robardin

[OB] Odium's Contest of Champions

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So in (one of) the climactic scenes in Oathbringer, Dalinar does what Honor suggested in his visions to him and gets Odium to agree to a "contest of champions" for the fate of Roshar.

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Dalinar licked his lips. "A test of champions," he said to Odium. "I demand that we clash over this world."

"For what purpose?" Odium asked.

"Killing us won't free you, will it?" Dalinar said. "You could rule us or destroy us, but either way, you'd still be trapped here."

...

"A contest," Dalinar said to Odium. "Your freedom if you win, our lives if humans win."

"Be careful what you request, Dalinar Kholin. As Bondsmith, you can offer this deal. But is this truly what you wish of me?"

....

"Yes," Daliar said. "This is what I wish."

"You wish a contest of champions?" Odium repeated. "This is your true desire, not forced upon you? You were not beguiled or tricked in any way?"

"A contest of champions. For the fate of Roshar."

"Very well," Odium said, then sighed softly. "I agree."

A few questions come to mind.

First and most basic - are the terms of the contest what Dalinar imagines?

Odium phrases it as "As Bondsmith, you can offer this deal" - as if there were a standing clause in what binds him to Roshar that specified that a Bondsmith do it, or more likely (since the KRs were not created by Honor and the Order of Bondsmiths would not have existed before the Desolations began), that Dalinar is bonded to the Stormfather who is the "heir" to Honor as the biggest Splinter of him, the spren that was tasked with passing on the visions from Honor to a chosen recipient (Gavilar, at first, then Dalinar).

Clearly Dalinar was thinking of the Alethi dueling tradition of single combat, with specified stakes. But Odium's agreement could be read one of two ways - agreement with the stakes that Dalinar just laid out ("your freedom if we win, our lives if humans win"), or agreement to a "contest of champions" according to some earlier compact where Dalinar is unaware of the details, including what exactly form the contest would be.

Secondly - who is humanity's champion? Dalinar assumed it would be himself, as the issuer of the challenge, but then Odium went and designated him as his own champion - and Dalinar recognized that indeed, he had been so groomed for much of his life. So now what? By definition, no matter what Dalinar does, it would be a tie if he were BOTH champions in the contest. And he never named humanity's champion - his request, agreed to by Odium, was just to have the deciding contest at all. Odium naming him has his own champion suggests that Dalinar was "in play", which would also mean Dalinar could still pick someone else to be humanity's champion.

Thirdly, who is Odium's champion, now? Dalinar's refusal to "give Odium his pain" was him refusing to fall under Odium's control, the way Amaram and Moash did. Does that mean Odium will have to choose someone else, or are there "no backsies" on his choice, and it's just too bad that his appointed champion is going to be working to lose on his behalf?

Or... Did Odium technically choose Dalinar? Re-reading that scene, he never actually names Dalinar as his champion. He only points out that Dalinar fits all the criteria as to who he groomed to be his champion, as Nergaoul, The Thrill, consumes him, replaying all the gleefully violent acts from his past.

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"I have chosen my champion already. I've been preparing him for a long, long time... I need someone who dominates a battlefield like the sun dominates the sky.

A man who will win no matter the cost.

A man who has served me all his life. A man I trust."

Odium never throws that Pokeball and says, "Dalinar Kholin, I choose you!"

And finally, when will the contest occur? When Odium has his little chat with Taravangian, he sees that the Diagram had predicted this scenario: 

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"You have agreed to a battle of champions. You must withdraw to prevent this contest from occurring, and so must not meet with Dalinar Kholin again. Otherwise, he can force you to fight. This means you must let your agents do your work."

How "Super-Genius Mr. T", "without access to Fortune, or the Spiritual Realm" as Odium noted, even knew about the possibility of a "battle of champions" between Odium and Dalinar is breathtaking. Odium does not dispute this assessment - which is not quite the same as admitting it is true, but let's take it as such. So, it is a "battle", which surely means combat mortal of some kind.

