The Night Watcher

Jasnah and Wit

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I honestly thought it was a joke when Navani suspected something way in the beginning, but I somehow...like it? I suppose the fact that it surprised Jasnah and Wit should make it unsurprising that was baffled at the relationship's development. I'm curious on how other readers interpreted it as they went through the book and speculations on how their relationship will proceed in the future. Jasnah seems amenable to worldhopping: I'm just wondering if the rest of the Cosmere is prepared for her. 

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6 hours ago, The Night Watcher said:

I honestly thought it was a joke when Navani suspected something way in the beginning, but I somehow...like it? I suppose the fact that it surprised Jasnah and Wit should make it unsurprising that was baffled at the relationship's development. I'm curious on how other readers interpreted it as they went through the book and speculations on how their relationship will proceed in the future. Jasnah seems amenable to worldhopping: I'm just wondering if the rest of the Cosmere is prepared for her. 

I am ALL FOR Jasnah becoming a worldhopping figure in future books, and I definitely think she can handle the cosmere (however the question of whether the cosmere can handle her, as you point out, is up for debate).  But I'm not sure how I feel about the Jasnah-Wit relationship.  From Wit's perspective, it's strange to imagine him in a relationship, not only because of his jovial and philandering personality but also because he's basically immortal - no matter how intelligent Jasnah is, how can she really compete with him when he knows so much?  And are we sure that Wit is being completely honest, like, would he really tell Jasnah everything he knows?  From Jasnah's perspective, I think it's strange since I was pretty much certain she was gay and I thought I would have been a great opportunity to include a gay or asexual character.  So it just really took me by surprise, and even disappointed me.  Maybe I'll warm up to the idea if they stay together in future books.  

Edited by Llarimar
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32 minutes ago, Llarimar said:

a great opportunity to include a gay or asexual character.  So it just really took me by surprise, and even disappointed me.  Maybe I'll warm up to the idea if they stay together in future books.  

Jasnah is asexual. That little scene we get of the two of them confirms that.

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4 hours ago, Llarimar said:

I am ALL FOR Jasnah becoming a worldhopping figure in future books, and I definitely think she can handle the cosmere (however the question of whether the cosmere can handle her, as you point out, is up for debate).  But I'm not sure how I feel about the Jasnah-Wit relationship.  From Wit's perspective, it's strange to imagine him in a relationship, not only because of his jovial and philandering personality but also because he's basically immortal - no matter how intelligent Jasnah is, how can she really compete with him when he knows so much?  And are we sure that Wit is being completely honest, like, would he really tell Jasnah everything he knows?  From Jasnah's perspective, I think it's strange since I was pretty much certain she was gay and I thought I would have been a great opportunity to include a gay or asexual character.  So it just really took me by surprise, and even disappointed me.  Maybe I'll warm up to the idea if they stay together in future books.  

There was a WoB I read on Jasnah linked in the citations of the Coppermind stating outright she's asexual and heteroromantic, which honestly fit my expectations much better than homosexuality. But, yes, I do worry about their relationship for all the reasons you mentioned. I really enjoy their dynamic, and I think it'll change Jasnah for the better, emotionally and intellectually, but I wonder at Wit's motivations. He roots for the whole Cosmere, not Roshar, and I have a feeling he'd see it destroyed exclusively rather than let Odium escape the system.

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After reading RoW, I hear that Wit finds Jasnah kind of forgettable, though. Just sayin’

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40 minutes ago, I Just Shard Myself! said:

After reading RoW, I hear that Wit finds Jasnah kind of forgettable, though. Just sayin’

Too soon. But we genuinely have no idea yet what memories Wit’s lost, other than those of his first meeting with Todium.

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17 minutes ago, Kyn said:

Too soon. But we genuinely have no idea yet what memories Wit’s lost, other than those of his first meeting with Todium.

