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Gavilar theory [DISCUSS]

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Nale was probably willing to betray him because as he told Venli, Gavilar was planning to break the treaty which Nale probably deemed worthy of death. 

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Alright I'm convinced.

Doesn't Gavilar just mean the cognitive realm when he says the realm of the gods?

How did he get anti voidlight? How did he do any of this actually? But the anti light specifically seems beyond Gavilar. I wonder if there's a group of ardents somewhere that he was working with. And from everything we saw in RoW anti-light seemed like a revelation to everyone involved. This largely invalidates Navani's accomplishment as she was just reproducing it for Raboniel.

I wonder if this will be a plot point in the next book. Gavilar belittling Navani's achievements.

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22 hours ago, AquaRegia said:

It took some convincing, but I am now 100% on Team “Gavilar is definitely coming back”.  I’m not going so far as to predict he will be Odium’s Champion, (although I think it’s quite likely)... but I will be SHOCKED if Gavilar does not make some kind of present-day (non-flashback) appearance in the next SA novel.

Consider the overwhelming preponderance of groundwork that has been laid:

We see the day of his assassination in the prologue of every single novel.  We’ve had POV accounts from Szeth, Jasnah, Eshonai, Navani, and also, in a RoW flashback chapter, Venli.  We’re obviously supposed to infer that this event – and thus Gavilar himself – is very important.  I fully expect that the prologue of Book 5 will be Gavilar’s own POV of that day, setting the stage for us to see how exactly he avoided permadeath, and his return to a physical body.

He’s a huge part of Dalinar’s flashback arc.  I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Gavilar is the single most important reason Dalinar is the man he is today.  A confrontation with his brother is the obvious pinnacle of Dalinar's journey.  Gavilar has also had direct and important influences on Navani, Jasnah, Elhokar, Venli, and other critical viewpoint characters.

We know that he was trading information and making deals with Heralds; that he was involved with the Sons of Honor, whose goal was presumably the return of the Desolations – which we still don’t fully understand; that he knew about Thaidakar and the Ghostbloods, another hot topic we have MUCH to learn about; that he had access to both Voidlight AND Antivoidlight years before anyone else knew about them.

Finally, we know that he was Cosmere-aware, likely importing items and/or Investiture from offworld, and learning about the Cognitive Realm and Realmatic Theory.  Mraize claims, in talking to Shallan, that Gavilar travelled to Braize himself and brought back Voidlight, and that he was "testing the movement of Light between worlds".  He obviously knew Thaidakar wants this knowledge.  What other reason would he have to assume it was Thaidakar who had him killed?  There are multiple reasons to think he was Invested when his body was killed, and we all KNOW what THAT means.

He is literally THE CENTRAL FIGURE of just about every mystery in this entire 5-book series, despite never (yet) having a single POV chapter.  I don’t see how anyone can even doubt that he’ll turn up somehow.

Excellent assessment! I'd be shocked if he doesn't make an appearance, given all that he was involved with.

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On 2/11/2021 at 11:29 AM, Retrac said:

*knew

I stand by my stupidity :) 

Speaking of ... I refuse to believe Gavilar will come back as a cognitive shadow. I see all the potential foreshadowing, it could be what happens, I just don't think it will. I think we get PoV prologue and spiritual mumbo-jumbo Connection vision of him talking to Dalinar, Navani or both. 

I don't think Brandon will repeat himself with the Kelsier thing so directly. Guy who wants to save the world and is also an egomaniac gets killed and finds a way to stick around.

My interpretation of his "realm of the gods" and immortality talk is he was going to Ascend to become Honor as Dalinar has in his place in a very roundabout way. He was getting Visions from the Stormfather, he probably had begun to bond with the Stormfather. He probably didn't swear the oaths, it's not clear. But, he was deeply connected to the remnants of a god, or beginning to be. He seems to know a LOT more than our main characters about the Cosmere. He understood the old holder of Honor was dead and he had an opportunity. 

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5 hours ago, Child of Hodor said:

I stand by my stupidity :) 

Speaking of ... I refuse to believe Gavilar will come back as a cognitive shadow. I see all the potential foreshadowing, it could be what happens, I just don't think it will. I think we get PoV prologue and spiritual mumbo-jumbo Connection vision of him talking to Dalinar, Navani or both. 

I don't think Brandon will repeat himself with the Kelsier thing so directly. Guy who wants to save the world and is also an egomaniac gets killed and finds a way to stick around.

