Tue
Nov 12 2013 1:30pm
The Stormlight Grimoire, Part 2: Surgebinders, The Knights Radiant, and Windrunners

The Stormlight Grimoire The Way of Kings Brandon Sanderson

Welcome back to the Stormlight Grimoire, my in-depth exploration of the many kinds of magic practiced or forgotten in Roshar, the land of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. Since I laid down the basics in Part 1, I think we’re ready to move on to some of the specifics. Want to know how to run up walls, fling heavy objects across the room, and reverse the flow of gravity itself? Then you might want to be a Windrunner! Join me as I discuss them, Surgebinding, and the Knights Radiant.

Like all chapters of the Stormlight Grimoire, this article draws freely on information from throughout The Way of Kings, other books by Brandon Sanderson, and answers the author has given in interviews. Spoilers may follow.

Surgebinders

Magic used to be a lot more common on Roshar. Surgebinders fought in every Desolation, and were well known in the time of Nohadon, author of the in-universe text The Way of Kings. When Dalinar meets Nohadon in a vision, the king had recently been disappointed by someone he had relied on: “Alakavish was a Surgebinder. He should have known better. And yet, the Nahel bond gave him no more wisdom than a regular man. Alas, not all spren are as discerning as honorspren.” We know from this that at least some Surgebinders have established Nahel bonds, some with honorspren, and some with spren that were less selective. Ominous!

While most knowledge of Surgebinding has been lost to mortals, it is preserved by some groups and in some cultures. Szeth, the mysterious and deadly Assassin in White, calls himself a Surgebinder, and it seems the Shin have maintained their knowledge of the past far better than others. This doesn’t surprise me; being sheltered from the constant highstorms is a good way to maintain a clearer historical record, as far as I’m concerned. There are also the Envisagers, a secret society of people who worshipped the Knights Radiant, mostly wiped out by Teft’s betrayal.

But what do Surgebinders do? Well, if you want the absolutely unhelpful answer, they bind surges. A “surge,” so far as I can tell, seems to be a force of nature or the universe, and most Surgebinders have access to exactly two, which they can control and alter by consuming and expending stormlight. Kaladin and Szeth both have access to the surges of gravitation and pressure.

Through a combination of fan dedication and careful study of Brandon Sanderson’s interviews on the subject, the community has determined that the end papers to the hardcover edition of The Way of Kings constitute a diagram of the ten surges and their linkages. The black symbols in the middle ring represent surges, which are linked to each other and also to the interior and exterior colored symbols. Pressure and gravitation are the two symbols in the upper right, the ones linked to the blue symbol that looks like a heron (other Rorschach interpretations may apply.)

While this suggests that Surges come in pairs of two, it’s not necessarily a definitive proof that all Surgebinders access two Surges, no more and no less. When Nohadon sought to impose order, honor, and discipline on the world, he divided Surgebinders into ten orders, and began to call them the Knights Radiant.

Words of Radiance Brandon Sanderson US cover Tor BooksThe Knights Radiant

It seems very likely to me that Nohadon arranged the orders of the Knights Radiant around the existing categories of Surgebinders. He took these mages, some naturally honorable and some not, and bound them to codes of conduct. They were charged with defending the human kingdoms and preparing for the Desolations. The resurrection of the orders of the Knights Radiant is likely to be a central arc in the Stormlight Archive, if not the indisputably most important arc, so it’s worth speculating about what those orders were, what the Knights could do, and what they were like as a social force.

We know from Dalinar’s visions that the Knights Radiant were capable of many things that warriors of the modern era cannot achieve. They were all Surgebinders of great skill. Many could fly, travel great distances near-instantaneously, and more. We’ve surely only scratched the surface of their capacities, and even those put Szeth, the most skilled Surgebinder we’ve seen so far, to shame. They also had great facility with Shardplate and Shardblades, before surrendering both when they turned their backs on the kingdoms they’d sworn to defend. We see Knights in Dalinar’s vision burning Stormlight and binding Surges even when wearing full-plate, which Szeth says is impossible for him, and the plate they wore glowed brightly and radiated Stormlight. I believe that something about them made the plate more permeable.

