Nymeros

So Kaladin betrayed Dalinar

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So Kaladin betrayed Dalinar (....and Moash).

He made an oath to protect Dalinar's family but went behind Dalinar's back and became a participant in an assassination plot against Elokhar....he never confesses to his involvement in the plot or expresses any guilt whatsoever for betraying Dalinar, and it seems as if the incident was swept under the rug.  It's cool that he changed his mind about letting Elokhar be killed but am I the only person who is not okay with his actions and the way Brandon Sanderson handled the plot in the story? Or just makes Kaladin comes across as a coward. Even Adolin got over his cowardice and and confessed but the Windrunner will not?

Concerning Moash: why does Moash get so much hate for choosing his vengeance over Kaladin when it was Kaladin who allowed Moash to continue with the assassination plot and gifted him weapons that he knew would be used against Elokhar only to change his mind at the last possible second?

That's like assisting someone with accomplishing their greatest dreams, giving them a fortune to do so, and then right as the person is about to go fulfil their ambition you say "whoops, that wasn't supposed to happen. How about you forget all about your dreams and go take several seats?" I personally dont blame Moash for not ditching his goals at the last moment just because Kaladin changed his mind and chose to fight against him.

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You're definitely not alone. 

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I agree. I don’t think its done though. I have a feeling Moash will drop that bomb on Dalinar or Adolin at the worst possible moment. And Kaladin won’t lie when asked. 

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I think a lot of readers overlook how harsh/brutal Roshar is.  In that context, it's not so drastic to come up to the precipice but then pull back. Sadeas lures Dalinar and Adolin and the Kholin army into a trap and nothing can be done about it politically. Look at what Dalinar has done in the past.  Mr. T confesses about using Szeth and he's still in the fragile alliance. Szeth is now Dalinar's bodyguard....

Another aspect is the nahal bond/how people become Radiants. Arguably this was part of Kaladin's arc needed to move forward as a Windrunner. If the spren (in this case Syl) is okay with how things worked out, who's going to challenge a high spren that is a piece of Honor over the matter?

The gut wrenching moment may be when Kaladin learns everything Moash has been doing (assuming he continues assassinating heralds).

But I think overall that we're applying our world's sensibilities to a much harder world, and making a bigger deal out of events like these then we should be. Adolin murdering Sadeas comes to mind as another example of that.

It could also relate to Kaladin's final two oaths.

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Well, I agree that Moash is a nuanced character with a complicated backstory who still has some good in his soul.  Definitely disagree that Kaladin is somehow a coward.  The fact that he was willing to back out of the plot at the last minute and stand up against his friend for what he saw as right shows great courage in my opinion.

I feel like this exchange between Kaladin and Syl at the end of part 1 of Oathbringer (Chapter 31) was added specifically to clarify what was happening with Kaladin's broken oaths in WoR:

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“And why was it worse for me to let Elhokar be killed for his injustices than it was for me to actively kill parshmen on the Shattered Plains?”

“One is wrong. I mean, it just feels wrong. Both do, I guess.”

“Except one nearly broke my bond, while the other didn’t. The bond isn’t about what’s right and wrong, is it, Syl. It’s about what you see as right and wrong.”

“What we see,” she corrected. “And about oaths. You swore to protect Elhokar. Tell me that during your time planning to betray Elhokar, you didn’t—deep down—think you were doing something wrong.”

“Fine. But it’s still about perception.” Kaladin let the winds blow him, feeling a pit open in his belly. “Storms, I’d hoped… I’d hoped you could tell me, give me an absolute right. For once, I’d like my moral code not to come with a list of exceptions at the end.”

She nodded thoughtfully.

“I’d have expected you to object,” Kaladin said. “You’re a… what, embodiment of human perceptions of honor? Shouldn’t you at least think you have all the answers?”

“Probably,” she said. “Or maybe if there are answers, I should be the one who wants to find them.”

I think it has less to do with the black and white nature of swearing conflicting oaths, as in the end Kaladin still broke one of his oaths (to Moash and the other conspirators).  Rather everything ties into the Radiant's own deeply held perception of whether what they're doing is right or wrong.  Deep down Kaladin thought conspiring to kill Elhokar and lying about it was morally wrong, and had he gone through with it I imagine he would have hated himself forever.  Choosing to turn against Moash at the last minute was painful in many ways, but it was the decision that he best thought he could "live with".

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@Argel I can't agree, specifically because Kaladin think to himself that hell have to bring this stuff up and come clean, and he never does, on both counts. 

