Wreith

Planned "Last" Desolation

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Lunchbreak re-read of the Prelude in WoK

Kalak thinks this was one of the worst desolations.
Yet 9 of the 10 heralds survived.

Does anyone think it's possible that Odium somehow gave orders to his army to avoid killing the Heralds this time? Maybe he brokem them enough to expect they would leave the Pact

Taln was still killed. 
Maybe his penchant for lost causes was too much to avoid. 
Maybe Odium intentionally wanted time alone to break the only unbroken Herald.

Is Ishar just crazy now or could he have broken enough to be in Odium's pocket back then, suggesting that leaving Taln would be enough?

Essentially, is it possible the "Last" Desolation was a long con by Odium rather than a fortunate happenstance of the only Herald able to hold being the one to go back 

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I've been saying something like this for a while. The back cover of way of Kings implies that the Sleepless believe the long break between desolations was intentional. 

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1 minute ago, Calderis said:

I've been saying something like this for a while. The back cover of way of Kings implies that the Sleepless believe the long break between desolations was intentional. 

Is there an existing thread for this? I didn't see one, but maybe I didn't look hard enough.

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I don't think so. Ive mentioned it a couple of times in threads, but never carried back to before that desolation ended. I figured it was more opportunistic than truly planned... But that reasoning was the inspiration for this (debunked, and pre-OB) theory. 

 

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interesting.
I apparently never went back and considered the covers in light of Oathbringer.

on a side note, would it kill them to include the back cover in the e-books.

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Even during WOK I found it weird that the Desolations were seemingly close together with 10 Heralds trying to hold it back and failing and yet there's 1 doing the holding and 5000 years pass? Something's up there that we're not being told.

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9 hours ago, Draginon said:

Even during WOK I found it weird that the Desolations were seemingly close together with 10 Heralds trying to hold it back and failing and yet there's 1 doing the holding and 5000 years pass? Something's up there that we're not being told.

Anytime any one of the Heralds broke under torture, it would trigger a Desolation.  With 10 different Heralds, you're always going to get one to break fairly quickly.  Taln was the only one who never broke, until the present day (after ~5000 years of torture).  

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19 minutes ago, Scion of the Mists said:

Anytime any one of the Heralds broke under torture, it would trigger a Desolation.  With 10 different Heralds, you're always going to get one to break fairly quickly.  Taln was the only one who never broke, until the present day (after ~5000 years of torture).  

I know that Desolations happened when one of them broke but it does make one wonder how Taln was able to endure it for 5000 years but the others couldn't last a couple centuries, assuming one goes with the theory that each Herald broke once making 9 Desolations before the "last". I mean does this imply Taln is tougher than the rest or was Odium's minions taking their sweet time at breaking him until he finally gave in?

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1 hour ago, Draginon said:

I know that Desolations happened when one of them broke but it does make one wonder how Taln was able to endure it for 5000 years but the others couldn't last a couple centuries, assuming one goes with the theory that each Herald broke once making 9 Desolations before the "last". I mean does this imply Taln is tougher than the rest or was Odium's minions taking their sweet time at breaking him until he finally gave in?

I think it is pretty heavily implied that Taln is just a bad mamma jamma.  I guess that does not prevent Odium taking his time with him, but the evidence points towards him just enduring.

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4 hours ago, dbulick said:

I think it is pretty heavily implied that Taln is just a bad mamma jamma.  I guess that does not prevent Odium taking his time with him, but the evidence points towards him just enduring.

If he's that tough I'd hate to see the aftermath of a fight between him, Chuck Norris, Goku and Superman.

Could be a combination of both since Taln could endure lots of different types of torture and Odium trying to see which could break him and he finally found it, or Taln is that tough but Odium had a different plan for what's happening on Roshar, building up an army to help conquer the Cosmere (or whatever his ultimate goal is), and finally broke Taln to start his escape plan to murder all Shards

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In the final vision of Way of Kings Tanavast tells Dalinar that Odium has figured out the constant threat of desolations is making humanity unite together and become stronger and that he should let humans turn on each other instead. 

