The Celmomian Prophecy

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Wilshire

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« Reply #60 on: December 20, 2017, 03:22:51 pm »
1 - Dunyain are not equals. The Survivor reminisces about the Dunyain, who, confronted with the siege of the Consult, simply stopped functioning. Some Dunyain are clearly weaker than the others.
....
And it's rather unfair to say that Kellhus was a bumbling fool. He has a sensory overload when he first gets out of Ishual
Ok so then Kellhus is "special" - weaker than the rest because a stick confused him.

2 - Anasurimbor line is more powerful. The Survivor remarks on this. He could be biased, but I don't think he is.
Agreed.

3 - Kellhus was quicker than rest of the Dunyain children.
I was better at some things then my childhood peergroup, and much worse at others. Not always a huge predictor.

There is one notable flashback, where the Pragma takes them out to the woods and asks them what he sees - Kellhus is the only one to answer that he sees conflict, of tree roots fighting for space. Maybe it's not definitive, but I saw the flashbacks as clearly implying that Kellhus was somehow ahead of his peers.
Agreed.

And it's rather unfair to say that Kellhus was a bumbling fool.
He went out into the woods, in the winter, without a coat and without knowledge of foraging, hunting, or trapping, without knowing where he was going.
Arrogant. Hubris. Idiotic.

He has a sensory overload when he first gets out of Ishual - as far as we know, this could be the case for pretty much every Dunyain, as they've learned to pick off every detail and have been living in a very isolated space; the world is too big even for them.
Noted above. Some do, some don't. Assuming that its the strongest ones that break is... silly.

He does require coincidences to survive, but same could be said for any Dunyain - despite all their might, the Dunyain are not infallible and the world is overwhelmingly big and complex.
A clever man would seek out survival knowledge prior to entering into a survival state.

Some of the brilliant things that Kellhus gets himself into in 2 books:
Nearly dies from exposure, finds a ruined city for shelter just before he passes out.
Nearly dies again from exposure and hunger, he is saved by Leweth.
He goes to Atrithau, does some standard mindtricks and gets a little band to go south, nearly dies by sranc attack.
Gets rescued just as he nearly dies from blood loss by guy who randomly showed up.
Fails to see Moenghus' condition path in Cnaiur, screws that whole thing up and creates a lifelong enemy that nearly kills him several times.
Goes to the Holy War, nearly gets killed/captured again, randomly saved by random events again.
Joins holy war, finds Achamian, gets lucky that he's a skeptic and doesn't report him to the Mandate.
Gets lucky at the first battle, says some random stuff that magically makes things work out.
Nearly dies on the circumfix (his own admission - he doesn't know how he's going to survive), saved by crazy lunatic.


Was it a hard journey? Yes. But someone as brilliant and important as Kellhus makes himself out to be should have fared better. Doesn't seem to me that he did an exceptional job - I think its closer to typical dunyain than otherwise.


Edit: Also, it is fair to say that the Holy War would've failed without Kellhus. Especially in the second battle (whose name I forget), which was almost a defeat until Kellhus recognized that Cnaiür's plan wasn't working and intervened. Not to forget, his miracle of water that saved the Holy War later down the road.
Who would have lost? Conphas was actively working towards using it for his own ends. So was everyone else. Conphas would have done a superb job had it not been for Kellhus. It took Maithanet, Moenghus, and Kellhus to circumvent Conphas.

So, yes, of course it would not have done what Moenghus intended - that's why he called a Dunyain from Ishual. For Moenghus to succeed, Moenghus needed a Dunyain at the helm (again pointing out, to outwit a human).

As for the water Miracle, it wasn't actually a miracle. He found an underground river, and I assume any dunyain could have done that.

Kellhus was special not for anything he did, but because of what was given to him by others. Did he do unique and powerful things? Yes. I just don't see why literally any other Dunyain (with two functioning eyes) wouldn't have done the same or better.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 03:30:50 pm by Wilshire »
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Cuttlefish

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« Reply #61 on: December 20, 2017, 03:56:27 pm »
Ok so then Kellhus is "special" - weaker than the rest because a stick confused him.

