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Who created the Ideals of the Knights Radiant?

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So, by far the most thorough vetting of who should get access to phenomenal cosmic power is to be found in the system of Surgebinding, those who became the Order of the Knights Radiant.

 

We know that Honor created the Honorblades and gave them to his Heralds.

We know that Ishar had a major hand in the creation of the Oathpact, which is why he is called the Binder of Gods. We know that he "thrust organization upon [surgebinder]" when he learned of their access to the Surges. He hoped that the Knights Radiant would help preserve humanity and its knowledge during the Desolations, and help rebuild civilization after the Decisions. He became the patron Herald of the Order of Bondsmiths.

We know that spren recreated the powers granted by the Honorblades. Honor had no hand in this and was surprised.

 

So... Who created the Ideals?

We know that wielding Honorblades does not seem to require any oaths as we see with Szeth. So it's not inherent to the system of Investiture itself.

So did the spren create the basis of the Ideals of the Knights they were to bond?

Did Ishar craft the binding oaths so that the Surgebinders were generally chosen based on personal merit instead of happenstance and had to act within a structure?

Did Honor craft the Ideals of the Knights Radiant? And if he did, Cultivation probably had a hand in it too... The themes of bonding, swearing oaths, personal growth meshes so well with their Intent

Did the first Bondsmiths create the Ideals?

 

Do we have any mentions or hints in the books? Any WoBs? 

Edited by Honorless
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Personally, I don't think anyone created the oaths. 

Quote

Blightsong

Were the ideals of the Knights Radiant consciously chosen, or did they happen naturally?

Brandon Sanderson

*apprehension*. This is one of those vague ones in that yes and no. They are a natural outgrowth of the spren, but the spren are a natural outgrowth of human's perception of natural forces, but the spren are sentient, so I would say it's a little more by instinct than not. For example two Knights Radiant in the same Order might speak the words differently, but the concept is the same. You will see this happen in a future book, where a Windrunner will speak the oaths. It's a slightly different take on the same concept. Some are moreso, like Shallan's oaths are very individualized truths, so.

OdysseyCon 2016 (April 8, 2016)

The oaths are natural outgrowth of the spren themselves... And they are open to interpretation. You don't have to be "good" to be a Surgebinder. 

What I think that Ishar did was form the Organization that is the Knights Radiant. Let me explain. 

Prior to the Knights, assume that the oaths still existed. Without organization, everyone was left to interpret the oaths as they would. As the first oath has shown us repeatedly, it can mean drastically different things to different people. Wile that meaning is highly significant to the individual, it's nearly meaningless in general. For example, Kal could never kill the ay that Nale does, or open an Oathgate to kill countless people like Malata. 

Now, when Shallan first approaches Taln in the ardentia compound, he calls her "one of Ishar's Knights." and here is what the in world Words of Radiance says about Ishar. 

Quote

But as for Ishi’Elin, his was the part most important at their inception; he readily understood the implications of Surges being granted to men, and caused organization to be thrust upon them; as having too great power, he let it be known that he would destroy each and every one, unless they agreed to be bound by precepts and laws.
—From Words of Radiance, chapter 2, page 4

The oaths, in and of themselves, do not create the organization described. And if this was the oaths, why would he need to threaten to kill any of them? The oaths apply to all Surgebinders. You can't simply choose to not take part. 

But were told that the in world The Way of Kings was chosen as a founding principal for the Knights, and when we see the vision if Nohadon, he never speaks of Knights, only Surgebinders. Many people take this to mean that he created the first oath... But what if his book was founded on (and included the words) his interpretation of the first oath? 

The Knights as an organization would achieve exactly what Ishar is said to have done. They would provide a unified goal and teach specific interpretations of the oaths themselves before people reached a point to say them. They would provide oversight and regulation if Surgebinders to curtail anyone going off on their own like Alakavish, who was said to have waged war and weakened humanity before a Desolation in the Nohadon vision... 

And in the event of a rogue Surgebinder, you have forces in place to hunt them down and deal with them. 

