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eke out
Feb 24, 2013



afroserty posted:

Re: Lift's gift

I thought that Lift's request granted by Cultivation was kind of clearly fulfilled in Rhythm of War by the fact that she was "to stay the same" by still being able to use use her surgebinding powers when no one else could. It was just granted in a roundabout way by her using Lifelight instead of Stormlight, because the tower was only suppressing storm light use. Cultivation was just using 4D chess so that they could win back the tower.

Unless I'm missing something but that fulfils the contract and ties it up into a neat little bow. Just not in the way Lift thought it would, which is to be expected.

only Progression, her healing power, actually worked, it still cut her off from Abrasion.

this has resulted in two common fan theories:
1. Kaladin could use Adhesion because it was the surge closest to Honor, and therefore the hardest to block. Perhaps Lift could only use Progression because it is the surge closest in Cultivation (it literally grows plants!)
2. Kaladin is very close to breaking through to 4th Ideal, and that makes it harder to block his surgebinding, which is mentioned several times, so perhaps Lift is also almost too "high leveled" for the suppression to work on.

I feel like the former is stronger, but it's obviously very speculative.

eke out fucked around with this message at 01:57 on Feb 11, 2021

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Taffer
Oct 15, 2010




are we even certain that boons granted by Cultivation necessarily come with a curse? We know they do from the nightwatcher but I'm not certain that that's the case with Cultivation.

Pennsylvanian
May 22, 2010


I'd like to reiterate that I don't intrinsically dislike Lift. I legitimately only gave her a tenth of a chapter, I have no prior knowledge of who she is as a character, and I plan to go back and catch myself up with her.

What did upset me though, is that her section came right after Kaladin won that duel for Adolin and got his dumb rear end imprisoned. The tonal jump and switch to a very long character introduction chapter reeked of the author not knowing what to do with the constant Kaladin cliffhangers and time jumps.

Also, keep in mind that this is after I polished off Way of Kings in the span of a few days, and then immediately went on to Words of Radiance. I could have been more amenable to the story switching back to Shallan or Dalinar, or even Eshonai (whose story I'm still not feeling), but the piling up of chapters that end with lines like "And then Kaladin's balls fell off," followed by long-rear end character introduction chapters in the middle of a book wore my patience thin.

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!



The big duel in WoR is my favorite scene in the series. It's also the closest thing to magic pro wrestling I've ever read. It owns so much.

RC Cola
Aug 1, 2011

Dovie'andi se tovya sagain






ConfusedUs posted:

The big duel in WoR is my favorite scene in the series. It's also the closest thing to magic pro wrestling I've ever read. It owns so much.

100% agree

Pennsylvanian
May 22, 2010


ConfusedUs posted:

The big duel in WoR is my favorite scene in the series. It's also the closest thing to magic pro wrestling I've ever read. It owns so much.

yep, and I love how the weight of the caste system just comes crashing back down on Kaladin's dumb head at the end.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





Pennsylvanian posted:

yep, and I love how the weight of the caste system just comes crashing back down on Kaladin's dumb head at the end.

A competent ruler could have rerailed the plan with a single sentence, "For his achievements winning a shardblade, brightlord kaladin may have his boon,"

but Alethkar has Elhokar instead so that never was an option

KKKLIP ART
Sep 3, 2004



ConfusedUs posted:

The big duel in WoR is my favorite scene in the series. It's also the closest thing to magic pro wrestling I've ever read. It owns so much.

I really like most of the big fight scenes. I didn't like most of the intended "big ending" fight scene from Oathbringer except YOU CAN NOT HAVE MY PAIN because, comeon, that was rad. I think the Tower is top tier, and then Adolin and his fight from Rhythm of War are the best 2. Though Kalidan beating down and embarrassing that voidbringer in front of everyone was also a very good battle scene.

mewse
May 2, 2006



KKKLIP ART posted:

Though Kalidan beating down and embarrassing that voidbringer in front of everyone was also a very good battle scene.

It was surprisingly gory for Sanderson, although I guess the loser wasn't actually dead, but still

Mordiceius
Nov 10, 2007

I was terrified at first, but I think I'm okay with it.



I'm actually starting to enjoy Elantris.

