Jul 24 2014 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 6

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on! Last week we witnessed the thoroughness of Sadeas’s bad crazy and saw a bunch of politics being planned and executed. This week we take a break from all that by visiting Shallan, who is peaceably pursuing scholarship on the Wind’s Pleasure, a place where nothing could possibly go wrong.

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and any other Cosmere books that become relevant. This week also contains spoilers for Raiders of the Lost Ark. BEWARE!

Chapter 6: Terrible Destruction

Point of View: Shallan
Setting: The Wind’s Pleasure, off the Coast of the Frostlands
Symbology: Shadesmar Icon, Shalash


IN WHICH A chilly Shallan studies her spren; Pattern fails to comprehend the difference between food and destruction; Shallan remembers greenery, far too vividly; Yalb shows off for the new kid and inquires about colors; Pattern and Shallan discuss lies; Shallan luxuriates in scholarship; dun spheres are discovered; Jasnah’s exhaustion is observed; surgebinding, essences, orders are pondered; Shallan demands to be included in Jasnah’s struggles; Voidbringers and parshmen are worried about; Urithiru requires finding; the Hierocracy is badmouthed; Shallan is given a copy of Words of Radiance to reread; and sleep is interrupted by screams, shouts, and smoke.


Quote of the Week:

“You like lies?” Shallan asked.

“Good lies,” Pattern said. “That lie. Good lie.”

“What makes a lie good?” Shallan asked, taking careful notes, recording pattern’s exact words.

“True lies.”

“Pattern, those two are opposites.”

“Hmmmm… Light makes shadow. Truth makes lies. Hmmmm.”

I love this concept. Light creates shadow in the spaces it is blocked from shining, and truth can make lies in the spaces left out. It sounds like Pattern is describing lies of omission, lies made up of truth with bits left out, but I think you can go further with the concept. The surge of Illumination makes illusions out of real images. Shallan always has an easier time Illuminating after she’s done a sketch, created an image to reify. Pattern also loves abstractions, words and phrases that are truer than they are real.

Also I just love Pattern. Expect a lot of him in this section.


Commentary: The Shallan chapters in Words of Radiance are rich and layered. Like with Kaladin in The Way of Kings, her powers are manifesting around her in ways she doesn’t yet understand. More importantly, however, at all times she’s struggling to suppress her past, as Pattern tries to draw it out of her. We discover in Chapter 6 that Pattern has been with her for a long time. He was with her back in Jah Keved, which means we’ve never had a Shallan chapter that he wasn’t watching. Pattern needs Shallan to remember what happened, but she’s trained herself to recoil in horror from her past.

Shallan’s self-deception is aided by Yalb and the mysterious new kid. Never trust a pointless side character, especially in a Sanderson book. They’re either a distraction or a threat. It strikes me as strange that Jasnah and Shallan wouldn’t have been aware of Tozbek bringing on new crew at Amdatlyn. Wouldn’t Jasnah have vetted this guy? Maybe she really is too exhausted by her studies, but it seems out of character for the Alethi spymistress to let this assassin on board her ship during such a dangerous and important mission.

It’s sweet and tragic how much Shallan loves being a scholar. To her, scholarship was this impossible dream from her childhood, and now she’s living it. Sweet summer child, I wish you could live that dream uninterrupted, but this is no era for peaceful scholarship. You live in the age of action scholarship. So put on your Indiana Jones fedora and get out there.

Maybe figure out that gold is heavier than sand, though.

The ongoing discussion about what to do with the parshmen continues to squick me out. Jasnah has a lot on her mind, but I wish she’d give a little bit of thought to what will happen once she convinces the Alethi that their slaves are conspiring to overthrow them. She’s worried about the economic consequences, and not about the possibility that she’ll incite genocide. Eventually Shallan starts thinking about this, but until then I’m going to stay squicked. It doesn’t help that I’ve been reading an ARC of Kameron Hurley’s Mirror Empire, which deals with very similar issues.

What I do like about that discussion is how Jasnah’s scholarship leads her to incorrect conclusions. We discover later how it is that the Parshendi can sing in unison no matter how far they’re separated; they all have access to the same Rhythms, which seem to all go forward in unison. This is a terrible substitution for telepathy.


Sprenspotting: We see again how exhaustionspren and fearspren can betray emotions that humans try to hide. We also learn more about “Liespren,” or “Cryptics” as they preferred to be called. Pattern is suffering from that post-bond amnesia thing that we’ve seen Syl fighting. What’s more, he’s the only spren we’ve seen who just can’t be invisible. Liespren: pretty bad at deception, actually? Most interesting to me is this section:

In her quarters, Pattern moved up the wall beside her, watching without eyes as she searched for a passage she remembered, which mentioned spren that spoke. Not just windspren and riverspren, which would mimic people and make playful comments. Those were a step up from ordinary spren, but there was yet another level of spren, one rarely seen. Spren like Pattern, who had real conversations with people.

The Nightwatcher is obviously one of these, Alai wrote, Shallan copying the passage. The records of conversations with her—and she is definitely female, despite what rural Alethi folktales would have one believe—are numerous and credible. Shubalai herself, intent on providing a firsthand scholarly report, visited the Nightwatcher and recorded her story word for word…

Interesting that they rank spren as superior when they can talk, but my biggest takeaway from this section is that I really want to read a novella about Shubalai going to study the Nightwatcher.


Ars Arcanum: Shallan is Illuminating! Pattern pushes her to remember their first encounter, and by doing so Shallan creates an illusion of her garden. It seems like she only turned the boards beneath her green, rather than making a full illusory garden, but that’s a big step in the direction of Illumination. Plus, we get to see her singing that old familiar song, “Why did all these spheres go dark?”


Heraldic Symbolism: Our Herald this week is Shalash, the Herald of Beauty, who is associated with Creativity and Honesty. Shallan is named for Shalash, and she certainly embodies creativity. I think that Shalash is the Herald for this chapter because we’re seeing how creativity and honesty exist in co-productive opposition.


Just Sayin’:

“Passions!” Yalb said. “That fellow is as dun as two spheres made of mud.”

Yalb! That is RUDE!


That’s it for this week! Apparently next week’s chapter will have screams, shouts, and smoke. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m guessing it’s Jasnah’s surprise birthday party. Maybe they should have used fewer candles.

Carl Engle-Laird is an editorial assistant at, where he acquires and edits fiction both for the Originals program and for The Imprint. You can follow him on Twitter here. If you ask nicely he might even tell you how to find his Brooklyn Nine-Nine podcast.

Deana Whitney
1. Braid_Tug
Okay, with Syl’s name discussion last week I have to ask this.

Why does she get to remember her name in WoK, but Pattern is given a name? When he becomes more aware, will he remember a different name? Or will he just accept Pattern as his new name and identity?