It seems that Odium is bound by his agreement to the contest and its being binding, but the conditions are still left open - i.e., who the champions are - and that if he ever met with Dalinar again, he could force the deal to be completed.

My call: Kaladin vs. Vyre/Moash.

And... Storm it... Maybe Kaladin talks to him like he did to Amaram about how he still hurts... And Moash takes back his pain from Odium? Can he be redeemed?

Or is that too obvious a storyline? It would probably depend on how we would get there in the next two books.

What's that, you say? There are ten books in the Stormlight Archive? Yeah, but the way Oathbringer moved things along, I'm starting to suspect the "battle of champions" with Odium is the climactic element of "SA Part I" (Books 1-5), and the jump forward in time to the second quintet (?) is to represent how long it takes for the "final" conflict - possibly much wider in Cosmere scope than just Roshar - to bubble up and play out.

 

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All very good questions. Tanavast's messages tell the listener to convince Odium to a contest of champions, which suggests that either the parties agree to the terms when Odium agrees to the contest, or the terms are something already agreed to which Odium has just opted in to for this cycle, but they must be sufficiently obvious that Tanavast was confident that whoever saw the vision could figure out the details without needing to explain them in any depth. You'd expect that if there were some important condition, he would have taken the time to say 'Oh by the way, the chosen champion must beat the other in a Horneater drinking contest while balancing on the back of a charging chasmfiend' or whatever the case may be.

6 hours ago, robardin said:

Secondly - who is humanity's champion? Dalinar assumed it would be himself, as the issuer of the challenge, but then Odium went and designated him as his own champion - and Dalinar recognized that indeed, he had been so groomed for much of his life. So now what? By definition, no matter what Dalinar does, it would be a tie if he were BOTH champions in the contest. And he never named humanity's champion - his request, agreed to by Odium, was just to have the deciding contest at all. Odium naming him has his own champion suggests that Dalinar was "in play", which would also mean Dalinar could still pick someone else to be humanity's champion.

Taravangian's conversation with Odium at the end of the book suggests that Dalinar may have taken up the mantle whether he proclaimed himself humanity's champion or not. Either that or Dalinar can name a champion at a future date. What's clear is that Dalinar retains some power over Odium which requires the latter to act through intermediaries if he doesn't want to get into trouble.

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You have agreed to a battle of champions. You must withdraw to prevent this contest from occurring, and so must not meet with Dalinar Kholin again. Otherwise, he can force you to fight. This means you must let your agents do your work.

This makes it sound like Odium can't encounter Dalinar again without being forced into a potentially disadvantageous situation. Given the literally infinite difference in power between a Shard and a human (no matter that it's Dalinar) it sounds like there's some preexisting 'rules' in place that mean Odium can't simply squash Dalinar like a bug and call it a victory for his side. It's probably related to the explanation that Odium would agree to such a contest in the first place to avoid having to confront forces (ie Cultivation) who could potentially harm him.

My guess is that the exact terms are still to be decided, and refusing to meet Dalinar will allow Odium to preserve as much in the way of advantage as he can, for as long as he can.

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Thirdly, who is Odium's champion, now? Dalinar's refusal to "give Odium his pain" was him refusing to fall under Odium's control, the way Amaram and Moash did. Does that mean Odium will have to choose someone else, or are there "no backsies" on his choice, and it's just too bad that his appointed champion is going to be working to lose on his behalf?

I'm almost certain Dalinar's refusal to accept Odium's control means he's permanently out of consideration for the 'Odium's champion' gig. Otherwise, Dalinar could technically 'win' by jumping off a cliff, or appointing someone else as humanity's champion and letting them kill him. That would be a bit anticlimactic.

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My call: Kaladin vs. Vyre/Moash.

And... Storm it... Maybe Kaladin talks to him like he did to Amaram about how he still hurts... And Moash takes back his pain from Odium? Can he be redeemed?

