Dreamstorm

SKA - Is it Resolved?

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I might word this wrong so bare with me, i don't think we as readers have even seen the real shallan yet, the shallan we see is just as much a mask as when she becomes veil, or radiant.

From what we have seen, each time shallan has a specific task or goal she wants to accomplish she alters her persona to some degree or other, some times the change is slight, sometimes the change is quiet large. 

And given we still don't know what "cracked/broke" shallan even after her flashback book, there is deeper lies/hidden truths to her character that we as readers have yet to even see.

Based on that i believe shallans persona we see is just another mask, so there is no way Adolin knows the real shallan when we as readers don't have any idea who the real shallan is.

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@Jofwu I think there is a large part of understanding Shallan that is missing from the equation here. Adolin surely wouldn't be capable of understanding this and the advice he gives to Shallan, wanting the inside of the broken vase, testifies this. 

Veil and Radiant are not lies, they aren't parts of her that she can just discard away. Every time Shallan shoves a trait of herself to the back of her mind, and that trait ends up in one of the personas, that trait is also removed from the main Shallan persona. If she discards the two 'masks' as broken parts, a huge part of herself will disappear as well. This is not the path into making her whole again.

Take a look at Wit's advice:

Quote

“Your other minds take over,” he whispered, “because they look so much more appealing. You’ll never control them until you’re confident in returning to the one who birthed them. Until you accept being you.” “Then I’ll never control it.” She blinked tears. “No,” Wit said. He nodded toward the version of her still standing up. “You will, Shallan. If you do not trust yourself, can you trust me? For in you, I see a woman more wonderful than any of the lies. I promise you, that woman is worth protecting. You are worth protecting.” She nodded toward the illusion of herself still standing. “I can’t be her. She’s just another fabrication.” Both illusions vanished. “I see only one woman here,” Wit said. “And it’s the one who is standing up. Shallan, that has always been you. You just have to admit it. Allow it.” He whispered to her. “It’s all right to hurt.” He picked up his pack, then unfolded something from inside it. Veil’s hat. He pressed the hat into her palm. Shockingly, morning light was shining in the doorway. Had she been here all night, huddled in this hole of a room? “Wit?” she asked. “I . . . I can’t do it.” He smiled. “There are certain things I know, Shallan. This is one of them. You can. Find the balance. Accept the pain, but don’t accept that you deserved it.

He is telling her that she needs to accept her pain, accept the broken parts of herself (Veil in this case) even if it hurts. 

Shallan doesn't acknowledge this, as you do, and she thinks they are just 'masks' and fabrications, but they are not. There is only one woman and those personas are part of the one and only Shallan who is standing up. She can only stand up when she merges back into one self.

Edit: Just think back of what kind of person Shallan was in WoK and WoR, the Shallan we see at the end of OB is only a small and weak part of her.

Edited by insert_anagram_here
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53 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

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.

I think you're referring to the vase thing, right?

Okay, so we can all agree on the real Shallan being broken, right?

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“Shallan’s broken, so I think I’m trying to hide her. Like a cracked vase, where you turn the nice side toward the room, hiding the flaw. I’m not doing it on purpose, but it’s happening, and I don’t know how to stop it.

You see, Adolin completely misunderstands her here. She is the vase, not what is inside the vase, which is what Adolin thinks. She is the crack in the vase, so she puts forth the parts of her, that she thinks aren't broken to hide the flaw. Veil, the conwoman (let's face it, she has been conning everyone from the beginning), Radiant, the Radiant, and Shallan, the scholar. All of this combined: That is Shallan, as we've seen her before, not some different new person, that is being hidden by all of them. Trauma has broken them apart and Shallan is unwilling to accept, that she is all of them combined, because switching between them allows her to function, without quite being herself.

Think about it... It doesn't make sense, if Veil and Radiant were different persons, because firstly, like you yourself said, they are based on herself, but secondly, and most importantly, everything she does, when she thinks she is Veil or Radiant, she actually does herself. All of the persona stuff, just in her head. She is perfectly capable to do all the stuff, she does as Veil and as Radiant by herself. It is just her traumatized mind rebelling against it, because she is not accepting the pain. She's hiding from it. And her pre-wedding scene is just another juxtaposition of accepting the pain. She is forcing herself to be happy, which indeed is not what happiness should be like. She is keeping Veil and Radiant around, because she still can't accept the pain.

Regarding Adolin knowing the real Shallan: Boy, he doesn't know anything yet.

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2 hours ago, insert_anagram_here said:

Veil and Radiant are not lies, they aren't parts of her that she can just discard away.

2 hours ago, insert_anagram_here said:

Shallan doesn't acknowledge this, as you do, and she thinks they are just 'masks' and fabrications, but they are not. There is only one woman and those personas are part of the one and only Shallan who is standing up. She can only stand up when she merges back into one self.

I agree with you, I think, but I was about to argue your first point because I'd say Veil and Radiant are lies, and that's the point you're making. There is no Veil, so pretending that Veil exists is a lie. Thus, Veil is a lie. Radiant does not exist either, and to pretend there's someone called Brightness Radiant is a lie. They're not masks, either, but parts of her that she doesn't like or can't admit are there.

These are the lies Shallan tells herself, along with a million others. These are the lies that are so fascinating to Pattern and that she needs to overcome to keep from killing him.

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20 hours ago, maxal said:

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:

The thing is, there has never been much canon evidence that Adolin would get a significant arc. I think the expectations stemmed from two things mainly: murder of Sadeas and readers' sympathy for the character. My theory is, that the first will be addressed later, with more impact (hopefully, I've been looking forward to it). As for the second, having a likeable character has nothing to do with promising them a compelling arc - in fact, such characters are most usually left in the background. Adolin's arc in OB is in line with his arc in WoK and WoR - nothing more, nothing less. And if that's not enough, there's a ton of WoBs that clarify Adolin's meant to be a relatively simple, supporting character. I think Brandon was as clear about it as reasonably possible without spoilering. And still, he added those scenes for the readers' sake, just not so many so that it would become fanfiction. He didn't do that with the SKA.

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13 hours ago, Vissy said:

... 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. 

