a mirror. The table held implements for her to paint a last prayer, so that she could meditate. Somewhere, Adolin was suffering gifts from the men. Probably swords. Lots and lots of swords.

The door closed, and Shallan stood facing herself in the mirror. Her sapphire gown was of an ancient style, with twin drooping sleeves that went far beyond her hands. Small rubies woven into the embroidery glowed with a complementary light. A golden vest draped over the shoulders, matched by the ornate headdress woven into her braids.

She wanted to shrink from it.

“Mmm…” Pattern said. “This is a good you, Shallan.”

A good me. She breathed out. Veil formed on one side of the room, lounging against the wall. Radiant appeared near the table, tapping it with one finger, reminding her that she really should write a prayer—for tradition’s sake, if nothing else.

“We’re decided upon this,” Shallan said.

“A worthy union,” Radiant said.

“He’s good for you, I suppose,” Veil said. “Plus he knows his wine. We could do far worse.”

“But not much better,” Radiant said, giving Veil a pointed look. “This is good, Shallan.”

“A celebration,” Veil said. “A celebration of you.”

“It’s okay for me to enjoy this,” Shallan said, as if discovering something precious. “It’s all right to celebrate. Even if things are terrible in the world, it’s all right.” She smiled. “I … I deserve this.”

Veil and Radiant faded. When Shallan looked back into the mirror, she didn’t feel embarrassed by the attention any longer. It was all right.

 It was all right to be happy.

She painted her glyphward, but a knock at the door interrupted burning it. What? The time wasn’t up.

She turned with a grin. “Come in.” Adolin had probably found an excuse to come steal a kiss.…

The door opened.

Revealing three young men in worn clothing.

So much to tell them. Storms, these tears were going to ruin her makeup. She’d have to go through it all again.

She found herself too overwhelmed to talk, to explain. She pulled them tight again, and Wikim even complained about the affection, as he always had. She hadn’t seen them in how long, and he still complained? That made her even more giddy, for some reason.

Navani appeared behind them, looking over Balat’s shoulder. “I will call for a delay of the festivities.”

“No!” Shallan said.

No. She was going to enjoy this. She pulled her brothers tight, one after another. “I’ll explain after the wedding. So much to explain…”

Today, she had a wedding to attend. She pulled open the door and strode out. Toward a celebration. Of being herself.

 

First, several times it is clear in the beginning that Shallan is low-key dreading the wedding itself. She “didn’t feel ready,” and thinks of it as “an ordeal and a hassle.” She “suffered” through the preparations and thinks about how she doesn’t want this attention. When there is a knock on the door from her brothers and she thinks she is about to be called to the ceremony her immediate thought is “What? The time wasn’t up.”

Most telling of all is this: Shallan is looking at herself in the mirror in all her wedding finery and then, “She wanted to shrink from it.” That is not the thought of a woman focused on love or happiness or the man she is about to marry, that is the thought of a woman who has doubts.

Then there is the conversation between Pattern, Shallan, Veil and Radiant. Pattern saying, “This is a good you, Shallan,” mirrors the many times he says “a good lie.” It is an odd thing to say if Pattern thought she was truly herself, why “a good you” in that case? Why would there be multiple “yous” if Shallan was her true self? Shallan’s response is, “We’re decided on this.” Again an odd thing to say, like she needs reinforcement that this is the right decision. None of the responses she gets from Radiant or Veil are glowing; though they support her decision it seems clear that this is all about Shallan. Radiant gives Veil a look when she says, “He is good for you, I suppose. And he knows his wine. We could do far worse.” None of those are compelling reasons to marry someone. Veil then follows up with, “A celebration. A celebration of you.”

This reinforces the idea that this is not about Veil or Radiant or even Adolin but only Shallan.  Shallan thinks little of Adolin throughout, other than that Adolin must be suffering through gifts from the men and assuming he had come to steal a kiss. Once she decides it is a celebration of her she suddenly feels okay with enjoying this, and that sentiment is what gets repeated to herself for the rest of the scene. At one point Shallan describes herself as “giddy,” which is an odd word in this context but implies that she is not in a clear state of mind (the definition most relevant in this case is “excitable and frivolous”).

