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About NutiketAiel

  • Birthday 12/30/1983

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    Mount Laurel, NJ

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  1. Yeah, gimme a break, Shadeshadow. It made sense in 2014.
  2. I'm not saying they aren't, I'm just saying that the controlled evolution is possible. Perhaps they are more closely related to the axehounds, who have no carapace but instead a strong, supple kind of in-between feature. But yes, the idea of them simply being directly created by Adonalsium is certainly simpler in many ways. I have no objection to that interpretation of the theory.
  3. I'm inclined to agree with Acrestu. If I had to think of a humanoid species that could have evolved in the Rosharan ecosystem, the Listeners, with their ability to bond with Spren and gain carapace and other similar features of Rosharan animal life, would certainly seem to fit the bill. I don't necessarily agree with the idea of humans and "normal" animals being "brought" to Roshar, though. I'm of the opinion that humans were created on Roshar by Honor and/or Cultivation, not relocated there from another world (with the possible exception of the Heralds). We know this has happened before- Preservation and Ruin did it on Scadrial. As for more Earth-like animal and plant species, I'm of the opinion that they evolved naturally in Shinovar. It's a geographically isolated area sheltered from the highstorms. Under those conditions, more earth-like flora and fauna could have evolved naturally. Obviously the difference between the life of Shinovar and the life of the rest of Roshar is of a much greater degree than any diversity caused by geographic isolation on Earth... like, say Australia compared to the Eurasian mainland... but that can be attributed to the intensely different conditions between Shinovar and the rest of Roshar exerting very different evolutionary pressures. So, while on Earth, we can point to parallel evolution between, say, the wolf and the thylacine to fill the same ecological niche, such parallelism would be much rarer on Roshar because the evolutionary pressures of animals and plants in Shinovar are so vastly different from those of the rest of the planet. Which, I hasten to point out, does not necessarily preclude the kind of parallel evolution we see in the Listeners having a humanoid form. Opposable thumbs and tool manipulation are useful in almost any land-based terrestrial environment, storms or no storms.
  4. I've never been to the TWG forums. It's possible I'm misremembering; it wouldn't be the first time. It's not central to my theory, just something that would be a useful reference. Thanks for trying to help, guys.
  5. Adonalsium created the first humans on Yolen (also two other intelligent species, the Shodel and Dragons). We have no idea what process he used to do so. He could have created those humans and the Listeners on Roshar through a process of evolution. In real life, many people who believe in a deity and also accept the theory of evolution believe that their god created life through natural processes. So, the ideas of Adolansium creating the Listeners and them "naturally" evolving are not mutually exclusive.
  6. I'm working on a new theory, but there's a needed reference that eludes me. I could swear that I read an interview, Q&A, AMA or signing report with Brandon in which he stated that the First Ideal of the Knights Radiant ("Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination") constituted the major theme of the Stormlight Archive series. However, for the life of me I can't find this anywhere. Am I crazy? Does anyone else remember Brandon making such a statement? Can anyone help me find the reference I'm seeking?
  7. An interesting question to consider. I was not aware of this new information about the Listeners having interbred with various Rosharan races. Truthfully, though, I don't think this information has much of an impact on the theory one way or the other. Breeding between different intelligent species is a common enough feature in fantasy and science fiction. The fact that we have not seen it before now in the Cosmere (so far as we know) can probably be attributed to the fact that we have not seen two intelligent humanoid species interacting with each other on the same planet before Roshar. So, the idea of the Listeners interbreeding with Rosharan humans isn't all that surprising. I don't see it as either offering support for or evidence against my theory, though I am interested to hear if others have a different interpretation of the issue.
  8. New Jersey is a great place for conventions.
  9. It doesn't have to be physical pain- that's just how the nobility did it to their children, with controlled beatings. It's about stress. Kelsier snapped after Mare died.
  10. That's a perfectly valid interpretation. I'll admit I had not considered it from that angle.
  11. We have not. In the only PoV we have from him, his own tests determine that he is of "average" intelligence.
  12. Dalinar has said that he knows what the Nightwatcher's curse and boon were in a situation where he would not lie, and has thought of the missing memories of his wife as a curse. To me, that makes it clear that the boon is something different. Oh, Taravangian definitely has issues. :-) However, even though he (at times) struggles with himself and (at times) stresses about what he's doing, he still does it, just like those people in the Milgram Experiment. I don't think he's consciously transferring responsibility, just like the people hitting those buttons weren't thinking to themselves "if I kill this guy, it is not my fault at all, it's this psychologist's fault." I think it's happening at a deeper level. You can consciously take responsibility for something and blame yourself while, on some deeper level, still find a way to put the ultimate blame on someone or something else. I use Szeth as a perfect example of this phenomenon. He accepts that he bears the stain of the sins he is committing and will experience an eternity of afterlifey punishment as a result, but on another level he still blames his masters, his