Aug 7 2014 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 8

Words of Radiance reread Welcome back to the Words of Radiance reread on! Last week some assassins introduced Jasnah to their knives, Shallan made a less-than-usually disastrous expedition to the Shadesmar, and a boat agreed to turn into water. I know you all want those cliffhangers resolved, so this week we’re barreling onward into Chapter 8, in which Dalinar does some politics or something.

Yeah, I mean… I could try to sell that better, but… he’s not exactly happy to be doing it either, you know?

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and any other Cosmere books that become relevant. This week is fairly spoiler-light so far, but who knows what horrors will lurk in the comments section?

Chapter 8: Knives in the Back · Soldiers on the Field

Point of View: Dalinar
Setting: The Shattered Plains
Symbology: Kholin Glyphpair, Jezrien


IN WHICH Dalinar reminisces with shame on past plateau assaults; the problem of slavers and bandits is considered and put off; the Kholin and Aladar armies attempt to cooperate under a new system; Adolin leads a battle all on his own; Dalinar tries and fails to convince Aladar by evidence; Dalinar tries and fails to convince Aladar by honor; Dalinar tries and fails to convince Aladar by force; Dalinar’s suggestions easily win Aladar a gemheart he would have lost; Dalinar and Aladar notice that a Parshendi Shardbearer had been watching them the whole time; Aladar wishes he could trust Dalinar, but just can’t; Dalinar returns to camp to find a welcome letter from an old friend.


Quote of the Week:

“I’m done cajoling, Aladar. I’m done asking. When you disobey Elhokar, you mock my brother and what he stood for. I will have a unified kingdom.”

“Amusing,” Aladar said. “Good of you to mention Gavilar, as he didn’t bring the kingdom together with honor. He did it with knives in the back and soldiers on the field, cutting the heads off any who resisted. Are we back to that again, then? Such things don’t sound much like the fine words of your precious book.”

I find Aladar quite interesting to reread. While he brushes off every force of persuasion Dalinar brings to bear, we see later that he was in fact willing to be convinced all along. I think that we might in Aladar have a person who is actually interested in being persuaded by logic and rhetoric. The answers to Dalinar’s various methods of persuasion are obvious, though, and Aladar is not convinced here. He understands his own prisoner’s dilemma, that even if he could trust Dalinar he wouldn’t be able to trust the other highprinces not to stab him in the back. And he knows that, for all that Dalinar is the superior general and has the backing of the king, he has no army with which to compel obedience.


Commentary: I don’t know about you, but after the last two chapters I was not eager to go back to the Shattered Plains. Shallan was sinking into an unknown abyss, Jasnah got unreasonable amounts of stabbed, and we’re back to plateau runs? No thank you! The chapter doesn’t pretend this is any good either; it leads off with Dalinar talking about how much he’s come to hate these stupid things. I KNOW, DALINAR. GET BACK TO BOATS.

Wow, I never thought I’d want to go back to a boat.

I think this is the first chapter of the series that shows us a plateau assault from the perspective of someone not in mortal danger. From watching Dalinar charge into every battle with Plate and Blade in The Way of Kings, you’d think that no Alethi ever watched their soldiers from a safe distance to make command decisions. While it’s clear that Dalinar’s presence on the field is an immeasurable combat resource, one wonders how he got so good at battlefield tactics if that’s where he’s always been during battle. He easily exceeds Aladar’s skill at reading the field, despite the other highprince’s habit of watching battles from a secured command post.

I’ve pointed out before how overloaded everyone’s to-do list is in Words of Radiance, and we see more of that here. The chapter begins with Dalinar going down the list of reasons he now dislikes plateau assaults. They waste life, they are mostly about making money, and they don’t even further the Vengeance Pact, if that’s still a worthy goal. While doing so he adds another problem to his list of goals: the bridge runs incur massive loss of life and bolster a growing slave trade and bandit problem. Dalinar has to put that aside for his more pressing task of convincing Aladar to come into line.

Dalinar’s attempt to lionize Gavilar is an interesting failure of PR. Ostensibly, everyone is at the Shattered Plains to avenge the honor of their fallen king. But in reality what they want is to make money, win honor, and prove their military might. No one puts much stock in Gavilar’s honor because they all remember his campaign for unification, which was clearly carried out along standard Alethi lines. Plenty of bloodshed, assassination, deal-making and betrayal was had. In the end the kingdom solidified only through force of arms and skillful maneuvering. What’s more, the throne can’t make any real claim to a current monopoly on force or rule of law. The king directly commands a smaller force than any highprince, and Dalinar’s current army is the smallest on the Shattered Plains. Meanwhile, back in the homeland, the monarchy doesn’t project enough power to prevent border skirmishes between warlords. The kingdom’s in a sad state.

