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MasterGhandalf

So. Ishar.

34 posts in this topic

Though we've only seen him directly in a couple of scenes so far, I find Ishar one of the most intriguing of the Heralds and a character I'm very interested in figuring out more as Stormlight progresses. Most obviously because, though he doesn't get as discussed as often as, say, Jezrien, and isn't set to be a main POV character like Taln or Ash, almost every time he's mentioned we find out more of the major events of Roshar's history that he's had a hand in - seriously it seems like half the time a rock gets turned over regarding the history and lore of Roshar, we find him hiding under it. Whose experiments with the Dawnshards and/or the surges apparently led to the destruction of Ashyn? Ishar's. Who founded the Oathpact? Ishar did. Who became the Herald associated with the Bondsmiths, arguably the most powerful Radiant order? Ishar.  Who enforced order on the proto-Radiants and was apparently already powerful enough to personally destroy them all if they refused? Ishar. Who convinced the other Heralds to abandon the Oathpact, or at least showed them how? Ishar. Who convinced Nale that he had to hunt down surgebinders to stop the coming of the Everstorm? Ishar (and I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out he also convinced Kalak to start the Sons of Honor, considering Kalak and Nale hung out at least occasionally). Who has Ash convinced he's the only Herald to still be sane and trustworthy, despite being a ranting megalomaniac? Ishar. Who's that Tukari warlord with a god complex who gets namedropped every now and again? Ishar. And who's apparently involved in some way with the Shin Stone Shamans? Ishar again. 

 

The point being, dude's had his fingers in a lot of pies, even for a Herald. And it seems like he was a very dangerous man even before he went all megalomaniacal. I, for one, have been suspicious of how often his name keeps cropping up from as early as Words of Radiance, and each further book only reinforces my belief that this is a guy to watch and be wary of. From what we see in Rhythm of War he's scary powerful and involved in some strange and creepy things (and I have a feeling we've only seen the tip of the iceberg regarding what he's really capable of). With Dalinar sending Kal and Szeth to bring him to heel it looks like he's being set up for an important role in book five - which, interestingly was originally supposed to be Dalinar's book (aka, the Bondsmith book). Personally, I don't trust even Ishar's moment of sanity; sane or mad, I think there's more going on with him than we've yet been privy too. Now, everything I mentioned above could be just the random acts of a madman, but personally, I'm inclined to doubt it- Ishar may be a madman, but he's also a genius, and I think he's got some sort of endgame in mind even if it doesn't make sense to anyone but him. Is his ranting about taking up Honor and Odium and becoming a new Adonalsim just the delusions of a megalomaniac, or does he actually have some sort of plan to achieve it, even if it probably won't work (he's not actually Honor's champion, for one). Or does sane!Ishar have some other plan that got buried under the character of Tezim the God-Priest? How has he convinced the other Heralds to listen to him - is he just more rational when the person he thinks is Odium's champion isn't around, or does he (as I've seen suggested) know some trick with Connection to make people trust him (which is incredibly creepy in its own right, if true)? Why is he experimenting on spren? Why does he want Dalinar to meet him in Shinovar specifically? And, perhaps most importantly of all, will he be dealt with in Book Five or will he continue to play a role (as an ally or an enemy) in the back half of the series? 

 

Personally, I've got a lot of thoughts, but few that feel like concrete answers. But I do think, one way or another, Ishar is going to have a very important role to play in how things unfold from here. Anyone else have thoughts on the Herald of Luck? 

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I know that there are people who don't like this idea, but I'm almost willing to put money on the theory that the last bondsmith of the old Radiants was actually Ishar. There are too many connections between Melishi and Ishar to be coincidence.

Regardless, I agree with you that Ishar is important, maybe the most important non-diety in Rosharan history.

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How heart breaking would it be if Ishar forcibly takes Szeth's and Kaladin's Nale bonds, kills them. Bondsmith, Skybreaker, Windrunner. I think that would be terrifying. 

I'm still curious of how powerful Heralds are. I do think that Ishar is going to be the one that is used for Kaladin's big reveal. Can Szeth use division to temporarily correct madness. Wait.. Wait I've got it, cleansing Shinovar... Szeth swears idea bringing Ishar back to sanity briefly he fixes stuff, and then reveals Kaladin's Child of Tanavast connection. 

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58 minutes ago, Master Silver said:

Nale bonds

lol :D

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I think Ishar will be killed in book 5. Redemptive act during a moment of lucidity (possibly because Kaladin reaches 5th Ideal, or BAM gets released) that results in him being taken by some anti-Stormlight weapon.