victims and (when he finds out that he was actually right about the return of the voidbringers and/or Radiants) the stone shamans. Of course, Szeth is a total basket case, but that doesn't mean that someone else doing similar mental gymnastics couldn't be less subtly crazy. So, the idea of Taravangian suffering from a "staggering" level of neurosis is, I suppose, exactly what I'm suggesting. As for what curse he does suffer... I have no idea. We simply haven't had enough time with him. I'll re-read the chapters that contain scenes with him and look for clues, but even if I'm right and he is suffering from a different curse, I doubt I'll find anything. For my theory to be true, it'd have to be something so subtle that neither he, nor those around him, has ever noticed it as a curse. Or something that is so specific, the circumstances under which it would manifest have not yet occurred. Which is also a possibility- if we assume that the Nightwatcher is "of Cultivation" in some way, then it is reasonable to assume that is pretty good when it comes to seeing the future. She could tailor a very specific curse that the victim would not necessarily notice until the most poetic moment, when it finally matters.
  13. That makes sense, and it may be a part of it, though I hesitate to attribute that as the sole cause. There is a difference between being socially maladjusted and totally lacking in compassion.
  14. The inverse link between Taravangian's "capacity" (read: intellect) and his compassion has always bothered me. Apparently, it bothers Taravangian, too. On the days when he is most intelligent, he is at his least compassionate. Or so he believes. Have you guys ever heard of the Milgram Experiment? Basically (and I'm greatly oversimplifying), the participants were told that they were taking part in a teaching experiment. Whenever the "learner" (who was in another room, and a confederate of the psychologist) got an answer wrong, the participant was told by the psychologist running the experiment to administer an electric shock. Eventually, the learner would start screaming and begging for mercy, then finally stop responding as the supposed shocks increased in intensity during the course of the experiment. Over 60% of test participants (and this test has been repeated numerous times and in numerous cultures) usually continue with the "shocks" to the fatal level. What does this have to do with Taravangian? The Milgram Experiment was about authority- whether people are willing to override their own moral compass and compassion when ordered to do so by an authority figure. I've always read a little more into it, though. It's not just about an authority figure- it's about being able to transfer responsibility for the act to someone else. In the case of the Milgram Experiment, it was because the participant was "just following orders," thus (in their mind) putting the responsibility for the acts on the shoulders of the psychologist. Or, to put it in another way: My theory is that the Nightwatcher did not curse Taravangian by inversely linking his compassion and intelligence. I theorize that this is a lie that he tells to himself, something that he has thoroughly convinced himself of, so that he can continue to do what he thinks is necessary. Even when he does feel guilt for his actions, he ultimately has someone else to blame- the Nightwatcher, for making him this way. You'd be surprised the sorts of things that people can convince themselves of when they don't want to face an ugly truth. Especially an ugly truth about themselves. Or, maybe you wouldn't be surprised- just look at the mental gymnastics that Shallan goes through to forget aspects of her own past. Of course, for this to be true, that would mean that Taravangian does not actually know the curse that the Nightwatcher afflicted him with. We don't know enough about what happens when someone goes to see the Nightwatcher to know if this is plausible. Does she tell them what their boon and curse are? Or are they left to figure it out for themselves? I have an interesting image in my head of Dalinar leaving the Valley and traveling home, not knowing the nature of his curse was until the first time someone mentioned his late wife. Lift gives no indication that she is cursed or thinks of herself as cursed, or has any idea what her curse might be (though she doesn't really think of the Nightwatcher or the Old Magic much at all, which doesn't give us much to work with). Many of the other curses we hear tell of (numb hands, upside-down vision) are obvious in an immediate sensory way, meaning that no explanation would have been necessary from the Nightwatcher. I suspect we won't know such details of the mechanics of a visit to the Nightwatcher until we actually see one, directly or in flashback. Taravangian is one of the most fascinating characters in the series to me. I really came to like him in Way of Kings and, when the big reveal about what he was really doing in his hospitals came about at the end, I felt betrayed. This kindly King, who builds hospitals and loves all, is a mass murderer? I was thoroughly shocked. My feelings about Taravangian changed forever in that instant. He, more than any character in the series so far, earned my ire in that instant. Learning about the nature of his intelligence/compassion dichotomy in Words of Radiance has not made me feel more charitable towards him. Instead, I see it as being much like Szeth- committing terrible atrocities because he can find a way, on some level, of blaming someone else. The idea that the lack of compassion in his diagram is directly caused by a curse rings hollow to me. I find the idea that Taravangian has desperately convinced himself that his lack of compassion is due to a curse to be much more compelling. And I wonder what the revelation of that fact, should I prove to be right, would do to Taravangian. The idea that the diagram calls for such cruelty and evil not because his more intelligent self was inherently without compassion thanks to the Nightwatcher, but because of his own choice (conscious or unconscious)... Well, I suspect that it would break him.
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