Welcome back, friends, to the penultimate installment of the Oathbringer reread. It’s been a long ride, but we hope you’ve all enjoyed it! This week ties up a handful of loose ends, and sets the stage for events to progress over the next (in-world) year before Rhythm of War picks up. We’ll check in on most of our favorite characters to see where they are and what they’re doing, now that Odium’s anticipated “easy victory” has fallen apart and his forces have withdrawn.
Paige and I will wrap up the last chapter, with the Epilogue and Ars Arcanum to come next week. My thanks, again, to Paige for stepping up to help out! Lyndsey is still up to her ears in face masks, both for hospitals and for personal use. The last count I saw was over 250, and all this has been her donation of both time and materials. She may not respond to every message, but if you’d like to drop her a line of encouragement (that link is for Facebook), I think she’d enjoy knowing her work is appreciated by more than those who receive the masks.
WHO: Kaladin, Taravangian, Shallan, Palona, Moash, Dalinar
WHEN: 1220.127.116.11—10.5 (Days 87-100 of Oathbringer) This begins the day after the Battle of Thaylen Field, and ends the day of Adolin and Shallan’s wedding.
WHERE: Southern Alethkar, Urithiru, Kholinar
Kaladin falls all the way to the southern coast of Alethkar, where he finds his and Shallan’s squires, escaped from the fall of Kholinar, with little Gavinor. Back in Urithiru, a stupid day brings Taravangian a visit and a bargain with Odium. Meanwhile, as the coalition leaders debate upcoming strategy, Adolin refuses Dalinar’s attempt to make him King of Alethkar; shortly thereafter Palona and Sebarial reflect the general sense of worry when Jasnah walks in as Queen. In Kholinar, Moash is transferred from rubble-smasher to Honorblade-holder. Back in Urithiru, Shallan prepares for her wedding, and is surprised by the arrival of her brothers as a “gift” from Mraize. The chapter ends with Dalinar hand-writing the preface and the title page of his memoir.
Title: A Debt Repaid
Rock had insisted that Dalinar take Oathbringer back. A debt repaid, the Windrunner had explained.
A: Even though Dalinar really doesn’t want it, and can’t possibly use it, I love the way this comes around from The Way of Kings. Long ago (well, long ago for us, like 9+ years, though in-book it’s only a little over 3 Rosharan months) Dalinar traded this same Blade for the entirety of Sadeas’s bridge crews. Now it comes back to him courtesy of the Windrunners who developed from those bridgemen.
P: I love that Rock returned Oathbringer to Dalinar, since he won’t take it for himself. It does call to mind that powerful scene from WoK, and Dalinar’s incredible trade for the bridgemen. Gives me shivers, it does. And w00t! I named this final chapter! I’m so happy!
Battar, the Counsellor, patron of Elsecallers, divine attributes Wise and Careful
Jezrien, Herald of Kings, the King, patron of Windrunners, divine attributes Protecting and Leading
Paliah, the Scholar, patron of Truthwatchers, divine attributes Learned and Giving
Vedel, the Healer, patron of Edgedancers, divine attributes Loving and Healing
A: Why these four, for the final chapter? The obvious answer for Battar is Queen Jasnah; could it also be indicative of my theory in Stories & Songs? Jezrien has plenty of referents: Kaladin Windrunner retrieving the rest of the Kholinar team, the monarchy of Alethkar, Dalinar’s leadership in general, and ::sniff:: the bestowing of his Honorblade on that wretch Moash. Pailiah is a little tougher, but I think this must reflect the way Renarin Truthwatcher messes with the Diagram and Odium’s ability to see the future. I suppose that as the Scholar, she could also be a subtle nod to Dalinar’s memoir-writing. Finally, Vedel, and here I’ll admit I’m baffled. There’s no healing, no known Edgedancer, and as far as I know there’s no appearance by the Herald herself. (Unless I’ve got it backwards on that theory below…) Maybe she’s here for Adolin, as a sign of things to come? I dunno.
Icon: Kholin Glyphpair, which usually denotes a Dalinar POV chapter; in this case I suspect that despite the number of POVs, the scene with Dalinar writing the opening of Oathbringer is the critical factor.
Yes, I began my journey alone, and I ended it alone.
But that does not mean that I walked alone.
