Author Topic: WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)  (Read 2593 times)

Tortellini

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WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)
« on: January 20, 2011, 05:12:25 PM »
I just read through the Way of Kings for the second time - definitely my record for least time waited between read-throughs by far. Some observations I made, maybe you want to weigh in on this (spoilers, obviously):

- Elhokar is talking to two people whose appearances are described in detail in the prologue. Then Szeth states that they are unimportant. To him, maybe, but seriously: no, they're not! Maybe this is a red herring instead of real foreshadowing, but the murder is definitely an important event, so something may be going on there...

- Dalinar is doing something with his Shardplate during the fight with the Chasmfiend. At one point, where he is jumping up, it says his armor almost found the right direction to land on its own. This could well be Dalinar using something stormlight-related without knowing it - just like Kaladin did exceptionally well in combat and at the bridge before realizing what was going on.

- No clue what happened to Gaz, even after specifically looking out for anything about him. His viewpoint describes him as seeing something in the shadows, so maybe there is more to the theory that something surge-related is going on with him, but other than that... ?

- Hoid does grill Dalinar about whether he knows something about Adonalsium. My explanation is Hoid knows that Dalinar is getting visions from the Almighty and wants to know how much info Dalinar got.

- We know the Windrunners have access to pressure and gravity-related powers. However, the question is, are there more ways to use this than the three Lashings? Szeth seems to take it for granted that that's all there is, but he doesn't know everything...

- What shattered the shattered plains? It is described as if something heavy fell on the land there. Must have been quite the impact, but they are not a crater. I originally figured they were created by erosion, but that statement hints at something else...

- not much is known about Shadesmar in general, but I did notice on the second read-through how Jasnah gets Shallan out of there by pushing her into one of the floating flames. What are those flames? Some sort of gateway? Could they work in both directions somehow?

- The number 10 is obviously a major theme of the series. However, the appendix hints at 10 further magic systems beyond the first 10 that we are starting to learn about. So 20 in total. Also, looking at the 20 traits associated with the 10 numbers (each herald has 2 traits, which are similar in theme) gives us 20 again. Little to go on for now, though.

- as you may have noticed, I drifted far away from observation and am now firmly in the land of speculation. One question came to me towards the end: most of the 10-related things are positive: Heralds, Knights Radiant orders, etc. There are however the 10 fools mentioned several times. Who are they? And if the 10 orders of the Radiants will rise again in the series, will there be a set of 10 "evil" orders? The central question is where the number 10 comes from - is it coming from the Almighty somehow? Then it would make sense to have the "good guys" ordered in 10s while Odium's forces are less regular? Or is it something more basic - then whoever will be a more direct representation of Odium could also have 10 orders - and maybe 10 powers to complement the other 10 (see above). The Almighty did say that Odium might be moved to chose a Champion, whatever that means, so more direct interaction with some form of minions is likely coming.

- finally, what are the Tranquiline Halls? Just the Rosharian equivalent of heaven? Or is there something - as Jasnah said, I am now looking for natural explanations for supernatural beliefs... may they have some form of a (far-away) historical basis?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 05:26:54 PM by Tortellini »

Melriken

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Re: WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2011, 09:27:15 AM »
On what shattered the Shattered Plains, I had kinda assumed that the center of the plains contained a portal that the Parshendi arrive on Roshar through, and that it was the portal that shattered the plains, but I have come to realize that that was wild speculation on my part when I read the book a second time.

happyman

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Re: WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2011, 03:54:41 PM »
- Dalinar is doing something with his Shardplate during the fight with the Chasmfiend. At one point, where he is jumping up, it says his armor almost found the right direction to land on its own. This could well be Dalinar using something stormlight-related without knowing it - just like Kaladin did exceptionally well in combat and at the bridge before realizing what was going on.

There is more to it than that.  We see him fight with the Chasmfiend from his son's perspective as well, and he is described as (a) moving faster than even someone using Shardplate should be able to, and (b) almost glowing.  Those are pretty big hints that he is (somehow) using the powers from the Knights Radiant.  I and a few others have speculated that he is a Stonesinew because he seems to become faster and stronger when using his powers.  Also, it seems to fit his personality.

- finally, what are the Tranquiline Halls? Just the Rosharian equivalent of heaven? Or is there something - as Jasnah said, I am now looking for natural explanations for supernatural beliefs... may they have some form of a (far-away) historical basis?

Well, this is speculative, but we *know* that some form of Hell exists because it is where the Heralds went between Desolations, as described in the Prologue.  Thus the notions of people on Roshar about the afterlife may have some basis in stories from the Heralds, but the stories may not really be about the afterlife. 

As a sidenote, based on Mistborn 3, there probably is an objectively real afterlife, although I wouldn't count on it being anything like what the people on Roshar think.
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Melriken

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Re: WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2011, 08:33:32 PM »
- What shattered the shattered plains? It is described as if something heavy fell on the land there. Must have been quite the impact, but they are not a crater. I originally figured they were created by erosion, but that statement hints at something else...
I know I put out a theory (unfounded) above, but I have been re-reading and came up with a new theory.

