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I know there are lots of theories floating around about what order so-and-so could be or what such-and-such a Surge might do, but the Willshapers are really intriguing to me, and there doesn't seem to be much discussion about them in particular. So here goes. (Also, apologies in advance for the long post, but I've been thinking about this a lot lately.)

 

 And now, if there was an uncut gem among the Raidants, it was the Willshapers; for though enterprising, they were erratic, and Invia wrote of them, "capricious, frustrating, unreliable," as taking it for granted that others would agree; this may have been an intolerant view, as often Invia expressed, for this order was said to be most varied, inconsistent in temperament save for a general love of adventure, novelty, or oddity.

--From Words of Radiance, chapter 7, page 1

 

(I think my fascination may come from the fact that that description fits the Doctor to a T. Especially Eleven.)

 

Theory 1: Lopen is a Willshaper

 

So Lopen has some connection to the Knights Radiant. Whether he's a squire, a full Windrunner, or another order entirely is up for debate. I'm inclined to believe it's something more than what the other members of Bridge Four are experiencing, since Lopen took in Stormlight consciously and independently (neither of which can be said for certain about the men fighting the Parshendi.) Or, to be more meta about it, why single out Lopen to get his own scene if he's just one of a dozen squires?

 

I think it's equally likely that Lopen will turn out to be another Windrunner vs. that he'll be a different order. But if he is another order, my money's on Willshapers. Of all the potential Radiants out there, Lopen seems like the best fit for the Willshapers. He's enterprising (his very first bridge run, Kaladin asks him to bring water. He grabs Dabbid and Hobber, builds a litter, and piles on twenty waterskins). I'm may have a certain fondness for him, but I'm sure lots of people find him frustrating and unreliable. And he loves adventure, novelty, and oddity.

 

     "Why did you want to come with me? You don't know anything about the different bridge crews."

     "You were only picking one," the man said. "That means one man gets to be special, the others don't. I've got a good feeling about you. It's in your eyes, gancho." He paused. "What's a bridge crew?"

     Kaladin found himself smiling at the man's nonchalant attitude. "You'll see. What's your name?"

     "Lopen," the man said. "Some of my cousins, they call me the Lopen because they haven't ever heard anyone else name that. I've asked around a lot, maybe one hundred...or two hundred...lots of people, sure. And nobody has ever heard of that name."

 

Various things from the training scenes in WoR Chapter 12. "Fly!" "Walk on walls!" "Stick me to a wall!" And of course

 

"Oh, storms yes! Everybody, give the Lopen your spheres! I have glowing that needs to be done."

 

It's really only going on his personality, but it's such a good fit!

 

Theory 2: Axies the Collector is a Willshaper

 

Of the three theories here, this is the one I'm least confident about, but I'll at least put it out there as a stepping stone to the next one.

 

Axies is at least as fascinated by novelty and adventure as Lopen, as evidenced by his many travels in search of spren. Also, his shadow is seen to act erratically, much like Jasnah's. (This could make him an Elsecaller, but he doesn't seem to have the right temperament for it.) There's something from his interlude in WoK that stands out to me.

 

"You're still in my alley," a gruff voice said from behind him. That voice had awakened him in the first place.

"I shall vacate it presently," Axies promised.

"You owe me rent. One night's sleep."

"In an alleyway?"

"Finest alleyway in Kasitor."

"Ah. Is that where I am, then? Excellent."

 

I know this is thin, but bear with me. Axies got drunk, was robbed and knocked out, and woke up disoriented. Fine. I'll buy that. I'll even buy that he didn't immediately remember where he was before getting drunk. But I would think that someone who's just groggy would respond more with, "Oh, right. Kasitor." Not this kind of vague, "I'm just gonna take your word for it" response. He deliberately came to Kasitor to see Cusicesh. It probably took him a while to get there by land or sea, and he'd probably been looking forward to it for a while. Is it really that surprising to him that his pre-hangover self came here?

 

Or was he expecting his assailants to have taken him to another city after they robbed him? It's not like he's in a field somewhere, or a shed or something.

 

But if he can travel large distances in the blink of an eye, he might have just popped over to Kasitor on a whim. He might be used to traveling halfway across Roshar between one day and the next.