Was Syl originally named by one of her past KR’s? or is her name part of identity as an honor spren?
2. cyddenid
What if Jasnah did realise the new crewmwmber was a possible threat? She was probably prepared for an assassination attempt coming her way, which meant when they tried to kill her on the ship she already had plans of how to escape-which was how she was able to fake her death in what must have been a matter of minuetes. I'm also assuming she didn't have a shardblade at this point, or she could have just burnt their eyes out and carried on sailing to the shattered plains. If she knew an attempt on her life was going to happen so soon though, why not tell shallan, and have her sleep in the floor in Jasnah's cabin or something?
3. nageler
It is interesting that a scholar as accomplished and insightful as Jasnah doesn't seem to have spent much time considering what will happen to the Parshendi. In her defense, we have only limited time with her in this book, and our access to her notes through Shallan's viewpoint is sporadic, so it's possible (and in my mind, probable) that she has a plan of some kind to deal with the Parshendi. Jasnah doesn't strike me as the type to throw this situation to the brightlords and let them solve it. And on that note, I wonder how much of a problem genocide actually would be to her? We have only limited insight into her moral compass and priorities outside of scholarship, but she has definitely displayed a serious ruthless streak.
Carl Engle-Laird
4. CarlEngle-Laird
@1 Pattern and Syl are reconstructing their personhoods in very different ways, and Pattern is more of a scholar than a guide. It is very possible that Pattern wants to be given identity by Shallan, while Syl wants to give Kaladin purpose.
5. Capt D
If Jasnah did realize that an assassination attempt was going to happen then perhaps she took it as an opportunity to let the world think her dead, thus giving her more freedom. Perhaps she thought that the others (the crew and Shallan) would be left alone if the assassin thought her dead, and she didn't tell them because she needed their genuine reactions to her death to perpetuate the lie. However, I don't like this theory for two reasons.

1) I don't think Jasnah would be naive enough to think that the others would be safe if she were killed. So she would have known that they would be hurt, captured, or killed. She might be ruthless enough to allow this to happen to the crew for "the greater good" of her disapearance, but I doubt she would allow Shallan, her padowan, a surgebinder, and sole confidant to die.

2) When Jasnah returns from Shadesmar in the last chapter of WoR she tells Hoid that the Knights Radiant must be re-founded and that Urithiru must be found. Those don't sound like tasks for someone that wants the world to think them dead.
Adam S.
@1 Braid_Tug: Pattern does have a name, he tells Shallan that it's a long sequence of numbers, but "Pattern is fine".
I actually feel bad for Pattern. The more we learn about Shallan's past (or don't learn, even by the end of the book) the more we realize that Pattern has been around for a loooooong time. yet he has failed to ever progress in the real world because of Shallan's mental block. Poor little guy...
Yalb is awesome. Nuff said.
I, too, was very disappointed that Jasnah didn't thoroughly check on the new guy that just happens to join the crew after she's been on board for a while. Seems like an uncharacteristic slip for her, she must really be exhausted.
Paul Rando
7. SerDragonReborn
I enjoyed the discussion between Shallan and Pattern at the beginning, where she tried to explain what eating was. I mainly enjoyed it because it made me realize that at some point or another, Shallan will be sitting on the chamber pot only to see Pattern sitting there on the mirror, asking, "Why this?"
Nadine L.
8. travyl
Are we sure, that Pattern was there the whole time (watching)? I know Shallan thinks she has access to her sword, which would mean, that Pattern must be around, but she never used it, so another possibility is, that when Shallan forced herself to forget after the killing, Pattern withdrew (Syl-like) and was not there for a time, until Shallan re-connected with the Cryptics? Do we know if the Blinking ability is part of the surge? This would settle it, I suppose.
Pattern needs Shallan to remember what happened, but she’s trained herself to recoil in horror from her past.
I don't think Pattern needs her to remember, but he wants her to, because else she won't be able to become a Knight Radiant

... which probably means, that Pattern needs it ...
(Sorry, I'm obviously talking in circles, I just wanted to say, that I don't think that Patterns progression to become more "intelligent" is dependent upon Shalan remembering).
His progress (from the "dumb" spren, to comprehending complex thoughts), which seems to start after Shallan drew him, is another reason why I thought that he must have been away from Shallan until recently.
(edited because of multiple spelling errors and to clarify.)
Jonathan Purcell
9. Lomeon
Shalash, or just Ash, is also the patron Herald of the Order of Lightweavers. I would venture that is the main reason that she presides solely over this chapter heading.
Carl Engle-Laird
10. CarlEngle-Laird
@9 Thanks! I thought that was the case, but wasn't sure at the time.
Andrew Berenson
11. AndrewHB
What Yalb said may have been rude, but in the end the joke is on Yalb. Yalb's new shipmate was not as dumb as he appeared. He played dumb as part of his role as an assassin.

Since some others brought this up above, I think Jasnah only knew about the assination attempt just before it occurred. IIRC, it is in this chapter that Jasnah throws out the line about the lock on her room's door not working. When I first read it, I thought that was a sure indication that something would occur. It is possible that Ivory warned her. I can beleive that she would have wanted to fake her death. What I cannot beleive is that she would let Shallon fly in the wind like a leaf. I do not think that Jasnah would have beleived that Shallan could have done the job she did on her own (finding Urithiru, coming into her own as a person and a Knight Radiant).

Thanks for reading my musings,
(aka the musespren)
Deana Whitney
12. Braid_Tug
@ 4 &6: Thank you!
I had forgotten about his numbers.

@Carl, very true. They also have very different teaching methods for thier proto-KR.
Kimani Rogers
13. KiManiak
Thanks Carl,

Pattern is fun. I especially appreciate how Brandon gave the “bonding spren” distinct personalities. Syl, Pattern, Wyndle and even Ym’s unnamed spren didn’t just have some type of generic “spren behavior.” I like Syl’s mischievousness, Wyndle’s bitching and whining, and I especially loved when Pattern told off the ardent Inadara near the end of the book. Since there are at least 10 types of “bonding spren,” it makes sense for Brandon to write each of them somewhat differently and show the differences between the groups. I look forward to when we meet 2 of the same type of bonding spren (other than the Cryptics from WoK, who we didn’t really interact with much) and see the similarities and differences within the groups as well.

Jasnah’s behavior in regards to the expanded crew is interesting. She just recently survived an assassination attempt, so you’d think she’d be on her guard. I still think there is more to her “death” and resurrection, and we’ll find out more about it in Stones Unhallowed/Skybreaker.

Anyway, good setup chapter, great cliffhanger.

Braid_Tug@1 – I think you’re asking the right question. Why is it that Syl and Wyndle know their names, but Pattern and Ym’s spren don’t know theirs? Was it the mechanism involved in how Pattern was brought (back) into the Physical realm? How long does it take for them to regain their knowledge of self? I think there is more to this.

Carl@4 – That is an interesting possibility as well. I’m not sure, though. Pattern is inquisitive and absorbing information, but he still (or ultimately) remembers the experiences that led to Shallan’s memory block. I think he is fascinated by Shallan’s experiences and the knowledge that he gathers from her, but he has his own identity.

