Toaster Retribution

Okay, for real, Sebarial is Thaidakar

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I discussed this in the general reaction thread as well, but I want to make a topic of it. This last chapter has me even more convinced that Sebarial is a Ghostblood. Evidence:

1. The Ghostbloods meeting-place. It was in Sebarials warcamp, back in WoR. 

2. Mraizes latest outfit was a Sebarial guard-uniform. 

3. Sebarial was building himself a small merchant-empire in WoR. We now learned from Mraize that the Ghostblood objective is to become investiture-salesmen. Sebarial, who is commercially interested, would defenitely be a guy who could involve himself with something like that. 

4. Sebarial puts up an act to hide how shrewd he really is. This aligns well with how much acting he would have to do in order to hide his leadership of a criminal organization consisting of brutal murderers and ambitious salesmen. 

5. Sebarial joined Dalinar to fight the Parshendi in WoR. While we know Aladars and Roions reasoning for joining (it was the right/honorable thing to do), Sebarial just said that it would be interesting. An opportunistic and shrewd character like Sebarial would not join such a risky expedition just for shits and giggles. He suspected that there would be an Oathgate at Narak and wanted to be there when it was found. 

What do you think? Could Sebarial be Thaidakar?

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1 hour ago, Toaster Retribution said:

We now learned from Mraize that the Ghostblood objective is to become investiture-salesmen. Sebarial, who is commercially interested, would defenitely be a guy who could involve himself with something like that. 

I am not trying to discount your entire theory, but this piece in particularly is not as important as people are thinking imo. The Ghostblood’s ultimate goal is knowledge and power, getting rich off of Stormlight sales is just a means to an end. 
 

That being said, Sebarial could still be involved with them. Perhaps as a client, not a full member? 

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2 hours ago, Toaster Retribution said:

5. Sebarial joined Dalinar to fight the Parshendi in WoR. While we know Aladars and Roions reasoning for joining (it was the right/honorable thing to do), Sebarial just said that it would be interesting. An opportunistic and shrewd character like Sebarial would not join such a risky expedition just for shits and giggles. He suspected that there would be an Oathgate at Narak and wanted to be there when it was found.

Shallan wanted Sebarial to come. She was balancing Sebarial's accounts under the supervision of Pallona. Shallan put a sly reference to her research which suggested the center of the Shattered Plains contained a ruined rich city. She figured that Pallona would see it and tell Sebarial about the potential financial opportunities. Sebarial didn't tell Dalinar about his reasoning because he wanted the financial advantage. I don't think Sebarial was disappointed with finding Urithiru either.

 

1 hour ago, lightweaver spy said:

The Ghostblood’s ultimate goal is knowledge and power, getting rich off of Stormlight sales is just a means to an end. 

Mraize basically says that the Ghostbloods' ultimate goal is controlling trade between Roshar and other worlds, with the most valuable export being Stormlight. I am not convinced that the Ghostbloods' goal is anything but.

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One thing I like about this theory is that, from the jump, Sebarial is almost too ridiculous. He's dismissive, and acts disinterested. It's precisely what someone with other motivations would do to make themselves seem less of a threat. 

Also, in WOR, Shallan things "who is to say being beholden to this man is any different" when considering her joining Sebarial's camp vs. Dalinar's. Which could be a hint of foreshadowing given how she is beholden to Mraize now.

But Sebarial's reaction to her maneuvering seemed truly genuine and he didn't seem to have much interest in her beforehand, which means my theory that the Ghostbloods knew of her well before her arrival on the shattered plains would probably not be supported. 

I think this is a distinct possibility, though I'm not wholly convinced.

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The longer I think about this theory, the more likely I believe it is. 

I scanned through some Sebarial sections, and also looked at every mention we have so far of Thaidakar. While I can't find 'proof' of any sort, it still just fits:

- When Shallan first meets with the Ghostbloods in WoR and then hides inside her 'boulder' as they leave, Mraize gives the command to 'bring these pages to Master Thaidakar'. That seems to imply he cannot be too far away geographically. 

