Maddie The Succulent

The 5th Radiant Ideal

51 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, RedBlue said:

I was just thinking about how much theorising about the Fifth Ideal is based on what we know about the Skybreakers, so I went looking for the passage where we learn about it.

Oathbringer, chapter 90

Context: Szeth and a bunch of other Skybreaker hopefuls are asking questions of some of Nale’s Skybreakers who are in charge of training new recruits. 

Notably, this description of the Fifth Ideal comes from people who have not sworn it. According to them, it is centuries since the last time someone swore the Fifth Ideal - which, unless I’m missing something, means that Nale is the only living person who has sworn the Fifth Ideal (for Skybreakers). He’s the only one who has done it in generations. Presumably he’s their only source for this information. And he’s insane. 

Couple that with how weird it sounds as a Radiant Ideal (the person who says ‘I am the law’ is usually not the good guy) and it looks like there’s something fishy going on.

I think that what Szeth learns about the Fifth Ideal in OB is not actually true. Or if it is, it’s misleading. 

I'm not sure... Szeth's highspren directly tells him he will need to "become the law" to reach the fifth ideal, so that's definitely the ideal. Now whether this directly means the Judge Dread sort of crazy it implies or of there is some more nuance there is up for debate.

I think in general that 'becoming the law' could work with the tiny bit we've seen of the original Skybreaker philosophy. 

From Dalinar's visions (RoW Chpt 47) of sane!Nale.


“The law cannot be moral,” Nale said to them. “But you can be moral as you create laws. Ever must you protect the weakest, those most likely to be taken advantage of...

I think becoming the law is supposed to be like becoming a judge (and not Judge Dread lol more like King Solomon). The Skybreaker has shown that they can follow and understand a code, and are have proven themselves capable of interpreting that code. Sort of like the idea of living documents in the real world, the Skybreaker is a living example of the law that has structure but also has the flexibility to dole out true justice. The law cannot be moral but a Skybreaker can be.


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