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Stormlight Archive Reread [Updated: 02/27/2015]


Frosted Flakes

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So I just started doing my own personal reread of the Stormlight Archive. I started about a week ago, but then figured I'd start over and share what I find here, with you guys. This will not be a Tor.com style reread, where I do detailed commentary for a few chapters at a time. What I intend to do with this is go through the text with a fine tooth comb, reading a few pages at a time so I don't get caught up in the story and miss things, and recording things I never noticed before. I'll update this every few days or so, depending on how much time I have to read and depending how much stuff I find; I imagine I might go weeks at a time without finding anything particularly interesting. Anyway, I encourage anyone who is interested to post things they've noticed that were intriguing but not really post worthy on their own. Or comment on what I found.



TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Prelude to the Stormlight Archive [ Last Updated: 02/04/2015 11:51pm EST ]
Prologue: To Kill [ Last Updated: 02/15/2015 08:25am EST ]
Chapter One: Stormblessed [ Last Updated: 02/05/2015 02:12pm EST ]

Chapter Two: Honor is Dead [ Last Updated: 02/06/2015 09:03am EST ]

Chapter Three: City of Bells [ Last Updated: 02/08/2015 10:07am EST ]

Chapter Four: The Shattered Plains [ Last Updated: 02/11/2015 01:42pm EST ]

Chapter Five: Heretic  [ Last Updated:  02/13/2015 06:07pm EST ]

Chapter Six: Bridge Four  [ Last Updated:  02/15/2015 05:35pm EST ]

Chapter Seven: Anything Reasonable  [ Last Updated: 02/18/2015 06:32pm EST ]

Chapter Eight: Nearer The Flame  [ Last Updated: 02/20/2015 09:32pm EST ]

Chapter Nine: Damnation  [ Last Updated: 02/23/2015 09:57am EST ]

Chapter Ten: Stories of Surgeons  [ Last Updated: 02/27/2015 11:11am EST ]

Edited by Frosted Flakes
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Prelude to the Stormlight Archive

  • Blood mixed. Red. Orange. Violet. ... There were so many corpses, and among them walked the living. Men in primitive wraps, carrying spears topped by bronze heads. Juxtaposed between them were others in gleaming plate armor. One group walked past, four men in their ragged tanned skins or shoddy leather joining a powerful figure in beautiful silver plate, amazingly intricate. Such a contrast. (This one may be a stretch, but earlier I was thinking that if the Parshendi were native to Roshar, they must have been involved in the Desolation in the Prelude. It never mentions Voidbringers, which is interesting since the Prelude mentions Thunderclasts, Surgebinders, Dustbrings, Heralds, and the Oathpact. Again, it could be nothing at all, but the lack of mentioning Voidbringers strikes me as conspicuous. In Words of Radiance, when Syl is explaining Honorblades to Kaladin, she says, "Honor gave these to men, and those men gained powers from them. Spren figured out what He'd done, and we imitated it." Since the Parshendi and Spren originally were a thing, before Men and Spren, I'm wondering if the original, very first Knights Radiant weren't Parshendi. In this snippet, the figure in Shardplate is refered to as a "powerful figure" which, though it could be a man, makes me think of a Parshendi. The way Investiture works on this world, specifically how Stormlight augments everything; makes things more ideal, makes me think that Shardplate is the Stormlight-Idealized version of the Parshendi Warform's carapace. It's often described as being different from regular plate in the sense that it's more than simply armor, it augments the strength of the wearer. Much like Warform augments a Parshendi's strength and combat abilities. Also, interestingly, Axehound blood is violet. I don't know if Thunderclasts bleed, but they're similar to an extremely enhanced version of an Axehound, and there is violet blood on the battlefield in the Prelude. Perhaps the original enemies in the desolations were corrupted versions of the flora and fauna of Roshar? Like how a Chasmfiend might be a corrupted Chull? This is quickly degrading into pure speculation, so I'll wait until I encounter relevant passages later in the text before I continue.)
  • Update One: I forgot to explicitly state what I was building up to: That I think the original Knights Radiant may have been Parshendi. During non desolation, the Parshendi and Spren have a symbiotic relationship; or are at least capable of one. This is obviously purely speculation, and there's likely WoB that contradicts this, but I think honor/cultivation/adonalsium spren may have formed the Nahel bond with Parshendi first. Partially to protect them from becoming Voidbringers against their will, partially to help combat the forces of Odium.
  • Update Two: Refuted by WoB.
  • Update Three:  I think Shardplate and Shardblades have a much more mundane explaination.  We already know quite a bit about Shardblades, so let's focus on the Shardplate.  It's most likely Invested plate armor.  The Investiture, being Spiritual in nature, changes the Shardplate into a much more Ideal version of regular plate.  I imagine that if you Invested a wooden sword, it would possibly become steel - a more idealized version of a sword.

 

  • Seven magnificent swords stood proudly here, driven point-first into the stone ground. Each was a masterly work of art, flowing in design, inscribed with glyphs and patterns. (Coming back to this after reading the rest of the series, I think this is more than descriptive text. I think glyphs are related to Honor and Patterns are related to Cultivation. I think Alethi gender rolls will have roots in Honor being Male and Cultivation being Female.)

 

  • Though he hadn't worn a crown in centuries, his royal manner lingered. He always seemed to know what to do. (This was interesting to me partially because how Sanderson generally uses competence as the mark of a good ruler, and I agree. Later, Elhokar complains that he's a bad king because he never knows what to do. He then asks Kaladin to teach him, because Kaladin always seems to know what to do; he then refers to it as a pattern, but he can't figure it out.)

 

  • Kalak felt something within him break at the admission. (This one barely made the cut, purely on the off chance that this is more than a metaphor for Kalak losing his resolve, and has something to do with the Oathpact ending.)

 

  • "It's simple," Jezrien said, walking away. "We tell them they finally won. It's an easy enough lie. Who knows? Maybe it will turn out to be true." (Nothing terribly signifigant here. I just thought it was interesting that Jezrien, the Windrunner Herald, told a lie and justified it was some rationalization. Later, Kaladin, a Windrunner Radiant, tells Syl sometimes it's okay to lie.)

 

 

[back to Table of Contents]

 

 

Pre Consolidation: [@Blaze1616]: Thank you!  I'll be on the look out for your post when you've finished.  Good luck to you as well.

Edited by Frosted Flakes
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I love the Parshendi = original Knights Radiant theory! I was wondering how to consolidate the Shardplate and the fact that the listeners refer to the spren as having 'betrayed' them, and left to bond with the humans. I believe later on, Eshonai supposes that it's because the spren get more out of their bond with humans, because humans are more present in the physical realm, but listeners are more in the cognitive realm so spren don't get as much benefit. This backstory makes more sense if the original KRs were Parshendi. The next question for me is, how did the Shardplate pass from the Parshendi to the human KRs? Maybe Shardplate was simply modelled after Parshendi armour, since it does in fact take Stormlight to power, and is mostly immobile without power. It seems like the Parshendi would want to be able to move around in their body without having to continually expend Stormlight.

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On the listeners being the original Knights Radiant, I really don't think it's likely.  Namely because of these quotes:

 

 

Q:  Is Eshonai going to be a Radiant?
A:  In the past, parshmen/Parshendi were not allowed to become Knights Radiant.  However, what I said might imply that that could change.  But no promises.

 

Q:  Is it possible for a Parshendi to become a KR?
A:  In the past, no. Let's say this, in-world everybody would tell you no.

 

Q:  How about the other way around? Can a Parshendi bond a KR spren?
A:  Historically, the Parshendi were not made Knights Radiant, or the parshmen weren't.

 

(source)

 

As for where they got the Plate and Blade, there are hundreds of sets unaccounted for.  (Dalinar does talk briefly about how many known sets there are in the world in WoK, and that number is less than half of the number abandoned at Feverstone keep (which was only a segment of the Radiant population).

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Prologue: To Kill


  • But he did as his masters required and did not ask for an explanation. (I was superficially interested in this.  Exactly when did the Parshendi become his masters?  How?  Is there a connection between the Parshendi and the Stone Shamans?  Does this sentence imply he has done as his masters required in the past, or does it merely suggest that "doing as his masters required" is his mindset?  Are the Parshendi his first masters?  I eargly await Stones Unhallowed.)

 

  • He was in conversation with two men, a dark-skinned Azish man who had an odd patch of pale skin on his cheek and a thinner, Alethi-looking man who kept glancing over his shoulder.  (I know there are many theories about who these men are, and I believe that the man with with scar is the Herald Nalan.  It's been a long while since I read either this books or the theories on the guests, so maybe someone will be kind enough to post a link?  I do want to comment on the phrasing of "Alethi-looking man."  It implies that Szeth is nearly certain the man is not Alethi, otherwise the man would be "Alethi" and not merely "Alethi-looking.)

 

  • The heir's feasting companions were unimportant.  (I bet Sanderson had a little chuckle when he wrote this line.  I'll wager that the heir's feasting companions are of utmost important.  For example, Nalan is clearly interested in Szeth before Szeth kills Gavilar and gains Roshar-wide infamy.  In Words of Radiance, chapter 88, Nalan speaks with Szeth and tells him many interesting things, such as, "You follow the laws of your society to perfection." which could imply that Szeth has always followed his people's laws with perfection, which would imply that Szeth attracted Nalan before becoming Truthless.  Nalan also states, "You we banished by petty men with no vision. I will teach you the path of one uncorrupted by sentiment.  You will bring this back to your people, and you will carry with you justice for the leaders of the Shin."  It seems to me that Nalan, and possibly all the Heralds, and the Shin go way back.  The implication here is that the Stone Shaman didn't merely disagree with Szeth, the knew that he was right and deliberately made him Truthless for political reasons.  But, I digress.  I will explore this further months from now when I reach the end of Words of Radiance.)

