Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Lumen

Gavalar, Taravangian, Amaram and Secret Societies

40 posts in this topic

I have the audiobook, so it is hard to search for things. 

 

Gavilar was part of the Sons of Honor, along with Amaram.  We also know from the Taravangian interlude that Gavilar was having the same visions that Dalanar is having (so knows the desolation is coming, Honor is dead, humanity needs to be united, etc.). 

 

Gavilar was a proponent of the Way of Kings, due to his visions.  How does this fit with the Sons of Honor?  If the desolation is coming (visions), then the Heralds would be there soon.  Why try to get the desolation to come sooner (which is what he and Amaram appear to have been planning, by attempting to bring back the Listener's gods). 

 

Why did Gavilar involve Taravangian?  He operates completely opposite to the first ideal. Or is that a change caused by his visit with the old magic?

 

And lastly, are the Envisagers an offshoot of the Sons of Honor?  From Teft, the goals are very similar (they want to bring back the Radiants, the SoH want to bring back the Heralds, though the wiki does not state that clearly, so I may be misremembering), they just have the added craziness of trying to "snap" themselves into becoming radiants themselves.  

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, I think Gavilar was playing a game of his own; I'd like to think Gavilar was ultimately a good man (though his association with Amaram and Taravangian point otherwise).

I think he had his own agenda that none of his successors were aware of. Taravangian and Amaram both seem certain Gavilar was on their side, but when he was dying, he told Dalinars to "Find the most important words a man can say".

That, to me, sounds like he had his own goal. After all, he was dying; would it have been much more of a stretch to say something like 'Trust Amaram' if their goals were wholly aligned?

Of course, I also thought Amaram would be a hero, so my track record sucks.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, I also thought Amaram would be a hero, so my track record sucks.

 

Me too. I thought Amaram might actually have a good reason for what he did to Kaladin. Turns out... nope, Amaram just thought Kaladin couldn't learn to use a sword. The man who killed a Shardbearer solo can't use a Shardblade as skillfully as Amaram apparently! My state of mind when I learned that little tidbit went something like this:

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

 

I honestly suspect Amaram may have some sort of brain issues.

Edited by Moogle
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Me too. I thought Amaram might actually have a good reason for what he did to Kaladin. Turns out... nope, Amaram just thought Kaladin couldn't learn to use a sword. The man who killed a Shardbearer solo can't use a Shardblade as skillfully as Amaram apparently! My state of mind when I learned that little tidbit went something like this:

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

 

I honestly suspect Amaram may have some sort of brain issues.

 

Hoid has a great quote that could be applied to Amaram

 

"Where is he?(Helaran)"

"Doing things he finds very important. I would fault him for it, as I find nothing more frightening than a man trying to do what he has decided is important. Very little in the world has ever gone awry-at least on a grand scale-because a person decided to be frivolous."

WoR Chapter 45 Middlefest

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hoid has a great quote that could be applied to Amaram

It is a great quote, but it is also supremely ironic.  In his debate in the epigraphs of the two books with the "old reptile" he shows that he himself is "Doing things he finds very important."

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a great quote, but it is also supremely ironic.  In his debate in the epigraphs of the two books with the "old reptile" he shows that he himself is "Doing things he finds very important."

 

I had noticed and thought it to be intentional. He does seem to like to use self deprecating humor sometimes, and I honestly think that he is frightened of himself, but that's off topic.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't actually know that Gavilar was part of the Sons of Honor. We know from WoB that Taravangian, for example, received his blessing and curse from the Nightwatcher after Gavilar's death - so it's unlikely Gavilar would have known what Mr. T would have done with the revelation about the visions. Likewise, he could have shared something with Amaram and/or Restares that was either misinterpreted or had the wrong points emphasized (Gavilar might have asked e.g. for Amaram to look for Heralds - Amaram's understanding of the causal relationship between Desolations and Heralds is obviously mistaken). Both Amaram and Mr. T at the time were likely among the most honorable and trustworthy individuals Gavilar knew. It's worth noting one of the people Gavilar suspects of sending Szeth is Restares; that makes me think the relationship between Restares and Amaram might have been something established after Gavilar's death, and Restares is involved in 'corrupting' Amaram.