- It would also be an easy explanation of why Mraize always finds Shallan so easily, although of course he could have countless other operatives in Urithiru. Still, it fits...

- And then: what sort of person would I expect Thaidakar to be? Someone who keeps far away from the action, expecting to be updated by his minions while he enjoys his solitary life, or someone who keeps near the action, hiding in plain sight? Dalinar certainly is where the action is these days - so where would Thaidakar be? 

Add @Toaster Retribution's arguments, and just the narrative beauty of Shallan unwittingly looking for shelter with the man who heads the operation she intends to infiltrate... it's almost too good not to think it's true.

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Read all Shallan chapters in WoR with Sebarial while simultaneously thinking he is Thaidakar. That would be mind blowing. I like this theory.

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Do we think that Thaidakar is a worldhopper as well? There's no hints in text that he is (except maybe for his seeming disdain for many Alethi customs which could be seen as the mockery of a foreigner). 

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This is a really good theory. I think it fits really well with Brandon's style and with the text.

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13 minutes ago, Bliev said:

Do we think that Thaidakar is a worldhopper as well? There's no hints in text that he is (except maybe for his seeming disdain for many Alethi customs which could be seen as the mockery of a foreigner). 

Could explain why he is so much less concerned with the dark-eyes lover thing. Wait, what if SHE was Thaidokar? Could explain a bit of her appeal (even though she seems appealing enough already). If it is one of them it might as well be either of them. 

Edited by teknopathetic
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While I do think there’s a strong possibility of Sebarial being a member of the Ghostbloods, I’m not convinced that he’s Thaidakar himself. Thaidakar is someone who has been Cosmere aware for a long time, long before the start of the series. The Ghostbloods have a lot of knowledge about Shadesmar, and its founding/leading member must have at least spent some significant amount of time there exploring things. If he’s not a worldhopper himself, he must at least be involved/acquainted with some knowledgeable worldhopper(s) who are aware of Stormlight’s value to people from other planets, which means they have either visited those places or learned about them in detail from worldhoppers. I’m suspecting that Thaidakar is some kind of big-time, shady merchant from Silverlight (or possibly an immigrant to Silverlight) where Investiture is well known and understood and is likely the number one commodity. Discovering how to transport Stormlight is like discovering gold in California (let the gold rush begin!) only Thaidakar is being careful to keep his discovery under wraps so as to monopolize the market.

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Y'know, thinking it over, Sebarial sure is a character that has shown up consistently enough- and been consistently memorable enough- that Brandon can feel confident that he'll stick in the reader's mind. Despite the fact that he hasn't actually done anything important.

Kind of implies he's being set up for some important role down the line, doesn't it?

And, certainly, the line about Thaidakar being a title implies he has another name. And what's the point of making the reader ask a question like 'what's Thaidakar's name?' if he's not going to turn out to be someone we know?

So yeah, I'm on board with this theory.

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See I can’t help but think that Hoid is Thaidakar. Now that we know their ultimate goal (and by ultimate goal I clearly mean we now one thing they are aiming for because that certainly can’t be their ultimate goal) it seems like it aligns with what Hoid wants most in the world.

 

We know he bonded a Cryptic at the end of book 3. And we know that Mistborn Era 2 takes place after Stormlight 5. Since he is now bound to Roshar as of the end of Book 3 that gives him this book and the next to figure out a way to unbind himself from the planet. 
 

And if Mraize thinks he knows how, then so does his master. So in my mind it is possible that the master is someone who’s already admitted to Dalinar that they would happily let Roshar burn to achieve his goals. 

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1 hour ago, Xerun said:

See I can’t help but think that Hoid is Thaidakar. Now that we know their ultimate goal (and by ultimate goal I clearly mean we now one thing they are aiming for because that certainly can’t be their ultimate goal) it seems like it aligns with what Hoid wants most in the world.

He is not.  WoBs have confirmed that he finds them unimpressive. 

Quote

Aesicar

What does Hoid think of the Ghostbloods and what do they think of him?

Brandon Sanderson

The Ghostbloods are intrigued, and he is unimpressed.

