KandraAllomancer

theory
Odium wants to recruit Kaladin

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I had this idea recently: what if Odium wants to recruit Kaladin as his champion and (possibly) start creating human versions of the Fused?
It might actually make sense for all the involved parties:
Odium: he needs a champion, obviously. Corrupting Kaladin would be an absolutely huge blow to Team Radiant and their morale (and also a kind of symbolic victory for Odium after losing Sja-anat in a similar way). Kaladin makes a perfect target, actually: he's severely depressed, sympathetic to the Singers and he had broken his Oaths once. He wants to get rid of his pain and cannot stand the idea that he'll eventually lose the people he loves – and Odium can, in an extremely twisted way, take your suffering and give you everlasting life. The rules of the game have changed: the Everstorm has arrived, the Heralds can be killed. Why not start creating human Cognitive Shadows if that could provide an advantage for Odium's forces?
Leshwi: she's clearly interested in Kaladin and shows him that even the Fused can be honorable. She's playing the good cop here
Moash: he shows up out of the blue at a very convenient location, with just the right arguments to crush Kaladin's spirit, based on a knowledge he might or might not have gained from his time in Bridge Four. His attitude directly contradicts that of Leshwi, which hardly makes sense given that she's his patron amongst the Fused – unless he's playing the bad cop, trying to manipulate Kaladin into siding with Odium in the end
Kaladin: he simply cares too much and cannot let go. Confronting Odium, which represents the direct opposite of this, might be just the thing that leads him to saying the Fourth Ideal in some truly epic way

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this is an interesting theory. likely, it will either end in kaladin pulling a dalinar and declining to become the champion, while going through a big personal growth, or he will fall, but possibly be redeemed. i don't think that kaladin will end the story or die as a villain, but he might pull a darth vader and go bad for a while before redeeming himself in the end

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I imagine that Odium is open to playing all sides and has multiple plans in action--with the main goal being take Kaladin out of the picture, one way or another. I've come around to thinking that Leshwi's interest in Kal is not as nefarious as I first thought (i.e., a few weeks ago, I thought it was a very particular ruse to get him to let his guard down, I now just think she's intrigued by him and probably bored after thousands of years of doing the same ol' same ol'). I think that Moash is now colluding directly with Odium and is less under Leshwi's power, so to speak, in that I don't think she's his "boss". But I wouldn't be surprised if your theory were correct.

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i don't know that kaladin is the only person that odium is trying to get to be his champion. i think that he prefers to corrupt someone who is major and important to the other side, but that he'll settle for someone else if he needs. i feel like moash is currently his backup champion if he can't get anyone else. i've also remembered that taln was not supposed to be the 10th herald, which implies that there is someone else who is supposed to have been the 10th herald who wasn't able to be for some reason, and i wonder if that person was corrupted/aligned to odium, and is odiums final, ultimate backup champion that he hopes to never use, because they are helping him resist honors binding and if they die he'll be more trapped
but aside from that, odium would probably just be thrilled to corrupt kaladin

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37 minutes ago, delphinousy said:

i feel like moash is currently his backup champion if he can't get anyone else.

I don't think that Moash is stronger than Nale! He's a herald and has a bit more experience at fighting than Moash. Additionally if you give Nale the Windrunner sword he gains additional advantages. 

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This thought had occurred to me as well, and I took it a bit deeper.

Narratively, it is very likely that Dalinar will NOT be the only main character in this front 5 book arc that will have to be presented with the choice of accepting Odium or not. Our two remaining main MC's are Shallan, and Kaladin (both by page time and by narrative importance). Both of them are likely to face this choice, as both of them are in vulnerable positions that open them to viewing what Odium is offering as attractive. However, for a good story, it is very unlikely that BOTH of them will overcome that temptation on the first go around. One will succeed, and the other will fail. I keep thinking back to the cover of WoK:

Quote

The world can change. Surgebinding and Shardwielding can return; the magics of ancient days can become ours again. These four people are key. One of them may redeem us. And one of them will destroy us.