 

And that's not the only time it's suggested.

 

"Do not feel for him, trademaster," Kylrm said softly to [Rysn], steering her away from the dangling prisoner. "He could escape if he wished."

 

Superstition? Yes. But there's a fair chance it has grounding in fact. Now, maybe it's referring to the fact that Aimians can manipulate their body/appearance. But without some severe reshaping, he's not likely to get out of his bonds. If he could teleport away, on the other hand...

 

There are obviously some major flaws with this theory. Most of what makes Axies distinct is implied to be because he's Aimian, not because there's something specific to him. (Though I would like to point out that it doesn't ever specifically say that Aimian=anything other than blue nails and eyes.)

 

Perhaps he drew stares because of his blue nails and crystalline deep blue eyes. Aimians--even Siah Aimians--were rare. (1) Or perhaps it was because he cast a shadow the wrong way. Toward light, instead of away from it. [...] Likely they'd heard of his kind. (2) It hadn't been that long since the scouring of his homeland. Just long ago enough for stories and legends to have crept into the general knowledge of most peoples.

 

(1) The comment about Aimians refers directly to the first sentence, and then the narration appears to switch tracks. You could read this as. "Maybe it was because he was Aimian. Or maybe because he was a Radiant."

 

(2) This suggests that "his kind" (that cast strange shadows) are Aimians. But "his kind" could just as easily be "Radiants." Or maybe the difference between Siah and Dysian is that Siah are Radiants/something similar to Radiants. The scouring of Aimia might have happened because Siah Aimians had access to unnatural powers (aka Surges.)

 

(If WoB has said that all Aimians have wonky shadows, I missed it. Forgive me and move on to Theory 3 below.)

 

The only real reservation I have about this is that Aimians aren't humans and thus might not be capable of becoming Radiants. In that case...

 

Theory 3: Axies has some other connection to the spren of Willshapers or Elsecallers

 

If Axies can't be a Radiant, he might still have magic and/or a spren bond. Maybe it's the Old Magic, or Voidbinding, or something else (Surgebinding that circumvents the Nahel bond? Symbiosis with spren lacking a proper bond? Some mixed human/spren blood???)

 

It could be that the magic systems on Roshar function similarly to those on Scadrial--same catalyst, different (but sometimes related) effect. Tineyes and Windwhispers (tin Ferrings) both use tin to enhance their senses. Elsecallers and the corresponding Old Magic-bound Aimians bind the same spren, getting the same strange shadow, but otherwise aren't that similar.

 

Could even be that each race on Roshar is particularly attuned to a particular type of magic. The Listeners/Parshendi to Voidbinding (formerly Surgebinding until humans lured the spren away), humans to Surgebinding, and Aimians to Old Magic. And while humans lost their magic, by and large, after the Recreance, Parshendi and Aimians may have held onto it. Any number of Aimians might have been Radiant analogues before the scouring.

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I actually think Rysn is a future Willshaper.  I know she doesn't seem to have a 'love of adventure', as she complains a lot about the places she goes, but I think that description of the order is meant to be ironic, in the same way as the Edgedancers' description.  They are described as "articulate and refined" despite Lift being their representative member after all. 

 

Besides, Rysn did say part of her reason for signing on with her Babsk was because she wanted to visit exotic places; she's not used to the culture shock of it yet, but the desire for adventure is still there.    She's certainly encountered  a lot of novelty and oddity in her travels so far too.

 

She also embodies the characteristic of the order.  She's capricious in temperament; lacking confidence and feeling intimidated by the Reshi one moment, then boldly jumping off a cliff the next.  That's a good example of resoluteness (to make the trade happen),  the primary attribute of Kalak, the Herald of the Willshapers.

 

I think Rysn is being "seeded" to be an important Radiant in the second part of the series just like Lift is. 

Edited by Too Much Awesomeness
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Or a disabled Larkin-owning trade master commanding the merchant fleets of Thalenay? She'll have a fabrial-powered wheelchair and everything. Give her Surgebinding, and she'd eclipse even Kal in badassery.

