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Georion

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The traitor Highprince and the Rift

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I posted this comment in an old thread, and I was told that it's better to start a new topic in such a case, than revive an old thread. So I've just gotten to the point with my pre-ROW reread (the Dalinar flashbacks about the sacking of the Rift),  and once again, I'm baffled by this conundrum.

There was a discussion about why Sadeas was or wasn't really in league with Tanelon, or was he really just framed.

So why Sadeas DIDNT do it:

  • Sadeas was loyal at this point, presumably he still considered Dalinar a friend, and even if he wished to move against Gavilar or Dalinar, it makes no sense to do it this way.
  • Joining one fledgling highprince against Gavilar is foolish, and the idea of Sadeas being loyal to Gavilar is rocksolid. Now he could have wished to move against Dalinar for multiple reasons, but having him killed in a battle/ambush is a bit strange, and very risky.
  • Tanelon did hate the Kholins and it makes sense he just wanted Dalinar dead at all cost, and framing one of their closest allies in the process just fits the bill.

Why Sadeas DID do it:

There is a traitor highprince, this is confirmed by multiple sides. There isnt anyone else there, or even mentioned before/after the events. It makes no sense (narratively) that an unnamed off-screen highprince was supporting the Rift, who then gave up on the idea. I guess Tanelon could have started this rumor himself, which gotten to Gavilar's ears as valuable information from a trusted spy, but that s a bit convoluted, plus what was his endgame, if he had no allies in this? Coax the Kholins into an attack, maybe kill Dalinar with the ambush and then... die or at least get conquered again?

Sadeas arrived early. Dalinar says this when he's limping back to camp after the ambush  and thinks it good fortune. It's a bit convenient that Sadeas arrives early, moments after Dalinar's supposed demise, to take control of the armies and make an example out of the rebels, what he advocated for from the start, but Gavilar refused, and seemingly Dalinar was unwilling to do either. 

Sadeas's viewpoint was reinforced multiple times in the flashbacks, starting from the early day, right up to the beginning of the siege and during. Make an example, slaughter cruelly, because that sends the right message, and means less trouble down the road. Dalinar has a change of heart even during the sacking of the Rift, before he finds out about Evi, he wants to send the stand-down order, but Sadeas tells him there's no way, he already set fire to the city from the other end as well, and shot down any who could flee with archers. He was really committed to not leaving any loose ends.

There are supposed traitor scouts in Dalinar's army, bribed by Tanelon, who helped setting up the ambush. Ok, sure, it's possible, Dalinar ran a good army, and Tanelon wasn't very strong or influential, but these things can happen still. But what happens to them? Sadeas reports to Dalinar upon his arrival at camp, that they've already been dealt with "we bribed one to turn on the others, and executed the rest". Ok, that's suspicious AF, Sadeas concluding the investigation instantly, by bribing one and executing all the rest. I should think you'd want to find out how and when they've gotten turned, who are their contacts, torture them for information and punishment. Bribing one, then instant execution of the rest seems like serves one purpose, cover his tracks. Sadeas was in a much better position to get to a unit in the Kholin army, than Tanelon. 

When Dalinar admits to Sadeas that he fell for the "trick" and believed Sadeas could be the traitor, Sadeas seemingly tries to reassure him, saying that he thought Dalinar could turn on Gavilar. So there is the motivation. Sadeas was loyal, but only to Gavilar. He liked Dalinar well enough, but he was a rival and getting stronger, and he was afraid not only that his own position with Gavilar is overshadowed, but that Gavilar himself might be attacked by Dalinar, or hurt in some other way.

Other tidbit: The throwaway comment about the rockslide, and Gavilar naming Sadeas as one of the potential employers of the Assassin in White in the prologue. 

 

So what did I miss? Are there WOBs about the Rift? Could the "bribed" scout be alive, the one who actually knows what happened?

EDIT: typos and phrasing

Edited by Georion
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Huh. Interesting. I like it, Sadeas was always a snake.

I doubt the "bribed" scout is alive, he was probably executed too, just in a way that makes it look like he ran away or died to an accident.

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Sadeas didn't do it, it was a ploy be Tanalan.

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6 hours ago, Frustration said:

Sadeas didn't do it, it was a ploy be Tanalan.

Okay, but was there a traitor highprince then? if so, who?

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Just now, Georion said:

Okay, but was there a traitor highprince then? if so, who?

no there likely wasn't, it was all set up.

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Honestly until now I presumed there was a traitor (there's always a traitor) but they were never able to discovered who it was. 

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I think your conclusion is that Sadeas betrayed Dalinar only?  My impression was pretty similar.  It's been a while since I've read Oathbringer so my memory may be a bit fuzzy.

My general feeling was that Sadeas saw that Dalinar and Evi were headed toward a collision.  He considered it a weakness that Dalinar had allowed Tanalan to live.  He probably also saw that Evi was taking the edge off Dalinar - softening him.  Dalinar was already at that time trying to become a better man.  Sadeas didn't want that.  So he helped things along with an aim for one of two outcomes: 1) Dalinar dies, eliminating a weakening rival and allowing Sadeas' own power to expand or 2) Dalinar loses the things that soften him up (his wife and growing sense of honor, etc) and reinforces his view of himself as the Blackthorn, returning to his role as the enforcer for the kingdom.

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On 10/18/2020 at 4:13 PM, Frustration said:

Sadeas didn't do it, it was a ploy be Tanalan.

Has Sanderson specifically stated that Sadeas had no hand in this, or that Tanalan was working alone?  Or is this your interpretation?

There's enough going on in the book to make a pretty convincing case in either direction.

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3 hours ago, kaellok said:

Has Sanderson specifically stated that Sadeas had no hand in this, or that Tanalan was working alone?  Or is this your interpretation?

There's enough going on in the book to make a pretty convincing case in either direction.

My interpretation.

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