Oathbringer Reread

Oathbringer Reread: Chapter One Hundred Twenty (Part One)

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Alice: Welcome back to the Oathbringer reread yada yada yada crazy avalanche! This week we’ll take the first nineteen—yes, nineteen—POVs in this long long chapter, up through Venli’s first scene.

Lyn: We’ve got a LOT to cover and this reread is going to be a very long one, but… most of us have a lot of time on our hands this week, right? We hope that you’re all doing well and that your families and loved ones are safe and healthy in the midst of this global pandemic. In times like this, it’s so important to maintain social connections—and hey, this reread is one of them, albeit a very distanced one! We’re thankful that we can have this chance to escape from the problems of the real world together, and allow ourselves to submerge into the world of Roshar and the wonderful characters that Sanderson’s given us. Enjoy the reread this week, take care of yourselves and each other, and remember—the most important step a man can take is the next one.

A: And wash your hands!

L: … and stop buying all the TP. (Sorry; jokes are how I cope.)

Reminder: We’ll potentially be discussing spoilers for the ENTIRE NOVEL in each reread—if you haven’t read ALL of Oathbringer, best to wait to join us until you’re done. And honestly, at this point… we’re almost done, so…

No Cosmere spoilers this week, read ahead with confidence!

Chapter Recap

WHO: Everyone, again.
WHERE: Thaylen City, again.
WHEN: 1174.2.8.1, again.

Kaladin battles Amaram, who’s been possessed by the Unmade Yelig-Nar. Adolin, freshly healed by his brother, heads into the city and rescues his aunt Navani, then takes on a thunderclast almost single-handedly (almost… he’s got his Shardblade, who tells him her name). Szeth and Lift attempt to get the King’s Drop to Dalinar, but the Fused prove to be tricky opponents, even for them. Shallan struggles to hold herself together as her army of illusions distracts the enemy. Dalinar steps into the Thrill and confronts it head-on. Jasnah continues in her bid for MVP of Thaylen City by repairing the wall and fighting off enemy soldiers left and right. And Venli finally embraces her destiny and swears the first Oath of her Order.

Beginnings

Header art for Chapter 120 of Oathbringer

Title: The Spear that Would Not Break

“Ten spears go to battle,” he whispered, “and nine shatter. Did that war forge the one that remained? No, Amaram. All the war did was identify the spear that would not break.

L: This is one of those quotes that I absolutely adore. It sounds like something out of The Art of War and I am HERE for it.

Heralds:

Jezrien, Herald of Kings. Windrunners. Protecting/Leading. Role: King.

Nalan, Herald of Justice. Skybreakers. Just/Confident, Role: Judge

Talenel, Herald of War. Stonewards. Dependable/Resourceful. Role: Soldier

Ishar, Herald of Luck. Bondsmiths. Pious/Guiding. Role: Priest

A: Pretty much every Herald is represented in the chapter, one way or another, but these four were chosen for the icon. I would assume that Jezrien and Ishar represent the central roles of the Windrunner(s) and the Bondsmith, while Nalan and Taln represent themselves. Nalan’s Skybreaker, Szeth, also plays a fairly important role; Taln, as Herald of War, would also represent the soldiers on the field. I’m sure there are more associations that could be made!

Icon: The Double Eye of the Almighty represents the “everyone, again” POVs.

Epigraph:

If the journey itself is indeed the most important piece, rather than the destination itself, then I traveled not to avoid duty—but to seek it.

—From The Way of Kings, postscript

A: This is a clear reference to the first Ideal of the Knights Radiant; there is some speculation that the Ideal itself originated with Nohadon. We don’t know, but the way this is written implies that “journey before destination” was an accepted truism, at the very least, at the time when this was written.

Stories & Songs

Don’t be intimidated! Syl whispered in Kaladin’s mind. History notwithstanding, he’s only a man.

L: Uummmm, Syl, got some bad news for ya…

The red glow from the helm deepened, and Kaladin got the distinct impression of something enveloping Amaram.