Quote from: WoK - Prelude to The Stormlight Archive
(about halfway down page 15 of the original hardback)
Less frequently, he passed cracked, oddly shaped hollows where thunderclasts had ripped themselves free of the stone to join the fray.
It is possible that the Shattered plains were created when thousands of Thunderclasts were animated from the stones.  (Picture voidbinders standing still in rings, animating thunderclasts from the stones all around them.  Where the Voidbinders stand you have a plateau, around them you have chasms.  You create an army (of thunderclasts) and at the same time a defensive matrix of dry moats)

Theories aside, Sanderson has said that the Shattered plains were lifted from Dragonsteel and put into WoK, so how they were shattered is likely to be either world neutral (meteor for example) or back filled (the area was needed, so it was created, then a story of how it was created was written into the book as an after thought).

kari-no-sugata

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Re: WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 03:07:28 PM »
- The number 10 is obviously a major theme of the series. However, the appendix hints at 10 further magic systems beyond the first 10 that we are starting to learn about. So 20 in total. Also, looking at the 20 traits associated with the 10 numbers (each herald has 2 traits, which are similar in theme) gives us 20 again. Little to go on for now, though.

10 book series too  ;)

socom-delta

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Re: WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 09:13:29 PM »
WoK is 6; it's 11 including warbreaker, elantris, and mistborn :O

happyman

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Re: WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2011, 12:02:36 AM »
- What shattered the shattered plains? It is described as if something heavy fell on the land there. Must have been quite the impact, but they are not a crater. I originally figured they were created by erosion, but that statement hints at something else...
I know I put out a theory (unfounded) above, but I have been re-reading and came up with a new theory.

Quote from: WoK - Prelude to The Stormlight Archive
(about halfway down page 15 of the original hardback)
Less frequently, he passed cracked, oddly shaped hollows where thunderclasts had ripped themselves free of the stone to join the fray.
It is possible that the Shattered plains were created when thousands of Thunderclasts were animated from the stones.  (Picture voidbinders standing still in rings, animating thunderclasts from the stones all around them.  Where the Voidbinders stand you have a plateau, around them you have chasms.  You create an army (of thunderclasts) and at the same time a defensive matrix of dry moats)

Theories aside, Sanderson has said that the Shattered plains were lifted from Dragonsteel and put into WoK, so how they were shattered is likely to be either world neutral (meteor for example) or back filled (the area was needed, so it was created, then a story of how it was created was written into the book as an after thought).

Knowing Brandon, I'd put my money on "back-filled."  With the amount of change he's made to the story, the Shattered Plains probably play a meaningful role.  This isn't new to fiction; "The One Ring" was originally a similar "back-fill" in Tolkien's sequel to "The Hobbit"!
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andygal

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Re: WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2011, 08:29:26 AM »
and he had to edit the Hobbit after the fact to make the Ring of Power make sense.

Tortellini

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Re: WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2011, 10:10:02 AM »
The overall changes from the first draft of Way of Kings definitely seem to be massive - Bridge 4, Kaladin as a slave, all that did not exist either. I think I also read somewhere that the world looked little like current Roshar...

Miyabi

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Re: WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2011, 02:34:48 AM »

Socom-Delta:  Way of Kings itself is 10 books.  Not including anything else.

Totellini:  Bridge Crews and Shattered Plains were brought over from Dragonsteel.
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Melriken

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Re: WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2011, 05:04:42 AM »
Socom-Delta:  Way of Kings itself is 10 books.  Not including anything else.

Totellini:  Bridge Crews and Shattered Plains were brought over from Dragonsteel.
Must...
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Urge to point out...

The Way of Kings is 1 book, Stormlight Archive is 10 books (planned)

I Fail. :(

But yeah, who thinks the main character of each book will be of a different order of the Knights Radiant?

happyman

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Re: WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2011, 07:28:48 PM »
and he had to edit the Hobbit after the fact to make the Ring of Power make sense.

Using the unreliable narrator convention, no less!

Anyway, with the number of hints dropped, I'm sure the Shattered Plains will have some in-story reason to exist.
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Ari54

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Re: WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2011, 01:11:43 AM »
But yeah, who thinks the main character of each book will be of a different order of the Knights Radiant?

Given that Brandon was speculating that Kaladin might get two books, I find this unlikely. We'll probably get a decent spread if the viewpoints we've been told about are any representation though- we have a herald, Navani makes fabrials, Jasnah and Shallan soulcast, Dalinar is probably related to Stonesinew's order, and Kaladin and Szeth are windrunners. It's also possible that Jasnah and Shallan, and Kaladin and Szeth each belong to different orders of the Knights Radiant despite having superficially identical powers.

Argent

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Re: WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2011, 05:45:26 AM »
I suspect Kaladin and Szeth belong to different orders. Many of Kaladin's chapters have the Vev on the chapter headings, and she is the Herald associated with healing. And aspect Kaladin can easily be related to.

In addition to that, one of Dalinar visions has a female Knight Radiant fall from the sky and heal his wounds with a power she refers to as Regrowth. Ignoring the possibility that the Knights could just fly, I think it is very likely that she was a Windrunner as well - to me, at least, it seems like a nice use of the power. Lash yourself in the direction you wish to fly into, play with your weight to adjust the speed, and so on.

So I'd imagine Kaladin's order is also the one that female Knight belonged to. And knowing Szeth's character, he is unlikely to be a part of it - somehow I don't see him be a 'healing' kind of guy. He is not evil, or cruel, or anything like that - but healing just doesn't seem to be his thing.
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andygal

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Re: WOK: Observations from a second read-through (*Spoilers*)
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2011, 11:13:47 AM »
Brandon sez both Kaladin and Szeth are Windrunners. (interview with Tor.com)

Also, it was the male knight that fell out of the sky.