 

  • The left sleeve of each dress was longer than the right one, covering the hand. (Interestingly, in Jewish Mysticism, the left arm and hand correspond with Gevurah, which is might/severity, the primary emotion of restriction.  The Inner Experience of Gevurah is Yirah, the fear of God.  The Sephirot is not quite similar enough to Vorinism and Rosharan cultures to draw a strong parallel, but it seems like safehands are almost like a Kippah, or Yarmulke (pronounced like: yamaka), which means the safehand being covered is a sign of respect towards the Almighty.)

 

  • A man with a long grey and black beard slumped in the doorway, smiling foolishly - though whether from wine or a weak mind, Szeth could not tell.  "Have you seen me?" the man asked with slurred speech.  He laughed, then began to speak in gibberish, reaching for a wineskin.  (I'm sure this is Jezrien.  I very much enjoy the irony of Jezrien, an extremely competent ruler, acting like a drunken fool in the Beggar's Feast while Elhokar, an incompetent leader, is ruling the King's Feast in place of his father, King Gavilar.)

 

  • One was conspicuously missing.  Why had Shalash's statue been removed?  (Probably because it was recently vandalized, as Shalash is wont to do.  I wonder, how long ago did this happen?  Are all the Heralds at this feast?  They clearly have a vested interest in how everything works out.  Recall what I hypothesized a short while ago about Nalan being interested in Szeth before Szeth was Truthless?  I wonder if Nalan didn't either manipulate Szeth into becoming Truthless and then use Szeth for his own agenda, or at the very least seized the opportunity of using Szeth once Szeth became Truthless.  Perhaps Nalan is the link between Szeth and the Parshendi.)

 

  • Stormlight could be held for only a short time, a few minutes at most.  It leaked away, the human body too porous a container.  He had heard that the Voidbringers could hold it in perfectly.  (Wow, first of all, I could make a lengthy post just on this tidbit alone.  I think that the Parshendi hold Stormlight better, because Parshendi have a much stronger Spiritual presence than men do.  Stormlight is very Spiritual in nature.  From what I know about the Spiritual Realm, it's all about true ideals and connectedness.  That's why Stormlight enhances things.  Take Kaladin, for example.  Kaladin is already an excellent spearman, so Stormlight, being a Spiritual form of Investiture (are there any other forms?) enhances his abilities, pushing him closer and closer to being the most ideal spearman.  Back to the Parshendi.  They're natives to Roshar and clearly more adapted to life there.  They display a very strong connectedness with each other through their songs.  Not only that, but they take on different forms that are more specialized, or ideal, for different tasks.  That's very Spiritualesque.  No wonder they would naturally be more efficient than men at holding Stormlight. )

 

  • As far as he knew, Szeth had killed every stonewalker who had ever seen what he could do.  (No Roshar-Shattering implications here, but it does raise the question, "Who has been making Szeth kill people before Gavilar.  Was it the Parshendi?  Who were his first masters as Truthless?)

 

  • Stormlight raged from him in a flash, chilling his skin, and the ground immediately stopped pulling him downward.  (Stormlight causes an endothermic reaction?  Oh, boy.  Well, I hope someone smarter than I notices this and takes interest and researches "Gibbs free energy" particulary the section on Ideal Gases, which I assume is how Stormlight will behave.  Link to a wikipedia article on the subject: http://en.wikipedia....bbs_free_energy)

 

  • He rose, beginning the process of summoning his Shardblade.  (This nags at me because I want to know more about the difference between Shardblades and Honorblades.)

 

  • It formed as if condensing from mist, water beading along the metal length.  (I assume this effect is due to using Stormlight having an endothermic reaction, and something about Stormlight being similar to Ideal Gases.  Honestly, chemistry frightens and confuses me, and though I will make an effort to understand, I'm not there yet.  I'll probably update these sections in the future.)

 

  • Why?  Why did the Parshendi agree to this treaty, only to send an assassin the very night of its signing?  (Because after a few thousand years hanging out on Roshar, Nalan probably picked up a little something of Parshendi beliefs.  Particularly, the return of their gods, which they dread.  Nalan himself seems determined to prevent the coming desolation and the Parshendi would be ready allies.)

 

  • Then he flung his hand out toward the doorframe, sparying white luminescence across it like paint.  (Like paint?  So a liquid.  Did Szeth just liquify Stormlight?  What are the implications of that?  Could Stormlight made to be solid?  It also sounds like he covered the doorframe without making physical contact with it.  Very interesting.)

 

  • Gifts of their god [shardblades], granted to allow them to fight horrors of rock and flame, dozens of feet tall, foes whose eyes burned with hatred.  The Voidbringers.  (This describes the Thunderclasts.  The ''eyes burned with hatred'' line is interesting, because that screams of Odium.  Anyway, I'm starting to think that perhaps Parshendi themselves are not exclusively Voidbringers; any living creature corrupted by an Odiumspren becomes a Voidbringer.  This merits further investigation.)

 

  • The Shardblade was just a tool; it could not be blamed for the murders.  (This thought of Szeths tells you a lot about him and how he rationalizes his murdering.  By being Truthless and having ''no'' free will of his own, he his just another tool his masters use.  This is how he rationalizes his murders to cope with the stress of killing when he would rather not.)

 

  • Szeth's weapon hit solidly, causing a web of glowing lines to spread out across the back of the armor, and Stormlight began to leak from them. (Shardplate is Invested.  Investiture is Spiritual.  Humans have Spirit-webs.  Do inatimate objects have spirit-webs?  There's something to this, I can sense it.)

 

  • He felt weak; he'd used up his Stormlight too quickly, straining his body.  (This implies that the speed of Stormlight consumption wears on the body more than the amount used.  Do ten Arbitrary Units of Stormlight have less of an effect on a person who gradually uses it over a twenty minute period than someone who uses one Arbitrary Unit of Stormlight in one minute?  The overall amount used in the first instance is greater, but in the second instance the Stormlight Expended Per Minute is higher.  Here's another thought.  Stormlight perfects.  It makes things closer to ideal.  Those who have used it have felt an urge to move.  To act.  I think this is because they have a clear goal in mind.  In a sense, they're defining themselves as "someone who is attempting to accomplish X" and so the Stormlight makes them better at it; the Stormlight compels them to act in order to make them more efficent.  More Ideal.  If I absorbed some Stormlight to help me in writing this post, I imagine I wouldn't suddenly become physically restless, but instead I would become mentally focused and inspired.  Last thought on Stormlight for this post:  At what point does Stormlight attempt the physically change you?  The Lopen absorbed a small amount and it began physically altering his body by beginning to regrow his missing arm.  Imagine he absorbed more.  Now his arm is back.  Imagine he absorbed even more.  Now he likely loses some fat, gains some muscle, and attains a more ideal proportion for The Lopen.  Now imagine that he absorbed an entire Highstorm's worth of Stormlight in a single instant.  First, he gets his arm back: a more ideal Lopen.  Then he becomes the most ideal form of himself.  What happens next?  Does the Stormlight alter him to become the most Ideal Herdazian, to the point where he is no longer himself?  What if he absorbs even more Stormlight?  Like Well of Eternity levels of Stormlight.  Will he become an Ideal man?  The perfect mix of Alethi, Hedrazian, Purelaker, and everything else combined?  Thoughts, please.)

 

  • "I...expected you...to come," the king said between gasps.    (This isn't exactly a surprise.  A king, especially an Alethi king, given the nature of the Alethi, would not be surprised that someone wanted to assasinate him.)

 

  • "You can tell...Thaidakar...that he's too late..."  (This is where it gets interesting.  Who is Thaidakar?  I don't know, and neither does Szeth, who admits as much.  This puzzels Gavilar.  The man is moments from death.  He just fought a man who was performing feats that should have been impossible.  He fell from a balcony and was impaled on a piece of wood.  He ought to have other things on his mind, but the confusion over Thaidakar is great enough to take his mind off his impending death.  This is signifigant.  Gavilar was so sure that it was Thaidakar that he really didn't have good guesses for who may have been behind his assasination.  He guessed at some ambitious Highprinces, but he was also was shocked that one of them would do this.  The Parshendi seemed equally unlikely, nay, even more unlikely than an Alethi Highprince.  Well, whoever Thaidakar is, he's too late.  Intriguing.)

 

  • He pulled out a small crystalline sphere tied to a chain.  "You must take this.  They must not get it."  He seemed dazed.  "Tell...tell my brother...he must find the most important words a man can say..."  (Whatever this sphere is, and I know there are a lot of theories about it, it is so important that "they", which I assume not only refers to Thaidakar but also whatever organization Thaidakar belongs to, must not get it that Gavilar entrusts it to an enemy.  As for his last words, he instructs his brother to find the most important words a man can say.  I wish I knew how much Gavilar knew about the Knights Radiant.  I wish I knew if Gavilar was starting to form a Nahel bond as well, though the fact that he used a Shardblade that was mostly unremarkable (i.e, not glowing like Kaladin's in Words of Radiance) implies that he wasn't.  Regardless, Gavilar knew that his brother was much better suited to the throne than his son.  That's what was striking about this, to me.  I feel like, in his position, I would have entrusted my legacy to my son rather than my brother; though perhaps Gavilar knows his brother well enough to know that he won't take the throne, rather, he'll act as an advisor to Elhokar and help make him a leader.)

