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Another theory on Elokar


Sylarsix

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I’m not sure how many theories there are about Elokar’s fate, and I’m not sure if this has been brought forward before, and also that Brandon Sanderson has said he’d chill with it, but year me out. Assuming everyone on Roshar that dies does go to some sort of afterlife, and assuming the Tranquiline Halls and Damnation are where they go when they die, could it be that one of those places is where the late king went, would it be overly far fetched that with the help Jasnah, or Someone with her similar powers, perhaps with Dalinar’s help, could travel to those places without needing to die? Could they perhaps retrieve him for a hefty price of either Stormlight or in exchange for someone else? Just a possible theory 

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A lot of what the Rosharans believe about the afterlife is basically myths. If you haven't read Mistborn yet, I would suggest doing that, and getting all the way through to Secret History, as that would answer some of your questions.

But Elhokar's Blade appeared, he stopped glowing, and his Cryptic is bonded to someone else. He's pretty clearly permanently dead.

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Also, on a writing perspective I don't see it happening. I don't have the WOB in front of me, but Brandon says one of his greatest writing errors was how he dealt with Jasnah's death. He felt it was too cheesy to bring her back and he wrote it badly. That being said, I don't see him bringing back anyone else in stormlight

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19 minutes ago, Nellac said:

Also, on a writing perspective I don't see it happening. I don't have the WOB in front of me, but Brandon says one of his greatest writing errors was how he dealt with Jasnah's death. He felt it was too cheesy to bring her back and he wrote it badly. That being said, I don't see him bringing back anyone else in stormlight

Actually, he felt that it wasn't obvious enough that Jasnah wasn't dead. He never intended her to be dead, and thought it was obvious enough that she wasn't (her body disappearing) until fans got confused.

Edited by RShara
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The Tranquiline Halls and Damnation are dim recollections of the other planets in the Rosharan System. Kaladin at one point mentions that the latter is also known as Braize in old songs, so some memory of that survives. Likewise Brandon has confirmed that the Tranquiline Halls idea is based on a recollection of Ashyn, the world humanity originally inhabited in the system before most of the population fled the cataclysm for Roshar.. The historical record on Roshar ranges from spotty to non-existent and pretty much everything prior to the fall of the Hierocracy is suspect due to the tampering or destructiion of records by the Vorin church.

Without going into Cosmere mechanics about death (which make your idea... unlikely) there's this WoB that makes it clear that Elhokar is lucky to have lasted as long as he did but he's very very dead:

Quote

Zantis

Was Elhokar going to be a Windrunner squire or was he going to be a different Order?

Brandon Sanderson

He was actually going to be a Lightweaver.

Zantis

Interesting.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. And some interesting story with him because--here's a little tidbit for you... In the original draft that I wrote in 2002 I pushed him far enough that Dalinar had to kill him. It came to blows. And I never quite liked how that turned out, so in the 2010 version we had a different path for Elhokar. But he's been doomed from a long time ago, poor guy.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 (March 1, 2018)

 

Edited by Weltall
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I’m not denying Elokar is fully dead with his blade appearing and all, all I was suggesting was what if the afterlife in the Roshar system was a place a powerful enough surgebinder or combination of surgerbinders could travel there, we all know he’s dead and not so ceremonially buried. And hey maybe they wouldn’t go there to retrieve him, I see now that would be highly unlikely, but if they traveled there for information from someone who’s dead

Edited by Sylarsix
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1 hour ago, Sylarsix said:

I’m not denying Elokar is fully dead with his blade appearing and all, all I was suggesting was what if the afterlife in the Roshar system was a place a powerful enough surgebinder or combination of surgerbinders could travel there, we all know he’s dead and not so ceremonially buried. And hey maybe they wouldn’t go there to retrieve him, I see now that would be highly unlikely, but if they traveled there for information from someone who’s dead

Long story short, we are fairly certain that the Rosharan afterlife isn't a place, the "Tranquiline halls" are mostly superstition mixed with the fact that the Rosharans originally came from Ashyn, but had to migrate after they destroyed it.

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2 hours ago, Sylarsix said:

I’m not denying Elokar is fully dead with his blade appearing and all, all I was suggesting was what if the afterlife in the Roshar system was a place a powerful enough surgebinder or combination of surgerbinders could travel there, we all know he’s dead and not so ceremonially buried. And hey maybe they wouldn’t go there to retrieve him, I see now that would be highly unlikely, but if they traveled there for information from someone who’s dead

We have a pretty good idea of what happens after the physical body dies. You should definitely read through Mistborn Era 1, 2, and Secret History, as there are major spoilers for those books in any in depth answer we could give you.

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20 minutes ago, RShara said:

We have a pretty good idea of what happens after the physical body dies. You should definitely read through Mistborn Era 1, 2, and Secret History, as there are major spoilers for those books in any in depth answer we could give you.

