Jash

Moash, and the fans who hate him

233 posts in this topic

Okay, I am a new fan. I read and finished the first three books starting in December of 2020. My friend introduced them to me, and I fell in love pretty quickly. After I finished the third book, and while trying to get ahold of Rhythm of War (I am now reading it, I got an ebook since the paperback is still a long way off) (and there will be no spoilers for the limited part I've read of it), I fist finally looked online to what others thought of these great books. I tried to of course avoid any Rhythm of War spoilers, and think I entirely avoided them, but perhaps Moash's haters are affected by the book, I don't know. Anways, now to get to the point of this : I was flipping shocked by all the Moash hate. Like saying he should die. Saying he was the worst person ever. Hating every aspect of him. Keep in mind, the only book fanbase I am part of is ASOIAF, a fan base where Tywin storming Lannister has fans, so even the concept of everyone hating one character is impossible coming from that base. The most hated character in ASOIAF is probably Cersei, and even she has defenders or at least some nuance to the discussions involving her. And by the way, hated is relative, they like her as a character often, just hate her as person lol. Anyways, I came away from the first 3 books with, quite seriously, 0 hate toward Moash. I thought his actions were disappointing. He made the wrong decisions, and I see him as being written as a mirror for Kaladin, a Kaladin who decided to give into hate and revenge rather than protect and save. However, I'm not Kaladin. I understand Moash. I understand desiring revenge. I want to be Kaladin, I reach to be someone like Kaladin, but far too often do I end up seeing things like Moash does. Again, I don't know what happens in the 4th book, but..Moash through book 3 doesn't look a whole lot different than super popular characters like Tyrion or Daenerys or Arya in ASOIAF. I don't want to spoil anything in case people haven't read those books, but they have done things that I would argue are less forgivable than Moash. Half of American media, Moash would be a hero. John Wick kills hundreds for revenge. Moash just killed one dude. LIke, so much of American media glorifies characters who look...a lot like Moash. Revenge obsessed. Punishing those who have wronged or hurt them. There was a scene in the third book, when Moash first kind of goes over to the other side, and I thought it was hella realistic. He hates Alethi society, and he has a good reason to hate it. I personally think the fused are worse, and obviously Odium is worse; but...Moash doesn't know that. At least I don't think he does, from how he has been written so far. He's a lost soul. Someone who know longer can tell right from wrong, as his life has been tainted by people, that from his perspective, have acted unquestionably wrong, and yet are allowed to continue to exist, don't lose anything from their wrong actions, while his grandparents, and him by extension, have suffered despite in the past doing nothing wrong (now he has done wrong things, but...in the past). 

Now to get to an even more controversial opinion. I think Moash will have a redemption arc at some points. There are 6 more books after the one I'm currently written, and Moash being brought to his lowest point in many ways mirrors Kaladin, Dalinar, and Shallan being brought low. I mean, I'm sorry, but Dalinar has done way worse things (to the point I've read) than Moash has. Yet, he is redeemed. storm, if Dalinar can be redeemed, literally anyone can be redeemed in this universe. And I see Moash as probably eventually coming around, in fact I think Kaladin's ultimate form (whatever that may be) may be centrally located around saving Moash. Or perhaps Moash himself will come to that realization. I see the potential there anyways for a lot of redemptive things happening around Moash. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but although Brandon Sanderson does not border the line along black and white with gray characters as well as GRRM, he does have many of those aspects in his writing, and a lot of the characters could indeed be seen as gray. 