 

  • It was odd, unlike any he'd seen before.  Though it was completely dark, it seemed to glow somehow.  With a light that was black.  (Stormlight is described over and over as a glowing mist.  Inside of a gemstone, this glowing mist becomes light.  Fast forward to the end of Words of Radiance.  Nightblood, who is a Shardblade on Roshar, leaks a black mist.  Whatever Nightblood is leaking is, in my opinion, the most likely candidate for whatever substance is held within this stone.  Who has Nightblood again?  That's right, Nalan does.  Who was just at this feast?  Friggin' Nalan was.  More and more I'm suspecting Nalan of having a very important role in the background.  He's subtling manipulating events.  Was the the one who gave Gavilar this sphere?  I'm willing to bet he was.)

 

  • To Szeth's people, a dying request was sacred.  (Nothing too notable about this, but I do wonder why dying requests are sacred to the Shin.  Most people respect the dying requests or last will's of their loved ones, but to put yourself at risk to carry out the dying request of a man you just murdered?  Interesting.  Cultural values and traditions usual stem from a legitimate source. Maybe it's related to the death rattles that Taravangian is researching?)

 

 

[back to Table of Contents]

 

 

Pre Consolidation: [@WeiryWriter]: Thanks for the WoB! 

Edited by Frosted Flakes
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My thoughts in purple, because it's easier that way.

 

So I just started doing my own personal reread of the Stormlight Archive. I started about a week ago, but then figured I'd start over and share what I find here, with you guys. This will not be a Tor.com style reread, where I do detailed commentary for a few chapters at a time. What I intend to do with this is go through the text with a fine tooth comb, reading a few pages at a time so I don't get caught up in the story and miss things, and recording things I never noticed before. I'll update this every few days or so, depending on how much time I have to read and depending how much stuff I find; I imagine I might go weeks at a time without finding anything particularly interesting. Anyway, I encourage anyone who is interested to post things they've noticed that were intriguing but not really post worthy on their own. Or comment on what I found.

Prelude to the Stormlight Archive

  • "Blood mixed. Red. Orange. Violet. ... Red = human, orange=Parshendi (voidbringer), violet=greatshells (possibly thunderclasts/evil possessed chasmfiends? Edit: I see you have something along the same lines below. Yes!) Just my thoughts. There were so many corpses, and among them walked the living. Men in primitive wraps, carrying spears topped by bronze heads. Juxtaposed between them were others in gleaming plate armor. One group walked past, four men in their ragged tanned skins or shoddy leather joining a powerful figure in beautiful silver plate, amazingly intricate. Such a contrast. This has always been an interesting passage to me because it implies multiple things. A) The people, despite there being Radiants (unless he's seeing another Herald) haven't been taught something as basic as armor or woven clothes. B)Which makes me wonder what the Radiants were doing between Desolations at this point, that the people are so unadvanced, while there is a figure in what appears to be Shardplate. C) It also begs the question, where did the idea for plate come from, if the people aren't advanced enough to have discovered it and to our knowledge, the Heralds dont have any??(This one may be a stretch, but earlier I was thinking that if the Parshendi were native to Roshar, they must have been involved in the Desolation in the Prelude. It never mentions Voidbringers, which is interesting since the Prelude mentions Thunderclasts, Surgebinders, Dustbrings, Heralds, and the Oathpact. Again, it could be nothing at all, but the lack of mentioning Voidbringers strikes me as conspicuous. In Words of Radiance, when Syl is explaining Honorblades to Kaladin, she says, "Honor gave these to men, and those men gained powers from them. Spren figured out what He'd done, and we imitated it." Since the Parshendi and Spren originally were a thing, before Men and Spren, I'm wondering if the original, very first Knights Radiant weren't Parshendi. In this snippet, the figure in Shardplate is refered to as a "powerful figure" which, though it could be a man, makes me think of a Parshendi. The way Investiture works on this world, specifically how Stormlight augments everything; makes things more ideal, makes me think that Shardplate is the Stormlight-Idealized version of the Parshendi Warform's carapace. It's often described as being different from regular plate in the sense that it's more than simply armor, it augments the strength of the wearer. Much like Warform augments a Parshendi's strength and combat abilities. Also, interestingly, Axehound blood is violet. I don't know if Thunderclasts bleed, but they're similar to an extremely enhanced version of an Axehound, and there is violet blood on the battlefield in the Prelude. Perhaps the original enemies in the desolations were corrupted versions of the flora and fauna of Roshar? Like how a Chasmfiend might be a corrupted Chull? This is quickly degrading into pure speculation, so I'll wait until I encounter relevant passages later in the text before I continue.
  • Update One: I forgot to explicitly state what I was building up to: That I think the original Knights Radiant may have been Parshendi. During non desolation, the Parshendi and Spren have a symbiotic relationship; or are at least capable of one. This is obviously purely speculation, and there's likely WoB that contradicts this, but I think honor/cultivation/adonalsium spren may have formed the Nahel bond with Parshendi first. Partially to protect them from becoming Voidbringers against their will, partially to help combat the forces of Odium.
  • Update Two: Refuted by WoB.
  • Update Three:  I think Shardplate and Shardblades have a much more mundane explaination.  We already know quite a bit about Shardblades, so let's focus on the Shardplate.  It's most likely Invested plate armor.  The Investiture, being Spiritual in nature, changes the Shardplate into a much more Ideal version of regular plate.  I imagine that if you Invested a wooden sword, it would possibly become steel - a more idealized version of a sword. I'd still love a theory on where they are getting the idea for plate armor to start with, if the people are wearing leather? There is also a WOB that all the orders had access to it, so that makes me think it's somehow related to the Nahel bond, but that's pure speculation on my part.
  • "Seven magnificent swords stood proudly here, driven point-first into the stone ground. Each was a masterly work of art, flowing in design, inscribed with glyphs and patterns." (Coming back to this after reading the rest of the series, I think this is more than descriptive text. I think glyphs are related to Honor and Patterns are related to Cultivation. I think Alethi gender rolls will have roots in Honor being Male and Cultivation being Female.) Interesting. As you quoted above though, Syl says the blades are pieces of Honor, so I'm unconvinced of Cultivation's involvement here, but that's just me. I think one could also argue that glyphs are a pattern.
  • "Though he hadn't worn a crown in centuries, his royal manner lingered. He always seemed to know what to do." (This was interesting to me partially because how Sanderson generally uses competence as the mark of a good ruler, and I agree. Later, Elhokar complains that he's a bad king because he never knows what to do. He then asks Kaladin to teach him, because Kaladin always seems to know what to do; he then refers to it as a pattern, but he can't figure it out.)
  • "Kalak felt something within him break at the admission." (This one barely made the cut, purely on the off chance that this is more than a metaphor for Kalak losing his resolve, and has something to do with the Oathpact ending.) There is a WoB that the Oathpact is still functioning, but this is a curious idea. Perhaps their sanity broke when they tried to break the oathpact....we know none of the Heralds we've seen thus far are acting in accordance with what we'd think of them....
  • ""It's simple," Jezrien said, walking away. "We tell them they finally won. It's an easy enough lie. Who knows? Maybe it will turn out to be true."" (Nothing terribly signifigant here. I just thought it was interesting that Jezrien, the Windrunner Herald, told a lie and justified it was some rationalization. Later, Kaladin, a Windrunner Radiant, tells Syl sometimes it's okay to lie.) I thought it was significant in that it definitely does NOT turn out to be true, and sets the stage for Roshar to be woefully unprepared for a desolation that they'll now be facing without the heralds.

Prologue: To Kill


  • "But he did as his masters required and did not ask for an explanation." (I was superficially interested in this.  Exactly when did the Parshendi become his masters?  How?  Is there a connection between the Parshendi and the Stone Shamans?  Does this sentence imply he has done as his masters required in the past, or does it merely suggest that "doing as his masters required" is his mindset?  Are the Parshendi his first masters?  I eargly await Stones Unhallowed.) We know from Words of Radiance that they are not his first masters. He's had several. Also, my belief is that doing as his masters require is part of being Truthless and bound to his Oathstone. How the Parshendi got him from Liss is the million-dollar question. Seems curious that they decide to take out Gavilar and there's conveniently a surgebinding slave around who'll do exactly what you tell him to. Smacks of involvement from somewhere else to me. Plus the hint that Nalan and whoever is with him at the treaty signing feast know exactly who Szeth is and what he carries (WoR prologue).  Something more is going on here.

 

  • "He was in conversation with two men, a dark-skinned Azish man who had an odd patch of pale skin on his cheek and a thinner, Alethi-looking man who kept glancing over his shoulder."  (I know there are many theories about who these men are, and I believe that the man with with scar is the Herald Nalan.  It's been a long while since I read either this books or the theories on the guests, so maybe someone will be kind enough to post a link?  I do want to comment on the phrasing of "Alethi-looking man."  It implies that Szeth is nearly certain the man is not Alethi, otherwise the man would be "Alethi" and not merely "Alethi-looking.) Yes, this is Nalan.  We see that scar again several times through the books. I never noticed the distinction about him being Alethi though, but it's commonly speculated he's another Herald and I'm personally of the opinion that each Herald resembles a different Rosharan ethnicity, but that's pure speculation.

