twinborn97

Swearing Oaths

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Me and my friends were recently talking about the Knights Radiant ideals and started speculating on how the oaths are sworn, specifically Windrunners. 

When Kaladin is progressing in oaths he’s actively in positions to protect people and face these ideals. What about a person who say is a house servant and starts to bond an Honorspren and isn’t always in life or death situations trying to save people? Do they just passively start to understand the words and naturally say them or do they just stay stagnant and not progress?
 

 

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Posted (edited)

The Ideals beyond the first don't have a specific wording, they're more general principles that the proto-Radiant has to internalize before they can progress. This is why the generic version of the Skybreakers' Second Ideal given by Brandon 'I will put the law before all else' isn't exactly the same as what Szeth swears, though it shares he same basic concept, likewise Kaladin and Teft's differing takes on the Third Ideal of the Windrunners. As the end of Oathbringer shows, just knowing the general idea of the Ideal isn't enough, you have to be living it and your spren has to approve. Also bear in mind that the spren don't bond people at random but are looking for people who fit the Order they're associated with.

So, if you were in a situation where a house servant was seen as a potential Windrunner by an honorspren, they'd have to already be doing something that the spren percieved as particularly 'Windrunner-ish' and would be in a position to advance at least part of the way beyond the First Ideal. As Lopen shows, it doesn't have to be direct exposure to life-and-death situations for Windrunners, he hit the point of being ready to swear the Second Ideal when he was helping 'protect' injured people by keeping their spirits up. Your hypothetical house servant could end up doing something similar.

That said, stagnation can happen and the words don't come automatically with time, you have to be doing something to work towards them. For example it's at least theoretically possible (albeit unlikely) that Kaladin never quite figures out the Fourth/Fifth Ideal and stays where he is, same as any other Surgebinder. We know this is extremely common among the Skybreakers, where stopping at the Third Ideal is treated as normal, reaching the Fourth is exceptional and the Fifth is effectively unheard of. So depending on the circumstances your house servant might or might not advance and there's no real guarantee either way, with what we know now.

Edited by Weltall
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15 hours ago, twinborn97 said:

When Kaladin is progressing in oaths he’s actively in positions to protect people and face these ideals. What about a person who say is a house servant and starts to bond an Honorspren and isn’t always in life or death situations trying to save people? Do they just passively start to understand the words and naturally say them or do they just stay stagnant and not progress?

According to the diagram, putting Radiants in life or death situations is extremely dangerous because it may help them swear ideals faster.  However their is no reason why you can not swear an ideal at home during a moment of clarity or contemplation.

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15 hours ago, twinborn97 said:

Me and my friends were recently talking about the Knights Radiant ideals and started speculating on how the oaths are sworn, specifically Windrunners. 

When Kaladin is progressing in oaths he’s actively in positions to protect people and face these ideals. What about a person who say is a house servant and starts to bond an Honorspren and isn’t always in life or death situations trying to save people? Do they just passively start to understand the words and naturally say them or do they just stay stagnant and not progress?
 

 

There are WoB as well as quotes from Jasnah that state Radiants do not have to be combat orientated. You could be a pacifist dustbringer. You could be a windrunner afraid of heights (that example is specifically mentioned in WoB). Nothing says because you are a member of an order that you have to behave in a certain manner. You just have to live the ideals based on your interpretation of them. For instance, an elementary school teacher is very protective of his or her students, and leads them in learning. He or she could be a windrunner. A general is very logical and methodical in his or her battle planning. He or she could be an Elsecaller (also an example specifically mentioned in WoB). 

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15 hours ago, Weltall said:

The Ideals beyond the first don't have a specific wording, they're more general principles that the proto-Radiant has to internalize before they can progress.

As Lopen shows, it doesn't have to be direct exposure to life-and-death situations for Windrunners, he hit the point of being ready to swear the Second Ideal when he was helping 'protect' injured people by keeping their spirits up. Your hypothetical house servant could end up doing something similar.

That was a point that was initially lost on me, on the first read-through. I thought it was just a comic relief type of moment, that the Stormfather was jerking Lopen around by "Accepting" his Words not during the battle, but while he was joking around.

But this is the core of it: the Stormfather doesn't pull pranks. Lopen knew the words, as words, of the Second Ideal, but was only truly living and embodying the Ideal in his own metier when he was fully committing himself to helping an amputee survivor find hope and reason to live, to protect him from despair. He really hadn't been "quite ready" until then.

And I think we will see the higher Ideals become harder and harder to embrace, as in one being able to look into oneself and say, "I will do this, no I am this; this is me," in a way that reverberates Spiritually with the spren. We don't know what the Fourth Ideal of the Windrunners is, but Nalan listed all five Skybreaker Ideals to Szeth, while also noting that almost nobody achieves the Fifth Ideal: a Judge Dredd-like statement of "I am the Law". It seems like the sort of mindset a lot of would-be vigilantes would have from the get-go, so something about it must be more than "I firmly think I'm always in the right", and more like, "I have pierced the veil of human trappings to comprehend the Zeroth Law(s) behind all laws".

