Dreamstorm

SKA - Is it Resolved?

343 posts in this topic

40 minutes ago, maxal said:

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.

As @BraidedRose so wonderfully pointed out, Adolin and Dalinars relationship was not nearly as bad as you make it out to be. He yelled at Adolin once when he was like 17 years old, while that must have sucked at the time, its not that big of a deal. And yeah, expectations for a prince are typically pretty high. I feel like you're trying really hard to make his life seem worse than it is, and I'm not sure why.

As for my interpretation of Adolins childhood, its allowed to be different than yours, I dont put much stock into this supposed crappy childhood he had; I don't think its that bad, while you think it's horrible, different interpretations. 

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@maxal it seems we are both looking at the same passages but coming to some extremely different conclusions. Just to take one example, we both were referencing a section of Chapter 88, and I think it comes down to what you choose to emphasize. I'm copying the relevant section and highlighting the parts that show that Dalinar's feelings for Adolin were far more complex than not being able to bear him. 

Quote

Dalinar pulled up sharply. He’d completely missed that Adolin was among the soldiers. At fifteen, the youth was growing tall and handsome. He got the former from Dalinar. Today, Adolin wore a fashionable suit with far too much embroidery, and boots that were topped by silver.

“That’s not a standard-issue uniform, soldier,” Dalinar said to him.

“I know!” Adolin said. “I had it specially tailored!”

Storms … His son was becoming a fop.

“Father,” Adolin said, stepping up and making an eager fist. “Did you get my message? I’ve got a bout set up with Tenathar. Father, he’s ranked. It’s a step toward winning my Blade!” He beamed at Dalinar.

Emotions warred inside of Dalinar. Memories of good years spent with his son in Jah Keved, riding or teaching him the sword.

Memories of her. The woman from whom Adolin had inherited that blond hair and that smile. So genuine. Dalinar wouldn’t trade Adolin’s sincerity for a hundred soldiers in proper uniforms.

But he also couldn’t face it right now.

“Father?” Adolin said.

“You’re in uniform, soldier. Your tone is too familiar. Is this how I taught you to act?”

Adolin blushed, then put on a stronger face. He didn’t wilt beneath the stern words. When censured, Adolin only tried harder.

“Sir!” the young man said. “I’d be proud if you’d watch my bout this week. I think you’ll be pleased with my performance.”

Storming child. Who could deny him? “I’ll be there, soldier. And will watch with pride.”

Adolin grinned, saluted, then dashed back to join the others. Dalinar walked off as quickly as he could, to get away from that hair, that wonderful—haunting—smile.

Okay, so I do understand how you get some of your reading of this, but a lot depends what you bring to it. I have a very different reading (not saying there's a an absolute right or wrong but it is subjective). Dalinar seems to be struggling here because on the one hand he has fond memories of Adolin but Adolin also reminds him of Evi and thinking of Evi is devastating for him currently. The reason why he seems to struggle so much with Adolin at this moment is not that he has disdain for his son, but that his son stirs up both happy and painful memories and right now the pain is winning out. Dalinar thinks of Adolin as "so genuine" and that he wouldn't trade him for "a hundred soldiers in proper uniforms." That is not disdain but fondness. And it shows that he doesn't actually care more about the uniform than what is underneath. He may criticize Adolin's appearance but it hasn't affected his opinion of Adolin. 

When he says, "Storming child. Who could deny him?" I take that to mean that even though he is attempting to harden his heart because he can't face the pain, Adolin gets through to him anyway and he can't resist giving in to his request (not that he can't find a way out of it, I'm sure he could come up with an excuse if he really didn't want to see Adolin duel). And he specifically says he is proud to watch him. Dalinar walking off so quickly is again an indication of the warring emotions. He thinks his son's smile is wonderful but it also brings him pain. 

Fathers criticize sons at times, but it doesn't mean they don't love them. And I think the subtext is clear that Dalinar does love him. This is also only one example of a scene where Dalinar is critical of Adolin. I can't think of many more but I can think of many others where Dalinar praises him. 

Also, I pointed out the one example of Adolin dealing with Dalinar drunk, not to suggest that was the only time that happened. It likely isn't. But I think there is also suggestions that Dalinar tried to hide his drunkenness and that it wasn't a constant. He says he had good days and bad days. So I don't think Adolin spent his entire youth dealing with a drunk father. I'm not saying it wasn't a problem, it surely was, but again it does not erase the good times that are also referenced in the text. 

Finally, Adolin may believe he doesn't live up to Dalinar's expectations but I believe we primarily see that in OB, after he has killed Sadeas and that seems to be the primary cause of his doubts. Which frankly is understandable and at least injects some small degree of consequence for Adolin's action. Dalinar does have high standards for Adolin but he also seems to think Adolin is meeting them up until he finds out about the murder at least. 

Once again, I'll try to end a little more on topic. I don't think the foundation of lies in Shallan and Adolin's marriage proves any specific future outcome. It's just one more reason that there should be more concern than rejoicing at the outcome of a wedding at this time. Who knows what will happen once Shallan inevitably confronts those lies but the fact that feelings for another man were part of what she denied and refused to face is certainly one piece of evidence that there are problems that Shallan and Adolin may not be able to overcome. 

Edited by BraidedRose
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34 minutes ago, maxal said:

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.