 

  • "The heir's feasting companions were unimportant."  (I bet Sanderson had a little chuckle when he wrote this line.  I'll wager that the heir's feasting companions are of utmost important.  For example, Nalan is clearly interested in Szeth before Szeth kills Gavilar and gains Roshar-wide infamy.  In Words of Radiance, chapter 88, Nalan speaks with Szeth and tells him many interesting things, such as, "You follow the laws of your society to perfection." which could imply that Szeth has always followed his people's laws with perfection, which would imply that Szeth attracted Nalan before becoming Truthless.  Nalan also states, "You we banished by petty men with no vision. I will teach you the path of one uncorrupted by sentiment.  You will bring this back to your people, and you will carry with you justice for the leaders of the Shin."  It seems to me that Nalan, and possibly all the Heralds, and the Shin go way back.  The implication here is that the Stone Shaman didn't merely disagree with Szeth, the knew that he was right and deliberately made him Truthless for political reasons.  But, I digress.  I will explore this further months from now when I reach the end of Words of Radiance.

 

  • "The left sleeve of each dress was longer than the right one, covering the hand." (Interestingly, in Jewish Mysticism, the left arm and hand correspond with Gevurah, which is might/severity, the primary emotion of restriction.  The Inner Experience of Gevurah is Yirah, the fear of God.  The Sephirot is not quite similar enough to Vorinism and Rosharan cultures to draw a strong parallel, but it seems like safehands are almost like a Kippah, or Yarmulke (pronounced like: yamaka), which means the safehand being covered is a sign of respect towards the Almighty.)

 

  • "A man with a long grey and black beard slumped in the doorway, smiling foolishly - though whether from wine or a weak mind, Szeth could not tell.  "Have you seen me?" the man asked with slurred speech.  He laughed, then began to speak in gibberish, reaching for a wineskin."  (I'm sure this is Jezrien.  I very much enjoy the irony of Jezrien, an extremely competent ruler, acting like a drunken fool in the Beggar's Feast while Elhokar, an incompetent leader, is ruling the King's Feast in place of his father, King Gavilar." I've always wondered why the sentence he says is "Have you seen me?" 

 

  • "One was conspicuously missing.  Why had Shalash's statue been removed?"  (Probably because it was recently vandalized, as Shalash is wont to do.  I wonder, how long ago did this happen?  Are all the Heralds at this feast?  They clearly have a vested interest in how everything works out.  Recall what I hypothesized a short while ago about Nalan being interested in Szeth before Szeth was Truthless?  I wonder if Nalan didn't either manipulate Szeth into becoming Truthless and then use Szeth for his own agenda, or at the very least seized the opportunity of using Szeth once Szeth became Truthless.  Perhaps Nalan is the link between Szeth and the Parshendi.)

 

  • "Stormlight could be held for only a short time, a few minutes at most.  It leaked away, the human body too porous a container.  He had heard that the Voidbringers could hold it in perfectly."  (Wow, first of all, I could make a lengthy post just on this tidbit alone.  I think that the Parshendi hold Stormlight better, because Parshendi have a much stronger Spiritual presence than men do.  Stormlight is very Spiritual in nature.  From what I know about the Spiritual Realm, it's all about true ideals and connectedness.  That's why Stormlight enhances things.  Take Kaladin, for example.  Kaladin is already an excellent spearman, so Stormlight, being a Spiritual form of Investiture (are there any other forms?) enhances his abilities, pushing him closer and closer to being the most ideal spearman.  Back to the Parshendi.  They're natives to Roshar and clearly more adapted to life there.  They display a very strong connectedness with each other through their songs.  Not only that, but they take on different forms that are more specialized, or ideal, for different tasks.  That's very Spiritualesque.  No wonder they would naturally be more efficient than men at holding Stormlight. My only comment here is that in-book, the Listeners' songs say their minds are closer to the realm of the spren, which would imply cognitive as opposed to spiritual. But realms aren't my strong point, so I'll leave it at that. 

 

  • "As far as he knew, Szeth had killed every stonewalker who had ever seen what he could do."  (No Roshar-Shattering implications here, but it does raise the question, "Who has been making Szeth kill people before Gavilar.  Was it the Parshendi?  Who were his first masters as Truthless? 

 

  • "Stormlight raged from him in a flash, chilling his skin, and the ground immediately stopped pulling him downward."  (Stormlight causes an endothermic reaction?  Oh, boy.  Well, I hope someone smarter than I notices this and takes interest and researches "Gibbs free energy" particulary the section on Ideal Gases, which I assume is how Stormlight will behave.  Link to a wikipedia article on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibbs_free_energyInteresting thought on ideal gases, although also over my head.

 

  • "He rose, beginning the process of summoning his Shardblade."  (This nags at me because I want to know more about the difference between Shardblades and Honorblades.) It's also possible that this is Szeth's own perception of how they're supposed to work. Just like he thinks stormlight can't heal shardblade wounds, but then Kaladin does.

 

  • "It formed as if condensing from mist, water beading along the metal length."  (I assume this effect is due to using Stormlight having an endothermic reaction, and something about Stormlight being similar to Ideal Gases.  Honestly, chemistry frightens and confuses me, and though I will make an effort to understand, I'm not there yet.  I'll probably update these sections in the future.)

 

  • "Why?  Why did the Parshendi agree to this treaty, only to send an assassin the very night of its signing?"  (Because after a few thousand years hanging out on Roshar, Nalan probably picked up a little something of Parshendi beliefs.  Particularly, the return of their gods, which they dread.  Nalan himself seems determined to prevent the coming desolation and the Parshendi would be ready allies.) Eshonai touches on this a bit eventually. It has to do with something Gavilar said to them/showed them just before the treaty signing. I'll have to look it up. The gist of it was, they believed he was going to "bring back their gods" so they killed him before he could.

 

  • "Then he flung his hand out toward the doorframe, sparying white luminescence across it like paint.(Like paint?  So a liquid.  Did Szeth just liquify Stormlight?  What are the implications of that?  Could Stormlight made to be solid?  It also sounds like he covered the doorframe without making physical contact with it.  Very interesting.)

 

  • "Gifts of their god[shardblades], granted to allow them to fight horrors of rock and flame, dozens of feet tall, foes whose eyes burned with hatred.  The Voidbringers."  (This describes the Thunderclasts.  The ''eyes burned with hatred'' line is interesting, because that screams of Odium.  Anyway, I'm starting to think that perhaps Parshendi themselves are not exclusively Voidbringers; any living creature corrupted by an Odiumspren becomes a Voidbringer.  This merits further investigation.) I second this thought/theory. I think Voidbringers are anything influenced by Odium that is attacking people, be it rock, animal, human, or parshendi.  I think this is mostly, if not entirely, done through corrupted spren. 

 

  • "The Shardblade was just a tool; it could not be blamed for the murders."  (This thought of Szeths tells you a lot about him and how he rationalizes his murdering.  By being Truthless and having ''no'' free will of his own, he his just another tool his masters use.  This is how he rationalizes his murders to cope with the stress of killing when he would rather not.)

 

  • "Szeth's weapon hit solidly, causing a web of glowing lines to spread out across the back of the armor, and Stormlight began to leak from them." (Shardplate is Invested.  Investiture is Spiritual.  Humans have Spirit-webs.  Do inatimate objects have spirit-webs?  There's something to this, I can sense it.)I've always found it interesting that the stormlight leaks from plate only when it's "injured" because this is what Kaladin's wounds do as they heal. I never have quite figured out exactly what I think that means for the construction of plate though. Second skin? Made of solidified stormlight?

 

  • ...more to come!

 

I'm glad I'm not the only person who's done this ;)  It's fantastic to see other people's thoughts broken down bit by bit and compare them with mine because everyone reads and interprets scenes slightly differently. I did it bit by bit mostly because I'm a crazy person that constructed my own personal wiki on about my 30th re-read lol.  

Edited by Shlee
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Chapter One: Stormblessed

 

  • You've killed me.  Bastards, you've killed me!  While the sun is still hot, I die!  (I don't have much to say about this, but I wanted to include it.)

 

  • The field between the two forces was bare, flat slickrock, remarkably even and smooth, broken only by occasional rockbuds.  (Slickrock is mildly interesting.  I'm sure that, in a world full of stone, they have names for every different type of stone.  With Stones Unhallowed coming up, I'm starting to take a closer look at any mention of stone, though this one is probably unimportant.)

 

  • He was a lanky, red-haired Veden, with darker tan skin than an Alethi.  Why was he fighting in an Alethi army?  (Why indeed?  I could understand other nationalities getting caught up in the fighting at the Shattered Plains - there would be a lot of opportunities there - but a border skirmish?  It seems out of place.)

 

  • Cenn didn't even know who the enemy was.  A landlord encroaching on Brightlord Amaram's territory - the land owned, ultimately, by Highprince Sadeas.  It was a border skirmish, and Cenn thought it was with another Alethi princedom.  (Assuming Cenn is reliable enough to be sure that it is in fact a border skirmish, the two princedom's that border Sadeas' lands are Aladar and Vamah.  Sadeas' lands also mostly border Herdaz, but a very small portion appears to border Jah Kevad.  We know that Sadeas is trying very hard to become Elhokar's most trusted advisor, which means he needs to be trustworthy.  A small border dispute between one of two other Alethi Highprinces likely wouldn't be worth stirring up trouble.  But if it was Jah Kevad...that's another story.  This is an important battle.  And I bet the Veden man in Kaladin's squad is a spy.  And then there's Amaram and the Sons of Honor.  Oh man, there's too much going on here, and not enough information.)

