This series has given us the way Ruin managed to control Vin's mother and spike Zane
Here because Mistborn original trilogy doesn't have it's own WMG page. In Mistborn, Ruin was able to influence or control anyone whose soul had been damaged by Hemalurgy. This was the only revealed mechanism to allow his influence in...which led to an apparent plot whole when there should have been no means for Ruin to give Zane a hemalurgic Spike or drive Vin's mother mad (leading her to spiking Vin). It's a chicken and egg sort of problem. BUT, in this series we have another form of spiritual connection whose prerequisite is a damaged soul: bonding to Spren! We are told that an intact soul doesn't have space for them. Since this series also reveals that souls can be damaged by emotional trauma, we now know how Ruin managed to influence his first followers.
Which is somewhat hilarious, since it means that there is now a good reason throughout the Cosmere for genuine prophets to be either insane or traumatized.
Hoid's goal in all this is to free Odium for the greater good
Hoid's correspondence indicates that Odium is trapped in a cycle of Eternal Recurrance
on Roshar, and that while he remains so the Shardholders refuse to move on him to deal with him permanently. Hoid's plan for Roshar is to free Odium, by ANY means, to force the Shardholders to action. And whether he does this by arranging for Odium to be banished from Roshar or for Roshar to be rendered uninhabitable to human life? I suspect he'd prefer the former but would accept the later. He did tell Jasnah their goals might not align after all.
The Heralds' betrayal of their oaths was the cause of the fall of the Radiants
- After the betrayal, the Radiants lost their faith in the concept of honor, and that killed their spren.
All of the main characters are/will be Surgebinders who are either reborn Heralds or descendants of them, and will recreate and lead the Knights Radiant
- There are going to be 10 main characters, and one of them will be Talenat. Some of the characters have names similar to those of the Heralds: Kalak - Kaladin, Shalash - Shallan, Ishar - Ishikk. Some of the characters have interrelated abilities just like the Radiants: Szeth/Kaladin - Windrunning, Jasnah/Shallan - Soulcasting, Jasnah/Elhokar - Seeing Symbolheads. Kaladin knows the Second Ideal. Dalinar has become obsessed with "The Way of Kings", the book from which the Ideals Knights Radiant were made. What else could it possibly mean?
- The name similarities could be a red herring. If we go by what each Herald stood for, Kaladin would be Jezrian, Dalinar would be Ishar, and Jasnah would be Nalan.
- There are also indications that the Heralds don't need to be "reborn", as they're still around- in addition to Taln, Shalash has been confirmed by Word of God to have appeared in Wo K (17th Shard seems to have her pegged as the woman destroying art in one of the interludes), and possibly others we don't know about.
- The Heralds are confirmed to still be around in Words of Radiance. Nalan is fairly active, Kelek appears, and Jezrien is implied to be around but is "drooling" according to Nalan.
- And that's why they're so incompetent. The missing branch isn't missing; it's on Roshar, to look for new types of jam!
- This page doesn't have one yet, and I always thought she reminded me of Shallan.
He travels across time and space to appear in The Stormlight Archive
, and Warbreaker
. What other explanation is there?
The Shards are pieces of the "Almighty," just as he is a Shard of Adonalsium.
There is no way
the name "Shards" is unimportant, and at one point Hoid offhandedly mentions Andonalsium. The Almighty himself also says something about a woman named "Cultivation," which sounds like another Shard.
- One of the seventeen shards of Adonalsium shattered, hence why the meta-Arc Number is 16. It's quite likely the shardblades and plate are made from that one; one of the chapter breaks even mentions sending the holders of the fragments after the writer.
- There were only 16 Shards of Adonalsium. I think that the Shardblades may be Splinters of Honor, like how the breath of a Returned in Warbreaker is a Splinter of Endowment
- Wait, what? The 17th shard is a name of an organization, possibly in tribute to the 17th shard fansite. There are only 16 shards. Adonalsium shattered into 16 shards, of which we know of less than half by my count. Ruin and Preservation were on Scadrial (the world of Mistborn), while Honor, Odium, and Cultivation were on Roshar (the world of the Stormlight Archive). These 16 shards can further be shattered/scattered, but Adonalsium was never a shard- it was the whole which split into the 16 shards. The Metaplot (to be someday written in Dragonsteel, if Sanderson ever gets that far) is probably going to be about the 16 shards reuniting - we've already seen Preservation and Ruin (re)uniting into Harmony.
- actually the in-world organization came first, Brandon suggested the name for the fansite just before Wo K came out (they were going to call it Hoid's Compendium).
- Confirmed. Shardblades are "dead" spren killed by the breaking of oaths by Radiants, and cognitive spren are tiny pieces of the Almighty.
The lighteyes are all descendants of the first Shardbearers, who took up the Shards abandoned by the Knights Radiant.
Although we haven't actually seen it happen, its been mentioned several times that a darkeyes who takes up a Shardblade gains lighteyes, and his children will be lighteyes as well.
- Some of them might be, but clearly not all of them are, as there were lighteyes before the Radiants' fall, though they were not considered superior to Darkeyes back then.
- Of course, those could just be the children of Radiants.
- As of Words of Radiance, Shardblades actually DO change a person's eye color.
The Lost Herald
isn't dead at the end of the book.
