En-priestess

Shallan read the Way of Kings in her childhood?

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Something has always been suspicious to me about Shallan’s knowledge of the Way of Kings.

When she first petitions Jasnah to become her ward, she lists the works of philosophy she’s read and one of the very few is the Way of Kings itself. This seems odd since it is rejected by most in Vorin society due to its discussion of the Radiants and for saying that lighteyes are beneath darkeyes. Jasnah and Dalinar only started reading it after Gavilar, and we have no idea what inspired him to read it but know that others thought him strange for doing so. 

So, why did Shallan have a copy in Jah Keved? 

In Word of Radiance, chapter 38, Dalinar recites a section of the Way of Kings to the gathered Highprinces and Shallan, having just arrived at the Shattered Plains, is in the room too. When she hears Dalinar, she recognises the quote:

Quote

The others looked at Dalinar as if he were mad. Something about the words tugged at Shallan’s memory. They were a quotation from something she’d once read.

So in her childhood, Shallan was reading the Way of Kings. And we know there’s some strange and mysterious stuff going on with Shallan’s childhood - why did she attract the Cryptics? Why was her mother involved with the Skybreakers? What did her family have to do with the Ghostbloods? Why did she recognise the seon box in RoW? The Way of Kings is now mixed up in all of this too! 

Later, in Shallan’s Middlefest flashback, she meets Wit. When he asks her, “What is the most beautiful thing you can imagine?” She replies:

Quote

Mother still lives… And we’re in the gardens… Mother loves me. She teaches me philosophy and she shows me how to draw.

So Shallan’s mother seems to have been the one to teach her philosophy as a child, and one of the few works of philosophy she taught was the Way of Kings. 
 

In my latest reread I noticed something potentially weirdChapter 47, Pattern is translating the Dawnchant. 
 
Quote

Shallan: “Behardan, you said? Maybe Bajerden… Nohadon himself?”

Pattern: “Bajerden? Nohadon? Must people have so many names?”

Shallan: “One is honorific… His original name wasn’t considered symmetrical enough. Well, I guess it wasn’t really symmetrical at all, so the ardents gave him a new one centuries ago.

Okay, so is it just me or does this part in bold not imply that Shallan knows Nohadon’s actual name? Like she just offhand remembered his name and was like hmm yeah, that was not symmetrical at all. Or am I being crazy and she’s just referring to the name Bajerden not being symmetrical? It’s just suspicious, because we know from Dalinar’s vision with Nohadon that Bajerden wasn’t his real name either. “That was lost in time”. 

So did Shallan’s mother know Nohadon’s real name, and mention it to Shallan in her philosophy teaching? Does the Way of Kings have something to do with all the weirdness going on in Shallan’s childhood? Were her parents interested in the book for the same reasons as Gavilar who was also messed up in Ghostblood, Herald, and Unmade stuff?
 

Am I just seeing starspren? 

Edited by En-priestess
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I don't think Shallan's mother knew Nohadon's name but ya I definitely am convinced that shallan read the way of kings and found out the first oath like that. And Shallan's mother is obviously very important for some secret society reason

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On 10/24/2021 at 4:57 PM, En-priestess said:

So Shallan’s mother seems to have been the one to teach her philosophy as a child, and one of the few works of philosophy she taught was the Way of Kings. 

Huh, interesting catch.

On 10/24/2021 at 4:57 PM, En-priestess said:

Or am I being crazy and she’s just referring to the name Bajerden not being symmetrical? It’s just suspicious, because we know from Dalinar’s vision with Nohadon that Bajerden wasn’t his real name either. “That was lost in time”. 

My guess would be she just hasn't dug much and so thinks Bajerden is his real name (even when Dalinar expresses doubt, it's couched in "maybe"s, so it might be that it's something of an ongoing debate Shallan wouldn't be following), but it's definitely a good question and I'm only guessing here.

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On 25/10/2021 at 9:32 PM, KaladinWorldsinger said:

I don't think Shallan's mother knew Nohadon's name

On 30/10/2021 at 1:48 PM, LewsTherinTelescope said:

My guess would be she just hasn't dug much and so thinks Bajerden is his real name 

Yeah probably! I’m being influenced by the theory that Shallan’s mum could be the Herald Chana. I just think it would be so cool if it was true and Chana actually knew Nohadon as a king all that time ago…

I do think that the Way of Kings seems to be an interesting link between the mysteries surrounding both Shallan’s family and Gavilar, with their Ghostblood, Herald and Unmade connections. I wonder who recommended the book to Gavilar or how he came across it…

Edited by En-priestess
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