 

Regarding that last point, it's worth noting that Amaram initially doesn't go for the Shardblade. In particular, it's after a long debate with Restares before he finally decides that he's the best choice to take the Shards. Amaram takes the Shards not because he thought Kaladin couldn't use them; he takes them because Kaladin refuses them and Restares convinces Amaram that Amaram is a better choice than random Joe Spearman (which is much easier to accept than 'Kaladin couldn't use a sword').

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that Gavilar created these Mr. T, the Sons of Honor, and probably others. But I think it was mostly by accident, these organizations being found by the men who Gavilar was trying to unite in order to follow the advice of the visions. With his sudden death there weren't linked together but of the coming Desolation. So they're each trying to follow what they believe was Gavilar's goals.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The secret societies we know of are:

1. Ghostbloods (people following the diagram) - Their goal is to save humanity, regardless of the cost. They are led by Tarvagian and they want to unite the world under his leadership.

2. Sons of Honor - Amaram is one of them. They want to bring the desolations in the misguided hope that the Heralds and Knights Radiant will return. They don't realize that only one herald will return, the one that died. The others broke the path pact.

3.Skybreakers - They are led by Nalan, the herald of justice, and want to kill surgebinders because they (incorrectly) believe that they will bring the desolations. Shallans brother was a Skybreaker. The Skybreakers were originally an order of the KR, but don't seem to be anymore.

4. Tefts family was part of a group that want the KR to return.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ghostbloods are different from the Diagram. Ghostbloods are more like a darker version of the sons of honor as far as I can tell. Diagramists basically follow what you said, and while they're not busy can do whatever you want.

The Teft cult is called the envisigers.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The secret societies we know of are:

1. Ghostbloods (people following the diagram) - Their goal is to save humanity, regardless of the cost. They are led by Tarvagian and they want to unite the world under his leadership.

2. Sons of Honor - Amaram is one of them. They want to bring the desolations in the misguided hope that the Heralds and Knights Radiant will return. They don't realize that only one herald will return, the one that died. The others broke the path pact.

3.Skybreakers - They are led by Nalan, the herald of justice, and want to kill surgebinders because they (incorrectly) believe that they will bring the desolations. Shallans brother was a Skybreaker. The Skybreakers were originally an order of the KR, but don't seem to be anymore.

4. Tefts family was part of a group that want the KR to return.

 

I would say Teft's family was part of a sect who thought Radiants could come back given the proper settings. They thought they could trigger a bound by putting themselves in danger. As far as we know, they haven't been interfering with world's politic as the other groups are.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I have the audiobook, so it is hard to search for things. 
 
Gavilar was part of the Sons of Honor, along with Amaram.  We also know from the Taravangian interlude that Gavilar was having the same visions that Dalanar is having (so knows the desolation is coming, Honor is dead, humanity needs to be united, etc.). 
 
Gavilar was a proponent of the Way of Kings, due to his visions.  How does this fit with the Sons of Honor?  If the desolation is coming (visions), then the Heralds would be there soon.  Why try to get the desolation to come sooner (which is what he and Amaram appear to have been planning, by attempting to bring back the Listener's gods). 
 
Why did Gavilar involve Taravangian?  He operates completely opposite to the first ideal. Or is that a change caused by his visit with the old magic?
 
And lastly, are the Envisagers an offshoot of the Sons of Honor?  From Teft, the goals are very similar (they want to bring back the Radiants, the SoH want to bring back the Heralds, though the wiki does not state that clearly, so I may be misremembering), they just have the added craziness of trying to "snap" themselves into becoming radiants themselves.  

 

 

To be fair, Vargo was a decent and caring king, who had build hospitals and provided peace and free healthcare for his citizens, no way to predict he'd turn into what he became, though I do not consider him a villain. I suspect Gavilar saw in him a potential ally and that's why he confided in him, though it's odd he never said anything to his own brother until his last words. 

 

The Sons of Honor and the Envisagers are very different. The former want to bring Desolation to return the Heralds (ironically clueless 9 out of 10 have been on Roshar for millenniums), whereas the latter want to be Radiants, but they clearly lacked important pieces of information. I wouldn't say these two secret societies were connected.

 

 

Of course, I also thought Amaram would be a hero, so my track record sucks.