How do you know that the same would not have happened to any other Dunyain? How do you know that Moenghus wasn't overwhelmed when he first left?

Agreed.

He went out into the woods, in the winter, without a coat and without knowledge of foraging, hunting, or trapping, without knowing where he was going.
Arrogant. Hubris. Idiotic.

He went out the way he was sent; if he didn't have any survival skills, it is because the Dunyain didn't teach him any - it is doubtful whether the Dunyain themselves had any to begin with.

Some of the brilliant things that Kellhus gets himself into in 2 books:
Nearly dies from exposure, finds a ruined city for shelter just before he passes out.
Nearly dies again from exposure and hunger, he is saved by Leweth.
He goes to Atrithau, does some standard mindtricks and gets a little band to go south, nearly dies by sranc attack.
Gets rescued just as he nearly dies from blood loss by guy who randomly showed up.
Fails to see Moenghus' condition path in Cnaiur, screws that whole thing up and creates a lifelong enemy that nearly kills him several times.
Goes to the Holy War, nearly gets killed/captured again, randomly saved by random events again.
Joins holy war, finds Achamian, gets lucky that he's a skeptic and doesn't report him to the Mandate.
Gets lucky at the first battle, says some random stuff that magically makes things work out.
Nearly dies on the circumfix (his own admission - he doesn't know how he's going to survive), saved by crazy lunatic.

Nothing to imply that any other Dunyain would've fared better - Moenghus himself had been taken captive by the Sranc, and only just survived. He led himself to dead ends twice - first by scarring his arms, that made going to the Nansur impossible, and secondly by blinding himself. And I am going to go out on a limb and assume dying was not a part of his plan, so ultimately, he failed far more spectacularly than Kellhus. The failings of Kellhus could easily be the failings of any other Dunyain - in fact, other Dunyain could fail way worse than he did. He went against great odds and ultimately he came out on top (at least until the second series reached its conclusion), but that doesn't mean he was capable of mastering anything.


Who would have lost? Conphas was actively working towards using it for his own ends. So was everyone else. Conphas would have done a superb job had it not been for Kellhus. It took Maithanet, Moenghus, and Kellhus to circumvent Conphas.

So, yes, of course it would not have done what Moenghus intended - that's why he called a Dunyain from Ishual. For Moenghus to succeed, Moenghus needed a Dunyain at the helm (again pointing out, to outwit a human).

What good would have Conphas's deal been, had the Holy War lost first two of its battles, both of which were won thanks, in some part, to Kellhus, and failed to gain any advantage or land? Conphas would've gone back home, assuming he could, with whatever troops he had left, and wait for the Fanim to strike at a much diminished Three Seas and possibly conquer it all.

As for the water Miracle, it wasn't actually a miracle. He found an underground river, and I assume any dunyain could have done that.

Possibly, yes. But Conphas couldn't.

Kellhus was special not for anything he did, but because of what was given to him by others. Did he do unique and powerful things? Yes. I just don't see why literally any other Dunyain (with two functioning eyes) wouldn't have done the same or better.

Because other Dunyain are probably weaker than him, and couldn't have gone as far as he did. Possibly, at least. We don't precisely know, but by the time the first trilogy reached its conclusion, Kellhus had gone leagues ahead of them and had no reason to consider there might be others more suited to his purpose; I doubt there were any to begin with.

Wilshire

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« Reply #62 on: December 20, 2017, 04:34:21 pm »
I'm not sure I understand where we are diverging in opinion.

I think we can see there's not conclusive evidence either way, that Kellhus may or may not have performed exactly the same as another dunyain in the same place.
You seem to think I believe Moenghus was extraordinary - I do not. He failed, just like all the other Dunyain failed.
That said, he didn't have the benefit of having his daddy lay the path before him and a God endow him with power. So yes, we have many examples of Dunyain failing, epicly, typically at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. Kellhus' failure the most spectacular so far.

Maybe the difference between us is this: I see other Dunyain, ie Moenghus and Survivor, Consult, etc., accomplish much on their own. But when I really look at Kellhus' journey, all I see is how he gets lucky and has his hand held throughout. Maybe that's not how you see it?
If not that, any other idea's as to why we're not on the same page?

