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Theory: Honorblades are the physical manifestation of Honor


navybrandt

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Per a recommendation, I'm starting a new topic with this theory.

THEORY: So, I've been thinking about a lot of stuff, and one theory I had was that Honor's physical manifestation of power on Roshar might actually be the Honorblades themselves. They are kind of hidden in plain sight, and I don't think we know where they came from originally. Honor might give of himself to create something that helps mankind fight the Desolations/Odium.

Mistborn spoiler:

And don't forget, Ruin's physical form was a metal. Metal can be forged into a blade and a god-metal could grant powers.



Also to quote Syl from Chapter 87, page 1045, of Words of Radiance:

"Any man who holds this weapon will become a Windrunner," Syl explained, looking back at Kaladin. "The Honorblades are what we are based on, Kaladin. Honor gave these to men, and those men gained powers from them. Spren figured out what He'd done, and we imitated it. We're bits of His power, after all, like this sword. Be careful with it. It is a treasure."



That might explain why Spren were so interested in copying the Honorblades when making Shardblades.

Edit 4/16/2015: Added quote from Syl

Edited by navybrandt
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I've been thinking this for a while but I never bothered to make a post about it. The only issue with it is that the powers of Surgebinding come from both Honor and Cultivation (I think?), so the fact that Honorblades also give the same powers would be kinda odd if the Honorblades were pure Honor. 

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I've been thinking this for a while but I never bothered to make a post about it. The only issue with it is that the powers of Surgebinding come from both Honor and Cultivation (I think?), so the fact that Honorblades also give the same powers would be kinda odd if the Honorblades were pure Honor. 

Well I think the Spren themselves are a mixture of Honor and Cultivation, but the Ars Arcanum from Words of Radiance hints that there should be 3 magic systems, and I think general consensus is that surgebinding is of Honor, voidbinding of ODdium, and the mysterious third system would be of Cultivation.  so the honorblades being a physical manifestation of Honor would fit with that.  I'll see if I can find any confirmation of this in the WoBs, though.

 

 

Edit to add: to the OP, I would also specifically point out that the bead of Lerasium that transformed Elend into a Mistborn was part of the physical manifestation of Preservation, so there is precedent for the body of the shard granting magic abilities to people.

Edited by Dunkum
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Hey KD if the Honorblades dont change form from what I have read. They are always swords right. Also they are a gift to the heralds from Honor himself to fight Odium. Also its kinda obvious why they call them HONORblades. You could be right of course but the fact that it cost stormlight to use the Honorblades powers could make up for this. The theory is awesome though, never would have thought of it. Kings to you my Navy friend! KINGS TO YOU!!!!!!!

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Interesting idea, although I would point out that it has been stated (I got this info from Coppermind) that the reason Ruin's and Preservation's 'physical aspects' are metal because they are external magics.

 

Cultivation, I would say, will also have an external magic source along a similar vein, but Honour and Odium will both be internal.

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This is a really good theory. So with this, do you also think that, instead of having a nahel style bond with a spren, the Heralds had one with Honor himself?

I hadn't considered it to be a bond with Honor. A bond with Honor would be really cool and ties in with another theory I have. I like the idea, but why would the Honorblades grant powers to anyone though? Perhaps Honor has somehow lost his consciousness and will bond with anyone holding one of his blades. It also might be some sort of bond between Honor and the blades themselves if they aren't made up of Honor's physical essence, but that is not anything that has been mentioned as possible before.

I've been thinking this for a while but I never bothered to make a post about it. The only issue with it is that the powers of Surgebinding come from both Honor and Cultivation (I think?), so the fact that Honorblades also give the same powers would be kinda odd if the Honorblades were pure Honor.

I'll have to do more research on this, but it's a good point and might be a major blow to my theory. :unsure:

Well I think the Spren themselves are a mixture of Honor and Cultivation, but the Ars Arcanum from Words of Radiance hints that there should be 3 magic systems, and I think general consensus is that surgebinding is of Honor, voidbinding of ODdium, and the mysterious third system would be of Cultivation. so the honorblades being a physical manifestation of Honor would fit with that. I'll see if I can find any confirmation of this in the WoBs, though.

