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This is a theory about Jasnah and why she was treated for mental illness. My theory is that when she was young, Ivory took an interest in her because we know that they have been bonded for a long time, and when other people noticed her talking to herself, she was sent to an insane asylum because she was continually talking to something invisible. She remains insecure about that for the rest of her life and occasionally will look back on that in fear because it was the only time that she couldn't trust her mind. That is why it s briefly mentioned in the books that there was a time that she couldn't trust her own mind, it was refering to that experience

 

Edit: I'm not saying that seeing Ivory drove Jasnah crazy. I'm saying that when someone like her father caught her trying to have conversations with spren, they sent her away to a mental institution where she was told repeatedly that she couldn't trust herself, which drove her insane due to the terrible practices that insane asylum's probably did to her, due to the fact that we know that Roshar doesn't have a good understanding of mental illness because no one has diagnosed Kaladin with depression even though he clearly has it.

Edited by Mythmaster111
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1 hour ago, Mythmaster111 said:

This is a theory about Jasnah and why she was treated for mental illness. My theory is that when she was young, Ivory took an interest in her because we know that they have been bonded for a long time, and when other people noticed her talking to herself, she was sent to an insane asylum because she was continually talking to something invisible. She remains insecure about that for the rest of her life and occasionally will look back on that in fear because it was the only time that she couldn't trust her mind. That is why it s briefly mentioned in the books that there was a time that she couldn't trust her own mind, it was refering to that experience

 

Jasnah saw Ivory for the first time the night that Gavilar died. We get her PoV and the circumstances of it happening.

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@RShara Is it when she officially meets Ivory or could it be like what happened with Shallan? She saw "them" in a mirror but not pattern. However I do think this theory has merit, I'm not too informed about Jasnah to give an exact answer but seems valid 

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Jasnah seems far too composed and scholarly to still be scarred by something as simple as a talking spren (simple to her inworld, not necessarily simple to us). I think that there was something far more dubious toying with her. Maybe an Unmade (which is still a spren I think?) or Odium directly? It still is an interesting theory but I think that her flashbacks in book 10 will delve into this deeply. 

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Could it be possible that she learnt something that was too much for her to handle at such a young age that it rattled her so much that it drove her to insanity? Could it be her questioning her faith and realising how "fake" (can't think of a better word) it was, making her lose a sense of self or feeling alone. Because maybe her madness was caused by a sudden depressive episode. (It would make sense with her image that she constantly maintains to a point that Shallan becomes jealous.)

I don't know if I remember it clearly but she says something about people talking about her behind her back because she was a heretic. Implying she was young when she decided to forgo Vorinism. In the spoiler tag, I have written the moment I'm thinking of when she says this. 

Spoiler

The place where she says this was during OB when she decides against murdering Renarin

 

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38 minutes ago, Eris said:

@RShara Is it when she officially meets Ivory or could it be like what happened with Shallan? She saw "them" in a mirror but not pattern. However I do think this theory has merit, I'm not too informed about Jasnah to give an exact answer but seems valid 

Yeah. You can tell from her reactions that she's never met him before, or talked to spren before.

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I don't have the book on hand so I don't have an exact quote, but Jasnah justifies her murdering the men in Kharbranth by saying something like "They were planning to rob, kill, and possibly rape us." And the way Jasnah talks about the men makes Shallan wonder, "Who hurt you?" I doubt Brandon would include a line like this unless it contained a grain of truth.

I suspect that Jasnah was sexually assaulted as a child. Her reaction to the event was labeled "insanity," perhaps because it was so out-of-line with her previous behavior, or perhaps because she dared to name her (high-ranking, lighteyed) assailant. Either way, the horrific Alethi method of "treating" mental illness only compounded her trauma.

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43 minutes ago, RShara said:

Yeah. You can tell from her reactions that she's never met him before, or talked to spren before.

Shallan had a complete freak out. She went running through the halls in a panic.... and she had been bonded to a spren for years! The bond had progressed to the point that she had a shardblade. 

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2 minutes ago, Joy said:

I don't have the book on hand so I don't have an exact quote, but Jasnah justifies her murdering the men in Kharbranth by saying something like "They were planning to rob, kill, and possibly rape us." And the way Jasnah talks about the men makes Shallan wonder, "Who hurt you?" I doubt Brandon would include a line like this unless it contained a grain of truth.

