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Messages - Morsker

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As someone who grew up in foster care and have been around a number of different kids who have been abused, Iíve come to the conclusion that those that are traumatized are typically the kids who were passive to begin with. Also, I would recommend you read On Killing by Lt. David Grossman. He has a whole section on the psychology of both the torturer and the one being tortured. More often than not it is the torturer who suffers from long term trauma. Plus, I think it should be added that most of the time in tWoT the hazing isn't done with malicious intent.

I'll give a partial retraction; Rand's experience in the box results in real trauma. In general, I'm not objecting to views about the reality of abuse; I disagree with the author, but I never expect to agree with all an author's opinions. What's extremist in WoT isn't some opinion, but bias in presentation. There is just so much hazing and abuse, and so much glory and strengthening of people thereby. It deserves notoriety, as an idiosyncracy in WoT that it makes such a theme of this. Old Aggie noticed this, as a new reader. I wonder how many other readers notice it, and how much the observation is lost, due to "gender" consuming more bandwidth.

While I'm happy for my many friends who are hard-core WoT fans, I just lost patience with the repetitive incidents of hazing (naked people beating each other with sticks; I wondered a little if it was related to Jordan's time at VMI) and the excessively florid descriptions.

I'm a WoT fan, but I agree with you about the "hazing", and I think this issue doesn't get the criticism it deserves in WoT fandom. (Discussion of gender tends to drown out all other issues.) The story glorifies every form of hazing. Somewhere in the background, there's the idea that taking hazing too far "breaks" people and is wrong, but that's only a fig leaf, or disclaimer. There's just a ridiculous amount of hazing in WoT, it never traumatizes anyone, and only makes people stronger.

I noticed a real contrast in Way of Kings, where a minor character was traumatized by abuse, instead of being made stronger. While it's only the most minor part of WoK, and the topic is unpleasant, I'd read so much Wheel of Time that I immediately noticed the contrast. Wheel of Time goes to such lengths to censor every negative consequence of hazing from the narrative that the contrast to any story without the self-imposed censorship is tangible.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: **SPOILERS** Shards: Power and Character
« on: July 07, 2011, 02:46:01 PM »
That's really interesting; I never would've noticed that about King Nohaden on my own.

I'm not LDS so I could easily have missed things, but I've read a bit and I find it hard to see LDS parallels in the Shards. In the cosmere only 16 people can become divine, and it's not something their religions encourage, or even know about, whereas in LDS divinity is offered to all humans as part of God's plan. That to me is a pretty big difference. I see sufficient explanation in storytelling and world-building. Humans being able to take the place of a god is a fairly common idea in fantasy. We can guess that Brandon wants a Shard to be powerful enough to make magic systems for one planet, but not so powerful that it provides all the answers and removes the need for faith, and not so powerful that these worlds are utopias without conflict.

In some fiction, the existence and will of God or gods is so obvious that faith never happens anymore; people might have loyalty, but not faith. Characters' experience of religion then is nothing like ours, and frankly a bit boring. It's hardly religion at all if it doesn't require faith. Brandon avoids this so well that I think the Shards are reverse-engineered exactly to provide room for doubt and religious controversy, and to make the characters' religions more genuine.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: I'm very keen to see the Mistborn video game.
« on: July 07, 2011, 01:45:03 PM »
As an avid gamer and an avid reader, I can honestly say:

I have yet to see a game based on a book that I thought was any good.

It always sounds very cool in concept and then doesn't deliver any of the experiences of the book. These is a particular problem with the concept behind MMOs:

EVERYONE wants to be a hero. EVERYONE wants to be Gandalf or Kelsier or Vin.

Well, when there's thousands of people trying to be that hero, none of them stands out.

And in single player games, they just seem to cheapen plot for the sake of puzzles or platforming or other repetitive play which in no way delivers the mysticism of the stories.

I wouldn't describe MMO that way at all, as it encourages group play, and almost all of them specialize characters into classes that depend on each other. In Mistborn terms, it's more like the group of Mistings on Kelsier's crew than Vin's single-handed heroics.

I share your experience of never having seen a book-to-video-game conversion that I liked, but there's a first time for everything, and Brandon's magic systems seem particularly suited for gaming. I wouldn't be upset by puzzles, platforming, or other repetitive things though, because that's just the framework on which a game is built. As an analogy: I wouldn't complain that D&D is repetitive because it makes me roll dice so much.

