feruchemicalrockband

Kaladin's role in the back 5

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In RoW we saw Kaladin's first arc come to a close. As Kaladin is SA's main protagonist it's pretty hard to believe that he'll be killed off in the next book or completely written off in the back 5. I'm theorizing that Kaladin will be taking the role of Bondsmith in books 6-10, maybe as early as partway through book 5. 

It's pretty clear that Dalinar is setting himself up for failure in book 5. He'll be competing against a much more competent version of Odium who will be playing on a separate level compared to the old one. He's also going into the contest of champions from a really odd perspective. Dalinar claims that he's the greatest warrior in the Knights Radiant, but throughout RoW he's been trying to step away from the warrior role and take on a supporting role. While he does have a powerset with high versatility, he has a limited knowledge/experience with it. 10 days is not enough time to learn higher Bondsmithing techniques, even if he's sending Szeth and Kal out on a road trip to get Ishar. So I think Dalinar is going to lose his position as Bondsmith by one of: 

  • Becoming a Fused
  • Dying
  • The Stormfather dying
  • Ascending
  • Losing the Stormfather's bond

Kaladin, on the other hand, has been set down a new path. The end of RoW sees him come to terms with his status as a soldier, forgiving himself for his past failures and accepting that he'll make more in the future. At the same time, he's begun to see himself as a person who can help people with PTSD and similar conditions. Book 5 might have Kaladin start the healing process with Ishar, and maybe Szeth as well. His fame has taken on a life of it's own, giving him legendary status in Urithiru and perhaps other places as well. 

It's Syl most of all that makes me think things are going to change for Kaladin in a big way in the next installment. For those that don't know, Syl was given her own icon for her interlude chapter. Character icons are important as they illustrate scenes that have happened or will happen. There's a wob somewhere explaining this but I couldn't quite manage to find it. Syl's clearly shows her wearing some kind of pack (Which is a really odd thing for a spren to do), looking behind her. To me, this provides extra credence the the 'Syl becomes fully corporeal in the physical realm' theory. This might cause Kaladin to lose the bond in some form, leaving him open to some other bond, ending with him as the Bondsmith. Here's a few separate ideas on how that might happen:

  • Bonding to the Stormfather after Dalinar loses his bond
  • Syl bonds to the Highstorm after the Stormfather is killed
  • Kaladin finds Taln's blade (He would have gravitation, adhesion, cohesion and tension allowing for bondsmithing stuff)
  • Kaladin takes Ishar's blade
  • Kaladin bonds Bah-Ado-Mishram and unites the two storms (honestly this is a whole other thing)

There's a few reasons I think Kaladin makes sense as the next lead Bondsmith. I'll list them here.

  1. Kaladin's first steps in dealing with mental health have begun as highlighted in RoW. Since Kal is about to go on a journey to find one such person with mental health problems stemming from battle shock, it might inspire him to continue it. In the gap between books 5 and 6 Kaladin might go on to unite the Heralds once more.
  2. Another group that needs uniting are the humans and the singers. Having someone revered by singers as the head of the Knights Radiant could go a long way to uniting the two groups. Or at least opening up talks between them.
  3. Kaladin is the only other character besides Dalinar who has received Highstorm visions. This indicates that Kaladin might have been a candidate for the Stormfather had Syl not taken him first (I'm aware that Radiants can bond multiple spren, Brandon just says it's highly unlikely).

Feel free to poke holes in this, it's just an idea I've had bouncing around in my head for a few days. To be honest it's mostly because I can imagine a scene at the end of book 5 after the Radiants have pushed back Odium for a time with Kaladin brooding at the top of Urithiru looking out to the horizon and then the last line we just get :

Unite them.

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5 hours ago, feruchemicalrockband said:

Feel free to poke holes in this

I've tried to but I can't. It makes sense from a narrative perspective... I'm not sure I like it, I don't know why that is because it actually seems like a fulfilling and interesting arc for him. (I'm not liking what it might mean for Syl though tbh)

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I kinda think Kal....doesn’t make it to the back 5. His arc seems like it’s wrapping up. Kal’s character arc throughout these books has been defined by his Radiant Oaths. The moments where he says his oaths are like the points on a graph that define a line. Except he’s running out of oaths. There’s only 5. I think Kal will say his fifth oath in SA 5, his arc will end, and he will die. At the very very least, I think he’ll be removed. I doubt we’ll see him much in the back five if he survives. 

Edited by Dannex
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8 hours ago, feruchemicalrockband said:

 So I think Dalinar is going to lose his position as Bondsmith by one of: 

  • Becoming a Fused
  • Dying
  • The Stormfather dying
  • Ascending
  • Losing the Stormfather's bond

Why do you think that becoming a Fused means losing his bond?

I was thinking that he was going to become a Fused, but remain a Bondsmith unbound the limitations that Honor had previously set on Bondsmiths...and Teravagian would send him out as a harbinger of doom to other planets.

 

2 hours ago, Dannex said:

I kinda think Kal....doesn’t make it to the back 5. His arc seems like it’s wrapping up. Kal’s character arc throughout these books has been defined by his Radiant Oaths. The moments where he says his oaths are like the points on a graph that define a line. Except he’s running out of oaths. There’s only 5. I think Kal will say his fifth oath in SA 5, his arc will end, and he will die. At the very very least, I think he’ll be removed. I doubt we’ll see him much in the back five if he survives. 

I tend to agree with Dannex - I don't think Kaladin will play much of a role in the second half. Either he dies or, as I've heard others theorize elsewhere, he ends up joining in a new Oathpact. Or possibly, he simply lives his life out on Roshar while we join Dalinar on his crusade across the Cosmere, perhaps with Wax and Wayne, maybe even Marsh and Spook as the protagonists.

