Toaster Retribution

Kalak

33 posts in this topic

I have seen a lot of people talking about Kalaks goals, Kalak being Restares, and so on, but I haven't seen a thread purely dedicated to discussing our impressions of Kalak as a character. Did you like him? Dislike him? Indifferent?

Personally, I was surprised at how casual his attitude was. I expected him to be a constant nerve-wreck, but he didn't give off the vibe he had at Gavilars feast, or in the prelude. He felt much more relaxed. But he was a bit funny, and seemed to be less dangerous than Nale or Ishar. 

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He was much more sane than I was expecting for sure - I loved the big insights he gives Shallan. I wonder if living in the cognitive realm helps prevent "Heraldic-Mind-Decay" or maybe living there means he's less impacted by it/has reverted to a better state? In any case, I found his... lucidity surprising... though maybe that could also be because Shallan swore a truth in front of him? 

Also on a grand scale it's so much fun to come back to our very first POV character just as a "where are they now" kinda thing. Gives me some nostalgia for when I first started reading and thought Kalak would be the protagonist :lol:

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Why is hair thinning? I didn't expect that. Is it thinning because his body is slooooooowly (so slowly) aging or because his body adapts to his mental state or was he just thinning before he became a Herald? If I had a tailor made body from God I would ask for a full head of lusciousness.

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3 hours ago, Nymeros said:

Why is hair thinning? I didn't expect that. Is it thinning because his body is slooooooowly (so slowly) aging or because his body adapts to his mental state or was he just thinning before he became a Herald? If I had a tailor made body from God I would ask for a full head of lusciousness.

I wonder if it has to do with how he percieves himself. He does consider himself to be very old (which he is) and quite sick and tired of everything. I wouldn't be surprised if that affected his appearance. 

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43 minutes ago, Toaster Retribution said:

I wonder if it has to do with how he percieves himself. He does consider himself to be very old (which he is) and quite sick and tired of everything. I wouldn't be surprised if that affected his appearance. 

I think the same especially since Jezrien started graying despite the first thing we learn about him is that he looks younger than he is.

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I quite enjoyed Kalak as a character actually. He was surprisingly chill and seems a lot more sane than from what I was expecting. Out of all the Heralds so far I'd say he is one of the most likeable.  I found myself rooting for him at different points in the story.

He doesn't seem the most dangerous of the Heralds (ignoring of course his ability to organise and deceive a massive group of individuals including generals and monarchs to fulfill his goals.) but he does seem to have the most personality and charisma left to him. I'd even say he seems to have the biggest heart of all the Heralds we've seen so far, this of course disregarding the SoH.

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25 minutes ago, Debarra said:

I quite enjoyed Kalak as a character actually. He was surprisingly chill and seems a lot more sane than from what I was expecting. Out of all the Heralds so far I'd say he is one of the most likeable.  I found myself rooting for him at different points in the story.

He doesn't seem the most dangerous of the Heralds (ignoring of course his ability to organise and deceive a massive group of individuals including generals and monarchs to fulfill his goals.) but he does seem to have the most personality and charisma left to him. I'd even say he seems to have the biggest heart of all the Heralds we've seen so far, this of course disregarding the SoH.

Kaladin would probably disagree, considering that Reatares seemingly ordered the death of his squad. But yes, aside from that Kalak is a lot of fun. I hope we get to see more of him soon!

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12 hours ago, Harfyn said:

I wonder if living in the cognitive realm helps prevent "Heraldic-Mind-Decay" or maybe living there means he's less impacted by it/has reverted to a better state?

I agree. He was far more lucid than other heralds. May be it is something about the time he has spent in the CR. 
Overall I liked his character. As a high judge I was impressed with him. I felt that he was quite fair and impartial. 

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I enjoyed reading Kalak.

He didn't necessarily seem less crazy, his goal just interfered far less with his usual function than say, Nale or Ishar. Nale is obsessed with justice to the point of miscarriage, while Ishar is apparently just going full eldritch over in Tukar. Kalak just wants to get off this planet, and so he isn't as much of a health risk to most characters. I get the feeling he'd seem much more unhinged if Adolin or Shallan tried to stop him from leaving.

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5 hours ago, Toaster Retribution said:

I wonder if it has to do with how he percieves himself. He does consider himself to be very old (which he is) and quite sick and tired of everything. I wouldn't be surprised if that affected his appearance. 

We have WOB that the perception a Cognitive Shadow has of themselves affects how they appear (with the Returned pointed to as an obvious example of this). Though it would be interesting if this was instead the Investiture that Honor gave them to maker them Shadows starting fade away/disappear, causing their bodies are starting to catch up to their true age even slightly, in a similar way to how TLR 'rubber banded' to his true age when his Atium-minds were removed.

