Atlas

Shallan is even more cringe than before

60 posts in this topic

I agree with you. My sentiments are starkly similar. 

Shallan was a fresh and interesting character, giving us a glimpse of world in TWoK- away from war and conflicts. I was even curious to know her past and despite her bad attempts are making jokes and pun, she was someone you can relate yourself. I liked her determination, her constant struggle towards betraying Jasnah and in end, accepting her mistakes and making promises to atone for it.

In WoR, I had 'normal' affliction towards her. The flashbacks were awesome, simply superb. First part was amazing, startlingly brave of her but the moment she met Kaladin...uh, things soured for me the way she behaved. I mean how stupid can you be? You were ward of Jasnah Kholin and clearly aware of family/army crests. Couldn't you see Captain knots on his shoulders or understand he's a freaking Kholin guard who could've saved you from all Tyn drama? But no, her first thoughts was--- ooooh, a darkeyes, let me just go and torment his ranking because I'm superior! Letmme get his boots despite knowing that he's on guard patrol which NEEDS protection! But now, I'll just mope a line for his poor condition now and get done with it. I hated this interaction. But then Tyn scene happened for a reason and it was great. And the next banter between her and Kaladin was amazing, witty and somewhat sweetened back her arc. But then came Adolin...my dear, you just met him and the first thought comes into your mind his 'our children will have strangest hair colour'. Honestly, I would've loved if Shallan hadn't come between Kaladin and Adolin because clearly THEY are better without HER! 

In Oathbringer, she annoyed me. She annoyed me so, so so freaking much that I would've become Re-Shephir and send my Midnight Essences to wreck her little bedless room into pieces and bond Pattern for myself because he clearly deserves someone better who would just go and do her damn job, not parry between being the RADIANT and warding Jasnah's advice and dally between Kaladin and Adolin for no freaking reason. 

In RoW....truthfully, I skipped her parts in part 1. I had heard audiobook and focused on that Mraize chapter. Except that, everything she did was blatantly stupid and felt too conveniently forced. Pretty sure the Testament case spike in Brandon's mind while he was writing RoW because he gave no clear indication about such happenance. The whole Shadesmar plot was readable because of Maya, Adolin and Pattern and Kelek in end obviously. Compare that to Kaladin-Navani arc, I mean did you even get a moment to catch your breath? Their stories were THAT GREAT! Now that is a story, not making Formless and making foes without knowing their extends.  

I actually wish she gets taken off by an axe or gets her head chopped by GBs for her decision so that Adolin can at least be free of this being. Honestly, they shouldn't have married in first place. Adolin is waay better without her. Shallan is waay better without any plot, humming to herself to death.

Edited by Ramona Tehradin
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my problem with RoW Shallan is that its tiresome to read.

I want a chapter about an established character and not reading about her 2 imaginary friends.
Shallan hiding away inside is also very frustrating to read.

Brandon tried something different with her, but for me it simply doesn't work. its not an appealing read and I catch myself skimming through her chapters.
unfortunately.

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This whole series is about flawed characters, the complexity of their hurts, motivations and struggles. RoW especially shows how sometimes things have to get worse and reach the bottom before they get better, how easy it is to stick to habitual and familiar patterns until we find ourselves pushed against the wall with no other option but to change. This is true for most people in real life. Without good role models, most people stumble around trying to play one or more roles, unaware of it, not daring to listen to their true selves. To like Shallan, you need to like complexity and understand humanity on a more than surface level.

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First off, Shallan has always been the most controversial, and most disliked, out of the three Stormlight-mains. So that is not really anything new. I agreed that parts of her OB-story felt frustrating, but I actually really did enjoy her in RoW. Partially, I think it was because she was actually doing interesting stuff, namely chasing spies, chatting with Mraize and then the whole Kalak-situation. I also thought that her arc felt way more complete this time around, and, while I certainly prefer reading Shallan over Veil and Radiant, I thought Brandon pulled of the personas pretty well. 