Now to get into what I really do like about Moash. One thing I loved, absolutely loved about The Way of Kings, is that Kaladin and Bridge 4 were so decidedly unimportant for large sections of the book. While Dalinar and Adolin were involved in heavy politics, Kaladin was just trying to save a group of 30ish men from death, and didn't care about the larger struggle nearly as much. I loved also that they were from the lower rungs of society, not at the top like Dalinar, Adolin, and Shallan (although not as high as the others). However, and perhaps unsurprisingly, they moved out of those ranks. By the beginning of Rhythm of War, all of them are important. They are radiants, they have moved up the rungs of society. Kaladin is essentially almost a prince a this point. Moash, in his chapters in Oathbringer, brought back at least some of what I loved about the Kaladin's chapters in the first book. As well, other members of Bridge 4 also brought some of that back. I think my favorite section of the book was the part where we just got Bridge 4, and not Kaladin's PoV. I loved it. Moash also brought at least some more nuance to the other side, much like Eshonai had in the previous book, and Venli did as well in Oathbringer. Tehy aren't just evil dark beings without thinking. When Moash helps train the Singers, it reminded me of Kaladin so much, and I actually wish that Sanderson had dived more into the relationship between Moash and the Singers. Given him some hope, some goodness. I actually think the writing doesn't have enough nuance so far, to be honest, Moash is too dark at the point we left him. Granted, he is probably bonded with a voidspren now? And we know from Eshonai and Venli that can effect your personality a lot. Finally, and I want this to be clear. Alethi society is incredibly unfair, incredibly unequal, and most of our main characters are from the upper class of that society. Moash is right about the injustices of that society. Kaladin has seemingly backed off on being angry at that society, but...they've done nothing to deserve him backing off. Things are still unfair. Things are still unequal. Granted Dalinar is changing things, so 'yay' I guess, but...in the injustices in that society aren't gonna storming evaporate overnight. Moash's hatred and not getting over those wrongs is UNDERSTANDABLE. I think one of the problems I see from the people who hate Moash is, quite frankly, they are probably white. They were born with white privilege. They don't flipping get it. Kaladin, and even more so, Moash, were born to a minority, a legally discriminated group, at that. Their society is like....worse, and more unequal than the United States in the 60's, and y'all expecting everyone to be a heavenly being like Kaladin? Kaladin's forgiveness of the higher ups in society is flipping Jesus like in his ability. Well y'all, I'm not Jesus. Are you? Can you forgive that easily. Like actually, the people who have wronged you in your life, can you instantly forgive them? Would you be able to let things go, save thoses who had hurt you, like Kaladin. I would guess that is a ridiculously rare, like over the top ridiculously rare percent of people who can do that. We are all Moash, we aren't Kaladin. I'm done. Out. Finish. Enjoy. lol. Tear me apart if you will. But turning the other cheek is not easy, and never has been. Very few people can actually do it. 

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From what I’ve seen, the Moash hate in the fandom comes from a small but vocal minority - but yeah, I also get frustrated at the lack of nuance in the discussions at times. Shardcast did a good episode on Moash (which has RoW spoilers, definitely save it for after you finish reading) that gets into redemption and things like that.

I was very sympathetic to Moash through WoR and OB. He makes some very wrong decisions for sure, but he’s far from being irredeemable. It’s difficult to talk about my opinion of his actions during RoW without spoiling major plot points, so I won’t. I’ll just say that events in RoW do have a big impact on the Moash discussion.

Personally, I would still be on board for a Moash redemption arc (though I wouldn’t take issue if it didn’t happen). Flawed characters navigating an unfair world, trying to do their best, sometimes succeeding and sometimes falling short, are some of the things I really like about the Stormlight Archive.

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Posted (edited)

To be fair to the Sanderson community, a lot of the Moash hate has to do with internet culture, r/fMoash is simply trending and it's a funny & happy group with a few rather seemingly severe people raining on their parade with serious topics like racism, at least that's how quite a few of them seem to see it.

But to be perfectly honest, there is often a worrying undertone to the discussions relating to race within this fandom, especially on Reddit. Check out any old Kaladin or Shallan threads dealing with the topic. I've kinda given up on the entire discussion at this point and from the fact that the word "race" was omitted from the Shardcast Moash episode, consciously or unconsciously, the mods have too. Good choice too, the reactions seem much different with the word "caste" in play instead, I'm sure the latter term fits better for the situation too.

And this undertone isn't coming from nowhere, Words of Radiance and Oathbringer were very directly dismissive of the Lighteyes/Darkeyes situation. Like his fellow former Bridgemen telling Kaladin he's technically a Brightlord now so he shouldn't be even a little bit salty about his literal enslavement, just yeesh. Pointing out that Lighteyes, called "tenners" of the Tenth Dahn cast who are comparable in wealth and social standing to the top percentile uppermost Nahns of the Darkeye caste, exist and they're just like the Darkeyes! Also good Lighteyes exist! Also Odium is coming, and we should all unite under the honorable Lighteyes Kholins to fight for all Roshar because this really isn't the time for social upheaval! ...Which happens anyway with the Parshendi regaining their minds, which really makes it look like the complicated social discourse of inequality is going to be the Parshendi plotline and the Lighteyes/Darkeyes caste system is just going to be completely sidelined.

Spoiler: this gets even worse in RoW. Moash's PoV chapters in Oathbringer were really good and nuanced. Hopefully, there's something more done with his character rather than continuing on this trajectory of him being the lightning rod for the community's hate.

Edited by Honorless
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3 hours ago, Jash said:

legally discriminated group, at that. Their society is like....worse, and more unequal than the United States in the 60's, and y'all expecting everyone to be a heavenly being like Kaladin? Kaladin's forgiveness of the higher ups in society is flipping Jesus like in his ability. Well y'all, I'm not Jesus. Are you? Can you forgive that easily. Like actually, the people who have wronged you in your life, can you instantly forgive them? Would you be able to let things go, save thoses who had hurt you, like Kaladin. I would guess that is a ridiculously rare, like over the top ridiculously rare percent of people who can do that. We are all Moash, we aren't Kaladin. I'm done. Out. Finish. Enjoy. lol. Tear me apart if you will. But turning the other cheek is not easy, and never has been. Very few people can actually do it. 