MDNY@6 – Thanks; I totally forgot that he did share that. I wonder if there is an Alethi version of Cryptic names, or if all Cryptics let their humans name them.

SerDragon@7 – Hah! That was hilarious. I can totally see that, now!
14. Capt D
Carl's comment about riverspren being similar to windspren in that they mimic people and make playful comments make me wonder if there is a "bonding spren" that are similar to riverspren, much like honorspren and similar to windspren.
Jordan Hibbits
15. rhandric
@11 Perhaps Jasnah's read Lord of the Rings and realized that, like Frodo and the others, Shallan needed to lose her advisor/mentor, to progress and become the woman she needed to be... ;)
Patrick Mosbacker
16. Patillian
@7 That conversation basically already happened. pg. 254, in Tvlakv's wagon, awkwardly seguing from how Shallan can make Stormlight transfer from a sphere to her body.

"You consume some things, and turn them into other things...Very curious things that you hide. They have value? But you leave them. Why?"

"We are done with that conversation," Shallan said...
Heather LaCroix
17. Bellaberry
“Her father’s gardens. Pattern on the ground, drawn in the dust . . .“Remember,” Pattern said, voice like a whisper.No, Shallan thought, horrified.”
This dust drawing must be where Shallon drew pattern into the physical realm for the first time. I wonder if he just sat still and let her trace him or if she was drawing from memory then too.
Alice Arneson
18. Wetlandernw
travyl @8 - There's need, and then there's need. I don't think Pattern himself, as a Cryptic, particularly needs Shallan to remember things, as long as he's only concerned with the Cognitive Realm. But as you say, she needs to remember in order to progress as a KR, and he needs her to make that progress if he is to make any further progress in the physical realm. Also, what's the point of developing this bond if they're going to stop at a level where she's so limited in her capabilities? If she's going to be at all effective against the Desolation (which was the point of developing the bonding thing in the first place), she needs to progress all the way to a full KR. If she won't do that, she's wasting Pattern and his bond - but to do it, she needs to remember. Different levels of "need" in this situation!

@several - I have a hard time believing that Jasnah planned ahead for an escape from assassination in quite the way it played out, at any rate. Whether she suspected an assassin among the added crew... I don't know. She trusted Tozbek and his crew up to now; she may not have been aware that he took on new crew, depending on what she was doing at the time. As noted, she had a lot on her mind.

Bellaberry @17 - Oooh, nice catch! I hadn't actually noticed the "drawn" part of that sentence; I'll bet you're right. That's... quite delightful, really! I'm going to have to think about that for a while.
Glen V
19. Ways
Leaving the Jasnah-didn't-vet-the-new-crew-guy door open (so to speak) was a very "Brandon" thing to do. I don't recall paying much attention to it in my first read, and chapter 7 was a big surprise.

After the "true lies" chat, Shallan remembers the voice demanding a truth from her when she first soulcast. She doesn't think the voice was Pattern's. There is an air of uncertainty in her musing, but if she is correct and it wasn't Pattern, then who was it? Perhaps a super-spren who is aligned with Cultivation vetting (there's that word again) Shallan as a potential KR.

Ooh, ooh, Alice gets to do chapter 7.
David Foster
20. ZenBossanova
When Pattern said his name was numbers, what came to mind, was irrational/transcendental numbers, like pi or e. Particularly with the transcendental one, there is no way to shorten them, because each number holds infinite information, but we can give it a name like pi, or e. This comes to mind partly because of the fractal shape of Roshar.

I don't think for a moment that Jasnah planned her death. I don't think she could investigate every servant. But exactly how did she escape? Was it because she was partly in Shadesmar at the time? I suspect her Elsecalling maybe involved here. And where was she in between now and the end of the book, that she had to escape from?

@14. Capt D
If windspren have a relationship with honorspren, who do riverspren have a relationship with? Edgedancers perhaps? Or Dustbringers?
22. silvermonarch
Great thoughts above. Very intriguing...

I find it surprising that Shallan has already bonded Pattern and advanced in her oaths. How old was she when Pattern first started hanging around her? We know that she used to be able to do voices along with images, so she definitely had a strong bond with Pattern well before her trauma with the bloody room.

...And yet, others have mentioned before that a person must break first before a spren is attracted to them. When and how did Shallan break? We know that her father was a nice man and they had a strong family before her mother died. It is assumed that her mother's death occured because of Shallan's attachment to Pattern, not the other way around. Do you think this is a case of effect before cause, due to the future breaking of Shallan being predicted?
Kathryn Huff
23. Woozle_Mom
@19 Ways mentioned that Shallan didn't think the voice she heard when she Soulcast the goblet belonged to Pattern. Probably-incorrect-theory: Perhaps this voice belonged to someone that is for the Cryptics what Stormfather is for the Honorspren. Stormfather has to accept the Words before Kaladin and Syl's bond can progress. Kaladin speaks Oaths, but Shallan must speak Truths. Perhaps the Voice that Shallan heard was somebody testing the strength of her Truths.
Alice Arneson
24. Wetlandernw
silvermonarch @22 - What we know is that Shallan was, at most, eleven years old when her connection to Pattern began; she was eleven-and-a-half when she killed her mother. And yes, IMO it's pretty clear that Shallan's mother turned against her because of her Lightweaving.

We've been told that the KR were "all broken" - or at least that's how we interpreted what we were told. There are a lot of ways we could be wrong, though. Perhaps that only applies to some Orders, or perhaps that's the way it always worked before but it's different this time. Or perhaps we misunderstood the meaning of "broken," or how exactly it relates to the formation of the bond. Perhaps the breaking is part of the process of the bonding. It's one of the things we have to be careful of "knowing" because it's so open to interpretation.
David Foster
25. ZenBossanova
The way Nazh describes cracks and breaking on the back of the bookcover, I am inclined to think it is an aspect of the Cosmere in general.
Glen V
26. Ways
Woozle_Mom @23
Yep, that's pretty much where I was headed. Just left out the direct comparison to Stormfather. IIRC, Dalinar had to pass the "Stormfather test" also. So it could be that Cultivation's super-spren is responsible for vetting the bottom (female herald) half of the heralds-orders-surges graphic, while Stormfather takes care of the top (male) half. I won't even begin to speculate on which of the known remaining super-spren this might be b/c there are potentially other, unmentioned-to-date great and powerful spren. And it could be any of them. Or maybe this is all total BS that sounds plausible at the moment and will fall apart later. After all, Cultivation's shard-holder is presumed confirmed to be alive (WoB), and Cultivation itself is unsplintered; while Honor/Tanavast's status is a bit different. Cultivation may not have a super-spren acting on her behalf.