As much as I'd like to see Moash beaten repeatedly with a Sylbat, I suspect that some form of redemption isn't impossible. If Odium has any sense at all he's not going pick a champion with such a potential weakness. He was blindsided by Dalinar refusing to give in, but there was a Shard involved there. I don't think he'll make a hasty decision in appointing his new champion.

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What's that, you say? There are ten books in the Stormlight Archive? Yeah, but the way Oathbringer moved things along, I'm starting to suspect the "battle of champions" with Odium is the climactic element of "SA Part I" (Books 1-5), and the jump forward in time to the second quintet (?) is to represent how long it takes for the "final" conflict - possibly much wider in Cosmere scope than just Roshar - to bubble up and play out.

We're not supposed to get the Big Cosmere Crossover until Mistborn Era 4 at the far end of the timeline, so I doubt that the back half of SA is going to widen the scope by all that much. Obviously whatever the outcome is there's going to be huge Cosmere-spanning implications as three Shards are directly involved but I don't think we're going to see the battle taken to other worlds or anything of that nature.

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On 5/10/2018 at 6:07 PM, Weltall said:

We're not supposed to get the Big Cosmere Crossover until Mistborn Era 4 at the far end of the timeline, so I doubt that the back half of SA is going to widen the scope by all that much. Obviously whatever the outcome is there's going to be huge Cosmere-spanning implications as three Shards are directly involved but I don't think we're going to see the battle taken to other worlds or anything of that nature.

I think it's still possible for the scope to widen to Greater Roshar, Braize, and even Ashyn.

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On 10.05.2018 at 10:31 PM, robardin said:

Clearly Dalinar was thinking of the Alethi dueling tradition of single combat, with specified stakes. But Odium's agreement could be read one of two ways - agreement with the stakes that Dalinar just laid out ("your freedom if we win, our lives if humans win"), or agreement to a "contest of champions" according to some earlier compact where Dalinar is unaware of the details, including what exactly form the contest would be.

Dalinar can't be unaware of terms. In his vision Odium told him that he must be aware of what he offers, he keeps to the spirit of his agreements, not to the letter.

On 10.05.2018 at 10:31 PM, robardin said:

My call: Kaladin vs. Vyre/Moash.

This is too expected. And who in Damnation is Moash? Odium said he was preparing his champion for a long time and it is someone who dominates the battlefield. Does Moash dominate the battlefield? Yeah, he probably meant Dalinar, but do you think this is so simple? Odium failed to pick Dalinar and not he will be forced to pick some random bad guy Moash? I don't think so.

Throw stones at me, but Adolin (I can explain! :D). And on the good side could possibly be: Kaladin (40%), Shallan (30%), Jasnah (20%), Dalinar (10%). I personally prefer Shallan.

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On 5/11/2018 at 0:07 AM, Weltall said:

As much as I'd like to see Moash beaten repeatedly with a Sylbat, I suspect that some form of redemption isn't impossible. If Odium has any sense at all he's not going pick a champion with such a potential weakness. He was blindsided by Dalinar refusing to give in, but there was a Shard involved there. I don't think he'll make a hasty decision in appointing his new champion.

I think Odium tested Amaram. I suppose the answer to the question would be whoever can bond Yelig-Nar without turning into a pretty rock.

That in turn means that mankind's champion better have at least similar powers or can fight under unique circumstances: Lift or whoever bonds Sja-Anat.

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On 2/5/2019 at 8:35 AM, Sedside said:

Dalinar can't be unaware of terms. In his vision Odium told him that he must be aware of what he offers, he keeps to the spirit of his agreements, not to the letter.

This is too expected. And who in Damnation is Moash? Odium said he was preparing his champion for a long time and it is someone who dominates the battlefield. Does Moash dominate the battlefield? Yeah, he probably meant Dalinar, but do you think this is so simple? Odium failed to pick Dalinar and not he will be forced to pick some random bad guy Moash? I don't think so.