For Conphas, his whole goal was to cripple the Holy War and show up at Shimeh with his full army in-tact. It was all planned out. The Holy War was supposed to fail.
I know he wouldn't have found water. If I'm not mistaken, it was because Kellhus thwarted Conphas in the first battle, which were supposed to be won by Conphas, that the water-bearing armada got waylaid.

This is a tricky subject because it goes down a rabbit hole of 'what-ifs'. What if Kellhus wasn't there, or Maithanet, who brought in the SS, or Moenghus. We'll barely be able to keep track of which "if" we're talking about...
Basically though, everything the Holy War accomplished was pretty much because Moenghus, and Maithanet, set up Kellhus. Kellhus, for his part, did exactly what any Dunyain was expected to do, except for going bonkers (I blame Ajokli) for hearing voices and ended up killing his father who was on his side and trying to help him. Moenghus, sans Ajokli, could have used Kellhus or any other Dunyain to do what Kellhus did.

Kellhus was special not for anything he did, but because of what was given to him by others. Did he do unique and powerful things? Yes. I just don't see why literally any other Dunyain (with two functioning eyes) wouldn't have done the same or better.

Because other Dunyain are probably weaker than him, and couldn't have gone as far as he did. Possibly, at least.
I obviously don't agree, but I don't see any way to square that.

We don't precisely know, but by the time the first trilogy reached its conclusion, Kellhus had gone leagues ahead of them and had no reason to consider there might be others more suited to his purpose; I doubt there were any to begin with.
Just rehashing now, probably the end of this speculative thread unless someone else has something to add. Kellhus was leagues ahead because of Moenghus and perhaps Ajokli, not because he was anything noteworthy in his own right.

Thanks for the conversation, Cuttlefish :)
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Rots

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« Reply #63 on: December 20, 2017, 05:23:14 pm »
@Wilshire - this is all very, very, Slatepitch-y of you. I mean why doesnt RSB just put in <average Dunyan here> throughout the 7 novels whenever Kellhus is referenced? Why not put in <avg noble family that figures throughout millenia of pivotal and critical roles> rather than type "Anasurimbor" over and over.

We should just have some lame baseball analytics for DAR (dunyain above average) and LAD (league average dunyain) instead of all these pesky names and specifics. Kellhus and the Anasurimbor line are special because RSB spends thousands of pages telling us that they are special. This isnt a story about the halcyon days of the Bob Smith dynasty and what befell them. If we are to take your Slatepitch seriously we would then have to throw out all that has come before and there is too much Darkness in that direction.

Wilshire

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« Reply #64 on: December 20, 2017, 06:15:20 pm »
I dont know what Slatepitch is.
I am fully aware that changing fundamental assumptions leads to different conclusions, and that yes its a fiction book so the main characters are special because they are the main characters.
What I'm not sure about though is if you know this is just for fun?
Yes of course we can all just say 'take book at face value, lets go home' - but I'd prefer to have a conversation, its much more entertaining for me. I've been around for much to long, so making new assumptions and looking for evidence to support it is how I get my fix ;) . Sometimes something valuable comes from it, sometimes not.
"I'm right, you're wrong, agree to disagree" doesn't have the same interest to me as what just transpired here.

And, clearly, I still disagree that there are thousands of pages that say Kellhus is special. I have, as detailed at length above, an opposite opinion actually.

I'd love it if you'd elaborate on why you think and feel the way you do on the subject :) .
Which pages and words in particular make you believe so passionately? Which information from the books or elsewhere have you found supporting your opinion?
Also, are you big into baseball, or sports analytics (I assume slatepitch and  the other acronyms are derived from sports terminology)?
(btw, I'm glad my posts have moved you to post. Its not every day we get an appearance from Rots).
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 06:30:35 pm by Wilshire »
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #65 on: December 20, 2017, 07:14:34 pm »
The title, Prince of Nothing, has more meaning beyond he wasn't the Prince of Atrithau. The "debate" on how "special" he was is not the relevant one to have ( although, quite interesting/fun, I admit ), but more of introspection from the reader to figure out why we view Kellhus the way we do and what does it mean to us that we feel the way we do about his failure. That "hook" is coming more from our own darkness than from Bakker ... can you find it's source?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 07:16:23 pm by TaoHorror »
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Wilshire