If Shallan and Adolin continued on as they had in Part One, they should not have been together. After reading Part One, I was sure they were toast. They had a veneer of positivity, both trying so hard to be the perfect versions of themselves for each other. They hid the truth from each other, when they both had something big and serious they were dealing with, and both of them were too afraid to tell the other anything about it. While this is normal for many people when they start dating, it can't last if they're going to be serious. Hence, I was thinking OB might be the story of them breaking up.

When they had their scene of telling each other the truth, resolving this big issue they were having as a couple, I grudgingly shook my head, "You got me this time, Brandon. Fine." Yeah, like I said, not a fan of either ship on the first read.

Actually, no, there was no wedding scene. The last scene of Oathbringer is Dalinar and Navani. 

Edited by Greywatch
grammar edits
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1 minute ago, Greywatch said:

Actually, no, there was no wedding scene. The last scene of Oathbringer is Dalinar and Navani. 

There was a wedding scene, and it was theirs, and it was the best one we could have hoped for. I loved it.

I think the contrast was intentional.

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@Vissy (and others) Oh, yeah, that's a totally valid argument. I just tend to think Adolin is fairly perceptive concerning other people, and that in this case he sees down to who she is. Maybe I'll be surprised. 

I certainly don't think he understands her perfectly well, nor do I think that we as readers know her perfectly well. But I feel like like Brandon has shown us many pieces of the real Shallan, and I feel like Adolin has put many of those together.

But, honestly, I don't think she's as complicated as she thinks she is. She's a creative artist. She's a scientist who wants to know how the world works. She likes taking risks and leaping before she thinks. She likes real-world, first-hand experience. She loves her family fiercely. She's a daydreamer. She's tough. She's a Radiant. She's a victim of abuse. She's not THAT big a mystery, in my opinion. She FEELS like a total mess, which is only natural. She doesn't understand herself in the same way that any teenage kid in her place wouldn't understand herself. She has a lot of grief to work through. She has a super weird, broken childhood to recover from. She's got a lot of trauma that needs healing.

She's also more than she thinks of herself. And is capable of more than she thinks herself capable of. Most of the "lies" aren't really lies. Shallan CAN be what Veil and Radiant are. She's just doesn't believe that of herself sometimes. The personas are just an easy way for her to deal with the hurt or fear. She takes certain qualities of herself that she needs the persona to have and leaves out the qualities that she thinks hold her back. 

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23 hours ago, maxal said:

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.

This is a great point, and one which I was thinking about in connection with Calderis' point about showing romantic relationships at the stage beyond infatuation and attraction.  I have a huge sticking point with the SKA resolution from a literary standpoint, which is I do not understand Kal's role in all this as it played out, but for the sake of argument, let's say that was satisfactorily resolved/we rewind time and not have him involved.  Do I see a path forward where I could see Shadolin come around to being a satisfying romance?  I think yes, but it would take a lot of work.  Shallan has a lot of issues, and it wouldn't work for me to have Adolin just stand by being endlessly loving and supportive while she painfully worked through them.  I think what could be good, would be a relationship pushed to breaking, with an incredibly frustrated Adolin, a Shallan who is becoming more independent (and whole), and then seeing it stitched back together.  So, I think I would need a reboot.  So, I guess what I feel more than anything is Shallan needs a new romance, but I could see that "new" romance being with Adolin himself if done in the right way.

21 hours ago, Greywatch said:

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.

Question for you if you don't mind sharing... who did you ship after WoR?  I always assumed you were a Shadolin shipper going into OB, but maybe not?

9 hours ago, Jofwu said:

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. 

I also have a lot of confusion about Shallan, and it doesn't help in all of this, it's so tied to her romantic arc (where many of us have strong opinions.)  I hate when I'm worried I believe something only because of confirmation bias!  I agree with parts of this but not others.  I don't think she is becoming other people, but I do think she is in some ways like an actor trying on roles.  We all do this to some extent - we have a work persona, a social persona, a family persona, a 17th shard persona (:D) which likely all vary at least a bit - but Shallan takes this to a pathological level.  (My interpretation is highly influenced by this WoB, as I've fit my view of Shallan into how he's describing it btw.)  All of these personas are actually Shallan, just as who I am at work is me, even if I'm suppressing my contradictory side, as much as who I am out with friends is still me, even if I'm suppressing my more responsible side.  There isn't a "real" me which is hidden underneath all of these, instead all of these are me, just pruned and accented in little ways to fit the situation I am in.  Shallan obviously takes this to an extreme (and she most certainly views these personas as not her, hence the back stories and referring to them as different from her), but they are still all Shallan.  I think this distinction is really accented when you take the intimacy part - Shallan is no less Shallan when she has dark hair and is suppressing her proper side, etc.  Adolin may not be attracted to that side of Shallan, but that means that he is not attracted to part of Shallan, which is why that is a bit distressing. 

22 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

I just tend to think Adolin is fairly perceptive concerning other people, and that in this case he sees down to who she is. Maybe I'll be surprised. 

But, honestly, I don't think she's as complicated as she thinks she is. She's a creative artist. She's a scientist who wants to know how the world works. She likes taking risks and leaping before she thinks. She likes real-world, first-hand experience. She loves her family fiercely. She's a daydreamer. She's tough. She's a Radiant. She's a victim of abuse. She's not THAT big a mystery, in my opinion. She FEELS like a total mess, which is only natural. She doesn't understand herself in the same way that any teenage kid in her place wouldn't understand herself. She has a lot of grief to work through. She has a super weird, broken childhood to recover from. She's got a lot of trauma that needs healing.

 Just saw you responded to the thread as I was writing!  I agree with a lot of your characterization of Shallan, but I wanted to throw out this WoB regarding Adolin's perceptiveness...  It's from before OB (and obviously WoBs are soft cannon), but it does line up with how I see Adolin a lot with Shallan - kind of tone deaf... not noticing her distress when asking to teach her to use her sword or when she finds out Kaladin killed Heleran, or her exhaustion when escaping from Kholinar, or focusing on her outfit when she returns after the Wit conversation (Shallan seems a bit exasperated there with her "Oh, Adolin.")  But I know these things can of course be read in different ways!  I wanted to highlight the things in bold, though.  Adolin doesn't even know about her childhood or the source of her grief and trauma, so I find it hard to believe he could really know her.  That trauma and broken childhood is so far a very central part of Shallan's character as it is presented to the reader, so I find it hard to believe anyone who doesn't have any idea of what she went through can really begin to understand her.