Skyward Houston signing (Nov. 19, 2018)

 

Edited by Karger
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33 minutes ago, Karger said:

He is not.  WoBs have confirmed that he finds them unimpressive. 

While this puts a bit of a dampener on my theory, I will just say finding them Unimpressive doesn’t mean he can’t be using them to achieve his own means. But yes that probably means it’s not him

Edited by Xerun
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Ooh, another detail that supports this theory: Ialai believed that she was the only thing preventing the Ghostbloods from controlling the Warcamps. Sebarial is the one who created the Warcamp's economy, and still probably controls a good deal of the trade there. They've killed three highprinces who tried to control the Warcamps, but have done nothing against Sebarial. 

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On 30.09.2020 at 1:56 AM, Gilphon said:

Ooh, another detail that supports this theory: Ialai believed that she was the only thing preventing the Ghostbloods from controlling the Warcamps. Sebarial is the one who created the Warcamp's economy, and still probably controls a good deal of the trade there. They've killed three highprinces who tried to control the Warcamps, but have done nothing against Sebarial. 

Also, Sebarial wants to be in charge of mouvment throu the Oathgates in Oathbringer (as Highprince of Trade) - this was given by Dalinar to Fen, and he didnt liked it.

I think it will be possible to confirm this - Sia-Anat promises to send one of her "children" to bond with Gostbloods member, and if Sebarial gets corrupted Spren... (most likely Lightspren, because he will be very good Willshaper).

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I'm with @Toaster Retribution on this, Sebarial and Pallona are super fishy. In Toaster's way back post of "Is There A Point to Sebarial", I put together some pretty compelling evidence for Sebarial at least being more than he seems, and more likely, part of the Ghostbloods (along with Pallona). A link to my original post is spoilered below.

Spoiler

 

In another post in the same thread I analyzed the scene where Shallan returns from confronting Reshephir and Pallona grills her for information about the Unmade while plying her with possibly drugged tea. The whole post is spoilered below (because it's pretty long), but there's a consistent sense of menace that Shallan continually dispels:

Spoiler
On 12/17/2018 at 10:29 AM, What's a Seawolf? said:

There could be something else there, but I hope he is what he seems, a highprince who actually sees the world (and himself) for what it is, and takes the steps he sees necessary to save his people/(generally) do the right thing.

Part of me hopes you are right, how many times does the knife have to get twisted into Shallan's gut? But, I was just rereading the chapter that first made me suspect that Palona and Sebarial might be like the 3-fingered spy and her elderly husband from Cloak and dagger, Chapter 32 Company. It's the chapter were Shallan is recuperating after her battle with Reshiphir under the ministrations of Palona. The Chapter Epigraph is:

Quote

For I, of all people, have changed.
– From Oathbringer, preface

I don't have the ebook, so I'm going to type this out and emphasize the bits that are particularly unsettling [and add annotations in square brackets]. In text they are light-heartedly dismissed, but I still think that having a pit in your private apartments covered with boards is a super villain red flag:

Quote

Shallan settled in Sebarial's sitting room. It was a strangely shaped stone chamber with a loft above—he sometimes put musicians there—and a shallow cavity in the floor, which he kept saying he was going to fill with water and fish. She was fairly certain he made claims like this just to annoy Dalinar with his supposed extravagance. [Sounds like he has a gloating platform to watch from as his enemies are eaten by the purelake equivalent of pirahnas. This is a pattern in this chapter too, where something slightly unnerving is described, and then Shallan gives it an explicit lighthearted explanation. Seems very fishy].

