Auralis

WOB about Kaladin & Shallan...

102 posts in this topic

23 minutes ago, Void89 said:

Glad I already quoted that somewhere otherwise I would have searched the book again just to quote this:

Her heart was beating quickly, her skin growing cold her muscles tense. She was fighting the sensation... 'I mean the bridgeboy can have one, and he is darkeyed. Anyway it's not so different than that.' 'Thank you', she thought, 'for ranking every woman equally to peasants' but she held her tounge, this was obviously an important moment for him. He was trying to be broadminded, but thinking of what she'd done pained her - holding the weapon would be worse. So much worse, she wanted to hide but she couldn't. This truth refused to budge from her mind. 'You're right, but -' 'Great, great....'

He interrupted her, didn't pay attention to how she felt and rushed off - but she was tense and clearly shaken up by the thought alone...

If I'd talk about my new puppy I got not knowing that yours died just yesterday not paying attention and rushing off to get it for you to pet it - I come back and you're crying - did you start to cry on your own or because of something I did and me not being empathetic enough?

Not quite the same but the point is clear.

To use that analogy, the puppy died something like 15 years ago, the new puppy could very realistically save her life in the coming weeks, and she was perfectly composed when he got back. And yes, this hypothetical person started to cry on their own because something in the outside world reminded them of a very old, very painful memory, which is not the fault of the dog or dog owners that did the reminding.   I submit that he'd have to be a mid-reader to pick up on the brief flash of anxiety she had as being more than than hesitance over the cultural taboo they were discussing.  And I also think he would have still been right to make the suggestion even if he did know...as Pattern was doing. Because it could save her life, and because he was trying his very best to be supportive in light of what he thought was the reason for her hesitance.  

 

That isnt to say that he's not a somewhat bumbling 20-something dude-bro with a lot to learn about women (and social interaction), but you cant expect somebody to be aware of all your past baggage if you dont share it with them, and he has no way to fathom the depths of hers.  

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Posted (edited)

And yet, Kaladin is always portrayed as bad for her for not getting her on the boat in Shadesmar - where she, btw, didn't show any physical signs, while Adolin gets a free pass. And this wasn't the only time he was obtuse about her. Double standards much?

But I get it... It's "cute" or something when Adolin does it.

Edited by SLNC
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That's the glorification I'm talking about - when you put Kaladins Palace scene besides that he was way more empathetic "reading her mind or rather her emotions" And still all Adolin worshippers will point out the scene on the boat where he was envious of her being able to be "crazy" or normal.

Adolin is being glorified which means he'll never do something wrong and is just the golden boy, everything he does has a reason is somewhat justified, he's just a boy blabla...

All the excuses in the world are being made for him to just make him Mr. Right when he is clearly not, and he, regardless of what he does, gets a "get out of jail card".

Not that people make those kind of excuses for him is the weird rust but that people are so desperate to see him as the "right choice" and Kal as the "wrong choice".

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4 minutes ago, Void89 said:

That's the glorification I'm talking about - when you put Kaladins Palace scene besides that he was way more empathetic "reading her mind or rather her emotions" And still all Adolin worshippers will point out the scene on the boat where he was envious of her being able to be "crazy" or normal.

Adolin is being glorified which means he'll never do something wrong and is just the golden boy, everything he does has a reason is somewhat justified, he's just a boy blabla...

All the excuses in the world are being made for him to just make him Mr. Right when he is clearly not, and he, regardless of what he does, gets a "get out of jail card".

Not that people make those kind of excuses for him is the weird rust but that people are so desperate to see him as the "right choice" and Kal as the "wrong choice".

I noticed that too. Even Shallan does it but I think she does it more because she needs a marriage alliance to protect her brothers and because of that has become blinded to if she actually likes Adolin or not. 

Hope that makes sense

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Adolin ... glorification? What?

All I see is some pretty irrational "I hate him so much he has to die just because".

While I do believe he's the better fit for Shallan than Kaladin (not the most perfect fit there is) when it comes to that doesn't mean I think Adolin is the best or is without flaws.
As I said before: he's not even my favourite character. I'm just defending him because I don't get the raging hate some here display.

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9 minutes ago, Winds Alight said:

Adolin ... glorification? What?

All I see is some pretty irrational "I hate him so much he has to die just because".

While I do believe he's the better fit for Shallan than Kaladin (not the most perfect fit there is) when it comes to that doesn't mean I think Adolin is the best or is without flaws.
As I said before: he's not even my favourite character. I'm just defending him because I don't get the raging hate some here display.

I don't get the hate either but I feel like Shallan might be kidding herself into liking him because she feels like she has to. (I don't agree with the Shallan and Kaladin ship because Kaladin is even worse for her)

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I guess I still think of Shallan and Adolin's wedding as an arranged marriage (not the "prince (charming) gets girl trope"). That's why I am OK with them quickly moving forward. I know, circumstances have changed. Shallan is in a much better position to help her brothers even without marrying into house Kholin, but her reasons to go through with it have not changed that much.

Whether their feelings for each other are true or not, I don't mind. I think they like like and appreciate each other and there is potential that they will get to love each other. 

Kaladin on the other hand... They shared a moment in the chasms. True. But two main characters in love? Please no. Also, Kaladin might or might not be good for Shallan, but I strongly believe she's not good for him. I think Kaladin deserves a less complicated relationship. As Brandon said.. Maybe fourth time is a charm? :wub:

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Posted (edited)

18 hours ago, Winds Alight said:

I don't think I'd want Veil to take over and decide to be with Kaladin ... and I really don't think Kaladin would want that.

Shallan's multiple personae is a manifestation of pretty serious mental health issues. The goal for Shallan is to become more stable and not rely on her aliases so much. Not the other way round ...