I suspect that Jasnah was sexually assaulted as a child. Her reaction to the event was labeled "insanity," perhaps because it was so out-of-line with her previous behavior, or perhaps because she dared to name her (high-ranking, lighteyed) assailant. Either way, the horrific Alethi method of "treating" mental illness only compounded her trauma.

I agree with this a lot but I don't think it was labelled insanity because it was so out of line but because she had a genuine reaction. I also found a quote that said something like perception is an illusion and she relates it to herself but she was talking to Shallan about it

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Just now, Eris said:

I agree with this a lot but I don't think it was labelled insanity because it was so out of line but because she had a genuine reaction.

I'm not sure that we disagree? I think Gavilar failed to recognize Jasnah's (completely genuine!) reaction to being assaulted for what it actually was, figuring instead that she suffered from "insanity."

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Just now, Joy said:

I'm not sure that we disagree? I think Gavilar failed to recognize Jasnah's (completely genuine!) reaction to being assaulted for what it actually was, figuring instead that she suffered from "insanity."

Oh we do agree. Sorry I read that completely wrong for some reason. Please forgive me. 

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Quote

Jasnah headed toward the doors but then stopped in place.

Her shadow was pointing in the wrong direction.

The stuffy, shuffling, chattering room seemed to grow distant. Highprince Sadeas walked right through the shadow, which quite distinctly pointed toward the sphere lamp on the wall nearby. Engaged in conversation with his companion, Sadeas didn’t notice. Jasnah stared at that shadow—skin growing clammy, stomach clenched, the way she felt when she was about to vomit. Not again. She searched for another light source. A reason. Could she find a reason? No.

Quote

The calm, scholarly thoughts felt like a lie compared to the truth of her cold, clammy skin and the sweat trickling down the back of her neck. But it was important to be rational at all times, not just when calm.

Quote

She hadn’t meant to speak aloud. However, as the words slipped out, several distant shadows—originating in an intersection up ahead—stirred to life. Her breath caught. Those shadows lengthened, deepened. Figures formed from them, growing, standing, rising.

Stormfather. I’m going insane.

One took the shape of a man of midnight blackness, though he had a certain reflective cast, as if he were made of oil. No . . . of some other liquid with a coating of oil floating on the outside, giving him a dark, prismatic quality.

He strode toward her and unsheathed a sword.

Logic, cold and resolute, guided Jasnah. Shouting would not bring help quickly enough, and the inky litheness of this creature bespoke a speed certain to exceed her own.

Quote

Jasnah crashed into something—an ocean of the glass beads. Countless others rained around her, clicking like hailstones into the strange sea. She had never seen this place; she could not explain what had happened or what it meant. She thrashed as she sank into what seemed an impossibility. Beads of glass on all sides. She couldn’t see anything beyond them, only felt herself descending through this churning, suffocating, clattering mass.

She was going to die. Leaving work unfinished, leaving her family unprotected!

She would never know the answers.

No.

Quote

It was not alive, but she made it move, lowering its sword of beads. She doubted it could fight. Round beads could not form a sharp sword. Yet the threat made the dark figure hesitate.

Gritting her teeth, Jasnah heaved herself to her feet, beads streaming from her clothing. She would not kneel before this thing, whatever it was. She stepped up beside the bead statue, noting for the first time the strange clouds overhead. They seemed to form a narrow ribbon of highway, straight and long, pointing toward the horizon.

She met the oil figure’s gaze. It regarded her for a moment, then raised two fingers to its forehead and bowed, as if in respect, a cloak flourishing out behind. Others had gathered beyond it, and they turned to each other, exchanging hushed whispers.

 

In short, Jasnah was also terrified. She, however, isn't a 16 year old naive girl on her first trip alone. She's a grown woman, a scholar, and a princess. Seeing something impossible for the first time isn't about to make her lose her wits.

Edited by RShara
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15 minutes ago, RShara said:

Seeing something impossible for the first time isn't about to make her lose her wits.

Maybe it was Wit. B)

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4 hours ago, Eris said:

@RShara Is it when she officially meets Ivory or could it be like what happened with Shallan? She saw "them" in a mirror but not pattern.

We don't know how Logicspren investigate their potential Radiants, but Cryptics seem very intrusive. Their heads, I suspect, make them a little easier to spot. Whereas an all black, oily spren may hide much better.