The thing that separated Knights Radiant from the Surgebinders who came before, I believe, were the Ideals they held to. The First Ideal, which Kaladin learns from Teft, is “Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination.” It seems that every order held to these words, and also upheld a second ideal. Kaladin, an incipient Windrunner, holds to what he and Sylphrena call the Second Ideal: “I will defend those who cannot defend themselves.”

It seems like every order has the First Ideal, a kind of philosophical core, and then a second ideal that acts as a focused application of those values. And while it seems weird to number the ideals, and it must suck to be whatever order of Knights is stuck with the 11th ideal, if any ideal is going to be Second, I’m sure it would be the Windrunners’. In the Ars Arcanum, at the back of The Way of Kings, there are a number of delicious hints, starting with a table of “The Ten Essences and their Historical Associations.” I strongly suspect that Jes, the first essence, was associated with the Windrunners, since it is associated with the color blue from Sapphires, its Essence was “Zephyr,” and its primary/secondary divine attributes were “Protecting/Leading.” So, it makes sense they’d get the Second Ideal.

Learning and speaking these words has been shown to have real, magical importance and efficacy. Kaladin unlocked a massive surge of power when he spoke the Second Ideal of the Knights Radiant. I don’t yet know why or how that works! I look forward to your theories.

Windrunners

“What would these men say if they knew that the man who emptied their chamberpot was a Shardbearer and a Surgebinder? A Windrunner, like the Radiants of old?” –Szeth, Assassin in White, Emptier of Chamberpots

 

“This is pointless. I need to find out how to get rid of this light, not study it.”

“And why,” Syl repeated, “must you get rid of it? Kaladin, you’ve heard the stories. Men who walked on walls, men who bound storms to them. Windrunners.”

The prologue to The Way of Kings features an extended action sequence showcasing Szeth’s facilities with Lashings. He uses his Surgebinding to run along walls, throw tables across rooms, and destroy wooden platforms, fighting harder and moving faster than any human could unassisted. He shows how helpless normal people are to combat a trained warrior who has control over the Surges of Pressure and Gravitation. And we have every reason to believe that, eventually, Kaladin will outstrip Szeth in power and skill. Windrunners: they’re awesome.

Since we have two viewpoint characters who are either Windrunners or possess Windrunner powersets, we know a lot more about this order of the Knights Radiant than any other. Let me quickly list what we currently know with decent certainty:

  • They hold to the Second Ideal: “I will protect those who cannot protect themselves.”
  • They ingest Stormlight by inhaling.
  • They can bond with honorspren.
  • They have access to the Surges of Pressure and Gravitation.
  • They have a close thematic affinity with the wind.
  • Their powers take the form of the Three Lashings.

Now, to explain the Lashings. I’ll be making heavy use of the Ars Arcanum in this section, since it’s generally folly to ignore prior scholarship.

Words of Radiance Brandon Sanderson UK cover GollanczBasic Lashing: Gravitational Change

The Basic Lashing allows a Windrunner to change the gravitational pull on an object or being. Szeth commonly uses this technique to lash himself sideways, allowing him to run on walls, or upwards in various degrees, making himself much lighter or totally weightless. It’s possible to layer Basic Lashings to pull objects in a direction with several times normal gravity, crushing an object under its own weight or sending it flying wildly across a room. It’s a simple power, in that it does a single, simple thing, but it’s also incredibly versatile.

The Ars Arcanum describes the mechanism of a Basic Lashing in a very peculiar and interesting way. “A Basic Lashing involved revoking a being’s or object’s spiritual gravitational bond to the planet below, instead temporarily linking that being or object to a different object or direction.” Whoa now. Things have SPIRIT BONDS to the gravity planet? What the heck? Now that we know that THAT’S a real thing, we can be pretty sure that Stormlight allows Surgebinders to simultaneously alter the Physical and Spiritual Realms, which is a pretty big deal.