Quote

In short, if any presume Kazilah to be innocent, you must look at the facts and deny them in their entirety; to say that the Radiants were destitute of integrity for this execution of one their own, one who had obviously fraternized with the unwholesome elements, indicates the most slothful of reasoning; for the enemy’s baleful influence demanded vigilance on all occasions, of war and of peace.
—From Words of Radiance, chapter 32, page 17

In short, I think the oaths always existed... But without the orders, you have people like Alakavish... Or Malata. 

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So, the oaths were a natural progression of the Nahel Bond?

Actually, the Skybreakers' Oaths and the individual Skybreakers' reputation for strict adherence to law... We saw in Szeth's chapters how laws were only one interpretation of their Order's oaths. One could choose to follow anything external to themselves and dedicate themselves to their own personal quest. It does seem more natural when explained by a member of an Order who still have their culture preserved, and also show the difference between their actual organization and oaths.

Thank you, @Calderis

Edited by Honorless
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@Honorless 

I agree with @Calderis, it appears that oaths were always important which makes sense since the shards influence the means by which investiture is made accessible to someone.
However, there is no indication that the first oath was the same for each order prior to Organization of orders by Ishar. I also doubt that within a single order even, prior to this, oaths followed a consistent pattern. So as has been pointed out that ishar caused the organisation and probably caused the internal consistency of oaths too with some wiggle room for interpretation on a case by case basis as we see in the case of Teft and lopen. So, ishar forced structure and spren chose the oaths which were more in tune with their respective intents or nature’s. oaths are basic ideas with wording can be tweaked here and there. 
So, only the first ideal remains the same and its wording most rigid. Example Elhokar could not become a radiant because he could not finish the last word, otherwise he would have got a energy blast and would have saved others instead of getting killed. 
it is flexible in terms of that it can have different meaning for different people.
 

But,  the only question that remains is who created the first ideal? 

was it ishar? All the heralds decided together Or Nohadon ? Or honor? Cultivation? Because it is same for each order and most rigid of the oaths, and allows almost anyone to say it and acquire squireship without even attracting any soren’s interest in the case of squires,  I think Some one created it and it did not came about naturally. 
I like idea of honor came up with it. What do you think? 

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I think that the Oaths existed to some degree but were codified and more narrowly focused by a bondsmith(the way leadership and good leaders always existed but was codified by Nohadon latter).

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Wait so how did the first oath come to be ?

Like all the other ideals are specific to each order and reflect the Sprens cognitive idea/bias.

But the first like it's common for all orders except maybe the LightWeavers right . So like did honor create it ?

But no , honor never intended to form the knights or so we think.

Maybe it was the honorspren , maybe they were like we are shards of honor so u have to say some words indicating honor. And then the other Spren copied them. Tho that doesn't explain why cultivation Spren need them

But then again cultivation Spren seem like the sort that will jump off a cognitive bridge if everyone else is doing it .

Hmmm what do u think ?

Was it honor himself , cultivation , one of the heralds or the Spren themselves who came up with the universal words of the  first ideals

 

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I really don't believe that the oaths were any different prior to whatever Ishar did. I truly believe that all he did was make the orders themselves. 

The WoB says that the oaths arise from the spren natures, so to make the oaths more malleable and less specific would require that the spren themselves were made to be more constrained and less variable. That's... As big an issue to me as outright creating the oaths themselves. 

I agree though that the first oath is different than the others. It's both far less specific in that it is far more open tk interpretation, and far more rigid in its wording. 

This is pure speculation on my part, but hear me out. What is the kne thing that every bond has in common? The one thing that the spren mimicked in order to form the bond? 

The Honorblades, and by extension the Oathpact. What if the words of the first ideal were a part of the Oathpact itself? 

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3 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I really don't believe that the oaths were any different prior to whatever Ishar did. I truly believe that all he did was make the orders themselves. 

The WoB says that the oaths arise from the spren natures, so to make the oaths more malleable and less specific would require that the spren themselves were made to be more constrained and less variable. That's... As big an issue to me as outright creating the oaths themselves. 

