Author Topic: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**  (Read 31431 times)

C12VT

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Re: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**
« Reply #60 on: September 15, 2010, 09:46:08 PM »
I wonder if maybe Shallan doesn't know what her Shardblade is and how valuable it is. She never refers to it as a Shardblade. She has no background in military or fighting  matters and might not know enough about Shardblades to recognize it as one - especially if her father having a Blade was a secret.

Maybe the events happened something like: Shallan's father dies, his blade materializes, Shallan grabs it, but later lets go of it (perhaps in horror), and it disappears, as Shardblades do. If no one witnessed these events, perhaps no one else saw the sword at all. Or perhaps the only people who saw it also failed to recognize what it was, and may have thought it was gone for good when it disappeared.

Shallan's brothers never say anything indicating they know she is the one who killed their father. Maybe the two were alone when it happened? Or just Nan Balat was there, but he was too badly injured to see what happened? In the viewpoint we have from Nan Balat, he thinks of Shallan as "Shy, quiet, delicate"; he doesn't seem to regard her the way you would expect if he knew she had killed someone.

Erunion

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Re: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**
« Reply #61 on: September 15, 2010, 10:02:41 PM »
I wonder if maybe Shallan doesn't know what her Shardblade is and how valuable it is. She never refers to it as a Shardblade. She has no background in military or fighting  matters and might not know enough about Shardblades to recognize it as one - especially if her father having a Blade was a secret.

Maybe the events happened something like: Shallan's father dies, his blade materializes, Shallan grabs it, but later lets go of it (perhaps in horror), and it disappears, as Shardblades do. If no one witnessed these events, perhaps no one else saw the sword at all. Or perhaps the only people who saw it also failed to recognize what it was, and may have thought it was gone for good when it disappeared.

Shallan's brothers never say anything indicating they know she is the one who killed their father. Maybe the two were alone when it happened? Or just Nan Balat was there, but he was too badly injured to see what happened? In the viewpoint we have from Nan Balat, he thinks of Shallan as "Shy, quiet, delicate"; he doesn't seem to regard her the way you would expect if he knew she had killed someone.

I like and agree with the second and third points, but I can't see Shallan as not knowing what a Shardblade is. Shardblades and plate are an integral part of Vorin culture and mythos. Everyone, even the lowest of darkeyes knows what a shardblade is once they've seen it. Take for example the boy Cenn, a Choss-herder who joined the army. Even though he at first thinks a well-armoured lighteyes is a shardbearer, when he sees the shardbearer galloping towards him, he instantly recognizes the truth. (I don't want to misquote, so read the end of chapter 1 for exacts). No, I can't see Shallan not knowing what her Shardblade was, especially if she knows how to summon it, as is evidenced by the "Only ten heartbeats away" quote, and by her preparing to summon it when she is cornered in her room by the spren.
The grabbed then dropped theory is exactly how I picture it, Shallan kills someone (likely her father) and then sees the shardblade materialize. Shocked, she hesitantly picks it up, stares at it for a moment than leaps away revolted, dropping the blade.
It disappears, and Shallan is now a shardbearer.

Jnai

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Re: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**
« Reply #62 on: September 15, 2010, 11:40:42 PM »
If Shallan's brother were the shardbearer that Kaladin had killed and Shallan received her father's shardblade by murdering him, how had their house grown into such financial despair?

Shardblades are exceedingly rare, and two in the same house seems relatively unlikely - Dalinar and Adolin seem very much the exception, more than the rule. If a house had two shardblades, they would have a massive advantage in inter-house conflicts and their financial situation would never have been so bad.

It seems unlikely that their house ever possessed two of the weapons.

rjl

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Re: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**
« Reply #63 on: September 16, 2010, 01:29:07 AM »
Jnai: if this mysterious group, the "ghostbloods" had gifted them both blades, and placed all sorts of requirments on them?

Stormblessed

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Re: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**
« Reply #64 on: September 16, 2010, 03:24:06 AM »
From reading the passages concerning Shallan, I am certain that she gained the Shardblade after killing her father. At one passage she refers to the shardblade as the fruit of her sins. And considering that the most drastic sin she probably committed was killing her father, I would safely assume that she gained the shardblade after killing her father.

