Shardcast: Keeping Up With The Kholins (Elhokar, Aesudan, and Jasnah)


We're continuing what was supposed to be a brief dive into Kholin family dynamics. Unfortunately we recorded for five hours about it, so "brief" didn't really come into it. Last time we discussed Gavilar and Navani's relationships, now we continue Gavilar's side of the family. We nerd out about how well Elhokar is written (so effectively a twerp), Aesudan conspiracy theories, and of course, Jasnah's amazingness. 

Check out last week's episode here: http://www.17thshard.com/news/shardcast/keeping-up-with-kholins-1/

 




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thejopen27

Posted (edited)

One of the things I'm most unclear about with both Aesudan and Amaram is how conscious their choices were. Did Odium subtly corrupt them over time until their thoughts weren't their own? or were they made an offer by Odium and chose to accept it? I don't know. We have evidence that Odium and the Unmade can corrupt people who have been under his subtle influence into taking actions they otherwise wouldn't when we see the Sadeas troops suddenly and against their will turn against Thaylen City and we see Odium attempt to take-over Dalinar at the confrontation at the breach. 

One of the aspects of Oathbringer I was least satisfied with were the unexpected and unexplained conversions of Amaram from a selfish, petty, arrogant hypocrite to turning to Odium and selling out humanity. He was for the restoration of the Heralds and Vorinism, how did he turn to Odium? Aesudan was a petty, spoiled, vain, opulent, greedy, ambitious queen, that doesn't mean she was scheming with the forces of Odium. 

I believe Amaram was corrupted by the Thrill, Nergaoul, until he was in a place where he could be taken over by Yelig-nar while Aesudan was corrupted by Ashertmarn until she could be dominated by Yelig-nar. Or possibly they were corrupted to the point that they were amenible whe Odium or his agents appeared and offered them immense power and glory. 

I hope that in Book 4 we learn more about what happened to Aesudan and Amaram, or at least we see how this process works. The closest we've seen is what happened to Dalinar, but it fail with him. 

Edited by thejopen27

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2 minutes ago, thejopen27 said:

One of the things I'm most unclear about with both Aesudan and Amaram is how conscious their choices were. Did Odium subtly corrupt them over time until their thoughts weren't their own? or were they made an offer by Odium and chose to accept it? I don't know. We have evidence that Odium and the Unmade can corrupt people who have been under his subtle influence into taking actions they otherwise wouldn't when we see the Sadeas troops suddenly and against their will turn against Thaylen City and we see Odium attempt to take-over Dalinar at the confrontation at the breach. 

One of the aspects of Oathbringer I was least satisfied with were the unexpected and unexplained conversions of Amaram from a selfish, petty, arrogant hypocrite to turning to Odium and selling out humanity. He was for the restoration of the Heralds and Vorinism, how did he turn to Odium? Aesudan was a petty, spoiled, vain, opulent, greedy, ambitious queen, that doesn't mean she was scheming with the forces of Odium. 

I believe Amaram was corrupted by the Thrill, Nergaoul, until he was in a place where he could be taken over by Yelig-nar while Aesudan was corrupted by Ashertmarn until she could be dominated by Yelig-nar. Or possibly they were corrupted to the point that they were amenible whe Odium or his agents appeared and offered them immense power and glory. 

Doesn't Odium tell him to swallow the stone, to gain the powers he was promised. I'd say for Amaram he was offered power.

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Philomath

Posted (edited)

First time commenting on Shardcast. I look forward to these every week. And these Kholin episodes have been fantastic. It seems like despite getting to know them for 3 books, there is still so much we don’t know and may never know. It is super exciting. 

Few thoughts I had while listening this week. Another reason Elhokar might have defended Aesudan so much is that if Gavilar introduced them or threw his support behind her due to Sons of Honor connections (which I would believe 100%) maybe Elhokar felt like “But Dad liked her. Dad wanted her. How could he be wrong?” Just another feeling of living in a shadow. 

And I think Jasnah has a huge blind spot for Gavilar. I don’t know how she can get bad vibes from Amaram and Aesudan and not anything strange from her dad. 

And thinking of Renarin. If Truthwatchers are supposed to be able to understand the truth about people and situations, then he seemed to have that down as a kid. I can’t wait to see more of his relationship with Jasnah. 

All in all, the Kholins are complicated and all the more awesome for it. 

