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What was your disappointment in this series?

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May seem a little stupid but I have always been more disappointed in the cover art than anything in the books themselves. Just can’t get it to look right with how I picture things in my head.

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On 2/24/2019 at 1:07 PM, ILuvHats said:

Well, Szeth will be the flashback character for SA 5, so he’ll likely be alive until then. But yeah, the way characters reacted to his arrival was definitely a weakness in OB. I distinctly remember Jasnah thinking about him for 2 seconds during the battle for Thaylenah, refer to him as the “storming assassin in white,” and then move on. No anger at seeing the murder of her father, in fact, no emotions at all towards him at all, really. And yes, she was in the middle of a battle, but I still expected a stronger reaction than what we got. The only other time a main character thinks about him is Dalinar in Urithiru when Szeth is guarding the door. And again, no real reaction. It’s just another weakness in OB because the word count was too high and Brandon had to cut stuff.

I really hope he’ll step up his game in SA 4 when it comes to deciding what arcs/plot points to include given a limited word count. Because each book has gotten longer as Brandon juggles more and more plot points, and at OB he hit a point where he’d introduced too many to deal with properly in one novel. So hopefully he’s aware of the problem and will be able to hit a hard reset diving into the next one. 

This is a really good way to express the problems with OB.  Too many extraneous story threads, not enough depth to the main ones.  I'm sure he is aware of the problem like other people have said, but still I hope he resolves it in a satisfying way.

 

On 2/23/2019 at 1:05 AM, Sedside said:

And to me - I loved the beginning of this romantic arc. I think of it as well posted problematic, if we take it in WoR, and very well written dialogues on the both sides of the triangle. In OB, to me, Shallan's motivation was quite fabricated, or at least not well explained. It seemed like "all right, for the story Shallan has to marry Adolin, so I will make her continue extorting the relationships with Adolin, and omit any possible interaction with Kaladin until they both are in their worst mental states, so then I will make them have one single dialogue, which will go poorly only at its end, that Shallan will use this dialogue as an excuse to marry". That's how I see it.

This is exactly how I felt about the romantic arc.  It was handled extremely well in WoR, so for it to go so poorly in OB was disappointing.  I think to me, more disappointing than the way the arc generally went was Kaladin's final decision making at the end.  Adolin's response felt realistic and in character - "She's interested in another guy, let me step aside."  Shallan's actions felt realistic - she wanted to be with the only guy she'd had actual romantic interactions with (from her end).  She was also trying to preserve her commitments and her engagement even if she does feel some attraction to Kaladin.  Kaladin's final response felt like a Deus Ex Machina "She chose the other guy and even though I've always been interested in her romantically for very organic reasons, I've decided I actually never had any interest and am 100% over it immediately."  Sanderson's comments regarding love triangles in general makes me think he believes (or did at least once believe) that he wrapped this up neatly so that the readers didn't have to deal with the hassle of a love triangle.  I get that perspective and there are a lot of people who dislike those kinds of plots.  I'm OK with that, but I think the solution that would make this feel much more organic was to simply have Kaladin's last scene make it clear he's accepted that Shallan and Adolin are together, but that he's still not totally OK with it - like a scene where he's faking being happy for them but inside is sad.  Then, he slowly comes to terms with it over the next book or two with maybe one or two minor scenes that it's referenced.

In my world - cut 3-4 chapters of "Bridge 4" and round out Amaram and the romance arc.  Make Szeth on the "good guys" side, but as an independent contractor rather than an employee if that makes sense.  Dalinar refuses his help, but he helps anyway.

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My biggest disappointment was definitely the love triangle and how all characters involved in that were handled. As a side note, I overall felt that OB had way too much bloat, too many Bridge 4 chapters that served as nothing but worldbuilding/characterization filler where we instead missed out on a lot of important moments (such as Jasnah and Navani's reunion, and Navani's grief over Elhokar). In general it was just lacking focus and going around in circles, especially in regards to Shallan's arc, and Dalinar's Blackthorn flashbacks became a little repetitive too (but I've never been the big action reader lol!).

But going back to my original point, the romance arc was a huge let down. Not so much because of whatever I shipped (I actually really liked Shadolin at the end of WoR), but it felt like the love triangle cheapened the characters; Kaladin was treated like a plot device, Adolin lacked any depth and internal conflict, and I'm especially unhappy with Shallan's decision at the end, as it feels too much like a statement that a woman--and a mentally ill one at that--needs a man to be happy and fix her. The healthy choice would've been for her to step back and take some time for herself, and I really wish that's what she would have done.

