Shardcast: Venli and Eshonai


This week we are diving back into a controversial character from Oathbringer: Venli! And of course, as is obvious if you've read Oathbringer, we have to talk about Eshonai too. Behold as we have an epic war between Ben (Overlord Jebus), Ian (WeiryWriter), and I on these characters.

(My apologies this one is late; turns out 12-14 hour days all this week was a bit rough. Crazy, right?)

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I disagree with Jebus's theory about the bridge pretty strongly. It's clear Ulim knows something was going on with Eshonai, and he seems happy she died because of it.

Quote

“Respect for what? It’s for the best that this one died.”

“For the best?” Venli said. “For the best?” She stood, confronting the little spren on Demid’s outstretched palm. “That is my sister. She is one of our greatest warriors. An inspiration, and a martyr.”

Ulim rolled his head in an exaggerated way, as if perturbed—and bored—by the chastisement. How dare he! He was merely a spren. He was to be her servant.

“Your sister,” Ulim said, “didn’t undergo the transformation properly. She resisted, and we’d have eventually lost her. She was never dedicated to our cause.”

I think this is one of the situations where the simplest solution is the correct one. The bridge is a bridge between two peoples. The Diagram doesn't want that because it would interfere with Mr. T's plans to create chaos and disunity so he can become king of everything.

Now that you mention it in predictions, it makes perfect sense that Venli would be the one to discover how to break away from the gods again. Her whole thing has always been about rediscovering the forgotten knowledge of her people.

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Regarding the rhythms they heard that lead them to Szeth, I wondered if Szeth can talk with the Rhythms subtly in what he says. The voice that lead them was Szeth's own voice 

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I always assumed the "bridge" was the Everstorm, is the some reason it something else?

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Naurock

Posted

Guys, I know Brandon has provided a WoB saying Eshonai is dead and gone, but I'm not sure why you hate on the theory Timbre was Eshonai, especially saying it's not how any of this works. I read Way of Kings a few times. I've since read Oathbringer three times. I read Words of Radiance once (I plan on doing a reread soon). I completely missed that Timbre followed around Eshonai. It did cross my mind at first Timbre could be Eshonai. Later in the book I realized it wasn't. But I had thought for a bit that Eshonai had an extreme will to not pass to the beyond and was then infused with Investiture to stay. I later dropped the theory because I couldn't explain to myself how it would make her a Radiant Spren. Fused are cognitive shadows. They're original Singers so angry at humans that they want to eradicate them, and Odium suffused them with Investiture to allow them to continue their fight.

Fun episode. I didn't read Venli that way but I found the way @Overlord Jebus read of her very funny and actually kind of true.

I agree that @Chaos says Odium wants the Envoy to be smart, articulate, and having a story the listeners could rally around but I'm not sure why he would want her to be a Radiant. I think he only wanted her because he saw her "Passion" to return the Gods and eradicate humans, so he sent Ulim to help guide her. So now Envoy form is how he repaid her.

Fun episode, and just an off the wall question what kind of sound file do you guys upload this as? I've been experiencing issues listening, may need to change my podcast app player due to these issues.

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Chaos

Posted

1 hour ago, Naurock said:

Guys, I know Brandon has provided a WoB saying Eshonai is dead and gone, but I'm not sure why you hate on the theory Timbre was Eshonai, especially saying it's not how any of this works. I read Way of Kings a few times. I've since read Oathbringer three times. I read Words of Radiance once (I plan on doing a reread soon). I completely missed that Timbre followed around Eshonai. It did cross my mind at first Timbre could be Eshonai. Later in the book I realized it wasn't. But I had thought for a bit that Eshonai had an extreme will to not pass to the beyond and was then infused with Investiture to stay. I later dropped the theory because I couldn't explain to myself how it would make her a Radiant Spren. Fused are cognitive shadows. They're original Singers so angry at humans that they want to eradicate them, and Odium suffused them with Investiture to allow them to continue their fight.

Fun episode. I didn't read Venli that way but I found the way @Overlord Jebus read of her very funny and actually kind of true.

I agree that @Chaos says Odium wants the Envoy to be smart, articulate, and having a story the listeners could rally around but I'm not sure why he would want her to be a Radiant. I think he only wanted her because he saw her "Passion" to return the Gods and eradicate humans, so he sent Ulim to help guide her. So now Envoy form is how he repaid her.

