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|“||The sign on the wall proposed a greater danger, even, than it's deadline. To foresee the future is of the Voidbringers.||”|
–From the journal of Navani, Jeseses 1174
Progression of the Chapter:
A proclamation is made, and Rock is amused by the idea of Highprinces rioting; bridgemen will eat like kings, but only for the purpose of training new cooks; Kaladin agrees to let Sigzil study and measure his powers; Sylphrena is confused by Kaladin's refusal to be happy when things get better, which he explains as increased responsibilities; Sadeas reveals that he's a sociopath (as if readers didn't already know); Kaladin calls Moash down for getting mouthy, and stands in on his first strategy conference; Adolin's scabbard is unlocked; and politics are planned.
Quote of the Chapter:
Dalinar put his hands on the thick stone windowsill. He stared out, as if at something he could see and the rest of them could not. I’ll have us be what we were before, son. A kingdom that can stand through storms, a kingdom that is a light and not a darkness. I will have a truly unified Alethkar, with highprinces who are loyal and just. I’ll have more than that. He tapped the windowsill. I’m going to refound the Knights Radiant.
This passage sets out so clearly the difference between what they are and what they need to become. In The Way of Kings, one of the Radiants in a vision told Dalinar that Alethkar was the kingdom dedicated to maintaining the knowledge of warfare for the purpose of enabling humanity to defend itself during the Desolations. It has become a kingdom that exalts warfare above all else for no purpose at all.
Development of the Chapter:
Sadeas is a sociopath; the only time he feels alive is when he’s in battle fighting for domination. His wife, Ialai, is a match for him; she has an extensive network of spies and assassins and loves to employ them. She doesn’t give any opinion about her husband's goals, or his reasons for them; she only seems interested in using her skills to forward whatever he wants to do. Just how Ialai’s network compares to that of Jasnah we don't yet know. However, they both seem to be successfully hidden from everyone else.
This chapter is loaded with behavioral issues with regard to Moash. He gets mouthy when anyone questions Kaladin; apparently that’s only acceptable from Bridge Four and maybe Dalinar. He seems nearly as angry with Kaladin for cutting him off as he is with the questioning he endures. On the other hand, he admits his fault after Kaladin explains it. Kaladin thinks of Moash as as close to a real friend as he’d known since being branded but is irritated by his behavior.
Conversation in Bridge Four gatherings was subdued, following the strange break-in at Dalinar's quarters. Kaladin felt a fool. Dalinar, however, seemed to be ignoring the break-in entirely. He knew far more than he was telling Kaladin.
Dalinar doesn’t want to be king; he wants Elhokar to be a good king, but he’s the kind of person who sees what needs to be done and just does it. He doesn’t intentionally usurp Elhokar's power ... but he does, without realizing how it looks to everyone else, nevertheless.
The most obvious effect of the strategy conference is the beginning of Adolin's return to dueling. Kaladin’s reaction is ... accurate: “So he’s spoiled and cocky.” Yeah, well, Kaladin, sometimes someone else actually excels at something - and sometimes, they know it. Is it being cocky when it’s true?
"Life before death," Kaladin thought, playing with a sphere he’d pulled from his pocket; "strength before weakness, journey before destination." Those Immortal Words made up the First Ideal in its entirety. He had only an inkling of what it meant, but his ignorance hadn’t stopped him from figuring out the Second Ideal of the Windrunners, the oath to protect those who could not protect themselves.
Syl wouldn't tell him the other three. She said he would know them when he needed to. Or he wouldn’t, and would not progress."
This implies that full understanding of the First Ideal is not necessary to start the process. Acceptance of the words, and that one needs to grow into the understanding, is relevant. It still leaves the question, though, whether the other four ideals of the Windrunners are actually progressive in themselves, or if they are incident-activated in random order.
Syl is troubled by the writing on the wall; it is not from Honor, and she believes it dangerous. As a honorspren, Syl is wary of anything not-of-Honor. Does she (unlike us) know that it could be of either Cultivation or, given the danger, Odium?
Creatures Shelled and Feathered:
The paperweight on the women’s writing desk is described as containing a strange kind of crab-thing with wings. Is this some sort of cremling?
Chanarach is associated with the role of Guard, which might be here to represent Kaladin taking up his role as bodyguard for Dalinar. She also represents the attributes of Brave/Obedient.
- Paraphrased from Alice Arneson