Quote

Questioner

I notice Adolin has a talent for picking out when people are lying. At least he caught Sadeas, he caught Amaram, he knew Kaladin was having something, but he missed Danlan.

Brandon Sanderson

How reliable is Adolin with his read on people? Better with guys.

Everyone

*laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

Look at the list you just gave me.

6 hours ago, Rainier said:

These are the lies Shallan tells herself, along with a million others. These are the lies that are so fascinating to Pattern and that she needs to overcome to keep from killing him.

Ok, you convinced me.  I need a thread on Pattern and Shallan.  Pattern finds the lies so fascinating and yet he is distressed by them, ahhhh, I can't wrap my head around it.

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18 minutes ago, Dreamstorm said:

Just saw you responded to the thread as I was writing!  I agree with a lot of your characterization of Shallan, but I wanted to throw out this WoB regarding Adolin's perceptiveness...  It's from before OB (and obviously WoBs are soft cannon), but it does line up with how I see Adolin a lot with Shallan - kind of tone deaf... not noticing her distress when asking to teach her to use her sword or when she finds out Kaladin killed Heleran, or her exhaustion when escaping from Kholinar, or focusing on her outfit when she returns after the Wit conversation (Shallan seems a bit exasperated there with her "Oh, Adolin.")  But I know these things can of course be read in different ways!  I wanted to highlight the things in bold, though.  Adolin doesn't even know about her childhood or the source of her grief and trauma, so I find it hard to believe he could really know her.  That trauma and broken childhood is so far a very central part of Shallan's character as it is presented to the reader, so I find it hard to believe anyone who doesn't have any idea of what she went through can really begin to understand her.

All very good points, and that WoB is hilarious.

Like I said, I don't think Adolin's understanding of her is complete. But the exact nature of her past is a pretty huge thing that he definitely doesn't know about. I suppose I could argue that he can see and understand that there's something there. And that he's the right kind of person to walk through that with her. But that's probably based on little more than what I'd like to see. Time will tell.

If their marriage is going to be successful, that past is definitely something that she'll need to (at least partly) share with him. Maybe having her brothers around will help drive that.

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Pattern finds the lies so fascinating and yet he is distressed by them, ahhhh, I can't wrap my head around it.

I think Pattern likes the IDEA of "lies". It's a very human thing to him. A very bizzare, magical, unnatural thing. But he sees the difference between lies and truth as clear as night and day. So it's definitely concerning to him that Shallan is getting them mixed up. It's like they're playing a game and then he suddenly realizes Shallan doesn't know it's just a game. Way off topic, but I think Pattern is fascinating. :D

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17 minutes ago, Dreamstorm said:

Question for you if you don't mind sharing... who did you ship after WoR?  I always assumed you were a Shadolin shipper going into OB, but maybe not?

Oh! Oh, no! No, I didn't like either ship going into OB. I liked Kadolin and only Kadolin. I disliked Shalladin, and was bored by Shadolin. The very beginnings of the appearance of the triangle at the end of WoR caused me much anguish and dread. I spent three years going, "Brandon, don't do what I think you're doing" and only breathed a sigh of relief at the end of OB, when I'm taking it to mean it's over. I've come around to Shadolin only because when you end up defending something, one starts to feel fond of that something. No, even now I don't consider myself a Shadolin shipper. I'll argue in its favour if I think something is unfair, or just untrue, but I'm not going to be destroyed if the ship doesn't last.

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5 hours ago, Ailvara said:

The thing is, there has never been much canon evidence that Adolin would get a significant arc. I think the expectations stemmed from two things mainly: murder of Sadeas and readers' sympathy for the character. My theory is, that the first will be addressed later, with more impact (hopefully, I've been looking forward to it). As for the second, having a likeable character has nothing to do with promising them a compelling arc - in fact, such characters are most usually left in the background. Adolin's arc in OB is in line with his arc in WoK and WoR - nothing more, nothing less. And if that's not enough, there's a ton of WoBs that clarify Adolin's meant to be a relatively simple, supporting character. I think Brandon was as clear about it as reasonably possible without spoilering. And still, he added those scenes for the readers' sake, just not so many so that it would become fanfiction. He didn't do that with the SKA.

We get Adolin's viewpoint before we get Dalinar's in WoK which presented him as the protagonist. He's also the one with an actual growth and story arc in WoK: Dalinar was extremely static in this book. He had visions, he was convinced they were real and he had to follow them. He does just this. The end. Adolin is the one who needed convincing, who came to understand what his father was trying to accomplish, who switched his gun from one shoulder to the next and decided he would follow his father's lead even if he doesn't fully agree with it.

In WoR, he has a bigger narrative than Dalinar who does almost nothing during most of the book. All Dalinar does is putting things in motion for the action and bonding the Stormfather. The dueling spree, Eshonai, Kaladin's prison time, all of this narratives happen around Adolin's character, not Dalinar. He's the one character who created the most amazing scenes we have read so far.

Hence, the statement there was no canon evidence Adolin would be a bigger arc is just... not there. After reading WoR, I was convinced the next focus would be Adolin because I felt he was the one character having the next story to tell, not Dalinar, even less Szeth and Eshonai. Oh how disappointed when I found out not only the next focus wasn't Adolin, but there were no plans to ever give him one. Instead, we were to read about Renarin and Lift. As a reader, my perspective on the canon was it really implied a very different outcome.

Now, will it be addressed later? I hope so, but still, the tension and the momentum is gone now. It is gone and it will not come back. The anticipation is also gone. This magical moment where you see an anticipated narrative unfold has never happened and it won't happen because readers no longer expect it to happen. At best, Brandon will rescue some of the narrative and make a more or less satisfying arc, but nothing will ever compensate for the anti-climatic follow-up he wrote for Sadeas's murder.