As for your point about the stakes, yes, it does feel a little meh that everyone can survive more or less anything, but I think the stakes will rise now when we have weapons that can kill spren permanently. 

50 minutes ago, Ookla the Disproportionate said:

I mean...calling established and very real mental illnesses ‘cringe’ is honestly super tacky but whatever floats your goat I guess...

Not sure that this is what OP was doing. He/she found Brandons portrayal of it cringe, not necessarily the real-life phenomena, which is not at all the same thing. 

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I found Shallan to be very frustrating too, but I think Brandon did this intentionally to illustrate how difficult it would be to deal with multiple personalities. That being said I wasn't particularly fond of many of her chapters because of that. Also all the times Shallan would hide made me want to scream. Get your $#!* together shallan!

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I'm impressed he managed to perpetuate the worst stereotype of MPD/DID: that murder I committed didn't count because it was one of my other personalities that did it.

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6 hours ago, Ookla the Disproportionate said:

I mean...calling established and very real mental illnesses ‘cringe’ is honestly super tacky but whatever floats your goat I guess...

This was actually one of the best reveals imo, because there actually are some very subtle but very clear hints in tWoK. A couple times she thinks about how she needs 10 heartbeats to do something, and when the Patternblade was revealed, we all thought it was referring to that, but obviously Living Blades don’t need 10 heartbeats to be summoned. So there were hints that Shallan had a dead shardblade since the very beginning. 

I agree. 

 

I like but don't love Shallan's chapters, not because of the personalities which I think are interesting but because less interesting stuff happens for me than in other characters', at least since Book 2.

 

However, the Testament reveal was clearly planned from the start, foreshadowed in every book and artfully done. I don't really understand how anyone could find out about it and think it was just thrown in this book without thinking "Oh my god, that's why that thing happened in WoR...", But then I've seen the same criticism in things like Frozen where the twist was foreshadowed heavily as well.

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I actually have liked Shallan more as her mental state has deteriorated.  (or maybe, the flimsy sham of order that she imposed on her broken mind has cracked so now she can buckle down and actually take the time to think things through and start to unstorm herself?  Is being a spy kind of her therapy maybe?)  Her stuff in this book felt like Kaladin in Words of Radiance--ot1h I see what's going on and the recovery is incoming, but otoh, get your rust together, you dumbass!  

Maybe I'm biased though because I wrote the same basic story arc (character with deep-seated issue that they've flimsily papered over suffers extreme trauma that tears everything open, gets help and therapy, makes real progress on the deeper issue, defeats villain representing their issues) for a Star Trek fanfic I spent a year and a half on, and I've been told that it's over too fast because I had it done in 150 pages rather than 600+.  So for me reading BS's take on this kind of mental-health arc is like, "OK, that's what I should've done if I'd had enough to fill things out more", I'm taking notes as I read so that I can do better next time and it's fun to see something that I wanted to see done the way I wanted it to be.  If any of that word salad makes sense.  

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I will say I am getting a little tired of the foreshadowing early on in books for a truth we know will come out later. I don't need to read "but then there was that time.....no, no need to remember that right now" for 10 chapters only for her to finally remember in the end. I get that it helps to build tension, but it can be frustrating as a reader.

But I guess that's all part of the journey! Not every character can be your favorite.  

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I agree, it's hard to read Shallan's chapters without cringing every two seconds. I didn't like her that much in WoK, I loved the flashbacks in WoR, but in Oathbringer, I honestly felt like she was as mad as the heralds. It was a bit better in RoW, but not much. The whole "Formless" thing just made her even less same. Also, how Veil and Radiant aren't technically married to Adolin was weird to me. (Like what if Shallan and Adolin got all intimate, and Radiant popped in out of nowhere. It would be so awkward for Adolin).

 

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Shallan in Rhythm of War is the most interesting and entertaining she has been for me.

4 hours ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I'm impressed he managed to perpetuate the worst stereotype of MPD/DID: that murder I committed didn't count because it was one of my other personalities that did it.

How does it work exactly? Is dissociative identity disorder just a bag of peanuts or is it an actual condition?

