Author Topic: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)  (Read 4616 times)

CabbyHat

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2011, 10:07:14 PM »
If the Dawnshards were not weapons, how is the "champion" supposed to challenge anyone. It would be pretty difficult to fight a duel without a weapon of some sort. Because the Almighty is the representation of honour, that would imply that there would be a duel fought as that seems honourable and that the weapon used by the Almighty's champion would be a sword as that also seems the most honourable weapon.

Doesn't that kind of clash with a large part of what Dalinar's parts of the story say? That you don't have to resolve every contest with fighting or weapons, and that in fact many other things should come first? Frankly, this being a Brandon Sanderson series, I'd find it very anticlimactic if everything was resolved with just one boss battle when the Dawnshards could have any number of ways to help resolve the problem.
Just an idle comment. My comments are often idle. I can never get them to do any solid work.

andygal

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2011, 10:20:02 PM »
Just because the Alethi see honour in terms of dueling, with swords doesn't mean they are right about it. The book establishes that most of the Alethi don't know crap about what honour is.

Melriken

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2011, 01:41:14 AM »
Just because the Alethi see honour in terms of dueling, with swords doesn't mean they are right about it. The book establishes that most of the Alethi don't know crap about what honour is.
The real world saw honor in dueling, but the honor in a duel isn't relavent, what is relevant is that Honor (AKA The Almighty) suggests getting Odium to pick a champion, which sounds like a duel to me, and then comments that you won't have much chance against the champion without the Dawnshards.

Argent

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2011, 05:54:34 AM »
Dawnshards don't have to be weapons - they could be just a key component. For example, every Shardblade uses a Dawnshard in its core, and that's what gives it its magical properties. It's probably not like that, but I think the example holds.
Power doesn't always have to corrupt. In many ways, it can change a man for the better.

cromptj

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2011, 08:13:21 PM »
I meant that swords were honourable in that the Almighty gave the Heralds swords and if he thought they weren't honourable I don't think he would have given them.
Also the duel Kaladin is fighting would be honourable because he is doing it to save a load of people.
Also, as much of this book relies on symbolism a fight to the death is pretty damn good symbol. ;)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 08:16:07 PM by cromptj »

Xavien

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2011, 12:25:37 AM »
Purely speculative theory, but one possible explanation for what happened to a lot of the Shardblades and the difference between Alethi blades and Szeth's is that the Alethi blades were reforged to create the extremely large Shardblades that are seen nowadays. We know that they can't create new Shardblades but Shardplate rebuilds itself when infused with enough Stormlight so who's to stay that in the days after the Radiants they didn't have a means of "growing" larger Shardblades by combining them together and infusing with Stormlight?

The larger blades that the Alethi have seem more adept at mowing down large numbers of foot soldiers, Dalinar describes fighting with a Shardblade as being very different than using a normal sword; more large arcing swings than precise.  This sounds like an adaptation made over the years from the Shardblades being used to fight in Desolations to being used to fight battles against human armies.  And because only other Shardblades are really a threat against someone in Shardplate this fighting style doesn't seem to lend itself to self protection. 

From Dalinar's vision, Shardblades don't always just pass right through creatures, when fighting the Midnight Essences:
Quote
Moving fluidly, Plate clinking, the man struck at the beasts. He effortlessly sheared a monster in half, flinging pieces into the night that trailed black smoke.
While it may just be he killed it then the blade continued on to cut the thing in half it sounds more like the Shardblade had a physical effect on the creature that they don't have on people or normal animals.  When fighting something like that you are going to need to fight with the Shardblade differently than in their large scale battles.

Since Szeth's blade comes from the Shin who are more pacifist they would of had no need for the "adaptation" so his blade is still the normal length.

andygal

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2011, 12:52:45 AM »
I figure the creatures were just some kind of constructs composed of the Midnight Essence stuff, so they weren't really alive and that's why the Shardblade cut them.