My interpretation of his "realm of the gods" and immortality talk is he was going to Ascend to become Honor as Dalinar has in his place in a very roundabout way. He was getting Visions from the Stormfather, he probably had begun to bond with the Stormfather. He probably didn't swear the oaths, it's not clear. But, he was deeply connected to the remnants of a god, or beginning to be. He seems to know a LOT more than our main characters about the Cosmere. He understood the old holder of Honor was dead and he had an opportunity. 

just gonna say, not exactly a repeat. 1) gavilar would have been preparing 2) gavilar is evil, kelsier was much more morally light-grey 3) gavilar hasn't been seen in anything other than flashbacks and prologues

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I'm convinced of this, now, as @AquaRegia said - Gavilar will not only return, but he will be Odium's Champion.

It fits TOO perfectly. It would be TOO satisfying for this not to happen. The foreshadowing, the logical progression of prologues all depicting that single event, we -naturally- came to this conclusion and so many of us -naturally- feel that this makes too much sense for it not to happen. For it not to happen at this point would be a mistake in storytelling and writing, I feel, and Brandon Sanderson is a very experienced writer. He's well aware of the foreshadowing he does.

So both on a story-level and meta-level, this makes entirely too much sense for me not to be 100% on board with this theory.

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Gavilar seems pretty convinced he's dead, or at least will be unable to speak with Gavilar again, and obviously scared enough he would entrust Szeth with anti-Voidlight

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2 hours ago, Frustration said:

Gavilar seems pretty convinced he's dead, or at least will be unable to speak with Gavilar again, and obviously scared enough he would entrust Szeth with anti-Voidlight

I’ll assume one of those Gavilars is Dalinar.

Maybe he knew that it would take a while for him to talk with Dalinar again.   And if this theory is correct it has been. And he probably was hiding the sphere from someone and didn’t want them to take them from his body. He might have known somehow where Szeth would hide it, or he would be able to find out.

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On 2/11/2021 at 11:12 AM, AquaRegia said:

It took some convincing, but I am now 100% on Team “Gavilar is definitely coming back”.  I’m not going so far as to predict he will be Odium’s Champion, (although I think it’s quite likely)... but I will be SHOCKED if Gavilar does not make some kind of present-day (non-flashback) appearance in the next SA novel.

Consider the overwhelming preponderance of groundwork that has been laid:

We see the day of his assassination in the prologue of every single novel.  We’ve had POV accounts from Szeth, Jasnah, Eshonai, Navani, and also, in a RoW flashback chapter, Venli.  We’re obviously supposed to infer that this event – and thus Gavilar himself – is very important.  I fully expect that the prologue of Book 5 will be Gavilar’s own POV of that day, setting the stage for us to see how exactly he avoided permadeath, and his return to a physical body.

He’s a huge part of Dalinar’s flashback arc.  I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Gavilar is the single most important reason Dalinar is the man he is today.  A confrontation with his brother is the obvious pinnacle of Dalinar's journey.  Gavilar has also had direct and important influences on Navani, Jasnah, Elhokar, Venli, and other critical viewpoint characters.

We know that he was trading information and making deals with Heralds; that he was involved with the Sons of Honor, whose goal was presumably the return of the Desolations – which we still don’t fully understand; that he knew about Thaidakar and the Ghostbloods, another hot topic we have MUCH to learn about; that he had access to both Voidlight AND Antivoidlight years before anyone else knew about them.

Finally, we know that he was Cosmere-aware, likely importing items and/or Investiture from offworld, and learning about the Cognitive Realm and Realmatic Theory.  Mraize claims, in talking to Shallan, that Gavilar travelled to Braize himself and brought back Voidlight, and that he was "testing the movement of Light between worlds".  He obviously knew Thaidakar wants this knowledge.  What other reason would he have to assume it was Thaidakar who had him killed?  There are multiple reasons to think he was Invested when his body was killed, and we all KNOW what THAT means.

He is literally THE CENTRAL FIGURE of just about every mystery in this entire 5-book series, despite never (yet) having a single POV chapter.  I don’t see how anyone can even doubt that he’ll turn up somehow.

Gavilar appears to be heavily invested with Plotium.

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On 12/02/2021 at 6:12 AM, AquaRegia said:

It took some convincing, but I am now 100% on Team “Gavilar is definitely coming back”.  I’m not going so far as to predict he will be Odium’s Champion, (although I think it’s quite likely)... but I will be SHOCKED if Gavilar does not make some kind of present-day (non-flashback) appearance in the next SA novel.

