Thu
Feb 13 2014 12:00pm

The Way of Kings Reread: Chapter 57

Brandon Sanderson The Way of Kings Stormlight Archive Welcome back to The Way of Kings reread on Tor.com. It’s been a crazy storm of previews, glimpses, and speculation here on the site recently, but I’d like to remind you all that we have a spoiler thread for Words of Radiance discussion, as well as a dedicated Glimpses of Radiance thread. If you want to discuss the previews, please go there, as it’s entirely possible that people following the reread want to go into Words of Radiance unspoiled. I also highly encourage you to check out our own WetlanderNW's article on being a Words of Radiance beta-reader.

This week I’m covering Chapter 57: Wandersail, and it is a doozy. Kaladin goes ninja, offends his sprenfriend, and meets the most infuriating plotbunny on the entire Shattered Plains, as well as briefly considering a career as a professional musician.

Chapter 57: Wandersail

Setting: The Shattered Plains
Point of View: Kaladin
What Happens: Maps screams as he dies, speaking of the world shattering: “The rocks trembled with their steps and the stones reached toward the heavens. We die! We die!”

Kaladin, who had been trying to save his man, reels back. He thinks his men are being taken, one by one, and the meaning and significance of their lives begins to unravel in his mind. Around him, the survivors of Bridge Four discuss the death-sayings, with the wounded Teft saying that they seem to have been occurring more often lately. Kaladin tries to fight his guilt, remembering his father telling him that he had to learn when to care. But he can’t choose, he always cares.

Syl tells him to be strong for the other bridgemen, so he forces himself to stand up in parade rest and watch the battle. As he does so, Lopen approaches him with the bag of spheres they’d stuck to the bridge. Lopen retrieved it, then dropped the entire coil of rope down into the chasm, to avoid Hashal or Gaz seeing what they’re doing. Not that Kaladin has seen Gaz on this bridge run.

 Lopen falls back, and Kaladin focuses on the battle. At least his soldier training lets him see the Parshendi as an enemy to be destroyed, rather than suffering people he needed to help. He begins to pay attention to how the Parshendi treat their dead, wondering if the Alethi have even noticed how furiously their enemies attack when they march over their dead. With Sadeas and Dalinar fighting together, the day is eventually won, and Bridge Four returns to camp, having lost some good men and picked up more injured strays.

It’s obvious by now that the soldiers are angry at and ashamed by the discipline Bridge Four demonstrates as it stands in parade rest, waiting for them to cross. Kaladin reminisces how he used to dream about being a soldier on the Shattered Plains, and theorizes that the men here hate their discipline because it reminds them of what they ought to have themselves. Once again, Dalinar Kholin is brought up as a counter-example, but Kaladin doesn’t believe in exceptions to lighteyed corruption anymore.

Back in camp, while treating Teft’s injuries, the older bridgeman pesters Kaladin about whether he’s experienced anything strange lately. Then, without warning, Teft throws a punch. Kaladin reacts by instinct, taking in a deep breath and catching the blow in his hand. Strength blossoms within him, and he begins to glow.

Gollancz UK Cover Way of KingsTeft tells him that he’s been consuming Stormlight, and Kaladin notices that he stuck a pack to the side of the barrel, where it is still hanging. Something has been happening to him, and he doesn’t know what. Seeing Syl, he bellows and runs after her, demanding to know what she’s done to him. She says that she doesn’t remember everything she once knew about this, but they are changing each other. He makes her admit that she isn’t really a windspren, but, again, she doesn’t know what she is.

Syl tells him that he’s becoming something from legends, a Windrunner. He latches on to the idea of the Radiants, and wonders aloud if this is why he’s cursed. In the process, he deeply offends Syl. He hides from public view until the glow fades.

That night, Kaladin walks out of the warcamp towards the Plains. This is the first time he’s been truly alone since he became a slave, and he finds himself in a contemplative mood. He can’t deny to himself that he’s been healing at an impossible rate. He should never have been able to survive that highstorm, but he’d been noticing drained spheres long before that.

He also knows that the cracks within him are widening. He can’t bear the pressure of being Bridge Four’s savior. He keeps making promises to himself, and they’re wearing him down.

His moody thoughts are broken up by a distant melody. He tracks down the music, and finds a small camp with a burning fire, where a lighteyed man in black is playing the flute. His music is enticing and alien. Kaladin stops, realizing that he doesn’t want to encounter a brightlord, and turns to go, but the flautist stops playing and engages him in conversation.

He spars with Kaladin verbally, confirming our suspicions; this is Wit. Along the way he manages to suggest that he knows Kaladin is consuming Stormlight, but also to defuse that suggestion. He introduces himself as someone whose job it is to be witty, and says that he’s had many names: “I began life as a thought, a concept, words on a page. That was another thing I stole. Myself. Another time, I was named for a rock.” He tells Kaladin that he may call him Hoid, which is not his name, but “the name of someone I should have loved. Once again, this is a thing I stole.”

Kaladin tries to excuse himself, but before he can go, Hoid gives him the Trailman’s flute he’d been playing, a flute for a storyteller to play while telling a story. Kaladin asks how this is possible, and Hoid shows him. He plays the flute, which echoes amazingly off the chasm walls around them, and speaks into the echoes while not playing, giving Kaladin the story of Derethil and the Wandersail.