They got bigger fish to fry 

It would be completely irresponsible for Kaladin to give up even a second of time to helping lighteyes/dark eyes relationship 

If there’s an army on your doorstep this discussions are tabled

additionally people like Jasnah are trying to help...I think? From the end of OB I thought the implication was more norms will end

1 hour ago, Honorless said:

I've kinda given up on the entire discussion at this point and from the fact that the word "race" was omitted from the Shardcast Moash episode, consciously or unconsciously, the mods have too. Good choice too, the reactions seem much different with the word "caste" in play instead, I'm sure the latter term fits better for the situation too.

It has nothing to do with race that’s why it’s not discussed 

It’s a social caste system and you can change your Caste through different means (Shardblades, Radiant, and you become first nahn which is like a lighteye)

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9 minutes ago, Bejardin1250 said:

They got bigger fish to fry 

It would be completely irresponsible for Kaladin to give up even a second of time to helping lighteyes/dark eyes relationship 

If there’s an army on your doorstep this discussions are tabled

additionally people like Jasnah are trying to help...I think? From the end of OB I thought the implication was more norms will end

It has nothing to do with race that’s why it’s not discussed 

It’s a social caste system and you can change your Caste through different means (Shardblades, Radiant, and you become first nahn which is like a lighteye)

That's exactly my point. The entire issue was just tossed aside.

It is both casteism and racism. What jobs people have and their position in society being decided by superficial physical features is very much racism.

Did you read WoK? How well did getting a Shardblade turn out for Kaladin? How many Darkeyes have actually gotten there? Kaladin does talk about it, how impossible it is to get a Shard without access to another Shard, and how there are no such Darkeyes except in legends and how usually the Lighteyes would probably claim the Shards.

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45 minutes ago, Bejardin1250 said:

They got bigger fish to fry 

It would be completely irresponsible for Kaladin to give up even a second of time to helping lighteyes/dark eyes relationship 

If there’s an army on your doorstep this discussions are tabled

I agree that there are good plot reasons for characters to put Alethkar’s social problems on the back burner for the time being.

I do hope that future books will come back to the structural inequality plot line, though. I liked those elements in WoK and WoR, and it would feel kind of weird if they were dropped completely and not mentioned again. It would be very interesting to see how things change for regular people, after all the upheaval of the war and the appearance of powerful Radiants who have very different ideas about equality and who gets to be important.

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Posted (edited)

I don’t know that Moash hate is a small but vocal group. Most people I encounter outside of this website carry a burning hatred for the character. 
 

I would say most of the “high heat hate” is related to Rhythm of War, so come back to your feelings after that book. 
 

I disliked him before RoW. I despise/hate him now. OP is probably right, the … (insert bad words) … will probably get a redemption arc or something in later books. And I will dislike that whole section. 

To compare the ASOIF setting/characters to SA setting/characters is a little bit of apples and oranges. Tonally the two series are very different. ASOIF is all about utilitarian philosophy and Machiavellian applications of political power. Almost no one in that series is concerned about doing “the right thing” for the greater part of society, it’s all about personal or familial advancement or protection, the rest of the world be damned. Sadaes would be great in ASOIF world though. SA OTOH, has an entire magical order dedicated to doing what is “right” (per their vertical’s definition) regardless of the costs to themselves. Something you’d never see a hint of in ASOIF. 
 

I UNDERSTAND Moash’s motivations and choices. I would never say he doesn’t have depth or nuance.
 

I can, and do, also still hate him. 

Edited by Green Hoodie Mistborn
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1 hour ago, Green Hoodie Mistborn said:

I don’t know that Moash hate is a small but vocal group. Most people I encounter outside of this website carry a burning hatred for the character. 
 

I would say most of the “high heat hate” is related to Rhythm of War, so come back to your feelings after that book. 
 

I disliked him before RoW. I despise/hate him now. OP is probably right, the … (insert bad words) … will probably get a redemption arc or something in later books. And I will dislike that whole section. 

To compare the ASOIF setting/characters to SA setting/characters is a little bit of apples and oranges. Tonally the two series are very different. ASOIF is all about utilitarian philosophy and Machiavellian applications of political power. Almost no one in that series is concerned about doing “the right thing” for the greater part of society, it’s all about personal or familial advancement or protection, the rest of the world be damned. Sadaes would be great in ASOIF world though. SA OTOH, has an entire magical order dedicated to doing what is “right” (per their vertical’s definition) regardless of the costs to themselves. Something you’d never see a hint of in ASOIF. 
 