To support this, Vorin Law says that you can only gain a shardblade by killing a shardbearer. I assume that the only person Shallan has killed is her father, and thus earned the shadeblade that her father had.

Why they didn't sell the shardblade? This one is trickier. Considering the vorin law regarding shardblades, you can't just sell a shardblade. Of course, no one always gains a shardblade by killing a shardbearer (Brightlord Amaram is a good example, but then he didn't leave anyone alive to say otherwise.) Maybe they thought that if they sold the shardblade, the person they sold it to would kill them to stop anyone else finding out that he bought it, not earned it.

My other theory concerns the fact that Shallan's father is very sneaky. No one knew he had a soulcaster, as it came from (i presume) illegal sources. Maybe he also came by the shardblade the same way, and didn't tell anyone about it, so not to give his enemies a reason to move against him. If so, this is a good reason for Shallan to also keep the blade.
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Munin

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Re: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**
« Reply #65 on: September 16, 2010, 03:40:20 AM »
To support this, Vorin Law says that you can only gain a shardblade by killing a shardbearer.
Or by someone else giving it to you.
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.

Stormblessed

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Re: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**
« Reply #66 on: September 16, 2010, 03:43:09 AM »
To support this, Vorin Law says that you can only gain a shardblade by killing a shardbearer.
Or by someone else giving it to you.

True that, but normally, the person who gives it to you already has a shardblade and doesn't need another one. That is why when Kaladin gave his blade to Amaram, he had Kaladin's squad killed and Kaladin branded a traitor, because no one would believe that someone without a shardblade would give it up.
"You've killed me. Bastards, you've killed me!
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Munin

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Re: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**
« Reply #67 on: September 16, 2010, 03:56:14 AM »
To support this, Vorin Law says that you can only gain a shardblade by killing a shardbearer.
Or by someone else giving it to you.
True that, but normally, the person who gives it to you already has a shardblade and doesn't need another one. That is why when Kaladin gave his blade to Amaram, he had Kaladin's squad killed and Kaladin branded a traitor, because no one would believe that someone without a shardblade would give it up.
Not entirely true. Dalinar mentions that people pass on Shardblades sometimes when they get old.
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.

Cheese Ninja

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Re: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**
« Reply #68 on: September 16, 2010, 04:21:14 AM »
Jnai: if this mysterious group, the "ghostbloods" had gifted them both blades, and placed all sorts of requirments on them?

This is what I'm going to be going with for Nan Helaran until we get proof for or against next book.

SnagglezMaw pointed out that there may have been multiple people killed that night, and that the person she drew who was bleeding might not have been her father.  It's possible that the father killed someone who did have a shardblade in order to have another potential source of financial support.  There are so few shardblades and plates known in society that selling one without a previous history would raise some suspicions.  In Dalinar's vision of the Knights Radiant on the day of the Recreance.

Quote
There looked to be a good two hundred Shardbearers out there. Alethkar owned some twenty Blades, Jah Keved a similar number. If one added up all the rest in the world, there might be enough total to equal the two powerful Vorin kingdoms. That meant, so far as he knew, there were less than hundred Blades in all of the world. And here he saw two hundred Shardbearers gathered in one army. It was mind-numbing.

I'll guess those were the Stonewards, next, 100 Windrunners drop out of the air.  And we can't be sure that these 300 were the only ones who survived to set aside their plate and blade.

So, there are about 80 known blades in modern Roshar, and I'll guess a similar number of plate, that doesn't seem like too big an assumption.  If the ghost bloods or some other organization(s) have secreted away the large remainder, it explains both how Nan Helaran could have ended up with a pair and still been unidentifiable to Amaram and his men, and if a ghost blood was the source of Shallan's shardblade, perhaps meeting her father without the knowledge of the rest of the organization, that would explain why they can't simply sell it.  (If they supplied her father with one, I would think they'd expect it returned to them along with their soulcaster.)

goateye

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Re: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**
« Reply #69 on: September 16, 2010, 11:34:28 PM »
i liked the Shalan texts tho I found it a bit odd at the end where she somewhat turns in to super woman from a girl and knows all of
Jasnah's secrets.  i do think she will be a good story line in future books.

