Shardcast: Kaladin


Can you believe that we've never done an actual episode on Kaladin? He's kind of a big deal, and he did a lot in Rhythm of War, so let's get into it. We also, of course, talk about depression and mental illness as well.

This episode we have Eric (Chaos), Ian (Weiry), David (Windrunner), Ben (Overlord Jebus), and Jessie (Lady Lameness)!

Thumbnail art by Ari Ibarra, which is amazing as always: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/qA3EWL

Exmakina's excellent Kaladin and Lirin comic: https://exmakina.tumblr.com/post/635179935258050560/trying-to-remember-how-to-draw-these-nerds-with-a

Hello Future Me's video on writing mental illness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c8o68ghGBM

00:00 Introductions 
4:00 General Thoughts on Kaladin
15:07 Kaladin in Rhythm of War and Mental Health
43:41 Szeth 
52:26 Lirin
1:12:53 Tien
1:24:23 Fifth Ideal
1:31:46 Fight Scenes and the Glowing Yellow Eyes
1:41:16 Lyn
1:44:05 Syl
1:56:03 Leshwi
2:01:47 Adolin and Shallan
2:08:23 Moash
2:11:24 Who will Kaladin end up with?
2:24:28 Who's That Cosmere Character
2:31:39 Random Shadows of Self Spoilers
2:33:55 Back to WTCC

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User Feedback


LadyLameness: 'he's the angsty sad boi with a tragic backstory... therefore I love him.' (paraphrased slightly.)

No need to call me out like that.

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Honorless

Posted (edited)

I will give people the tools to protect themselves is a beautiful 5th Ideal Windrunner oath

We don't really understand the mechanics of how individuals end up more connected to certain Shards beyond their presence on their world and accessing their Investiture, do we? Like, in Mistborn, uh spoilers, I guess

Spoiler

How did Kelsier end up so much more Connected to Ruin than Preservation?

Thematically, it seems like acting like the Shard's Intent I guess, kind of like attuning the Rhythm of that Shard. So, Kal was really hateful in that moment, I guess

There was also an old idea, which I dunno if it fits, about emotions for Odium being like metals for Allomancy. Like using emotions to fuel magic, hence Odium taking certain feelings. I dunno about that but it's a pretty cool idea, and might fit this scene.

Edited by Honorless
Also, the Tien Elhokar comparison still makes me cringe
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I was always under the impression that a person being Connected to a Shard doesn’t have anything to do with investiture. It’s just what happens when the way a person acts/thinks/feels is aligned with the Shard. 

So, (Mistborn spoilers)

Spoiler

Kelsier has more of a Connection to Ruin than Preservation because he’s spent his life tearing things down. That’s a Ruin-aligned way of acting, and is opposed to Preservation.

I think the reason Kaladin’s eyes glowed yellow in that scene is because he (briefly) felt a huge amount of hatred and rage. This allowed Odium to (briefly) establish a Connection. Then the moment passed, and Kaladin didn’t lean into those feelings, so he went back to normal. I’m not waiting on a mechanics-based explanation for the eye colour change, as it doesn’t seem very important to me.

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Love this Shardcast!

Slyadin

No thank you! I never got a romantic vibe. She is very positive and innocent like Tien. That's their dynamic to me.

Unfortunately, I think there is a way this can happen that is the inspiration for what Ishar is attempting. My theory is Siah Aimians, like Axies, were spren who found a way to convert themselves into physical realm beings. 

Kaladin's Suicidal Ideation

I would say it is there at a low level in Way of Kings besides the Honor Chasm. In WoK his constant complaint is that he continues to live while everyone else dies. A big part of that is him trying to redeem himself (in his eyes) for Tien's death by saving others. But he presents it as "everyone else dies, but I keep living" in other words "Why don't I get to die? I hate continuing to live." 

Kaladin's Fate

Since so much of his struggle has been depression, suicidal ideation and struggling not to give up I think a death would be too easy. The more challenging ending of book 5 for him is to have to continue to live and deal with life. Life Before Death, baby!

The Lirin's Advocate (hidden for length)
 

Spoiler

 

I could never stand Lirin and that will never change, but I think there is a bit more going on with him in respect to how he is appalled by Kaladin killing one of their oppressors in his clinic.

Lirin once resisted the new leaders of Hearthstone when Roshone came in. In Lirin's mind it cost him the lives of both his sons. Literally, he thought both his kids died because the army told his parents Kaladin died and he didn't learn differently until OB.  And Kaladin "came back wrong" in Lirin's mind, which is a terrible way to look at finding our your son is alive and a magical knight who can fly, but that's Lirin for you. 

All that's to say: when new rulers came into Hearthstone this time he as a new baby to worry about so he's not going to resist or feud with the Singers in any way. Kaladin killing a Singer in Lirin's clinic not only violate his "sanctum", but directly ties an act of violent resistance to Lirin's family endangering his wife and lil toddler. Lirin is traumatized by losing Tien due to his feud with Roshone he'll do anything to avoid that happening again (except fight I guess).