I haven't said that I want Veil to be with Kaladin. The only thing I was talking about was the way I interpret the WOB we are discussing here. I don't want Veil to go out with Kaladin, well, it would be funny, perhaps, but the consequences may be so awkward... All I wanted to say is that the "choice that Shallan made" is not what it seems in my opinion. How it will be dealt with in the book - we will see. Maybe (maybe!) it can be something like "Shallan fails the reintegration quest and Veil takes her place in the driving seat". Again - maybe. But I totally agree with the idea, that both Shallan and Kaladin have to deal with their issues before Shalladin can gracefully sail into sunset with a flying fireplace around it. Or not. Whatever :rolleyes:

8 hours ago, Quantus said:

To use that analogy, the puppy died something like 15 years ago, the new puppy could very realistically save her life in the coming weeks, and she was perfectly composed when he got back. And yes, this hypothetical person started to cry on their own because something in the outside world reminded them of a very old, very painful memory, which is not the fault of the dog or dog owners that did the reminding.   I submit that he'd have to be a mid-reader to pick up on the brief flash of anxiety she had as being more than than hesitance over the cultural taboo they were discussing.  And I also think he would have still been right to make the suggestion even if he did know...as Pattern was doing. Because it could save her life, and because he was trying his very best to be supportive in light of what he thought was the reason for her hesitance.  

There is such term in psychology, I'm not sure how to name it correctly in English - individual boundaries probably? Well, the idea is that you should treat individual as like he or she is an adult and knows better what he/she needs, feels or thinks. This logic "I know that she should learn how to use shardblade because she needs to be able to protect herself without Stormlight and I don't care if she is terrified by the idea of holding it, I know better what she needs" is the exact violation of her individual boundaries. You want to teach her? All right, suggest it, look at her reaction and if she is not shining with enthusiasm - change topic. That would be the correct empathetic behaviour in this case. Oh wait, but he wants it so much! He is so obsessed with swords and his art and wants to make her part of his hobby! Well, he can go to Damnation with his "wantings", because the fact that you want something badly can't justify anything. Otherwise sexual assault is all right.

And please don't get me wrong, I don't say this because I dislike Adolin or I mean that only Adolin should behave like that. This is his character trait, it's normal to be like that, there are a lot of people who do this kind of stuff in real life either. What I don't get is justification of this behavior and saying that this is exactly what love should look like. Actually, the what Shallan does by forcing Adolin into marriage is quite the same. She doesn't want to listen to him or take his concerns into account. She treats him like a little boy, who doesn't understand his happiness. Actually, she does it out of selfishness (again, my opinion), because she needs desperately to glue to him and she doesn't care what he needs. And Adolin is not just determined enough to say "No", he isn't even fluent enough in bridgeman grunting. Just like Shallan can't say "No" to his attempts to teach her swordfighting. Actually, sometimes it requires strength and courage to say "No", I think you understand what I mean. And this is one of my big big reasons to think, that this marriage will turn to a disaster.

My biggest disappointment is that there are other characters in the series who have pretty good boundaries, well, Kaladin is one of them, in my opinion. That's the reason he is a leader, not because of his radiantness, and this is the thing I find very, very awesome in this series, that characters gain their superpowers because of their individual traits and choices they make and not because of luck, mutation or whatsoever. And then I see this kind of plot twists and it blows my mind. I am just like really? Sanderson created such deep and complex characters, written such fiery dialogues and then try to sell me this OB ending as a happy marriage? I am rereading WoK and, well, any Kabsal or Yalb scene have much more chemistry and fire in them than the whole Shadolin stuff combined. Therefore, considering all of my own and awesome forum members' analysis I've come to a conclusion that with probability 99% this is not a bug but feature not an ending but a twist. I leave 1% only because I see, how many people are surprisingly satisfied with it and think that Adolin is a great guy (well, he is actually!) and really loves Shallan (which I by the way also don't buy because, well, he doesn't, and that's again IMO) and they will live happily ever after.

Edited by Sedside
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Posted (edited)

15 hours ago, Void89 said:

You quite conveniently forgot about adolin himself there. He made her create radiant after all - I think I already mentioned that somewhere, fracturing her further and not even realizing it.

Yeah he is the perfect loverboy if you ignore some keypieces, they trained together and she called him brightlord kholin and he didn't even flinch, not to mention that he never even suspected that she was at unease while he mentioned her shardblade and training.

Completely oblivious to what she did in kholinar with the spren, more in love with his parties and his new clothes. Let's not forget about killing sadeas in cold blood (sure he earned it but how long did it take before he came clean and why did he do it? Yeah bloodlust and anger, and right - the entire book...) And then trying to push her into kals arms because he is too insecure about her. I'm sure there is more but those are just from the top of my head.

Completely stable, a person worth looking up to...

Then, he was a womanizer who slept his way through half the daughters of alethkar suddenly redeemed himself being the good boy... I guess that's 90% of the fascination people have with him somehow this is a good quality 'to be the one who stops the womanizer womanizing' is something most girls like I guess.

Not saying he is a bad person

But (and that's a big but)

the outright glorification of him being Mr. Right in every way and most people just rolling with the resolve not caring that it just doesn't make sense, that it isn't even remotely a good resolve is just absolute chulldung. 

Seriously at this point I really wish for shallan to realize that she doesn't need a man to be whole. Because that would be way better than what we got here... -.-

"The glorification of him being Mr. Right in every way?" That is a straw chull, my friend. As are a number of the distortions I bolded above.

I hardly think any character is "Mr. Perfect" (that would be somewhat poor characterization on Sanderson's part), even Kaladin Stormblessed definitely has character flaws and regrettable decisions. But I also think you're going out of your way to paint Adolin in a poor light in the above descriptions.