The bottom line for me is that it is hard to imagine why Brandon would choose to write this scene and have it be the last word we get in the love triangle if he was trying to sell the idea that Shallan made a healthy choice to get married and that we should consider the issue resolved. In Brandon’s other romances he has made clear that the couple is in love and choosing each other wholeheartedly, he has not introduced doubts and then failed to resolve them by the crucial moment. Why would he include lines like, “She wanted to shrink from it,” if he wanted this to be the end of it? I’m not buying it.

Edited by BraidedRose
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18 minutes ago, BraidedRose said:

There is some really interesting discussion going on about how Brandon failed to convince the segment of the readers that he needed to as @maxal and @Dreamstorm have pointed out. This really is the fundamental question. Since such a significant segment of readers didn't think this storyline was satisfying and those who did are largely those who are less interested in romantic arcs, the question is did Brandon fail or is there more to it?

I disagree with this, especially the bolded. It hasn't been true in my experience. Even on 17S, which I'll be the first to say has a reputation for not being warm towards character topics, there are plenty of people who do like romantic arcs who were satisfied - or even bare minimum, were really fine with it. This statement is broad enough to dismiss a lot of Shadolin shippers who are here, and others who don't fall into either camp, but would still find this statement not true of them. The forum isn't separated into Shalladin shippers and people who dislike character arcs. I don't think that's what you were trying to say, but I feel like a lot of people reading this could see it that way.

17S also isn't the only place where cosmere fans exist, and those places are generally extremely open to character topics and romance. Those places have huge amounts of variation in terms of reaction to it, and none of it falls neatly into "people who were okay with the arc are the same people who didn't care." For me, personally, who finished OB strongly disliking both Shadolin and Shalladin - I love romance arcs, I love shipping, I love character arcs, and I still thought it was a resolution. Kaladin's reflection to himself about realizing that he doesn't love Shallan that way is on the level of subtlety with what I expect of him from his other romance arcs. Brandon doesn't really play games. He can't do anything about what the fandom does with his works, but I feel strongly that I can take certain things at face value. His romance arcs is one of those things. My two cents!

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@Greywatch that’s a fair point and I didn’t mean to say that was exclusively the case by any means. Admittedly I’m going mostly on what I’ve seen on this and other related threads on 17S so I know less about the views of fans elsewhere. And of course it was not meant to be universal just a very rough generalization, which I may have stretched too far.

So you believe this arc is resolved, but you say you ended OB disliking both Shadolin and Shalladin. So did you feel that it was resolved satisfactorily? Did it give you an enjoyable arc as someone who enjoys romance? Because I do think there is a distinction with some people believing it is over but who were not satisfied with it and others believing it is both over and well done. And then there are those like me who think it isn’t over.

By the way, if it isn’t over I do think this would end up being far more subtle and complex than love stories I have seen from Brandon in the past. I can see how the simplicity of his previous romances would introduce some doubt that he would take on something like that (and that did make me doubt previously). But I can believe that in his most ambitious work to date he may have wanted to challenge himself.

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Just now, BraidedRose said:

So you believe this arc is resolved, but you say you ended OB disliking both Shadolin and Shalladin. So did you feel that it was resolved satisfactorily? Did it give you an enjoyable arc as someone who enjoys romance? Because I do think there is a distinction with some people believing it is over but who were not satisfied with it and others believing it is both over and well done. And then there are those like me who think it isn’t over.

By the way, if it isn’t over I do think this would end up being far more subtle and complex than love stories I have seen from Brandon in the past. I can see how the simplicity of his previous romances would introduce some doubt that he would take on something like that (and that did make me doubt previously). But I can believe that in his most ambitious work to date he may have wanted to challenge himself.

I do feel it was resolved satisfactorily. My feelings about either ship is a totally different question from whether or not I think it's resolved, in my opinion. On my first go through, I did not enjoy it, because I did not enjoy the triangle aspect of it. On my reread, knowing how it ended, I was able to relax only because I believed it resolved, and then had a much better experience with it. So, I guess overall, I believe it was a good romance arc. Shallan and Adolin - they started in a bad place, had a crisis, and then joined together again stronger at the end having resolved every problem that was brought up at the beginning of their arc in OB. 

