Atlas

Shallan is even more cringe than before

60 posts in this topic

Plus she outdid Mraize the guys got all the subtlety of a brick to the face.  If Shallan had to deal with Thaidikar/Kelsier she'd get played like a fiddle.

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22 hours ago, Atlas said:

Hi everyone, I had to sign up to make this post since it's something that's been bothering me a whole lot, and that's our dear Shallan Davar.

 

In the first book, she was alright. I actually enjoyed her studying with Jasnah and all the spooky stuff that happened with Pattern. But by the second book, everything started going downhill so fast. By the time the split persona thing started coming out, it was too late. I absolutely despise Veil, she's such a tiresome character and is essentially just Shallan's powerfantasy (that has plot armor and cannot fail, of course).

In RoW, I get actual physical cringe from reading her chapters. The personalities "taking her over", and other characters having to deal with that to not offend her is just so awkward. Poor Adolin, he was my favorite character in the series but now he's just delegated to a body pillow for Shallan.

I won't even dare hope that she gets killed somehow, since apparently she can just casually take a crossbow bolt to the head and shrug it off, thanks to her super awesome radiant powers. This ties into another major gripe I've been dealing with in Stormlight - how there's just no stakes anymore. Everything's so meta, the world doesn't feel nearly as real and intriguing as before. I suppose nothing good ever lasts though.

Personally I'm least interested in Shallan's POV mainly because of what's her problem which is basically multiple personality disorder or something similar. Unlike Kal's POV which tackles depression and Dalinar's which is becoming better (?), I am much more familiar in their situation. Shallan is... kind of weird when I read her part, and the "Taking her over" situations are really confusing for me to understand it since I am not sure how these things work.

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I really enjoyed Shallan in RoW. To me, the split-persona thing was much easier to digest and better handled than it was before. In RoW it felt quite natural and I could see reason in the whole thing, even though the conflict in Shallan was much more clearly established and on the surface. Shallan felt like she was developing, whereas I found most Kaladin-chapters a bit of a slog, since there was no drive, no nothing (although that probably means that his deep depression was well written by Brandon). Shallan just felt more dynamic, more anchored (of course, she - as opposed to Kaladin - has an actual human anchor in Adolin) and more streamlined. It also felt very natural to me that the "real" Shallan would finally retreat after all the mental abuse she has suffered through the first three books.

The hot-potato threeway of who controlled Shallan at any given time also felt relatable to me. In my experience, people actually do this (although it might not be that drastic or so visibly on display), for example in challenging workplaces or difficult social situations. People indeed have different personas for these situations which are adapted to handle a given challenge. I'm not saying everybody does this but I don't feel it is far-fetched at all and I think it was handled well by Brandon.

So: don't agree with the premise; I enjoyed Shallan and found her relatable, much more so than Kaladin for most of the book.

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The character of Shallan is the worst part of Shallan chapters.  The mystery of her backstory: fascinating.  The intrigue with the Ghostbloods: great!  Pattern: Awesome Character, always want more of him!  Adolin: wonderful character when allowed to do things other than tell Shallan how perfect and beautiful she is.

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Shallan is probably actually my favorite character, probably because I suffer from avoidant personality disorder, and it's similar in a lot of ways to what she's going through. 

I do get how most of you find her frustrating, and I imagine she was frustrating to write. And I think that's somewhat intentional. The world is slowly working on acceptance, for example go check out the Jasnah and Rlain sexuality posts, so much love on those posts. But people are like "I just hate that version of her" bro she hates all of the versions of her. 

Especially towards the end, where she's having a full blown meltdown, and her trying to rationalize with herself - I love it. 

I think people are more sympathetic towards Kal because everyone has fought some amount of depression. I mean shots fired, we're here obsessing over a book. It's an escape, it's our escape, if you're reading this, you probably suffer from depression. Shallan suffers from something a little more rare, and difficult to understand. 

