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[OB] Poll - Opinion on Adolin

[OB] Opinion on Adolin   183 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your opinion of Adolin?

    • He's one of my favorite characters
      59
    • On the whole, I have positive thoughts about him
      95
    • I'm neutral
      18
    • On the whole, I have negative thoughts about him
      11
    • He's one of my least favorite characters
      7

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111 posts in this topic

Hi all - Adolin is definitely a sources of contention in many topics around here, so I was curious about the split in how people feel about him generally.  I realize some people like or dislike him based on his character, whereas others do based on how he is written as a character, but I tried to keep this general.

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Overall think he's a good guy. Like the character. Don't really care about his overall fate, because he's always been a support character in my mind. 

I am an adamant supporter of the Maya revival, but even in that my interests lie more in the Spren and he's a support character.

Overall, good guy, good character, hope he makes it out alive in the end, but won't be upset if he doesn't. 

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I'm quite fond of him and I hope he doesn't get killed off, especially in light of the events involving Maya in OB. I really want to see that pan out, I think it has the potential to be a very good character arc for him as well as something important for the overall plotline of the series.

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From a literary perspective, Adolin is a lukewarm character, whose popularity with the fan base even the author finds to be a bit puzzling, if WoB are anything to go by. He has no interesting flaws nor narrative lines to explore. He had potential with regards to the Sadeas murder plot going into OB, but clearly the author decided not to explore Adolin's dark side, since everyone in the books and everyone in the fandom seems to not have a problem with it. 

So I guess if you like the prospect of reading about "Adolin the happy house husband who can do no wrong", you're going to probably enjoy his character in future books. 

I wouldn't have as big of a problem with him at this point if everyone I talked to didn't seem to have one big Shard-on for him. I don't understand it, and probably never will. Don't care to either. I can only hope his page time remains minimal.

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He's not my favorite character, but he doesn't bother me. I have to go with "generally positive."

I think the widespread Adolin-love is subconscious backlash against Dalinar, Kaladin, and Shallan. Collectively we love them, but their traumas and mental illnesses tend to drag the series down into a very dark, moody place. Adolin, the happy, well-adjusted, confident prince, was a refreshing counterpoint. Until the murder, that is. For a lot of Oathbringer he was in an emotional nosedive, which might be why other lighthearted characters, like Lopen and Lift, got to step into the spotlight now and then.

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1 hour ago, DeployParachute said:

From a literary perspective, Adolin is a lukewarm character, whose popularity with the fan base even the author finds to be a bit puzzling, if WoB are anything to go by. He has no interesting flaws nor narrative lines to explore. He had potential with regards to the Sadeas murder plot going into OB, but clearly the author decided not to explore Adolin's dark side, since everyone in the books and everyone in the fandom seems to not have a problem with it. 

So I guess if you like the prospect of reading about "Adolin the happy house husband who can do no wrong", you're going to probably enjoy his character in future books. 

I wouldn't have as big of a problem with him at this point if everyone I talked to didn't seem to have one big Shard-on for him. I don't understand it, and probably never will. Don't care to either. I can only hope his page time remains minimal.

Adolin has been popular within the fandom because many things were happening to him which many readers thought were interesting: he had murdered he Highprince, he was the only non-Radiant in his family, he was carrying a dead-Blade he talked to and he was the bearer of his father's expectations. This was an interesting cocktail many readers thought was interesting to explore. I sure still think all of this is more interesting than many narratives Brandon chose to explore instead. 

All in all, the character has tons of potential, still has potential though less than before, but the author seems non-committed towards writing him decently. He's the only character who's constantly being used as a foil, other more minor characters aren't suffering the same faith. IMHO, it makes the story weaker because Adolin as too much presence to remain so non-fleshed out, but somehow the author isn't getting he hasn't fleshed out the character.

From my perspective, if his page time remains minimal, then the character will never reached his potential, but I notoriously love the narrative he could have had. My thoughts are I would have traded so many of Shallan's chapters for just one additional Adolin chapter, but this may be just me. 

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4 minutes ago, maxal said:

Adolin has been popular within the fandom because many things were happening to him which many readers thought were interesting: he had murdered he Highprince, he was the only non-Radiant in his family, he was carrying a dead-Blade he talked to and he was the bearer of his father's expectations. This was an interesting cocktail many readers thought was interesting to explore.

Funny you should use the word "cocktail," because I was just thinking that "Adolin" sounds like a cocktail of adderall and ritalin.

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I like Adolin a great deal, though he isn't quite in my favourites.

