Jofwu

Shallan's Past and Weird Spren Stuff

49 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, Hayama said:

One big difference is that in the Recreance, both the Radiants and their spren decided to break the bond. With Shallan and Testament, it was just Shallan. I think it's safe to assume that Testament didn't want to break the bond, so that could be the difference.

Hmmm, I could go either way on this. Pattern mentions a lot that he can leave if Shallan wants, and they'll send someone else to bond. If Testament was as aware of Shallan's thoughts as Pattern, I'd imagine Testament would leave voluntarily. But you're right that perhaps a unilateral bond breaking is not as permanent.

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2 hours ago, Zedseayou said:

Hmmm, I could go either way on this. Pattern mentions a lot that he can leave if Shallan wants, and they'll send someone else to bond. If Testament was as aware of Shallan's thoughts as Pattern, I'd imagine Testament would leave voluntarily. But you're right that perhaps a unilateral bond breaking is not as permanent.

It's possible she didn't know she could leave, or could have even thought she'd end up a deadeye if she left. It's likely that's what would happen, actually, considering what DID happen to Testament.

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It could have happened so fast that Testament didn't have time to leave.

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6 hours ago, Zedseayou said:

Hmmm, I could go either way on this. Pattern mentions a lot that he can leave if Shallan wants, and they'll send someone else to bond. If Testament was as aware of Shallan's thoughts as Pattern, I'd imagine Testament would leave voluntarily. But you're right that perhaps a unilateral bond breaking is not as permanent.

Emphasis mine.  We learn for sure in RoW that a sufficiently invested Radiant (like Kaladin) can serve as an anchor of sorts for spren who have crossed into the Physical Realm.  We know that the Cryptics, possibly more than any other spren, saw the Oathpact fracturing and trying to establish a way to fight against what is coming.  I don't think that Pattern's words that he can leave, or that she will kill him, are representative of the way that the Cryptics initially reached out to her, though.  I think that what happened to Testament caused the change in approach.

Honestly, the more I learn about Pattern, the more amazing he is.  He completely believed that bonding with Shallan would kill him, his hope only being that even if she couldn't forgive him for making her remember that she would be able to Bond the one who took his place.

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One important fact I would remind others: Testament is a name of convenience given to Shallan's first Cryptic only at the very end of RoW.  Her original name was Pattern, because all Cryptic's names are Pattern (referring to different patterns, but to human speech their names are all the same).  Thus when reading Shallan's dialogue and thoughts in the earlier books, any time she says or thinks "Pattern" there is intentional ambiguity about which she is referring.  Thus, when Shallan activates the Oathgate and calls out to Pattern, this doesn't necessarily mean she wasn't using Testament.

I'm of the opinion that Shallan is using Testament as her sword all throughout WoR.  In fact her first time summoning Pattern as a sword is in Oathbringer Chapter 15 when Adolin requests to see the sword and Shallan has a somewhat unexplainable panic attack.  Pattern initially comments

Quote

"Mmmm," Pattern said. "This is good. This needs to be done."

Implying something important was being done when summoning Pattern as a sword for Adolin.  Eventually she creates the Radiant persona to abate the panic attack.  The panic attack and generating of a new persona make more sense in the context of RoW: Shallan is about to summon a shardblade that is distinct from the one she was previously using, and she can't confront that reality yet. This is also the same chapter where Pattern drops his disturbing line:

“It’s because you hate me,” Pattern said softly. “I can die, Shallan. I can go. They will send you another to bond.”

e: Another point.  Testament's spren friend mentioned finding her on an island far to the east.  It's the Shattered Plains Oathgate platform, the last location Shallan summoned Testament.

Edited by Subvisual Haze
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So based on the discussion here, I shall provide my own likely incorrect thoughts

Timeline

-Shallan Bonds Testament 1165/6 given this is when Testament leaves the Inkspren to seek out a bond

-Shallan Kills Testament-1167 Possibly at the same time as her Mother or shortly after

She breaks her bond(or maybe does so in part? see WoB below) by rejecting one of the truths of her original Oaths, possibly due to the situation with her mother trying to kill her being too much of a strain she needs to retreat from that particular truth. If the “good times” before her mother dies are all still lies she constructed for safety this might be related to her original truths. Note that this could still have been amicable like the recreance. Perhaps she does this to protect herself and Testament agrees. This also could fit well with her DID situation currently and the deeper truths Veil keeps referring to she pulls the veil back over her even earlier trauma.