Full Lashing: Binding Objects Together

The Full Lashing causes two objects to adhere to each other, sticking together as if they are one object until the Stormlight connecting them runs out. Windrunners create Full Lashings by infusing an object with Stormlight. Once the object is infused, a second object can be placed on it, and the two objects will bond. While the Basic Lashing uses Gravity, the author of the Ars Arcanum speculates that Full Lashing’s use Pressure instead.

Szeth uses Full Lashings in a variety of ways. When hunting Gavilar, he Lashed a door to its doorframe to keep it closed. Later he laid down a Full Lashing across a stretch of hallway, binding the feet of his pursuers to the ground. Kaladin uses Full Lashings less frequently, but he did at one point Lash a collection of secret supplies to the underside of a bridge to keep them safe for later.

Reverse Lashing: Giving an Object Gravitational Pull

The final type of Lashing turns an object into a center of gravitation. Objects that come close enough to an object that has been Reverse Lashed will be pulled towards it as if it were down. According to the author of the Ars Arcanum, Reverse Lashings require the least amount of Stormlight of any Lashing. The Reverse Lashing is the power Kaladin uses most instinctually. His facility with Reverse Lashings is a huge part of his ongoing reputation as a blessed, unkillable soldier: while fighting on the battlefield or running bridges, he would create Reverse Lashes on his shield or bridge, attracting incoming arrows and keeping him safe from harm.

It’s possible that Reverse Lashings are just a variation of Basic Lashings. The author of the Ars Arcanum suspects as much. Since he characterizes Basic Lashings as causing objects or beings to be drawn towards a different object or direction, Reverse Lashings might be a half-version of that. I think this is more probably because, like Basic Lashings, Reverse Lashings seem to rely only on Gravitation.

What I don’t understand, and what I suspect will be the key to the next evolution of these powers, is why there isn’t a basic technique that uses both Gravitation and Pressure for the same effect. Basic and Reverse Lashings use Gravitation, and Full Lashings use Pressure, but nothing uses both. Dalinar’s vision show us Windrunners who are capable of essentially flying. Could this require both Surges? I look forward to finding out.

I hope you enjoyed this installment of the Stormlight Grimoire. In my next article, I plan to lay out a proposed guide to becoming a Windrunner, step by step. In the meantime, I look forward to reading your comments.


Carl Engle-Laird is an editorial assistant and Way of Kings re-reader for Tor.com. You can follow him on Twitter here.

34 comments
Cory S.
1. Hungry_For_Hands
How spoilery do we want to get in this thread?
Wetlandernw had an awesome comment a few weeks back in the reread which gave us the names of most of the orders, as well as their associated powers.
Carl Engle-Laird
2. CarlEngle-Laird
I, at least, would love to be reminded of those things.
Daniel Robertson
3. danr62
I've always assumed that flight was a basic lashing that allowed the Knight to fall up toward the sky. The windrunner could alter the angle to control direction and could control speed by changing the strength of the lashing.

Now that you mention it, could Pressure be used to create a pocket of air pressure around the windrunner? Like an air bubble s/he could use to breathe or stay warm at high altitudes?
Scott Silver
4. hihosilver28
@Hungry_For_Hands
Oooh, that sounds good. I'd like to know as well.
Cory S.
5. Hungry_For_Hands
@3 - I always had the same assumption that it was just basic lashings allowing them to fall up at an angle and give the appearance of flying.

@2 - I am going to just copy/paste (and white out) Wetlandernw's comment from the ch37 reread because it fits directly with this discussion. ***SPOILERS*** (hopefully I do the white out correctly...)

[color=#ffffff] For those who don't know already (if there's anyone here like that): If you want to match up the surges with the orders, each Order has two Surges, sharing each with one other Order. The Windrunners use Gravity and Pressure, and you can work it out from there.