Which yet allows for differences in interpretation, as Nalan specifically says that Szeth should not look to him for absolute guidance, and that a likely outcome is that he and Szeth may be at odds on the battlefield (as Szeth has sworn to follow Dalinar, and he the singers, led by Odium), where "we will both fight with confidence, knowing that we obey the precepts of our oaths."

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I'd argue that Shallan and Dalinar are examples of this. Shallan was a sheltered child, yet we know she advanced far enough to summon the Pattern-blade. In her POV chapters, we see her progress with her truths in times of stress, but not necessarily life or death battles, and not in direct combat (with the possible exception of the Battle of Thaylen).

Dalinar swore the first two oaths while he was chatting with the Stormfather in a moment of relative calm, didn't he?

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Could this be one reason new radiants tend to converge around existing ones? There is a WoB that essentially states that radiants always tend to be found near existing ones so it's not purely coincidence that there are so many kholin's that are radiants. 

I posit- the first radiant (ex kal) was in a position where he actively had to display those characteristics in a life or death situation (the bridges). So he progresses quickly. And he wasn't the only one in that situation so others around him were demonstrating the same qualities. Which explains why so many of his friends from bridge 4 got a bond too. And others hanging around with them as well cuz they were more likely to be in that position. 

Similarly Shallan as the first was in a position to make a first oath (which would have to be relatively common for this hypothesis to hold weight). Then she came into a position of life or death with Jasnah and progress rapidly (relatively). And then others around her were being put in similar situations due to her being in that situation attracting more spren. 

 

It's not perfect but it could be part of the reason why they tend to show up in numbers after the first one but the first one is relatively rare?

 

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22 minutes ago, ND103 said:

Could this be one reason new radiants tend to converge around existing ones? There is a WoB that essentially states that radiants always tend to be found near existing ones so it's not purely coincidence that there are so many kholin's that are radiants.

Well their are a couple reasons for this.  First historically Alethila and specifically Kolinar as well as Urithiru were strongholds of Radiant power and influence so a lot of spren went looking there(It is also likely that these locations are close to spren civilizations in the CR).  What you are describing is memetic transfer as shown below.  We don't just learn habits and manners from each other but also ideals.  Having a good example to follow is one of the best ways to encourage the growth of certain ideals(and a primary reason you should pay attention to your education system).

meme
/mēm/
noun
noun: meme; plural noun: memes
  1. an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.
     
     
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19 minutes ago, ND103 said:

Similarly Shallan as the first was in a position to make a first oath (which would have to be relatively common for this hypothesis to hold weight). Then she came into a position of life or death with Jasnah and progress rapidly (relatively). And then others around her were being put in similar situations due to her being in that situation attracting more spren.

Shallan bonded with Pattern as a child and progressed far enough that she could summon him as a blade before getting to the point of experiencing life and death situations. Unreliable narrator that she is, it's likely that her childhood wasn't quite as ideal as she's remembering it but not to the point that she was regularly in fear of her life before that night, or someone else would have at least implied something was up with the entire Davar family before the incident. The reason she progressed the way she did throughout Way of Kings is that her bond had regressed due to spending years lying to herself about what really happened.

Likewise Ym (proto-Truthwatcher) doesn't seem to have been in any sort of dangerous environment that would spur him to attract a spren for that reason. Whatever it is that attracts the Truthwatcher-associated spren to people, he was doing it in his daily life.

We know from Words of Brandon that two things that help attract radiantspren are being in an area where there used to be a lot of Radiants, and being near someone who has already attracted one. In both cases, there are naturally going to be more spren in the area so you're more likely to attract one than if you're somewhere else. If you have a Connection to someone who's forming a Nahel Bond your chances are even higher. While what you're doing is relevant, it's not the only factor. Obviously Bridge Four has Kaladin as an example to emulate which makes them more likely to attract honorspren, but it's possible to be a squire to a Windrunner (or any other order that has them) and wind up bonding a spren of an entirely different Order, so the increased odds of attracting a spren due to sheer numbers in a given location and Connection to existing Surgebinders are obviously every bit as important if not moreso.

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56 minutes ago, Karger said:
meme
/mēm/
noun
noun: meme; plural noun: memes
  1. an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.

MFW I learn that memes are named for a totally legit psychological phenomenon and not just cause it sounds funny for internet's sake.

Memes bring together Knights Radiant.

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42 minutes ago, Halyo_Alex said:

MFW I learn that memes are named for a totally legit psychological phenomenon and not just cause it sounds funny for internet's sake.

Weirdly to me memes will always be a legit psychological phenomenon as apposed to those internet things that I am apparently immune to.

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Swearing using the Oaths is a pretty profane thing, you only want to makes vows with the Oaths instead.

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49 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

Swearing using the Oaths is a pretty profane thing, you only want to makes vows with the Oaths instead.

Now I just want a comedic KR that literally swears at the Stormfather while making his Oaths, like, "I storming promise to protect the innocents of the world!" or something :P

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