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The first fight between Wax and Dumad, and why it's the best fight scene in the Cosmere.


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2 minutes ago, alder24 said:

Those are parts of his surges. They are not from some external source. He can do it because of his surges.

Surges require stormlight to function, he get's those powers because of his bond with the Stormfather, independent of his surges.

3 minutes ago, alder24 said:

Miles was said to be constantly healing. Miles has a concentration of investiture bigger than Wax. With compounding he gains more investiture than he used it as an input. 

More power than there was feruchemically, but alltogether, feruchemical power + allomantic power is equivelent to the result after compounding.

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The fight was great because it was well written. The complimentary powers gave Sanderson great tools to use to develop the narrative. The power differential, like any good comic book, changes to match the current situation and action. Sanderson did a great job balancing the power levels when needed, showing lack of balance to create tension, showing good decision making to resolve the tension, responses to bring tension back, etc. All of the tools were used and the fight was well done. 

The arguments in this thread are circular and mostly Frustrating.

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On 1/18/2023 at 4:13 PM, Frustration said:

Well I was planing on this being a simple post where I talk about why I liked a single fight scene, getting maybe three posts total, not a multipage discussion on whether I'm right or not.

Now this is exactly why we should use those [Support] and [Discuss] tags that Chaos suggested. I'm honestly suprised a mod hasn't already locked this thread. My opinion is that there are multiple examples of fight scenes in the Cosmere where someone fights someone with more power than them and Wax and Dumad is one of them.

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So, I have a question? Frustration, I don't want to fight, but did you seriously argue earlier that Ishar as an unchained Bondsmith is equal in strength to Dalinar, who is a very much less experienced, and very much chained Bondsmith? The comparison doesn't even seem close to me. Sure, Bondsmiths are rediculous, but it's even more crazy when they don't have oaths. I don't see how the power could possibly be equal.

I agree though, that Wax vs. Dumad fight was really good.

Edited by That1Cellist
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Just now, That1Cellist said:

Frustration, I don't want to fight, but did you seriously argue earlier that Ishar as an unchained Bondsmith is equal in strength to Dalinar, who is a very much less experienced, and very much chained Bondsmith?

Dalinar isn't chained, no Bondsmith has been since the death of Honor.

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Just now, That1Cellist said:

Oh yeah, that's right. But couldn't he possibly kill the Stormfather if he breaks his oaths? Wouldn't that make him loose access to Bondsmithing? Ishar doesn't even have that limitation.

There is a difference between unoathed, and unchained, as we went over earlier in the thread.

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  • 3 months later...

Hahaha can we address how unfair it is that the argument threads are the only ones that get a billion replies so exceedingly fast? I admit, this is my fault as much as anyone else's, we (especially myself) can get so toxic online, even though I know y'all are super cool people. Maybe it's because it's really hard to tell someone's tone when you're just reading stuff. At least for me it tends to make me take offense more when I feel like someone's insulting me when really they're just disagreeing with me or whatever. But anyway, that's beside the point. 

I want to talk about writing, so y'all can just ignore this if you'd like, because it's less interesting than an argument for sure. ;) 

As reading through this thread, there are some really interesting things I was seeing, because it's obvious that y'all are really intelligent people, and I like talking so I wanted to talk about some of it. I won't speak to whether or not this fight scene is the only fight scene where one person is much more powerful than the other, because I'm a lot more interested in what makes this fight scene great (and whichever others we collectively agree are massively one-sided, I didn't read through the whole thing so I'm not sure which specifically, although Kaladin v.s. Amaram I think we agreed on also.) Anyway, why is a fight so much more interesting when all odds are against someone? 

I think what it comes down to is "Imbalances." It's a concept that isn't exactly the same as one person being overpowered, it has a lot more to do with powers that are complementary. (Again, this was discussed briefly in this thread, but it wasn't exactly the point of the thread, so I'm talking about it now.) One of the most interesting things about this debate, is that we agree on many of the broader concepts, we only disagree on the specifics. Frustration brought up the fact that Miles and Wax were evenly matched, because neither could hurt the other. (Again, I'm not arguing the point, merely using it as an example.) That's because their power was Imbalanced. In one sense it's even, and in another it's vastly uneven. So perhaps it's not the difference in power-level that makes a fight interesting, but the intrinsic differences with how the powers can influence the world. The fight between Wax and Dumad is awesome, and that's because their levels of power are different, but so are the powers themselves. And Sanderson expertly highlights the difference, by giving Dumad two abilities that match with Wax's. It's like a venn diagram, where the overlap in power is what's boring, and everything else is interesting. And I'll include that it is Wax's experiences that make him able to beat Dumad, those are part of the venn diagram. Advantages Wax has that Dumad doesn't. 

Marvel has long been criticized for the same v.s. same battles that often conclude their movies, and it's because there is perfect balance, but no imbalance. We can't test the limits of a hero's power, because they're both being pushed to the exact same place. I love Sanderson's ability to take a magic system somewhere entirely new. He sets up the rules, then exploits them like a DnD player who wants to become overpowered. He pushes every system to its limits, using imbalances of power. You never know for sure which hero/villain holds more power (hence the discussion) because their power is not measured by a number, or a level. It's measured by its application. Think of the final fight in "Dr. Strange." It's not a straight out battle between sorcerers, it's a character forced to use whatever advantages he has that his enemy does not. Is Doormomoo more powerful from a "number" perspective? Maybe. We could probably have a 3 page argument about it regardless. But Doormomoo's ability to kill doesn't help him escape. Therefore the climax is interesting. Does that make any sense? 

If anybody has thoughts I'd love to hear them, or if I offended anyone's honor please yell at me! :) Obviously Frustration has a good reason to love this scene, and from what I'm seeing most of us agree! So I'd love to hear anybody talking about from a writing perspective what makes this scene so great. Y'all are awesome, thanks Frustration for creating the thread, and know that I will always have your back when it comes to discussing what makes something Sanderson has written great. 

Edited by Bondsmith-Edgedancer
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  • 3 weeks later...

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