19 posts in this topic

I have a theory that Szeth was a developing surgebinder/ Knight Radiant prior to becoming the Assassin in White. When he tried to tell others about his powers, or even that the Knight’s Radiant were returning, they refused to believe him, and renounced him Truthless.

 

The first evidence I noticed of this is from Words of Radiance. This is a passage from Kaladin and Szeth’s first encounter:

Quote

“What are you?” he demanded.

“Same thing you are,” Kaladin said. He felt a wave of nausea, but forced himself to appear firm. “Windrunner.”

“You can’t be.”

Kaladin held up the knife, the few wisps of remaining Light steaming from his skin. Rain sprinkled him.

The assassin scrambled backward, eyes as wide as if Kaladin had turned into a chasmfiend. “They told me I was a liar!” The assassin screamed. “They told me I was wrong! Szeth-son-son-Vallano…Truthless. They named me Truthless!”

 

Szeth is horrified and enraged after hearing Kaladin claim to be a Windrunner. He cannot believe the Knight’s Radiant are returning, because if it’s true then he was wrongly named Truthless and all the killing and suffering was put upon him unjustly.

 

Even stronger evidence comes from Oathbringer when Szeth is confiding in Nightblood:

Quote

“I knew a voice like yours once, sword-nimi.” The whispers? “No. A single one, in my mind, when I was young.” Szeth shaded his eyes, looking across the glistening lake. “I hope things go better this time.”

I think the voice he is remembering was a spren he had bonded in his youth. A spren he ultimately killed through his actions as the Assassin in White.

 

Does anyone else have any opinions? If he wasn't previously a surgebinder, what was the voice he was referring to? Also, I found it surprising that I couldn’t find anyone else talking about this. Feel free to let me know if there is already a post somewhere on the same topic that I missed.  

Edited by Silverlight
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I believe in Oatbringer, when Szeth is conversing with Nale, he claims to feel a spren that he had bonded. My personal theory is that before he became truthless, he bonded a highspren, which either directly or indirectly led to him being Truthless. As Truthless, he somehow "killed" this spren in a fashion similar to Kaladin and Syl, but his swearing oaths at the Purelake has since revived his spren. This is what provides him access to the surges of Division and Gravitation. 

This topic covers this somewhat: 

Edit: Found the quote: 

Quote

"He felt a surge of something. Approval? From the hidden spren who only rarely showed itself to him, even still."

Also changed Honorspren to Highspren at behest of @Ark1002

Edited by Kal-Eldin
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5 minutes ago, Kal-Eldin said:

I believe in Oatbringer, when Szeth is conversing with Nale, he claims to feel a spren that he had bonded. My personal theory is that before he became truthless, he bonded an honorspren, which either directly or indirectly led to him being Truthless. As Truthless, he somehow "killed" this spren in a fashion similar to Kaladin and Syl, but his swearing oaths at the Purelake has since revived his spren. This is what provides him access to the surges of Division and Gravitation. 

  1. If it was an honorspren he wouldn't be a skybreaker, he would be an windrunner.
  2. Assuming you meant Highspren, it could just as easily have been a different type of spren.
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6 minutes ago, Ark1002 said:
  • If it was an honorspren he wouldn't be a skybreaker, he would be an windrunner.
  • Assuming you meant Highspren, it could just as easily have been a different type of spren.

1.) My mistake. 

2.) Unsure of your reasoning on that point, as Szeth has access to the surges of Gravitation and Division, and was asked by Nale to train as a skybreaker. As far as I could tell, Nale wasn't especially welcoming of other proto-radiants*, so Szeth must have bonded a highspren.

 

*Citation: Nale has murdered or attempted to murder a considerable amount of the radiants we've seen.

Edit: Spellcheck corrected "Nale" to "Name"

Edited by Kal-Eldin
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1 minute ago, Kal-Eldin said:

Unsure of your reasoning on that point, as Szeth has access to the surges of Gravitation and Division, and was asked by Nale to train as a skybreaker. As far as I could tell, Nale wasn't especially welcoming of other proto-radiants*, so Szeth must have bonded a highspren.

By that I meant he could have not rebonded, just bonded again.

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1 minute ago, Ark1002 said:

By that I meant he could have not rebonded, just bonded again.

Ah yes, that's another possibility. Others have argued that Szeth, while training with the skybreaker squires, may have attracted and bonded a highspren, similar to the process Teft underwent. 

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@Silverlight Welcome to the shard!

Your theory has a lot of merit.  I can't actually remember anybody bringing up the possibility of Szeth being a developing Radiant before being deemed Truthless, which is weird because it seems like a somewhat obvious explanation of Szeth's past.  As far as I'm aware, people have posited that Szeth announced the return of the Knights Radiant and that led to him being deemed Truthless, but not that he was a Radiant himself....

Also, you don't need to mark spoilers for Oathbringer anymore.  At this point, if somebody is looking at posts under the Stormlight Archive forum, it's assumed they've already read all the books.  

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You're not the first to propose this. I remember a big debate in a thread on if his current spren was the same or even the same type. 

That said, considering the number of people who completely miss that Szeth has a spren altogether (despite swearing the third oath), catching the small references on your own is impressive. 