 

Me too. I thought Amaram might actually have a good reason for what he did to Kaladin. Turns out... nope, Amaram just thought Kaladin couldn't learn to use a sword. The man who killed a Shardbearer solo can't use a Shardblade as skillfully as Amaram apparently! My state of mind when I learned that little tidbit went something like this:

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

 

I honestly suspect Amaram may have some sort of brain issues.

 

I'm curious - what good reason did you two think Amaram had that could turn him into a hero?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, Vargo was a decent and caring king, who had build hospitals and provided peace and free healthcare for his citizens, no way to predict he'd turn into what he became, though I do not consider him a villain.

 

No, I think Taravangian set up the free healthcare as a front for what he was really doing.  How else was he going to get close to that many dying people? 

 

But, yeah, it's hard to consider him a true villain.  He doesn't enjoy the suffering he causes.  He regrets the pain and death that his plans necessitate  But he also seems to be operating on a very misguided premise--that somehow his actions will prevent the formation of the Knights Radiant, and by doing so, will prevent the desolation from coming.  (Did I get that right?)  And how, I wonder, did he come to such a conclusion?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I think Taravangian set up the free healthcare as a front for what he was really doing.  How else was he going to get close to that many dying people? 

 

What makes you say he didn't have hospitals before the Diagram?

 

 

 

But, yeah, it's hard to consider him a true villain.  He doesn't enjoy the suffering he causes.  He regrets the pain and death that his plans necessitate  But he also seems to be operating on a very misguided premise--that somehow his actions will prevent the formation of the Knights Radiant, and by doing so, will prevent the desolation from coming.  (Did I get that right?)  And how, I wonder, did he come to such a conclusion?

 

Nalan is the one who thinks killing surgebinders will prevent Desolation. Vargo thinks a Desolation will come no matter what and wishes to ensure the survival of humanity.

Edited by Aleksiel
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious - what good reason did you two think Amaram had that could turn him into a hero?

 

Note: rant.

 

"Hero" is a strong word for what I thought Amaram might be. He says a few things during Kaladin's branding:

"...It took hours to decide, but Restares is right—this is what must be done. For the good of Alethkar.”

...

“You can’t begin to understand the weights I carry, spearman.” Amaram’s voice lost some of its calm tone of reason. He sounded defensive. “I can’t worry about the lives of a few darkeyed spearmen when thousands of people may be saved by my decision.”

 

I expected something along the lines of Taravangian: a sympathetic (to me, anyway) villain, forced into making terrible decisions that ultimately I could sympathize with even if I couldn't agree with them. With the Shards, it could be that Amaram went on to save important people from assassins, or he used them in a magical ritual to imprison Odium or something. Turns out no, he's just a moron, and thinks he can use the Shards better:

Dalinar exhaled, a hissing sound through his teeth. “Why, Amaram? Of all people, I thought that you . . . Bah!” Dalinar’s grip on the weapon tightened, knuckles white.

Amaram raised his chin, as if thrusting his neck toward the point of the Shardblade. “I did it,” Amaram said, “and I would do it again. The Voidbringers will soon return, and we must be strong enough to face them. That means practiced, accomplished Shardbearers. In sacrificing a few of my soldiers, I planned to save many more.”

 

Because apparently it's impossible for someone to learn to use a sword with a year of training! Because apparently Shardbearers are all so experienced and skilled with the sword, except that we know they're all mostly not skilled from Szeth's PoV.

 

If lighteyes did have a natural ability to use Shardblades, say, 50% better than darkeyes and kill 50% more Voidbringers, then yes I might agree with Amaram's decision. The issue is it's patently absurd. Is Amaram supposed to come across a racist, or something? I never quite got that impression from him, and instead I just get the impression that he drools and stares blankly into space whenever someone is not looking at him.

 

And of course, from Amaram's PoV, we're exposed to a man who is supposedly just as brutal as Sadeas, if not more so. And then he left Kaladin alive, so he's not even very brutal. The risk of Amaram's crimes coming out (and therefore getting himself put on trial) means that any sane consequentialist should have killed Kaladin if they were going to go through with it, although any sane consequentialist would never have taken the Blade in the first place because it's too risky for next-to-no benefit. If he was just a plain villain of average intelligence who killed Kaladin to keep his secret, I might have a grudging respect for him. But no, he's not even very good at that. Later, we learn that he's a religious fanatic trying to bring the Desolation to kill everyone. Urgh.