These are popular complaints I've seen in the fandom since the books were first released, especially that Perrin and Elayne's plotlines were too far of a diversion from the real story. Brandon even analyzed this, and thinks it's due to an overabundance of characters, which leads to entire books where no one's plotline progresses very far (what WoT did), or entire books where some characters never appear (what ASoIaF did). There's no way anyone knows to solve the problem with writing style alone; it's unavoidable if there are this many characters.

I think it would've been a blessing to kill off Perrin and Elayne before the consumed so many pages.† :D Perrin was awesome up to book 4, and Elayne was fine as a supporting character to Nynaeve before she ran off on her own. The only shame is that they lived longer than that!

Brandon Sanderson / Re: I Hate Dragons
« on: May 18, 2011, 06:43:31 PM »
Out of curiosity, do editors freak out about deliberate use of typos like this, or is it something they just deal with?

Brandon Sanderson / Re: WoT Myrddraal questions
« on: May 07, 2011, 07:30:03 AM »
Someone managed to get an official comment on this after TGS, although I can't tell from the report whether it's from both Brandon and Harriet, or just from Harriet:
Myrddraal are not Trollocs who can channel.† Their powers are totally independent from the One Power.† They really are just throwbacks to the human stock.† Harriet added that there are also animal throwbacks, but they just die.

It was a somewhat popular theory for a long time though, which is why it got asked.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« on: April 05, 2011, 09:02:29 PM »
Since it's never too early for speculation... I wonder if we'll see Hoid in this book. He's had some appearance in every Adonalsium book so far, but this might be more of a side-story since its planning was spontaneous. It's also possible Hoid is elsewhere if Allow of Law happens concurrently with other books we haven't gotten yet.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Vote for Vin!
« on: March 24, 2011, 08:59:31 PM »
Brandon's writeup was so awesome. The only Goodkind jibe it's missing is something about "not fantasy"!

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Spren - (Major Spoilers TWoK)
« on: October 05, 2010, 08:16:22 PM »
Also, we know that one of the Windunner systems is Lashings, but what other powers do honorspren grant that we're not aware of?
The Lashings may not be a single system, since the Full Lashing is different and uses adhesion instead of gravity. The question then is why Windrunners can only do these three things, instead of having a whole variety of skills using either power.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Spren - (Major Spoilers TWoK)
« on: October 04, 2010, 05:19:08 PM »
An interesting difference between the front and back covers is that the "big two" in the middle have lines going to little circles in the front one, but not in the back one.

That changes my motive for seeing the middle two as Soulcasting. I thought of Soulcasting as being something connected to everything, instead of connected to 2 powers, which is sort of what's going on in the back cover. But by the front cover, the middle two aren't so special and are still connected to 2 powers each like everything else.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Hoid's Shard abilities in WoK (minor spoilers)
« on: October 02, 2010, 10:27:09 PM »
I can't think Brandon would create this universe, with the Shards of Adonalsium and all their separate magic systems, just to have Hoid try to undo the whole universe. That sounds so self-defeating.

So I think Hoid wants a compromise, gathering a bit of all the Shards so he can be a Wizard of Everything instead of a Shard of One Thing, and travel between the worlds telling stories, and maybe serve as a mediator if some Shardholders become dangerous. But he doesn't want to merge them all together completely.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: "Finish The Book...Brandon!!!"
« on: October 02, 2010, 09:21:41 PM »
I see this as a parody of fans, not a parody of the GRRM-related blog. Or maybe both. But most of the fun-poking has to be at fans, because complaining about the speed at which Brandon writes books is so silly that someone could only do it jokingly.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: *Spoilers* General Shard List
« on: October 02, 2010, 09:15:24 PM »
I expect Hoid's old friend is someone from the Dragonsteel universe that we haven't met, since we know Hoid's origin is there and hasn't been told yet. Plus he calls the person "you old reptile" which can't be Sazed. Bavarian is probably from there too. There have only been 6 Cosmere books, and there are going to be a few dozen, right? So at this point I expect more teasers than explanation, otherwise there'll be nothing left to tell later.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Spren - (Major Spoilers TWoK)
« on: October 01, 2010, 11:40:57 PM »
I have difficulty deciding between Palah and Nah for Jasnah. She seems very proficient with smoke, and terrible with organic things, which suggests Nah. That would make her Just/Confident instead of Learned/Giving, but it still fits her character.

On the other hand, Vorin associates the double eye with the Almighty's creation of plants and animals. If Soulcasting is the two in the middle, that Pulp and Blood, or Palah and Shash, seems appropriate.

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