1 hour ago, Jofwu said:

@Vissy (and others) Oh, yeah, that's a totally valid argument. I just tend to think Adolin is fairly perceptive concerning other people, and that in this case he sees down to who she is. Maybe I'll be surprised. 

I certainly don't think he understands her perfectly well, nor do I think that we as readers know her perfectly well. But I feel like like Brandon has shown us many pieces of the real Shallan, and I feel like Adolin has put many of those together.

But, honestly, I don't think she's as complicated as she thinks she is. She's a creative artist. She's a scientist who wants to know how the world works. She likes taking risks and leaping before she thinks. She likes real-world, first-hand experience. She loves her family fiercely. She's a daydreamer. She's tough. She's a Radiant. She's a victim of abuse. She's not THAT big a mystery, in my opinion. She FEELS like a total mess, which is only natural. She doesn't understand herself in the same way that any teenage kid in her place wouldn't understand herself. She has a lot of grief to work through. She has a super weird, broken childhood to recover from. She's got a lot of trauma that needs healing.

She's also more than she thinks of herself. And is capable of more than she thinks herself capable of. Most of the "lies" aren't really lies. Shallan CAN be what Veil and Radiant are. She's just doesn't believe that of herself sometimes. The personas are just an easy way for her to deal with the hurt or fear. She takes certain qualities of herself that she needs the persona to have and leaves out the qualities that she thinks hold her back. 

I tend to agree with this commentary. I do agree Shallan isn't as complicated as she thinks she is nor is her backstory as messed up and she feels it is. Adolin's backstory too is horribly messed up. I tend to think he did figure out more of her than it shows because she really isn't the big mystery she believes she is.

30 minutes ago, Dreamstorm said:

This is a great point, and one which I was thinking about in connection with Calderis' point about showing romantic relationships at the stage beyond infatuation and attraction.  I have a huge sticking point with the SKA resolution from a literary standpoint, which is I do not understand Kal's role in all this as it played out, but for the sake of argument, let's say that was satisfactorily resolved/we rewind time and not have him involved.  Do I see a path forward where I could see Shadolin come around to being a satisfying romance?  I think yes, but it would take a lot of work.  Shallan has a lot of issues, and it wouldn't work for me to have Adolin just stand by being endlessly loving and supportive while she painfully worked through them.  I think what could be good, would be a relationship pushed to breaking, with an incredibly frustrated Adolin, a Shallan who is becoming more independent (and whole), and then seeing it stitched back together.  So, I think I would need a reboot.  So, I guess what I feel more than anything is Shallan needs a new romance, but I could see that "new" romance being with Adolin himself if done in the right way.

Honestly, Adolin standing still as the ever supporting husband never saying one word above the other doesn't work out for me neither. While I do support the Adolin/Shallan relationship, it doesn't mean I do not want it to grow, to develop, to face realistic hardships and struggles. Ways I thought the romance could end up working better were if Adolin feelings of inadequacy became stronger, harder to deal with. I am not sure where the narrative could go with those, now Adolin is tied in place as a Highprince, but I guess it wouldn't be hard to create opportunities.

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17 hours ago, Dreamstorm said:

Pattern finds the lies so fascinating and yet he is distressed by them, ahhhh, I can't wrap my head around it.

The key to the Radiants are their spren. Kal and Syl. Shallan and Pattern. Dalinar and the Stormfather. We've gone through three books with these three relationships, and they are the  most important in the series, thus far. They will continue to be through the next two books, too, so it might be time for a Shallan/Pattern thread.

17 hours ago, Dreamstorm said:

I do think she is in some ways like an actor trying on roles.  We all do this to some extent - we have a work persona, a social persona, a family persona, a 17th shard persona (:D) which likely all vary at least a bit - but Shallan takes this to a pathological level. 

There isn't a "real" me which is hidden underneath all of these, instead all of these are me, just pruned and accented in little ways to fit the situation I am in.  Shallan obviously takes this to an extreme (and she most certainly views these personas as not her, hence the back stories and referring to them as different from her), but they are still all Shallan. 

Of course we all do this, every day of all of our lives. But Shallan does this with !!MAGIC!! Investiture, so it's codified and measurable. I remember doing this myself as a child, trying to rename myself because I thought it was cooler. What if I had Stormlight and a spren to facilitate my lies?

The bond between Pattern and Shallan is based on lies and truth. If Pattern doesn't bring the truth out of Shallan, he'll die, just like Sylphrena died when Kaladin broke his oaths. I think it's supposed to be a threat of what Kaladin went through in the chasms, and if Shallan experiences the same thing she'll be forced to confront the most difficult truths in order to revive him and progress.

Edited by Rainier
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10 minutes ago, Rainier said:

The bond between Pattern and Shallan is based on lies and truth. If Pattern doesn't bring the truth out of Shallan, he'll die, just like Sylphrena died when Kaladin broke his oaths. I think it's supposed to be a threat of what Kaladin went through in the chasms, and if Shallan experiences the same thing she'll be forced to confront the most difficult truths in order to revive him and progress.

The difficulty here, is in the nature of Shallan's "oaths."

If Pattern dies it will be because Shallan has well and truly denied the truth. Unlike Kaladin's revelation that allowed him to finally do the right thing, and speak his third oath, Shallan only has one more truth to go... To advance and revive him, she'd have to come to terms with everything she denied in killing him. I think she's either going to find it in herself to face things and advance before this happens, or she'll be well and truly lost in her lies and pattern will be gone.

If she can't bring herself to face the truth, killing pattern will be just one more denial to throw on the pyre of her mind. 

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4 hours ago, maxal said:

I tend to agree with this commentary. I do agree Shallan isn't as complicated as she thinks she is nor is her backstory as messed up and she feels it is. Adolin's backstory too is horribly messed up. I tend to think he did figure out more of her than it shows because she really isn't the big mystery she believes she is.

Yeah I just don't understand this line of thinking at all. Shallans backstory isn't messed up? Adolins is horribly messed up? Shallan was forced to kill her mother in self defense when her mother tried to murder her. Then her father becomes an abusive psychopath who constantly beats her brothers, and in the end, she's forced to kill him too. But sure her backstory isn't messed up at all...