This would be a pretty good book if it wasn't dragged down by the chapter format and the over use of fantasy PROPER NOUNS.

seaborgium
Aug 1, 2002

"Nothing a shitload of bleach won't fix"


mewse posted:

I doubt it.. that would seem a bit too tricksy for Sanderson. We don't even know what Lift's curse was from the nightwatcher, so it's hard to speculate why her boon seems to be fading (I was thinking her interactions with stormlight or radiant ideals might be causing it, in a functionally similar way to Dalinar's boon fading). Someone in the thread might know of WoBs that illuminate parts of this

I figured it was something else, though I may have missed a WoB on it. It's also out there as a theory. We don't actually know how old Lift is, she came from far away and our first introduction is when she's joined up with a new thieving crew. We don't know that she didn't spend 50 years hanging out as a street urchin somewhere or something like that. I halfway think she got her boon of not changing by not getting older for a time, but like Dalinar's now that she's in a position to do something for Cultivation it's wearing off so she can do what's needed. It's an out there theory, but I like it.

KKKLIP ART
Sep 3, 2004



Her deal could be like Dalinar where he asked to forget his pain and it was set to slowly trickle until he back aw the man that he could be and handle it. She asked to stay the same so she hasnít changed until it was important and she had the self growth to learn to accept that we can still remember those that are lost to us even when we move on and change in life.

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



KKKLIP ART posted:

Her deal could be like Dalinar where he asked to forget his pain and it was set to slowly trickle until he back aw the man that he could be and handle it. She asked to stay the same so she hasnít changed until it was important and she had the self growth to learn to accept that we can still remember those that are lost to us even when we move on and change in life.

yeah i think this is by far the best guess.

in fact, i wonder if Cultivation likely arranging Wyndle to be sent to Lift wasn't somehow part of the whole deal, given the overt connection between her specific goal being not wanting to grow up and forget her mother and the edgedancer ideals

and personally, i do not think brandon has done the necessary amount of work to set up a "Lift is actually 50+" twist lol.

i looked at some WoBs and there's talk about how he wanted a younger teen as part of the main cast in order to further diversify the Knights Radiant we see, etc, that do not appear consistent with any lift is secretly old theories

eke out fucked around with this message at 20:09 on Feb 11, 2021

mewse
May 2, 2006



Coppermind seems pretty confident that Lift is 13 and has had the boon for 3 years.

WoB relevant to discussion:

https://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=1152#9
BRANDON SANDERSON
So Lift is a really weird one. She visited the Old Magic and asked something very strange, and the Old Magic didnít know how to treat that, and so answered with something equally strange. So you will actually see what happened with Lift and things like that, but suffice it to say some really weird things are going on.

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



mewse posted:

Coppermind seems pretty confident that Lift is 13 and has had the boon for 3 years.

WoB relevant to discussion:

https://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=1152#9
BRANDON SANDERSON
So Lift is a really weird one. She visited the Old Magic and asked something very strange, and the Old Magic didnít know how to treat that, and so answered with something equally strange. So you will actually see what happened with Lift and things like that, but suffice it to say some really weird things are going on.


while i agree with your take, that WOB is pre-oathbringer and back while he's clearly trying to keep it secret that Cultivation is personally intervening to secretly control the entire plot of these books lol

mewse
May 2, 2006



eke out posted:

while i agree with your take, that WOB is pre-oathbringer and back while he's clearly trying to keep it secret that Cultivation is personally intervening to secretly control the entire plot of these books lol

Didn't realize that at all, thanks

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



mewse posted:

Didn't realize that at all, thanks

the funny thing is i bet it's technically true, because that's exactly what happened with Dalinar, he asked for something the "Old Magic" aka the Nightwatcher couldn't really comprehend and then Cultivation stepped in personally

Subvisual Haze
Nov 22, 2003

The building was on fire and it wasn't my fault.

Rereading Dalinar's chat with Cultivation

quote:

She stepped back to him. IN DOING THIS, I PROVIDE FOR HIM A WEAPON. DANGEROUS, VERY DANGEROUS. YET, ALL THINGS MUST BE CULTIVATED. WHAT I TAKE FROM YOU WILL GROW BACK EVENTUALLY. THIS IS PART OF THE COST.

