Harfyn

Shallan's Childhood Secret (Theory Time!)

70 posts in this topic

Well, let's dare to say Brandon will repeat himself. A roundabout, then.
Shallan was 'defending herself', but what if she was wrong to do so? What if Mother had a crude, yet good reason to kill her? What if Pattern is a corrupted spren? Or if Shallan was deeply involved with the Unmade and the death of the surgebinder would alterate everything? What if Mother's lover was actually helping them to see outside of the Unmade's influence?
That'd be nuts. And a roudabout. Shallan knew Pattern should not be trusted somehow, or something like it. What if the Unmade could copy a spren, or imprison one and simulate its integrity? Jezz, I know I am exagerating, but Shallan Kinslayer x2 was hard on us too.

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Shallan goes back in time to possess her own body and kill her mother, knowing that the resulting mental breakdown will be the only way to temporarily suppress her Radiant powers sufficiently so that Herald Nale does not murder her.

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On 8/25/2020 at 7:29 PM, Karger said:

IRL DID does correlate to various forms of childhood abuse.

I’m also in the camp of hoping her last truth(s) isn’t that she killed some other person, either accidentally or on purpose. I really suspect that it’s going to be about whatever abuse that caused her to create her first alter, which came before she bonded Pattern. I’d bet it was something that happened in that garden where she met Pattern for the first time. I also suspect it was the creation of said alter, the first big “lie,” that attracted Pattern in the first place. It will be recognizing, from an adult perspective, the truth that what she did really was self-defense and that her family was super messed up before she ever killed her mother, that will finally allow her to recognize that her family’s collapse was not her fault, that it was something that happened to her rather than something she caused. She needs to learn to see herself as a survivor of abuse, as someone who found a way to fight back when she bonded Pattern. And I absolutely agree that her final spoken truth as her fifth ideal needs to be something positive about herself. Something like, “I am a survivor who did not deserve the abuse I suffered.” This truth may or may not lead to her alters’ integration, but it should at least allow her to become aware of all her alters and set up a healthier inner world for managing them so that she can function as a system.

By the way, the terms “inner world” and “system” come from doing a bunch of research about DID and OSDD (which is very similar and might actually be a more accurate diagnosis for Shallan since she does’t have amnesia barriers between the three main alters). There’s a whole vocabulary to the study of DID that makes it way easier to talk about, and I highly recommend doing a bit of research on it to anyone who hasn’t already. 

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11 minutes ago, LightReader said:

It will be recognizing, from an adult perspective, the truth that what she did really was self-defense and that her family was super messed up before she ever killed her mother, that will finally allow her to recognize that her family’s collapse was not her fault, that it was something that happened to her rather than something she caused. She needs to learn to see herself as a survivor of abuse, as someone who found a way to fight back when she bonded Pattern.

Well, if her family really was messed up due to an Unmade, the question of what attracted that Unmade arises. The easiest answer would be Shallan. If that is true, then she did indirectly wipe out her family by accident but not in self defense..

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I hope her initializing event will be direct contact with the Unmade that was hazing them. Kind of like what happened with the Midnight Mother, only before she could counter it. Some instant of seeing/touching/feeling something so alien to anything she knows that her brain locks stuff away and forces the creation of an alter just to have something to hide behind.

Would that be too Lovecraft?

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On 9/7/2020 at 8:52 PM, Subvisual Haze said:

Shallan goes back in time to possess her own body and kill her mother, knowing that the resulting mental breakdown will be the only way to temporarily suppress her Radiant powers sufficiently so that Herald Nale does not murder her.

That would be a great idea IF Brandon hadn't said that there's no way to travel back in time.

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2 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Well, if her family really was messed up due to an Unmade, the question of what attracted that Unmade arises. The easiest answer would be Shallan. If that is true, then she did indirectly wipe out her family by accident but not in self defense..

Even if the Unmade was attracted by Shallan, she was still just a little kid, and it doesn’t negate the fact that she was defending herself when she killed her mom.

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49 minutes ago, LightReader said:

Even if the Unmade was attracted by Shallan, she was still just a little kid, and it doesn’t negate the fact that she was defending herself when she killed her mom.

Yes, but we do not know what happened before that. The range of scenarios that could arise from a small child with Surgebinding abilities under Unmade influence are wide and some of them are pretty horrible. Kind of the Excorcist on steroids.

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10 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Well, if her family really was messed up due to an Unmade, the question of what attracted that Unmade arises.

IMHO, if it was one of the lesser known Unmade, then it is much more likely that it had been imprisoned somewhere on the Davar property and was in the slow process of freeing itself and inceasingly affecting the family for the last generation or so. Re-Shepir somehow escaped eventually, so why not another Unmade? Shallan probably came into contact with it and likely thought, as a child, that she was the one who released it. IMHO, YMMV. Oh, and Helaran may have had something to do with whatever happened. There is more to discover about him - Taravangian suspected him of having trained Shallan in surge-binding for a reason, methinks.