Szeth, Dalinar, Kaladin, Shallan: these are the key four for this front half, and we still need a "destroyer". I doubt that Dalinar's major arc completion in OB is going to be walked back. Szeth is a toss up, we don't really know much there, but he's already done the "bad turned good" arc, so he is less likely IMO.

Kaladin has a lot of problems right now, a lot of stuff to deal with, and to overcome. However, there are no hidden secrets in his past, nothing that we as the readers aren't aware of. We know what his problems are, and he's been suffering through them for a long time. With his recent "demotion", and refocus of attention to things not on the battlefield, he is much better positioned for recovering from some of those feelings that would make him susceptible. More importantly, he is not currently engaged in a form of "giving up the pain" that is akin to what Odium is offering.

Which brings us to Shallan. There is something more about her past, something more traumatizing than what we think we know about her actions in regards to her family, that she literally had to sever the very memories of it in order to function as a person. She has already given up her pain to someone else: whoever it is that she is repressing. She has thrown her pain away, lost to the inner recesses of her ill mind. Imagine, should those memories be forced back into her consciousness at the wrong time, she would be very ripe for an offer to take it away again, only this time permanently. She has not had any time to develop any coping mechanisms for the sudden intrusion of her psyche that such new revelations would make. Combine that potential past pain with any new pain from actions she may yet commit in the coming narrative, and whooo boy, we've got ourselves a very eager champion for Odium. Shallan is the one who will be spending this book moving away from the main action, away from the main support of the human coalition, and will be more isolated than Kaladin or the others. Also, I think the very vague, one off comment from Radiant: "You being here helps" is probably more important to her stability than Brandon is letting on to us. She'll have Adolin with her, yes, but what should happen if something happened to him

Yeah, though I don't completely discount Kaladin still being the one to fail, my money is all in on the more likely candidate.

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Quote

“Do not praise yourself overly much, Leshwi,” one of the Nine called. “Do not forget your low station in this room. We have our own reasons for denying the Pursuer.”

I'd use that line as proof for the topic-title. 

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@DeployParachute I think I agree with you here, that Shallan is a likely "destroyer" if she is not careful. BUT, I wonder, however if the cover-writer (a sleepless from that time, right?) is thinking of Dalinar? Because fortune foretold he would be Odium's champion, right? That's from WOK, but was the cover written concurrently, in world?

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21 hours ago, Bliev said:

@DeployParachute I think I agree with you here, that Shallan is a likely "destroyer" if she is not careful. BUT, I wonder, however if the cover-writer (a sleepless from that time, right?) is thinking of Dalinar? Because fortune foretold he would be Odium's champion, right? That's from WOK, but was the cover written concurrently, in world?

I think it comes down to what you believe Brandon's individual take on what he likes to communicate using these cover blurbs. Is he just summing up what to expect within that given book? Or since it is Book 1 of a series, is he putting forth something that tells us what are going to be the main themes/events for the entire length? Personally, I'm looking at that verbiage from a "meta" perspective, IE Brandon is trying to sell the first book in the series using the limited characters he has to as wide of an audience as possible. The fact that he has now been able to tie the "external story perspective" to a creative race of unobtrusive "watchers" is a perk that helps with the immersion factor now that we're in it. So again, I'm not looking at that blurb as "what do the sleepers know or not know, think or not think", but instead view it as Brandon's words telling us what the main setup/premise of (at least the first 5 book arc) is going to be. And in it, one of these characters "may" redeem us, but one of them "will" destroy us.

So looking at it from that lens, you still have a wide possibility of interpretations to make. What do the sleepless mean by "we". Just themselves, or the collective peoples or life on Roshar? A new reader, not knowing anything about the sleepless, would assume the latter. Thus I lean more heavily towards the cover blurb describing the larger narrative arc.

