The Night Watcher

Explain the history of the Parshendi and the history of humanity on Roshar

18 posts in this topic

Parshendi. Listeners. Singers. All the same? When'd the names "listeners" and "singers" divide?

So they lived on Roshar with Cultivation and Honor. Then humans brought Odium with them to Roshar after destroying their last home with Surgebinding. Parshendi gave them Shinovar. Then...what? Used Surges forbidden to the Parshendi? When did the humans start fighting the Parshendi? I seem to remember something about the humans gradually taking over the homes of the Parshendi. 

And what's the deal with the spren abandoning the listeners for humanity? I don't remember any of the spren saying anything like that. From what I remember of Syl and Pattern, it seems like they fear the Parshendi and seek to eradicate them for fear of being forced into bonding with them. 

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The Parshendi being unable to (until this point) bond with spren deep enough for Surges was the betrayal they're talking about it. I'm going to let someone more knowledgeable answer the rest of it.

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Posted (edited)

The singers (Dawnsingers) are the native species. Humans destroyed Ashyn and arrived as Refugees... Things went wrong and the Heralds and Desolation and Radiants all happened... Then Aharietiam. 

The singers continued in pockets, fighting despite the lack of Odium. And BAM Somehow mimicked what Odium used to do providing forms of power and voidlight to the singers. This was the "False Desolation" 

Around this time, a group of singers called the last Legion broke away and took dullform intentionally to escape from BAM, and sometime after the parsh were crippled and the recreance happened. The Last Legion became the listeners. 

Edited by Calderis
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See, it really seems like we don't have a good name for the species. I have been told (mostly by shardcast) that anything related to parsh is a slur, listeners are a specific group, singers, while I guess it could apply to the whole species just comes across as a name for the newly freed population, so I mostly have resorted to calling the species the dawnsingers, but even then people tell me that name only applies to pre-desolation ones. It's apparently complicated.

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Brandon himself mixes these this up.  The way I do it (and many fan agree) is that singer is the generic for the species, dawnsinger is the name for the ancient singers and their civilization and listener is the tribe of singers on the shattered planes.

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49 minutes ago, HSuperLee said:

See, it really seems like we don't have a good name for the species. I have been told (mostly by shardcast) that anything related to parsh is a slur, listeners are a specific group, singers, while I guess it could apply to the whole species just comes across as a name for the newly freed population, so I mostly have resorted to calling the species the dawnsingers, but even then people tell me that name only applies to pre-desolation ones. It's apparently complicated.

Parsh is what the recreance Era Radiants called them, and while it could be a slur, that's not confirmed to my knowledge. We don't know it's meaning, origin, or usage. Just it's obvious nature as a precursor to "parshmen." 

"listener" is the equivalent of a nationality. "singer" is what the Fused are pushing the new parsh to call themselves and it seems that "Dawn" was either an addendum to that word, or Dawnsinger was the origin. 

I suppose at this point, the only terminology we've heard that speak to the species as a whole is Dawnsinger and Parsh... I don't see a difference between Dawnsinger and Singer, unless you want to break that into "ancient" and "not ancient," but one just seems like shorthand for the other. 

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4 minutes ago, Calderis said:

Parsh is what the recreance Era Radiants called them, and while it could be a slur, that's not confirmed to my knowledge. We don't know it's meaning, origin, or usage. Just it's obvious nature as a precursor to "parshmen." 

"listener" is the equivalent of a nationality. "singer" is what the Fused are pushing the new parsh to call themselves and it seems that "Dawn" was either an addendum to that word, or Dawnsinger was the origin. 

I suppose at this point, the only terminology we've heard that speak to the species as a whole is Dawnsinger and Parsh... I don't see a difference between Dawnsinger and Singer, unless you want to break that into "ancient" and "not ancient," but one just seems like shorthand for the other. 

Parshendi wasn't taken to be an insult by the Listeners and wasn't meant to be by the Alethi. "Neither side seemed to see that as an insult" - tWoK Prologue. Shellhead is a slur. 

Depends what Dawn means. Dawnchant, Dawncities, Dawnshards, Dawnsingers. Dawn of civilization?  I remember someone had a theory that Cultivation Vessel's name was Dawn :), I don't think that fits, the Singers predate Cultivation as a separate entity.  