Personally, I don't see the romance as the biggest part, as it's only existed properly for about half the series as it stands. Brandon might expand upon it as he goes on, but in my thinking, if Kaladin and Shallan are going to drop in importance in the back five (total conjecture seeing as we know very little about it), their romance arcs will as well. Dalinar and Navani were a longer and more established romance arc, and I find Brandon treats them with...  I'm not sure what word I wanted, now that I got here. Uh... Like,for example, Dalinar and Navani have had their arc from the very beginning of all three books and their arc has been there for all three. It's consistent. Like other romances in the cosmere, there aren't tricks in it. I'm not saying it's impossible that Brandon would want to try something new with these specific characters, but my take is that it would be new and unprecedented, and it feels very against how he's treated all of his romances up until now. It's one of those situations where I won't believe it until I see it, as for me, it goes against way too much of Brandon's established precedent and style.

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6 hours ago, Greywatch said:

Shallan and Adolin - they started in a bad place, had a crisis, and then joined together again stronger at the end having resolved every problem that was brought up at the beginning of their arc in OB. 

... Shallan and Adolin had problems in the beginning of OB? Like what? I've read OB twice now, and their scenes always felt very positive to me. I really wish there was some conflict in their relationship, I really do. That's actually one problem (in addition to what @maxal and @Dreamstorm and the others touched on) that I had with the book. 

I'm not sure if I agree with your assessment of the romance arc's importance, though. Shallan's wedding scene is the last scene of Oathbringer, prior to Hoid's epilogue. That's an important scene. WoK's final scene prior to Hoid's epilogue was Dalinar discovering that Honor was dead. WoR's final scene prior to Hoid's epilogue was Dalinar bonding the Stormfather and Adolin murdering Sadeas. OB's final scene is... well, if we are to believe this interpretation... just Shallan in a perfect marriage. I think it's more in line with how Sanderson has written SA before that this final scene, too, is going to be very important down the line. And I just can't see that coming to bear if "this is it" and there's not going to be a word said about it after. 

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22 hours ago, insert_anagram_here said:

 I would expect that sword fighting needs daily training and physical exercise to achieve. You can't really equate a couple of training sessions to the life long effort people give under Zahel's tutelage for example.

All the more reason to start as soon as possible. I'll point out that Renarin did fairly decently with very limited training during the fight with Re-Shepir. Wearing shardplate, yes, but then Shallan will get one eventually too. We have seen that Jasnah had also become competent with a shardblade and it served her quite well during the battle of Thaylenah. And Jasnah is not only significantly older than Shallan, but it has been demonstrated that clever use of Illumination could provide certain short-cuts for learning the correct stances, moves, etc.

Running away may not always be possible, particularly if one didn't previously engage in physical exercise to build up speed, endurance, etc. See Shallan constantly flagging and slowing down the group during their march through Shadesmar, needing to use precious stormlight just to keep up, etc. This was the prime  example as to why she does need to train up her physical skills a bit, so that she wouldn't immediately become useless and helpless without stormlight. Not to mention that a shardblade could be dangerous to bystanders if the wielder doesn't know what they are doing, so by every reasonable standard Shallan should learn to handle this awesomely powerful weapon that she has - unless she just willfully choses helplessness and decides to never use it.

Frankly, given that one of the pro-Shalladin claims is that Kaladin makes Shallan (feel) stronger - i.e. "the girl who stood up", this argument against her ever learning how to use Patternblade seems completely counter-intuitive. Nobody says that she should become an elite fighter or that it will ever be anything but a weapon of last resort, but it is only sensible to become proficient with all the tools at your disposal, yes? Particularly given that during a Desolation one of the few existing Radiants repeatedly finding herself in extreme situations and at the end of her resources is only to be expected.

Sure, you could argue that Adolin approached the matter clumsily, that he pressured Shallan and made the matters worse - but to argue that the idea that Shallan needs to learn to use her blade is in and of itself wrong? Sorry, makes no sense to me.

 

22 hours ago, insert_anagram_here said:

It's like telling a wizard to use a rapier in DnD. They can do it sure, but they won't be using the most of their potential like that and will probably do a very bad job at it. If they run out of spells, I'd expect them to run instead.

And die from all the Attacks of Opportunity in the process :P.

22 hours ago, insert_anagram_here said:

 Fortunately, she says that light weaving is more 'silent' while they are infiltrating Kholinar, so I'm hoping that maybe she won't be running out of stormlight that often.