I UNDERSTAND Moash’s motivations and choices. I would never say he doesn’t have depth or nuance.
 

I can, and do, also still hate him. 

same, I could see a redemption for him, but he evil, I hate him.

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6 hours ago, Honorless said:

That's exactly my point. The entire issue was just tossed aside.

It is both casteism and racism. What jobs people have and their position in society being decided by superficial physical features is very much racism.

It has neigh exact parallels in 1914 in Europe. The instability comes after the war. And here I think Queen Jasnah is about to alienate the middle class and will not end well.

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10 hours ago, Honorless said:

Did you read WoK? How well did getting a Shardblade turn out for Kaladin?

It was my understanding that if Kaladin took the blade Amaram wouldn’t have killed him

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I'm going to be honest. I like Moash as a character. He is a very good character, with understandable motivations and a potentially realistic reaction to what he's gone through.

But I don't like him

It's not entirely about what he did with Elhokar. I have referred to Elhokar in words that I cannot use here several times. Arguably, he earned his fate and as much as I would have liked to see where Elhokar went with his Radiance, I wouldn't have cared all that much. If that was where it stopped, I still wouldn't care all that much.

But he just had to go and kick the kid. He just had to go and kick Gavinor. There's no coming back from that in my book. 

I know, stupid criteria. But it is what it is. If Moash died attempting redemption, I'd call it just desserts. Otherwise I'll always be doubting his every attempt at redemption.

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5 hours ago, Bejardin1250 said:

It was my understanding that if Kaladin took the blade Amaram wouldn’t have killed him

I don't think so, if Amaram hesitated though and Kaladin was seen with the Shardblade then it would've made things difficult for Amaram but Kaladin would've probably been still assassinated at a later date. Amaram had reasons to want a Blade. Kaladin rejecting to take the Blade just made it easier for Amaram.

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4 minutes ago, Invocation said:

I'm going to be honest. I like Moash as a character. He is a very good character, with understandable motivations and a potentially realistic reaction to what he's gone through.

But I don't like him

It's not entirely about what he did with Elhokar. I have referred to Elhokar in words that I cannot use here several times. Arguably, he earned his fate and as much as I would have liked to see where Elhokar went with his Radiance, I wouldn't have cared all that much. If that was where it stopped, I still wouldn't care all that much.

But he just had to go and kick the kid. He just had to go and kick Gavinor. There's no coming back from that in my book. 

I know, stupid criteria. But it is what it is. If Moash died attempting redemption, I'd call it just desserts. Otherwise I'll always be doubting his every attempt at redemption.

Dalinar murdered entire families, including children. He burned an entire city. Considering we know from Kaladin, that soldiers could be as young as 12-14 (Tien), we can also assume that Dalinar killed literally countless amounts of children. I think hating Moash no matter what, and liking Dalinar would be hypocritical, to be quite honest. Again, to the point I have read, Moash hasn’t done anything even approaching the evils Dalinar has committed. 

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1 minute ago, Jash said:

Dalinar murdered entire families, including children. He burned an entire city. Considering we know from Kaladin, that soldiers could be as young as 12-14 (Tien), we can also assume that Dalinar killed literally countless amounts of children. I think hating Moash no matter what, and liking Dalinar would be hypocritical, to be quite honest. Again, to the point I have read, Moash hasn’t done anything even approaching the evils Dalinar has committed. 

I mean don't get me wrong here. I don't think Dalinar is done with his atoning, not by a long shot. I expect him to die doing what he's doing anyway, and even then I don't know if I'll consider him completely on the level. 
But I do regard him slightly higher than Moash still, solely for the fact that he made the choice (eventually) to turn around and actively attempt to make up for what he'd done instead of plunging deeper into Odium's service. If he hadn't, he'd be much worse than Moash in my view. 

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13 hours ago, Green Hoodie Mistborn said:

To compare the ASOIF setting/characters to SA setting/characters is a little bit of apples and oranges. Tonally the two series are very different. ASOIF is all about utilitarian philosophy and Machiavellian applications of political power. Almost no one in that series is concerned about doing “the right thing” for the greater part of society, it’s all about personal or familial advancement or protection, the rest of the world be damned. Sadaes would be great in ASOIF world though. SA OTOH, has an entire magical order dedicated to doing what is “right” (per their vertical’s definition) regardless of the costs to themselves. Something you’d never see a hint of in ASOIF. 