 

  • For a moment, Cenn thought he could see something surrounding the squadleader.  A warping of the air, like the wind itself become visible.  (I believe this is the earliest signs of Kaladin's Nahel bond forming with Syl.  Right now, Kaladin is clearly "protecting those who cannot protect themselves", the first Ideal exclusive to Windrunners, and his actions are honorable.  This is more than mere mortal badassery.)

 

  • Kaladin turned toward Dallet.  "That's one of Hallaw's officers.  He might be the one."  (Who?  I know what Kaladin is trying to accomplish, but this namedropping is tantalizing.)

 

  • The lighteyes turned his horse.  He wore an open-fronted helm that had sloping sides and a large set of plumes on the top.  Cenn couldn't make out his eye color, but he knew it would be blue or green, maybe yellow or light grey(Jah Kevad has violet eyes.  Perhaps eye color is regional?)

 

  • He leaned back, staring up at the sky.  He could hear faint thunder.  That was odd.  The sky was cloudless.  (This could just be a metaphor for hoofbeats, but in the context of a goddamned Shardbearer appearing out of nowhere, I suspect Surbebinding is at work, even though I don't think the Shardbearer was a Surgebinder himself.  I know there is a theory on this somewhere, so at some point I'll just search for that and post a link.)

 

 

[back to Table of Contents]


Pre Consolidation: [@Shlee]: Thanks for the input, I love it! It's been a long time since I read Words of Radiance, so I'm bound to come to a lot of wrong conclusion, but hey, journey before destination eh?

Making your own wiki is a genius idea! I'll continue to do this, at least for all of Way of Kings, but maybe I'll take a break between books to make my own wiki :)

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I like this idea. I'm glad to see someone from the community post in-depth thoughts from their reread. That being said I don't have anything to say, that wasn't already said by another, on your posts right now. I eagerly await more posts though

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I have nothing constructive to contribute but I really like that you are doing this. I've done something similar in the past (though not nearly as well collected) and I know it makes for a much richer experience, which (not necessarily applicable to me) leads to much better theories! And nit-picky analysis is really fun, hahaha. Hope you keep it up, although you have a pretty long way to go...

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Prologue: To Kill

  • "But he did as his masters required and did not ask for an explanation." (I was superficially interested in this.  Exactly when did the Parshendi become his masters?  How?  Is there a connection between the Parshendi and the Stone Shamans?  Does this sentence imply he has done as his masters required in the past, or does it merely suggest that "doing as his masters required" is his mindset?  Are the Parshendi his first masters?  I eargly await Stones Unhallowed.)

 

  • "As far as he knew, Szeth had killed every stonewalker who had ever seen what he could do."  (No Roshar-Shattering implications here, but it does raise the question, "Who has been making Szeth kill people before Gavilar.  Was it the Parshendi?  Who were his first masters as Truthless?

 

  • "Why?  Why did the Parshendi agree to this treaty, only to send an assassin the very night of its signing?"  (Because after a few thousand years hanging out on Roshar, Nalan probably picked up a little something of Parshendi beliefs.  Particularly, the return of their gods, which they dread.  Nalan himself seems determined to prevent the coming desolation and the Parshendi would be ready allies.)

 

  • "Gifts of their god[shardblades], granted to allow them to fight horrors of rock and flame, dozens of feet tall, foes whose eyes burned with hatred.  The Voidbringers."  (This describes the Thunderclasts.  The ''eyes burned with hatred'' line is interesting, because that screams of Odium.  Anyway, I'm starting to think that perhaps Parshendi themselves are not exclusively Voidbringers; any living creature corrupted by an Odiumspren becomes a Voidbringer.  This merits further investigation.)

 

 

 

 

Hi,

 

In answer to some of your questions, Although I do not have quotes right now, here are some of the answers.   At least what I think are the answers & how I got them.

 

In answer to your question of who was Szeth's first master.   It is addressed in one of the Rysn chapters (in WoK I think) where the Trademaster is talking to the Shin.   If you read it carefully you will see that the Shin man traded something worthless (Truthless) to the trader (many years ago (probably 6+)) and threw away what he got in exchange because it was tainted by being associated with the Truthless.

 

Then in the Jashna flash back, she is talking to to her spy/assassin during the feast, they mention that she had a Shin helper, but just traded him  away at/before the feast, apparently to the Parshendi, after Gavilar told the Parshendi that he wanted to return their gods.

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Chapter Two: Honor is Dead


  • Ten orders. We were loved, once. Why have you forsaken us, Almighty! Shard of my soul, where have you gone? (Interesting choice of words. How Cosmere aware is Roshar?)

 

  • He ate with his fingers, careless of the dirt. He'd stopped noticing dirt months ago. (Where in the East is there dirt? I can only assume that when he says ''dirt'' he does not mean ''soil'', he's refering to...to just a general filth, I suppose. Still, when everything is stone that get regularly washed by Highstorms, why is there dirt?)

 

  • Covered in tall, monotonously green grass, the hills seemed endless. (Again, I'm fairly sure this isn't grass like in Shinovar.)

 

  • "Ten times," Kaladin whispered. "Ten escape attempts in eight months, fleeing from five different masters." (I recently read through Tempus' Shardic Number Theory Revisited, and now I can't stop seeing ten's everywhere. Ten escape attempts, ten slaves in the wagon with him, etc.)

 

  • When they approached, the grass pulled away, each individual stalk withdrawing into into a pinprick hole in the stone. (Is someone going to answer that phone? Because I friggin' called it! Joking aside, it's amazing what obvious things I've forgotten and what obscure thing's I've remembered. It's the dirt that's nagging at me, though. Is dirt inside those pinprick holes?)

 

  • Taln's Scar - a swath of deep red stars that stood out vibrantly from the twinkling white ones - was high in the sky this season. (I sure would love to know about why those stars are named after a Herald...or perhaps the Herald is named after the constellation?)

 

  • "You can show me. I won't tell anyone. Is it a treasure? Have you cut off a piece of the night's cloak and tucked it away? Is it the heart of a beetle, so tiny yet so powerful?" (This immediately reminded me of gemhearts. Do all crustaceans/insects/things-with-an-exoskeleton have them?)

 

  • Spren weren't intelligent. The larger ones - like windspren or riverspren - could mimic voices and expressions, but they didn't actually think. They didn't... (Interesting. I'm sure there's already a theory out there, and I would appreciate a link if someone knows of it off the top of their head, but I'd bet each Order of the Knights Radiant attract a certain type of spren. On the map of Alethkar, one of the few rivers to be named is Windrunner River. Coincidence? I'm not sure. But I think nationality, Order, and eye color are all related somehow.)

 

  • Kaladin's last failed escape attempt had involved twenty armed slaves.  His master should have executed him for that, but he had claimed Kaladin was "intriguing" and branded him with shash, then sold him for a pittance.  (I'm trying to decide if there is anything special about this previous master.  According to Kaladin, he should have been executed.  But then again, that would be a total was of investment.  If I had a broken tool and had the option of throwing it away, or selling it for a few dollars, I would sell.  It's the same concept as a garage sale.  It's probably as simple as that, but the book had made it a point how Kaladin always survies; could there be an signifigant reason why, or just a mundane one?)

 

  • He'd spent some time under his previous master speaking with a slave from the West, a Selay man who had spoken of the Old Magic from their legends and its ability to curse people.  Could that be what was happening to Kaladin?  (That is literally exactly what I'm wondering.)

 

  • "A man with eyes that smolder and hate? You would kill me."  (Eyes and hate are both important in Roshar.  Lighteyes are a result of Honor.  Voidbringers, who are of Odium, have red eyes.  I already suspect that any sentient creature, whether human, parshendi, chull, or axehound, have the capacity to be a Voidbringer.  I sometimes wonder if Kaladin could have been a Voidbringer if he hadn't chosen the honorable path instead.  He certainly had reason and opportunity to do so if such a thing is possible.  So I'm paying particular attention to mentions of eyes and of hate; two so close together merits a second look.)

[back to Table of Contents]


Pre Consolidation: [@WitSpren]: Thank you! It's been a long while since I've read Words of Radiance, and I'm starting to become embarassed about some of the things I've just blatantly forgotten. :unsure:

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Chapter Three: City of Bells

 

  • A man stood on a cliffside and watched his homeland fall into dust.  The waters surged beneath, so far beneath. And he heard a child crying. They were his own tears.  (I just like including these.  It reminds me of one of Dalinar's visions, where the Almighty showed him the destruction of Kholinar.)

 

  • [The buildings in Karbranth] were painted bright colors, red and oranges most often, but occasional blues and yellows too.  (Color is important in Roshar. I hope the whole rationale behind colors is explained more in depth.)

 

  • [shallan] shivered again - daunted yet excited - then blinked pointedly, fixing the image of the city in her memory.  (This is the first time Shallan's ''memories'' are shown.  I wonder if the blinking is important, because I'm pretty sure she does it almost every time she takes a Memory, or if it's just an inconsequential mannerism she has.)