I don't see why Shallan's Radiance - which came later, anyway, would have attracted an Unmade, when no other prospective Radiants did.

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On 8/31/2020 at 6:51 AM, Fussell said:

What if Shallan lightweaved her mother's lover into existence? 

Catfishing level 100

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Yea I think it has to be something really terrible if she finds even thinking of it as dangerous. She, who can confess killing both her parents still find it difficult to acknowledge whatever it is, it has to be more terrible. 
Yes I think it could be something to do with an unmade. May be she accidentally released the unmade trapped on their estate. 
Who knew that she had always been “the unmade person”! 

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51 minutes ago, The Traveller said:

Yea I think it has to be something really terrible if she finds even thinking of it as dangerous. She, who can confess killing both her parents still find it difficult to acknowledge whatever it is, it has to be more terrible. 
Yes I think it could be something to do with an unmade. May be she accidentally released the unmade trapped on their estate. 
Who knew that she had always been “the unmade person”! 

Quote

Questioner

Was Shallan's family, during her childhood, being influenced by an Unmade?

Brandon Sanderson

Um, yes.

Questioner

Was it the corrupting--

Brandon Sanderson

I'll RAFO that, but yes, there is some external influence there. 

JordanCon 2018 (April 22, 2018)

Quote

Questioner

There's a scene where you can see from the perspective of Nan Balat, Shallan's brother, where he's maiming an insect. It's described as soothing his aches. Is that in any way related to how Kaladin feels depressed and down during the Weeping even in his early childhood?

Brandon Sanderson

What's happening to Nan Balat is magically enhanced. What's happening to Kaladin is mostly just chemical depression. Be he is really too young to be diagnosed with depression during some of these events, but he's got the seeds in there. So Kaladin is not magically depressed. Kaladin is just legitimatly a person with depression. Nan Balat... What's up with him is... ah... being exaggerated by certain forces moving in on Roshar. (last bit is a bit indistinctive)

Leipzig Book Fair (March 24, 2017)

 

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@Honorless yes, I like this theory. The Unmade do seem attracted to her--she connects to them and interacts with, what, three of them in OB?? As @The Traveller suggests, I wonder if they were safekeeping a perfect gem and she released it and its powers. Like (Harry Potter spoilers):

Spoiler

Ginny Weasley with Tom Riddle's Diary in Chamber of Secrets.

But I also have wondered if it's not that she did something particularly heinous or dangerous, rather it's the remembering of it that she feels is dangerous, which may or may not be the case at all. Veil and Radiant remember. Shallan is trying not to because she thinks it will make her unlovable. It makes me wonder if it'll actually be somewhat anticlimactic in the reveal, just to demonstrate how effed up her trauma is--that yes she killed her parents, but what precipitated her trauma was more garden-variety, run-of-the-mill childhood trauma (e.g., maybe she's adopted and her birth family were addicts) or something she did as as a child led to a childhood friend or sibling dying (e.g., an older brother saved her but died in the process), and in her grief, Pattern found her? I don't know. It's fun to speculate!

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@Bliev a mundane childhood secret from our Shallan? That started the whole downward spiral to begin with! Well that would indeed be anti-climactic ! 
I guess I would not mind! It does not have to be something very earth shattering it could be that the smallest of things would have sent her the DID route. 
 

@Honorless Hon I am actually aware of this wob. I know Brandon has said that there is unmade influence on Davars. But what I always thought was that unmade was connected to her father’s behaviour and nan balat’s. 
But now I begin to question of the origins of this “formless” within Shallan and the yet uncovered secret buried deep deep within her, could have something to do with the unmade.

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3 minutes ago, The Traveller said:

But now I begin to question of the origins of this “formless” within Shallan and the yet uncovered secret buried deep deep within her, could have something to do with the unmade.

I had a whole theory posted somewhere else (I can't remember what I did with it) that Shallan managed to come into contact with whatever Unmade was there and it caused the initial split of personality and some bit of Connection lurks inside her, having corrupted her initial personality into what is now Formless.

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Seems very likely right now! Why else fear that all will hate her? What if she started the whole desolation? And she deep down knows it and does not want to remember....

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I kinda cringed when I read these parts in the preview chapters. On one hand I want it to be something positive like what has been mentioned about her accepting the fact she did not destroy her family. On the other hand I just do not see how she could consider a realization and admittance of this worst than admitting she killed her parents. Even considering the circumstances that is a huge thing and what else is worst than that? Only thing I can think of is that her actions (more than likely unintentional) caused the death/s of someone that was completely innocent which would be considerable worst than what happened to her father/mother in my opinion. Possible under the influence of an Unmade? 

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48 minutes ago, StormingTexan said:

On the other hand I just do not see how she could consider a realization and admittance of this worst than admitting she killed her parents.

I think that's because she basically doing the exact same thing that people here are. She doesn't know what it is. She can't remember. So she looks at her other oaths and assumes this must be even worse.

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38 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I think that's because she basically doing the exact same thing that people here are. She doesn't know what it is. She can't remember. So she looks at her other oaths and assumes this must be even worse.

