Author Topic: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)  (Read 5515 times)

Tortellini

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Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« on: January 24, 2011, 01:55:31 PM »
This is heavily based on an older thread about the decryption of Navani's sketches, found here: http://www.timewastersguide.com/forum/index.php?topic=7882.0

Great thread, by the way. In any case, that thread gives a lot of information about fabrials, including that they are powered by stormlight, and that they contain trapped spren. That lead to the question if maybe shardplate is a form of fabrial - including a trapped spren. It does regrow, so it definitely is special.

But shardplate is still ordinary compared to shardblades, which can appear and disappear into mist. Also, Syl does not like shardblades at all. But if fabrials contain trapped spren, what could be worse than that? Some people discussed shardplates also containing a trapped spren, but maybe that's still not far enough?

What if a shardblade is a type of spren?

Their appearing and disappearing, their different effect on living and dead matter show that they are very unique. There are some inanimate spren I think (one type was described as being like snow flakes). The Radiants had shardblades, but maybe they got these spren with the acceptance of the spren (like Kaladin acquired Syl). What if the remaining shardblades are sort of enslaved (or "lobotomized" in some way)?That could be why just anyone can use them. That would then definitely be revolting to Syl. And since there are so many different types of spren, it could well be that the blades are among them. That would also explain why the spren-powered fabrial of the half-shards can stop them...

Plate may be similar, but the shardplates of old exhibit different properties - the helmets of the Knights Radiant from the visions appear and reappear like they are being summoned and released just like shardblades. Modern shardplate does not do that - maybe the spren is dead, which would make it less revolting. The plate still regrows though, so there is something there... Syl never said that shardplate is ok, though - maybe Dalinar was just half as bad as before when he gave up the blade, which from her point of view would still be better than both plate and blade. Since the only "feels" this, she doesn't really know what's going on, either.

Anyone have some input on this theory?

Argent

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2011, 04:57:54 PM »
I always assumed there was some relationship between Odium and the Shardblades & Shardplates (possibly). I don't like the way people die if they are killed by a Shardblade - the burning in their eyes makes me think about Voidbringers, and Voidbringers make me think of Odium. I am not sure how this fits into that vision of Dalinar where he saw the Knights Radiant abandon their weapons and armor.
Power doesn't always have to corrupt. In many ways, it can change a man for the better.

Tortellini

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2011, 06:03:39 PM »
Hm, but the Radiants fight against the forces of odium. Also shardblades seem somewhat related to the heralds' honorblades, and the heralds are definitely not on odium's side. At least, they weren't when they still used those blades...  ::)

Tasslehoof

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2011, 07:11:30 PM »
Your theory is really interesting, and the name of the Herald's blades (Honorblades) almost seems to reinforce it.  Honorspren and Honorblades might be related in someway, maybe when the Heralds ditched their blades, they returned to their spren state.  If so, they would definitely be "special", and Syl definitely strikes me as a special spren.  Its quite possible that if you choose to release your shardblade, instead of having it taken from you, then the spren is released back into the world.  Can't wait to see what others might think about this, I miss a lot of the interviews Brandon has, so its quite possible some of these questions have already been asked.
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Melriken

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2011, 07:34:41 PM »
I want to point out a few things before getting into theory.

Page 298 (Chapter 19) uses the Term "Honorblade" in reference to something of legend.  it is used by Dalinar so he isn't talking of Shardblades. I think it clear that the weapons of the Heralds are Honorblades (as it seems do others in this thread).

Page 997 (Chapter 75) uses the Term "Dawnshards" in reference to something that humanity does not currently have.

The Parshendi (whom Jasnah believes to be the Voidbringers) have a number of Shardblades and Shardplate that is indistinguishable from any of the other shardblades and shardplate that anyone in the 10 warcamps has ever seen.

Syl is repulsed by the Shardblade that Dalinar has had since he was a teenager, but we know that the Knights Radiant used Shardblades and were bound to Spren (who presumably were not repulsed).

We know that there are only a few dozen (100 or less) shard blades in the world now, yet we saw 300 Knights Radiant give up their blades in one event, and that there were several other groups of Knights Radiant of similar size (all told 2-4 thousand Shardblades should have existed).

When you put this all together I think it is clear that there are two types of Shardblades in addition to the Honorblades of the Heralds.

Type 1 would be the Dawnblades that the Knights Radiant used, and that The Almighty comments about humanity NOT having.

Type 2 I choose to call Voidblades, these are used by the Parshendi, and by Humans who have captured them from Parshendi.

Voidblades are evil, vile things that burn out the soul, and are created by Odium.  Spren see them for the evil weapons they are.  Dawnshards are different, they are created by The Almighty (Honor) and while they can cut non-living things exactly like Voidblades, and can 'kill' in a single strike like the Voidblades, I believe they don't burn out the eyes of their victims killing the soul, but instead release the soul to the afterlife and have a noticeably different effect on the eyes.