-It is "dead" Testament that is shoved into the safe. This is why the Shardblade doesn’t poof away or turn back into a spren after the deed is done but Shallan’s historic Bond means that it is still Connected to her even though it has no gemstone attached.

We don’t know what Connection still exists between the Radiants from the Recreance and their spren. It is possibly that there is still some. For instance I would think they would have an easier time restoring their oaths and resurrecting their spren. We might have seen this with Kaladin and Syl already. This remnant of the bond/Connection may be why she still has some interaction with Stormlight prior to Pattern arriving on the scene.

-1173 The blade she summons to kill Tyn is Testament, perhaps there was some of that clear in hindsight foreshadowing in that Pattern was away getting the men when she summoned it along with the fact that as noted it does not glow and her eyes starting to glow is not mentioned.

-1174 The blade in the chasm is Pattern. It glows, changes shape, and causes no echoes of pain or loss in Kaladin when he touches it. A point against this might be the lightwoven Shallan that distracts the chasmfiend. It is possible that this was Pattern but not necessary. (edit) another point against this after flipping through the chapters again is that she pointedly refers to the Blade, when cutting out the cubby for them to hide in, but not Patternblade which I think she does later though that might just be an evolution of Brandon's stylebook.

-As for the lack of Testament deadeye it was found on the eastern side of Shadesmar in 1174 approximately a year or so after Tyn is killed.

Perhaps the Deadeyes are only summoned to the general vicinity in the cognitive realm when the blade is summoned and otherwise are free to wander to some other point, especially if it has been some time since the Bond has been reactivated.

So Testament having not been summoned in months/a year would be nowhere near Kholinar and thus does not appear in Shadesmar there but is instead journeying to Lasting Integrity. The deadeye Honor spren gathered in Lasting Integrity may then represent "lost shardblades".

Also there is a WoB that the number of Oaths to Blade/Plate varies per order: 

Kythis

Is there a specific number of the ideals that they have to do before they can get the Shardblade?  

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on the Order.

Words of Radiance Omaha signing (March 13, 2014)

Also this one that deals with some of the points on breaking the bond. Obviously he hadn't decided on Testament yet but the implication is there:

 

Kythis

How did Pattern actually become a Shardblade even though he hadn't been fully pulled into the Physical Realm?

Brandon Sanderson

He had been pulled into the Physical Realm before when Shallan was younger, and she almost broke her bond.  And in so doing . . . 

Kythis

But he didn't go mad.

Brandon Sanderson

She didn't completely break the bond.  She didn't reject him completely.  But it was dangerous there for a while.  

Words of Radiance Omaha signing (March 13, 2014)

Edited by handleinthedark
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9 hours ago, Subvisual Haze said:

e: Another point.  Testament's spren friend mentioned finding her on an island far to the east.  It's the Shattered Plains Oathgate platform, the last location Shallan summoned Testament.

Ooh, I like that conclusion!

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We know the bond with Testament is salvageable, no? Because Kal's Bond with Syl, when he killed her by accident, was too.

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On 11/27/2020 at 5:19 PM, Subvisual Haze said:

e: Another point.  Testament's spren friend mentioned finding her on an island far to the east.  It's the Shattered Plains Oathgate platform, the last location Shallan summoned Testament.

I think she was following Shallan around to some extent though, unlike usual deadeyes? Her business partner mentions that she was trying to head west. One year prior would be shortly after the Battle of Thaylen Field, so Shallan was probably back to spending most of her time in Urithiru at that point. So Testament was trying to get towards Urithiru, and that's why they settled down in Nameless--seemingly one of the closest towns to Urithiru.