Consider the overwhelming preponderance of groundwork that has been laid:

We see the day of his assassination in the prologue of every single novel.  We’ve had POV accounts from Szeth, Jasnah, Eshonai, Navani, and also, in a RoW flashback chapter, Venli.  We’re obviously supposed to infer that this event – and thus Gavilar himself – is very important.  I fully expect that the prologue of Book 5 will be Gavilar’s own POV of that day, setting the stage for us to see how exactly he avoided permadeath, and his return to a physical body.

He’s a huge part of Dalinar’s flashback arc.  I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Gavilar is the single most important reason Dalinar is the man he is today.  A confrontation with his brother is the obvious pinnacle of Dalinar's journey.  Gavilar has also had direct and important influences on Navani, Jasnah, Elhokar, Venli, and other critical viewpoint characters.

We know that he was trading information and making deals with Heralds; that he was involved with the Sons of Honor, whose goal was presumably the return of the Desolations – which we still don’t fully understand; that he knew about Thaidakar and the Ghostbloods, another hot topic we have MUCH to learn about; that he had access to both Voidlight AND Antivoidlight years before anyone else knew about them.

Finally, we know that he was Cosmere-aware, likely importing items and/or Investiture from offworld, and learning about the Cognitive Realm and Realmatic Theory.  Mraize claims, in talking to Shallan, that Gavilar travelled to Braize himself and brought back Voidlight, and that he was "testing the movement of Light between worlds".  He obviously knew Thaidakar wants this knowledge.  What other reason would he have to assume it was Thaidakar who had him killed?  There are multiple reasons to think he was Invested when his body was killed, and we all KNOW what THAT means.

He is literally THE CENTRAL FIGURE of just about every mystery in this entire 5-book series, despite never (yet) having a single POV chapter.  I don’t see how anyone can even doubt that he’ll turn up somehow.

Thanks for summarising it all so well and for backing me up on this! I’m so damn convinced!! Gosh this book 5 prologue is going to be EPIC.

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You know, I have felt for a while now that Gavilar isn't truly dead, but I never thought about him as champion until I read this thread, and to be honest, I hate how plausible it sounds, because I really like my Cultivation as odiums champion theory.  Well done, OP!

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16 hours ago, Mistborn Surgebinder said:

I really like my Cultivation as odiums champion theory

I think it's been pretty well established that Shards can't do physical harm directly to mortals.  If they could, Odium would have simply blasted Dalinar to bits a long time ago.  Odium wouldn't need a Champion, or a duel, or even an army... he'd just use his own god-level power to wreck everyone he didn't like.

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21 minutes ago, AquaRegia said:

I think it's been pretty well established that Shards can't do physical harm directly to mortals.  If they could, Odium would have simply blasted Dalinar to bits a long time ago.  Odium wouldn't need a Champion, or a duel, or even an army... he'd just use his own god-level power to wreck everyone he didn't like.

Ah, but nobody has established what the contest of champions is going to be. Maybe it's a triathlon. 

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I don’t know about the being Odium’s champion part of the theory (although frankly I like it) but I am increasingly convinced that he wasn’t  fully “dead” when Szeth left him.

If you read that scene in the WoK prologue carefully, it certainly seems like Gavilar saw that Szeth had summoned his Shardblade, and then he stalled for time. He gave Szeth the anti-Voidlight gemstone and asked him to leave a message for Dalinar, and then he “fell still.”

That falling still, coupled with the Shardblade dropping seemed to be enough to convince Szeth that he died. But Gavilar totally could have been faking and using the time he bought to summon the Shardblade to make it look like he died. (I’m not sure in the mechanics of this. Is it possible to summon a blade but have it appear somewhere other than your hand?)

Then, at Gavilar’s funeral, there’s the mysterious reference by the Soulcaster about the stone replacing one of his eyes being the only part of him that is true. Why was one of his eyes replaced? I read back through the prologues and there’s nothing in there about either of his eyes being damaged or injured. When Navani sees his body lying on the table, she closes his eyes at one point. And as far as I remember we’ve not been told that replacing eyes with stone is a common practice. So what gives?