Yeah I’ve read them all, but I’m also a tad uncertain it’s the same everywhere in the cosmere 

Edited by Sylarsix
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Spolers for Mistborn: secret history:

Spoiler

The "Beyond is the afterlife everywhere in the Cosmere. You can stay as a cognitive shadow, ah la Kelsier, but if you pass on you will go there. Brandon has said that he will leave it open as to whether or not it is an actual afterlife, or you just poof out of existence:

Quote

Questioner

After people die, in this universe, where exactly do they go? Because, at first they appear in this one world, and then they go somewhere else.

Brandon Sanderson

So where do people go when they die. *laughter* In the cosmere. One of the things that's very important to me as a writer, when I am writing stories, is when we get to these kind of fundamental questions about faith and religion and things like this, that the narrative is allowing multiple characters' viewpoints to be plausibly true, if this makes sense. For instance, I am not gonna come out and say, "Is there a capital-G God of the cosmere, is there an afterlife?" These are not questions I'm gonna answer, because in-world, they can't answer them. What they can say is, your Investiture will leave what we call a Cognitive Shadow, which is an imprint of your personality that can do certain things. And that most of those fade away, and you can see them, glimpse them, and then watch them go. But, are they going somewhere? Or are they not? Is that simply the Investiture being reclaimed, Is it more of a Buddhist thought, where your soul is getting recycled and used again? Is it nothing, you return to, you know, being-- yeah, is it a different type of matter? Or is there a Beyond, is there a capital-G God? Things like this. These questions are not answered. I'm never gonna answer those.

Now, the characters will try to answer them. But it's important to me that both Dalinar and Jasnah can exist in the same universe, and that the story is not saying "This one is right, and this one is wrong." The story is saying "This is how this one sees the world; this is how this one sees the world." It's very important to me from the beginning to do that, just because-- Like, I hate reading a book where someone espouses my viewpoint only to get proven wrong by the entire structure of the narrative, and in that universe, that person is wrong. But I'm like, "In our universe, I don't think that I am. Just the way you constructed everything makes it so that I have to be wrong, if I were living in your universe, even if it's a universe that's not a sci-fi/fantasy one." If that makes sense.

This is just kind of for respecting my characters and for the people who hold the viewpoints of my characters, in particular if they happen to be different from my own viewpoints. I feel there are certain lines I'm not gonna cross.

So, the answer is: who do you believe? Which of the philosophies in the books do you look at and say "Yeah!" Or, even better: listen to lots of different ones, and maybe these different viewpoints are all gonna have interesting points that'll give you things to think upon.

 

 

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I think what the original post is assuming is the afterlife on Roshar working differently from the rest of the cosmere. There are slight hints for this in the existence of the screaming voices that Szeth and Dalinar hear:

Quote

Blightsong

Is anything magical going on with the screams Szeth hears?

Brandon Sanderson

Uhhh, Szeth's screams. Uhhm, I'm trying to decide how to answer this. It is not, see here's the thing. What we would call magical may not be considered magical in the Cosmere, but it depends on your definition of magic. Would Szeth if he were on our planet and have done those things would he hear those screams, probably not, but would someone else in the Cosmere who had gone through what he had gone through hear those screams, yes.

Blightsong

So it has to do with the spiritual realm?

Brandon Sanderson

Yea, mhmm, yea.

OdysseyCon 2016 (April 8, 2016)

After all, there seems to be a very short interaction of Evi with Dalinar just after the "You cannot have my pain" scene in Oathbringer, which is very baffling, considering that there has never been an interaction between people in the Beyond and people in the physical realm ever, and Brandon has made very clear that even the existence of the Beyond will never be confirmed. So that's weird. It's also weird that in the Geranid interlude in Way of Kings, they talk about the Spiritual Realm as if it was the Tranquiline Halls, so the place they go when they die. That said:

Quote

FeatherWriter

Is something wrong with Roshar's afterlife?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, why do you ask?

FeatherWriter

Because of the Tranquiline Halls stuff? Needing to reclaim them?

Brandon Sanderson

Um. So, I'm... not going to answer anything about Roshar's afterlife.

Librarypalooza (Feb. 27, 2016)  

On a side-note, we know of at least one person who has gone to the Beyond despite dying while being on Roshar:

Quote

Overlord Jebus

Has Eshonai left for the Beyond?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. I'll canonize this. I'm sorry. 

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 (March 1, 2018)

So, there seems to be something weird to be going on on Roshar, but if that's the case it has to be pretty complicated. There has to be a reason why Evi seems to not have left for the Beyond entirely after dying but Eshonai did, and I don't think we know enough to be able to guess how that could work. But it is weird.

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The screaming voices are likely a Spiritual 'echo' rather than evidence for a uniquely Rosharan afterlife, which jives with Brandon's statement that people from worlds other than Roshar who went through similar experiences to Szeth would experience something similar. We know that the spiritweb persists after death for a long time.

Quote

Argent

Is death in the Cosmere a two-stage process? It seems to me like (under normal circumstances) the body dies first, sending the mind fully in the Cognitive Realm; the soul, presumably, remains in the Spiritual for the entire process. I am a little unclear on what happens after that though - what is it that passes into the Beyond, just the mind? Does the soul / spiritual aspect / Spiritweb just kind of... break down in the Spiritual Realm, turn into free iInvestiture?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. It's a two stage process, and most of what you said is correct. The odd thing is, though, that the Spiritweb doesn't completely break down (just like your body doesn't immediately break down.) Even after a long time, there's a record of that Spiritweb in the Spiritual Realm.