Also, as far as "fortune foretold" goes, I do not recall, was Dalinar being Odium's champion part of the Diagram? I'd have to find the motivation to go back and reread the final epilogue content of OB. To save me from that effort, could you clarify what mechanism of foretelling being used that Dalinar would be Odium's champion (the Diagram being the only one I can think of, which is not so much prophecy but an extremely well reasoned, intelligent "guess" at the future). I wouldn't have thought that Odium's plans for Dalinar would be widely enough known that the sleepless would be clued into it.

 

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Interestingly, due to the nature of DID, Shallan would be a terrible champion for Odium. ‘Shallan’ might be willing to accept Odium, but Radiant would probably keep her Oaths, and Veil seems to be more likely to join a third party like the Ghostbloods.

 

Get part of Shallan to agree? That works. Get ALL of Shallan to agree..? Not so much.

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On 10/6/2020 at 9:27 AM, DeployParachute said:

Yeah, though I don't completely discount Kaladin still being the one to fail, my money is all in on the more likely candidate.

We've also got a pretty darn hefty WOB indicating Kalidin A) won't turn evil [at least not without a MASSIVE redemption] and B ) Won't die by his own hand.

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/25/#e1751

thinformparshendi (paraphrased)

My wife asked if we would regret naming our firstborn Kaladin (seeing as we don't yet know how Kal turns out).

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

You'll probably be very happy naming your son that.

Paris signing (Oct. 22, 2016)

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while i conceptually understand why Kaladin seems like a good recruit for odium, i'm sure that at the end of book 5 he'll be a hero. but that doesn't mean he might not pull a darth vader, and fall to the darkside for a time. He could very well spend some time having given in to odium, much like how he spent some time breaking his oaths in WoR before finally coming, and having some event shock him back into taking responsibility for his emotions instead of abdicating it to odium. unfortunately, i'm also 90% sure that kaladin will not survive book 5, that he's gongn to pull a vin and be a big damnation hero but not survive whatever it is, or if he lives it'll be in a transformed state, becoming a new shardbearer or a new herald on braize or something

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3 hours ago, delphinousy said:

while i conceptually understand why Kaladin seems like a good recruit for odium, i'm sure that at the end of book 5 he'll be a hero. but that doesn't mean he might not pull a darth vader, and fall to the darkside for a time. He could very well spend some time having given in to odium, much like how he spent some time breaking his oaths in WoR before finally coming, and having some event shock him back into taking responsibility for his emotions instead of abdicating it to odium. unfortunately, i'm also 90% sure that kaladin will not survive book 5, that he's gongn to pull a vin and be a big damnation hero but not survive whatever it is, or if he lives it'll be in a transformed state, becoming a new shardbearer or a new herald on braize or something

It would be more likely to a Luke Skywalker - almost there, but pulling back at the last moment.

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Gonna be honest, after the first 3 books I had my theory that Kaladin is gonna be Odium's champion. Upon rereads, it really stuck out how many times he felt hatred or similar emotions, especially class-hatred towards the ruling class and personal hatred towards individuals who wronged those close to him, plus he sympathized a lot with the parsh, so I felt he's kinda being set up for that route... 

Now, it's quite evident that it's not gonna happen, Brandon kinda spoiled this by confirming in a WoB that Kaladin wont turn evil or destructive (like Danny in season 8 of GOT), plus the early ROW chapters already took it in a different direction...

But that doesnt mean Odium wont try to recruit him as his champion (just that he has no chance of succeeding), in fact that scene with Moash might be part of that plot.

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I think Kaladin firmly being into good guys camp in the beginning of the 4th book out of 5 total more or less solidify his "good guy" status. Its too late to make him bad guy without making it look like a "WTF" moment.

He may side with Singers but surely not in expense of the lives of Dalinar, Shallan, Adolin, Bridge 4, many others good Alethi. I cant seem him killing humans he knows or battling them. His whole concept is the soldier who values the lives of people before anything else.

Even if he will side with Venli group (and i feel its in the range of possibility by the end of RoW) he wont be an Odium's champion. He will try to unify Singers and Humans regardless of what camp he belongs to and that goes against Odium's goals.

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