Thu
Jul 17 2014 11:00am

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 5

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on Tor.com! Last week we met a thunderclast in one of Dalinar’s visions and received the first scribbled countdown to the Everstorm, setting up some serious concerns in House Kholin. This week we return to Kaladin to see what form the next steps will take.

Housekeeping notes: This reread, over all, will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and any other Cosmere books that become relevant. If you haven’t read TWoK and WoR, this discussion will spoil them for you. However, someone expressed concern last week that, without having read the rest of the Sanderson library, they might not get what’s going on in the Stormlight Archive. To address that for anyone else wondering, let me say that the Archive stands on its own as a story; you need not have read anything else he’s ever written to get it. There are several tidbits scattered through it that you won’t catch if you haven’t read other books; then again, there’s a good chance you won’t catch them even if you have read the others. They are not critical to the plot, and when we point them out, they won’t spoil anything in the other books. As last week demonstrated, though, there are occasions when the discussion goes off on a tangent, in which case, well… we’ll ask that plot spoilers be flagged as such, and go from there, eh?

Chapter 5: Ideals

Point of View: Kaladin, Sadeas
Setting: Kholin & Sadeas warcamps, the Pinnacle
Symbology: Spears, Chanarach

 

IN WHICH a Proclamation is made, and Rock is amused by the idea of highprinces rioting; bridgemen will eat like kings—but only for the purpose of training new cooks, of course; Kaladin agrees to let Sigzil study and measure his powers; Sylphrena is confused by Kaladin's refusal to be happy when things get better, which he explains as increased responsibilities but really he's just a die-hard pessimist; Sadeas has a POV revealing that he's a sociopath; Kaladin calls Moash down for getting mouthy, and stands in on his first strategy conference with the PTB; Adolin's scabbard is unlocked; and Politics are Planned.

Quote of the Week:

Dalinar put his hands on the thick stone windowsill. He stared out, as if at something he could see and the rest of them could not. “I’ll have us be what we were before, son. A kingdom that can stand through storms, a kingdom that is a light and not a darkness. I will have a truly unified Alethkar, with highprinces who are loyal and just. I’ll have more than that.” He tapped the windowsill. “I’m going to refound the Knights Radiant.”

I considered multiple passages for QOTW, but landed on this one because it sets out so clearly the difference between what they are and what they need to become. Back in TWoK, one of the Knights in a vision told Dalinar that Alethkar was the kingdom dedicated to maintaining the knowledge of warfare for the purpose of enabling humanity to defend itself during the Desolations. It has become a kingdom that exalts warfare above all else—for no purpose at all. We’ve got a long way to go, and a short time to get there.

Commentary: Welp. This chapter is packed with stuff to talk about, which means y’all might want to go back and skim (or reread!) the chapter itself during the next day or so. There’s just no way I’ll be able to cover everything. I hardly know where to start. Please bring up your own favorite quotations and notations!

Sigh. Let’s just get Sadeas out of the way, shall we? The guy is a sociopath; the only time he feels alive is when he’s in battle fighting for domination. Being in his head gives me the creeps. (Who’s got the brain bleach? Please refill the supply in the Storm Cellar—we may need it.) We also learn that his wife is a match for him; she has an extensive spies-and-assassins network and loves to use them. I wonder whether she just enjoys being competent, or if she’s as twisted as her husband. She doesn’t give any opinion about his goals, or his reasons for them; she only seems interested in using her skills to forward whatever he wants to do. This also creeps me out a little, though I’m not sure I could explain why. I’m curious about how Ialai’s network compares to Jasnah’s; they both seem to be successfully hidden from everyone else.

As requested, Moash. This chapter is loaded with hints—at least in hindsight. He gets mouthy when anyone questions Kaladin; apparently that’s only acceptable from Bridge Four and maybe Dalinar. He seems nearly as angry with Kaladin for cutting him off as he is with the guard for questioning. On the other hand, he admits his fault after Kaladin explains it… but I don’t think he sees anything wrong with his attitude, just his expression of it. He’s going to smooth over the surface of his behavior, but the hatred and arrogance will still be there underneath the good-soldier act. Kaladin’s thought, that Moash was as close to a real friend as he’d known since being branded, makes my heart hurt. You can be betrayed by people you don’t like (e.g. Sadeas), but it’s easier for those you like and trust. And it hurts worse. The bit with the balcony is Foreshadowing, eh?

Re: last week’s discussion of Renarin… This chapter had bits in it that made me suspect that Dalinar knew it was Renarin and was merely covering for him.

Conversation at Bridge Four had been subdued, following the strange break-in at Dalinar's quarters yesterday. Kaladin felt a fool. Dalinar, however, seemed to be ignoring the break-in entirely. He knew far more than he was telling Kaladin.

This bit would fit perfectly with Dalinar taking the blame to protect his son, but later we’ll see in his own thoughts (Ch. 8) that he believes he did it himself. It was a nice theory while it lasted. Incidentally, I do believe it was Renarin; there’s the way he scribbles on the wall when they’re finding the Oathgate, which turned the light on for me, and then when he reveals his Order in the final chapter I think it’s confirmed. YMMV. As for Renarin’s failure to explain, though, consider the epigraph:

The sign on the wall proposed a greater danger, even, than its deadline. To foresee the future is of the Voidbringers.

I think this is the answer to last week’s discussion of why Renarin didn’t just ‘fess up: I don’t know what the punishment for Voidbringing might be, but it would be ostracization at the very least. In any case, my current analysis of the situation is that Renarin saw the future clearly enough that he felt it absolutely necessary to let Dalinar know, but was too frightened of the implications of his ability to let anyone know that he was the source.

So: strategy conference. I love Kaladin’s inclusion on several levels. One, as Dalinar says, he needs to know what’s going on if he’s going to do his job. Two, as a device it’s great because it gives us an outsider’s perspective on the Kholin family dynamics. Three, it gives us the information without being in Dalinar’s head, which keeps up the suspense in certain areas. Cool beans.

Had to laugh at Kaladin playing straight-man for Dalinar. It was cool in a great-soldiers-think-alike sense, but it was also cool in justifying Dalinar’s inclusion of Kaladin, in escalating the conflict between Kaladin and Adolin, and in setting Kaladin up as someone Elhokar innately trusts. It also has the rather sad-making effect of setting Moash up to be someone Elhokar and Dalinar trust. :(

Speaking of Elhokar, can you spell mixed messages? Wow. Kaladin (and presumably Moash) mostly see the whiny, incompetent pretend king, but there are flashes of real insight. His appreciation of Kaladin’s take-nothing-for-granted approach, as well as his realization that assassins are likely to target them by way of their families, say something about his inherent abilities. They’re just so awfully well-masked by his whininess and indecision, especially when contrasted with Dalinar’s competence.

Which… is another theme herein: Dalinar doesn’t want to be king, and he wants Elhokar to be a good king, but he’s the kind of person who sees what needs to be done and just does it. He doesn’t intentionally usurp the king’s power… but he does, without realizing how it looks to everyone else. This Will Bite Back.

The most obvious effect of the strategy conference is the beginning of the Adolin-will-duel-everyone-and-his-cousin arc. I’m rather looking forward to this. Kaladin’s reaction made me gigglesnort: “So he’s spoiled and cocky.” Yeah, well, Kaladin, sometimes someone else actually excels at something—and sometimes, they know it. Is it being cocky when it’s true? Heh.

Finally, my last QOTW candidate was this:

Life before death, Kaladin thought, playing with a sphere he’d pulled from his pocket, strength before weakness, journey before destination. Those Words made up the First Ideal in its entirety. He had only an inkling of what it meant, but his ignorance hadn’t stopped him from figuring out the Second Ideal of the Windrunners, the oath to protect those who could not protect themselves.

Syl wouldn’t tell him the other three. She said he would know them when he needed to. Or he wouldn’t, and would not progress.

By my reading, this implies that full understanding of the First Ideal is not necessary to start the process; I would suggest that acceptance of the words, and that one needs to grow into the understanding, is more relevant. It still leaves me wondering, though, whether the other four Windrunner ideals are actually progressive in themselves, or if they are incident-activated in random order.