Lastly, this line from the RoW prologue jumped out at me:

Quote

Lying there, blood pooling on the tabletop around him, Gavilar Kholin’s corpse seemed the ultimate insult to his grand plans. He thought he was eternal, did he? He thought to reach for some grand vision, too important to share with her? Well, the Father of Storms and the Mother of the World ignored the desires of men, no matter how grand.

You which deity is not listed there? Could it be the one who explicitly claims that he’s the only one who does care about the desires of men?

I think I’ve been convinced that Gavilar survived as a CS. And I think it’s possible that Odium had a hand in it.

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27 minutes ago, Mistborn Surgebinder said:

Ah, but nobody has established what the contest of champions is going to be. Maybe it's a triathlon. 

Quote

Final terms are these: A contest of champions to the death. On the tenth day of the month Palah, tenth hour. We each send a willing champion, allowed to meet at the top of Urithiru, otherwise unharmed by either side’s forces. If I win that contest, you will remain bound to the system—but you will return Alethkar and Herdaz to me, with all of their occupants intact. You will vow to cease hostilities and maintain the peace, not working against my allies or our kingdoms in any way.

Those are the terms. Doesn’t specifically mention a fight I suppose…but it’d be quite the triathlon if they had to participate until the death lol 

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1 hour ago, Andy92 said:

Those are the terms. Doesn’t specifically mention a fight I suppose…but it’d be quite the triathlon if they had to participate until the death lol 

In my humble opinion, ALL triathlons should be to the death... But I guess I did forget the specific terms, because I read RoW when it came out and haven't been able to finish it a 2nd time.  

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On 1/23/2021 at 10:29 AM, yulyulk said:

He literally tells Venli how to kill Gavilar. And I think this takes place after Nale & Kalak meet with the king, too. RoW ch. 77:

I'm unsure what exactly turned Nale against Gavilar, because Venli was just stabbing in the dark when she said that voidspren returned to Roshar because of Nale's failure. Nale says (again ch 77):

In Navani's prologue, she overhears Gavilar and the two Heralds discuss transporting items (Voidlight spheres?) back and forth from Braize. Does Nale perhaps assume Gavilar was transporting voidspren as well?

Nale likely tried to kill Gavilar upon realizing that he was trying to bring back the Desolations, or at least because of the Voidspren thing. Given that we know Nale tried to kill all potential Radiants because he thought they would return the Desolations, what would he do if he encountered someone actually attempting to do so. Of course, we don't know for certain if Nale knew what Dalinar was doing, but it seems likely, at least to me.

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On 1/23/2021 at 10:05 AM, AquaRegia said:

Is there any evidence in Words of Radiance, when Dalinar is seeing the visions but before he explicitly bonds the Stormfather, to support the idea that he could draw in Stormlight?  I don't remember any.  

There are a few kinda-sorta bits: the scene where Dalinar catches the chasmfiend claw and seems to be glowing, the scene where the surgeon comments that Dalinar shouldn't be able to use his shoulder given how many scars he has, stuff like that.

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Posted (edited)

Just some extra WOBs that I think are relevant to this thread.

From 2018:

Quote

Questioner

In the prologue toWay of Kings, when Szeth kills Gavilar, Gavilar says, "Tell Thaidakar he's too late." What's Thaidakar too late for?

Brandon Sanderson

*Evil laugh* RAFO. You'll find out. It's coming, not too far away.

Too late for what indeed!?


From 2016:

Quote
 
Ted Herman (paraphrased)

Has Dalinar been on the Bondsmith path for a long time? How about Gavilar?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes to both.

Brandon said that Gavilar had been on the Bondsmith path for longer than Dalinar has been.

So this is obviously pre-Oathbringer, but it means that Gavilar had been forming a bond with the Stormfather for quite a while. Some evidence, as well as another really long WOB on the Coppermind, that Gavilar did have a proto bond with the Stormfather meaning that he would at least be invested enough to stick around after his death as we saw with Eshonai (and I’m guessing he was more invested than Eshonai was, and more prepared...) 


From 2014:

Quote

Questioner
 
Amaram and Dalinar, they both talk about Gavilar a lot. How many secret societies did Gavilar know about or was he a part of?

Brandon Sanderson

Ah! How many did he know about? He knew of more than he was part of, but he was not part of very many.

Okay so this one makes me think that he was in with Axindweth’s group too (which would be a connection to Odium), or at least some other secret society as well as the Sons of Honor.