In my reckoning, Adolin was simply training Shallan the same way he was trained. When you are playing the role of a master instructing a junior (especially a novice), it is traditional even in our world to require formal terms of respect even if you are otherwise friends in a less formal context. I believe Adolin said as much from the get-go, that their relationship had to be in a different "mode" while training.

The very fact that he was willing to train Shallan, a woman, in Shardblade forms, was a huge break from Vorin tradition, and is an obvious counter to anybody saying Adolin only views Shallan as "a silly girl who draws". Quite the opposite, he has enormous respect (and even envy) for her abilities and inner strength.

I view Shallan's creation of "Radiant" as a persona to reflect her desire to measure up to the very serious requirements that come with being looked up to as a Shardblade-wielding KR not just by Adolin, but by everyone; where Shallan would get distracted by lovey-dovey thoughts of Adolin being so physically close, Radiant can focus on the business at hand.

His "stepping back" to "let" her be with Kaladin (or, as he erred in phrasing it, "to let him have [her]") was painful to him, he did it out of a sincere desire for her to be happy. However you interpret his frequent and brief courtships of women in the warcamps, or his killing of Sadeas (which act should have repercussions in Book 4 now that the truth is out there), I think as written, it's clear that Adolin (a) genuinely loves Shallan, (b) is concerned about her "multiple personalities", which he didn't know about for a while, (c) is helping Shallan to view her "original" self, the one he first met, as the real Shallan.

If you as a reader disagree that her "original" self (as she presented herself when first arriving to the Shattered Plains in Words of Radiance) is in fact her "real" self, even after all the first person POVs from her perspective as well as what Adolin himself sees, that's your right. But I think that would be a case of reading beyond what's there.

As for "Shallan doesn't need a man to be whole" - it depends what you mean by "whole". Shallan grew up very sheltered, and is clearly is the romantic sort, possibly from forming her ideas of social interaction primarily from reading a lot of books (and guess what women's fiction is full of, even on Roshar, as Palona's reading attests to). She fell for Kabsal rather quickly, was madly attracted to Adolin at first sight, got googly-eyed over Kaladin... She doesn't "need a man" to function, but it's clearly in her personality to want to be with a man.

Frankly I'm more worried about Adolin's future emotional well-being than Shallan's.

Edited by robardin
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Posted (edited)

58 minutes ago, robardin said:

If you as a reader disagree that her "original" self (as she presented herself when first arriving to the Shattered Plains in Words of Radiance) is in fact her "real" self, even after all the first person POVs from her perspective as well as what Adolin himself sees, that's your right. But I think that would be a case of reading beyond what's there.

(c) is helping Shallan to view her "original" self, the one he first met, as the real Shallan

You do realize, that a) she existed before she arrived at the Shattered Plains, \b) we have a whole flashback sequence of Shallan's childhood and youth, c) she changed immensely from the girl she has been up until the end of OB and d) she herself says that she's been presenting a mask to Adolin ever since she met him, right?

Whatever her original self is... it is not what she shows Adolin. And if it is, then Sanderson has failed in writing it coherent.

58 minutes ago, robardin said:

I view Shallan's creation of "Radiant" as a persona to reflect her desire to measure up to the very serious requirements that come with being looked up to as a Shardblade-wielding KR not just by Adolin, but by everyone; where Shallan would get distracted by lovey-dovey thoughts of Adolin being so physically close, Radiant can focus on the business at hand.

I know, that this idea is very romantic, but it isn't true. Radiant was created in a moment of panic, because Shallan was unable to use Pattern otherwise due to trauma. It is almost spelled out like that in the text. It has nothing to do with "lovey-dovey" thoughts. It has nothing to do with "desire". It is all about necessity and panic.

58 minutes ago, robardin said:

As for "Shallan doesn't need a man to be whole" - it depends what you mean by "whole". Shallan grew up very sheltered, and is clearly is the romantic sort, possibly from forming her ideas of social interaction primarily from reading a lot of books (and guess what women's fiction is full of, even on Roshar, as Palona's reading attests to). She fell for Kabsal rather quickly, was madly attracted to Adolin at first sight, got googly-eyed over Kaladin... She doesn't "need a man" to function, but it's clearly in her personality to want to be with a man.

Yeah, the definition of "whole" in Shallan's case is to be a stable personality, that doesn't fracture in any moment of pressure. It is about her solving her issues presented by trauma by herself and not using Adolin as a crutch for that. Because that is exactly what is happening at the end of OB: she's fractured herself in these multiple personalities and is in a crisis to find herself, when Adolin gives her an easy out by tacitly telling her, who he wants/he sees as her, which is of course the Shallan, that he continuously has been presented with. She is now somewhat stable, but dependent on Adolin and the underlying issues are definitely not fixed - as seen by her still becoming Veil in situations, where Veil would be unnecessary.

Edited by SLNC
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Sometimes you need a crutch in order to heal at all. Leaning on somebody else when you need help is not a bad thing.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, robardin said:

The very fact that he was willing to train Shallan, a woman, in Shardblade forms, was a huge break from Vorin tradition, and is an obvious counter to anybody saying Adolin only views Shallan as "a silly girl who draws".

Case in point about the glorification here. You think that Adolin should be praised for 'being willing to train Shallan' but you never stopped to consider if Shallan wanted to be trained in the first place. Did he even ask? She clearly wasn't ready, if you actually paid attention to her POVs, because of the trauma Pattern-blade brought to her since, you know, she killed her mother with it. But of course, you only see that Radiant's creation was because she couldn't help but being all 'lovey-dovey' for Adolin being so physically close to her. Case in point again about the glorification here, you only see Adolin and none of Shallan's issue.