I agree the series have different tones, but you seem to think Tywin/Tyrion are the only characters in the series. The series as a whole, and GRRM’s writing as a whole is not Macheveliian (although Tywin is). Many people are concerned with doing the right thing : Eddard, Jon Snow, Daenerys, Brienne of Tarth, Samwell Tarly, storm even Jaime Lannister; all spend time either directly pursuing a greater good or their own standards of what is morally right. Other characters like Sansa and Arya kind of don’t think about the right things, but through necessity for their own survival. Characters like Catelyn or Robb attempt to lower the amount of bloodshed. Catelyn in particular looks for ways toward peace. Like, with the exception of Tywin/Tyrion/Cersie, most of the rest of the central cast is not dismissing the greater good. I mean Jon Snow on his own should be a great enough argument against this though about ASOIAF, he has the second most PoV chapters I believe, and spends his entire arc trying to and thinking about the greater good. 

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Posted (edited)

12 minutes ago, Invocation said:

I mean don't get me wrong here. I don't think Dalinar is done with his atoning, not by a long shot. I expect him to die doing what he's doing anyway, and even then I don't know if I'll consider him completely on the level. 
But I do regard him slightly higher than Moash still, solely for the fact that he made the choice (eventually) to turn around and actively attempt to make up for what he'd done instead of plunging deeper into Odium's service. If he hadn't, he'd be much worse than Moash in my view. 

This would make sense if you hadn’t have said even if Moash attempts redemption, you will still hate him. I think he has that potential through what I have read so far. I see Dalinar’s character arc as a pretty clear statement that ANYONE can find redemption through doing the right thing and attempting to atone for their mistakes. Which to be quite honest, I agree with. No one is un-redeamable. They can always start making the right decisions, and I actively hate American tv shows and movies always killing off characters as you describe, while trying to reach their redemption. I much prefer in Japanese anime where they actually reach a point of redemption, and don’t need to die. I guess I am a bit like Kaladin, as I don’t believe in punishment, I believe that turning the other cheek is the right thing especially on an individual level. If you’ve watchrd Avatar, the scene where Zuko apologizes to his Uncle and his Uncle’s instant forgiveness is my moral view on how to treat those who realize they were wrong and start the long and hard road towaed making up for what they have done and doing the right thing. I think if you hate Moash for killing Elhokar, and that sort of vengeance behavior, but want him to die as vengeance for his actions…isn’t that the same storming thing? Like don’t we uplift Kaladin for forgiving Roshone…who didn’t even really attempt to atone for what he did?

Edited by Jash
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Just now, Jash said:

This would make sense if you hadn’t have said even if Moash attempts redemption, you will still hate him.

That's mostly a factor of "I really like Kaladin" and Moash turning his back on Kaladin would still leave him in my bad books, plus the fact that I doubt that Moash would have two full books of build-up as someone trying for the best while flying in the face of the people who don't.

3 minutes ago, Jash said:

They can always start making the right decisions, and I actively hate American tv shows and movies always killing off characters as you describe, while trying to reach their redemption.

I appear to have not made my point clear enough on this, and that's my bad, sometimes I have difficulties putting my thoughts into words, especially when it's something like this that's inherently subjective and emotion-based. Let me try again.
I would consider Moash dying to be part of his redemption, the final note of the symphony of his life being a redemptive one would be worth a lot, as is Dalinar's very likely future sacrifice. 

6 minutes ago, Jash said:

I think if you Moash for killing Elhokar, and that sort of vengeance behaviro, but what him to die as vengeance for hus actions…isn’t that the same damn thing? 

30 minutes ago, Invocation said:

It's not entirely about what he did with Elhokar. I have referred to Elhokar in words that I cannot use here several times. Arguably, he earned his fate and as much as I would have liked to see where Elhokar went with his Radiance, I wouldn't have cared all that much. If that was where it stopped, I still wouldn't care all that much.

But he just had to go and kick the kid. He just had to go and kick Gavinor. There's no coming back from that in my book. 

It's not about Elhokar. It's about the kid. If anything would take him back from the brink (in my mind) of unredeemability that is having kicked a child, it would be giving his life to save more. 
Dalinar is coming back from that same brink because he is actively working in the defense of all humanity.

 

Honestly, I'm not sure why we're arguing this. This is an emotional thing, odds are high neither of us are going to change our minds here.

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1 hour ago, Jash said:

I agree the series have different tones, but you seem to think Tywin/Tyrion are the only characters in the series. The series as a whole, and GRRM’s writing as a whole is not Macheveliian (although Tywin is). Many people are concerned with doing the right thing : Eddard, Jon Snow, Daenerys, Brienne of Tarth, Samwell Tarly, storm even Jaime Lannister; all spend time either directly pursuing a greater good or their own standards of what is morally right. Other characters like Sansa and Arya kind of don’t think about the right things, but through necessity for their own survival. Characters like Catelyn or Robb attempt to lower the amount of bloodshed. Catelyn in particular looks for ways toward peace. Like, with the exception of Tywin/Tyrion/Cersie, most of the rest of the central cast is not dismissing the greater good. I mean Jon Snow on his own should be a great enough argument against this though about ASOIAF, he has the second most PoV chapters I believe, and spends his entire arc trying to and thinking about the greater good. 