I’m not so sure about that. She knew enough to know that Pattern did not know. Her fathers garden deal too which I guess may be something that is not relevant but seems like it could be. I just do not think it is that simple but who knows. Trust me I hope you are right because I would rather it be something like those 

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Now I see how "The Girl Who Looked Up" might be very relevant to Shallan's history. Supposing that there was an Unmade that was imprisoned somewhere on the property and little Shallan unwittingly let it out, then this act would have opened her for Radiance, i.e. "let in god's light", but also spelled disaster for her family, which fell under it's influence, i.e. let in "storms".

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Based on the latest preview chapter, my sense is that Shallan's deepest secret is having murdered her baby brother/sister.

Her first major truth is that she murdered her father.  This was done in defense of others, because Lin had just murdered his wife and was on the cusp of murdering Balat and Eylita.  Her second major truth is that she murdered her mother.  This was in self-defense, when her mother and the Skybreaker her mother was having an affair with attempted to kill Shallan for being a Radiant.

If the pattern follows, Shallan's next truth should also be a murder, but one with less justification.  Lin was a multiple murderer who was about to kill again; if any murder could be considered "noble", this would be it.  Mother was attempting to murder Shallan, and almost every person agrees that self-defense is at least a valid justification.  Last one should be something unjustified, like killing the new baby because it was annoying or took attention away.

This would also explain why Shallan's mother would be willing to kill her own child.  If, say, six-year-old Shallan soulcast the baby into crystal one day, no one would have any clue what had happened.  Shallan would at best tell wild stories about a sea of beads and a cold sun that would make no sense to anyone.  Then a few years later, Shallan's mother learns from her Skybreaker that Shallan had actually done it - that might be enough.

Mothers who murder their children tend to kill mostly or exclusively male children, and usually when they believe the husband has wronged them.  It's much rarer for a woman to murder her children when she is unfaithful, although there have been cases when single mothers have murdered their children because they see the children as impediments to a new relationship.  These scenarios don't apply in this case.  It is much more likely that the Skybreaker simply convinced Mother that Shallan murdered her youngest child, and that Shallan was a danger to her other children as well (either directly or by causing the Desolation).

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On 2-9-2020 at 1:37 PM, Nathrangking said:

I think that her deep truth is that she cannot fix everything. The problems in her family were always too great for her to take on and that what happened to her family happened because of their decisions not because of anything that she did or did not do. 

I think that this secret is something that she is not only aware of, but that she is terrified to accept that her family hurt themselves not her. It is far easier for her to blame herself than to admit that she was unable to help those whom she loved/loves because they were self destructive in ways that she could not change.

Your words, @Nathrangking, are similar to what many people are saying about Kaladin's fourth oath: that he has to accept that he cannot help everyone and that everyone has the right to make their own decisions. And if you did something that influenced their decisions, you simply have to accept this. What if this is in fact an aspect of all the higher oaths for the Knights Radiants? That with all their power and abilities, they cannot rescue everyone. With great power comes great responsibility, and they have to carry this burden. The Way of Kings Prime has a wonderful quote about this:

Spoiler

"Leadership is about accepting consequences".

In a way, Shallan and Kaladin are in a similar situation. Both left their families years ago and are now powerful persons in their own right. In this book, their families are nearby. But these are dangerous times and their responsibilities have grown. They cannot drop everything to save their loved ones in case of attack.  I doubt I'm the only reader who fears their families will be in mortal danger in this book and Kaladin and Shallan will be faced with having to choose between saving them or fighting 'the greater fight'. The Sleepless refer to Shallan as  'the Traitor', and she may well be one: will she betray her brothers or will she betray Roshar?

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Just to nitpick, the Sleepless call Shallan "the Liar, one who wears the mantle of a scholar over the heart of a thief." She's "the Lightweaver" for WoR. While it's possible she's the one that will destroy the Sleepless/Roshar, it's certainly not guaranteed.

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I think it's going to end up being something with her relation to her mother/father/brothers. I wouldn't be surprised if she actually isn't related to her brothers, considering the emphasis put upon family with her chapters so far. Something along the lines that the real Shallan was killed, and "Shallan" was put in her place because of her bond, so that her family would have a radiant in the family.

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9 minutes ago, Kitch said:

I think it's going to end up being something with her relation to her mother/father/brothers. I wouldn't be surprised if she actually isn't related to her brothers, considering the emphasis put upon family with her chapters so far. Something along the lines that the real Shallan was killed, and "Shallan" was put in her place because of her bond, so that her family would have a radiant in the family.

While it is very likely related to her family I don't think it'll be that she's not related to them. We have:

Quote

JoyBlu

Can you confirm that Shallan is the biological child of her dad, Lin Davar?

Brandon Sanderson

*evil laugh* Should I confirm that? Yeah, I'll confirm that, she is.

Skyward release party (Nov. 6, 2018)

So even if Lin had an affair she's still a half sister to them.

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