1 hour ago, robardin said:

is clearly is the romantic sort, possibly from forming her ideas of social interaction primarily from reading a lot of books (and guess what women's fiction is full of, even on Roshar, as Palona's reading attests to)

We are clearly reading two different characters, maybe even books. First of all, I don't remember Palona reading any books, I think you are remembering that ardent in the interlude. Either way, just because one woman reads romance books it doesn't mean that all women do and maybe you should be a little more careful with that generalization on a public forum where female readers participate. On the contrary, Shallan wasn't like that, from Way of Kings: Chapter 8:

Quote

“Now, why is a young flower like yourself bothering herself with such topics?” the merchant said, easing himself down into the chair across from her. “Can’t I interest you in a nice romantic novel? They are my specialty, you see. Young women from across the city come to me, and I always carry the best.” His tone set her on edge. It was galling enough to know she was a sheltered child. Was it really necessary to remind her of it? “A romantic novel,” she said, holding her satchel close to her chest. “Yes, perhaps that would be nice. Do you by chance have a copy of Nearer the Flame?” The merchant blinked. Nearer the Flame was written from the viewpoint of a man who slowly descended into madness after watching his children starve. “Are you certain you want something so, er, ambitious?” the man asked. “Is ambition such an unseemly attribute in a young woman?”

 

Edited by insert_anagram_here
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3 minutes ago, CrazyRioter said:

Sometimes you need a crutch in order to heal at all. Leaning on somebody else when you need help is not a bad thing.

People will never change while the difficulty of change is outweighed by the ease of staying the same.

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7 minutes ago, insert_anagram_here said:

I don't remember Palona reading any books, I think you are remembering that ardent in the interlude.

WoR, battle at Narak. Dalinar is quite surprised to see that Palona is reading during the battle.
(I don't have the book on me so I can't give the exact number.)

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45 minutes ago, robardin said:

I think as written, it's clear that Adolin (a) genuinely loves Shallan

Oh, storms, this is one of my favourite topics, I really could write an essay about it. Because I think that as written it's clear that Adolin doesn't love Shallan at all. I've read through all his POVs in OB in order to find something that could convince me in the opposite - but no. He thinks about how amazing Kaladin is, he thinks Syl is a pretty girl like three times in Shadesmar, but Shallan? Well, her cut isn't flattering and perhaps a woman could look nice in trousers. That's all. I would very much appreciate any quotes of his thoughts that could confirm that he loves Shallan, can you? And I would stress it - I want his thoughts, not Shallan's thoughts about him and now what he says. Because what character says and what character thinks is not equal (another interesting topic, won't talk about it now).

But all right, it is hard and time consuming to analyze every single POV and every single dialogue, so let's just analyze the monumental scene in alleyway. So, let us imagine that it is not Adolin and Shallan, but just some random people. 23 or 24 y/o guy, who is, well, much likely a virgin, but pressed by society, his family and his debt to make a heir, and a random 16 or 17 y/o girl, with whom he is presumably "genuinely in love". Can you? All right, so he is genuinely in love, but he sees, that she is probably in love with another guy. So he is going to make a very hard desicion, which will require all his strength and power of will to refuse this girl and let her go. So our hero meets this girl and here we go:

Quote

“I’ve decided,” Adolin said, “to step back.”

“Adolin, I didn’t mean to—”

“I have to say this, Shallan. Please.” He stood up tall, stiff. “I’m going to let him have you.”

She blinked. “Let him have me.”

“I’m holding you back,” Adolin said. “I see the way you two look at each other. I don’t want you to keep forcing yourself to spend time with me because you feel sorry for me.”

Storms. Now he’s trying to ruin it! “No,” Shallan said. “First off, you don’t get to treat me like some kind of prize. You don’t decide who gets me.”

“I’m not trying to…” He took another deep breath. “Look, this is hard for me, Shallan. I’m trying to do the right thing. Don’t make it harder.”

“I don’t get a choice?”

“You’ve made your choice. I see how you look at him.”

“I’m an artist, Adolin. I appreciate a nice picture when I see one. Doesn’t mean I want to pull it off the hook and go get intimate.”

Kaladin landed on a roof in the distance, still looking the other way. Adolin waved toward him. “Shallan. He can literally fly.”

All right, up untill now our infatuated hero is struggling with his passion and trying to make everything right. But suddenly:

Quote

“Oh? And is that what women are supposed to seek in a mate? Is it in the Polite Lady’s Handbook to Courtship and Family? The Bekenah edition, maybe? ‘Ladies, you can’t possibly marry a man if he can’t fly.’ Never mind if the other option is as handsome as sin, kind to everyone he meets regardless of their station, passionate about his art, and genuinely humble in the weirdest, most confident way. Never mind if he actually seems to get you, and remarkably listens to your problems, encouraging you to be you—not to hide yourself away. Never mind if being near him makes you want to rip his shirt off and push him into the nearest alleyway, then kiss him until he can’t breathe anymore. If he can’t fly, then well, you just have to call it off!”

She paused for breath, gasping.

“And…” Adolin said. “That guy is … me?”

Well, perhaps the guy is shocked and doesn't beleive his happiness. Maybe he is a little bit stupid, because she has just bombarded him with compliments and our infatuated young man still doesn't get she is speaking about him. Let's forgive him for that for a while:

Quote

“You are such a fool.” She grabbed his ripped coat and pulled him into a kiss, passionspren crystallizing in the air around them. The warmth of the kiss did more for her than the tea ever could. It made her bubble and boil inside. Stormlight was nice, but this … this was an energy that made it dun by comparison.

Storms, she loved this man.

Our girl sees that she isn't convincing enough for this young infatuated guy with her million compliments so she makes her final headshot.

Quote

When she let him out of the kiss, he grabbed her and pulled her close, breathing heavily.

