Benedictify

Did Elhokar intend to die?

17 posts in this topic

I got the impression (unless I read it somewhere and forgot) that Elhokar wanted to lead the raid on Kholinar because he expected to die, but he wanted to bring Kaladin because he thought he would make sure it would succeed. Maybe he intended to go out with honor or glory, or maybe he just wanted to get himself out of the way. 

Or maybe he really did want to be responsible for freeing his city, and wanted to have a hand in it. 

Thoughts?

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I always thought Elhokar wanted to become like Kaladin and believed him saving his kingdom was a way to prove to himself and others that he was worthy king. He didn't want to die because he tried to say the Oath but was killed half way through saying them. You could really see him changing into a better man in the writing so you knew he was going to die but the actual character didn't want to. That is why his death was so tragic because he hadn't accomplished his character arc. 

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5 minutes ago, Benedictify said:

I got the impression (unless I read it somewhere and forgot) that Elhokar wanted to lead the raid on Kholinar because he expected to die, but he wanted to bring Kaladin because he thought he would make sure it would succeed. Maybe he intended to go out with honor or glory, or maybe he just wanted to get himself out of the way. 

Or maybe he really did want to be responsible for freeing his city, and wanted to have a hand in it. 

Thoughts?

I don’t think he would’ve even bothered to start saying the First Ideal if he had truly wanted to die. I think that how we saw events plan out is exactly what happened. Elhokar wanted to go save Kholinar, and he brought Kaladin and the others along to make sure they were able to fix things, probably because he was beginning to realize he was a bad king. That’s probably what was getting him to reach the point where he could officially swear the First Ideal and it would actually make him a Radiant.

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I felt awful for Elhokar when Moash killed him about halfway through Oathbringer, which says something about Sanderson's writing, because I rather despised him nearly all the way through Words of Radiance.

I always remember the transformation as beginning with his conversation with Kaladin when he pleads for him to "teach him" how to be a hero and a leader. And his resolve to figure it out even after realizing that it wasn't a skill he could be instructed in, but had to grow into: "I will be a king to be remembered."

Then, when he saw Shallan's drawing of him. Beaten, on his knees, but defiant, resolute, and determined. This is what he could be. The special mixture of Transformation and Illumination that is the Lightweaver's forte, that could turn a callous slaver's henchman like Bluth into a selfless hero, even give Gaz back a measure of self-respect...

And then, think about this: had he become Radiant, without Moash killing him, he would have been a Lightweaver himself.

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22 minutes ago, Eris said:

 he tried to say the Oath but was killed half way through saying them.

That was so heartbreaking

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He said the Oath. He was glowing. He was Radiant.

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1 minute ago, Kon-Tiki said:

He said the Oath. He was glowing. He was Radiant.

He didn't finish. He had one more line, the journey before destination or he said almost that whole line. Same thing happened with Venli, she began glowing just before the last line too

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13 minutes ago, robardin said:

I felt awful for Elhokar when Moash killed him about halfway through Oathbringer, which says something about Sanderson's writing, because I rather despised him nearly all the way through Words of Radiance.

I always remember the transformation as beginning with his conversation with Kaladin when he pleads for him to "teach him" how to be a hero and a leader. And his resolve to figure it out even after realizing that it wasn't a skill he could be instructed in, but had to grow into: "I will be a king to be remembered."

Then, when he saw Shallan's drawing of him. Beaten, on his knees, but defiant, resolute, and determined. This is what he could be. The special mixture of Transformation and Illumination that is the Lightweaver's forte, that could turn a callous slaver's henchman like Bluth into a selfless hero, even give Gaz back a measure of self-respect...

And then, think about this: had he become Radiant, without Moash killing him, he would have been a Lightweaver himself.

 

I think you have a good point that he went through an arc or a transformation -- or completed one (almost) -- during the course of the expedition. Maybe he goes from pleading for people to do things for him, to seizing the opportunity to change things himself.

 

(I think this is my third time reading the series up through Oathbringer, I'll have to watch what happens in that final fight with a new perspective...)