You laughed...at least a chuckle or a titter. ;)

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I am conflicted about the Wit/Jasnah relationship. First, Jasnah's implication that they are sexually active really combs my hair in the wrong direction. Wit is several millennia her senior, and he is definitely not being transparent with her about who he is and what his goals/motives are. I feel uncomfortable with a man like that being in a sexual relationship with a young, powerful, asexual woman. Additionally, although I understand that Jasnah doesn't follow a religion, she does tend to follow the customs of Vorinism and the prude Alethi culture, at least in appearance. It seems odd to me that she would take this relationship to that level, disregarding her sexuality and cultural norms. 

On top of this, I think it undermines Jasnah's powerful, independent woman persona for her to be taken in by a man who is not only untrustworthy but whose own power and intelligence makes hers appear pale in comparison. It seems a shame to have this strong female lead overshadowed by her practically shard-level important boyfriend. Honestly, I LOVE Wit's character and I dislike Jasnah more and more every day; however, this relationship has my male-predator senses on high alert; it bothers me so that these two are not coming into this relationship on equal footing.

All that said, I have rarely seen much-older-man/young-woman relationships end in anything but catastrophe, so I can't not bring that into my perception of this couple. Despite my love for Wit and disdain for Jasnah, my trust issues with men are so triggered by this relationship, especially because they seem to be sexually active, despite the woman's preference that they not be.

Maybe I will feel differently after we get a little more time to explore the dynamics of their relationship...

Edited by Sara Stormblessed
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1 hour ago, Sara Stormblessed said:

I am conflicted about the Wit/Jasnah relationship. First, Jasnah's implication that they are sexually active really combs my hair in the wrong direction. Wit is several millennia her senior, and he is definitely not being transparent with her about who he is and what his goals/motives are. I feel uncomfortable with a man like that being in a sexual relationship with a young, powerful, asexual woman. Additionally, although I understand that Jasnah doesn't follow a religion, she does tend to follow the customs of Vorinism and the prude Alethi culture, at least in appearance. It seems odd to me that she would take this relationship to that level, disregarding her sexuality and cultural norms. 

On top of this, I think it undermines Jasnah's powerful, independent woman persona for her to be taken in by a man who is not only untrustworthy but whose own power and intelligence makes hers appear pale in comparison. It seems a shame to have this strong female lead overshadowed by her practically shard-level important boyfriend. Honestly, I LOVE Wit's character and I dislike Jasnah more and more every day; however, this relationship has my male-predator senses on high alert; it bothers me so that these two are not coming into this relationship on equal footing.

All that said, I have rarely seen much-older-man/young-woman relationships end in anything but catastrophe, so I can't not bring that into my perception of this couple. Despite my love for Wit and disdain for Jasnah, my trust issues with men are so triggered by this relationship, especially because they seem to be sexually active, despite the woman's preference that they not be.

Human mate selection calculus is as engrained into human behavior as a love for high calorie foods. Women, whether consciously or subconsciously, most often select based on characteristics which they perceive as powerful and which will give their potential offspring an advantage. Men, most often, select for secondary sex characteristics which are markers of fertility and health. This is a general human behavioral truth. If you assess you have selected your mate on different traits, that is entirely possible and wonderful, but it doesn't change the general human behaviors. 

That a strong woman like Jasnah would select a stronger mate doesn't, in my view, diminish or undermine her as a powerful woman. Instead it highlights just how powerful she is. She has chosen, quite willingly, to be with one of the most objectively powerful characters in the SA, is treated as an equal by this character and wields outward power over this character. 

 

Edited by I Just Shard Myself!
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10 hours ago, Sara Stormblessed said:

I am conflicted about the Wit/Jasnah relationship. First, Jasnah's implication that they are sexually active really combs my hair in the wrong direction. Wit is several millennia her senior, and he is definitely not being transparent with her about who he is and what his goals/motives are. I feel uncomfortable with a man like that being in a sexual relationship with a young, powerful, asexual woman. Additionally, although I understand that Jasnah doesn't follow a religion, she does tend to follow the customs of Vorinism and the prude Alethi culture, at least in appearance. It seems odd to me that she would take this relationship to that level, disregarding her sexuality and cultural norms. 