 

  • [Tozbek] was a business connection of her family's, long trusted by her father.  (Well, we know her father was into some risky business - maybe Tozbek was privy to this?  I don't know why Shallan's father would care much about who delivered his goods, as long as they were generally reputable.  Would he wait months to make a shipment if Tozbek was across Roshar, or would he just use any merchant vessel? Tozbek has a pointedly small ship, which would be more suited to smuggling or covering distance quickly than carrying freight of stone.)

 

  • [shallan] had rarely seen so many parshmen as she noted working the docks, carrying cargo on their backs.  Like the parshmen her father had owned, these were stout and think of limb, with their odd marbled skin - some parts pale or black, others a deep crimson. The mottled pattern was unique to each individual.  (Like the rest of Roshar, I take parshmen for granted. It's easy to write their appearance off as another quirk of Roshar. But I am aware of how important stone is on Roshar. Most of the world is made up of it. It is holy to the Shin.Gemstones are both currency and vessels for Stormlight. The parshmen's skin is described as marbled; specifically marbled, not mottled, flecked, streaked, variegated, or any other synonym. I'm very curious as to the etymology of the word 'parshmen' - specifically, what does ''parsh'' translate to in English?  For that matter, what does Roshar itself mean?  I have this nagging feeling that parsh may have something to do with stone, and that there may in fact be some tenuous connection between the Shin and Parshmen.)

 

  • [shallan] had often fabricated silly versions of conversations to fill the mouths of people they could see, but not hear.  (The only thing of note here is the word fabricated. Until just this moment, I never made the connection between fabrial and fabricate. I'm probably the only one daft enough to miss something that obvious, but I may as well mention it just in case.)

 

  • Young women should not act in such an irritable way.  (...no comment.)

 

  • "Many thanks, Captain," she said. "Shaylor mkabat nour." The winds brought us safely. A phrase of thanks in the Thaylen language.  The Captain smiled broadly.  "Mkai bade fortenthis!"  (I love fictional languages in books.  Authors have to do a certain minimum amount of worldbuilding with language to ensure a reasonable level of consistency.  It would be no good if the Thaylen reply to "Shaylor mkabat nour" was "Yvketlikov da vordrovic!" Even someone who knows nothing of languages would get the feeling that the second, fictional, sentence I invented sounded Slavic and sounds like an entirely different language.  The level of consistency in fictional languages an author such as Sanderson is bound to use means the languages can be slightly predictable, and almost certainly have real life influences.  For example, Thaylen sounds vaguely Latin. "mkabat" appears to have the root "mka" and the ending ''bat'' which would be the 3rd person singular imperfect tense in Latin, but obviously the connection won't be perfect.  If "mka" is the root word ''us" or ''our'' then then by adding the ending ''bat'' modifies it to the imperfect 3rd person singular making ''mkabat nour'', assuming nour is ''bring'', mean "brought us."  I'm struggling to be concise here but this deserves a very in-depth explanation in a separate post, so someone please remind me to do that if I forget!  Without an explanation on how I reached this conclusion, merely for your consideration, I translate "Mkai bade fortenthis" to mean, "May our good fortune continue!" I'll be on the lookout for more Thaylen phrases with in-book translations and try to see if I can't figure out how to decline and conjugate.  Sorry if this is too unclear a teaser of something I may be on to - subscribe to the thread and watch for updates, or comment and nag me to follow up!)

 

  • They weren't pagans here, and writing was a feminine art; men learned only glyphs, leaving letters and reading to their wives and sisters.  (As far as the odd gender roles go, I think men in Roshar are seriously getting the short end of the stick.  No reading and writing?  That suuuucks.  Men can't be successful in Roshar without a woman to help them.  I mean, how can you own a business without keeping ledgers?  How can you be a military commander without sending and receiving correspondence?  How can you be an attorney, if Roshar even has such things, without being able to read the law?  I'm dying to know the in-world purpose behind this particular quirk.)

 

  • To her surprise, she could see signs of animal life all around the docks.  A few skyeels undulated through the air, searching for rats or fish.  (How do skyeels fly?  I'm baffled.  I doubt they have wings, or they wouldn't ''undulate'' and I doubt they have some sort of internal bladder that holds a gas lighter than air, otherwise they'd need some kind of ballast to adjust their altitude.  And what about moving through the air?  Even if they had a sizable fin at the end of their tail, the amount of effort it would take to move would be enormous.  Something weird is going on with skyeels, guys.  Here's my hypothesis - they also have gemhearts.  Gemhearts were given to creatures by Cultivation (you heard it here first) so that they could utilize Stormlight to adapt to Roshar's harsh conditions.  Having a gemheart to absorb and store Stormlight is what allows Chasmfiends to grow so large.  It must be what allows skyeels to move through the air as if it were water.  My reasoning is that Stormlight is Investiture and Investiture is Spiritual and the Cosmere follows our physical laws except where the Spiritual Realm influences it.  I wouldn't be surprised if the reason the Chasmfiends come to the Shatter Plains to pupate is because they're attempting to get close to the Origin of Storms so they can infuse a massive amount of Stormlight into their gemhearts to prepare for their next stage of evolution.  The Shattered Plains are an ideal locations both because of it's proximity to the Origin of Storms, and because the geography of the land allows them to pupate in relative safety.)

 

  • Shops selling the same items would be painted the same shades - violet for clothing, green for foods.  (Emerald gemstones are used for soulcasting foods.  Perhaps all of Karbranths shops are color coded in a similar way?  Regardless, color is a very important thing on Roshar, and I can't wait for the explaination.  I'm chomping at the bit now, but in a decade or two, when the series is over, I'm really going to miss the anticipation of the next book.)

 

  • Yalb hesitated.  "He's just saying things because he wants a big tip, Brightness.  I've heard that story and I think it's blustering ridiculous.  If the winds blew strong enough to move bells, then people'd notice.  Besides, people didn't notice it was raining on their blustering heads?"  (Yalb says blustering instead of storming.  Neat.  Blustering, Middle English blustren, probably from Middle Low German blüsteren, means 'to blow violently.  Neat.)

 

  • Those men with gloved hands and faintly bluish skin were from Natanatan.  (Three things here.  One, I wish someone would map out physical descriptions by nationality so I could more easily identify people's origin's without needing the text to explicitly state where they're from.  Two, do they wear gloved hands because they mayhaps have crystalline fingernails?  Three, Natanatan - oooh, double ketek.  Ketek-ception.)

 

  • Emeralds were the most valuable, for they could be used by Soulcasters to create food.  (I think this tradition, though technically still applicable to present day Roshar, is still more a throwback to the days when Desolations were more frequent.  From what I'm gathering from the text, a 4,500 year reprieve is unprecedented.  And it has also likely made Roshar weak.  Anyway, I wonder if all the gemstones value was originally determined by their use with Soulcasting.  Also.  Fabrials fascinate me!  Honor gave the Heralds Honorblades, giving them power over the surges.  Spren saw that and copied it, giving it to humans.  Humans saw that, and copied it, giving it to themselves.  So many implications!)

 

  • In Vorin belief, one's Calling - the task to which one dedicated one's life - was of vital importance.  (I've pondered this for a long time.  I suspect that it has a lot to do with the spiritual effects of Stormlight.  Like how Stormlight makes Kaladin an even better, perfected, idealized version of his spearman self.  Kaladin won't be able to absorb some Stormlight and then suddenly become better at baking.  He might be able to use Stormlight to enhance his surgical skills, though.  Anyway, humanity is trying to reclaim the Tranquilline Halls in the afterlife.  Assuming the afterlife is spiritual in nature, even if it isn't exactly the Spiritual Realm per se, then whatever your mortal Calling was would be Idealized in the effort to reclaim the TH - hence it's importance in Vorinism.  Your entire life is like bootcamp training for the war effort in the afterlife.)

 

  • That would make [Karbranth] old indeed.  Thousdands of years old, created before the terrors of the Hierocracy, long before - even - the Recreance.  Back when Voidbringers with bodies of stone were said to have stalked the land.  (Friggin' Thunderclasts are certainly Voidbringers.  They've got the the bodies of stone and the red eyes according to Kalak's description in the Prelude.  Does this mean that Jasnah is wrong about the Parshendi being Voidbringers?  Or is my hypothesis that any sentient thing can be corrupted by Odiumspren and made to be a Voidbringer?)

 

 

[back to Table of Contents]

 

 

Pre Consolidation: [@MrConsequence]:  I agree with you.  Either a Worldhopper, not of Roshar, or another Herald, who already don't quite match up with modern day Rosharan demographics.

[@navybrandt]:  I have no idea how to do that.  Feel free to send me a PM with advice or suggestions!

Edited by Frosted Flakes
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"Seven magnificent swords stood proudly here, driven point-first into the stone ground. Each was a masterly work of art, flowing in designinscribed with glyphs and patterns."

In WoR Someone (I want to say Kaladin) muses at Szeth's blade, "He had a shard blade. One without markings on it, that was supposed to be rare, wasn't it?" Wouldn't that imply that the Honor Blades and what the Heralds put down in the Prelude are not the same swords?

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Chapter Four: The Shattered Plains

 

  • I'm dying, aren't I?  Healer, why do you take my blood?  Who is that beside you, with his head of lines?  I can see a distant sun, dark and cold, shining in a black sky.  (I think we can all agree that this is the work of Taravangian, but what about the person with his head of lines?  It's similar to what Elhokar sees.  Does this mean Taravangian is attracting a spren?  Or could the person who speaking in the segment the one who attracted a spren?)