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Moash … Kaladin thought as he trudged up the hill toward the manor, shivering in the chill and the darkness. He’d have to face his friend’s betrayal—and near assassination of Elhokar—at some point. For now, he had more pressing wounds that needed tending.

 

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5 minutes ago, Calderis said:

@Argel I can't agree, specifically because Kaladin think to himself that hell have to bring this stuff up and come clean, and he never does, on both counts. 

 

I think Im in the "So Far" Camp on that one.  I agree that it's an incongruity, though the exchange that Haze posted makes me think that Brandon is aware and doing it intentionally for some future payoff.  So Ill go with "he hasnt had to come clean or pay for it Yet". 

 

As a tangential thought, him having to figure out where the distinction between Standing By and letting Elhokar die vs actively killing could be part of the road he needs to walk to figure out the 4th Ideal (based on the Implied theme of that Ideal)

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7 hours ago, Argel said:

I think a lot of readers overlook how harsh/brutal Roshar is. 

Oh I don't. It's why I was cheering when Moash killed Elokhar. Dudes the head of a nation that actively practices slavery and directly took actions that resulted in Moash's (free) grandparents dying. That Moash was dope enough to take vengeance was awesome to me.

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The gut wrenching moment may be when Kaladin learns everything Moash has been doing (assuming he continues assassinating heralds).

Eh, that has nothing to do with Kaladin personally really.

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Another aspect is the nahal bond/how people become Radiants. Arguably this was part of Kaladin's arc needed to move forward as a Windrunner. If the spren (in this case Syl) is okay with how things worked out, who's going to challenge a high spren that is a piece of Honor over the matter?

Kaladin. His internal dialogue reveals that he knows he should be upfront and come forward and he just...hasnt. He has also been actively misleading/lying to Bridge 4 and he wouldn't do that if he believed what he did was right (he'll share with some of them before his superiors certainly).

My fear is that of Kaladins heroics along with Elokhars death and Szeths joining that Kaladin will come forward and Dalinar/Bridge 4 will brush it off.

7 hours ago, Subvisual Haze said:

Definitely disagree that Kaladin is somehow a coward.  The fact that he was willing to back out of the plot at the last minute and stand up against his friend for what he saw as right shows great courage in my opinion.

What is cowardly is his inability to come clean with others about the situation and his involvement 

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11 hours ago, Argel said:

high spren

Pedantic moment here, highspren is the name of the spren that bond Skybreakers. If you're talking about honorspren, highspren, cryptics, etc together you should use Radiant spren to avoid confusion.

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3 hours ago, robardin said:

I get what you're saying, and you do have a point, but I think you're vastly overstating the similarity between Kaladin's and Moash's "betrayals".

I never stated that their betrayals were similar to have overstated it.

I'm just dissatisfied that Kaladin has received no comeuppance and curious about the amount of flak Moash gets for his hot blooded decision to strike Kaladin down while  Kaladins role in placing Moash in such a difficult decision is brushed off.

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Now, does he owe Dalinar or anyone other than Syl an apology, confession, explanation, etc.? 

Yes. Even Kaladin feels this way. Its ridiculous for Kal to indicate that Moash stopped being a member of Bridge 4 based in his actions but still totally count himself as a member while lying to their faces.

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It's the exact reversal of "Life before Death", isn't it? Not "dope" at all.

No it was incredibly dope. I was shocked when Moash popped up at the palace. To start with no resources or support and end with the head of Alethkar dead is quite an accomplishment. I'm not sure how the Immortal Words are relevant.

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He said he'd discovered the true culprit wasn't Elhokar but Roshone, and that they could both seek justice against him. Moash didn't listen.

Moash didnt care and why would he? Elokhar is responsible for the death of Moash's grandparents, not Roshone. Moash already knew of Roshones involvement even if he didnt know his name.

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On 7/31/2018 at 3:38 PM, Nymeros said:

I never stated that their betrayals were similar to have overstated it.

I'm just dissatisfied that Kaladin has received no comeuppance and curious about the amount of flak Moash gets for his hot blooded decision to strike Kaladin down while  Kaladins role in placing Moash in such a difficult decision is brushed off.

Yes. Even Kaladin feels this way. Its ridiculous for Kal to indicate that Moash stopped being a member of Bridge 4 based in his actions but still totally count himself as a member while lying to their faces.