 

Sprenspotting: Syl is troubled by the writing on the wall; it is not from Honor, and she believes it dangerous. On a reread, it seems probable that this is a matter of those “spren politics” Jasnah mentioned. Syl, as an honorspren, is wary of anything not-of-Honor. It still seems odd, though. Does she simply not know that it’s from Cultivation rather than Odium? Or does she (unlike us) know that it could be either one?

 

All Creatures Shelled and Feathered: The paperweight on the women’s writing desk is described as containing a strange kind of crab-thing with wings. Is this our first glimpse of a larkin? Elsewhere they are described as looking like a cremling, but I don’t have a good feel for whether Kaladin would think “crab” where another thinks “cremling.” Thoughts?

Haven’t We Met Somewhere Before?: Isaac Stewart’s artwork at the beginning of the chapter, depicting the Bridge Four tattoos and Kaladin’s brands (seen above), is attributed to “Nazh.” We know nothing about Nazh except that his artwork also shows up in Mistborn as well; he appears to go around the Cosmere collecting graphics on behalf of an unknown “friend.” Just for the fun of it, I like to believe that he’s working for Khriss, but there’s absolutely nothing to back that up. It’s a tangent on Brandon’s comment, when asked if Hoid is the most knowledgeable person about what’s going on in the Cosmere, that “Khriss is the most aware by a long shot. Nazh knows a lot as well. Hoid might know more than Nazh but he is pretty in the know as well so it's close.” (Khrissalla is a woman from the planet Taldain; she’s introduced in the as-yet-unpublished story White Sand, when she didn’t know nearly as much.)

 

Heraldic Symbolism: Chanarach is associated with the role of Guard, which I assume is here to represent Kaladin taking up his role as bodyguard for Dalinar (and, as it turns out, the entire Kholin family). She also represents the attributes of Brave/Obedient, which I’ve often associated with Adolin’s appearance. In this case, though, I think it’s the former.

 

Okay, I surrender. Once again, let me encourage you to enter your own favorite quotes and passages from the chapter—you need not be limited to the things I talked about. In fact, please don’t limit yourself to these. There’s so much more!


Alice Arneson is a long-time Tor.com commenter and a Sanderson beta-reader. She has been a fantasy lover since the age of eight, when her third-grade teacher loaned her his copy of The Hobbit. (Thanks, Mr. Hamilton!) She’s also a full-time wife and mom with degrees in engineering, literature, and chemistry. Nice combination, eh?

107 comments
Ross Newberry
1. rossnewberry
For me, the most interesting bit of the chapter is this one:
"What I really want to do," Dalinar said frankly, "is beat the lot of them senseless. That's what I'd do to new recruits who weren't willing to obey orders."
"I think you'll have a hard time spanking obedience into the highprinces, Uncle," the king said dryly. For some reason, he absently rubbed at his chest.
"You need to disarm them," Kaladin found himself saying.
Even though WoR is a hefty tome, everything inside it is there for a reason. Brandon isn't the type of guy to throw, "For some reason, he absently rubbed at his chest," in as a throwaway line.
I think we're meant to infer, from Elhokar's line about spanking the highprinces into submission, that someone is somehow coercing him through pain or other means.

Thoughts?
Alice Arneson
2. Wetlandernw
Ross, I attributed that to a certain memory of Dalinar essentially spanking Elhokar into obedience - or at least into understanding that D had no desire to kill E. (Chapter 69of TWoK)
Warraven
3. Warraven
@1 he is remembering being beat down by dalinar
Ross Newberry
4. rossnewberry
Ah. I'll have to go back and check that out. Thanks!
Paul Rando
5. SerDragonReborn
I really enjoyed re-reading this chapter because on the first read, I had no clue just how much the Politics Planned would come to bear on the rest of the novel. There are things here that have such importance, like planting the seeds of Dalinar being seen as the true king, and the setup for what was my favorite sequence in the SERIES before I read the Everstorm sequence: The duel against the four opponent Shardbearers. When I read Adolin's challenge I IMMEDIATELY knew the opponents would exploit his poor wording, but I thought they'd bring two or three. Sanderson must have anticipated this, because even though I saw their exploitation coming, it was a bombshell when four Shardbearers walked into the ring.
Warraven
6. STBLST
Alice, how does your speculation that Renarin was the writer of the forboding graffiti square with the later assertion by Dalinar that his knife was used to carve a later graffiti? Was he lying to cover for his son? Was that last carving done by him , but the earlier ones were done by Renarin? While Renarin may have easily had the opportunity for the first message, at least one of the later ones was written after he joined Bridge 4 and was no longer quartered in the Kholin complex.
Adam S.
7. MDNY
We get in Sadeas' head, and meet his wife, and....don't really learn much we couldn't already surmise before. Yep, he's just as self-centered and sociopathic as we were led to believe. Yep, his wife is just as evil (and possibly more dangerous).
Moash was never my favorite bridgeman, so I didn't end up being that surprised or disappointed when we learned about his role in the upcoming episodes. But it still feels a little strange to me how his attitude changes. In the Way of Kings, he was one of the ones that spoke very highly of Dalinar (I think he was the one who told Kaladin about how great he was). Yet in this book he is rejecting all lighteyes, including Dalinar. I would think that his meetings with members of the Diagram, which includes lighteyes, would have been difficult for him.
Agreed that Elhokar rubbing his chest seemed to be a humorous reference to Dalinar's beatdown in the last book.
I was wondering, Alice, are we certain that the writing on the wall has absolutely nothing to do with Honor? Syl seems to think that it doesn't, but is there any definitive proof or WOB (or WOP) that Renarin's spren/order are associated strictly with Cultivation? We still don't know much about Cultivation, other than she is female and one of 3 shards on Roshar, but from things Honor and Syl have said, it seems implied that the 10 Heralds all derived their power from Honor, so if the spren tried/succeeded in creating something similar, and the orders are related to the Heralds in terms of powers/outlook, wouldn't their radiants also be related to Honor rather than Cultivation? Just a point of confusion on my part, I'm sure plenty of people in the Storm Cellar can clear it up for me.
Nadine L.
8. travyl
Definitely agree about Elokar rubbing his chest: clear reminder of the end of WoK scene, which I loved.

Upon first reading I was a bit startled, that Kaladin "dared" to speak up in the conference, but i like your interpretation of it, Alice.

This is the first chapter with two POV characters in the Stormlight Archive. I understand it had to be done, but I somewhat regret it, because it "breaks" the structure of the title-icon signifying the POV character. Not so much here (where Kaladin clearly is the important POV) but later, when chapters are much less clearly POV-split and the icon seems to become almost arbitrary at least in some chapters (if I remember correctly).
Glen V
9. Ways
Well. I re-read the chapter last night and, for once, took notes on potential discussion topics to bring up today. Aaand...Alice covered almost all of them outstandingly well. The thing with Renarin absently rubbing his chest is now covered also.

That leaves 2 points to mention:
--Kal's observation that Shen is hiding in the back less than he used to. Aren't we tracking signs that Shen isn't really a Parshman? This is one, IMO.
--Moash's anger could be taken as "fishy behavior" that chaplainchris suggested we track a while back.

QOTW
I don't have the exact quote at hand, but Sadeas said something about the purpose of life being to train soldiers. Really? That's your whole purpose in life, Sadeas? And everyone else should comply? Sociopath, yes.
Deana Whitney
10. Braid_Tug
@8: But Brandon always breaks into multiple POV during the key climaxes of the book. So I guess this was just a clue about how important this chapter was to the book. But as Alice may say YMMV.

@1: How have you forgotten the beat down and "oh, I'm dating your mother, get over it" so quickly? WoK wasn't that long ago, was it? ;-)

I really hope we get a Sly POV in the future. What does she know, remember that we don't? And she is a non-human, even if she looks like a small human at times. It would be cool to get a non-human POV.

Sadeas... just sad. And you are on point with your comments. Yet another part of me felt like he was that guy, who really did peak as the champion high school quarterback. And then the rest of his life is about trying to recapture that moment of rapture and feeling of importance.
So Ialai is the more dangerous of the two, IMO.


