Mathologist

Theory on the Bondsmiths' spren

11 posts in this topic

My theory is that the Bondsmith were exclusively bonded to the Stormfather. Obviously we know from Dalinar that the Stormfather can be bonded to a Bondsmith. I'm basing this idea on the epigraph of Chapter 44. Since my theory gets into semantics, here's the whole epigraph for reference.

 

"But as for the Bondsmiths, they had members only three, which number was not uncommon for them; nor did they seek to increase this by great bounds, for during the times of Madasa, only one of their order was in continual accompaniment of Urithiru and its thrones. Their spren was understood to be specific, and to persuade them to grow to the magnitude of the other orders was seen as seditious.

 

—From Words of Radiance, chapter 16, page 14"

 

(I don't know how this forum's formatting works)

 

It says "Their spren was understood to be..." instead of "Their spren were..." implying that their was only one spren shared between all of them. My reading of the epigraph also rejects the idea that there was some specific pairing between the Bondsmiths and the spren of the Shards, since it says that "they did not seek to increase this by great bounds." If it had meant that they never increased past three, it would have simply said that they did not seek to increase this at all. This seems to imply that they only meant that they never went into the hundreds of Knights of the other orders, not that they had a very specific on to one correspondence with certain powerful spren. I think that it is writing about a specific time period (possibly immediately before the Recreance?) and stating how many they had at that time, not at all times. This lack of a one to one correspondence also shows that they were probably all bonded to the Stormfather, since if they were bonded to some other unique spren there would almost always be a specific number, and the phrase "which number was not uncommon for them" would never be used.

 

Some other thoughts:

 

1. Looking at translations of the book in other language might help clarify since English pronouns aren't very good at specifying things like this.

 

2. If there are any WoB about multiple people bonding a single spren, that would probably help prove or disprove this.

Edited by Mathologist
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Well one person can apparently bond multiple spren, so it wouldn't necessarily be out of the question for one spren to bond multiple people. And the Stormfather is hardly a typical spren.

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I think you may be right about the limit. Words of Radiance is often presented as a history, so the "numbers only three" could very well be referring to a time period rather than an actual upper bound; the fact that it immediately follows that by referencing a time when there was only one Bondsmith makes me think you're on to something. I'm less certain that "spren was" refers to a singular spren rather than a class of spren (I was thinking that there might be more than one of what Eshonai called a "Rider" since she talks about the Stormfather as "this Rider" and that the Bondsmiths were linking to them), but I can see the argument. Upvote.

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It doesn't really reference a time when there was one Bondsmith, it states that one existed in Urithiru at all times, meaning that the other two were out in the world. 

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I like this idea a little more than one theory where someone suggested that Bondsmiths bonded to other large spren such as the nightwatcher and one other (Cusicech I believe). Given that there is obviously a reverence to the Stormfather I could imagine why many more bonds than three could be seen as "seditious" as this could almost create a very separate, almost fanatical faction to the radiants if many bonded to one revered figure.

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We know Bondsmiths had unique powers.  Perhaps increasing the number bonded to one spren diluted the power that each got, hence talk of increasing the number would serve to weaken the Bondsmiths and be viewed as seditious.

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It doesn't really reference a time when there was one Bondsmith, it states that one existed in Urithiru at all times, meaning that the other two were out in the world. 

It references "the times of Madasa," so at that point it's definitely making a historical reference. When looking at all the quotes, each seems to have a context of a certain time. You're right, though, it doesn't mean there weren't two more out in the world away from Urithiru, but there may have only been one total, or there may have been four. I like the three spren theory, and I'm as guilty of the assumption as anyone, but we've only got one paragraph where we've conflated three Bondsmiths being "not uncommon" with three being a fixed number and "nor did they seek to increase this by great bounds" with "never increased this number." I'm not completely ready to throw out the three spren theory, but this did make me think there could be other possibilities.

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Why do people assume that Bondsmiths Bond with the Stormfather? I thought he only appeared after Honor died. Because if that's the case then he isn't as old as the Knights Radiant. Or am i missing something, is the Stormfather as old as the Knights?

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He couldn't have only appeared after Honor died since Eshonai says how he was once a friend to the listeners then betrayed them like all the other spren. I think the only way it would be possible that he was after honor would be that there were multiple betrayals from the spren. 

 

I believe we have a WoB that there was always a storm on Roshar but it wasn't only magical. So not sure what that means for the stormfather. 

 

We know at least one bondsmith that is bonded with the Stormfather. What the rest bond is up to question though.

Edited by Numb
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I like this theory.  Here's the other quote we have referencing the Bondsmiths:

 

 

“So Melishi retired to his tent, and resolved to destroy the Voidbringers upon the next day, but that night did present a different stratagem, related to the unique abilities of the Bondsmiths; and being hurried, he could make no specific account of his process; it was related to the very nature of the Heralds and their divine duties, an attribute the Bondsmiths alone could address.” — Words of Radiance, chapter 30, page 18

 

Now, we know from Syl's actions and words that the Stormfather appears to have uncanny powers regarding the tendency of spren to form (or re-form) Nahel bonds.  As we have seen, the nature of the bond (i.e. which spren) depends a great deal on the personality and history of the Knight, matching the divine attributes of the person.  Now, while I agree that there is some case to be made about positive feedback (Kaladin gets increased charisma and so on from his bond, thus appearing to reverse cause and effect), but I believe his original desire to protect is what attracted Syl.

 

What does this mean for Bondsmiths?  I think their bond with the Stormfather allows them to help create and nurture Nahel bonds, or something along those lines.  Given that the Windrunners and Stonewards each shared a Surge with the Bondsmiths (and we assume that adjacent Orders implement their Surges in the same way), whatever ability is being referenced by the quote must be something unique to Order 10.  Furthermore, given that the unique abilities of the Orders follow vaguely what their Herald does, I think it is reasonable to draw the connection to Ishar, who was responsible for the Knights Radiant.  He would want an Order who held similar power while he was in Damnation.

 

Now, what about Cultivation?  It seems a bit asymmetrical that there is an Order that forms a Nahel bond with a giant chunk of Honor's power and not hers.  However, this is easily explained - Surgebinging is of Honor.  Sure, the spren involved are a mix of Honor and Cultivation, but there is another whole magic system that is due to Cultivation.  There is no particular reason that there should be an Order of Knights that bonds to a large Cultivation spren, and similarly there is no reason that the Stormfather should enter into Cultivation's magic.

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More and more I'm convinced this is the case. Pattern pretty much confirms the Stormfather has been bonded before.

 

 

. . . Shallan pulled the blanket around her closer. "An entire people, all killed?"

"Not just one people," Pattern said, solemn, "Many, Spren with minds were less plentiful then, and the majorities of several spren peoples were all bonded. There were very few survivors. The one you call Stormfather lived. Some others. The rest, thousands of us, were killed when the event happened. You call it the Recreance." 

WoR Chapter 75 True Glory

If Dalinar is bonding with the Stormfather now, it would be a logical jump to assume that the Bondsmiths bonded to him before. Especially since he specifies that he won't bond in a way that could kill him, and won't give Dalinar shards. He had probably done this before using the same logic, which is how he survived. Elhokar would be proud of how paranoid Dalinar's spren is. 

Edited by EMTrevor
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