Then there's Adolin, everybody's resident handsome prince who gets along with everyone. In his horribly messed up childhood we have him growing up a pampered prince who gets the best of everything provided by Alethi society. His mother died while he was still fairly young, and he worshipped his father but never quite felt good enough for him. Yeah, he just had a horrible childhood...

Look, I'm sorry for the sarcasm, but lets be real here, Adolins backstory is a walk in the park compared to Shallans. Adolin did not have this horribly twisted and terrible childhood, he grew up as a rich prince, with that comes certain expectations, but nothing out of the ordinary for someone of his station.

And yes, Shallan is still quite the mystery. When did she originally bond Pattern? What caused her to break that first time she bonded him? We know nothing of her first 11 years of life. And for the record, I don't think Adolin has figured out jack about Shallan, he never even thinks about her. Where do you get this notion he's figured her out? If he had, he wouldn't be indulging Shallan in treating Veil and Radiant as different people.

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I've seen "what caused Shallan to break originally" come up a few times in different discussions regarding Shallan now, so figured this was relevant. 

Quote

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

How was Shallan able to bond with Pattern before she was broken?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

She was open to him even before she went through a lot of that turmoil

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I thought everybody had to be broken in order to--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Well, that's their philosophy in-world. But I'm not going to say whether it's correct or wrong. I will imply that there are other means as well.

source

Yes, I think that a mother willing to kill their own child means things were not the vision of rainbows and sunshine that Shallan likes to believe. I don't think she was "broken" though. 

I think that if a spren is attracted by someone young enough, that the Spren can bond with them, and the spiritweb will grow to incorporate the bond in the same manner a growing tree will incorporate something that stuck in its branches. 

I truly believe that we've seen the worst of her backstory. Prior to her mother's death there had to still be problems, because every one of her brothers is a mess, and everyone was more than  willing to believe that Lin Davar killed his wife, without question. I think Shallan was still young and resilient enough though, to escape the worst of it, and adapt. 

Edited by Calderis
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@Calderis

Doesn't Pattern repeatedly say he was drawn to her because of her deep lies though? That kinda runs contrary to the quote you just posted.

Also pattern says if she killed him they would just send another cryptic for her to bond instead, from that i think can assume theres alot more going on then readers have seen.

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8 minutes ago, IronBars said:

@Calderis

Doesn't Pattern repeatedly say he was drawn to her because of her deep lies though? That kinda runs contrary to the quote you just posted.

Also pattern says if she killed him they would just send another cryptic for her to bond instead, from that i think can assume theres alot more going on then readers have seen.

I don't think it does. Those lies could simply be that she convinced herself that life was the sunshine and roses image she still believes. For a young child, denying the fighting and abuse of her siblings and such could leave her unbroken and still be major lies. 

Children are remarkably capable of adapting to situations. Shallan as a kid seems to have been happy and cheerful by the things that we got from Heleran in her flashbacks. He wanted her to draw and be the child he remembered. 

So yeah, I think that the Davar household was still a train wreck. And I think that Shallan was the, intentionally, oblivious happy child in the middle of it, and that pattern was drawn to the lies of a child maintaining their happy worldview. 

Edited by Calderis
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2 hours ago, Calderis said:

I truly believe that we've seen the worst of her backstory. Prior to her mother's death there had to still be problems, because every one of her brothers is a mess, and everyone was more than  willing to believe that Lin Davar killed his wife, without question. I think Shallan was still young and resilient enough though, to escape the worst of it, and adapt. 

What makes you think her brothers were a mess before their mother's death? I've gone back and forth on this, so I can see both sides. I can't think of any definitive evidence one way or the other though. We don't meet any of them until after Shallan killed there mother and everyone thinks Lin did it. Can't think of any mentions of their problems prior to that.

Shallan's original bond to Pattern is fascinating to me. I can't decide of the lies that attracted Pattern were "hide from a difficult life" lies or just "I'm a kid with a powerful imagination" lies.

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14 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

What makes you think her brothers were a mess before their mother's death? I've gone back and forth on this, so I can see both sides. I can't think of any definitive evidence one way or the other though. We don't meet any of them until after Shallan killed there mother and everyone thinks Lin did it. Can't think of any mentions of their problems prior to that.

We don't have mentions of anything prior to that. I think that the death of their mother definitely exacerbated things, but I think their problems were already developing just from their home life.

I just think that the willingness of everyone to believe that Lin was capable of the murder, and the fact that Shallan's mother attempted to kill her in the first place says that things were not right before. 

If Pattern hadn't come and Shallan's mother never attempted that, and Shallan herself was not a Radiant, I think that they would all still be a mess, just slightly less so. She would have ended up with more minor problems, but still end up as broken as her brothers. 

It's all opinion. But in my mind at least, the things that made everything we saw in Shallan's flashbacks possible rely on a home broken to begin with. And a mother who was willing to agree to taking part in the murder of her own child is already someone who's probably not the best parent. 

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5 minutes ago, Calderis said:

the fact that Shallan's mother attempted to kill her in the first place says that things were not right before

This is the only thing that really sticks out to me. I don't put much stock in the fact that the kids would readily think Lin a murderer. It's the most logical conclusion given the evidence, and he intentionally let that rumor spread. What else were they supposed to think? But the whole murder-her-daughter thing (or just generally being part of a "cult" to begin with) is certainly notable. I lean towards agreeing with you based on that.

I just think there's way too many unknowns to discount an alternative explanation. We don't really know how long her mother was involved with the Skybreakers. Shallan could very well have had a totally normal childhood until the last year or so before her mother went over the deep end.

You're probably right. I'm just hesitant to narrow down my expectations on this one. Also not terribly on topic, so sorry about that. :)

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14 hours ago, GarrethGrey said:

Yeah I just don't understand this line of thinking at all. Shallans backstory isn't messed up? Adolins is horribly messed up? Shallan was forced to kill her mother in self defense when her mother tried to murder her. Then her father becomes an abusive psychopath who constantly beats her brothers, and in the end, she's forced to kill him too. But sure her backstory isn't messed up at all...

