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Unseen winds, the Spiritual Realm, and the Child of Tanavast


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25 minutes ago, Palantir Watcher said:

I really like your theory! I specially like how it manages to explain Kal being the "Child of Tanavast". 

Sadly I don't know enough to make any (potentially) useful comments. So I hope someone else sees this, cause I feel like it's a pretty good theory

Thanks! It’s one of my more unexpected theories considering where it started and where it ended up. 

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8 minutes ago, mathiau said:

Though the anticipationsprens are a red herring, their tong vibrate because they move them not because of Honour's wind

That’s probably right. I debated about even including them because they don’t seem to fit with the others. 

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9 minutes ago, Andy92 said:

The line you quoted from OB when Dalinar opens the portal to Shadesmar and Kal sees the huge rush of wind also ties in nicely to Odium presumably seeing Honor’s power alive once more.  

Ooh, good call! He does say that right after Dalinar opens the perp. 

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I love this! It's such an elegant interpretation, one that illuminates a lot of the more miraculous things Kaladin does.  

1 hour ago, mdross81 said:

And Kal starts to look like someone who, by acting honorably, attunes his heart to Honor's power (much like how a listener might attune a particular rhythm). In so doing, he more or less functions as a focus for pulling some of Honor's power through from the Spiritual Realm in the form of winds, much as the metals on Scadrial or the symbols on Sel become a conduit for power. And by doing so, Kal becomes a banner, flapping in those winds, a symbol to others that Honor's power remains and can still be accessed. Someone to show them the way and increase the number of hearts in which Honor still lives.

I'd like to add something that I've seen that I feel supports this theory, specifically that there is a strong element of choice/agreement in surges that are more closely aligned with Honor. The best I can phrase this is that Honor is often called a god of laws, and that those laws are subject to agreement by the governed.


“Giving up all pretense of obeying natural laws again, I see,” he said. 

“Natural laws?” Syl said, finding the concept amusing. “Laws are of men, Kaladin. Nature doesn’t have them!” 

“If I toss something upward, it comes back down.” 

“Except when it doesn’t.” 

“It’s a law.” 

“No,” Syl said, looking upward. “It’s more like . . . more like an agreement among friends.”

WoR Chapter 9: Walking the Grave


The spren claimed it was not Surgebinding that let them walk on the walls here; the long-standing presence of the honorspren instead allowed the tower to choose a different type of natural law.

RoW Chapter 78: High Judge

So I think there is precedent for this idea that Honor's laws (and Honor's powers?) can be guided by widespread agreement. It totally makes sense to me that the more people there are who agree that Kaladin is this hero, this symbol, the more empowered he is by the slivers of Honor that "still live in the hearts of men" and the better a conduit he is. And when he accesses the Spiritual Realm, he's tapping into his ideal self, isn't he? It certainly seems to square the idea that Kaladin is at his most powerful when he's protecting someone, and also being "extra-aligned" to Honor's Intent to a somewhat unhealthy degree. I, too, really like the idea of Kaladin being a subversion of the chosen one trope by being the first to choose to behave this way. (Novelty really is the thing people value the most!) 

I find it also adds some extra dimension to RoW 80, where Kaladin perceives the wind as hating him ... what is that in this context, Kaladin feeling the winds of Odium's storm as opposed to Honor's? 

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3 minutes ago, crème de la crèmling said:

I'd like to add something that I've seen that I feel supports this theory, specifically that there is a strong element of choice/agreement in surges that are more closely aligned with Honor.

This is a great point and frankly something else that I agree comes up over and over again. The theme of characters choosing. 


5 minutes ago, crème de la crèmling said:

find it also adds some extra dimension to RoW 80, where Kaladin perceives the wind as hating him ... what is that in this context, Kaladin feeling the winds of Odium's storm as opposed to Honor's

Also a really good point and presumably why that particular nightmare had such an impact on Kal, who at that point is used to feeling beloved by the winds.

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I do wonder if a lot of the spren references is their look imitating the wind or if there is an actual cognitive wind that are affecting the spren.

Also small theory, some of the spren look more human like are the ones 'closer' to Honor, because they see him looking human, so they imitated him.

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1 hour ago, apepi said:

I do wonder if a lot of the spren references is their look imitating the wind or if there is an actual cognitive wind that are affecting the spren.

I had thought about this too, but it seems there’s no wind in the cognitive realm.

From OB 97


Eventually, Kaladin saw something out on the horizon, beyond where Syl sat on the rocks. Yes, that was a ship, sailing in from the west. Except … it didn’t have a sail. Had he even felt wind in Shadesmar? He didn’t think so.

Also, from OB 116:


Kaladin thought he could hear the wind as he stepped from beneath the obsidian trees. Syl said this place had no wind. Yet was that the tinkling of glass leaves as they quivered? Was that the sigh of cool, fresh air coursing around him?