2 hours ago, Joy said:

I don't have the book on hand so I don't have an exact quote, but Jasnah justifies her murdering the men in Kharbranth by saying something like "They were planning to rob, kill, and possibly rape us." And the way Jasnah talks about the men makes Shallan wonder, "Who hurt you?" I doubt Brandon would include a line like this unless it contained a grain of truth.

I suspect that Jasnah was sexually assaulted as a child. Her reaction to the event was labeled "insanity," perhaps because it was so out-of-line with her previous behavior, or perhaps because she dared to name her (high-ranking, lighteyed) assailant. Either way, the horrific Alethi method of "treating" mental illness only compounded her trauma.

Good observation with the "Who hurt you?" line. Personally, I think Brandon may steer clear of this very dark and difficult topic.

The "Not again" thought @RShara shows above actually makes me think something down a different path. Maybe at a young age, she or someone else she knew or saw was being investigated by a spren. She notices the shadow is pointing the wrong way, freaks out and associates it with Voidbringers. Through being locked up she learns the importance of composure, illusion of control and also sets her down the path of dedicating her entire life's work to researching Voidbringer myths and more.

Edited by Naurock
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Personally, I really dislike the theory that she was abused or assaulted, and I don't know that I predict Brandon won't go there? But I really, really hope he doesn't. I'd find it very disappointing.

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1 minute ago, Greywatch said:

Personally, I really dislike the theory that she was abused or assaulted, and I don't know that I predict Brandon won't go there? But I really, really hope he doesn't. I'd find it very disappointing.

I think the whole Shallan "who hurt you" was mostly because she didn't understand Jasnah's moral compass. I'm open to all ideas but I don't think Sanderson would go that way. His books have never really gone down that road. 

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8 minutes ago, Greywatch said:

Personally, I really dislike the theory that she was abused or assaulted, and I don't know that I predict Brandon won't go there? But I really, really hope he doesn't. I'd find it very disappointing.

Same. It's a very loaded topic, which is why I think he may avoid it. If that's the path he chooses, it may turn off a portion of his fans. I'm not here to tell an artist how to do their work and I enjoy his work too much to put it down. But it's not a storyline I'm eager to jump into.

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I don't think she was assaulted as a child and that that's the reason for her earlier breakdown. I believe they are two separate issues. The "who hurt you" line, my guess, is in reference to Amaram. Possibly trying to force the issue with her, but not when she was young. Before Gavilar tries to hook them up at the feast for instance. Jasnah's early 20's perhaps?

The mental instability I am unsure of still. If I had to guess, it was her starting to see things that didn't make sense, bringing those things to an adult who didn't understand and/or was worried, and subsequently locked her away as crazypants until she learned that she had to hide these things and project confidence. (Fake it, basically.)

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2 minutes ago, Dalakaar said:

I don't think she was assaulted as a child and that that's the reason for her earlier breakdown. I believe they are two separate issues. The "who hurt you" line, my guess, is in reference to Amaram. Possibly trying to force the issue with her, but not when she was young. Before Gavilar tries to hook them up at the feast for instance. Jasnah's early 20's perhaps?

The mental instability I am unsure of still. If I had to guess, it was her starting to see things that didn't make sense, bringing those things to an adult who didn't understand and/or was worried, and subsequently locked her away as crazypants until she learned that she had to hide these things and project confidence. (Fake it, basically.)

Okay I like this answer, it makes the most sense and fits with the writing style and character

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I'd seen a theory on a different site where someone suggested some kind of violation by an ardent that the theorist then suggested could be one of the reasons Jasnah is so against religion and has feelings of not always being able to rely on family to protect her. Doesn't mean it's necessarily sexual in nature (but could be), but I found that interesting referencing the ardentia.

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13 minutes ago, Razrback16 said:

I'd seen a theory on a different site where someone suggested some kind of violation by an ardent that the theorist then suggested could be one of the reasons Jasnah is so against religion and has feelings of not always being able to rely on family to protect her. Doesn't mean it's necessarily sexual in nature (but could be), but I found that interesting referencing the ardentia.

The ardents were probably the ones treating her.* They were also probably the ones she had to fake out to get free. Dunno if there was any sort of abuse was involved, not really necessary in terms of her dismissal of the ardentia. Her own brain was capable of that. Being imprisoned for her own good would suffice to have her start questioning.