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Just based on the Larkin-owning I think she will probably not end up as a Radiant. Other other side of that argument is that Rysn is the one to return the knowledge of Larkin's stormlight sucking properties to the Radiants in the nick of time so that they can fight the threat that "X" secret society poses to them with these creatures... and thus joins and becomes a Willshaper :) (Darkness and his "Skybreakers" are shown to have one in Lift's Interlude). 

 

I love the thought of Lopen being something more than "just" a squire or Windrunner and being of a different order, that would be fun and he does seem to fit the descriptions well enough for the order to me!

 

Axies I really don't know about though I like the idea in concept. We know that his form of Aimian can at least manipulate their skin/bodies enough that he uses that ability to keep his notes about spren in skin color patterns... I tend to think that the "can get free any time" has to do with his ability for body manipulation. 

 

The points in favor of Axies for me are:

  • the shadow toward light, like Jasnah, and the being genuinely surprised about what city he was in in the alley.
  • like Jasnah, he really is a scholar searching out the entirety of the truth related to Spren that he can.
  • My question... why is he studying spren of all things? Did one appear to him to bond, acting strangely for any spren that he had seen before and that in turn set him on his quest to catalogue all spren so that he could figure his bonded spren out? 
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I love Rysn, and I definitely think she's going to be important. (Or at least I hope she will me. She's awesome.) But like Green Hoodie, I don't think she'll be a Radiant now that she has a larkin. (Though maybe she'll have some other form of magic?)

 

And Green, I totally agree with you about Axies. He intrigues me so much, and I really want to see him as a Radiant/something, but I'm not honestly 100% convinced by my own theories. haha Willshaper!Lopen is still the one I'm most attached to. (If only because I need more two-armed-one-armed glowing Herdazian epicness.)

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I think that Elhokar will manifest as a Willshaper.

My reasoning is as follows:

A: He sees twisted shapes or symbol heads watching him, which point towards Cryptics, or spren like Shallan sees.

B: I tie this to access to Shadesmar, either via the surge of Transformation, or Transportation.

C: Lightweavers have been referred to as artists, and we haven't been told of Elhokar having any artistic leanings. So probably not Lightweavers.

D: Jasnah is already an Elsecaller... so just for the sake of not duplicating orders...

E: Willshapers also have access to Transportation.

With reference link to my favourite coppermind.net page: http://coppermind.net/wiki/Surgebinding#Becoming_a_Surgebinder

Edited by aheerema
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I think that Elhokar will manifest as a Willshaper.

My reasoning is as follows:

A: He sees twisted shapes or symbol heads watching him, which point towards Cryptics, or spren like Shallan sees.

B: I tie this to access to Shadesmar, either via the surge of Transformation, or Transportation.

C: Lightweavers have been referred to as artists, and we haven't been told of Elhokar having any artistic leanings. So probably not Lightweavers.

D: Jasnah is already an Elsecaller... so just for the sake of not duplicating orders...

E: Willshapers also have access to Transportation.

With reference link to my favourite coppermind.net page: http://coppermind.net/wiki/Surgebinding#Becoming_a_Surgebinder

 

Elhokar doesn't seem adventurous enough to me to be a Willshaper. Only one scene in TWoKs suggested an adventurous streak, the scene where he raced Dalinar before the Chasmfiend attack. But that race could have been prompted by a need to prove himself.

Edited by eveorjoy
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So Lopen has some connection to the Knights Radiant. Whether he's a squire, a full Windrunner, or another order entirely is up for debate. I'm inclined to believe it's something more than what the other members of Bridge Four are experiencing, since Lopen took in Stormlight consciously and independently (neither of which can be said for certain about the men fighting the Parshendi.) Or, to be more meta about it, why single out Lopen to get his own scene if he's just one of a dozen squires?

 

I feel like you're stretching things here. The rest of Bridge Four turned into squires and were capable of taking in Stormlight the very same instant that Kaladin spoke the Third Ideal. Lopen sucked in Stormlight from a sphere hours after Kaladin spoke his Words. If Lopen was a Radiant, this would be a very suspicious time for him to first show powers, considering every other squire just got them. Singling Lopen out for his own scene seems to me to be done for humorous effect and to show where the king was hidden. We needed a PoV from a squire, and Lopen provided a hilarious one.