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He expected to fail, per his talk with Kaladin before entering Kholinar, and wanted Kaladin to be there to rescue the situation when he mucked it up. He didn't want to die, exactly, but he saw that if anyone was going to, it would be him, as he was not Radiant and (in his own eyes) was the weakest link out of the infiltration squad. He was absolutely changing for the better and accepting consequences, becoming less of a spoiled brat and more of a king in bearing to add to his title, though.

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He wanted to try for himself, but bring Kaladin in case he failed. He didn’t have any intention to die, especially not with his son in his arms. 

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He wasn't suicidal.  He believed that if he could save Kholinar then he would finally become a "true" leader.  He took Kaladin along because he was convinced that he would mess the mission up (he's suffering from a giant case of Impostor Syndrome) and that Kaladin, as a true hero, would be able to bail him out.  

P.s. @Benedictify Try to keep major spoilers out of the titles of topics.  It's been long enough that you don't need to use spoiler tags in the Stormlight forum in the post itself, but the topic names appear all over the website.  

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I took it as he realized all the decisions he has made have been questionable in the past. He truly believed his decision making skills were faulty. So he would go to Kholinar to try and do better. If he made mistakes, Kaladin would be there to fix them, but most importantly give Elhokar the opportunity to learn from those mistakes, so he would not make them going forward. Elhokar said it himself, when he would decide for himself, he would make bad decisions. When he would listen to others he would pick the wrong people to listen to and make bad decisions. So he found someone he knew would make the right decisions, so he finally had a metric in which to learn from. The tragedy was this possibility was cut short

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I feel that Elhokar was wanting to be the savior of kholinar, to be recognized by his people in this time of war and radiants. He wanted to be honored and respected, and in the end when he started to speak the oaths he was starting to have faith in himself, faith that he could do it, that he could succeed, that he had the ability to be something greater, someone who could be respected by his kingdom.

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Elhokar was used to failure - I believe he told Kaladin at the end of WoR that every time he tried to have mercy, people walked over him, when he trusted people they were the wrong people, etc. Elhokar had experienced that, felt that so many times. He wanted to succeed, if only once. He may have thought "what better way than to save my people and home?"

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On 1/10/2019 at 10:31 PM, Eris said:

 That is why his death was so tragic because he hadn't accomplished his character arc. 

I think that, in a way, he kind of had. Obviously no character can really accheive perfection or complete satisfaction, but I think that Elhokar helping save his son and his city, and then swearing (or almost swearing) the ideal of the Radiants is in many ways accheiving the heroism that he longed for. I'm not happy that he died, since he could have still grown a lot more, but I think that he does show a lot of character arc.

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On 1/11/2019 at 11:25 AM, Benedictify said:

I got the impression (unless I read it somewhere and forgot) that Elhokar wanted to lead the raid on Kholinar because he expected to die, but he wanted to bring Kaladin because he thought he would make sure it would succeed. Maybe he intended to go out with honor or glory, or maybe he just wanted to get himself out of the way. 

Or maybe he really did want to be responsible for freeing his city, and wanted to have a hand in it. 

Thoughts?

Elhokar wanted to prove that he was doing the right thing. He was disillusioned at that point so he was constantly trying to do the right thing that he no longer cares about his own pride and stuff. And he actually did, he acted as a hero not somebody who wants to be one. 

Shame that he did prove to be worthy as a hero and a king to his people but he still died. 

Such a stellar tragedy written.

Edited by goody153
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As many have pointed out, he was glowing, and had started to speak the first oath.  This is all the proof I need to know he did not intend to die.

We have seen a few instances where people have said the words, and not meant them.  Or had the wrong meaning behind them.  And nothing happens.  Best example is Lopen complaining about an oath being accepted after all the times he had said the words under cooler conditions.

 

The Oath must be meant to be accepted.  The key in this instance is "Life before Death."  If Elhokar truly wished to die in a blaze of glory, that is choosing death before life, in direct contradiction to the first oath - and he would not have started glowing.

 

I think he was a little depressed, with the realization that he was a terrible king, that Dalinar was doing a better job, and had rendered him mostly useless.  But then he latched on to the idea of learning how to lead from Kaladin, who had had nothing.  He went to Kholinar to learn to be a better leader from Kaladin, so he could live up to the image of himself he wanted to be.  He definitely did not plan to die there.

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