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Honorblade

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Honorblades symbols

Drawing by Isaac Stewart

Honorblades were carried by the Heralds to fight the Voidbringers during Desolations. These Blades are similar to Shardblades, but far more powerful. Unlike Shardblades, however, Honorblades disappear when each Herald who is bonded to a given Blade dies.[1] Each of the ten Blades is unique, and they might be synonymous with the mysterious Dawnshards in some as yet inexplicable way.

Though Honorblades are the weapons used by the Heralds and not the Knights Radiant, they give the power of a Knight Radiant to whomever wields them; they are not spren, but made by the Almighty himself. The swords of the Knights are Shardblades too; they are alive.

Shallan believes Honorblades and Shardblades to be separate.[2] Still, it is generally assumed that Shardblades were modeled after the Honorblades.[3] (Much in the same way, it might be said that fabrial technology was modeled after Shardblade technology.)

Nine of the Honorblades appear to have been 'lost' at Aharietiam, when the Heralds ended the Oathpact. The tenth is carried by Talenel’Elin; the only Herald who did not survive the Last Desolation.[1]




Warning Book Spoiler: Significant plot details follow.





Initially, during Words of Radiance, it is stated that the abilities of each of the groups of Surgebinders are imitations of the abilities granted by one of the ten Honorblades; Szeth's Blade grants him the abilities of a Windrunner without the need of the Nahel bond, which Syl confirms. However, this causes the wielder to rely on far more Stormlight than a normal Surgebinder would in a similar situation.[3]

"The Honorblades are what we are based on, Kaladin. Honor gave these to men, and those men gained powers from them. Spren figured out what He'd done, and we imitated it. We're bits of his power, after all, like this sword. Be careful with it. It is a treasure."

–Syl to Kaladin[3]

(Syl makes this statement after Kaladin has obtained Szeth's Honorblade, after killing him - in the original hardcover edition; after slicing off his hand - in the subsequent paperback edition.)[3][4]

Syl states that Honoblades are not spren, but that someone in possession of an Honorblade can do what a Windrunner can, but without the checks a spren requires. She also mentions that using Stormlight at the level required to wield an Honorblade is dangerous, hinting that such may have serious drawbacks or ill effects if used for prolonged periods of time. The Honorblades were originally used by and meant for the ten Heralds, not for Knights Radiant.[3]

"With this sword, someone can do what you can, but without the ... checks a spren requires. This sword gave the assassin power to use Lashings, but it also fed upon his Stormlight. A person who uses this will need far, far more Light than you will. Dangerous levels of it."

–Syl to Kaladin[3]

It is also mentioned by Szeth that the 'other Honorblades' are stored within Shinovar.[5]

6Honor

Tracings and color by Awesomeness Summoned

AbilitiesEdit

Honor Betab

Betab
Tracing and color by Awesomeness Summoned

Honor Chach

Chach
Tracing and color by Awesomeness Summoned

Honor Jez

Jez
Tracing and color by Awesomeness Summoned

Honor Kak

Kak
Tracing and color by Awesomeness Summoned

Honor Nan

Nan
Tracing and color by Awesomeness Summoned

Honor Shash

Shash
Tracing and color by Awesomeness Summoned

Each Honorblade grants its user the powers of two Surges and the ability to absorb Stormlight, effectively making the user one of the Knights Radiant without the Nahel bond with a spren.[6][3]

If the Honorblades are, in fact, the Dawnshards, then they have the power to 'bind' any creature - mortal or Void - according to the Poem of Ista .[7] What this means exactly has yet to be explained.

Honorblades have far more destructive power than Shardblades and can strike through Shardplate.[8] Two hits can destroy Shardplate so long as the Blade hits the same place.

Two of the Honorblades have been confirmed to allow Regrowth.[9]

List of Honorblades
Original Wielder Surges Current Location Current Wielder
Jezrien Adhesion Gravitation

Urithiru

Szeth (TWoK/WoR); Kaladin (WoR)

Nalan'Elin Gravitation Division Unknown Hinted to be original wielder (WoR)
Chanarach

Division 

Abrasion

Shinovar[5] Unknown
Vedeledev Abrasion Progression Shinovar[5] Unknown
Palah Progression Illumination Shinovar[5] Unknown
Shalash Illumination Transformation Shinovar[5] Unknown
Battar Transportation Transformation Shinovar[5] Unknown
Kalak

Transportation Cohesion

Shinovar[5] Unknown
Talenel'Elin

Tension

Cohesion

Urithiru Implied to be original wielder (TWoK); Dalinar (WoR - assumed)
Ishar

Tension

Adhesion

Shinovar[5] Unknown

AppearanceEdit

Taln's Honorblade is described as massive, reflective of torchlight, long, narrow, straight, and shaped like an enormous spike.[10]

NotesEdit

Within a Q&A, Brandon stated that Shinovar has seven Honorblades. It is unknown whether this includes Szeth's original Blade, now possessed by Kaladin, and/or with the Blade previously held by Talenel, now cast aside by Dalinar at the direction of the Stormfather;[11] this leaves two Honorblades unaccounted for. Where they are held or by whom is unknown.

Similarly, at a book signing, Brandon stated that an Honorblade cannot be bonded to anyone, only given. Brandon also confirmed that Honorblades can indeed be wielded by those other than the Heralds.[12] This explains how Szeth is able to use the Honorblade he wielded (i.e., Jezrien 's) before it was taken from him by Kaladin, but leaves just how he acquired it a mystery. This also confirms Dalinar's ability to use the Shardblade that was likely Talenel's Honorblade. So, did Honor 'give' the Honorblades to the Heralds?

SpeculationEdit

Reader/contributor Siibt theorizes it is unlikely that the Shardblade taken from Talenel is an Honorblade due to the screaming that Dalinar hears when the Blade is summoned. The Stormfather tells Dalinar to get rid of it and upon doing so, he hears a scream in his mind.[11] This is previously evidenced whence upon taking Szeth's Honorblade, Kaladin hears no screaming.[5]

Given that the Blades originally wielded by Shalash and Battar grant their users the Surge of Transformation, might it be inferred that one of their two Blades is now in the hands of Kaladin (due to the restored arm of Lopen by contact with Kaladin)[3] instead of that of Jezrien, or is something else at play here?

Q&A with BrandonEdit

Q. Do Honorblades have the same sort of relationship to Honor (possibly to a much greater degree) that Shardblades do?

A. You're on the right track.[13]

ReferencesEdit

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