No it was incredibly dope. I was shocked when Moash popped up at the palace. To start with no resources or support and end with the head of Alethkar dead is quite an accomplishment. I'm not sure how the Immortal Words are relevant.

Moash didnt care and why would he? Elokhar is responsible for the death of Moash's grandparents, not Roshone. Moash already knew of Roshones involvement even if he didnt know his name.

You're certainly entitled to your viewpoints, but I'd put it this way:

Kaladin does deserve a reckoning moment for his temporary dereliction of duty with respect to Elhokar, which cast in another light, in Skybreaker terms if you will, was treason. And Kaladin himself admits he had done the same as Moash, in their confrontation over Elhokar.

The difference, and I feel this is a huge one and somehow you do not, is that Kaladin regretted it, and moved to correct that decision before it was irreversible, where Moash did not. Is it hypocritical for Kaladin to say Moash "stopped being a member of Bridge Four" while "counting himself as a member?" No, because he (Kaladin) added that "I'm trying to change that" - by re-embracing his duty.

As Rock interjected when Rlain came back to Bridge Four (in stormform, no less), saying he had been a spy and was a traitor to their group, "Ha! Is little problem. Can be fixed." (One of my favorite lines from Rock, actually.) And nobody present, including Dalinar, ever contradicts that. Because despite his apparent "switching over" of sides, in his heart and in his ultimate actions, he remained loyal to Bridge Four.

Anyway, it seems that you would cast Moash's "hot blooded decision to strike Kaladin down", which is an ACT and not a passive stepping back, as something as forgivable and reversible a decision as Kaladin's reversed and presumably (if not explicitly) forgiven move to let Graves' plot proceed.

I would say it's much worse exactly because of what the decision represents: valuing vengeance over loyalty to a man he owes everything possible, arguably more so even than his grandparents. Forget oaths or Ideals that Moash never swore, or whatever Alethi laws either or both of them had broken. That line should never have been crossed. And I emphatically don't think "hot-bloodedness" is an excuse for poor decisions, not in real life, and not in fiction.

And mind, you, I think it's pretty apparent from his words and thoughts in the first part of Oathbringer that Kaladin was, at some level, still willing to forgive him, if only Moash would come back and "try to change". But he didn't, he doubled and tripled down. That was not "hot-bloodedness" but stubborn cold-bloodedness.

Edited by robardin
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I think Kaladin definitely betrayed Dalinars trust when he was plotting to kill the king but in the end he bailed and recommitted to his oaths and saved  him in the end, I can’t really see Dalinar holding it against him tbh. It would be hypocritical considering what he wanted to do to Gav  

 

Moash just doubles down on his betrayals and they seem to be compounding. I had a little sympathy for him after book 2 but it was pretty much squandered after Oathbringer. The guys a douche canoe. 

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This is an interesting discussion, I have to say, until now I honestly hadn't considered it as much from Moash's perspective as I could have.

He committed to his goals, and got the revenge he desired, and that in and of itself is commendable, even if just to his commitment and resolve. I think for me myself, part of the problem is that we don't see Moash's confliction as much as we do Kaladin's, at least in Oathbringer.

I may just be forgetting, but Moash doesn't seem to regret or consider that Kaladin is the only reason he has his chance at revenge at all, at least as much as he should.

Kaladin saved him from dying in the Bridge runs, Kaladin taught him to fight, and thus he didn't die to the Fused. Kaladin made him a Shardbearer. Granted, that last one didn't last very long, but I don't remember getting a sense of regret that I feel Moash should have whenever he thinks about Kaladin or uses the skills he taught him.

I think part of the problem is also that Moash seemed to have no goals beyond killing the king. He isn't using it as a rallying cry to destroy the Lighteyes structure or their rule or end slavery, as much as he seems to buy into those kinds of beliefs, he just feels like Elhokar deserves to die. Which is fair enough, if he feels like that, go for it. I can't say I wouldn't feel the same or have the same kind of ruthless streak for vengeance for someone I cared about.

Hell, the Alethi can't even complain too much with the Vengeance Pact - AKA general genocide.

And while we saw a lot of Elhokar's struggles and humanising moments, the reason for his paranoia etc, at the end of the day he still made many many mistakes. And of course he was trying to better himself, which counts for a hell of a lot.

As for Kaladin, he did betray Dalinar, but I wouldn't say he full on betrayed him, more betrayed the trust put in him, at least for a time. Of course he needs to come clean about it, and very soon, but I wouldn't say he deserves as much flak as Moash does regardless.