Naturally the series isn't over, and Brandon might have had an intention behind getting Shallan into a marriage while she's still very much in an unhealthy mindset; I just hope this is addressed in the next book, because otherwise I'll unfortunately have to declare myself pretty unimpressed with this female representation.

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20 hours ago, Kramerfarve said:

May seem a little stupid but I have always been more disappointed in the cover art than anything in the books themselves. Just can’t get it to look right with how I picture things in my head.

How so?

Edited by Inky
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6 hours ago, agrabes said:

I think to me, more disappointing than the way the arc generally went was Kaladin's final decision making at the end.  Adolin's response felt realistic and in character - "She's interested in another guy, let me step aside."  Shallan's actions felt realistic - she wanted to be with the only guy she'd had actual romantic interactions with (from her end).  She was also trying to preserve her commitments and her engagement even if she does feel some attraction to Kaladin.  Kaladin's final response felt like a Deus Ex Machina "She chose the other guy and even though I've always been interested in her romantically for very organic reasons, I've decided I actually never had any interest and am 100% over it immediately."  Sanderson's comments regarding love triangles in general makes me think he believes (or did at least once believe) that he wrapped this up neatly so that the readers didn't have to deal with the hassle of a love triangle.  I get that perspective and there are a lot of people who dislike those kinds of plots.  I'm OK with that, but I think the solution that would make this feel much more organic was to simply have Kaladin's last scene make it clear he's accepted that Shallan and Adolin are together, but that he's still not totally OK with it - like a scene where he's faking being happy for them but inside is sad.  Then, he slowly comes to terms with it over the next book or two with maybe one or two minor scenes that it's referenced.

Let me disagree with you here. Kaladin's reaction very well correlates with his character, and it also opposes Adolin's treatment of Shallan. Adolin said "I will let him have you". Kaladin said "She made her choice". Adolin treats her as an object, Kaladin treats her as a subject. That's why Kaladin is, as you say, "immediately over". Because he understands, that Shallan has her free will, and he has no power over it. He can't change her desicion, so all he has to do - deal with it. It's absolutely healthy - to treat someone else's will like a weather. If it's raining outside, there's nothing you can do about it, just change your plans and not go for a walk.

There is also a role of his overall treatment of himself as someone, who doesn't deserve happiness. When he was in prison, he thought, that Dalinar and B4 hate him and want to get rid of him. When he was going back to Hearthstone he was thinking that his parents won't want to see him, because he failed to protect Tien. So it's absolutely natural, that he thinks he doesn't deserve to be loved by Shallan neither. He absolutely genuinely thinks that he is worse for her. So being sad inside while they are happy would be OOC and unnatural. Why should you be sad, if someone else received something good? Being sad in this situation equals being selfish. It is the same like "oh, he got a girl I wanted, I'm sad", it the same as thinking, that he actually deserved that girl, but storming Adolin was more lucky. If you ever attained any competition, and lost it to someone you admit is much better than you and really deserved victory, you don't feel sad about it. You will feel sad only if you think, that his victory was somehow unfair, and you deserved it more.

I also don't believe that he "decided that he never had any feelings". That's not what he thinks, that's what he says to Syl. I think I have to make it my forum signature: "What character says does not equal what character thinks" You have to take into account the context and the previous situations of this character. For example, previous dialogues with Syl about Shallan. Here is the post I wrote about it some time ago, I explain my thoughts about this Kaladin's "revelation" there. I would like to add, that since then I've also noticed, that all three dialogues with Syl contained two reasons from Kaladin's side. The first reason was always the true reason, the second one was always the fake one, which he brought only to end the conversation he didn't want to continue. In the first dialogue he said "she is betrothed" (true reason), then "she is lighteyes" (fake reason). Second dialogue - "I have my bridge crew" (true reason), "she brought her maid to make her hair" (fake reason). Third dialogue - "she made her choice" (true reason), "I didn't love her" (fake reason).