I was trying to work out why. I usually don't like the good at everything, popular characters.

I think I like him mainly because he is behaves in unexpected ways with the characters I do like. 

He is popular, and fits in with his society, and yet despite his brother being the oposite he is sweet, protective, and respectful towards him.

Despite dating so many women, when it comes to his relationship with Shallan he is a total dork.

And after a rocky start he is a great bro to Kaladin, despite Kaladin being dark-eyed and a Radiant and a potential romantic rival. 

Every time I start to dislike him (ie Sadeas) he does something nice to Kaladin or Renarin and then he wins me back again.

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7 hours ago, DeployParachute said:

the author decided not to explore Adolin's dark side, since everyone in the books and everyone in the fandom seems to not have a problem with it. 

I cannot agree with this statement. In my personal opinion,  the lack of Adolins problems with murdering Sadeas is one of the most common complaints people have about OB. It's also rather hard to expect characters in the book to have any opinion on the matter,  as Adolin keeps it a secret for most of the book. 

I really hate that murdering Sadeas hasn't been a serious problem for him at all. 

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53 minutes ago, Mestiv said:

I cannot agree with this statement. In my personal opinion,  the lack of Adolins problems with murdering Sadeas is one of the most common complaints people have about OB. It's also rather hard to expect characters in the book to have any opinion on the matter,  as Adolin keeps it a secret for most of the book. 

I really hate that murdering Sadeas hasn't been a serious problem for him at all. 

I hate it too. Adolin is a character with very interesting possibilities attached to his development, but Sanderson seems adamant in his belief that Adolin Is Not Interesting and writes him accordingly. My biggest problems honestly come from his complete lack of page-time (and thus lack of introspection about the murder). It's telling that his beta readers had to tell him to include more Adolin into the story, when he should've added those scenes during the alpha or gamma stages of writing at least. 

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Im neutral on Adolin, as a character i like him, before OB he had alot of potential as a character but don't like where his story arc is going since OB.

I think in OB he was shunted to the side more then in WoK, WoR, and this fact coupled with the lack of a reaction to the murder of Sadeas both internally and externally ruined any potential he had moving forward imo.

I don't like the maya revival story line in any way shape or form and really hope that doesn't end up happening.

That said i much prefer Adolin to any other kholin at the moment, besides Jasnah, who we don't see enough of. 

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I've always liked Adolin because he makes me feel warm inside. His respect for his father is... comforting to read? Even when he thinks Dalinar has gone off the deep end, there's so much love there. With OB's flashbacks, seeing how Dalinar wasn't as good a father as I had assumed, this only makes me love him more. I also really love how good a friend he is to Renarin. I also have really loved watching his relationship with Kaladin develop. 

I think I'm in a small minority that cared very little for Adolin's murder plot. In fact, I don't think I've seen anyone else say they were happy with how that played out in OB. I was glad that we got a few instances of him emphasizing that he'd do it again in a heartbeat and that it was otherwise left in the dirt, buried by everything else going on. Unpopular opinion, I know. :) 

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Adolin is one of the few viewpoint characters I haven't wanted to smack upside the head, so I'm generally favorable toward him (the other main ones being Jasnah and current-Dalinar).

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34 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

I've always liked Adolin because he makes me feel warm inside. His respect for his father is... comforting to read? Even when he thinks Dalinar has gone off the deep end, there's so much love there. With OB's flashbacks, seeing how Dalinar wasn't as good a father as I had assumed, this only makes me love him more. I also really love how good a friend he is to Renarin. I also have really loved watching his relationship with Kaladin develop. 

I agree. Seeing Adolin's relationships with Dalinar, Renarin and Kaladin are a large part of why I like his character.

 

Quote

I think I'm in a small minority that cared very little for Adolin's murder plot. In fact, I don't think I've seen anyone else say they were happy with how that played out in OB. I was glad that we got a few instances of him emphasizing that he'd do it again in a heartbeat and that it was otherwise left in the dirt, buried by everything else going on. Unpopular opinion, I know. :) 

This was my opinion as well, especially considering what ended up happening to House Sadeas in the end. Having this become a huge deal then get fixed because House Sadeas is basically dead would be a waste of time. I'm more interested in seeing how this will affect his relationship with Dalinar moving forward.

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7 minutes ago, Mage of Lirigon said:

 I'm more interested in seeing how this will affect his relationship with Dalinar moving forward.

I imagine the revelation Dalinar killed Adolins mother, hid the truth, covered it all up, lied for however many years, will affect there relationship much more, compared to that Adolin killing Sadeas should be like a drop of water falling in n ocean.

