The Splintercast Reads Words of Radiance, Episode 28: Book Wrap-up


This is our final Splintercast--well, at least of the Words of Radiance variety. Here Alyx talks more about her feelings (because you know you want more of that), and about all the stuff she missed. Prepare yourself for a full hour of her talking about this massive, wonderful book.

It's been a great run. Thanks for listening. We hope you've enjoyed them!

Did you listen to all of Splintercast? Give us some feedback!

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An hour is much too short =P Thanks so much for doing this, it has been super interesting to hear your reactions through the book. So yeah thank you again, and stay awesome =)

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*bows* It was a very fun experience! We'll have to see if I end up doing this again!

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I really hope so. This was great!

 

Notes as I listen through:

 

It's ok, I didn't realize it was Vasher either. :P

 

I really hope the Ghostbloods are a Cosmere wide organization.

 

You have converted me to the Renarin fanclub, just don't expect me to get all...crazy? About him. Because am definitely not a fangirl.

 

 

I don't have too many problems with the Shalladin ship. But I don't think it will happen. I think Adolin will push her away after he kills Sadeas, and then she will turn to Renarin because I think it would be an interesting turnaround. Agree with the Kaladin and Shallan besties.

 

The only reason I don't think Kaladin will be with Renarin is because Brandon said he wouldn't be comfortable with writing gay characters because he doesn't know enough about it. I don't think he would risk it for main characters. Also, Kaladin has already expressed his interest in women with Laral, Tarah, and Shallan. I would have no problem with them being great friends, though.

 

Feather. You had no control over giving Renarin to Shallan ok? Not your fault! :P

 

But. But. We have to know the things!

 

Ooh! That is a storming interesting thing!

 

Thanks again for these, Feather!

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Woo! Long journey, lots of fun. And... Dat reveal. I know Brandon has said that we aren't going to get WoK Prime until after book 5, because spoilers, but dang... I want it even more, now.

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*bows* It was a very fun experience! We'll have to see if I end up doing this again!

 

Indeed. I hope you come back for book three or maybe other new cosmere books as they come out. This has been a delight to listen to.

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I'm not much of a shipper, but I will quietly enjoy my mountain of Shalladolin brownies. 

 

I completely agree on the Shalladin statement cutting on Kaladin thinking that "her unhealthy coping mechanisms are the most beautiful thing he's ever seen." Because that statement of yours is great, and statements like that is why I have tuned into all 28 SRWoR postings.

 

(avoiding WoB's dealing future SA books in this unspoiled post.)

 

Furthermore, I feel you should be careful what you wish for...  Should Renarin get his own book, it stands to reason that his flashback sequence will chronicle the painful experiences that cracked his soul in the 1st place that lets him form the nahel bond.

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A great wrap-up to a fantastic podcast series! (And OH MY SYL that Renarin tidbit!  That will definitely be making its way onto the wiki at some point...)

 

The only reason I don't think Kaladin will be with Renarin is because Brandon said he wouldn't be comfortable with writing gay characters because he doesn't know enough about it. I don't think he would risk it for main characters. Also, Kaladin has already expressed his interest in women with Laral, Tarah, and Shallan. I would have no problem with them being great friends, though.

 

Truth be told, the fact Kaladin has expressed interest in women has absolutely nothing to do with the possibility that he could be interested in Renarin.  It is not like you can either like men or you can like women, it is not a strict binary, he could be Bi for all we know.

 

Does that mean Taravangian is a Truthwatcher?

 

I highly doubt it, WoR pretty squarely puts the Diagram as being a result of Nightwatcher shenanigans.  I do think it is very possible that the Prime Diagram is probably a result of Renarin's Truthwatchery-ness, but I think it is a false parallel to say that Taravangain must be a Truthwatcher.  He is pretty much the opposite of the First Ideal so he can't be a KR.

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You know, I just made a minor edit to the Coppermind and on a whim checked the recent edits only to see "No one tell feather" in the liner notes. WEIRY UR GIVIN AWAY ALL MY SECRETS.

 

That said, I should probably take a picture of that signed book so you can have a proper citation for it, shouldn't I? 

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Curses! Wait, did you *actually* read check to see what got changed in those edits? 'Cause that's toootally what's going on there, I didn't accidentally refer to Renarin as Renarin Davar... Nope, didn't happen.

And yeah, a picture of the book would be nice!

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RENARIN DAVAR *sobbing* Goodbye friends I am gone, my Writer twin has slain me.

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I still don't get your obsession with Renarin i feel he is too insecure and whiny i mean he had a vision that could have helped save the world and all he did was write scribbles on the wall and then  u get mad as shallan when she tells him to man up and face the problem. Feel free to yell at me :(

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Weeeeeelllll... I'm surprised you can't see my reasoning after listening to that since, as I remember I probably babble about it a lot in that recording. But on the off chance that it's still not clicking, there are some text resources of my reasoning as well:

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I still don't get your obsession with Renarin i feel he is too insecure and whiny i mean he had a vision that could have helped save the world and all he did was write scribbles on the wall and then  u get mad as shallan when she tells him to man up and face the problem. Feel free to yell at me :(

 

Hang on, when has Renarin ever whined at all?  In two books we've seen him... talk to his father about feeling useless once, at Dalinar's prompting; sit down in shock when informed that his family is all dead; throw himself into battle to save his brother and then panic because he nearly gets killed; and lose focus and freak out when the Everstorm is bearing down.  Those are all his major points of weakness that I can recall (and believe you me I pay attention; Feather can vouch).  We've predominantly seen him working diligently to become a better soldier (training with Zahel, bonding a Shardblade even after we know he had a Nahel bond, serving with Bridge Four) and doing whatever he can to help his family (running into battle twice, coming up with a way to prove Dalinar's visions, etc.)  Whiny?  Renarin is the exact opposite.  I'll give you insecure, but that's hardly a trait worthy of condemnation.