Actually, 1.5 of these are interpretations.  Adolin's mother was murdered as a boy, OK.  (One could argue it wasn't murder since it wasn't premeditated, a necessary prong of murder, but I won't haggle on that one.  She died when he was 12.)  Dalinar was a drunk, OK.  Dismissive?  That's an interpretation.  We see Dalinar dismiss him once, and then immediately feel bad in his thoughts and tell Adolin he would watch him duel with pride.  You can extrapolate from there as to how their relationship was in other instances, but that's an interpretation.  Abnormally high expectations is definitely an interpretation, as what constitutes abnormally high expectations is an opinion itself and highly fact dependent.  You may see that as cut and dry, but it's very subjective.  So, canonized elements are Adolin's mother was killed when he was 12 and his father was a drunk from when Adolin was 12 to when he was 17.  I agree that could mess someone up.  I also think it could not.  (Adolin appears to fall in the latter category, as you note.)

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I was originally going to nitpick @GarrethGrey's comment comparing Adolin and Shallan's childhoods, but I think his POINT was simply that their childhoods "don't compare"... not that Adolin's was sunshine and roses.

I absolutely don't think it's right to say Adolin's childhood was a cakewalk. The death of your mother at a young age (what was it, 12?) is tough for anybody. A father who spends the next 5 years as an alcoholic isn't good either. If you know somebody in real life who had experienced one parent die followed by the other coping with alcohol... you'd consider them to have a broken childhood. I would at least. 

I also tend to agree with @maxal somewhat concerning Adolin's relationship with his father. They had a few good years together on that military campaign against Jah Keved, but Dalinar seems to be a pretty distant father otherwise. I absolutely wouldn't say it was an abusive relationship. But despite Dalinar's affectionate thoughts, I don't see much substance to their relationship beyond certain aspects Dalinar is comfortable with. He might think well of Adolin, but I don't get the sense that they had a very intimate relationship. So again, not horrible. But not a particularly great dad either.

All that to say, I didn't think it was fair when Adolin's trials were glossed over... But the focus of the conversation was in how his experiences compare to Shallan's, and if that's where we're at... Yeah, I have to strongly agree that Shallan's childhood drama is one or two weight classes higher than Adolin's.

If the discussion is ultimately about whether that enables Adolin to empathize... Eh... That's not black or white. I definitely think he has some dark experiences that will help him understand Shallan better than he would otherwise. The depth of their trauma aside, having experienced the death of his mother will help him to understand what Shallan went through better than if he hadn't experienced that. It will help him understand in a way that most people couldn't. Same thing for his experience with righteous murder.

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5 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

Same thing for his experience with righteous murder.

I agree with the entirety of your post Jof, but from experience, this line is going to make a lot of people disagree. 

A good chunk of people don't think the words "righteous" and "murder" ever belong together. I don't agree... But yeah. 

Edited by Calderis
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1 minute ago, Calderis said:

I agree with the entirety of your post Jof, but from experience, this line is going to make a lot of people disagree. 

A good chunk of people don't think the words "righteous" and "murder ever belong together. I don't agree... But yeah. 

Sure, sure. I don't mean to argue that it was objectively "righteous".

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12 minutes ago, GarrethGrey said:

As @BraidedRose so wonderfully pointed out, Adolin and Dalinars relationship was not nearly as bad as you make it out to be. He yelled at Adolin once when he was like 17 years old, while that must have sucked at the time, its not that big of a deal. And yeah, expectations for a prince are typically pretty high. I feel like you're trying really hard to make his life seem worse than it is, and I'm not sure why.

As for my interpretation of Adolins childhood, its allowed to be different than yours, I dont put much stock into this supposed crappy childhood he had; I don't think its that bad, while you think it's horrible, different interpretations. 

Well, if we use the same argument, we could actually count the number of times Lin does something reprehensible and stated it only happened 3 times, so no big deal. For my part, I find it obvious Dalinar's behavior with Adolin was not a one-time event, it was a recurrent behavior. It is highlighted by how Dalinar isn't allowing Adolin any leeway and how he just isn't interested in getting to know him, he's just interested in what he can do for him.

For my part, I have stated before and I will state yet again, growing up with a murdered mother and a drunk father is quite an ordeal and I hope no one having actually lived through those events is actually reading this.

11 minutes ago, BraidedRose said:

...

We are just going to have to agree we have different interpretation. This chapter literally broke my heart because of how mean Dalinar is. Perhaps it is because I do have kids and I do feel this behavior would crush them in a painful way.

I found Dalinar's behavior disgusting and while he had reasons to behave this way, he took it out on his kid. He made his kid be the recipient of his anger for no valid reason. I certainly didn't read this scene as a "one time event". I sincerely believe if we start to interpret all of the Adolin scenes as meaningless because the book just shows us one scene, then we have to do the same with Shallan's scenes: all are going to agree this isn't how it works.

The relationship Brandon built in between Dalinar/Adolin is one I read as abusive. Not abusive like Lin Davar, not that kind of abuse, but it remains a relationship where one member received unwarranted criticism without having the ability to see it as unwarranted. Adolin's blind love for his father made me think of the blind love victims of abuse are having for their abusers: they aren't seeing it just as he isn't seeing. Just like this series back home where the young girl gets dragged into prostitution by being manipulated by a guy she blindly loves despite his behavior. 

Of course, before anyone jumps to the roof, I am taking extreme examples and no, I do not believe the Dalinar/Adolin relationship is exactly it, but there is a similarity which I cannot ignore. The blind love, the refusal to see the bad deeds, the critics, the desire to make Adolin be a given individual as opposed to himself: it is very similar to other kind of narrative involving very obvious abuse.