And if she has a chance to save people by fighting, by stalling the enemy for a few precious minutes until help arrives, when she doesn't have enough stormlight to save them via surge-binding, what then? She fully intended to stand and fight in Thaylenah when all seemed lost and nearly all the stormlight was gone, after all.

Quote

Also, I do not see any intention of Shallan sharing her parents' deaths, or at least, there is no hint of that in the text. Now that her brothers have showed up, I can see tensions rising.

Or, sure, I am counting on it. But then, tension leading up to her fessing up to her brothers and dealing with their reactions would have happened anyway, IMHO.

Agree to disagree about sharing the Ghostblood info with Adolin - it doesn't matter through which of her personas Shallan intends to do it, it has been signposted that this is happening. And yea, she absolutely should fess up to the other Kholins too, particularly Jasnah. Of course, the same is true of Kaladin Re: Moash, his co-sonspirators and Kal's own role in the regicide plot. We'll see how it goes, I guess.

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12 hours ago, maxal said:

It is the same as with the Mayalaran arc where the only readers being convinced it is 1) a good idea, 2) possible, 3) fits with Adolin's character are those having argued it was a plausible narrative to begin with. Those who never saw the character as an Edgedancer aren't anymore convinced he is now.

Well, that describes me actually. I didn't think Edgedancer fit very well before and was undecided on him reviving Maya or being a Radiant. Oathbringer convinced me on all these things.

Totally off topic... Just saying that there's always an exception. :)

11 hours ago, Dreamstorm said:

That being said, I agree with your point is that if this is the ending, it was poorly done, as it wasn't convincing to the half/less than half of the fandom who did need convincing, the Shalladin fans.  I wasn't even a strong Shalladin fan (I'd say I was 60% Shalladin/40% Shadolin pre-OB, though would have chosen Shalladin if forced to pick), but mostly I just wanted a good romance. 

This kind of hits on something that I see a lot of in these discussions. My opinion here is that Brandon simply didn't deliver particularly well. I mean, he did for many people obviously, but not as many as he could have. This is shaped primarily by my wife, who has convinced me that Brandon is very hit or miss when it comes to writing romance. :)

1 hour ago, Vissy said:

OB's final scene is... well, if we are to believe this interpretation... just Shallan in a perfect marriage

Well, the last scene is Dalinar writing Oathbringer.

But I'm highly skeptical Shallan and Adolin's relationship is going to be happily ever after. I'm very hesitant to think Brandon will break them up, but I don't think that means smooth sailing for them. I think book 4 will pick up on the tail end of their honeymoon period, and give us a lot of tough stuff for them to work through in books 4/5.

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1 hour ago, Isilel said:

Agree to disagree about sharing the Ghostblood info with Adolin - it doesn't matter through which of her personas Shallan intends to do it, it has been signposted that this is happening.

It absolutely is important, which persona tells Adolin. Adolin sees Veil as a different person. As such he wouldn't think Shallan is involved with the Ghostbloods, but Veil. Which is not only false, since even if Shallan acts as Veil, she is still Shallan, but further fortifies Shallan's own  distinctions she makes in her mind between Shallan and Veil, further amplifying the issue still at hand.

Edited by SLNC
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2 hours ago, Isilel said:

Running away may not always be possible, particularly if one didn't previously engage in physical exercise to build up speed, endurance, etc. See Shallan constantly flagging and slowing down the group during their march through Shadesmar, needing to use precious stormlight just to keep up, etc. This was the prime  example as to why she does need to train up her physical skills a bit, so that she wouldn't immediately become useless and helpless without stormlight. Not to mention that a shardblade could be dangerous to bystanders if the wielder doesn't know what they are doing, so by every reasonable standard Shallan should learn to handle this awesomely powerful weapon that she has - unless she just willfully choses helplessness and decides to never use it.

I completely I agree with this. She needs to build up endurance and muscle at this point. Physical training first, sword fighting techniques later.
And, I actually think, that the demanding psychical e̶x̶c̶r̶e̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ exertion and the motivation that it's needed for it, would help her realize why she absolutely needs to face her fear of using Pattern in the first place. A slower process would've helped ease herself into sword training without fragmenting her.