Edit: fact-checking.
Jordan Hibbits
27. rhandric
Thought I just had re: breaking/being broken (in other words, Snapping, a la Mistborn). While we know little (read: basically nothing) about pre-Shattering of Adonalsium, we do know that there existed some form of at least Lightweaving, as per the WoR Ars Arcanum, and Hoid (appears to) has/have some skill to that (see: Warbreaker). But, what we don't know is, was there a need of Snapping before the Shattering of Adonalsium. Perhaps the need for being broken is due to the broken nature of Adonalsium and it's powers.

Or not. I just like the symmetry in that thought process.
Kathryn Huff
28. Woozle_Mom
@26 Excellent. Theories always seem more plausible when more than one person has the idea. ;-)

@Several: I am also ridiculously curious about the details of the original Bonding of Shallan/Pattern. I hope she shares that story with someone eventually!
Birgit F
29. birgit
The names of spren seem to be related to their nature. Syl is an "upgrade" of windspren (sylphs). Pattern is a fractal and has a mathematical name. The Stormfather is connected to Highstorms. Wyndle resembles plants that are called Winde in German. Ivory's name is strange because the name implies white while he is black.
Adam S.
30. MDNY
@29 I had similar thoughts, though I had no idea of the Windle plant connection. I assume that Jasnah would attract some sort of highly intellectual spren who maybe appreciates irony (Ivory has been around a long time, and likely fully bonded, so is probably more fully sentient than Syl or Pattern at this point). Or maybe "Elsecallers" is related to breaking the pattern of the naming of spren....their spren are called something "else" (not really).
Deana Whitney
31. Braid_Tug
@22, 24, 28:

That is a driving question for me too.
I wants the story! I wants it! (In Gollum voice)

What caused a 10-11 year old girl from a happy family to break? I could understand her natural talent of drawing, attracting the attention of the creation spren and attracting other spren attention.
This was Shallan’s book for the past, but we start in the middle of the story. The dramatic part, but the months before this is like sand in the shirt. It rubs and cannot be ignored.

So yes, my biggest wish for the next book is to understand the origins of her bond with Pattern more. Maybe another Lightweaver will join the party and we can compare how the bonds formed.
32. Blend
Re: Pattern not being able to disappear - I always assumed this was tied into the idea that once you draw a Spren, it's trapped that way. Like, in WoK, when the scholars who were studying spren drew a picture of a flamespren, it was caught in whatever size it was.
David Foster
33. ZenBossanova
@31. Braid_Tug
I would not trust Shallan's recollections of her family too much. She has a tendency to either forget, or whitewash parts she doesn't like.
34. Capt D
@ 20 ZenBossanova
I don't think it would be the Edgedancers as we've already met Wyndle and he doesn't seem similar to a riverspren. I'm honestly not sure a riverpsren would be connected to any of them but if I had to guess I would say the Willshapers as it just kind of fits with water.

@24 Wetlandernw
I agree that we may not know what we think we know and we shouldn't close out the definition of being "broken" just yet. Also, I have to tell you that I laugh inside everytime I see your name. It's a great name and all, I know it is in reference to the Aiel term for everybody in the Wet Lands from the Wheel of Time, but when I just glance over it I always read "Wet Andrew" and think of some poor kid named Andrew that just wet himself. Anyways, that was sidenote.
Alice Arneson
35. Wetlandernw
Oh, if only I could have had the true Wetlander username... but somebody named George, who has apparently never used it, claimed it before I could. Maybe I should ask the Tor PTB if they can fix that for me.
James Tyrrell
36. skinnylipid
@33 spot on! Shallan's already confronted the truth going back that far, but Patten says he was first attracted to her by her lies. So where do the lies lie? Something either witnessed or happened to her is causing her to lie to herself. I suspect this may be about the very nature of her family and her perception of who they are (big brother as the 'best person she's ever know' anyone?). Either way something happened to that 11 yr old that should have left her emotionally shattered, and as yet we don't know what it is. Happy family? I doubt it!

Looking foreword to the conversation Shallan has with Kaladin in the Chasms, where she defines the pain of being truly broken... Anyone else notice that some of she says matches the flashbacks, but some of it doesn't... Hints to what she's hiding from herself right there :-)
Jane Smyth
37. Kaboom
@ several re: being broken

Just a thought but as children personality are not yet completely formed, wouldn't it be possible that children would not need to be broken first? I'm thinking that adult proto KR may need to be broken so that the spren can better influence them, but as a child that influence may be much easier and thus no need to be broken.
Alice Arneson
38. Wetlandernw
skinnylipid @36 - Don't forget that Pattern's definition of a "lie" is rather different from ours. Anything metaphorical, most wordplay, any allegory... essentially, any figure of speech that is not literally true he thinks of as a lie. So the "lies" that drew him to her in the first place are as likely as not simply her facility with words & storytelling.
39. DennisLane
@several I have been contemplating the entire about KR being broken. Maybe we are looking at the broken from the wrong angle or incorrect perception. Maybe the idea of being broken is more than simply emotionally or psychologically broken. Maybe being broken is also about missing a piece or a part, like an unfinished puzzle.

I too agree getting a POV from one of the bonded spren, such as Syl or Pattern, would be fascinating. Finding out why they were initially attracted to the person they are bonded to would be amazing.
40. Easing the Spren
@35 Wetlandernw, maybe you can change your moniker from a Wot based one to a SA based one. How about AirsickLowlander? =lD>
Alice Arneson
41. Wetlandernw
Easing the Spren @40 - Well, that would be applicable too, being all of about 400 feet above sea level here... :D
James Tyrrell
42. skinnylipid
Wetlandernw @38 I agree that Pattern's concept of a 'lie' is far more esoteric than the standard definition. As it relates Shallan's ability to progress as a KR though, it's Shallan's concept of who she is that's in play really.

It seems like Lightweavers need to reclaim the reality they've divorced themselves from... kind of a 'Know thy self' Lightweavers before ye mess with others reality.

So we know there are things in Shallan's past that have helped to 'break' or crack her soul (or spiritual realm identity, thus making the bond a possibility in the first place) and that she's hiding from the reality of them.

It does seem like Spren aren't necessarily attracted in the first instance by the 'breaking' per say, or don't need to be. The wind knew Kaladin as a child before his 'breaking' begun, so maybe Pattern was attracted to Shallan before hers started.
43. silvermonarch
I'm not so sure that the wind really knew Kaladin before his breaking began. The first instance we have of wind around Kaladin is when he uses the spear, after Tien died. Yes, Amaram's attitude towards him was pretty bad and resulted in his true breaking, but he was at least cracked before then.
James Tyrrell
44. skinnylipid
Silvermonarch @43 Syl tells Kaladin she disobeyed her father because she knew she'd find him... she didn't know where he was but the wind knew of him. In a rush but I'll look up the quote later unless someone beats me to it : )
James Tyrrell
45. skinnylipid
Sorry for double posting, my phone won't let edit.

Quote from Ch.52 'Into The Sky':

"It's like when I first picked up a spear", Kaladin whispered "I was just a child. Were you with me back then? All that time ago?"