And I'm glad to not miss the discussion of the Bridge 4 tattoo completely. The first thing I thought about when I saw the freedom glyph was birds wings. Talked to Isaac at JordanCon, and asked him about freedom being represented by wings in a world with few / no birds.
First he said he now sees the wings, but had not prior to that. Gave him a good laugh. He also said there were birds in the world. So looking forward to seeing them.
Then we got to talking about how the shapes could represent the wind-spren moving around.
Ross Newberry
11. rossnewberry
It seems that my fault vis-a-vis the chest-rubbing was attempting to look forward instead of backward. It still seems like an odd turn of phrase, if it's only put in to have Kaladin notice in his PoV something that happened before, but I agree that the evidence supports the Dalinar beatdown hypothesis. Thanks, folks!
Glen V
12. Ways
ross @11
I was going to say more or less the same thing you did @1, but you beat me too it. Thanks!!

ETA
MDNY @7
There is much discussion on 17th Shard about your last paragraph. Thought I'd seen your handle in there too, perhaps not. A couple things to consider...
--It seems to be WoB that spren can be 100% Honor-derived, 100% from Cultivation OR any combination of the 2.
--The Orders/Surges endplate in WoK has all the female Heralds in the bottom half and all the men at the top. I read something (speculative, I think) about the men being of Honor and the women of Cultivation, IIRC. That doesn't jibe completely with what Honor said about his Heralds in Dalinar's recent vision, but maybe they're not all his. Anyway, Renarin is a Truthwatcher with Paliah as the Herald-in-charge, and the spren responsible could be 100% "of Cultivation" too. So, yeah, I'm a little confused still also.
Ross Newberry
13. rossnewberry
In that case, do I get a Conversational Medal of Honor for jumping on that grenade?
Alice Arneson
14. Wetlandernw
Ross, you're a hero at heart. :D

STBLST @6 – I don’t find a problem with Dalinar’s knife being used, because I don’t see it as a big problem for Renarin to borrow his father’s knife. (I haven’t specifically read that episode with Renarin in mind, so it’s possible I may rethink it when we get there.) We’ll see a point not too long hence where Dalinar is becoming convinced that he must be doing it; the fact that his knife was used would simply confirm his expectations, not prove that he had done it. As for the ones after Renarin joined Bridge Four, we’ll again have to check the specific circumstances when we get there, but we know he didn’t spend all his time with the bridgemen. He still had certain responsibilities as Renarin Kholin that required him to be other places.

In any case, there’s no evidence that Bondsmiths have an ability to see into the future, and there is evidence that Truthwatchers do. It seems logical that Renarin did all the countdown markings, especially when we see him do the last one, in a manner consistent with the others.

MDNY @7 – I’ll certainly agree that Ialai is the more dangerous of the pair; she’s smarter and sneakier, if nothing else.

As for the writing on the wall… I don’t know that we have WoB for any of this, but I’m more or less convinced. :D (I’ve been wrong before, though…) It seems logical to me (for various reasons) that the spren which form the Orders associated with the female Heralds are essentially Cultivation-related, while those associated with the male Heralds are Honor-related. Since Honor claims to have difficulty seeing the future, and says that Cultivation is much better, it also seems logical that an Order whose special gift is seeing (future) things would be associated with Cultivation. And, as you say, Syl is absolutely convinced it’s not of Honor.

These are definitely areas in which we have insufficient proof, but lots of tidbits of evidence. I expect that we’ll get a lot more clarification as the series progresses – although the “clarification” may be that it’s not susceptible to being “clear” per se.
Ross Newberry
16. rossnewberry
Alice @14: So. No medal, then. *sigh* :-)

ETA Ways @15: Yay!
Warraven
17. teaman
@9 Actually according to Vorin religion Sadeas is factually correct. Vorinism presents afterlife as a batle to retake the heavens from the voidbringers , as such Sadeas argument is in a way following this dogma of his religion to its logical conclusion. I think it ilustrates quite nicelely why Alethi "proud warior race" culture is so messed up in certain aspects.
Glen V
18. Ways
Larkin = Surgebinder's/KR's kryptonite. Bad "birdie".
Dixon Davis
19. KadesSwordElanor
I ship Ialai + Kaladin.

I really do want to see this happen, but will save other commenter’s from wasting their breath (Look, a Warbreaker allusion) by saying I am 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% sure there is no chance. But yes, I'm saying there’s a chance (Look, a Dumb & Dumber allusion).
Warraven
20. STBLST
I note that Alice and commentors readily assume that Sadeas is a sociopath for being willing to sacrafice others, whether it be Dalinar or his own bridgemen. Yet, we are at the centenial anniversary of WWI which featured generals of both sides ordering charges against entrenched positions protected by machine guns and artillery. The loss of men in such futile efforts was appalling. Were these generals also sociopaths? Sadeas even has some advantage over the latter since he wants to put himself in harms way for the sake of the thrill of combat. I am not arguing for sympathy to Sadeas. He is a despicable character - even if he seems to harbor some soft spot for Adolin (there's irony there) and had been devoted to Gavilar. As for training men who will fight in the hereafter for the Tranquilline Halls, that is an integral part of the Vorin religion as well as a convenient rationale for his actions. As to Ialai, she appears to be equally interested in power and uses Sadeas as a means of achieving it. It will be interesting to find how she reacts to the killing of Sadeas.
Sean Dowell
21. qbe_64
I will need to go back and read the context surrounding Syl's interpretation. Are we sure she isn't talking about what's coming in x # of days not being of honor? as opposed to what/who is writing the warnings?
I'll check my book tonight, but wanted to throw that in while the conversation was still on topic.
Glen V
22. Ways
teaman and STBLST
Good point about the Vorin religion.
However, STBLST, Sadeas is chasing after power and personal financial gain and that doesn't appear to be driven by religious convictions. He has no honor (much 'toh), while Dalinar is at least working toward loftier ideals and goals. (I get that you are not defending Sadeas, just sayin'.)
Warraven
23. JoeH42
Sadeas seems more like he is addicted to the rush of combat than anything else. We've gotten some indication that the... grrr, what do Dalinar call it? The Thrill? y'know, the big rush of joy they get when they're slaughtering people? I seem to think someone indicated that this is being caused by a powerful spren in a similar manner to how the people seeing the future is being caused by one particular powerful spren. It's a reoccuring theme in Brandon's works that if you're not careful you can become dependent on or addicted to a power. ( Kaladin seems to be getting a bit hooked on stormlight in this book and of course you had Spook in Mistborn and the villain in the Alloy of Law.) So I wonder if part of Sadeas' thoughts about battle and not feeling alive outside of it is more like someone who is addicted to The Thrill or just addicted to the adrenaline that comes from combat. Certainly there's plenty of fantasy books where a character feels "more alive" in battle than any other time. It wouldn't be unusual then for someone to want to feel that way more and more especially as they begin to grow older and their body starts to lose some of the vigor of youth.

Also Sadeas has also been a bit of a snob/racist towards those he would view as 'lesser' people, like dark eyes, and has always been a bit cold-hearted about sending people to their deaths. But perhaps he does view it as doing them a favor to let them die in combat. Certainly a Norseman who wants to make it to Valhalla would desire to die in combat and see nothing wrong with causing other people to do so. There's a certain amount of that kind of idea in Vorin theology. Consider also his statements about how he wants Dalinar to go back to being The Black Thorn. He really seems to think combat and death in combat is a good thing.
Heather LaCroix
24. Bellaberry
@20 Sadeas is already training men to fight and getting his thrill by killing Parshendi. What his POV section shows us is that killing Parshendi and being semi at peace with men doesn't fulfill him. What he really wants is to kill men and bring them under rule.
“I will have it back, Ialai,” he said, resting his fingers on Oathbringer’s hilt. “The conquest.”
It was the only thing that made him feel alive any longer. That glorious, wonderful Thrill of being on the battlefield and striving, man against man. Of risking everything for the prize. Domination. Victory."
Dixon Davis
25. KadesSwordElanor
Question?

Are we saying Sadeas is addicted to The Thrill, or The Kill. Not trying to be funny; would Sadeas be satisfied as the QB in football or the top man in MMA, or only satisfied as Captain Medina at the My Lai Massacre?
Walker White
26. Walker
Renarin's power to see is not necessarily of Honor. The Knights are supposedly a mixture of attributes of both Honor and Cultivation. Renarin's order is believed to be closer to Cultivation, who is supposed to be okay with this power.
Glen V
27. Ways
qbe_64 @21
"I remember...something," she whispered. "Something bad. Seeing what is to come--it isn't of Honor, Kaladin. It's something else. Something dangerous."
Seems pretty general, rather than the Everstorm not being of Honor.