Throw stones at me, but Adolin (I can explain! :D). And on the good side could possibly be: Kaladin (40%), Shallan (30%), Jasnah (20%), Dalinar (10%). I personally prefer Shallan.

The Champion he had prepared, who "dominated a battlefield" like the sun does the sky, was Dalinar. And that preparation has now come to naught.

As for Moash/Vyre being the second choice, it may seem "too expected", but it'd also be kind of bad if the mantle fell on some random other character in Odium's camp just because it was unexpected. I mean, Moash has now gotten (and after Dalinar's refusal) the rare honor of a directly commissioned hit job from Odium, on Jezrien with a special dagger, and now has been given Jezrien's Honorblade to wield in Odium's service. He's basically Dark Kaladin at this point.

I don't see him "choosing" anyone else who's already a Radiant and in opposition to him; he thought he had Evi's death and Dalinar's long association with the Unmade Nergaoul in his pocket to beat Dalinar down into "surrendering his pain" for the bliss of  the Thrill. Adolin doesn't even regret his killing of Sadeas, the one act he might be reviled for by Team Honor.

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1 minute ago, robardin said:

The Champion he had prepared, who "dominated a battlefield" like the sun does the sky, was Dalinar. And that preparation has now come to naught.

As I said, I don't think Odium is so easy to beat. I also don't think Sanderson had written it in vain, and forgot to mention Dalinar by name.

3 minutes ago, robardin said:

Adolin doesn't even regret his killing of Sadeas, the one act he might be reviled for by Team Honor.

Yes. This and a bunch of another reasons make him a perfect candidate.

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Okay, so, the criteria for Odium's champion as far as I can tell (I'm just going to presume that the contest of champions is the climax of book 5):

  • Must already be on Odium's side, or must be easily convinced to switch on Odium's side.
  • Most likely has voidbinding powers, though he/she may gain the powers by switching sides. 
  • Must have a lot of (repressed, unresolved) pain that Odium can take away.
  • Is most likely not Kaladin, Dalinar, Shallan or Venli - their story arcs involve coming closer to self-acceptance and, well, sanity. Shallan's oaths involve coming out of denial and living with her pain, Kaladin's oaths seem to be about accepting that you cannot save everyone. Dalinar has found forgiveness. Venli will probably be the same in the next book. Since the finale is Szeth's book he may or may not have reached that point of character development by that point. 
  • Nevertheless probably is either a good guy or a former good guy, because:...
  • The fight must have emotional impact (it's the finale after all)
  • Odium must be confident that he'll win. That might mean that Odium's champion is very powerful,

           OR

  • Odium's champion will be someone that Humanity's champion cannot kill for another reason.
  • Last but not least: Tragedy. It may be someone we don't want to die - Sanderson likes to hurt us after all.

The Champion of Humanity will meanwhile be a powerful Radiant, probably one with "cool" abilities (Jasnah and Shallan's powers are very difficult to imagine in a "fight over the fate of the world" - they are not "visually appealing" enough. Maybe that sounds mean, but, well, this is a story after all). Even more important that the character has some sort of emotional connection to the champion of Odium (a final battle between, for example, Nale and Shallan wouldn't be as interesting as e.g. Moah vs. Kaladin) .

So, I think it's probably one of the following:

Moash vs. Kaladin: Obviously. Moash has been played up a lot as the Anti-Kaladin, their powers are very impressive, Kaladin does not want to kill Moash and it seems like Odium already has great plans for Moash.Moash already is the exact opposite of Kaladin and the battle would definitely have a strong impact on both of them. On the other hand, it is a very obvious idea. Also I think Moash will play an important role in Kaladin realising that he cannot save everyone - which I hope is going to be earlier than SA 5. And also Kaladin is the most "classic" Fantasy Protagonists - him being the Champion is almost too predictable. 