2 hours ago, Isilel said:

Frankly, given that one of the pro-Shalladin claims is that Kaladin makes Shallan (feel) stronger - i.e. "the girl who stood up", this argument against her ever learning how to use Patternblade seems completely counter-intuitive. Nobody says that she should become an elite fighter or that it will ever be anything but a weapon of last resort, but it is only sensible to become proficient with all the tools at your disposal, yes? Particularly given that during a Desolation one of the few existing Radiants repeatedly finding herself in extreme situations and at the end of her resources is only to be expected.

I've been misunderstood here. I never said she shouldn't learn to use Patern as a blade, on the contrary I agree on it. That will not only make her more efficient in battle but actually wielding Pattern as a blade will make her face her memories, her past of killing her mother, and it will make her a stronger Lightweaver as well. Yes, it is only sensible to become proficient with all the tools at your disposal, but in your own time. Shallan needs to face her emotional blockage first, gain some muscle, then start training in sword techniques. This is what happens to me every time I'm told I should start exercising. It would stand to reason that forcing her to jump into sword fighting straight away, when she wasn't even mentally prepared, might have only caused her to shun the experience. Which is what Adolin did, how he forced it on her and that's why she retrieved into persona Radiance.

2 hours ago, Isilel said:

Sure, you could argue that Adolin approached the matter clumsily, that he pressured Shallan and made the matters worse - but to argue that the idea that Shallan needs to learn to use her blade is in and of itself wrong?

Yes, I agree with the bold part completely and I've been misunderstood on the second part. (sorry English isn't my native language)

2 hours ago, Isilel said:
Quote

It's like telling a wizard to use a rapier in DnD. They can do it sure, but they won't be using the most of their potential like that and will probably do a very bad job at it. If they run out of spells, I'd expect them to run instead.

And die from all the Attacks of Opportunity in the process :P.

Well a good Wizard will stay far enough, on a safe distance from any close range enemies (we were talking about sword fighting right?) in order to avoid Attacks of Opportunity :) (maybe we should bring a DM in here? :P )

2 hours ago, Isilel said:

And if she has a chance to save people by fighting, by stalling the enemy for a few precious minutes until help arrives, when she doesn't have enough stormlight to save them via surge-binding, what then? She fully intended to stand and fight in Thaylenah when all seemed lost and nearly all the stormlight was gone, after all.

You honestly think that Shallan has the physical strength and experience to defend people with her swordfighting skills at this point? Yeah, she is naive enough to try I guess but I don't think she would succeed and probably at the cost of the lives involved. Yes, after a few months of all around training might put her into a physical condition to be able to defend herself as a last resort, but under no circumstances would I expect her to jump into the fight like a warrior and save the day. After at least a year of training that would be plausible, but at this point that's very unrealistic.

Hope I've cleared the misunderstanding :)

 

Edited by insert_anagram_here
e̶x̶c̶r̶e̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ exertion
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51 minutes ago, SLNC said:

It absolutely is important, which persona tells Adolin. Adolin sees Veil as a different person. As such he wouldn't think Shallan is involved with the Ghostbloods, but Veil. Which is not only false, since even if Shallan acts as Veil, she is still Shallan, but further fortifies Shallan's own  distinctions she makes in her mind between Shallan and Veil, further amplifying the issue still at hand.

This is how Shallan describes it, but I think that's filtered through her perception of herself. She always talks about them as separate entities, which I don't think they are. I know there's reason to believe Adolin sees her this way as well. The "real you" conversation could be interpreted to mean he doesn't see those personas as Shallan, for example.

But my interpretation is that Shallan's personas are a mixture of "real Shallan" AND "lies". Shallan takes pieces of who she really is, accentuates them, and then hides behind them. And I think Adolin understands that better than anyone else.

So I don't think he'll simply see the Ghostbloods as Veil's thing. I think he's perceptive enough to know that if Veil is involved then the "real Shallan" is also involved. That's how I read it, anyways.

28 minutes ago, insert_anagram_here said:

And, I actually think, that the demanding physical excretion, and the motivation that it's needed for it, would help her realize why she absolutely needs to face her fear of using Pattern in the first place.

This typo is glorious! :lol: There's a joke in here about Shallan pooping in Shardplate or something, but I'm not clever enough to make it. I don't mean to tease, of course, especially given English isn't your first language. (I wouldn't have known if you didn't say it.) I just didn't want to be the only one to chuckle. :) 

Anyways, I don't think we can put much blame on Adolin for fast-tracking Shallan's training. Under normal circumstances, you'd have time to train properly. (I also think there was more of that "normal" training than we saw--Brandon just didn't show it because it's boring.) Shallan's circumstances are unusual. She already has a Blade (a particularly unique one, in Adolin's eyes) and the world is ending. I think he was just doing his best, not knowing Shallan's deeper issues (at that point). 