When Dalinar notices Eshonai, the Parshendi Shardbearer, watching the battle, he feels a rug pulled out from under him. Until then he’d thought of the Parshendi as basically predictable. Because the Alethi have such a simplistic construction of their opponents’ mental states, it doesn’t take much to surprise them. I don’t think much can be said for variety of tactics among the Alethi either, since plateau runs have become completely rote.

The paragraphs in which Dalinar returns to his warcamp and finds a letter from an “old friend” were so vague on a first read. Could any of us have predicted how big of a dick that friend would turn out to be?


All Creatures Shelled and Feathered: How do Ryshadiums work?! Gallant is apparently smart enough to tack and stable himself better than a groom could, and authoritative enough to glare down any groom that would try to hinder him. I want one. I’ll stable him in my tiny apartment and he can do my math homework.


Ars Mechanica: Shardbearers can lend both Plate and Blade to others to fight with them in battle. This is simple for Shardplate, but Shardblades bind to their owners, so are more difficult to parcel out. In order to delegate a Shardblade, its proper owner must will it not to dissolve into mist when he or she releases it. The owner can also pull their blade back into their hand at any time.

This arrangement strikes me as very inconvenient for the borrower. They can’t ever dismiss the blade, so they have to carry the thing around all the time. Shardblades aren’t heavy, but they can cut instantly through almost any material, so they’re more than a little unwieldy.


Heraldic Symbolism: Jezrien watches over Dalinar’s doomed attempts to unite the highprinces under a single banner, his Leading attribute grimly shaking its head. He knows that Gavilar was pretty good at kinging, but Elhokar is less so, and Dalinar is struggling to pick up the slack. Keep trying, Jezrien implies, with his unmoving visage.


That’s it for Chapter 8. I’m packing up and heading to Loncon next week, so I’m glad to be able to leave the reread in Alice’s capable hands as she follows Kaladin deep into the chasms.

Carl Engle-Laird is an editorial assistant at, where he acquires and edits original fiction. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Glen V
1. Ways
Bad on Aladar (for now).
Nick Hlavacek
2. Nick31
I wonder if Brandon intentionally made this chapter rather bland, knowing readers would still be reeling from the events of the previous chapter?
Adam S.
I've read enough BWS to not be shocked by us abandoning Shallan et al just as things seem their darkest. Doesn't mean I wasn't as frustrated as you were, Carl, even if I don't share your hatred of ships.
Dalinar and Gavilar united their kingdom through voilence, by and large, and of course the threat of violence is needed to maintain it. I don't know how Dalinar could ever have thought otherwise. The man may not be a deep thinker, but he's too smart and too experienced in Alethi (dis)honor to have expected anything different from what he got.
Regarding the lending of shardblades, I don't think it would be as inconvenient as you make out, Carl. While someone using a borrowed blade can't dismiss it, they can always stick it down in some stone to keep the blade handy but safely out of the way until they're ready to pick it up again. And fortunately for them, everywhere in the whole world (except Shinovar) is covered in stone, so wherever they are they have a handy place to rest their blade when they don't want to carry it. I imagine that they can also get some of those guards that Kaladin sees later to block the edges of the blade while transporting it great distances, so it can be carried safely on horseback or by chull-cart, etc...
Heim Kirin Grewal
4. kei_rin
Could any of us have predicted how big of a dick that friend would turn out to be?

Yes, yes we could. I don't know what it was but I figured it had to be Amaram. We knew he was heading to the Shattered Planes sooner or later and since he didn't show up at the Planes in WoK he was going to show up now. And once you realize that it's dick-head Amaram- well Dalinar really needs to pick his friends better.
Gary Singer
5. AhoyMatey
Brandon did tell me that investiture is part of the whole Rhyshardium deal. It probalby means with the rider, but I do wonder if spren might be involved somewhere.
Glen V
6. Ways
@2 and @3
Pretty standard cliff-hanger literary device, eh?

Nice summary of the politics and machinations at play here. Have a safe trip to Loncon.

--The epigraph. What is Navani using her grief as an excuse for? Her growing attachment to Dalinar?
--Dalinar believes at this point that he wrote the glyphs on the wall. Countdown = 60 days.

If any of you haven't read
then you should check it out.