Szeth vs. Nale: Also possible - Szeth is very loyal to Dalinar and an obvious choice because SA 5 is his book. Nale is some sort of Mentor-ish figure to him, at least in theory, and both Nale and Szeth seem to understand and respect the other's interpretation of the Oaths. However, Szeth and Nale don't really have that much emotional impact as a fight and while Nale does in a certain way represent a counterpart to Szeth, I think it's not as interesting as some others.

Kaladin vs Shallan: VERY unlikely, but possible. To be fair, it would clearly be a very emotional fight. Shallan has a lot of unresolved pain that she still somehow is in denial about. And she still has not adressed the fact that Kaladin killed her brother. So, yes, they do have the potential to fight and Shallan could theoretically maybe become Odium's champion. But - still, not very likely. It would also be a very, very bad end for both for their character arcs IMO. 

Dalinar vs. Some Random Voidbinder: To be honest, I think Dalinar is most likely to be the Champion of Humanity. He is one of Sanderson's favourite characters, he is the true main protagonist of SA (which originally revolved around him and Elhokar), and in my opinion has in a certain way taken over Honor's role, maybe not (yet) as a shard, but as a symbol of Honor and as the leader of Roshar's civilisations. He is also extremely powerful and the only main character (Venli aside) to have personally confronted Odium. Dalinar may face a Voidbinder controlled by Odium, while the real fight is one between him and Odium on a more philosophical level. Like he is fighting, while Odium is remembering him of his failures et cetera. 

 

But there's one possible champion of Odium who I think is more likely than all the ones above, simply because it his a character who I actually think is very probable to switch sides, and, because it's a fight where it actually seems like Odium would win. All of the above are pretty even fights, they don't necessarily have that situation in which you think "Oh no. How is he going to win THAT battle?" And, to be honest, I think the following scenario is also the most probable because it simply is the most tragic of all the possible fights:

Spoiler

Dalinar vs. Renarin: To me the fight that I think would be the most interesting. And it's definitely possible. Renarin is the ignored son whom nobody remembers, the only real friend he has is Adolin - who also is the person everybody unfavorably compares him to -  and he is seen as useless by the few people that do notice him because of his aversion to warfare. And now the father that he has spent his whole life with, to whom he has - despite his neglect - always been loyal, whom he has always sticked by also basically killed his mother, the only person besides Adolin that really seemed to care about him. Not to mention that he is currently facing some sort of identity crisis after finding out that he is not even a "real" truthwatcher. I know he always seems calm and friendly but there just has to be some resentment in there. Besides, he already has a connection to Odium via Glys. And nobody is better suited to defeat Dalinar than Renarin - because I doubt Dalinar could bring himself to hurt Renarin, far less kill him. 

At least that's my opinion. I don't know if I'm maybe overestimating how unhappy Renarin really is. Maybe I just really want Sanderson to do something interesting with Renarin. 

 

Edited by bxcnch
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A very important death rattle: 

"So the night will rein, for the choice of honor is life"

 

I think that this definitely points towards Odium's champion being someone that the hero will not kill. Because of that, I could definitely see Dalinar vs. Renarin.

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I doubt it would be Renarin. While I don't have the book in front of me, the last chapter with Mr. T seemed to imply that Odium was not accounting for Renarin at all in any of his calculations. when all of the words on Mr. T's walls began glowing with the power of odium and expanding into volumes, the name Renarin Kholin stayed dark. This might mean that Renarin could be Honor's champion, as his bonding with a void/corrupted spren might give him an edge over Odium. 

 

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“I hold the suckling child in my hands, a knife at his throat, and know that all who live wish me to let the blade slip. Spill its blood upon the ground, over my hands, and with it gain us further breath to draw.”

That death rattle always struck me as a possible 'champion' fight, and after OB, namely Kaladin vs. his little brother.  For nearly three books part of Kaladin's arc has been protecting, how much is a life worth, who decides who is right and wrong etc.  I can see his arc culminating in this decision.  (Although I'm not sure if his baby brother would still qualify as a 'suckling child' at the time of a battle of champions.)