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17 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

This is how Shallan describes it, but I think that's filtered through her perception of herself. She always talks about them as separate entities, which I don't think they are. I know there's reason to believe Adolin sees her this way as well. The "real you" conversation could be interpreted to mean he doesn't see those personas as Shallan, for example.

After she told him about Veil and Radiant, he says something along the lines of "This is troubling. You becoming different people."

At the end of OB, Shallan tells us how Veil and Adolin are starting to get along, but the importance is in how. Adolin is treating Veil like she is a different person. Adolin is treating her like a drinking buddy, clearly drawing a line between Veil and Shallan. Most strongly exemplified in him denying any intimacy between him and Veil. Or more, not engaging in any from his side.

I'd have liked to see more from Adolin perspective on this aspect, I agree, but given the text, I have no inclination to believe, that he is having some kind of different insight on Shallan's personas. 

17 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

But my interpretation is that Shallan's personas are a mixture of "real Shallan" AND "lies". Shallan takes pieces of who she really is, accentuates them, and then hides behind them. And I think Adolin understands that better than anyone else.

I agree with your interpretation, but I would really like to know why you think Adolin understands that. I see nothing in the text, that indicates this.

Edited by SLNC
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16 minutes ago, Jofwu said:
52 minutes ago, insert_anagram_here said:

using Pattern in the first place.

This typo is glorious! :lol: There's a joke in here about Shallan pooping in Shardplate or something, but I'm not clever enough to make it.

:blink::rolleyes:oops! I blame autocorrect, that's the one with the real humour here. But I'll attempt a jab at it. You can say that I over-excreted my literary abilities :lol:

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2 minutes ago, SLNC said:

I'd have liked to see more from Adolin perspective on this aspect, I agree, but given the text, I have no inclination to believe, that he is having some kind of different insight on Shallan's personas. 

I agree with your interpretation, but I would really like to know why you think Adolin understands that. I see nothing in the text, that indicates this.

Maybe I emphasized too strongly that they're all part of Shallan. Or maybe I'm just not communicating my thoughts very well.

I do think she is "becoming different people." Veil is not Shallan. Heck, sometimes Shallan is not being Shallan. I think Adolin has expressed he believes there IS a "real Shallan" buried underneath and that these personas aren't it. That doesn't mean he thinks they aren't connected to her. I think he realizes that the personas carry elements of the true Shallan.

Maybe a little silly, but we could almost pretend that Shallan is an actress who doesn't know how to stop acting. She conjured up this character named Veil. Veil is based on herself--just with an alternate past that shaped her into something different. Shallan puts on a wig and totally loses herself in the character of Veil. Adolin gets it, in my opinion. He knows that Veil isn't a total fabrication--that she is based on Shallan, and perhaps even portrays pieces of Shallan that don't come out usually. But he'd prefer that she work through her issues and be comfortable sharing that side of herself without jumping into a persona. And he certainly doesn't want to sleep with her when she's got a wig on, pretending to be someone else. 

My basis for Adolin recognizing all of this is simply their interaction on Honor's Path and after the battle. I'm reading into it heavily, combining it with my own interpretations of Adolin and Shallan's characters. It's just my gut perception of what Adolin is saying. Could be wrong. That's not to say it's just wishful thinking. I've seen arguments to the contrary. This is just what I've settled into thinking.

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@Jofwu In this situation, it's often asked whether Adolin knows who the "real Shallan" is. For instance, the reasoning might go as follows: Shallan came to the Shattered Plains wearing a mask designed for Adolin, like the conwoman she killed had taught her. Shallan never explicitly took off this mask, and the mask is what Adolin primarily interacted with. Adolin might not understand that the mask is not Shallan, but it is also part lies, part real Shallan, just like Veil and Radiant. In this context the conwoman's warning (paraphrasing: know when to call off the con, or one day you're the one who gets caught) is also mentioned as supporting evidence. I can get you some quotes and stuff if you'd like, though this is just a quick post for now as I'm kind of in a hurry. I'm interested to hear your take on that though.

Edited by Vissy
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