But so example. Be me, physically handicapped (though not as much as many) terrified of people, certain loud noises, paranoid, just want to sleep and hide. I work a job where that won't do. I had to create an aspect of myself that was confident, self assured, bold. I do this because helping people is a core ideal for me I guess. But most times, when my weekend rolls around after a week of 12 hour shifts listening to, reacting to, and fighting the horrors that are reality in our world, I'm exhausted more than just physically. It's a heavy mask to wear. Friends moved on, I frustrated them too much by wanting to be around them but not wanting to do anything. Relationships don't work, I'm a burden. 

Everything Shallan has going on in her head is real. The personas don't help her cope, they help her survive. 

Anyways, tldr, you're absolutely allowed to not care for Shallan as a character, that's your right as a reader. Just maybe cut her some slack, she's trying. 

(Also this isn't meant to be a pity-party-post, just thought maybe a realistic example would help)

Cheers guys :wub:

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On 11/30/2020 at 9:34 AM, 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'm going to focus on this one because this kind of virtue signaling and guilt fishing really pisses me off. It's completely counter productive to the push forward for acceptance of all prejudged people. It puts those who are trying to learn and change on the defensive, often making them actually give up, and doesn't do anything to make more people try. It's using acceptance as a source of odium. And it comes from the same arrogant ignorance that the problems people are trying to solve come from.

Shallan didn't have MPD/DID because she was hiding a murder behind being a different personality. Hell, she didn't even create personalities to hide the fact that she killed both of her parents. She created a personality specifically to wall herself off from the trauma of killing her best friend, a spren (there was probably also damage done to Shallan as a child by the mechanism of breaking Oaths). This is EXACTLY what MPD/DID is. I think Sanderson handled this whole thing relatively well. Her new traumas made her confront the truth and she "absorbed" the persona she created when she no longer needed to hide. It may have been frustrating to read, boring, confusing or just not fun, but it definitely wasn't "perpetuating the worst stereotype".

His toughest test as far as being true to this particular mental health issue is coming up, with Shallan being "fixed". She's kept Radiant around. Veil was created to hide her shame. Radiant was created to hide what exactly? It represents her bravery, but it's named after her primary affiliation.

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I should have been clearer, I wasn't referring to Shallan's self-defense towards her parents, but to her murdering Ialai Sadeas when she had surrendered to custody.  

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31 minutes ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I should have been clearer, I wasn't referring to Shallan's self-defense towards her parents, but to her murdering Ialai Sadeas when she had surrendered to custody.  

Sorry, yeah, that makes sense. To be fair, DID wasn't used as an excuse for Shallan to kill. Shallan planned and prepared for the killing and Radiant carried it out to hide it from Shallan. Veil existed to hide the past. Radiant exists to hide the present.

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1 hour ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I should have been clearer, I wasn't referring to Shallan's self-defense towards her parents, but to her murdering Ialai Sadeas when she had surrendered to custody.  

I feel that one was more a plot device than anything. If there is no mystery about Ialai's murder, there is no reason to go spy-hunting which is the only thing Shallan does right until the very end of RoW.

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Loved her role in this book but she's my favorite character so I'm a bit biased :) I don't really like the way people are making light of her mental illness but on a more light-hearted note her potential war with the "Lord of Scars" is very exciting. 

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48 minutes ago, UnseenCourt said:

Loved her role in this book but she's my favorite character so I'm a bit biased :) I don't really like the way people are making light of her mental illness but on a more light-hearted note her potential war with the "Lord of Scars" is very exciting. 

Agreed. I want those two to meet!

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3 hours ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Agreed. I want those two to meet!

I could totally see Kelsier having a bit of a crisis should he meet Shallan and recognize that he is fighting against someone who resembles Vin in many regards.

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32 minutes ago, thorongil said:

I could totally see Kelsier having a bit of a crisis should he meet Shallan and recognize that he is fighting against someone who resembles Vin in many regards.