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« Reply #66 on: December 20, 2017, 07:21:08 pm »
The title, Prince of Nothing, has more meaning beyond he wasn't the Prince of Atrithau. The "debate" on how "special" he was is not the relevant one to have ( although, quite interesting/fun, I admit ), but more of introspection from the reader to figure out why we view Kellhus the way we do and what does it mean to us that we feel the way we do about his failure. That "hook" is coming more from our own darkness than from Bakker ... can you find it's source?

:) This guy gets it.
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MSJ

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« Reply #67 on: December 20, 2017, 08:00:02 pm »
Quote from:  TaoHorror
The title, Prince of Nothing, has more meaning beyond he wasn't the Prince of Atrithau. The "debate" on how "special" he was is not the relevant one to have ( although, quite interesting/fun, I admit ), but more of introspection from the reader to figure out why we view Kellhus the way we do and what does it mean to us that we feel the way we do about his failure. That "hook" is coming more from our own darkness than from Bakker ... can you find it's source?

Great conversation going on here, I like it.

But, Kellhus death or failure, really means nothing to me. It wasn't a surprise, in fact the closer it got to TUC coming out the more I thought he would be caught unawares. He's dead, and apparently.....not done. So, it don't mean much to me at all right now.

What I do know is that 7 books worth of learning how Kellhus mastered the World basically has led me to believe he was very special. Probably, no undoubtedly, the most powerful being ever to walk Earwa. And, Ajokli did not grant him any powers until the GR. Kellhus plundered the Bells, had Ciphrang hanging from his belt. Added a 2nd innutteral and completely changed the face of sorcery. Without him, The Ordeal doesn't come close to the Ark and a dumb mistake from defeating the Consult outright.

I agree with a lot that Wilshire posted about PoN Kellhus and him needing a conditioned path, but Moe knew he would need that. After killing Moe, nothing was conditioned for him anymore. And, that's when I thought he shined the brightest, in regards to his intelligence and decision making.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

Rots

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« Reply #68 on: December 20, 2017, 09:02:51 pm »
I dont know what Slatepitch is.
I am fully aware that changing fundamental assumptions leads to different conclusions, and that yes its a fiction book so the main characters are special because they are the main characters.
What I'm not sure about though is if you know this is just for fun?
Yes of course we can all just say 'take book at face value, lets go home' - but I'd prefer to have a conversation, its much more entertaining for me. I've been around for much to long, so making new assumptions and looking for evidence to support it is how I get my fix ;) . Sometimes something valuable comes from it, sometimes not.
"I'm right, you're wrong, agree to disagree" doesn't have the same interest to me as what just transpired here.

And, clearly, I still disagree that there are thousands of pages that say Kellhus is special. I have, as detailed at length above, an opposite opinion actually.

I'd love it if you'd elaborate on why you think and feel the way you do on the subject :) .
Which pages and words in particular make you believe so passionately? Which information from the books or elsewhere have you found supporting your opinion?
Also, are you big into baseball, or sports analytics (I assume slatepitch and  the other acronyms are derived from sports terminology)?
(btw, I'm glad my posts have moved you to post. Its not every day we get an appearance from Rots).

Slate.com is a news/opinion website that is (in)famous for its contrary for the sake of being contrary takes, and that is what i feel you are doing here. I am, thankfully, a former sport fanatic. I now more productively, and effectively spend my time doing other things then caring about sports but i can still speak the lingua franca.

I am not going to play the "pull a quote out of 7 books and defend a specific line reading" game here. Ill just say that, again, the scions of a single house throughout the 7 books are seen as special because the books are about those very people. You are asking me to prove a negative, imo. I think the character of Kellhus outran RSBs ability to contain him and thus we saw a dramatic reduction in Kellhus POV chapters in these books because of that. I remember RSB mentioning that writing the Kellhus chapters were especially difficult because obviously Kellhus can only be as smart as RSB but i think we can all agree book Kellhus >> intellect than his creator, no? I think RSB will limit Dunyain POVs in TNG also because of this.