12 hours ago, Atlas said:

The personalities "taking her over", and other characters having to deal with that to not offend her is just so awkward.

Curious: how is it supposed to work?

Edited by Nymeros
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I personally like flaws in my character. Shallan probably has the hardest problem to overcome of all of the main characters. She is broken. There’s no other way to say it. She has what is basically a lightweaver-assisted multiple personality disorder, but only as close to MPD as Stephen leed’s schizophrenia. It is distinctly different from any of earth’s mental illnesses, which is why some people might not be able to relate to her. She is the peak of a lightweaver, frankly, since she has so many secrets. I did like her reveals of trauma in WoR, but I also like Shallan now. Her careful balance to her broken mental state is a wonderful thing. It is fascinating that her way of coping with the stress that she has had in her life-killing her mother and father, bonding and killing a spren, and doing all of this as a CHILD-is to create personas that she can hide behind. She is a complex and tough character, and I see how you can dislike her; because she is just hard to relate to. It’s hard to relate to a character that has the trauma of killing her parents, and coping with that through creating fully conscious beings. I don’t need to relate to her, but you can obviously have different opinions than me. Thanks for sharing this!

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11 hours ago, Ookla the Disproportionate said:

I mean...calling established and very real mental illnesses ‘cringe’ is honestly super tacky but whatever floats your goat I guess...

6 hours ago, KSub said:

I think Brandon did this intentionally to illustrate how difficult it would be to deal with multiple personalities. 

13 hours ago, Atlas said:

The personalities "taking her over", and other characters having to deal with that to not offend her is just so awkward.

5 hours ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I'm impressed he managed to perpetuate the worst stereotype of MPD/DID: that murder I committed didn't count because it was one of my other personalities that did it.

Alot of readers are saying that Shallan's case of dissociative identity disorder is either a really great portrayal or a really weak portrayal.  Is Shallan a realistic representation of DID because I have no idea.  I am curious if readers have actually studied this disorder or if you simply assume that DID was represented properly/improperly.  I genuinely want to know.  For instance, is it realistic for patients suffering from DID to have full conversations with their various personalities?

The only time Shallan was cringe was when talked down to Mraize after she didn't kill Kalek.  If I had one complaint about this series, it is that the villains keep losing, while the heroes keep winning.  The only time Team Radiant lost was when Alethcar fell.  The only people who die are villains and people who are connected with Kaladin.  And now Shallan has not only foiled Mraizes plans once again, but now she mocks him openly.  How are we supposed to take the Ghostbloods seriously when they were bamboozled so easily?

Edited by SomeRandomPeasant
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Something that seems to be overlooked in this thread is that mental illnesses can vary like crazy, not just in intensity but also how they manifest. The way Shallan’s mental illness and trauma manifest are not going to always fit the bill for what other people may have experienced with MPD, but largely I think she’s, if anything, a little stereotypical in that respect.

Threads like this just call to light the intolerance that people have for severe mental illness and tbh I think it’s a little disappointing.

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58 minutes ago, SomeRandomPeasant said:

Alot of readers are saying that Shallan's case of dissociative identity disorder is either a really great portrayal or a really weak portrayal.  Is Shallan a realistic representation of DID because I have no idea.  I am curious if readers have actually studied this disorder or if you simply assume that DID was represented properly/improperly.  I genuinely want to know.  For instance, is it realistic for patients suffering from DID to have full conversations with their various personalities?

There is a thread discussing representation with a few plural folks on this board: https://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/93382-plurality-representation/

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Shallan is usually boring but on a reread of RoW i love what Brandon did with her this book. things make so much more sense now.

         this is my analysis of this complex character. Shallan is not the main persona like how we all thought. Shallan is a persona just like Veil, and Radiant. she appears helpless and weak . this is because she has suppressed a lot of memories. She also wants to be liked or loved by everyone. Radiant is her Physical brave aspect she uses to reinforce the idea that shallan is helpless. Veil is her roque persona and the persona that guarded the death of testament. Shallan feals all radiants would turn on her if this truth is revealed. And lastly we have Formless. 