Derethil was a great king, an explorer, who built a ship to explore the westward sea. No one had ever explored that far, due to the peril of facing highstorms on the open ocean, but he commissioned a vessel he was sure could manage it. As Hoid plays and speaks, Kaladin begins to see or imagine the smoke twisting into images to accompany the story. Derethil sought the origin of the voidbringers, and rode the stormwinds west, nearly crashing on a distant island. There they were taken in by the Uvara, a people who always seemed to agree, but punished any breach in failure of behavior among their people with death. Whenever they carried out one of these grisly executions, they would say that their emperor “will not suffer failure.”

Kaladin sees a tower rising in the smoke, just before Hoid explains that the emperor lived in a great tower. Derethil and his men ventured into it, but came out carrying a desiccated corpse. The emperor of the Uvara had been dead for years. The Uvara collapsed into terrible chaos, and Derethil fled, with their local guide and caretaker fleeing with them. When asked the reason for the terrible riots, the guide Nafti replied, “Do you not see, Traveling One? If the emperor is dead, and has been all these years, then the murders we committed are not his responsibility. They are our own.”

Kaladin is moved by the story, and he and Hoid discuss what wit is, how this story could have made it back to Roshar, and how Hoid produced such amazing effects. The storyteller claims that the fire was ordinary fire, and the smoke mundane smoke. He says that Kaladin made the shapes he saw, and asks him what the story meant. Kaladin says that it’s about taking responsibility. Hoid asks him what it is he doesn’t want to take responsibility for.

Hoid gives Kaladin the flute, telling him to learn to play it, and asks him to take good care of “that blasted apprentice of” his. He says to tell him that he’s been graduated, and is now a full Worldsinger, and Kaladin realizes he’s talking about Sigzil. With that, he runs off to the warcamps, then turning south to run along the camps’ border.

Syl announces her presence, saying that she doesn’t like Hoid. She says that she’s behind what’s happening to Kaladin, that without her nothing would be changing in him. She’s willing to stop, but if she does she’ll go back to being a simple windspren. She tells Kaladin that he doesn’t survive because he’s cursed, but because their bond makes him stronger.

Kaladin realizes that he’s been making protecting the bridgemen all about him. He was doing it because he couldn’t stand not to, not because they deserved to be protected. He runs back to camp, and asks Teft how he knows what he knows. Teft reveals that he grew up in a cult dedicated to the Radiants. Kaladin takes up his responsibility, and tells him that they’re going to find out what the Radiants could do.

Quote of the Chapter:

“And you think I’m a curse?” she asked him.

“I… Well, you said you’re part of it, and…”

She strode forward, pointing at him, a tiny irate woman hanging in the air. “So you think I’ve caused all of this? Your failures? The deaths?”

Kaladin didn’t respond. He realized almost immediately that silence might be the worst response. Syl—surprisingly human in her emotions—spun in the air with a wounded look and zipped away, forming a ribbon of light.

Kaladin, you are the least smooth. Do not tell the tiny woman who’s bonded to you by magic and who depends on you for her ability to form memories, the one who’s been making sure you survive all the stupid shit you get yourself into, that she’s a curse. This is not a rule I should have to be laying down for you!

Commentary:

TOO MUCH STUFF GOING ON IN THIS CHAPTER, GUYS!

The death-sayings! According to Teft they’ve been coming more recently lately, which just can NOT be good. What Maps said is pretty clearly from a time and place he could never have experienced, so it’s hard to dispute their prophetic nature. Seeing one so close to an epigraph also makes it hard to ignore their connection.

The camp psychology! We see both the soldiers and the other bridges react to Bridge Four’s new discipline, and it’s not pretty. The soldiers are ashamed, while the bridgemen see another group of people who are better than them. It’s amazing how Kaladin imposed an order and discipline that he’d been yearning after since he became a soldier. His men even have their own salute now.

Teft is not really one for subterfuge, is he? I wonder if, in his mind, he’s trying to punch secrets out of Kaladin, or punch revelations into him. Either way, he tells us more about the crazy cult he grew up in, and his fist-based strategies are bearing fruit. Because of them, we’ve finally reached the point at which Kaladin can no longer deny that something is up. The point at which you start glowing and sticking objects to walls is the point at which you can no longer deny that you are friggin’ magical. He’s glowing, sticking things to things, the whole works. We also learn that Syl isn’t a windspren at all. She binds things, but thanks to our convenient little point of comparison, we also know she isn’t a bindspren. And she provides more fuel for the fire of our discussion of whether spren cause things or are attracted to things.

Kaladin’s deep analysis of his own weaknesses and motivations is excellently portrayed. He never really lets up on himself, finding something to criticize even in his drive to save people. And if he’s right about his motivations, then this isn’t just self-flagellation. It’s really useful to realize that you’ve only been helping people because it makes you feel better about yourself. Now that Kaladin knows what’s up with him, he can move forward more easily.

