Toaster Retribution

Lezian the Pursuer

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So, what was everyones thoughts on him? I thought he was a really cool villain, with his Passion, his brutality, and his powers, which made for really fun sequences. I am actually a bit sad that he died permanently. Not that he didn't deserve it, but he was stormin cool.

Also, his second death by Kaladin must have been the most brutally violent death in SA this far. Storms. I was honestly surprised to have that in a Sanderson book. GRRM , Abercrombie or Steven Erikson? Sure, I wouldn't raise an eyebrow. But Brandon usually doesnt have people slowly getting their heads ripped off by gravity. 

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I honestly found him pretty boring. He had no depth; he was just a thug with one quality he obsessed over for no real reason (granted, that is kind of the problem with most of the Fused, so he's probably representative). I do recognize that his role was necessary (not every Fused should be a special snowflake who is just misunderstood) but it didn't really make him interesting.

He was almost literally the monster-of-the-week; nothing foreshadowing him before the book, probably will have zero impact going forward on anyone or any part of the plot, with the possible small exception of his demonstration of his surge.

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He worked as a great villain for Kaladin and their final battle was rather amusing (well, except for the Teft thing happening right at the same time) but I'm glad he won't come back because I mostly found him annoying x)

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1 hour ago, Naerin said:

I liked him for how he represented Kaladin’s  struggle. A foe that keeps coming for you, again and again. A foe you can beat once or twice or three times, but which will keep coming back, until it ends you. I saw The Pursuer as kind of an external symbolic manifestation of Kaladin’s depression. Which was why the scene before Kaladin’s rage moment was so satisfying. Because he was basically saying his depression was never going to end him. He would defeat it not by making it vanish, but by fighting and winning EACH TIME it tries to take him down. 

Storms. Didn't even consider this, but I love it. Makes the Pursuer even more awesome. Thanks!

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No neck naked chump wrapped in his own hair for clothing.

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The book has three main fused characters- Raboniel, Leshwi, and the Pursuer. Raboniel, and Leshwi were both much more nuanced characters, and I think the Pursuer was a great counterbalance to them, a fused that we can unabashedly hate. And I really like the symbolism @Naerin mentioned, I hadn't considered that

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Glad people thought he was cool!  And @Naerin may end up changing my mind about him after the book's had more time to settle in my mind.

On a first read-through, though, Lezian is just Wile E Coyote, except without any of the charm or substance.  I never felt like Kal was in any true danger from any of the fights; I did appreciate when there started being other risks that he had to deal with instead, but because of my intense disinterest in the villain they seemed more artificial and less organic.  (I felt this was largely the case with Kal's entire post-invasion arc.  I also absolutely hated everything Kaladin-related that weren't the Chasm scenes in WoR, but on subsequent read-throughs have no problems and enjoy and look forward to a lot.  I apparently just don't like Kaladin's arcs in even-numbered Stormlight books the first time I read them.)

Characters, whether antagonists or protagonists, villains or heroes, that have only one 'thing' are incredibly boring to me, and the opposite of compelling.  And right or wrong, characters that bore me don't generate any emotion at all.  If the goal was an unabashedly evil Fused that we could hate, for me that failed, because--I mean, what is there to hate? 

Lezier: I HUNT THE ONE THAT KILLED ME! THIS IS WHAT I DO! IT'S THE ONLY THING I DO! EVERYONE KNOWS THAT, AND I AM SUPER-FAMOUS FOR IT! WAAAAAAH!
Me: Sir, this is a Wendy's.

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The Defeated One's death was actually fun. Not serious.. not with much deep implications.. not with any deep emotional connect.. it was just like, hell yeah, get off my sight.. get killed by Kal while he is being awesomely dangerous.. I actually thought, it was one of those Hollywood popcorn action moments.. totally opposite to Raboniel's.. which was oh so wow.. and I felt that deeply!!! And Adolin's arc.. wow.. 

But Lezian the Defeated?? Naah.. just wanted him to get beaten up like pulp everytime he showed up and, in the end got my wish!!! :D

Edited by Pandora's shard
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16 hours ago, Naerin said:

I liked him for how he represented Kaladin’s  struggle. A foe that keeps coming for you, again and again. A foe you can beat once or twice or three times, but which will keep coming back, until it ends you. I saw The Pursuer as kind of an external symbolic manifestation of Kaladin’s depression. Which was why the scene before Kaladin’s rage moment was so satisfying. Because he was basically saying his depression was never going to end him. He would defeat it not by making it vanish, but by fighting and winning EACH TIME it tries to take him down. 