He dropped his Blade and it didn't disappear, which is supposed to make us think he's dead. But those Blades are explicitly shown to work differently than normal ones; he still has brown eyes, for one thing, and in the Distant Prologue
its mentioned that if they had died, their Blades would have disappeared.
- Could it be a Dawnshard? Teft thinks Kaladin is one of the Radiants or Heralds reborn. Syl and Kaladin both feel a revulsion for the shardblades, but the Lost Herald has some sort of blade that is magical. Did the Heralds use Dawnshards rather than shardblades?
- Brandon has explicitly refereed to the Heralds' Blades as Honorblades, the Dawnshards are something else.
- Brandon has also stated that Taln will be a POV character later in the series, so I think it's Word of God that he's alive.
- As of Words of Radiance Taln's alive. Largely catatonic, but alive.
All the Spren are actually not the type they are commonly known as.
They are all, like Sil, various different types of spren that are actually connected with the radiants. However, with no Radiants, the spren revert to a base nature and lose all intelligence.
- Pain Spren have something to do with healing, and possibly with soulcasting.
- Brandon Sanderson said in his latest interview that there are only 10 types of spren associated with the Radiants, we've seen more then 10 types, therefore they can't all be Radiant-associated.
- They could have devolved into more than one group. Maybe the honorspen split into windspren and naturespren, for example.
- Some spren are the spren they seem, others simply lack something to make them more. Kaladin is Syl's more. As Per Words of Radiance.
Aimians, like the Parshmen and Parshendi
Chapter epigraphs constantly reference the Voidbringers' ability to change their shape, especially their skin. Axies can change his tattoos, as well as his sense of smell and pain. He also mentions a "Curse of Kind", which sounds quite suspicious.
- Word of God indicates that the "curse of kind" is something that is unique to Axies, and is related to the Nightwatcher. On the other hand, Word of God has also confirmed that Aimians, like Parshmen/shendi, aren't human...
- There is Word of God that Horneaters are a mix of human and parshendi (which gives them their ability to see spren). Aimians could be another similar mix with a different ability.
King Gavilar's "message to his brother" was death-babbling.
It wasn't an actual message to Dalinar; it was just a message leaking through from wherever the rest of the death-babbling comes from.
- if it was, that makes it even more important.
- Jossed at a recent signing: . Gavilar came up with that message entirely by himself.
Spren are tiny shards of adonalasium
Adonalasium is split into (possibly 16) major God shards such as Ruin, Preservation, Endowment and Cultivation. These are all aspects of sentient existence combined with divine power, perhaps Spren are the same but on a much smaller scale. Whatever caused the splitting of the God Shards created Spren as a by-product just as dust is created whenever a large object is broken up. These minor shards have less defined roles and are drawn to and shaped by changes in the world.
Smaller Spren change their nature, adapting into different forms such as painspren or flamespren, the longer they are of one form the stronger they are. Larger Spren such as Syl have become locked into a single type slowly gaining strength of sentience.
(much like the small Gods of the Discworld
- I think the spren are Splnters of the Almighty's Shard (Honor), the superspren, the ones that can form bonds were deliberately created, the others are the pieces the Shard got broken into when Odium killed the Almighty.
- Note that in Dalinar's vision, which shows him a time before Honor was shattered (presumably), there is not a single mention of sprens, even though fear- and painspren should have been there, given the amount of fighting.
- Nope. Words of Radiance has a vision where Radiants are definitely talking with spren, a voidspren appears that creates a thunderclast, and the Blades themselves are the remains of spren bonded to the Radiants.
The Stormlight Archive will turn into a massive Crisis Crossover with the other Sanderson worlds.
Ten books is a really long time for Brandon Sanderson to send on saving one world from one god (Mistborn dealt with three gods in just three books!), and when The Almighty is describing the threat posed by Odium, he points at the stars and says they're all in danger, too. What better time to finally begin paying of this whole "Shards of Andonalsium" metaplot that has so far been advanced only by his blog? Getting to actually compare power between, say, Marsh and Susebron would be a side benefit.
- Brandon has said he intends to write a series dealing with the metaplot, but that TSA is not that series, the series he intends to write is called Dragonsteel.
- Based on current understanding, it looks more like Dragonsteel will be a prequel series of sorts, dealing with the origins of the Shards. The third Mistborn trilogy (confirmed as Space Opera) seems the most likely to be a straightforward crossover. However, Stormlight will be one of the three "core" Cosmere series, along with Dragonsteel (seven books) and Mistborn(a "trilogy of trilogies").
The initially introduced bad of a Sanderson book never
is. Cultivation, perhaps?
- Or maybe Hoid?
- Or Andalsium?
- Adolnasium is dead/shattered.
- Or Gavilar? His death is just an alibi.
- When I hear "never", I think "Meta-Twist".
- Technically, we don't even actually meet him, even second hand, except through the Almighty's warnings about being murdered by him, which provide no real details about him at all. So we haven't actually been "introduced" to him. At the very least it looks like he will be the Bigger Bad.
The Almighty's plan was for whomever received his visions to be guided to gain his power.
We know from Preservation and Ruin that when a God's consciousness is destroyed, its power remains, and can be claimed by another individual. These visions sought out the exceptionally honorable (and therefore affiliated with the Almighty, whom Sanderson has named as Honor) Dalinar Kholin, and are trying to guide to towards even more honorable acts. Of course, there's no guarantee that things will go as Almighty intended...