No, I don't think Tywin/Tyrion are the only characters in the series. I started to write out a long response on ASOIF characters, but ... this isn't the place for discussing those characters. Suffice it to say in my view point those in that series who try to do "the right thing" as a character trait, mostly end up killed by the rest of the characters in that series because it is a series about power, keeping power, and winning power. 

The main characters of SA have all failed in some way, or done terrible things in the past, but these things haunt them and drive them to do better, become better, do good and strive for the good of the world. We meet (almost) all of them post the really terrible stuff, get to know their current personality and then see the bad stuff in flashbacks. So there is a cognitive disconnect of our enjoyment of the characters and their past evils. Or, like Szeth we see how their evil torments them so we can sympathize with them. Moash we're watching in his "evil act" phase still. He may not ever "grow out of it" I don't know. 

Moash, even when repeatedly presented with the opportunity to step to that way, admit failings, work to overcome his issues and grow as a person and into a hero of the narratives, just flat out refuses. Not only does he refuse, but he doubles down on the crap he does and does even worse things to follow. 


I do agree that Moash is a well done character. if he wasn't he wouldn't elicit any emotion in readers a la John Walker from Falcon and the Winter Soldier and the reaction he received. 

That doesn't mean I can't hate him and I'm going to hate the Moash redemption arc if it comes. 

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8 hours ago, Jash said:

Dalinar murdered entire families, including children. He burned an entire city. Considering we know from Kaladin, that soldiers could be as young as 12-14 (Tien), we can also assume that Dalinar killed literally countless amounts of children. I think hating Moash no matter what, and liking Dalinar would be hypocritical, to be quite honest. Again, to the point I have read, Moash hasn’t done anything even approaching the evils Dalinar has committed. 

The key differences here between Moash and Dalinar (and this actually ties into Amaram), is the will to do better. Dalinar actively feels better and tries to atone for what he did, he takes the next step. Amaram, I personally feel, doesn’t think he did anything wrong, and so he didn’t step forward or back. He stood still. Moash, on the other hand, enjoyed killing Elhokar and being a merciless assassin. He is running backwards. He doesn’t want to do better, he is fine working for Odium and doing his dirty work.

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I honestly dont know how to reply to this given where you are in the series.  At the end of OB, I was exactly where the OP is.  I didn't like Moash's actions, but I did feel that they were justified in a very real sense.  I felt sympathy for his actions and feelings.  I  felt that his logic was fairly rational, if misguided.  In any sense, he was no worse than Dalinar or Szeth.

Then RoW.  I don't even want to say why my opinion changed, because I want  @Jash to go into it clean, but please ping me when you have read it, because I would love to go in depth with you as to my reasons.

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2 hours ago, Malim said:

I honestly dont know how to reply to this given where you are in the series.  At the end of OB, I was exactly where the OP is.  I didn't like Moash's actions, but I did feel that they were justified in a very real sense.  I felt sympathy for his actions and feelings.  I  felt that his logic was fairly rational, if misguided.  In any sense, he was no worse than Dalinar or Szeth.

Then RoW.  I don't even want to say why my opinion changed, because I want  @Jash to go into it clean, but please ping me when you have read it, because I would love to go in depth with you as to my reasons.

You might be right, haha. Like, it is quite possible I am wrong about where the character is going. I did make a lot of assumptions based perhaps more on how I would write the character than how Brandon Sanderson would write the character. I just assumed at some point Moash would make a turn back toward less selfish, and more selfless, actions. But again, I could be wrong. 

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On 6/11/2021 at 2:38 PM, Green Hoodie Mistborn said:

No, I don't think Tywin/Tyrion are the only characters in the series. I started to write out a long response on ASOIF characters, but ... this isn't the place for discussing those characters. Suffice it to say in my view point those in that series who try to do "the right thing" as a character trait, mostly end up killed by the rest of the characters in that series because it is a series about power, keeping power, and winning power.