 

I remain bitter for ever thinking Amaram might be something better than he was. Worse, Amaram is used by Kaladin as an example of how the ends don't justify the means:

“Sometimes lives must be spent for the greater good,” Kaladin said.

“Yes, exactly!”

“That’s what Amaram said. In regards to my friends, whom he murdered to cover up his secrets.”

 

No, Kaladin, Amaram was not working towards any "greater good". Maybe he thinks he does, but that just makes him an idiot. Amaram has very obvious issues with his brain not working properly. Amaram being used to explore philosophical issues irritates me. He's a terrible example of whatever flavor of consequentialism he's supposed to showcase. I would even go so far as to call him a straw-man.

 

(I reserve the right to change my opinion on Amaram if the Sons of Honor have actual good reasons for wanting to start a Desolation besides "yay the Heralds will come back!")

Edited by Moogle
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think you can call amaram a strawman because he's not supposed to impersonate some phylosophycal point of view. he is not. he do not incarnate a side in an ancient debate. he is just a villain with some rationalization for his decisions. To my knowledge, we say a character is a strawman when the author wants to deliver a moral lesson with his book and uses some character to express the opposite viewpoint and making him look very stupid or cruel or hypocrite. but that do not make a strawmman out of any character that is stupid, or cruel, or hypocrite, and have some rationalization for his actions.

By the way, if I were him I'd have offered a huge sum for the shards, enough that whoever got them could quit the army and live in luxury and without worries the rest of his life, before resorting to violence.

 

About gavilar, amaram managed to deceive dalinar and kaladin and convince them he was honorable he may as well. he may have deceived gavilar too.

and T seems to really be a compassionate man, except for the diagram. so, before he had the day that would eventually lead to the diagram, he was likely a good man. the hospitals were probably set up before, it takes time to create a  free healtcare like that; also, karbranth was renowned for its surgeons from well before (lirin studied with a man who studied there). And even after he started the plot of the diagram, T had lots of interaction with Jasnah, and she never sensed anything wrong from him; if jasnah did not see through his ruse, then dalinar is unlikely to.

So, we can't use the people he was friend with to make judgments on him.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Because apparently it's impossible for someone to learn to use a sword with a year of training! Because apparently Shardbearers are all so experienced and skilled with the sword, except that we know they're all mostly not skilled from Szeth's PoV.

 

 

If lighteyes did have a natural ability to use Shardblades, say, 50% better than darkeyes and kill 50% more Voidbringers, then yes I might agree with Amaram's decision. The issue is it's patently absurd. Is Amaram supposed to come across a racist, or something? I never quite got that impression from him, and instead I just get the impression that he drools and stares blankly into space whenever someone is not looking at him.

 

Yes, I would think it is impossible to become a true swords master within one year of training only.

 

It has nothing to do with the eye color: lighteyed kids are being taught from the age of 10 and onwards. Special cases are even taught as young as 6 (Adolin). At 16, a lighteyed kids already spent a full 6 years, on average, learning how to master the sword with a true master. Most of those kids probably train with plate as well from the age of 16 and onwards. They are supposed to be able to take on shards at any given day shall the need arises. They fight duels between themselves to sharpen their skill. Adolin trains every day with the sword.

 

So yes, I think Amaram comment is legitimate. His actions are not, but he is right in thinking shards are wasted on an untrained soldier. He is right in thinking a regular soldier would probably never equal, in skill, any other lighteyed who trained full time from early childhood. The sword is a difficult weapon to master, much harder than the spear. A good spearman won't necessary make a good swordsman. Shards are a formidable weapon, they should go to the best warriors, period. In this, Amaram is not wrong in thinking he would make a better shardbearer than Coreb. It does not mean he had the right to kill him, but I do get his point.

 

Szeth comment means nothing. Szeth was not fighting fairly: he has surgebinding, an unfair advantage. Based on their fights, Szeth would probably think Adolin is an unskilled kid when he is one of the most talented swordsman in Alethkar!

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has nothing to do with the eye color: lighteyed kids are being taught from the age of 10 and onwards.

...