- Jossed. Odium Splinters every Shard he kills (such as those of Devotion and Dominion) to prevent rivals to his uprising. Supported by Word of God here.
- It may still have been Honor's plan, if he didn't know what Odium would do with him. And it may still be possible to reconstitute the shard; Word of God also says that Splintering a shard produces fragments of the original power in the same way that the original shattering of Adolnasium produced the shards, so it may be possible to reconstitute the splinters (spren?) into Honor, the way Preservation and Ruin arguably combined to become Harmony.
Elhokar IS responsible for the weakened gems in his shard plate but does not know it.
He has some kind of power similar to his sister's which uses up the power of the gems in his plate causing them to crack. During one of his paranoid rants he mentions seeing "faces in mirrors. Symbols, twisted, inhuman..." He is somehow seeing the spren that appear in Shallan's drawings but not understanding what they are is feeding his paranoia. Presumably he does not have the exact same power (soulcasting would be pretty noticeable), but something more subtle (different orders had different powers). Once Jasnah returns she may realise what is happening or maybe Elhokar will recognise the figures in Shallan's sketchbook.
- This could explain why Szeth notes that shardplate does not mix well with Surgebinding.
- Further postulation... originally, the requisite stormlight for shadeplate is provided directly by the surgebinders themselves. As Words of radiance indicates bonding Shardplates is something created after the fact via adding gems (because the shardblades are really dead spren), perhaps the gemstones used to power shardplate are a similar adaptation in the wake of the loss of surgebinders able to power the plate without them.
Jasnah's theories have it backward in at least one respect:
The Parshendi aren't unnaturally wild and uncontrolled Parshmen; instead, Parshmen are unnaturally docile, bound Parshendi. The culture (or at least level of sentience) of the Parshendi is the natural state of the race. When the Voidbringers
were defeated in the past, and forced to become the Parshmen slaves
, some of the race were not bound. Those are the Parshendi.
- Thanks to a reading from Book 2, we now have a bit of insight into this. The Parhsendi can take on various "forms" for different purposes, like a Hive Caste System where caste can be changed; the Parshendi we see in the first book are in warrior-form. The Parshmen, on the other hand, are said to be the absence of form, so it probably is something unnatural the ancient humans forced on them to make them docile. If they are Voidbringers, I'd guess that's also an unnatural form, likely induced by Odium.
Each order of the Knights Radiant gains its power from a Shard of Adonalsium.
There are sixteen shards. We know Scadrial was home to two, that there are two shardholders associated with Sel, and we know of one for Nalthis. We know for a fact that Ruin and Preservation each were the source of a magic system, so it stands to reason each shard can do this. It's also fairly reasonable to assume Sel and Nalthis were each home to two Shards. This leaves ten for Roshar, the same number of orders of the Knights Radiant, who each have a unique system. It's a Sanderson has mentioned that The Almighty was a shardholder for the shard Honor, and we know that Kaladin is bonded with an honorspren.
- Brandon has said there are only 3 Shards on Roshar Honor, Odium, and Cultivation.
- Hardback edition, page 157, the line from the dying person. If more people had caught that sooner, he wouldn't have needed to confirm it. It says, "Three of sixteen ruled, but now the Broken One reigns." I only caught it on my third read through.
- Could be misdirection, it does not say that Odium was one of the three. It could have been Honor, Cultivation and one other but now that Odium has killed Honor there are still three; Odium, Cultivation and the other (possibly whatever the Nightwatcher is)
- There doesn't need to be a Shard per magic system. The interaction between Shards cause magic systems as well as on Scadrial, two Shards but three systems. Fairly sure Sanderson mentioned that somewhere unless this troper is completely wrong...
- As of Words of Radiance each order of Radiants appears to get their power from a different type of spren, rather than a different Shard.
A Shard of Knowledge, Intellect, or some such resides on Earth.
Specifically in the Free Kingdoms from the Alcatraz books.
- Alcatraz is specifically not part of Sanderson's greater Cosmere. (like Mistborn, Elantris, TLA etc.) Read more here
The shard on earth is called "Articulation".
And its presence resulted in the magic system and world of Harry Potter
The Parshendi aren't Voidbringers.
It could be that the Voidbringers were controlled by an outside source. Parshmen are Voidbringers who have simply had that control transferred in order to enslave them, while the Parshendi are free, not just of the enslavement of their cousins, but from the outside control as well. It might explain why that Parshendi Shardbearer was so interested in seeking out and talking to the guy who's been experiencing visions from the Almighty.
- Semi-confirmed. Only certain Parshendi forms appear to be Voidbringers in the strictest sense, and the transformation requires possession by a certain kind of spren. Eshonai's personality changes markedly when she goes stormform, with the implication that an outside force has taken over her body.
He just doesn't get to show it because Alethi
culture isn't kind to a man like him. He's probably some sort of budding tactical super-genius who'll manipulate everyone some day...if he's not doing it already.
Because it's pretty obvious if you read closely that she has a shardblade, probably taken from her father
and it would be a real shame if she never learned to use it
- Heck she doesn't even need a Shardblade, she can Soulcast and Jasnah demonstrated that Soulcasting is perfectly adequate for ass kicking. Although she'll probably learn to use the sword eventually too.
- Well her shardblade is a fact.
- Given what she gets up to in Words of Radiance, this seems pretty accurate.
