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WoR Ch14

Mateform meek for love to share,
Given to life, it brings us joy.
To find this form, one must care.
True empathy one must employ.

–From the Listener Song of Listing, 5th stanza

Point of view: Adolin
Setting: The Shattered Plains

Progression of the Chapter:

Adolin discourses with his unnamed Shardblade about when he won it, and the battle ahead; he prepares for the duel, mentally and physically; Adolin joins his brother and aunt in the staging room; Renarin runs Adolin through his victory checklist, confirming that chicken was consumed, a chain was pocketed, and a sword was spoken to; Adolin remains stalwartly illiterate in the face of glyphs; no one worries overmuch about the delay of Kaladin in particular; Adolin enters the arena, which is full of onlookers but empty of Sadeas; his opponent, Salinor, prepares for a traditional and artistic duel; Adolin beats him senseless in a show of undignified brutality; despite the highjudge’s shock, no one can prove he broke any rules; Adolin ignores accusations of cheating and takes Salinor’s Shardblade; Adolin gives Renarin the Blade, although his brother doesn’t really seem to want or like it; Navani compliments Adolin’s strategy, and promises to find him more duels.

Quote of the Chapter:

"Victory?" Adolin guessed.

Navani lowered it, raising an eyebrow at him.

"What?" Adolin said as his armorers entered, carrying the pieces of his Shardplate.

"It says 'safety and glory'," Navani said. "It wouldn’t kill you to learn some glyphs, Adolin."

He shrugged. "Never seemed that important."

Adolin doesn't even know enough to tell the difference between one word and two? How did this never seem important to him, at all? (Just why male illiteracy amongst the followers of Vorinism even exists is baffling!)


Adolin is finally back in his natural environment; the duelist is passionate, powerful, but most surprisingly of all, calculating and tactical. He knows that Salinor is no threat to him, and he knows that he isn’t dueling for himself, so he takes a path designed to make the biggest possible impact and further his father's goals. Even though he actually embarrassed Salinor because he was full of rage, there was probably a part of him driving forward the scheme.

Dalinar reads glyphs, as does Kaladin, and they’re established as useful tactical tools. Adolin is, to put it plainly, a jock. But he’s a smart jock. He reads opponents and situations effortlessly.

While his pre-duel preparations seem deeply silly in the abstract, though they manage to make a kind of sense: he has to eat chicken because a duelist needs protein, and Adolin makes sure to get it. He carries his mother’s chain, and while that has no obvious tactical advantage, no one could blame him for the sentiment. (except Navani, who sometimes reacts to the emotional displays of others with whom she is close). Most importantly, he talks to his sword, and while this is the strangest, it’s also strangely appropriate. Adolin seems to have an ill-formed sense of the big secret about Shardblades. He never named his sword, because he feels like the Radiant who first owned it must have given it a more appropriate name. He treats it not like a possession, but a partner.

Adolin and Renarin care about each other so much, and they’re a wonderful team. (Too bad Adolin is forcing the painful Shardblade on his poor, supposedly sickly brother.)

In the end, Navani remains confident of her daughter’s return.


After getting the Shards beaten out of him, Salinor is surrounded by fearspren.

Ars Mechanica:

While not much is technically new in this chapter, there is a solid regrounding in the mechanics of Plate and Blade. Also, a Shardbearer can break the bond on a Shardblade, by touching the ruby on the hilt that binds the Bearer and Blade together.

Heraldic Symbolism:

Almost every Adolin chapter in The Way of Kings was also a Dalinar chapter. However, now that Adolin is a fully-fledged and mostly-independent viewpoint character, he’s earned himself a chapter symbol of his own. It’s a little strange that the duelist depicted in this symbol isn’t in Windstance, Adolin’s preferred form.

This is the first time Kalak has been seen in a chapter arch. He’s definitely not shown up in any other chapter of Words of Radiance. Kalak’s attributes are Resolute and Builder, which only kind of fit the mood of this chapter. But, then again, Kalak didn’t particularly embody those virtues in the Prelude to The Way of Kings.

- Paraphrased from Alice Arneson[1]

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