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Kaladin's real issue.


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3 hours ago, Calderis said:

Kaladin doesn't need to let go of the past, or learn when to care. He doesn't need to forgive himself for his failures. Kaladin needs to recognize that doing his best and failing requires no forgiveness, and that he can't protect people from themselves.

Yes. I agree with this. I think that he has to accept that you can’t protect others from their own choices, which fits with the “take responsibility” theme—other people’s choices are not your responsibility. 

I speculated that his fourth oath will come in an attack on Urithiru when his father or Laral goes to sacrifice themselves or put themselves in danger and he has to let them go. And he learns not just to let them, but to be at peace with that choice.

i think I’d describe it as “being at peace” more than forgiveness but I think that’s 6 of one, half dozen of another probably. 

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I agree. I discussed it somewhere that Kaladin being benched and windrunners being taken away from him, painful though it was to read, was necessary. 
He needs to let go! He needs to let go of his windrunners. They are not his to control and protect all the time. He trained them well, gave them weapons ( their radiancy ) and now he must learn to trust in them. In their ability to protect themselves or in their choice to still fight and sacrifice themselves for their cause. 

Kaladin does not know but I think he will be surprised by them. Once they know they don’t have Kaladin to save them, I think their training and prowess will shine through. 

Edited by The Traveller
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I like it! That's a very nice way of putting it.

I definitely like it better than the oath being about "forgiving himself", that always seemed a bit off but I could never place why.

Thinking back to the times he's failed to swear the oath... once was when he was failing to protect Dalinar at Thaylen City. Dalinar was there because of his own choices, he was of course putting himself in danger to save the city. So that fits. The other times he's failed at swearing it is when he freezes - when he can't protect his Windrunners who are there because they're choosing to fight. I think it fits!

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23 hours ago, Calderis said:

It seems to be the consensus that Kaladin cares too much. That he needs to forgive himself for his failures. That he needs to learn the advice his father always tried to teach him to "choose when to care" and to grow calluses... 

I disagree. Caring is fine. Grieving is fine. Kaladin's issue, in my mind, has never been about caring too much. And it's not about forgiving himself either. His biggest issue, to me, is summed up by Syl when Kal finds Eth's body shortly after Szeth's first attack in Dalinar. 

I underlined that last bit because that's it. Kaladin doesn't just want to protect people from harm. He wants to protect them from their own choices. He blames himself for the things other people choose to do. It's why he was scared of Bridge Four forming romantic relationships because it would be harder to protect them. 

Whether it's the slaves that died in revolts he lead. Or Sah and the other singers he knew, or Moash... He has to respect other people's choices. Whether that means that they go into battle for the same reasons as him and die doing what they believe is right, or that puts them at odds with him and results in them fighting, and even dying by his hand... They made their own choices and that isn't his fault. 

Kaladin doesn't need to let go of the past, or learn when to care. He doesn't need to forgive himself for his failures. Kaladin needs to recognize that doing his best and failing requires no forgiveness, and that he can't protect people from themselves.

He needs to recognize that there's nothing to forgive himself for. 

I think that this fits nicely with everything that we have seen thus far. His freezing up and being able to swear the oath in Shadesmar and nearly giving in to Moash in Hearthstone does seem to follow this dynamic. In Shadesmar they were outnumbered and Dalinar  chose to confront Odium. There was nothing that he could do to stop what was going on here. Shallan and Adolin were fighting back against a superior force with little chance of survival. Odium a Shard could flatten Dalinar and Kaladin could only watch. Moash hits him that eventually everyone that he cares about will die. Kal cannot really deal with this. He is consumed by this inability of others to make their own choices and live with the consequences. In a way it is poetic for Shardplate to come with this oath. It is a form of protection and strength to help one overcome some decisions that a person might make on the battlefield. It may not always succeed, but it adds agency to people to make dangerous choices which may yet still be the right ones. 

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Kaladin most definitely has this block, but it seems like it would be particular to Kaladin, which also means it probably isn't at the core of the Fourth Ideal.

We know he started to say the Fourth Ideal in Shadesmar, but stuttered and "failed" after "I... I will...", which formula doesn't tell us much of what would have followed.

But, we also know (since this is the RoW Spoiler forum) that not only has he not reached the Fourth Ideal in the year plus since that near-miss, no other Windrunner has, either - despite approximately 50 more people bonding honorspren and reaching the Third Ideal. And Yunfah, the lone unbonded honorspren who had lost his Radiant in combat: one might reasonably assume that meant at the hands of a Heavenly One (such as almost happened to Sigzil), which also apparently means reaching the Third Ideal as I don't think un-Bladed (or Speared) Radiants would be going up one-on-one against them.

Yunfah's previous Radiant had died "a few months ago", yet had to have only formed the bond after Thaylen Fields, so... From First to Third in 8-9 months?

So it would seem that many people have rather quickly advanced to the Third Ideal of the Windrunners.  Teft commented on how Laran swearing the Third Ideal "was hard on her, as it was with most of us" (maybe not so hard for Lopen...? Hope to read that scene in Dawnshard!) - but surely, that block about "I can't save everybody" can't be shared with FIFTY PLUS other Windrunners?

Kaladin himself wonders if they're somehow holding themselves back so as not to surpass him in the Ideals, but I don't think that's how the Nahel Bond works.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if Kaladin's expression of the Fourth Ideal had to do with this, though. The Fourth is obviously tough, and Unknown Windrunner Blocked at the Third Ideal in the Urithiru gemstone archives commented, "Am I not supposed to want to help people?". But specifically, "I can't save everyone [else]!" is a Kaladin thing, just like how the person Teft had to overcome hating to actively protect was not someone like Elhokar or Roshone as it was for Kaladin, but himself.

Edited by robardin
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First time poster here. 

I think Kaladin’s issue and his next step is along the leading side. His guilt comes from his belief that he can change things or fix things or prevent things. Kaladin is hyper competent and this leads to an arrogance or overconfidence. It makes sense that Windrunners would need an oath to restrain them from tyrannical style leading or even benevolent authoritarian behaviors. I think Kalandin needs to learn to give others agency even if it puts them at risk. He needs to learn that his guilt is can be an excuse to deny people their freedom to choose and to lead their own lives. 

I’m starting to believe that his fourth oath will be something like “I will not protect everyone” both acknowledging that he can’t but also affirming that he won’t. 

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