The Shards only work properly when the wearer is bonded to a spren
Each of the Orders of the Knights Radiant were attached to a type of spren. In Dalinar's visions we see that the shardplates and blades glowed and in fact at least some Shardbearers could fly in their plate. So it might be possible that surgebinders had their own bound plate and blade (like Szeth, whose blade is much smaller than others). I think also this ties into Syl's disdain for at least Dalinar's blade. She doesn't like it because its not bonded to a human/spren. To her it might be like somebody using a person's limb as a weapon.
- Alternately each of the orders had their own type of Shardblade. Syl didnít like it because it doesnít match her and she thinks Dalinar is better without it as he very much belongs to the Order, and associated spren, of Honor.
- Semi-confirmed. Sharblades are spren, but they only seem to work properly when bonded to someone who is living according to the Ideals. When the original Radiants broke their vows, this "killed" their associated spren, leaving behind Blades that are a sort of echo of the original living spirit. Syl doesn't like the Blades because they are, effectively, the remains of dead spren, but she doesn't have a problem acting as Kaladin's blade, and in this state she shift the weapon around to fit Kaladin's current needs and retake her spren form when the Blade isn't in use.
- As of Word's of radiance, this guess is partially correct. It is in fact a dead spren that powers the shard. So IT IS the lack of spren that makes her so upset about them.
Someone or something is hording Shardblades
It is implied in Dalinarís visions that the Orders of the Knights Radiant had at least one thousand Shardblades yet he states that less than a hundred are accounted for.
- I'm gonna say the missing shardblades are all held by the Shin. They keep them hidden as mist to prevent anyone using these terrible weapons but Szeth was forced to use his at some point and it was for this crime that he was made Truthless.
The Shardblades are Odium
So, Odium is apparently called The Broken One, Shard#17 is shattered and a large number of people had some of it, the Shardblades are weapons and Odium causes war, and it is a law of things written by Brandon Sanderson
that the initial Big Bad
isn't. The theory, therefore, is that someone shattered Odium(possibly holding the shard War) into a bunch of pieces, which then became Shardblades and Shardplate, which were then used to kill Honor and Cultivation by the real Big Bad
- Odium is the name of the Shard in question, the holder is Rayse and given the fact that Honor (aka the Almighty) tells Dalinar in his last vision that Odium killed him, I think we can be fairly sure that Odium killed Honor (or more accurately the holder of Honor, and is still the most likely Big Bad, also we don't know whether Cultivation is dead or not.
- Also, the person (Hoid?) who wrote the letter that tops the chapters in part 2 of Wo K certainly acts like Rayse is still alive and kicking. I certainly wouldn't rule out that Odium somehow tainted the Shards, however.
- This is officially Jossed as of Words of Radiance. Paraphrased from the book: The Shards are actually spren, bonded to a human in and in the form of a weapon. Also, apparently the only reason that it takes 10 heartbeats to summon a shardblade is because the spren composing it is actually dead(because the origianal Radiant it was bonded to broke their oaths during the Recreance), and those few heartbeats sort of almost partially bring it back to life.
Kaladin is Jezerezeh
The ruler of the Heralds and the Stormfather (as worshipped in Alethkar, but not the actual Stormfather).
- He gets depressed when there are no Highstorms.
- He is able to use Surgebinding
- He has had a vision that he was a highstorm himself
- He instinctively knew the second ideal of the Knights Radiants, specifically the first suborder.
- The appendix lists the 10 essences and there associations. The first essence, Jes (Jezerezeh) has the divine attributes of Protecting and Leading. Kaladin excels at both.
- Jossed: The Heralds aren't dead.
spren are honesty-spren
The spren that grant soulcasting
- Jasnah is a veristitalian, one who seeks the truth.
- Before they take her to Shadesmar they demand truth of Shallan.
- Interesting (but I'd say truth-spren rolls off the tongue a bit better), this could explain how soulcasting works, the stormlight gives you the power to change the truth about what an object is.
- people have been calling them truthspren, and Brandon has said it's as good a name as any but he doesn't want to canonize it quite yet
- Those spren are now officially called Cryptics. Rather amusingly, the book(Words of Radiance) went on to say that if we were to assign a name to them in the way that the other spren are named(flamespren, gloryspren, etc) they would actually be liespren.
- Actually, Jasnah does not have a bond with the Cryptics, Shallan does. Shallan and Jasnah are different orders, and thus have bonded different sorts of spren.
Kaladin will get rid of his slave brand with some quick, painful knife-work then heal it properly with stormlight
But he'll keep the Shash (dangerous) brand to remind people he's a badass.
- Word of God is that Stormlight healing works based on self-image. Given that it's powerful enough to regrow an arm, it's almost certainly enough to heal the brands. The reason they haven't healed is likely that Kaladin hasn't moved past the betrayal and how it affected him psychologically.
Evidence for this is the fact that there is still one place where earth life exists. It seems weird for a constructed world to have one small earth like place when the rest of the world has nothing in common with earth.
- PS. I do not know how to link to the tropes I mentioned could someone please help me with that.
- Word of God is that there is no version of Earth in the Cosmere (the cosmology that all of Sanderson's major works share) so this one is almost certainly not true. However, I certainly wouldn't rule out a reveal that Roshar was once much more Earth-like at some point in its very distant past.