Knights Radiant Orders, starting from the upper right (landscape format) by Jezrien, moving clockwise:
Windrunner, Skybreaker, Dustbringer, Edgedancer, (unidentified), Lightweaver, Elsecaller, Bondsmith, Stoneward, (unidentified)

Surges, starting just right of top center, moving clockwise: Gravity, Pressure, Division, Friction, Growth, Light, Transformation, Transportation, (Surface Tension), (unidentified)

The one called (Surface Tension) isn’t formally named yet; he’s using that name for the time being but searching for a better. It allows the Surgebinder to modify certain physical characteristics of a material; for example, he could make a piece of cloth absolutely rigid instead of flexible.

This one is actually a spoiler for WoR, but he gave it out freely at the signing, so here it is: Jasnah is an Elsecaller.

We'll learn one more Order (not on the list) in WoR, along with a member of that Order, and a couple of the Orders we (now) know about will have members identified.
Scott Silver
6. hihosilver28
Where did Welandernw get the info? That's highly specific (and very cool) for the names not being contained in this text.
RedHeadEd
7. RedHeadEd
You know pressure is an interesting concept to try utilizing as a magical system. Pressure is defined as a force exerted over an area. When connected to air, it's the amount that the atmosphere presses on you at any given moment. The more stuff there is pressing on air, the more it compresses. So the air is literally thicker at lower altitudes because the air down here is getting pressed on by the air above. It is also interesting to note that in atmosphere, there would be very little pressure without gravity since air would suddenly not be pulled downward but be free to float away.

So what happens when a Surgebinder uses a Full Lashing? Is the air around an object suddenly pressing a lot harder, forcing it up against the other object in opposition to gravity? That strikes me as the most reasonable explanation. If that's so, then could it be possible to give a person the bends by Lashing something to them? Could air be thickened enough to freeze a target in place like WoT? If you can increase pressure, can you also decrease pressure and create a vacuum? Increasing or decreasing local air pressure should have an added effect of creating gusts of wind when the effects wear off.

Having the ability to manipulate air pressure seems like a remarkably powerful tool and I imagine the full lashing has a lot more uses than we have yet seen.
RedHeadEd
8. Ianray
Great article! I love reading these and the reread articles too. As an aerospace engineer I just wanted to point that the pressure surge could definitely be used to fly as well. If the surgebinder were to create an area of low pressure above or in front of them, or create a high pressure area below or behind them, the air would naturally push them towards the the low pressure area and away from the higher pressure (this is actually how airplanes fly). It seems like this might give the surgebinder better control over their "flight" than basically falling upwards and sideways, especially if they use a basic lashing to make themself lighter first.
Daniel Robertson
9. danr62
@5 So that would place Shallan as a Bondsmith with Transformation/Transportation?
RedHeadEd
10. DaemonDan
Didn't Kaladin use Full Lashings to bind rocks to the chasm wall and climb up to the bridge, and then just tie his secret stashes to it? I don't believe he Lashed his stash to the bridge as you stated.
Cory S.
11. Hungry_For_Hands
@9 - If I am reading it correctly (and I may not be), transformation/transportation would be elsecaller. Light/Transformation would be Lightweaver. And bondsmith would be transportation/surface tension. As for Shallan, I think we would agree that she has the transformation aspect, which would leave her with elsecaller or lightweaver. My personal guess is lightweaver because I think that illusions may play into the strength of her "memory" ability.
Tian Kai (Thompson) Gao
12. tkThompson
@3, @5: re: flying is falling upwards at an angle. I always thought that for a basic lashing, you would need some kind of surface to lash yourself to, like a roof or a wall, did I read that wrong?
Cory S.
13. Hungry_For_Hands
@12 - You can lash to a direction, but it is not as precise. Here is a quote from pg 448 of my kindle edition. "...infused the stone circle with Light, Lashing it towards the northwest section of the sky. Lashing something to a distant point like that was possible, but imprecise. It was like trying to shoot an arrow a great distance"
RedHeadEd
14. HathsinSurvivor
About the numbering of Ideals, Kaladin spoke the second ideal of the windrunners.
I believe Teft explains that each order has five ideals, a common one and four unique ones.
Nadine L.
15. travyl
@hihosilver:
The information stems from clever readers, who figured things out based upon signing-reports etc.
there is a labeled picture over at the 17 shard.