On top of this, I think it undermines Jasnah's powerful, independent woman persona for her to be taken in by a man who is not only untrustworthy but whose own power and intelligence makes hers appear pale in comparison. It seems a shame to have this strong female lead overshadowed by her practically shard-level important boyfriend. Honestly, I LOVE Wit's character and I dislike Jasnah more and more every day; however, this relationship has my male-predator senses on high alert; it bothers me so that these two are not coming into this relationship on equal footing.

All that said, I have rarely seen much-older-man/young-woman relationships end in anything but catastrophe, so I can't not bring that into my perception of this couple. Despite my love for Wit and disdain for Jasnah, my trust issues with men are so triggered by this relationship, especially because they seem to be sexually active, despite the woman's preference that they not be.

Maybe I will feel differently after we get a little more time to explore the dynamics of their relationship...

I can see what you're saying, but I disagree. Asexuality does not always mean sex-repulsed, and some of the asexual people I've known have engaged in sex with partners. From what I understand, it's not about base lust but emotional and physical intimacy and what you can share with your partner. As long as your partner is respectful, I don't see any issue with an asexual person engaging in it. I don't think it's demeaning — actually, the opposite. Tackling potential complications and finding an outcome that works for you both should bring you closer, not further. It seems like Jasnah has not taken the initiative there, but I think that's to do with her hesitance in trusting, and I imagine if her and Wit's relationship progresses, she will not keep quiet.

9 hours ago, I Just Shard Myself! said:

That a strong woman like Jasnah would select a stronger mate doesn't, in my view, diminish or undermine her as a powerful woman. Instead it highlights just how powerful she is. She has chosen, quite willingly, to be with one of the most objectively powerful characters in the SA, is treated as an equal by this character and wields outward power over this character. 

 

Yeah! You make good points. This is how I feel, anyway. Exerting control over someone more overtly powerful than you is a sign of their respect for your own self. I never got the impression that Wit was manipulating her, if for the simple reason that he is honest in relaying his first allegiance is to the Cosmere.

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18 hours ago, Sara Stormblessed said:

I am conflicted about the Wit/Jasnah relationship. First, Jasnah's implication that they are sexually active really combs my hair in the wrong direction. Wit is several millennia her senior, and he is definitely not being transparent with her about who he is and what his goals/motives are. I feel uncomfortable with a man like that being in a sexual relationship with a young, powerful, asexual woman. Additionally, although I understand that Jasnah doesn't follow a religion, she does tend to follow the customs of Vorinism and the prude Alethi culture, at least in appearance. It seems odd to me that she would take this relationship to that level, disregarding her sexuality and cultural norms. 

On top of this, I think it undermines Jasnah's powerful, independent woman persona for her to be taken in by a man who is not only untrustworthy but whose own power and intelligence makes hers appear pale in comparison. It seems a shame to have this strong female lead overshadowed by her practically shard-level important boyfriend. Honestly, I LOVE Wit's character and I dislike Jasnah more and more every day; however, this relationship has my male-predator senses on high alert; it bothers me so that these two are not coming into this relationship on equal footing.

All that said, I have rarely seen much-older-man/young-woman relationships end in anything but catastrophe, so I can't not bring that into my perception of this couple. Despite my love for Wit and disdain for Jasnah, my trust issues with men are so triggered by this relationship, especially because they seem to be sexually active, despite the woman's preference that they not be.

Maybe I will feel differently after we get a little more time to explore the dynamics of their relationship...

While I don't agree with the first paragraph (I think Jasnah only follows social norms for its advantages it gives her to be the epitome of perfection, not because she personally feels Vorins set the best boundaries), nor does the age gap bother me (once someone is effectively immortal, imo, it doesn't mean the other mortal adult can't meaningfully consent, but sometimes things just bother us, and I get that). However, I definitely am completely with you on how bad it feels that this relationship means Jasnah ended up with literally the only man around more powerful and smart than she is. It puts a really bad taste in my mouth. No matter how powerful and intelligent she is, and how little screentime the relationship took up, it feels like no matter how incredible woman is, she can't be the most powerful/smart/accomplished person in the relationship.

Also genuinely thought she was either aromantic or sapphic as well as ace, so I'm extremely bitter and honestly, may never let this go.