- I doubt that. Roshar's native ecology seems far too alien to have been derived from anything earthlike, and far too diverse and well established to be some kind of recent (evolutionary speaking) phenomena. A simpler explanation is that humans and earth fauna and flora aren't native to Roshar. Shinovar has an earth like ecology cause it's the one place protected by highstorms, where earth organisms could out compete the ones on Roshar.
The sphere Gavilar gave to Szeth is the Dawnshard
I'll all for crazy ideas.
The Purelake is the shardpool of Cultivation
In other comsere works, we have seen that shards manifest as a pool of liquid (Ruin below the final empire's palace, Devotion in the cave above elantris).
The purelake is said to be made of really pure water, which is ridiculous on a planet where highstorms come every week or so and rain crem (clay) on everything.
Note also that there is not a single hint of hostility in the purelaker's chapter.
In short, the purelake seems free of influence from the other two shards Wo G
said were on the planet.
There are also hints that the fish in it are really, really useful (medicinal fishes, pathfinding fishes) and the people of the purelake seem to go out of their way to stay in contact with its waters at all time, going so far as to flood their homes permanently.
I think Cultivation made her own essence into a human-friendly environment so as to... cultivate, shall we say, humanity, offering a safe place so as to ensure that odium's wars never totally wipe humanity out.
Neshua is the Parshendi word for Stormblessed
The Parshendi have some form of prophesy about Kaladin. When they say Neshua Kadal they are recognizing Kaladin Stormblessed.
Wit/Hoid is Adolnasium
Hoid was present when Adolnasium was split into the Shards. He is also present in every one of Sanderson's works within the Cosmere
. What if Hoid is what is left when all the Shards are gone? His name is only one letter from void.
Having a shardblade is not the honorable thing the Alethi think it is.
Syl, who is an honorspren
likes Dalinar better after he gives up his shardblade. She was possibly attracted to Kaladin not long after he refused his, there's no clear indication of when she started following him. And, if the main protagonists to indeed turn out to be the Heralds reborn
, then it's possible they will have to give up their shardblades to get their Honorblades back. This very likely includes Shallan
- Sort of confirmed. Most of the shardblades and plates are the former weapons and armor of fallen Radiants, and as such are the corpses of spren in weapon/armor form, which is why spren don't like them. Radiants actually find being in the presence of these shards to be highly unpleasant. The shards wielded by those Radiants who have sworn a sufficient number of their Order's Vows are living spren.
The Knights Radiant were created at Roshar's equivalent of the Well of Ascension
One of the epigraphs mentions a person known as the "Announcer" who will announce the birthplace/home of the Knights Radiant. Looking back over the Mistborn
books, there is a specific person mentioned in the Terris religion known as an Announcer, who would herald the arrival of the Hero of Ages who would take the power of Preservation. I don't think that this is a coincidence (especially as the title of Announcer was in Kwaan's metal-scribed notes and couldn't be altered by Ruin). We're dealing with a lot of parallels between Mistborn and Stormlight, particularly surrounding powerful people of prophecy (i.e. Hero of Ages/Knights Radiant, Vin/Kaladin, etc) so the Announcer is likely someone connected to the Well-equivalents we've seen elsewhere in the Cosmere (i.e. the Well of Ascension, and the well outside of Elantris) which would mean that the Announcer mentioned in the poem in question would be connected to the "birthplace of the Radiants" - in other words, another Well, either of Honor or Cultivation's power. Either way, this offers the heroes of this particular setting a means to fight Odium and/or the Desolation, by accessing another Shard's power.
- I believe Sanderson has confirmed that "the Announcer" was a figment of an earlier alteration Ruin made to the Hero of Ages prophecy that had already been accepted as canon by Kwaan's time; note that in Hero of Ages, no-one really seems to fit, and that's because there wasn't an Announcer.
The Parshmen/shendi are not the Voidbringers
This is a Brandon Sanderson
work, and we've already seen what happens when people trust any written record as the truth in Mistborn
. The records that hint that the Parshmen/shendi are Voidbringers have been altered by Odium to obscure the real threat.
- Kind of. The Parshendi (or listeners, to use their own term for themselves) aren't always Voidbringers. However, some of their forms are apparently the creatures humans called Voidbringers.
Kaladin's parents will reunite with him within a book or two
young heroes who love their parents Kaladin will interact with his folks long before the 'final battle' and they will all
have character development through the series. I can see Hesina joining Navani's retinue and the two of them hitting it off to the benefit of both (and the terror of all the surrounding menfolk). Lirin could serve as a useful moral grounding force and friend to Dalinar.
- The end of Words Radiance makes this seem likely, as Kaladin is headed off to Hearthstone.
Roshar has seven magic systems.
We've seen from previous books that one Shard produces one magic system (Elantris). We've also seen that two shards produce three magic systems (Scadrial), one from each Shard and one from the interaction of the two. What, then, happens when you have three Shards? Honor, Odium, and Cultivation? Well, mathematically, combining those gives eight possibilities: None, H, O, C, HO, OC, CH, HOC. But "None" isn't anything, and so wouldn't be a magic system (probably). But each Shard, and each combination thereof, would give one magic system, leading to seven magic systems in Roshar.
- I'm pretty sure we've already seen (or heard of) at least three: Surgebinding, Voidbinding, and the Old Magic. We may have seen effects from other systems, but we've definitely seen at least these three.
- If this math holds, and all 16 Shards interact at some point, we would have 2^16-1 = 65535 different magic systems.