The Way of Kings, and the Stormlight Archive in general, contains more information about Hoid than all of Sanderson’s other books combined. As I’ve mentioned a few times, that jerk shows up everywhere, but only here is he a real character. He is excellent at drawing out people’s deep motivations and spurring them to action. We learn that Hoid isn’t his own name, but the name of someone he should have loved. Who could that be? What rock could he have been named after? I am sure that once we learn the answer to that question it will change anything. And why is he actually here on Roshar? He said he was looking for an old acquaintance, but now he spends most of his time hiding from him. Is this the Thirteenth Shard team that we’ve seen hunting him, or is he talking about Rayse, the bearer of the Shard of Odium?

His story is amazing, and worth going into for all its implications about the world, but what is most impressive is how perfectly it pushes Kaladin into a better place to handle his burdens. While I always assume that Hoid’s stories are based on prior events or legends, it almost doesn’t matter, because their purpose is usually to give the protagonists a kick in the pants and set them on the right path. I hope Kaladin does try to learn to play the flute, although somehow I doubt he’ll make the time for it.

That’s it for this week! I’ll see those of you who are following in the Glimpses of Radiance spoiler thread. For those brave souls, I can only say I’m sorry not sorry glad you’ve agreed to participate in this grand experiment we’ve concocted.


Carl Engle-Laird is the editorial assistant at Tor.com, where he acquires and edits original fiction. He is also the resident Stormlight Archive correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter here.

87 comments
Cory S.
1. Hungry_For_Hands
A lot of good info in this chapter. But I wanted to point out one thing that occurred to me just now while reading the summary.

This really spoke "Szeth" to me.

“Do you not see, Traveling One? If the emperor is dead, and has been all these years, then the murders we committed are not his responsibility. They are our own.”

I have a feeling that Szeth is eventually going to do some soul searching and try to take responsibility for the deaths at his hands. I think that he uses his title as Truthless as a crutch, or a justification for the evil he has done. With book 3 tenatively named "Stones Unhallowed", perhaps he will realize he has been wrong to follow Stone Shamanism?

Just a random thought!
Adam S.
2. MDNY
I love, love, LOVE this chapter, especially Hoid's story. It reminds me a lot of his appearance in Warbreaker (for those who haven't read it, he appears as a storyteller who has an almost magical ability to make his story come to life with things produced from his pockets). I was taken aback by Syl saying she doesn't like him, however. While I often don't like Hoid, I like him a lot in this book, so I'm not sure why she dislikes him. Could it be that she on some level associates him with the bearers of Adonalsium's shards, even Odium, or even met him thousands of years ago?
It seems pretty clear to me that the death quote is right in line with the ones heading chapters, and the ones that King Taravangissholeian is collecting. I wonder if the death quotes are coming as another message from Honor, like Dalinar's visions, to warn people about the approaching desolation.
Nadine L.
3. travyl
It's great, that Teft finally "takes a hand" in prompting Kaladin to realize his powers.

I loved Hoid / Wit's comment about Kaladin stealing his stormlight / spheres.

Small criticism:
I don't see any good reason, why Kaladin let Lopen drop the rope into the chasm. He hasn't formed a plan of how he could use it, it certainly isn't possible to tie it to an arrow and shoot it up to a bridge. So while he can use the rope with his powers, I'm bothered that he ordered the deed before he knew that.
Drew McCaffrey
4. PallonianFire
Are we allowed to talk about The Liar of Partinel on here? Cuz the answer to at least one question here is in that.

The thing I find most intriguing about this scene is that Hoid is clearly using a type of magic that I won't name until WoR comes out. The question is, does this mean that he's a Surgebinder himself, or is it a very similar magic that he's had all along?
Ben McSweeney
5. Inkthinker
Pretty sure that Partinel isn't technically canon... anything might have changed since then.
Walker White
6. Walker
TOO MUCH STUFF GOING ON IN THIS CHAPTER, GUYS!
This is actually a problem that I had with this chapter. I do not feel like training his team, running away, and then encountering Hoid all one chapter is tonally consistent. I desparately want a chapter break in here.

I have similar problems with the prologue to Words of Radiance.
Drew McCaffrey
7. PallonianFire
@5 Definitely true, but some of the consistencies between it and the things that Hoid says here are pretty telling.
Tricia Irish
8. Tektonica
When Hoid says that Hoid is not his real name, but the name of someone he should've loved, could it mean that this isn't Hoid...The Hoid, from other books, but someone esle?
Robert Dickinson
9. ChocolateRob
You're slipping Carl, you forgot to include a sentence about how you've already read the next book and how awesome it is to be you.
Nadine L.
10. travyl
@9, Rob: LOL spren over here. :)
Drew McCaffrey
11. PallonianFire
@10 Careful. Brandon might actually take you up on that. The "awesomeness" stuff is hard enough to stomach, but I'd probably lose my mind if I ever saw "lolspren" on a page ;)
Matthew Harris
12. Serendipity04
"Is this the Thirteenth Shard team that we’ve seen hunting him..."

I feel obligated to point out that it is the 17th Shard looking for Hoid, not the 13th. (Unless there is such an organization that we find out about in WoR?)
Mike I
13. MikeyRocks
@2, such a good comment about the death quotes and dalinar's visions, I hadn't drawn that comparison.
Drew McCaffrey
14. PallonianFire
@12 You are correct, it's the Seventeenth Shard.
Jennifer B
15. JennB
I would like to hear people's thoughts on all the directional hints we have been given.