—From The Way of Kings, postscript
A: I’ve kind of… not talked about the last few epigraphs much, because as individual statements I couldn’t figure out what to say. Now I’m going to quote the entire section and address it as a block:
As I began my journey, I was challenged to defend why I insisted on traveling alone. They called it irresponsible. An avoidance of duty and obligation.
Those who said this made an enormous mistake of assumption.
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.
It becomes the responsibility of every man, upon realizing he lacks the truth, to seek it out.
Yes, I began my journey alone, and I ended it alone.
But that does not mean that I walked alone.
A: Aaaand… now that I put it all together, what more can I say about it? But of course, I’ll try.
In context of what (little) we know about Nohadon, it is remarkable to consider a king setting off on a fairly long journey, on foot and alone. You can imagine that his advisors were not best pleased by his decision, and framed their opposition in all the ways they thought would most appeal to his sense of responsibility. They just didn’t understand him very well.
It’s also worth reflecting on this under our current circumstances; right now, many of us are physically “walking alone” or in the company of only immediate family, as we’re in some form of lockdown or quarantine. In this journey of ours, though, we are not walking alone. If you need encouragement in this time of isolation, reach out to this community; we’re here.
P: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Hit me up on Messenger if you want to chat. I will respond. ::smooches to the Sanderfans::
Stories & Songs
Adrotagia and Dukar … ignored Maben, the room servant, who felt Taravangian’s forehead, as he’d been coughing lately.
A: Call me paranoid, but any time I see people ignoring someone who is around a lot, I start to think that person is more significant than anyone thinks. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a long-standing theory that Dova, Taravangian’s assistant who they think is Battar, is actually Vedel. (It’s a theory about how the Heralds all seem to be doing the opposite of their Role and their Divine Attributes. I think I talked about it last week.) Anyway, what’s the possibility that Maben is actually Battar? The Counsellor, now simply ordered around as a servant?
P: I bow to your superior knowledge on this theory. I’m down.
A: Heh. I wouldn’t call it “knowledge,” exactly… I just like to ponder these things, and I come up with some interesting correlations. If half of them are correct, I’ll be surprised!
“Would you close the balcony doors again, gemheart?” he asked her. “The sunlight is distracting me from the other light.”
… As Navani shut the balcony doors, he closed his eyes and felt the warmth of a distant, unseen light.
A: We’ve seen this light before, at the end of Words of Radiance, and we’ve never gotten an answer as to what it really is. All we have is “RAFO” and a lot of our own speculation… and it’s been driving me nuts for years.
P: RAFO. Ugh, patience is hard.
Relationships & Romances
Adolin wrapped his arms around Shallan from behind. “It looks beautiful.”
“You look beautiful,” she replied.
“You are beautiful.”
“Only because you’re here. Without you, I fade.”
Brightness Teshav stood near them, and though the woman normally maintained a stoic professionalism, Shallan thought she caught a hint of an eye roll.
A: ::gigglesnort:: Yeah, I’m rolling my eyes too. (Not because I think it was badly written, mind you—just because it fits these two so well and if I were anywhere around them I’d be reacting just like Teshav.)
P: So much cheese, yes. But it is adorable because Adolin has the ability to find Shallan and that’s so important for her to have someone who can do that. She desperately needs Adolin.
She did as Dalinar commanded, amused by how the scribes and generals pointedly did not look at her and Adolin. Some whispered about Adolin’s Westerner heritage, which made him too public with his affection.
A: Yeah, that Evi. Teaching those boys to show their feelings, of all things!
P: ::judges in Alethi::
The door opened.
Revealing three young men in worn clothing. … Her brothers.
P: Just when you thought the crying was over! ::cue Paige crying… again::
A: You know, I’d halfway forgotten them; when they showed up here, it was quite a stunner! My only objection to this scene was that letters from Mraize always irritate me, and I was all psyched up for the wedding! But it was delightful to see them returned to her, and it’s really quite a wedding gift.
Bruised & Broken
She still needed to explain some things to Adolin. Most notably, the entire mess with the Ghostbloods. … Veil could explain—Adolin was growing accustomed to her, though he wouldn’t be intimate with her. He treated her like a drinking buddy, which was actually kind of working for both of them.
A: Ugh. Her involvement with the Ghostbloods is so disturbing, as is her secrecy about it with the few people who would be able to help her. As for her mental state… well, “broken” is kind of literal, in this case. It’s sort of cute that Adolin gets along with Veil like a drinking buddy, and I really love that he won’t be intimate with her. But it would have to be uncomfortable for him, wouldn’t it, having two sort-of-other people sharing his fiancée’s body? Shallan thinks it’s “kind of working for both of them”… but I have to wonder if Adolin would agree.