At first I thought Syl's objection was due to her being a spren largely or completely of Honor. Seeing the future could be pretty much a Cultivation thing and maybe Syl was taking sides. But the "something dangerous" line kinda blows up that reasoning. I don't believe she would say that if it was strictly a Cultivation/Truthwatcher characteristic.
Alice Arneson
28. Wetlandernw
STBLST @20 – Others have spoken for themselves, but for myself, I’m not saying Sadeas is a sociopath for being willing to sacrifice others, or for being a warleader willing to send his men out to fight and die. Sometimes that’s necessary; I’d argue that WWI and WWII were cases where those men were fighting for freedom and for their way of life, even though they might not make it back to live that life. I’m also not saying that some of those generals, as well as lower officers and soldiers, could not possibly have enjoyed what they were doing. I’m just saying it’s not a necessary condition to be able to do the things they did. And yes, I’m sure some bad decisions were made for various reasons, both right and wrong.

About Sadeas, though, I’m saying he’s a sociopath because he’s doing it solely for his own gratification, so he can have the thrill (and the Thrill) of fighting for domination. He doesn’t even care about the wealth so much; he wants… not rule, because he doesn’t want to govern… he wants power over others. And he really, really wants to go into battle with his Shardplate and Shardblade so that he can feel alive as he slaughters people - partly for the sake of the fight itself, and partly so he can gain power over more people. Anything else (training soldiers for the hereafter, etc.) is just an excuse, and IMO that's clear in his thoughts.

Also, I agree about seeing Ialai’s reaction to Sadeas’s death. That’s going to have repercussions of some sort, whether there were any hidden witnesses or not.

qbe_64 @21 – IMO, the “dangerous” refers to “seeing what is to come;” it’s quite possible that the “something bad” refers to what she remembers than the ability to see it coming. The text is not clear, and even the first could be merely my interpretation.
Don Barkauskas
29. bad_platypus
Braid_Tug @10: How could you possibly have forgotten the absolute classic BWS non-human POV from the Stormlight Archive?
Deana Whitney
31. Braid_Tug
@29: You are right. I did forget about that one. Was not sure if it was canon or not, since it was not included in the book. :-)

Random note: Today I got the @10 in both this post and Leigh's ASoI&F. Just found that funny.
Heather LaCroix
32. Bellaberry
Wetlandernw @28 Are you sure he doesn't want rule? He says this in chaper 29:
“Alethkar does need to be strong,” Sadeas said, holding out a gauntleted hand. “So I’ll make it so by force of fist and the rule of blood.”
And then we have this from chapter 76:
“Ialai rode with eyes forward. “Dalinar will be gone from the camp, and with him Roion, his only supporter. We could seize the Pinnacle, execute the king, and take the throne.”
Sadeas turned his horse, looking eastward over the warcamps. He could just barely make out Dalinar’s army gathering distantly on the Shattered Plains.
A coup. One last step, a slap in the face of old Gavilar. He’d do it. Storm it, he would.
Except for the fact that he didn’t need to.”
And this in chapter 89:
“Because,” Sadeas said with a sigh, “it has to happen. You can’t have an army with two generals, son. Your father and I, we’re two old whitespines who both want a kingdom. It’s him or me. We’ve been pointed that way since Gavilar died.”
Tom Knapik
33. tknapik
It occured to me that I haven't seen any conversation about maybe the mystery writer is actually Renarin's spren. Could that be possible?
Alice Arneson
34. Wetlandernw
Bellaberry @32 - I'm having a hard time expressing what I think, apparently. IMO, he doesn't care about governing, he only cares about having power. He doesn't want to have anyone in power over him; he wants to be the one at the top. He couldn't care less about the responsibilities that (should) come with ruling a people, and as near as I can tell he's not all that concerned with status itself, except as it gives him power over other people. He wants to dominate people, not lead them.

Does that make more sense?
Adam S.
35. MDNY
@34 Wet, I think you're right, the thing is that in Sadeas' mind (and most of Alethi elite, and ultimately probably all the Vorin elite) they amount to the same thing.
Heather LaCroix
36. Bellaberry
Wetlandernw @ 34- Yes, that does make sense. It looks like we actually agree :) It did lead me on a n interesting word search that hit on lots of Sadeas evil. 'Torel' and 'Ialai' bring up most of the key parts but not all.
Andrew Berenson
37. AndrewHB
Braid_Tug @10 said "[i]t would be cool to get a non-human POV." I thought we do get one later in WoR -- from Eshonai. It is my understanding that the Parshendi are not human.

KadeSwordElanor @19. Ialai and Kaladin as a couple. That is interesting, to say the least. You might want to see it happen. But I do not. I still maintain that Kaladin will end up with Laral. Especially now that "has" a Shardblade. Remember what Laral told Kaladin in one of Kaladin's flashbacks. I also predict that Laral will become a Knight Radiant. She will be "broken" after the Everstorm hits. (It is possible that her marriage to Roshone caused her to "break"; so the devistation to her town would further cause her to "break".)

IIRC, at one point later in WoR, Sly mentions that all Knights Radiants in some way or another were broken. It was this "break" that allowed the spren to bond to a human. Maybe it is humanity's ability to "break" (pyschologically speaking) that differentiates them from non-humans like the Parshendi. As I understand, a spren cannot bind a Parshendi in the same way (if at all) like they can with humans. This may be why Parshendi cannot Surgebind.

Thanks for reading my musings,
AndrewB
(aka the musespren)
David Foster
38. ZenBossanova
If Kaladin ends up with anyone, I don't think we have met her yet.

The only possibility I can think of, is Jasnah. Not sure if that is a good match or not.

Shallan - never happen. Even if Adolin is exiled (I expect he will be), Kaladin still knows he killed her brother.

Laral - she is a big fish in a very, very small pond. She isn't anything to Kaladin any more.

But I do wonder about a mention made about a girl Kaladin was associated with before his Bridge-phase.
Adam S.
39. MDNY
@38 Thank you Zen, for supporting a Kal-Jasnah union (even as a remote possibility). It seemed like I was the only one who even thought it possible.
The woman he mentions is Tarah.
"I let Tien die, I failed my spearmen, the slaves I tried to rescue, Tarah..." (WOK chapter 62)
No telling how he failed her, or if she's living or dead, or if he loved her.
Warraven
40. Shard_Rookie
As Wet noted in the reread, Kaladin lists Moash as his only true friend, partly because of how non-deferential he is towards Kal (the rest of the bridgemen have a little too much hero worship for true friendship). Of course, this friendship will show itself to be flawed to say the least.

Later, Adolin, Mr. Third-in-Line-for-the-Throne, realizes that he has no true friends. Jakamov is a terrific friend when the house of Kholin is in favor but when it's not...well, we'll keep the friendship on the backburner.

That is why I enjoyed the later developing relationship with Kaladin and Adolin. Neither one feels the need to fake any affection towards the other. So when a burgeoning friendship begins, it has a certain sincerity to it. I hope that their relationship continues to be a theme in SA3.

Also on a different note, to @38 Zen and @39 MDNY, I too see the possibility of Jasnah/Kholin. Particularly since BWS says he likes conflict in a relationship :)
Julian Augustus
41. Alisonwonderland
I believe Sadeas and Ialai have been married a long time, and may even have grown children, though I can't recall how I came by that impression. Their behavious towards each other certainly feels like a long union. That would make Ialai considerably older than Kaladan - perhaps old enough to be his mother? Sadeas is in his fifties, and I would think Ialai would be in her forties, probably late forties. Ialai-Kaladin is too cringe-inducing for Brandon to even consider.

I still think Kaladin would end up with either Shallan or Jasnah, with my money on Shallan. Their "bonding" in the chasms was too powerful to be easily forgotten, though nothing seems to be happening between them on the surface.
Adam S.
42. MDNY
@40 Shard_Rookie: I think you mean Jasnah/Kaladin. Jasnah/Kholin would be squicky, whichever Kholin family member we're talking about... ;)
Warraven
43. Shard_Rookie
@42 Um, maybe I shouldn't post on my second glass of wine. :)

Yes, I meant Jasnah/Kaladin.
Birgit
44. birgit
Couldn't Renarin as bridgeman have guarded Dalinar when he wrote on the wall again later?
Dixon Davis
45. KadesSwordElanor
@AndrewHB & Zen et al.