Hence, I find it similar, not identical, but similar enough I absolutely cannot refer to it as a healthy father/son relationship built on respect and deep love. This isn't what I read.

17 minutes ago, Dreamstorm said:

Actually, 1.5 of these are interpretations.  Adolin's mother was murdered as a boy, OK.  (One could argue it wasn't murder since it wasn't premeditated, a necessary prong of murder, but I won't haggle on that one.  She died when he was 12.)  Dalinar was a drunk, OK.  Dismissive?  That's an interpretation.  We see Dalinar dismiss him once, and then immediately feel bad in his thoughts and tell Adolin he would watch him duel with pride.  You can extrapolate from there as to how their relationship was in other instances, but that's an interpretation.  Abnormally high expectations is definitely an interpretation, as what constitutes abnormally high expectations is an opinion itself and highly fact dependent.  You may see that as cut and dry, but it's very subjective.  So, canonized elements are Adolin's mother was killed when he was 12 and his father was a drunk from when Adolin was 12 to when he was 17.  I agree that could mess someone up.  I also think it could not.  (Adolin appears to fall in the latter category, as you note.)

Evi was murdered. She died in a brutal horrible fashion. This was murder. Murder doesn't have to be premeditate, but the act of killing someone through actions does count as murder. Besides, as far as Adolin is concerned, his mother was yes murdered, therefore this is a fact of the textual, definitely not an interpretation.

In the few scenes we have seen of Dalinar/Adolin after Evi's death, Dalinar was dismissive towards Adolin. He only starts to act more positively after he decided to seek the Nightwatcher, not before. One could always argue those scenes are not representative and the rest of their relationship was peachy perfect, the textual absolutely does not allow us to conclude this. What it tells us is Dalinar was a crap father, dismissive and overall not nice at all towards Adolin. Those are the scenes Brandon decided to show us: if he meant for us to believe their were the best father/son pairing ever, he would have written different scenes.

On the day of his birth, Dalinar places his expectations on Adolin and he never lets go of them. He cannot interest himself into Renarin because he has no expectations for him, he has no role for him whereas Adolin does. Now this may be the factual the more akin to an interpretation and I acknowledge this, but truth is Dalinar basically demands of Adolin to be the man he wants him to be and not the man he really is. If demanding of your child to be a person you have decided they should be as opposed to accept them as they are, then I am sorry but you aren't doing a very good job as a parent and, well, yeah, poor kids.

8 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

I was originally going to nitpick @GarrethGrey's comment comparing Adolin and Shallan's childhoods, but I think his POINT was simply that their childhoods "don't compare"... not that Adolin's was sunshine and roses.

And my point was to say it is false to say Adolin's childhood wasn't messed up. This is the comment which started it all: I stated Adolin had a messed up childhood too. He does. I never pretended Shallan wasn't worst, I have stated on numerous occasions, but what I disagree with is saying Adolin's life was perfection itself.

10 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

I absolutely don't think it's right to say Adolin's childhood was a cakewalk. The death of your mother at a young age (what was it, 12?) is tough for anybody. A father who spends the next 5 years as an alcoholic isn't good either. If you know somebody in real life who had experienced one parent die followed by the other coping with alcohol... you'd consider them to have a broken childhood. I would at least. 

Yep, exactly my point. If Adolin were a real-life man, nobody would dismiss the childhood he had and nobody would call it inconsequential. 

10 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

I also tend to agree with @maxal somewhat concerning Adolin's relationship with his father. They had a few good years together on that military campaign against Jah Keved, but Dalinar seems to be a pretty distant father otherwise. I absolutely wouldn't say it was an abusive relationship. But despite Dalinar's affectionate thoughts, I don't see much substance to their relationship beyond certain aspects Dalinar is comfortable with. He might think well of Adolin, but I don't get the sense that they had a very intimate relationship. So again, not horrible. But not a particularly great dad either.

I once explained how the good years in Jah Keved works as cementing Adolin's love of Dalinar but ultimately made him blind-sighted towards his father. I am the one who keeps on referring to it as abusive because I find it has similitude with actual real-life abusive relationships. I have also said the term was perhaps strong, but my point was to state I do not believe their relationship is healthy and non-damaging, in the longer run.

I agree with the third last sentence: Dalinar thinks well of Adolin as long as Adolin is exactly the man he always wanted him to be. There is however little intimacy nor love within their relationship: something I noted back in WoR. So no not horrible, but how Dalinar will view Adolin now he failed on his expectations remains to be seen. I cannot say what I have read so far gives me confidence their relationship will improve: I believe they will grow more distant.

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I know we usually don't go off on the right foot @maxal but please try to take this post in the most positive and friendly way possible.

6 hours ago, maxal said:

we could actually count the number of times Lin does something reprehensible and stated it only happened 3 times, so no big deal

Lin killed Malise Gevelmar and maimed Balat Davar in front of his children, please do not compare Lin to Dalinar, but as @Jofwu said earlier there is no reason to compare. Every person experiences trauma differently.

6 hours ago, maxal said:

For my part, I find it obvious Dalinar's behavior with Adolin was not a one-time event, it was a recurrent behavior.

Indeed a loving mother's death and a drunk father are enough for anyone to have a lot of psychological issues. You've clearly analysed and dissected any kind of text that references Adolin (as other readers do for Shallan), so I accept that you do have a strong case of Adolin having a troubled childhood, you seem to be a lot more insightful when it comes to Adolin's case than everyone else anyway.