Edited by Philomath
Fixed spelling problems

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Chaos- "I find Elhokar to be one of Brandon's... best written characters."  I laughed so hard at everyone's reactions.

tumblr_inline_p1brmcd9Dk1rr08jv_500.jpg

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I look forward to Queen Jasnah, as someone brought up, that she will have to accept what her Subject Matter Experts bring her. As someone that has devoted her entire life to one cause she will have to find a way to accept the details as given, make a judgement and move on. She can no longer pore over one topic, burning the candle at both ends, for months or even years on end towards her goals. If she doesn't learn to do this, she could be known as a tyrant that bends her entire nation with an iron fist to her ends. 

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2 hours ago, Naurock said:

I look forward to Queen Jasnah, as someone brought up, that she will have to accept what her Subject Matter Experts bring her. As someone that has devoted her entire life to one cause she will have to find a way to accept the details as given, make a judgement and move on. She can no longer pore over one topic, burning the candle at both ends, for months or even years on end towards her goals. If she doesn't learn to do this, she could be known as a tyrant that bends her entire nation with an iron fist to her ends. 

I look forward to the point when, doing my reread for book seven, I get to the point in WoK where Elhokar is introduced and think, "oh yeah, Jasnah wasn't queen back then, that is so weird and funny."

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22 hours ago, thejopen27 said:

One of the things I'm most unclear about with both Aesudan and Amaram is how conscious their choices were. Did Odium subtly corrupt them over time until their thoughts weren't their own? or were they made an offer by Odium and chose to accept it? I don't know. We have evidence that Odium and the Unmade can corrupt people who have been under his subtle influence into taking actions they otherwise wouldn't when we see the Sadeas troops suddenly and against their will turn against Thaylen City and we see Odium attempt to take-over Dalinar at the confrontation at the breach. 

One of the aspects of Oathbringer I was least satisfied with were the unexpected and unexplained conversions of Amaram from a selfish, petty, arrogant hypocrite to turning to Odium and selling out humanity. He was for the restoration of the Heralds and Vorinism, how did he turn to Odium? Aesudan was a petty, spoiled, vain, opulent, greedy, ambitious queen, that doesn't mean she was scheming with the forces of Odium. 

I believe Amaram was corrupted by the Thrill, Nergaoul, until he was in a place where he could be taken over by Yelig-nar while Aesudan was corrupted by Ashertmarn until she could be dominated by Yelig-nar. Or possibly they were corrupted to the point that they were amenible whe Odium or his agents appeared and offered them immense power and glory. 

I hope that in Book 4 we learn more about what happened to Aesudan and Amaram, or at least we see how this process works. The closest we've seen is what happened to Dalinar, but it fail with him. 

I also was a little confused by all the talk with Aesudan. I might have just missed it, but I never figured that she was this manipulative person. I just assumed that she was corrupted over time and that's why her personality changed. But here's hoping that we get some answers as to how the process works like you said. I'd like to know how much of their ideas they believed were actually theirs. Was it like Ruin and his mental talking, or was it Odium/Unmade going "hey you are mine now, do this"

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21 hours ago, Naurock said:

I look forward to Queen Jasnah, as someone brought up, that she will have to accept what her Subject Matter Experts bring her. As someone that has devoted her entire life to one cause she will have to find a way to accept the details as given, make a judgement and move on. She can no longer pore over one topic, burning the candle at both ends, for months or even years on end towards her goals. If she doesn't learn to do this, she could be known as a tyrant that bends her entire nation with an iron fist to her ends. 

I think the thing that Jasnah will struggle with as queen is that people will still argue and not agree with her despite her logic and frankly being the smartest person in the room. She can deal with a little lack of respect for herself personally when people think she’s a heretic. It’s not personal for her. Same with her scholarly pursuits up until now. But as queen trying to make the best decisions for a nation and a world, she will not like that people won’t listen. Or that they won’t accept her decisions as the “best” course of action. 

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Am I the only one that instantly thinks of Team Rocket from the Pokemon TV show when the word 'Twerp' is used? Anyone?

Also, I hadn't really considered Aesudan being one of Gavilar's Sons of Honor associates, and it does make quite a lot of sense. Gavilar was fond of playing Secret Society Matchmaker.

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@Wyndlerunner, you aren't the only one with Team Rocket on your mind!