Szeth comment means nothing. Szeth was not fighting fairly: he has surgebinding, an unfair advantage. Based on their fights, Szeth would probably think Adolin is an unskilled kid when he is one of the most talented swordsman in Alethkar!

 

Lighteyed kids have many Callings, and quite a lot of them do not involve practicing with swords from age ten and up to my knowledge. Amaram's Calling is probably to be a leader, not a soldier, which means he's naturally going to have less weapons training than a darkeyes who took on soldiering as their Calling. The typical soldier will also be more in shape and have better reflexes in battle, which is not true of a leader who spends all his time in conferences as opposed to physical training.

 

As well, training with regular swords does not suddenly equate to being good with a Shardblade. Suddenly there's no resistance when you hit things, and there's a definite adjustment period because of it. I'm also skeptical of the idea that skill with a Shardblade even matters when fighting Voidbringers. The whole justification for Amaram's theft is that his skill will let him save more lives (presumably by being more effective against Voidbringers) relative to a darkeyes. There's very little dueling when engaged in a battle against an army. You just swing your Blade and they die.

 

I'll grant that the average lighteyes will probably be slightly better choice for a Shardblade than an average darkeyes because of prior sword-training (assuming they got any), but I sincerely doubt it matters after a year filled with daily training, which no lighteyes to my knowledge has undertaken. Elhokar, for example, is busy doing nothing but lounging about whining all day. He only puts on his Shards on special occasions, and as a result I suspect his skill suffers.

 

Even if there was a clear advantage for the lighteyes, the risk of being found and caught out (like Amaram was) clearly outweighs the benefits. There's also the risk of blackmail between Amaram and every single person involved in covering up the affair. Amaram will be executed if he's found guilty (which he should be), and suddenly the world is down ten or so people with no discernible benefit.

 

As to Szeth, Gavilar almost killed him despite his Surgebinding. He was quite clearly a master duelist, and very few Shardbearers even have the ability to manage that going by the numbers that Szeth has killed. Adolin certainly doesn't seem to compare to Gavilar, though I grant that the waters are muddied because Adolin has never 1v1'd Szeth at full strength.

Edited by Moogle
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lighteyed kids have many Callings, and quite a lot of them do not involve practicing with swords from age ten and up to my knowledge. Amaram's Calling is probably to be a leader, not a soldier, which means he's naturally going to have less weapons training than a darkeyes who took on soldiering as their Calling. The typical soldier will also be more in shape and have better reflexes in battle, which is not true of a leader who spends all his time in conferences as opposed to physical training.

 

Do darkeyes have Callings? I thought it was a thing of lighteyes... I may be wrong though. As far as I know, Kaladin does not have one.

 

The Alethki society is all about war, so yes I would say every lighteyes kids from the 4th dhan and up are being trained with the sword from the age of 10. We also have inkling lighteyed mal kid lack formal education, so it is fair to assume weapon and military tactics training would take up most of their days, together with the history of Roshar and basic mathematics (men seem to be able to count, add, subtract and make percentages at the very least).

 

We also know Renarin not being able to undertake any soldering training is an unusual case. He angst about it and he feels useless.

 

Darkeyes do not join the army at the age of ten, nor do they undertake any weapon's training at that age. In fact, most soldiers are probably poorly trained: only the survivors end up getting any good. Darkeyes have no instruction was so ever: Kaladin does not count, he is the exception. Lack of instruction will seriously impair their ability to judge, lead and make life threatening decision on a battle field since, let's face it, a shardbearer usually is in command of something.

 

 

 

As well, training with regular swords does not suddenly equate to being good with a Shardblade. Suddenly there's no resistance when you hit things, and there's a definite adjustment period because of it. I'm also skeptical of the idea that skill with a Shardblade even matters when fighting Voidbringers. The whole justification for Amaram's theft is that his skill will let him save more lives (presumably by being more effective against Voidbringers) relative to a darkeyes. There's very little dueling when engaged in a battle against an army. You just swing your Blade and they die.

 

As I said, most kids will train with the plate as they grow up, borrowing the king's plate or their fathers or their lords. Every family needs to have a few trained lighteyed ready to take on shards shall the need come.

 

Whereas it is true, much of the fighting appears to be true butchery, but it is not always the case. See how the soldiers depend on Adolin on the Plateau fight or how both he and Dalinar repetitively encounters other enemy shardbearers? You think just anyone could have defeated Eshonai? Also, shardbearers can be killed, look at Teleb. He was butchered in the fight, his plate was lost.