- Since Brandon Sanderson has stated that he has over a hundred different magic systems designed (I think this was in one of the The Alloy of Law Q&A sessions) and he basically pics what fits a new book from them (and I assume he keeps adding new ideas constantly) I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case.
They have a hive caste system of various forms and their thoughts are tuned to varioius different 'songs' and if they are incapable of hearing their songs they cannot function properly (Parshmen/Noverian Rachni). While potentially quite dangerous they usually choose to be live peacefully but in the past their songs were 'soured' by some malignant exterior force (Odium/Reapers) causing them go mad and declare war on all other sentient life to catastrophic effect and leaving them with a feared reputation (but fortunately also believed extinct.)
Roshar is Pandora
in the distant past.
Dog-sized creatures with hard skin and mandibles? Sounds perfectly like a description of Skags. The Chasm Fiends, with their crustacean bodies, huge size and 4 snapping pincers? Tell me that you can read the parts where they fight it and not think "Crawmerax."
"The Broken One" is Honor, not Odium.
Honor was shattered, while Odium is still, as far as we know, whole. His "reign" may be a reference to the omnipresence of the Splinters of Honor
, in the form of the various spren
Various sized nature spirits that take a variety of forms and are associated with different states or concepts. The connection is obvious.
Cultivation is the real Big Bad
, Honor was her ally in evil, and Odium is the good guy.
Honor mentions that he and Cultivation could see the future, and that "she is better at it than I." The vile art of Voidbinding centered around predicting the future, and is so reviled that even now anything that smacks of predicting the future, even games of chance, are taboo.
- Nobody ever actually says that Odium is the source of the Voidbringers and Voidbinding. Maybe he's the heroic defender, and the other two are the ones trying to ruin everything, perhaps writing off Roshar as a failed experiment. In that case, the shattering of Honor would actually be a triumph of light. Sure, the name "Odium" doesn't scream hero, but Roshar might be the world of shards with Non Indicative Names.
- Honor seems reasonable and good in the visions, but unless he's looking for a Card-Carrying Villain, he would want to be in order to dupe his pawn into carrying out his evil designs.
- Taravangian mentioned that he's trying to strengthen the world in order to resist doomsday. Dalinar is trying to serve Honor, and as soon as he started making progress, Taravangian immediately added him to his hit list.
- Honor and Cultivation not being so nice would actually fit with some things Sanderson has done elsewhere (particularly Literature/Warbreaker) where characters who initially appear benevolent are actually villains. However, the odds of Odium being heroic are pretty much nil; Sanderson has talked about him in interviews and made it pretty clear the guy wants to wipe out all the other Shards for no other reason than so he can be the only being on his power level, which is a pretty evil thing to want to do. Not to mention that a Non-Indicative Name makes little sense for Shards, who are, after all, Anthropomorphic Personifications- Ruin's real name was Ati, for example, but he went by Ruin because that was what his Shard did, and all others appear to follow this same general pattern.
- Given that Taravangian is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who considers murdering people — including pregnant women and five-year-old children — an acceptable action and Dalinar is a Wise Prince who is seeking to make up for his warmongering in the past, I wouldn't consider Dalinar ending up on Taranvangian's hit list a sign that Honor was a bad guy.
Shardblades are of Odium, Shardplates are of Cultivation, Honorblades are of Honor.
- Shardblades are designed to make killing incredibly easy - they're weightless and thus usable by nearly anyone and they extinguish the soul with a single swipe (and ominous black smoke) - that doesn't sound very Honor-ish, and even less like Cultivation. Not to mention that the Honorspren gets a bad feeling from them.
- Meanwhile, Shardplate exhibits many properties of a living thing - it heals itself and can regrow lost parts when tended properly and "fed" Stormlight. You can even grow an entire suit of armor from a single gauntlet like a new plant from a cutting. Plus their entire purpose is to protect the wearer and enhance his or her natural strength, agility, etc. They're pure Cultivation.
- Finally, Honorblades being of Honor is kind of obvious. while it's easy to assume that they're just souped-up Shardblades, when we see a Herald carrying his around, he's dragging it "as if it weighed a great deal," when a Shardblade weighs nothing. The implication being that Honorblades and Shardblades aren't cut from the same cloth after all.
Wit's story to Kaladin is foreshadowing of Szeth's eventual suicide
- Szeth is already losing some of his faith in what's holy and profane, but as his contracts get more horrific, he clings to the idea that it's someone else's fault - his master or even the victims. Eventually, he'll come to realise that he is responsible for his own actions, and that his faith was blinding him. When that happens, he won't be bound anymore by the oath not to kill himself, and will take his own life.
- Strongly supported by Words of Radiance. He learns that he was right to warn his people that the Voidbringers are returning, suggesting that he was cast out as Truthless under false pretenses. So, as in the story, the crimes he committed in obedience to the holder of his Oathstone were nobody's fault but his own. This realization causes him some serious Sanity Slippage, culminating in him letting Kaladin kill him. Pity it doesn't stick.
- In universe, the characters are unsure of the location of the fabled lost city, Urithiru. It is implied that most people could not (or would not) access Urithiru on foot, although one historical character claims to have done so. Some fans have speculated that Urithiru was located in the scattered plains, but that does not seem consistent with its historical location. However, it is possible that Urithiru was hoovering in the air, somehow suspended by magic. When the magic began to fail, the city floated above the present location of the shattered plains and then crashed into the planet. The impact resulted in the creation of the shattered plains.