P: I personally think that Adolin will do whatever he needs to do in order to be with Shallan. If that means befriending her other personas until she heals some more and reintegrates them, then so be it. And yeah, she really, really needs to come clean to both Adolin and Jasnah about the Ghostbloods. I’m so not comfortable with her continued involvement in that society.
Inexplicably, the Assassin in White had joined them. He sat outside the room, guarding the door as Dalinar’s new bodyguard.
A: We’ve talked about this before—how odd it is that the man who tried twice to kill Dalinar is now his bodyguard, and apparently unquestioned. I got to thinking about that, and I think it’s because Taravangian told Dalinar about having “owned” Szeth and used him as an assassin. I don’t suppose most people actually understand the whole thing with Oathstones, but even so, the fact that Taravangian voluntarily took responsibility for all the killing has to have counted for a lot.
P: I mean, he is a badass fighter, so handy to have around. But I can’t imagine it would be easy to trust him. It would have been nice to have an onscreen chat between these two, to clear the air and let Dalinar know that Szeth swore his Third Ideal to Dalinar personally.
A: You know… that really would help. If we knew that Dalinar knew about that Ideal, it would be a lot easier to understand this quick acceptance.
He’d explained, frankly and without concern, that the majority of the Order of the Skybreakers had chosen to serve Odium.
A: Shallan thinks about how this demonstrates that you can’t entirely trust someone just because they’d spoken the Ideals, and she’s right. It seems like the sort of thing they all need to keep in mind… though how to do that without constantly being suspicious of each other is another question.
P: Yeah, this is kind of huge, and I wish more had been said about it onscreen. I mean, one more chapter would have fit, right? A little one?
“Gavinor can be named your heir, Adolin, but we must see you two married and the monarchy secured. For the good of Alethkar, but also the world.”
… You can be this man, if you want, she thought to him. But you don’t have to be what he makes of you. …
“I’m not going to be king, Father,” Adolin said.
P: For the first time, we see Adolin resist his father.
A: I’m a little ambivalent about Shallan’s thought, here. She’s acknowledging that Adolin could be king (and IMO, he’d make a good one despite his own reservations), and also that he doesn’t have to do it, nor should he necessarily want to. At the same time, she’s completely unable to apply this to herself; her reaction to nearly everything people expect of her is to create a new personality to fulfill the expectation. I’m half surprised that she didn’t create a Ward!Shallan persona to fit Jasnah’s expectations.
Shallan aside, though, it was a bit of a shock to see Adolin downright refuse his father’s assumption here!
P: We always see more clearly when dealing with someone else’s issues, and our vision clouds when looking at ourselves.
“Didn’t you listen to what I just said? I broke the Codes!”
“Everyone in this storming country breaks the Codes,” Dalinar said … “I broke the Codes hundreds of times. You don’t have to be perfect, you only have to do your duty.”
A: As a rationale for not accepting the kingship, “I broke the Codes” falls kind of flat—or it would for anyone but Adolin—because as Dalinar says, everyone breaks the Codes. Granted, killing Sadeas in a back corridor, even in a reasonably fair fight, may not have been an entirely lawful act, and covering it up for months was also not great. In many cultures, that killing would disqualify him, but this is Alethkar, where killing people to advance your interests—and especially, those of your family/princedom—is a way of life. The thing is, Adolin is far less bothered by the actual killing than he is by the fact that he broke the Codes to do it. (Honestly, in some ways he’d make a good Skybreaker. He expects perfection from himself all the time.) As much as he used to resent Dalinar’s insistence on the Codes, he eventually decided that they really were the best pattern for behavior in the current events. From that point on, he did his utmost to live by them in all situations—and he thinks this one failure disqualifies him. Oh, Adolin, if only you knew… Dalinar’s reaction is far more true than you can begin to imagine.
“Mmm…” Pattern said. “This is a good you, Shallan.”
A good me. She breathed out. Veil formed on one side of the room, … Radiant appeared near the table …
“It’s okay for me to enjoy this,” Shallan said, as if discovering something precious. “It’s all right to celebrate. Even if things are terrible in the world, it’s all right.” She smiled. “I… I deserve this.”
Veil and Radiant faded.
P: Fade forever. For. Ever. I’m so ready for Shallan to just be Shallan.