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@Jofwu @Mage of Lirigon

THE MURDER FIASCO™ was honestly handled well in my opinion. I was curious as to what the implications would be, and had discussed it previously, but the moment that it became clear no one knew... The murder served the Re-Shepir plot, and ultimately the Sadeas army possession was a result of Adolin's actions. 

So it wasn't the story I expected to see happen, but I enjoyed it and don't see how a murder/investigation/politics/punishment plot would have been better in a book that already gets flak for being politic heavy. 

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Just now, Calderis said:

@Jofwu @Mage of Lirigon

THE MURDER FIASCO™ was honestly handled well in my opinion. I was curious as to what the implications would be, and had discussed it previously, but the moment that it became clear no one knew... The murder served the Re-Shepir plot, and ultimately the Sadeas army possession was a result of Adolin's actions. 

So it wasn't the story I expected to see happen, but I enjoyed it and don't see how a murder/investigation/politics/punishment plot would have been better in a book that already gets flak for being politic heavy. 

Exactly! It's not as if the murder was forgotten about, it had a huge impact on the book itself. Some may argue that it therefore makes it pointless for Adolin to have done it, but it made sense for the character, and the consequences are better dealt with in his personal life.

 

4 minutes ago, IronBars said:

I imagine the revelation Dalinar killed Adolins mother, hid the truth, covered it all up, lied for however many years, will affect there relationship much more, compared to that Adolin killing Sadeas should be like a drop of water falling in n ocean.

Perhaps I misspoke. Seeing how the murder will affect Dalinar's relationship with Adolin will be interesting going forward.

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Adolin is similar to Lift and Lopen for me. The story could progress without them, but it might feel too heavy if they weren't around to brighten the mood a bit. They face everything with a smile and a joke and nothing seems to perturb them, which provides a good contrast to all of the other flawed and broken characters in the story. I like having a little brightness within my tales of impending doom and destruction.

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I actively dislike Lift and Lopen. I think they are cheesy, obnoxious characters, and I've groaned out loud more than once reading them. If both of them died in the same Thunderclast attack, I'd cheer to myself. That's what I think of when I think of my least favorite characters. 

Adolin's not like that for me. He's nice enough, and I really liked his interactions with Dalinar. His role was really good in book 1, but frankly I think the books might have been better served if he had died on the Tower. Since then, I've not been much of a fan of his. It was interesting watching him duel, but that always seemed more like filling time than absolute necessity. The murder of Sadeas was satisfying, but the fact that it was left unexplored for four years between books, and then abandoned for parts 2, 3, and 4 of Oathbringer left a bad taste in my mouth, too. It's not like we didn't have Adolin on screen: he was everywhere. You couldn't escape him in Oathbringer, but his most pressing plotline just....disappeared. It served the mystery of Re'Sephir, which was also left unexplored thereafter, and it served the final twist where the Alethi army is consumed with the Thrill, but it didn't ever matter to Adolin himself.

Overall, I think he's a nice character who's too involved with the main story. This is supposed to be about Kaladin, Shallan, and Dalinar. It's not supposed to be what Adolin thinks of Kaladin, what Adolin thinks of Shallan, and what Adolin thinks of Dalinar.

Too much focus, not enough payout. Not enough there to bother hating, I just don't like how much there is of him.

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I don't really have any strong feelings about Adolin, per se.  However, I do think it's very important to have some of the main characters NOT be Radiant.  I mean, each book's focus character is, by definition, a Knight Radiant.  Now they're all starting to have squires too.  That's why I love that Adolin and Navani are present - they provide a much needed contrast to the superheros.  

Edited by Scion of the Mists
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As far as the murder plot goes, I don't really care about the material consequences but rather the immaterial consequences Adolin faces. Internal dialogue about the murder, some rare introspection from Adolin. That's what I wanted to read.

I think there's an aspect people haven't paid attention to so far. When Adolin learns that Dalinar was the one who was behind the Rathalas massacre, and that Sadeas took the blame for him, that won't sit well with the man who murdered Sadeas, with Adolin who at the time of the murder very likely had the idea that Sadeas murdered his mother clattering around at the back of his skull. 

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I love Adolin for some reasons already stated here: his respect and care for his father and brother, his bromance with Kaladin, his genuine heart. And, even if some think him a bad written character, I feel him real and inspiring. He enriches the options: some are Jasnah's fans, others, Shallans ;) so, there's room for our charming prince.