Here it is stated that the Voidbringers come from the West. If the Voidbringers come from the West, then they come against the Highstorms not with them.

Jasnah tells us Urithu was built in the West to be closer to Honor. Which means that the Voidbringers come from where Honor was located. It also means that Urithu is not at, above, or under the Shattered Plains because they are in the East.

The Origin is in the East. So the Highstorms do not come from where Honor is.

On top of all of all of this, we have to remember that this is an entire planet that is spherical. So if you go far enough West, you end up in the East and vice versa.

How does it all fit together?
Drew McCaffrey
16. PallonianFire
I still think that Urithiru was in the Purelake. I think it makes sense with the whole "you can't get there on foot" thing, being that people probably took boats to avoid getting wet, etc.

However, there was the one account of a king walking to Urithiru, which is possible as we've seen Ishikk walking around in the Purelake and thinking that the place never gets too deep in any spot.
Bryan Tisinger
17. SunsetEssence
@15 I've noticed a bunch of comments from various chapters speculating about Urithiru's directional location. People have to remember that east and west are all relative on spherical planet.

If you live in Washington DC then you would say California is to the west. But if you live in Hawaii then you would say California is to the east. So if Urithiru is in the "West" it could still be in the shattered plains if the person who originally said that was located east of the plains.
David Foster
18. ZenBossanova
4. PallonianFire
I want to see that Liar of Parthenal spoiler. Change the color of the text of the spoiler to white, if you need to.
Peter Ahlstrom
19. PeterAhlstrom
No one has mentioned what I consider the coolest thing about this chapter.
Gary Singer
20. AhoyMatey
Carl, this reread has been, and is, a lot of fun! The insights are great.
Drew McCaffrey
21. PallonianFire
@18 Hoid is the main character in Liar. It starts off with his master (named Hoid) dying and Hoid ends up taking his name.

Of course, as Inkthinker noted, this isn't established canon. But it definitely seems to have influenced things in Way of Kings.
Jennifer B
22. JennB
@17
I do address that in the last paragraph of my post.

We can assume that all our sources are referenced from somewhere on our map of Roshar though. It is pretty well established that humans are unable to travel very far on the open sea. We know that the Wandersail story refers to sailing west of the main continent. We also know that the Origin is east of the main continent. What we do not know is what part of Roshar Urithu is west of, but considering the Shattered Plains are almost on the eastern edge of the continent, it is extremely unlikely that someone would refer to it as the West.

I hope that some day we will find out what is beyond the edges of the map.
Jeremy Guebert
23. jeremyguebert
So, Gaz is nowhere to be found, eh? Brandon has said that there are clues to his disappearance, but that it's not as "intuitively obvious" as Robert Jordan claimed the "Who killed Asmodean?" question was in WoT. My personal theory is that he was executed (either directly or being assigned to a bridge team) by Hashal for being unable to control Kaladin. That's mostly speculation at this point, though. Wouldn't it be interesting if he was made a bridgeman and then ended up being one of the ones who survived to the end of the book and is now in Dalinar's army?

Also, with Kalain seeing the tower in the dust before the tower was described, I call bogus on Hoid's "this is totally just normal dust, guys" statement.

Another interesting question: If Hoid is a name that he stole, is it possible that Hoid is actually more of a title than anything else, perhaps claimed by the senior/highest-ranking Worldsinger?
Nadine L.
24. travyl
Peter @19
It's still early in the discussion. But please give us a hint in what you thought the best thing.

And since I'm already adressing you:
Thank you for the work you did in creating WoK, WoR and any other book Brandon has written and will write in the future, with your assistance.
Dixon Davis
25. KadesSwordElanor
After rereading this chapter, I finally figured out who Nakomi from WOT is, Hoid. ;)
Kade's Sword Elanor
26. Kade's Sword Elanor
I am wandering if Hoid saying he is named for a rock means he might be named after a planet?
Peter Ahlstrom
29. PeterAhlstrom
travyl@24 I think I'm too close to the material to give clues. It's something I realized on my own while reading (maybe three years ago), and that's not an experience I'd want to deny anyone.
Reid cashman
30. hellzie
Favorite part of this chapter:

"What did you put in the fire?" Kaladin said. "To make that special smoke?"
"Nothing. It was just an ordinary fire."
"But, I saw-"
"What you saw belons to you. A story doesn't live until it is imagined in someone's mind."
"What does the story mean, then?"
"It means what you want it to mean," Hoid said. "The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon. Too often, we forget that."
Walker White
31. Walker
My favorite part (which no one has mentioned) is the following exchange:
"And what is cleverness?"

"I..." Why was he having this conversation? "I guess it's the ability to say and do the right things at the right time."
Read that, and then go back and read the epilogue.
Leeland Woodard
32. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
Ack, Peter @29, you're at least as bad as Brandon!