Headshot worked, he grabbed her. Surprisingly for a 23 y/o man, who never has sex before. But then:

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“Are you … are you sure?” he asked. “I just … Don’t glare at me, Shallan. I have to say this. The world is full of gods and Heralds now, and you’re one of them. I’m practically a nobody. I’m not used to that feeling.”

I guess, this is exactly what young men in love say to their beloved after they were very close to losing them forever but then suddenly they didn't. What can our girl do to keep this man, who genuinely loves her?

Quote

“Then it’s probably the best thing that’s ever happened to you, Adolin Kholin. Well. Except for me.” She snuggled against him. “I will admit to you, in the interest of full honesty, that Veil did have a tendency to fawn over Kaladin Stormblessed. She has terrible taste in men, and I’ve convinced her to fall in line.”

“That’s worrisome, Shallan.”

“I won’t let her act on it. I promise.”

Oh, come on! Are you still trying to find excuses, you, guy-who-is-geninely-in-love? Where is your relief? Your happiness about your beloved still being with you? For storms sake!

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“I didn’t mean that,” Adolin said. “I meant … you, Shallan. Becoming other people.”

“We’re all different people at different times. Remember?”

“Not the same way as you.”

Two more lines from this infatuated man saying he doesn't feel good about the girl who he is so passionate about. Is this man really so stupid? Does he know what "love" means?

Quote

“I know,” she said. “But I … I think I’ve stopped leaking into new personas. Three for now.” She turned around, smiling at him, his hands still around her waist. “How do you like that, though? Three betrotheds instead of one. Some men drool over the idea of such debauchery. If you wanted, I could be practically anyone.”

“But that’s the thing, Shallan. I don’t want anyone. I want you.”

Allmighty above, he said it! He wants me! All right, he really loves me! Pheeeeew!

Quote

“That might be the hardest one. But I think I can do it, Adolin. With some help, maybe?”

He grinned that goofy grin of his. Storms, how could his hair look so good with gravel in it? “So…” he said. “You mentioned something about kissing me until I can’t breathe. But here I am, not even winded—”

He cut off as she kissed him again.

And as a final accord he wants me to kiss him again. He doesn't do it himself, he is too shy to do it, you know, this prince, to whom I have already said hundred times how much I want him and love him. He wants me to do all the job, all right.

Sure, Adolin loves Shallan. No doubt.

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Posted (edited)

Well, I guess you could read this as "he doesn't love her".

You could also do the opposite.

I for example read it (and frankly, most of Adolin's interactions with Shallan) as "guy has a history of messing things up and now for the first time really wants things to work out so he's very insecure about himself and would never force anything on the girl".

Edited by Winds Alight
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4 minutes ago, Winds Alight said:

You could also do the opposite.

What do you mean by the opposite? She doesn't love him? I don't think so. Well, maybe she doesn't "love" him, but she definitely needs him. She thinks so. And if you mean I could write "he loves her" - no, sorry, I don't see his love all way long through OB. Not a single sign of his love.

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12 minutes ago, insert_anagram_here said:
1 hour ago, robardin said:

is clearly is the romantic sort, possibly from forming her ideas of social interaction primarily from reading a lot of books (and guess what women's fiction is full of, even on Roshar, as Palona's reading attests to)

We are clearly reading two different characters, maybe even books. First of all, I don't remember Palona reading any books, I think you are remembering that ardent in the interlude. Either way, just because one woman reads romance books it doesn't mean that all women do and maybe you should be a little more careful with that generalization on a public forum where female readers participate. On the contrary, Shallan wasn't like that, from Way of Kings: Chapter 8:

Quote

“Now, why is a young flower like yourself bothering herself with such topics?” the merchant said, easing himself down into the chair across from her. “Can’t I interest you in a nice romantic novel? They are my specialty, you see. Young women from across the city come to me, and I always carry the best.” His tone set her on edge. It was galling enough to know she was a sheltered child. Was it really necessary to remind her of it? “A romantic novel,” she said, holding her satchel close to her chest. “Yes, perhaps that would be nice. Do you by chance have a copy of Nearer the Flame?” The merchant blinked. Nearer the Flame was written from the viewpoint of a man who slowly descended into madness after watching his children starve. “Are you certain you want something so, er, ambitious?” the man asked. “Is ambition such an unseemly attribute in a young woman?”

I think Robardin's referring to this, from OB chapter 122:

Quote

Sebarial—Turi—snored softly beside Palona. That was an act. He did the same fake snore when she tried to tell him about the latest novel she’d read. Then when she quit, he got annoyed. He seemed to like hearing the stories, but only as long as he could comment on how trite and feminine they were.

Maybe making some assumptions that she enjoys things similar to what Ellista was reading. Though I think it's a mistake to assume that either of these give us a clear picture of the entirety of "women's fiction" on Roshar. (and even more so to assume Shallan has been shaped by it)

That said, I think you're understating Shallan's level of romantic interest. This quote says nothing about Shallan's personal interests--she's got bigger issues at the moment than entertainment. That doesn't mean she doesn't enjoy romance novels in her spare time, and interest in romance novels has little bearing on romantic interest in general. Like Robardin said, we only have to look at her relationship with Kabsal to see romantic interest from her in TWoK.

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I mean as "he loves her".

And I guess we've been reading different books.

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2 minutes ago, Winds Alight said:

I mean as "he loves her".

And I guess we've been reading different books.

I would much appreciate any quotes showing Adolin loves Shallan. Kaladin loves her - I can see it in his POVs, Dalinar is obsessed with Navani - I can see it in his POVs. Adolin? Totally indifferent. Syl is pretty, Azure is interesting, Shallan? Well, probably woman can look good in trousers.