Balat still had the haunted look that had always shadowed him.
A: This always makes me wonder about Balat… There’s a WoB indicating that there were magical influences affecting his behavior; is that what the “haunted look” comes from? Is the influence over him enough that he’s actually a direct tool for Odium? Because if it is, having him close to Shallan doesn’t seem like a good thing.
P: I never considered that he might be a tool of Odium. That’s certainly an uncomfortable thought.
Adolin was not the man Dalinar had thought he was—but then, couldn’t he forgive someone for that?
A: I just find this so ironic. Dalinar is bummed that Adolin hasn’t lived up to his assumptions… and he’s sitting there preparing to tell the whole world—and his son—that he isn’t the man they thought he was. So… yeah, Dalinar, I think you need to forgive your son for not being perfect!
P: I don’t think he was going to put that in the book, but I hate that he even thought it. Kind of like Lirin thinking less of Kaladin for not becoming a surgeon. Let your son be who he is, Dalinar. Don’t trample on his individuality, because he’s a pretty amazing individual!
A: Oops. I wasn’t trying to imply that Dalinar thought about putting Adolin’s failure in the book. It’s just that the book is going to expose some of the many ways Dalinar has failed to be the man people think he is—and in particular, the man his sons think he is. In that context, how can he be so disappointed that Adolin isn’t perfection incarnate? I guess it’s like you said earlier—it’s much easier to see clearly when you’re looking at other people’s issues.
Diagrams & Dastardly Designs
He wasn’t certain Dalinar would ever trust him again, but giving him some truth had been a calculated risk. For now, Taravangian was still part of the coalition.
P: Much to my chagrin.
A: Yeah, no kidding. Ugh.
Storms take you, Nightwatcher, he thought. Odium’s victory will kill you too. Couldn’t you have just gifted me, and not cursed me?
He’d asked for the capacity to save his people. He’d begged for compassion and acumen—and he’d gotten them. Just never at the same time.
P: Be careful what you ask for, sport.
A: I don’t think this is the first time he’s hinted at this, but I think it’s the first clear statement of what he asked for, and how it was answered—or at least what he can see of how it was answered. We know now that Taravangian actually met Cultivation, so the question hanging out there now is, why the split? If it were Nightwatcher, as Taravangian apparently assumes, it seems like the sort of things she’d do. But Cultivation… as we saw with Dalinar, Cultivation sometimes plays a much longer game. If she were going to give him the capacity he asked for, and then split the requested compassion and acumen, why? We’ve speculated for a long time that the stupid, compassionate days might be equally, or even more critical to that “capacity” than his smart, emotionless days. But… golly, his stupid days can be stupid.
“Little man. Why did you write to us? Why did you have your Surgebinder unlock the Oathgate, and allow our armies to attack Urithiru?”
“I wish only to serve you, Great God”…
A: UGH!! IIRC, this POV is the first time (earlier in the conversation) we knew that Malata had deliberately, and by order of the Diagram, opened the Oathgate for the Fused/singer raid. Yeah, the one that killed Eth, and nearly killed Rock and Bisig, when they stole the Honorblade. I think my biggest source of anger at Taravangian is that the Diagram never seems to require him to risk his own people, or make any personal sacrifices. It’s always someone else—other nations’ leaders, other people’s loved ones, other Radiants or squires, even though they are part of the people he’s ostensibly trying to protect.
P: This is why I’ve never bought the whole “trying to save the world” thing. He very much has an “us vs. them” mentality when it comes to the other human nations of Roshar, and dammit, that’s not how it should be.
“This is remarkable. … You did this without access to Fortune, or the Spiritual Realm? Truly incredible. … Allow me to show you how far I see.”
Golden words exploded outward from the ones Taravangian had written in the Diagram. Millions upon millions of golden letters burned into the air, extending into infinity. Each took one small element that Taravangian had written, and expanded upon it in volumes and volumes’ worth of information.
A: Just a little Cosmology note here, as Odium refers to the Spiritual property of Fortune. It appears (though I could be wrong) that his showing off here is a matter of access to both Fortune itself, and to the Spiritual Realm, presumably due to being a Shard of Adonalsium. In any case, it’s quite a visual, and a rather snarky way of using an apparent complement as a complete put-down. “Oh, you pathetic little cremling, you did so well given your limitations. Let me show you how much greater I am, little bug.”