Oversleep

Wait wait wait. If there is a "corpse" of Spiritweb (so to speak) and actual, physical corpse is also there... Could it be still viable for Hemalurgy? Could it be still viable for Hemalurgy if you really know what you're doing and have some useful powers (manipulating Connection comes to mind)?

Could you patch the remnants of the Spiritweb and staple it to the body and end up with some zombie-zombie Lifeless? You'd still need to give it a mind but I figure Awakening is just doing that?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

Stormlight Three Update #6 (Feb. 5, 2017)

 

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3 hours ago, Elegy said:

So, there seems to be something weird to be going on on Roshar, but if that's the case it has to be pretty complicated. There has to be a reason why Evi seems to not have left for the Beyond entirely after dying but Eshonai did, and I don't think we know enough to be able to guess how that could work. But it is weird.

Personally I think Dalinar is hearing the ideal of Evi.  Remember.  Only the cognitive aspect goes to the beyond.  The spiritual aspect can stick around for quite some time.  Dalinar can see the SR and as such can communicate with Evi's perfect self.  The self that is beyond pain or doubt or uncertainty.  That is my head cannon anyway.  I also think Szeth is doing basically the same.  Remember damage in the Cosmere makes you receptive to influences.  Szeth is also sort of a returned who have access to the SR.  I think Szeth is feeling their idealized hatred for him.

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6 hours ago, Karger said:

Personally I think Dalinar is hearing the ideal of Evi.  Remember.  Only the cognitive aspect goes to the beyond.  The spiritual aspect can stick around for quite some time.  Dalinar can see the SR and as such can communicate with Evi's perfect self.  The self that is beyond pain or doubt or uncertainty.  That is my head cannon anyway.  I also think Szeth is doing basically the same.  Remember damage in the Cosmere makes you receptive to influences.  Szeth is also sort of a returned who have access to the SR.  I think Szeth is feeling their idealized hatred for him.

I also think this is the most logical explanation, but Szeth already heard the screaming in his Words of Radiance interlude, before he died and was reborn. Dalinar also started hearing the voices immediately after the mass murder, long before his Bondsmith times. They only went away after his interaction with Cultivation, and came back as soon as the memories returned. We haven't seen something like this happening outside of Roshar, but then again, no other viewpoint character in the Cosmere has ever been responsible for as many deaths as these two. I'm kinda divided on what I think it is.

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3 hours ago, Elegy said:

but Szeth already heard the screaming in his Words of Radiance interlude, before he died and was reborn.

So in the real world I would say they both have PTSD.  In the cosmere this manifests as breaks in the spirit web.  Breaks in the spirit web make you susceptible to various things from the SR(like gaining magical powers or feeling the pain and suffering you have inflicted on others).

3 hours ago, Elegy said:

We haven't seen something like this happening outside of Roshar, but then again, no other viewpoint character in the Cosmere has ever been responsible for as many deaths as these two. I'm kinda divided on what I think it is.

Mistborn spoilers

Spoiler

Wayne has something similar because of another traumatic event.

 

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1 hour ago, Karger said:

So in the real world I would say they both have PTSD.  In the cosmere this manifests as breaks in the spirit web.  Breaks in the spirit web make you susceptible to various things from the SR(like gaining magical powers or feeling the pain and suffering you have inflicted on others).

Mistborn spoilers

  Reveal hidden contents

Wayne has something similar because of another traumatic event.

 

Yeah, I agree (although i don't remember that Mistborn character having a comparanle reaction), but it's still a tad weird that such an imprint would say something like "I forgive you". That and the Geranid interlude make it seem like something unusual might be happening. That said, I don't really believe that Elhokar is hanging out in the Spiritial Realm, just that an argument could be made that there is something irregular going on there - which the original post seems to assume, but noone seemed to understand where they were coming from.

(That said, I just noticed that the original post also mentions Damnation, which is Braize and not the afterlife and only the Heralds and the Fused go there when they die, and even those don't anymore.)

Edited by Elegy
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38 minutes ago, Elegy said:

That said, I don't really believe that Elhokar is hanging out in the Spiritial Realm, just that an argument could be made that there is something irregular going on there

But the Spirit Web does stick around.

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1 hour ago, Karger said:

But the Spirit Web does stick around.

Well, the corpse of the spiritweb sticks around, like a physical corpse does. And you can sometimes contact it and gain information/impressions from it. But it's not really like, aware and active, or anything.

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24 minutes ago, RShara said:

Well, the corpse of the spiritweb sticks around, like a physical corpse does. And you can sometimes contact it and gain information/impressions from it. But it's not really like, aware and active, or anything.

Yeah but all of what we have gotten can be accounted for by the impressions that the people get from the spirit web rather then the spirit web taking action itself.

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