- Jossed: Something major obviously did shatter those plains, but it wasn't Urithiru, which still exists, and which Dalinar, Shallan, Kaladin and friends manage to successfully reach at the end of Words of Radiance. They believe it's located in the mountain ranges near the center of Roshar based on the height of their location, so it's not a floating city either.
'The Thrill' is a product of Odium
- Dalinar repeatedly experiences an addictive sense of pleasure from causing death on the battlefield, implied to be something a bit more than just an adrenaline rush - Dalinar remembers a time when the Thrill was still so strong after a battle he almost turned his sword on his brother, out of jealousy and an urge to keep on fighting - and it's stated that this isn't something that's specific to him but something common to warriors in Roshar (albeit talking about it seems to be a bit of a taboo). When Kaladin asks 'Why is there so much war? Must we always fight?' during his dream/vision of flying with the storm, the answer he gets is 'ODIUM REIGNS'. Making war literally addictive does sound like something you could credit Odium with...
- Semi-confirmed. Taravangian's interlude makes it clear that The Thrill is a product of something called Nergaoul, which seems like a powerful voidspren. It seems similar to Moelach, the thing that causes the Death Rattles, also mentioned in that chapter.
- Jasnah sets her up with Adolin, but she'll fall for Renarin instead. She'll spend most of the book angsting about it, until she talks to Navani who convinces her to go with her heart, and choose Renarin.
- Semi-confirmed. She's engaged to Adolin, and has genuine chemistry with him... but there's also a fair bit of Ship Tease with Kaladin, rather than Renarin (after she and Kaladin spend a good portion of the book hating each other, admittedly). At this point, though, she's still definitely with Adolin, she and Kaladin haven't come close to acting on anything, and no advice from Navani has figured in either.
- When asked about this, Sanderson said (carefully) that he wasn't a fan of conventional love triangles, but was a fan of complicated relationships.
At some point, either Odium, or some other enemy of Alethkar will use the Codes
themselves against the entire warcamp by the Shattered Plain
- They will use the Codes of Rediness and Inspiration to pull a Bavarian Fire Drill to gain entry/start the ball rolling
- They will use the Code of Restraint as a cover to keep the agents alive long enough to do the damage
- They will use the Code of Leadership to force Brightlords and Highprinces to somehow try to be in two places at once, or risk mutiny by troopes.
- They will use the Code of Honor to mousetrap and destroy most of the Alethi forces while framing Usual Suspects, including Sadeas, for this "betrayal."
- While the ultimate goal of this exercise is to destroy Alethkar as a nation, Odium/some other enemy will chalk it up as a victory if it gets Adolin to "realize" that he was right after all despite the ending of Book One, the Codes were created solely to quash dissent in Old Alethea, and his father's goal to refound the Knights Radiant is simply a delusional Tragic Dream.
Dalinar's lost memories of his wife aren't his curse from the Nightwatcher
Forgetting his wife is what he asked to receive from the Nightwatcher and his curse is something else entirely. Either he is too ashamed to admit it, or he has forgotten the reason he wanted to forget in the first place and may not be aware it was his blessing and not his curse.
- My theory is that his wish was to forget his wife's name and his curse was to forget why he wanted to forget it in the fist place. Seems like the ironic thing the Nightwatcher apperently likes to do.
- It could be both boon and curse... If he went to the Nightwatcher for help dealing with his grief after his wife's death.
Cultivation is the Nightwatcher
Words of Radiance sort of implies that ever since Honor died the Nightwatcher has stopped caring about that whole gift/curse thing she had going, and we do already know that Honor and Cultivation were close. The fact that the Nightwatcher is also clearly identified as a powerful female
supernatural entity is a weaker, yet still valid support for the argument.
- Jossed by Word of God, but he added that a theory about Nightwatcher being a remnant of Cultivation, like Stormfather is a remnant of Honor, was "on the right track."
Windrunners have powers related to the Highstorms
This is heavily implied by the name, and has already been foreshadowed with Kaladin's survival of the Highstorm in T Wo K
. As is, Soulcasters are far and away the most powerful order of Knights Radiant, so it stands to reason that the other orders will get something better than "I can stick objects together". It seems unreasonable for a Windrunner to have the surge of pressure and use it for nothing other than effectively making vacuums between objects. There may be similar abilities for other Orders, such as Shallan's art since her order also does stuff with light.
- Yes and no. In Words of Radiance, the Highstorm provides an ongoing source of Stormlight for Kaladin's and Szeth's High-Altitude Battle, and Windrunners' gravity manipulation and flight give them an edge during the Highstorms.
Szeth will be redeemed
Based on events from Words of Radiance.
- Yeah... I'm going to go out on a limb and go with Jossed, considering how the book ends. He basically loses his mind when he figures out that Kaladin is a Radiant, gets killed, revived, and then outfitted with Nightblood, of all things. I'm pretty sure Szeth is not headed towards redemption anytime soon.
Eshonai is not dead
She fell in to a chasm
, they Never Found the Body
. Kaladin and Shallan survived falling into a chasm. True, it was during a high storm, but she was explicitly in a form that's protected from storms. I predict sometime early in the next book we'll get a POV from her, waking up in a new form, free of Odium's influence. She'll probably get a My God, What Have I Done?
moment, then spend the rest of the series trying to help fix her mistake.