In honesty, I mean Ialai + Kaladin mostly tongue in cheek. Though, I do like unusual pairings and think it would be a unusual/neat arc. Despite J.K.’s change of mind, I thought Hermione + Ron were the right way to go. When Joey and Rachael had their moment on Friends, I was the only one I remember in favor of them ending up together. And, at the risk of incriminating and dating myself, I love that that writers of Dawson’s Creek ended the show Pacey + Joey #ImissJoshuaJackson&Fringe

IMHO and in my life experience, sometimes people you would never place together, end up as a “match made in heaven.” Also, honestly, I think there is some literal truth in that.

For the record and I do think Kaladin + Jasnah = Rosharian Power Couple, seems to me a unusual pairing, and I like.

Since I’m harping on the romance thing I made some heart shaped sugar cookies and decorated them with pink icing. They are waiting in the Storm Cellar. Wet, I am no good at piping, do you mind putting white icing arrows on them. (God I am a supergeek, but a proud one :) )
Cory S.
46. Hungry_For_Hands
@37 AndrewHB - My thought on the "breaking" thing both in SA & Mistborn is that it is a break in the spiritual realm. We have had hints of this "Spirit Web" (is that the right term?) that maps out everyone in the spiritual realm. I think that this emotional trauma fractures their spirit web and the bond with a spren is able to seal those cracks, so to speak. Maybe without these fractures in the spirit web to fill it is a lot harder or impossible to bond a spren?
Deana Whitney
47. Braid_Tug
@37: non-human POV - from Eshonai.
Yes, Eshonai and all her people are not humans. Yet their thought process makes it very easy for me to think of them as humanoid. I know there is a word for this, and it's not a great mindset to fall into.

Syl, OToH, strikes me as truly "other." In a good way.
Much like I'm hoping we get a POV from Nighblade.
Need from Mercedes Lackey was a cool sword POV, but she was once human, so her thought process was still rather human.
Nadine L.
48. travyl
Braid_Tug @10
There are indeed birds on Roshar, we've seen chickens (being eaten), and in Chapter 45 Shallan sees/saw a parrot (at least it's green and can talk). I love it that they name it chicken as well by the way.
Re the tatoo:
I agree about the freedom glyph looking like wings, which I found apt, because the book told us that the shap should help identify the meaning of a glyph. (Funny that Isaac didn't see it despite creating it).

Re: spren / Radiants-association (Wetlander @14 and others)
I'd find it odd if all the female-headed Knight Radiant Orders would be of Cultivation and the Male of Honor.
I haven't managed to come up with a good theory on my own, but the above hypothesis doesn't really fit with the shared surges, right?
Eg Skybreakers (Nalan/male) shares a surge with Dustbringers (Chanarch/female). So even if the spren are solely of Honor or Cultivation the powers they grant at least in some cases must be mixed ...
Alice Arneson
49. Wetlandernw
KadesSwordElanor @45 - I got it covered! Or... piped. You know. I like cookies.

Gotta admit, though, Kaladin + Ialai makes me start looking for the brain bleach again. Aside from the age difference, she's a nasty one. I hate to think of the influence she could have.

One of the things that struck me in this reread (that I hadn't noticed so much before) was the way Kaladin's view of the Kholin's pointed out some leadership issues. We already saw Elhokar acting like a brat; now we have Kaladin noticing, and being surprised by, the king's whining and general lack of leadership. He also notices Dalinar's unconscious assumption of leadership - he sounds more like the king than the king does.

On the one hand, I can see all the ways this is going to play into some disastrous events later: both Moash and Kaladin start seeing Elhokar as a terrible king - an incompetent git who repeatedly makes bad decisions based on worse advice, who thinks only of people he knows and doesn't consider the effect on people he doesn't know or care about. It's almost worse to see him contrasted with Dalinar the uber-competent leader... and it's inevitable to think that really, Dalinar would be a far better king, and it would be better if Elhokar "stepped down" one way or another.

On the other hand, I can't honestly blame Dalinar. He's one of those people who can't tolerate a leadership vacuum (I can relate) and so he simply does what needs to be done. This is not a time when they can afford to dance around and pamper egos, or waste more time training someone who hasn't shown much affinity for wise leadership. Sixty-one days is not much time. Hammer down, boys, you're eastbound and down in fifty-three days.
Pirmin Schanne
50. Torvald Nom
For the mercy of the gods (be they dead or alive), please stop calling Sylphrena "Sly" - that's this guy. If you need to abbreviate her name, at least make sure it's "Syl".
Alice Arneson
51. Wetlandernw
travyl @48 - I was thinking about that as well; if the Surges overlap, what does that imply for things sourced in Honor vs. Cultivation? My best guess (based on the extremely limited info we have now) is that the spren themselves come from one Shard or another, but the Surges are inherent to the world itself and not associated with the Shards. It's also possible that there's some kind of circular thing going on. I visualize it with Honor and Cultivation opposite each other on the circle, the Windrunners centered at Honor and the Lightweavers centered at Cultivation. This would make the honorspren and the Cryptics polar opposites, with the Truthwatchers very close to Cultivation but with a tinge more of Honor woven in. The Skybreakers would, similarly, be very close to Honor but with a tinge of Cultivation woven in. Or... something like that, anyway. Might be more likely that the Bondsmiths and Truthwatchers are centered at the Honor/Cultivation poles. Or maybe this is all garbage. :D
Warraven
52. Capt D
Personally, I think Kaladin and Eshonai are going to hook up. Or maybe Kaladin and Lift....? Kaladin and horse training ardent lady (can't remember her name, and even if I did y'all wouldn't know who I was talking about unless I said horse training ardent lady anyways)....?
David Foster
53. ZenBossanova
52. Capt D
I did notice the horse training lady. That is an interesting possibility and one I was paying attention to when reading WoR. Let's keep an eye on her.

50. Torvald Nom
You don't like Kaladin training with Rocky?
Warraven
54. Skinnylipid
I Can't quite believe I'm chipping in on a shipping conversation! But here I go:

For me it comes down to Kaladins ultimate character arc... Is he being set up as king of radients/champion of Roshar, or not?

Because both Jasnah & Shallan make sense in different ways... But Jasnah is a queen incarnate, Shallan is not.

If we do meet Tarah I think it'll be more as a demonstration of 'you can never really go home'. At present Kaladin's still hung up on 'I'm not a light eyes'... Next book he'll have to confront the fact he's no 'dark eye's either', whatever he is, he stands apart and needs someone able to stand apart with him (Jasnah).

I do think Shallen will have all kinds of issues around Kaladin killing her brother... But she needs to get to grips with the other lies she's been telling her self in order to move forward. Anyone else get the creeps when she describes Halloran as 'the best person she's ever known' after witnessing flash back scenes showing him as selfish ***t who clearly doesn't care about his family at all, for all he claims too. I suspect there's some nasty stuff to come out relating to him.

All in all is still lean more towards Jasnah but there no denying Shallen has the personality and capacity to bring coloure back into Kaladin's world, and with Tien gone that's something he soarely needs as well.

As I said... To king, or not to king... That is the question.
Shaun Duquette
55. MorpheusStone
@52 Lift is like 12?And Eshonai is dead as far as I know,fell into the chasm and all with broken shardplate.
Adam S.
56. MDNY
@55 MorpheusStone- Agreed that Lift is a no-go. Way too young for any of the other major players thus far. However, I suspect that we haven't seen the last of Eshonai. Well, I know we haven't seen the last of her, since one of the books is supposed to be her flashback book (book 4 supposedly, after Szeth and before Dalinar), but I also suspect that we haven't seen the last of her living in this time. Even if she fell with broken shardplate, we don't know how resilient stormform is or that she fell all the way to the bottom rather than catching an outcropping of rock (or even being saved by a chasmfiend or spren or whatever).
However, Parshmen/parshendi are definitely not human, and I'm not pulling for interspecies copulation. So if Eshonai gets involved with anyone (which currently seems unlikely, given how repelled she was by those in mateform) I would root for Rlain.
Shaun Duquette
57. MorpheusStone
@56 I suppose she could be alive,but her mind is still twisted and I don't think she's going back.If she has her own book it could be mostly during the time with Dalinar and his brother,not much to learn about her in current times unless she's going Sith apprentice or hearing voices route,lol.
David Foster
58. ZenBossanova
Of course, Brandon has sworn he is willing to do a flash-back book for a character who is dead, so we shouldn't trust anyone will live. Not entirely sure I completely believe that, but the threat and possibility are there. Eshonai could be dead, or could die in the future, or could have a glorious future arc. I hope for the last one.