There is much more to all those romantic arcs, and I'm 100% convinced it's not over. It won't be a "triangle" anymore, though. But the topic is "what your disappointment was" regarding to what's written to the moment, and not what will happen in the future. So I am indeed disappointed by how Shalladin was swept under the rug. I also was disappointed by all this Shallan's reasoning and especially with "bad taste in men". It's such an insult for Kaladin, I was very angry at her at this point. And I also very much agree with @SSSoto that overall idea of a woman needing a man to be healthy and happy is crem. Especially I don't like, when the same people say "Shallan needed Adolin to be happy" and "Jasnah doesn't need a man, she doesn't want to be dependent".

Edited by Sedside
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3 hours ago, Inky said:

How so?

Ahh I don’t know, just didn’t catch the majesty or mystique in the kinda blockish vague people and generic mountain ranges. Definitely just a personal taste thing, and to each their own, right?

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Yeah fair

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16 hours ago, Sedside said:

Let me disagree with you here. Kaladin's reaction very well correlates with his character, and it also opposes Adolin's treatment of Shallan. Adolin said "I will let him have you". Kaladin said "She made her choice". Adolin treats her as an object, Kaladin treats her as a subject. That's why Kaladin is, as you say, "immediately over". Because he understands, that Shallan has her free will, and he has no power over it. He can't change her desicion, so all he has to do - deal with it. It's absolutely healthy - to treat someone else's will like a weather. If it's raining outside, there's nothing you can do about it, just change your plans and not go for a walk.

There is also a role of his overall treatment of himself as someone, who doesn't deserve happiness. When he was in prison, he thought, that Dalinar and B4 hate him and want to get rid of him. When he was going back to Hearthstone he was thinking that his parents won't want to see him, because he failed to protect Tien. So it's absolutely natural, that he thinks he doesn't deserve to be loved by Shallan neither. He absolutely genuinely thinks that he is worse for her. So being sad inside while they are happy would be OOC and unnatural. Why should you be sad, if someone else received something good? Being sad in this situation equals being selfish. It is the same like "oh, he got a girl I wanted, I'm sad", it the same as thinking, that he actually deserved that girl, but storming Adolin was more lucky. If you ever attained any competition, and lost it to someone you admit is much better than you and really deserved victory, you don't feel sad about it. You will feel sad only if you think, that his victory was somehow unfair, and you deserved it more.

I also don't believe that he "decided that he never had any feelings". That's not what he thinks, that's what he says to Syl. I think I have to make it my forum signature: "What character says does not equal what character thinks" You have to take into account the context and the previous situations of this character. For example, previous dialogues with Syl about Shallan. Here is the post I wrote about it some time ago, I explain my thoughts about this Kaladin's "revelation" there. I would like to add, that since then I've also noticed, that all three dialogues with Syl contained two reasons from Kaladin's side. The first reason was always the true reason, the second one was always the fake one, which he brought only to end the conversation he didn't want to continue. In the first dialogue he said "she is betrothed" (true reason), then "she is lighteyes" (fake reason). Second dialogue - "I have my bridge crew" (true reason), "she brought her maid to make her hair" (fake reason). Third dialogue - "she made her choice" (true reason), "I didn't love her" (fake reason).

There is much more to all those romantic arcs, and I'm 100% convinced it's not over. It won't be a "triangle" anymore, though. But the topic is "what your disappointment was" regarding to what's written to the moment, and not what will happen in the future. So I am indeed disappointed by how Shalladin was swept under the rug. I also was disappointed by all this Shallan's reasoning and especially with "bad taste in men". It's such an insult for Kaladin, I was very angry at her at this point. And I also very much agree with @SSSoto that overall idea of a woman needing a man to be healthy and happy is crem. Especially I don't like, when the same people say "Shallan needed Adolin to be happy" and "Jasnah doesn't need a man, she doesn't want to be dependent".

I see your point and agree with a lot of the things you're saying (women don't need men to be happy, it's bad to treat someone as if they are an object rather than an individual with their own agency, Kalladin does lie about his feelings to Syl, etc), but I also disagree a bit.  What you're saying is right and true in the high minded, objective sense but in my opinion it doesn't represent how people feel in the moment and how they react when someone or something very important to them is taken away.