Then there's Adolin, everybody's resident handsome prince who gets along with everyone. In his horribly messed up childhood we have him growing up a pampered prince who gets the best of everything provided by Alethi society. His mother died while he was still fairly young, and he worshipped his father but never quite felt good enough for him. Yeah, he just had a horrible childhood...

Look, I'm sorry for the sarcasm, but lets be real here, Adolins backstory is a walk in the park compared to Shallans. Adolin did not have this horribly twisted and terrible childhood, he grew up as a rich prince, with that comes certain expectations, but nothing out of the ordinary for someone of his station.

And yes, Shallan is still quite the mystery. When did she originally bond Pattern? What caused her to break that first time she bonded him? We know nothing of her first 11 years of life. And for the record, I don't think Adolin has figured out jack about Shallan, he never even thinks about her. Where do you get this notion he's figured her out? If he had, he wouldn't be indulging Shallan in treating Veil and Radiant as different people.

OK... I think it is time to put things into better perspective.

Adolin grew up in a household with a drunk father who constantly diminished him, criticized him, demolished his every efforts to please him all the while not bothering to even look at his younger brother. Dalinar bathed in alcohol and probably his own vomit for more than 6 years: how many times was it Adolin who found him drunkenly unconscious? The story doesn't tell, but I am sorry if I cannot consider having lived through one parent's alcoholism makes up for a "perfect life". I also believe most people, in real-life, would consider it quite horrible, but this isn't the end of it.

Adolin was also put under the strain of abnormally high expectations since the day of his birth, expectations so high, he cannot even dream of achieving them and, as such, grew up knowing he would fail no matter how hard he tries (and yet still tries).

Adolin's mother was brutally murdered when he 12 years old. She did not just quietly die after an illness: she was murdered.

So yeah, sure, Adolin did not kill his parents, he doesn't carry the same guilt Shallan does: all this is true, but quite frankly saying his life "was a perfect stroll into the sunny park" is an overstatement. I am somewhat baffled killing your own parents somehow became the threshold by which a childhood can be deemed horrible. As if anything less than that wasn't worth mentioning.

Speaking of which, it is also worth mentioning Shallan did grow up as a pampered lighteyed girl, a fact she herself recognized in WoR. She was never criticized. She was acclaimed by all for her wits and her humor. She was the crown jewel of her household and while her father was a violent man, he never raised a hand to her. Not everything about Shallan's life was negative just as not everything about Adolin's life was positive. There are different kind of abuses and Dalinar's abuse is not less real because it did not involve physical violence: it however involved a great deal of psychological violence. This being said, nobody diminishes Shallan's ordeal on the fact she wasn't actually poor nor in need of anything material.

I would thus suggest an exercise just for fun. Pretends one of your real-life friends comes forward and admits his mother was abducted by business rivals of your friend's father and got brutally murdered when he just 12 years old. Pretend his father then turned into an abusive alcoholic man for whom your friend could never be good enough. Have the father expect and demand spectacular perfect grades into the hardest curriculum your school offers. Add a disabled younger brother the father doesn't want to bother himself with to the mix. Are you going to tell him to go paint himself into the wall because "his family is rich"? Are you going to tell him his past was picture perfect because you happened to know someone else who, outstandingly, got it worst? Are you going to shush it all because your friend doesn't act like it affected him too deeply?

I bet you wouldn't because reality is Adolin's childhood was far from perfect and yeah, he adapted. Yeah, it didn't break him. Yeah, he's resilient and strong enough not to make a Big Deal out of it, but none of this changes the fact it did happen.

Take my hypothetical real-life example, I bet you'd say: "Gee man, that's awful, if you ever need someone to talk to, I'm here.". Or something along those lines. 

Hence, when I say Adolin's childhood was messed up, I believe it was messed up. It was a different kind of messed up than Shallan. It certainly was much less traumatizing, it didn't scar him like Shallan was scarred, but it still wasn't perfect and it still counts as a troubled childhood. Thus, I do think Adolin does have the capacity to understand what it is to grow up in a less than perfect household even if he has a hard time admitting it himself. I do think he reads a great deal lot more into Shallan than the narrative is suggesting, but this is based on my intuition, so best is to drop it.

Bottom line is I while I would never, in a thousand years, want to change my childhood for Shallan's, the truth is I wouldn't change it for Adolin's either. Money is not everything, money doesn't buy a father's unconditional support and love. Money doesn't erase critics nor does it make "alcoholism" acceptable. Money doesn't resurrect mothers having died violently. 

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@maxal Yeah, I guess we're just reading Adolin wildly differently, I don't see most of the things you do (aside from his mothers death, I agree with you on that, it was bad). My biggest issue with your post was it seemed like you were saying Shallans childhood wasn't that bad, while Adolins was, and while I appreciate you admitting Shallans childhood was more traumatizing than Adolins, I still don't think his was really that traumatizing (again, aside from his mother being killed), so agree to disagree. Your intuiton says Adolin knows more about Shallan than we think, mine says he still doesn't know much of anything about her. But that's mostly because of how he's written, we really dont have any insight into his thoughts on Shallan (which is really weird, you'd think Brandon could throw a meaningful thought or two in there, especially if they were going to get married)

I appreciate the response, and apologize again for the sarcasm in my earlier post. As you love Adolin, I love Shallan, provided things keep going the way they ended in OB, I'm sure we'll have plenty to talk about in regards to these two in the future ;)

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57 minutes ago, maxal said:

Adolin grew up in a household with a drunk father who constantly diminished him, criticized him, demolished his every efforts to please him all the while not bothering to even look at his younger brother.

Let me preface this by saying that overall you made some good points in your post about how Adolin grew up with some circumstances that are objectively traumatizing. Losing a parent at a young age is traumatizing. Having a parent with an addiction would in most cases lead to some damage in the parent-child relationship at a minimum, and so on. But I'm honestly not seeing the part I quoted above in the text. I just didn't at all get the sense that Dalinar "constantly diminished him, criticized him, demolished his every efforts to please him." Can you give some examples from the text that led you to this? 