That's all for now.
Paul Rando
7. SerDragonReborn
Shardblades are indeed very inconvenient for the borrower. They could be in the middle of a battle when the owner summons the blade back. Then where would the borrower be? Stuck in the middle of a fight without a weapon.

Shardblades are thievery-proof, but I have to imagine 'borrowed' Shardplate has been stolen very often.
Jordan Hibbits
8. rhandric
Just put a cover* on the blade and you can safely transport it.

* The covers are surely made of aluminium, given their description and what we know about the metal (purges metals in Mistborn, and has "other effects" in all Cosmere magic systems)
Heather LaCroix
9. Bellaberry
Yeah, that ToDo list of Dalinar's, how does he not ever have exhaustionspren around him? I realize that he's just been on a leasurely march across the chasms but feeling the pressure from so many mounting responsibilities can in itself be exhausting too.
Jordan Hibbits
10. rhandric
@9 I wonder what exhaustionspren would be like in the cognitive realm
11. silvermonarch
@6 Ways: I always thought that was in regards to her treatment of Shallan, which was not stellar. Perhaps she feels that she could have prevented the Everstorm if she had listened to Shallan.

@5 Ahoy: I was always curious about the Ryshadium regarding spren. There are various comments about how Ryshadium create a bond (similar to spren?) only to specific people. Do they somehow relate to the Knights Radiant?
Jordan Hibbits
12. rhandric
@11 WoB:
Q: (Something about how he got his ideas for knights)
A: A knight has a sword, armor and a horse
The prevailing theory is that Ryshadium were the mounts of KR back in the day.

ETA: However, that's unlikely the full story. None of the KR we saw in Dalinar's visions rode Ryshadium, and for Orders that can fly or have access to Transportation, there's little need for a steed.
Glen V
13. Ways
Good theory about the epigraph!
Alice, please forgive me for the way I phrased the question(s) about Navani in @6. ;-)

How about Fearspren and Hungerspren? All of them really. My imagination runs wild. Flamespren and Passionspren could be especially interesting.
14. silvermonarch
@12 Extrapolating on sword, armor, and horse: if spren are the swords (origin in cognitive realm), and ryshadium are the horses (origin in physical realm), does that mean that the armor may come from the spiritual realm? I realize there are theories stating that the armor comes from the elemental / emotional counterpart to the bonding spren, but that doesn't fit with a set of 3 with each characteristic all the same or all different (think of Set).
15. Maxal
About Ryshadium... We know only of three characters with such horses: Dalinar, Adolin and Hatham. It is said they are among the dozen or so, in the warcamps, that bonded a Ryshadium.

We don't know how long Dalinar has had Gallant. We learned Adolin appears to have bonded his before (or at the very beginning of) the war, in a special field, as a teenager. We know nothing about Hatham he is barely mentioned.
Have we met any others that I forgot? It does not seem like anybody from the Aladar, the Rioin, the Sebrarial and the Sadeas warcamps have one, so it leaves the others.

We also found out breaking the bond with a Ryshadium is not pleasant (RIP Sureblood). I guess we'll have to wait and see if there is any lasting effects.

What else do we know?

Ryshadiums are cool :-)
16. silvermonarch
@15: Special field? I like that. Sounds almost like a trip to a "spiritual" place... ;) In terms of lasting effects, how about unable to control his temper? Adolin could always control himself, although he was at his limits when Sadeas taunted him. I like to think that Sureblood provided some emotional stability that was lost by the end of WoR.

@13: Remember Eshonai's view of spren? If I remember right she attracted exhaustion spren and saw them as large buzzing gray blobs. It seems like Listeners can directly sense parts of the cognitive realm.
17. Maxal
@16: Well, techinically, it did not specifically say "special field"... POV stated the bonding occured in a "field" and Dalinar was with him, so I'd wager he brought his teenage son to a place where one can meet Ryshadiums. I thus assumed it must have been "special" ;-)

I have been wondering about that field as Sadeas wonders how one does to bond a Ryshadium... Does he know about the field?

Good one about the temper. I think this is the first time I read someone theorizing on it. It could be Sureblood was helping keeping himself under control, but I mostly think his death was one of the several things that made him unstable enough to actually lose it.
Heather LaCroix
18. Bellaberry
Silvermonarch@16- good thoughts there. I was wondering why their spren seemed different. The way the spren come up to them from a distance does seem similar to the cognitive aspect.
19. silvermonarch
Talking about Sureblood, there's a major character out of action for (what seems like) good. When people talked about disappointment when major characters resurrected during last week's commentary, they sure forgot Sureblood.
Andrew Berenson
20. AndrewHB
I wonder who was the better militarty tactician: Dalinar or Gavilar?