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16 minutes ago, Scion of the Mists said:

I don't really have any strong feelings about Adolin, per se.  However, I do think it's very important to have some of the main characters NOT be Radiant.  I mean, each book's focus character is, by definition a Knight Radiant.  Now they're all starting to have squires too.  That's why I love that Adolin and Navani are present - they provide a much needed contrast to the superheros.  

I basically agree with this. 

I don't have as strong feelings about him as I do the others; I love his protectiveness of Renarin and how healthy he is for Shallan. And in a world of powered people, it's refreshing to have a character who has to do things the hard way, who hates flying, who has to just deal with insanity going on around him all the time. 

I really like how talking to his sword ended up with Maya being somewhat aware of him. Thats sweet. I just kinda hope he doesnt become a Radiant too because I enjoy him not being one. 

As for the murder plot.....I don't mind how it played out. Everyone was much too busy dealing with the Fused and the singers and the impending doom of the whole planet to worry about one dead high prince the no one liked anyway. 

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In my opinion, I think one of the frustrating things about Adolin’s plot for me has to do with SA being a long series.  As the three current major characters,  Kaladin, Shallan, and Dalinar seem to drive the majority of the plot, they tend to have more satisfying resolutions each book.  Secondary and tertiary characters who don’t get as many viewpoints seem to have less progress.

In previous books, I saw Adolin’s plot line as having more momentum, but in this book some of that shifted to Renarin and Jasnah, who each got big moments at the finale, and Elhokar, whose arc met its conclusion.  If Elhokar was my favourite, I think I would have been pretty impatient up until this point, so that thought helps me get some perspective on waiting for Adolin to get more resolution.   

 I’m hoping that once the series is done (or even when the first five are done) Adolin’s side arc will be more cohesive and satisfying.   I know Ialai is still around and I’m hoping the murder continues to be an issue going forward or gets some further resolution.  

Anyways, just my two cents.  

EDIT:

So, on the subject of Adolin's likability, this analysis got me thinking about how Brandon describes Adolin, and how that might impact reader perceptions.  I searched through the Stormlight Archive for the word "handsome" and the results were interesting.  

The two people who were associated with the word "handsome" the most in the positive sense (as a opposed to 'not handsome') were Kasbal and Adolin.  Since both are often being viewed through Shallan's viewpoint, and she is attracted to both of them, this makes sense.  What was interesting is that Adolin by far was described as handsome the most, and also by the most characters (Shallan, Dalinar, Jasnah and Kaladin, at least).  Kaladin came in third.  Well over 50% of times the word handsome was used was referring to Adolin.  

For most other characters, they are only described as 'handsome' once:

  • Roshone's son (less handsome because of his wound)
  • Elhokar (but less so than Adolin according to Adolin's lady friends)
  • Gavilar
  • Adolin's old man disguise
  • Drehy

"Handsomeness", of course, is just one aspect of the ways in which Adolin is perceived to be attractive, but it made me wonder what other ways Brandon is giving cues or signals that in-world Adolin is likeable, and how those cues influence reader perceptions.  

Sorry for the slight digression, but I thought it was somewhat relevant.  

(Note- this was just a quick search, so I definitely could have missed some things, but the general trend is interesting regardless, I think).  

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I kind of like Adolin as a person, but I don't like him as a character, and after OB this second part started to dominate. The fact that he doesn't get much development isn't exactly the main reason - it's ok given he's secondary/tertiary/whatever.

First, I have less of a problem with Adolin than with his storyline. It annoys me how everything turns out for the best for him. He got the looks, wealth, power, relatively decent family (except for young Dalinar, obviously, but he doesn't know half of it anyway), talent and pleasant personality, and now he also got the girl, Get Out of Jail Free card and hopes for Radiance on top of it all.  Even when the world is ending, his life is as bright and shiny as it gets. Given what the other characters go through, he stands out as the monument of Life Is Not Fair.

The problem I have with Adolin more personally is actually connected to that. He's never bothered. He had some worries about Dalinar in WoK, and then got a moment with Sadeas, but that's pretty much it - and it's been a while. I know he's meant to light up the mood, but there are... limits. He murdered a guy? Fine with it. He needs to re-establish his place in the era of wonders? Oh, well, I guess they're awesome. A family member dies? I'll think about it later. My father is going to die? I'll worry a bit (?) but less than Kaladin. My fiancee likes another guy? Well, understandable. Oh, she doesn't? Ok then, let's get married. It makes me want to smack him upside the head to finally get some reaction.

Edited by Ailvara
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