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6 hours ago, Dannex said:

I kinda think Kal....doesn’t make it to the back 5. His arc seems like it’s wrapping up. Kal’s character arc throughout these books has been defined by his Radiant Oaths. The moments where he says his oaths are like the points on a graph that define a line. Except he’s running out of oaths. There’s only 5. I think Kal will say his fifth oath in SA 5, his arc will end, and he will die. At the very very least, I think he’ll be removed. I doubt we’ll see him much in the back five if he survives. 

I don’t think this is actually as big a problem as the fact that kaladin is simply too competent, him being around could be a problem for developing other characters it’s kinda hard for lift to have a tense fight in the back 5 when kaladin could show up kill everyone in like half a second and wow easy win. But I also do not think it makes sense for kaladin to die, there have been extensive comparisons between kaladin and dalinar especially relating to how they lead in rythm of war and the other books plus with dalinar posed to lose the challenge in all likelihood I think it makes sense for kaladin to take Dalinar s role or barring that ascend has honor noting back to the child of tanavast bit.

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Kaladin dying would be disappointing, when such a large part of his character has been learning to live despite his problems. Feels to me like a terrible way to end an arc about overcoming depression and suicide. "Life will get better one day, but then you'll die before you can finally enjoy it!"

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1 hour ago, LewsTherinTelescope said:

Kaladin dying would be disappointing, when such a large part of his character has been learning to live despite his problems. Feels to me like a terrible way to end an arc about overcoming depression and suicide. "Life will get better one day, but then you'll die before you can finally enjoy it!"

that Ironically makes it fit more

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For all the orders, the fifth ideal is the one that makes them "become" the main idea for their order. For Kaladin as a Windrunner, that would mean he somehow "becomes" protection or something. The way I imagine that is that as opposed to fighting, whenever he arrives he just stops the fight. My prediction is that he'll make it to the back 5, but be restricted in actual action by the fact that he can't stand fighting, so when the main arc 2 characters have to go out on a quest or to war, they can't bring him because that would defeat their purpose. (I don't know if this makes sense to anyone else)

 

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Well, before RoW came out, I made this (mostly jokingly) thread here detailing what Kaladin's going to do. After reading RoW, I think that Kaladin's mission to Shinovar will be his last combat mission until the back half. He might swear the fifth ideal, he might not, but either way, I think he's going to retire to fix the Rosharan medical system and train new Windrunners.

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I think Kaladin won't continue being an active frontline combatant, but he will continue to play an active role in the war - just in the higher echelons of power or in a different role. His power will be used more surgically, sparing it for when it is most needed. It will represent a growth for Kaladin: as he grows in power, so does his maturity and capacity to protect even when he is not actively, directly flying in to save the day - and when he inevitably does that again in the back five books (because, let's face it, of course he will) - it will feel all the more satisfying.

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Man, Kal is so awesome he's suitable for a whole lot of Orders: Windrunners, Skybreakers, Edgedancers, Stonewards, Bondsmiths!

But yeah, his arc seems to be near an end. I'm not that cynical however and am hoping that he just peaceful retires or at least his story isn't as heavy a burden on him going forwards into the back 5.

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I very much feel that Kaladin will be similar to the main cast of Mistborn Era 1 in Mistorn Era 2 for the back half. He'll either be dead or more of a background character. Now, those background characters have important roles, one being the amalgamation of two Shards. But they don't get nearly as much screen time as the main cast of Mistborn Era 2. It's much like how Renarin is a very crucial character in the first half, but we don't really see much from his viewpoint and he's only really there for critical moments. We know Kaladin too well to believe he'll just sit back and not participate in events, so if he's still alive he'd need to be bound by oaths that make him incapable of actively participating or he'll be Ascended in some capacity. 

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17 hours ago, MGershone said:

For all the orders, the fifth ideal is the one that makes them "become" the main idea for their order.

Considering that we have exactly one order's Fifth Ideal, and even then it isn't a direct "become the main idea" but rather "embody a concept that is related to the main idea" (in addition to the order having only one Fifth Ideal in centuries, and being led by a madman), I don't think we can say this with any certainty.

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I think the only way Dalinar loses his bond to the Stormfather is if he deliberately breaks it to keep Taravodium from being able to use it when Dalinar loses the contest of champions. But if I were Taravodium the first thing I'd do on getting Dalinar as a servant is order him not to do that, so it seems unlikely Dalinar will get the chance. In fact, now that Ishar has shown us how bat-rust terrifying an unrestrained Bondsmith can be, the odds that the Stormfather will be stuck with fused!Dalinar are really high.

But more to the point, what you describe feels wrong for Kaladin's character arc. Book 5 is likely to be the last book with him as a main character, and therefore will wrap up his arc. Kaladin's story up to this point has been about grappling with the many difficulties of protecting people. Abruptly shifting his struggle to uniting people at the eleventh hour would be a jarring change.

 

 

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Ive always (and still do) considered that Kaladin would be a central character all the way through, just potentially with less focus on development in the back half. His trials and tribulations are making him who he needs to be as a central character so he can be a more believable version of that classic fantasy character who is awesome all of the time; Aragorn, Lan, The Bloody Nine (Dalinar could more fit this bill) 

Or i could envision him more changing the role of the wind runners from basically sky infantry and scouts into some sort of humanitarian red cross type organisation, using their powers to protect all peoples of Roshar (singers included) who need 

 

 

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