 

From 2014:

Quote

Questioner

When Hoid is talking to Dalinar he seems to expect that Dalinar may have heard of Adonalsium.

Brandon Sanderson

Adonalsium.  Yes.

Questioner

Why is that?  Why would he think that Dalinar would have knowledge about that?

Brandon Sanderson

He thought that Dalinar was part of some of the secret societies on Roshar, and he had thought his way into thinking Dalinar was part of them and that was how Dalinar was knowing certain things he was knowing.  Which he really wasn't, he was getting from the storms and things like this, but he thought that Gavilar had confided things in Dalinar and that Dalinar would know more about this.  And so he was kind of testing to see, and he was wrong.  

So Hoid believes that Gavilar was aware of many important Cosmere things, including Adonalsium.



From 2014:

Quote

darkanimereal1 (paraphrased)

Did Taravangian go to see the Nightwatcher before or after Gavilar's assassination?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Um, oh man. I'm going to have to look at my timeline. I believe it's before, but I can't guarantee I'm right, because these things are all happening around the same time.

darkanimereal1 (paraphrased)

Because he says that Gavilar confided in him the night of.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Ooooh, you're right. Nope, it's after. It is after. You can send that question to Peter so we can confirm it. There might be something I'm forgetting about Taravangian.

So we know that Gavilar confided in Taravangian on the night of his assassination. And I’m guessing that whatever information they shared is what pushed Taravangian to seek the Old Magic. Now that T is Odium, I think he would definitely feel an affinity towards Gavilar, a shared understanding and project perhaps. If Gavilar is a cognitive shadow somewhere (which I think the evidence suggests), this relationship between T and G I think makes the possibility of G as champion even greater.

Edited by Kahlani
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While I'm now thinking that Gavilar is probably a Cognitive Shadow somewhere, I'm still not convinced he'll be Odium's Champion.

 

On 5/27/2021 at 10:02 PM, Kahlani said:

From 2018:

Quote

Questioner

In the prologue toWay of Kings, when Szeth kills Gavilar, Gavilar says, "Tell Thaidakar he's too late." What's Thaidakar too late for?

Brandon Sanderson

*Evil laugh* RAFO. You'll find out. It's coming, not too far away.

Too late for what indeed!?

My personal guess is that Gavilar may have been a personal acquaintance of Thaidakar, and took something from him - that Gavilar betrayed Thaidakar. (Breaths that were going to Thaidakar?)

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Use the Falchion said:

While I'm now thinking that Gavilar is probably a Cognitive Shadow somewhere, I'm still not convinced he'll be Odium's Champion.

If we find out that Gavilar isn’t fully dead (which I think we’ve found a lot of evidence to suggest that CS Gavilar is very possible, even likely) then what other purpose would there be for bringing him back? I think it would be really lame to find out Gavilar is a CS out there somewhere and there not being an important reason for that... On the other hand, I think the fact that each book begins with us learning more and more about this mysterious Gavilar and the way he is connected to so many of the characters we follow - Dalinar, Navani, Jasnah - and the way he is so interconnected with so many of the plots that have been unfolding - Sons of Honor, Ghostbloods, Unmade stuff, anti-voidlight discovery, Heralds, etc etc... And the fact that book five’s prologue is going to be from Gavilar’s perspective provides the perfect opportunity to reveal his sticking around... And then there’s the fact that Dalinar has decided to be his own champion - I just don’t see any other character being as impactful in the role of Odium’s champion than Gavilar.
 

Like the only other character that I think would have had an interesting dynamic against Dalinar in a battle of champions would have been Taravangian, but then he’s so old and not a warrior, and he’s Odium now and it doesn’t seem that shards can be their own champions. But I can just imagine how much a reveal like this would be crippling to Dalinar - Taravangian showing up and revealing himself as Odium (oh the shock and confusion, already now Dalinar is on the back foot) and then BOOM, Gavilar shows up!?! How will he react?! How does he fight his own brother whom all this time he’s carried so much guilt for failing on that night of the assassination... 

Any of the other choices opposing Dalinar that I’ve seen just don’t seem that interesting. Gavinor as child champion, I just think that would be weird and I don’t see him turning against his own family to side with Odium just out of the blue. I think his revenge plot against Moash will be a back five plot line. Then there’s El. Like yeah, he’s interesting for sure, but I just don’t feel like he’s been set up to be Odium’s champion. We’ve been gearing up to this battle of champions since book one and we’ve only just barely heard about this El guy, I just don’t see him as champion being anywhere near as epic and emotional as Gavilar as champion would be. Then there’s Szeth, like it is the Skybreaker book and we’ll be getting his flashbacks, and he’s got this weird relationship with Taravangian but again I just don’t see it. The whole Taravangian manipulation thing I feel we’ve been there done that, and I just don’t see him as an epic challenge to Dalinar... 