P: I don’t know who annoys me more… Taravangian or Odium.
A section of words that had faded from golden to black. What was that? As he drew near, Taravangian saw that the words were blacked out into eternity starting from this point on his wall. As if something had happened here. A ripple in what Odium could see …
At its root, a name. Renarin Kholin.
P: Yeesss! I love that not only has the Diagram proven to be untrustworthy, but there are some things they can’t see due to Renarin. This is excellent. Mess up their plans, Renarin!
A: Even more than the Diagram, there are things Odium can’t see because of Renarin. I find this particularly funny after Odium just got done putting the squish on Taravangian’s presumption of omniscience. Hah. Whose omniscience is lacking now, buddy?
They had planned to protect so much more. But … he saw now how little they knew. One city before the storms. One land protected, even if the rest had to be sacrificed.
P: I’ve seen a lot of defenses of Taravangian from the fandom, saying that what he did was forgivable because he was trying to save everyone. I still reject that Kool-Aid because I don’t feel the killing is justified regardless. What good is it to be saved if you’re no better than your enemy?
Spoiler alert: No good. It’s no good.
A: I can understand his defeatism here, after Odium just made him feel incredibly small, but I agree—that’s no defense. Making deals with the devil to save your own skin and your own city at the cost of the rest of the world, and keeping that bargain secret from everyone else so that you can adequately betray them? Nope. Not on.
“There’s a traitor among us,” Dalinar said softly. “Someone attacked Bridge Four specifically to get the Honorblade—because they needed it to unlock the Oathgates and let the enemy in.”
“That,” Shallan said softly, or it was unlocked by a Radiant who has changed sides.”…
“You think,” Adolin said, “Taravangian might have done it?”
“No,” Dalinar said. “Why would he work with the enemy? Everything he’s done so far has been to secure a safe Roshar—if through brutal means. Still, I have to wonder. I can’t afford to be too trusting.”
P: Gah, Dalinar. No. Bad highprince. Highking, Whatever you are… Bondsmith. Take Taravangian to the market and storming string him up for the murders of all of those monarchs. Go. Do it. Now.
A: Right? “Why would he work with the enemy” indeed! This is… bizarre.
“Your next mission is equally important. One of the Unmade seems willing to break from Odium. Our good and that of your Radiant friends align. You will find this Unmade, and you will persuade it to serve the Ghostbloods. Barring that, you will capture it and deliver it to us.”
A: This is from Mraize’s letter to Shallan, and the obvious question is, how does he know about Sja-anat and her possible interest in gaining independence? The next obvious question is, how does he think Shallan is going to find and capture an Unmade? Seems a bit much, though of course she did manage to drive one of them out of Urithiru. Well, I guess we’ll have to wait and see if we get the “forthcoming details” Mraize promised.
P: There’s a lot of plotting going on in this final chapter, but I also can’t help but wonder how Mraize expects Shallan to capture an Unmade. Will he provide a perfect gemstone for her to use? Plus, Sja-anat is a Braize of a lot smarter than Nergaoul, she won’t be easily captured. Not only that, but Shallan doesn’t really know, IIRC, HOW she drove Re-Shephir, the Midnight Mother from the Tower… she just had a dance-off with illusions. She’s kind of flying by the seat of her havah here.
Squires & Sidekicks
Along a dried-out river, he found a little group of refugees huddled by a cavern in the stone. A very small fire laced the air with smoke, and lit ten people in brown cloaks. Nondescript, like many others he’d passed during his search. The only distinctive feature was a small symbol they’d painted on an old tarp pinned up between two poles at the front of the camp.
The symbol of Bridge Four.
P: There was a lot to cheer about in part 5. A lot. Szeth’s epic Radiant landing, Jasnah’s soulcasting, Adolin summoning Maya in seven heartbeats, Venli speaking the First Ideal, Lift standing beside Dalinar when he faced enemy armies alone, Teft’s Ideal, Rock and the Shardbow, and yes… freaking Unity. A lot to cheer about, indeed. Things calmed down and you thought the cheering was over, right? It’s all aftermath and epilogue after this. But no. Oh, no. Brandon gives us one more, cheer-worthy moment, and it was incredible. I kind of bawled while laughing, it was so awesome.
A: Indeed and it was. This was a crazy freaking gorgeous moment. We’d spent Part Four and Part Five accepting that the whole rest of the team was lost in Kholinar along with Elhokar, and… here they are. Safe and alive. Oh, the cheers that went up at this moment!! I’d also like to point out that they made a long trip, all on foot, to get to the coast where Kaladin found them.