Where Testament would have been is hard to guess exactly. Because Shallan spent... about a month in Urithiru during Oathbringer Parts 1 and 2. So Testament was probably trying to move west for that duration. She spent a little while in Kholinar, and then of course the journey to Thaylen City. Hard to predict where Testament may have ended up without knowing how fast she was moving?

On 11/27/2020 at 10:11 PM, handleinthedark said:

Also this one that deals with some of the points on breaking the bond. Obviously he hadn't decided on Testament yet but the implication is there:

The observations about "I'm terrified" being clearly spoken to a Cryptic who wasn't Pattern actually make me hesitant to assume the idea that Testament was a more recent development. I suppose it's possible he hadn't decided on all of the order of events though. Maybe earlier on he toyed with the idea that she killed Testament and then bonded Pattern and regressed on those oaths as well?

But I don't think it's impossible he may have had things mostly worked out even at the time of that WoB. I think it's plausible and reasonable that he may have been lying there. Heck, with "Pattern" being a generic name for Cryptics (something that I can't see any particular reason that it needed to be included otherwise) it's totally fair that he could be talking about Testament there. The only thing he'd be lying about (implicitly) is the gender. Seems like a fair thing to lie about though. Something he wanted to clarify... but didn't want to give away the plot twist on.

2 hours ago, IndigoAjah said:

We know the bond with Testament is salvageable, no? Because Kal's Bond with Syl, when he killed her by accident, was too.

Yeah, I think so.

I think the popular interpretation (up until now at least) has been that deadeyes are on another level that is significantly less salvageable. Because we knew that reviving a deadeye had never happened before and was incredibly difficult to do. (While Kaladin saving Syl seemed relatively straightforward. He just had to speak another oath and she was back as good as new.)

The biggest thing that gives us new perspective on this is, in my opinion, the implication that "deadeyes" are a product of whatever happened to Ba-Ado-Mishram and was not originally related to what happens to spren when oaths are broken. It's "extra".

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On 2020-11-28 at 5:11 AM, handleinthedark said:

 

Kythis

How did Pattern actually become a Shardblade even though he hadn't been fully pulled into the Physical Realm?

Brandon Sanderson

He had been pulled into the Physical Realm before when Shallan was younger, and she almost broke her bond.  And in so doing . . . 

Kythis

But he didn't go mad.

Brandon Sanderson

She didn't completely break the bond.  She didn't reject him completely.  But it was dangerous there for a while.  

Words of Radiance Omaha signing (March 13, 2014)

That might as well been about Testament after all she was pattern for Shallan.

I do believe that Brandon planed all of this from the start.

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On 12/5/2020 at 0:42 PM, Blackwarder said:

That might as well been about Testament after all she was pattern for Shallan.

I do believe that Brandon planed all of this from the start.

The genders are wrong though. Hmm... lies...

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Havoc (paraphrased)

In Way of Kings, Shallan is being chased by Cryptics. She begins to summon her Shardblade, stops and then Soulcasts for the first time. We know from Words of Radiance that it's her bond to Pattern, her Shardblade that allows her to Soulcast. So my question is, if Shallan had not begun to summon her Blade, would she have been able to Soulcast?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

She would not have been able to. Good question! Wow. No one has ever asked me that before.

GollanczFest London (Oct. 17, 2015)

just find that! 

look like it was Testament in that scene

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On 11/23/2020 at 3:13 AM, Zedseayou said:

So perhaps Intent is involved? That seems awfully fuzzy

I mean, it does, but also doesn’t Dawnshard tell us the most powerful Surgebindings require Intent plus a Command? Fuzzy sounds perfect for the difference between a Deadeye who maintains its original bond, and continues to confer abilities/power, and ones who didn’t.

…Of course, even assuming that’s the reason for the difference in oathbreaking, we still wouldn’t be sure if  what matters is Shallan’s (possibly insufficient) Intent or the fact that it wasn’t both her and Testament sharing the Intent to break the bond.

On 11/23/2020 at 10:07 AM, Hayama said:

in the Recreance, both the Radiants and their spren decided to break the bond

So, time to puzzle out what’s most likely to have resulted in vestigial Lightweaver/Surgebinder abilities in this case?