I think Kell would be more upset at the whole situation that LED to them fighting. And would probably apologize for Mraize’s behavior, explain that since he can’t/couldn’t leave Scadrial he has to rely on his crew members to get things done without proper supervision, and then offer to try and make amends.

Within a year Shallan is considering getting a GB tattoo and wondering what happened. Radiant is unamused. 

Kell is very persuasive, very manipulative, and his force of character is enough to bowl most people over. Radiant is a much harder sell than Shallan though and Kell knows better than to try to overtly manipulate her.

She doesn’t like him much, though she probably would come to respect him some. Not enough to ever join him. Not enough to stop wishing she could just remove his head from his shoulders... or, at least, shut him up permanently. (Radiant wants to know what Moiraine did and how to replicate it.) Kell’s fine with that. He likes Radiant a lot and she’s good for Shallan. Whom he also likes.

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8 hours ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

I think Kell would be more upset at the whole situation that LED to them fighting. And would probably apologize for Mraize’s behavior, explain that since he can’t/couldn’t leave Scadrial he has to rely on his crew members to get things done without proper supervision, and then offer to try and make amends.

Within a year Shallan is considering getting a GB tattoo and wondering what happened. Radiant is unamused. 

Kell is very persuasive, very manipulative, and his force of character is enough to bowl most people over. Radiant is a much harder sell than Shallan though and Kell knows better than to try to overtly manipulate her.

She doesn’t like him much, though she probably would come to respect him some. Not enough to ever join him. Not enough to stop wishing she could just remove his head from his shoulders... or, at least, shut him up permanently. (Radiant wants to know what Moiraine did and how to replicate it.) Kell’s fine with that. He likes Radiant a lot and she’s good for Shallan. Whom he also likes.

Storm it! Now I want Kel in stormlight soon. I doubt he will show himself next book, but I want him to.

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22 hours ago, Leuthie said:

Sorry, yeah, that makes sense. To be fair, DID wasn't used as an excuse for Shallan to kill. Shallan planned and prepared for the killing and Radiant carried it out to hide it from Shallan. Veil existed to hide the past. Radiant exists to hide the present.

I think it's a little more specific for Radiant. She created Radiant because she had to wield the Blade. I think she needed to create a persona that didn't have any memories of killing Testament so that she could wield the Blade without facing the Truth that she killed Testament. Which is also why Radiant didn't know about the final truth but Veil did. 

Edited by Harrycrapper
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Wow. I honestly don't understand why many people even read these books. It seems so many people don't like the characters, find the arcs boring, and cringe when readiing important character development arcs. And I am really interested in understanding other people. I should study this forum more, it seems. 

These problems that our heroes struggle with are not easily solved. They take a long time, and lots of repetitive frustration to find a way out. That is one of the most believeable and interesting aspects of these books for me. 

I'm sorry, I haven't got anything to add to this thread. I find Shallan very interesting and I learn a lot from her. I just had to let out a little frustration. This negative complaining really makes it less interesting to visit this forum for me. For me the whole SA experience is about learning how to positively understand other people, and to stop complaining about how bad, boring and completely useless other people are. 

Please don't get me wrong, I don't wish to stop other people from complaining, I just don't understand what people see in these books if they don't wish to read about the chraracters that are different from themselves. I thought that was the whole point.

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1 hour ago, Jenet said:

Wow. I honestly don't understand why many people even read these books. It seems so many people don't like the characters, find the arcs boring, and cringe when readiing important character development arcs. And I am really interested in understanding other people. I should study this forum more, it seems. 

These problems that our heroes struggle with are not easily solved. They take a long time, and lots of repetitive frustration to find a way out. That is one of the most believeable and interesting aspects of these books for me. 

I'm sorry, I haven't got anything to add to this thread. I find Shallan very interesting and I learn a lot from her. I just had to let out a little frustration. This negative complaining really makes it less interesting to visit this forum for me. For me the whole SA experience is about learning how to positively understand other people, and to stop complaining about how bad, boring and completely useless other people are. 