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Posted (edited)

I am not going to quote the book to you. I think there is a zero chance of us ever getting on the same page here. I also dare to believe Kaladin at the end of OB when he says that he is not in love with Shallan.

Some people believe Adolin to be in love, others (not as many I think from what I've seen) don't.
Time will tell. I myself am convinced that he's in love now. Whether this relationship is going to last is a different story. I am not a believer in "the one true love".

Edited by Winds Alight
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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, robardin said:

"The glorification of him being Mr. Right in every way?" That is a straw chull, my friend. As are a number of the distortions I bolded above.

I hardly think any character is "Mr. Perfect" (that would be somewhat poor characterization on Sanderson's part), even Kaladin Stormblessed definitely has character flaws and regrettable decisions. But I also think you're going out of your way to paint Adolin in a poor light in the above descriptions.

In my reckoning, Adolin was simply training Shallan the same way he was trained. When you are playing the role of a master instructing a junior (especially a novice), it is traditional even in our world to require formal terms of respect even if you are otherwise friends in a less formal context. I believe Adolin said as much from the get-go, that their relationship had to be in a different "mode" while training.

The very fact that he was willing to train Shallan, a woman, in Shardblade forms, was a huge break from Vorin tradition, and is an obvious counter to anybody saying Adolin only views Shallan as "a silly girl who draws". Quite the opposite, he has enormous respect (and even envy) for her abilities and inner strength.

I view Shallan's creation of "Radiant" as a persona to reflect her desire to measure up to the very serious requirements that come with being looked up to as a Shardblade-wielding KR not just by Adolin, but by everyone; where Shallan would get distracted by lovey-dovey thoughts of Adolin being so physically close, Radiant can focus on the business at hand.

His "stepping back" to "let" her be with Kaladin (or, as he erred in phrasing it, "to let him have [her]") was painful to him, he did it out of a sincere desire for her to be happy. However you interpret his frequent and brief courtships of women in the warcamps, or his killing of Sadeas (which act should have repercussions in Book 4 now that the truth is out there), I think as written, it's clear that Adolin (a) genuinely loves Shallan, (b) is concerned about her "multiple personalities", which he didn't know about for a while, (c) is helping Shallan to view her "original" self, the one he first met, as the real Shallan.

If you as a reader disagree that her "original" self (as she presented herself when first arriving to the Shattered Plains in Words of Radiance) is in fact her "real" self, even after all the first person POVs from her perspective as well as what Adolin himself sees, that's your right. But I think that would be a case of reading beyond what's there.

As for "Shallan doesn't need a man to be whole" - it depends what you mean by "whole". Shallan grew up very sheltered, and is clearly is the romantic sort, possibly from forming her ideas of social interaction primarily from reading a lot of books (and guess what women's fiction is full of, even on Roshar, as Palona's reading attests to). She fell for Kabsal rather quickly, was madly attracted to Adolin at first sight, got googly-eyed over Kaladin... She doesn't "need a man" to function, but it's clearly in her personality to want to be with a man.

Frankly I'm more worried about Adolin's future emotional well-being than Shallan's.

Wow, you accuse people of making assumptions and distortions, and then go on to make an entire post that is nothing but? That's rich. Some points of clarification:

1 hour ago, robardin said:

In my reckoning, Adolin was simply training Shallan the same way he was trained. When you are playing the role of a master instructing a junior (especially a novice), it is traditional even in our world to require formal terms of respect even if you are otherwise friends in a less formal context. I believe Adolin said as much from the get-go, that their relationship had to be in a different "mode" while training.

First, a whole lot of assumptions here. The actual text in question:

Quote

Adolin nodded thoughtfully. He approached and reached toward her with a thumb and two fingers. She thought he was going to adjust her grip, but instead he pressed his fingers against her collarbone and shoved lightly. Radiant stumbled backward, almost tripping.

“A stance,” Adolin said, “is about more than just looking great on the battlefield. It’s about footing, center of balance, and control of the fight.” “Noted. So how do I make it better?”

“I’m trying to decide. Everyone I’ve worked with before had been using a sword since their youth. I’m wondering how Zahel would have changed my training if I’d never even picked up a weapon.”

“From what I’ve heard of him,” Radiant said, “It will depend on whether there are any convenient rooftops nearby to jump off.”

“That’s how he trained with Plate,” Adolin said. “This is Blade. Should I teach you dueling? Or should I teach you how to fight in an army?”

“I shall settle,” Radiant said, “for knowing how to avoid cutting off any of my own appendages, Brightlord Kholin.” “Brightlord Kholin?” Too formal. Right. That was how Radiant would act, of course—but she could allow herself some familiarity. Jasnah had done that.

“I was merely,” Radiant said, “attempting to show the respect due a master from his humble pupil.”

Adolin chuckled. “Please. We don’t need that. But here, let’s see what we can do about that stance.…”

Sanderson, Brandon. The Stormlight Archive, Books 1-3 . Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.

I think it's clear from the text that it was Radiant who determined the "master/pupil" relationship and only because Shallan screwed up and made Radiant act too formal, making a diversion/retraction necessary. Adolin actually says that that kind of relationship is not necessary.

1 hour ago, robardin said:

I view Shallan's creation of "Radiant" as a persona to reflect her desire to measure up to the very serious requirements that come with being looked up to as a Shardblade-wielding KR not just by Adolin, but by everyone; where Shallan would get distracted by lovey-dovey thoughts of Adolin being so physically close, Radiant can focus on the business at hand.

This is blatantly wrong. It's okay to have your own viewpoint, but when that opinion directly contradicts the text, then it is a wrong viewpoint. Again, the actual text:

Quote

He was out the door a moment later. Shallan stood with her hand stretched toward him, objections dying on her lips. She curled her fingers up and brought her hand to her breast, her heart thundering within.