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2 hours ago, ScarletSabre said:

... we don't see Moash's confliction as much as we do Kaladin's, at least in Oathbringer.

I may just be forgetting, but Moash doesn't seem to regret or consider that Kaladin is the only reason he has his chance at revenge at all, at least as much as he should.

Kaladin saved him from dying in the Bridge runs, Kaladin taught him to fight, and thus he didn't die to the Fused. Kaladin made him a Shardbearer. Granted, that last one didn't last very long, but I don't remember getting a sense of regret that I feel Moash should have whenever he thinks about Kaladin or uses the skills he taught him.

I think part of the problem is also that Moash seemed to have no goals beyond killing the king. He isn't using it as a rallying cry to destroy the Lighteyes structure or their rule or end slavery, as much as he seems to buy into those kinds of beliefs, he just feels like Elhokar deserves to die. Which is fair enough, if he feels like that, go for it. I can't say I wouldn't feel the same or have the same kind of ruthless streak for vengeance for someone I cared about.

Both of these are lightly touched upon in the POVs we get from Moash at the end of Words of Radiance and then in Oathbringer.

He hangs his head at the memory, shocking to himself when he thinks about it, of how "he'd tried to kill Kaladin. Kaladin! ... He was a traitor, twice over."

And thinking back about how he ultimately killed Elhokar in Kholinar, right in front of a Kaladin immobilized with emotional conflict, he didn't feel exultation, only cold, "maybe a sliver of relief at being done". Because he had "given his pain" to Odium, to avoid feeling the guilt of seeing the look of betrayal in Kaladin's eyes at the act. So there was pain to be given, just as Amaram had lingering guilt for murdering Kaladin's squad to gain the Heleran's Shards.

Note that Kaladin only then truly felt betrayed by Moash. Even trying to kill him, while failing and pushing him to the Third Ideal, yes, even that Kaladin could have forgiven him for. In his heart he had still tried avoiding thinking of Moash's betrayal, and invoked his name while slugging Roshone.

Only with that act had Moash clearly made the choice not to "come back". And even given him the Bridge Four salute. Storming bastard.

Edited by robardin
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Kaladin was never part of the assassination plot, he wanted to be and was going to be, but he injured his foot so he didn't join, and since most of Bridge Four went with Dalinar to the Shattered Plains, Moash just took controlled of guarding the King.

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On 8/3/2018 at 9:19 AM, robardin said:

Kaladin does deserve a reckoning moment for his temporary dereliction of duty with respect to Elhokar, which cast in another light, in Skybreaker terms if you will, was treason. 

It's treason no matter what light you shine on it as well as consipiracy to commit murder. Here in the U.S. we'd have him stripped of rank, tried, and imprisoned.

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The difference, and I feel this is a huge one and somehow you do not, is that Kaladin regretted it, and moved to correct that decision before it was irreversible, where Moash did not. Is it hypocritical for Kaladin to say Moash "stopped being a member of Bridge Four" while "counting himself as a member?" No, because he (Kaladin) added that "I'm trying to change that" - by re-embracing his duty.

Again, I don't care about the difference between Kaladin and Moash as I'm not trying to equate their crimes. I feel thats its ridiculous for Kaladin to betray Bridge 4s ideals,  lie to them about it, and continue on without issue. Kaladin also feels this way which is why he thinks about needing to come clean.

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Anyway, it seems that you would cast Moash's "hot blooded decision to strike Kaladin down", ...as something as forgivable and reversible a decision as....

To be clear: no, I don't.

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And I emphatically don't think "hot-bloodedness" is an excuse for poor decisions, not in real life, and not in fiction.

Here in the U.S., it definitely is.

It's the difference between 1st and 2nd degree murder and what drove a person to such a point and the extent of their hot bloodedness could determine whether it was murder or manslaughter that was committed in regards to a homicide.

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But he didn't, he doubled and tripled down. That was not "hot-bloodedness" but stubborn cold-bloodedness.

I never argued that his decision to kill Elokhar was a hot-blooded one. It was cold blooded (and still dope).

23 hours ago, ScarletSabre said:

I may just be forgetting, but Moash doesn't seem to regret or consider that Kaladin is the only reason he has his chance at revenge at all, at least as much as he should.

Kaladin saved him from dying in the Bridge runs, Kaladin taught him to fight, and thus he didn't die to the Fused. Kaladin made him a Shardbearer. Granted, that last one didn't last very long, but I don't remember getting a sense of regret that I feel Moash should have whenever he thinks about Kaladin or uses the skills he taught him.