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8 hours ago, Debarra said:

I'd even say he seems to have the biggest heart of all the Heralds we've seen so far

Except for Talenel "I'm glad that you abandoned me to face several millenias of torture alone, since that gave humanity lasting peace" 'Elin. 

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3 hours ago, Toaster Retribution said:

Except for Talenel "I'm glad that you abandoned me to face several millenias of torture alone, since that gave humanity lasting peace" 'Elin. 

Good point, I had forgotten about him so somehow.

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I quite enjoyed his arc in RoW. It was probably the one which suprised me the most (well, apart from a certain new Vessel). First, I didn't expect him to be Restares and, naturally, I also didn't expect him to be the judge. And then, after I spotted that the letter in the epigraphs was his I was absolutely convinced that he would be done for at the end. And all of it makes perfect sense to me in hindsight. Well done Brandon on this particular arc and also I'm quite interested in learning more about him.

Also: one of my favorite scenes in this whole book is the one where he lets the whole audience during the trial hanging for more than ten minutes just to dig into his lunch. Amazing stuff (hopefully his food tasted well, too!).

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I liked the arc but I think we need more answers.

OK, he was Restares. He wants out of the planet --> He founded? the Sons of Honor. He gave Gavilar the gemstones? he ordered Amaram killed (and Kal´s squad). WHY? 

There are so many pieces of the puzzle we still don't have!

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I don't think he "ordered" Amaram. Kalak issue is indecisiveness. It is pretty unlikely that he was clear and decisive, and Amaram sounds like a person who would seek justification. So my guess is that Kalak said something and Amaran interpreted it the way he wished. 

 

As to looks - well, we have slight inclinations that Heralds may have some strangeness in their appearance. Taln is enormous, as tall as Amaram (who even Kaladin noted was tall), despite not being Rosharan by birth, and built so thickly that Amaram, who is trained soldier after all, had troubles with helping him stand. Ash phenotype is - well, it could be that she is simply taking completely after her mother, but I always found that it was a bit suspicious. 

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I also didn’t quite understand how his letter to Shallan fit with the story. It seemed like it was written to her after her attack, but he was immediately arrested. Not sure if I followed it right or not. 

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3 hours ago, Alcatur said:

I don't think he "ordered" Amaram. Kalak issue is indecisiveness. It is pretty unlikely that he was clear and decisive, and Amaram sounds like a person who would seek justification. So my guess is that Kalak said something and Amaran interpreted it the way he wished. 

I'm not sure about that. Kalak might be indecisive, but the very act of founding the sons of honor confirms he's capable of extreme manipulation and duplicity. There's simply no way a herald started a "lets restart the desolations to restore vorinism!" club on good faith. He's been misleading his followers and treating them like patsies from the start. And I see no reason why he would have acted any less during Kaladin's enslavement.

If anything there are two things we really need to keep in mind about Kalak when it comes to judging his part in what happened with Kaladin and Amaram.

-Kalak would have innately known that a single full shardbearer would have been utterly inconsequential in the event of another desolation 

-Kalak would have had the familiarity with Radiants and Surgebinding to understand there were ways to explain a full shardbearer being defeated by an "ordinary" soldier outside of astronomical luck

Kalak knows the Sons of Honor having a full shardbearer does nothing to advance their purported goals, and certainly it does nothing to advance any of his ulterior ones. He has no reason to get excited over a transference of "mundane" shards amongst mortals. But has plenty of possible reasons as a herald to panic over a prospective radiant returning. To me that suggests that if Kalak said anything to Amaram, it was less out of concern for what was to be done with the blade and plate and more towards viewing Kaladin as a threat. And in light of how he's manipulated the Son's of Honor, I don't doubt he could have made a knee jerk decision to try to talk Amaram into executing Kaladin.

If Kalak suffered any indecisiveness, it's likely in that he wasn't able to convince Amaram to kill Kaladin outright at that time.

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Another wierd thing about Kalaks involvement with the Sons of Honor is that they seem to be enemies with the Skybreakers (Helaran, part of the Skybreakers, was sent to kill Amaram). Despite this, Kalak appears to be on fairly good terms with Nale. Either they had a falling-out or Nale actually doesn't know that Kalak is leading a secret organization. The latter alternative is certainly more intriguing. 

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28 minutes ago, Toaster Retribution said:

Another wierd thing about Kalaks involvement with the Sons of Honor is that they seem to be enemies with the Skybreakers (Helaran, part of the Skybreakers, was sent to kill Amaram). Despite this, Kalak appears to be on fairly good terms with Nale. Either they had a falling-out or Nale actually doesn't know that Kalak is leading a secret organization. The latter alternative is certainly more intriguing. 

