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Goatbringer

Shalash Will Become a Dustbringer

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Good day fellas. It's been a while since I've posted on here and since I've checked in, so if this theory is old hat, I apologize. Tear me to shreds. But if not, I humbly submit this to the 17th Shard.

I reread OB recently and I've been thinking of Brandon's repeated mentions of how the entire structure of Stormlight is going to be ordered; specifically that each order of Knights Radiant will have a flashback book through a different character's perspective. What I've not been able to wrap my head around is with who he's chosen for his flashbacks for the subsequent books - it seems we have an extra Lightweaver in the bunch with Ash - the Herald and Patron of Lightweavers - being present in the back five. With her inclusion, we've got representatives from each order present in Brandon's planned 10 book sequence: Kaladin/Windrunner, Shallan/Lightweaver, Dalinar/Bondsmith, Eshonai/Willshaper (probably), Szeth/Skybreaker, Renarin/Truthwatcher, Lift/Edgedancer, Taln/Stoneward and Jasnah/Elsecaller. So that leaves our interesting friend Ash - who according to tradition is the leader of Lightweavers. And we're missing a Dustbringer (or Releaser if you're gonna be PC about it) book.

I think Ash is going to become a Dustbringer. This way she will make the flashbacks of the books nice and ordered and sequenced and each order gets one book. But I also think it works with the text. We know the Heralds are essentially just immortal (unless you have a special knife!) humans and thus fallible to human emotions that might attract the right type of spren. It also seems like another prerequisite for being a KR is to be flawed or damaged in some way and the Nahel bond is an avenue for that KR to explore their flaws and come to terms with them (Kaladin's depression, Shallan's repressed memories, etc.)

Look at Ash's character for a second: what do we know about her off the top of our heads? She destroys. Brandon has spent three books putting in overt references to Ash destroying her own visage in works of art depicting the Heralds. Sounds a little Dustbringery to you? Ash is also sane, as we saw in her handful of viewpoints in Oathbringer but is dealing with an incredible amount of guilt for the last four and a half thousand years by leaving Taln to be tortured on Braize. There we also have the unofficial KR flaw - her mountain of guilt that gives her a compulsion to destroy any art depicting her as a way of ... atonement, maybe? 

Either way, I think this is enough to probably attract an Ashspren. We know from Malata that Ashspren like to destroy and have a bit of a chip on their shoulders. I think they would love the fact that Ash has spent nearly five thousand years destroying. If you were an Ashspren looking for a Nahel bond, she would be a prize catch, right? 

I think there's a little aversion to her being a Dustbringer in my head because I'm thinking along the lines of "but she's the Herald of Lightweaving! She just CAN'T be anything else!" But I think I've argued my brain out of that position. First, we know that Heralds can form a Nahel bond - Nale mentions he became a Skybreaker and shows off his fancy non-Honourblade shardblade. Who is to say that a Herald who joins an order has to join THEIR order though? There doesn't seem to be a hard and fast rule about it. Especially when they've gone through such changes in the past five thousand years. Ash is not simply the herald of beauty and creativity anymore. While some of the other Heralds have gone insane, Ash seems to have just gotten flipped around. She represents destruction now. 

So there ya have it. Let me know what you think.

Edited by Goatbringer
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This has been floated around a bit, and people either seem to be fully on board (I am. The structure of the books with each order representing a book, and a characters flashbacks per book... And Dalinar's thinking there should be one more at Thaylen field while discounting Venli... Yeah.) and others seem to vehemently hate it. 

This actually started prior to OB, because of this WoB. 

Quote

Cemci

Have we-- I think you mentioned in a previous signing that we'd already met one member of every Order of the Knights Radiant.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I think you have.

Cemci

My question is, have we met two Edgedancers? And is one of the Dustbringers a viewpoint character?

Brandon Sanderson

One of the Dustbringers is eventually a point-of-view character.

Cemci

Haven't been yet?

Brandon Sanderson

No, not yet, I don't think. But it depends if you count the Heralds as members of their order.

Cemci

I don't.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, see I would, because they're kind of heads of their Order. If you don't count them you have not met some from every Order.

Cemci

Have we met someone from the Dustbringers?

Brandon Sanderson

Well-- Dustbringers are really complicated. Really complicated. So that's the weird one. Okay? So let's shelve that one. You'll see why it's really weird later on.

source

As the evidence mounts, between her personality, the book structure... All of it. I'm definitely on board. 

Congrats on coming to this on your own. That's always worthwhile. 

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Ash becoming a dustbringer is a popular theory. It even meshes narratively (considering her book kinda represents the dustbringers on the final 5 and we already have Shallan who represents the Lightweavers) and the hints about a Herald can be a radiant of a different order. 

Hell we might even have a Herald who can do lightweaver stuff through her honorblade and become a radiant of the dustbringers. Sounds lovely to me. 

I'm all aboard the idea like Calderis is. (i also so wanted it to happen)

Edited by goody153
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I think it will happen as well. The ”Avengers Assemble” moment at the end of OB makes it all the more likely. It will be interesting to see how Ash herself deals with joining another order, which will represent the huge shift in her personality. What might be even more interesting is to see how the Dustbringers and the Lightweavers (and Chana, if she is around) deals with it.

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