In addition, chapter 99 really didn't... track with my experience of being ace, I thought it was honestly kind of ... it just wasn't very good. I'm hoping this is just because it was Brandon's first go at it and further explorations will be better, but yeesh. Like Wit has never met an ace person? He's ten thousand years old. Like Jasnah wouldn't have discussed this already with Wit despite being well into having sex? Checked in with other ace friends to confirm - this is a conversation had early in romantic relationships to make sure we're all on the same page before things get to being sexual. Also Jasnah didn't feel very romantically into Wit, despite being canonically heteroromantic - ace people can have romantic feelings, and despite her public persona, Jasnah isn't actually an automaton. I wanted more for her than being so into his brain and cosmere secrets. I know part of THAT is that Brandon just can't do romance very well, but that doesn't change the fact that I had higher hopes for Jasnah.

In every way, I'm just so sour on this.

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13 hours ago, Greywatch said:

While I don't agree with the first paragraph (I think Jasnah only follows social norms for its advantages it gives her to be the epitome of perfection, not because she personally feels Vorins set the best boundaries), nor does the age gap bother me (once someone is effectively immortal, imo, it doesn't mean the other mortal adult can't meaningfully consent, but sometimes things just bother us, and I get that). However, I definitely am completely with you on how bad it feels that this relationship means Jasnah ended up with literally the only man around more powerful and smart than she is. It puts a really bad taste in my mouth. No matter how powerful and intelligent she is, and how little screentime the relationship took up, it feels like no matter how incredible woman is, she can't be the most powerful/smart/accomplished person in the relationship.

Also genuinely thought she was either aromantic or sapphic as well as ace, so I'm extremely bitter and honestly, may never let this go.

In addition, chapter 99 really didn't... track with my experience of being ace, I thought it was honestly kind of ... it just wasn't very good. I'm hoping this is just because it was Brandon's first go at it and further explorations will be better, but yeesh. Like Wit has never met an ace person? He's ten thousand years old. Like Jasnah wouldn't have discussed this already with Wit despite being well into having sex? Checked in with other ace friends to confirm - this is a conversation had early in romantic relationships to make sure we're all on the same page before things get to being sexual. Also Jasnah didn't feel very romantically into Wit, despite being canonically heteroromantic - ace people can have romantic feelings, and despite her public persona, Jasnah isn't actually an automaton. I wanted more for her than being so into his brain and cosmere secrets. I know part of THAT is that Brandon just can't do romance very well, but that doesn't change the fact that I had higher hopes for Jasnah.

In every way, I'm just so sour on this.

Thank you for summing up my thoughts on that scene as well.

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I’m a bit confused by the anger directed at BS (or expressed about the character development) for how Jasnah is growing. Humans grow and develop and change and stumble into new loves and out of old ones and spend a season more an extrovert, only to take comfort in introversion a short time later....and so on. If you are the same person you were five years ago, with no growth, you’re doing life wrong, in my opinion. 

Going a bit further, the debate about consent between consenting (fictional) adults and consternation about a character expressing heterosexuality (or sexuality at all) is also a bit baffling. Novels go where they will to weave the complete tapestry of the story. This one is epic in scope and pretty remarkable in detail. Getting upset that a character isn’t fitting the bill as a mascot for one group or another seems kind of pointless. 

Journey before destination, right? Enjoy the journey folks.  
 

 

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43 minutes ago, I Just Shard Myself! said:

I’m a bit confused by the anger directed at BS (or expressed about the character development) for how Jasnah is growing. Humans grow and develop and change and stumble into new loves and out of old ones and spend a season more an extrovert, only to take comfort in introversion a short time later....and so on. If you are the same person you were five years ago, with no growth, you’re doing life wrong, in my opinion. 

Going a bit further, the debate about consent between consenting (fictional) adults and consternation about a character expressing heterosexuality (or sexuality at all) is also a bit baffling. Novels go where they will to weave the complete tapestry of the story. This one is epic in scope and pretty remarkable in detail. Getting upset that a character isn’t fitting the bill as a mascot for one group or another seems kind of pointless. 

Journey before destination, right? Enjoy the journey folks.  
 