A black smoke. The same that Kaladin had seen surrounding Queen Aesudan…

A: Yeah, real bad news. We never really saw what happened to Aesudan, beyond the crystal carapace, glowing gemstone heart, and black smoke, though Odium said that the power consumed her. Now we get to watch Amaram go through the process of growing his own crystal armor, and it’s really rather revolting.

He could hear the Thrill. A thrumming, insistent, warming pulse. Almost like the beating of a drum.

“Hello, old friend,” Dalinar whispered, then stepped into the red mist.

A: Would it be safe to assume that the Thrill is humming one of the rhythms? Also, it’s fascinating to watch Dalinar’s step-by-step movement toward his final goal.

L: That’s gotta be a rhythm for sure. But which one…

“This place is three, still,” [Ivory] said. “Almost three.”

“Or three places are nearly one,” Jasnah replied.

L: Calling back to our discussion last week regarding Honor’s Perpendicularity… Ivory seems surprised by this, too. This continues farther down:

“Three worlds,” Ivory said. “Slowly splitting apart again, but for now, three realms are close.”

“Then let’s make use of it before it fades, shall we?”

A: The implications of Honor’s Perpendicularity make my head hurt. But the way Jasnah and Ivory make use of the proximity is pretty amazing. What an impressive team they make!

A sharp violet crystal burst out of Amaram’s elbow, cracking the Shardplate there, glowing with a soft inner light.

L: This is so weird! And this is only the beginning:

Amaram raised it to loose again, and a line of crystals jutted out along his arm, cracking his Shardplate. Storms, what was happening to the man?

L: All of this just gets weirder and weirder. What exactly is going on, here? Is this Unmade part Singer? And how does it seem to have Surgebinding, as we see here:

Amaram slammed his foot down, and his Shardplate boot shattered, exploding outward in bits of molten metal. Beneath, his ripped sock revealed a foot overgrown with carapace and deep violet crystals.

As Kaladin came in for his attack, Amaram tapped his foot, and the stone ground became liquid for a moment.

L: Whaaaaaaat?

A: Exactly. That was… umm… Cohesion, I think? This is the point at which we realize that Yelig-nar really might have access to all the Surges, as was postulated in Hessi’s Mythica. (See: Chapter 95 epigraph.) YIKES.

L: But WHY? HOW?

A: Sure doesn’t seem fair! On the bright side, it seems like it can only possess one person at a time, so… there’s that? I guess? Talk about an overpowered villain, though!

The highlord pushed with one foot and glided across the ground…

L: And there we have Friction.

A: Remind me to keep a running tally of what Surges we see him using next week!

Being near the mist made Kaladin feel nauseous.

L: I’m always intrigued by the fact that Kaladin has never been affected by the Thrill. I hope someday we get an answer as to why.

A: Is it possible that his early nascent connection with Syl protected him from it? Or would it just be lack of proximity until the bond was stronger? Nergaoul seems to be an area-of-effect dude, and it was concentrated on the Shattered Plains during the time when Kaladin was in Amaram’s army.

L: I’m inclined to think that it’s because of the bond. We don’t see any of the other Radiants being affected by it either.

[Dalinar] had imagined [the Thrill] as some evil force, malignant and insidious, like Odium or Sadeas. How wrong he was. … The Thrill regarded these events with a sad sense of abandonment and confusion. The Thrill didn’t hate. Though some spren could make decisions, others were like animals—primal, driven by a single overpowering directive. Live. Burn. Laugh.

Or, in this case, fight.

L: Almost makes you feel bad for the thing.

A: It almost does. I love the way Dalinar understands it, and it almost makes me sad that he’ll use that sympathy to entrap it. (I mean… it really needs to be trapped and taken out of play, but it’s like trapping a dangerous animal that’s just following its instincts. Has to be done, but you feel bad, too.)

He’d heard descriptions of these things from his father’s visions—but looking up at it, he was struck by the shape of its face and head.

A chasmfiend, he thought. It looks like a chasmfiend. The head, at least. The body was vaguely like a thick human skeleton.

L: Well, that’s interesting. Are these the souls of chasmfiends that have possessed the stone?