I’m questioning the Command portion, the handful of seemingly-unrelated-to-breaking-bonds words Shallan used.

Quote

“…You never existed. You are nothing…”

- RoW ch. 93, Brandon Sanderson

However, it seems unlikely she got weirdness because she inadvertently tried to Unmake her Spren rather than just unbonding it.

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Do we have any hard evidence of the actual amount of time Shallan was without a living spren bond?  Is it possible that Pattern showed up the day after the bond to Testament was broken?  I know SHALLAN feels like it was a long time between bonds... but she's clearly not a reliable witness.  The first time someone SEES a spren does not necessarily coincide with the first ARRIVAL of the spren, as evidenced by Syl knowing about things Kaladin did weeks (months?) before he first sees her.

We know the Cryptics, as a group, are watching Shallan closely; we know they decided as a group that she needed a spren bond; and we know they are willing to risk their lives to make it happen.  I think we have to consider the possibility that Pattern was sent immediately (or very soon) after Testament became a deadeye.

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This topic has some great insights but I have to say a couple of things still don't make any sense to me:

- Nahel bond needs broken souls. How is that relevant for a girl of 4-5 years? OK, her parents were fighting but I mean, come on.
- Why would the Cryptics choose A LITTLE GIRL for a bond. They could have literally chosen what, hundreds, thousands, millions of other people???
- What sorts of terrible truths will A LITTLE GIRL admit to her spren to earn the Third Ideal? Yes, the "solemn" ones from the quote but again, come on. This takes A LOT away from the other Radiants process to earn their Ideals if a little girl can reach so far.

The entire thing seems like an afterthought. Very untypical for Brandon.

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35 minutes ago, Jorr said:

Nahel bond needs broken souls. How is that relevant for a girl of 4-5 years?

Completely agree with your second point being troubling. I can only guess the Cyptics chose a child for something like the reason Syl chose Kaladin out of millions, that Shallan was just that good of a fit. Still, what child has ever made it to adulthood without the kind of outburst that resulted in Shallan Deadeye-ing Testament?

Spoiler tags are just because of length.

Spoiler

 

Children also go through periods when lying is a natural part of their development, so maybe the Cryptics couldn’t help themselves against that allure. Delicious lies are rampant from people learning to pretend, and the Cryptics apparently really want Shallan. Still, how badly did they fail to understand humans that they didn’t realize a child would inevitably violate oaths?

Of course, given Pattern’s initial cluelessness, it’s believable that they failed so dramatically at understanding humans…just infuriating.

But for your first point, quoted above, many people with inherited predilection for mental health conditions who go on to develop them already show signs before this age. Often only recognized in retrospect, so it’s possible that’s confirmation bias. Beyond that, Shallan is a special case.

 

It’s usually very early trauma that results in dissociative identities, so it’s almost certain young Shallan experienced far worse than what we’ve seen. Even if she didn’t, her reaction to it was severe enough to leave her with a broken identity, so surely enough to leave her with a broken soul.

Potential answers for your third question stem from that. If she was so broken already, Shallan likely did have some terrible truths. Ones that would definitely be weighty to a little child, since they can feel everything very intensely.

Spoiler

Since Lightweaver Ideals seem less about doing anything worthy, and more about knowing and acknowledging themselves (and maybe being worthy), I don’t think her advancing so young takes much away from other Radiants. Accepting the truth of who you are or what scares you doesn’t demand the same level of maturity…like the selflessness, decency, or straight-up dedication to others that characterized several Windrunner oaths. It did, however, require self-awareness at a level that is surprising for one so young.

Shallan’s achievement just doesn’t detract from the other Radiants’ accomplishments the way it would if so young a child had sworn to either protect those who couldn’t protect themselves or protect those they hated.

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All I can say is that this has made me appreciate Shallan a lot more, and I look forward to her repairing her bond with Testament, getting to know her (again), and dual-wielding Shardblades like a badass.

