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WoR Ch18


Scholorform shown for patience and thought.
Beware its ambitions innate.
Though study and diligence bring the reward,
Loss of innocence may be one's fate.

–From the Listener Song of Listing, 69th stanza


Point of view: Kaladin
Setting: The Shattered Plains

Progression of the Chapter:

Lopen reports to Kaladin on the promising state of the new recruits; Kaladin turns his nose up at food wrapped in bread, like he doesn’t eat grain made out of rocks; patrol routes and highstorm preparations are refined; Zahel trains Renarin by teaching him to jump off of high things; Kaladin assumes he’s above all this, earning a verbal smackdown from Zahel; a prince jumps off a high thing, then does it again head-first; Kaladin refuses training from a weapons master, then gets trained anyway; despite his best efforts, Kaladin keeps getting punched and kicked; Zahel simulates an assassination; Adolin picks a fight with Kaladin and Kaladin gets thrown across the sparring grounds; Stormlight deserts Kaladin at a critical moment; and, Adolin gets firmly chewed out.

Quote of the Chapter:

He cut off as scraping from atop the building announced Renarin Kholin charging and throwing himself off into the air, boots grinding against the stone coping of the roof. He sailed a good ten or twelve feet out over the courtyard - practiced Shardbearers could do far better - before floundering and crashing down into the sand.

Commentary:

This chapter begins with Lopen reporting that the "new guys are coming along," giving an update on the status of their training, and how they’re adapting to the most important first step of wearing clothes that make them proud and talking like people who believe they have value. That’s no accident; it underscores how much of a jerk Kaladin is to Renarin later in the chapter. Renarin is wearing armor that he doesn’t feel like he deserves, trying to learn how to move in it, trying to be the proper lighteyes that no one thought he could become. Like the men Kaladin took under his wing, he’s weak and beaten down, and he thinks he’s worthless because of the circumstances of his birth.

Kaladin probably thinks Renarin is a spoiled lighteyes with both Plate and Blade, who’s only tolerated because of favoritism. He's kind of right. Dalinar wants to protect Alethkar, all of it, but he wants to protect his family and loved ones first. If this is a sin, though, it’s one that Kaladin is just as guilty of. Kaladin’s whole paradigm requires finding a few people to shelter, to hang onto with all his might, and he selects those people for their weaknesses.

Renarin is his 'type'. It makes perfect sense that he ends up in Bridge Four, despite that this is Renarin's choice.

Adolin serves Kaladin plenty of disrespect, but people who mistreat Renarin look to Adolin. At this point, the older Kholin boy has a mountain of reasons to look at Kaladin askance. He suspects him of some kind of hidden powers, resents his position outside the command structure, and now interprets that he considers his younger brother a waste of Shards.

Zahel dressed him down, but Adolin then threw Kaladin across the training grounds. (Zahel is older than he seems and still uses strange and unknown idioms in his language.)

Ars Arcanum:

Might Kaladin lose his powers in this chapter when his held Stormlight flees him? Jezrien the edge of a Shardblade, dull them? This is useful, as it is hard to keep sparring after all your arms and legs become useless.

Heraldic Symbolism:

Jezrien judges you, Kaladin, and finds you wanting.

Shipping Wars:

So, Renarin is totally Kaladin’s 'type', and the passionate rivalrous hatred between Kaladin and Adolin burns hot and bright.

- Paraphrased from Carl Engle-Laird[1]

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