For example: If I put myself in Adolin's position - seeing my girlfriend apparently infatuated with another guy I would have a similar feeling.  She's into someone else, what do I do?  Maybe I was just imagining things, maybe it's just a passing thing - so I give it time.  But after it happens time and again, it's clear she's not really that interested in me anymore so I confront her about it and tell her she can be with him instead.  The way Adolin expressed this was pretty bad and seemed to indicate he treated her like just an object.  That may indicate something fundamentally bad about Adolin, or may be just a character flaw/blind spot that he will correct later.  I don't think having those feelings and/or reaction are fundamentally wrong.  If he had said something like "You can be with him if you want" rather than "He can have you", I don't think anyone would have a problem.  I think Adolin's feelings were clearly communicated to us as the readers in that scene in a way that makes sense to me personally as someone who has been in that type of position in my life.

If I put myself in Kaladin's shoes - the girl I am romantically interested in to the point that I even broke my own moral code by trying to win over a woman engaged to someone else has just cut off all chance of us being together and marrying someone else - I would be upset.  I don't think it's unnatural or wrong for Kaladin to be sad about the girl he was interested in getting with someone else.  He's not a perfect, emotionless saint.  I don't agree that people don't feel sad about losing unless they feel there was cheating or some other unfair play involved.  I also don't agree that it's wrong or selfish to feel sad that you're not successful in love so long as you don't wallow in it for too long.  People who lose are always going to feel sad - whatever the competition.  If they feel the competition was unfair they'll be angry, not sad.  In my own life, again, this doesn't ring true to me.  If I am even moderately interested in someone, even if they eventually end up with someone who is a good friend of mine and probably a better match, I feel happy for them but still a bit sad.  If I was strongly attracted to that person, I would feel devastated for myself while still being happy for them and trying to make sure everyone else thought I was good with it.  I understand your point that Kaladin could be lying or downplaying things and I agree that he accepts Shallan's choice.  I don't agree that his reaction seems natural or that it would make sense if he was hiding strong emotions about the whole thing based on how it was written.  The lines about him being OK with it are his own thoughts, not what he says to Syl.  Here is the line from the book: "He squinted down at Shallan and Adolin, and found that he couldn't be bitter.  He didn't feel resignation either.  Instead he felt ... agreement?"  That line is (to me) Brandon Sanderson saying "this is 100% done and there will not be another page dedicated to it."  In his own mind, Kaladin has said he's not bitter and he's not resigned, his only feeling about the situation is that he simply agrees the two of them should be together.  That feels wrong and unnatural to me, it's disappointing.  I would have liked it if the line read something like "...found that he couldn't be bitter.  What is life without a little heartache?"  But, that's just my thoughts.  We'll see in Book 4.

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I was glad the romance was resolved. I agree that "Shallan needs Adolin to be happy" is a bad way to view it. I do think some people are better influences on each other than others  and Adolin - Shallan seemed healthier. 

With Shallan - Kaladin, they would probably make each other worse.  Shallan thinks admiringly of Kaladin "Oh look how he broods all the time and has that barely contained rage! He's like a more in control version of my dad!!"  Kaladin thinks "Wow, she always pretends everything is OK when it's not and never talks about her problems. I wish I could do that. That's a great way to go through life!" 

no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no 

That said, I enjoy Shallan chapters the most when she's doing research (I love lore) or doing spy / detective work (I love mysteries) and when she's hanging with Adolin she's usually not doing either. I Felt similarly about Jam-Man in tWoK, "get out of here so she can wander the stacks, have mysterious encounters with elderly women and read more ancient folk tales!" just am not into the romance. I'd be more interested in reading more of the in universe romance novel that the Ardent in OB interlude was reading :) 

 

Honestly I kind of shipped Jasnah - Amaram. They both like to read, he's a secret scholar who made up his own shorthand language, they both want to find Urithiru and Stormseat, she wants to find out who the real people the Vorin religion is based on were and he wants to bring back the real people the Vorin religion is based on. 

This was before Amaram turned into a literal monster, which I've already mentioned as a disappointment. It's like in one of the mission impossible movies where a double-agent gets half his face burned, because he was metaphorically two-faced, but now it's literal.

Amaram was a moral monster now he's a literal monster!  I thought he was a well-drawn, nuanced character, but not anymore!  His desire for gaining power no matter the cost led him to betray Kaladin and Dalinar's trust; now it's is literally consuming him from within!!! 

We didn't get to see his slow descent. He got caught out in the Everstorm on his way to Urithiru, Ialai mentions he is recovering from it early in OB.  Odium probably showed him that the Heralds quit and are boozing and such then made him an offer. I would like to have seen that at least in flashback, Odium surprising Dalinar in the Vision should still be the first proper introduction of Odium in the book.