"No," Syl said "and yes."

"It can't be both."

"It can. I knew I needed to find you. And the winds knew you. They led me too you."
James Tyrrell
46. skinnylipid
The first time Kaladin picks up a spear is when he's with Tien & Laral and she's trying to convince him to become a soldier and win a shard blade (in way of kings), They come across some boys with spears and Kaladin fights one... Then promptly looses, but not before a sense of rightness settles on him at the feel of a spear in his hands.
Deana Whitney
47. Braid_Tug
@33: Oh, I agree about Shallan being an unreliable narrator of her childhood, pre and post mother's death.

@36-45: Really liking the conversation about all this. Pattern's lies are much more open for thought than ours. And 10 year old Shallan could have shown great lies in a number of ways. Fun stories told to entertain her brothers.

Does anyone else think that Kaladin was already getting a charge out of stormlight as a child? The shiny stones his brother would find, and the depression he would enter during the weeping? When no stormlight was generated. No, I'm not saying he was using it, but just a general charge. Like someone with seasonal depression is enlivened by the sun lamps. That helped the wind find him and lead Syl to him. Just a thought.
I can’t remember what we all said during the WoK discussions.
Dixon Davis
48. KadesSwordElanor
Braid_Tug @ 47

I was thinking the same thing (in relation to Tien & shiny stones), but forgot until you mentioned it. Seems plausible and likely, IMHO.
Adam S.
49. MDNY
@47 I've had thoughts about this. It depends on whether surgebinders still exist outside of radiants/proto-radiants (or people holding Honorblades). We know that surgebinders existed before the Knights Radiant were founded, but are there people in Roshar who can do it without bonding a spren? If so, then yes, Kaladin's lifelong depression during the Weepings is likely related. But if Kaladin could surgebind even before Syl found him, does that mean he can use all 10 surges? Did the original surgebinders have only access to 2 surges like the radiants, or could they access more? We don't know much about surgebinders before the Radiants (we still don't know much about some of the surges other than their names, while we're at it), so I just don't know, I'll float it out to the Storm Cellar to give their thoughts/research (as a side note: you guys are ridiculously fastidious when it comes to these kinds of questions, so I thank you all in advance for your answers).
50. Capt D
@49 I think the idea of anyone being able to use multiple surges is kind of interesting, not sure if it is plausible but certainly intersting. Sort of like a Mistborn rather than a Misting. On Roshar all we have are "Misting" type characters that can only use part of the magic, will we sometime in the future meet a "Mistborn" type character that can use all of the surges?
Alice Arneson
51. Wetlandernw
MDNY @49 - Well, you said it; we just don't know much of anything about pre-KR surgebinding. There are strong hints that it required spren cooperation, though whether it required the same kind of bond is unknown. Also unknown is whether there is now some kind of absolute restriction on the spren to only form bonds in the Knights Radiant style, or whether an individual spren could still cooperate/bond with a human outside of the KR structure.

So, so much we don't know. If mere cooperation is required for non-KR Surgebinding, is there a particular spren for each Surge, and it's the KR structure that allows a single spren-bond to link two Surges? Or are there spren who can connect to any/all of the Surges? I personally think the former is more likely to come somewhere close to the truth, but that's just my opinion, and probably not the whole truth by a faint breeze or a stormwind. I'm also sure there are many other possibilities!

(It's nice to think we could ask about it at a signing, but I'm pretty sure we'd get a RAFO. I don't think BWS wants us to be able to figure that out just yet.)
Jeremy Guebert
52. jeremyguebert
Ways @ 26 - Mostly based on some of Wyndle's conversations with Lift, I've started to think that the Stormfather-equivalent super-spren for Cultivation is the Nightwatcher. Wyndle mentions his "mother" giving Lift a gift, in terms that sound to me very much like other things we've heard about the Nightwatcher, and Syl refers to the Stormfather as her "father". Apparently I'm not the first one to think of this - when I went to the Coppermind to check the spelling (Nightwatcher vs Night Watcher) what I wrote above was already in the Theories and Speculation section.

Wetlander @ 51 - speaking of questions to ask at signings... I will be attending When Words Collide, a writing conference at which Brandon is speaking/reading/signing, August 8th-10th. I don't know how much time I'll have with him, and I have a number of questions of my own, but I would be willing to put together a list of things people from the Storm Cellar would like to know. I plan to take notes, and will bring back anything noteworthy that I learn.

Edited for grammar.
Alice Arneson
53. Wetlandernw
jeremy @52 - GAH! Why does my brain not recall these connections consciously?! Yes. I knew there was a big reason I kept thinking of Nightwatcher as the Cultivation-equivalent of Stormfather, and that's exactly it. Wyndle's observations on the source of Lift's odd abilities and his reasons for choosing her... yes. As you say. IIRC it hasn't been absolutely confirmed by WoB, but the evidence is pretty strong. Also, there's (IMO) good evidence that the Stormfather was around before Honor was splintered, so that's not a barrier to a Cultivation-equivalent.

Also: Cool! I'll go look up my list of questions and post them (probably here) in the next few days. You can pick the ones you think most like to get an answer. :)
Glen V
54. Ways
@52 & 53
I totally buy into the Nightwatcher/Cultivation/Female Herald (bottom half of the chart) thing.

And Braid_Tug cited WoB (chapt. 3 reread): All Bondsmiths are bonded to Stormfather (empasis mine). If that are extends well back into the past, then Stormfather must have been around before Tanavast was killed and Honor splintered (since there were Bondsmiths before Odium whacked him). Pretty good evidence indeed.
55. silvermonarch
@skinnylipid et al.

Very interesting. It could be that the wind was attracted to him, but he wouldn't have been able to make a bond until he actually broke. Perhaps breaking is necessary to become a proto-Radiant?

However, that was the wind in general, rather than Syl. In the case of Shallan, perhaps some other spren associated with cryptics were attracted to her, and still are, in much the way windspren are attracted to Kaladin when he flies. Perhaps they laid the path which Pattern followed to find Shallan. In that case, it would be the 'lies' she told, as in her art. I don't have my copy at hand, but I think she was exposed to art of some sort prior to her mother's death, right?
Jeremy Guebert
56. jeremyguebert
silvermonarch @ 55 - I get the strong sense of creationspren being Shallan's equivalent. They are plentiful whenever she really gets into her drawing (e.g. Pattern, various better-than-normal illustrations, the full map of the Shattered Plains). And doesn't Pattern describe illusion as creating new truth?

