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[OB] Lightspren (Reachers)

The Sovereign

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During Adolin, Azure, Kaladin, and Shallan's little adventure in Shademar we are introduced to the Lightspren (Reachers). Once they arrive in Celebrant Captain Ico takes Adolin below deck to the hold of the ship to recover Maya. While there, we find out that Captain Ico's father is a deadeye.

That brings up the question; which order are they the Spren of? I think we can make a reasonably educated guess that the Lightspren are the Spren of the Stonewards Willshapers.

We can eliminate the Windrunners, Skybreakers, Dustbringers, Edgedancers, Lightweavers, Bondsmiths, and Elsecallers as we know what type of Spren their orders are affiliated with.

This leaves us with the Truthwatchers, Stonewards, and Willshapers. We have seen the physical manifestations of the Willshaper and Truthwatcher Spren (via Timbre and Ym's Spren [Renarin's is corrupted so should be ignored for this purpose]). Typically, a Spren manifests in the Physical realm as an incomplete version of their Cognitive aspects. The descriptions of these Spren are nothing like the Reachers. We also have some contextual clues from a WoB that the Lightspren are not the Truthwatcher Spren. Brandon typically does not lie and has said that he hasn't decided what the Truthwatcher Spren will be called and doesn't want to canonize it. This would eliminate them from being the Spren of the Truthwatchers.
Relevant WoB:





Oathbringer release party (Nov. 13, 2017)
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FeatherWriter [PENDING REVIEW]

Can you tell me what the Truthwatcher spren are called, like do they have a name? I know it's not in Oathbringer.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, I'm not gonna canonize that yet. There're things I am still thinking about.




Also contextual clues in story make me think that Timbre is a Starspren (in addition to the description of Timbre and the comments by Venli, travelling/exploring using the stars as a guide is a very Willshaper-y thing to do). 

We have several contextual clues that indicate that the Reachers are the Willshapers' Spren:

-As @Blacksmithki pointed out, the Reachers are the guides of Shademar and often travel around the Cognitive realm.

-As I mentioned a couple of posts down, The Willshapers essence of Foil with the Soulcasting property of Metal seems to fit well with the Bronze-ness of the Lightspren.

-The fact that they are only bonding Listeners as of now works well with their distrust of Humans.

-As @Ookla the Obtuse & @HoidsRock addressed below the Conversation between Venli and Timbre about Timbre's grandfather and Ico mentioning his daughter pretty clearly identify the Lightspren as those of the Willshapers.

-@Yata Also pointed out the way the Lightspren seem to communicate on the ship seeming similar to Timbre communicating with Venli via the Rhythms. 

This leaves us with the Stonewards; There are two large clues that indicate to me that this is their order; first, We know via Dalinar's visions that the Stonewards' Plates and Blades glow an Amber color. The Reachers are described as looking like they are made out of Bronze. Second, Captain Ico says that his kind no longer trust humans, we have yet to see any new Stonewards, is this because the Lightspren are the only holdouts that have not restored their bonds with men? From a storytelling standpoint this would be a good contrast as Taln was the last to break his Oath. 

TLDR: Lightspren = Spren of the Stonewards Willshapers

Edited by The Sovereign
Ookla the Obtuse and HoidsRock have convinced me... changes made
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7 minutes ago, Blacksmithki said:

One thing I feel like should be added to the contrary, we have also not seen any new human willshapers either, and willshapers appear to like to explore, so it makes sense their Spren are the guides of the CR

This is a good point, another to add to the case for the Willshapers is that the essence associated with their order Foil with the Soulcasting property of Metal which obviously fits with Bronze cast of their bodies.

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2 minutes ago, Ookla the Obtuse said:

The theory I've seen floating around is Ico is Timbre's father, and she's the "daughter chasing stupid dreams." I apologize, I don't know who originated the theory so I don't know to whom credit belongs for it.

Also, that would obviously make Ico's deadeye father Timbre's grandfather:


“This bond was supposed to be impossible,” she whispered to Timbre.

Timbre pulsed to Peace.

“I’m happy too,” Venli whispered. “But why me? Why not one of the humans?”

Timbre pulsed to Irritation, then the Lost.

“That many? I had no idea the human betrayal had cost so many of your people’s lives. And your own grandfather?”

Sanderson, Brandon. Oathbringer: Book Three of the Stormlight Archive (p. 1196). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.


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3 minutes ago, Ookla the Obtuse said:

The theory I've seen floating around is Ico is Timbre's father, and she's the "daughter chasing stupid dreams." I apologize, I don't know who originated the theory so I don't know to whom credit belongs for it.

This actually makes a lot of sense, I think I have been convinced.

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There is also Timbre's favorite way to comunicate, through pulses and beats, we saw the Reachers (or Lightspren) able to comunicate with each other using the vibrations using the ship's metal deck as vector of comunication.


Of course we could not have the 100% proofs, but almost all the clues point to Timbre as a lightspren. The only slight counter is her look regard the Lightspren we saw in the Cognitive Realm. But honestly we saw also, Sapient "StoneSpren" and probably those are the Stonewarden's spren.

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I have made several updates to my original post as further thought along with the input of @Blacksmithki, @Ookla the Obtuse, and @Yata have completedly changed my thoughts on the nature of the Lightspren. I tried to give credit where it is due, please feel free to point out if I have missed anything.

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Timbre shows a nonstop childlike joy in exploring everything.  When let out of Venli's pouch Timbre seem fascinated by wall decorations and sock drawers and (in a scene reminiscent of my interactions with my cats in the summer whenever the front door opens) wants to go outside requiring Venli to repeatedly tell him/her "No!".

Willshapers loved adventure and novelty, the Reachers loved to sail on ships and read adventure novels in their free time, Eshonai wanted to explore and make maps, Timbre gets excited exploring sock drawers.  Combined with the other hints mentioned, this theory seems 100% solid to me.

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I knew someone was going to beat me in proposing this...

But totally agree that 'Timbre' is probably Ico's daughter, for all the reasons mentioned above. I'm still a little sad that she's not bonding Eshonai. Eshonai's flashbacks made her seem really adventurous and Willshaper-y.

Edited by Witless1der
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