 

 

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thejopen27

Posted (edited)

First of all, I feel I have to state that Kaladin is my favorite character.

Secondly, I want to say that I myself have struggled with depression for years and Kaladin in Rhythm of War was very hard for me to read due to Depression feedback loops I was having with Kaladin.

I feel like Kaladin has come to the point in his story where he has finally realized that he cannot just be a surgeon, and he can't just be a soldier. He needs to be something else, something that successfully synthesizes his two identities, his two dueling sides.

I don't think being a therapist is all he's going to do. That is just being a surgeon, a different, more fulfilling kind of surgeon, but still just a surgeon. Kaladin loves fighting (but not killing), he's a great leader, and soon he will likely be a 5th ideal Windrunner. What does that make him?

I also don't think book 5 will just be Kaladin's end. From a story perspective, Kaladin's arc has been about learning to live with himself and accepting responsibility for the decisions he's made. I don't think it's narratively the right thing to do to have a character who's struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide to die a heroic, self-sacrificing death. I think it's narratively better if Kaladin can find some way to live his life in a fulfilling, satisfying way where he can combine the two conflicting sides of himself. It's also the harder thing for Kaladin to do. Dying heroically would be easy for Kaladin. Living happily is a better end for his character.

As far as Syladin goes... it didn't seem like a Romantic relationship was even possible so I never thought about it. Syl was written believably as a nonhuman character. Then Rhythm of War happened and, suddenly, it did seem possible. I don't know how I feel about it and it would depend, heavily, on how Brandon executed it. I'm not flat opposed to it, but I'd need to be convinced and Brandon couldn't skip any steps.

Edited by thejopen27
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Loved this episode because I love Kaladin, but I was surprised there was no discussion on "Son of Tanavast/Child of Tanavast". This is the one big mystery hook I feel like we still have for Kaladin, he is the only one referred to specifically in this way by the Stormfather.

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Just want to add this after listening to the end… no one can say Kaladin isn’t ready for a relationship and should just be friends with people if they also think Shallan is ready to be in a relationship. 

 

Having depression doesn’t disqualify someone from being able to participate in life. 
 

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Chaos

Posted

9 hours ago, Dreamwa1ker said:

Loved this episode because I love Kaladin, but I was surprised there was no discussion on "Son of Tanavast/Child of Tanavast". This is the one big mystery hook I feel like we still have for Kaladin, he is the only one referred to specifically in this way by the Stormfather.

Yeah, I agree; we should have touched on that. It's pretty tough outlining these massive character episodes, because it feels like we will always miss things. 

8 hours ago, thejopen27 said:

Just want to add this after listening to the end… no one can say Kaladin isn’t ready for a relationship and should just be friends with people if they also think Shallan is ready to be in a relationship. 

 

Having depression doesn’t disqualify someone from being able to participate in life. 

Sure, that's totally fair. I think post-RoW he's much more suited for one, but indeed you are right, Shallan is a very good counterexample. There are also a lot of ways a relationship should colossally blow up in Kaladin's face, though! At least in my experience--and this is only my personal experience and everyone's experience varies--I had a lot of failed relationships until I got my depression more under control. There's surely a lot of other factors that aren't about depression, though, and good relationships have a big element of luck.

Still, I think shipping Kaladin with friendship would do him a lot of good. Not that a relationship couldn't also, of course. But man, failed relationships really, really made my depression significantly worse. Maybe Kaladin would do better than me; the things that make him go real dark are definitely different from mine. Relationship stress has always affected my depression hugely. Again, others' experience will differ. 

Anyway, I hope that context helps! :) 

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On 9/27/2021 at 9:32 AM, Child of Hodor said:

Kaladin's Fate

Since so much of his struggle has been depression, suicidal ideation and struggling not to give up I think a death would be too easy. The more challenging ending of book 5 for him is to have to continue to live and deal with life. Life Before Death, baby!

You mean..."Dying is easy, young man, living is harder?" :P

(That's a Hamilton reference, for those of you who don't already view Dalinar as hip-hop George Washington in your minds)

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1 hour ago, VirtuousTraveller said:

You mean..."Dying is easy, young man, living is harder?" :P

(That's a Hamilton reference, for those of you who don't already view Dalinar as hip-hop George Washington in your minds)

Nice!

I don't know exactly what book it's in or if he just said it but I like this by Stephen King:

Stephen King Quote: “God is cruel. Sometimes he makes you live.”

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On 9/28/2021 at 0:07 PM, VirtuousTraveller said:

You mean..."Dying is easy, young man, living is harder?" :P

(That's a Hamilton reference, for those of you who don't already view Dalinar as hip-hop George Washington in your minds)

You’re saying death is light as a feather and duty is heavy as a mountain? 

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