If it is Kaladin vs. a baby however, I can see, as Kaladin is about to let the baby live, Moash swooping in and doing the horrid deed for him.

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Every time I see Contest of Champions mentioned here I think of Marvel's Contest of Champions game and imagine a character like Kaladin fighting TenSoon.

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I have been in the Moash vs Kaladin camp for some time myself. Not everything has to he a narrative curveball. Some things are built up to over several books. 

I'd like to see Kaladin swearing oath 4 (about accepting failure or some such), so that his climax in book 5 has him swearing the 5th oath, which will involve being willing to kill someone he cares about (i.e. Moash) if it is necessary to protect others. 5th level Kaladin vs Moash with honorblade and who knows what else. 

Kaladin will eventually win, of course,  but he will die heroically in the process. 

That's my speculative headcanon, at least.

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Brandon does like his tragedies, but Dalinar vs. Renarin feels too forced and more in line with a truly brutal epic series like Malazan Book of the Fallen. Why does Kaladin vs. Moash feel too obvious?  Because we've had three books of character development leading to that conclusion, including all the back story and ancillary interactions such as with Elokhar and Amaram.  Dalinar seems like the other obvious choice for human champion, but I wonder if his ties with Honor have made him too powerful to take on that role now.  There are plenty of other opportunities for surprises, tragedies, etc.  and of the characters that have been in all three books, it feels like Kaladin and Moash are being written for those roles. I wouldn't put it past Brandon to want something more straightforward for "casual" fans, and at some point, you should go with the flow of the arcs you've written vs. forcing a change.

With that said, I think odds of Adolin going rogue dropped considerably after OB, leaving him as another possibility to represent humanity. I just don't know what pairing makes sense (other than bringing Sadeas back somehow).  Jasnah has enough sorceress vibe going on that I think it could be flashy enough, but she has her own book in the back 5, so if the champion battle is in the front five I think that that rules her out. Doesn't Renarin have a book in the back five as well? That probably rules him out, especially if the books focus on "good" or "neutral" characters like they have so far.  Still feels like Kaladin vs. Moash even though it does feel too obvious. But if the hardcore fans think it's too obvious to believe, then that may be good enough for Brandon to go with it (no doubt cackling with glee at having played his fans so well ;) )

 

Edited by Argel
Typos. Grammar
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Brandon's going all out for the surprise twist.

A certain despised one-eyed low-nahn darkeyed pardoned deserter will become first a squire then a full Radiant, heal his socket with Stormlight, and saves humanity by unexpectedly taking down Moash/Vyre.

That's right. Gaz FTW! While a certain Lordling Windrunner grits his teeth!

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2 hours ago, robardin said:

Brandon's going all out for the surprise twist.

A certain despised one-eyed low-nahn darkeyed pardoned deserter will become first a squire then a full Radiant, heal his socket with Stormlight, and saves humanity by unexpectedly taking down Moash/Vyre.

That's right. Gaz FTW! While a certain Lordling Windrunner grits his teeth!

What a turnaround that would be! Gas fighting ALONGSIDE Kaladin!

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16 hours ago, Argel said:

Brandon does like his tragedies, but Dalinar vs. Renarin feels too forced and more in line with a truly brutal epic series like Malazan Book of the Fallen. Why does Kaladin vs. Moash feel too obvious?  Because we've had three books of character development leading to that conclusion, including all the back story and ancillary interactions such as with Elokhar and Amaram.  Dalinar seems like the other obvious choice for human champion, but I wonder if his ties with Honor have made him too powerful to take on that role now.  There are plenty of other opportunities for surprises, tragedies, etc.  and of the characters that have been in all three books, it feels like Kaladin and Moash are being written for those roles. I wouldn't put it past Brandon to want something more straightforward for "casual" fans, and at some point, you should go with the flow of the arcs you've written vs. forcing a change.