Even in the flashbacks, I think we saw that Dalinar was arguably distant at times from his sons (more so Renarin than Adolin I would say, because he seemed to have a hard time connecting emotionally with Renarin). We certainly saw Dalinar do some monstrous things on the battlefield, etc but that was not with his children around. We do see one instance where Adolin has to deal with his father drunk, when he is nearly 17 and Dalinar yells at him to get out (that seems to be the worst moment we see on the page). Up to the point where Adolin is about 12, nearly 13, right before Evi's death, they seem to have a good relationship. We see them interacting, Dalinar teaching Adolin and Adolin not wanting to leave Dalinar. After Evi's death there are some big time skips, but in those chapters we see that Dalinar struggles a little more with being a father to Adolin because he reminds him of Evi, but he still tells Adolin he is proud of him. There is a chapter when Adolin is 18 (shortly before Dalinar goes to the Nightwatcher) and he admits he has been a poor father the last few years (Adolin contradicts him) and Dalinar again tells him how proud he is of Adolin. His thoughts tell us more, that he honestly admires the man that he sees Adolin to be. So there is friction in their relationship after Evi's death, but there is love underneath.

Certainly by the time we see them in WoK, we see nothing but admiration and pride from Dalinar towards Adolin. He genuinely believes that Adolin is a better man than him. The only thing that finally seems to cause some doubt about this is finding out that Adolin killed Sadeas. I'm not sure how it can be argued that there are impossible standards for Adolin to live up to, because he seems to be living up to Dalinar's standards, again with the possible exception of murdering their political enemy.

I'm not going to get into comparisons with the childhoods of other characters because that gets into trying to rank or compare trauma and pain and that's just impossible. Everyone experiences events differently and there's no need to downplay one character's experiences to make a case for another. I will however say a little bit about Shallan because there are some things that have been downplayed about her experience that I think miss the boat entirely. Saying that she grew up as a rich lighteyes is really irrelevant. Money is not really what provides any comfort; security does that. In Shallan's case having money (for a time) meant nothing because her place in Veden society was not secure and there was intense fear of being displaced. The other thing pointed out is that she was treated as her father's favorite, and this is argued to be something that would lighten the burden of her childhood, but this couldn't be more wrong. Being treated as a favorite added to her trauma, because she had to see her brothers constantly be abused while she was protected and she carried intense guilt for that. It is very analogous to the way Kaladin feels about always living when the ones he tries to protect are killed. She actually says this to Kaladin when they are in the chasms. 

Finally, to try to bring this back around to the original topic of this thread, if Adolin is struggling with pain from his childhood we really don't see it, and more importantly he doesn't share that with Shallan. Shallan we know struggles intensely with the pain of her childhood and she doesn't share that with Adolin. In fact she scrupulously hides it from him because she doesn't want him to see how broken she is. Of the characters we have seen her interact with since leaving her home, only Kaladin and Wit (and Pattern) know the Shallan she hides from the rest of the world. The marriage of Shallan and Adolin is built on so many lies of omission that it is hard for me to see how that leads to a happy future for them (not at least without some serious reckoning to come). 

 

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1 hour ago, GarrethGrey said:

@maxal Yeah, I guess we're just reading Adolin wildly differently, I don't see most of the things you do (aside from his mothers death, I agree with you on that, it was bad). My biggest issue with your post was it seemed like you were saying Shallans childhood wasn't that bad, while Adolins was, and while I appreciate you admitting Shallans childhood was more traumatizing than Adolins, I still don't think his was really that traumatizing (again, aside from his mother being killed), so agree to disagree. Your intuiton says Adolin knows more about Shallan than we think, mine says he still doesn't know much of anything about her. But that's mostly because of how he's written, we really dont have any insight into his thoughts on Shallan (which is really weird, you'd think Brandon could throw a meaningful thought or two in there, especially if they were going to get married)

I appreciate the response, and apologize again for the sarcasm in my earlier post. As you love Adolin, I love Shallan, provided things keep going the way they ended in OB, I'm sure we'll have plenty to talk about in regards to these two in the future ;)

I don't think this is about how anyone reads the character, I think this is about the narrative elements which have been canonized.

  • Adolin's mother was murdered as a boy.
  • Adolin's father was a dismissive drunk.
  • Adolin's father did put abnormally high expectations onto him.

These are canonized story elements, not interpretation of the narrative nor character analysis. I have also never stated Adolin's life was worst than Shallan, no one in their right state of mind could argue on this, but I have said Adolin's life wasn't the easy stroll in the park others were describing. His life, as described in the existing narrative, would be considered traumatizing by a majority of real-life people where Adolin a real-life man. I have a hard time reading and accepting living with an alcoholic parent is supposed to count for an "easy life" nor it supposedly not being traumatizing. Obviously, it doesn't seem like it left deep scars onto Adolin, this is true and I have acknowledged this, but it doesn't change the fact none it qualifies as an easy event-less life.

For the rest, I agree I am relying on my impressions which hardly counts as an argument, I acknowledge this. The point I was trying to raise was I don't think Shallan is as mysterious as she believes she is. This however remains my personal thoughts and it isn't backed down by textual evidence, I should have made this clearer.

27 minutes ago, BraidedRose said:

Let me preface this by saying that overall you made some good points in your post about how Adolin grew up with some circumstances that are objectively traumatizing. Losing a parent at a young age is traumatizing. Having a parent with an addiction would in most cases lead to some damage in the parent-child relationship at a minimum, and so on. But I'm honestly not seeing the part I quoted above in the text. I just didn't at all get the sense that Dalinar "constantly diminished him, criticized him, demolished his every efforts to please him." Can you give some examples from the text that led you to this? 

Sure. When Adolin is 15 years old, Dalinar sees him in a corridor wearing a flashy uniforms and hanging around fellow soldiers. Dalinar publicly admonish him for wearing something he considers unsuitable, he criticizes him. Then Adolin manages to get Dalinar to agree to come watch him duel which Dalinar only agrees too because he can't find a way to wiggle out of it. Dalinar then states how he can criticize Adolin and he'll always put on strong face and try harder. He almost literally cannot bear his son at this point in time, so while this was one scene, we can get by both characters behavior it happened on a regular basis. Dalinar later admits he has been a bad father to Adolin which Adolin, unable to see wrong in his father, refuses to acknowledge.