IT WILL DO ME WELL TO HAVE A PART OF YOU, EVEN IF YOU ULTIMATELY BECOME HIS. YOU WERE ALWAYS BOUND TO COME TO ME. I CONTROL ALL THINGS THAT CAN BE GROWN, NURTURED. THAT INCLUDES THE THORNS.

At first I didn't really understand why Cultivation would want to bless someone even if they served Odium. In light of her most recent gambit, it seems likely that she was setting up Dalinar as a backup plan to deliver nightblood in case Taravangian failed.

External Organs
Mar 3, 2006

A cheerful person, he is known as the king of vulgarities (cursing?)

Subvisual Haze posted:

Rereading Dalinar's chat with Cultivation


At first I didn't really understand why Cultivation would want to bless someone even if they served Odium. In light of her most recent gambit, it seems likely that she was setting up Dalinar as a backup plan to deliver nightblood in case Taravangian failed.


This would also seem to imply that Dalinar is going to lose the contest of champions.

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



not sure if I agree, I think the plan with Dalinar is relatively straightforward? odium had successfully set up to subvert Honor's champion and Cultivation's secret plan undid Odium's influence at just the right time

the gambit was "Maybe this makes Dalinar even stronger for when he becomes Odium's champion if it fails" -- which it almost did, because he directly became a Knight Radiant because of that ability to forget his past

i'd agree it's a necessary step in her other plan though, since Odium needed to lose his long-term plan of taking over Dalinar in order to become desperate enough for the Taravangian/Szeth/Nightblood gambit to work

eke out fucked around with this message at 17:14 on Feb 12, 2021

Subvisual Haze
Nov 22, 2003

The building was on fire and it wasn't my fault.

External Organs posted:

This would also seem to imply that Dalinar is going to lose the contest of champions.

Like any good mastermind I think she just plans for as many contingencies as possible, and this was one of her unrealized "what if" options. And yes, I do think Dalinar will lose the contest, but the deck has been so shuffled that this isn't necessarily a bad thing in the large view of things. Taravangian is very different from Rayse, he's not a slave to his rage yet, and most important of all he seems to respect Dalinar more than any other person (and wants to prove to Dalinar that his worldview is the right one). The contract would require Dalinar to become one of Odium's immortal fused, but I doubt Taravangian would want to use his old friend in a destructive way. Dalinar instead becomes Taravangian's immortal friend/rival to have philosophical chats with and hopefully serve as a check on his most destructive impulses.

I think that will be a major theme moving forward: the Odium shard exists and is incredibly dangerous. What is the best way to direct the energies of that shard to minimize harm?

HidaO-Win
Jun 5, 2013

"And I did it, because I was a man who had exhausted reason and thus turned to magicks"

Subvisual Haze posted:

Like any good mastermind I think she just plans for as many contingencies as possible, and this was one of her unrealized "what if" options. And yes, I do think Dalinar will lose the contest, but the deck has been so shuffled that this isn't necessarily a bad thing in the large view of things. Taravangian is very different from Rayse, he's not a slave to his rage yet, and most important of all he seems to respect Dalinar more than any other person (and wants to prove to Dalinar that his worldview is the right one). The contract would require Dalinar to become one of Odium's immortal fused, but I doubt Taravangian would want to use his old friend in a destructive way. Dalinar instead becomes Taravangian's immortal friend/rival to have philosophical chats with and hopefully serve as a check on his most destructive impulses.

I think that will be a major theme moving forward: the Odium shard exists and is incredibly dangerous. What is the best way to direct the energies of that shard to minimize harm?


Merge Odium and Honour, take up the War Shard. Then have Dalinar lead your crusade across the stars until he ends up taking the shard off you.

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



i do wonder why Cultivation thought that she'd be making Dalinar stronger if not for letting him become a Radiant.

but like, he'd lose those powers if he flipped to Odium, right? maybe it's just one of those things where if someone's already experienced surgebinding they'll be even more dangerous using whatever surgebinding odium grants him.

or maybe i'm overthinking and it's just an emotional/leadership thing where if he were to grow and come to terms with his past and still choose odium, he'd be a stronger person automatically

Pennsylvanian
May 22, 2010


Finished Words of Radiance today:

-If Sebarial was Highprince of War, this series would be over by now and everyone would be partying.