 

 

I'll grant that the average lighteyes will probably be slightly better choice for a Shardblade than an average darkeyes because of prior sword-training (assuming they got any), but I sincerely doubt it matters after a year filled with daily training, which no lighteyes to my knowledge has undertaken. Elhokar, for example, is busy doing nothing but lounging about whining all day. He only puts on his Shards on special occasions, and as a result I suspect his skill suffers.

 

But they do have training! We have multiple quotes stating just that. They train daily for years before joining the battle field! Elhokar is a bad and a good example. He is king, he cannot just spare with the regular men, although I do not know what stops him from practicing with his cousin. However, we have seen that Elhokar is actually quite good with his plate in WoK and his skill with the sword is probably more than decent. However, I agree he may not be the most skilled.

 

Look at Dalinar, do we see him practice? No and yet he is one of the best fighter there is. However, the duelists, the young crew with whom Adolin used to hang, probably practice almost every day. Most of them are full or partial shardbearers. From the duels, we know there are many good swordsman in Alethkar.

 

 

As to Szeth, Gavilar almost killed him despite his Surgebinding. He was quite clearly a master duelist, and very few Shardbearers even have the ability to manage that going by the numbers that Szeth has killed. Adolin certainly doesn't seem to compare to Gavilar, though I grant that the waters are muddied because Adolin has never 1v1'd Szeth at full strength.

 

I suspect Galivar has had previous experience with surgebinding. Galivar was an excellent duelist, but Adolin is better. He fared particularly badly against Szeth, but Szeth was far more ferocious in this fight than in the one against Galivar.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do darkeyes have Callings? I thought it was a thing of lighteyes... I may be wrong though. As far as I know, Kaladin does not have one.

 

Yes.  It is for instance mentioned that the ardents in Hearthstone occasionally came down to the village to administer tests for the farmers to elevate their callings.  I think most professions can be considered callings.  I don't think everybody is required to actually formally declare their calling but the more devout probably do.  Since Kaladin isn't particularly devout he probably doesn't bother with it.

 

That being said we haven't really been given much information about calling ranks.  Only occasional mentions that people can seek "elevations" in their calling from the ardents.  I suspect that if Kaladin actually bothered with it in regards to his skill as a spear wielder and/or soldier he would probably be considered highly ranked.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to wonder what the ranking does in practical terms. I've always assumed that the Dahn was based solely on money, could the elevations have anything to do with it???

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, we see Gavilar arguing with Amaram during Jasnah's prologue. Then, when he is dying, he names Restares as a potential person that hired the assasin.

Knowing that Restares is with Amaram a few months later when Kaladin gets branded, does anyone think that Gavilar was arguing with Amaram over what Restares/Amaram and the Sons of Honour have been trying to do, i.e bring about the desolation by bringing back the Voidbringers?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes.  It is for instance mentioned that the ardents in Hearthstone occasionally came down to the village to administer tests for the farmers to elevate their callings.  I think most professions can be considered callings.  I don't think everybody is required to actually formally declare their calling but the more devout probably do.  Since Kaladin isn't particularly devout he probably doesn't bother with it.

 

That being said we haven't really been given much information about calling ranks.  Only occasional mentions that people can seek "elevations" in their calling from the ardents.  I suspect that if Kaladin actually bothered with it in regards to his skill as a spear wielder and/or soldier he would probably be considered highly ranked.

 

Kaladin is of the 2nd nahn, a very high rank for a darkeye. I doubt him becoming a soldier would make him move up. In Shallan's flashback, we see some 1st nahn darkeyes: rich merchants.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Note: rant.

 

"Hero" is a strong word for what I thought Amaram might be. He says a few things during Kaladin's branding:

 

I expected something along the lines of Taravangian: a sympathetic (to me, anyway) villain, forced into making terrible decisions that ultimately I could sympathize with even if I couldn't agree with them. With the Shards, it could be that Amaram went on to save important people from assassins, or he used them in a magical ritual to imprison Odium or something. Turns out no, he's just a moron, and thinks he can use the Shards better:

 

Because apparently it's impossible for someone to learn to use a sword with a year of training! Because apparently Shardbearers are all so experienced and skilled with the sword, except that we know they're all mostly not skilled from Szeth's PoV.