“Men must face them together ... You cannot squabble as in times past. He’s realized that you, given time, will become your own enemies. That he doesn’t need to fight you. Not if he can make you forget, make you turn against one another." WoK Chapter 75

Odium's plan was to back off and let humanity forget about the larger threat and then come roaring back. I don't think he meant for it to take 4,500 years though. Long enough to kill Honor and the Radiants to disband, the extra ~2,000 after seems more than he wanted to take. When Dalinar visits Thaylen City in OB he sees that art of Taln at a temple had been hit by many lightning strikes from the Everstorm. Odium seems really pissed at Taln for holding out for so long :)

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7 minutes ago, Child of Hodor said:

In the final vision of Way of Kings Tanavast tells Dalinar that Odium has figured out the constant threat of desolations is making humanity unite together and become stronger and that he should let humans turn on each other instead. 

“Men must face them together ... You cannot squabble as in times past. He’s realized that you, given time, will become your own enemies. That he doesn’t need to fight you. Not if he can make you forget, make you turn against one another." WoK Chapter 75

Odium's plan was to back off and let humanity forget about the larger threat and then come roaring back. I don't think he meant for it to take 4,500 years though. Long enough to kill Honor and the Radiants to disband, the extra ~2,000 after seems more than he wanted to take. When Dalinar visits Thaylen City in OB he sees that art of Taln at a temple had been hit by many lightning strikes from the Everstorm. Odium seems really pissed at Taln for holding out for so long :)

yeah. This and the back cover of WoK mean he did plan for a delay.
It makes me wonder if he actually has any control over the torture though or if the CogShadow Singers are given free rein in that as part of the deal.
Like did he give them 2000 years of his own volition thinking he could break Taln quickly or was Taln tortured the full 4500 years 

Because if the Singers have free rein, then it supports the idea that he couldn't bring any Herald but Taln back because they all broke too quickly.

Edited by Wreith
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1 minute ago, Wreith said:

yeah. This and the back cover of WoK mean he did plan for a delay.
It makes me wonder if he actually has any control over the torture though or if the CogShadow Singers are given free reign in that as part of the deal.
Like did he give them 2000 years of his own volition thinking he could break Taln quickly or was Taln tortured the full 4500 years 

He probably would want to keep up appearances on Braize and play the hide n seek, torture game like normal. Otherwise there is a chance Taln might realize something is wrong and break to go back sooner and warn people. 

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I'm sorry but everyone breaks under torture eventually. Everyone. And that's within a humans frail lifespan. 

Taln hold out for five millenia makes no sense, especially considering the state that he's in when he returns. 

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14 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I'm sorry but everyone breaks under torture eventually. Everyone. And that's within a humans frail lifespan. 

Taln hold out for five millenia makes no sense, especially considering the state that he's in when he returns. 

Please don't zap me for saying what I am about to say, but in theory Jesus never broke under torture. And some people think He went to Hell while He was dead, and was tortured there, and still didn't sin. So who knows...

On behalf of Taln, I will suggest that being a Herald helps with physical pain. Also knowing he's quasi-immortal, like, maybe one subconscious reason for IRL people to all crumble under torture is a persistent subconscious recognition that death is possible. But Jesus and the Heralds in theory know that their pain is not a death-indicator, so maybe that mere belief bolsters their stamina.

(Also, is it known 100% that torture is 100% compelling? I feel like I've heard this theory advanced before, but I've never researched it well enough, and the history of various religious martyrs makes it sound false to my ears (unless the hagiographers were overzealous in their depiction of their subjects' endurance)...)

EDIT: Because in principle, depending on the kind of pain in question, dosing on painkillers of different forms could render a person impervious to torture (advanced psychedelics if it was like cluster-headache pain, normal endorphin-like or anandamide-like stuff if it was "normal" pain, or whatever), and sometimes the power of belief/cognition vs. pain is surprising (as with analgesic music during surgery).

EDIT 2: And what about people with "pain asymbolia"?

Edited by Ripheus23
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OK. That right there, is exactly my issue with Taln. 

As presented he's perfect. Perfect characters are boring. I would like to believe that that's not what we're getting, because it's just... Not interesting.

Edit: and again, if that's the case, why is he broken to the point of literally being unable to function? 

Edited by Calderis
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2 minutes ago, Calderis said:

OK. That right there, is exactly my issue with Taln. 

As presented he's perfect. Perfect characters are boring. I would like to believe that that's not what we're getting, because it's just... Not interesting.

Edit: and again, if that's the case, why is he broken to the point of literally being unable to function? 

This bothers me as well. Not so much his characterization throughout as a good and immensely stubborn fellow, but specifically his reaction to Ash saying he'd been alone for thousands of years.

What a gift YOU gave them.

like his holding out under torture had nothing to do with it. Like that was the only possible outcome if he was the only one.