Also, adjacent to the Liar of Partinel discussion above, we know a bit more about some of the stuff that Hoid said if you've read Dragonsteel. Something spoilerish (but not really) follows:
Hoid is called Topaz in Dragonsteel, so we know that this is the rock that he's named after.
So there's that, too, then. Hoid is just too fascinating a character not to follow around.
David Foster
33. ZenBossanova
That is some very interesting info about Hoid.
But if Hoid should succeed in his little project, what will happen?
Will he become Adonalsium, or will have the power of all 16 shards?
It appears to be a very audacious project, but I am not clear (are any of us?) about what the end game for Hoid will look like, or what the implications will be for all the Shardworlds we know and love.
Kade's Sword Elanor
34. Justinator1
Re: Gaz
He always felt like something was out to get him from the darkness of his blind eye. Did it finally get him?

On a related unrelated note, during my current reread, during one of the first confrontations between Gaz and Kal, Kal says "I've got my eye on you Gaz!" I couldn't help but chuckle.
Andrew Berenson
35. AndrewHB
I think that Wit' comment that he "began life as a thought, a concept, words on a page" is an attempt by Brandon to break the fourth wall.

Thanks for reading my musings.
AndrewB
(aka the musespren)
Leeland Woodard
36. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
Something that's tangentially related, that readers here might be interested in...

I'm in a creative writing course taught by Brandon "The Man" Sanderson himself, and they're posting the lecture videos on his website a under the subdirectory /writing-advice.
Leeland Woodard
37. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
Oh, also, I almost forgot to do this.

The herald icons for chapter 57 are the Masked Man and Jes.

The masked man is obviously there because of Hoid. Jes, I attribute to Kaladin's nascant powers really coming into light.

It's interesting that in a chapter that's so significant with Kaladin recognizing his powers that Jes doesn't get top billing. It's also interesting to me that Hoid gets his own heraldic icon, despite the fact that he isn't a herald. Honestly, I take this to mean that Hoid's presence is as crucial as a Herald's presence would be, at least in the chapters that the Masked Man appears. I'm starting to think that the Masked Man appears when Hoid is revealing knowledge that the characters couldn't have gotten from any other source on Roshar.
David Foster
38. ZenBossanova
I thought Brandon did those once a year? I have listened to the other two series of lectures, and they are fascinating. (well, the business part is just interesting, but most of it is fascinating)
The last two series are at the Write About Dragons Youtube channel. The new ones are at Brandon's Youtube channel.
Glen V
39. Ways
AndrewHB @35
I thought the same during my first read, and still do.

I have never been so caught-up in a series until now, not even LotR, WoT or The Dark Tower.

Off to re-read this chapt. in an attempt to discern what Peter is referencing...TTFN
Peter Ahlstrom
40. PeterAhlstrom
Andrew@35: I asked Brandon about that, and he says that comment is not meta.
Glen V
41. Ways
Peter @19
I wouldn't consider it cool, but the epigraph is especially...troubling, and I don't understand the fit (yet).
and @40
So much for that theory.
leif Nyman
42. leiftinspace
Anyone know why the "magic" in the different Shardworlds take so many different forms? In Warbreaker it's manifested through breath, in Mistborn it's through ingesting and metabolising metal, or through feruchemy or hemallurgy (all more physical mediums), in WoK it's through light, and?I forget exactly how it all works in Elantris. Is there any special significance to this? Are the different manifestations somehow representative of the different Shards? I hope that makes sense. I'm still a bit new to Cosmere speculation
Kade's Sword Elanor
43. Risley
leiftinspace@42 It has been stated that the magic of each shardworld is unique to the world itself and not dependent upon the shards that occupy it. That being said, the shards appear to integrate themselves into the magic system of their world and become essential pieces to the powers there.
Cory S.
44. Hungry_For_Hands
@42 - Take a look at the "Relationship with magic systems" section of this link. There is some intersting info here (actually on the whole page too)

http://coppermind.net/wiki/Shard


an excerpt:

The types of magics that exist on a world depends on which Shards are present. If Endowment were to move to Scadrial, additional combinations of magics may form.
However, Shards did not create magic systems. Ruin and Preservation did not create the Metallic Arts.
Rather, magic is a natural function of the world, a Shard's intent, realmatic interactions, and sometimes genetics
Kyle Rome
45. Jezrien
peter @40 Is it a reference to his relationship and skill with traveling through Shadesmar?
Peter Ahlstrom
46. PeterAhlstrom
Jezrien@45 I don't think so. I'm assuming it will be explained when we eventually (many years from now) get Hoid's origin story.
Leeland Woodard
47. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
@Peter

Is your "coolest thing" in this chapter the Yolen magic that Hoid is apparently doing with the flute and the fire and the story?
David Foster
48. ZenBossanova
I rather suspect, it is Hoid knowing Kaladin was, and what he needed to know to get him back on track. Hoid seems to have a habit of turning up at the right place and at the right time. I seem to recall hearing something about Hoid using Feruchemy to store up foresight, though I really don't know what metal would do that. It might even be Hoid-specific, from his interaction with countless shards.
Peter Ahlstrom
49. PeterAhlstrom
smintitule@47: Not that. I will say that the thing I'm referring to is four words.
Kade's Sword Elanor
50. av willis
@16
Except one of the flashbacks Dalinar experiences in one of the early release chapters for WOR was of a radiant mission to the Purelake. If the mission was right on their door step, it stands to reason someone would have said something
David Foster
51. ZenBossanova
I just read back over the chaper, and I have no idea about Peter's 4 words, unless it is Hoid mentioning that he stole the name of a stone, and it became worthless for his stealing it.