A: It’s kind of hard to know what they are. From Venli’s POV earlier, in Chapter 115, they were described as:

… two larger masses of energy—souls so warped, so mangled, they didn’t seem singer at all.

A: She seems to assume that they’re singer souls anyway, but… how would she know? And why would they choose a shape that looks like a chasmfiend? So… maybe?

L: Maybe they choose that form because they know that it’s intimidating to the humans.

Relationships & Romances

“Go,” he said. “I’ll be fine. Save the city. Be Radiant, Shallan.”

L: There are so, so many things to love about Adolin, but I think this is one of the biggest, for me. He’s not emasculated by his betrothed completely over-powering him; he just takes it in stride and supports her completely. It’s so beautiful.

“Elhokar?” she asked, tense.

Adolin shook his head. “I’m sorry.”

She pulled him tight, and he dismissed his Blade, holding her as she shook, letting out quiet tears.

L: Poor Navani. To have to hear that her son is dead, and in these circumstances… I’m glad she has this small moment to grieve, but she’s not going to have long.

…but in that moment, Adolin did what he could to comfort a mother who had lost her son.

L: My heart. ::sniffle::

A: I just ache for her here. For Adolin too, for that matter—he really hasn’t had time to grieve, while they were trying to get through Shadesmar. They don’t have much time, even now, but this… this just hurts. Navani has always tried so hard to be optimistic about these things, but unlike Jasnah’s presumed death, this loss is definite. I’m glad they have even these few minutes.

Bruised & Broken

The illusory Adolin glowed with Stormlight and floated a few inches off the ground. She’d made him a Windrunner.

I… I can’t take that.

L: Oof. Poor baby. I wonder if this is sort of a combination of Veil’s attraction to Kaladin and Shallan’s to Adolin combining in her mind? Or maybe she just inwardly feels that the best role for him would be protecting others (which I could absolutely see). Either way, it’s forcing poor Adolin to have to literally face what he thinks are his own failures and shortcomings, which has got to be painful—especially when it’s the person you love who’s manifesting them.

A: It had to feel just a little bit like “I love you, and if only you could fly you’d be perfect.” So, yes, that had to hurt. So did this part:

His father had been focused on the Radiants, and had neglected to give Adolin a specific duty. So maybe he could help the defenders inside.

A: There are (at least) two ways to look at Dalinar’s action here: He only cared about what the Radiants could do and just ignored Adolin; or he needed the Radiants to take care of specific things suited to their skills, and trusted Adolin to do what he’d been trained for, and doing for the last six years. I go with the latter, because that’s exactly what he does.

L: Yeah, I think he trusts his son enough to know what needs to be done without being directly ordered to do so. Unfortunately, Adolin is in such emotional turmoil and uncertainty right now that he can’t see that.

Adolin reached for a discarded sword, then paused, and—feeling a fool—summoned his Shardblade. He braced himself for a scream, but none came, and the Blade fell into his hand after ten heartbeats.

“I’m sorry,” he said, lifting the glistening weapon. “And thank you.”

L: Interesting that he expected a scream. Just because he’s met Maya now, or because he’s just come face to face with that Windrunner-illusion and deep down, maybe was hoping that he’d manifested Radiance?

A: That’s a good question. I assumed it was from spending all those weeks in Shadesmar where he couldn’t use his Shardblade, and having literally just come from a fight where his only weapon was a harpoon. But it might be a hidden hope; even though he never consciously wishes to be a Radiant, how could anyone not want it?

L: I think he wants it, even if it’s a subconscious desire. You’re right; who wouldn’t?

Phantoms appeared, created from Stormlight by the woman with the red hair. These were the shadows in the darkness, the ones he heard whispering of his murders. How she brought them to life, he did not know.

L: Yikes. That’s pretty sobering.

A: That was really weird. It makes me wonder if everyone sees the same thing in this army, or not. Was Szeth actually seeing the people he’d killed, rather than Shallan’s memories?

L: I definitely read this as a trauma response. I don’t think that he’s actually seeing the people he killed so much as just seeing a big group of ghostly people and attributing the aspects he expects onto them.

“No,” Szeth said. “I am not good at being a person. It is… a failing of mine.”