“Mmmm,” Pattern said. “This is good. This needs to be done.”

Shallan scrambled through the room to the small mirror she’d hung from the wall. She stared at herself, eyes wide, hair an utter mess. She’d started breathing in sharp, quick gasps. “I can’t—” she said. “I can’t be this person, Pattern. I can’t just wield the sword. Some brilliant knight on a tower, pretending she should be followed.”

Pattern hummed softly a tone she’d come to recognize as confusion. The bewilderment of one species trying to comprehend the mind of another.

Sweat trickled down Shallan’s face, running beside her eye as she stared at herself. What did she expect to see? The thought of breaking down in front of Adolin heightened her tension. Her every muscle grew taut, and the corners of her vision started to darken. She could see only before herself, and she wanted to run, go somewhere. Be away.

No. No, just be someone else.

Hands shaking, she scrambled over and dug out her drawing pad. She ripped pages, flinging them out of the way to reach an empty one, then seized her charcoal pencil.

Pattern moved over to her, a floating ball of shifting lines, buzzing in concern. “Shallan? Please. What is wrong?”

I can hide, Shallan thought, drawing at a frenzied pace. Shallan can flee and leave someone in her place.

“It’s because you hate me,” Pattern said softly. “I can die, Shallan. I can go. They will send you another to bond.”

A high-pitched whine started to rise in the room, one Shallan didn’t immediately recognize as coming from the back of her own throat. Pattern’s words were like knives to her side. No, please. Just draw.

Veil. Veil would be fine holding a sword. She didn’t have Shallan’s broken soul, and hadn’t killed her parents. She’d be able to do this.

No. No, what would Adolin do if he returned and found a completely different woman in the room? He couldn’t know of Veil. The lines she sketched, ragged and unrefined from the shaking pencil, quickly took the shape of her own face. But hair in a bun. A poised woman, not as flighty as Shallan, not as unintentionally silly.

A woman who hadn’t been sheltered. A woman hard enough, strong enough, to wield this sword. A woman like … like Jasnah.

Yes, Jasnah’s subtle smile, composure, and self-confidence. Shallan outlined her own face with these ideals, creating a harder version of it. Could … could she be this woman?

I have to be, Shallan thought, drawing in Stormlight from her satchel, then breathing it out in a puff around her. She stood up as the change took hold. Her heartbeat slowed, and she wiped the sweat from her brow, then calmly undid her safehand sleeve, tossed aside the foolish extra pouch she’d tied around her hand inside, then rolled the sleeve back to expose her still-gloved hand.

Good enough. Adolin couldn’t possibly expect her to put on sparring clothing. She pulled her hair back into a bun and fixed it in place with hairspikes from her satchel. When Adolin returned to the room a moment later, he found a poised, calm woman who wasn’t quite Shallan Davar. Brightness Radiant is her name, she thought. She will go only by title.

Sanderson, Brandon. The Stormlight Archive, Books 1-3 . Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.

 

Sanderson, Brandon. The Stormlight Archive, Books 1-3 . Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.

 

1 hour ago, robardin said:

it's clear that Adolin (a) genuinely loves Shallan

It's not. It's clear that he genuinely cares about her, but the topic of love actually is mentioned very little.

1 hour ago, robardin said:

(b) is concerned about her "multiple personalities", which he didn't know about for a while

This is debatable. Shallan doesn't, as I and Brandon have said multiple times, Shallan does not have multiple-personality disorder. Shallan has a completely different problem that is only exacerbated by her lightweaving. The fact that Adolin acknowledges these as "different" people is actually enabling her to continue the delusion she's convinced herself of.

1 hour ago, robardin said:

(c) is helping Shallan to view her "original" self, the one he first met, as the real Shallan.

Adolin never met the "real" Shallan, and this is the crux of the problem. So much time is spent on Shallan in Words of Radiance that it is easy to assume that what we learn of Shallan, everyone else does as well. In fact, the bulk of the Adolin favoritism does this very thing--assuming and inferring that Adolin knows the real Shallan, when the Shallan he knows is only the mask, the persona, that she adopted on arrival in the Shattered Plains. It is a surface-level Shallan, the Shallan of WoK without the depth and darkness below. And to be clear, this is how far back this mask is in place:

Quote

Shallan looked into the depths of the swirling void, the dark spinning soul of Re-Shephir, the Midnight Mother. Then, growling, Shallan struck.

She didn’t attack like the prim, excitable girl who had been trained by cautious Vorin society. She attacked like the frenzied child who had murdered her mother. The cornered woman who had stabbed Tyn through the chest. She drew upon the part of her that hated the way everyone assumed she was so nice, so sweet. The part of her that hated being described as diverting or clever.

Sanderson, Brandon. The Stormlight Archive, Books 1-3 . Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.

Keep in mind also that Brandon has said that the "moments of fiery passion" were far more the real Shallan than the witty, scholarly artist. As readers, our insight into the real Shallan is seldom. The text quoted above from Oathbringer is one of the few instances we have of the "real" Shallan. This is the part that's been buried beneath the mask, the part that comes out when Shallan is desperate. This is the part she revealed to Kaladin in the chasms. Adolin has never seen this part of Shallan, therefore he can't know which one is true.

1 hour ago, robardin said:

If you as a reader disagree that her "original" self (as she presented herself when first arriving to the Shattered Plains in Words of Radiance) is in fact her "real" self, even after all the first person POVs from her perspective as well as what Adolin himself sees, that's your right. But I think that would be a case of reading beyond what's there.

And as I just demonstrated, the Shallan that arrived in the Shattered Plains is not her real self.

1 hour ago, robardin said:

She fell for Kabsal rather quickly, was madly attracted to Adolin at first sight, got googly-eyed over Kaladin... She doesn't "need a man" to function, but it's clearly in her personality to want to be with a man.