Guys excellent podcast! You blew my mind with the Aesudan and Sons of Honor theory!! It really makes a lot of sense. Elhokar gives off the impression that even before Gavilar's death, he would do anything to please his father. If this theory is correct than my impression of Aesudan, as a power hungry, manipulative individual, is not too far off. What's to say that Gavilar hadn't shown her his plans and set her and Elhokar up and have Amaram and Jasnah together as a safe guard/guarantee that the Sons of Honor would be in a position of power when the Desolation arrives. After all, Alethkar is a strong military power and would be vital in a world war, and through the Desolation, Alethkar could spread across Roshar, setting up colonies everywhere, i.e. Babanartham as an Alethi colony with an Alethi ruler or a Babanarthi in agreeance with Alethkar. As for Aesudan, which is a storming good villain name, I was under the impression that she purposefully ruled terribly to bring in the Unmade, i.e. Ashertmarn, etc. Perhaps she had communicated with Odium or a higher Voidspren and came to conclusion that she had to weaken Kholinar to set up a home base for the Fused and the Listener army that was to come. At any rate, she doesn't come off to me as incapable, perhaps delusions of grandeur, like expecting her to master the Unmade/creature she ingested. I think perhaps Jasnah saw a glimpse of her true colors which is why she almost had her assassinated. Jasnah seems to be an excellent judge of character. As for Jasnah, Brandon does an excellent job with her. I could see it being so easy to make her a one note character, but she really is so complex. I definitely shed some tears when her and Renarin embrace in OB. They out of all the Kholins, maybe besides Dalinar seem to be cut from the same cloth. Her and Renarin seem to have felt out of place or gangly at some point. They almost don't fit in with the traditional "Alethi standard." And the way Jasnah encourages Renarin to be Radiant is absolutely adorable. And, yes Chaos, Elhokar is a ridiculously amazingly written character! He comes off as simultaneously sympathetic and an irritant, like that annoying little brother or sister or cousin. His growth, as a person, is also really subtle, I was always surprised when Shallan or Kaladin or Adolin would make a comment on how surprisingly kingly he would act in Kholinar. I dunno what got me the most in the end Elhokar so close to saying the Words, his poor son in his arms, or dumb dumb Moash giving the Bridge Four salute to Kaladin after he kills Elhokar. I bawled my eyes out and screamed with rage at stupid Moash! I can name a handful of characters that have made me feel the extreme range of emotions like Elhokar does; he truly is a gem. Thanks guys for the great listen!! B)

 

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This podcast and the last one have me making this comparison:

ADmeme3.jpg.ae8cd49e66d800fb16d5695191913e86.jpg

 

Does anyone else think the Kholins are the (somewhat) nicer, more competent Bluth family? I can't decide if Elhokar is Gob or Buster, but Gavilar is definitely George senior!

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thejopen27

Posted (edited)

On 9/15/2018 at 9:00 AM, Potus said:

I also was a little confused by all the talk with Aesudan. I might have just missed it, but I never figured that she was this manipulative person. I just assumed that she was corrupted over time and that's why her personality changed. But here's hoping that we get some answers as to how the process works like you said. I'd like to know how much of their ideas they believed were actually theirs. Was it like Ruin and his mental talking, or was it Odium/Unmade going "hey you are mine now, do this"

I can see her being a bad person, but I was left unsure whether she was like, a cult of Odium member who was conspiring to bring back Odium, or just an easily corruptible person who was warped by Odium. Same with Amaram. He was involved with a secret society plotting to bring back the gods. He was a bad person. Was he actually, secretly an Odium devotee? Did he know what he was doing the whole time with Odium, did he suddenly snap under intense direct pressure, or was he slowly corrupted over time? 

Brandon is muddying the waters by having all the "Bad" people be secret Odium supporters. (or are they just open to Odium's corruption?)

Edited by thejopen27

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I figured Aesudan had maybe cracks in her Spiritweb/personality? Like Shallan's brother, Balat, how he tortures creatures, almost like he's been driven to that because of the abuse/cracks in his personality/Spiritweb probably from his upbringing? Perhaps there are just some people who have a better resonance with Odium's influence? Maybe something in the person's soul? For example, if Odium or the Unmade influenced Shallan's family to the point of almost destruction, why not Shallan or Helaran? Why did they not fall under the influence of Odium and instead formed a Nahel Bond? (Personally, I think Cultivation had something to do with Shallan as she probably forsaw Shallan and her eventual relationship with the Kholins.) However,  I would assume the answer to these questions and to that of Aesudan are linked. I feel that something corruptible must already exist in you to fall under Odium's influence. I would think that Aesudan invited and welcomed Odium's influence, but probably thought she could control it to her advantage, until ultimately it backfired. I'm sure we'll get a flashback or two hinting at her personality and I think we'll find a shrewd, calculating, if a bit naive, woman - i.e. I don't think she was particularly nice, I mean look at how she seems to ignore Gavinor, poor thing.