Also, I don't think Dalinar mentioned the Shardblades in his visions  being different then the ones he was familiar with, except for the glowing, if they were smaller then most modern Shardblades I think it would have got mentioned.

old aggie

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2011, 04:11:58 AM »
I agree with many posters here, that the Shardblades (in use during WoK) have an evil feel. I wonder if they aren't - metaphorically - a two-edged sword, that gives an advantage in battle, but leaves the bearer open to evil somehow - like maybe, the more you use it, the more arrogant and hostile you become. If a person had great stength of character within themselves, they could fend off this evil influence longer than others. I wonder if it's not a coincidence that the Alethi nobles prize Shardblades so much, and have such character problems - the influence to evil would be both cause and effect.

Hmmm - What if the Knights Radiant gave up the Shardblades because they were evil, or had somehow become a conduit for evil?

Or - What if the Shardblades were immune to evil during the Oathpact, but once that was broken, Odium began to be able to work through them somehow?

Re: the Dawnshards - I wonder if these aren't actual shards - broken pieces of something, like if a huge crystal got broken. [Confess that I'm thinking of "The Dark Crystal" ... where are the Gelflings?  ;)]

andygal

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2011, 04:32:04 AM »
My theory is that they were corrupted by the KR abandoning their duty and the subsequent use of the Blades for selfish ends, you will note that the glow to the Blades faded away as the people started using them to slaughter each other.

Also suspect that the corruption amplifies the Thrill that the Alethi feel....

Ari54

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2011, 01:59:12 AM »
What makes you think a dawnshard is a blade? Shardplate also has shard in the name. Shard seems a material/origin description....
Page 997 when the Almighty is talking about how to defeat Odium he suggests getting Odium to pick a champion then says "A champion could work well for you, bit it is not certain. And... without the Dawnshards... Well, I have done what I can."

That sounds to me like a Dawnshard is a way to defeat the champion.

Add the Epigraph to that, which also looks like a Dawnshard is a way to defeat (bind) creatures.

So the Dawnshard is offensive in nature, but it could be a sword (hammer or other weapon) or it could be more like a Soulcaster (a source of combat magic).

Well, I'd be inclined to think the bit about dawnshards is more generally aimed at talking about how to defeat Odium, and not necessarily just about binding his champion if he chooses one.

Also, choosing a champion really doesn't necessarily mean anything to do with a duel. The word is used in other contexts than just dueling. It probably just indicates someone chosen as an agent for Odium to bestow extraordinary powers upon.

Meanas

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #40 on: May 23, 2011, 08:56:11 AM »
There is also the possibility that the Dawnshards do not cut the souls of living things,
but simply 'awaken' them into the realisation that what they are doing is wrong

(But Voidbringers die/turn into normal parshmen because they're just plain evil)

And normal people, when hit with a Dawnshard, just start fighting for the Heralds and such 'n such.
meh. I don't know...
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Thor

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #41 on: May 24, 2011, 03:32:08 AM »
Quote
I agree with many posters here, that the Shardblades (in use during WoK) have an evil feel. I wonder if they aren't - metaphorically - a two-edged sword, that gives an advantage in battle, but leaves the bearer open to evil somehow - like maybe, the more you use it, the more arrogant and hostile you become. If a person had great stength of character within themselves, they could fend off this evil influence longer than others. I wonder if it's not a coincidence that the Alethi nobles prize Shardblades so much, and have such character problems - the influence to evil would be both cause and effect.

Hmmm - What if the Knights Radiant gave up the Shardblades because they were evil, or had somehow become a conduit for evil?

Or - What if the Shardblades were immune to evil during the Oathpact, but once that was broken, Odium began to be able to work through them somehow?

Re: the Dawnshards - I wonder if these aren't actual shards - broken pieces of something, like if a huge crystal got broken. [Confess that I'm thinking of "The Dark Crystal" ... where are the Gelflings?  ]

Quote
My theory is that they were corrupted by the KR abandoning their duty and the subsequent use of the Blades for selfish ends, you will note that the glow to the Blades faded away as the people started using them to slaughter each other.

Also suspect that the corruption amplifies the Thrill that the Alethi feel....


I partially agree with these statements...

