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Concerning Glyphs

Wonko the Sane

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I am intrigued by the glyphs in the front and back of the hardcover. I would like to compile a list of everything we have learned or seen of them thus far, as it is obvious that they will play a key role in the story. I will start with what comes to mind, in no particular order:

- The small glyphs in the front represent the various Surges, or forces, that Knights Radiant and other magic-users can manipulate. These include Pressure, Gravitation, Transformation, and Travel. We do not yet know precisely which Surge is represented by which glyph, except that the top-right and the right-top represent Pressure and Gravitation, though it is unclear which is which.

- The large glyphs in the front represent the Orders of the Knights Radiant. These include the Windrunners and the Stonewards, as well as perhaps the "Soulcasters," a name which follows the same pattern as the other Orders. It seems more likely, however, that Soulcasting is just the name of one use of the Surge of Transformation. The top-right large glyph represents the Windrunners.

- The thinner lines on the front cover connect an Order to the Surges it can manipulate. These lines also connect adjacent Surges, or those that share an order.

- The larger lines ont the front cover connect Orders to various other Orders. The connections include Orders that share a Surge, Orders on opposite sides of the circle, and two connections that seem unrelated to the rest, between the top-right and bottom-right and between the top left and bottom-left.

- The large glyphs seem to be arranged such that the "Chapter-header" faces on the border are more or less in a relative position with the Order they might be associated with. It has been heavily speculated that these are the heralds.

- These faces also surround the Silver Kingdoms map. Could they be in some relative position with the kingdom they could be associated with.

- The sword on the front of the book, along with those behind the Part titles, are stylized versions of the large glyphs.

- Shash, which, by some theories, would be the bottom-left glyph on the front chart, is a symbol that warns of danger.

- The back cover seems to be depicted in analogy with the front cover, including various parallels such as the same general shape.

- The large glyphs on the back cover ar depicted in the same color as their front-cover counterparts.

- If you take a small glyph from the front cover, split it in half vertically, flip one half upside-down vertically, and make som minor modifications, you end up with that glyphs counterpart on the back cover.

- The third glyph clockwise on the right is depicted on the map of Kharbranth on page 454.

- just a personal, potentially meaningless observation: several of the back-cover glyphs seem resemble some sort of fairy or angel.

I'm sure that there's plenty more, but that's all that comes to mind right now. Your thoughts?

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Or maybe a Spren?

Possibly, but like I said, it's probably meaningless. I'm more interested in compiling a list of solid data and making inferences from that. On another note, is anyone els interested in the dragon/bugs behind the Roshar glyphs?

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If you look at the color of each of the symbols, you'll also notice they correspond to the colors of the ten gemstones/essences in the table in Ars Arcanum. It's a lot more noticeable on the Shadesmar symbols because they're more colorful.

Edited by Zayde
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I found a lot of it online, but some of the observations were mine. The glyph on the map I noticed on my own, but if you look around some, so have a couple others on the forums.

My big glyph question at the moment is the meaning of the Shadesmar glyphs. Also, I posted this so that we could pool our knowledge. If you know something that's not on the list, don't hesitate to tell me.

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  • 3 weeks later...

From our encounter with the Windrunners and Stonewards in Dalinar's vision, since the glyphs on the Windrunners' armor was blue, the same color as their glyph and gemstone, sapphire, it appears that the colored glyphs on the Shardplate of the Knights Radiant were of the color of their order's glyph.

The Stonewards had amber glyphs, matching with the color of the upper-left glyph and the gemstone topaz. Additionally in support of this, the soulcasting properties of Topaz are rock and stone. With the 9th number bearing the name Tanat, it appears that the Stonewards belonged to the 9th order, the order of the Herald Talanel.

For an additional element of support, from page 1001, "Talenel'Elin, Stonesinew, Herald of the Almighty"

Reversing this, the lady Knight Radiant who healed Dalinar in his vision had amber glyphs, suggesting she, and her power, belonged to the 9th order, the Stonewards.

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I know it's mentioned somewhere in the Brandonothology, but the symbol on the front cover (I think it's the top right glyph on the chart) represents Windrunning because of Kaladin. And sort of Szeth but apparently there's something that's different about him. Something about he isn't actually a windrunner but he can manipulate the same surges that windrunners can.

Got quotes for me Zas?

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Let me find it....

There it is!

Which of the 10 Knights was supposed to be in book 1? I couldn’t tell. Is this by design? or did I miss the point?

I’m not sure what the question means. Do you mean the Heralds? Or the ten orders of the Knights Radiant? The symbol stamped into the front of the first hardcover represents the Windrunners because of Kaladin’s awakening as a Windrunner. Also because of Szeth, but mostly because of Kaladin.

It's in the Goodreads 2.0 Q&A.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I'm pretty sure the faces around the border are the Heralds, the larger Glyphs are the Orders and the smaller Glyphs are the surges.

Remember that we don't know for certain that the large glyphs are the Orders. They could be the types of sentient spren, or something totally unknown. I seem to recall Brandon saying that an Order is formed when you take one of the larger glyphs AND both adjacent smaller glyphs. Note that this does not deny the possibility that they represent the Orders, it merely introduces the possibility that they do not.

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