mdross81

What do you think we'll see in Szeth's flashbacks?

25 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

SA 5 still seems soooo far away, but recently I've found myself thinking a lot about what we're likely to see in Szeth's flashbacks.

I looked back through the first four books in the series to try to get a sense of how many Szeth flashbacks we're likely to get. Here's the breakdown:

  • Kaladin in WoK: 10 flashbacks (9 full-flashback chapters and then the flashback to Tien's death in chapter 67)
  • Shallan in WoR: 10 flashbacks (9 full-flashback chapters and then the flashback to killing her mother in chapter 88)
  • Dalinar in OB: 15 flashbacks
  • Venli/Eshonai in RoW: 11 flashbacks

Dalinar is a bit of an outlier here. But he's a lot older than the other flashback characters so there was just more of his life to cover.

Seems safe to expect somewhere between 10 and 15 flashbacks for Szeth in SA 5.

Here's my list of things that I either want to see or think we'll see:

  • Helping out with the family sheep farm as a youngster during which I imagine we'll get some much needed insights into Shin culture
  • Szeth's family being given to the Honorblades; either here or in the next one we get some more on the Shin prophecies regarding the return of the Desolations
  • Szeth training with the Surges and starting to hear a voice that leads him to believe the Voidbringers are returning
  • Being named Truthless
  • Traveling with Vstim
  • Serving Liss and then being acquired by the listeners; maybe with a jump to then being picked up by Avado afterwards
  • Hiding the sphere of anti-Voidlight that Gavilar gave him in Jah Keved
  • Possibly we see him with one of the dozens of owners he had between Avado and being acquired by Took?
  • Szeth's POV for one of the assassinations he did while unknowingly serving Taravangian - the one I'd really like is the one where Kal sees him during the storm-riding dream in WoK 46 (I'm pretty sure that the "strange city laid out in a triangular pattern, with tall peaks rising like sentries at the corners and center" is Rall Elorim)
  • Szeth's POV of his first attempt to kill Dalinar in WoR 32/33, including him deciding to go confront Taravangian after seeing Kaladin's powers
  • Something involving the trip to - or the events in - Yeddaw in Edgedancer (NB joins the party!)
  • Szeth in captivity in Urithiru being interviewed by Navani (must also include whatever led to Szeth making NB promise to stop speaking into the minds of others)
  • Szeth's POV during Dalinar's discussion/fights with either Nale or Ishar in RoW

That's my list. What do you think we'll see or hope to see?

Edited by mdross81
4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm yeah I’m hoping for a good deal of honorblade training, it might give a good view into dustbringer/bondsmith powers. I don’t think we’ll get Szeth flashbacks from RoW and OB, but it would be interesting. Him in Yeddaw sounds cool, I kind of want more time with the Skybreakers since I think they’re quite interesting.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, #1_Taln_Fan said:

Him in Yeddaw sounds cool

Yeah, especially since Nale just left him there for a few weeks. Must have been some real quality get to know you time with Nightblood.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, I’m not expecting any Szeth flashbacks from after the point where he leaves Shinovar. Unless we’re missing something major, we’ve already seen everything important that happened to him from that point. Definitely there aren’t any big gaps after the Gavilar assassination.

Other things I would like to see in his flashbacks: 

  • Unmade activity in Shinovar (assuming their influence there did not start recently)
  • Skybreaker activity in Shinovar (it seems like Nale has been keeping tabs on Szeth for a long time, so there is probably something to dig into there)
  • Szeth’s family. (Seriously, who raised him to be like this)
  • The Stone Shamans (how they operate, and what exactly they did to make Szeth this mad)
6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, RedBlue said:

Honestly, I’m not expecting any Szeth flashbacks from after the point where he leaves Shinovar. Unless we’re missing something major, we’ve already seen everything important that happened to him from that point. Definitely there aren’t any big gaps after the Gavilar assassination.

That’s certainly possible, and I kinda hope you’re right (even though it wipes out half my list) because it means lots of new stuff we don’t already know anything about. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just hope we see some flashbacks in Shinovar. We know so little about what goes on west of the Misted Mountains.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, RedBlue said:

Honestly, I’m not expecting any Szeth flashbacks from after the point where he leaves Shinovar. Unless we’re missing something major, we’ve already seen everything important that happened to him from that point. Definitely there aren’t any big gaps after the Gavilar assassination.