@ Carl:
Thanks very much for these posts....
Intriguing, that you'd number the Ideals upto 11. I always thought each radiant order would say it's their second ideal (albeit they differ).
(And I thought there will be a third or more Ideals for each order as well, wasn't this mentioned somewhere in the WoK?) - HathsinSurvivor seems to agree :)
Kimani Rogers
16. KiManiak
Thanks Carl. These are fun; I hope you keep them coming (for the next 5 months or so).

1) A quick comment about the Shardplate and whether or not surgebinding is possible when wearing it. In the Starfalls chapter (19) we see that not only do the 2 Knights Radiant have glowing Plate, but that there are glyphs that appear etched into the Plate and appear to trail Stormlight. It’s likely that whatever is going on there, with the Plate glowing and with the glyphs, aids in the ability for the KR to use their surgebinding abilities.

Or, maybe Szeth is just wrong about what real Windrunners can do in Shardplate.

2) As for the Ideals, I’m sure we’ll find out more about this in Words of Radiance, but according to Teft in Chapter 59, each Order has its own set of ideals (5 total apparently), of which they all share the First. (Of course, Teft may be incorrect, but right now this is what we have to go on).

So a Windrunner and a Stoneward would have the same First Ideal (“Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination”) but the Windrunner’s Second Ideal ("I will defend those who cannot defend themselves") is different than the Stoneward’s Second Ideal (which we haven’t seen yet).

Hungry_For_Hands@5 – Wetlander and others did get that tidbit of information from Brandon at the Seattle Signing for Steelheart on 10/14. Later on 10/24, Brandon’s assistant Peter updated some of the information on 17th Shard.com.

**Spoilers: Gravity and Pressure should be switched (Pressure is the top-right most Surge, Gravity is the next Surge going clockwise).
Also, (Surface Tension-like Surge) should be switched with the unidentified Surge next to it; (Surface Tension) is not next to Transportation).
Finally, he stresses that the In-world names for the Surges haven’t been canonically revealed yet and may change. For instance, instead of “Light,” he has “Illumination” as the sixth Surge.

The link to the 17thshard updated chart is here: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/4323-seattle-signing-report-out-101413/?p=69925

Danr62@9 and HFH@11 – I don’t know if we are supposed to be whiting out these spoilers.
Just in case: Shallan is a Lightweaver and has the Illumination and Transformation Surges.

EDIT: I see Travyl@15 linked this already. I think its an earlier version of the Chart, though. Still, great minds…

EDIT 2: My bad, Travyl. I should have scrolled down when clicking on your link; I didn't realize they had updated the front page of that blog post. You were right (which really makes most of my post redundant, but I guess I'll just leave it up there anyway).
I tip my cap to you, madam. :)
RedHeadEd
17. Draconic
What I'm curious about is why Syl hates Dalinar's Shardblade?
It seems strange to me that the one of the same honorspren that were once bonded to Knights Radiants would hate a weapon that the knights used.
Alice Arneson
18. Wetlandernw
Yes, there are some corrections to be made to my earlier comment.

Bondsmiths, while identified as an Order, is not actually placed on the chart yet. So in between Elsecallers and Stonewards should be "unidentified." That leaves three unidentified Orders, any of which could be Bondsmiths.

As others have noted, Pressure and Gravity were reversed on the earlier chart. Also, the Surge currently identified as "surface tension" should be switched with the unidentified one. The corrected version makes Gravity a Surge of the Skybreakers (logical) along with Division, while Pressure and "surface tension" belong to the unidentified Order associated with Ishar. On a guess, given what we've already seen can be done with Pressure, I'd suggest maybe that would be the Bondsmiths.