Are Dalinar's parents deceased? If they are dead, I wonder if they died before or after Gavilar. If before Gavilar, did they live long enough to see Gavilar unite the kingdom? If his father was alive while Gavilar and Dalinar started to consolidate the kingdom, why did the father not take an active role (or did he)? Had the father lived, would he have taken the throne?

Also, are Dalinar's in-laws both deceased as well? If so, did they die before or after Dalinar's wife?

Thanks for reading my musings,
(aka the musespren)
Alice Arneson
21. Wetlandernw
Carl, you make me laugh so hard. GET BACK TO BOATS! From the epitomy of boat-hating-in-fantasy-haters... :D

giggling my way through...
23. Maxal
@20: Dalinar, I believe, is the better tactician. I always felt he was the one that won the war, Galivar being the front PR person. I may be wrong though as this is solely based on feelings and not textual evidence ;-)

The only reference we have of Dalinar's father is actually from Adolin. He mentioned at some point how his grand-father turned delusional at the end of this life and kept thinking himself back in the wars. The father was a soldier too, it seemed. Adolin clearly remembers him and was clearly old enough to realize what was happening to him (old age, delusion), so it is safe to assume Galivar's father witness his son's ascent to kingship (I am not really sure when Galivar took the throne). He must have die sometime during the last 15 years or so, probably before Galivar died, but this is only wild speculation on my part.

We know next to nothing from shshshshshs's parents. Adolin inherited his plate from them. It was given to him on his 16th birthday. However, we don't know if the plate was being safeguarded by Dalinar (following their deaths) waiting for his son to be hold enough to have it or if it was handed down to him directly by them. The only thing we can conclude is that if shshshshs's father, if still alive, he was too old to still wear a shardplate as he handed it down. He never had a son (or else the son would have gotten the plate) and mostly likely does not have a nephew either. Adolin must have been the first born son to their line, which is why he got it.
Alice Arneson
24. Wetlandernw
Aladar really surprised me at the end of the book, because in scenes like this I took him at face value. I just assumed he was allied with Sadeas because they had so much in common. I don’t know whether to feel more sorry for Dalinar and his lack of training in rhetoric, or Aladar who would like to be persuaded but wants a real reason for it.

I’m also reminded of Dalinar’s later understanding of Nohadon (I think) and the way Gavilar paralleled him in part. There was a lot of fighting to get to the “unity” bit, but once they got there, they both understood that there was a better way. Big difference, though, IMO, is that Nohadon understood that (at least partially) from the beginning, but still had to do the fighting to get to a point where people could be taught & persuaded; Gavilar simply enjoyed the conquest, and then turned to Nohadon’s Code. I’d assumed, in TWoK, that he actually understood and believed in the Code, but by now I suspect he just needed another conquest, another goal – and so he ended up in league with the people trying to bring back the Desolations so they’d have a “good” fight to pursue.

And… I’m getting ahead of myself. Surprise.

Ryshadium… I love them. I want one. He can live in my back yard? I seem to remember someone asking about them, and learning that spren are “involved” – but no more than that. Anyone remember asking that? And what the answer was? (Okay, AhoyMatey answered this @5. It was “investiture” rather than “spren” that he confirmed. And… we still don’t know much, do we?)

I’m still wondering about this business of lending Blades – and for that matter, of training with them. Brandon gave us a lot of answers in WoR, but I’m still not entirely satisfied. Somewhere along the line, I’ll have to document my issues. That day is not today.

Nick31 @2 – FWIW, I was actually surprised when chapter 7 came after chapter 6. The end of Ch. 6 seemed like such a cliffhanger that I figured he’d cut to the Shattered Plains, but he didn’t. Cruelty… he saved it for an even worse cliffhanger. And yes, I suspect he did the relative blandness on purpose, though whether for the purpose of torture or of allowing us to breathe, I’m not sure.

Ways @6 – I assume it’s related to the next epigraph; i.e., she doesn’t want to use her grief as an excuse for not seeing the coming danger:
I seek not to use my grief as an excuse, but it is an explanation. People act strangely soon after encountering an unexpected loss. Though Jasnah had been away for some time, her loss was unexpected. I, like many, assumed her to be immortal. (ch. 8) I wish to think that had I not been under sorrow’s thumb, I would have seen earlier the approaching dangers. Yet in all honesty, I’m not certain anything could have been done. (ch. 9)
Also: I forgive you. ;) Heh.
Dayne Jon Zachrison
25. DayneZ
Am I the only one who wishes the plural of Ryshadium to be Rhyshadia? Never learned Latin, but always kinda wanted to!
Also, lurking and loving this reread!
Alice Arneson
26. Wetlandernw
DayneZ@25 - No, you're not alone! I think that way too... but I think the plural of Ryshadium is Ryshadium.