I kinda agree with this. Brandon, so far, has been giving us two climaxes from the SA books. One for the present timeline and one for the flashbacks. Kaladin’s for being a slave, Shallan’s for her resolve in stealing Jasnah’s fake soulcaster, Dalinar’s in forgetting his wife, and Venli’s/Eshonai’s calling the Everstorm. Szeth’s climax, for me, would be the reason why he was named Truthless. I’m hoping SA4/KoW builds up to this moment. This would also mean more screen time in Shin and their culture. Suregbinding training with the Shin’s Stone Shamans, discussing the difference between the Surges and possibly their Heralds/Orders is pure bliss. 

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Truthwatcher94 said:

Szeth’s climax, for me, would be the reason why he was named Truthless. I’m hoping SA4/KoW builds up to this moment.

This makes a lot of sense. And potentially fits very well with a present-day climax involving Szeth and Kal in Shinovar, trying to help Ishar. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah it’ll certainly be interesting, I bet Brandon could do some cool stuff by having Szeth’s Shinovar flashbacks working together with the main cast going to Shinovar

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think we'll get too much of Szeth after leaving Shinovar, we kind of know what he's been up to since then. What I wish for is

- some Shinovar slice of life/insight. What makes Shinovar Shinovar?

- the Stone Shamans. Why are stones sacred, etc? More about their beliefs and traditions. Are there connections to what Venli feels/hears/notices about the Ground/Stone in RoW? Or are those leftover teachings from the Ashyn Exodus?

- Speaking of which, maybe a bit more about that. Those could probably be combined with Honorblade training or with young Szeth growing up.

- Is there a reason Szeth got specifically Jezrien's Honorblade? Why did a Truthless get to take an Honorblade with him? That feels like something that was very lucky to be in place for the Ulim-Nale-Eshonai- chain that ends with Gavilar dead. Did someone look into the Future for that?

- What made him truthless? I could see that as the Climax, or as maybe the Flashback just before Kal and Szeth arrive in Shinovar. What Voice did he hear? Was that an unmade, a highspren, a Voidspren (Ulim?) or was that a Dawnshard or something similar, like the Stormfather Visions?

- Unmade! Was there Unmade influence there, is the leadership corrupted by one of them somehow?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/7/2021 at 10:11 PM, RedBlue said:

Honestly, I’m not expecting any Szeth flashbacks from after the point where he leaves Shinovar. Unless we’re missing something major, we’ve already seen everything important that happened to him from that point. Definitely there aren’t any big gaps after the Gavilar assassination.

Other things I would like to see in his flashbacks: 

  • Unmade activity in Shinovar (assuming their influence there did not start recently)
  • Skybreaker activity in Shinovar (it seems like Nale has been keeping tabs on Szeth for a long time, so there is probably something to dig into there)
  • Szeth’s family. (Seriously, who raised him to be like this)
  • The Stone Shamans (how they operate, and what exactly they did to make Szeth this mad)

I agree. Especially since we got a pretty good look at what his life as a slave was like during the interludes of WoK. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since so much of this story is built around symmetry, I fully expect the last flashback to be a scene adjacent to the feast/assassination,either right before or immediately following the events in the WoK prologue Szeth pov scene that started off this whole arc. I really like the idea of the whole thing going full circle like that. 

I personally am looking forward to some insight into Shinovar's culture, and maybe some more explanation on the shin invasions and what they were looking for. My prediction is a giant cache of shardblades!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a really thoughtful list of ideas. Love it.

I'm skeptical that we'll get any flashbacks from after Gavilar's assassination. Hiding Gavilar's sphere seems like a really pointless flashback at this point, and everything else is basically covered by the books so far. That's not to say Brandon couldn't fill things in with details... but we know the shape of it and there's just not much that feels like it would be very interesting. The only exception that I can think of would be something between The end of WoR and his first chapters in Oathbringer. (either before or after Edgedancer) But... even that doesn't seem necessary and it's hard to imagine how it would fit into a flashback narrative.

I DO think that we'll get at least one flashback after Szeth has been made Truthless. He says int he WoR interlude that he visited Urithiru immediately after being exiled. I wouldn't be surprised to see that scene. Maybe one or two others... but I can easily see that Urithiru visit being the conclusion to his flashback narrative.