But what worries me in Adolin, is that we do not have any obvious indications he is indeed affected as much by it as an adult, at least it's not reflected on the behavior he shows on the outside. (yes to some readers it is obvious, but to other readers it isn't, so that can only mean it's not always so obvious, so there is at least some kind of duality to the character)

6 hours ago, maxal said:

We are just going to have to agree we have different interpretation. This chapter literally broke my heart because of how mean Dalinar is. Perhaps it is because I do have kids and I do feel this behavior would crush them in a painful way.

On some topics we disagree, but on this one, from a person that has had a troubled childhood and now a kid of their own, I agree and I understand where you coming from. It's just that you related a lot more to Adolin, I related a lot more to Shallan. But it's not a competition, we are all trying to figure out what these characters are going through. Sometimes we just need to take a step back and notice that it's all fictional, it's just Sanderson's creation and it doesn't mean that it will always make perfect sense to us.

Edited by insert_anagram_here
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I think all can agree Dalinar was essentially an absentee father for most of Adolin/Renarins lives, this circumstance usually results in one of two outcomes, resentment toward the father or hero worship.

Its evident Adolin follows the hero worship model regards Dalinar, that said i think that explains why Adolin doesn't see the faults in Dalinar and doesn't remark on it etc hes essentially blind to it, in some ways its just a coping mechanism, instead of seeing faults in Dalinar he assumes the faults are his and since he idealise's Dalinar just wants to strive to do better to try make him proud rather than get gloomy etc, its just a different form of coping then others we see in SA.

Im curious if the people who downplay Adolins experiences think Renarin had a good/bad childhood ? There childhoods would of been extremely similiar.

Regards Shallan, we don't know how she bonded pattern, just that it was before she killed her mother, so people assume her childhood was bad before that but in OB - chapter 25 the scene in the theatre - she says " too many memories of her father, and of her mother, who had loved telling her stories. She tried to banish those memories, but they wouldn't go"

That doesn't make it seem like her childhood before she killed her mother was all that bad, but people assume it was.

They assume it because they think it has to of been bad beforehand, but she had a mother who loved telling her stories, indicating she loved and spent time with Shallan, and a father who ruined himself to protect her, that doesn't sound like parents who are abusive etc imo.

I mention this because of the assumptions, people assume Adolins childhood was ok, they assume Shallans was bad, but why ? From OB flashbacks its obvious Dalinar is a terrible parent, Adolin just deals with it by assuming the fault is his and instead of getting depressed trys harder, that is as much a coping mechanism as Shallan burying the truth, but people don't seem to see that.

We have evidence Dalinar was a horrible parent, we have evidence Shallan life pre her mothers death wasnt bad, yet somehow Adolins childhood was fine, Shallans (pre mothers death) still bad , it seems the opposite assumptions should of been made to me.

Kinda repeated myself at times there apologies.

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8 hours ago, maxal said:

We are just going to have to agree we have different interpretation. This chapter literally broke my heart because of how mean Dalinar is. Perhaps it is because I do have kids and I do feel this behavior would crush them in a painful way.

We can definitely agree to disagree on this scene. And I get it, I’m a mom as well so seeing or reading about kids being abused or neglected is more viscerally painful than it was before having my son. This scene didn’t trigger me (maybe because we see Dalinar’s perspective so his warring emotions, including love, are evident to me). On the other hand, watching Elhokar try to protect Gavinor while he died: yeah, I lost it. So I do get it.

Several people mentioned downplaying the trauma of Adolin’s childhood and I did not mean to do that. I agree that losing Evi would be devastating and Dalinar was largely absent with varying degrees of affection, and that seems to have led to hero worship from Adolin to Dalinar. But I think it takes it too far to say that Dalinar did nothing but criticize, diminish and push Adolin away. There is more in the text than that. Saying that Dalinar didn’t love Adolin or abused him also takes it too far and isn’t justified by the text. I am also bothered by downplaying of Shallan’s traumatic childhood and I think it serves no purpose to compare one person’a pain to another, since everyone is affected differently.

Like many, I have a more emotional response when I first read something. A second read usually allows me to be more analytical and look more carefully at the text. In the case of the love triangle I have tried very hard to look past what I want to happen as well as what my initial reaction was and analyze where the text seems to be leading. 

It’s almost irrelevant whether Adolin would be able to relate to Shallan’s childhood trauma at this point because she doesn’t trust him enough to tell him and I don’t think it bodes well that so much of who she is had to be shoved into the back of her mind in order for her to decide to marry him.

Edited by BraidedRose
Typos
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24 minutes ago, IronBars said:

Regards Shallan, we don't know how she bonded pattern, just that it was before she killed her mother, so people assume her childhood was bad before that but in OB - chapter 25 the scene in the theatre - she says " too many memories of her father, and of her mother, who had loved telling her stories. She tried to banish those memories, but they wouldn't go"

That doesn't make it seem like her childhood before she killed her mother was all that bad, but people assume it was.

They assume it because they think it has to of been bad beforehand, but she had a mother who loved telling her stories, indicating she loved and spent time with Shallan, and a father who ruined himself to protect her, that doesn't sound like parents who are abusive etc imo.

Initially it was thought that in order to form a nahel bond a person needed to be 'broken', because from my small understanding of realmatic theory, that's what causes the cracks in the spirit web, requirement for a nahel bond to form.

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

Since this WoB came up people have been doubting that a traumatic experience is needed, and I understand how people might double think that is what happened with Shallan. But can you truly say that this WoB erases all in book text of Shallan's flashbacks?