 

So in this case, it does matter a tad. Asexuality Is something that really isn’t represented in books or movies-heck, not many celebrities are ace! 

So Brandon giving representation to asexual characters is important. It is something that those that are not familiar with it might see this character and learn what asexuality is all about. So doing it correctly is important. 
 

now, I’m with ya. I think Brando is learning to write and learning to represent minority groups and communities is something that is tough to do. I’m glad he’s doing it. He’s really trying to represent the LGBTQ+ community in many small, and sometimes big, ways. If he makes mistakes along the way, as long as that is mended, it’s not the end of the world. But it is good to address the mistakes to allow Brando Sando to fix them in future books.

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17 hours ago, I Just Shard Myself! said:

I’m a bit confused by the anger directed at BS (or expressed about the character development) for how Jasnah is growing. Humans grow and develop and change and stumble into new loves and out of old ones and spend a season more an extrovert, only to take comfort in introversion a short time later....and so on. If you are the same person you were five years ago, with no growth, you’re doing life wrong, in my opinion. 

Going a bit further, the debate about consent between consenting (fictional) adults and consternation about a character expressing heterosexuality (or sexuality at all) is also a bit baffling. Novels go where they will to weave the complete tapestry of the story. This one is epic in scope and pretty remarkable in detail. Getting upset that a character isn’t fitting the bill as a mascot for one group or another seems kind of pointless. 

Journey before destination, right? Enjoy the journey folks.  

First off, I agree that it's not the duty of an author to portray an individual of a given group in a certain (positive or negative) way. Stories are about individuals and individuals are diverse, so the portrayals of individuals in stories should be diverse as well. I'm with you there. (EDIT: To be clear, I do not think that this -- looking for a mascot -- is actually what the other commentors in this thread are doing, I want that to be clear as well!) But, that said, constructive criticism means recognizing what the author wanted to do, evaluating whether they succeeded at it, and, if they didn't, point it out (in a respectful way). And I think Brandon just didn't succeed in what he wanted to do. For example, this is one thing he wrote for the annotations of Rhythm of War's first part:

Quote

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Seventeen

[...] Jasnah is asexual, and currently heteroromantic. Her feelings on physical intimacy are very neutral, not something she's interested in for its own sake, but also not something she's opposed to doing for someone she cares about. [...]

Rhythm of War Annotations (Nov. 2, 2020)

Which implies that she "cares" about Wit, on some deeper level, to some degree. That should go beyond "he's so old and he knows so many secrets". Which is essentially all she has to say (/think) about him. It's just not a believable portrayal of someone caring about someone else. And it seems like that's what he wanted to do with that scene. Instead, we got her thinking about him like he was some puzzle, instead of a person. And in the light of what he seemed to aim at, I do think that this just isn't good writing. In this case, he didn't do a good job making me understand her like he intended (as someone who "cares" in a heteroromantic, asexual way).

That said, I haven't seen much "anger" directed at him for it, just disapointment, sourness, or lack of understanding (I share all of them to some degree). And most people who are annoyed by it still love the book as a whole (which I share as well!). I just think that this was sloppy in a way that we don't usually see from Brandon. The fact that this scene sticks out so much is a very positive thing to say about him, in my opinion.

Edited by Elegy
Added a kind of important side-note . . .
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45 minutes ago, Elegy said:

Which implies that she "cares" about Wit, on some deeper level, to some degree. That should go beyond "he's so old and he knows so many secrets". Which is essentially all she has to say (/think) about him. It's just not a believable portrayal of someone caring about someone else. And it seems like that's what he wanted to do with that scene. Instead, we got her thinking about him like he was some puzzle, instead of a person. And in the light of what he seemed to aim at, I do think that this just isn't good writing. In this case, he didn't do a good job making me understand her like he intended (as someone who "cares" in a heteroromantic, asexual way).

That said, I haven't seen much "anger" directed at him for it, just disapointment, sourness, or lack of understanding (I share all of them to some degree). And most people who are annoyed by it still love the book as a whole (which I share as well!). I just think that this was sloppy in a way that we don't usually see from Brandon. The fact that this scene sticks out so much is a very positive thing to say about him, in my opinion.