Ari54

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Re: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**
« Reply #70 on: September 17, 2010, 05:55:33 AM »
I wonder if maybe Shallan doesn't know what her Shardblade is and how valuable it is. She never refers to it as a Shardblade. She has no background in military or fighting  matters and might not know enough about Shardblades to recognize it as one - especially if her father having a Blade was a secret.

Maybe the events happened something like: Shallan's father dies, his blade materializes, Shallan grabs it, but later lets go of it (perhaps in horror), and it disappears, as Shardblades do. If no one witnessed these events, perhaps no one else saw the sword at all. Or perhaps the only people who saw it also failed to recognize what it was, and may have thought it was gone for good when it disappeared.

Shallan's brothers never say anything indicating they know she is the one who killed their father. Maybe the two were alone when it happened? Or just Nan Balat was there, but he was too badly injured to see what happened? In the viewpoint we have from Nan Balat, he thinks of Shallan as "Shy, quiet, delicate"; he doesn't seem to regard her the way you would expect if he knew she had killed someone.

Brandon has said previously that picking up a Shardblade confers you with the knowledge of how to use it. This is how she knows that it takes ten heartbeats to summon the blade- which perhaps is something Shardbearers keep to themselves. I don't recall it being mentioned, but I haven't done a close read of the book yet.

I do like the possibility that she doesn't know much about her blade, given that only the men seem to talk about Shardblades and Shardplate, but for now I think it's purely a guess. :)

yakumo fujii

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Re: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**
« Reply #71 on: September 17, 2010, 06:21:48 AM »
i am sure she used it to kill her father because the shardblade also cut the soulcaster. Thats why it was cleanly severed. I find a couple possible plot holes in shallans story though. If she has a shardblade (which we assume with evidence she does) than why did she not sell it. The cost would have cleared any debts the family had without question. Also, after she was poisened jasnah fraked out causing shallan to give her the soulcaster. However, because jasnah had always used a fake she would not have freaked and shallen would have not needed to give it to her and she wouldn;t have been exposed.
Why even sell it. Just show up in Jah Kaved or the Shattered Plains and show off the blade and announce she looking for a husband. Highprinces and their heirs would be knocking each other over to court her.

Stormblessed

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Re: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**
« Reply #72 on: September 17, 2010, 08:44:31 AM »
Why even sell it. Just show up in Jah Kaved or the Shattered Plains and show off the blade and announce she looking for a husband. Highprinces and their heirs would be knocking each other over to court her.

lol I can see it right now. Shallan turning up to the Shattered Planes, trying to be courted by Highprince Sadeas. But for some reason, it just doesn't feel write. I feel that despite the book saying Shallan's 'secret' reason for leaving home was to steal the soulcaster, I feel that for Shallan, that was only an excuse. She didn't so much want to leave to help her family (though obviously this is very important) but she wanted to leave to feel adventure, to learn from books outside her home. Going to the Shattered Planes wouldn't have led to that I think, so she wasn't motivated to think up that idea.

I know this goes against what it says in the book, but thats the way I feel the character is more suited to. She probably doesn't even realise this herself.
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kari-no-sugata

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Re: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**
« Reply #73 on: September 17, 2010, 04:35:53 PM »
Taking a little step back for a bit, while Shallan is a major viewpoint character, why do we get lots of tasty hints but few concrete facts about the event...? I think this is likely to be mostly because Shallan herself is only starting to be prepared to fully confront what happened by the end of the book. There is another possibility though: it may be we need a bit more world-building before we (the readers) can fully understand what happened. Of course, it could be a mix of both.

I can think of lots and lots of questions, and some excellent ones have already been raised. For example, how did Shallan's father get (at least) two super rare and expensive items (the shardblade and the soulcaster). Did they belong to the family historically? Did he set up some grand bargain with the Ghostbloods? Was he deeply part of the Ghostbloods and doing this as part of their schemes, or was is more for his own personal gain? Why were the Ghostbloods asking after the soulcaster but not the shardblade? Was there a "hidden" reason why Shallan's father seemed particularly over-protective of her, or was it a combination of culture and his personality? Why did Shallan of all people end up with the sword - if it just appeared by her father's dead body, why did she claim it and not one of her brothers (culturally, she's shouldn't be going near such things and she's doesn't come across as a tomboy)? Could it be that he actually gave the sword to her specifically? Shallan seems quite trusting of her brothers, but do they know she has that sword? How accurate is Shallan's perspective of events? What were the events leading up to her father's death - some kind of internal dispute (no hints that outsiders we involved on the day in question at least)? Was it something sudden and completely surprising or was it a "last straw" kind of event? It seems like it occurred at a family dinner almost, so why would Shallan (seemingly) play the biggest role and not one of her other brothers? Why did the soulcaster get damaged - was it "collateral damage" or did it play some part of the events?