Welcome, and enjoy. 

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49 minutes ago, Kal-Eldin said:

As far as I could tell, Nale wasn't especially welcoming of other proto-radiants*, so Szeth must have bonded a highspren.

@Kal-Eldin I assumed that Nale had abandoned his mission of hunting protoradiants at the point that Szeth was bonding/rebonding. Also @Silverlight awesome theory! Welcome! It’s kinda funny when I seen ur username I thought how has no one used that before? U r on a roll

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It makes sense as prior to Gavilar's death, I'm pretty sure it was the Listeners that gave him the Honour Blade, to kill the king, as I remember something about a Listener chapter. Although I am probably remembering wrong and the Shin were the ones who gave it to him. But I love this theory and it makes a lot of sense. I suspect that somewhere in the Shin,Nale has a puppet or else someone else like the Ghostbloods or another group that want to return the heralds by keeping their blades in one spot.

Edited by DawnStalker
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7 minutes ago, DawnStalker said:

It makes sense as prior to Gavilar's death, I'm pretty sure it was the Listeners that gave him the Honour Blade, to kill the king, as I remember something about a Listener chapter. Although I am probably remembering wrong and the Shin were the ones who gave it to him. But I love this theory and it makes a lot of sense. I suspect that somewhere in the Shin,Nale has a puppet or else someone else like the Ghostbloods or another group that want to return the heralds by keeping their blades in one spot.

Szeth had the Honorblade before becoming Truthless, and had trained with the others. 

Szeth is trained in all 10 surges. 

 

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This is certainly the most obvious answer to the question, "How does Szeth know the Radiants are returning?" He knows because it happened to him.

Book 5 is Szeth's book, so I wouldn't expect much in the way of answers in book 4. The book 5 flashbacks should cover this in explicit detail, as we've grown accustomed to.

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Tangent question, but related to Szeth's origins and I cant seem to find an answer: Did he carry the Honorblade out of Shin himself as Truthless, or did he get it from the Parshendi to carry out that attack?  Or somewhere else? 

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2 minutes ago, Quantus said:

Tangent question, but related to Szeth's origins and I cant seem to find an answer: Did he carry the Honorblade out of Shin himself as Truthless, or did he get it from the Parshendi to carry out that attack?  Or somewhere else? 

The Shin gave it to him, I thought. He said something along those lines at some point.

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2 minutes ago, Quantus said:

Tangent question, but related to Szeth's origins and I cant seem to find an answer: Did he carry the Honorblade out of Shin himself as Truthless, or did he get it from the Parshendi to carry out that attack?  Or somewhere else? 

I don't know that it's ever said explicitly that he got the Honorblade from Shinovar, but it's pretty clear.  We know that that's where all the Honorblades resided (until Nale stole his); we know that he trained with the various Honorblades in Shinovar; there's never any mention from any of the Parshendi that they had/knew about the Honorblades.  

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1 minute ago, Scion of the Mists said:

I don't know that it's ever said explicitly that he got the Honorblade from Shinovar, but it's pretty clear.  We know that that's where all the Honorblades resided (until Nale stole his); we know that he trained with the various Honorblades in Shinovar; there's never any mention from any of the Parshendi that they had/knew about the Honorblades.  

True, but I didnt think there was any mention of him having a Shardblade (or especially Surges) prior to That Night, which makes it seem a bit more logical that he'd received it from his then current masters to achieve that goal.  Which would then imply that the Parshendi managed to get hands on an Honorblade at some point, likely since Szeth left, which in turn brings into question the assumption that Shin still has all the unaccounted for Blades.  And honestly, I really do doubt that Nale is the only Herald that ever decided (sane or not) that he wanted his Blade back.  

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10 minutes ago, Quantus said:

True, but I didnt think there was any mention of him having a Shardblade (or especially Surges) prior to That Night, which makes it seem a bit more logical that he'd received it from his then current masters to achieve that goal.  Which would then imply that the Parshendi managed to get hands on an Honorblade at some point, likely since Szeth left, which in turn brings into question the assumption that Shin still has all the unaccounted for Blades.  And honestly, I really do doubt that Nale is the only Herald that ever decided (sane or not) that he wanted his Blade back.  

IIRC, there are a few exceptions to the rule that Truthless have to do everything their master says.  First is that Szeth is not allowed to take his own life.  Second is that he is not allowed to relinquish his Honorblade.  He must have gotten the Honorblade from the Shin; otherwise, why would there be a rule about the Honorblade?  

Also, Szeth already had "abilities" when the Parshendi purchased him (see OB prologue).  

Edited by Scion of the Mists
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I believe in one of the Szeth Interludes of WoK (Either interlude 3 or 6) he says that the shin sent him on his way with an honorblade, and would recover it when he died. (paraphrased)

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2 minutes ago, Scion of the Mists said:

IIRC, there are a few exceptions to the rule that Truthless have to do everything their master says.  First is that Szeth is not allowed to take his own life.  Second is that he is not allowed to relinquish his Honorblade.  He must have gotten the Honorblade from the Shin; otherwise, why would there be a rule about the Honorblade?  

Id entirely forgotten that not relinquishing his blade was one of his Rules.  Nevermind, dont mind me, nothing to see here...

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