 

If lighteyes did have a natural ability to use Shardblades, say, 50% better than darkeyes and kill 50% more Voidbringers, then yes I might agree with Amaram's decision. The issue is it's patently absurd. Is Amaram supposed to come across a racist, or something? I never quite got that impression from him, and instead I just get the impression that he drools and stares blankly into space whenever someone is not looking at him.

 

And of course, from Amaram's PoV, we're exposed to a man who is supposedly just as brutal as Sadeas, if not more so. And then he left Kaladin alive, so he's not even very brutal. The risk of Amaram's crimes coming out (and therefore getting himself put on trial) means that any sane consequentialist should have killed Kaladin if they were going to go through with it, although any sane consequentialist would never have taken the Blade in the first place because it's too risky for next-to-no benefit. If he was just a plain villain of average intelligence who killed Kaladin to keep his secret, I might have a grudging respect for him. But no, he's not even very good at that. Later, we learn that he's a religious fanatic trying to bring the Desolation to kill everyone. Urgh.

 

I remain bitter for ever thinking Amaram might be something better than he was. Worse, Amaram is used by Kaladin as an example of how the ends don't justify the means:

 

No, Kaladin, Amaram was not working towards any "greater good". Maybe he thinks he does, but that just makes him an idiot. Amaram has very obvious issues with his brain not working properly. Amaram being used to explore philosophical issues irritates me. He's a terrible example of whatever flavor of consequentialism he's supposed to showcase. I would even go so far as to call him a straw-man.

 

(I reserve the right to change my opinion on Amaram if the Sons of Honor have actual good reasons for wanting to start a Desolation besides "yay the Heralds will come back!")

 

I actually had similar views on Amaram, I imagined him as being something more of a player...but now I think it'll probably be Restares and Amaram is just his catspaw.

 

The thing I don't get, is that Kaladin just up and took on a Shardbearer basically alone and with a spear and knife, and Amaram thinks he can force him to do anything.

 

I mean, historically, apparently he can. But I don't think it really makes a lot of sense given the immense killing power of a Shardbearer.   

 

Yes, I would think it is impossible to become a true swords master within one year of training only.

 

It has nothing to do with the eye color: lighteyed kids are being taught from the age of 10 and onwards. Special cases are even taught as young as 6 (Adolin). At 16, a lighteyed kids already spent a full 6 years, on average, learning how to master the sword with a true master. Most of those kids probably train with plate as well from the age of 16 and onwards. They are supposed to be able to take on shards at any given day shall the need arises. They fight duels between themselves to sharpen their skill. Adolin trains every day with the sword.

 

 

I'm not really arguing, or maybe I am...basically a few points.

 

Adolin's specific calling is Duelling, just as Renarin is an outlier given his lack of combat orientation, so too is Adolin (but not as serious a one) given his specific focus. 

 

There isn't enough Shards for everyone to be well trained in its use, even using family plate or King's plate. We know there's a couple of dozen shards in Alethkar, whereas there must be (at the very least) a couple of thousand Lighteyed soldiers...and we do know that using a Shardblate is substantially different from using a regular sword. There are practice weapons but...again...they're not really the same. 

 

Basically, even in Alethkar, every lighteyed son is not a weapon- or swordmaster. Which makes sense, otherwise lighteyed infantry should run through parshendi light a proverbial hot knife as the latter are notably inexperienced and couldn't possibly be as skilled. There's also the lighteyed battalionlord Kaladin kills, who admittedly underestimates Kaladin.  

 

So yes, I think Amaram comment is legitimate. His actions are not, but he is right in thinking shards are wasted on an untrained soldier. He is right in thinking a regular soldier would probably never equal, in skill, any other lighteyed who trained full time from early childhood.

 

 

I think never is an overstatement, and it does depend a little on the historical context as well, if Alethi really train from such a young age, and how in depth such training really is.

 

To expand, I'm thinking of two points. The first is that a children's lesson are rarely the equal of an adults (if you've ever done martial arts, this is readily apparent. The second is motivation, a man in the army fighting for  life is, generally, going to be more motivated to master his weapon than a ten year old lighteye. He knows what it means if he can't swing right. 