What an amazing way to put it! I loved it. The symbolism between Pursuer and Kaladin's depression is evident. 

There have been wordings that Lezian is a bland villian whose arc was to make Kaladin's arc progress and I absolutely disagree. How much do we even know about Fused? Next to almost none. We don't know their 'Reborn' process in detail, we don't know what they did in Briaze, we don't know their activities in past Desolations and we don't know that despite being soldiers of Odium, some of them have different Intents. Reboniel and Leshwi proved that despite years of torture, they stayed fixed to their Passion. Reboniel's was Intrigue/Curiosity and Leshwi, much to our surprise was Rectitude. 

And Pursuer's Passion was Vengeance. 

For all we know, this character might be even older than other Fused and this constant cycle of Desolations has left impacts on his mind. BS in a beautiful way showed that not everything immortality lures can be a gift. It's the curse which would be always suspended over your head, waiting to strike and take away who you are. And this is who our Pursuer become, a stark example of those coveting immortality but losing their sanity. Thinking about it, even Gavilar was soughing to become immortal and his mind was already corrupted that he was his own legacy. 

I also liked how Pursuer influenced in Kaladin's story. Not only this antagonist compelled Kaladin to rely on different techniques but also slowly get the full picture that there will be always other ways to protect people, but there will be these whom you need to fight in order to protect. Pursuer managed to bring that tipping balance in Kaladin's 'fight' because Kal would now know, even though he chose to be a healer- this creature would come again and again, jeopardizing those around him. Hence, he must make the balance between spear and scalpel, and be prepared. And this made Kaladin confident that he can be whatever he wants to be and still protect people. 

Also, something people forget that despite Reboniel having called Kal being not a threat during meeting with Nine, she clearly knows that he is the biggest threat over others and let him loose to hunt down the only taint that could spoil her plans. I was so glad when her fears became real in end. 

The final showdown between Kaladin and Lezian was so cinematic, like imagining a highstorm raging in background with eyes of people and singers watching with their breaths held down their throat and you have no option but to CHOSE to fight because that's your choice. You have the choice to embrace that STORM, that power within you to become confident that you think yourself ETERNAL in compared to a literal immortal. 

There are a lot of things in jumble after Teft's death and subsequent fight. Theories have been sparking about Kaladin's yellowish-red eyes and such agility as wind which is like all new level of stuff but the way he killed Pursuer was terrifying and at the same time, satisfying. Clearly it showed that we do NOT know the real STORM that is within Kaladin. 

Anyways, I believe Pursuer's character got what it was written for.

 

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, Naerin said:

I liked him for how he represented Kaladin’s  struggle. A foe that keeps coming for you, again and again. A foe you can beat once or twice or three times, but which will keep coming back, until it ends you. I saw The Pursuer as kind of an external symbolic manifestation of Kaladin’s depression. Which was why the scene before Kaladin’s rage moment was so satisfying. Because he was basically saying his depression was never going to end him. He would defeat it not by making it vanish, but by fighting and winning EACH TIME it tries to take him down. 

Holy ......dang. Yeah 

 

As for my thoughts on lezian. Not much , I won't miss him , although I don't understand why the Fused were ok with killing him rather than some non functionally insane fused . 

I mean sure u could include lezian in  that category but he was still of some strategic use 

Edited by Dreamspren
A little polishing
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44 minutes ago, Dreamspren said:

Holy ......dang. Yeah 

As for my thoughts on lezian. Not much , I won't miss him , although I don't understand why the Fused were ok with killing him rather than some non functionally insane fused . 

I mean sure u could include lezian in  that category but he was still of some strategic use 

Not really.

Leshwi was probably not alone in assessing his "pursuer" thing eye-rollingly stupid, noting that he had disrupted carefully laid plans many times in his quest to go after the "strongest" Radiant one on one, no matter what. His single-minded obsession was a step towards the "sprenification" type of insanity that the Fused were prone to exhibiting.

At the same time, make no mistake, Lezian must have been pretty dangerous because by everybody's reckoning, he'd never been killed by the same Radiant twice. He had always succeeded in a "revenge kill rematch", even against Windrunners of the Fourth Ideal (which he's obviously faced before).

He "lived by his reputation", which included a reputation among the Radiants themselves so long as there was an unbroken tradition on both sides. The fact that Kaladin had never heard of him really, really annoyed him... And likely played into why Kaladin was able to do what he did. Not just because he's Kaladin Stormblessed. But because Lezian popping up in front of him and going Rrraah, I'm the Pursuer, a Radiant's worst nightmare! only garnered an initial eye-blinking and then "whatever, have a knife in the throat".