But one thing that confused me a bit. The ship, the Wandersail, went West, to find the Origin of the Storms. The storms always blow east, so that would only make sense if you understand that Roshar is a sphere, like the Earth. But if that makes sense to our protagonists, then why did Kaladin ask how they would get back, if the storms only blow one direction? Either, he understands the world is round, (which means he can find the origin, but then sail around back to home) or he thinks the world is flat, but then why would the king sail west, to find what is in the east?
Jennifer B
52. JennB
@51
They were not seeking the Origin of the Highstorms. They were seeking the place where voidbringers are spawned. They rode the storm winds to the west and encountered a giant whirlpool where the ocean drains.
Jennifer B
53. JennB
It is difficult to figure out whether this story has any historical truth in it. Perhaps we will eventually get another story in which the Wandersail sails through the Origin and comes out on the East side of the continent, but I think it is quite possible that the people of Roshar do not know the planet is spherical. After all, it is impossible to survive a Highstorm in the open ocean.

The part I take away as a possible historical clue is the statement that the Voidbringers are spawned in the west. Ancient Roshar folklorists may have had no clue that the world is round, but I bet they knew which direction the terrible monsters that were periodically killing them came from.
Nathan Kinsinger
54. Brotherbard
Syl says:
“But without me, nothing would be changing in you. I’m… taking something from you.”
What is she taking from Kaladin?
Maiane Bakroeva
55. Isilel
It seems that Hoid engineered poor Sigzil's soujourn among the bridge crews. So that he'd be close to Kaladin probably. Wouldn't want to be his apprentice, heh. Even though Hoid obviously can see the future to some extent, I imagine that Sigzil was in very real danger, not to mention a world of pain.

JennB @53:

If the story of Wandersail is true, then it must be possible to survive Highstorms on an open sea, no? It is just that people that we have encountered so far no longer know how.

BTW, I don't remember, how is it that Kaladin can wander freely outside the camp? I thought that the bridgemen were forbidden to leave it except to go to the chasm?
Cory S.
56. Hungry_For_Hands
Peter you are evil.
I read through the chapter 3 times this morning to try and figure out your 4 words. And.... I'm stumped.

The best I can come up with is at the beginning when Kaladin looks like he is ready to give up and Syl tells him that his men need him

"You gave your Oath".

Maybe this oath has a more significant meaning???
Kade's Sword Elanor
57. Jasuni
@3 "{Kaladin} originally intended to have Rock shoot an arrow with a rope tied to it over the bridge, then back down into the chasm. With some men holding one end, another could have climbed up and tied the sack to the bridge's underside"(chapter 59 on p. 840). Kaladin already had an idea, but he never used it because he figured out a better way.

@11 I don't see lolspren entering into the book; I don't see how it could reallisticlly add anything to the book. The use of "awesome" was interesting (especially since it was a very correct usage)

"Until only I remain" I wonder how accurate this phrase will turn out to be. If this is accurate, then we will see almost everyone die, except Kaladin. If not, then we can still expect a large amount of death (there is a desolation coming, after all)
Nathan Kinsinger
58. Brotherbard
I think Peter's four words are in the story and link it to a future chapter. We should probably wait till that chapter in the reread to discuss it.

Also it seems to me that Dalinar should really hear this story, maybe Kaladin will practice the flute/storytelling where he can hear it.
Leeland Woodard
59. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
I believe that I've found Peter's four words.

I went through the chapter and wrote down all of the four-word phrases that stood out to me for one reason or another. Here's the list of them:
And where is Gaz?
Kaladin's thoughts on the plains. I discounted this because, while we know it's important, it's not necessarily something "cool" about the chapter.
"Do rotspren cause sickness?"
Syl says this to Kaladin when he's contemplating the whole spren/idea relationship. This could be it, but I don't really think so, since it's something we've discussed at length.
"You are not cursed"
Syl to Kaladin again, when he says he's cursed. Again, I don't think this is necessarily something "cool" about the chapter, it just stood out to me because it was so emphatic on her part.
The Radiants betrayed mankind.
Kaladin's thoughts about radiants, when he learned that he's becoming like one. I put this in here because we hear about the Radiants betraying mankind, but we don't know how or why.
Everyone knows the legends.
More of Kaladin's thoughts on the Radiants. I put this one in here because while "everyone" knows the legends, we don't.
"What is a wit?"
Hoid to Kaladin. Probably just Hoid messing with Kaladin, but possibly noteworthy nonetheless.
"Is the story true?"
Kaladin to Hoid. I suppose the response would be bigger than this question, so on reflection I'd probably throw this one out.
"It means taking responsibility"
Kaladin to Hoid, describing the meaning of the story. This is important just because it shows what Kaladin's thinking of, and how he got to his decision.
"I don't like him."
Syl to Kaladin, about Hoid. Could be interesting that Syl just doesn't like Hoid for some reason. That could be pretty important.

And now we get to my favorite one, and the one that I think is Peter's "coolest thing" about the chapter. The four-word phrase to end all four-word phrases in the chapter (this might be cheating, since it starts with an "I'm," but the four words that follow are the important ones):
"I'm...taking something from you"
Syl to Kaladin, talking about the nature of their bonded relationship. What is Syl taking from Kaladin? Obviously their relationship is symbiotic based on this, but how exactly?

