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The Philosophy of The Stormlight Archive


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Those are all good points Rooster. Brandon seems to spend more time focsuing on the more grandiose aspects of the fantasy genre, leaving out darker themes of gore, rape,death, and torture which are heavily prevalent in other series. As for the slavery point, I think Brandon uses this to help establish a connection between our world and his own. Opression is universal in our world, so his inclusion of a lower or slave class helps readers to further associate with his fantastic, alien worlds.

Your "end justifying the means" comment is the major theme explored in WOR. Does the assassination of Gavilar ("means") justify the seemingly better-off kingdom ("ends")? Windrunners say no. So Kaladin says no. The exploration of the topic of force is something Sanderson will use frequently throughout the series. Is it right to use force? When and why? Is it right to meet force with force? Is it right to initiate force with a seemingly praiseworthy endgoal in mind? Is it right to sumbit oneself to force, taking no action oneself? All of these will be intertwined into the ideals and philosophies of the Orders of KR.

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  • 3 months later...

The stick is obviously a symbol for people who are too set in their ways to adapt. His story is a dramatic tragedy. He had the potential to become something useful (a fire) and help Shallan, but because his conscious percieves his identity as a stick so strongly, he refuses to be a Good Samaritan (Stickmaritan?) and change, so is instead a waste of Shallan's time and stormlight.


Though personally, I think his story would be much more satisfying if he was able to redeem himself, going through a journey of self discovery that eventually leads him to realize he needs to adapt in order to survive the everstorm. The deleted scene from WoR seems to indicate that Brandon Sanderson was originally set on this destination for stick's persona, but decided the story would be more poignant if left as it was.


We don't know everything, though. Perhaps stick's destiny isn't set in stone after all.

Edited by mckeedee123
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I think that the Radiants' oaths are a picture into the morality of the series. Every order agrees to the first three values: "Life before Death. Strength before Weakness. Journey before Destination." These morals are the core of the character's development through the first book, Kaladin finding the necessity of seeking hope in life and for the lives of others (through Syl and as he seeks to save Bridge 4), and Shallan learning to find strength through doing the best she can to save her family, rather than let her self be consumed, degraded, or defined by her weakness. However, in the second series, we see a greater diversity when it comes to the "finer" points of morality, and Sanderson, true to character, is far from giving us a clear, black-and-white answer. The compromises that are lethal for Kaladin may be life-saving to Shallan - however, even she must eventually bow to the truth. This is why Sanderson is so unique - he neither ignores nor bashes you over the head with religion and morality - rather he makes them the key to the plot and the reason for the character's tension and uncertainty. Is God dead? Does honor even matter anymore? Can a lie save a life, or will it eventually destroy it? Is morality relative? Like with Mistborn, I believe we'll have to wait and watch to see how Sanderson's morals and dreams for the series finally play out.


**Mistborn spoiler** Now I'm imagining Kaladin as Otium/Honor combined. Wouldn't that be strange... 

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