Jasnah isn't an emotionally expressive character. From the WoK until now, keeping her emotions close to the chest has been a consistent theme for her. I think this is one of the reasons, I dislike her; I cannot understand what she wants or how she feels. In RoW, we get tiny hints that she is severely traumatized by being murdered in WoK, but even in her PoV moments, we just get facts about what she is doing in the present, not deep insight into her inner conflicts. I honestly can't think of a single time when we have truly seen into Jasnah's mind; the closest we got was probably her PoV on Gavilar's death. 

It is possible that the writing was flawed, but it is also possible that Brandon was trying to keep Jasnah's PoV as this expression of current actions and surface-level thoughts, rather than overflowing with deep feelings of romance, weakness, etc. Perhaps it's a little of both of these things that isn't working for us yet. I can't wait for us to finally get to Jasnah's book, so we can figure out what is going on behind the mask she wears, even for the readers in her PoV chapters.

Edited by Sara Stormblessed
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8 hours ago, Koloss17 said:

So in this case, it does matter a tad. Asexuality Is something that really isn’t represented in books or movies-heck, not many celebrities are ace! 

So Brandon giving representation to asexual characters is important. It is something that those that are not familiar with it might see this character and learn what asexuality is all about. So doing it correctly is important. 
 

now, I’m with ya. I think Brando is learning to write and learning to represent minority groups and communities is something that is tough to do. I’m glad he’s doing it. He’s really trying to represent the LGBTQ+ community in many small, and sometimes big, ways. If he makes mistakes along the way, as long as that is mended, it’s not the end of the world. But it is good to address the mistakes to allow Brando Sando to fix them in future books.

I appreciate Kaladin because he’s a blindly loyal super-warrior. Yet, I can’t fly or use a spear and I wouldn’t carry a bridge if I could avoid it. He’s not my mascot, but he’s a great character. I appreciate Jasnah because she’s a cunning, rational genius who makes decisions based more on data than emotions. Yet, I can’t soulcast or travel to shadesmar or summon shard plate if I’m in a scrum with singers. She’s not my mascot. As it turns out, no character is my mascot. I’m different from them all in some way and I share something with all of them (particularly Odium). ;) 
 

Looking for mascots in literature based on your perceived sexuality (or love of liver and onions, or your fascination with jogging, etc) is missing the point of reading to understand the character and live life through their eyes and emotions for a while. Good literature let’s you understand yourself a bit better by stepping into the shoes of someone else. It also usually speaks to the masses about struggles everyone faces. The presence of 7.8 billion people on earth suggests asexuality (or non-procreative sex) isn’t one of those general struggles. But Loyalty is. Sacrifice. Leadership. Friendship. Depression. Fear. Bravery. Redemption. Growth. 
 

Read to identify not for identity. You are more than one facet and so are good characters. Enjoy the journey.  

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5 hours ago, I Just Shard Myself! said:

Looking for mascots in literature based on your perceived sexuality (or love of liver and onions, or your fascination with jogging, etc) is missing the point of reading to understand the character and live life through their eyes and emotions for a while. Good literature let’s you understand yourself a bit better by stepping into the shoes of someone else. It also usually speaks to the masses about struggles everyone faces. The presence of 7.8 billion people on earth suggests asexuality (or non-procreative sex) isn’t one of those general struggles. But Loyalty is. Sacrifice. Leadership. Friendship. Depression. Fear. Bravery. Redemption. Growth.

Read to identify not for identity. You are more than one facet and so are good characters. Enjoy the journey.  

I am very sorry, but looking for mascots is not what's going on here. I apologize for being blunt, but to write off disappointment in other readers in this way is missing the point. My reaction to posts like this are resentment; I don't believe you understand that readers can identify with characters and still be disappointed. Identity still matters - it's part of the journey.

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2 hours ago, Greywatch said:

I am very sorry, but looking for mascots is not what's going on here. I apologize for being blunt, but to write off disappointment in other readers in this way is missing the point. My reaction to posts like this are resentment; I don't believe you understand that readers can identify with characters and still be disappointed. Identity still matters - it's part of the journey.