L: So I’ve always had a thing for an angsty, tortured anti-hero protagonist (Hello, Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Szeth absolutely fits this bill. I’m so excited to see his eventual arc, I really do think that he’s going to wind up being one of the most powerful and compelling characters in the series by the end of all this.

A: This line was almost heartbreaking in its simplicity. He is so uncertain of himself; we’ve noted elsewhere that he feels incapable of judgment on his own, so he has to follow someone else’s decisions. The fact that it comes in a conversation with Lift makes it feel even more childlike.

The brands on Kaladin’s head seemed a fresh pain as he dove to strike Amaram.

L: At first I wondered if there was more to this, like if the brands were hurting because he was seeing himself differently (finally) and maybe healing them… but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s just because it’s Amaram he’s attacking, who was responsible for those brands to begin with.

A: Yes, I think it’s Amaram’s presence, and the chance to finally confront him in a fight, with no one telling him “this is not the time.” That’s got to be cathartic in itself—and now he has the responsibility to protect someone else from this foul poser who has killed so many people he cared about!

“I created you, bridgeman. I forged you.”

L: ::vibrates in anger:: Honestly, I don’t know who I hate more, Moash or this jerk.

A: Right? He’s so smugly self-righteous, despite his momentary lapse in the previous chapter where he admitted he couldn’t forgive himself. That, apparently, was only for Dalinar. Kaladin is expected to give him all honor and thanks. UGH.

Kaladin knew that Blade well. … It seemed a symbol of all he’d lost, particularly now in the hand of the man who had lied to him. The man who had taken Tien away.

L: GET HIM, KALADIN.

A: YEEEAAAAAH!

Her father stepped from the Light. And her mother.

The illusions immediately started to fail, melting back to Light. Then, someone seized her by the left hand.

Shallan gasped. Forming from mist was… was Veil?

Another hand took Shallan’s on the right. Radiant, in glowing garnet Shardplate, tall, with braided hair. …

Others boiled at Shallan’s feet, trying to crawl from the Stormlight, their glowing hands grabbing at her legs.

“… No,” Shallan whispered.

This was enough. She had created Veil and Radiant to be strong when she was weak. … The other versions of Shallan retreated into the Stormlight.

L: There’s a lot to unpack, here. I love the idea of Shallan having these other aspects of herself to rely on, despite the fact that it’s… problematic in many respects. As we’ve discussed in this regard before, we all take on different “masks” in different social situations. In this case, her two primary personalities are supporting her and helping her to fight off her insecurities, which is wonderful.

A: It really is a fantastic moment, despite the trouble these multiple personas have caused. I found it intriguing that Radiant is wearing “glowing garnet Shardplate” when she appears. Does Shallan actually have access to the Shardplate, or is that just something she’s projecting on her Radiant persona? And is that what it will look like when Shallan can finally summon it on her own?

L: I assumed that she was just imagining what it would look like based on dead Plate she’s seen.

A: Oh, and once she accepts the support of Veil and Radiant, and dismisses all her other guises, her illusory army goes wild. Figures by the hundreds, and Illusions who resist the swords and spears of the enemy? Wow.

How much of his reputation was him, and how much of it was—and always had been—the sword?

L: Oh, Adolin. Don’t sell yourself short. The sword is just a tool, you’re skilled!

A: I was going to say “this sword is more than a tool!” … but at this point, she really isn’t more, or not much more. A living Blade is a partner rather than a tool, but she isn’t really living—yet. (I’m counting on this to happen someday!) In either case, the one with the sword still has to have plenty of skill.

Life could not be lived making decisions at each juncture.

L: This is going to be the biggest hurdle Szeth has to overcome in his broad character arc, I think. He needs to learn that he can’t just rely on someone else giving him orders… He needs to learn to trust in himself and his own moral compass.

A: That’s going to be really hard for him. He’s practically destroyed himself trying to follow codes, but at the same time he’s acknowledged his personal responsibility for the things he’s done. I have to wonder, though; he’s gone from blindly following Stone Shamanism, to agreeing to follow the Skybreaker codes, to questioning Nale’s decisions, and now to choosing Dalinar as his “moral compass.” Is the next step going to be making decisions on his own?