Szeth was the only guard Dalinar had for the moment, as Rial and his other bodyguards were all in Bridge Thirteen—and that whole crew had gone up as squires to Teft.
P: You go with your bad self, Teft!
Places & Peoples
Dalinar walked through the illusion, holding his hand over Iri, Rira, and Babatharnam. “Change this part of the land to a burning gold.” … Azir and its protectorates she painted a pattern of blue and maroon, the symbol the Azish scribes had chosen for the coalition between their kingdoms. … Marat and those around it went gold, as did—unfortunately—Alethkar. Lands that hadn’t yet committed, like Shinovar and Tukar, she turned green.
A: What a visual. Can you just see that map, floating waist-high in the room? Depressing, but still—what a visual.
P: We need art, for sure.
A: This isn’t nearly as good as theirs, but it gives you an idea. Note that Aimia and the Frostlands are so scarcely populated that I didn’t color them. I’m not sure about the Reshi Isles, but they’re so isolated I’m betting no one has bothered with them yet.
We took Shardblades from the women, he thought, glancing at the one hung on the wall above his desk. And they seized literacy from us. Who got the better deal, I wonder?
A: I love this realization from Dalinar. It’s more or less worked for the Vorin kingdoms for the last 15 centuries or so, but what do you suppose they’d have been like had the people with the magic swords also had readier access to history and philosophy? Might they have turned out more like some of the other nations to the west?
P: Perhaps they’d be less barbaric, anyway.
Tight Butts and Coconuts
… “We need a ruler in Alethkar who won’t be pushed over, but who can also deal with diplomats in diplomatic ways.”
“Well, that’s not me,” Adolin repeated.
“Who, then?” Dalinar demanded.
Shallan cocked her head. “Hey. Have you boys ever considered…”
P: Drumroll, please…
She wore a small but unmistakable crown on her head. The Kholin family, it seemed, had chosen their new monarch.
Turi grinned at the looks of worry on the faces of many of the others in the room. “Oh my,” he whispered to Palona. “Now this should be interesting.”
P: Jas, Queen! I loved this little tidbit. And it was great to have a Palona POV, too. She’s fantastic.
A: I love Palona and Turi. (Sebarial, in case anyone forgot who “Turi” was.) He’s such a faker most of the time, but they’re both very clever… and he loves to turn over a rock and watch the bugs scurry. (Okay, he loves watching someone else turn over the rock because it would be too much effort to do it himself, but whatever.) This was the perfect POV to get this revelation.
Dalinar had been able to summon the strength to overcharge him with Stormlight, though it was obviously exhausting to do so.
P: Does this mean he united the realms again?
A: That’s my understanding. He’s able to do it at will, I guess? With the limitation of it being a huge effort, of course.
A child? In rags. Yes, a frightened little boy, maybe three or four years old, lips chapped, eyes haunted. Elhokar’s son.
“We protect those,” Drehy said, “who cannot protect themselves.”
P: I was already crying about Skar and Drehy being alive and well, this made me cry and laugh even more.
A: This was glorious—the little guy survived! Poor child, though; his father was killed trying to protect him, after his mother allowed him to be tormented by Voidspren. Who knows what he went through before that, and what it took for Skar and Drehy to retrieve him from the palace and smuggle him all the way to the coast.
The reason I included this passage in this section, though, is that line from Drehy. That’s the second Ideal of the Windrunners. Is he just quoting what they know? Or are they no longer squires, but Windrunners themselves? Either way, rescuing Gavinor is absolutely a Windrunner behavior.
P: I heartily agree. ::sniffle::
“I killed Sadeas, Father,” Adolin whispered.
“It was me,” Adolin continued. “I broke the Codes of War and killed him in the corridor. For speaking against our family. For betraying us time and time again. I stopped him because it needed to be done, and because I knew you would never be able to do it.”