The biggest counterargument I see is that Pattern is dismissive of creationspren, whereas Syl seems to appreciate windspren. That could just be the difference between Syl and Pattern's personalities, though.
57. silvermonarch

I would tend to agree with you, in terms of creationspren, on both counts. :)

I also think it's interesting how sprent must think. They perceive the world in such a different way than humans (re: request for a spren pov). It gets kind of meta thinking of how abstractions can have thoughts and only interact with thoughts and perceptions of the physical world. Perhaps the disdain Pattern shows for creationspren is comparable to Syl's pity for windspren and fear of becoming one of them, but comes across differently due to their intrinsic differences? It's kind of like a cultural difference.
Rob Campbell
58. rccampbe
In Dalinar's visions, he is told that the Radiants originated with the spren attempting to duplicate the powers Honor gave to the Heralds. I imagine it being chaotic and unstructured as spren and proto-Radiants figured out what they could do together. Then comes the time of imposing structure (led by Nohadon, right?), but how can you impose rules on spren? Well, by partnering with the big Daddy spren, of course. Nohadon must have been a Bondsmith and "smithed the bonds" aka created the rules by which spren and Radiants can bond. Rebel spren could exist of course, but they'd risk the wrath of the Stormfather. That's my current take anyway.

But it makes me wonder, what could Dalinar change about the whole system?
Rob Campbell
59. rccampbe
Also, Wet @24 said "We've been told all the KR were broken. " Could somebody give me a reference on that? I don't know if I missed something, interpreted it differently or if the source is WoB.
Deana Whitney
60. Braid_Tug
@54, Ways and others:

To clarify my post from chapter 3:
At JordonCon, Rossnewberry asked Brandon about all Bondsmiths being bonded to the Stormfather. That question got a RAFO. (With a big smile)
But the follow-up was that a sufficiently powerful spren could be bounded to more than one person.
(again, big smile)

So my memory translated that as WoB confirmed: All Bondsmith bond to the Stormfather.
However we do not have that 100% confirmed yet. Just a strong belief.
(Yes, I read much into body language.)

I’ll edit my post at Ch. 3 to reflect this.
Alice Arneson
61. Wetlandernw
rccampbe @59 - WoR Ch. 68:
"I'm not some glorious knight of ancient days. I'm a broken man. Do you hear me, Syl? I'm broken."
She zipped up to him and whispered, "That's what they all were, silly." She streaked away.
And from the WoR back cover:
It is the nature of the magic. A broken soul has cracks into which something else can be fit. Surgebindings, the powers of creation themselves. They can brace a broken soul; but they can also widen its fissures.
We've combined those (and perhaps other hints) to understand that all the KR were broken, we think we understand it to mean that they have to have been broken to form the initial bond with the spren, and we think it must mean some kind of breaking of the spirit or mind. All I'm saying is that a) we don't know exactly when in the process this breaking happens (before, during?) and that b) we might not know exactly what is meant by "broken" in this context.
Deana Whitney
62. Braid_Tug
@59 & 61:
We may also be pulling a bit from Mistborn, in that all the magic users Mistborn & Mistings have to first 'snap' to use the magic.
Often, this snapping happens during a traumatic event. Thus the mind is open to the new power.

Do the two systems work the same? No! But the precedent is there in other Cosmere systems.
Jordan Hibbits
63. rhandric
There's an interesting thread about this on 17th Shard.

If you take the premise that Snapping and being broken are related on a Cosmere level, then the causes of the two may also be similar. If that's true, then much how Snapping can be caused by strong positive emotions, it's possible that being Broken on Roshar can be caused by positive influences -- and perhaps Shallan's life before killing her mother isn't as bad as we assume.
David Foster
64. ZenBossanova
How does this fit in with Warbreaker? The shard there is Endowment. Are the "cracks to be filled" there, either a lack of skill or lack of sight and hearing, or at the extreme end, a lack of life aka, the Returned?

What about Elantris? I don't recall anything analogous to Breaking in that book. The Shards in that book are Devotion and Dominion. Is the Cracks in that case, a lack of either Devotion or Dominion?
Glen V
65. Ways
jeremyguebert @56
I like your theory.

silvermonarch @57
"It gets kind of meta thinking of how abstractions can have thoughts and only interact with thoughts and perceptions of the physical world" makes my head hurt. But yes.

Braid_Tug @60
Thanks for the clarification, but drat. I was extrapolating your "mental translation" to build a case for Stormfather's existence before Tanavast was killed and Honor splintered (see Wetlander @53).

This is really bugging me, so I just spent far too much time looking for WoB on the web. And didn't find what I wanted, only a couple of tangential references.

Q: Before the Recreance, there were three Bondsmiths. Did they all bond supersprens, or is Dalinar an exception?
A: They did something similar.
(from the Philadelphia signing in March)

Q: With a yes or no answer, would the following analogy be correct? If
Syl is to Stormfather, as Wyndle is to Nightwatcher, then is Pattern to
A: : No, not exactly.
(from JordanCon 6)

Which doesn't really get us any closer to an answer about the Shardholder-superspren questions.
Heather LaCroix
66. Bellaberry
On brokenness: it seems like the original bridgeman are all pretty broken. Definately not all the same type of broken.
Rob Campbell
67. rccampbe
Wet@61 Thanks for the references. I may be in the minority, but my gut is telling me there is less fantastical going on with breaking. Syl says they all were broken in response to Kal calling them glorious knights. I read that as "all men are broken." To varying degrees of course and with different results in terms of how they deal with it. Kaladin: fight what has wounded his soul by striving to be better than those who wounded him (somebody has to start). Shallan: cover her wounds, hide them even from herself. Lift: seems an orphan and will remember those who have been forgotten. Different reactions/personalities attract different spren. If you are less broken, you are less tested/resolute/passionate and therefore less able to attract spren/use magic.

(I threw Lift in there, too, even though we don't know much about why she's got Wyndle. He was instructed to bond her because she was young and had visited the Nightwatcher, but Wyndle is intrigued by her decision to go back for Gawx, which tells me there is some personality connection there as well.)

Speaking of the Nightwatcher, I haven't seen anybody post what seems obvious now, that Bondsmiths would bond with the Stormfather or the Nightwatcher (a spren 'mother' according to Wyndle) and would gain authority via Honor and Cultivation's superspren over all the spren involved in Nahel bonds.
Alice Arneson
68. Wetlandernw
rccampbe @67 - Re: Nightwatcher... I've wondered about that possibility too. I'm not sure we've seen actual evidence for it, but I just think it makes sense that she would be another option for a Bondsmith. Obviously the Stormfather can easily form a bond with more than one person, but I don't quite see that all Bondsmiths would necessarily link to him; it seems logical that she also would be able to form more than one bond and be an alternative Bondsmith choice.

As far as the whole brokenness discussion... I love the ideas that have been tossed around here! Someday, if we're lucky, we'll know the answers; in the meantime, it's sure fun to see so many possible meanings.

On another note altogether, I like Jeremy's idea that creationspren might be to Cryptics what (we think perhaps) windspren are to Honorspren. It occurs to me that there are other frequently-seen spren that might have logical connections: would Wyndle's counterpart be lifespren? And where would flamespren match up? perhaps with the Dustbringer spren? or maybe the Truthwatchers?