As for Jasnah, I expect the place she ended up, in the middle of nowhere, is close to Kaladin's hometown. It would be an amusing place for them to meet, particularly considering he has eye-witness evidence that Jasnah is dead. It would be great to see Jasnah have to argue against solid logic and Occam's Razor, that she is dead.
Glen V
59. Ways
Shard_Rookie @43
We knew what you meant. MDNY is just picking on you. Break out the wine in the (Storm) Cellar and some of us will certainly help you finish a bottle or 5.

KSE @45
You're dating yourself? Kinky. Seriously, there are regular commenters here who are easily old enough to be one of your parents. Don't ever feel dated. And Kaladin + Ialai = Icky. And thanks for the cookies!

Braid @ 47
Was anthropomorphizing the word you were looking for?

Torvald Nom @50
Probably unintentional typos. She may be sly, but she's definitely not Sly.
Patrick Mosbacker
60. Patillian
@38 & 39: Another Tarah mention. While in the cave during the highstorm, WoR Chap 74. pg. 876: "With his hands around her waist, hers around him, it was as close as he'd held a woman since Tarah."

I have this niggling feeling that she was mentioned one other time during WoK, but I can't think of it right now.

And Shallan/Kaladin is totally happening. In the chasm: pg. 835 She sees his "rugged handsomeness." pg. 839 She shivers meeting his intense gaze because "this was a man of passion." (It can be argued it's more intimidation, but I think the romantic subtext is strong.) Pg. 849: He realizes that she's broken, and she smiles and it's the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. pg. 850: He feels "brightened," like he understands her, the chasm "a little brighter," just like Tien could do "even on the darkest day." (I thihk this is the biggest indicator...) pg. 851: His mood dampens when she mentions Adolin possibly kissing her. pg. 856 ""Please don't die" He's aware of her pressed against him and her breath on his neck. Then the bonding when they tell each other most of their deepest secrets, the Tarah moment on pg 876. He admires her strength further. pg. 879: Aware of her presence pushed against him in the tattered dress.

Then totally set-up afterward as well in reflecting inner monologues -- pg. 929: Kaladin thinks she's gorgeous and hopes she will look at him, and even admits that she and Adolin fit even though part of him is jealous of Adolin. pg. 936: Shallan reflects on why she likes Adolin...even if he "wasn't brilliant or...or whatever else Kaladin was." She thinks about his passionate determination again, "like the wind and rocks were," and misses what Adolin says to her.

I also think their different Radiant strengths will somehow compensate/aid each other as purposefully juxtaposed again pg 943:
The Weeping causes Kaladin's gloom, lethargy, and apathy which affects him more than others. pg. 845: The Weeping makes Shallan feel relaxed and "more imaginative." This will of course be true of whole orders of Radiants, but I think it's relevant in the case of a Kaladin/Shallan relationship.

The brother thing will be the obstacle because she'll find out rather than him tell her, but they will relate and end up together after whatever plot devlopment happens to Adolin. (I think it's some sort of fall, and that Sanderson has set it up so well to break our hearts.)
Warraven
61. Capt D
First off, I was kidding about Kaladin and Eshonai or lift. Although I do think horse training ardent lady is a real option.

@60 I completely agree with you that many signs point to Kaladin and Shallan. I'm just hoping that by me ignoring those parts if WoR you quoted will somehow make it not happen. PLEASE no love triangle!!!!! Haven't we seen enough of love triangles in recent years!
Warraven
62. Shard_Rookie
While I am still in the Jasnah/Kaladin (or Jasnah/Kholin, what's the diff :} ) camp, I don't think the fact that Helaran was ultimately killed by Kaladin will be a major obstacle to a Shallan/Kaladin romantic on non-romantic relationship.

It will be an issue and BWS is too good a writer to ignore it. But he has laid the groundwork for Shallan to rationally get past the fact that Kaladin was fighting for both his men and his Brightlord. From WoR chapter 64, Shallan's POV:

"Why had Helaran gone to kill this man? And could she really blame Amaram when, in truth, he'd probably just been defending himself? ... Amaram was still a bastard, of course."

So if Shallan can reason her way through it for the "bastard" Amaram, I bet she can get there for Kaladin when she learns the full story.

@59 Ways: first round is on me!
Warraven
63. Shard_Rookie
"Shallan/Kaladin romantic on non-romantic relationship" should be

"Shallan/Kaladin romantic or non-romantic relationship."

Apparently I am no better with two cups of coffee than I am with two glasses of wine.
Warraven
64. Skinnylipid
@63 Shard_Rookie ... I have the same 'one is never enough' issue... Except where coffee is concerned; it's 5 espresso to a mug right?
Andrew Berenson
65. AndrewHB
I guess it is time to form Team Kaladin and Team Adolin. FWIIW (not much, I know), I am on Team Adolin. The last thing I want to see in SA is Kaladin and Shallan becoming an item. IMO, Adolin and Shallan work.

Thanks for reading my musings,
AndrewB
Morgan Crawford
66. Jenesis
Funny that the discussion ended up on relationships. That wasn't really relevant to this chapter. I'm conflicted. I like Shallan/Kal, but Shallan/Adolin were cute together. I could live with the two lighteyes being together. I also like Kal/Jasnah. Jasnah is my favorite if she ends up alone that would be fine. I also think it's possible she's gay.

One thing that stood out to me in this chapter was Kal says he liked saluting (or something) and he wasn't sure if that was because he was reminded of a life he loved or if it was pathetic like a dog on a leash. I never want to think of Kal as pathetic. I don't remember this coming up again in the book. Do you think Kal's reaction is a good thing? It doesn't seem to line up with the rest of the chapter. He's so depressed about everything and a pessimist as Alice said.
Glen V
67. Ways
Patillian @60
WoK Chapt. 63 (Kindle location 16034): "What would have happened to him, if Tarah hadn't coaxed him out of his single-minded dedication? Would he have burned himself out, as she'd claimed?"

So that's 3 mentions. We'll hear read about her again.
Warraven
68. Reiko
@59 I second @50. It's happened too many times from the same people for it to be unintentional typos. Come on, we're on the second book already. Let's spell major character names correctly. S-Y-L. Not Sly. Sylphrena. From the word sylph for an air sprite.
Warraven
69. dixy
Imho, Jasnah is also too old for Kaladin. Shallan and Kaladin is a better fit, but I really expect it to be someone totally surprising. I do think Shallan will forgive him for killing her brother, if it was for sure her brother. I wondered if maybe someone had already taken Hellaran's shards before Amaram was attacked. (It is entirely possible that it was confirmed as Hellaran and I just missed it.)
Glen V
70. Ways
Reiko @68
I agree. We should proof our comments, and not just for the spelling of major character's names. However, one of the people you are pointing a finger at is dyslexic. Some commenters are also posting from smart phones and you know the shenanigans that can cause. Not to mention commenters whose native language is something other than English. You know what they meant (in most cases), so give 'em a break.

dixy @69
I believe it's a done-deal that Kal killed Helaran (see Coppermind and 17th Shard discussions), and agree Shallan will eventually forgive him after she finds out.
Warraven
71. STBLST
I agree with those who see signs of a Kaladin-Shallan pairing. The issue of Kaladin having slain her brother on the battlefield should not be a serious obstacle for someone who was forced to kill her own parents. The budding romance may not materialize, or it may evolve to a sibling type relationship, but the stirrings are there. BWS just has to figure out exactly how to handle the relationships (including Adolin), which is - to my mind, a rationale for the lack of a proper private greeting of the 2 Radiants at the end of WOR. It is possible that Sanderson will take Rowling's stance and treat the relationship of the leading male-female characters as pseudo-siblings. On the other hand, that's a position that she has come to regret (or, at least, Hermione's marriage to Ron).