 

As for Shallan - "Gag him if you must" isn't really my definition of telling someone to 'man up'.  I love Shallan, even more so after WoR, but in that scene she displayed a stunning lack of empathy and the kind of ruthless attitude that could easily be a major character flaw.

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RENARIN DAVAR *sobbing* Goodbye friends I am gone, my Writer twin has slain me.

 

Oh No! I slayed you?  This simply won't do, where did I put those bells?...

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So, Feather, what you're saying is screw Shaladin... I couldn't agree with you more! Shadolin would be okay, though. Go Adolin! Wooo Hoooo...

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First off, this has been a very enjoyable experience. I hope you do this again with other Cosmere works -- and yes, CFSBF!

 

Second, I know I'm commenting like six months after the fact, but this has been irking me to no end:

 

"Her unhealthy coping mechanisms are the most beautiful thing he's ever seen."

 

I always read that as the fact that she still smiles after being broken inside was beautiful, not her coping. In fact, Kaladin would probably be horrified if he knew how poorly she was dealing with it -- he is a physician, after all.

 

Maybe I'm just annoyed that you're ragging on one of my favorite scenes, but I had to say it. Feel free to offer another viewpoint, but that's my opinion.

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Sorry Slow! I'm not going to pretend I'm not biased, but yeah, it's definitely not among my favorite scenes. They're just not really a pairing that I'm fond of, but a lot of that is personal preference, and my... extensive history with other ships. 

 

I think your point that Kaladin's POV is limited here and that he doesn't know the full situation is valid, absolutely, and I was probably too harsh on him for thinking her smiling through the pain was a good thing. Also, glad you liked this! CFSBF!

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Oh, wow... one of my favorite people on 17th Shard just replied to my comment. Ohmygoodness.

 

Thanks for that insight, I can see where you're coming from. I'm not a Shalladin shipper by any means, I just really love that scene.

 

CSFBF to you too!

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My take on the infamous "please gag him" scene:  Renarin happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As you've noted (and lamented!) throughout the reading, Shallan didn't spend barely any time with Renarin.  She doesn't know him, she doesn't even know as much about him and his "blood weakness" as Kaladin does, let alone the rest of his family.

Here Shallan is, with two highstorms and a voidbringer!Parshendi army raging outside, under a tremendous amount of pressure with the metaphorical weight of the world on her shoulders, literally trying to head off the downfall of civilization itself, and the guy with her, who is supposed to be a mighty Shardbearer, a paragon of power and manliness within their society, is having a fit!

From her perspective--not knowing what the readers know about him--it obviously looks like he cracked under the stress.  This is the last thing she can afford at the moment, so she blurts out "someone please get this distraction out of my hair before he ends up getting us all killed!"  And TBH it's hard to blame her for thinking that way.  Put yourself in her shoes, not knowing anything about Renarin; what would you have done?

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20 minutes ago, Mason Wheeler said:

And TBH it's hard to blame her for thinking that way.  Put yourself in her shoes, not knowing anything about Renarin; what would you have done?

Well, that is perhaps part of the problem. It is... very much not something I ever would have done.

Her reaction in that situation, regardless of how well she knew or understand Renarin, is so opposite to what mine probably would have been that it was shocking. Honestly, for all my fandom monstering, the idea of someone in legitimate distress of any kind pulls at me extremely strongly, in a 'drop everything and try to make sure they're okay' kind of way.

Admittedly, if I'd been in Shallan's situation, the Oathgate might not have gotten opened, because I might not have been able to stay focused on the task. Perhaps by dismissing Renarin and not checking on him, she managed to save them all. I don't know, but it's possible. 

But even if she was under a lot of pressure and very stressed, the idea that Shallan is a person who, in the heat of the moment will not only see someone breaking down in a state of distress a distracting obstacle rather than someone in need of help, but would then treat that extremely vulnerable person with a frustrated hostility until they get out of her way...

Well. It's a reaction from her that is just so diametrically opposite from my values and worldview that I have trouble excusing it, regardless of extenuating stressful circumstances.

I feel like a lot of the heart of the problem is that I (within the context of my shipping theories) had originally headcanoned that Shallan would be a very compassionate and understanding character, and I was shocked to find that when push came to shove, this was not at all the case. When a high-pressure crux point in the plot reared its head and "true" Shallan got revealed by it, it seemed to me that this was not a moment of triumph where she rose to the task (at least not entirely) but rather a moment that reveals a pretty deep-set character flaw for her. When the chips fall and the heat is on, Shallan showed pretty clearly that compassion and concern for the people around her was not a priority for her.

And for someone like me, for whom those values are tantamount, it's hard to forgive. Doubly, triply hard when the person she was so clearly demonstrating this lack of concern for is probably my favorite character of all time from any work of fiction I've ever read, one for whom I am deeply compassionate and concerned. 

So yeah, they're actions that I disagree with strong enough that even if it wasn't Renarin, I'd take issue. The fact that it was him just made it that much worse.

(As you can see, I have no thoughts on this issue whatsoever...)

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