I am sorry, but this is just plainly wrong. Like, obviously you didn't like ASOIAF, or maybe you didn't even read it (and just watched the shows, and so are making assumptions from there), but...no, this is just false. It is not mainly a series about power, keeping power, and winning power; at all. All of the characters in ASOIAF have deep moral quandaries, even Tyrion (who without spoilers, it is difficult to get into, but I think is unquestionably going down a pretty similar path to Moash in TSA). Catelyn Tully could care less about obtaining power. She tries to make the best decisions that benefit and protect her family, whether she succeeds or not. Robb Stark wants to punish the Lannisters for what they did to Eddard. We sadly don't get his PoV, but I almost garuntee he struggles with what is right or wrong. Jon Snow, again, one of the three characters who have the most PoV's, basically the Kaladin of that series, ALWAYS struggles with what to do. He is thrust into a position of power due to being a good leader, but does not love it or something. He wants to do what is right for the greatest number of people. Daenerys Targaryen, does have a series part of her life surrounding getting power, I have to admit, however, she also thinks a lot about what is right and wrong, and tons of moral questions in her head. She is constantly thinking about what is right, what is wrong, what she should do, how she should do it, etc. Arya Stark, although spends large sections of the book jsut trying to survive, does worry about others and attempt to protect them. I don't want to give up too much, but she eventually does start to go Moash's direction as well, but again, I believe it is written that way. We aren't meant to see her actions as "right". Samwell Tarly is always trying to do what is right and protect people around him. Jaime Lannister is famous for making the slow change toward doing the most good for the most people, trying to avoid doing the wrong thing. He does worry about how is he is seen by others, but......so does Shallan, lol. Cersie and Tywin, and I'd say Stannis, are all obsessed with power, but Stannis also thinks about what he thinks is right and wrong. Theon spends some time thinking about power, but...down deep he just wants to be loved, and .....saw getting power as a way to get that love from his father. Oh, the other Greyjoys, I don't know...I don't like them, never have, I suppose they are mostly power hungry. Arianne Martell too, although I'd say Quentyn Martell, much like Theon, is more lookign for approval from others especially his father, and trying to do what is "right for Dorne". Barristan Selmy wants to serve the most just ruler, and do, again, what is right for the most people. How you could read those books, and come away thinking it was just a story about getting and mainting power is beyond my understanding, also, PS, the main characters of Stormlight Archive ALL HAVE POWER. Dalinar is perhaps the most powerful person in all of Roshar, and we have his PoV dude/dudette; he admits to wanting to be in charge on multiple occassions, and has trouble giving up any of his power to anyone else. He kept saying he would respect Elhokar's rulership, and literally never did to his death. It'd be like if Eddard had ignored everything Robert said and just did what he wanted. Like, I'd say Dalinar is way more invovled in winning power and keeping power than Eddard. Shallan spends a signifigant part of the first two books moving up the rungs of society, and on purpose. Did you read her PoV? lol. Like, I like Shallan, but she certainly wanted more power. She also ignores Jasnah once she returns as she feels she already has the power, and doesn't need to learn anything more. Kaladin, much like Jon Snow, I would say does not seek power, however he takes it when it is given to him. He uses it well, but I also think Jon Snow uses his power well. Navani was born and exists in a powerful place. Jasnah is the flipping Queen now. Perhaps most of main characters don't think about maintaining power because they all freaking have it already. I suppose if GRRM had written the story exclusivily from people who already held power's point of view, it would have been a very differnet series. Again, like my favorite parts of TSA being Kaladin, and Bridge 4 sections that mostly exist outside the power structure, I also like those parts of A Song of Ice and Fire. Theon's PoV in A Dance with Dragons deals with power 0 times, as Theon has none. Catelyn, who is my favorite PoV, rarely if ever talks about power. My second favorite PoV, Brienne of Tarth (who has the second most PoV's in book 4, and is also a big part of Jaime's PoVs in book 3 and Catelyn's in book 2), also ..literally never thinks about power. She spends her entire time thinking of what is right and wrong, and trying to do the most right (particulary for Catelyn's family). Like, George RR Marting himself has said what the books are actually about, so here you go : 

"I've always agreed with William Faulkner—he said that the human heart in conflict with itself is the only thing worth writing about. I've always taken that as my guiding principle, and the rest is just set dressing." - George RR Martin. 

This is what he writes about, and also, by the way, what Brandon Sanderson writes about. I would say the most important aspect of all of the PoV's : Dalinar, Kaladin, Shallan, Venli, Szeth, Eshonai, etc; is the human heart in conflict with itself. Granted, Sanderson has an overaching enemy, something the GRRM's books lack, hence why the series can indeed be more focused on fighting for what is right for the greatest number of people. But lets actually consider, much like The Starks are lookign out for what is right for The North and the Riverlands, withouc considering other lands that much, aren't the characters in TSA also thinking that way when it comes to the Singers? Like, with the notable exception of Kaladin, most of them don't really question that they need to be in this war. Just like those in ASOIAF think. The truth is Odium is a convenient excuse, but a lot, a lot of the people in Roshar would not accept if Dalinar was like, "The Singers keep all territory they currently hold, and humans keep all territory we currntly hold." I actually think the nuance of having more and more Singers PoV's is something Brandon Sanderson does better than GRRM, I want to note this, however, I think the convenience of having an overarching evil controlling your enemy is something that is weaker than GRRM's more nebulous writing. I think in reality, in real life, there are no good guys or bad guys and everyone exists on a spectrum. It makes things much harder, including for apparently people like yourself who have so badly misunderstood ASOIAF. Badly misunderstood. 