I personally do not find a father struggling not to hate his son, wishing he didn't have to watch him duel and not caring if he criticizes him in front of others for little valid reason to be a strong proof of love. I also did not find young Adolin putting on his strong face, taking the rebuke, accepting he deserved it and trying harder to please his father was actually the picture perfect depiction of the perfect life of the perfect prince. As a parent myself, this scene literally crushed my heart as I imagined the crest-fallen face of my children if I were to behave this way with them.

30 minutes ago, BraidedRose said:

Even in the flashbacks, I think we saw that Dalinar was arguably distant at times from his sons (more so Renarin than Adolin I would say, because he seemed to have a hard time connecting emotionally with Renarin). We certainly saw Dalinar do some monstrous things on the battlefield, etc but that was not with his children around. We do see one instance where Adolin has to deal with his father drunk, when he is nearly 17 and Dalinar yells at him to get out (that seems to be the worst moment we see on the page). Up to the point where Adolin is about 12, nearly 13, right before Evi's death, they seem to have a good relationship. We see them interacting, Dalinar teaching Adolin and Adolin not wanting to leave Dalinar. After Evi's death there are some big time skips, but in those chapters we see that Dalinar struggles a little more with being a father to Adolin because he reminds him of Evi, but he still tells Adolin he is proud of him. There is a chapter when Adolin is 18 (shortly before Dalinar goes to the Nightwatcher) and he admits he has been a poor father the last few years (Adolin contradicts him) and Dalinar again tells him how proud he is of Adolin. His thoughts tell us more, that he honestly admires the man that he sees Adolin to be. So there is friction in their relationship after Evi's death, but there is love underneath.

Dalinar tells Adolin he is proud of him when he is 17 years old and he has made the decision to seek the Nightwatcher. I also do not get why you assume Adolin never saw his father drunk until his 17th year because the narrative isn't showing it. The narrative is also telling us Dalinar was constantly drunk, Adolin was openly worried for his father: it is impossible he never saw him drunk. Dalinar wasn't exactly hiding.

As for love, Dalinar only ever loved Adolin for what he could give him: he made it clear on the day of his birth. Adolin was to be the son to redeem the father, to be honorable, to be strong, to be everything Dalinar wished he had been from the start. Dalinar never shown one inkling of interest into learning who Adolin actually was, the person he was. 

For my part, Adolin refusing to admit Dalinar has wrongs, has been a bad father is just plain sad. Obviously, Dalinar was a bad father to Renarin too, thought for different reasons and through different behaviors. In his case, there were scars.

38 minutes ago, BraidedRose said:

Certainly by the time we see them in WoK, we see nothing but admiration and pride from Dalinar towards Adolin. He genuinely believes that Adolin is a better man than him. The only thing that finally seems to cause some doubt about this is finding out that Adolin killed Sadeas. I'm not sure how it can be argued that there are impossible standards for Adolin to live up to, because he seems to be living up to Dalinar's standards, again with the possible exception of murdering their political enemy.

Adolin does state he feels his father's standards are impossible to meet. He refers to his father as "a God", something he can never reach. Dalinar has demanded of Adolin to be the perfect representation of the man he wants him to be. Adolin also states there was a growing inconsistency in between the man Dalinar keeps on wanting him to be and the man he knew he was, deep down. 

The expectations are there and Adolin does comment on them: he finds himself lacking.

40 minutes ago, BraidedRose said:

I'm not going to get into comparisons with the childhoods of other characters because that gets into trying to rank or compare trauma and pain and that's just impossible. Everyone experiences events differently and there's no need to downplay one character's experiences to make a case for another. I will however say a little bit about Shallan because there are some things that have been downplayed about her experience that I think miss the boat entirely. Saying that she grew up as a rich lighteyes is really irrelevant. Money is not really what provides any comfort; security does that. In Shallan's case having money (for a time) meant nothing because her place in Veden society was not secure and there was intense fear of being displaced. The other thing pointed out is that she was treated as her father's favorite, and this is argued to be something that would lighten the burden of her childhood, but this couldn't be more wrong. Being treated as a favorite added to her trauma, because she had to see her brothers constantly be abused while she was protected and she carried intense guilt for that. It is very analogous to the way Kaladin feels about always living when the ones he tries to protect are killed. She actually says this to Kaladin when they are in the chasms. 

I said Shallan grew up as a relatively rich lighteyed girl in response to a post stating Adolin's childhood didn't count as traumatic because he was rich. Money is not everything, it isn't everything for any character be it Shallan or Adolin: money doesn't get to erase crap childhoods. For the rest I do agree, my purpose wasn't to diminish Shallan's ordeal, but to state Adolin's life wasn't picture perfect. I used this element to contrast with the used upon arguments: if money can make Adolin's life perfect, then why isn't it making Shallan's better?

43 minutes ago, BraidedRose said:

Finally, to try to bring this back around to the original topic of this thread, if Adolin is struggling with pain from his childhood we really don't see it, and more importantly he doesn't share that with Shallan. Shallan we know struggles intensely with the pain of her childhood and she doesn't share that with Adolin. In fact she scrupulously hides it from him because she doesn't want him to see how broken she is. Of the characters we have seen her interact with since leaving her home, only Kaladin and Wit (and Pattern) know the Shallan she hides from the rest of the world. The marriage of Shallan and Adolin is built on so many lies of omission that it is hard for me to see how that leads to a happy future for them (not at least without some serious reckoning to come). 

As per the narrative we have read, Adolin is not struggling with his childhood. If he is, it hasn't been explored yet into the narrative. He does however retain low self-esteem and the tendency to under-valued himself as well as constantly thinking he is not worthy. This has however not been played out within the narrative in a significant manner. However, in the scope of the greater discussion, Adolin's childhood wasn't picture perfect which is essentially the argument I was trying to pass.

This being said, it is true Shallan married Adolin without telling him about her past. I however do not see it as a proof the marriage will fall, just proof it will probably struggle.

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