 

Lopen hasn't seen any special spren, and he certainly hasn't shown himself to be exemplary in anything but cheerfulness (which, alas, is not an attribute of any of the Orders). He hasn't stuck anyone to a wall, just used Stormlight. No Surges, no Surgebinder, though I grant it's only speculation at this point that squires don't get Surges.

 

I really don't think it's possible to see Lopen as anything but a squire. It fits too well. Squires can become Radiants, and I think Lopen has a good chance of becoming a Radiant at some point, but I just don't think he's one right now. The evidence is too weak in my opinion.

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I don't think Axies could be a Radiant. The epigraphs from the songs of The Listeners seemed to indicate that the Nahel bond is something particular to humans, and not granted to Listeners. Even though it doesn't specifically say that Aimians are exempt from this bond as well, my feeling is that it implies only humans get the bond.

 

I like your idea of Axies being of the equivalent Old Magic order as Elsecallers. I think there has been sufficient discussion that there are 10 different types of magical powers accessed in 3 different ways, and I believe there is WoB that says you could say there are either 3 or 30 magic systems on Roshar. So perhaps Aimian = Old Magic, Human = Surgebinding, and Listeners = Voidbinding and the reason being is their sDNA allows them to access Investiture through different methods. Kind of like on Scadrial: Regular human = Allomancy, Terris = Feruchemy. If Axies is of the equivalent group of Elsecallers, then the corresponding essence would be oil. What would the Listener form be... Oilform? Slickform? Fatform?

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I don't think Axies could be a Radiant. The epigraphs from the songs of The Listeners seemed to indicate that the Nahel bond is something particular to humans, and not granted to Listeners. Even though it doesn't specifically say that Aimians are exempt from this bond as well, my feeling is that it implies only humans get the bond.

 

I like your idea of Axies being of the equivalent Old Magic order as Elsecallers. I think there has been sufficient discussion that there are 10 different types of magical powers accessed in 3 different ways, and I believe there is WoB that says you could say there are either 3 or 30 magic systems on Roshar. So perhaps Aimian = Old Magic, Human = Surgebinding, and Listeners = Voidbinding and the reason being is their sDNA allows them to access Investiture through different methods. Kind of like on Scadrial: Regular human = Allomancy, Terris = Feruchemy. If Axies is of the equivalent group of Elsecallers, then the corresponding essence would be oil. What would the Listener form be... Oilform? Slickform? Fatform?

Humans are able to access old magic, as demonstrated with oh, I don't know... Dalinar? Lift?

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Humans are able to access old magic, as demonstrated with oh, I don't know... Dalinar? Lift?

Yeah much of my statement is incorrect. I believe we have WoB now that Listeners may be able to form a Nahel Bond. So disregard that entire post...

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Yeah much of my statement is incorrect. I believe we have WoB now that Listeners may be able to form a Nahel Bond. So disregard that entire post...

Maybe in the past a Listener-RK was impossible just because all the Listener was in Voidish Form.

 

To me now if a Listener form a Nahel Bond, it became a Surgebinding through an unique form. Therefore different from the standard working of Human Nahel Bond

Edited by Yata
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What about Eshonai as a willshaper? She's called 'the Explorer' on the back of WOR

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What about Eshonai as a willshaper? She's called 'the Explorer' on the back of WOR

 

As far as I know, spren don't seek out listeners for the Nahel Bond, they only seek out humans. There might be the possibility for someone like The Lopen to be a KR, but I highly doubt a listener could bond a spren other than those which give them forms like dullform, stormform, mateform, etc. 

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As far as I know, spren don't seek out listeners for the Nahel Bond, they only seek out humans. There might be the possibility for someone like The Lopen to be a KR, but I highly doubt a listener could bond a spren other than those which give them forms like dullform, stormform, mateform, etc. 

 

There is a WoB about that

 

QUESTION
How about the other way around? Can a Parshendi bond a KR spren?
BRANDON SANDERSON

Historically, the Parshendi were not made Knights Radiant, or the parshmen weren't.

QUESTION

Can they become squires maybe?

BRANDON SANDERSON

Historically they did not, but it's not impossible.