The indications are that Eshonai will survive the chasm fall and the chasm flooding. After all, we don't know how far down she fell, and how much protection is afforded by her shardplate and stormspren. It may also be that she comes close to death, but is saved by Thune? and other Listeners who chose exile in the chasms rather than the stormform. She may even lose her stormspren and regain her former personality. She could become a Radiant once she totally rejects the domination by the Voidbringer demons. While this is all speculative, it would help rationalize the idea of Eshonai being the principle viewpoint character of a projected later book.
David Foster
72. ZenBossanova
@71. STBLST

Applying logic and thoughtful rational conclusions just doesn't seem to be to be what will happen with a relationship with Shallan. Scholar-wise, she might even agree, but if she does get over it, it is going to take time, serious time. Of course, it is correct, but that can mean little to the heart.
Birgit
73. birgit
I don't think Listeners can become Surgebinders.

Doesn't Shallan at least suspect that Kal killed her brother?
Pirmin Schanne
74. Torvald Nom
ZenBossanova@53: Every time I read that, I imagine Stallone wearing a light blue summer dress, and then I have to get brain bleach. So, I'd rather not.

Ways@70: I'm sorry if I sounded a little bit offensive to people not doing it on purpose; I believe that "Slyphrena" is still easier on the eyes in that case.
Deana Whitney
75. Braid_Tug
Okay, as one of the Syl vs. Sly offenders, I just edited my comment and moved on. But now feel I should say something.

As someone with mild dyslexia and a language based learning disability, Syl is a hundred times easier to write than Sylphrena.

Yes, I proof my comments most of the time before posting. Do some things still slip past me? Of course. I’ve had some classic mistakes that have turned into good (and not so great) jokes.

Much like in the WoT Re-read, I always wrote Ny vs. Nynaveve. Because even if she is my favorite character, I never trust myself to spell her name right. I’ve lived with that name for 20 years, but don’t trust myself to spell it. Let that sink in for a minute.

Will I now be paranoid about misspelling Syl's nickname? And therefore much more careful in future? Yes I will. Thank you.

If you don’t have these types of problems, I’m happy for you. I’m thrilled my son has not inherited the hearing problems that led to my learning problems.
But as Ways also pointed out. Not all of us are English first speakers, or on a computer with spell check. So please, be kind and tolerant. Something that seems simple to you, can be the world’s hardest thing for others. Audio books were the world’s greatest gift to strongly dyslexic people.

I will dance a jig of joy, if Tor.com ever incorporates spell check into their comment box. But even then, I will have to double check the characters names with the book, other posters, or a wiki to be 90% confident that things are spelled right.

And now back to the our regular commentary.
Deana Whitney
76. Braid_Tug
As much as I like the jokes and support for the Kaladin / Jasnah paring, I don’t see it happening.
I think Jasnah will turn out to be one of the gay POV characters Brandon has said he would write. Do I care? No. She’s a great character. I almost see her as asexual. Not because she is a scholar, but because scholarship is her true driving passion. As with protecting her family. If she’s taken lovers, my guess is they were temporary affairs.

As, I think Alice pointed out, Jasnah is not too impressed with the ideals of Vorin society that exults the warrior over everything. Kaladin as a Windrunner, is a warrior. A warrior with a more noble purpose than most, but in the end, a warrior.

Jasnah has been offered / exposed to the best warriors of the land, and is left single and happy.

As for the Kaladin / Shallan / Adolin. In the end I hope it’s Shallan / Adolin. But he’s going to grow up fast. She’s a KR, he’s heir to a Princedom, but not magical (yet). I’m hoping Shallan is used to open Kaladin’s eyes more about light-eyes “She smiled anyways”, and more moments like that. So a good friendship.
But do I think we will have a “Are you trying to steal my girl?” conversation between Adolin & Kaladin, at some point.


Harry Potter Spoilers:
@71: I’ve heard about Rowling now thinking Harry & Hermione relationship. Glad they are sibling love instead. Book Ron was at times whiny, but he was strong. Just suffering from youngest child issues. Yes, he had a younger sibling in Ginny, but as the only girl, she had a distinguishing feature in the family. Now movie Ron, they made a much weaker character, which is a real shame. Much like how they changed Harry’s growth by not having him ask Neville for help. Yes, Neville got to kill the snake, but it wasn’t the same.
Adam S.
77. MDNY
@76 Braid_Tug- I agree that Jasnah seems asexual. At first, I thought of her that way. But I do like the idea of her and Kaladin, I just see it somehow working. I definitely favor Shallan ultimately ending up with Adolin over Kal. If Jasnah is a lesbian, that would be fine, too, though I'm not sure who would be a possible love interest if that's the case. And just because Jasnah seems asexual now doesn't mean she really is or always was. There was that thought that Shallan had in WOK after Jasnah killed the rapists/thieves/murderer, when she thought "what was done to you..?" While Shallan often makes ridiculous interpretations/assumptions about the world, that line was a little too pointed for me to ignore, and I think BWS included it because there is, indeed, something from Jasnah's past that haunts her, beyond her father's death or her spren bond.
David Foster
78. ZenBossanova
It is actually for that exact reason I doubt Brandon is going to make her a Lesbian. I would not be opposed to it in principle, but do you want a her to be a lesbian 'because' she was abused? Brandon has said that if he does a LBGT character, he is going to do his research first. Since he already did his research to make her an atheist, I suspect he is not going to get any more experimental with her character.

But that is all assumptions and speculation. Of course, that off-hand comment when Jasnah was arrainging Shallan's marriage might suggest otherwise.
Warraven
79. Jasuni
We see Nazh later (I believe that he is the ardent in chapter 31)

@7 Moash had already rejected Dalinar in WoK (see WoK ch. 62, when Dalinar saves Bridge 4)

@55 At least Kaladin isn't old enough to be Lift's father (unlike Jasnah, who is old enough to be Kaladin's mother)

@56 stormform is stronger than warform (see I-8). It would not be unreasonable for Eshoni being resilient enough to survive the fall. (I also would not be suprised if stormform's armor is lighter and more durable than warform's armor)

@69 Shallan probably will eventually forgive Kaladin, assuming she does not try to kill him immediately upon figuring it out (or being told, if that happens).
David Foster
80. ZenBossanova
Ok, I need to see a few ages here. Just how old is Jasnah anyway?

Looks like she was born in 1139, and WoR ends in 1173, so she is 34.

Kaladin was born in 1153 so at the end of WoR he is 20.
This leaves a bit of a gap in ages, but not an impossible one. There is a rule some guys often use that says, the youngest girls that guys can date is half your age, plus 7. If we applied that to Jasnah (not a guy, but whatever), the youngest she could date is 24. I am not sure should put much stock in that rule, but there it is.

And for the record, I think that is probably too much of a gap.

By way of comparison, Adolin was born in 1150, making him 23, while Shallan is 17.

And finally, a Roshar year is 1.1 Earth years.
Patrick Mosbacker
81. Patillian
Ways @67 Thanks! That is what I was almost remembering. I feel that Tarah is dead somehow from the quote listing her among those he failed, and it seems like she is from his spearman days in Amaram's army (coaxing him out of his single-mindedness post Tien), but I'm having trouble coming up with how this would have happened.

Overall, I'm not shipping anyone or taking a Team Kaladin approach, I'm just suggesting that the foreshadowing heavily leans that way. I am actually OK with love triangle or no love triangle as long as I care about the characters. Love triangles happen in real life all the time. I think Shallan could have healthy, but very different relationships, with either Adolin or Kaladin. I think most of our lives are strongly channeled by our choice of companions. Though some of Shallan's choice will be made for her if Adolin becomes corrupted somehow or dies.
Patrick Mosbacker
82. Patillian
Oh, and I forgot to mention that I love @71's idea that Eshonai is somehow saved/healed by the Listeners who escaped into the chasms. It seems obvious now. I think that is what happened. I am 50/50 on whether either the trauma of the fall or some effort/effect of the resisting Listeners can rescue Eshonai's deeper self, or whether they will have a long, running conversation with her as a prisoner.
Warraven
83. STBLST
Thanks, @82, for my speculation about Eshonai. As you imply, it is supported by the otherwise extraneous mention of Listeners who rebelled against the invocation of the stormform by Eshonai and her sister, and escaped into the chasms. A more deeper speculation involves the fate of Kaladin and his relationships. I suspect that Kaladin will die in very heroic fashion by the conclusion of the series. His dying words will include some lines relating to the Fleet story prompted by Hoid. The series started with a sad reflection on the fate of the Herald, Taln, who was wont to fight against impossible odds and to suffer the consequences; It will end with the grateful but sad reflection on the death of Kaladin in his successful struggle to save mankind. However, deep the relationship between Kaladin and Shallan develops, and I suspect that it will be intense, Shallan and Adolin will be the ones to keep his memory alive together. Of course, this is just speculation and can't be considered 'spoilerish'. I'm sure that BWS knows just how he will end the series, but is not going to reveal it prematurely.
Jordan Hibbits
84. rhandric
@83 Not reveal it prematurely? He's already said the ending is in the first 2 books! ;)
Warraven
85. STBLST
A@84 rhandric, are you thinking of the Fleet story as I was? I was also remiss in not proof-reading my @83 comment. I meant to thank @82 Patillian for approving of my Eshonai speculation. I left out the phrase, 'approving of'.
David Foster
87. ZenBossanova
No way is Eshonai dead yet. We are definitely going to see more of her. It was just too short of an arc for her, as it was. I do think she will have a change of heart/spren and become a good guy. At least I really, really, really hope.