I agree though that the first oath is different than the others. It's both far less specific in that it is far more open tk interpretation, and far more rigid in its wording. 

This is pure speculation on my part, but hear me out. What is the kne thing that every bond has in common? The one thing that the spren mimicked in order to form the bond? 

The Honorblades, and by extension the Oathpact. What if the words of the first ideal were a part of the Oathpact itself? 

Oh yeah , that makes sense. I'm sold 

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24 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I really don't believe that the oaths were any different prior to whatever Ishar did. I truly believe that all he did was make the orders themselves. 

The WoB says that the oaths arise from the spren natures, so to make the oaths more malleable and less specific would require that the spren themselves were made to be more constrained and less variable. That's... As big an issue to me as outright creating the oaths themselves. 

I agree though that the first oath is different than the others. It's both far less specific in that it is far more open tk interpretation, and far more rigid in its wording. 

This is pure speculation on my part, but hear me out. What is the kne thing that every bond has in common? The one thing that the spren mimicked in order to form the bond? 

The Honorblades, and by extension the Oathpact. What if the words of the first ideal were a part of the Oathpact itself? 

I just remembered, wasn't the First Oath taken from Nohadon's 'Way of Kings'? 

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28 minutes ago, Calderis said:

What if the words of the first ideal were a part of the Oathpact itself? 

I am not so convinced.. I do not see how the wording of the first ideal has anything to do with heralds or the oathpact.. 

life before death should mean nothing to them since until OB, they could not really die.. So death should not a concern for them. Life is all they have. 

strength before weakness : Honor never even fathomed that heralds might show weakness, that they might break, so ... 

journey before destination: there was not supposed to be any journey, they were expected to forever remain on Braize and trap the fused... and although one can argue that it is more about the substance and not the form but still the form of the ideal should be at least to some extent relevant to the oathpact. 

@Honorless I think that first ideal coming directly from the ways of kings seems a lot more likely to me...

Edited by The traveller
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9 minutes ago, Honorless said:

I just remembered, wasn't the First Oath taken from Nohadon's 'Way of Kings'? 

The Way if Kings was a book that is considered to have been what the Knights as orders were based upon. But Surgebinders already existed at the time of Nohadon, and I don't think the oaths have changed. Frankly I think changing the oaths is a level of change to a magic system that's beyond anything we've even seen shards able to do in the Cosmere, let alone creating them. 

I personally think the first oaths inclusion in the book is because the book is his philosophy and exemplifies his interpretation of that oath. 

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44 minutes ago, PrinceGenocide said:

Wait so how did the first oath come to be ?

Like all the other ideals are specific to each order and reflect the Sprens cognitive idea/bias.

But the first like it's common for all orders except maybe the LightWeavers right . So like did honor create it ?

But no , honor never intended to form the knights or so we think.

Maybe it was the honorspren , maybe they were like we are shards of honor so u have to say some words indicating honor. And then the other Spren copied them. Tho that doesn't explain why cultivation Spren need them

But then again cultivation Spren seem like the sort that will jump off a cognitive bridge if everyone else is doing it .

Hmmm what do u think ?

Was it honor himself , cultivation , one of the heralds or the Spren themselves who came up with the universal words of the  first ideals

 

Even the Lightweavers spoke the First Oath, we just missed when Shallan spoke it in her childhood. Then onwards they don't have any Oaths, only Truths.

I think, since the First Oath is codified... Well if the organization of the Knights Radiant decided to codify it after the conflict between Nohadon and Alakavish, their collective belief may have influenced the spren enough to solidify the First Oath, kind of like we saw in Geranid's Interlude in WoK.