With that said, I think odds of Adolin going rogue dropped considerably after OB, leaving him as another possibility to represent humanity. I just don't know what pairing makes sense (other than bringing Sadeas back somehow).  Jasnah has enough sorceress vibe going on that I think it could be flashy enough, but she has her own book in the back 5, so if the champion battle is in the front five I think that that rules her out. Doesn't Renarin have a book in the back five as well? That probably rules him out, especially if the books focus on "good" or "neutral" characters like they have so far.  Still feels like Kaladin vs. Moash even though it does feel too obvious. But if the hardcore fans think it's too obvious to believe, then that may be good enough for Brandon to go with it (no doubt cackling with glee at having played his fans so well ;) )

 

I do agree that Renarin vs. Dalinar might feel to forced now, but then again, we never had a longer PoV from Renarin's perspective (we had a few short ones in OB but I don't feel like they had a lot of effect on his characterisation). His whole life is already pretty unsatisfying and that is before you remember that he's about to,find out how his mother really died. That leaves a lot of room for character development. There's still 2 more books which may flesh him out a little bit more. Until now he has always been a secondary character at best. He was irrelevant in WoK, only interesting in WoR when he turned out to be a KR and now he's finally a major plot point because of the reveal at the end of OB. For 3 books he's had only a few mentions and was always more of a background character - but now we finally reached the point where it is almost impossible for Brandon to ignore him. Renarin is still pretty much a secondary character and most of his personality comes from what others say about him. He's not a "flat" character, but... I feel like we didn't actually get much information on Renarin yet. So, yes - Renarin becoming evil sounds unlikely and forced in the moment, but I feel like we cannot really say where his character arc is going before we get to know him a little better. Him having a major PoV in the back 5 is not necessarily a way to rule him out - either he is getting flashbacks Eshonai-style, or he just survives the duel - I don't know how that would work but I think Brandon is creative enough to find a loophole in the rules he made up. Kaladin vs Moash is something that I personally just don't want to be the final showdown, because 1.) it's still too predictable, 2.) the way I view Kaladin I think it will need a big punch for him to swear a new oath in SA4 and I feel like Moash can deliver that one, 3.)I feel like it is kind of a waste if the final battle of the series is two people with the same powerset fighting esch other, especially if it is the powers that we have known from the very beginning of the books - I feel like after exploring so much of the magic system, the final battle should have more to it than just the Windrunner-lashings again, 4.) I like Kaladin, I really like him and his chapters in WoK were something I always looked forward to after the relative bore that is Shallan before Pattern, but... I feel like he shouldn't be the main character of the series. A lot of people seem to think of Kaladin as the main character of the series because he got the first book, but in OB I feel like he was a lot less important already, and in general he feels so ..."heroic" - in a slightly stereotypical way - that doesn't mean that SA has to be completely twist-y and unpredictable, maybe Kaladin really just is the hero that will save the world. It's possible and it would probably still make for a great story. But after all the unique and unconventional characters that we were introduced to - Lift, Shallan, Dalinar, Szeth - Kaladin being the true hero in the end would feel a little... I don't know, just a tiny little bit of a letdown. 

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Fascinating discussion.

I was thinking Kaladin v Moash myself, even though it is obvious, but Stormlight is the only Brandon books I've read so far (I do plan to remedy that, don't shoot me!) so I don't know if he deliberately subverts the obvious Just Because. If this Battle Of Champions takes place as the climax of Book V then....is there time to swerve away from the build-up towards Kaladin v Moash?

I don't think the champion will be Dalinar because Dalinar now is Honour (or Unity?) in a certain sense and thus Dalinar and Odium are the "kings/generals", not the actual chosen fighting champions.

But this discussion has made me think......how about Adolin vs Renarin? Adolin is on the way to being an Edgedancer and Renarin can heal himself from mortal wounds. And no matter what happens Dalinar loses a son. All the action! All the feels!

