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Tien the proto-Lightweaver


catrianadavar

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I know this has been discussed before, but I'm having trouble finding the exact thread/s. So if you happen to know them, feel free to send me there! 

I just wanted to say that it sure seems like Tien was a future Lightweaver in process. There's lots of things to point us to that, I know, but this is my favorite one that I haven't seen brought up (but it may have been): 

"'See,' Tien said from behind, "from this side it's green. I don't think it's a spren, Mother. It's the light. It makes the rock change....."

Doesn't that sound like a future Lightweaver point of view, y'all? 

Or of course this could have just been an overarching Stormlight Archive theme getting brought up. Honor was He Who Transforms after all. I know I'm reaching on this one. Either way, I really love this line. 

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I has been discussed before and it is a fairly popular theory. I personally do not buy it because Pattern mentioned only one of him was sent, at the time, so for Tien to have been picked implied they had send two. Also, I feel Tien's death does not match a proto-Radiant. It isn't they can't be killed, but even novices, unless stroke to the head, are very hard to kill. Tien was stab into the stomach: had he been a burgeoning Radiant, I suspect he might would have survived.

More importantly even, one of the reasons I don't particularly fancy the theory is I don't see its purpose. So what if Tien was a proto-Lightweaver? Who cares? What does it add to the story if he were? Nothing. A great nothing, which is why I don't think it will materialized. Plot arcs have to exist for a reason and, so far, I see absolutely no narrative-related reason why Tien should have been a Radiant.

Mind, a lot of readers like the theory, so we'll see. 

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Huh what does that mean could be interesting. I agree with maxal it adds exactly nothing to the real plot so why would Brandon write that? (Though to be fair Brandon does add a lot off background info that's only for his own eyes and only for his own writing fun)

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I really like the theory, even if I'm not sure I completely buy it. 

@maxal Proto-radiants are only difficult to kill when they have access to stormlight and we don't know if Tien did when he died. Good point about Pattern saying he was the only one sent, but between him crossing over and Tien's death are several years so we can't be sure he's the only one by then.

This is all hypothetical, but I disagree that it doesn't add anything to the story. We still don't understand why Shallan was several oaths/truths into her radianthood at such a young age, before the deaths of her family members. What memories could she possibly have been repressing at that age? If we knew that Tien was a proto Lightweaver, that would give us another point of reference that Shallan's age might not have been an anomaly, and that perhaps becoming a Lightwever is not necessarily about rediscovering repressed memories, but more generally about becoming more self aware. Speaking truths in Shallan's case means facing her past, but for another it could mean growing more mature. Children would be ideal candidates in that case. 

So it may not add much more to the plot, but I think it would let us extrapolate some things about how Lightweaver's function and why Cryptics chose the people that they do. 

Edited by Ciridae
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Or maybe Lightweavers are just the Marysue Order of Radiants and they're basically lolOP from conception to grave, you don't need to speak Oaths to get a spren pfft.

I mean Cryptics don't really seem to have goals other than "ooh, humies. interesting."

Edited by Rob Lucci
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8 hours ago, Figberts said:

If he was simply a proto-Lightweaver, that doesn't really matter. However if he had begun to attract a spren, and was in the stage Kaladin was in before Teft showed him his abilities, that could be interesting.

Interesting in which way? Tien is dead. It is an empty plot arc.

4 hours ago, Passion said:

Huh what does that mean could be interesting. I agree with maxal it adds exactly nothing to the real plot so why would Brandon write that? (Though to be fair Brandon does add a lot off background info that's only for his own eyes and only for his own writing fun)

Brandon adds background information when it is required to better flesh out a given character. Tien having been a proto-Lightweaver serves no purpose. So what if Kaladin finds out about it? Nothing.

3 hours ago, Ciridae said:

I really like the theory, even if I'm not sure I completely buy it. 

@maxal Proto-radiants are only difficult to kill when they have access to stormlight and we don't know if Tien did when he died. Good point about Pattern saying he was the only one sent, but between him crossing over and Tien's death are several years so we can't be sure he's the one by then.

This is all hypothetical, but I disagree that it doesn't add anything to the story. We still don't understand why Shallan was several oaths/truths into her radianthood at such a young age, before the deaths of her family members. What memories could she possible have been repressing at that age? If we knew that Tien was a proto Lightweaver, that would give us another point of reference that Shallan's age might not have been an anomaly, and that perhaps becoming a Lightwever is not necessarily about discovering repressed memories, but more generally about becoming more self aware. Speaking truths in Shallan's case means facing her past, but for another it could mean growing more mature. Children would be ideal candidates in that case. 

So it may not add much more to the plot, but I think it would let us extrapolate some things about how Lightweaver's function and why Cryptics chose the people that they do. 

Tien was on a battlefield which implies there were spheres around. He also was a paid soldier, not a slave, it seems probable he had spheres on him. So while it isn't entirely impossible he had no spheres on him, I find it tenuous at best. If a theory requires many loop holes to work out, then it is most likely false. Too many "if" in Tien being a Lightweaver. It implies another Cryptic was sent, despite Pattern having been a near failure with Shallan, it implies Tien had no access to stormlight, it implies too many twists.

As for Shallan's age, we know she was on the lower edge: Brandon once commented on it. I really need to find this WoB again. I personally suspect Shallan was picked because of her family: there was no reason to pick Tien based on his. Many sprens pick Radiants out of people standing at the forefront of events or being linked to existing Radiants and, as far as we can tell, Cryptics tend to favor people having a position of influence. Sure, little Shallan had little influence, but her family had some and her mother's connections may be what drew them. Tien however was a young boy from a small town: a terrible pick for sprens interested in politics. Mind, this remains speculation, but I personally do not find Tien being a Lightweaver is really telling. If the only purpose if to give another "child Radiant" example just so Shallan wouldn't be an "exception", then it is a poor one to write in a side story arc on a dead character. Brandon can just answer the question at signings, but writing a plot for mere exposition purpose is really not great, not to me at least.

I feel story arcs have to be relevant to characters into the story, they shouldn't exist just to give small answers to readers which could be answered through other means.

Edited by maxal
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ive always been a fan of the tien theories, I personally believe he would have been a truthwatcher.

At the end of the day I believe it was his  childish imagination, and as I'm rooting for a Kaladin happy ending, i hope he was  an elsecaller and pulled a jasnah(however improbable it is);)

Edited by StormblessDave
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