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The reason the first ideal was so codified especially and the KRs were organised is also because on Roshar, due to desolations, heralds and humans could not afford to allow bad elements to gain access to these powers. It undermines the whole purpose for which the KRs and heralds were created. 
I agree that ways of king seems more like the effect rather than the cause of the first ideal..

but does the timeline fit this? 


we know in our first Nohadon vision, that desolation is just over, heralds have returned to Braize and at that time, orders were not that much structured.... because alkavaish is mentioned and Nohadon says we should not have expected that all spren will be discerning as honorspren while choosing their radiants!! Then he set out to bring peace and development to all the scattered and broken states. And we know that when he grew old, their was much prosperity and peace, and he wrote the book. in the book he wrote the wording I.e. the first ideal. 
 

so after his lifetime, when next desolation happened, ishar came across his book and decided to take his words as a first ideal. 

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11 minutes ago, The traveller said:

so after his lifetime, when next desolation happened, ishar came across his book and decided to take his words as a first ideal. 

And the reason I very much disagree that the oaths accomplish anything in this regard, the first oath most of all as it's the one with the broadest amount of room for interpretation, is that if it did create the organization implied, then 1) he would have had no need to threaten to kill anyone who didn't conform to his demands, because the oaths are applied universally, and 2) we wouldn't have Malata, who is advanced enough to have a shardblade and still at odds with the other orders and in her own words bonded to a spren who wants vengeance for his dead friends who were killed due to "organized Devotion to Honor." i.e. The Knights Radiant. 

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15 minutes ago, Calderis said:

And the reason I very much disagree that the oaths accomplish anything in this regard, the first oath most of all as it's the one with the broadest amount of room for interpretation, is that if it did create the organization implied, then 1) he would have had no need to threaten to kill anyone who didn't conform to his demands, because the oaths are applied universally, and 2) we wouldn't have Malata, who is advanced enough to have a shardblade and still at odds with the other orders and in her own words bonded to a spren who wants vengeance for his dead friends who were killed due to "organized Devotion to Honor." i.e. The Knights Radiant. 

Whether the oaths accomplished what they set them for, is not the point I was the trying to make. That is another matter altogether. 
 

what I was trying to do is set the chronology of events. 
desolation happened. Alakavish went rogue, Desolation over, heralds go back, Nohadon acknowledges the need for checks on radiants especially their selection, he rules a long time and writes the book, dies of old age. Next desolation happens and ishar decides to organise radiant orders, first ideal is chosen. 
I do not see how the book could be in response to the order structuring when the said structuring happened later.. 

unless we are assuming that there was another desolation that happened in between. 
 

First ideal does not automatically lead to organisation of orders, it was just something Ishar read in the book and thought is good and can be used as the first ideal. Every KR is as powerful, in fact more(hence 4 more ideals) and as responsible as a king of any nation, so the ways of kings suggested by Nohadon for kings to follow, Ishar felt can apply on radiants too. 
But it is only entry level, the later oaths and their spren’s caution I believe was deemed sufficient to reign in all radiants. And Ishar might have promised all the unruly elements to be dealt with personally by him. And frankly, going by the letter to dalinar by tezim, I find the dude much capable of intimidating people to fall in line... 

I think Malata exists because honor is dead, ishar has gone crazy and her spren has no intention of following or caring about the original ideals of their order. Her spren simply chose Malata because she sees an opportunity to take vengeance on humans for her murdered kin....
very peculiar situation that never happened before. 

Edited by The traveller
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And I don't see how that's possible. The oaths arise from the very nature of the spren themselves. 

Malata has a shardblade so she has to have spoken the oaths. Spark can't change the nature of what she is, so she isn't deciding the oaths Malata swears. She's an Ashspren, so Malata swears Dustbringer oaths. 

I don't think that Nohadon's book inspired the Oaths. I think his philosophy inspired the specific interpretations of the oaths that the orders instilled. 

It fits Ishar's actions, his need for threats, the current situation, and the structure of realmatics far better than one man inherently changing the nature of a magic system beyond what even a Shard has been show to be capable of. 

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1 minute ago, Calderis said:

 

And I don't see how that's possible. The oaths arise from the very nature of the spren themselves. 

Malata has a shardblade so she has to have spoken the oaths. Spark can't change the nature of what she is, so she isn't deciding the oaths Malata swears. She's an Ashspren, so Malata swears Dustbringer oaths. 