  • "I don't know.  Why do men cry?"  (Men weep.  Women and children cry.  But in all seriousness, I know being ''broken'' is a sort of prerequisite for the Nahel bond.  I assume it's similar to snapping in Allomancy.  I'll try and remember to be on the look out for particular emotions in proto-Radiants.) 

 

  • Weather and seasons were unpredictable.  You never knew how long they would go on, though typically each would last a few weeks.  (This has always interested me.  I'm sure there's a legitimate in-world astrological reason for this, but I can't imagine what it could be.  Anyone in this forum a weatherman?)

 

  • He didn't carry a sword - not even Tvlakv did that, not near Alethi land.  (I understand that swords and light eyes are symbolic of spren and the Nahel bond, but I don't understand why regular men can't use regular swords.  It's not like anyone could possibly mistake a steel sword for even a dead Shardblade, let alone a Radiant's Shardblade.  If Kaladin sets a trend and everyone starts using Shardspears, will the trend reverse?  Will darkeyes be forbidden the spear?) 

 

  • Why aren't we stopping for slop?  (It's amazing how much you latch on to a routine to mentally protect yourself from misery.  A change of routine can be startling.)

 

  • The box-shaped animals had bulging, stony shells and thick, trunklike red legs.  (Again, I am always alert for living things being described as stony.)

 

  • "Perhaps you should pray to the Almighty for guidance.  I hear he has a fondness for slavers.  Keeps a special room in Damnation just for you."  (Is the Almighty really responsible for sending people to Damnation in Vorinism.  I kind of pictured the Almighty as being similar to a monotheistic version of a Norse pantheon.  Honor.  Strength.  Victory.  Those are things that define Honor; I had assumed that he, in Vorinism, had an enemy and that Damnation was simply the opposite of the TH and that it was entirely separate from Honor and the TH.) 

 

  • Tvlakv hesitated, then held [the map] up for Kaladin.   (Tvlakv doesn't strike me as stupid, but this was definitely foolish.  It seems that Kaladin, even when he's openly hostile towards you, still has a tendency to inspire confidence in people despite themselves.  From a normally wary slaver to despondent and hopeless bridge-men, people trust and follow Kaladin.  Is this because of the Nahel bond?  Or was he bonded because of this already existing attribute?)

 

  • "You hate me.  That is good.  Hatred will keep you strong, make you sell for much.  But you will not find vengeance on me unless I have a chance to take you to market."  (I am always alert for mentions of hatred.  Is this simply common wisdom, or is this more significant than that?  I know a sort of prerequisite for the Nahel bond is a broken soul; what happens when a broken soul is filled with a bond with a voidspren?  I also note the correlation between hatred and vengeance, and then compare it to the Alethi Vengeance Pact.  Kaladin very nearly forsook his honor in favor of vengeance, and it killed Syl.  Unless the Alethi similarly abandon vengeance, not just the Vengeance Pact, but vengeance as a whole, I believe that they will similarly be susceptible to the opposite of the Nahel bond.  I think the Codes were written to help prevent and mitigate this.)

 

  • "Long ago?  You cannot be older than eighteen years, deserter."  (I agree with Tvlakv here.  Younger people don't have enough life experience to have a healthy perspective on how bleak their situation is.  Kaladin is being weak, and, personally, I despise weakness of character.  I hope post Words of Radiance Kaladin is over his angst phase, because it annoyed me almost as much as Shallan's superficial intelligence.  Once they're both over those irritating phases, their characters will be all the more compelling.  So, all in all, masterfully done, Sanderson.  Watching a flawed character grow is far more interesting than watching a perfect character become even more perfect.)

 

  • "Yes," Tvlakv said, studying Kaladin's face, "so you were not so honest when you said you do not thirst for vengeance.  I see."  (Vengeance and hate obviously have a strong correlation, so I am eager to see if this is significant in-world.  I mean, we are talking about Odium, here.)

 

  • "Then you know that I didn't get this brand for deserting."  (An awful lot of people seem to know the truth of Kaladin's slavery.)

 

  • "If I cannot sell you, then you...well, you will not wish for that status."  (Status?  Will he be executed if he's unsellable?  Or does something else happen?  Why say 'status'?)

 

  • "We are not in Alethkar," Tvlakv said, "so there is no law."  (I love a man who knows the law and uses it to his advantage.  I would unquestionably be a Skybreaker were I on Roshar.)

 

  • "If I should happen across any portraits of my former wives, I shall see that they cross your path and take advantage of your unique talents."  (Could Tvlakv be in this unfortunate situation because he was taken advantage of by former wives?  I wonder if divorce laws in Roshar as unfair towards men as they are in America? (Note: this is my personal interpretation of American divorce laws; I am not inviting a debate on the subject.  If you'd like to talk about it, PM me and I'll happily discuss.  Let's not derail the comments.  I know that some people feel strongly about subjects like this, but whether you agree or disagree with me, let's keep it out of the comments.  I would like to make correlations between political situations on Roshar and on Earth without worrying about stirring up anger.  Remember, guys, anger is of Odium and we of the 17th Shard cannot afford to give him a foothold in our souls.)  I really want to know more about Tvlakv, he's turning out to be a surprisingly interesting character.)

 

  • Occasionally, light would flash without the thunder.  The slaves would groan in terror at this, thinking about the Stormfather, the shades of the Lost Radiants, or the Voidbringers - all of which were said to haunt the most violent highstorms.  (Personally, I think I've begun taking highstorms for granted as a quirk of Roshar.  But there is obviously something very, very important going on with them.  Highstorms generate stormlight - maybe there is some truth behind some of the old legends.)

 

  • The things that walked the storms - perhaps even the Stormfather himself - weren't nearly so deadly as the rocks and branches cast up into the air.  (Things that walk the storms?  Is Kaladin referring to actual creatures that walk the storms, or is her referring to things that are rumored to walk the storms?)

 

  • Cremlings of all kinds slithered through puddles, enjoying the banquet.  Insects buzzed into the air; larger crustaceans - crabs and leggers - left their hiding places.  The very rocks seemed to come to life.  (This is gonna be ironic when the Everstorm brings rocks to life for real.) 

 

  • Kaladin noted a half-dozen windspren flitting overhead, their translucent forms chasing after - or perhaps cruising along with - the highstorm's last gusts.  (Are all windspren actually Honorspren?  It would make sense.  Unbonded, barely sentient, Honorspren would probably want to kick around with the Stormfather, the Almighty's spren (Cognitive Shadow?) and it's plausible that the honorspren in highstorms are emulating the Windrunner Radiants they bond with and are therefore misidentified as Windspren.  This could also be the case with other types of unbonded honorspren.  They emulate the affinities of the Radiants whose Order they associate with and are therefore misidentified as more mundane spren.)

 

  • "I saw others of your kind," Kaladin said idly.  "Others?" she asked, taking the form of a young woman.  She began to step around him in the air, spinning occasionally, dancing to some unheard beat.  "Windspren," Kaladin said, "Chasing after the storm.  Are you certain you don't want to go with them?"  She glanced westward, longingly.  "No," she finally said, continuing her dance.  "I like it here."  Kaladin shrugged.  She'd ceased playing as many pranks as she once had, and so he'd stopped letting her presence annoy him.  "There are others near," she said.  "Others like you."  "Slaves?"  "I don't know.  People.  Not the ones here.  Other ones."  "Where?"  She turned a translucent white finger, pointing eastward.  "There.  Many of them.  Lots and lots."  (This could potentially be one of the biggest bits of foreshadowing I've stumbled upon yet, if I'm correct.  Firstly, Kaladin tells Syl he saw others of her kind.  Right now, he thinks of her as windspren when she is almost certainly just beginning to remember that she's an honorspren.  If Syl thinks that Kaladin, which, in her hazy mental state as she's still fully developing her sentience, would be easy to do, is referring to ''others of her kind'' as honorspren, then this makes for a very interesting miscommunications.  Especially if Syl tells Kaladin that there are ''others like him'' nearby and she means proto-Radiants, but Kaladin was referring to slaves, it makes for another very interesting miscommunication.  Is Syl aware of other people with the potential to bond spren?)

 

  • [The Alethi Armies] were camped in a series of enormous crater-like rock formations, only the sides were more irregular, more jagged.  Like broken eggshells.  (Eggshells?  Maybe they were exactly that.  Perhaps the Reshi Island Greatshells hatched here long ago.  It makes a kind of sense.  The reason these greatshells can grow to be so large a size is because of their gemhearts.  I propose that the reason they pupate on the Shattered Plains is twofold.  Firstly, geographically, it's a protected area.  The plateaus offer a reasonable amount of protection while they're helpless for the duration of pupation.  Secondly, also geographically, it's close to the Origin of Storms.  I bet they infuse a massive amount of Stormlight into their gemhearts to prepare for their next phase of evolution.  Eventually, they grow to be so large that living on land is no longer viable, and they move to the sea.)

 

  • "I spent years trying to get to this place.  It's what Tien wanted, in the end at least.  To come here, fight in the king's army..."  (Wasn't Tien conscripted?  Why would he get conscripted and want to go somewhere more dangerous?  Not that I don't understand the sentiment - Tien just never struck me as the type of person who would want such a thing.)