She’d made thousands of illusions. Each one… each one was her.

A portion of her mind.

A portion of her soul.

L: Yikes. That’s a scary thought. I can’t help but think of Voldemort, dividing up his soul into horcruxes in order to save himself… I know it’s not the same situation because these illusions aren’t completely divorced from her and she can reclaim them, but still:

Each one of her illusions that died hit her with a little shock. A sliver of her dying.

L: Biggest of yikes. Poor girl was already traumatized enough…

A: The way she keeps going, though!

Those were reborn, as she pushed them out to dance again.

A: The perception disconnect here is pretty great—she’s sending up this army of Illusions, but she thinks of them as “dancing.” Um… I don’t really know what to think about that! Plus, somehow, she’s creating sound to go with them. Just… how? I have to include one other tidbit; I don’t entirely know what to say about it, but I need it here.

She gripped Veil’s and Radiant’s hands tighter. They knelt beside her, heads bowed within her painted tapestry of violence, her—

“Hey,” a girl’s voice said. “Could you, uh, stop hugging yourself for a minute? I need some help.”

A: I wanted this here for two reasons. One, because while Shallan perceives herself as kneeling with her helpers on either side, holding their hands, from the outside it looks like she’s got her arms wrapped tightly around herself. It’s an interesting disconnect. The second reason is that the last sentence is going to have a major impact in the second half of the chapter. Just… keep it in mind, okay?

As he did, he heard a whimper from behind.

Adolin gritted his teeth. I could use one of those storming Radiants about now.

He ducked back into the building and flipped over a table, finding a young boy huddled underneath. … He hauled the boy out right as the thunderclast smashed a fist down through the roof.

L: Honestly, I don’t think this belongs in this section but I don’t know where else to put it and it needs to be pointed out that ADOLIN KHOLIN IS THE GOODEST BOY ON THE PLANET OF ROSHAR. (He and Kaladin are neck-and-neck in this race, because you KNOW Kal would have done the same thing, but Adolin’s coming out a smidge higher in my opinion since he’s not going to sulk about it later and blame himself for everything. Adolin does what he has to and moves on from what he can’t change, and just treats everyone with respect and care and a good-natured sense of humor.) Okay. I’ll get off my Adolin fan-girl train now…

A: Riiiiight. Lyndsey, you’ll never be off that train.

L: …okay, that’s fair.

Tight Butts and Coconuts

“How do you feel?”

“Do you realize how fond I was of this jacket?”

L: Me to Adolin.

Wow, the sword said. That’s impressive vocabulary for a child. Does she even know what that last one means?

Szeth Lashed himself into the air after the Fused.

If she does know what it means, the sword added, do you think she’ll tell me?

L: For how creepy and dangerous Nightblood is, he sure can inject a good dose of humor into a situation!

A: LOL

“I have failed to carry this burden.”

“That’s okay. Your weird face is burden enough for one man.”

“Your words are wise,” he said, nodding.

L: Bless this buddy cop comedy in the making.

“But I’ve got an idea. People are always after stuff, but they don’t really like the stuff—they like having the stuff.”

“These words are… not so wise. …”

A: LOL again. Poor Szeth—his mind just isn’t devious enough to follow Lift’s (admittedly cryptic) way of thinking and speaking. But this idea of hers is actually pretty great, though we have to wait to see it next week. The funny thing is, her words are far wiser than probably either of them realize.

I think he’s deevy anyway.

L: Have we heard this used before in Warbreaker, Alice? Or in this book? I forget and I don’t have the ebook yet to do a search…

A: It’s been used in Oathbringer, but I don’t think it was in anything before that. It’s not in Warbreaker, anyway. Red and Gaz used it back in Chapter 44, with Red defining it as, “Deevy. You know. Incredible, or neat, but in a smooooth way.” (He was referring to knives at that point.) Then Lift used it once a couple chapters back, with “Going about on your knees didn’t look as deevy as standing up.” I guess that would be consistent, wouldn’t it?