Note in this second one that Kal is feeling the wind anyway.  I think this is because of the gloryspren heading toward Dalinar as he’s about to open the perpendicularity.

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  • 2 months later...

Just popping back by this topic to add in another moment I came across where it feels like these unseen winds show up during a pivotal scene, possibly even subtly nudging characters who are sufficiently attuned to Honor in the right direction. It's in OB 118 when Jasnah stops herself from killing Renarin:


Jasnah raised her Blade over Renarin’s head.

Make it quick. Make it painless.

Most threats to a dynasty come from within.

Renarin was obviously corrupted. She’d know there was a problem the moment she’d read that he had predicted the Everstorm. Now, Jasnah had to be strong. She had to do what was right, even when it was so, so hard.

She prepared to swing, but then Renarin turned and looked at her. Tears streaming down his face, he met her eyes, and he nodded.

Suddenly they were young again. He was a trembling child, weeping on her shoulder for a father who didn’t seem to be able  to feel love. Little Renarin, always so solemn. Always misunderstood, laughed at and condemned by people who said similar things about Jasnah behind her back.

Jasnah froze, as if standing at the edge of a cliff. Wind blew threw the temple, carrying with it a pair of spren in the form of golden spheres, bobbing in the currents.

Jasnah dismissed her sword.

“Jasnah?” Ivory said, appearing back in the form of a man, clinging to her collar.

Jasnah fell to her knees, then pulled Renarin into an embrace. He broke down crying like he had as a boy, burying his head in her shoulder.

"What's wrong with me?" Renarin asked. "Why do I see these things? I thought I was doing something right, with Glys, but somehow it's all wrong.."

"Hush," Jasnah whispered. "We'll find a way through it, Renarin. Whatever it is, we'll fix it. We'll survive this, somehow."

Storms. The things he'd said about Dalinar ...

"Jasnah," Ivory said, becoming full size as he stepped free of her collar. He leaned down. "Jasnah, this is right. Somehow it is." He seemed completely stunned. "It is not what makes sense, yet it is still right. How. How is this thing?"

Renarin pulled back from her, his tear-stained eyes going wide. "I saw you kill me."

"It's all right, Renarin. I'm not going to."

"But don't you see? Don't you understand what that means?

Jasnah shook her head,

"Jasnah," Renarin said. "My visions was wrong about you. What I see ... it can be wrong."

As mentioned up top in my original post, we know those unseen winds were blowing around this time as part of what was about to happen with Dalinar. But it's interesting to see the change happen here in terms of what Jasnah, Renarin, and Ivory think is right. The scene begins with Jasnah reluctantly resigned to killing her cousin because she thinks it's "right."

But then she freezes and the "wind" blows through the temple carrying the gloryspren, and she changes her mind. Part of me wonders if this is even actual wind, or just currents from the Spiritual Realm that she is able to feel because she's acting honorably. To quote the Stormfather, this may be Jasnah experiencing "the winds that men must feel," and Jasnah can feel them because "Honor is not dead so long as he lives in the hearts of men."

Even Ivory is impacted, suddenly realizing that, even though it's not what makes sense, it's right. Renarin to gets some reassurance that he's been doing the right thing with Glys too and is pushed toward toward the realization that his visions can be wrong; that they can change things.

My original post really focused mainly on times where the winds seem to aid Kaladin, but I'm sure there are other key turning-point moments like this where a character is making a choice, and there's a conspicuous mention of the wind or a breeze blowing.

Sometimes, it even goes the other way, with windspren being scared away from Odious behavior, as in WoR I-11, just before Eshonai, bearing stormform, carries out her coup:


Eshonai regarded the others of the Five. Today's clear sky rained down white sunlight, and a few windspren approached on a breeze. They stopped when they grew near, then zipped away in the opposite direction.

Lastly, this brings me around to the thought that sunlight on Roshar may be associated in some way with Odium. Here we have it raining down on Eshonai.

Then there's this line from Szeth atop Urithiru in WoR I-10:


Bright sunlight shone down to banish the shadows, which kept those screams to a minimum. The screamers deserved their deaths, of course. They should have killed Szeth. I hate you. I hate ... everyone. Glories within, what a strange emotion.

He did not look up. He would not meet the gaze of the God of Gods. But it was good to be in the sunlight.

There's also this bit from Edgedancer chapter 3 about wearing a shiqua to cover up before "Nun-Raylisi":


Nissiqqan was the deputy scribe of immigration on duty for today. The older man was wrapped head-to-toe in a yellow shiqua, though he'd pulled the face portion down to expose a furrowed face with a cleft chin. They were in home lands, and the need to cover up before Nun Raylisi - the enemy of their god - was minimal. Tashi supposedly protected them here.

Perhaps others have previously picked up on this association between Odium and the sun, but I've only just started to notice it.

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