@Peter -- did I get it right? Can I have a cookie?
Alice Arneson
60. Wetlandernw
Well, I don't know about Peter, but to me, the coolest part of this chapter starts with "Something blossomed within Kaladin." This is, IIRC, the first time he's really noticed the effect of drawing on Stormlight, even though he'd been doing it unconsciously for a while. Then he proceeds to unknowingly stick his bag to the water barrel and feels a momentary coldness on his skin; later he feels that same coldness when he sticks the rock to the wall.

This is the point at which he finally begins to make the connections between Syl and a lot of other things - too-fast healing, never getting hit with the arrows even while running at the front of the bridge, etc. He begins to realize that he's starting to do things from the legends of the Radiants, although he jumps to the idea of "the curse" from the end of the story, rather than the amazing things they'd done for so many centuries before that. (Dope.)
Dixon Davis
61. KadesSwordElanor
Peter. Did BS put you up to this 4 word thing to test his class? If so, smintitule deserves an A. Tell BS the WOK reread said so. This sounds like something a college professor would do. ;)
Nadine L.
62. travyl
@59 / 61:
smintitule gets only half a cookie (for effort), because Peter never said it was a four-word phrase, only it was 4 words. - Such details matter to professors ;)
Another careful reread of the chapter might be in order for smintitule to find all the cool 4-word combinations (e.g. the example Wetlander gave us) ;)
Glen V
63. Ways
"Peter you are evil."
and KSE @61, yes!!! Shades of RJ.

travyl @62
Good point. I hope you meant 4 words together taken from a longer sentence. The alternative is a Mission Impossible.

Here's one that hasn't been mentioned yet:
"Stormfather, but I feel strong!"
Kaladin thinks that to himself during the confrontation with Teft. It's interesting because we haven't yet heard (IIRC) of Stormlight confering direct physical strength on those who can use it, just special abilities. (Please correct if I'm forgetting something.) However, it doesn't really fit the 4-word mold no matter how you tweak it, so it's probably wrong.

Another possibility is when Syl says to Kaladin "We have done something." Like Wetlander's contribution @60, I think there are many really cool statements (spoken aloud or not) about Kal's growth in this chapter, but they all seem little too obvious. I think we are missing something very "meta" here.
Rob Campbell
64. rccampbe
Ways @41 That epigraph is so troubling that the only place I can see it fit is in the Heralds' torture environment. Building on the recent Oathpact theory from the Glimpses thread which stated that the Desolation comes when the Herald/s can't take the torture anymore, perhaps this could be what broke Taln? Thus he failed, as he states at the end of WoK.
Rob Campbell
65. rccampbe
I loved Kaladin's response to 'What is a wit?'
'I don't know. Some kind of spren in your head, maybe, that makes you think?'
Divinely inspired.
Grainne McGuire
66. helen79
An idle thought: is there any connection between Derethil and Shu-Dereth (Elantris)?

It may just be a coincidence in similar sounding names - I don't know the books well enough to speculate any further.
Rob Campbell
67. rccampbe
Another possibility for Peter's cool part is when Kaladin reflects about the Shattered Plains: "His home. His sepulcher." How are the Shattered Plains Kaladin's sepulcher? Because it is where Honor died and Kaladin has a piece of Honor within him! That would be different from bonding a spren and being a Knight Radiant. That would mean Kaladin is/will be a Herald.

I'm probably reaching, but I feel the Kaladin vs. Shattered Plains comparison is indicative of SOMETHING there. It even goes so far as to personify the plains (or perhaps dead Honor) with Kaladin thinking: "We belong together, you and I. I'm like you."
Peter Ahlstrom
68. PeterAhlstrom
Brandon didn't put me up to it, but I'm loving the discussion. :)

The four words are in the middle of a sentence.
Leeland Woodard
69. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
@66, helen79

I think that it's entirely possible that Hoid is telling a story from another culture (or, another world entirely), and is just making it seem like it took place on Roshar.
Deana Whitney
70. Braid_Tug
@ Carl: “I am sure that once we learn the answer to that question it will change anything.”
Is that what you meant to say? Seems like there is either a dropped word, or a different word needs to be at the end.

Late to class, so not going to try for Peter’s bonus points now. :-)
What I love about this class is how much of it Lightweaver it shows BWS to be. Hoid’s story and smoke made Kaldin see the story. As he makes words dance with images in our heads.

I do hope the flute is not forgotten in Kaldin’s rush of trying to do way too much in WoR. Would like to see what stories he makes come alive.
Glen V
71. Ways
rccampbe @various
I like your theories, in general. Perhaps you are correct about the epigraph, but a/the Herald/s considering or actually killing babies to gain further breath to draw (whatever that means), even after torture in Damnation, is pretty gruesome and distinctly un-Brandon-like. There is certainly more to this one than we understand at this point.

I'm surprised there hasn't been more discussion this week about the epigraph. I'd love to see what some of our resident gurus (you know who you are) have to say. I don't want to distract us from the nifty scavenger hunt challenge, but I'll bet we can multi-task. Might even hit the hunny this week.

