Pete

What is the difference between the Listeners and the Singers???

6 posts in this topic

Seriously, this has been bugging me for a while. 

At different points in the story Parshendi are referred to as both Singers and Listeners. This seems to me like either 2 different focuses in their forms, or else a split in their species. Has anyone ever thought of it like this? Or are there any WoB on the matter?

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Posted (edited)

Brandon is pretty bad with this but listeners refers to a specific subgroup of singers, the ones the Alethi call parshendi.  Singer refers to the species as a whole.

Edited by Karger
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Listeners were the group who lived out on the Shattered Plains, hiding from Odium's forces for thousands of years.

Singers are the species as a whole, but this seems sort of complicated socially, as this is a name internally pushed by the Fused or at least some of them.

Hope this helps.

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Posted (edited)

Their names are a bit complicated magi-socio-politically

Parshendi is the exonym, given to the Listeners living on the Shattered Plains by the Alethi

The Listeners themselves are a subgroup which diverged from the Singers long ago (see WoR, Eshonai's mother's songs, or Rlain in OB differentiating between his people, the Listeners, and the wider Singers) The Listeners were a group, previously called the Last Legion that fled from the Fused by giving up their Forms of Power and taking on Dullform (which protected them during the False Desolation when Melishi imprisoned the Unmade Ba-Ado-Mishram and accidentally transformed the Singers into what modern Rosharans call the Parshmen (and the Listeners call the Slaveform))

The Singers is a term that refers to their species which was used during the time when they were a part of Odium's forces. The Listeners prefer to call themselves, well, the listeners rather than singers. This is also probably where the term Dawnsingers came from. 

Edited by R J
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3 hours ago, R J said:

Their names are a bit complicated magi-socio-politically

Parshendi is the exonym, given to the Listeners living on the Shattered Plains by the Alethi

The Listeners themselves are a subgroup which diverged from the Singers long ago (see WoR, Eshonai's mother's songs, or Rlain in OB differentiating between his people, the Listeners, and the wider Singers) The Listeners were a group, previously called the Last Legion that fled from the Fused by giving up their Forms of Power and taking on Dullform (which protected them during the False Desolation when Melishi imprisoned the Unmade Ba-Ado-Mishram and accidentally transformed the Singers into what modern Rosharans call the Parshmen (and the Listeners call the Slaveform))

The Singers is a term that refers to their species which was used during the time when they were a part of Odium's forces. The Listeners prefer to call themselves, well, the listeners rather than singers. This is also probably where the term Dawnsingers came from. 

That's a great breakdown. The only thing I have to add is that their magic involves the Rhythms which permeate the Cosmere, but are easier to hear on Roshar for an unknown reason. Their magic involves sound and the Listeners gave up using their magical forms, so could not participate, only listen. Singers could participate in their magic system, or sing. 

Towards the end the Listeners started to use more forms, which led to their doom, but before that you could see Listener combatants chanting together in sync across a whole battlefield, a distance they shouldn't be able to hear each other well even if there wasn't a battle going on. They can hear the Rhythms though and can sync to them. 

WoB on the Rhythms https://wob.coppermind.net/events/120/#e7414

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I think Singers is what the Parshendi as a whole have traditionally called themselves.  The Listeners were a distinct breakaway group that abandoned most of the rhythms/songs in an attempt to avoid influence from Odium.  Both names make reference to hearing and expressing the natural rhythms of Roshar.  Parsh and Parshendi (thinking Parsh) were human terms to refer to them.

Singer : Listener :: Human : American

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