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WoR Ch78


AhbutttheywereleftbehindItisobviousfromthenatureofthebondbutwherewherewherewhereSetoffObvious

RealizationlikeapricityTheyarewiththeShinWemustfindoneCanwemaketouseaTruthlessCanwecraftaweapon

–From the Diagram, Floorboard 17: paragraph 2, every second letter starting with the first.


Point of view: Shallan
Setting: The Shattered Plains

Progression of the Chapter:

Shallan watches the rain while her soldiers watch her; she and Pattern consider and discuss creationspren, art, and lies; Dalinar enters and speaks with her about Jasnah; the time has come to reveal her Surgebinding; Dalinar is awed and encouraged; they are interrupted by news of a Parshendi sighting; Shallan refuses to be told what to do; the dead Parshendi is a new form ... and has red eyes; another Parshendi arrives; he is recognized by Bridge Four as their former parshman Shen, and he is here to surrender.

Quote of the Chapter:

"Brightlord Dalinar?" Shallan said. "What if your task wasn’t to refound the Knights Radiant?"

"That is what I just said," Dalinar replied.

"What if instead, your task was to gather them?"

He looked back to her, waiting. Shallan felt a cold sweat. What was she doing?

I have to tell someone sometime, she thought. I can’t do as Jasnah did, holding it all. This is too important. Was Dalinar Kholin the right person? Well, she certainly couldn’t think of anyone better.

Shallan held out her palm, then breathed in, draining one of her spheres. Then she breathed back out, sending a cloud of shimmering Stormlight into the air between herself and Dalinar. She formed it into a small image of Jasnah, the one she’d just drawn, on top of her palm.

"Almighty above," Dalinar whispered. A single awespren, like a ring of blue smoke, burst out above him, spreading like the ripple from a stone dropped in a pond. Shallan had seen such a spren only a handful of times in her life.

Dalinar likely realized that Amaram was totally not a Knight Radiant, and had his hopes in Kaladin crushed. Then he got word that Jasnah might actually have been one, but she’s dead. Blow after blow, when he’s all too aware of how the Radiants are needed now. Then Shallan gives him a tiny Illusion of Jasnah.

The rekindling of hope is a beautiful thing to see.

Development of the Chapter:

There are some interesting notes regarding Shallan’s soldiers at the beginning of the chapter. In the previous chapter, she wondered if she should have looked more closely into Gaz’s debts when she was worrying that he might have disappeared. In this chapter, she admits to herself that she had "honestly expected them to run off after gaining their clemency." So ... she's a little less idealistic than she appeared, and a lot more pragmatic. She was essentially buying a temporary security force with future money, and expected them to take their reward and go. Instead, they are proud to be hers. They probably each have their own reasons for it, but it's rather fun to watch.

Following is when Dalinar really lets it all sink in:

"It’s amazing," Dalinar said, his voice so soft she could barely hear it over the pattering rain. "It is wonderful." He looked up at her, and there were - shockingly - tears in his eyes. "You’re one of them."

"Maybe, kind of?" Shallan said, feeling awkward. This man, so commanding, so much larger than life, should not be crying in front of her.

"I’m not mad," he said, more to himself, it seemed. "I had decided that I wasn’t, but that’s not the same as knowing. It’s all true. They’re returning."

There's an awkwardness in Shallan, which is humorous. But the validation it gives Dalinar and the realization of how much he needed the confirmation of something outside his own head is precious.

One of the key events in this chapter is Shallan’s conscious emulation of Jasnah's autonomy. Her objection to Dalinar's telling Navani is specious, but the rest of it is an exquisite combination of her innate stubbornness, commitment to her task, practicality, and imitation of Jasnah. Finding Urithiru is not only her personal goal; she’s really the only one who has a prayer of actually finding it, much less making it work. All that, she knows - but she has to stand up for it, against a man 30-some years her senior, the man in charge of the whole operation ... really, the one man who might be considered to have the authority to permit or deny her plans.

Stormwatch:

There are 6 ... 5 ... 4 days left in the countdown. This is Day 5 of the expedition.

Sprenspotting:

Creationspren are odd little spren, in that they continually change shapes and form images of objects around them. Just how might they appear in the Cognitive Realm? Pattern’s reaction to those which had gathered around Shallan while she was drawing is both laughable and peculiar.

He sniffed. "Useless things."

"The creationspren?"

"They don’t do anything. They flit around and watch, admire. Most spren have a purpose. These are merely attracted by someone else’s purpose."

Are creationspren to Cryptics as windspren are to Honorspren? Probably not ... because Pattern is so contemptuous of them, while Syl constantly refers to windspren as her cousins. So, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

As for Dalinar’s awespren, they're goose-bump-inducing.

Heraldic Symbolism:

Ishar and Shalash represent their Knights-to-be. That, and Dalinar is following in his footsteps as the one to reorganize the Knights Radiant that Ishar first organized.

Shipping Wars:

Shallan freely acknowledges that Jasnah set up the causal betrothal to Adolin as a means of binding Shallan to the Kholin family. It’s also worth noting that she blushes when she admits it.

Words of Diagram:

This epigraph most certainly gives credence to the theory that Szeth plus the Honorblade is "the weapon" from the previous chapter. "They were left behind," and "they are with the Shin" pretty much has to mean the Honorblades; in context, it seems rather like Truthless are the only ones required to use them.

So, just when did the Diagram come into being? The common assumption is that it was after Gavilar’s death. This almost sounds like Taravangian's minions were actively influencing Szeth to make him Truthless so that he’d get the Honorblade.

- Paraphrased from Alice Arneson[1]

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