Eye Color = Social Status? (A Stormlight Archive Post)

Categories Brandon Sanderson, High Fantasy, Mark Force, Mark's Thoughts and Life

I kinda like the Stormlight Archive…

Okay, so I’m a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson.  And I love the Stormlight Archive.  I know that’s a bit obvious, but I really do.  And as such, I love to think about the different nuances of Sanderson’s worlds.  One huge part of the social structure in the Stormlight Archive is eye color.  Lighteyes being the nobility, and darkeyes being of the lower class would actually make sense.

The idea of eye color determining your social status really isn’t that strange if you think about why that would be one way of doing it.  Sure, your eye color doesn’t determine whether or not your smart, or beautiful, or pleasant to be around.  But, it does let the nobility remain pure.  Those that married outside of the nobility would have a good chance of having a child who was darkeyed.  That child would no longer be considered nobility, and would join the ranks of darkeyed citizens.  It would solve the a considerable amount of the issues that arise with illegitimate heirs and such situations.

Eye color isn’t so bad, really

Honestly, eye color makes sense in the world of Stormlight and Spren.  Instead of weird ways of defining a noble class, or simply letting those whom have enough money bribe others for social status, Brandon came up with an awesome system.  Brandon Sanderson has a unique idea here that many worldbuilders don’t take the time to come up with.  There have been very few books that I have read that have such a great way of determining rank in society.  There are many more elements that you can add to a story other than “the peasants hate the nobility for their money.”

It’s just that the dividing line of eye color is so wide.  It’s hard to fake nobility when you are going to have a very hard time faking different eye color.  The fact that a common darkeyes could almost never be nobility unless he obtained a Shardplate has got to hurt a lot of the darkeyes out there.  It would also unite the commoners of a country, as well as unite the nobility.

These aren’t facts by any means, or anything like that.  I’m just thinking out loud here, but this is a bit of what I think about on a normal basis.  Comment your thoughts on Brandon’s use of eye color in his worldbuilding, and thanks for the read!

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