Didn't her mother try to kill her because she showed Radiant powers? Did she just snap one day, or did she show signs of madness long before she was killed? What makes a kid kill its own mother, if it's not because of being a victim of abuse? What about Lin? Even if he was covering up Shallan's crime, he killed Malise Gevelmar and maimed Balat Davar. In Shallan's flashbacks, her brothers were constantly afraid of Lin because he was so abusive that she ended up poisoning him and strangling him herself, crying all the while and denying the truth to herself for a long time. 

Now I know Shallan is an unreliable narrator at this point. I mean, I don't see it plausible that all her memories could be artificial as the plot stands at this point, but for the sake of the argument let's say they are. The fact itself that she has such a damaged memory is an indication of huge emotional trauma. So I'm pretty sure it's safe to assume that her nahel bond with Pattern is either made on that huge emotional trauma or on the lies she created herself in order to cover up a very horrible reality.

 

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Well, what if Shallan's father did to Shallan what Scadrian noblemen do to force Snapping in their offspring - not violence! But a Rosharan equivalent. Coaxing a spren to find Shallan and bond with her. Perhaps aiding the process somehow. We do know that Lin Davar was affiliated with Skybreakers, which implies that he was far more worldly and possibly even Cosmere-aware than you'd originally think.

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1 hour ago, IronBars said:

so people assume her childhood was bad before that but in OB - chapter 25 the scene in the theatre - she says " too many memories of her father, and of her mother, who had loved telling her stories. She tried to banish those memories, but they wouldn't go"

That doesn't make it seem like her childhood before she killed her mother was all that bad, but people assume it was.

My initial interpretation of that scene (of wanting to forget the memories) was that she wanted to banish the memories because there are unhappy ones tied in (before killing her mother). Indeed these "happy memories" (from before her mother's death) may be filled with lies, or be a total fabrication. So I think that can be taken either way.

45 minutes ago, insert_anagram_here said:

Did she just snap one day, or did she show signs of madness long before she was killed? What makes a kid kill its own mother, if it's not because of being a victim of abuse?

You call it madness, but I hesitate to jump there. It could have been a matter of cold (very dark, and mistaken) logic rather than madness. And I don't think Shallan's willingness to kill someone trying to kill her (mother or not) is a sign of past relationship trouble. Especially since it was partially a mistake.

47 minutes ago, insert_anagram_here said:

What about Lin? Even if he was covering up Shallan's crime, he killed Malise Gevelmar and maimed Balat Davar. In Shallan's flashbacks, her brothers were constantly afraid of Lin because he was so abusive that she ended up poisoning him and strangling him herself, crying all the while and denying the truth to herself for a long time. 

Shallan's second flashback could be interpreted as saying Lin's anger problems were a thing that took off after his wife died. I can see how that traumatic experience would push him over a cliff, and that he was a much more balanced person before. (I want to say there's also an argument to be made that one of the Unmade was affecting him, but I can't remember my basis for that.)

I do tend to think her childhood (before killing her mother) had some bumps. I can't make up my mind on how big those were though, and I don't think people are being irrational for taking the view that her mother "snapped" in a very sudden way (or at least in a shot period of time) and that everything prior to this was "normal", more or less.

39 minutes ago, Vissy said:

We do know that Lin Davar was affiliated with Skybreakers, which implies that he was far more worldly and possibly even Cosmere-aware than you'd originally think.

I doubt that he was, why do you say that? His wife (and son) was, so you could say he was by association, but he didn't seem to get along with them very well or know much about them. I assume you meant "the Ghostbloods", though I don't think there's much evidence that he was associated with them until later. My interpretation is that he didn't get connected with them until he got financially desperate and started looking for a more drastic solution.

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28 minutes ago, Jofwu said:
1 hour ago, insert_anagram_here said:

Did she just snap one day, or did she show signs of madness long before she was killed? What makes a kid kill its own mother, if it's not because of being a victim of abuse?

You call it madness, but I hesitate to jump there. It could have been a matter of cold (very dark, and mistaken) logic rather than madness. And I don't think Shallan's willingness to kill someone trying to kill her (mother or not) is a sign of past relationship trouble. Especially since it was partially a mistake.

First of all, how do we know it was a mistake? Both Shallan's mother and her lover were killed by mistake? Please explain to me where you got that impression that two consecutive murders at the same scene were an accident.

Secondly, "a very dark and mistaken logic" is the definition of the word madness. The fact that a mother attempts to harm their own child under whatever storming logic, is pure madness and if you still disagree on this, then we just have to agree that we disagree. 

And I'm not trying to justify 'past relationship trouble' I'm justifying that Shallan has serious mental issues from past trauma. Either killing her own mother by mistake or not is traumatizing enough to break anyone, especially a small child.

28 minutes ago, Jofwu said:
1 hour ago, insert_anagram_here said:

What about Lin? Even if he was covering up Shallan's crime, he killed Malise Gevelmar and maimed Balat Davar. In Shallan's flashbacks, her brothers were constantly afraid of Lin because he was so abusive that she ended up poisoning him and strangling him herself, crying all the while and denying the truth to herself for a long time. 

Shallan's second flashback could be interpreted as saying Lin's anger problems were a thing that took off after his wife died. I can see how that traumatic experience would push him over a cliff, and that he was a much more balanced person before. (I want to say there's also an argument to be made that one of the Unmade was affecting him, but I can't remember my basis for that.)

So just because Lin went mad after his wife died justifies him for being brutal to his own children? Even if there is an Unmade influence (which I have the same impression and a theory along those lines) that doesn't make the family condition in which Shallan was brought up any less problematic. If these issues were not clear and explained while they were happening, which they weren't that's why his children murdered Lin in the first place, they still are enough to cause mental issues to everyone involved. 