Seems suspicious.

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It may because Taln is the only Herald that actually cared by the final desolation. It seems to me that by the time of the breaking of the Oathpact, most of the Heralds were tired of being tortured and breaking, the only one that wanted to continue was Taln. He wanted to hang on because he knew that humanity needed to heal from the damage of the desolations. It would also appear that the transition from human to Herald seems to expand the mind of the person in question, much like the Lord Ruler in Mistborn. That may be why they are able to hold up to torture more. 

 

Sorry, this was posted to the wrong thread. how do I move this to the Planned last Desolation thread?

Edited by Gasper
post to wrong thread
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2 hours ago, Gasper said:

Sorry, this was posted to the wrong thread. how do I move this to the Planned last Desolation thread?

Here you go! In the future, it would be easier if you just delete the post in the wrong thread and make the post in the thread you originally wanted it in. 

EDIT: Or, as users can't delete posts, copy your post over to the thread you wanted it in, and report the original so a staff member can get rid of it for you. 

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I agree with @Calderis and @Wreith, what is it about Taln that made him endure whatever happens on Braize for so long alone? Especially with how broken he is during the entirety of WOR something broke him bad while on Braize. I hope we find out more before his book comes out.

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There is a connection between the Heralds. The remaining Heralds being on Roshar may have helped. As Kalak mentioned, they're not suppose to be getting worse and yet they are. Consider the Heralds 'sanity' as a singular resource. Instead of it being drained from 10 outflows, there was only one this time. Plus some of the Heralds being on Roshar allows that 'sanity' to be restored somewhat from time to time which may have contributed to the lengthy duration.

Edited by ScavellTane
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19 hours ago, Calderis said:

As presented he's perfect. Perfect characters are boring. I would like to believe that that's not what we're getting, because it's just... Not interesting.

Well he's not absolutely perfect, since he did finally break. Other than that, well, I wouldn't mind if he happened to be perfect. There are a ton of characters in the SA. Having one goody-two-shoes wouldn't be that much of a problem, especially as he's not much of a POV character.

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30 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

Well he's not absolutely perfect, since he did finally break. Other than that, well, I wouldn't mind if he happened to be perfect. There are a ton of characters in the SA. Having one goody-two-shoes wouldn't be that much of a problem, especially as he's not much of a POV character.

I'm sorry, but I feel that's a bit short sighted. He may not have many PoV's yet, but he's one of the ten, with his book scheduled for the back half. 

We will see more of, and from, him. 

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2 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I'm sorry, but I feel that's a bit short sighted. He may not have many PoV's yet, but he's one of the ten, with his book scheduled for the back half. 

We will see more of, and from, him. 

This is fine as far as it goes but as a placeholder character-situation for, "Why did it take 4,500 years for the Desolations to start up again?" I think Taln being super-resilient is fine, too. And with the Cosmere saga spanning dozens of books anyway, having one of these preoccupied with the POV of a "perfect" person would be fine. It's not like Sanderson is going to come up with dozens of mental illnesses or weaknesses or whatever just so he can avoid having one "perfect" main/POV character as such.

IDK I've never really been into the idea of, "The main character has to have a flaw," or at least a moral flaw. As long as they're not omniscient or omnipotent, being omnibenevolent doesn't strike me as making for an uninteresting tale. So long as the problem around which the story revolves is complex enough, whether the character slated to solve it is "morally perfect" doesn't put me off from reading about the scenario. (Actually, I wish more authors would try harder to come up with believable morally-perfect/near-perfect characters. There are nuances that can be explored, especially given all the details of moral philosophy, where you could even work in quasi-classical "flaws" without cooking up a simpleton protagonist with the recipe.)

In all reality, I really wonder if Sanderson or anyone else for that matter can adequately imagine that many years of torture, or even consciousness in any form. I mean I'm not going to deny it, either, and I favor Sanderson having a good enough grasp of the concepts to play the themes out well enough, too. IDK...

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@Ripheus23 I don't want Taln to be a Villain. I don't want him to be a Shallan or a Kaladin. I don't want him to be an unwitting traitor, or anti-hero or anything in particular. 

But I do want him to be flawed. Because people are flawed. Flaws make a character stronger. More relatable. More believable. And the Heralds were people, and they were flawed even before their betrayal, or it wouldn't have happened. 

Brandon has already done a near perfect omnibenevolent character, and I hated Elantris because of it. I don't want another Raoden, thank you. 

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