 

*Adding: Or definitely treating her not probably treating her, now I think about it. My reasoning is that Brandon has already written about the incarceration of Taln and the current belief/mode of operation to treat mental illness with dim lighting. I was wondering why he kept bringing that up. Having it be a sore-spot with Jasnah and related to her past turns it into all the foreshadowy goodness (heh foreshadowy, bad pun) that we crave. I wonder how well Jasnah would do in a small dark room alone for a while. She was in the cabin before her near-death in WoR on the ship but it was, funny thing, mentioned that it was the largest cabin given over by the captain.

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2 minutes ago, Dalakaar said:

The ardents were probably the ones treating her.* They were also probably the ones she had to fake out to get free. Dunno if there was any sort of abuse was involved, not really necessary in terms of her dismissal of the ardentia. Her own brain was capable of that. Being imprisoned for her own good would suffice to have her start questioning.

 

*Adding: Or definitely treating her not probably treating her, now I think about it. My reasoning is that Brandon has already written about the incarceration of Taln and the current belief/mode of operation to treat mental illness with dim lighting. I was wondering why he kept bringing that up. Having it be a sore-spot with Jasnah and related to her past turns it into all the foreshadowy goodness (heh foreshadowy, bad pun) that we crave. I wonder how well Jasnah would do in a small dark room alone for a while. She was in the cabin before her near-death in WoR on the ship but it was, funny thing, mentioned that it was the largest cabin given over by the captain.

This looks very likely. Especially the mention on how they treat people with mental illness like Taln shows they don't practice what they preach (or anyone actually), so it would make perfect sense if this was the case. Then it would explain why Jasnah became a heretic at a young age

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5 hours ago, Dalakaar said:

The ardents were probably the ones treating her.* They were also probably the ones she had to fake out to get free. Dunno if there was any sort of abuse was involved, not really necessary in terms of her dismissal of the ardentia. Her own brain was capable of that. Being imprisoned for her own good would suffice to have her start questioning.

I like it. Although I would rather the ardents not have abused her. It would be more interesting if the ardents were trying to help and Jasnah (now an adult) knew it. She would still struggle with the emotions while her mind told her they didn't do anything wrong. (Plus we have already had evil churchs in a lot of Brandon's books.)

5 hours ago, Eris said:

Especially the mention on how they treat people with mental illness like Taln shows they don't practice what they preach (or anyone actually), so it would make perfect sense if this was the case.

...... Helping someone the best way you know how= not living how you preach? They think their helping, and maybe they are.( I'm not an expert on these things) someone who wasn't crazy would hate any treatment developed for the insane, I should think.

And let's not generalise, many people do live what they preach.

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3 minutes ago, Steel Inquisitive said:

I like it. Although I would rather the ardents not have abused her. It would be more interesting if the ardents were trying to help and Jasnah (now an adult) knew it. She would still struggle with the emotions while her mind told her they didn't do anything wrong. (Plus we have already had evil churchs in a lot of Brandon's books.)

...... Helping someone the best way you know how= not living how you preach? They think their helping, and maybe they are.( I'm not an expert on these things) someone who wasn't crazy would hate any treatment developed for the insane, I should think.

I can tell you for certain that locking someone in a dark room is not helpful, and even if that was the only thing the ardents did to Jasnah, it would still be abuse. (But yes, I don't think it has to do with "living how you preach." The Vorin church doesn't claim to represent an all-compassionate God, so lack of compassion on their part isn't necessarily hypocrisy.)

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6 hours ago, Steel Inquisitive said:

I like it. Although I would rather the ardents not have abused her. It would be more interesting if the ardents were trying to help and Jasnah (now an adult) knew it. She would still struggle with the emotions while her mind told her they didn't do anything wrong. (Plus we have already had evil churchs in a lot of Brandon's books.)

I agree, her having a problem with the ardents has to be handled delicately as I believe her receiving abuse from them could cheapen her stance against the church. It can't be too much of a cop-out for her beliefs. They still could technically abuse her, but with the best of intentions.(Ie. locking her in a dark room yet under the full and honest belief that it is helping her.) Giving her a legitimate reason for an initial break from the church but not cheapening her questioning as a victim.

The plot-line of her atheism (for lack of a better word) and Dalinar's heresies has interested me quite a bit. I wonder how close to home it is for Brandon.

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