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Brandon Sanderson

The Tunnels

The tunnels become a focus for Lightsong, though the truth is that they're not as important to the case as he thinks they are. Yes, there are things to be learned from them. Bluefingers has sequestered a large group of mercenaries down in a secure chamber under there. He's also begun using Pahn Kahl Awakeners (yes, there are some) to Break some of the Lifeless. The tunnels are central to his plot of getting into the God King's palace at the end of the book and securing it.

But Lightsong doesn't know any of this, and doesn't figure out most of it during the course of the book. (It's left for the reader to infer.) Lightsong's fixation with the tunnels is driven partially by the visions he's been seeing at night, which include the tunnels and his discovery of Blushweaver being captured. He's made a subconscious connection.

Warbreaker Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Siri Gets Taken by the Priests

What's going on here behind the scenes is that the priests know what is likely to happen at the Court Assembly. The declaration of war is going to come, and they're truly worried for Siri's safety. They take her into custody because they anticipate riots and maybe even an attack on the Court of Gods. They want her taken and kept safe.

Bluefingers is, of course, aware of this. But he thinks that their taking her captive is because they're suspicious and might know of his plans. That forces his hand, and when Lightsong decides to forestall the vote, Bluefingers gets really worried. So he puts things into motion and grabs Blushweaver from her palace, then seizes the God King's palace and Siri.

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Brandon Sanderson

And yes, he dreams this while Siri and the God King have sex for the first time. That's not a coincidence.

Why does Siri having sex with the God King make Lightsong's dreams turn more violent? Well, it means that the impending disaster is far more dangerous. If she is with child, then the tragedy of her death is that much greater. Beyond that, her having a child (or being thought to be going to have one) is part of what makes Bluefingers do what he feels he needs to in executing her.

He might have done that anyway, but the actual event of the consummation of the marriage is a powerful turning point in the karma of the city and the future of the world. And Lightsong, who is extra sensitive to these things because of being a Returned, is affected by that change in what is coming in the future.

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Brandon Sanderson

A little history on the tunnel complex. It was begun many years ago by some gods who wanted to have a secret way to get between each other's palaces. They had to get funds for that, however, and so the God King's steward before Bluefingers (who was also Pahn Kahl) heard of it and was intrigued. Even back then, plans were being laid. He realized that a secret way to get in and out of the Court of Gods would be very useful, so he began to hint to the priests he knew that they might want tunnels themselves. They were very useful in arranging clandestine meetings of the political type, and so some priests got their god to agree to tunnels. They didn't realize that they were playing into the Pahn Kahl steward's plans.

Bluefingers continued this work, carefully diverting funds from the projects secretly, then using the digging to mask digging in other places as well. Few priests paid attention to the workers down there, and within several decades, the workers could enter and leave even without passing through the court above. The priests liked having secret ways to enter the court themselves, though most had safety features—like the grate at Mercystar's place—installed. They saw no danger in the tunnels; they've always been too confident of their safety in T'Telir. They didn't realize the extent to which Bluefingers would eventually be able to manipulate the tunnels to bring in mercenaries and Pahn Kahl Awakeners to slowly begin breaking the Lifeless soldiers.

Warbreaker Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

What Bluefingers Knows

Siri meets with Bluefingers, who surprises her in the bath yet again. In this little exchange, Bluefingers is being very careful, as he doesn't want to let on how much he knows. As well as Siri is learning to deal with court, she has nothing on Bluefingers, who has spent his entire life there—and who was trained by a Pahn Kahl steward before him. He has been planning his coup for a long time and was actually very frustrated when Vahr started his little rebellion—drawing eyes toward the Pahn Kahl. It was partially due to Bluefingers's manipulations and information leaks to the Returned that Vahr was captured in the first place.

Here, he lets Siri think he doesn't know that the God King is mute (he does know, and has known for most of his life) and that he is worried about the replacement of the Pahn Kahl servants. (That would be a setback, but not really the main problem.) What he wants most to do is drive a spike between Siri and the priests, and he's succeeding gloriously. He almost leaped for joy when Siri offered her little "You get the God King and me out of the palace" offer. It makes his job a lot easier if/when he decides to assassinate the God King himself.

Warbreaker Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Vivenna Throws Nightblood at the Soldiers

These men in soldier uniforms, as hinted at by how they react to Nightblood, are just a bunch of Denth's mercenaries wearing uniforms to hide them. The guards at the front gates, however, are actual court guards. They don't know that insurgents are now in control of the palace; they're confused and are taking orders from Bluefingers, whom they see as someone with respect and authority.

The priests of the various gods are not so accommodating. There's mass chaos among them, though many parts of the city don't even know something strange is going on. The tunnels out of the Court of Gods are clogged with priests getting their various deities out of danger, which is why Bluefingers is slightly frustrated in the Siri scenes. He can't get the God King out to the boat he has waiting. (He wants to keep him as a prisoner. Executing him as he outlines to Siri is a backup plan, one he decides to implement.)

General Reddit 2018 ()
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Bluefingers is left-handed

Saw the "what inconveniences do left handed people have?"

It seems left-handers get ink all over their hands when writing....or he could be a righty and they write right to left

Not much of a revelation, but wanted to share it.

Brandon Sanderson

I feel the pain of lefties, though I am not one myself. Every time I see them writing, I think of how inconvenient that must be.

I'd be happy to canonize this, but I'd be taking too much credit if I said this is what I'd thought of when writing. I had simply imagined that he wrote a lot, and was not always as careful about cleaning off his hands as he should have been.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
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When Siri goes to the God King, and she kneels and Bluefingers tells her everything that she's supposed to do, was he just making that up to cause a lot of tension?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of what he told her is true. If anyone else heard it, they'd be like, Bluefingers might be exaggerating a little, but that's his job. So I would say, yes this is true but there are people in the know who know that not all of those things are actually useful, but that's part of the cover up.