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So how did people figure out that Zahel was Vasher?


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I mean, there's some strange things about Zahel, yes. And once you tell me that, hey, Zahel is Vasher, I can connect them to things we already know about Vasher/Nalthis. But if someone's starting from square one, what was it that made people make the connection?

After I read that Zahel was Vasher on TV Tropes, I went back and reread all the parts I could find with him in them. And the only conspicuously odd thing I found was the bit where he thinks about how he used to hear a voice in his head- and that could have been anything, there's so much we still don't know about Roshar. It could have been a spren he bonded and then killed by being dishonorable.

What was the smoking gun here?

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The constant color references, his life sense letting him detect Syl following Kaladin, and the reference to Nightblood. 

I'm guessing there's some WoB influences, because I definitely didn't catch it. 

The colors are similar to how Galladon was ID'd though. If you replace his use of "sul" with friend, and "kolo?" with understand, his speech patterns are pretty distinctive. 

I definitely think there were some hints dropped though. 

Edited by Calderis
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Here’s a collection of quotes from Words of Radiance, mostly involving colors, the flower reference is interesting. Otherwise just what has been said, the voice he hasn’t heard for years, the clear evidence of lifesense, the ability to see spren.

“I’m old son, repeating myself makes me eat the wrong flower”

“Someone was near. Zahel awoke, snapping his eyes open, knowing instantly that someone was approaching the room…One of those storms had come, Invested to the hilt…Kaladin. The Bridgeman turned bodyguard. The one with that spren Zahel could sense always spinning about…He expected a voice to speak in his mind as he drifted off. Of course there wasn’t one. Hadn’t been one in years”.

“Zahel had drawn a circile in the sand and was throwing little colored rocks into it’

“Boy, you’ve got red on your ears like I’ve never seen”

“Don’t be green from the ground”

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I found out about it because I read it onto the 17th Shard. I would have probably never clicked without this site, but I am notoriously poor at noticing these things, especially when I am not expecting them.

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I originally realized that he was a worldhopper when he referred to highstorms as "Invested," with a capital "I". After that, I started wondering which planet he might be from, and the color metaphors stood out a lot to me. After I had made that connection, the nightblood reference became obvious. His grumpy personality and excellent swordsmanship also solidified the connection.

When I came to the 17th shard to confirm my theory, I also saw that some people noticed the fact that he has life recognition, which he uses to sense Kaladin approaching his room.

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2 hours ago, maxal said:

I found out about it because I read it onto the 17th Shard. I would have probably never clicked without this site, but I am notoriously poor at noticing these things, especially when I am not expecting them.

I'm the same way, didn't know about Vasher until I saw it on a WoB. My friend pointed out to me the passage in WoR where Vasher was playing the game with the colored stones then my friend showed me that it's the same game Lightsong was playing in Warbreaker. The one he wasn't even trying to win but was doing awesome. 

It happens a lot with me. I don't notice it, then once the clues are pointed out to me, I can't believe I missed em. Another example, I'm terrible at spotting Hoid. 

Edited by Kered
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8 hours ago, The 18th Shard said:

I originally realized that he was a worldhopper when he referred to highstorms as "Invested," with a capital "I". After that, I started wondering which planet he might be from, and the color metaphors stood out a lot to me. After I had made that connection, the nightblood reference became obvious. His grumpy personality and excellent swordsmanship also solidified the connection.

When I came to the 17th shard to confirm my theory, I also saw that some people noticed the fact that he has life recognition, which he uses to sense Kaladin approaching his room.

Okay, that makes sense to me.

I hadn't noticed the lifesense or the circle game, but I tend to miss out on the details. I'm not the meticulous sort of reader who pours over every passage, finding 2 in one chapter and 2 in another, and putting them together to make 4. I tend to figure out plot twists from meta-logic or not at all.

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On 7/7/2017 at 5:52 PM, teknopathetic said:

Wait, do we think life sense would allow someone to talk to a Cognitive Shadow like a certain someone in Secret History? 

Doubtful. He seems to only be able to detect it being around. I mean, he could know it was around then talk to the air and it would know, but it wouldn't have any way to respond.