Please don't get me wrong, I don't wish to stop other people from complaining, I just don't understand what people see in these books if they don't wish to read about the chraracters that are different from themselves. I thought that was the whole point.

Even though I understand were you are coming from, I think this viewpoint is incredibly sad.  People are allowed to have different opinions about a character.  In fact, it is inevitable that people won’t like every single character because people in general tend to gravitate towards different ideas.  If people throw hate on someone because of their gender, race, or physical/mental abnormality, then that is a different story.  But I don’t see that kind of bigotry represented on this forum, and if someone does post genuine hate, the mods are quick to take it down.  

I personally like Shallan as a character, and don’t like Adolin as a character.  In the past, when I have voiced these opinions on this forum, people have naturally disagreed.  And in these cases, discussing these characters with various “haters” and “supporters” added new depth to the characters that I had not seen before.  This didn’t fully change my opinion, but open minded discourse forces you to not only confront opposing opinions but it also allows you to learn more about a character.  This forum is home to Lirin hate threads, Kaladin hate threads, Moash hate treads, Shallan hate threads and so on.  These threads, in my opinion, have yielded interesting discussions even when readers come down hard on particular character.  Disliking a character is usually more than just “hating someone who is different than themselves”.  Classifying character criticism like that is, I think, over simplifying their argument.

I urge you and other people on this forum to try to understand each other.  Just because someone else dislikes a particular character or finds their arc boring doesn’t mean their opinion isn’t valid.  

Simply complaining about a character is not the equivalent to hate.

Edited by SomeRandomPeasant
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1 hour ago, SomeRandomPeasant said:

Even though I understand were you are coming from, I think this viewpoint is incredibly sad.  People are allowed to have different opinions about a character.  In fact, it is inevitable that people won’t like every single character because people in general tend to gravitate towards different ideas.  If people throw hate on someone because of their gender, race, or physical/mental abnormality, then that is a different story.  But I don’t see that kind of bigotry represented on this forum, and if someone does post genuine hate, the mods are quick to take it down.  

I personally like Shallan as a character, and don’t like Adolin as a character.  In the past, when I have voiced these opinions on this forum, people have naturally disagreed.  And in these cases, discussing these characters with various “haters” and “supporters” added new depth to the characters that I had not seen before.  This didn’t fully change my opinion, but open minded discourse forces you to not only confront opposing opinions but it also allows you to learn more about a character.  This forum is home to Lirin hate threads, Kaladin hate threads, Moash hate treads, Shallan hate threads and so on.  These threads, in my opinion, have yielded interesting discussions even when readers come down hard on particular character.  Disliking a character is usually more than just “hating someone who is different than themselves”.  Classifying character criticism like that is, I think, over simplifying their argument.

I urge you and other people on this forum to try to understand each other.  Just because someone else dislikes a particular character or finds their arc boring doesn’t mean their opinion isn’t valid.  

Simply complaining about a character is not the equivalent to hate.

The quoted post didn't use the word hate. Didn't even say they disliked people with a certain opinion. They specifically said he doesn't understand the opinion. Lack of understanding is not hate, especially when the lack of understanding leads to curiosity. The post you quoted specifically stated, in the first paragraph: "And I am really interested in understanding other people. I should study this forum more, it seems." 

Either you quoted the wrong post, didn't read beyond the first sentence and knee jerked a reaction, or you're projecting. 

Edited by Leuthie
Gendered pronoun habit fixed
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23 minutes ago, Leuthie said:

The quoted post didn't use the word hate. Didn't even say he disliked people with a certain opinion. He specifically said he doesn't understand the opinion. Lack of understanding is not hate, especially when the lack of understanding leads to curiosity. The post you quoted specifically stated, in the first paragraph: "And I am really interested in understanding other people. I should study this forum more, it seems." 

Either you quoted the wrong post, didn't read beyond the first sentence and knee jerked a reaction, or you're projecting. 