P: I loved the way Adolin dropped this bomb. Right there during the meeting, so Dalinar couldn’t freak out about it. And it was awesome when he said, “I’m not sorry for what I did—and I’d do it again, right now.” ::cheering::
A: I can’t help thinking back to the end of Words of Radiance, and all that foulness that Sadeas was spewing at Adolin. The lies he was planning to spread about how the Battle of Narak was all a deal Dalinar worked out with the Parshendi, so he could take control of all Alethkar. The promise that he would keep opposing Dalinar one way or another, that he’d take Urithiru and all the new discoveries away. All that, on top of so many other taunts, on top of his deliberate set-up and betrayal at the Tower. First, is it any wonder Adolin had had enough? And second, was there any other way to stop Sadeas from destroying his family, and probably leaving all of humanity to face Odium’s forces without Radiants? (Remember, he didn’t know about Dalinar’s new Bondsmith status at the time.) Third, as I’ve argued before, the Alethi are all about “might makes right” in their power struggles.
As I said above, Adolin’s only issue with having done this is that it went against the Codes that he’s been trying to uphold. Aside from that, he has no regrets—and in context, I fully agree with him.
P: Oh, I absolutely agree. I cheered when he offed that snake. Good riddance, says me.
She held something before herself in two hands. … The Blade of Jezerezeh. Honorblade.
Moash reached for it, hesitant, and Leshwi hummed a warning rhythm. “If you take it, you die. Moash will be no more.”
“Moash’s world is no more,” he said, taking the Blade by the hilt. “He might as well join it in the tomb.”
“Vyre,” she said. “Join us in the sky. You have a work.” …
“I’ve been told it means He Who Quiets.”
P: Rage. I just have rage. Moash is a rabid dog and Kaladin desperately needs to put him down. ASAP.
A: Agreed. The only thing I can say for him, and it’s pretty sketchy, is that after all the things he’s done, I can sort of understand that numbness, and the desire to be someone else. I don’t think this is gonna do it for him, but hey, what has he got to lose at this point?
One other thing to note here… This Honorblade had been used for the past eight years or so to assassinate people, ranging from petty crime bosses to kings. For a few months, it was used in more honorable ways, such as allowing the Windrunner squires to train with their Surges even in the absence of their Knight. Now, it appears that it may be returning to assassination duty; “He Who Quiets” seems to indicate that he’ll be used to “quiet” opposition, and who better for the Fused to send in as an assassin than a human? (Okay, not against anyone who actually knew Moash, but that still allows most of the world.) Anyway, I suppose it will be… interesting to see what uses they have for him.
- Dalinar Kholin was a force like a storm. He simply blew you over, and assumed you’d always wanted to lie down in the first place.
- “Oh, Turi,” Palona said. “You can’t just ask people about gossip. This is why you’re hopeless.”“And here I thought I was hopeless because of my terrible taste in women.”
- Her sapphire gown was of an ancient style, with twin drooping sleeves that went far beyond her hands. Small rubies woven into the embroidery glowed with a complementary light. A golden vest draped over the shoulders, matched by the ornate headdress woven into her braids.
And that’s the end of Part Five. Finis.
Next week, we’ll address the Epilogue and the Ars Arcanum. We hope you’ll join us for that, and (obviously) in the comments below for this final chapter.
Beyond that, things are still a little tentative. We’ll take a few weeks off, and then we hope to come back with a series of varied articles about the Stormlight Archive, one way or another. Along with a general refresher for people who haven’t been rereading with us, we hope to do some deeper dives into topics of interest as we prepare for Rhythm of War. If you have subjects on your mind, where you’d like to see some discussion, please let us know in the comments, or message me through this website, or message me on facebook.
Speaking of Rhythm of War, the beta read is mostly finished, and Brandon is in the process of doing the next revision. And so, the hype begins! Personally, I’m most looking forward to the cover art reveal. Those are always so awesome!
Last but not least: We haven’t really asked about this, but how are you all doing in this time of viruses, lockdowns, layoffs, work-from-home, school-from-home, and all the other craziness? Are you okay? Staying healthy? Staying sane? We truly hope that this weekly reread has been a positive touchpoint in your lives; at least we can still “gather” online to talk about the things we love! Please do keep in touch, and let us know if we can encourage you in any way.
Alice is discovering that life under lockdown isn’t all that much different than it was before, except that her people are around all day and she doesn’t go to the store as often. Oh, and she sleeps later, because there’s no need to get dressed in time to get the girl-child to school. As a low-maintenance introvert, she’s apparently been training for this her whole life.
Paige resides in New Mexico, of course, and writes in an attempt to stay sane. No, really. Imagine if she didn’t write. Yeesh. She’s a champ at the in-person social distancing, but is bereft at the postponement of the MLB season. Links to her Patreon and her available works are provided in her profile.