So, why not sell the sword? It could obviously get them a lot of money very quickly. But there's a lot of dangers I can see - there's no way they could sell it to someone local since they seem to have only enemies around them. There's little chance they could sell the blade to someone local without giving away the fact that her father is dead - after all, if the family needed money, the family head would be making the sale. Basically, selling it to anyone local would be very likely to backfire horribly. In a way, it's almost too valuable to be able to sell safely, unless you really know what you're doing. It would be almost impossible for them to sell it publicly, which means doing a more "black market" type sale, which is risky for both sides. Would a bunch of "children" be able to do that with some foreign power...? I also wonder, do Shallan's brothers even know she has it? If they do, wouldn't they want it? It may be that Shallan got it without anyone else knowing and due to her guilt she hasn't been able to confess it yet.

happyman

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Re: WoK: Shalan - near end of book **SPOILERS**
« Reply #74 on: September 17, 2010, 08:59:43 PM »
I think that a lot of people are missing something important here.  (Kari-no-sugata is the exception.)

Shallan's murder of her father (however it happened) shocked her deeply.  It was a deep source of guilt for her, and was made much worse by the fact that it lead almost immediately into the crisis her family faced afterward.  Because of this, she avoided thinking about it and almost never referred to the event.  However, it informs everything she does in the book.

For one thing, I expect it was a huge part of why she wanted to leave home.  Her plan with the soulcaster is reckless, yes.  But anything is better than staying where *it* happened.  This is also probably part of why she wanted to stay away at the end, despite her claimed loyalty to her family.

Another example, this one extremely important, is this:  When Jasnyn kills those four footpads, it catalyzes Shallan's actual theft.  I feel this is because Shallan feels so deeply that murder is wrong---and her own murder actually makes her hate it more.  Seeing it happen, given her mixed-up feeling toward her own father, who may well have deserved to die, makes her reckless and she goes through with the theft.  Thus the murder is sitting in the background behind a huge turning-point in Shallan's character arc.  And we don't even see it until after the fact.  This conclusion is supported even more by Shallan's study of philosophy---she concludes that Jasnah's act in killing the men was wrong.  How does that then relate to her own actions?  What does this tell about her?

With this insight, I feel that the reason she never brings up the Shardblade is because it is so intimately tied up with the guilt that she can't think straight about it.  She only uses it in extreme situations.  In my mind, despite it's inherent value, she just can't face what it means.  Her not using it to help her family is an emotional response, not a logical one.  And it's an important part of her character.

This is also why I feel that the dead man she draws must be her father.  She ignores the situation with her father so studiously, I would be stunned if that wasn't what she was drawing.  Her underplayed response to it actually makes me feel like that is exactly what it is---deep guilt, coming out and then being hushed up again dang quick.  Something as simple as seeing somebody else's death would not have been ignored or left unexplained, I think.

With all of this, I cannot see the Shardblade having come from anybody but her father, after his death.  I can't see Shallan as having killed anybody else, or see her referring to it as the fruit of her most heinous act for any other reason.  The situations where this would have happened are really easy to imagine; at least one plausible one has been suggested here.  There is no reason to think Shallan and her father would not have been completely alone when it happened (it's actually quite likely) and no reason Shallan could not have taken the blade in the second after his death, out of sheer stunned shock.  How she would have gotten a Shardblade before the murder---I have no idea.  If it involves her killing people, it's out.  If it involves somebody giving it to her, you have to ask why it's the fruit, not the cause, or her most heinous act.  It just doesn't make sense.  I haven't seen a coherent theory that makes sense besides the one I've outlined here!
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