Speaking of Szeth…

“Was I supposed to save those soldiers, sword-nimi?” Szeth said. “I am a Radiant now.”

I think they would have flown like you instead of falling down, if they’d wanted to be saved.

A: Oh, Nightblood. You are so naive sometimes… But this is one of those “making decisions on the fly” things that Szeth is struggling with now, isn’t it?

Delightful.

L: I’m here for Kaladin with his deadpan inner-monologue snark.

A: My kind of humor.

A handful of Thaylens fought here, trying to bring the thunderclast down. The ropes had been a great idea…

L:Hey guys, so there’s this really old movie, The Empire Strikes Back…”

Weighty Words

Storms, he could be down on himself sometimes. Was that the flaw that had prevented him from speaking the Words of the Fourth Ideal?

For some reason, Syl sighed. Oh, Kaladin.

L: The way I read this, he’s wrong and Syl’s frustrated and/or sympathetic for him. Probably more of the latter than the former.

A: I read it just slightly differently. He admits he could be “down on himself sometimes”—and then promptly finds that in itself to be another reason to be down on himself. And Syl is like, dude, just stop with the navel-gazing already.

Although yes, I’m pretty sure he’s wrong, and Syl knows it. Introspection is not going to give him the answers; every one of his Ideals so far has been about others, not himself.

L: Are they really, though? “I will protect even those I hate, so long as it is right” isn’t fully about others. It’s also about overcoming your own prejudices and/or preconceptions.

Instead, he found only Jasnah Kholin, looking completely nonplussed. A glow faded around her, different from the smoke of her Stormlight. Like geometric shapes surrounding her…

L: Shardplate! Go, Jasnah!

A: ::grits teeth, resists complaining about “nonplussed”… much::

So… what spren are those, that have “geometric shapes” and are related to inkspren? (On the so-far-reasonable assumption that Shardplate is formed by lesser spren associated with the greater…) The only “geometric” spren we’ve seen so far, at least that I can find, are shockspren, which take the form of pale yellow triangles. Not sure how shockspren would be related to inkspren, so maybe it’s just a kind we haven’t seen yet.

Jasnah casually flipped her hand toward them. Once, their souls would have resisted mightily. Soulcasting living things was difficult; it usually required care and concentration—along with proper knowledge and procedure.

Today, the men puffed away to smoke at her barest thought. It was so easy that a part of her was horrified.

L: Interesting that the ease of this is dependent on how much Stormlight she has access to… Jasnah is definitely overpowered!

A: It might also be a combination of being supercharged and half-way in the Cognitive realm. It seems reasonable that she might have greater control due to the overlapping realms.

Looks like we’re cornered, the sword said. Time to fight, right? Accept death, and die slaying as many as possible? I’m ready. Let’s do it. I’m ready to be a noble sacrifice.

No. He did not win by dying.

A: This is practically a theme for the Radiants, isn’t it? (Aside from the fact that Nightblood wouldn’t die, he’d just get picked up by someone else.) But the big question of self-sacrifice and what that really means… For Szeth to realize this is a pretty big step for him.

He felt something. A stirring on the wind.

“You want to fight it, don’t you?” Adolin asked. “It reminds you of when you were alive.”

Something tickled his mind, very faint, like a sigh. A single word: Mayalaran. A… name?

“Right, Maya,” Adolin said. “Let’s bring that thing down.”

L: This gives me the chills, it’s so awesome. You GO, Adolin! Do the impossible! Heal that poor spren with nothing more than care and empathy!

A: Chills for sure. To not only feel her emotions through the bond, but for her to manage to tell him her name? That was gorgeous.

“I embrace you,” he said. “I accept what I was.” … “Thank you,” Dalinar said, “for giving me strength when I needed it.”

The Thrill thrummed with a pleased sound.

L: This whole scene is just so damned powerful.

She attuned the Rhythm of the Lost. She clung to the solemn beat, desperate—a rhythm one attuned to remember those you missed. Those who had gone before.

Timbre thrummed to the same rhythm. Why did that feel different from before? Timbre vibrated through Venli’s entire being.