This is my opinion, but I’m sure there are going to be some crazy twists in this next book, and whatever they are Brandon is going to make it so freaking awesome!! 

Edited by Kahlani
Fixing weird line spacing
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Posted (edited)

6 minutes ago, Kahlani said:

 

 

If we find out that Gavilar isn’t fully dead (which I think we’ve found a lot of evidence to suggest that CS Gavilar is very possible, even likely) then what other purpose would there be for bringing him back? I think it would be really lame to find out Gavilar is a CS out there somewhere and there not being an important reason for that... On the other hand, I think the fact that each book begins with us learning more and more about this mysterious Gavilar and the way he is connected to so many of the characters we follow - Dalinar, Navani, Jasnah - and the way he is so interconnected with so many of the plots that have been unfolding - Sons of Honor, Ghostbloods, Unmade stuff, anti-voidlight discovery, Heralds, etc etc... And the fact that book five’s prologue is going to be from Gavilar’s perspective provides the perfect opportunity to reveal his sticking around... And then there’s the fact that Dalinar has decided to be his own champion - I just don’t see any other character being as impactful in the role of Odium’s champion than Gavilar.
 

Like the only other character that I think would have had an interesting dynamic against Dalinar in a battle of champions would have been Taravangian, but then he’s so old and not a warrior, and he’s Odium now and it doesn’t seem that shards can be their own champions. But I can just imagine how much a reveal like this would be crippling to Dalinar - Taravangian showing up and revealing himself as Odium (oh the shock and confusion, already now Dalinar is on the back foot) and then BOOM, Gavilar shows up!?! How will he react?! How does he fight his own brother whom all this time he’s carried so much guilt for failing on that night of the assassination... 

Any of the other choices opposing Dalinar that I’ve seen just don’t seem that interesting. Gavinor as child champion, I just think that would be weird and I don’t see him turning against his own family to side with Odium just out of the blue. I think his revenge plot against Moash will be a back five plot line. Then there’s El. Like yeah, he’s interesting for sure, but I just don’t feel like he’s been set up to be Odium’s champion. We’ve been gearing up to this battle of champions since book one and we’ve only just barely heard about this El guy, I just don’t see him as champion being anywhere near as epic and emotional as Gavilar as champion would be. Then there’s Szeth, like it is the Skybreaker book and we’ll be getting his flashbacks, and he’s got this weird relationship with Taravangianc but again I just don’t see it. The whole Taravangian manipulation thing I feel we’ve been there done that, and I just don’t see him as an epic challenge to Dalinar... 

This is my opinion, but I’m sure there are going to be some crazy twists in this next book, and whatever they are Brandon is going to make it so freaking awesome!! 

he was trapped in the cognitive realm like Kelsier and that is why Ishar is trying t bring cognitive being into the physical realm.

Spoiler

goodbye adiu

 

Edited by Thaidakar the Ghostblood
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23 minutes ago, Kahlani said:

But I can just imagine how much a reveal like this would be crippling to Dalinar - Taravangian showing up and revealing himself as Odium (oh the shock and confusion, already now Dalinar is on the back foot) and then BOOM, Gavilar shows up!?! How will he react?! How does he fight his own brother whom all this time he’s carried so much guilt for failing on that night of the assassination... 

This feels exactly right to me. Throw in the fact that Gavilar also received the visions from the Stormfather, but that he seems to have construed the command to “Unite them” in a different, but potentially reasonable/defensible way. 

And THEN consider Dalinar’s oath-like promise after nearly attacking Gavilar in the flashback in OB 26:

Quote

I give way for Gavilar in all things. Let him have the throne, let him have love. I must never be king.

Imagine how Dalinar would struggle if placed in a position where he’s reunited with his brother but then forced to fight him and potentially break this pledge.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Kahlani said:

If we find out that Gavilar isn’t fully dead (which I think we’ve found a lot of evidence to suggest that CS Gavilar is very possible, even likely) then what other purpose would there be for bringing him back? I think it would be really lame to find out Gavilar is a CS out there somewhere and there not being an important reason for that...