No real evidence, that just seems like a worthy end and a pretty awesome climactic moment.

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15 hours ago, Zanarkand said:

I know that there are people who don't like this idea, but I'm almost willing to put money on the theory that the last bondsmith of the old Radiants was actually Ishar. There are too many connections between Melishi and Ishar to be coincidence.

Regardless, I agree with you that Ishar is important, maybe the most important non-diety in Rosharan history.

I could honestly see it. The Herald sometimes known as Ishi and Melishi being the same person sounds very Brandon. 

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29 minutes ago, Harrycrapper said:

I could honestly see it. The Herald sometimes known as Ishi and Melishi being the same person sounds very Brandon. 

There's always been something fishy about this in-world Words of Radiance excerpt:

Quote

So Melishi retired to his tent, and resolved to destroy the Voidbringers upon the next day, but that night did present a different stratagem, related to the unique abilities of the Bondsmiths; and being hurried, he could make no specific account of his process; it was related to the very nature of the Heralds and their divine duties, an attribute the Bondsmiths alone could address.

Even if Ishar was not Melishi, I could see it being Ishar who conceived of and taught Melishi how to implement the "different strategem" (the imprisonment of BAM) related to the unique abilities of Bondsmiths and the very nature of the Heralds (clearly a reference to Connection). We already know that his pals Nale and Kalak were there for that.

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27 minutes ago, mdross81 said:

There's always been something fishy about this in-world Words of Radiance excerpt:

Quote

So Melishi retired to his tent, and resolved to destroy the Voidbringers upon the next day, but that night did present a different stratagem, related to the unique abilities of the Bondsmiths; and being hurried, he could make no specific account of his process; it was related to the very nature of the Heralds and their divine duties, an attribute the Bondsmiths alone could address.

Even if Ishar was not Melishi, I could see it being Ishar who conceived of and taught Melishi how to implement the "different strategem" (the imprisonment of BAM) related to the unique abilities of Bondsmiths and the very nature of the Heralds (clearly a reference to Connection). We already know that his pals Nale and Kalak were there for that.

I might just be being dense, but this seems to raise a question: is trapping an Unmade in a gemstone a Bondsmith-only ability?

The only Unmade we have seen be imprisoned that way was the Thrill, and obviously Dalinar did that. But it was strongly implied that Shallan could have imprisoned the Midnight Mother if she had been prepared and knew what she was doing (that’s why the Midnight Mother was afraid). No Bondsmith required. 

But that quote from Words of Radiance says that this ‘different stratagem’ (imprisoning Ba-Ado-Mishram) is ‘related to the unique abilities of the Bondsmiths’, which implies that it is Bondsmith-only. 

So ... is the in-world Words of Radiance wrong? Are we misunderstanding it? Was the case with Shallan and the Midnight Mother special? Was the case with Melishi and Ba-Ado-Mishram special? What is going on here?

So, yeah, Ishar is shady as all get-out is the only concrete takeaway here :lol:

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4 minutes ago, RedBlue said:

I might just be being dense, but this seems to raise a question: is trapping an Unmade in a gemstone a Bondsmith-only ability?

The only Unmade we have seen be imprisoned that way was the Thrill, and obviously Dalinar did that. But it was strongly implied that Shallan could have imprisoned the Midnight Mother if she had been prepared and knew what she was doing (that’s why the Midnight Mother was afraid). No Bondsmith required. 

But that quote from Words of Radiance says that this ‘different stratagem’ (imprisoning Ba-Ado-Mishram) is ‘related to the unique abilities of the Bondsmiths’, which implies that it is Bondsmith-only. 

So ... is the in-world Words of Radiance wrong? Are we misunderstanding it? Was the case with Shallan and the Midnight Mother special? Was the case with Melishi and Ba-Ado-Mishram special? What is going on here?

So, yeah, Ishar is shady as all get-out is the only concrete takeaway here :lol:

It's possible that imprisoning BAM wasn't the only thing they did. Connections were broken, causing every singer Connected to BAM to so parshman. It's possible that simply catching BAM wasn't enough to do that...

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11 minutes ago, RedBlue said:

So ... is the in-world Words of Radiance wrong? Are we misunderstanding it? Was the case with Shallan and the Midnight Mother special? Was the case with Melishi and Ba-Ado-Mishram special? What is going on here?

