|<< WoR Ch. 89: The Four / WoR: Endnote >>|
Progression of the Chapter:
Wit waits at the back of beyond, entertaining the local fauna with esoteric discussions of art; a ring of light spins before him, and Jasnah appears at the center of it; she points an instantly-summoned Blade at Wit, who is profoundly unconcerned by it; after a bit of verbal fencing, Jasnah begins to list the things that will, or will need to, happen; Wit crosses off each item on her list as she goes; they begin walking toward the nearest town; further information is exchanged; Jasnah realizes that most of what she has learned may be irrelevant; with a brief philosophical discussion of the nature of God, they proceed on their way back to what's left of civilization.
Quote of the Chapter:
|“|| "Expectation. That is the true soul of art. If you can give a man more than he expects, then he will laud you his entire life. If you can create an air of anticipation and feed it properly, you will succeed.
"Conversely, if you gain a reputation for being too good, too skilled ... beware. The better art will be in their heads, and if you give them an ounce less than they imagined, suddenly you have failed. Suddenly you are useless. A man will find a single coin in the mud and talk about it for days, but when his inheritance comes and is accounted one percent less than he expected, then he will declare himself cheated."
Development of the Chapter:
Jasnah is alive!
While some readers are delighted to learn that she isn't dead, other readers are delighted to have their belief that she never really was dead confirmed. However, it might well be that readers are going to get a similar type of death in one of the next three books, and just when all are looking smugly around and saying, "Nah, he's not really dead," the thoroughly dead body will show up and all will be gaping like fish, wondering how that happened.
So what, precisely, has Jasnah been doing over there in Shadesmar? Where did she get a backpack and a bandolier, and what does the bandolier hold? (Wit doesn’t see fit to mention that.) Perhaps she met someone - maybe Khriss? - in Shadesmar, and was able to obtain some useful items. Presumably, she was also able to find some source of food, since she's been there physically this entire time. (One would assume a physical body gets hungry, even when it's wandering around in the Cognitive Realm.) But there are a whole bunch of minor details included that raise a whole bunch of major questions. How did she get burned? That wasn't part of the assassination. What did she do in Shadesmar to get so tattered? It's quite possible she had a belt knife, which she could use to cut her dress to a practical length, but did she always carry needles and thread in her pocket? Somehow, she'd sewed herself a glove. Or maybe she just got Ivory to turn himself into a Shardneedle?
There are a few things readers do know, however. She was able to learn some things from the highspren regarding previous Desolations even if the account is incomplete. Unfortunately, she learned enough to know that things are happening differently this time ... which means that the information she sought at Urithiru, if it even exists there, may not be as useful as she had anticipated.
Readers also know that she now has a fully functional Shardblade-level bond. Just when she spoke the Oaths - and what they are - to bring her up to that level, readers don't know. Considering she's been working on it for six years, it's quite possible that she's been a full-fledged Radiant for a while, and readers just didn't know.
It's rather obvious that Jasnah and Wit won't get along very well. His particular brand of humor, especially in context of a dire threat to her world, would be really grating to her. While Jasnah clearly has a sense of humor, Wit's overt snark wouldn't be the sort of thing she'd find all that funny. Perhaps, in a time of less urgency, she'd be mildly amused by him mocking Amaram, but ... this is not that day.
Finally, there is the brief interchange on the subject of God. There is the specific acknowledgement that Tanavast, so-called "Almighty," is definitely not God, though for practical purposes on Roshar, he was a god. But, does Hoid consider Adonalsium to be God, or is he doing some hand-wavy "God is whoever we think he is" schtick? If it's the latter, there's not much more to be said. If it’s the former ... then one has to wonder about the implications.
The scene leaves readers with more questions than answers, despite Jasnah's return and her identification as an Elsecaller. However, without sayin as much in the scene, it can be said that Hoid employed his use of Fortune to find her ... just as he did with Taln at the end of The Way of Kings.
The timing is currently unknown. Wit believes that the storm should hit Shinovar this night, but whether that's because he knows when it will hit, or if it's an estimate based on the speed of highstorms, he doesn't say. In any case, it should be sometime during the gap between Chapter 88 and Chapter 89.
No actual spren were observed in this chapter.
However, Wit comments:
|“||"You've been making quite a disturbance on the other side," Wit said. "It's been a long time since the spren had to deal with someone alive, particularly someone so demanding as yourself."||”|
Imagine the poor spren trying to figure out what to do with Jasnah, stomping around in Shadesmar demanding answers. Still, it's pretty cool that she was able to do some research with them.
All Creatures Shelled and Feathered:
There is an "ugly lizard-crab thing," which one might assume is some sort of cremling. And songlings, which must be related to cicadas or something like that. The best part is how both critters seem to respond to Wit's conversation. Does he actually manage to a) communicate with them or b) manipulate their responses? It may not actually matter.
|“|| 'The air in front of him blurred, as if heated in a ring near the ground. A streak of light spun about the ring, forming a wall five or six feet high. It faded immediately - really, it was just an afterimage, as if something glowing had spun in the circle very quickly.
In the center of it appeared Jasnah Kholin, standing tall.
|“|| "You realize we're at least a week away from civilization. Did you need to Elsecall this far out in the middle of nowhere?"
"I was somewhat pressed at the time of my escape. I'm lucky to be here at all."
Readers will enjoy learning more about Elsecalling in Oathbringer. Presumably, with practice it can be used in a more precise manner than this, or it wouldn't be much good. But just what was Jasnah escaping from when she was so pressed for time? She clearly spent a hefty chunk of time in Shadesmar; even if time doesn't seem to pass in the same way, she was there long enough to get information from the highspren. So it doesn't make sense that she's referring to her escape from the ship. More of those "grinders" (painspren) from the non-canon Jasnah scene?
The symbolism in the chapter icon is fairly clear. The Joker represents Wit, who is also the main pov character. Battar represents the Elsecallers, of which Jasnah is a (the?) member.
- Paraphrased from Alice Arneson