Melriken

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2011, 07:46:20 PM »
Syl is repulsed by the Shardblade that Dalinar has had since he was a teenager, but we know that the Knights Radiant used Shardblades and were bound to Spren (who presumably were not repulsed).
Actually I take this back, we know that Syl is repulsed byt he Shardblade that Dalinar had, but we don't KNOW that the Knights Radiant were bound to Spren.

unless there was an Interview I haven't seen about Spren bonding then I have to believe that Spren are NOT required for Surgebinding, as Windspren are NOT wind, Deathspren are NOT death, Rotspren are NOT rot.  Windspren are attracted to wind, deathspren are attracted to death and rotspren are attracted to rot.

Honorspren thus are attracted to Honor, and Surgebinding may be of Honor (the Shard, as in The Almighty), but I see no reason for it to REQUIRE a Spren (much less a willing one), thus it can not be assumed that the Knights Radiant had a Spren bound to them.

I still find it LIKELY they did, but not REQUIRED.

Tasslehoof

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2011, 10:25:51 PM »
Thats an interesting point also, that there may be two different types of shardblades, in addition to the difference between Honorblades and Shardblades.  This would definitely explain Syl's repulsion, and would also show more of Odium touching the world.  I want to believe that Dalinar is not using a "Voidblade" as you called it, just because I feel he should be untouched by Odium, even if he is doing it without knowing.

Do you think that the "Dawnblades" were just corrupted by Odium at some point, and thus created the "Voidblades"?  I don't have my book on me, but during one of Dalinar's visions.. he sees hundreds of the Knights Radiant giving up their Shardplate and Shardblades (or Dawnblades perhaps).  I remember that the people who pick the blades and armor up then start fighting over them, but I don't remember if there is a description to how the people died.  We might be able to determine if that event changed the blades (Odium's touch?), or if the blades are separate from each other in some way.  I hope this makes sense, I'm thinking through this as I go.
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Melriken

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2011, 10:36:16 PM »
Thats an interesting point also, that there may be two different types of shardblades, in addition to the difference between Honorblades and Shardblades.  This would definitely explain Syl's repulsion, and would also show more of Odium touching the world.  I want to believe that Dalinar is not using a "Voidblade" as you called it, just because I feel he should be untouched by Odium, even if he is doing it without knowing.

Do you think that the "Dawnblades" were just corrupted by Odium at some point, and thus created the "Voidblades"?  I don't have my book on me, but during one of Dalinar's visions.. he sees hundreds of the Knights Radiant giving up their Shardplate and Shardblades (or Dawnblades perhaps).  I remember that the people who pick the blades and armor up then start fighting over them, but I don't remember if there is a description to how the people died.  We might be able to determine if that event changed the blades (Odium's touch?), or if the blades are separate from each other in some way.  I hope this makes sense, I'm thinking through this as I go.
Well one of the reasons I think the modern Shardblades and those used by the Knights Radiant are different is the number of them.  As you mentioned we saw 300 knights give up their weapons, and we have less then 100 Shardblades in Modern Roshar.  So I lean against 'corrupted' blades, though it is possible.

Tasslehoof

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2011, 10:55:39 PM »
Yeah, I kind of think they are different too.  I'm just trying to decide where the "Dawnblades" could have gone, if Shardblades are not physically the same thing.  Throughout Roshar's history, it seems that power is almost defined by how many Blades (of whatever type) that you control, so it seems kind of weird for so many to just go missing.  The only other reason for their disappearance that I can think of (other than that the original "Dawnblades" were corrupted and are now the "Shardblades") is that someone amassed so many, that they could hide them or dispose of them in some way to keep their power.

**Mistborn Spoiler**

Its almost like the Atium in the Mistborn series.  It wasn't that there was physically a huge shortage of Atium, it was more that the Lord Ruler had so much of it, that he could act as though there was only a small amount, to control the market.  Something similar could have happened on Roshar, but then the "stockpile" of weapons, or where they were hidden, was lost with time. 
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CabbyHat

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2011, 06:50:59 AM »
Thats an interesting point also, that there may be two different types of shardblades, in addition to the difference between Honorblades and Shardblades.  This would definitely explain Syl's repulsion, and would also show more of Odium touching the world.  I want to believe that Dalinar is not using a "Voidblade" as you called it, just because I feel he should be untouched by Odium, even if he is doing it without knowing.

Do you think that the "Dawnblades" were just corrupted by Odium at some point, and thus created the "Voidblades"?  I don't have my book on me, but during one of Dalinar's visions.. he sees hundreds of the Knights Radiant giving up their Shardplate and Shardblades (or Dawnblades perhaps).  I remember that the people who pick the blades and armor up then start fighting over them, but I don't remember if there is a description to how the people died.  We might be able to determine if that event changed the blades (Odium's touch?), or if the blades are separate from each other in some way.  I hope this makes sense, I'm thinking through this as I go.

Page 733, US hardcover version:
"Dalinar looked back at the melee of soldiers rushing for Blades. Many had already been claimed. There weren't enough Blades for everyone, and some had already begun raising theirs up, using them to fend off those who got too close. As he watched, a bellowing officer with a Blade was attacked by two men behind him.
The glow from within the weapons had completely vanished.
The killing of that officer made others bold. Other skirmishes started, men scrambling to attack those who had Blades, hoping to get one. Eyes began to burn. Screams, shouts, death."