May be they cheated somehow, may be spark told Malata the oaths beforehand and let her swear them.. may be their oaths are worded such that they could be accepted while still meaning vengeance. So, like you said, oaths are not enough, but for honor and his heralds, they might have looked like they were enough!

 

5 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I don't think that Nohadon's book inspired the Oaths. I think his philosophy inspired the specific interpretations of the oaths that the orders instilled. 

But the wording of the first ideal is exactly mentioned in the book he wrote. So if you agree that he inspired the oaths, then .... I see no disagreement...

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11 minutes ago, The traveller said:

But the wording of the first ideal is exactly mentioned in the book he wrote. So if you agree that he inspired the oaths, then .... I see no disagreement...

I don't. The exact wording of the first oath being in the book would be very very simple if he spoke those words as an oath himself. 

I think he inspired the interpretation of the oaths that the orders taught. I think that's what the organization of the orders was. Not just the oaths, but a structure that makes those oaths have a specific meaning. 

I don't think the oaths were created. I think they've always existed, but before the Orders, every person interpreted in their own way and that led to chaos like Alakavish... And Malata. It's no different now then before because there are no orders. 

Kaladin is building a new order of Windrunners. And Dalinar's goal is to build the orders as a whole... But as it stands now, people are free to interpret the oaths how they will without guidance. 

And why I think the first oath is tied to the one thing all Nahel bonds have in common. A copy of the Honorblades themselves, and by extension the Oathpact. 

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Could it mean that before the Orders were formalized the surgebinder would only need to internalise a certain mindset, an ideal. But on the founding, the words were defined to fit those ideals.

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That appears to have been the case, yes

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1 hour ago, ScavellTane said:

Could it mean that before the Orders were formalized the surgebinder would only need to internalise a certain mindset, an ideal. But on the founding, the words were defined to fit those ideals.

I think there must have been oaths even then, since, it is honor-based magic system and he is all about oaths, but may be there was a lot more flexibility to what oaths were required... may be only one oath was required and swearing just that one gave them access to all the powers, shardblade and plate and both surges in full power. That must have been very dangerous. 

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Not Oaths per se, they needed to get into a certain mindset and swear to it, if the spren approved then the Bond worked

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3 hours ago, Calderis said:

I don't. The exact wording of the first oath being in the book would be very very simple if he spoke those words as an oath himself. 

I think he inspired the interpretation of the oaths that the orders taught. I think that's what the organization of the orders was. Not just the oaths, but a structure that makes those oaths have a specific meaning. 

yes i agree.. As far as all the quotations in SA1 of ways of kings is concerned, there is no exact wording. closest that we come to is this:

Quote

“‘Yes, I could have traveled quickly. But all men have the same ultimate destination. Whether we find our end in a hallowed sepulcher or a pauper’s ditch, all save the Heralds themselves must dine with the Nightwatcher.

“‘And so, does the destination matter? Or is it the path we take? I declare that no accomplishment has substance nearly as great as the road used to achieve it. We are not creatures of destinations. It is the journey that shapes us. Our callused feet, our backs strong from carrying the weight of our travels, our eyes open with the fresh delight of experiences lived.

“‘In the end, I must proclaim that no good can be achieved of false means. For the substance of our existence is not in the achievement, but in the method. The Monarch must understand this; he must not become so focused on what he wishes to accomplish that he diverts his gaze from the path he must take to arrive there.’”

so i agree. The book provided an inspiration for the first ideal.

As for Malata, and how she can progress to third level.. i think you can play with oaths in a way that you swear them and mean them but your meaning may be not what the side of honor may desire. Spark wants to destroy humans, so basically she has decided that revenge will be if the humans loose and odium wins. 

So, suppose if malata were to swear windrunners oaths (since these are that we know most), she can swear i will protect those who can not protect themselves and mean singers and such oath will still be accepted but the side that malata would chose to fight for is singers.

I think it is something like this that has happened.... she has still sworn the correct oaths but she chose the odium's side to fight for because that allows spark revenge..

