Double Eye of the Almighty
|Double Eye of the Almighty|
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”Ten spheres connected by lines forming a shape like an hourglass on its side. Two of the spheres at the center looked almost like pupils. The Double Eye of the Almighty.—Shallan's thoughts upon seeing an image of the Double Eye of the Almighty
The Double Eye of the Almighty (sometimes shortened to Double Eye) is a traditional Vorin symbol, about as old as Vorinism itself, that represents the creation of life on Roshar and is also closely associated with Surgebinding and the Knights Radiant.
The core of the Double Eye of the Almighty is a set of ten circles (often thought of as "spheres") representing the Ten Essences along with lines connecting them. The Essences are ordered in a loop such that any two adjacent Essences correspond to orders of the Knights Radiant that share a Surge. Adjacent Essences in the sequence are connected by lines, as are opposite ones. There are also additional lines connecting Talus to Blood and Air to Lucentia.
The name "Double Eye" comes from the particular placement of the Essences: Pulp and Sinew are placed close to the center of the shape, evoking two pupils in an eye formed by the remaining Essences.
In some depictions, smaller circles representing the ten Surges are also included, placed in a circle interleaved with the Essences. Each Surge is connected to the two adjacent ones and to the Essences corresponding to the two Radiant orders that have access to that Surge.
”The preceding list is an imperfect gathering of traditional Vorin symbolism associated with the Ten Essences. Bound together, these form the Double Eye of the Almighty, an eye with two pupils representing the creation of plants and creatures. This is also the basis for the hourglass shape that was often associated with the Knights Radiant.—Khriss's summary of the Ten Essences and the Double Eye
According to Khriss, the Double Eye represents the creation of plants and animals on Roshar, though exactly what that means is not clear. In modern Vorin belief, while the Double Eye doesn't seem to be actively used in worship, it is at least somewhat revered; the Devotary of Purity, for instance, considers images of the Double Eye to be suitable for Shallan to draw.
The ten main circles in the Double Eye are primarily representative of the Ten Essences, but, perhaps because of the association between the Essences and the ten orders of Knights Radiant, the Double Eye is also often used as an icon to represent the Knights Radiant. One prominent version of the Double Eye that is particularly closely associated with them depicts a pair of larkin in the background, suggesting a connection between larkin and the Knights.
Although the Double Eye does neatly describe the different orders and the Surges they can access, it is, to a large extent, a philosophical and cultural construct rather than an exact reflection of the laws of Surgebinding.
Due to Rosharan belief in the Double Eye and its association with the Almighty, if Tanavast were to manifest on Roshar, he would appear with double pupils, even though he did not have them previously.
- The doors of the Palanaeum depict a geometric design that may be the Double Eye.
- The Shardplate of the Starfalls Windrunner shows a simple version of the Double Eye on its breastplate.
- Meridas Amaram's Knights Radiant cloak has a glyph on it in the shape of the Double Eye.
- The floor of a meeting room in Urithiru shows a version of the Double Eye containing both Surges and Essences.
- The Double Eye was inspired by the Kabbalistic tree of life.
- The Double Eye was one of the first things Brandon designed for the art of The Way of Kings.
- The chapter headings in books of The Stormlight Archive show an eye with two pupils.
- The Original Double Eye on The Way of Kings Prime is composed of 16 polygons and vaguely resembles a shattered pupil.
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