For now, they'd covered the hole with some boards, and Sebarial would periodically warn people not to step on them. The rest of the room was decorated lavishly. She was pretty sure she'd seen those tapestries in a monastery in Dalinar's warcamp, and they were matched by luxurious furniture, golden lamps, and ceramics. [In the preceding paragraph, the cavity that the boards were covering was described as shallow, why would Sebarial warn people not to step on the boards if they were just running the risk of falling into a shallow cavity? Doesn't add up, and we know that the ghostbloods like their basements to have basements. Also, Sebarial stole tapestries from Dalinar's warcamp, again emphasizing shady morals]

And a bunch of splintery boards covering a pit. She shook her head. Then—curled up on a sofa with blankets heaped over her—she gladly accepted a cup of steaming citrus tea from Palona. She still hadn't been able to rid herself of the lingering chill she'd felt since her encounter with Re-shephir a few hours back. [Later on in this chapter, there are some pretty good signs that this tea was drugged, and Palona proceeds to grill her about her knowledge of the Unmade, which is a known objective of the Ghostbloods. Again the rhythm of this paragraph is unsettling detail, comforting detail, unsettling detail. This seems like an intentioned use of mood to me]

(skipped some paragrahs here, here's the summary: Palona asks if shallan needs anything, then settles on the sofa next to her sipping tea as well)

"So..." Palona said. "What was it like?" [Palona priming Shallan for information about the unmade that she just fought, which also happens to be the mission that she was working on for the ghostbloods]

(another paragraph skip, Shallan thinking about the Midnight mother, etc).

"To think it was here, all this time," Palona said. "Hiding down there." [Sounds like a hint of regret, we know the ghostbloods want to capture and control Sja-anat, they might have also liked to capture and control Re-shephir as well]

"She was captive," Shallan whispered. "She eventually escaped, but that was centuries ago. She has been waiting here ever since."

"Well, we should find where the others are held, and make sure they don't get out." [PALONA says this, and this is maps to the only other known objective of the Ghostbloods, namely to capture and control Sja-anat]

"I don't know if the others were ever captured." She felt isolation and loneliness from Re-shephir, a sense of being torn away while the others escaped.

"So..." [again, Palona priming Shallan for more information about the unmade]

"They're out there, and always have been," Shallan said. She felt exhausted, and her eyes were drooping in direct defiance of her insistence to Adolin that she was not that kind of tired"

"Surely we'd have discovered them by now." [Again, Palona digging for more information on what Shallan knows about the other unmade]

"I don't know," Shallan said. "They'll just be normal to us. The way things always have been."

She yawned, then nodded absently as Palona continued talking, her comments degenerating into praise of Shallan for acting as she had....[chapter goes on, but notice that she exhibits more signs of having possibly been drugged with the tea, yawning and nodding absently]

This could totally be a red herring, but before I read this chapter, I had the same view of Sebarial and Palona as you @Govir and @What's a Seawolf?, but the fact that Sebarial is having a shady pit installed in his private apartments, and Palona kind heartedly gives Shallan "citrus" tea, and then proceeds to grill her about what she knows about the unmade, makes me highly suspicious of this pair. The effects highlighted above could just simply be that exhaustion is finally catching up to Shallan, but the drooping eyelids, the yawning, and the absent nodding all sound like an effect of a drug, possibly a truth serum administered in her tea to make sure she wasn't holding anything back about the unmade. One other datum, Palona slips into inane yet reassuring chatter after Shallan yawns and nods absently, maybe this is a sign she knows to look for that efficacious period of the truth serum had run it's course (total speculation but could be the case).

One other thing, we as readers know that Ghostbloods all have a visible tattoo that shows their allegiance, and for a lot of the book Sebarial and Palona are only covered by towels making it seem like they should be easily de. This could be intentionally done to up the suprise ante when they dramatically reveal their ghostblood tattoo's during the moment of betrayal.

I want to like Palona and Sebarial, but looking at the signs and clues in this chapter, I just can't trust them, and moreover I think this chapter heavily foreshadows that they are at the very least in league with the Ghostbloods, if not the secret leaders of the ghostbloods.

Is Sebarial Thaidakar? Maybe, or maybe he's just a well positioned senior member of the Ghostbloods, content to let those in his employ do what they need to do (like eliminate Thanadal, Ialai, etc to shore up his grip on the markets in the Alethi Warcamps).

Is it known if Thaidakar is the founder of the Ghostbloods, or is he just the leader? If he's just the leader it could easily be Sebarial, if Thaidakar is also the founder then the case for Sebarial becomes a bit weaker. At the very least, the founder of the Ghostbloods should have figured out a way to attain at least a bit of the immortality that they are most assuredly striving for.