L: I have an interesting thought about this. The Rhythm of the Lost seems like it attunes (heh get it) quite well with the Oaths of the Edgedancers. Could it be that Venli’s Order is going to have more connections with the other Orders? Or maybe it’s the fact that she’s a Singer that’s different. Maybe she’s just more in tune with the natural rhythms of Roshar, which are themselves what the Orders originally built their Oaths off of…

You can change.

“Life before death.”

You can become a better person.

“Strength before… before weakness…”

I did.

“Jou—”

L: Sanderson just excels at these “almost swearing the first Ideal” moments, doesn’t he? At least this one didn’t end in a tragic death.

A: Seriously! I love the way this one plays out. Venli is grabbed by a Fused, who chastises her for her “weakness” and insists that she must choose whom she will serve.

“I choose,” she said, then shouted, “I choose!

A: The Fused walks off all satisfied, thinking he knows her decision, and instead she discovers that Timbre has managed to imprison the Voidspren. (see below) Quietly, with no one watching and no big fireworks…

Her skin started glowing with a soft white light.

“Journey before destination.”

Cosmere Connections

You’re supposed to contradict me, Szeth, the sword said, when I say I don’t eat people. Vasher always did. I think he was joking.It’s all right! Be happy. Looks like there’s a lot of evil to slay today! That’s greaaaaaaaaaaat, right?

Then the sword started humming.

A: So aside from the obligatory “Nightblood cracks me up” reaction… I couldn’t find anything in Warbreaker about Vasher saying Nightblood eats people, but I didn’t do an exhaustive search. What I was really looking for, though, was Nightblood humming, and I found one instance: When Vasher tells him he’s a little too good at “destroying evil,” Nightblood begins to hum, “pleased at the perceived praise.” Is that enough to infer that Nightblood hums when he’s particularly pleased with himself? It’s a little creepy, considering what he did to Szeth and Lift in the previous chapter!

L: Maybe he’s just going native and tuning into the rhythms!

A Scrupulous Study of Spren

“This place is three, still,” [Ivory] said. “Almost three.”

“Three worlds,” Ivory said. “Slowly splitting apart again, but for now, three realms are close.”

“It is,” he said from her collar. “It is.”

L: I’d just like to point out how interesting it is that Ivory generally seems to speak in doubles… He repeats things an awful lot.

A: His speech patterns are interesting in general. He uses such odd phrasing, I often have to do a double-take to figure out what he meant! Not here, obviously, but often.

Timbre pulsed from within her. Inside her gemheart.

“I’m still wearing one of their forms,” Venli said. “There was a Voidspren in my gemheart. How?”

Timbre pulsed to Resolve.

“You’ve done what?” Venli hissed, stopping on the deck.

Resolve again.

“But how can you…” She trailed off, then hunched over, speaking more softly. “How can you keep a Voidspren captive?”

L: Wow. This is really, really cool. Also, I adore Timbre. It’s amazing how much I can be made to like a character based on nothing but emotions!

A: Isn’t that fun? Timbre is so cool. Also, incredibly resourceful! How she figured this out, I have no idea, nor what she’s actually doing—but she’s made it so Venli keeps her Envoyform, while preventing the Voidspren from having any control or communication.

Arresting Artwork

Interior artwork from Oathbringer; map of Thaylen City

A: For reference, another awesome map. I love having a visual reference for all these different things that are happening.

Well, there was a lot happening in this chapter, and we know we left out all sorts of things that could have been quoted and discussed. Bring it all into the comments! Next week, we’ll cover the last half of Chapter 120. Be ready for an overload of exclamation points.

Alice is feeling slightly guilty about enjoying the excuse to stay home ALL THE TIME, though she’s slightly worried about what happens when she runs out of TP, having failed to participate in the apparently requisite panic buying. Y’all stay safe, stay out of crowds, and wash your hands, okay?

Lyndsey is in self-quarantine since her son is sick with who-knows-what. As an extrovert, this is going to be a particularly trying time for her… especially since the convention she staffs, Anime Boston, was canceled. If you’re an aspiring author, a cosplayer, or just like geeky content, follow her work on Facebook or Instagram.

citation

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