My guess? One thing in common with both Re-Shephir/Shallan and Dalinar/Nergaoul was that the person had a strong connection to the Unmade. If the Radiants didn't have anyone who would be likely to have such a strong connection to Ba-Ado-Mishram, a Bondsmith could probably use their Connection powers to forge one.

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4 minutes ago, Leuthie said:

It's possible that imprisoning BAM wasn't the only thing they did. Connections were broken, causing every singer Connected to BAM to so parshman. It's possible that simply catching BAM wasn't enough to do that...

That is a good point.

So if the Radiants are going to reverse whatever happened with BAM, presumably they would need a Bondsmith - or maybe Ishar specifically - to do it. 

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5 minutes ago, RedBlue said:

That is a good point.

So if the Radiants are going to reverse whatever happened with BAM, presumably they would need a Bondsmith - or maybe Ishar specifically - to do it. 

I assume they could just crack the Gemstone and that would release BAM

 

8 minutes ago, LewsTherinTelescope said:

My guess? One thing in common with both Re-Shephir/Shallan and Dalinar/Nergaoul was that the person had a strong connection to the Unmade. If the Radiants didn't have anyone who would be likely to have such a strong connection to Ba-Ado-Mishram, a Bondsmith could probably use their Connection powers to forge one.

I think that since BAM basically filled a space in the Parsh spiritweb and when she was captured something was ripped out and that’s why the Parshmen happened

there is a WoB on it

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13 minutes ago, RedBlue said:

I might just be being dense, but this seems to raise a question: is trapping an Unmade in a gemstone a Bondsmith-only ability?

The only Unmade we have seen be imprisoned that way was the Thrill, and obviously Dalinar did that. But it was strongly implied that Shallan could have imprisoned the Midnight Mother if she had been prepared and knew what she was doing (that’s why the Midnight Mother was afraid). No Bondsmith required. 

But that quote from Words of Radiance says that this ‘different stratagem’ (imprisoning Ba-Ado-Mishram) is ‘related to the unique abilities of the Bondsmiths’, which implies that it is Bondsmith-only. 

So ... is the in-world Words of Radiance wrong? Are we misunderstanding it? Was the case with Shallan and the Midnight Mother special? Was the case with Melishi and Ba-Ado-Mishram special? What is going on here?

I don't think you're being dense. There is obviously still a lot we don't know about what went down with imprisoning BAM.

I take the Words of Radiance quote about the process being "related to the very nature of the Heralds and their divine duties, an attribute the Bondsmiths alone could address" to mean that it required someone with an understanding of Connection. The Heralds were Connected to Braize and to each other. So familiarity with Connection may have been necessary to understanding BAM's Connection to the Singers, or it could be that part of the process of trapping BAM relied on the ability to forge/exploit Connections.

Frankly it could have been both. Maybe it wouldn't usually require the ability to manipulate Connection to trap an Unmade, but in this instance the Connection to the Singers made it a more complex task.

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8 minutes ago, LewsTherinTelescope said:

My guess? One thing in common with both Re-Shephir/Shallan and Dalinar/Nergaoul was that the person had a strong connection to the Unmade. If the Radiants didn't have anyone who would be likely to have such a strong connection to Ba-Ado-Mishram, a Bondsmith could probably use their Connection powers to forge one.

That was my previous assumption - to trap an Unmade, find someone with personal baggage related to the Unmade’s abilities, hand them a big gemstone, and let them have a heart-to-heart with it. 

This isn’t what I would call an ability unique to Bondsmiths by a long shot, but it sounds reasonable that Bondsmithy Connection shenanigans might be able to substitute for someone who feels an organic connection to the Unmade. 

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1 hour ago, Bejardin1250 said:

I assume they could just crack the Gemstone and that would release BAM

 

He was responding to my post where I speculated that there was more to breaking the Connections to the parsh and the dead spren than simply capturing BAM, hence why Melishi/a Bondsmith was required to do what they did (more than just capture BAM) and a Bondsmith might be required to undo it (to do more than just release BAM)

Hopefully that was super clear.

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Way of Kings Prime spoiler 

Spoiler

If I remember correctly it’s implied at the end of way of kings prime that the real villain is Ishar

 

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Not really the real villain but someone that has a lot of influence as a advisor

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Bejardin1250 said:
Spoiler

Not really the real villain but someone that has a lot of influence as a advisor

WoKP:

Spoiler

Ehh..

Quote

However, Prael knew him to be someone different. That man was Ishar’Elin, spiritual leader of the Heralds, founder of the Vorin religion, author of the Arguments, and designer of the Oathgates. Ishar’Elin, arguably the most powerful of the ten, undeniably the most wise.