My feeling is that an "honorblade" is just a shardblade that is wielded by a person with honor, possibly only those who are held to a specific oath (think Kaladin's improved surgebinding abilities after saying the first ideal of the KR). The difference between an "honorblade" and most of the shardblades we see in WoKs is the presence or lack of a binding oath (which seems to manifest itself by a glow). Szeth's shardblade is different, not because of its size, but because he follows a code of honor, possibly with a certain spoken oath that refers to the KR.

As I was writing this, another thought came to me: it might be that only the KR, or rather, people with innate binding abilities (surgebinding, soulcasting sans soulcaster, other abilites that we don't know of yet) AND say (and keep) the oath can have the "honorblades" we see in the Almighty's messages; might be one of the reasons that the KR in the highstorm vision says that Dalinar "might not be able to join the Knights themselves but he could still fight as a member of the army." (Hurrah for paraphrasing!) The required oath is there because there are a few characters with shardblades that are binders of some sort but whose weapons do not show the characteristics of "honorblades," namely Shallan (though we never see her blade) and Elhokar.



For me, anything that is prefaced with "Dawn" refers to the Heralds, i.e. Dawncities, Dawnchant, Dawnshards, etc. I'll need to reread through WoK to get the specific page numbers but my thought pattern went thus (and it may be a little flimsy, logically):

Kaladin says that his father liked the Heralds because they brought healing to the people. In a reference by either Shallan, Jasnah or Kasbal (I think it is one of them...maybe it was Hoid's apprentice...) they speak of the creators of the Dawncities as being the bringers of healing (along with some other things, I think poetry and art are also included). While this is the only example I can think of at the moment, I am pretty sure there are a few others that I cannot remember.

IMO the Heralds is just a shortened term for Heralds of the Dawn, or the rise of mankind from the darkness. (Seems to fit to me...though it might be the hidden dramatic in me trying to break free, which I have throughly tried to beat out of myself. :P )

For the record, I think that the Dawnshards are the Heralds blades.

andygal

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #42 on: May 24, 2011, 04:42:14 AM »
Brandon has referred to the Heralds' Blades as Honorblades in a goodreads QA.

ulysses sword

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #43 on: May 24, 2011, 06:02:03 AM »
IMO the Heralds is just a shortened term for Heralds of the Dawn, or the rise of mankind from the darkness. (Seems to fit to me...though it might be the hidden dramatic in me trying to break free, which I have throughly tried to beat out of myself. :P )

Epilogue, pp1001 (hardcover)
"...I am Talenen'Elin, Stonesinew, Herald of the Almighty."
Doesn't fit with your theory, but doesn't directly contradict it either. 

I always thought that "Honor" was to do with the Heralds, and "Dawn" came before them (even before the Cycle of Desolations), but then again, I have no evidence.

Tortellini

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Re: Nature of Shardblades? (Spoilers)
« Reply #44 on: May 24, 2011, 08:52:38 AM »
Ok, new idea about the dawnshards - this is based on the overarching theory of Adonalsium etc. So, extra-spoilers.

I agree with the intepretation of "Dawn" as a metaphor for the beginning - in a "Dawn of Mankind" sort of way. Before everything. But my other idea is so obvious, someone must have had it before - so bear with me if you heard this before:

In the overall cosmere setting, shards refer to parts of Adonalsium, which give the people who hold them (also often referred to by the names of the shards) vast powers. This is Odium, Honor and so on. But Shards can also splinter, which distributes the power somehow. The Returned in Warbreaker are examples of Splinters. So could the Dawnshards also be Splinters of Adonalsium? Unfortunately, that doesn't help a lot, since they could still be swords, objects, pools of water or imbued people - this quote from the book sounds like object, but can be interpreted in lots of ways:
Quote
"Taking the Dawnshard, known to bind any creature voidish or mortal, he crawled up the steps crafted for Heralds, ten strides tall apiece, toward the grand temple above."—From The Poem of Ista. (Jasnah's note) I have found no modern explanation of what these “Dawnshards” are. They seem ignored by scholars, though talk of them was obviously prevalent among those recording the early mythologies.

This would mean that the current Shardplates and -blades are possibly called such because they echo/imitate a far greater power the people used to see - Dawnshards. That would explain the Prefix "Shard" on everything. Next question is, whose splinters? Possibly Honor, is probably the most likely candidate.