-Adolin did nothing wrong. Seriously. I realize there will be ramifications for his actions, but if the book wants me to think that "Oh, he shouldn't have done it because it sinks him to Sadeas' level," then it's gonna have to convince me that he didn't simultaneously avenge 5,000 dead soldiers while preventing Sadeas from pointlessly killing more people in the future.

-I don't get the Shallan hate that I see online, especially from people who think I'm crazy for not being into Rysn or Lift. I think her "blushing" during every other line of dialogue is kind of overdoing it, though.

-I came around on Wit. I think he made a bad first impression on me, as he was introduced around the time the book was calling Shallan "clever" all the time. Now that he's willing to tease himself a little, as well as let himself be teased, I get a little warm feeling any time I know he's about to show up.

-Like Way of Kings, the last push of the book was super engaging and expertly paced, especially compared to the early-middle parts. I'm not a sweaty monster who needs the plot to always be pushed forward. For example, I could have an eight hundred page book about Bridge Four just dicking around. But there's just a genuine pacing problem where he'll leave interesting threads hanging just to introduce some really long, excruciating chapters that could have been split up and sent to different parts of the book.

-Brandon is like the complete opposite of a lot of authors in that the more people he has in a fight scene, the better he writes it. I find his one-on-one duels are really dull, even when those people are flying around like Dragonball Z-meets-Gang-Beasts. On the other hand, he writes the only good battle scenes I've ever read, and I loved the Adolin four-on-one duel scene.

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Pennsylvanian posted:

-I don't get the Shallan hate that I see online


:):hf::) Welcome to the club. Can't wait until you catch up on Oathbringer and Rhythm of War.

Kaiser Mazoku
Mar 24, 2011

Didn't you see it!? Couldn't you see my "spirit"!?

It seems like most of the Shallan hate stems from how she gets hyped up on her introduction, to which I say the hyping is normal and expected considering she's a noble surrounded by yes-men at the time.

Captain Monkey
Aug 23, 2007



People who dislike Shallan and like Lift are just dead wrong.

Subvisual Haze
Nov 22, 2003

The building was on fire and it wasn't my fault.

WoR Shallan was a great character.

KKKLIP ART
Sep 3, 2004



I mean I always liked her because I think her as sort of a Rosharian Darwin naturalist was pretty cool. It was also clear that her general arc was supposed to be a miler or to Kalís. gently caress all light eyes, you donít know true pain, and yet she probably did something a lot darker than anyone else save Blackthorn and has to deal with it. Her opening up to Kal sort of in the Chasm was a phenomenal part of the book and giving the idea that people are people and anyone can be broken in terrible was is great. I even loved how her RoW arc wrapped up and she sort of found some sort of middle ground within herself and is on the path to at least accept what she did, if not forgive herself for being a scared child and having killer her old spren. Itís just good.

Pennsylvanian
May 22, 2010


Shallan's intro was kind of bleh. I told a lot of people that I didn't like all of the "clever" and "witty" dialogue when I was first reading the book, and literally everyone assumed that I was just talking about Shallan. I was also thinking about lines from Kabsal, the ship captain, and that one sailor, who were all throwing out cringe lines all in the span of a chapter or two. I think her story beats of having increasingly higher hills to climb was well done, but her first two chapters sounded like theater kid banter.

I know I can sound overly-negative and it's something I'm working on (the problems of growing up in a really WASPy household), but I am enjoying this series so far.

Pennsylvanian fucked around with this message at 04:50 on Feb 15, 2021

Evil Fluffy
Jul 13, 2009

Scholars are some of the most pompous and pedantic people I've ever had the joy of meeting.

Shallan's start in the first book is rough, she gets better in the 2nd book but takes a turn for the worse in 3 while in 4 she was an active detriment other than given some more screen time to Adolin and Maya.

aparmenideanmonad
Jan 28, 2004
Balls to you and your way of mortal opinions - you don't exist anyway!

Fun Shoe

Evil Fluffy posted:

Shallan's start in the first book is rough, she gets better in the 2nd book but takes a turn for the worse in 3 while in 4 she was an active detriment other than given some more screen time to Adolin and Maya.

This is how I feel as well.

