11 posts in this topic

Something I just quickly wanted to bring to light: after three, gigantic books that have spent time focusing on him, we still don't know the entire story of why Kaladin distrusts lighteyes so much. While we definitely see his resentment beginning to dampen, the main causes are not all fleshed out yet. While the obvious ones (Roshone and Amaram) have been addressed, and their arc in his storyline almost, if not completely, done with, that still leaves ones example of betrayal in Kaladin's past that is unaccounted for. And that's where Katarotam comes in.

If you don't remember that name, I can't blame you in the slightest as I forgot it myself since it was mentioned only one time in the entire series thus far.

From The Way of Kings; Chapter 4, pg. 82:

"Under previous masters, he'd demanded his wages be given to him. They had always found ways to cheat him- charging for his housing, his food. That's how lighteyes were. Roshone, Amaram, Katarotam . . . Each lighteyes Kaladin had known, whether as a slave or a free man, had shown himself to be corrupt to the core, for all his outward poise and beauty. They were like rotting corpses clothed in beautiful silk."

However, even with this being his only mention the reader can see the obvious mark this man, Katarotam, left on Kaladin. This raises the question: Who was Katarotam, and what did he do?

While from the text and timeline it's obvious to tell that Katarotam came into Kaladin's life during his enslavement, there is no way to tell the specifics of that as Kaladin said himself that he's, "changed hands a half-dozen times" (pg. 76) since his enslavement. Though with Kaladin choosing Katarotam to be among the men who has hurt Kaladin the most, we can assume that he had left a big impression and I therefore have three possible reasons for this:

1.) Katarotam was the first master to be over Kaladin.

This would make sense as he would inevitable leave a lasting impression on Kaladin, and could even explain how he would manage to betray him. With Kaladin going from 'youngest squad leader in Amaram's army' to 'disgrace slave' in just one day, it would make sense that he wouldn't really know what to do with himself at first. And with no experience in surviving or even living the life of a slave, Kaladin would have no way of knowing what the average life of a slave would be. With that opening, he may have seen Katarotam as he once did Amaram: a man who cared for those under him. Perhaps Kaladin thought he got lucky and ended up with a master who was lenient, but later proved himself to be brutal?

2.) Katarotam was one of the most brutal masters

This is one of the more simple reasons: Kaladin had suffered the worst of his times as a slave under Katarotam. This could still go in a number of ways though- with Katarotam being brutal because he was a horrible man, plain and simple, or being brutal specifically to Kaladin because he had heard of his escape attempts and wished to break him, or perhaps he noticed that Kaladin (a tall, well-built, natural leader) would ultimately bring hope to the other slaves and decided to use him as an example. While I'd say this is plausible, I don't think it's very likely as this leaves no room for betrayal, no room for Katarotam to hide himself behind poise and beauty as Kaladin specifically mentioned in the text. While those examples may refer specifically to Roshone and Amaram (though I don't see how it fits to Roshone seeing as he had it out for Kaladin's family at the beginning) the pause between the mention of Katarotam and the descritpors leads me to believe that most of it was inspired by Katarotam himself.

3.) Katarotam was the one to give Kalain the shash brand

This is the most likely of the possibilities to me as the pain of the branding and the long term consequences it would have on his life would definitely be enough of a reason for Katarotam to be up with Roshone and Amaram. Not to mention the branding takes place just shortly before Kaladin's perspective starts in the first book, with his last master making the decision to brand him 'dangerous.' Not only does it make it recent, life changing, and painful, but it also opens Kaladin up to betrayal. This is where the reasoning would spread out a bit, with a number of possibilities being present to why Kaladin would consider Katarotam to be a prime example of how lighteyes are always different from how they prevent themselves. One reason could be referred back to reason 1, Katarotam had somehow convinced Kaladin that he cared for his slaves. Though this seems a bit flimsy to me, it could also be a good reason for how Kaladin can't even bring himself to fully trust low-ranking lighteyes. Another reason could be that Katarotam used bribery to earn loyalty from his slaves, promising them extra pay or even a chance at freedom if they do their work just right. This could to Kaladin to discovering he's a fraud, ultimately leading to the branding.