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If Nightblood wasn't in WOR, I'm not sure that people would have realized that Zahel was Vasher; otherwise, he could have been 'just' a Worldhopper from Nalthis.  There were a couple of hints of travelers from Nalthis to Roshar even in WoK (the one I remember most vividly, and perhaps the only one, was the fairy tale of a child using a human-shaped twig to fool the Voidbringers and escape, or something similar).  

Nalthis Worldhopper that used to hear voices + Nightblood = Vasher.  (Although I didn't make the connection myself until I read the idea here, so there's that.)

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I read them the other way around - stormlight first, didn't get any of the colour imagery or references to nightblood - but when I was reading the warbreaker book he's described in the same way, difficult to define his age but with "old" or wise eyes.  Id just put down stormlight so it was weird to have the same descriptions, didn't even know about cosmere link at the time!

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16 minutes ago, nervousnerd said:

Yeah. I still haven't done a reread since that was first mentioned.

Same, I just take everyone's word on it. I've tried to go back and I still didn't see it. 

Edited by Kered
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@Kered @FiveLate @nervousnerd you weren't supposed to :)Brandon was shocked @Oversleep got it though that was after a lot of speculation for years. 

 

Quote

You’re not supposed to be able to guess who the Terris woman is, by the way.

[17:52]
DK: So we will see her some-
BS: Yes, you will see her somewhere else. Yeah, you’re not supposed to be able to guess. So that’s why I’m surprised that… yeah.

 

Edited by Extesian
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11 hours ago, Extesian said:

@Kered @FiveLate @nervousnerd you weren't supposed to :)Brandon was shocked @Oversleep got it though that was after a lot of speculation for years.

In fact, the true confirmation was at Ad Astra event:

On 12.05.2017 at 2:28 AM, TheHunter said:

He said that someone in Poland had figured it out who the Terriswoman in Warbreaker was and I asked him if it was Lemex' nurse, and he nodded and smiled. He said he had no idea how anyone figured it out, which is interesting.

But shotout to @Kurkistan is in order since I have read about his theory that she is the nurse, so while I didn't recall it specifically at the time, my shot was not entirely mine :)

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I picked up on literally none of that. I think everyone in the room could hear me screaming when I saw Nightblood. I think that might've been before I knew about the Cosmere at all, although I can't quite remember. Oh boy, that was a few years ago, wasn't it? I feel old. 

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See now @Oversleep is making me feel guilty because I neglected to shout-out at him. :\

To downplay it all a bit, I don't regard my guess as any great feat of insight or really a "theory". We got the WoB on there being a Terriswoman woldhopper in Warbreaker, everyone started hunting/word-searching, I was like "hey look a semi-prominent female character" and that's all she wrote. I only became more sure when Brandon gave that gleeful RAFO to me.

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Guys. Not only did I not catch any of the hints that Zahel was Vasher, but I didn't catch that the sword was Nightblood. Seriously. It wasn't until a friend of mine mentioned that Nightblood was in the book that I noticed. Now, at the time of Reading WoK and WoR, I hadn't ready any Cosmere theory but I had read all of the Cosmere books, and was aware that worldhoppers were possible. Still can't believe I didn't catch any of it. I guess it doesn't help that I don't own the two SA books, and have only read them once each.

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2 minutes ago, Lord Maelstrom said:

Guys. Not only did I not catch any of the hints that Zahel was Vasher, but I didn't catch that the sword was Nightblood. Seriously.

You fool! When a sentient, sheathed sword asks if you want to destroy some evil... YOU SAY YES!

 

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18 minutes ago, robardin said:

You fool! When a sentient, sheathed sword asks if you want to destroy some evil... YOU SAY YES!

 

In my defense, there were a solid 5 years between my reading of Warbreaker and SA, and both only got read once. So while the fact that you have a black sword talking about evil that's pouring out smoke should be a giveaway, I didn't remember much about nightblood in the first place. :D Since I've started doing Cosmere stuff, I've reread Warbreaker twice, though, so I think I would have caught it myself if my friend hadn't told me.

As for saying yes.... I tend to be suspicious, and would probably ask a couple questions first.

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People figured out Vasher super quickly. Like... The day of release. (I read it about a week prior so some of us had a head start.)  I knew something was up with him and in retrospect its obvious, but while I recognized Nightblood I didn't immediately catch the Vasher thing. 

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