 

  • Each lighteyes Kaladin had known, whether as a slave or a free man, had shown himself to be corrupt to the core, for all his outward poise and beauty.  They were like rotting corpses clothed in beautiful silk.  (This strongly parallels American sentiment.  Many, many people are disillusioned with politicians.  Part of the reason this story is so compelling, to me at least, is because we want to see the leadership either reformed or brought low, because we know it's almost certainly never going to happen in our real lives.)

 

 

[back to Table of Contents]

 

 

[Pre Consolidation]: [@ snote]:  I imagine it's the same thing going on with Shardblades.  When you use someone else's Shardblade, it's a dead spren so it's dull and plain.  Still a magnificent weapon, compared to regular swords, but compared to Sly as Kaladin's Shardblade, they're plain.  Well, I assume that Honorblade as the same way.  Each one was given to a particular Herald, and I'd bet that, when wielded by anyone other than the intended Herald, they only function at a fraction of their power.  I'd also bet that when Heralds use Honorblades, they have access to the surges without the need for Stormlight to power them - or, at least, a miniscule amount compared to what Szeth needed.

Edited by Frosted Flakes
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I like the colors theory. Especially in relation to gemstones. I'll have to pay more attention to this next time through. There's a WoB that the colors of Alethi wines is a cultural thing for what it's worth.

 

 My opinion is that Tozbek was a connection from before her father's "risky business" simply because if he was involved in said risky business, he'd know the Ghostbloods, and I doubt the whole let's-kill-the-whole-ship's-crew incident would have happened the way it did in WoR if that were the case. My guess would be he's just a merchant that they'd dealt with for a long time that had always treated them fairly.

 

Etymology on Roshar is an interest of mine for sure. I hope we get to see more of it. We do know that the Shin language in general has a lot of "sh" sounds. They also appear to be the only culture mentioned to not have epicanthical folds, which is interesting in and of itself. Same thing with the Thaylen language. (now I'm trying to remember if the frostlands map that's in Thaylen was transliterated English or literal Thaylen....).  Blustering is another good catch, I never noticed that one before.

 

I thought the one interesting thing about Shallan's fabricating was that she speaks like that's something she's done her whole life. Something that Pattern might have been drawn to.

 

I've always thought that the Natanatans were Aimian hybrids. The Aimians are described as having blue skin as well, I believe. I don't know that anyone's ever asked Brandon about that, although we know that Horneaters, Herdazians, and Vedens have some Parshendi blood.

 

I personally think that Voidbringers has become a catch-all term for any bad thing that appears during a desolation. (and my personal theory, like yours, is that they're all involved with some kind of funky corrupted spren, although I wouldn't go so far as to say that it needs to be sentient - the rock in the Purelake vision that gets animated into a thunderclast seems pretty non-sentient)

 

In WoR Someone (I want to say Kaladin) muses at Szeth's blade, "He had a shard blade. One without markings on it, that was supposed to be rare, wasn't it?" Wouldn't that imply that the Honor Blades and what the Heralds put down in the Prelude are not the same swords?

There's already some good Shardblade/Honorblade correlations, so I won't get into that myself, but another note is that "If their owners had died, they would have disappeared"  and yet.... Szeth's honorblade APPEARS when he dies. So obviously, its "owner" is not Szeth - it's still Jezrien somehow and Szeth has bonded to it in some different way that's not "owning" it.  I've always been curious as to how he can dismiss and summon a blade that doesn't technically belong to him.  Apparently some sort of bond, since Nalan tells him the bond with the blade was broken. Are the Honorblades no longer "completely functional" since the Heralds abandoned them? Or if a Herald picked up his correct blade, would it work like it should? (has anyone ever asked Brandon this??) if one of the Heralds currently on Roshar, (ie Nalan) were to die, would him and his blade disappear??

 

A second theory of mine that I haven't heard bandied about as much, is that perhaps, since Honor is alive the first time we're given Honorblade descriptions, and now he's not, perhaps the blades changed with his death - we saw how the glow faded from the Shardblades in Dalinar's vision when the spren died.

 

I don't think we know enough to know for sure what's going on, but I think we can say with certainty that Szeth either doesn't know how, or is incapable of using his Honorblade in the same way that a Herald would have. Whether or not that's why it looks different, I don't know, but I think it could be.

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A second theory of mine that I haven't heard bandied about as much, is that perhaps, since Honor is alive the first time we're given Honorblade descriptions, and now he's not, perhaps the blades changed with his death - we saw how the glow faded from the Shardblades in Dalinar's vision when the spren died.

I think from the subtext, it's clear that Honor is NOT alive. Syl says outright that she is the little part of a god. That god is Honor. The spren are required for the KR to bond a spren and have surgebindings. The Herald who speaks in the Epilogue is citing both Dustbringer and Surgebinders as things that exist. So, I would find it inconsolable that both Honor and Spren exist simultaneously.

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I think from the subtext, it's clear that Honor is NOT alive. Syl says outright that she is the little part of a god. That god is Honor. The spren are required for the KR to bond a spren and have surgebindings. The Herald who speaks in the Epilogue is citing both Dustbringer and Surgebinders as things that exist. So, I would find it inconsolable that both Honor and Spren exist simultaneously.

Honor spoke of Radiants as well though, hasn't he? Well, the vision-recording of him did.

Cultivation is also still alive as far as we know, and many spren are hybrids of those shards.

There have been pieces of shards going about in other cosmere novels both before and after the god has kicked the bucket completely as well.

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There are also voidspren, spren of Odium, and we know he's still alive. A Shard can form a number of Splinters without it being fatal to its holder, as can be seen on Nalthis, and of course on Roshar. I suspect any Shard attempting to Invest on Roshar will produce spren whether it wants to or not.

Edited by skaa
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I've been thinking that an Honorblade generally disappears when its herald 'dies'. This is simply because historically, the holders (heralds) haven't technically died (as in, gone beyond the Cosmere), they just go to Damnation, and their blades go back into storage (same place as dead Shardblades go when dismissed).

QUESTION

Can someone bond more than one Honorblade?

BRANDON SANDERSON

Honorblade? You can't bond an Honorblade, though it can be given to you. Shardblades, however, come from a spren bond and it is possible to bond more than one.

FOOTNOTE

Later clarified, Brandon misunderstood the question. One may be bound to multiple Honorblades.

This seems to be implying that people 'typically' don't bind Honorblades, but maybe Honorblades bind people? I don't know... Maybe Taln became bound to all of the Honorblades upon the heralds giving in, and so Szeth's Blade sticks around when he dies since Taln is also 'dead-ish' at the time, even though Jezrien isn't, so the Honorblade acts like a normal Shardblade upon Szeth's death since the person bonded to it (Taln) isn't around.

Or maybe Szeth's Blade stuck around when he died because it was Jezrien's, and not because it was a normal Shardblade - that has been covered as much as I could do already. Whatever the reason, I'm in favour of the 'partial secondary bond' idea.

My personal head canon is that Honorblades are pieces of Honor (like some spren), but perhaps with a greater portion of power, and also with no self-sentience, no spren-like intent.

MILLENNIUM

Do Honorblades have the same sort of relationship to Honor (possibly to a much greater degree) that Shardblades do?

BRANDON SANDERSON

You're on the right track.

"the reason for [the one referred to as Taln's Blade] being called a shardblade is because honourblades are shardblades." - WoB

Therefore, their use isn't bound by oaths since the spren is the one being choosy in a normal Nahel bond. The blades are permanently bound to the associated herald, but since the Honorblade is just a Blade - a piece of power - there isn't anything to prohibit more persons from binding it. (Actually, that makes me wonder why the Stone Shamanate didn't bond each Blade so they could summon it if something goes wrong or if one is stolen)

As for the Blade's appearance being so dull, it's an artefact of the cognitive paradigm associated with the Blade. The heralds, in their glory, counted their Blades as tools of great worth, so the Blades reflected that. Since then, the heralds discarded their Blades, and their sense of honor has slowly been degrading, so their Blades reflect that too. The Blades are viewed in a lesser light, and they aren't thought of as anything special by their holders anymore.

PS. For what its worth, my head canon is also that when a Radiant dies, his/her Shardblade will not necessarily stick around, since it's still a living spren.

Spren choose to form a Shardblade when they are drawn into the physical realm by their Knight Radiant holding and speaking pre-existent ideals (that's established). These ideals likely agree with that spren's personal mini-intent (being a piece of Shard, spren are the physical representation of a cognitive ideal, just like Breaths. It makes sense that spren follow an intent, just like the Shard they come from).

Once the spren is drawn far enough into the physical realm through the Nahel bond, if the holder suddenly betrays that intent, it kills the spren cognitively, but not spiritually (still has power), and not physically.

Dead Shardblades stick around as a physical manifestation when the holder dies simply because they aren't cognitive anymore, so they can't go back to that realm.

Living Shardblades wouldn't have to stick around in the physical realm because they retain their cognitive aspect and can exist somewhat physically independently of their Radiant (as is supported by Syl not having to disappear when Kaladin 'dismisses' her weapon form), I hypothesize that is because the spren maintains a cognitive aspect that gives it the ability to function as a separate entity from the Radiant. I would even extend that to say spren will retain their sentience for a time (though it may degrade slowly) after their Radiant dies, as long as the Radiant does not betray the spren's ideal.

PPS. I'm trying to consolidate the above with dead Shardblades possibly going to the spiritual realm when they are dismissed, and also why they don't go there when their holder dies.

Edit, added a couple WoBs and spoiler tags because of length.

Edited by Darkness
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