 

I take this to mean that, while it hasn't happened before, its not impossible for a parshendi to bond with a KR spren. Eshonai is also slated to have her own book. I, personally, think she will be the first Listener to be come a KR. 

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Eshonai has struck be as a to be Willshaper from basically the moment I understood what the Willshaoers were. She's described as the explorer, having made maps and explored the land outside of the Listener homeland. She was also shown to be excited by excited by novelty when she went to take stormform (if I remember correctly, she was excited immediately before, if slightly reluctant earlier). Also, on a meta level, we know she's getting her own book, and every other character in the first cycle is either a radiant or pseudoradiant (in the entire series maybe). In addition, I think it would definitely fit the theme of magic returning to the world if Eshonai redeemed herself with the Stormfather after taking stormform and then went on to be the first Listener KR, having the spren finally return to the Listeners.

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I thought the fact that Axies' shadow points toward the sun is because Aimians are more connected to the cognitive realm. Maybe I imagined it, but I thought Aimians and Parshendi are both non human races and for whatever reason non human races on Roshar are more connected with the cognitive realm. This would explain why he can make writing appear on his body just by thinking about it or why frame of mind is important for Parshendi when they transform. Still, I could still see either of them becoming a KR. I would think a closer connection to shadesmar would be helpful as a radiant.

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Eshonai has struck be as a to be Willshaper from basically the moment I understood what the Willshaoers were. She's described as the explorer, having made maps and explored the land outside of the Listener homeland. She was also shown to be excited by excited by novelty when she went to take stormform (if I remember correctly, she was excited immediately before, if slightly reluctant earlier). Also, on a meta level, we know she's getting her own book, and every other character in the first cycle is either a radiant or pseudoradiant (in the entire series maybe). In addition, I think it would definitely fit the theme of magic returning to the world if Eshonai redeemed herself with the Stormfather after taking stormform and then went on to be the first Listener KR, having the spren finally return to the Listeners.

 

Here, I agree that statement and I will add that by the end of WoR, Eshonai fell into the chasms, separated from the rest of the Listeners. I always thought that to be a way (plot-wise) for her start redeeming herself. Also, remember who escaped into the chasms earlier? Her most loyal soldiers (Thude, Bila, etc...) and if someone knows how to survive the Shattered Plains, that's Listeners.

 

Regarding Lopen... on the contrary, I will say that he is Dependable and Resourceful, which means Stonewards. Here are some examples that point out very clearly that Lopen has both of these attributes:

 

+ as pointed in this thread already, when Kaladin asked him to bring water, he brings Dabbid and Hobber, a litter, and a lot of waterskins

+ He started bringing new members to the Bridge Four, mostly cousins

+ He always has some cousin who can make/build/sell/provide something that is required

+ He is always ready to do what Kaladin asks him and more.

 

- we were never hinted that he is the explorer type

- he was never capricious, frustrating, unreliable. Instead he was always reliable and no one in the books felt frustrated of him. (The only person that frustrates people to the edge is Elhokar). And you cant' deny that he never has changes in his mood.

 

Or simply, he is another square, but I think Brandon likes diversity and he would like to show us more of the world, more different characters.

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Lopen is only a squire, we saw his POV to show what Kaladin did with Elhcohar after the assassination attempt.

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Unless there is a WoB on that, I don't recall anytthing in that scene that precludes Lopen becoming a KR.

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I see no reason why being a squire could lead to being unable to be a Knight. In fact, in one of Dalinar's visions, it's shown to potentially make it easier (the one where he fought the Midnight Essence.) One of the Knights said something along the lines of "You may not get the powers, that's not my division, but you would have a decent chance." It's possible I'm misinterpreting it, it's been a while since I read SA

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I see no reason why being a squire could lead to being unable to be a Knight. In fact, in one of Dalinar's visions, it's shown to potentially make it easier (the one where he fought the Midnight Essence.) One of the Knights said something along the lines of "You may not get the powers, that's not my division, but you would have a decent chance." It's possible I'm misinterpreting it, it's been a while since I read SA

I think you meant decision, not division

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I think you meant decision, not division

post-16955-0-12666700-1462825145_thumb.g

No, I didn't.

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