This

1 hour ago, robardin said:

Shallan doesn't need a man to be whole

And this are two completely different things.

When we "Shalladin" folk say we want Shallan to be whole, we are talking about her mental well-being. Does Shallan want men? Clearly. She's a horny teenager! But does she needs a man to dictate who she should be and how she should heal? NO. That kind of thought process is sexist and misogynistic.

Shallan is brilliant because she stands on her own two feet, and what pisses so many people off about Oathbringer is that her strength as a character is undercut and demeaned by a man dictating who she should be, saying he'll hand her off to another man like some kind of property, and overall being treated like she's a whimsical chit who exists primarily to show how great a rather flawed male character is.

Edited by Alderant
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Posted (edited)

20 minutes ago, Winds Alight said:

I am not going to quote the book to you. I think there is a zero chance of us ever getting on the same page here. I also dare to believe Kaladin at the end of OB when he says that he is not in love with Shallan.

Hah, that's what I mentioned in my long post. What characters say !== what characters think. In Shallan's case it is even worse though.

Kaladin says he doesn't love Shallan, he doesn't think it. It's my another favourite topic, actually. Some people think, that he really thinks he doesn't love her, some people say that he is lying to himself. Well, I think neither of this is true. I think, he has enough self-awareness and self respect to understand that he loves her. He isn't lying to himself, he lies to Syl. That's my opinion. During OB we have at least three conversations between Syl and Kaladin regarding Shallan. I won't give quotes now, you can find them if you want. First time is in Alethkar, when she first asks him about Shallan, and her "words strike uncomfortably close to the truth". He wants to finish the conversation and replies honestly - she is betrothed. Syl insists, so Kaladin changes tactics and says something like "she is lighteyes, end of conversation". When did he ever (post-chasms) think of her being lighteyes? It is pure excuse. And he is quite rude here with this "end of conversation", but whatever. Second time they talk about Shallan in Shadesmar (IIRC), and he tries another excuse - something like she brought her maid to brush her hair. This is just ridiculous, I would never beleive Kaladin could really think this about Shallan after chasms. He is not such an idiot.

And then we have this final "I didn't love her" revelation. Again, this is said to Syl. When she again started talking about Shallan. When Shallan is kissing Adolin in front of Kaladin (well, below, but who cares). Kaladin says - "she made her choice". He respects her choice and understands there is nothing he can do about it, this is her free will. He also respects himself to understand that he must deal with it and find something else to do. Or someone else. But Syl doesn't understand it. She insists that he has just lost a round and has to continue. He just doesn't want to speak about it, but he also doesn't want to be rude, so he lies to Syl that he didn't love Shallan. And then he makes a virtuosic hook with a stone and "she reminds me of someone". Not "she reminds me of my brother", but "of someone". He uses Syl's curiosity to change a topic gracefully with this stone and with this "someone". This is my opinion, but I am pretty sure that i) Kaladin loves(d) her and ii) he understands it clearly and doesn't lie to himself. It is, for me, one of the best of his moments in a book, beautiful and strong and it convinces me that he will be all right with his love life eventually. Well, I don't appreciate lying to Syl, but in this moment it was what he chose to do to close this topic.

Edited by Sedside
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5 minutes ago, Sedside said:

I would much appreciate any quotes showing Adolin loves Shallan. Kaladin loves her - I can see it in his POVs, Dalinar is obsessed with Navani - I can see it in his POVs. Adolin? Totally indifferent. Syl is pretty, Azure is interesting, Shallan? Well, probably woman can look good in trousers.

Adolin shows his love more in his actions than his thoughts I think. He brings her food when he hears she hasn't eaten, which is pretty thoughtful. He wants to teach her how to use a Shardblade because it's something he loves and he's excited to share it. He wants her to come along with the visit to Ialai because he think she's smart and comforting to him. He defends her from Dalinar when Shallan annoys him. etc. etc.

And okay... yes. All of this could be interpreted in a different direction. That's totally reasonable. This is just how I read it, and how I think Brandon intended for it to come across. If I've learned anything from getting my wife into these books, it's that (1) Brandon's [generally] not that great at writing romance and (2) my own taste for romance is unrefined. ^_^

I think most of the debate over the interactions between Shallan, Adolin, and Kaladin boils down to different people seeing different things in the same text.

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4 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

Adolin shows his love more in his actions than his thoughts I think. He brings her food when he hears she hasn't eaten, which is pretty thoughtful. He wants to teach her how to use a Shardblade because it's something he loves and he's excited to share it. He wants her to come along with the visit to Ialai because he think she's smart and comforting to him. He defends her from Dalinar when Shallan annoys him. etc. etc.

And okay... yes. All of this could be interpreted in a different direction. That's totally reasonable. This is just how I read it, and how I think Brandon intended for it to come across. If I've learned anything from getting my wife into these books, it's that (1) Brandon's [generally] not that great at writing romance and (2) my own taste for romance is unrefined. ^_^

I think most of the debate over the interactions between Shallan, Adolin, and Kaladin boils down to different people seeing different things in the same text.

IIRC, he brought her food when Palona asked him. I've already posted my opinion about this "shardblade education" before, I don't think it is love. It is Adolin's selfishness in order to make her do something he loves, but not something she needs. About defending from Dalinar - can you quote please? I don't remember this moment.

I don't mind of love being shown in actions, if we didn't have Adolin's POVs. But we have them. And I don't see any signs of love in his POVs. Even when he sees Shallan he only thinks about fashion, not a single thought of her being beautiful or something. Storms, he thinks Syl is pretty! He adores Kaladin! But no emotion towards Shallan? He describes Janala or WoK. Why no such things about Shallan? Almighty, why? Sanderson forgot? Really?

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