Fun episode, and just an off the wall question what kind of sound file do you guys upload this as? I've been experiencing issues listening, may need to change my podcast app player due to these issues.

It's simply a reference to this WoB, where Brandon said exactly that: https://wob.coppermind.net/events/324/#e9302 You said there was the WoB but the "not how any of this works" is what Brandon said, so we are just repeating that because we find that Brandon said that amusing. 

As for the file format, should just be an mp3. 

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Naurock

Posted

2 minutes ago, Chaos said:

It's simply a reference to this WoB, where Brandon said exactly that: https://wob.coppermind.net/events/324/#e9302 You said there was the WoB but the "not how any of this works" is what Brandon said, so we are just repeating that because we find that Brandon said that amusing. 

As for the file format, should just be an mp3. 

Fair enough, but from what I've read it does seem possible. I've accepted that it's not what's happening. But I do understand why people interpreted it this way. 

Appreciate the work, I do enjoy the show. It was a particularly fun episode to listen to, and looking forward to @Overlord Jebus making the video.

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Chaos

Posted

7 hours ago, Naurock said:

Fair enough, but from what I've read it does seem possible. I've accepted that it's not what's happening. But I do understand why people interpreted it this way. 

Appreciate the work, I do enjoy the show. It was a particularly fun episode to listen to, and looking forward to @Overlord Jebus making the video.

I mean, Brandon often says anything is possible, so sure, I suppose. But at this stage it seems very straightforward and concrete with no wiggle room, so we will generally support the canonical interpretations when it comes to matters. We aren't going to be theorizing things on this show that we know to be actively false :) I feel we have a duty to be as accurate as possible. We want to educate people to how things are in the cosmere.

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Brandon often has a hard time understanding things from our viewpoint. It's certainly not unusual for him to think something is common knowledge when it isn't at all. I think the "this isn't how that works" comment is one of those things. I felt the "Eshonai's soul" theory was pretty credible, with what we had to work with. Heck, even now I'm not sure I fully understand why he seems to think it's so bizarre. The argument he made was that we saw Timbre already in WoR. This makes me think Brandon believes the theory was that Eshonai's soul somehow stuck around in a spren-like state after she died. (thus seeing Timbre beforehand proves it's not her) But the more popular version of the theory as I recall was that her soul was being displaced by the stormspren, well before her death. We knew very little at the time about the nature of the listeners. Why shouldn't we think that they have spren-like souls which could be displaced? Even now I don't think the general concept is as entirely unreasonable as Brandon seems to think, based on what WE know. Not to challenge the FACT that it simply isn't her and that the theory was plainly and simply wrong.

I disagree with the notion that Ulim or a voidspren was behind Gavilar's assassination, mainly because of this quote from interlude I-3:

Quote

“I will be a queen,” Venli said to Spite.

“If you survive? Maybe. But your sister? She and the others sent that assassin to kill the human king specifically to keep us from returning. Your people are traitors—though your personal efforts do you justice, Venli.

I think this statement is pretty difficult to explain if Ulim or Odium's forces in general were responsible for Szeth. I'm still of the opinion that the Heralds were responsible, because the WoR epilogue shows us that they knew about him and a "voice speaking through the rhythms" seems within their capabilities to me. But that's neither here nor there.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding where you guys are coming from, particularly Jebus, but I don't see how Eshonai ever could have filled the role Venli now has. I always imagined that Eshonai would somehow throw off stormform and then run off on a mission to seek peace between the humans and singers. Find the rest of the listeners and bond a spren along the way. I just can't think of a plausible explanation for how should would ever be among the singers as Venli is. I guess I just think Odium would have felt she was too dangerous to keep around, and she'd have ended up as a Fused. Or maybe they'd keep her as a prisoner? 

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Naurock

Posted

7 hours ago, Jofwu said:

I always imagined that Eshonai would somehow throw off stormform and then run off on a mission to seek peace between the humans and singers. Find the rest of the listeners and bond a spren along the way.

I had a very similar thought process. I don't see Eshonai and Venli as interchangeable either.

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I was really worried about this podcast so I'm glad people are liking it. I should have said near the end that whilst I'm still not super thrilled about Venli in OB, I do feel a lot better about her future and the future of SLA. 