I appreciate bluntness. Don't apologize. Disagreement is the spice of life. 

I disagree with you. The posts above I am referencing were, from where I stand, anger (or resentment or bitterness) at an author not writing a character to fit the specific preconceived archetype some wanted - aka turn them into a mascot for that archetype. I maintain that is missing the point of literature. It's the same impulse that demands movies/television about 18th century British aristocracy include multi-ethnic/multi-racial casts to represent a time that had no diversity at all. It's a demand for one's perception of diversity for the sake of diversity and it is the death of literature (and film). Life happens organically. Good literature mirrors life and lets us each step into the life of someone else. To demand an author adjust his vision to include your vision ventures into the territory of authorship by committee. Never underestimate the disasters that committees create....a Rhino is a Unicorn designed by committee....a camel is a racehorse designed by committee. To quote BS on this point: "One person I chatted with about this warned me not to send the 'wrong message that queer characters are like representation tokens that we can exchange for each other for equal credit.' I found that a very astute piece of advice." He's saying "representation token"...I'm saying mascot. We are saying the same thing. 

Identity doesn't matter. I can (and have) identify with the struggles of female characters, gay characters...even quadrupeds from time to time (thanks Orwell). I can identify with characters who have never left their home town and with those who have lived in as many countries as I have. I can identify with childless characters and with the old lady who lives in the shoe. I can do all this (and so can you) because identity doesn't matter in literature. 

BS is a good writer because he isn't ham-handedly attempting to foist his personal views onto others or battering us all about the neck and shoulders with his personal views on morality or sexuality or even disability. He's kind of transparently and allegorically selling the Mormon version of divinity, but that's a world building technique more than anything. If he doesn't find a place for the specific mascot you want in his world, that's fine. Just enjoy the lives of the others and see what you can get out of their struggles and successes. Or enjoy the escape that living an entirely different life than your own for a few hours provides you. Fly with Kaladin. Spy with Shallan. Lie with Pattern. Don't get upset because when BS said Jasnah is 'asexual' he probably meant she could take it or leave it and was consumed with other interests, rather than espousing a firm sexual identity. To quote BS, “Jasnah would prefer you focus on other aspects of her identity, rather than her sexuality.”

I suspect we will merely need to agree to disagree. And that's ok. 

 

Edited by I Just Shard Myself!
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6 hours ago, I Just Shard Myself! said:

BS is a good writer because he isn't ham-handedly attempting to foist his personal views onto others 

In a single post, you have commended our beloved author for not forcing his views upon others, meanwhile failing to exemplify that attribute in anyway: Telling people when they are allowed to apologize, how they are supposed to enjoy literature and what should be important to them in the things that they read.  My first instinct in reaction to this post is to just ignore you. Indeed, if someone were to talk to me like this in person, I would smile, nod, and extricate myself from the conversation; in my opinion, it's simply not worth my energy to argue with people who deliver their opinions as absolutes and repeatedly disregard alternative approaches. Unfortunately, I doubt that the Shard at large will be able to ignore this post, so I have elected to respond and hope it will not be a complete waste of effort:

First, I think you will find that your insistence that representation in storytelling doesn't matter is a very unpopular opinion. Storytelling influences society. What people see and experience in the stories they consume influences their opinion about real world people and issues, including their opinions about their identity and how they fit into society. This is why storytelling is so powerful and important. 

Second, I am trying to understand why you are so passionately trying to invalidate the earlier discussion about the portrayal of Jasnah, and I can only conclude that you are offended at people for criticizing Brian. Though I am not offended, I can somewhat relate to this distaste. Personally, I do not like to criticize the writing of finished works for the following reasons: 1) I feel like it takes away from the magic of the story to suggest that it could or should have been written differently. 2) I know that dozens and dozens of people screened the story in advance and all agreed that this was the best way to tell it. Because of this, I prefer to experience stories as complete and final and then react to the choices of characters as if they were actual people who had made real decisions. In the case of the topic at had, the couple of Jasnah and Wit, the canon information that has been presented so far has yet to convince me that their choice to enter into this relationship is a good one. If they were my real world acquaintances, I would feel the same and would need more information from them to change that opinion. I am allowed to worry about people I care about and their choices. People I care about include Jasnah and Wit, so I won't be told I am not allowed to have feelings and opinions about their choices.