          Formless is the real shallan . she is ruthless, cold blooded at times and willing to do things the others wont. We first saw her unkowingly when she killed the spy lady Lyn and shallan first manifested her shardblade on screen! she screamed " i told you i have already learned that lesson. formless has all the info of shallans past. and often comes out under the guise of shallan. patterned detected her and asked shallan whats wrong are you veil. 

  i have always believed the greatest threat is the one you dont see. So if you look at shallan as though she is the main persona, and veil and radiant are her splinters : she seems crazy ! Look at her as Formless is the main , and shallan is a mask she uses to appear vunerable? now tell me how she appears to you.

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Honestly it’s the reason I’ve been having trouble finishing the book. The Shallan POVs are really just dragging on but I don’t want to miss any of the ghost blood content. 

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6 hours ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I'm impressed he managed to perpetuate the worst stereotype of MPD/DID: that murder I committed didn't count because it was one of my other personalities that did it.

I mean, if she merges with Radiant like she did with Veil, that excuse goes away.

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19 minutes ago, green said:

Threads like this just call to light the intolerance that people have for severe mental illness and tbh I think it’s a little disappointing.

Really? I think it is a shame that people can't criticize Shallan as a character without being labeled as intolerant.  I may not agree with people who dislike Shallan, but they are certainly allowed to have a negative opinion about the character.  When has anyone actually shamed Shallan for having dissociative identity disorder?

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guys guys guys

I will give u the definitive review of shallan

Book 1.. interesting.. like somethings about her... a bit annoying i rather focus on kaladin or dalinar

WOR: EPIC guys im sorry she was a boss.. and im afriaid to say i was beginning to get hope for her.. until the whole kaladin drama.. still wor to me was a stunning sequel and really was shallans book

Oathbringer: she is just TOO boring, i can suffer her.. but man.. highly uninteresting

ROW: a bit better but don't like her plot or character arc at this point but am satisfied with the ending

OVERALL: i feel these books would be way more epic without shallan, especially ROW

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1 hour ago, SomeRandomPeasant said:

Alot of readers are saying that Shallan's case of dissociative identity disorder is either a really great portrayal or a really weak portrayal.  Is Shallan a realistic representation of DID because I have no idea.

I also have no idea how realistic Shallan is, but I do know this: she is an attempt at a portrayal, and not a harmful one. I think that should be enough. People are different, and so their experiences from mental illnesses will also be different.

7 hours ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I'm impressed he managed to perpetuate the worst stereotype of MPD/DID: that murder I committed didn't count because it was one of my other personalities that did it

What is wrong with this? It was a twist that worked fine. 

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Sooooo what we see with Shallan is what it actually is like for some who deal with DID? Genuinely curious but way too lazy to research.

Edited by Nymeros
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3 hours ago, SomeRandomPeasant said:

Alot of readers are saying that Shallan's case of dissociative identity disorder is either a really great portrayal or a really weak portrayal.  Is Shallan a realistic representation of DID because I have no idea.  I am curious if readers have actually studied this disorder or if you simply assume that DID was represented properly/improperly.  I genuinely want to know.  For instance, is it realistic for patients suffering from DID to have full conversations with their various personalities?

The only time Shallan was cringe was when talked down to Mraize after she didn't kill Kalek.  If I had one complaint about this series, it is that the villains keep losing, while the heroes keep winning.  The only time Team Radiant lost was when Alethcar fell.  The only people who die are villains and people who are connected with Kaladin.  And now Shallan has not only foiled Mraizes plans once again, but now she mocks him openly.  How are we supposed to take the Ghostbloods seriously when they were bamboozled so easily?

I’m not so sure they did lose. Something weird was going on in that conversation and a known Scadrian spy is in Shallan’s camp which is unlikely to be a coincidence. If anything that conversation goaded Shallan into immediately heading off for BAM... who the GBs want to find. If there’s a spy on her team she’ll be leading them right there...

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