So I think the first four you listed are very solid... then one or two after being Truthless maybe. But there's certainly going to be more flashbacks than that... So I'm guessing those first four you listed will be spread out more. (in ways that are hard to predict, given how little we understand the Shin) The Shin culture/environment is SO different from the rest of Roshar, so I could easily see at least 2 or 3 flashbacks that slowly develop Szeth's youth while doing a love of Shinovar worldbuilding. This will probably come early in the book because Kaladin and Szeth are headed there first thing and the context of the flashbacks will help... Then again, maybe them being there will allow Brandon to offload some of the worldbuilding onto the main narrative rather than the flashbacks... Hard to say.

I'll guess:

  • Helping out with the family sheep farm as a youngster
  • A second flashback of Szeth as a young kid that develops his character and Shin culture (some interactions with people outside his family)
  • Szeth's family being given to the Honorblades
  • Szeth training with the Honorblades, focusing mostly on developing Szeth and his family.
  • Szeth training with the Honorblades... and the beginning of a spren bond (the voice leading him to think the think the Desolation is coming)
  • The spren convincing Szeth that the Desolation is coming (we can't go straight from introducing the spren in one chapter to Szeth claiming the Desolations will return in the next... That's a major claim--one that his religion is clearly resistant to--so I think we need a bit of time to see Szeth convinced that the voice is truthful.)
  • Szeth trying to warn people about the Desolation -- he speaks to the Shamans
  • Szeth named Truthless (I doubt this will happen in the very chapter that he makes the claim. They'll probably go deliberate about it, Szeth will be looking forward to what they have to say, and then it's a gut punch for him when they name him Truthless)
  • Szeth at Urithiru, contemplating everything that has happened and deciding to accept his fate and the Shamans' lies.
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Jofwu said:
  • Szeth named Truthless (I doubt this will happen in the very chapter that he makes the claim. They'll probably go deliberate about it, Szeth will be looking forward to what they have to say, and then it's a gut punch for him when they name him Truthless)
  • Szeth at Urithiru, contemplating everything that has happened and deciding to accept his fate and the Shamans' lies.

I don't think this will be that simple. I expect becoming Truthless to be a longer thing, drawn out and really screwed up, after which we will say "this was just wrong". Not magical compulsion obviously, but breaking Szeth down; far more than just a sentencing, but some sort of psychological torture.  

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Alcatur said:

I don't think this will be that simple. I expect becoming Truthless to be a longer thing, drawn out and really screwed up, after which we will say "this was just wrong". Not magical compulsion obviously, but breaking Szeth down; far more than just a sentencing, but some sort of psychological torture.  

 

I doubt it would be that, Szeth doesn't show any signs of phycological impairment until after Taravangian made him wade through litteral rivers of blood.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Jofwu said:

So I think the first four you listed are very solid... then one or two after being Truthless maybe. But there's certainly going to be more flashbacks than that... So I'm guessing those first four you listed will be spread out more. (in ways that are hard to predict, given how little we understand the Shin) The Shin culture/environment is SO different from the rest of Roshar, so I could easily see at least 2 or 3 flashbacks that slowly develop Szeth's youth while doing a love of Shinovar worldbuilding. 

Thanks @Jofwu

Since putting together my initial list and reading the responses, I’ve come around to this point of view as well. That the flashbacks will largely be from his youth in Shinovar through being named Truthless. That would mirror Kal pretty nicely and they’ll be traveling together. (It’s pretty much the same for Shallan and - to a lesser extent - Venli/Eshonai too; childhood through to the event that led them to leave their home)

Most of my post-Truthless suggestions are just kinda fun fan-service type stuff. Like I think it’d be funny to see Szeth kicking around Yeddaw with NB for a couple of weeks after Nale left him there. But we probably wouldn’t learn anything from it, and the tone may not be right for what I assume will be a fairly serious book.

The post-Truthless ones from my list that I think are better possibilities are traveling with Vstim as a newly-named Truthless, and maybe a short one with the assassination that I think was in Rall Elorim, where Kal first saw him during the storm riding dream.