With all of this, and especially the names of the Surges, some of it is still fluctuating. I'm given to understand that Brandon has made some notable changes in the 4th/5th draft of WoR, so even what he told us as of the Steelheart tour (just as the beta was concluding) may change some. Probably not dramatically, but it's not fully canonized yet. That said, the current chart linked @15 has been vetted by Peter, so it's probably pretty stable.
Daniel Robertson
19. danr62
@11,@16

Yeah, looks like I misread the chart.
Richard Bateman
20. taxilian
My personal theory about the shardplate and shardblades is that they are in some way tightly linked to the wearer; perhaps they are actually a direct result of becoming a night radiant, coming actually out of the power that is released, rather than something that is manufactured.

That would explain a few things: First, it explains why the plate and blades stopped glowing when the knights forsook them, as they were no longer linked to their wearer. It explains why the knights seemed to have almost mystical control of them (remember in Dalinor's vision the knights were able to remove their helms without Dalinor even seeing it happen; perhaps they just willed it to the same place shardblades go?). It would also explain why they'd be able to use their powers with it on -- it was literally made for them.

It's also possible that this is somehow why Szeth has a shardblade; perhaps the blade comes before the plate? This seems a lot more iffy to me... but regardless, I think there is a closer link between knights radiant and the shardblade and plate than we have seen, and that is why the honorspren hates Dalinor's blade so much, and that's why Kaladin didn't want the shards he "earned"... they represent broken oaths, and I think they are acutally responsible for the degredation of the society.

Random theories is all =]
Walker White
21. Walker
There are also the Envisagers, a secret society of people who worshipped the Knights Radiant, mostly wiped out by Teft’s betrayal.
We do not know this. We only know that the Envisagers that Teft knew are dead. There is no indication that this was the majority of the organization.
Walker White
22. Walker
@17

There are a lot of theories about this. Note that the problem is not just Syl. Kaladin also had a very strong revulsion against the blade after he killed the shardbearer.

My favorite theory is that the Knights broken their Nahel bond during the recreance. This is supported by the screaming sound (from their spren?) when they drop their swords and armor. If so, this would suggest that those items are tainted in some way. In particular, the Thrill, which Dalinar and other Alethi experience, is believed to be an aspect of Odium.
Walker White
23. Walker
@20
It's also possible that this is somehow why Szeth has a shardblade; perhaps the blade comes before the plate?
Szeth has no spren (confirmed by Brandon). He is a surgebinder, but not a KR. His powers are different.
Jeremy Guebert
24. jeremyguebert
@20 - I would tend to agree that the Knights Radiant would have their Plate and Blade generated as part of the process of becoming a KR, and that the general revulsion we've seen to existing ones, as well as Szeth's claim that he can't surgebind properly with Plate on, are all wrapped up in that process. People are using stuff that wasn't made for them, and the original owners have abandoned their oaths, etc.

Speaking of oaths: it's a minor nitpick, but the Second Ideal of the Windrunners is "I will protect those who cannot protect themselves" (not "defend", as has been quoted previously in this thread).

Interesting thoughts regarding the three lashings. I find it odd that Gravitation has two, but Szeth only uses one for Pressure. I wonder if it's possible to have a sort of "Reverse Full Lashing", that causes things to split apart instead of hold together? Or is it possible that the three lashings are actually Gravitation, Pressure, and Gravitation+Pressure, where one of Basic or Reverse Lashings is actually using a combination of the two Surges? That would certainly help explain why we don't see any other uses of the Surges that actively combines the two, but I'm speculating at this point.
RedHeadEd
25. wind spen
could the shard plates engraving if different from plate to plate, be dedicated to specific Radiants with specific surges. ie. if Kaladin reached for shard plate or blade ment for another feel repulstion. But if there was one out there that King Jeserin used to wear and Kaladin were to reach for it would it reach out to him or make him not repulsed? just a quick muse
Jeremy Guebert
26. jeremyguebert
@25 - I think the glyphs on old Shardplate are definitely related to the specific order of Radiant that it was orginally used by.

