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YMMV / The Stormlight Archive

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YMMV tropes for the entire Stormlight Archive.


  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Lift. People either love her, finding her a breath of fresh air in personality and storytelling from everyone else's chapters; or they hate her, finding her speech patterns, personality, and appearances in otherwise-plot-heavy chapters to be distracting and obnoxious.
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    • Moash. He is either a good foil to Kaladin and a good antagonist, or he is an insufferable asshole who deserves to die in a fire. And that's not getting into the question of a redemption arc...
  • Complete Monster: Rayse, the Shardborn who inheritred the Shard of Hatred, Odium, is a stern, tyrannical man who made it his mission to hunt down and sunder the other Shardborn. Heedless of who gets in his way, Rayse is willing to burn entire worlds to shatter the rest, having murdered those seen as "The Almighty" in the process while sowing his dark influence on worlds to create war and bloodshed until he can conquer or raze it to nothing. On the world the series is set, Rayse's influence is responsible for the mental lobotomies and enslavement of the Parshendi race, the massive wars and the corruption of many others with his own Fused being little more than slaves he will send to eternal damnation for failure. Arriving himself, Rayse intends to slaughter everything in the world until all that is left are him and his own twisted armies, a process he will repeat through the cosmos.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
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    • Lopen, a bridgeman of lesser importance, is incredibly popular for his cheery attitude and for providing Plucky Comic Relief, along with his vast amount of family members. Almost every time Lopen appears, he's brought another one of his cousins with him. He even gets to play a major role in Dawnshard.
    • Adolin, the one of Dalinar's sons who does not become a Radiant, has instead become one of fandom's favourites, thanks largely to his personality and the fact that even with his privileged upbringing, he's still an underdog compared to all the blossoming Radiants. It helps he's a premiere Badass Normal, too.
    • Lift, after having appeared in just a single interlude chapter, became one of people's favourites thanks to her personality and actions throughout her chapter. There's a bit of Broken Base, though - some people find her light-hearted attitude and speech patterns annoying. Regardless, she went on to star in her own novella and also to play a larger role later in the series.
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    • The stick, due to its memorable lines, strong sense of self, and being a massive Mood Whiplash. It even got a “deleted scene” told from its perspective.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • It's hard to fully feel sorry for Szeth when he's murdering people in the name of his religion, but it's horrible to see just how disturbed the so-called peaceful philosophy of the Shin actually is, and how it can warp people's minds and actions.
    • Taravangian is a ruthless Chess Master who is murdering and betraying his way to absolute power for what he considers the greater good, being perfectly willing to start bloody wars and throw entire nations into anarchy if that's what advances his plans. And to make it even worse it's revealed in Oathbringer that he's not even doing it to defeat Odium. He's doing it to make himself as credible a threat to Odium as possible, so that when he surrenders to him he'll be able to get favourable terms. It's not even utopia that justifies the means for Taravangian, it's just a slightly better sort of dystopia! At the same time, he's a frail old man who knows he's not long for this world, one who's constantly straining against the limitations of his Disability Superpower to do what he thinks needs to be done, and who spends half the time afflicted with crippling guilt at the horrible things he can remember doing but can't remember why he did. It's hard to decide whether you want to punch him or give him a hug.
    • Elhokar is a mix between a Pointy-Haired Boss and a Spoiled Brat and causes endless harm and trouble through his petulance and incompetence. The kicker, as revealed towards the end of Words of Radiance? He's aware of it. He's trying to be a good king, but no matter what he does, it turns out to be the wrong thing. He tries to trust his advisors, it turns out that they're misleading him. He tries to ignore his advisors and go with his gut, it turns out his gut is wrong. He tries to be firm, innocents suffer. He tries to be lenient, the guilty runs amock. Meanwhile, he sees people like Dalinar and Kaladin inexplicably managing to make it work, even though he can't figure out what they're doing differently than him. He's still an awful king and an unpleasant person, but man, being born heir to the throne turned out to be Blessed with Suck for him in a big way.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Kaladin is shipped with almost every member of the cast, with the biggest ships being Kaladin/Shallan, Kaladin/Jasnah, Kaladin/Syl, Kaladin/Adolin, Kaladin/Shallan/Adolin, Kaladin/Tarah, Kaladin/Leshwi, and Kaladin/happiness.
  • Memetic Badass: Taln (Talenel'Elin) has developed into one in the fandom, due to him enduring 4500 years of torture. It's a common theory that Taln didn't actually get captured or tortured, but instead spent multiple millennia just fighting the Fused on Braize, essentially being the Stormlight version of Doomguy. Later on, it's even revealed that he did not break, and that Odium was forced to find another way to begin the Desolation, and these comparisons skyrocketed.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Szeth-son-son-Vallano, Truthless of Shinovar, wore white on the day he was to kill a king. Explanation 
    • Fuck Moash. Explanation 
    • I, Adolin Kholin, have shat myself in my Shardplate. Three times, all on purpose. Explanation 
    • "I am a stick." "But you could be fire." Explanation 
    • You're Evi, but you could be fire Explanation (spoilers) 
    • NO MATING! Explanation 
    • NSFV / Not Safe For Vorin Explanation 
    • Die Hard Explanation (spoilers) 
    • Spaceship Urithiru Explanation (spoilers) 
    • Parshallan Explanation (spoilers) 
    • "These words are accepted."Explanation 
    • Singer FurriesExplanation (spoilers) 
  • Signature Scene
    • Any scene where a character swears an Oath.
    • Kaladin at the Honorchasm.
    • Kaladin jumping into the arena to help Adolin in Words of Radiance, with the badass line "Honor is dead. But I'll see what I can do."
    • Dalinar standing up to Odium in Oathbringer, also with the badass line "You cannot have my pain".
  • The Woobie: Several characters have this at times, particularly Kaladin and Dalinar and especially Shallan once you learn more about her backstory.
    • This is actually a sort of soft requirement to become Radiant, with the idea being that only someone whose soul has been "cracked" by trauma can form a bond with a Spren, which forms through those cracks and makes both the Radiant and their spren stronger. However, it's implied as the series goes on that this is an incomplete at best understanding both in-universe and out, as demonstrated in Dawnshard, when Huio swears the Third Ideal of the Windrunners, something that nearly tore Kaladin apart, by affirming that "protecting everyone" includes his annoying and sometimes hurtful cousin Lopen.

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