Author Topic: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen  (Read 9638 times)

zebobes

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WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« on: September 01, 2010, 07:15:53 AM »
This is definitely going to be a big area of exploration in future books, but I thought the whole idea  for the Parshmen and Parshendi to be  already very interesting. They definitely weren't the usual Trolloc or Orc evil characters... in fact, I had a hard time figuring out what they were supposed to be until towards the end of the book. A reread is in order now that all the proper nouns in the books are acquiring definitions in my head.

I really liked the way Brandon came up with Parshendi. It definitely was quite different from the humanoid monsters in most fantasy-I just took them to be a different human race, just with shell growing abilities. It definitely fits in well with the whole world building aspect of it, with the shellish/chitinous construction of everything.

I also liked the parallels to the Roman empire, where the majority of the society was slaves, and the sinister threat underneath it all of the slaves overpowering their masters.

I also liked the mysterious nature of having these humanoid creatures, the parshmen, being so... animalistic. Shen seemed to act almost like a robot, but with tiny hints of a personality. I look forward to future books, where the parshmen become "unlocked", and I think it will be fascinating for someone like Shen to develop a personality.

In some ways, they have a very "insect" feel, especially with their hive mind capabilities.

Can't wait to see where Brandon will take all of this... but unfortunately, I will HAVE to wait... at least two to three years for the next update. Sigh.

By the way, I don't know how Brandon can be such a prolific writer. I know that he was way ahead work wise, but seriously, two huge books coming out in the same year. And an Alcatraz book to come. He's a scary man. Slow and steady writers, shake in your boots with fear.

I think his humanity will be more apparent if he can't get AMOL finished by next year. Is that actually possible? He's not going to start writing until the beginning of next year... surely he won't be able to make a November publication...

Ari54

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 10:39:31 AM »
I think part of how people stay such prolific writers is basically that it's what you do to enjoy yourself when you're alone, and successfully cutting out some less productive hobbies helps. (It's not so hard with the way most TV is now anyway :P)

I liked the Parshendi too, especially how it was more incidental that the Parshmen were slaves. It'll be interesting to see if the Parshendi change as well when Odium wakes them up, or if they're already under control and this is how the Voidbringers always acted. If it's the latter it's probably great for them as antagonists, although it would be quite hard to fit them to the theme of hatred that you'd expect from a Shard named Odium.

Munin

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2010, 01:11:44 AM »
It might just be that Odium is more detached than we think.

We know that Ati (Ruin) was changed from a caring and compassionate person into an incredibly destructive force. Even if Odium is Rayse, it's possible that his personality changed, too.

Maybe he just likes to watch people die in a more distant way. Not necessarily... bloodthirsty, but still disturbing.

At this point, it's just as likely that he's content to sit back and watch the humans and the parshmen kill each other.

This is me just pulling stuff out of thin air, of course. I would actually be quite surprised if I were right...
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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2010, 06:08:55 AM »
I don't for a second believe that the parshmen are the Voidbringers, not completely in any sense. I think there's much more to this that we can't possibly know yet.
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happyman

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2010, 03:13:01 PM »
I don't for a second believe that the parshmen are the Voidbringers, not completely in any sense. I think there's much more to this that we can't possibly know yet.

I understand this gut-feeling response, but I think that in this case, Brandon is not leading us astray so much as not telling us the whole story.  The Parshmen probably are the Voidbringers, but what that means is not yet clear.

Some of the chapter bumps are pretty clearly from Jasnah's (sp?) notes.  There's a whole series of them devoted to describing the Voidbringers.  Try rereading them without the chapters in-between and I think you'll see what I'm getting at.
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Fireborn

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2010, 06:03:26 AM »
I do think that the Parshendi are Voidbringers, but like Chaos, I don't think it's that obvious.  And unlike Jasnah, I think there is definitely a supernatural component to it.  The real question is whether, or more accurately, how, Odium figures into the Parshmen's behavior.
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Terrisman243

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2010, 02:05:14 AM »
I don't think the Parshendi are the Voidbringers, or of they are, I think they are being forced or tricked to. It seems that they have too much respect to attempt the decimation of the humans.

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2010, 11:44:41 AM »
I imagine the parshendi/parshmen collective is/are the foot soldiers referenced in the introduction.
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happyman

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2010, 04:31:57 PM »
I don't think the Parshendi are the Voidbringers, or of they are, I think they are being forced or tricked to. It seems that they have too much respect to attempt the decimation of the humans.


Well, this really is the rub, right?  That's what I mean by not knowing what being a Voidbringer really means.