Thank you. Yes, I am just curious, and a little tired of sorting through all the hate threads without finding out more on why people hate the different characters. Several times I find posts explaining very thoroughly why we should understand and like the characters, and I find these posts interesting. But I learn nothing from people just plainly stating that a character makes them cringe, or that they hate a character. In fact I have engaged in one of the many Shallan hate threads that has evolved here, and I have asked for an explanation, so that I can understand why people wish to read these books, while not wishing to read about one of the most important characters. And I have not yet seen an answer that I can understand. For me, stating that you hate someone or cringe, or refuse to read their chapters does not make me understand more about that reader.

I have come to believe that I have completely different things I look for in a book than these people, I guess. And that is OK. I find the SA extremely interesting because Sanderson describes all kinds of different people, with all kinds of troubles, many times seen through the eyes of others, many times grossly misunderstood, many times before they have really come to understand themselves. I just love to be fooled, to have my prejudices unveiled, to learn more, to follow someone on their journey to self insight.

I just have to accept that other people have other reasons for reading. That is OK. I just find it curious. 

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2 hours ago, Leuthie said:

Either you quoted the wrong post, didn't read beyond the first sentence and knee jerked a reaction, or you're projecting. 

That isn't fair.  I clearly responded to numerous points the poster were making throughout my response.  My main concern, was that they said "This negative complaining really makes it less interesting to visit this forum for me.".  That is incredibly sad to me.  I also thought they were oversimplifying the arguments of people who don't like certain characters.  They said: "I just don't understand what people see in these books if they don't wish to read about the characters that are different from themselves. I thought that was the whole point. As I said, that usually isn't why people dislike certain characters and I am trying to lead them away from that sort of thinking.

My post seemed pretty innocuous to be honest.

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5 minutes ago, SomeRandomPeasant said:

That isn't fair.  I clearly responded to numerous points the poster were making throughout my response.  My main concern, was that they said "This negative complaining really makes it less interesting to visit this forum for me.".  That is incredibly sad to me.  I also thought they were oversimplifying the arguments of people who don't like certain characters.  They said: "I just don't understand what people see in these books if they don't wish to read about the characters that are different from themselves. I thought that was the whole point. As I said, that usually isn't why people dislike certain characters and I am trying to lead them away from that sort of thinking.

My post seemed pretty innocuous to be honest.

You’re in the right here, in my opinion. You are allowed to dislike some characters in your favorite (or close to favorite) series. We don’t want to start up arguments here though. Mods don’t like it. Civil discussion is probably fine, but targeted attacks bad basically.

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I suppose my biggest criticism of Shallan's arc in Row is that the reveal of Testament, while as a standalone felt very powerful, lacked a bit more development to be as effective in the grand scheme of things. I still think that her killing her parents is much worse, so a scene explaining how much impact her bonding Testament had on Shallan would have provided some much necessary context, and as a result added more weight to when she inevitably breaks said bond. Apart from that, I feel like she was snubbed of her payoff. After confronting this truth and integrating Veil, she's whisked away only to reappear when everything is resolved to provide some closing thoughts. Shallan confronting Radiant about Ialai is brushed to the side. Her telling Adolin, talking with Pattern, reconnecting with Testament is all handled off-screen. Her conversation with Kalak would have been nothing short of fascinating but I suppose I can understand why we weren't present as it may have revealed too much crucial information about where we might be headed in the next book. Still though, a bit of a let down. Formless also being just a lie really didn't endear me to her. She's surrounded with people who love her, care about her well being, from her friends, Pattern, her fellow Lightweavers and Adolin (he's lieteraly Rosharan Jesus at this point), so the idea that she was willing to abandon them all and left them devastated really made me feel like she's taking them all for granted. Shadesmar as a whole felt like an afterthought to me so I guess this too affects any arcs that were a part of it.