Also, stop lurking and start talking! :)
Nick Hlavacek
27. Nick31
Alice @24 - Torture, I'm sure. After all I always assume that the authors have the readers best interests* at heart, and what good is catching a breath? (Well, in this corner of the cosmere anyway.)

That's an excellent point about the potential cliffhanger at the end of chapter 6. Although to be fair, moving to a different scene kind of makes sense when your POV character goes unconscious, which does make the break after 7 more logical.

*That which does not kill me etc. :)
28. Xaladin
@10: I think we have actually seen exhaustionspren in the cognitive realm. Weren't they like birds?
Glen V
29. Ways
Re: exhaustionspren in the cognitive realm
Large gray blobs or bird-like? I don't recall and Coppermind is mute on the subject. Neither description sounds very threatening, unlike what we now know about the activities of painspren in the cognitive realm (harmmore, heh).

Re: the epigraph
Well, yes, epigraphs should be grouped together and considered as a whole. I have no excuse, and Wetlandernw @24 has nailed it, but I really like the corollary that silvermonarch @11 threw in.

I think I hear crickets. Maybe it's only the cicadas?
30. Xaladin
So that's how you spell cicadas!
Glen V
31. Ways
Verified. Or just bzzzzz. ;-)
(Insectoid, we miss you)
June Williams
32. Windspren
@14 and others, I believe that shardblade, for kaladin, will come from Sly's cousins the wind spren. She is always hanging out with them, alot of windspren gathered with Kaladin's first air flight. Maybe he will have more words to say before they will offer or be in a fight protecting someone needing the plate for protection from voidbringers.

Ryshadium sound wonderful
Glen V
33. Ways
Windspren @32
Did you mean Shardplate for Kaladin?
Nadine L.
34. travyl
Hm, there isn't really much to discuss in this chapter, and I did read it ;)
Especially because I don't remeber Aladar all that well, which doesn't help. I do know that at the end he went with Dalinar, at that it came out of the blue for him. Yes the re-read, seems necessary.

btw I really like the way you "announce" the spoiler-warnings at the head of the post :)
Jane Smyth
35. Kaboom
@28 Xaladin

exhaustionspren do appear like birds in the cognitive realm. They were attracted to Shallan when she was trying to get sticks to turn to fire.
Deana Whitney
36. Braid_Tug
Since we’ve gone on the Ryshadium tangent. Because as a few have said, this is a catch your breath set-up chapter.

Does anyone else think of the Ryshadium animals as a cross between the Companions and the Dhoriaha warhorses of Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar world?

Spoilers for Valdmar:
They can’t be Companions, since they are telepathic reborn human sprits. But Ryshadium are a few steps above the Dhorisha warhorses, who are portrayed as super smart and almost dog like in their loyalty. The best horses in that world.

But like the Companions, the Ryshadium select their owners in some sort of special manner we have not been exposed to yet. Really hoping to learn more about this bond.

Anyone else have animals to compare the Ryshadium too?

And Peter, where on earth did Brandon pull that name out of his hat? Talk about a ‘mouthful’ to spell. Do you just spend a week at the start of a new book adding items to your approved spellcheck dictionary?

There… maybe we can chase the cicadas away and get to 50 comments on this thread.
Andrew Berenson
37. AndrewHB
Braid_Tug @ 36. If the Ryshadium "choose" their rider via some type of bond, then there may be some similarities with the following animals.

1) Eagles that choose their riders in Kate Elliot's Crossroads trilogy; and
2) Dragons in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini (this is the Eragon series).

As to the Crossroads trilogy, I cannot comment very much. I tried to read the first book but could only get about half way through. I did not finish the series. My only experience with the Eragon series is the movie Eragon. In the movie, IIRC, a dragon would choose a rider and be bound to the rider for the rest of the rider's life. If a rider died, I believe that a dragon would never choose another rider.

Thanks for reading my musings,
(aka the musespren)
Julian Augustus
38. Alisonwonderland
I believe Cameron's Avatar also had a large bird that chose its rider.
Alice Arneson
39. Wetlandernw
I finally got it! The Ryshadium choosing reminds me of Pern, where many candidates are presented and the hatchling dragons choose their riders.

Thanks, Braid_Tug! That's been bugging me.