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I've been meaning to come check back up on this topic... Going to do a few replies below, after saying something of my own that I wanted to add... Inspired by this new WoB:

Quote

enceladus_47

Does Shallan's "I killed my spren" count as a Truth?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm gonna leave up to theorizing, figuring out the timeline that's going on with Shallan. What we can say is that Shallan is reconstructing, in many cases, oaths she has said before. And it is working slightly differently than someone who is saying new oaths. And indeed, saying she killed her spren is one of those steps. I'll leave it to you to try and parse through that. It's actually pretty complicated. We have a nice big page explaining all of this stuff internally, to make sure that we're keeping it all straight. Because she has violated oaths and reconstructed them, is basically what's happening. And she is regressing, and she's doing a... 1.1 steps forward, 1 step back, sort of thing, kind of frequently.

This is pretty intriguing...

I take it to mean that "I killed my spren" IS a truth in some sense. At the very least it is... some kind of step toward restoration, right? It's not just words that have no meaningful relation to her advancement as a Radiant.

I'm struggling to make much of it beyond that though. When we thought Shallan originally killed Pattern, the general assumption was that she had to swear new truths to restore their bond, right? This whole thing about "reconstructing old oaths" is weird though. At face value, I'd think it means that she needs to basically re-accept truths that she had already accepted in the past. But "killed my father," "killed my mother," and "killed my spren" (that third being explicitly noted here as a "reconstruction step") are all things she couldn't really have expressed in the past. They all happened at the end of her bond with Testament. Best I can guess is... maybe in the past she spoke truths that were simply related to her father, mother, and/or spren? So now she's just saying updated truths involving those relationships? I dunno, that's weird. I will say that I could EASILY see "I'm terrified" as a truth she spoke as a child and then re-swore in TWoK.

This WoB feels somewhat problematic to my theory, the way I think about it, simply for the way it suggests all of her advancement in the books boils down to restoring something she lost. This doesn't really make sense to me with Pattern being a totally new bond. Some people have argued she killed Testament AND regressed with Pattern at a young age, and that would kind of work well with what Brandon's saying here. But that doesn't make sense to me for WAY too many reasons in the book. So I guess I'm just overthinking the stuff here about what "reconstructing" means. :D

On 1/11/2021 at 4:19 PM, Bnaya said:

just find that!

look like it was Testament in that scene

Yeah! I should have included that in my post. I think most of us have generally taken that WoB to imply that she needed to acknowledge her bond (such as by starting to summon her Shardblade) before she could use a Surge like she did.

Everything indicates that Testament is the Blade she intended to summon here, so this suggests it's her Testament bond involved with Soulcasting there.

On 1/12/2021 at 9:02 AM, AquaRegia said:

Do we have any hard evidence of the actual amount of time Shallan was without a living spren bond?  Is it possible that Pattern showed up the day after the bond to Testament was broken?  I know SHALLAN feels like it was a long time between bonds... but she's clearly not a reliable witness.  The first time someone SEES a spren does not necessarily coincide with the first ARRIVAL of the spren, as evidenced by Syl knowing about things Kaladin did weeks (months?) before he first sees her.

We know the Cryptics, as a group, are watching Shallan closely; we know they decided as a group that she needed a spren bond; and we know they are willing to risk their lives to make it happen.  I think we have to consider the possibility that Pattern was sent immediately (or very soon) after Testament became a deadeye.

I think it's more likely the bond with Pattern began in TWoK, but I don't think we have undeniable evidence for any particular timeline on this. I DO think he was present at the time Testament was broken, and I think it's entirely possible he was interested in bonding her at that point. But forming a Radiant bond is a two-way street. Shallan shut down her bond with Testament pretty hard. I'm extremely skeptical Pattern could have essentially forced a bond on her during that time. It wasn't until TWoK that Shallan became open to that (again).

15 hours ago, Jorr said:

- Nahel bond needs broken souls. How is that relevant for a girl of 4-5 years? OK, her parents were fighting but I mean, come on.
- Why would the Cryptics choose A LITTLE GIRL for a bond. They could have literally chosen what, hundreds, thousands, millions of other people???
- What sorts of terrible truths will A LITTLE GIRL admit to her spren to earn the Third Ideal? Yes, the "solemn" ones from the quote but again, come on. This takes A LOT away from the other Radiants process to earn their Ideals if a little girl can reach so far.