I liked Shallan a great deal in WoK, and was intrigued with her in spite of some of her more questionable decisions and the fact that her story was so removed from the immediate action. In WoR I continued to like her though she did start to show some annoying traits, but given that we find out the extent of her trauma it was understandable. OB however was where she started to lose me. After several rereads, her story in OB just leaves me exhausted. I can understand her avoiding confrontation and after everything she's lived through, it makes sense. Understanding why she makes certain decisions doesn't mean I approve of said decisions or find it any less frustrating when they end in more pain. This basically continued in RoW. Other than that, as of OB, more and more important conversations seem to be happening off screen. Some plot points going so far as unresolved even to this day
Shallan still hasn't confronted Kaladin about her brother Helaran, though I'm more annoyed with Kaladin at how completely he's forgotten about it TBH, and speaking of her brothers I was hoping we'd discover more about them, and ended up really disappointed that they were effectively reduced to only being leverage for the GB's to hold over Shallan but that's getting a bit off topic. All in all, her final statement that it was "Shallan's time to soar" left me feeling optimistic and hopeful about her future endeavors.

 

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On 11/30/2020 at 8:33 PM, Nymeros said:

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.

She's not DID. She's closest to OSDD 1b. I did a thread about our reactions to it, as a system who's probably got that. 

Also, please remember that people like us are always in the room and what you say about our, frankly speaking, absolutely minuscule representation matters. 

 

Edited by the winter system
to rephrase thing
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On 11/30/2020 at 2:27 AM, Atlas said:

Hi everyone, I had to sign up to make this post since it's something that's been bothering me a whole lot, and that's our dear Shallan Davar.

 

In the first book, she was alright. I actually enjoyed her studying with Jasnah and all the spooky stuff that happened with Pattern. But by the second book, everything started going downhill so fast. By the time the split persona thing started coming out, it was too late. I absolutely despise Veil, she's such a tiresome character and is essentially just Shallan's powerfantasy (that has plot armor and cannot fail, of course).

In RoW, I get actual physical cringe from reading her chapters. The personalities "taking her over", and other characters having to deal with that to not offend her is just so awkward. Poor Adolin, he was my favorite character in the series but now he's just delegated to a body pillow for Shallan.

I won't even dare hope that she gets killed somehow, since apparently she can just casually take a crossbow bolt to the head and shrug it off, thanks to her super awesome radiant powers. This ties into another major gripe I've been dealing with in Stormlight - how there's just no stakes anymore. Everything's so meta, the world doesn't feel nearly as real and intriguing as before. I suppose nothing good ever lasts though.

Funny I had almost the oppisite reaction I HATED her inWoK absolutly hated her, and it's slowwly gotten better as Brandon has stopped shoving her chapters right in the middle of what I actually care about.

I agree with the 'Oh no ones in real danger' but he has that problem with all his books.

On 11/30/2020 at 4:11 AM, 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...

I would say that Shallan is cringe in general, always has been, can't she preform some bloodshed for me is that too much to ask?

Edited by Ookla The Frustrated
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26 minutes ago, Ookla The Frustrated said:

I would say that Shallan is cringe in general, always has been, can't she preform some bloodshed for me is that too much to ask?

I mean, you can think Shallan is cringe in general all you want, thats a valid-ish opinion. A wrong opinion, but technically valid. OP was specifically calling her cringe because of her mental disorder. Which is not a valid opinion.
From what I’ve heard, Shallan is actually a pretty accurate representation of what it’s like dealing with that sort of mental condition. So if the portrayal is accurate, and then you call the portrayal cringe, it’s calling the IRL condition cringe, which is not cool. 

As for the second part, let’s see...
Tyn, Her father, her mother, Ialai, Testament, probably some more I’m forgetting. How much bloodshed does Shallan need to cause to not be cringe? How is that even related?

Unless that was poor wording on your part and you’re actually just asking for Shallan to die. Which I have to disagree with. Even if you think she’s cringe, she’s still an integral part of the storyline. Removing Shallan would ruin the entire series. 

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