Okay, as far as we know the Ryshadium don't have the same level of intelligence as the dragons, or the same level of communication with their riders, but that's what it's been pinging for me.
40. PeaceKeeper
As long as we are bringing up various instances of bonding/intelligent animals. We should also include the Ranyhyn in Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. And less so, you could also include the relationship between the horses of Rohan and the Rohirrim in Lord of the Rings.
As long as we're on the Ryshadium topic, I could mention the bond between man, boy/girl, and horse in David Eddings' books. In The Elenium, the warrior hero, Sparhawk, has a large, ill tempered horse, Faran, who only obeys and follows him. To Sparhawk's astonishment, he awakes at some point to find the atrange young girl called Flute laying on the prancing horse's back playing her flute, while the horse has this beatific look. In The Mallorean, the mysterious young boy called Errand has been given a colt called Horse and is being tutored on how to ride by a horsemaster who can communicate with the animals. He explains the stepwise procedure for acclimating a horse who has never been ridden. Errand disregards all such advice and simply mounts the colt without benefit of saddle or reins. How do you imagine you'll stay on the horse and direct it, the horsemaster who is also called a Shadar (any relationship to Ryshadium?) asks. The horse is my friend, answers the boy. He won't throw me, and I just have to whisper where I wish him to go. The boy and horse proceed to do just that to the amazement of the expert.
Andrew Berenson
42. AndrewHB
STBLST @41. I am going to have to disagree with you on the David Eddings examples. There is really no type of spren-like symbiotic bond in either series. In the Elenium, Faran is a normal warhorse. Sparhawk has ridden Faran for so long that Faran anticipates Sparhawk's needs. For example, Faran recognizes the ceremony that Sparhawk typically participates in when he enters the Pandion chapterhouse. There is nothing magical about Faran. The characters seem to think that for a horse, he is intelligent. But that the extent. Flute is able to ride him because she is a Goddess (although when that scene occurs Sparhawk (and most readers do not know that).

In the Belgariad (the first Garion series where Errand first meets up with Horse), Garion was able to revive Horse shortly after it was stillborn. Belgrath and Polgara try to stop Garion from doing that because no wizard would be strong enough to use the Will and Word such actions. Due to his inherent strength and naivety, Garion did just that. Errand, on the other hand, is really the last God. Due to the "Great Accident" that is the center of Edding's Belgariad mythology, Torak was created instead of Errand (or rather Eriond, which is his true name). When Errand meets Horse for the first time, Garion hears the voice of the Prophecy note that the meeting of Horse and Errand is destined to happen. Their relationship is more a matter of cosmic destiny (the will of the pattern for fans of the Wheel of Time) than a symbiotic relationship.

When I was much younger, I read and re-read Eddings' series so I am very familiar with them. (FWIIW, I still enjoy re-reading the Elenium. I think that is Eddings' best series -- although not my favorite David Eddings' book. That distinction belongs to Regina's Song.)

Thanks for reading my musings,
(aka the musespren)
(edited for spelling)
Andrew, I was merely alluding to the special bonds between some characters in Eddings' books and some horses - not that these relationships are akin to the Stormlight Archives' spren bonding. Indeed, it is unclear to me that the relationship between Dalinar, Adolin and their Ryshadiums are of that nature either. Ryshadiums appear to be physical entities rather than spren. As to Eddings' horses, Eriond's colt is no mere horse in that he is capable of translocation in the Sanderson sense. He senses a particular affinity to the little boy, Errand, when they first meet despite the presence of Garion who had given him life, just as the intelligent, disdainful warhorse, Faran, senses that in the little girl, Flute . I didn't wish to discuss the hidden aspect of Errand (Eriond) and Flute (Aphrael) since that could be considered 'spoilery'.
David Foster
45. ZenBossanova
Ok, I am looking around Goodreads, and I am not seeing anything obvious. Could you be more specific, or give us a link, 44. Bellaberry ?
Alice Arneson
46. Wetlandernw
Welp. Not sure how you find it from the home, but try to copy/paste this:
David Foster
47. ZenBossanova
Well that is a surprising little spoiler. I really didn't see that one coming. Does this mean that So-and-So, can change in any interesting ways? Or are there any implications beyond what we have already seen?

In case you want to know:
Both Parshendi and Horneaters are able to see spren ordinary humans can't. Is there a connection between these abilities, or do they come from completely different sources?
Brandon Sanderson Horneaters are human/Parshendi hybrids. (There are several Roshar races that have Parshendi blood in them.)