With the Dawncities all being shaped by semantics, I assume the Dawnsingers used the Rhythms in a much more powerful way than modern ones know how. I don't feel like the modern Singers have enough in common with the Dawnsingers to be worthy of the full title and I think it's useful to distinguish the ancient Dawnsingers and the modern ones. 

 

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Posted (edited)

 

2 hours ago, Karger said:

Brandon himself mixes these this up.  The way I do it (and many fan agree) is that singer is the generic for the species, dawnsinger is the name for the ancient singers and their civilization and listener is the tribe of singers on the shattered planes.

So the one person who should know what's going on is confused too - this doesn't bode well. (Does this remind anybody of modern day politics? I'm not referring to a person in particular, just the world as a whole)

 

Also, perhaps the rhythms were how they bonded spren. Or at least used surges.

Edited by Turin Turambar
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4 minutes ago, Turin Turambar said:

So the one person who should know what's going on is confused too - this doesn't bode well. (Does this remind anybody of modern day politics? I'm not referring to a person in particular, just the world as a whole)

He is working out terminology and has tones of other stuff to do.  Don't be mean!

4 minutes ago, Turin Turambar said:

Also, perhaps the rhythms were how they bonded spren. Or at least used surges.

Soulcasters do hum in unison when working on a group project.  We see it in WoR

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@Child of Hodor "Parshendi" specifically is one that seems to have become a slur, in that it is a modern term that literally means "Parshman who can think" and only has meaning in the context of comparison to the Parshmen that were spiritually lobotomized and enslaved.  Not as blatantly derogatory as Shellhead, but at the very least it would probably fall into the "Culturally Insensitive" category, even if back at the beginning when neither side really grasped what had been done to them and when they both were entertaining hopes of peace, it may have seemed more innocuous on both sides. 

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1 hour ago, Karger said:

He is working out terminology and has tones of other stuff to do.  Don't be mean!

Soulcasters do hum in unison when working on a group project.  We see it in WoR

I wasn't saying it to be mean - It's impressive that his world is so complex. I'm sorry if it came out that way though.

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15 minutes ago, Quantus said:

@Child of Hodor "Parshendi" specifically is one that seems to have become a slur, in that it is a modern term that literally means "Parshman who can think" and only has meaning in the context of comparison to the Parshmen that were spiritually lobotomized and enslaved.  Not as blatantly derogatory as Shellhead, but at the very least it would probably fall into the "Culturally Insensitive" category, even if back at the beginning when neither side really grasped what had been done to them and when they both were entertaining hopes of peace, it may have seemed more innocuous on both sides. 

Yeah, it's like calling Native Americans "Indians" a misnomer thrust upon a people out of ignorance and a lack of respect / curiousity. They could have asked what they called themselves. The Listeners didn't call the Alethi "Softboys" or whatever.  

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Eh, I'm just not a fan of deciding what people should and shouldn't be offended by. 

The Listeners didn't find the name "Parshendi" insulting. I am not going to choose to be offended for them over something they don't care about. 

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Posted (edited)

The 'Parsh' term entered the lexicon before the Recreance.

Quote

Something must be done about the remnants of Odium's forces. The parsh, as they are now called, continue their war with zeal, even without their masters from Damnation.

Which I believe is tied to this:

Quote

“Parasaphi,” Renarin said. “She’s the one who searched out the seedstones.” “Yes,” Navani replied. “In order to repopulate her fallen people, she climbed the peaks of Dara—the myth changes, listing different modern mountain ranges as the true peaks of Dara—to find stones touched by the Heralds themselves. She brought them to Nadris on his deathbed and harvested his seed to bring life to the stones. They hatched forth ten children, which she used to found a new nation. Marnah, I believe it was called.” “Origin of the Makabaki,” Renarin said. “Mother told me that story when I was a child.”
 

 

Edited by ScavellTane
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7 hours ago, Child of Hodor said:

The Listeners didn't call the Alethi "Softboys" or whatever.  

They might not, but starting now, I do.

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3 hours ago, ScavellTane said:

The 'Parsh' term entered the lexicon before the Recreance.

Which I believe is tied to this:

 

Tied to what? The word "Parasaphi?"

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On 3/15/2019 at 11:19 PM, The Night Watcher said:

Tied to what? The word "Parasaphi?"

Perhaps it is a phonetic transcription of the singer's name for themselves.

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