The Parshendi's behavior in the book is utterly bizarre.  They apparently assassinate Gavilar for no reason any human understands, and contrary to all reason, but do so "honorably"---hiring an assassin dressed all in white so that everybody can see him coming and then admitting to the assassination after the fact.  They then withdraw to an apparently prepared holdout---a very effective one, too.  They then engage with fights with the Alethi at just the right rate to keep the Alethi busy and distracted---but "honorably" so, or something like that.

They also were apparently looking for something.  The end of the fight between Dalinar and the Parshendi shardbearer was very strange indeed.

Something is up with them.  They probably are Voidbringers.  What that means, or why it should be true, I haven't got the foggiest notion.  Maybe they were created by one Shard and then perverted by another?  Maybe they're really on the "good" side, and we just don't see the whole story?  Who knows?
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Munin

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2010, 05:26:22 PM »
I don't think the Parshendi are the Voidbringers, or of they are, I think they are being forced or tricked to. It seems that they have too much respect to attempt the decimation of the humans.

The Parshendi's behavior in the book is utterly bizarre.  They apparently assassinate Gavilar for no reason any human understands, and contrary to all reason, but do so "honorably"---hiring an assassin dressed all in white so that everybody can see him coming and then admitting to the assassination after the fact.  They then withdraw to an apparently prepared holdout---a very effective one, too.  They then engage with fights with the Alethi at just the right rate to keep the Alethi busy and distracted---but "honorably" so, or something like that.

They also were apparently looking for something.  The end of the fight between Dalinar and the Parshendi shardbearer was very strange indeed.
Well, the Almighty does mention that Odium is bound by certain rules. Maybe the Parshendi's honorable behavior is a part of that.

Also, I'd assume they were looking for the black crystal sphere that Gavilar gave to Szeth. Which I'd assume is something infused with "black Stormlight". Dalinar did mention seeing a "dark highstorm" in one of his visions, and it's possible the orb was infused by that.

Maybe.

Something is up with them.  They probably are Voidbringers.  What that means, or why it should be true, I haven't got the foggiest notion.  Maybe they were created by one Shard and then perverted by another?  Maybe they're really on the "good" side, and we just don't see the whole story?  Who knows?
Another possibility is that they want shardblades, and they figured that getting Elhokar to go to war with them was the best way to lure out a lot of Shardbearers.

Although I'm basically pulling that theory out of thin air, so take it with a massive pile of salt.
There's a difference between what's best and what's right. What's best might be different tomorrow or the day after, but right and wrong will stay the same after a thousand years.

happyman

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2010, 05:30:25 PM »
Something is up with them.  They probably are Voidbringers.  What that means, or why it should be true, I haven't got the foggiest notion.  Maybe they were created by one Shard and then perverted by another?  Maybe they're really on the "good" side, and we just don't see the whole story?  Who knows?
Another possibility is that they want shardblades, and they figured that getting Elhokar to go to war with them was the best way to lure out a lot of Shardbearers.

Although I'm basically pulling that theory out of thin air, so take it with a massive pile of salt.

That's not a bad theory.  I still think their behavior is weirder than that, but it's a good answer.
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Munin

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2010, 05:33:28 PM »
Personally, I think the black sphere is more likely than shardblades. It seems to have significance, from the way Gavilar treats it.

The only part that doesn't fit is that the Parshendi didn't tell Szeth to recover it. And Gavilar probably wouldn't have given it to an assassin working for the Parshendi, unless he didn't know that they were after it, and he was trying to keep it from someone else.
There's a difference between what's best and what's right. What's best might be different tomorrow or the day after, but right and wrong will stay the same after a thousand years.

Fireborn

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2010, 05:47:32 PM »
My thinking is that if the Parshendi are looking for the black sphere (nice theory about the dark stormlight, BTW) that not having Szeth grab it fits into their "honor" system.  Maybe Gavilar stole it from them?  And he and Dalinar look enough alike that the Parshendi Shardbearer thought he found Gavilar when confronting Dalinar.  But, wait, they killed Gavilar.  Just ignore my ramblings.
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Munin

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2010, 06:46:15 PM »
My thinking is that if the Parshendi are looking for the black sphere (nice theory about the dark stormlight, BTW) that not having Szeth grab it fits into their "honor" system.  Maybe Gavilar stole it from them?  And he and Dalinar look enough alike that the Parshendi Shardbearer thought he found Gavilar when confronting Dalinar.  But, wait, they killed Gavilar.  Just ignore my ramblings.
Maybe they assumed Dalinar would have the sphere?
There's a difference between what's best and what's right. What's best might be different tomorrow or the day after, but right and wrong will stay the same after a thousand years.

Fireborn

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2010, 06:49:56 PM »
Probable.
When to live is to die, and to die is to live, does either really matter?