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Celairiel

Bondsmiths and consent

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Now that we have seen two Bondsmiths and their respective spren form a bond, I'm curious about the stark difference between how their bond is formed and how we have seen with the other orders. In every other instance thus far, the spren has chosen the mortal (singer or human) they will bond to. Syl sought out Kal over a long time; Testament and then Pattern were each sent to Shallan; the Skybreakers are observed by Highspren who eventually choose a Radiant from among the hopefuls; Timbre won't leave Venli alone even when she tries to drive her away. The closest examples we have to less than willing spren are Wyndle and the one Kal tries to manipulate into bonding Rlain. Wyndle would have chosen a different mortal but the Ring chose Lift so he complied, but she did not seek him out. The honorspren says he's willing to give it a go bonding Rlain after being ordered, but he still considers before telling Kal he'll do it.

These are all a stark difference from the Stormfather and the Sibling being bonded by Dalinar and Navani. In each of those cases, the spren is not happy about what is happening. The Stormfather resists even as Dalinar is swearing his ideal and only grudgingly accepts the words. He then lays down some very specific rules and limitations on the bond, but he clearly is unable to refuse it. Navani on the other hand spends an extended time trying to convince the Sibling to bond her, or anyone. She uses persuasion and some amount of manipulation to convince the Sibling to at least consider a bond. And at the end point, she proceeds to swear her ideal even over the protestations of the Sibling and overrules the declaration "you aren't worthy" by her own will power. 

I wonder if this is simply how things are now, after so long without bonds, or if the Bondsmiths always had an almost inverse relationship in the Nahel bond from their counterparts in the other orders. Brandon's list of the orders even suggests this unusual balance when it says that becoming a Bondsmith is "subject to persuading one of the spren to form a bond." Did this persuasion look similarly forceful in the past? Or is that something new for this time of war? And why would these three highly present spren (my understanding is that all three have retained a presence primarily in the physical realm for all this time) have less control over their bond than the more populous Radiant spren?

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One of their virtues is supposed to be 'guiding', maybe their ability to persuade the spren is meant to reflect their ability (and the force of personality) to guide a society? Although I agree that the two we've seen have been rather heavy on brute force.

One the other hand, spren like the Stormfather are so powerful they could probably do with a compassionate mind tempering their power. Dalinar spends part of the book trying to convince the Stormfather to have a kinder relationship with sentient beings than 'I will squish you with a rock quickly rather than slowly smashing you into everything in your way'.

Spoiler

Even his idea of 'mercy' is drowning Eshonai and letting her experience what she had hoped to spend a lifetime enjoying in her final minutes, and even that was only because she was a last-minute Radiant.

 

This is still better than Ishar, who doesn't brute force his way into a partnership as try to replace one side of that partnership without so much as a 'do you mind'.

 

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The point about Ishar is valid. Considering his initial power, perhaps the emulation of force came from there. I doubt his insanity is entirely to blame, since stories about him make him sound pretty influential historically as well. 

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@Celairiel Ivory isn't to keen on bonding Jasnah at first either. I think the key thing is that all of the Spren accepted the bond but required some convincing.

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12 hours ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

@Celairiel Ivory isn't to keen on bonding Jasnah at first either. I think the key thing is that all of the Spren accepted the bond but required some convincing.

What was forcing Ivory to make the bond? The Inkspren were very staunchly in the anti-bond camp, but Ivory chose to anyway, he's as much of a rebel if not more than Syl in this regard. Jasnah didn't know what was happening when they first started bonding, so it must have been Ivory who initiated it.

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I agree with LuckyJim. If anything, Ivory may have been like Pattern in anticipating tragedy but still believing it was important to form the bond. 

I'm working on a re-read of the series (because there was no other book I wanted to read after finishing RoW) and as I see the Singer/Regal/Fused relationship, I wonder if they have a parallel in any of their "brands." My guess would be an inverted compulsion from spren to Singer, but Venli makes it clear that even becoming Fused has an element of agency about it on the part of the Singer or Regal giving up their body.

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