Then there was that scene where he gets pissed at Dalinar and asks him to stop punishing his men and that scene where he talks to Jasnah and is begging her to work with him. What if we had heard his thoughts and he's reaching out because he's desperately grasping for a reason not to accept Odium's offer, but Dalinar and Jasnah go off on him because of his past heinous acts.

He can't come right out and tell anyone about meeting Odium because he's afraid they'll kill him, but he doesn't want to side against humanity and is reaching out in his way, but they are being mean to him and rebuffing his earnest offer, but for good reason because he did such terrible things. It's all so tragic! But that's only my fan fiction. 

Edited by Child of Hodor
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36 minutes ago, Child of Hodor said:

With Shallan - Kaladin, they would probably make each other worse.  Shallan thinks admiringly of Kaladin "Oh look how he broods all the time and has that barely contained rage! He's like a more in control version of my dad!!"  Kaladin thinks "Wow, she always pretends everything is OK when it's not and never talks about her problems. I wish I could do that. That's a great way to go through life!" 

I have a huge problem with this interpretation.

A) I can't remember a single instance, where Shallan compared Kaladin to Lin. And B ) on the boat in Shadesmar, Shallan's reaction to Kaladin congratulating her for how she pushes everything away was apprehension. Basically, she honestly thought about how wrong that seems. She never does that otherwise. That is what Kaladin did to her, he made her confront it by showing how absurd it is what she does, even if it was unintentional. The thing is, that I believe deep down Shallan knows, that what she's doing isn't healthy. She has a few moments of clarity that sometimes let that shine through, so when she outright gets told how great it is what she is doing she goes "wth no", because deep down she feels it is weird, that someone finds it great. It forces her to stop ignoring and to think.

Kaladin already concluded for himself, that he can't do what Shallan does. He just wishes he could. I don't see a danger for him.

What is healthier for Shallan? Being in a safe place "without fear" - as she calls it - in danger of continued avoidance or confronting the problems, even if the method that leads to confrontation is unorthodox? You decide.

Edited by SLNC
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@agrabes thank you for that post. I strongly agree with all of it.

Two main points I want to address. 

4 hours ago, agrabes said:

The way Adolin expressed this was pretty bad and seemed to indicate he treated her like just an object.  That may indicate something fundamentally bad about Adolin, or may be just a character flaw/blind spot that he will correct later.  I don't think having those feelings and/or reaction are fundamentally wrong. 

Yes, Adolin's word choice was poor. People tend to make mistakes like that at times that they feel hurt. As usual, we get this scene from outside of Adolin's perspective so we don't see his feelings, but we know that time and again he puts a strong and confident face forward even when he doesn't feel that way. I think that's exactly what he did here, in the worst way possible. 

4 hours ago, agrabes said:

In his own mind, Kaladin has said he's not bitter and he's not resigned, his only feeling about the situation is that he simply agrees the two of them should be together. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Kaladin, internally, searches his own feelings and is surprised to find that he is in agreement with what happens. That's not denial, that's discovery. 

I find myself defending Shadolin a lot, more because of Adolin than the relationship, so I want to make something clear. I am, and always have been, if the belief that Shallan shouldn't be with anyone in her mental state.

Thats not what Brandon wrote though. If Shallan has to be in a relationship, then I'd prefer she is where she is. Kaladin and Shallan's feelings for each other were forged in a single night of trauma and fear, which is never a good foundation for a relationship, and their interactions since have been nearly non-existent. In contrast, Adolin and Shallan, though it's only referenced and not shown on screen much, have spent a good deal of time together actually building a relationship. 

Which just reiterates why I agree with the sentiment that my biggest disappointment easily is that the triangle storyline happened at all. 

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Posted (edited)

Back on the Amaram topic, it felt that the end of his story came to an ubrupt end because there was information we could've gotten about the Sons of Honor and Heralan, from him especially since Jasnah was now coming into power. So, the fact that he got ousted because he became a twisting-my-moustache villain was such an unimaginative way to do it. And now Mraize can just fabricate the story he feeds to Shallan unobtrusively to thicken the plot. It just feels a little cheap.

Edited by Jofwu
removed portion in response to a hidden post
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Please focus this thread on explaining your personal disappointment in the series rather than arguing with others. That would be best. Thanks!

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