Author Topic: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen  (Read 9360 times)

jacobfake

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2010, 06:50:24 AM »
Thunderclasts and Voidbringers are not the same thing. In the Prelude, Kalak describes an enormous stone beast, that's a Thunderclast.

Yeah that's what I was thinking of. And the prelude is describing the scene after the Desolation where the Heralds finally abandoned them, with things like "Orange violet and red blood" --the red from humans, orange from parshmen, and violet from thunderclasts. The thunderclasts show up again in Dalinar's vision were he talks to the guy who wrote the way of kings--the stone beasts he sees on the ground, if you compare the descriptions, are literally identical: they both are described as having arrow like heads, skeletal bodies, and appearing to be made from stone. Also, the descriptions of them as massive beasts match the descriptions given for the voidbringers as being a little under 20 feet. Because the only word used in legends to refer to whatever force attacked during the desolations is "Voidbringers" any definition of voidbringers would have to include all of the forces that attacked during the desolations, among which were the Thunderclasts, as seen in both scenes.

The Parshendi don't have Surgebinders. They have those little bits of gems in their beards that have Stormlight in them, that may be what you're thinking of.

No, I'm thinking of the prelude where Kalak describes massive cracks in the ground where surgebinders fought. That could be read to mean only that human surgebinders fought against voidbringers, but a more natural reading would seem to be that surgebinders fought against each other, since the verb is left open ended like that. This is especially because in the prologue Szeth mentions legends that match the height description of Thunderclasts, and also says that Voidbringers are able to hold in stormlight perfectly (after he breathes it in and starts leaking). Also, being one of the Shin and having gotten his information from the same sources that taught him how to use lashings and be a like super powerful windrunner, which almost nobody in the world even knows exists anymore, his sources are probably more reliable than any of the other "modern day" ones. Also, it seems unlikely that Brandon would plant secret hints that you would never even notice if you weren't paying attention, and then end up saying they were false legends, as it seems to be much more likely a foreshadowing technique so that after the the big reveal re-reads of the series will leave us going like "Oh my god it was right there the whole time!" Regardless, it seems likely that some group among the Voidbringers had surge binding of some sort, and I just kind of figured the Parshmen were a lot more likely than thunderclasts.

The only reason that the Parshendi Shardbearer didn't kill Dalinar is that Kaladin stepped in and stabbed him.
That's fine as long as we agree that they're not secretly trying to unify the Alethi like whoever I meant that in response to said.

And it seems like the Parshendi were more afraid of Kaladin than anything. They just are disciplined enough not to run from him.

Actually they do run from him, when he speaks the Words and reverse lashes all of the arrows to his shield, all of the ones that see it run away. And then all fight later on, but I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Anyways, sorry I didn't have my book to get the exact pages for the quotes--lent it to my brother--and I think more people have commented since Fireborn but I'm just going to post this since I already wrote it all out

Fireborn

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2010, 07:02:35 AM »
The Almighty didn't say he was bound by honor, just by certain rules.  I think that these rules apply to all of the Shards.  Didn't it say in HoA that Ruin and Preservation couldn't directly interfere with each other?  Or was that more of a, I can't kill you without dying myself so I won't?
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jacobfake

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2010, 07:22:27 AM »

On when they run after Kaladin's lashing, it's possible they freak out because they pass down stories or legends about the radiants.

I agree. But the question is, do they act from fear, honor, reverence? At first they try to fight him, but then they just leave him be. Out of respect for his skills? Maybe. But what's with the chant then?

If they were voidbringers and evil beings, why wouldn't they try and kill him right then and there?

I'm still gonna go with fear just because if it was honor or reverence then why would they have let all of the other Parshendi attack him? If they were consciously saying that they didn't want to attack him, then they would at least try to tell the other guys not to attack him either. Versus, running out of fear fits because even bad guys feel fear, and it also can fit with the chant because they seem to just chant related to whatever they're doing; if it's the first time they feel fear in the battle, then it would make sense for it to be a new chant they weren't singing before.

The talking before death thing is because the Everdesolation or whatever (you know what I'm talking about, I hope) is about to come.