Edited by insert_anagram_here
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20 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

Shallan's second flashback could be interpreted as saying Lin's anger problems were a thing that took off after his wife died.

This is almost certain. Lin Davar mat have always had anger issues, but the issues we saw were exacerbated by an outside influence. 

Quote

Macen

Is her [Shallan's] father affected by Odium?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

source

I'm actually in the middle of writing a post about this, and the implications it has about Balat, because I believe that the influence is from one of the Unmade, as Balat was repeatedly described as "slowly turning into father." and then we have this. 

Quote

Questioner

There's a scene where you can see from the perspective of Nan Balat, Shallan's brother, where he's maiming an insect. It's described as soothing his aches. Is that in any way related to how Kaladin feels depressed and down during the Weeping even in his early childhood?

Brandon Sanderson

What's happening to Nan Balat is magically enhanced. What's happening to Kaladin is mostly just chemical depression. Be he is really too young to be diagnosed with depression during some of these events, but he's got the seeds in there. So Kaladin is not magically depressed. Kaladin is just legitimatly a person with depression. Nan Balat... What's up with him is... ah... being exaggerated by certain forces moving in on Roshar. (last bit is a bit indistinctive)

source

So, in my opinion, there was something pushing on the psyche of every member of that household. 

If it started before her mother's death, it may be partially responsible for the shift from a happy childhood, to the mess we all know. 

Edited by Calderis
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4 minutes ago, insert_anagram_here said:

First of all, how do we know it was a mistake? Both Shallan's mother and her lover were killed by mistake? Please explain to me where you got that impression that two consecutive murders at the same scene were an accident.

WoR quotes, spoilered for length:

Spoiler

“Why did she try to kill me, Pattern?” Shallan whispered.

“Mmm . . .”

“It started when she found out what I could do.”

She remembered it now. Her mother’s arrival, with a friend Shallan didn’t recognize, to confront her father. Her mother’s shouts, arguing with her father.

Mother calling Shallan one of them.

Her father barging in. Mother’s friend with a knife, the two struggling, the friend getting cut in the arm. Blood spilled on the carpet. The friend had won that fight, eventually holding Father down, pinned on the ground. Mother took the knife and came for Shallan.

And then . . .

And then a sword in Shallan’s hands.

“He let everyone believe that he’d killed her,” Shallan whispered. “That he’d murdered his wife and her lover in a rage, when I was the one who had actually killed them. He lied to protect me.”

“I know.”

“That secret destroyed him. It destroyed our entire family.”

“I know.”

“I hate you,” she whispered, staring into her mother’s dead eyes.

“I know.” Pattern buzzed softly. “Eventually, you will kill me, and you will have your revenge.”

“I don’t want revenge. I want my family.”

My interpretation has always been that Shallan didn't entirely know what she was doing when she killed her mother. It seems to be more a case of instinctual self-defense than a conscious decision that she was prepared to make ahead of time. I don't think a prior basis for fear is necessary to explain why somebody would draw a weapon first and ask questions later. Especially when the weapon was drawn in a frightened panic. I might even argue that Shallan wishes she could take the action back, but I don't know the right quotes off the top of my head to make that point very well.

The point I was trying to make about the madness was a similar one. It's the difference between her mother taking action on a sudden whim versus deliberately. But yes, someone who kills their child deliberately for a reason like this would be called "mad" in my opinion. I got lost in the details maybe.

But this is all a minor piece of the point I was making. That first part of the quote above reinforces that larger point. I think there's an argument to be made that Shallan wouldn't be as confused by what her mother had done if her past was dark. Perhaps her "why" question is more about the specifics, and the fact that her mom did isn't so surprising in itself. That's fine. I'm just arguing it can be interpreted different ways.

I think maybe we're talking about different things. Because I don't think any of this diminishes Shallan's difficult childhood. I completely agree with you there. I'm only questioning the details of when the trouble began, precisely. I'm also not trying to justify Lin's actions. I'm just pointing out the argument that he didn't become this way until after his wife's death, which plays into the discussion about when Shallan's troubles began.

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1 hour ago, Jofwu said:

I doubt that he was, why do you say that? His wife (and son) was, so you could say he was by association, but he didn't seem to get along with them very well or know much about them. I assume you meant "the Ghostbloods", though I don't think there's much evidence that he was associated with them until later. My interpretation is that he didn't get connected with them until he got financially desperate and started looking for a more drastic solution.

It's more of a follow-up thought to my first sentence. My point is that Shallan bonded Pattern somehow. So, just to throw this out there, what if someone helped her do so intentionally?

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My thought is that when children are young their spirits are more malleable, and thus do not have to be broken when they are young. I do not have sources, next time I make it to a signing I am going to ask him.

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2 hours ago, insert_anagram_here said:

Initially it was thought that in order to form a nahel bond a person needed to be 'broken', because from my small understanding of realmatic theory, that's what causes the cracks in the spirit web, requirement for a nahel bond to form.

Since this WoB came up people have been doubting that a traumatic experience is needed, and I understand how people might double think that is what happened with Shallan. But can you truly say that this WoB erases all in book text of Shallan's flashbacks?