Edit to add: to the OP, I would also specifically point out that the bead of Lerasium that transformed Elend into a Mistborn was part of the physical manifestation of Preservation, so there is precedent for the body of the shard granting magic abilities to people.

Thanks, Dunkum. This is a good response to KD's comment. I don't really know the minutia of where the surgebinding powers come from, but this sounds good.

Hey KD if the Honorblades dont change form from what I have read. They are always swords right. Also they are a gift to the heralds from Honor himself to fight Odium. Also its kinda obvious why they call them HONORblades. You could be right of course but the fact that it cost stormlight to use the Honorblades powers could make up for this. The theory is awesome though, never would have thought of it. Kings to you my Navy friend! KINGS TO YOU!!!!!!!

Again, another good post! Stormlight might make up for the absence of Cultivation in the Honorblades. Thanks for the compliment! Many of my theories get shot down pretty fast (not complaining - just thankful for the wisdom of others), but this one might hold some water! It's actually part of a larger theory that I posted in the Cosmere thread, but that other theory has a lot more holes in it.

Interesting idea, although I would point out that it has been stated (I got this info from Coppermind) that the reason Ruin's and Preservation's 'physical aspects' are metal because they are external magics.

Cultivation, I would say, will also have an external magic source along a similar vein, but Honour and Odium will both be internal.

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. Mistborn had both internal and external metal powers, but I was unaware of the god-metals being either internal or external. Either way, they granted the powers of both. Are you saying an internal god-metal can't take on a physical form? I'm not sure that makes sense as internal metals, such as tin or pewter, for example, are still in physical form. Sorry to sound so negative, but I just don't understand what you mean. Could you explain or send a link to the reference you're using?

Edit: typos

Edited by navybrandt
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I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. Mistborn had both internal and external metal powers, but I was unaware of the god-metals being either internal or external. Either way, they granted the powers of both. Are you saying an internal god-metal can't take on a physical form? I'm not sure that makes sense as internal metals, such as tin or pewter, for example, are still in physical form. Sorry to sound so negative, but I just don't understand what you mean. Could you explain or send a link to the reference you're using?

 

Took a while, but I found the quote again. It is on the Adonalsium page of Coppermind.

 

The nature of the common people's powers is modeled after the power of the Shard in question. For example, the Mistborn series has powers based on metal, since the two Shards used to create the Mistborn world are physical in nature (Ruin and Preservation).

 

So, Ruin and Preservation are physical in nature (as I understand this it means that both are external shards - you can see the effects of them on others (ie. If you ruin or preserve something, it can be seen, there is a physical difference to how it was before)). Same with Cultivation.

 

But Honour and Hatred are both internal, or cognitive (spiritual maybe? I'm unsure), so the 'fuel' for their magics are not physical in nature.

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I see what you're saying now and thanks for the link.   This has implications for my theory, but I will say that energy can be converted into matter (although that's much harder than converting matter into energy).  Syl is a congative construct, but she can still interact with the physical world in small ways (or large ways as a Shardblade).

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Took a while, but I found the quote again. It is on the Adonalsium page of Coppermind.

 

The linked page does not contain a source for the statement you copypasted. I've never seen a WoB that says that, either, and would be surprised if it were true. I wouldn't trust the Coppermind without a citation to a WoB.

 

Edit: I've done some detective work. The information you linked was added by a non-registered user with the IP 128.187.0.183. You can see this here. I would not trust this information.

Edited by Moogle
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Does anyone know if the Heralds had plate (I don't recall ever seeing it mentioned, but neither do I recall ever seeing anything that contradicts that idea), and if so, was it the same as the radiants' plate?  Because if the blades were a physical manifestation of honor, maybe their plate was a physical manifestation of Cultivation. It makes sense that the two of them would be working together, and plate regrows, even from small pieces of itself, which makes me think Cultivation surges.....