I'm not sure whether the repulsion is based on it being the wrong order, or if it's more specific to individual users. Interesting thought, I'd be curious to find out.
Neil Cadsawan
27. rainer3
Speaking the oaths creates a stronger bond with the honor spren. This is what happens with Kaladin and Syl. There's a connection between the spiritual (the speaking and hence making of an oath) and the physical (increased abilities). When the KR broke their oaths, they lost their abilities, and hence their relationships with their spren.
Robert Dickinson
28. ChocolateRob
I'm pretty sure that Szeth does use a combination of gravity and pressure in one technique. When he lashes people or objects to the ceiling or walls he uses gravity to get them there and pressure to hold them in place. If it was just gravity they would be able to move around as if the wall/ceiling were the ground but they always stay in the same spot until the stormlight runs out. The first person he kills he lashed to the ceiling then waited for them to drop onto his spear, the guard realised what was about to happen but could not move away from above the spear.
Admittedly its possible that no-one realised they could move across the ceiling due to their panic at being on there in the first place but it seems unlikely.
Tian Kai (Thompson) Gao
29. tkThompson
@22: "the Thrill, which Dalinar and other Alethi experience, is believed to be an aspect of Odium" -- Who are you talking about here? Is it the in-world characters who believe this or is it fan theory? Or did Brandon say something about it at a signing?

(Normally I don't mind the passive voice too much, but this is one case where it just gets under my skin. I have to know the canonicity of this statement and where it comes from!)
David Foster
30. ZenBossanova
There has been very little verified about the Thrill. Mostly it is just speculations, though didn't Brandon at least say it was a real thing? (Thrill vs thrill)

Has anything beyond that been verified?
Alice Arneson
31. Wetlandernw
NOTHING has been verified about the origin of the Thrill. Saying it "is believed to be an aspect of Odium" is an implied overstatement. There are indeed people who believe that; there are plenty of other people who do not believe it. It's sheer speculation at this point.

And no, there are no characters in the book who believe it's an aspect of Odium, in part because very few characters seem to have ever heard of Odium. Most of them aren't even aware of Honor and Cultivation, as I understand it. The presence and personality of the Shards don't seem to be widely known among the people of the worlds they inhabit; they may be known as "God" or "the Almighty" or some similar title, but not as "one of the Shards of Adonalsium."

At this point, the only character in a position to speculate about Odium and the Thrill is Dalinar, and he's busy thinking about a lot of other things. So the "Thrill is an aspect of Odium" is just a fan theory.
Robert Dickinson
32. ChocolateRob
@28 AKA me.
OK I've just reread the start and the soldier pinned to the ceiling is able to regain his footing, though upside down, so he at least is not bound to the spot. Whatever part of him touched the ceiling would have been held there otherwise.
Still, that does not mean it can't be done or that Szeth doesn't ever do it.
Robert Dickinson
33. ChocolateRob
OK I've given it a bit more thought and come up with a different way to combine gravity and pressure. It's not as flashy as anything else we've seen but I'm pretty sure that Syl would approve.

- Giving people headaches when they annoy you. -

Apply a Basic Lashing to reverse a person's gravity but also apply a Full Lashing to bind their feet to the ground. We don't know how long Kaladin could apply this following his power boost but I figure he could get at least fifteen minutes of causing someone's blood to rush to their head if he really wanted to.
For further fun he could apply the gravitational direction toward any of the walls just to freak the subject out.
RedHeadEd
34. chrogu
I don't know if this has already been noted, and mild spoilers for WOR,


but did anyone else notice that when Kaladin used basic lashings for the first time to fly over the shattered plains he made specific comment that the air didn't seem as thin as Rock would have them believe it was at high altitude. Could this be evidence of him unconciously using the surge of pressure to keep a pocket of breathable air around him even at high altitude??

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