Yes. But Taravangian (and likely Jasnah) will link the coming of these occurrences with the meeting with the Parshendi. And likely they are linked... but in what way? Does the meeting signify that a war will come, or is the clashing of the two cultures a form of weakening the people that would stand against the voidbringers, or is it because Gavilar found that stone (perhaps he stole it from them?), or is it just coincidence?

The fact that there is overwhelming evidence for the Parshendi/Parshmen being the voidbringers, and the fact that the meeting of the two coincide with the onset of the Everstorm... it just seems fishy. Either there's some sort of major twist coming, or the Parshendi aren't the true threat of the voidbringers. I mean, all that evidence in book one feels way too convenient to me.

Yeah once I get my book back I'm definitely gonna go back and reread those chapter intros. I was thinking just something like supernatural stuff starts going crazy when the Everstorm is here.
More importantly, though, the question of Parshendi v voidbringer does keep coming up. However, the "We didn't kill them, we enslaved them," or whatever Jasnah said was so styled like a big reveal that it has to be at least pretty true. Also, the evidence is huge when you know about it, but I didn't really see it coming so you might have just got it faster than everyone.

The one thing that doesn't seem to match up, though, is that in that vision with (Nomahodon?) Dalinar is told that they are "never ready for it." This doesn't seem to make sense at all; if it is one enemy, and you've got like a thousand years in between to prepare, then how much more do you need to be ready? It's possible that they always wait until humanity begins to forget about them and then strike, but that doesn't make sense because the Knights Radiant stay there the whole time. I was thinking maybe like there different types of voidbringers attacking each time, or maybe different slaves rise up and betray them each time, but that's total speculation.
The main thing that really doesn't seem to add up with this, though, is that the Parshendi really aren't that strong. Fighting out on the plains, it's like, probably tilted in the Alethi favor. Unless they just come in like massive numbers, it seems either the Thunderclasts or some other species would have to be the main threat, or the Parshmen would have to be much more deadly than Parshendi, or when they really want to fight they must just be like way stronger.

It seemed like Parshendi were just Parshmen after they got set off.

I'm not sure what you mean by this.

I meant that, as I read it originally, there was something (i.e. command from Odium) that would launch Parshmen into attack mode, and this had just been applied to the Parshendi and not the Parshmen.

assassinating Gavilar didn't help the unification effort at all
-if anything, they are acting perfectly to prevent unification, because if the highprinces were at home then Dalinar could be conquering and Elhokar could be taking over, versus on the plains they stayed in the state of disarray for 6 years.

Maybe. But consider that Gavilar was the only one who believed in the Codes at the time. He would not have lasted long as king (and he didn't, now did he?). And Dalinar at the time thought that unity could come from conquering. I could go on, but for now let me just say that no, I don't think there's really any chance that there would have been unity with Gavilar on the throne. However, killing the new king and thus FORCING all the highprinces to go to war? Hm.

I'm not saying it makes much sense, I'm just trying to find a way to make the oddities of the Parshendi make some sort of sense. They're definitely not what they seem, and it just feels too easy to label them as voidbringers. I mean, the evidence is overwhelming, and I can't see how it's wrong at this point, but... I don't know. Sanderson is a tricky guy, and this smacks of trickery to me.

I think I'm going to have to disagree because Dalinar is presented as a total military expert, and when he is commenting on Elhokar's performance as king he points out that the kingdom is in the most dangerous phase of it's development, where the strong king around which the princes can unite is dead, and the kingdom is at its most vulnerable because it's all up to the second in line. Gavilar and Dalinar were the super combo that united all the Alethi highprinces and still had plenty of momentum left, and if BWS was going to take the angle that Gavilar wouldn't have been able to hold it together, then this line would have definitely been given to a character who wasn't an expert on it, if not removed entirely.

Although, definitely no argument on Sanderson being a tricky guy :p

jacobfake

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #33 on: September 08, 2010, 07:42:09 AM »
One other possibility - what if the Thunderclasts were the only voidbringers, and parshmen fought on our side against them? And then we turned on them and enslaved them after. And then the Radiants quit because of that betrayal, they wanted no part of it. Of course, the epigraphs probably disprove that pretty quickly but it sounded good when I thought of it.

happyman

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #34 on: September 08, 2010, 08:14:46 PM »
The possibility that the Parshendi really are Voidbringers, and really on the side of Good has batted around in my head for a while, and I just can't make sense of it either way.