Didn't her mother try to kill her because she showed Radiant powers? Did she just snap one day, or did she show signs of madness long before she was killed? What makes a kid kill its own mother, if it's not because of being a victim of abuse? What about Lin? Even if he was covering up Shallan's crime, he killed Malise Gevelmar and maimed Balat Davar. In Shallan's flashbacks, her brothers were constantly afraid of Lin because he was so abusive that she ended up poisoning him and strangling him herself, crying all the while and denying the truth to herself for a long time. 

As i said in my post, i meant pre shallans mothers death. 

OB - chapter 25 the scene in the theatre - she says " too many memories of her father, and of her mother, who had loved telling her stories. She tried to banish those memories, but they wouldn't go"

That quote says she had a mother who loved telling her stories, indicating she loved and spent time with Shallan.

So assuming pre Shallans mothers murder her childhood was bad doesn't make sense.

i personally believe what @Calderis referenced here: 

1 hour ago, Calderis said:

 So, in my opinion, there was something pushing on the psyche of every member of that household. 

If it started before her mother's death, it may be partially responsible for the shift from a happy childhood, to the mess we all know. 

All began post shallans mothers death.

1 hour ago, Jofwu said:

My initial interpretation of that scene (of wanting to forget the memories) was that she wanted to banish the memories because there are unhappy ones tied in (before killing her mother). Indeed these "happy memories" (from before her mother's death) may be filled with lies, or be a total fabrication. So I think that can be taken either way.

Honestly i had the opposite interpretation, i think those are true memories, and don't combine with the lie she has made her life into, thus wants them gone because will unravel those lies. 

I could be completly wrong but i genuienly think the Shallan we always see is just a mask, same as veil and same with radiant, 

Her mother trying to kill her, (supposedly because she was a skybreaker) then no one attempting to kill her later on, when its not like her father hid her existance/faked her death etc, just doesn't add up.

Wouldn't surprise me one bit if her mother had in fact not been trying to kill her atal (no basis for this, just wouldn't surprise me)

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33 minutes ago, IronBars said:

Her mother trying to kill her, (supposedly because she was a skybreaker) then no one attempting to kill her later on, when its not like her father hid her existance/faked her death etc, just doesn't add up.

It does. The lover, that her mother had was a Skybreaker acolyte, who then saw, that Shallan was about to become a Lightweaver and probably told Shallan's mother, that Shallan had to die for the greater good(tm) and how that would help save the world etc. etc. They tried to kill her, but without ever telling someone else about Shallan, probably because the acolyte wanted to impress his master, so no one else knew about her powers, which after the traumatizing event of her killing her mother went dormant anyway. Why should have anyone else tried to kill Shallan after that, when she didn't show any Surgebinding?

Now regarding the general problem of how Shallan's childhood looked before her killing her mother:

First of all, we don't have much information of that time, but we have some things that we can pretty easily infer from things we know.

There is one thing, that Lin probably always had anger issues, but never laid a hand on Shallan. She was the golden child, Lin's only daughter. This probably is what brought her to remember that time as "happy". This continued later, too. And it is one thing, that she hated. Everyone getting her father's ire, while she never did. This is actually a thing, that she and Kaladin have a in common. He hates that he is always the one, that survived, when everyone he tried to protect died. Self-blame. And she actually tells him about it.

But the other big thing is: Her mother had a lover. This brings to think, that the marriage between Lin and Shallan's mother wasn't as happy as one might think. They probably fought - a lot. Maybe even about Shallan. Parents often think, that their children don't notice this stuff, but they do. And they often see themselves as the one to blame for it. This chafes on them, maybe enough to make her pliable to bond Pattern, but what is even bigger is, that we know that Pattern was attracted because of her lies. Children are great at telling themselves, that everything will be good. Everything will be fine. Everything is fine.

What I'm saying is, that a child doesn't have to be directly in the line of fire, to be affected by family troubles. Especially between her parents.

33 minutes ago, IronBars said:

Honestly i had the opposite interpretation, i think those are true memories, and don't combine with the lie she has made her life into, thus wants them gone because will unravel those lies. 

I don't think, that those memories are a straight lie either. Parents often keep a "happy" facade up for their children. I think, what Shallan is worried about is that emergence of those repressed memories might bring up other memories, which in turn then might show her, that her childhood wasn't really as happy as she made herself believe. Lied to herself about.

Edited by SLNC
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@SLNC we don't often  agree, but that sums up my feelings pretty well.

I don't think her childhood before her mother's death was terrible, but I don't believe it was anywhere near perfect. 

I think the main problems before things started to devolve/be influenced by an Unmade, we're between Lin and his wife. Those problems would have an undeniable effect on their children. 

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2 hours ago, SLNC said:

It does. The lover, that her mother had was a Skybreaker acolyte, who then saw, that Shallan was about to become a Lightweaver and probably told Shallan's mother, that Shallan had to die for the greater good(tm) and how that would help save the world etc. etc. They tried to kill her, but without ever telling someone else about Shallan, probably because the acolyte wanted to impress his master, so no one else knew about her powers, which after the traumatizing event of her killing her mother went dormant anyway. Why should have anyone else tried to kill Shallan after that, when she didn't show any Surgebinding?

That makes no sense to me.

Just cos her mothers lover thought Shallan should die her mother was gonna kill her ? Seriously ? That makes absolutely no sense.

2 hours ago, SLNC said:

Now regarding the general problem of how Shallan's childhood looked before her killing her mother:

First of all, we don't have much information of that time, but we have some things that we can pretty easily infer from things we know.