His whole "value added" as The Pursuer was to be a morale boost for the singers and an instrument of terror to the Radiants. Now that the Fused and Regals saw him literally run in fright from a Stormlight-crippled Kaladin, and now that this is the version of him the new Radiants only know about, he has no strategic utility as "The Pursuer" at all.

Lezian as a regular fighting Fused, keeping his head down and following orders while using his fighting ability to take down other non-Kaladin Radiants - that would be his remaining strategic use, but as you could see from his reaction to being revived, he was not going to accept such a turn of events. And would be very disruptive in trying to resume his "quest".

The New Vessel of Odium wouldn't tolerate that kind of thing anyway - Rayse as a bully himself probably liked that angle, while Taravangian the careful plotter would NEVER tolerate the "outside the command structure" commission Lezian had had as The Pursuer.

Edited by robardin
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Lezian is the Boba Fett of this book.

When he was introduced we all went "oooOOOoOoOoH!!!!" at his menacing aura. But in the end, his jetpack malfunctioned and he fell into the Sarlacc's mouth like a dork.

Jokes aside, I liked Lezian. He was fun and menacing and filled the minor antagonist role well, (because there are already plenty of major antagonists in this plot) and Kaladin's final smackdown on him was really really satisfying. 

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I thought he was an interesting character in concept, but came off a little silly in execution.

Honestly, I think it was his dialogue that really ruined it for me.

As a thought experiment - if you simply removed all his dialogue in this book (leave him an animalistic silent killer) I think he would've served his role better than he does now. 

Edited by Topgoon
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5 hours ago, Dreamspren said:

Holy ......dang. Yeah 

 

As for my thoughts on lezian. Not much , I won't miss him , although I don't understand why the Fused were ok with killing him rather than some non functionally insane fused . 

I mean sure u could include lezian in  that category but he was still of some strategic use 

 

4 hours ago, robardin said:

The New Vessel of Odium wouldn't tolerate that kind of thing anyway - Rayse as a bully himself probably liked that angle, while Taravangian the careful plotter would NEVER tolerate the "outside the command structure" commission Lezian had had as The Pursuer.

Actually, I don't think Rayse was going to tolerate him any more either even if Mr. T didn't take over. Moash specifically said to leave Kaladin alone and he would destroy himself. Lezian's actions directly lead to Kaladin overcoming his pain and swearing the 4th Ideal. Once Lezian interfered with what Odium and Moash were doing to Kaladin, he signed his own death sentence.  

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19 minutes ago, Harrycrapper said:

Actually, I don't think Rayse was going to tolerate him any more either even if Mr. T didn't take over. Moash specifically said to leave Kaladin alone and he would destroy himself. Lezian's actions directly lead to Kaladin overcoming his pain and swearing the 4th Ideal. Once Lezian interfered with what Odium and Moash were doing to Kaladin, he signed his own death sentence.  

This is very true. I meant more that Vargodium would never have stood for Lezian's "commission" the way Rayse had done... Explicitly violating his Command as relayed through Vyre not to touch Kaladin as he mourned over Teft's body, ultimately resulting in Kaladin reaching the Fourth Ideal instead, he had something coming his way from Raysodium for sure. Probably not what happened to him with El, but who knows.

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Yes Lezian is boring, flat as a character.@Naerin makes great points though! 
What I also see is that The Pursuer is also a way to show what has been hinted at throughout, and mentioned several times in RoW, on how the shards splinters intent takes over, and how CS's can even create their own intent.  
This from @robardin
His single-minded obsession was a step towards the "sprenification" type of insanity that the Fused were prone to exhibiting.

Edited by FollowYourMuse
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Useless character. You could remove him from the narrative entirely and the story would be the same 

I'm happy he died, so we won't have to endure him and his stupid hunting journey again next book 

Edited by IcaroRibeiro
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I feel like he and Moash were kind of interchangeable in this book.

I did like the line "this undermines my entire existence!" though, because it sounds like something I'd say when I feel like being overdramatic.

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He fulfilled his role perfectly, imo. He was supposed to be this terrifying enemy who relentlessly pursued you, who has this legend of inevitability. Except you don't know the legends, and so he doesn't strike fear in your heart because of that. His personality has eroded away with time, his routine tradition is pretty much all that remains, take that from him and he crumbles. He has no reputation, he is not used to someone not running and instead turning the tables on him. His fall was poetic and he was supposed to go from menacing to pathetic.

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