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2 hours ago, thejopen27 said:

I can see her being a bad person, but I was left unsure whether she was like, a cult of Odium member who was conspiring to bring back Odium, or just an easily corruptible person who was warped by Odium. Same with Amaram. He was involved with a secret society plotting to bring back the gods. He was a bad person. Was he actually, secretly an Odium devotee? Did he know what he was doing the whole time with Odium, did he suddenly snap under intense direct pressure, or was he slowly corrupted over time? 

Brandon is muddying the waters by having all the "Bad" people be secret Odium supporters. (or are they just open to Odium's corruption?)

I just feel like Brandon could have fleshed out Amaram and the reason why he suddenly went to Odium's side. I think it would have been cool to get a Son's of Honor pov from his perspective. Maybe those parts were moved for later books flashbacks. Or we may never know

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robardin

Posted

On 9/27/2018 at 5:13 PM, Potus said:

I just feel like Brandon could have fleshed out Amaram and the reason why he suddenly went to Odium's side. I think it would have been cool to get a Son's of Honor pov from his perspective. Maybe those parts were moved for later books flashbacks. Or we may never know

I thought it was enough to have Amaram's own words on the subject...

Quote

"It's not Amaram I speak to anymore, is it? Who, or what, are you?"

"Oh, it's me," Amaram said. ... "Odium promised me something grand, and that promise has been kept. With honor."

"You still pretend to speak of honor?"

"Everything I do is for honor. ... It was honor that drove me to seek the return of the Heralds, of powers, and of our god."

"So you could join the other side?"

... "Odium showed me what the Heralds have become. We spent years trying to get them to return. But they were here all along. They abandoned us, spearman."

What wasn't clear to me was whether or not the Sons of Honor, headed by the Restares we seen references to but have yet to see "on page", have gone over to Odium as an organization, or if it was just Amaram. He only uses the first person singular throughout, except for when he refers to the SoH as "we" in terms of "trying to get [the Heralds] to return", so I think it's just him.

From his POV, he had worked with the SoH to "bring back the Heralds" by intentionally precipitating another Desolation, which would result in the return of the Radiants and True Vorinism. Then he learned that the Heralds broke (or tried to break) the Oathpact and have stepped completely away from leading humanity in any capacity, and that Honor was dead, so what is left?

Besides, as we see further, Amaram not only wanted the power that Odium promised him (all ten Surges - thanks to merging with Yelig-nar), but also for Odium to "take his pain" - the guilt he feels for betraying his own ideals in murdering his own men (Kaladin's squad) to steal the Shards. "You were supposed to be better than this!" Kaladin threw at him; and he had agreed, but did it anyway.

"You've switched sides to find peace, Amaram. But you won't ever have it. He'll never give it to you."

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17 hours ago, robardin said:

I thought it was enough to have Amaram's own words on the subject...

What wasn't clear to me was whether or not the Sons of Honor, headed by the Restares we seen references to but have yet to see "on page", have gone over to Odium as an organization, or if it was just Amaram. He only uses the first person singular throughout, except for when he refers to the SoH as "we" in terms of "trying to get [the Heralds] to return", so I think it's just him.

From his POV, he had worked with the SoH to "bring back the Heralds" by intentionally precipitating another Desolation, which would result in the return of the Radiants and True Vorinism. Then he learned that the Heralds broke (or tried to break) the Oathpact and have stepped completely away from leading humanity in any capacity, and that Honor was dead, so what is left?

Besides, as we see further, Amaram not only wanted the power that Odium promised him (all ten Surges - thanks to merging with Yelig-nar), but also for Odium to "take his pain" - the guilt he feels for betraying his own ideals in murdering his own men (Kaladin's squad) to steal the Shards. "You were supposed to be better than this!" Kaladin threw at him; and he had agreed, but did it anyway.

"You've switched sides to find peace, Amaram. But you won't ever have it. He'll never give it to you."

Okay, this makes a little more sense know. But it's still a little of a letdown that it all happened off screen and we only saw it at the end. But I understand Sanderson had trouble fitting it in with all the other stuff. Oh well, that's life

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