These are just my thoughts, obviously we have very little to go off as he's only mentioned in one chapter but I do believe Katarotam will make an appearance in the form of a flashback in the next book (Slight Spoiler) - much like it did with Tarah- by that I mean her rarely being mentioned until we eventually met her in Oathbringer.

 

 

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Wasn't his shash brand new in the beginning of WoK?  So he couldn't have been the first master.

Though, I guess you said that these were all possible reasons and don't have to all be true.

 

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While all of what you wrote seems possible, I don't see Kaladin as needing any further reason to hate Lighteyes. Roshone, Amaram and Sadeas provide more than enough reason.

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2 hours ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

While all of what you wrote seems possible, I don't see Kaladin as needing any further reason to hate Lighteyes. Roshone, Amaram and Sadeas provide more than enough reason.

While I definitely agree, I just find Kaladin mentioning him among Roshone and Amaram- the (at the time) biggest onscreen reasons for Kaladin's hatred towards lighteyes- to mean he added something to his story. It also seems odd to me that he hasn't been mentioned since, almost as if we were supposed to forget about him.

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Being enslaved in and of itself would be reason enough, I should think. It doesn't matter how nice a slaver is, if they're enslaving you.

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I asked Brandon about Katarotam during the Skyward Reddit AMAs, didn't get much from him though :(

 

Quote

 

Govir

During a reread of The Way of Kings, I noticed Kaladin mentions a light eyes by the name of Katarotam. Will we ever find out more about this light eyes? (For some context, Katarotam is listed along side Roshone and Amaram as a light eyes that Kaladin believes to be corrupt).

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. (This is possible, but not likely, in a Kaladin flashback.)

Skyward Pre-Release AMA (Oct. 15, 2018)

 

There's also this slightly older WoB that mentions Katarotam.

 

Quote

 

Darkness (paraphrased)

Will we learn more about the corrupt lighteyes in Kaladin's past? Katarotam? *silence* Will we learn more, just yes or no is fine.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Ehh... Yes. In general, yeah.

Supanova 2017 - Sydney (June 16, 2017)

 

At this point, my money is on us not getting more information on Katarotam. The name is only mentioned once, not just by Kaladin, but by anyone. I honestly think the name was supposed to have been removed during drafts, but never was. I'm not holding my breath for Katarotam to be important or make an appearance.

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On 6/7/2019 at 4:20 PM, SwordNimiForPresident said:

While all of what you wrote seems possible, I don't see Kaladin as needing any further reason to hate Lighteyes. Roshone, Amaram and Sadeas provide more than enough reason.

But we have to go absolutely over the top.  This is Kaladin we are talking about.  He can't just be betrayed, assaulted, endure attempts on his life as a matter of course, have people he cares about put in places of sure death, and then not be able to take vengeance on any of them.  He must endure more.

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On 6/11/2019 at 5:13 PM, Karger said:

But we have to go absolutely over the top.  This is Kaladin we are talking about.  He can't just be betrayed, assaulted, endure attempts on his life as a matter of course, have people he cares about put in places of sure death, and then not be able to take vengeance on any of them.  He must endure more.

Confirmed next oath for Kaladin. :P

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2 hours ago, cfphelps said:

Confirmed next oath for Kaladin. :P

I will endure even more horrible things!

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I see this as a seed name, might be someone we never see again, or might be one of those protect someone he hates struggles latter on.  I think the hate the lighteyes is deeper than just those who have harmed him, he is pushed to associate and interact with Laral, he is educated and has a lighteyes name, and yet there is the divide still.. 
We do not know the history or family attitudes that his parents may have instilled without knowing it. I imagine, his mother may have mixed feelings, even if you do not understand the whys those types of things influence kids. 

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