Oh, new crackpot theory, Thaidakar is Nohadon, the weird shopping scene wasn't a dream/vision, it was really Thaidakar taking Dalinar to the Market. Actually that theory makes me wince a bit.

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On 29 September 2020 at 4:40 PM, Toaster Retribution said:

What do you think? Could Sebarial be Thaidakar?

Sebarial might well be a Ghostblood - in fact, he almost certainly has some kind of understanding with them, even if he is not a member, like in some parts of the world it was and is necessary to have an arrangement with the local mafia. But IMHO, Thaidakar has to be an experienced worldhopper. And Sebarial never was in a position to wander off for a year or three. He was already a Highprince during the last battle for unification of Alethkar when Dalinar was 25 (and referred to as "young", so Sebarial is probably a few years younger than Dalinar and inherited his title). The way Alethi are, a Highprince, leave alone one who is decidedly non-martial can't just go on a "grand tour" and not be replaced. 

I wonder about  Felt, though. Mistborn spoilers: 

Spoiler

He has the right background and may have been involved in the interplanetary trade through the atium mines back in era 1. And he somehow survived the 3 centuries between that and SA.

He was on the forefront of exploration of the Shattered Plains as a pole-vaulting scout in WoR and visited the Nightwatcher's Valley as a part of Dalinar's bodyguard in OB flashback. Not for the first time. He seems to be too much in the field for the big boss, but maybe he is a hands-on sort of person. In any case, I am sure that he is a Ghostblood agent.

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Alt take - PALONA is Thaidakar.

Same reasoning. PALONA has all the same access and opportunities (through Sebarial) and she also has the opportunity to leave, vanish, and do off-the-record things that a Highprince could not.

She’s Herdazian, so she could have had access to Cultivation’s perpendicularity to become Cosmere-aware. But we know very little about her past.

Could also explain how a darkeyed woman ended up as mistress/common-law-wife to a Highprince.

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I could buy it.  Sebarial is our Milo Minderbinder, the amoral power of pure capitalism personified.

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On 10/2/2020 at 10:18 AM, Isilel said:

I wonder about  Felt, though. Mistborn spoilers: 

  Reveal hidden contents

He has the right background and may have been involved in the interplanetary trade through the atium mines back in era 1. And he somehow survived the 3 centuries between that and SA.

He was on the forefront of exploration of the Shattered Plains as a pole-vaulting scout in WoR and visited the Nightwatcher's Valley as a part of Dalinar's bodyguard in OB flashback. Not for the first time. He seems to be too much in the field for the big boss, but maybe he is a hands-on sort of person. In any case, I am sure that he is a Ghostblood agent.

Based on my book signing question and what Brandon said after his written answer at the Skyward Release party in Seattle, I'm pretty sure Felt is not Thaidakar, but he could possibly be aligned with the Ghostbloods currently.

Quote

Hoiditthroughthegrapevine

*written* Is Felt an agent of Harmony? If not, is he a member of a secret society that we have seen?

Brandon Sanderson

*written* Felt is different in his allegiance depending on the part of his life.

*spoken* Felt's allegiance has changed at various times during-- yeah, we'll just say that. His allegiance has changed over the years. There are times he's been a rogue agent.

Skyward Seattle signing (Nov. 10, 2018)

The fact that he's been a rogue agent I think is the operative bit that rules him out from being Thaidakar.

 

On 10/2/2020 at 0:59 PM, ftl said:

Alt take - PALONA is Thaidakar.

The more I think about, the more I like this theory. Basically an obscure dark eyed woman has somehow managed to attach herself to one of the most powerful men on Roshar. There's also the alignment of Sebarial's form of power with the stated aims of the ghostbloods, namely control of markets and the concentration of commercial wealth.

It is highly suspicious that Highprinces and Highladies that were in positions to contest control of the markets at the shattered plains were taken out by the ghostbloods. Pallona also got access to Urithiru and the Oathgates through her association with Sebarial.

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