These have all been questions for many years now. Only difference now is that we know the bond was with Testament rather than Pattern. To address them though...

1) Brandon has confirmed that you needn't be "broken" for a Radaint bond. It helps, but it isn't required. Also, the timing given in RoW suggests that Shallan formed her bond with Testament when she was 9 years old, not 4-5. (She killed her mother at 11.) As for whether Shallan was "broken" at the time, we'll have to RAFO. I could see her being legitimately broken at a young age though. Heck, for all we know her parents were both abusive.

2) I don't think we can really answer the question of "Why would Cryptics do X." They're WEIRD.

3) Again, can't answer this without know more about BOTH Shallan's past AND why Cryptics think the way they do. That said, I don't think we have to assume all Lightweaver truths have to be Deep Dark Terrible Secrets. I imagine most Lightweavers have rather mundane truths about self-awareness. We've simply seen some dramatic truths from Shallan during the books because ever since she killed her mother her lift has been particularly dramatic.

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2 hours ago, Jofwu said:

 

1) randon has confirmed that you needn't be "broken" for a Radaint bond. It helps, but it isn't required. Also, the timing given in RoW suggests that Shallan formed her bond with Testament when she was 9 years old, not 4-5. (She killed her mother at 11.) As for whether Shallan was "broken" at the time, we'll have to RAFO. I could see her being legitimately broken at a young age though. Heck, for all we know her parents were both abusive.

2) I don't think we can really answer the question of "Why would Cryptics do X." They're WEIRD.

3) Again, can't answer this without know more about BOTH Shallan's past AND why Cryptics think the way they do. That said, I don't think we have to assume all Lightweaver truths have to be Deep Dark Terrible Secrets. I imagine most Lightweavers have rather mundane truths about self-awareness. We've simply seen some dramatic truths from Shallan during the books because ever since she killed her mother her lift has been particularly dramatic.

I am increasingly fond of the theory that Shallan is the daughter of Chanarach. 

1) Heralds can procreate somehow.
2) Shallan is the spitting Image of Chanarash
3) Shallan's mother was involved in secret societies (much like many heralds seem to be)
4) Shallan's mother's soul is said to "glow" inside that box. We all assumed that was pattern/testament, but does that make ANY sense? Maybe when a Herald dies there is a intermediate step, ad somehow Lin put her soul in a box and trapped it? Something like that. 
5) Shallan was chosen TWICE. Maybe the spren wanted to bond someone familiar, and they did know Chanarash.Heck, maybe even Chanarash asked (perhaps to see if Ishar was right)
6) Nale never comes for Shallan. Maybe Lightweaving is too "quiet", but maybe Chanarach intervened in some way. 
7) The evil in the Devar home is said to be supernatural; Chanarach's divine attributes are Obedient and Brave. The corruption of Lin Davar could be said to be a corruption of those exact elements. Maybe Chararach's curse was spread to Lin somehow? 
9) Shallan's disorder could be somehow related to her parentage.
9) Radiant could be the secret that Shallan is of Radiant/Herald blood.


 

Edited by teknopathetic
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On 1/14/2021 at 6:55 PM, teknopathetic said:

I am increasingly fond of the theory that Shallan is the daughter of Chanarach. 

1) Heralds can procreate somehow.
2) Shallan is the spitting Image of Chanarash
3) Shallan's mother was involved in secret societies (much like many heralds seem to be)
4) Shallan's mother's soul is said to "glow" inside that box. We all assumed that was pattern/testament, but does that make ANY sense? Maybe when a Herald dies there is a intermediate step, ad somehow Lin put her soul in a box and trapped it? Something like that. 
5) Shallan was chosen TWICE. Maybe the spren wanted to bond someone familiar, and they did know Chanarash.Heck, maybe even Chanarash asked (perhaps to see if Ishar was right)
6) Nale never comes for Shallan. Maybe Lightweaving is too "quiet", but maybe Chanarach intervened in some way. 
7) The evil in the Devar home is said to be supernatural; Chanarach's divine attributes are Obedient and Brave. The corruption of Lin Davar could be said to be a corruption of those exact elements. Maybe Chararach's curse was spread to Lin somehow? 
9) Shallan's disorder could be somehow related to her parentage.
9) Radiant could be the secret that Shallan is of Radiant/Herald blood.