Keep in mind that Moash's emothions are being actively supressed by himself and Odium as well and even then he thinks of Bridge 4 and Kaldin very frequently. He even credits Kaladin with saving his soul:

They tried to break me. Damnation, they did break me. But then he made me again, a new man. I threw it all away. I always do that. Why must we always take something precious, Guff, and find ourselves hating it? As if by being pure, it reminds us of just how little we deserve it. I held the spear, and I stabbed myself with it....

21 hours ago, robardin said:

And even given him the Bridge Four salute. Storming bastard.

He had no ill intent in that gesture Im sure. Also no matter how much you hate Moash, he hates himself more.....so......yeah.

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@Nymeros still agree on all counts.

Firstly, equating Kaladin and Moash just doesn't work. 

Second, Kaladin's internal monologue says he needs to face these things and come clean and he never does. 

Third, I don't think Moash is redeemable at this point, but that's not from anything to do with Elhokar. 

Moash's killing of Elhokar doesn't bother me in the slightest. From Moash's viewpoint it was deserved and there was nothing that could legally be done to fix that. That murder, in his mind, was no different than Adolin killing Sadeas. 

One of the most masterful things Brandon accomplished in OB was the arc that made every one care about Elhokar, because his "progress" was all there to make everyone feel this way. At the end of WoR, if Elhokar had died, no one would have cared.

The point at which Moash turned for me was Jezrien and Vyre. He had no personal stake in that act. There's no rationalizations or justifications. Just "kill this guy"

"okay, sure."

And then when given the Honorblade, he is told essentially "there is no coming back from this." and he makes the decision to continue. 

With those two acts at the end, he willingly became a monster. Prior to that though? Brandon manipulated everyone's feelings with Elhokars "growth" and the placement of Gavinor. 

Edited by Calderis
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I think Moash was a lost cause from the moment he decided to give his pain to Odium. Allowing a malevolent, manipulative Shard any kind of power over you is like giving up (at least a part of) your free will. By taking his pain, Odium's actions turned Moash into the kind of person that is capable of betraying Kaladin, but ultimately Moash was still the kind of person who'd willingly allow that to happen to himself. He could've tried to take power into his own hands and genuinely pursue revolution, and that would've been respectable from my POV and fine as a character arc, but instead he decided to willingly become the slave of a being that wants to genocide the entire planet because he was too afraid to face up to his own regrets. 

TL;DR storm Moash; he deserves whatever's coming to him!

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6 hours ago, Calderis said:

The point at which Moash turned for me was Jezrien and Vyre. He had no personal stake in that act. There's no rationalizations or justifications. Just "kill this guy"

"okay, sure."

And then when given the Honorblade, he is told essentially "there is no coming back from this." and he makes the decision to continue. 

Yeaahhhhh, Moash pretty much lost my support when he, with no confliction or hesitation, killed an innocent civilian just because he had orders to do so. Still excited to see what Brandon has planned for him in future books though.

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@NymerosYou also have to think of the book setting being Medieval and therefore not the same. Dalinar is basically a good analogue of real historical figures who are viewed differently now. Columbus wasn't a nice guy but that view is more recent, except for Native populations but that's just one example, Charlamagne is the one I'm thinking of. Back to fiction, Dalinar is an amalgum of historical conquerors and has rivers of blood on his hands. Yet he is now the best chance a united Roshar has even though from our perspective he's guilty of war crimes. I'm not trying to minimize anything but we can't apply 21st century standards to the 15th.

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Moash gave up. He gave away his pain and basically just surrendered himself to the new cause. That's what takes my respect for him away: not his assassinate-Elhokar plot, not his actual killing of Elhokar, but the fact that he gave up.

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We don't know if Dalinar is the best chance Roshar has. He's just the one the Stormfather chose. I'd say that Dalinar is far from the best person to deal with this crisis, and that fact is one part of what makes reading him try to do it interesting (well, at least in theory...).

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17 hours ago, Calderis said:

"progress"

Do you mean that Elhokar didn’t really progress at all?

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10 hours ago, Angsos said:

@NymerosI'm not trying to minimize anything but we can't apply 21st century standards to the 15th.

I live in the 21st century afterall as do we all, and our modern societal standards are going to impact how we view the characters and their actions.

That said, I never indicated that i expected/wanted the characters to be punished as they currently would in our world for the same crimes.

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