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4 hours ago, Dalfiatach said:

Fascinating discussion.

I was thinking Kaladin v Moash myself, even though it is obvious, but Stormlight is the only Brandon books I've read so far (I do plan to remedy that, don't shoot me!) so I don't know if he deliberately subverts the obvious Just Because. If this Battle Of Champions takes place as the climax of Book V then....is there time to swerve away from the build-up towards Kaladin v Moash?

I don't think the champion will be Dalinar because Dalinar now is Honour (or Unity?) in a certain sense and thus Dalinar and Odium are the "kings/generals", not the actual chosen fighting champions.

But this discussion has made me think......how about Adolin vs Renarin? Adolin is on the way to being an Edgedancer and Renarin can heal himself from mortal wounds. And no matter what happens Dalinar loses a son. All the action! All the feels!

I definitely think this is a possibility; all of Adolin’s build-up being a duelist and all leads me to think that he will probably be humanity’s champion, though I think that there is a chance he could switch to Odium if say, Shallan died or something.

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20 hours ago, robardin said:

That's right. Gaz FTW! While a certain Lordling Windrunner grits his teeth!

He does have Lightweaver potential in terms of attitude.  Also what do you think he is seeing behind his eye?

5 hours ago, Dalfiatach said:

I was thinking Kaladin v Moash myself, even though it is obvious, but Stormlight is the only Brandon books I've read so far (I do plan to remedy that, don't shoot me!)

DIE DIE DIE!:D

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Dang, Adolin vs. Renarin could work. I hope it doesn't play out that way, but they've been in all three books, it's tragic on so many levels, and even keeps it all within the Kholin family.  Though Justin had some good points up above about Odium not even being aware of Renarin that makes it less likely.

Given SA's slightly Anime/Manga vibe, it could make sense for the two champions to have had past encounters. That favors Moash again, though Adolin vs. Moash could work. Though I have to admit that bxcnch's suggestion that  Kaladin vs. Moash works better for SA4 makes a lot of sense to me. Though if Kaladin decides he has to sacrifice others to stop Moash from doing something, that would still work for a SA5 climax. 

What about Adolin vs. Moash? That whole killing Elokhar thing could come into play. 

I wonder if Brandon wants it to be more diverse, such as a male vs. female battle? That would favor Jasnah, Shallan, Venli (tragic she fighting her own people and would be a story of redemption) or  probably getting too crazy, even Lift.

 

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Kaladin vs. newborn child.

"As I hold my knife to an innocent child's throat, my hand trembles and I falter, knowing the whole world wish's I let the blade slip."

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42 minutes ago, DocHoliday said:

Kaladin vs. newborn child.

"As I hold my knife to an innocent child's throat, my hand trembles and I falter, knowing the whole world wish's I let the blade slip."

Ah, so that's what that means!

Odium: "For my new champion...I choose this baby. Even I'M not evil enough to fight a baby."

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On 9/2/2019 at 1:50 PM, Truthless of Shinovar said:

I definitely think this is a possibility; all of Adolin’s build-up being a duelist and all leads me to think that he will probably be humanity’s champion, though I think that there is a chance he could switch to Odium if say, Shallan died or something.

The thing is though if Adolin is not feeling guilty or regretting his decisions then what pain is there for Odium to take , also Adolin switching sides because Shallan died seems like a gross misrepresentation of his character at the moment.

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9 minutes ago, twenty second of the sun said:

The thing is though if Adolin is not feeling guilty or regretting his decisions then what pain is there for Odium to take , also Adolin switching sides because Shallan died seems like a gross misrepresentation of his character at the moment.

I should have clarified; I meant something traumatizing and dramatic, such as someone important to him dying, Shallan was the first to come to mind, or somebody else important, (maybe Renarin? An accidental death, similar to Dalinar and Evi?) dying, although I agree, more relationship development is needed.

Edited by Truthless of Shinovar
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