For the back five books and shenanigans there. Gavilar's search for immortality and potentially trying to become like a Herald (and maybe Rosharans leaving Roshar) would tie in nicely with how the Heralds became what they are (and how the Ashynites came to Roshar in the first place). And which character has been working on a biography of Gavilar who also has a book in the second half? Jasnah. 

 

1 hour ago, Kahlani said:

And then there’s the fact that Dalinar has decided to be his own champion - I just don’t see any other character being as impactful in the role of Odium’s champion than Gavilar.

That's where we disagree, it seems. To me, I just can't see the value of Gavilar being anywhere close to a challenge to Dalinar in any way. Gavilar represents both Dalinar's idealistic and flawed view of the past in his brother-worship, as well as his flaws and sins in their conquering of Alethkar. Gavilar coming back and facing off against Dalinar isn't a philosophical or moral conundrum either - Gavilar is bad because he willing choose Odium for his own personal gains, and doesn't have the excuse of naivety or ignorance that other potential Champions might claim. 

 

1 hour ago, Kahlani said:

But I can just imagine how much a reveal like this would be crippling to Dalinar - Taravangian showing up and revealing himself as Odium (oh the shock and confusion, already now Dalinar is on the back foot) and then BOOM, Gavilar shows up!?! How will he react?! How does he fight his own brother whom all this time he’s carried so much guilt for failing on that night of the assassination... 

The problem here is that Dalinar no longer feels that guilt. From Words of Radiance Chapter 85, "Swallowed by the Sky"

Quote

In that instant he knew a truth he should always have known.

If I'd been there, on that night, awake instead of drunk and asleep...Gavilar would still have died.

I couldn't have beaten this creature. I can't do it now, and I couldn't have done it then. 

I couldn't have saved him.

It brought peace, and Dalinar finally set down that boulder, the one he'd been carrying for over six years. 

 

Gavinor on the other hand...I'm pretty sure there's a scene in RoW where Dailnar is with Gavinor but thinks about how much of Adolin and Renarin's childhood he missed. Gavinor represents Dalinar's regrets, with Evi, Adolin, Renarin, and even Elhokar.

And from a meta-perspective, I think Gavinor works far better. Book 5 was going to be Dalinar's book originally. One of the big moments in Dalinar's past was looking like he killed a child in cold-blood...and then revealing that he didn't...only for that to lead to even further tragedy. To me, it feels as if Brandon's intent was to parallel that storyline with Dalinar once again being asked to kill a child in good blood, but this time for the "greater good." The first time is used to fake us out and make us hate Dalinar, but the second time is used to make us want him to do something we were horrified about earlier in the book. (And expose our own hypocrisy along the way...which Dalinar would then answer by refusing to bend, and forging his own path.) 

If Gavilar is Odium's Champion, and Dalinar's flashbacks were in Book 5, sure, it could work. Dalinar would have this idealistic view of this brother, only to find himself "breaking" a vow he made to him about a kingdom for the greater good. But that doesn't feel as narratively potent to me. Nor does it feel like there are any cathartic third options. It just feels like Cain vs Abel. 

 

1 hour ago, Kahlani said:

Gavinor as child champion, I just think that would be weird and I don’t see him turning against his own family to side with Odium just out of the blue. I think his revenge plot against Moash will be a back five plot line.

I certainly think it will carry through, but again, I disagree about the fact that it won't play out here.* To me, it makes all too much sense, and is all too easy to do - Moash/Vyre is a broken tool now. He's failed multiple times to kill or dissuade Kaladin, and is now blinded. 

Taravangian wants to either win or tie the duel (probably tie, but I'm not entirely sure), but more importantly, he needs to make sure he doesn't lose. The best thing to do to ensure that is to prey upon his enemy's moral obligations, much like what Moash did to Kaladin at the beginning of RoW. That requires an innocent person to be chosen...and Taravangian isn't above using innocent people for his cause - his hospitals prove that. But you need extra safeguards. What if your enemies are willing to send someone like Szeth to do their dirty work, or are able to live with the guilt "for the greater good" ala Jasnah? Then you send someone you know they won't kill - one of their own that they don't feel conflicted about. And that person has a bone to pick with a defunct soldier of yours? I call that an upgrade. Szeth won't kill Gavinor - Navani wouldn't let him, even if Dalinar would. (And he wouldn't.) Jasnah isn't going to kill Gavinor. She set up assassins to kill Asuedan, yes, but she doesn't kill her own blood. She mourned for Gavilar, she hugged and refused to kill Renarin - she isn't going to kill Gavinor. 