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


I'm trying to think up ways how RoW could have suffered a bit less from the Well of Ascension syndrome, but it's hard. Like with the flashbacks, it's difficult to see how they could have been better. Eshonai was dead, and Venli is not a very sympathetic or compelling character. A lot of the flashbacks would have worked better in Words of Radiance imho, including Eshonai's epilogue. But then the Shallan flashbacks would have been pushed to RoW, which isn't ideal either. And no matter which order would have been chosen, one set of flashbacks had to follow Dalinar's absolutely amazing backstory in Oathbringer. Those were some of the best flashbacks I've ever read in any book, and it's hard to compete with that. So RoW's flashbacks would have felt a step backwards after Oathbringer anyway. And I found Shallan's backstory in RoW not terribly compelling either, I cared less about it than I cared about Kaladin's. So from the pure structure of the books, that part at least was always super difficult to get right. And seeing the Blackthorn in action was absolutely required to get Dalinar's confrontation with Odium, so it's not like those flashbacks could have taken place in another book. I really do hope we get an Hero of Ages like payoff in Stormlight 5.

Mordiceius
Nov 10, 2007

I was terrified at first, but I think I'm okay with it.



Does Sanderson's writings ever get less... extremely hetero?

Across the Mistborn trilogy and the first half of Elantris I've listened to, it all is extremely hetero at all times.

Also, aspects of Elantris feel very Mormon - in a way that Mistborn doesn't.

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


You'll be much happier when you get to Stormlight. There are characters across the whole spectrum.

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


Mordiceius posted:

Does Sanderson's writings ever get less... extremely hetero?

Across the Mistborn trilogy and the first half of Elantris I've listened to, it all is extremely hetero at all times.

Also, aspects of Elantris feel very Mormon - in a way that Mistborn doesn't.

Yeah, it does get a lot less hetero. Not just full on gay pairings in minor characters, there are even main characters that are not 100% straight.

socialsecurity
Aug 30, 2003
please give me anything to talk about besides the fact that democrats are allowing millions of americans to be evicted from their homes

Mordiceius posted:

Does Sanderson's writings ever get less... extremely hetero?

Across the Mistborn trilogy and the first half of Elantris I've listened to, it all is extremely hetero at all times.

Also, aspects of Elantris feel very Mormon - in a way that Mistborn doesn't.

Yes he actually realized what a problem this was and actively works to better himself on it.

DarkHorse
Dec 13, 2006

Vroom Vroom, BEEP BEEP!

Nap Ghost

Mordiceius posted:

Does Sanderson's writings ever get less... extremely hetero?

Across the Mistborn trilogy and the first half of Elantris I've listened to, it all is extremely hetero at all times.

Also, aspects of Elantris feel very Mormon - in a way that Mistborn doesn't.

Remember these are all his very first books. Elantris was the first published, and Mistborn was the first to see major success. Sanderson is extremely Mormon, and it shows in his treatment of sex, gender, relationships, marriage, alcohol and addictive substances, and cursing.

To his immense credit, he has actively sought out improvements in all these aspects and while he frequently gets it wrong he is constantly improving. In later Stormlight books there are characters who get drunk, curse, have dalliances, express same sex attraction, are asexual romantic, have debilitating addictions or mental health issues, and all are treated sympathetically or like it's part of typical human experience.

In one of the second era Mistborn books, a character gets busy with a kandra because it provides lots of opportunities for experimenting

Potato Salad
Oct 23, 2014

Nobody Cares




Mordiceius posted:

Does Sanderson's writings ever get less... extremely hetero?

Across the Mistborn trilogy and the first half of Elantris I've listened to, it all is extremely hetero at all times.

Also, aspects of Elantris feel very Mormon - in a way that Mistborn doesn't.

interspecies poo poo is probably going to be happening

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Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


I want to say more on the topic, but I really don't want to spoil you, Mordiceius. Also, Mistborn 1 is a great trilogy in regards to plot, worldbuilding, character development... but is with one (huge!) exception a nearly full sausage fest. Tindwyl got fridged for Sazed's character development, and Allriane and Beldre are pretty minor characters... who's left besides Vin? Who also doesn't survive the Catacendre, and indeed has to die for Sazed to ascend in the first place? I really love the books, but I'm honestly not sure whether they even pass the Bechdel test or not.

mod edit: added spoiler tags

Somebody fucked around with this message at 17:24 on Feb 16, 2021

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