Ishar’Elin, the man who had betrayed the other Heralds a thousand years before, breaking the Oathpact and shattering the cycle of Returns.

That, and he's one of the only witnesses to the murder of Nolhonarin, and the one they trusted when they declared the Traitor (apparently Nolhonarin's best friend) a, well, traitor, and so the one upon whose word they started the entire war, which had massive ripple effects and weakened multiple kingdoms. However, Jezenrosh and Aredor had a witness who claimed that the Traitor didn't actually kill him, which combined with the epilogue, and with his demand that Ahven kill Jasnah and Taln, paints a very suspicious picture.

Edited by LewsTherinTelescope
Actually spoiler box the spoilers
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1 minute ago, LewsTherinTelescope said:

WoKP:

that's a quote box

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1 minute ago, Frustration said:

that's a quote box

Ah crap, thanks. Fixed.

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Spoiler

True, advisor are often the most powerful of men

im not saying he isn’t going to be the big bad of the never coming book 2 but in that book I woudnt say he’s the main villain 

but he is definitely set up for a shift to become one

 

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I'm betting that he turns out to be a Greater-Scope Villain for the Heraldic Epochs and post-Oathpact abandoment/pre-Recreance Roshar.  I bet that Ishar was somebody very important on Ashyn who screwed up big-time and has been trying to cover it up and rewrite stuff so he's a hero the whole time.  

Anyway, my personal take is that Ishar is definitely going down in book 5. Probably permakilled.  Probably due to T!Odium cleaning up possible rivals, possibly via  manipulating the good guys. I'm not a fan of Kaladin somehow being some super-special Jesus baby, but I do think Kal will be involved in some way with Ishar's death.  

Crack theory: Maybe Ishar's permadeath is a necessity for freeing BAM and healing the deadeyes?  

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I generally don’t put much stock in extrapolating from TWOK Prime, partly because it was written over a decade ago and a lot has been changed about the characters, plot and setting since. And also because, if it spoiled future Stormlight books, it probably wouldn’t be publicly available. 

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22 hours ago, RedBlue said:

But it was strongly implied that Shallan could have imprisoned the Midnight Mother if she had been prepared and knew what she was doing (that’s why the Midnight Mother was afraid). No Bondsmith required. 

It was bugging me that I couldn't remember how the scene with Shallan and Re-Shephir went down, so I went back and re-read it. Shallan saw that a Lightweaver (full stop) had previously trapped Re-Shephir. Now, just because there's no mention of another Radiant being involved doesn't mean one wasn't, but I think the text fairly strongly indicates that a Lightweaver, alone, was enough:

Quote

The creature trembled, and Shallan finally saw the reason for its fear. It had been trapped. The event had happened recently in the spren's reckoning, though Shallan had the impression that in fact centuries upon centuries had passed.

Re-Shephir was terrified of it happening again. The imprisonment had been unexpected, presumed impossible. And it had been done by a Lightweaver like Shallan, who had understood this creature.

This seems to support @LewsTherinTelescope's point that the main requirement to trap one of the Unmade is a person who has a strong connection to - or understanding of - the Unmade. So, as he suggested, it could be that Melishi used Bondsmithing to forge that connection with BAM. Alternatively, it could be that, being a Bondsmith, Melishi's understanding of the ins and outs of Connection helped him to fully understand BAM, whom it appears was also something of an expert at Connection.

This makes me think about what types of people would be needed to trap other Unmade. Is there some overindulgent glutton out there who could nab Ashertmarn? A sorrow-consuming fisherman for Dai-Gonarthis? (I'm mostly kidding :P but who knows)

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24 minutes ago, mdross81 said:

This makes me think about what types of people would be needed to trap other Unmade. Is there some overindulgent glutton out there who could nab Ashertmarn? A sorrow-consuming fisherman for Dai-Gonarthis? (I'm mostly kidding :P but who knows)

Yeah, I agree that the scene with Shallan implies that the strong personal connection/understanding is the crucial factor there. And if the other Unmade work in the same way, then it makes perfect sense that you need someone who struggles with gluttony problems to deal with Ashertmarn. Maybe, if Aesudan had made better choices, she could have done it. 

Applying this logic to BAM, maybe her whole deal is about connections and Bondsmithy stuff? And that’s why you need a Bondsmith to trap her? Or it could be that the situation was completely different and other things we don’t know about were going on. Who knows. 

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