Finally, I would like to offer just a smidge of friendly advice. You concluded your post with, "we merely need to agree to disagree." It would be much easier to accept this as an end to the debate if it felt at all like a debate and not a lecture. I think it would help if you added qualifiers to your statements, such as "in my opinion" or "Personally, I believe". It is easier to listen to and accept another person's point of view when it is presented as an opinion, rather than instructions. 

To the OP,  please accept my apologies for derailing this conversation further from the original intent: discussing the Jasnah/Wit ship. :(

Edited by Sara Stormblessed
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On 1/17/2021 at 9:50 PM, The Night Watcher said:

I honestly thought it was a joke when Navani suspected something way in the beginning, but I somehow...like it? I suppose the fact that it surprised Jasnah and Wit should make it unsurprising that was baffled at the relationship's development. I'm curious on how other readers interpreted it as they went through the book and speculations on how their relationship will proceed in the future. Jasnah seems amenable to worldhopping: I'm just wondering if the rest of the Cosmere is prepared for her. 

I don't ship it...

Methinks it's just a relationship of convenience and mutual usefulness, nothing wrong with that but eh

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@I Just Shard Myself!, I share your enjoyment for debating. I think an argument or debate, if done kindly, can help everyone understand a bit more about the topic and person. 
 

Now, my goal is not to make a mascot out of a character, but to have a character that can correctly represent a group. 
 

for example, if you had a character that was homosexual and homoromantic, I would expect them to be an embodiment of gay culture, I would just want them to actually express that homosexuality and homoromanticness in a way that could educate those that do not know what homosexuality and homoromanticism is learn how those that are homosexuals or homoromantics work, to a certain degree.

Now one issue is that everyone is different. No group will have a way of expressing their views or identity that will apply to 100% of that community. So it would be an impossible task to create one character to represent an entire community. But I don’t want to have a reader learn how a sexuality or gender works and get possibly harmful assumptions. So I don’t want someone to make the assumption that someone who is asexual would have sex for the enjoyment of their partner. That would not be a smart assumption to make. 
 

Now in this case, it was a very small sentence. It was small and out of the way. It is not something that someone will read and see that as a rule. BUT if that continues, in more detail and elaboration, it would be great. So it’s important to point it out. That’s what I’m saying.

Edited by Koloss17
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I think I like the idea of Jasnah and Wit on paper, but the execution left something to be desired. I've always had a weakness for doomed love stories, and I think this one is super doomed. Wit flat out told us he'd let Roshar burn to get want he needs if he has to, and there's no way Jasnah would let that stand. Two lovers, driven apart by their commitment to incompatible goals and principles? That's my jam. Plus they've got the whole "you are the only one who can keep up with me, therefore I respect you above others" thing going on, which I like.

At the same time, Chapter 99 never made me feel like they were actually in love. Good friends and intellectual partners, yes, but not in love. Some of that is because romance is not Brandon's strongest suit. He's also writing his first overtly asexual romance, which just adds a layer of complication.

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6 minutes ago, Sara Stormblessed said:

Dear Moderators, please don't expel us. I am being intentionally sassy for comic effect. I think we are having fun, but I can 100% take it down a notch if it comes off as mean.  :( 

Ah, you noticed all the mods looking at this thread, didn't you.

We are concerned that the last few posts here have deviated from the good-natured discussion we like to cultivate on the forum (in short, discussion is good, argument is not, and "debates" are often just arguments in nice clothing), so we'd like to temporarily lock the thread while we decide how to address it.

In the meantime, you can use this downtime to refresh yourselves these two very useful (and relevant here) threads:

 

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Hello, we are now reopening this topic. Please remember, from our Code of Conduct:

Quote

It is every member's responsibility to make this community an enjoyable and comfortable place. Text based messages do not always come across as intended and as our community spans the globe, language barriers can also present further misunderstandings--remember to give people the benefit of the doubt as it is likely the case that they have good intentions.

This is an expectation of everyone on the Shard.

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