End Spoiler
Heather LaCroix
48. Bellaberry
I just went to Brandon's page on Goodreads and then clicked on the "Ask the Author" section

ZenBossanova@47- yeah that one really got me too. I'm surprised he gave away a spoiler like that. I also found it interesting that he called Nightblood a shardblade. The creation seems totally different to me.
June Williams
49. Windspren
@33 yes i did mean shardplate, i am sorry.
There is so many things BS could to to add to the Ryshadiums that isn't
already in abook sometwhere its hardly worth the speculation. but then that wouldn't be fun.. Ryshadiums and bonding. Was Grandolf's horse bonded to him, or if not something similar to a bond. In the books,(memory is hard thing when remembering back 40 years when I last read them) it seemed his horse could make time speed up when it ran long distances when a rush was needed as in the Gandolfs race fromTreebeards forest to Gondor. )
There is so many things BS could to to add to the Ryshadiums that isn't already in abook sometwhere its hardly worth the speculation.
David Foster
50. ZenBossanova
Ok, these are the most interesting ones, though certainly not all of them.

When Kaladin helped Adolin fight in the arena, did Elhokar notice him surgebinding?
Brandon Sanderson RAFO. :)

Interesting. Never even occurred to me.

Did the Davar Soulcaster ever work?
Brandon SandersonYes, it did. (Good question.

I did wonder about this one.

As Feruchemistry is the magic system combined from Ruin and Preservation's powers, and they created humankind on Scadrial, how is it that it only occurs in persons with Terrispeople in their ancestry?
Brandon Sanderson RAFO. :)

This sounds like Scadrial had some people of other orgins, as has been suggested for the people on Roshar.

* The "God Surges" you mentioned recently, are they a part of the WoK frontsheet? * You've said that there are three types of Blades in The Stormlight Archive. We've seen "dead" Shardblades, Honorblades - is the third type the "living spren" Shardblades, or is there another type we haven't seen? * Do all Surgebinders breathe Stormlight in, or are there other ways? Is Lift one-of-a-kind in this regard?

All I said regarding this was to tell a fan that it was possible to make an analogy between the god metals on Scadrial and certain powers on Roshar. However, these are not a codified part of the magic system. Do Zahel and Hoid know each other? Can Zahel regrow limbs as well?
Brandon SandersonThey've met. Otherwise, RAFO.


Who is the oldest character we know? Can a person in Shardplate be Rioted or Soothed? What about Seeked? Could a Coinshot, in a fight, damage Shardplate?

Brandon Sanderson Frost is almost certainly the oldest by a small amount. After that, Hoid.

Whoa... who is that?

You said that Shallan will have different apprenticeships, we know 2 , Will be Hoid another?

Brandon Sanderson RAFO. :)


Would a Returned who bonded an Honorblade have their eye color change when they summon it?

Brandon Sanderson That's a RAFO!

He didn't shoot it down automatically. That is a good sign.

If you used Stormlight to Awaken, would you drain color or create frost?
Brandon Sanderson You'll have to see if this happens in the future! (Note that mixing the investitures is usually not easy to do.)


Zahel/Vasher is in Roshar for Nightblood? We will know in Stormlight Archive why these two were separated ? or in the sequel of Warbreaker?

Brandon SandersonThe Warbreaker sequel will give clues about this, but the actual event happened between that and TWoK. So I'm not sure where I'll slip it in.


If a non-Windrunner Surgebinder (who had spoken all the Ideals of their Radiant Order) summoned Jezrien's Honorblade, what color eyes would they get? A blend? Different colors for each eye?

Brandon Sanderson :) I'm going to RAFO eye color questions for the moment. We'll actually be dealing with some of these in the books. Maybe not the specific ones you ask, but the concepts in general.

Adam S.
51. MDNY
I've always liked Rock, so this info made me happy :)
I have to disagree with BWS, though, I'd much rather hang out with Rock or L0pen, or maybe Breeze or Wayne from Scadrial, than Sazed.
Alice Arneson
52. Wetlandernw
Hey, we broke 50 before the new post goes up... Good thing Brandon did that Goodreads Q&A. :D
Glen V
53. Ways
ZenBossanova @50
Yeah. Who is Frost?
Deana Whitney
54. Braid_Tug
@50 & 53, Glad I'm not the only one who doesn't know about Frost, a person. Currently Coppermind does not have a page for him.
Alice Arneson
55. Wetlandernw
Frost is driving me crazy. I know I've heard of him, but I can't figure out where. He doesn't seem to be in Liar of Partinel (or not in the piece I have), White Sand, or Aether of Night - not that I can find, anyway. And he can't be in anything published, or there would be a Coppermind entry. So... why have I heard of him? Gah.
David Foster
56. ZenBossanova
It appears the Frost shows up in DragonSteel. I found this in Brandon's site.
[url=]spencerpanger[/url] Tue Jan 04 @BrandSanderson Cosmere question. Does Frost make any incognito appearences in any other books other than Dragonsteel? If so Book/chapter?
[url=]BrandSanderson[/url] Tue Jan 04 @spencerpanger He does not appear on screen in any published books, though he is referenced. He has a non-Interference policy.
Make of that what you will.
Alice Arneson
57. Wetlandernw
Well. That could indicate that Frost is the "dragon" with whom Hoid is corresponding. Presence in Dragonsteel, non-interference policy, ancient being... It also explains where I've heard the name before.
58. Geordielass
Ryshadium were the mounts for KRs:

“Lots of women on your staff,” Kaladin noted to Jenet as the grooms worked.
“Horseback riding isn’t mentioned in Arts and Majesty,” she replied. “Horses weren’t terribly well known back then. Radiants had Ryshadium, but even kings had little access to ordinary horses.” She wore her safehand in a sleeve, unlike most of the darkeyed groom women, who wore gloves.

So are those who have Ryshadium KRs in embryo?
Alice Arneson
59. Wetlandernw
Hmm. It seems at least possible. We know that the Ryshadium involve investiture in some way; it seems likely that those they choose might have certain potentials that draw them in the same way they draw spren... Maybe... That would be kind of cool! It doesn't do us much good at this stage, since we can only identify two people with Ryshadium, but it's still cool.
60. Geordielass
Hatham has one as well as Dalinar and Adolin (well Adolin had one - poor Sureblood), it seems a shame that we know so little about Hatham, he's not mentioned much, and most of it's ambiguous:


He's one of the three Highprinces behind on payments to Elokhar for soulcasting.

"Each highprince had turned him down in his own way. Hatham with exceeding politeness," - about the suggestion of joint Plateau runs.

He's the Highprince who uses his ardent to insult a visiting dignitary in order to get the man to accept a deal he wants without questioning his motives. He does do his best to rescue Dalinar from a conversational hole he has dug himself into during that scene, though Dalinar does suspect him of ulterior motives for that.


"Highprince Hatham was the only one to make a public announcement. He plans to—and I quote—‘see that the king is dissuaded from this reckless and ill-advised course.’" - Talking about Dalinar's announcement of changes to Plateau runs.

"Hatham was listed as a man of delicate politics and careful planning. Another potential ally." - Shallan recalling Jasnah's notes on the Highprinces.

"The banners indicated that Hatham and Roion, the two highprinces who were supposed to have gone on this plateau run, had arrived together—they used bridges like Dalinar’s, slow plodding things it had been easy to outrun." - So he does obey Dalinar's dictates, even though he didn't like them and doesn't waste bridgemen lives. This same scene (from Sadeas's POV) later continues "...then rode toward a figure in resplendent Shardplate at the front of Hatham’s army: the highprince himself, seated upon a Ryshadium." Hence knowing he has one. He's the one that Sadeas throws the gemheart at, just after this.

From the Highprinces discussion of Szeth, just after Shallan arrives:
“We must present a unified Alethkar,” Hatham said—she recognized him immediately, with that long neck and refined way of speaking. “We must not allow ourselves to be attacked one at a time, and we must not squabble.” - Unconsciously towing Dalinar's line? Shallan goes on to note that the "peacemaker" faction is led by Hatham and that he's the most natural politician amongst the Highprinces.

"I could use Hatham most, Dalinar thought. He runs a tight army." When he's thinking about who he wishes would march to the centre with him. So Hatham's a skilled politician and a good general.

None of these are of any help with my speculation that Ryshadium only choose Radiants or Radiants in potentia, but there's nothing here that would indicate anything to the contrary, so I can't take my theory further.

If my speculation is correct though, I have to assume that Renarin never had the chance to bond one, though (not strange, they've all been in the Shattered Plains for the last six years, Renarin's only nineteen and I doubt Dalinar felt he could justify a trip back to Alethkar proper just to get his son a fancy horse, however marvellous they are). It would also suggest that Elokhar (who surely did have the chance to bond one at some point) is unlikely to ever be a Radiant, and I know a lot of people think he's a shoo-in. Personally I don't subscribe to that theory - I suspect the things he sees in mirrors are a deliberate misdirection, it seems too obvious, otherwise - but I seem to be in the minority in holding that opinion.

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