Just gotta learn more, I guess.  The way I see it, they are most likely Voidbringers.  What that means is up for grabs.
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dria

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2010, 05:33:01 PM »
If you assume that the Parshendi are Voidbringers, then I believe they do, or at least can have Surgebinders. There is a passage in the Prologue that hints at it (I only have the ebook version with me so I don't know the Hardcover page but it's early on):

Quote
Stormlight could be held for only a short time, a few minutes at most. It leaked away, the human body too porous a container. He had heard that the Voidbringers could hold it in perfectly. But, then, did they even exist?

I think the next two sentences are significant to this topic too, but I can't quite get a handle on why.

Quote
His punishment declared that they didn't. His honor demanded that they did.


Munin

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2010, 06:00:42 PM »
I think the next two sentences are significant to this topic too, but I can't quite get a handle on why.

Quote
His punishment declared that they didn't. His honor demanded that they did.
To me, that says that his crime was something relating to proving the existence of voidbringers (probably in a dangerous way, or something that was sacrilegious to his people). So his punishment was for seeking out a legend of destruction, but his honor demands that they DO exist, otherwise his punishment is pointless.
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 #37 on: September 10, 2010, 07:50:50 PM »
I think the next two sentences are significant to this topic too, but I can't quite get a handle on why.

Quote
His punishment declared that they didn't. His honor demanded that they did.
To me, that says that his crime was something relating to proving the existence of voidbringers (probably in a dangerous way, or something that was sacrilegious to his people). So his punishment was for seeking out a legend of destruction, but his honor demands that they DO exist, otherwise his punishment is pointless.

Well, this makes sense, yes?  They called him a Truthless---does that mean something like liar?  Ostracism is too strong a word for what they did to him in response, if this theory is correct.  It's gotta be a deep issue here, especially given how strong his honor apparently is.
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Munin

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #38 on: September 10, 2010, 08:55:48 PM »
I think the next two sentences are significant to this topic too, but I can't quite get a handle on why.

Quote
His punishment declared that they didn't. His honor demanded that they did.
To me, that says that his crime was something relating to proving the existence of voidbringers (probably in a dangerous way, or something that was sacrilegious to his people). So his punishment was for seeking out a legend of destruction, but his honor demands that they DO exist, otherwise his punishment is pointless.

Well, this makes sense, yes? They called him a Truthless---does that mean something like liar? Ostracism is too strong a word for what they did to him in response, if this theory is correct. It's gotta be a deep issue here, especially given how strong his honor apparently is.
Keep in mind that his honor might also be linked to his surgebinding powers via an honorspren, which could further explain his reluctance to disobey orders (though I'm sure there's more to it than that).

EDIT: I just had a crazy thought. What if the Parshmen are some kind of Spren? The near-mindlessness fits with what we know of the average spren.

Doesn't explain the Parshendi, though.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 09:39:07 PM by Munin »
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.

hubay

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #39 on: September 11, 2010, 06:46:11 PM »
I think Szeth's crime was more related to the fact that he could surgebind at all, perhaps combined with a decision to pick up a shardblade. In shin any any man who picks up a weapon is forced to become a soldier, and instantly the property of whoever holds his oathstone (although, you would think the man would have to have an oathstone already for that to work. maybe the stone shamans take care of that?). anyways, I read "his punishment demanded they didn't" to mean if there are no voidbringers, surgeebinders and shardblades are useless weapons and his fate as their wielder was to be Truthless. Perhaps if there was an obvious threat a Truthless is treated differently? "His honor demanded they did" would be a reference to that. If there were voidbringers then his decision would be honorable; a sort of way to sacrifice his independence to protect his country.

Incidentally - and this is starting to derail the thread a little bit do you think the title Truthless bears any relation to the need to tell a truth to get to shadesmar?

rjl

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #40 on: September 11, 2010, 07:25:53 PM »
hubay: Szeth's conversation with the king near the end of the book suggests that Szeth was given the shardblade as part of his punishment. As for his abilities to surgebind, well, one thing that confuses me is how he's almost certainly had training in thsoe abilities/read a book about them (having the names for the three lashings which the ars arcanum says come from some ancient book about what the radiants called them), which he wouldn't have done as a truthless considering that he doesn't want to be a murderer, so, for some reason he received that training, pre-becoming truthless.