Well remember in Venlis flashback that 

Spoiler

She tricks Nale into thinking that the Sons of Honor are succeeding at whatever it is they're doing to bring back the desolation. If there was a falling out between the societies, this likely prompted it.

 

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On 11/30/2020 at 3:24 PM, Nymeros said:

Why is hair thinning? I didn't expect that. Is it thinning because his body is slooooooowly (so slowly) aging or because his body adapts to his mental state or was he just thinning before he became a Herald? If I had a tailor made body from God I would ask for a full head of lusciousness.

I'm guessing he has always looked like that since the moment he became immortal, that was just how his body looked the moment he stopped being mortal.  Not all heroes need to fit the traditional physical template we have in our minds etc.

Story-wise I found him fun.  His complete lack of decorum and the way he seems to say the most immediate silly thoughts on this mind are entertaining.  One moment that actually made me laugh out loud was him quietly writing in his journal during the middle of the trial and Adolin hoping that he wasn't doing one of those word puzzles that Jasnah enjoys :P

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I liked Kelak.  I liked him in the prelude and I liked him in RoW. I think people are selling him a bit short, though. Everything from Mraize's comments, to his mythos in vorinism, to the endpapers art (in world, I know, and not necessarily accurate but that honorblade and stare though), to his primary divine attribute  (resolute), leads me to believe he was incredibly deadly on the battlefield. I feel like the Willshaper Order plays into it too. Sure they where  builders but also liberators.  I see him as being small. Quick, tenacious, and indomitable.  If he's ever healed or redeemed,  y'all will see.  AFAIK he was in his 20s, younger than Jez, so I think he's suffering similar identity issues. 

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On 12/8/2020 at 8:42 AM, Subvisual Haze said:

I'm guessing he has always looked like that since the moment he became immortal, that was just how his body looked the moment he stopped being mortal.  Not all heroes need to fit the traditional physical template we have in our minds etc.

Story-wise I found him fun.  His complete lack of decorum and the way he seems to say the most immediate silly thoughts on this mind are entertaining.  One moment that actually made me laugh out loud was him quietly writing in his journal during the middle of the trial and Adolin hoping that he wasn't doing one of those word puzzles that Jasnah enjoys :P

I'm just saying, if God was making me a custom body I'd ask for thick hair if I were thinning.

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On 12/7/2020 at 8:45 PM, Numuhuku said:

I'm not sure about that. Kalak might be indecisive, but the very act of founding the sons of honor confirms he's capable of extreme manipulation and duplicity. There's simply no way a herald started a "lets restart the desolations to restore vorinism!" club on good faith. He's been misleading his followers and treating them like patsies from the start. And I see no reason why he would have acted any less during Kaladin's enslavement.

If anything there are two things we really need to keep in mind about Kalak when it comes to judging his part in what happened with Kaladin and Amaram.

-Kalak would have innately known that a single full shardbearer would have been utterly inconsequential in the event of another desolation 

-Kalak would have had the familiarity with Radiants and Surgebinding to understand there were ways to explain a full shardbearer being defeated by an "ordinary" soldier outside of astronomical luck

Kalak knows the Sons of Honor having a full shardbearer does nothing to advance their purported goals, and certainly it does nothing to advance any of his ulterior ones. He has no reason to get excited over a transference of "mundane" shards amongst mortals. But has plenty of possible reasons as a herald to panic over a prospective radiant returning. To me that suggests that if Kalak said anything to Amaram, it was less out of concern for what was to be done with the blade and plate and more towards viewing Kaladin as a threat. And in light of how he's manipulated the Son's of Honor, I don't doubt he could have made a knee jerk decision to try to talk Amaram into executing Kaladin.

If Kalak suffered any indecisiveness, it's likely in that he wasn't able to convince Amaram to kill Kaladin outright at that time.

I don’t trust Kalak. Brandon has repeatedly told us that we can’t trust the Heralds. I think he’s up to something. And the fact that he’s so insistent on freeing BAM makes me think doing so will have very, very dangerous repercussions.

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12 hours ago, Nymeros said:

I'm just saying, if God was making me a custom body I'd ask for thick hair if I were thinning.

I don't think it was like a character creation process in a video game. Or that Honor made them custom physical forms that differed from their mortal bodies at all. The Heralds apparently look the age they were when they became heralds and I think that's how they rez over and over when they Return.

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9 hours ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

I don’t trust Kalak. Brandon has repeatedly told us that we can’t trust the Heralds. I think he’s up to something. And the fact that he’s so insistent on freeing BAM makes me think doing so will have very, very dangerous repercussions.

Lack of trust in someone doesn't make that person always wrong.

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