2 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Not Oaths per se, they needed to get into a certain mindset and swear to it, if the spren approved then the Bond worked

 may be.. we don't know and i think it could be either way....

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23 minutes ago, The traveller said:

so i agree. The book provided an inspiration for the first ideal.

That's not what I mean at all. 

Even though we don't see the portion, it's said in multiple places that the words of the first ideal are in the book. I don't think they were an inspiration for the ideal at all. I think his interpretation of the ideal inspired the book, and that philosophy is what the orders were based on. 

23 minutes ago, The traveller said:

As for Malata, and how she can progress to third level.. i think you can play with oaths in a way that you swear them and mean them but your meaning may be not what the side of honor may desire. Spark wants to destroy humans, so basically she has decided that revenge will be if the humans loose and odium wins. 

Exactly. They are malleable to interpretation. Especially the first.

Look at the Kal's third oath, and tefts third oath, and even though the roots are the same they mean very different things. 

23 minutes ago, The traveller said:

So, suppose if malata were to swear windrunners oaths (since these are that we know most), she can swear i will protect those who can not protect themselves and mean singers and such oath will still be accepted but the side that malata would chose to fight for is singers.

Absolutely. And if there were Honorspren willing to take that side, you could have an entire order of singer radiants fighting for Odium.

23 minutes ago, The traveller said:

I think it is something like this that has happened.... she has still sworn the correct oaths but she chose the odium's side to fight for because that allows spark revenge..

I don't think she picked or cared for any side but her own. Whatever her oaths are, she's interpreted them in a way that's acceptable to the oath... But definitely isn't caring for much beyond her and her spren. 

And her interpretation of the first in no way aligns with the Way of Kings. Which is kind of where my issue on all of this started to begin with forever ago. We regularly see actions that don't align with the first oath as it was presented to us by Kaladin. From Jasnah, Adolin (the murder of Sadeas would be acceptable to some orders), both the Skybreakers and Elsecallers would accept a Machiavellian "ends justifies the means" philosophy.

With the rigidity of that oaths wording, if it were built and inspired because if the book, why does it allow for actions and philosophies that are in direct opposition of what the book says?

I find it much easier to believe that the words inspired the book which then inspired the orders, than that the book inspired an oath that does not hold people to the books philosophy. 

Edited by Calderis
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5 hours ago, Calderis said:

I don't think that Nohadon's book inspired the Oaths. I think his philosophy inspired the specific interpretations of the oaths that the orders instilled.

 

4 hours ago, Calderis said:

I don't. The exact wording of the first oath being in the book would be very very simple if he spoke those words as an oath himself. 

I think he inspired the interpretation of the oaths that the orders taught. I think that's what the organization of the orders was. Not just the oaths, but a structure that makes those oaths have a specific meaning. 

I don't think the oaths were created. I think they've always existed, but before the Orders, every person interpreted in their own way and that led to chaos like Alakavish... And Malata. It's no different now then before because there are no orders.

So, are you suggesting that first oath was already there? and he interpreted it? And his interpretation led to the decision that this first oath would be common for all?

I don't know, i guess we shall see. I still think that oaths were there but the first oath was not common to every order, may be the basic idea was spoken before by some radiants but not in the form it was later. So, if he inspired the "specific interpretation" of the oaths, then i see it as same thing.. His interpretation still caused that ideal to be selected and formalised as the first ideal for all orders.

also please then do you agree with this idea, then? :

1 hour ago, ScavellTane said:

Could it mean that before the Orders were formalized the surgebinder would only need to internalise a certain mindset, an ideal. But on the founding, the words were defined to fit those ideals.

well i see your point regarding why the first oath allows so many different interpretations if it is based off of nohadons philosophy... but may be it has been simply too long.. We dont even know how many years ago nohadon existed. How many desolations did happen after Nohadon. An ideal can start as something simple but over time, it's meaning could have been corrupted like skybreakers with ends justify means or expanded. Other radiants might later disagree with his interpretation, the oath still stays but the meanings differ.  

Edited by The traveller
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