 

This makes sense given what Szeth has said of shardbearers. 

 

The sword is a difficult weapon to master, much harder than the spear. A good spearman won't necessary make a good swordsman. Shards are a formidable weapon, they should go to the best warriors, period. In this, Amaram is not wrong in thinking he would make a better shardbearer than Coreb. It does not mean he had the right to kill him, but I do get his point.

 

I don't think it matters much, especially in Amaram's situation.

 

He just won a pair of Shards, and any Shardbearer is going to be vastly better than none.  

 

 

Szeth comment means nothing. Szeth was not fighting fairly: he has surgebinding, an unfair advantage. Based on their fights, Szeth would probably think Adolin is an unskilled kid when he is one of the most talented swordsman in Alethkar!

 

 

Not a valid criticism. Firstly, Szeth recognises Gavilar is a skilled enemy. Second he notes the difference, that most men depend on the strength of Shard whereas Gavilar does not...which is not the sort of thing you'd expect if what you said was true. 

 

If he was like "this guy is a blowhard pushover" and we later find out that Gavilar is one of the best there was, then you'd have a case. As it was, Gavilar is one of the best there was, and Szeth notices it. Likewise if he had a fight with Adolin from his PoV, he'd probably note his skill but also that Szeth was not going to indulge him in a fair fight. 

 

Yes.  It is for instance mentioned that the ardents in Hearthstone occasionally came down to the village to administer tests for the farmers to elevate their callings.  I think most professions can be considered callings.  I don't think everybody is required to actually formally declare their calling but the more devout probably do.  Since Kaladin isn't particularly devout he probably doesn't bother with it.

 

That being said we haven't really been given much information about calling ranks.  Only occasional mentions that people can seek "elevations" in their calling from the ardents.  I suspect that if Kaladin actually bothered with it in regards to his skill as a spear wielder and/or soldier he would probably be considered highly ranked.

 

 

I was going to mention this. Well done!

 

On a sidenote with Dalinar, Maxal, he's had something like thirty or forty years of training, hunts, war and duels (I forget the Rosharian year compared to our own...) at his best, he pretty much was the best, I think he hardly needs to train.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Adolin's specific calling is Duelling, just as Renarin is an outlier given his lack of combat orientation, so too is Adolin (but not as serious a one) given his specific focus.

 

There are a lot of duelists and most them are shardbearers. I wouldn't call Adolin's calling unusual. I guess many hotheaded young competitive lighteyes must be choosing "Dueling" as their Calling....

 

 

There isn't enough Shards for everyone to be well trained in its use, even using family plate or King's plate. We know there's a couple of dozen shards in Alethkar, whereas there must be (at the very least) a couple of thousand Lighteyed soldiers...and we do know that using a Shardblate is substantially different from using a regular sword. There are practice weapons but...again...they're not really the same.

 

Not for every lighteyes, but every lighteyed kid of the 4th dahn and up must be. 4th dahn comprised about 10% of the population, so yes I would say most of them would be well trained in the matter. Besides, the swordsmasters are having the kids use wooden shardblade imitation for training.

 

 

I think never is an overstatement, and it does depend a little on the historical context as well, if Alethi really train from such a young age, and how in depth such training really is.

 

To expand, I'm thinking of two points. The first is that a children's lesson are rarely the equal of an adults (if you've ever done martial arts, this is readily apparent. The second is motivation, a man in the army fighting for  life is, generally, going to be more motivated to master his weapon than a ten year old lighteye. He knows what it means if he can't swing right.

 

They do. We have Zahel commenting on it . Saying how unusual Renarin is, that most lighteyed kid of the proper rank are being chosen by a swordsmaster by the time they are 10.

 

I am quite sure the training they get is quite sound. Zahel must be brutal in training his "kids".

 

 

 

On a sidenote with Dalinar, Maxal, he's had something like thirty or forty years of training, hunts, war and duels (I forget the Rosharian year compared to our own...) at his best, he pretty much was the best, I think he hardly needs to train.

 

Actually, I was mentioning Dalinar as an example to illustrate it does not mean we haven't seen Elhokar practice that he is a weakling with his weapons. I know Dalinar is a killing machine on his own. I can't believe I am actually defending Elholkar for something.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.