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Nightmare Fuel / The Stormlight Archive

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"They are aflame. They burn. They bring the darkness when they come, and so all you can see is that their skin is aflame. Burn, burn, burn..."

Welcome to Roshar, a place of delightful highstorms and death. Just remember that all the Stormlight you can pay will never keep the monsters away.

This page is for the entire Stormlight Archive.

  • So many things, but we are given the first one straight away in the prologue - the Heralds are bound to some endless cycle of death, torture and rebirth. While alive, they fight horrific wars to stop the Desolations, and seem to be truly Blessed with Suck. The prologue ends with one poor bugger still bound to the cycle, with the others unable to continue. We see what's become of the poor guy by the end of The Way of Kings. He's gone completely insane, barely aware of what's around him, and constantly repeating his mission statement as a Madness Mantra
  • The death messages. Utterly terrifying things that people utter in their dying moments. They speak of the complete annihilation of Roshar at the hands of unstoppable forces.And then part 5 of The Way of Kings reveals that sweet, generous Taravangian is actually an evil bastard who drains the blood of patients at his hospital to get them. For adding "pleasant" dreams, have a sampling of one of these quotes.
    "And all the world was shattered! The rocks trembled with their steps, and the stones reached toward the heavens. We die! We die!"
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  • The Alethi Thrill. It starts off being described as simple personal bloodlust: bad, but pretty normal for a warrior culture. But as time goes on, it becomes increasingly apparent what's going on: because of Odium's influence, war and violence have become literally addictive.
  • Dalinar's final vision in Part 5 of The Way of Kings. All he knows and loves falls to dust as a giant cloud of doom sweeps the land. Then he sees The Almighty's projection. It turns out that the Almighty was killed by Odium some time before and there is nothing he can do to stop what is to come.
  • Jasnah's use of her Soulcaster against the group of thugs in The Way of Kings. She transforms them into various different substances, killing them instantly.
  • The Reveal that the Voidbringers are the parshmen, meaning not only are they well-integrated into society, but they have very good reasons to want humanity destroyed.
    • We finally get a good look at the Voidbringers- and they are far worse than anyone anticipated. They are actually Parshendi who have bonded to a Voidspren, much the same way as the Knights Radiant bond their spren. Except that bonding a Voidspren is flat-out Demonic Possession, turning normal, sane Parshmen/Parshendi into horrible, violent lightning monsters- and the person they were pre-bond is entirely aware of this. Their true selves spend the entire time they're possessed screaming in fear and agony as their bodies go about their business. By the time of Oathbringer, Venli is the only member of the Parshendi who has been spared this fate.
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  • The Everstorm. Highstorms are terrifying phenoma that can be extremely destructive, but luckly only moves in one direction, so people have adapted creating their buildings to resist them. Well, there's a new one. And it blows in the opposite direction, so that many buildings safe from Highstorms will be actually exposed to this one. Oh, and if it wasn't bad on its own, it will turn the parshmen, that are commonly kept as servants, into the feared Voidbringers.
  • Adolin's murder of Sadeas. After Sadeas basically says outright that in spite of all of the danger that's coming, he's still going to do his best to undermine and ruin Dalinar for his own means, Adolin finally snaps and murders Sadeas with his bare hands and a dagger. What really drives the scene into nightmare fuel territory is seeing Adolin finally reach his breaking point with Sadeas after having to reign it in for his father's sake over the course of the first two books, and the sheer brutality of the murder, with Adolin wrestling Sadeas to the ground and slowly overpowering him, with Sadeas spending the last moment of his life whimpering in fear, before Adolin drives a dagger into his eye, and works at it once the blade hits the brain to make sure that the job is done.
  • The Diagram, on a few levels. It was created by a man with less compassion than possibly Odium himself at a truly staggering peak of intelligence. It is so detailed that it can do things such as predict the future, unravel four millennia worth of mysteries about the Heralds, decode the cause of the Desolations, intuit the massacre of Surgebinders by Nalen (and dismiss it as shortsighted and foolish), and SOMEHOW glimpse the mental state of the only Herald to keep to the Oathpact. When he's on another planet (Damnation/Braize). It's a multi-step plan to saving the world that includes having a seemingly-invincible assassin kill off basically every ruler on the planet, plunging countless kingdoms into anarchic wars, and euthanizing thousands in a secret hospital to hear their dying words in order to conquer the world to save it from the coming Desolation. What sort of state will the survivors be in? That's assuming that Odium didn't somehow manipulate the Diagram's creator into making it in the first place in order to have multiple factions of humanity fighting themselves while the Voidbringers walk all over them.
    • The Diagram was scary enough in its insane accuracy and ruthless effectiveness. It was enough to make Taravangian the hidden mastermind of the previous two books. But then Odium shows up, takes a good look at it, and immediately demonstrates that Taravangian is hopelessly outclassed. Between his own supreme intelligence and his ability to actually see the future Odium is able to develop something far more complex than the Diagram in an instant, and he can do it consistently. It's shocking for the reader, who up to this point had seen the Diagram as a largely infallible master plan. But it's completely SHATTERING for Taravangian, who previously had considered himself on the day he created the Diagram to be essentially divine.
  • In Oathbringer, Dalinar meets Odium in one of his visions, and gets a glimpse of his true form; a roiling, burning mass of pure hatred, directed at everything that exists.
  • Odium is the first full power shard we've seen acting with malicious intent. Ruin was still missing most of his power and was actively opposed by Preservation. Harmony is stronger, but he intervenes as little as possible and uses most of his energy to keep something else out of Scadrial (which is its own bit of nightmare fuel). Odium, instead, while bound to Roshar, has most of his power at his disposal and many, many less limitations in using it. As if it wasn't enough, he is close enough to omniscience that to him the Diagram is a limited child-play. And that force is bent not just in conquering the world, wiping out humanity, but to get free and do the same on other words.
  • In the flashbacks in Oathbringer, Dalinar burning the Rift in its entirety, women and children included, after ordering his archers to Shoot the Messenger, resulting in the town’s annihilation of tens of thousands of people, including Evi. It’s no wonder he was drinking by the series’ beginning. The event even left Kadash, one of Dalinar's elites since he was a young man puking his guts out in horror and becoming an ardent.
    • Before that, at one point the Blackthorn gets loose with his Shardplate and Shardblade. The sheer number of corpses he leaves behind are disturbing, but we also get to see him in action, and him reaching the point of taking lives so easily that he don't even notices doing so. There's no wonder he's so respected and feared all across Roshar.
    • The completely mundane horror of seeing Dalinar as a violent Blood Knight, and later as The Alcoholic and a neglectful and borderline Abusive Parent. And thanks to Laser-Guided Amnesia, Dalinar is only finding these things out now, alongside the reader.
  • Shallan's progressive mental breakdown throughout the series. First, she starts splintering off personalities to allow her to do various things her natural self cannot. Then she starts losing control of them, and her alternate personalities (most often Veil) start seizing control from the "real" Shallan. For a time she even forgets which personality was her original self. The "real" Shallan might also be just a constructed persona.
    • At one point, she casually tells Adolin she can make a personality to be a better wife for him, if he wants. To his credit he realizes the implications and is appropriately horrified, but it's even more worrying that she didn't


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