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Now go to sleep in chasms deep, with darkness all around you ...
Development of the Chapter:
The first backstory chapter establishes that all of Shallan’s chapters will be aftermath. At eleven years of age, Shallan is already a murderer, has already seen her mother try to kill her, has already bonded with a spren, and has forced herself to forget about everything. She’s already editing her memories.
This chapter starts by characterizing Shallan’s father as loving and nurturing. It's noteworthy that he's positioned so favorably. The family’s fall is made that much more acute when seen from their heights.
Obviously, Shallan is suffering from shock. She’s trembling uncontrollably, she can’t seem to blink, and she feels alienated from her own body. She first assumes that the room is shaking, and "[feels] her skin squirming." This can be likened to an out-of-body experience for her.
Pattern is present, shining around the cracks of the strongbox. Shallan perceives the strongbox as glowing for the duration in which Pattern is locked within it. She also perceives Pattern as a monster during this time, and is sure that everyone can see her guilt, so it’s possible that she’s mentally creating the light for herself.
Vedel presides over this chapter. Her divine attributes are Loving and Healing, and Brightlord Davar is doing his best to provide both. Also gracing the chapter is the symbol for Shallan: Pattern inscribed in a double circle. This is the first time this symbol appears in The Stormlight Archive.
- Paraphrased from Carl Engle-Laird