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Turin Turambar

Where does a blind person into the Rosharan Caste system

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Where does a blind person into the Rosharan Caste system? Also, why is the caste system based off of eyes? Off the top of my head in the real world, most caste indications, even if it isn't a hard system, is based off of race. Does that mean that the original Rosharans were the immigrants?

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Only the Vorian culture base their caste system on eye color. I believe this is due to the fact that all NR eyes turn "light eyed" when summoning their shardblades. Because the Vorian church puts great emphasis on the Heralds and the early NR, anyone who shares there characteristics is deemed superior. The only problem is they looked at the eyes and nothing else.  

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As mentioned (Hoid even brings it up in the WoK epilogue) the system makes sense internally in Vorin lands: The Heralds are basically the equivalent of angels in church theology and the Knights Radiant could do many of the same things as the Heralds, actually better in many respects but people don't remember that. However, people do remember that the Radiants eyes changed color when summoning their blades (or at least, that there was an association between being a Radiant and having light eyes) and Deadeye Shardblades cause the same color change when they're bonded so there's a reinforcement of the idea that Light Eyes Are Special. It's had a couple thousand years to become ingrained in the culture by the time we get to the books.

As for blind people in Vorin lands, most who are blind have eyes that look perfectly normal, they just don't function completely or at all. They'd be in whatever rank was appropriate for their eye color and social status. Those people whose eyes do become cloudy due to the cause of their blindness would be in whatever position they should have been in.

And yes, the first humans on Roshar were immigrants from Ashyn but there are other groups who arrived later and came from elsewhere, like the Iriali.

Edited by Weltall
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@Weltall answered pretty thoroughly. I'd just point out that it's not something to look into too deeply. This quote is relevant to your lighteyes/race question:

Quote

Questioner

I almost have a little bit of trouble understanding the difference between the Lighteyed and the darker...How did you come up with it?

Brandon Sanderson

I wanted to have some kind of racism in the books that was removed from the racism we have in our world, so I could talk about it in a more isolated way related to the books; and so, having it based on eye color made sense because the Voidbringers have these glowing red eyes and the Heralds have these bright eyes. So, this idea of eye color being related to your level of nobility, which is not true, but it entered the culture and became the form of racism and prejudice that they use.

Shadows of Self San Jose signing (Oct. 9, 2015)

 

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Additionally anyone with a shardblade has light eyes.  This caused people to associate those who had blades with the physical characteristic.  I person with a blade could be a ruler so the custom developed naturally over time. 

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Thanks for explaining the blades.

On 8/22/2019 at 11:58 AM, Weltall said:

As for blind people in Vorin lands, most who are blind have eyes that look perfectly normal, they just don't function completely or at all. They'd be in whatever rank was appropriate for their eye color and social status. Those people whose eyes do become cloudy due to the cause of their blindness would be in whatever position they should have been in.

As for people whose eyes become milky, if you didn't know beforehand, how could you tell what their eye color is supposed to be?

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5 hours ago, Turin Turambar said:

Thanks for explaining the blades.

As for people whose eyes become milky, if you didn't know beforehand, how could you tell what their eye color is supposed to be?

I believe eye color is hereditary, (on Roshar that is) so you could base it on their parents eyes.

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18 hours ago, Snipexe said:

 

23 hours ago, Turin Turambar said:

Thanks for explaining the blades.

As for people whose eyes become milky, if you didn't know beforehand, how could you tell what their eye color is supposed to be?

I believe eye color is hereditary, (on Roshar that is) so you could base it on their parents eyes.

 

I'm saying a random blind dude comes to town with milky eyes. You don't know much/anything about him. Where does he fall under the caste system?

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10 hours ago, Turin Turambar said:

I'm saying a random blind dude comes to town with milky eyes. You don't know much/anything about him. Where does he fall under the caste system?

Are we talking about a hypothetical scenario in which there are no ways of determining the newcomer's status?

Because regardless of eyecolour there's always things like:

- clothing - a blind person would still be wearing clothes according to their status
- overall health - if you're lighteyed you likely have better access to medical help if needed
- mannerism - it would be hard for most lighteyes to convincingly act "darkeyed" and vice versa. Best example: Kaladin in OB.

So even if someone stumbles into town, maybe a lighteyes who has been robbed on the way and is the sole survivor of their group and seeks help, looking all disheveld and dirty and not at all like a lighteyed person should look, it's not going to be hard to find out where they came from.

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