There's something to play with while you wait for me to finish Thursday's post...
Michael Church
69. Airsicklowlander
I agree with rccampbe @67. All people go through trials in life but the ways in which they deal with those trials probably attracts certain types of spren. Kaladin chose at a young age to do what is right and live with honor. This perhaps garnered the attention of the windspren. When he lost Tien and chose to fight for those who could not protect themselves Syl sought him out.
Shallan created art and stories as a distraction from her less than stellar relationship with her mother (completely speculative I know). This attracted the creationspren and later Pattern.

I whole-heartedly believe that there are two spren attracted to each KR order. A lesser and a greater if you will. It helps me keep my other belief that the secondary becomes the shardplate; which is unable to transform as the greater does.
Deana Whitney
70. Braid_Tug
@69: Is that a new handle? After @40 suggested Alice nab it? :-)

Your idea of the 2 sprens is interesting. From what we know currently, the wind and creation spren that pop up at times seems to be a random mix of just the local ones.

Yet the hoards of creation spren that showed up when Shallan drew Pattern would give weight to their being related.

And I guess a spren would then become 'locked' into the shape of the shardplate, yet the physics of mass conservation would go out the window. (Brandon does like logical physics in his systems.) Could plate be a collection of the lesser spren?

Unrelated: I still have to wonder if a little creation spren pops up over a woman’s belly as a type of “Hey, you are pregnant!” sign.
Allen Harrison
71. Lord_Monch
First post, so please excuse my ignorance and the nonsense to come....

While it is clear that that spren who touch the physical realm have an appreciation for linear time flow, we do not know whether they perceive time in a linear fashion in the cognitive realm. It is possible that Shallan's bond caused the break that bond fills.

We already know that being broken isn't sufficient to cause nahel bond since there are plenty of broken characters floating around.

So are certain characters preordained to have the ability to eventually bind spren? There are suggestions that there is something extra going on with Kaladin in his flashbacks (ie, Tien's rocks, his first fight, depression during Weepings) that didn't require his being broken. With regard to Kaladin, it could be perceived that the feeling of rightness that he had during the first fight led to series of events that led to his breaking.

So my question... Is something (whether its the spren or something else) pushing for these characters to break so that spren can fill the gap of pre-identified individuals.

//big leaps, little evidence
72. Maxal
@71: This is an interesting comment as I have been wondering the same thing myself. From Dalinar's visions in WoK, we know one could seek Urithiru and asked to join one of the order. It does not mean the person will be chosen, but it can certainly try. I have therefore asked myself: "Why would this random Radiant ask vision Dalinar to go to Urithiru and perhaps join an order? It does not know if vision Dalinar is "broken" or not and it does not know if vision Dalinar has attracted a spren...".

My guess is that one could once go to the city, pass a review or a test of sort and see if a spren would be interested to bond him. I assumed the testing would require hardships created to emphasis if the person is able to live out the Radiant's attributes or not. These hardships would be akin to brokeness in current days Roshar.

All this is just wild speculation though.
Alice Arneson
73. Wetlandernw
Braid_Tug @70 - Nah, he's been around for a while. He just doesn't post super often.

Lord_Monch @71 - A) Welcome! B) I've seen (and probably written) less sensible nonsense... I hadn't thought about it like that, but we have so little evidence on any of those points that I couldn't argue it. We don't know much about the Cognitive realm, much less the perception of time therein, so... huh. I'll have to think about that!
Michael Church
74. Airsicklowlander
@70 @73 - I'm moar of a lurker.

Looking forward to discussing chapter 7 though. Threw me for a loop first time I read it.
75. Capt D
Maxal @ 72 - I've wondered about that scene as well. It seemed like back in the day future Knights Radiant could be selected by going to Urithiru. I think this has to do with the role of Bondsmiths. We know that there were only a few of them and that they bonded with powerful spren. I believe that it is the role of a Bondsmith to help forge the bond between spren and man. I think we'll see more of this as Dalinar tries to re-found the Knights Radiant. Eventually I think he'll be able to choose worthy candidates and help them forge a bond with a spren. Althought I'm not quite sure how all this will work out with the future knight radiant needing to be broken.
Alice Arneson
76. Wetlandernw
Maxal @72 & Capt D @75 - I don't think the invitation implied that Dalinar would necessarily become a Radiant if he did so; it was more of an "all soldiers come from Urithiru" kind of thing. Sure, some of them would be Radiants, and some might be squires (whatever that means on Roshar), but during the Desolations there were many fighting men who were simply ordinary men trained in weapons. Look at some of Dalinar's other visions, where there might be one or two Radiants, but a whole squad of soldiers. The Radiant in Dalinar's vision was impressed with his skill in using the poker as a weapon, and invited him to come to Urithiru to advance his training in whatever direction his aptitudes might take him - KR being only one of the possibilities.
77. Maxal
@76: But KR was a possibility which leads me to believe one could sheek Urithiru and try out for KR. To be one, you'd need to express the first attribute of a given order, of course, and you'd need to go through enough hardship to prove yourself worthy and I believe they may have had a training course of some sort to acheive just that. Or maybe it is proto-radiants started up as squires... I have always seen the brokeness of the Radiants as a way for them to prove their worth. If, when enduring the worst of torture, they can still maintain their first attributes, then they can be deemed worthy of Radianhood.

Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, Jasnah and Renarin (although it is not obvious for him) have proven themselves worthy. Life sent them enough hardships they were able to establish their worth. I assumed knights of the old just couldn't wait for life to naturally bring hardship to every single potential knights. If they did so, then they would have never been able to grow their number. I mean, how many Kaladin and Shallan with heartbroken stories could there be on Roshar? Not many I'd wager.
78. Freelancer
I agree with those who believe that Pattern remains visible because of Shallan's captured perception of him in her drawing, as derived from the TWoK interlude where the researchers are studying spren and discover that their size/shape/appearance "locks" when a measurement is recorded.

Interestingly, the fact that Pattern remains able to "shift" appearance, constantly changing, does not contradict that theory. Shallan notes to herself that even her best effort only poorly replicates Pattern's true complexity. So, if the recording is only abstractly accurate in its recording of Pattern's appearance then, while it prevents him from disappearing, leaves him free to morph through a variety of fractal motifs.

Wetlandernw, I would selfishly request you not revise your Tordot nickname, because then I wouldn't be one of the few to spell it out fully.

About the idea that one must be "broken" to be eligible as a KR. I strongly suggest that there is too wide a range of interpretation on this thought. When being presented via spren, we'd have to know more about what that spren is using as a definition of broken. Psychologically tormented? Physically and mentally deranged? Any possible dysfunction? Something else entirely?
Alice Arneson
79. Wetlandernw
Freelancer @78 - :) And for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Also, I agree that we just don't know enough yet to define "broken" in the context of KR eligibility. There are just too many possibilities.
David Foster
80. ZenBossanova
@78. Freelancer
@79. Wetlandernw

I quite agree about how to broadly define broken, particularly as regards Warbreaker (The shard there is Endowment ~ skill or ability). Are the "cracks to be filled" there, either a lack of skill or ability, or at the extreme end, a lack of life aka, the Returned?