I'm deeply skeptical of that.

I doubt a Shardblade can kill a Herald, for one. And she really can't be dead regardless. Jezrien's death was the first of the ten to DIE. I guess you could mean a more mundane sort of death, that would "normally" send her off to Braize... Or she just faked it. All that seems weird though.

Nale didn't personally come after Shallan, but the Skybreakers in general seem to have. Her mother was apparently working with them. The other guy who was there, trying to kill Shallan alongside her mother, was a confirmed Skybreaker.

Not a terrible theory, but it's pretty tin-foil-hat-y to me.

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On 1/13/2021 at 6:20 PM, Jorr said:

- Why would the Cryptics choose A LITTLE GIRL for a bond. They could have literally chosen what, hundreds, thousands, millions of other people???

Regarding this point specifically, we know there was an Unmade influencing the Davar house.

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)

And Testament seems to have been there specifically to help Shallan deal with it.

Quote

"The Cryptic encouraged her to become strong enough to help her family, to stand against the terrible darkness spreading through it." RoW Chapter 93

It seems the Cryptics were willing to keep throwing spren at her until one stuck in order to counter this influence...

Which ultimately leaves us with the same question, just instead of wondering why the Cryptics wanted to bond her in particular so badly, we have to wonder what about this minor household attracted an Unmade's attention to the degree the Cryptics felt they needed to step in and stop it as their first action (that we know of) in preparation for the coming Desolation.

Edited by Patrickb
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17 hours ago, Patrickb said:

And Testament seems to have been there specifically to help Shallan deal with it.

Quote

"The Cryptic encouraged her to become strong enough to help her family, to stand against the terrible darkness spreading through it." RoW Chapter 93

It seems the Cryptics were willing to keep throwing spren at her until one stuck in order to counter this influence...

Which ultimately leaves us with the same question, just instead of wondering why the Cryptics wanted to bond her in particular so badly, we have to wonder what about this minor household attracted an Unmade's attention to the degree the Cryptics felt they needed to step in and stop it as their first action (that we know of) in preparation for the coming Desolation.

Really good thoughts here.

Shallan's mother seems to have been involved with the Skybreakers. Then in RoW Shallan has the weird memory of seeing the Seon box somewhere before, which has me wondering if her father was involved with the Ghostbloods deeper than we may have previously thought as well. Between these mysterious activities, it doesn't particularly surprise me that an Unmade would have been around.

Also possible that it's just dumb luck. Maybe the Unmade just happened to be there, and all the mysterious stuff going on was caused by its influence.

Anyways, I really like this idea about them bonding Shallan to help her deal with it. This all makes me wonder if they saw Shallan resisting the Unmade's influence (with "lies", so particularly attractive to them) and that was the indicator to them that she was a good option. A human strong enough to put up resistance to the influence of an Unmade at a young age surely must seem like a good candidate? This is highly speculative of course, but it's an interesting idea that works well for why they might have chosen her.

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Could we figure out which Unmade was corrupting the Davar household I wonder? BAM was captured, Re-Shephir was in Urithiru, Nergaoul was presumably in Alethkar, Sja-Anat says she slumbered until the Everstorm came.

Remaining options:

  • Yelig-nar: I don't know if he has any influence before you swallow the gemstone containing him
  • Ashertman: eventually ends up in Kholinar, maybe moved thru Jah Keved while going East
  • Moelach: only seems to affect Death Rattles, so shouldn't have impacted the living
  • Dai-gonarthis and Chemoarish: likely candidates because we truly don't know anything about them
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As a side note to the main topic, Jasnah seems to have coined a particularly apt name which was probably never a coincidence: liespren. What a fitting name for a spren with a broken oath. 

I wonder if Jasnah had more insight into Shallan's situation than we realized.

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