Edited by Shlee
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Actually the more I think about this, the more I wonder. If the shardblades were patterned after honor blades, it seems logical to follow that shardplate must have been patterned after SOMETHING, since all the visions we see are of very primitive peoples, not the type that would have had plate, much less as elaborate of plate as shardplate. If not the Heralds.... then what or who? The missing Dawnshards? I don't recall ever seeing that these were necessarily blades, although that seems to be what most people assume. *off to search for dawnshard topics*

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Does anyone know if the Heralds had plate (I don't recall ever seeing it mentioned, but neither do I recall ever seeing anything that contradicts that idea), and if so, was it the same as the radiants' plate?  Because if the blades were a physical manifestation of honor, maybe their plate was a physical manifestation of Cultivation. It makes sense that the two of them would be working together, and plate regrows, even from small pieces of itself, which makes me think Cultivation surges.....

 

It's never mentioned that they had Plate. Kalak himself looks at Radiants with Plate, but none of the Heralds have any on.

 

I'm not sure whether or not the Heralds had Plate, but I lean towards "no". (SPECULATION!!!!!!) They seemingly die and return without any equipment (save their bonded Honorblades), and you don't bond Plate like you do Blades. (/SPECULATION!!!!!!!!!!!)

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I would tend to agree with you as well, mostly because it's never mentioned at all that I can find, but that still begs the question: Where the heck did the radiants get the idea for plate then? 

 

Also, we know that the Radiants of old could make their plate disappear or at least parts of it, so it's possible that since we only see the heralds after the battle, that they have already taken their plate off (Although, I think this is far-fetched)

On the flip side, I think I would find it odd if the Heralds were fighting things like thunderclasts with no armor on, although I suppose Kaladin does just fine without much armor in more scenes than I care to count.

Edited by Shlee
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In the WoK Prologue, didn't Szeth say he had to choose between using lashings and Shardplate?  Something about the lashings interfering with the gems in the Plate.  Perhaps it's because Szeth gets his power from the HonorBlade instead of a spren, because I'm pretty sure we see Radiants surgebinding while wearing Plate.  Anyway, perhaps the same limitation holds true for the Heralds.

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The relevant quotes are:

"His Lashings wouldn't work directly on someone in Shardplate..."

and

"Szeth didn't own a set of Plate himself, and didn't care to. His Lashings interfered with the gemstones that powered Shardplate, and he had to choose one or the other."

Since Szeth was using an Honorblade, I'd say that the Heralds (when they were wielding the Honorblades) probably felt the same way about Shardplate. Maybe not regular armor, but definitely Shardplate.

After all, Brandon said that magic will not work well on anything that is Invested, and Shardplate gems are certainly Invested.

Are you referring to the Radiants in glowing armor we see in Dalinar's vision? If so, I'm almost inclined to think that the glowing armor could have something to do with a spren as well, just like Syl glows with glyphs when in Shardblade form. Maybe there was a change in the form or internal workings of Shardplate at the Day of Recreance.

Overall, interesting theory and good work, navybrandt

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I was referring to Dalimar's vision.  I have not seen any credible evidence that the Radiants were wearing spren-plate and personally I believe they were wearing "regular" Shardplate that we see throughout SA.  The more I think about it, the more I think they are just fabrials, but I don't really know for sure.

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Dalinar definitely has a vision in which he sees a windrunner fall from the sky and lash himself while wearing blue shardplate glowing with glyphs. Dalinar also makes multiple mentions of how "modern" shardplate looks different (is not glowing and has no glyphs) from the shardplate he sees in his visions. So I'd say there's definitely a difference. There's been much speculation about how to get "real" shardplate, most commonly I've seen people suggesting that as radiants advance levels they will eventually get it, like they did the "real" shardblades, but there is considerable debate as to how it works and whether it is spren based, gem based, etc. We don't appear to have enough information yet.

 

I'd still like to know where the idea for it came from to start with. 

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Well, I don't know if Syl knows what she's talking about, but I just realized that she flat-out says in WoR that Honorblades are pieces of Honor.

 

“The Honorblades are what we are based on, Kaladin. Honor gave these to men, and those men gained powers from them. Spren figured out what He’d done, and we imitated it. We’re bits of His power, after all, like this sword. Be careful with it. It is a treasure.”

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Well, I like your theory very much: if the Heralds are tied to Honor as KR to spren, what could had happened to Honor when the Heralds went away (sorry, don't remember English word for this)? Could this cause Honor's death? We know that Odium has something to do with this, but maybe he/it could have suggested or forced the Heralds in avoiding their duties. 

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