I had forgotten about him visiting Urithiru early on. That sounds pretty likely as well.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is just a guess about content: I bet the first three to four flashbacks will give us lore on Shinovar and why it's so different from the rest of the continent; then, the later ones will give us info on the Honor blades and Szeth becoming Truthless. 

Here's an idea: maybe we'll get some appearances of some Heralds when Szeth's family is introduced to the Honorblades.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love all the ideas so far - I agree that a few after being made Truthless is likely. I wouldn't be surprised if the flashback sequence is set up a little bit like Kaladin's in that we may get some important parts out of order slightly only to pop up during a climax moment (similar to Kaladin and Tien's death) where he then in the present declares he is Truth (no longer Truthless) or something like that.

I'm also curious about Szeth's time with Liss, mainly because I wonder, along with others, whether or not she is a Herald.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7.10.2021 at 11:34 PM, mdross81 said:

That's my list. What do you think we'll see or hope to see?

  • the rest of his conversation with Nale. Szeth is not the type who would want to slaughter proto-Radiants at that point. He must be given a reason
  • the incident that made him believe that the Voidbringers are returning. That is a big taboo and Szeth was pretty level-headed. No voice, however persuasive, will make him believe something outrageous. This needs evidence, that he dared bring up in public. Szeth is, however, convinced by Kaladin. So it cannot be irrefutable.

 

On 14.10.2021 at 6:33 PM, Jofwu said:
  • Szeth's family being given to the Honorblades

We have never seen why they are trained with Honorblades. Do the shamans know that the heralds lied after Aharietiam?

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Crylorenzo said:

I wouldn't be surprised if the flashback sequence is set up a little bit like Kaladin's in that we may get some important parts out of order slightly only to pop up during a climax moment (similar to Kaladin and Tien's death) where he then in the present declares he is Truth (no longer Truthless) or something like that.

Agreed. I wouldn’t be surprised if, like Kaladin crouching in a hollow in the SP made him remember a similar hollow from the scene of Tien’s death, Szeth will find himself in a situation that takes him back to the events leading to him being named Truthless.

5 hours ago, Crylorenzo said:

I'm also curious about Szeth's time with Liss, mainly because I wonder, along with others, whether or not she is a Herald.

Yeah, this feels like a fairly likely post-Truthless flashback possibility, especially if Liss turns out to be Vedel or Chana.

4 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

We have never seen why they are trained with Honorblades. Do the shamans know that the heralds lied after Aharietiam?

I think it’s hinted that the Shin knew that the Heralds lied. Here’s Szeth in RoW 111:

Quote

“My people,” Szeth shouted, “were not going to return your weapons to you. We kept your secrets, but you lie if you say my father gave you that Blade!”

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also hope we get to see a lot about Szeth's father. Why did he choose Szeth-son-son-Vallano and not Szeth-son-Neturo? I think being named Truthless has to do with that

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, An Inkspren said:

I also hope we get to see a lot about Szeth's father. Why did he choose Szeth-son-son-Vallano and not Szeth-son-Neturo? I think being named Truthless has to do with that

That’s an interesting point, that even though Truthless he was still willing to use his grandfather’s name instead of just Szeth, Truthless of Shinovar.

Here’s what he says about why he doesn’t use his father’s name:

Quote

“You are a work of art, Szeth-son-Neturo, a god. And each day Makkek throws dung at you.”

“Who are you?” Szeth repeated.

“An admirer of the arts.”

“Do not call me by my father’s name,” Szeth said. “He should not be sullied by association with me.”


But it was okay to sully his grandfather’s name?

Add it to the list of things we don’t understand yet about Shin culture in general and Szeth’s past in particular.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, mdross81 said:

But it was okay to sully his grandfather’s name?

My guess this whole time has been that it's because his father is alive but his grandfather is dead, and the dead can't be tainted by their living relatives' shame anymore.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Invocation said:

My guess this whole time has been that it's because his father is alive but his grandfather is dead, and the dead can't be tainted by their living relatives' shame anymore.

I also want to know how Neturo-Son-Vallano died or how Ishar got his Honorblade back

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, An Inkspren said:

I also want to know how Neturo-Son-Vallano died or how Ishar got his Honorblade back

Those two events are probably very Connected.

Wonder if Ishar just yanked his spiritweb out or something.

Edited by Invocation
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.