Taravangian misinterpreted his blessing and curse
He asked the Nightwatcher for the capacity to save the world... so she gave him immense compassion and intelligence, but cursed them to be inversely proportional. He assumes its the intelligence that's going to save people, but the compassion is what the blessing really was. The intelligence is the curse.
- It could also be that the "capacity" is a balance of intelligence and compassion. He spends much of his time with the two in balance; the trouble comes when he gets too smart or too empathetic for his own good.
- Like the above I suspect that the curse is that his compassion us proportional to his intelligence. After all, in real life compassion and intelligence aren't exclusive. But I think that the compassion really is the blessing, for one simple reason. They are ultimately up against Odium, the embodiment of divine hatred. Tarvangian will eventually have a time of ultimate compassion much like his time of ultimate intelligence that will be instrumental to breaking Odium's power.
Rysm will become a Radiant
- In Rysm's interlude, she is sent to negotiate a deal for her sick babsk. After she impresses the god of the island with her boldness, she wakes up to find that she has been given a larkin. Larkin are referred to as living creatures in the same vein as axehounds and whatnot, but the sequence sounds a lot like the process of bonding with a spren. Furthermore, Vstim mentions that the thing he was buying was a corpse of one of the creatures, while hers is the living thing. "The thing we trade for, a treasure that very few know still exists. They were supposed to have died with Aimia, you see. I came here with all these goods in tow because Talik sent to me to say they had the corpse of one to trade. Kings pay fortunes for them." (emphasis added) Shardblades are dead spren. He was buying a Shardblade.
Adolin will become a Radiant by reviving the dead spren inside his Shardblade.
He talks to it, and he clearly values it more than other people do. Somehow, that spren is going to get revived, and Adolin will be on his way to Radianthood. The only thing is that Adolin isn't exactly a broken soul at the time of writing, which means that the next few books are going to be hard for him, probably starting with repercussions from killing Sadeas
, having his entire family be pretty much Radiants and overshadowing him, whatever's happening between Kaladin and Shallan...etc., and going from there.
The Bridgemen weren't glowing because they gained Radiant powers.
They were glowing because Dalinar
did. What better power for a leader to have than the ability to enhance his troops? They won't be able to Soulcast or use Lashings or anything, just the standard package of speed, strength, stamina, and healing. We get a look at Lopen doing it to show that there's no real limit to the range of the power, as long as the troops are loyal and honorable.
Iyatil is one of the Parshendi.
She wears the mask to hide the most obvious features, and has a form (some sort of spyform or possibly mediationform?) that the rest of the parshendi have not discovered. As his master, she's likely the one who taught Mraize to use the blowgun, a parshendi weapon, and seems comfortable handling one. Finally, Shallan mistakes her for a man at first, something that is consistently commented on concerning parshendi, and Shallan mistakes her as being the servant/apprentice, another nod toward Parshman slaves.
Szeth's grandfather was named Vallano.
Going from apparent naming conventions among the Shin, a person is denoted by the name of their same-sex parent (Name-son-Father's Name or Name-daughter-Mother's Name). Szeth's father was never in the picture and is unknown for whatever reason. This is the reason why Szeth carries a shame among the Shin.
- I'm pretty sure that Szeth's dad's name was given at one point in the Way of Kings, I think he uses his grandfather's name to avoid disgracing his father by association with him. Presumably his grandfather is dead.
Eshonai will be the Stormlight Archive's Marsh
She'll be the Dragon of the Big Bad
, forced to do horrible things due to mind control, while we occasionally get glimpses of her true self fighting back (and therefore get an insight into the big bad's plans). In the end, she'll have a Heroic Sacrifice
to save one of the heroes and therefore help stop the big bad.
Elhokar will join the Lightweavers.
He's already drawn Cryptics, and towards the end of Words of Radiance starts talking about things being patterns. The weakened gems in his saddle were caused by him unconsciously draining Stormlight from them, the same way Jasnah's smokestone cracked when she overused it against the muggers. He might not end up as an actual Radiant, but he will join the order.
- In a Genre Savvy moment, Elhokar says that Kaladin surviving multiple times when he should have died is a significant "pattern," an usual choice of words, given that we know of a Cryptic by that name. In the Diagram, Taravangian uses a similar phrase to describe the Knights Radiant. It's either a case of Strange Minds Think Alike, or some kind of foreshadowing.
Each book in the two five-book arcs is continuous.
- It's moderately well-known by now that Brandon has described the Stormlight Archive as consisting of two five-book sub-arcs. Furthermore, Words Of Radiance starts within a few days of the end of Way Of Kings, and previews of the third book reveal that it starts within a day or two of the end of Words Of Radiance. My theory is that each book in the first arc will start almost immediately after the end of the one before it, with only a few days of skippage at the most. Then there will be a major time-skip between books five and six (possibly jumping to the next generation), and then each book in the second arc will come almost immediately after its predecessor.
Dalinar will wield Jezerezeh's Honorblade
- The Stormfather has refused to form a Shardblade for Dalinar, but it just so happens that Kaladin has on hand one of the ten Honorblades, which contain no dead spren and hence can be used by a Radiant. It won't be quite as good as a living Shardblade, since it consumes large amounts of the wielder's Light to function, but it could still be essential against Shardbearer enemies or some of the more resilient abominations, such as the thunderclasts. No clue whether Dalinar will use the secondhand Windrunning powers the blade grants.