In any case, we may have two major differences between this Desolation and previous ones, aside from the storm in the wrong direction. We could potentially have Parshendi working alongside Knights Radiant. And, there was that odd little fact that Jasnah returns at the end of WoR with a Bandolier - does that imply the use of guns and gunpower? That could level the playing field between Thunderclasts and squishly little people.
Birgit
88. birgit
Would shooting stone monsters really do much damage? Of course if you have explosives you could blow them up.
Dixon Davis
89. KadesSwordElanor
Zen @87

I didn’t come up with this and I don’t remember who did, so I will not take the credit. But remember that the voice is from Hoid’s perspective and he muses “kind of bandolier.” Not saying this proves anything, I just think it is something to keep in mind.
Jordan Hibbits
90. rhandric
@85 Well Brandon hasn't been specific about where the ending shows up, or in what form, but the Fleet story is a good theory.
Warraven
91. STBLST
Let's not get distracted by Sanderson's use of 'modern' terms. 'Bandolier', as has been previously remarked, is a term that can be used for any item worn across the body. There is, in fact, an accessory for carrying an IPhone which is called a 'bandolier' for that reason. It would be rather anachronous and off-putting for Sanderson to introduce a 'gunspren' weapon for Jasnah in an age of swords, spears, and arrows. Note that when Jasnah makes her reappearance next to Hoid, she forms a 'sprensword' pointed at Hoid's neck.
Warraven
92. DennisLane
There have been several shippings of relationships but so far none for Szeth and Shallan. Szeth's entire life as assassin and truthless has been one big lie and with Shallan and pattern arc about lies and admitting truths it can really fit particularly both have to discover truths about who they are and their pasts. We know the least about Szeth's past as anyone except maybe Jasnah. Thoughts?
David Foster
93. ZenBossanova
I will confess it certainly could be some kind of non-gunpowder bandolier. But that would certainly be in keeping with Brandon turning Fantasy on its head. Not only bringing magic back, but also jump starting military technology.

And yes, a gun would do little for a thunderclast, but a cannon could do wonders. Guns would also level the playing field against evil-Parshendi. Even Navani could take one on!

None of this is definitive, and none of it will be until the next book. So we will just have to see.
John Massey
94. subwoofer
@Braid_Tug-

Honorary :chirp:

Edit- what is the deal with this new format of Tordot? It is still as slow as ever, and we all lost our pretty pictures...

Woof™.
Bridget McGovern
95. BMcGovern
@94: Sorry about the technical difficulties--we're trying to sort them out at the moment, but apologies for all the glitchiness in the meantime!
Deana Whitney
96. Braid_Tug
@94: :-) Thanks. We need a like button.

@94 & 95: Oh, good. It's not just my system.
Alice Arneson
97. Wetlandernw
::chirp::

Heh. I always just assume that when someone's comment says "Sly" when I know they meant "Syl" it's their phone auto-correcting them. I know my iPad does really annoying corrections, and if I don't watch it like a hawk, I'll say something completely different than I meant. One of several reasons I rarely post from my iPad, truth be told. It's just not worth it.

... I think sometime I should write a nice long post on the iPad and let it make all the corrections, just to see what kind of garbled mess it would make....
Warraven
98. Capt D
@68 , @74

In all truthfullness I feel sorry that your enjoyment of reading these comments is so fickle as to be significantly lessened by someone spelling Syl wrong. I'm honestly not trying to be mean. I really think the question isn't why these people can't get the spelling right, but rather why does it bother you so much.
John Massey
99. subwoofer
Righto.... spelling.

I suck. I'm good with that tho' and that is what counts. I'm old and I've made my peace with the dictionary. I won't use it to kill bugs... sorry insectoid.... and in return, it eased up on giving me a hard time about missing the odd letter. Spell check is a whole other kettle of fish, when I use autocorrect, folks think I am in the school for the "gifted".... I am, but people don't need to know that.

There are times when I think authors use big honkin' names to increase their letter count. I get this is another time, planet and all that, but why can't a guy from Alethekar- gah- be called "Sam"? For this reason alone, Wit is my favorite character, Lopen is a strong second, and Rock, as long as he is called Rock, is cool beans too.

Woof™.
John Massey
100. subwoofer
Hi Alice!

::waves::

About Jasnah... I have a theory, but it involves the bath scenes. I am still sketchy on how open folks are about their nudity, but Jasnah seems fine with floating around naked in front of her student. OTOH this whole freehand(?) thing has me baffled because they mention it quite a bit and yet not much has come from it. And what if the lady is Lopen like?

Woof™.
John Massey
101. subwoofer
Psssst! ^^^^ Lookit^^^^

Some mad genius got the hunny!

Dogs rule.

Woof™.
Alice Arneson
102. Wetlandernw
::waves:: Hi, Woof! Glad to see you here!

Re: the safehand, we've been given hints that it's one of those traditions based on something silly that's become a Big Deal; the fact that we've been given such hints leads me to suspect that we may see the end of it for practical reasons very soon.
T C
103. Freelancer
In reading this post again, it finally hit me. Something had been nagging at me about Sadeas' wife since she was first introduced, something that seemed familiar, but which I couldn't pinpoint. It's her name, Ialai. It reminds me of the name of another SF/F princess, one who is determined, disciplined, and though less sanguine with evil, is very much willing to make hard choices in the name of an agenda. Irulan Corrino, daughter of Emperor Shaddam IV. She chose a political marriage devoid of passion.

I'm not here speculating on any literary connection between the two, just that the name jogged that memory from Dune.


RE: The Alethi female safehand tradition.

Brandon spoke directly to this at the San Diego visit of the WoR tour. It was created of whole cloth by the Vorin clergy, following the Recreance. The church's first concern was attempting to gain control of as many of the descarded Shardblades as possible. One of their methods was to make a large part of the population unable to wield the large, two-handed Blades. So the fictitious "tradition" of women hiding and and not employing one of their hands was born.

Whether someone like Shallan or Jasnah might discover the specious origin and lead to the expiration of this behavior, is yet to be seen.
Alice Arneson
104. Wetlandernw
Okay, that's very cool! I'd not heard that before. I'd heard about it being based on the idea that the feminine arts can be performed with one hand, while the masculine arts take two; I hadn't known about the deliberate propagation by the Vorin clergy. I'm betting it will come to light somewhere along the line... though I don't know how you change a whole society's perception of something that's developed such a subconscious stigma, to the point where an uncovered left hand is essentially pornographic.
Deana Whitney
105. Braid_Tug
@103: Wow. Thanks for the info about the blades and the safe-hand.

Like others I had only heard the story it was based on the idea and the womanly arts could best be done with just one hand. And the covered safe hand grew out of that idea, taken too far.

Yes, the rebirth of live shardblades does make you wonder how long the female KR's are going to deal with a hindered hand when they need the shard in its large blade form.
David Foster
106. ZenBossanova
I recall someone wrote a book, where it was decided that it was proper for women to cover one hand, because women's arts all only required one hand, while men's work required two. Some kind of a Rosharan Miss Manners.
Trae Ashleigh
107. Trae
Just reading this now, so what is PTB?
Alice Arneson
108. Wetlandernw
It stands for "Powers That Be." Another of those weird shorthand references that I use without thinking about them...

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