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Jasnah plot arc


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Wow. So, just finished the book. Overall, loved it, but there were definitely some....developments....that took me by surprise, and that I'm not sure what to think of. The main one being the Jasnah roller-coaster ride.


At some point after the teaser chapters of WoR were released, someone on this forum predicted Jasnah's death. At first I thought, no way, Brandon would never throw away such a cool character so suddenly, it's way too GRRM. And I don't like GRRM. No way....but, it was plausible enough to get me to worry.


Then, I read it. I was the first chapter I read of the complete WoR (It was the first new chapter that hadn't been released). I nearly wanted to put the book away, I was that disappointed. Such a waste. I understood the reasoning for it - Shallan had to transition from useless apprentice to Knight Radiant in this book, and she couldn't do it with Jasnah around. Plus, I figured that Jasnah, although written and characterized beautifully, was NOT the kind of character that Brandon would personally empathize with. Plus, actually killing her off is kind of groundbreaking in fantasy, since basically no one other than GRRM does that kind of thing. So, I got over my disappointment, and was ok with it.


Then the epilogue. At first I was pissed. I'd just come to accept her as being dead, and now she's back?? Then I laughed, because in the pre-release posts speculating about her death, I had made a joke about "Jasnah the White" and that's exactly what happened. Then I was disappointed again - we now have gone from the cliche of killing off the mentor figure to allow main character development, so bringing back the mentor figure from an extended hiatus on the other side. Didn't Brandon recently have a hand in writing this EXACT thing? (Moiraine, cough cough). Then I was happy again, because now my favorite character is back.


And now, on to plot.


First off, she's important enough for Hoid to be hanging around waiting for her. That's interesting in and of itself. They've obviously met before, and not just in his capacity as the King's Wit. She obviously knows he's much more than that. What contact have they had before, and what has he told her?


Secondly, the assassination. Unlike what some people have proposed, I do not think she deliberately faked her death. No Radiant of any order would have allowed a boatful of innocent bystanders to die for something like that. Also, I don't think she would have abandoned Shallan to find her own way, she's too much of a "controller" for something like that. I believe she finally got caught, and escaped by the skin of her teeth. Which brings us to how she did that. Yes, Stormlight would have kept her alive even with mortal wounds, and would have healed her eventually if she had enough of it. But if she was holding enough Stormlight for that, she should have been glowing like a bonfire, and not been unconscious. She'd probably also have made short work of the assassins, even with a knife in the chest.


My theory is this - the assassins really did sneak up on her and stab her in her sleep. She really was almost dead. Then, when they went after Shallan, she finally inhaled some Stormlight, came to for a moment, and in a panic Transitioned to Shadesmar. Once there, her physical state didn't matter, and since she was out at sea, she was on land there, so she didn't need Stormlight to make a raft. But, she was trapped there, either because she was out of Stormlight, or because she was still wounded and couldn't go back to the Physical Realm with a hole in her chest. So, she took the opportunity to go wandering around and prying the spren for information.


Remaining questions though: why did she manifest where she did in the epilogue? When Hoid asks her, she replied she was "pressed at the time of my escape". Now, this certainly could mean her escape from the assassins, but what does that have to do with her return to the Physical Realm? Alternatively, it could mean that she was pressed while in Shadesmar, and had to escape from there. Again, echoes of Moiraine....


So, all in all, more questions than answers. I'm glad my favorite character is back, and I can't wait to find out the rest of the story.

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Great analysis! About Jasnah escaping, I think it's generally agreed that Jasnah escaped via Elsecalling, her other Surge, since travelling to Shadesmar by Soulcasting seems to leave her body behind. Since we don't know the mechanics of that surge, we'll probably have to wait until the next book to find out exactly what happened. My personal theory is that she had to choose her destination when hopping into Shadesmar, and it just took her a very long time to get there.

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I could see Jasnah abandoning a boatload of innocents she couldn't save. I figure she woke up, determined the Ghostbloods had sent in overwhelming force, and did an emergency jump to escape. I took what she said on returning as indicating her ability would bring her back some fixed period into the future and she was in too much of a hurry to set it carefully. If she'd awoken when the boat got Soulcast, I would have expected her to either make a stormlight-enhanced swim or Soulcast herself a raft, since she wound up out of contact for quite a while.

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I have a feeling Jasnah used up her stormlight healing herself and traveling to Shadesmar and then was stuck there. She indicated to Wit that she had just managed to escape.

Escaped from Shadesmar? From some faction in Shadesmar?

Edited by Wileygirl13
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