If you have read Mistborn, then you know Sanderson has a way of setting things up and then turning them upside down and still make them have perfect sense. So with that in mind and because, really, Way of Kings is just entirely too long with way too many things to remember, I've decided to share my notes and theories on certain details from The Way of Kings.
If you haven't read The Way of Kings, for the love of the Almighty, don't keep reading!
My Speculations on The Stormlight Archive
- First off we have the Prologue, yeah lots of interesting tidbits in the prologue already xD
- The Heralds here talk of the Oathpact, which is then referenced in a dream Kaladin has. We don't really know what this Oathpact entails. Power that was granted to a few so they could successfully fight in the Desolations in exchange for the Heralds to suffer in between?
- One of these powers is to ride the storm winds like Kaladin was doing in his dream.
CHILD OF TANAVAST. CHILD OF HONOR. CHILD OF ONE LONG SINCE DEPARTED. The sudden voice shook Kaladin; he floundered in the air. THE OATHPACT WAS SHATTERED.
- There is quite a bit of information here. I've read in some forums that Tanavast is another name for the Almighty, where they got that from, I don't know, but I'd rather believe it's the name for a different god. And as that quote points out, because this oathpact was shattered, Windrunners are no longer allowed to well, run in the wind lol, but how much more is there to it?
- Before I keep going with that, let's go back to the Prologue. Kalak and Jezrien's conversation mentions that they were hoping their plan would keep the enemy bound, but that obviously doesn't work. We now know the enemy is one of the gods, called Odium, from Dalinar's conversation with the Almighty at the end. We also find out that Odium actually killed the Almighty, how he killed another god who knows? But apparently there are rules involved, I'd very much like to know what they are. I'll come back to this particular chapter later.
- Maybe the point of the oathpact was actually to keep Odium bound by sending the Heralds to his world as some kind of slaves or something, since they mention that they suffer "The flesh burning. The fires. The pain over and over and over..." I'm sure there is still more to it.
- Let's go back to Kaladin's dream. The voice, which I have no clue who it is, tells Kaladin:
ODIUM COMES. MOST DANGEROUS OF ALL SIXTEEN. YOU WILL NOW GO.
- So does that mean Odium is literally going to show his face? Or he means he is coming into reign therefore bringing in the last Desolation, the Everstorm, or both?
- There is the mention of 'Most dangerous of all sixteen". So there are sixteen gods in total. We know of Odium, The Almighty (who could be Tanavast as well, but if he isn't then there is Tanavast as another possibility) and we have Cultivation, who is mentioned by the Almighty in that conversation with Dalinar at the end. So we know at the very least 3 out of the 16 gods. I wonder who each one is and what they are in charge of.
I cannot see the future completely. Cultivation, she is better at it than I.
- Let's talk about Szeth for a minute. You guys might be surprised but I kind of like him more than Kaladin :o It's just, he is so bad ass, and strong, yet weak. After having had to follow such atrocious assassinations against his will, he is still somewhat still going. That might just be cause he is forbidden from killing himself but still. He carries out his orders and yet still has more humanity left that the Masters he is forced to follow. And for that I admire him.
- What I'd like to know is what he is. I don't think he is an actual Windrunner like Kaladin. I believe he is something else, similar, but something else altogether.
- What exactly does being Truthless entail? Why did he get that title? Was it something he did or was it just from birth? Or is it simply because he can manipulate stormlight and they don't accept that in the Shin religion?
- Then we have Szeth's Shardblade, which isn't actually like a normal Shardblade. Sure it comes out in 10 heartbeats but it's shorter than an actual Shardblade. A friend pointed out that it might be a Herald blade instead. From the 10 blades the Heralds left in a circle back in the Prologue. This makes more sense to me actually, although Szeth still doesn't really like to use it.
- Which brings me to my next point! What is wrong with the Shards? Both the blades and plates. Both Kaladin and Syl don't like them, they are disgusted by them, so is Szeth although he still uses his. Shallan as well seems very reluctant to use hers.
- Yes, Shallan has one! They mention it in passing a few times when she almost summoned it back when Jasnah decided to make philosophy hands on. I'm guessing she used it to kill her dad, then took it for herself.
- Anyway back to the messed up Shards. The Almighty mentions to Dalinar that he must "return the Shards they once bore." and then he goes on to say "A champion could work well for you, but it is not certain. And... without the Dawnshards... "
- So here is what I think. In one of Dalinar's visions where he say some Radiants in their Shardplates, he mentioned that they were different than the ones they had now, with glyphs and such on them. I think when the Radiants discarded them and bailed, Odium took it upon himself to corrupt the Dawnshards and hence turned them into the Shards they have now.
- I think this would explain the battle Thrill Adolin, Dalinar and Sadeas are always talking about. We see how the Thrill affects Dalinar. It's like the turn into killing machines and actually LIKE it, which is disgusting, but I think that's the point.
- Now that Dalinar is steadfast in his morals and codes, the Thrill isn't quite working as well on him as it used to, and he is finally seeing it for what it is. I'm guessing they are going to have to figure out a way to make them Dawnshards again. Once they do I think Kaladin and Syl, and Szeth and Shallan for that matter, won't have a problem with them.
- Now for some questions I have absolutely not even an inkling of an answer for lol.
- The sphere! I hope you didn't forget about THE sphere. The one Galvinar gave to Szeth before he killed him. What the hell is it? and what is it for? My guess: it has something to do with parshendi.
- Galvinar's last words. What do they mean? Did he actually even finish what he wanted to say? When he was telling Szeth it sounded more like he didn't actually finish the thoughts, but the way Szeth wrote it, he made it sound like a complete idea. So which one is it? And what does it mean either way?
- The three people that were looking for Hoid. Who are they? Ghostbloods maybe? But why are they looking for Hoid anyway?
- The spren. What is their true purpose? Besides the honor spren how do they tie in with the Knight Radiants and the Desolations?
- The big question. The Voidbringers. Are they really the Parshendi? With how Sanderson is, I'm guessing it's probably not that simple. If they are, then what sets them off? What caused the transformation? Maybe it's not even an actual transformation and the Parshendi just are. Who the hell knows at this point.
And so I leave you with this, my lovely readers!
"Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination. Speak again the ancient oaths and return to men the Shards they once bore." He turned to Dalinar, meeting his eyes. "The Knights Radiant must stand again."