Just got back from popping over to the 17th Shardsite for a quick search (yeah, right) on epigraphs. I did find one post, but it doesn't mention the Chapt. 57 epigraph.
Rob Campbell
72. rccampbe
Ways- I didn't explain that too well. I was suggesting that Odium's torture was to somehow force the baby killing scenario. Taln refuses, which means he fails at resisting the torture, is thrown back into Roshar and the Desolation begins. So he had the option of baby killing to postpone a Desolation (further breath to draw), but declined. That was the least atrocious explanation I could think up for such a nasty epigraph.
Kade's Sword Elanor
73. FireArcadia
Peter@68 "We found him in the top room, alone" - Pg805
In thet top room is the name of the last Chapter of the Way of Kings (before the Epilogue). This is one of my favourite parts of the whole book.
Cory S.
74. Hungry_For_Hands
@73 - That's a really good catch Fire. It certainly sounds like it could be right.

It also draws some interesting parallels. "In the top room" they found the emperor had been dead for years and all the horrible killing had been the islanders doing. In the chapter "in the top room" we find out that the Almighty is dead and has been for some time. Perhaps all the warring and killing that the Alethi have done in His name is the same??
Peter Ahlstrom
75. PeterAhlstrom
You got it. I won't say everyone will find this very cool, but when I originally made that connection it broke my brain.
Nadine L.
76. travyl
@73 - 75. Awesome ;)
Thanks for "finding out" and pointing it out to us.
I'm not good at such things, but always interested (that's a huge part of the reason of why I'm here on the re-read).
David Foster
77. ZenBossanova
Now I am going to have to pay a lot more attention to chapter titles.
For most authors, that kind of thing is wasted space, and quite ignorable. On a similar note, when I first read through Mistborn, I quite ignored the epigraphs. I really need to reread that, just so I can pay proper attention to those details.
Leeland Woodard
78. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
@74 Whoa, holy cow, that's a parallel that I hadn't made at all. Fantastic catch!
Rob Campbell
79. rccampbe
Before reading @74, I thought the chapter titled "In the top room" would be Szeth talking with Taravangian. That parallel makes a lot of sense, too.
Rob Campbell
80. rccampbe
Big time props to FireArcadia! And thanks to Peter for sending us hunting.Also, I just looked for the title in question and happened upon a chapter titled Eshonai. In Way of Kings! Gotta stop ignoring those...
Jennifer B
81. JennB
I am totally guilty when it comes to ignoring the chapter titles. Oops.
Alice Arneson
82. Wetlandernw
Never ignore the chapter titles, icons, or epigraphs.... I started learning that on the Mistborn books about the time I got near the end of the first one, but I sure am glad I learned it before WoK came out!
Deana Whitney
83. Braid_Tug
The shear amount of thought BWS puts into the ... everything... is really impressive. Anyone know of an author that is as concerned with everything, including the color of the book binding?

So we know that Harriett came up with the chapter titles in WoT.
Peter, Brandon creates his own, right?
Yes, must learn to attend the titles.

Is Carl or Michael doing a reading of just the epigraphs? Can’t remember.
Peter Ahlstrom
84. PeterAhlstrom
In A Memory of Light Brandon named the longest chapter, but Harriet approved that name.

For Words of Radiance while I was doing one of my later passes, I put several title suggestions at the top of each chapter. Most of these were quotes from what Brandon wrote in that chapter or elsewhere—when I hunted for what titles to suggest, I kept in mind what my favorite chapter titles in the first book were. On Brandon's next pass he finalized the titles. Sometimes he picked one of my suggestions or a variation thereof. (After the book comes out, ask me about a funny chapter title I suggested that Brandon told me he almost picked.)

Often he came up with something new and much better than my suggestions. That is regularly the case in the revision process as well—I am quite gratified by Brandon taking one of my suggestions for how to fix something, but it's often more satisfying when he fixes an issue in a new and genius way (sometimes an in-hindsight deceptively simple way) that hadn't ever crossed my mind. That's why he's the writer and I'm the assistant.
Deana Whitney
85. Braid_Tug
@ Peter, Looking forward to asking you.
And thanks.
I have to say, that having you answer us here is one of the extra special things about this re-read.
Cory S.
86. Hungry_For_Hands
@85 - I agree completely that having Peter interact with us adds a whole new dimension of enjoyability to the re-read. I've been a fan of Brandon and his work for years, but actually being able to interact with several people on the Sanderson Team takes my fandboyism to the next level.
Kade's Sword Elanor
87. Barca
On Syl not liking Hoid.
Syl doesn't like Shardblades either. Does she like stuff that comes out of the Void? Maybe she doesn't like things that remind her of that place? Or maybe Spren comes from a good place?
Kade's Sword Elanor
88. Wortmauer
Isilel@55: If the story of Wandersail is true, then it must be possible to survive highstorms on an open sea, no? It is just that people that we have encountered so far no longer know how.
Well, this is the western sea. A highstorm is pretty much spent by the time it gets over the mountains to Shinovar. And that's before it gets over the other mountain range, west of Shinovar. By then it's probably not even a stiff breeze.

Of course, if we assume a spherical planet, you sail far enough west, you eventually encounter whatever is creating the highstorms. That, or the New World.

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