So the abandoned Radiants' blades did kill the same way that modern Shardblades do. Maybe being turned against human beings for the first time corrupted them somehow? I don't know. It's an intriguing question.
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andygal

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2011, 07:05:34 AM »
Thats an interesting point also, that there may be two different types of shardblades, in addition to the difference between Honorblades and Shardblades.  This would definitely explain Syl's repulsion, and would also show more of Odium touching the world.  I want to believe that Dalinar is not using a "Voidblade" as you called it, just because I feel he should be untouched by Odium, even if he is doing it without knowing.

Do you think that the "Dawnblades" were just corrupted by Odium at some point, and thus created the "Voidblades"?  I don't have my book on me, but during one of Dalinar's visions.. he sees hundreds of the Knights Radiant giving up their Shardplate and Shardblades (or Dawnblades perhaps).  I remember that the people who pick the blades and armor up then start fighting over them, but I don't remember if there is a description to how the people died.  We might be able to determine if that event changed the blades (Odium's touch?), or if the blades are separate from each other in some way.  I hope this makes sense, I'm thinking through this as I go.

Page 733, US hardcover version:
"Dalinar looked back at the melee of soldiers rushing for Blades. Many had already been claimed. There weren't enough Blades for everyone, and some had already begun raising theirs up, using them to fend off those who got too close. As he watched, a bellowing officer with a Blade was attacked by two men behind him.
The glow from within the weapons had completely vanished.
The killing of that officer made others bold. Other skirmishes started, men scrambling to attack those who had Blades, hoping to get one. Eyes began to burn. Screams, shouts, death."

So the abandoned Radiants' blades did kill the same way that modern Shardblades do. Maybe being turned against human beings for the first time corrupted them somehow? I don't know. It's an intriguing question.

that's my theory, that the Shardblades were corrupted by being used selfishly, and that's why Syl hates them. And maybe even why Kaladin couldn't bring himself to touch one, and why Dalinar suffers bouts of illness in battle. I'll be interested to see if Dalinar still has that problem after giving up the Blade.....

CabbyHat

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2011, 10:51:15 AM »
Thats an interesting point also, that there may be two different types of shardblades, in addition to the difference between Honorblades and Shardblades.  This would definitely explain Syl's repulsion, and would also show more of Odium touching the world.  I want to believe that Dalinar is not using a "Voidblade" as you called it, just because I feel he should be untouched by Odium, even if he is doing it without knowing.

Do you think that the "Dawnblades" were just corrupted by Odium at some point, and thus created the "Voidblades"?  I don't have my book on me, but during one of Dalinar's visions.. he sees hundreds of the Knights Radiant giving up their Shardplate and Shardblades (or Dawnblades perhaps).  I remember that the people who pick the blades and armor up then start fighting over them, but I don't remember if there is a description to how the people died.  We might be able to determine if that event changed the blades (Odium's touch?), or if the blades are separate from each other in some way.  I hope this makes sense, I'm thinking through this as I go.

Page 733, US hardcover version:
"Dalinar looked back at the melee of soldiers rushing for Blades. Many had already been claimed. There weren't enough Blades for everyone, and some had already begun raising theirs up, using them to fend off those who got too close. As he watched, a bellowing officer with a Blade was attacked by two men behind him.
The glow from within the weapons had completely vanished.
The killing of that officer made others bold. Other skirmishes started, men scrambling to attack those who had Blades, hoping to get one. Eyes began to burn. Screams, shouts, death."

So the abandoned Radiants' blades did kill the same way that modern Shardblades do. Maybe being turned against human beings for the first time corrupted them somehow? I don't know. It's an intriguing question.

that's my theory, that the Shardblades were corrupted by being used selfishly, and that's why Syl hates them. And maybe even why Kaladin couldn't bring himself to touch one, and why Dalinar suffers bouts of illness in battle. I'll be interested to see if Dalinar still has that problem after giving up the Blade.....
I imagine he will. I took the waves of nausea to be part of his character rather than anything supernatural; just the horror of slaughtering people by the hundreds finally getting through to him as he reexamines his life.
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Cheese Ninja

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2011, 08:20:01 PM »
Could Szeth's shardblade actually be a Dawnshard?  It's obvious that it's not a normal Blade.  And if it is a Dawnshard, could it somehow be the source of his Surgebinding abilities, instead of a normal Nahel bond?

When I was reading the book I was a bit confused and thought Dawnshards and Honorblades might be two different names for the same thing, but I know better now.  (Person in front of me at the book signing had a question relating to them.)

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2011, 10:00:03 PM »
What makes you think Szeth's Blade isn't normal?

Cheese Ninja

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2011, 10:41:22 PM »
It's the only shardblade we've seen so far that's normal sword length instead of 6 feet or so long.  And it changes his eye color while he wields it, which isn't something we see from the other shardblades.  Szeth even notes that it's a special characteristic of his blade.  But is notable that when Kaladin killed the Shardbearer and was looking at the blade, he had heard stories of eyes changing color when people claimed Blades.