There is one thing, that Lin probably always had anger issues, but never laid a hand on Shallan. She was the golden child, Lin's only daughter. This probably is what brought her to remember that time as "happy". This continued later, too. And it is one thing, that she hated. Everyone getting her father's ire, while she never did. This is actually a thing, that she and Kaladin have a in common. He hates that he is always the one, that survived, when everyone he tried to protect died. Self-blame. And she actually tells him about it.

But the other big thing is: Her mother had a lover. This brings to think, that the marriage between Lin and Shallan's mother wasn't as happy as one might think. They probably fought - a lot. Maybe even about Shallan. Parents often think, that their children don't notice this stuff, but they do. And they often see themselves as the one to blame for it. This chafes on them, maybe enough to make her pliable to bond Pattern, but what is even bigger is, that we know that Pattern was attracted because of her lies. Children are great at telling themselves, that everything will be good. Everything will be fine. Everything is fine.

What I'm saying is, that a child doesn't have to be directly in the line of fire, to be affected by family troubles. Especially between her parents.

 

Its not reasonable to infer Lin had any issues pre Shallans mothers death

Again just because her mother had a "lover" you cant say that there was fighting in the household etc, thats assuming a lot, the fact we don't see anything like that pre Shallans mothers death is very telling imo, if was something to see don't you think would of seen it in Shallans flashback book ? The fact we don't indicates there was nothing to see imo.

2 hours ago, SLNC said:

I don't think, that those memories are a straight lie either. Parents often keep a "happy" facade up for their children. I think, what Shallan is worried about is that emergence of those repressed memories might bring up other memories, which in turn then might show her, that her childhood wasn't really as happy as she made herself believe. Lied to herself about.

In the paragraph previous to this you say how her parents fought alot, which affected Shallan, the paragraph above you say parents hid it from the kids, thats a pretty big contradiction, it can't be both.

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Maybe this conversation should be moved to a different thread, since it has nothing to do with the topic at hand. I'm not really invested in it though, so I won't keep it up fo the sake of it.

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23 minutes ago, IronBars said:

Just cos her mothers lover thought Shallan should die her mother was gonna kill her ? Seriously ? That makes absolutely no sense.

Nale is a seriously twisted person, there is no doubt of that.  But, this is the Skybreakers' whole MO - find Radiants and kill them.  If you read Mraize's letter (Ch. 40 in OB), you'll see he references the "intimate contact" between Shallan's mother and a Skybreaker acolyte.  The purpose of an acolyte is to seek out budding Radiants and kill them, hence the attempt to kill Shallan.  Yes, it is beyond, absolutely, 100%, ridiculously messed up that Shallan's mother went along with that plan, but that's part of what hints that everything wasn't so peachy in the Davar household prior to our first Shallan flashback.  Because what kind of mother would you be to agree to the murder of your own child?!?

23 minutes ago, IronBars said:

Again just because her mother had a "lover" you cant say that there was fighting in the household etc, thats assuming a lot, the fact we don't see anything like that pre Shallans mothers death is very telling imo, if was something to see don't you think would of seen it in Shallans flashback book ? The fact we don't indicates there was nothing to see imo.

Brandon definitely doesn't show us everything... who knows what's lurking prior to Shallan's first flashback.  Maybe not that much, maybe a lot.  I think the point was that adultery is usually caustic to a relationship, so it's reasonable to infer Shallan's parents had struggles based on her mother's adultery.  (The exception would be if an open relationship was accepted, though I find that highly unlikely in a Vorin marriage, those oaths and all.)  It's a pretty small logical leap to go from "adultery" to "conflict in a relationship."  I'd say cheating is a big, big deal to most people, and I can't imagine based on what we know about Lin, he was cool with it.

23 minutes ago, IronBars said:

In the paragraph previous to this you say how her parents fought alot, which affected Shallan, the paragraph above you say parents hid it from the kids, thats a pretty big contradiction, it can't be both.

Kids pick up on a lot more than a lot of parents realize.  Even if there was no fighting directly in front of the children, a hostile vibe between parents can definitely have an effect on a child.  So, yeah, parents can hide their issues - presenting a superficially happy front - yet there can still be a lot of tension in a household.  Have you ever walked into a room where everyone is smiling but it seems fake and forced and you sense an undercurrent of unease?  Something like that.

@SLNC saw you requested to be moved to another thread after I had typed this out, feel free to do so though!

Edited by Dreamstorm
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I've been keeping up with this thread, and mostly agree with SLNC and Anagram (weird, I know).  But I wanted to chime in here with a tad bit of clarification.

37 minutes ago, IronBars said:

Just cos her mothers lover thought Shallan should die her mother was gonna kill her ? Seriously ? That makes absolutely no sense.

It might not make sense, but that's what happened.

Quote

Shallan knelt and rolled over her mother’s corpse, confronting a skull with burned-out eyes.

“Why did she try to kill me, Pattern?” Shallan whispered.

“Mmm . . .”

“It started when she found out what I could do.”

She remembered it now. Her mother’s arrival, with a friend Shallan didn’t recognize, to confront her father. Her mother’s shouts, arguing with her father.

Mother calling Shallan one of them.

Her father barging in. Mother’s friend with a knife, the two struggling, the friend getting cut in the arm. Blood spilled on the carpet. The friend had won that fight, eventually holding Father down, pinned on the ground. Mother took the knife and came for Shallan.

 

6 hours ago, Vissy said:

We do know that Lin Davar was affiliated with Skybreakers,

Lin was actually affiliated with the Ghostbloods, not the Skybreakers.  Helaran was associated with the Skybreakers.

I also saw Dalinar as a distant father, not a dismissive one.

Edited by RShara
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