Munin

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #41 on: September 11, 2010, 07:49:03 PM »
I think Szeth's crime was more related to the fact that he could surgebind at all, perhaps combined with a decision to pick up a shardblade. In shin any any man who picks up a weapon is forced to become a soldier, and instantly the property of whoever holds his oathstone (although, you would think the man would have to have an oathstone already for that to work. maybe the stone shamans take care of that?). anyways, I read "his punishment demanded they didn't" to mean if there are no voidbringers, surgeebinders and shardblades are useless weapons and his fate as their wielder was to be Truthless. Perhaps if there was an obvious threat a Truthless is treated differently? "His honor demanded they did" would be a reference to that. If there were voidbringers then his decision would be honorable; a sort of way to sacrifice his independence to protect his country.
Very interesting. I like it.

Incidentally - and this is starting to derail the thread a little bit do you think the title Truthless bears any relation to the need to tell a truth to get to shadesmar?
Possible. But we know so little about either that I don't think we can even make an educated guess.
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.

ROSHtafARian

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2010, 03:43:28 AM »
Saw seeds of this idea on another forum, and thinking about it and carrying it one step further....could the Voidbringers really just be one species, and Parshmen, Parshendi, Chasmfiends and Thunderclasts all just different stages of their lifecycle?  Their first stage is mostly similar to humanity in form and perhaps thoughts, in their most human stage they might even be the most peaceful, not that aggressive.  And then when their first stage is over, or they die...they don't actually die, and that's why they're so reverent of their dead...because they're not dead, merely in a kind of comatose or cocoon or pupating stage before they take a more warlike, destructive form and grow armor and become more hostile to humanity, more aggressive.  Then they finish their second life stage, and again they're not dead, just hibernating or in a cocoon like stage...and then they become chasmfiends, more monstrous, more hostile, more aggressive...and then they die, and unless their gemheart is harvested first, a real death they can't recover from, they mutate or evolve even further, perhaps cocooned in the actual rock before they realize their final and most fearsome stage of their lifecycle...as monstrous, red-eyed thunderclasts, beings of hate and destruction and a fully realized, 'Adult' Voidbringer at the prime of their power?

And the custom and significance given to harvesting gemhearts is humanity's way of interrupting a Voidbringer's full gestation cycle and protecting them from Thunderclasts, the true power of Odium's armies in a Desolation...and also why its so important to the Parshendi that the gemhearts be protected from humanity.

Munin

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2010, 03:56:26 AM »
There's a big problem with that theory, though.

The Parshmen have been slaves for thousands of years. Why didn't the Parshendi or Thunderclasts ever show up during that time?
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.

ROSHtafARian

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Re: WOK Spoilers: Parshmen
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2010, 04:27:25 AM »
Well do we know that there haven't been Parshendi in all that time?  I thought it was more that they didn't interact with humanity until recently, but humans did know of them.  As for thunderclasts, my idea was that the whole custom of fighting over gemhearts and harvesting them and the importance attributed to it was a kind of oral tradition passed down over generations so that even if written histories failed or were destroyed or were lost in translation, humans would continue to harvest the gemhearts and interrupt the Voidbringer lifecycle, keeping thunderclasts from gestating.

Another possibility is that the Voidbringer part of the parshmen lifecycle doesn't kick in until Odium starts to influence them again, gearing up for another Desolation.  *Shrugs*  All just speculation of course.

Another thing I saw someone bring up elsewhere that could be a possibility is like you suggested, that Parshendi are a kind of spren...warspren.  It does make a certain kind of sense and if you think about it, on a world where there are spren of just about every type and attracted to just about every aspect of nature and human behavior...where are the warspren?  War is so influential and everpresent on this planet, wouldn't there be an abundance of warspren or spren attracted to battle and violence?  So where are they?  Or are they Parshendi, or connected to the Parshendi in someway.  Like maybe Warspren bond with Parshmen and give them Voidbinding in the same way Honorspren bond with humans and give them Surgebinding....and the Parshendi are just bonded Parshmen and kind of the Parshmen version of Knights Radiant.