Elantris had the shards Devotion and Dominion. Not sure here, but looking broad seems the best idea.
Rob Campbell
81. rccampbe
@Wetlandernw (& Freelancer) I have been an unwitting offender, I will join the few with Freelancer.

Sorry for the wall of text, but I've enjoyed when others posted collected references before. These are for brokenness and may or may not be related to the kind of breaking we have been discussing. I cast the net widely in case I missed something.

Tyn to Shallan, "Because you aren't broken."

'Mad’ has two definitions,” Shallan said. “One means to be angry. The other means broken in the head.”
“Ah,” Pattern said, “like a spren who has lost his bond.”

“You’re right, of course. I just . . . this is the first time, for me. Dealing with this. How did you manage it, when Shshshsh died? I know you loved her, Dalinar. You don’t have to deny it for my ego.”
He hesitated. The first time; an implication that when Gavilar had died, she had not been broken up about it.

*The long conversation in the chasms between Shallan and Kal*

This man was not sane. Szeth-son-son-Vallano was the most dangerous weapon on all of Roshar, and he was broken.

“I,” he shouted, “have been sent by the Almighty himself to save this land from another Desolation. I have seen what those things can do; I have lived lives broken by the Voidbringers.

“My father,” Syl said, voice growing solemn. “He brought the storm, rushing its pace. He’s . . . broken, Kaladin. He doesn’t think any of this should be happening. He wants to end it all, wash everyone away, and try to hide from the future.”

“I will do what I can to help,” Wit said, “and for that reason, I must go. I cannot risk too much, because if he finds me, then I become nothing—a soul shredded and broken into pieces that cannot be reassembled."

“I waited until you crashed to the ground,” the man said, “until you were broken and mangled, your soul cut through, dead for certain. Then, I restored you.”

“How can I fix it? What can I do?”
Alice Arneson
82. Wetlandernw
Ooooh. I'd forgotten how many spren references there are to being broken. Since they are the most reliable source of the bits about the KR being broken, those are worth extra consideration, perhaps.

Gah. This kind of stuff does not work well on an iPad. I will finish this thought when I get on a real computer.
Deana Whitney
83. Braid_Tug
@74 Airsicklowlander: Well, I’ll remember your handle from now on. Yes, chapter 7 was a WHAT?! The first time. I listened to it from the pre-view provided. Then I sat around saying “She better not be really dead” until the book came out and I made my way to the end. Like everyone else, I know.

Lots of examples of being “broken” and the various ways a person can be broken. Lots of degrees of broken too, but the main difference is how the person behaves and overcomes it.
One who is abused, then becomes an abuser – not a KR candidate.
One who is abused, then becomes someone who fights and cares for others – a KR candidate.

“I mean, how many Kaladin and Shallan with heartbroken stories could there be on Roshar? Not many I'd wager.”
Sad to say, but I have to disagree. I’ve worked with too many who were abused in this world.
I was raised by parents who were both abused, but did not repeat the pattern.

As I said, the difference is the KR candidates are the ones who still care after abuse.

@76, Wetlandernw: I like your point about people going to Urithiru to learn to fight, and if it’s part of their path, possibly become KR. Didn’t we learn in WoK that is was 10 Kingdoms – 1 to fight and protect, so the other 9 could be peaceful and build better worlds?
But now the Alethi kingdoms all fight, and the soldiers are held highest. A corruption of when the 1 fighting kingdom was seen as different and special.
Alice Arneson
84. Wetlandernw
Braid_Tug @83 - FWIW, Alethela was one of the ten Silver Kingdoms which made up all of the Rosharan continent. Alethela was the one dedicated "to study the arts of war so that the others might have peace." So in one sense it's logical that all of Alethkar is still dedicated to war... but they've lost the purpose, and now fight for the sake of fighting, rather than studying the arts so they know how to fight when it becomes necessary. (Most of the other kingdoms now at least know how to fight, though it has a lower status there.) Without the Desolations, the Alethkar desire to fight someone (rather than being content to know how) has to take the form of either in-fighting or finding an external enemy. They've twisted their original purpose.

Here's the one I wanted to find on the spren idea of breaking:
“Mmmm . . . I know almost nothing of why people break. I know less of why they . . . unbreak.”
“Your kind don’t get wounded?” she asked, snapping off a knobweed stem and squeezing the drops onto her left foot.
“We break. We just do it . . . differently than men do. And we do not unbreak without aid. I do not know why you unbreak. Why?”
Seems like that ought to contribute to the discussion of what a spren means when they talk about being broken.

However, my little people are now awake and needing, so my concentration is blown and I can't quite dig out what I wanted to say about it. (*sigh* Why is it that they'll still be sound asleep when there's a need to be up by 9:00, but when they could sleep until 10:00 they're awake at 7:30?)
Ed Freshwater
85. nakafre
As usual, the discussions are great and some really good ideas are being presented.


You truly are now asking questions that the Almighty himself could not begin to answer!

My peronal theory is that our "little ones" have the unique ability to choose any spren ( be it of Honor, Cultivation or Odium) at any time. This ability does not require their minds to be in direct contact with the congnitive realm and lends them a level of precognition. This could easily explain why at times they know to sleep in late or wake early.

Often when they are in particularly disagreeable moods, we tend to describe them as "waking up on the wrong side of the bed" when in reality, they have temporarily bonded an angry spren. I swear that I've seen both of my little ones' eyes glow red.

Or, at least that's the way I like to think of them on those particularly trying days :)....
Deana Whitney
86. Braid_Tug
@ 84, Wetlander:
It is a truth universally acknowledged that children will be slug-a-beds when they are needed to arise early.

Yet when given the opportunity to sleep in late, they will arise with the sun and thus ruin parents plans to enjoy some quite time.
Thus the inability to wake up on a weekday, but will be up way before you want them to be on the weekends.

@85: LOL! Very true.
Alice Arneson
87. Wetlandernw
nakafre @85 - It all makes sense now... for a certain definition of the word. :)
David Foster
88. ZenBossanova
Beware the spren/teenager bonding. Moody-spren are all too common.
But at least they let me sleep in now.

When Brandon was at the booksigning in Phoenix, I asked him about the possibility of fixing the injured spren. He said it was theoretically possible, but very difficult in cosmere terms. He said it would be like trying to plug into a computer after the USB port was ripped out. Sure, you could re-wire it... but that is hard. Part of the spren was ripped out and destroyed.

He really emphasized how next to impossible it would be.

Take from that what you will.
Ed Freshwater
89. nakafre
Yeah, that's the impression I had after reading the Seatle signing WoB... that we're probably not going to see this happen :( The way Adolin talks to his Shardblade gave me such hope...
Alice Arneson
90. Wetlandernw
Likewise. I wanted so much for Adolin to bring his Blade back to life...

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