On 14/04/2018 at 3:36 AM, thegatorgirl00 said:

I disagree with Jebus's theory about the bridge pretty strongly. It's clear Ulim knows something was going on with Eshonai, and he seems happy she died because of it.

Going to have to agree to disagree. Ulims doesn't know everything. A Singer becoming a Radiant does not appear to be something that has ever happened before so I doubt that Ulim or the random Fused at the end that goes after Venli would be aware of what would happen if the bridge was formed. They just think Radiancy = Bad (Similar to how we thought Voidbinding/corrupted spren = Bad until we found out what was going on with Renarin)

On 14/04/2018 at 4:46 PM, Wyndlerunner said:

Seems to me that @Overlord Jebus has a bit of a book crush. (happens to all of us.)

There's a moment near the end where Eric asked why I liked Eshonai so much and whilst I was talking, I literally thought "Oh snap, I might have just had a crush on Eshonai"

On 15/04/2018 at 6:37 AM, Jofwu said:

I think this statement is pretty difficult to explain if Ulim or Odium's forces in general were responsible for Szeth. I'm still of the opinion that the Heralds were responsible, because the WoR epilogue shows us that they knew about him and a "voice speaking through the rhythms" seems within their capabilities to me. But that's neither here nor there.

Whilst Ulim was against sending Szeth to kill Gavilar, I do think he saw Szeth and was able to tell what he was and what he had (Like Syl was able to) and so directed Venli that way. It blew up his face in a very bad way but I still think it was Ulim that directed Klade to buy Szeth.

 

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3 hours ago, Overlord Jebus said:

Whilst Ulim was against sending Szeth to kill Gavilar, I do think he saw Szeth and was able to tell what he was and what he had (Like Syl was able to) and so directed Venli that way. It blew up his face in a very bad way but I still think it was Ulim that directed Klade to buy Szeth.

Oh, I see. Interesting. The idea that he wanted to get Szeth as a tool, and didn't realize they'd use him to do something counterproductive that day. Hadn't considered that and still don't agree, but it does fit.

Syl didn't really know what Szeth was just by seeing him though, I think. She found that out during their battle. I'm skeptical spren would know what Szeth carried without having seen it. For example, if I'm not mistaken it took Wyndle quite a while to realize Darkness was not just an Honorblade carrier, but also a Herald.

Meanwhile, in WoR you had (presumably) Kalak himself walking the halls of the Kholinar palace complaining about Szeth being allowed to carry the Honorblade. Just seems suspicious to me. They know about Szeth, probably have the knowledge and magic to be involved, and I can see several angles for a motive.

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@Overlord Jebus I also really hated Venli in WOR and undestand why you would not like her to become a radiant especially "easily". I do think though that become one of the good guys.. that might be more challenging
and we might get sweeter moments and see her struggle more due to her choices. Maybe enough to make us like her and like her eventually converting.

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Wyndlerunner

Posted

On 4/16/2018 at 3:32 AM, Overlord Jebus said:

I was really worried about this podcast so I'm glad people are liking it. I should have said near the end that whilst I'm still not super thrilled about Venli in OB, I do feel a lot better about her future and the future of SLA. 

Going to have to agree to disagree. Ulims doesn't know everything. A Singer becoming a Radiant does not appear to be something that has ever happened before so I doubt that Ulim or the random Fused at the end that goes after Venli would be aware of what would happen if the bridge was formed. They just think Radiancy = Bad (Similar to how we thought Voidbinding/corrupted spren = Bad until we found out what was going on with Renarin)

There's a moment near the end where Eric asked why I liked Eshonai so much and whilst I was talking, I literally thought "Oh snap, I might have just had a crush on Eshonai"

Whilst Ulim was against sending Szeth to kill Gavilar, I do think he saw Szeth and was able to tell what he was and what he had (Like Syl was able to) and so directed Venli that way. It blew up his face in a very bad way but I still think it was Ulim that directed Klade to buy Szeth.

 

Like I said, it happens to all of us. For instance, I realized that I probably have a crush on Jasnah- I'm way too fond of her minor character for it to just be due to awesome development.

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One plus for Eshonai is that she's an embodiment of the concept that the Parshendi aren't inherently evil. Whereas you don't see that in Venli.

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