But how do you convince Gavinor to side with you outside of this? You promise Gavinor his kingdom (technically true), you give him the chance to bring peace (technically true), and you give him the chance at revenge. If you want to make it even worse, appear as a "friend of your grandfather's in a special bind that only you can solve. I'm not bad - I took out the bad guy! - but I have to play by his rules. Can you help me end the game? Can you be my hero? My Champion?" Besides, Odium isn't above playing the "kind grandfather" card. Rayse played it, and Taravangian actually was a grandfather, so I could see him playing that incredibly easily. Heck, if you predict that Dalinar isn't even going to fight his own grand-nephew/step-grandson, then you can say "and you won't even have to fight anyone" and be proven technically correct. 

 

1 hour ago, Kahlani said:

Then there’s El. Like yeah, he’s interesting for sure, but I just don’t feel like he’s been set up to be Odium’s champion. We’ve been gearing up to this battle of champions since book one and we’ve only just barely heard about this El guy, I just don’t see him as champion being anywhere near as epic and emotional as Gavilar as champion would be.

Yeah, El is definitely back-half material. 

 

43 minutes ago, mdross81 said:

And THEN consider Dalinar’s oath-like promise after nearly attacking Gavilar in the flashback in OB 26:

Quote

I give way for Gavilar in all things. Let him have the throne, let him have love. I must never be king.

Imagine how Dalinar would struggle if placed in a position where he’s reunited with his brother but then forced to fight him and potentially break this pledge.

I really don't see it as breaking a pledge though. Dalinar isn't fighting to be the king of Alethkar, he's fighting to win his kingdom back and then hand it over to Jasnah (and later Gavinor). To me, the promise was honored in Gavilar's first life. There are no lines about carrying it on after his death. (And in a way, Dalinar forsook that promise when taking power from Elhokar in the first two books.) 

 

*In my head, in the back half, Gavinor would have to confront his own guilt over the actions in Book 5, as both a victim and survivor, as well as his anger at Moash for being the same. But he can't get to the place where he forgives Moash (if he does) if he doesn't do something to get there. Becoming Odium's Champion would certainly be something! 

Edited by Use the Falchion
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1 hour ago, Use the Falchion said:

I really don't see it as breaking a pledge though. Dalinar isn't fighting to be the king of Alethkar, he's fighting to win his kingdom back and then hand it over to Jasnah (and later Gavinor). To me, the promise was honored in Gavilar's first life. There are no lines about carrying it on after his death. (And in a way, Dalinar forsook that promise when taking power from Elhokar in the first two books.) 

Fair point. It’s probably a stretch to call Dalinar’s decision to give way to Gavilar a pledge or a full-on oath. It just seemed like a possible way to ensure a win for Odium no matter what by having Dalinar win but still lose if he defeats Gavilar in the contest. (I’m assuming Odium would have knowledge of it through Dalinar’s connection to the Thrill).

1 hour ago, Use the Falchion said:

And from a meta-perspective, I think Gavinor works far better. Book 5 was going to be Dalinar's book originally. One of the big moments in Dalinar's past was looking like he killed a child in cold-blood...and then revealing that he didn't...only for that to lead to even further tragedy. To me, it feels as if Brandon's intent was to parallel that storyline with Dalinar once again being asked to kill a child in good blood, but this time for the "greater good." The first time is used to fake us out and make us hate Dalinar, but the second time is used to make us want him to do something we were horrified about earlier in the book. (And expose our own hypocrisy along the way...which Dalinar would then answer by refusing to bend, and forging his own path.) 

This (and your argument more generally) is the closest I’ve come to even considering that the child champion theory could be narratively satisfying. I don’t know if you’ve entirely sold me that Todium will be able to recruit Gavinor as a willing champion.

But setting that aside, walk me through how Gavinor-as-champion would guarantee a victory for Todium in the (admittedly very unlikely) event that Dalinar realizes that he has been outmaneuvered by Todium and, in a moment of doubt and weakness, gives in to the Taravangian utilitarian worldview and decides he simply must kill Gavinor for the greater good. I can envision a couple of possibilities. But given your well thought-out arguments, I’m just curious if you have gamed out how that might translate into a victory for Todium.

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