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On 6/10/2021 at 11:36 PM, Green Hoodie Mistborn said:

To compare the ASOIF setting/characters to SA setting/characters is a little bit of apples and oranges. Tonally the two series are very different. ASOIF is all about utilitarian philosophy and Machiavellian applications of political power. Almost no one in that series is concerned about doing “the right thing” for the greater part of society, it’s all about personal or familial advancement or protection, the rest of the world be damned. Sadaes would be great in ASOIF world though. SA OTOH, has an entire magical order dedicated to doing what is “right” (per their vertical’s definition) regardless of the costs to themselves. Something you’d never see a hint of in ASOIF. 

I wanted to reply more to this. Sadaes is almost too evil for ASOIAF, but it's possible, he reminds me of Petyr Baelish a lot actually. However, Baelish has more nuance than Sadaes I would say, also Baelish is more rapey. So rapey. What group do you mean that is doing what is "right", the Skybreakers? If you do mean that order, I would argue they are extremely gray in their motivations (not knowing what is right and wrong almost on a personal level, choosing instead to follow others concepts), and I'd argue many orders in ASOIAF are similar such as the Knight's Watch or the King's Guard, who have dedicated themselves to the protection of the "realm" rather than their own person moral standards. Also, Brienne of Tarth. Let's pretend Brienne of Tarth had magical powers, and like Kaladin, was kind of the first to have these magical powers. If Brienne could found an order, it would absolutely be pressed into doing what was right regardless of how wit effected the individuals. This is Brienne's entire arc!!! Now, here is the thing, you obviously just don't like ASOIAF or understand it, as you've badly misunderstood it. I however, do like it, it and TSA are my two favorite series, and I find them easy to compare. Both book series have excellent world building, excellent character development, and both seem to focus on "the human heart in conflict", all three of our main PoV's are alwasy in conflict within themselves, in BOTH SERIES! Also, individual characters have many things in common, Jon Snow and Kaladin jump out at me for example. Both are in an awkward in between section of being born with some privileges, but their lack of privilege being shoved in their face as well. Both end up being thrust into roles in which they do have power. Both are obsessed with doing what is right for the most amount of people. Both are betrayed. Ooo, so many similarities! !!!Oh!! Both like redheads!!!! lol, sorry I'm reaching on that last one. Anyways, you may not like comparing the two characters or series, but I do, and I believe I'm allowed to ....do as I like? Right?

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@Jash, love that asoiaf breakdown, but you forgot Davos! He's also a very morally good character, struggling between moral good and lawful good. Seeing lawful good as the bigger good and the moral good as his own selfishness & ungratefulness towards Stannis.

Catelyn is my favourite PoV character too! It's a shame she's so hated by the Asoiaf community for trusting Petyr (whom she grew up with) & her miscalculation with trading hostages (which I think it made sense from Westerosi cultural perspective). The only point against her is her neglect of Jon but again I can kind of understand where she's coming from there.

P.S. you can quote multiple posts at once by clicking the "+" button right beside "quote".

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10 hours ago, Honorless said:

@Jash, love that asoiaf breakdown, but you forgot Davos! He's also a very morally good character, struggling between moral good and lawful good. Seeing lawful good as the bigger good and the moral good as his own selfishness & ungratefulness towards Stannis.

Catelyn is my favourite PoV character too! It's a shame she's so hated by the Asoiaf community for trusting Petyr (whom she grew up with) & her miscalculation with trading hostages (which I think it made sense from Westerosi cultural perspective). The only point against her is her neglect of Jon but again I can kind of understand where she's coming from there.

P.S. you can quote multiple posts at once by clicking the "+" button right beside "quote".

Haha, yeah, I figured I could do the multiple quote thing. This is actually very similar to the ASOIAF fandom I'm part of, where I've used that function. I guess, I felt like each of the people I responded to were so different, I wanted separate posts, plus just not using the ASOIAF website in awhile so didn't think about it. Oh, and Davos, yes, another great example. I was shocked by the other poster's opinion on the matter, as I thought it was incredibly inaccurate. I thought comparing the two series characters would be natural. 

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