If you dont think Kellhus is anything special then ok. I guess im not all that interested in non-canonical readings. As ive previously mentioned i hope the series ends with TUC. Ill certainly read TNG the second if/when it comes out but im fine with the series as is.

MSJ

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« Reply #69 on: December 20, 2017, 10:41:13 pm »
I don't think Wilshire is being contrary for the sake of it. He is the type of guy that wants proof. Usually, that involves quoting (I know it's tiresome, but to prove a point....) and the like.

Though I will agree that I am a bit dismayed with Wilshire's take on the Anasurimbor. To me, and others in the thread, we seem to think RSB goes to great lengths to express the importance of said bloodline and that it was cream of the crop.among the Dunyain. I don't understand his take that any Dunyain would do, either.

I've already quoted it, so I won't again, but even Moe said Kellhus was the only/shortest path. We have to remember also the metaphysics of this world. Was Kellhus always destined for his role just like Kelmommas? I think so, without a doubt. Thats why I can't buy, "any Dunyain would do.".

Also, as I said in a previous post, Wilshire is correct in Moe having to condition his path. But, I don't see it as it being giving to him. I see it the opposite way. That the journey and trials were so difficult, that even when conditioned, it would take a "special" person to walk that path and not fail. A perilous path indeed. So perilous, that a Dunyain who made mistakes he could not undo, went through pins to make sure his son did not do the same. And, I feel Wilshire is even being a bit unfair in his evaluation of PoN Kellhus. Kellhus deduced a whole lot from very little. If anything reread The Trackless Steppe section of TDTCB, starting at the mound and ending when saved by the Conryinians. Kellhus was no slouch in his improvsation and hand to hand combat. Of course, he needed Cnaüir to tea h him war, that was part of Moe's conditioning, imho. All in all, I think Wilshire could give the man a little more cred. Yet, he doesn't have to and I am enjoying this thread immensely.

ETA: I love long posts Banhammer! ;)
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #70 on: December 20, 2017, 10:42:04 pm »
Quote
I think the character of Kellhus outran RSBs ability to contain him and thus we saw a dramatic reduction in Kellhus POV chapters in these books because of that
That's what you do when you deal with post-human intellects/beings, you tell their story from the POVs of more baseline humans.

Quote
I think RSB will limit Dunyain POVs in TNG also because of this.
I hope not. Really stoked for more Dûnyain after TGO revealed that not only are they Bene Gesserit rip-offs, they also made their own axolotl tanks. Curious to see if they will start creating new Tekne creatures/artifacts, and also curious about potential flashbacks to their lives in Ishuäl.

Quote
I've already quoted it, so I won't again, but even Moe said Kellhus was the only/shortest path. We have to remember also the metaphysics of this world. Was Kellhus always destined for his role just like Kelmommas? I think so, without a doubt. Thats why I can't buy, "any Dunyain would do.".
It's really quite simple imo. Moënghus (not the Simpsons character Moe) went into the probability trance (emphasis on probability) -> Thousandfold thought; the Anasûrimbors are prodigies among Dûnyain -> Moënghus needed Kellhus to maximize the probability of success.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 10:45:57 pm by TLEILAXU »

MSJ

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« Reply #71 on: December 20, 2017, 10:51:06 pm »
Quote from:  Tleilaxu
It's really quite simple imo. Moënghus (not the Simpsons character Moe) went into the probability trance (emphasis on probability) -> Thousandfold thought; the Anasûrimbors are prodigies among Dûnyain -> Moënghus needed Kellhus to maximize the probability of success.

Yea, that's been my stance. Wilshire needs the convincing.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

TaoHorror

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« Reply #72 on: December 21, 2017, 02:38:58 am »
Hey, I thought of something for the Kellhus is a super cool awesome dude camp of thought on this ... he was the first to not experience the goad when looking into the IF.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 02:40:42 am by TaoHorror »
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MSJ

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« Reply #73 on: December 21, 2017, 02:58:09 am »
Tao, as much as I am in the Kellhus is special camp....that wasn't because of him. Its because he was being inhabited by Ajokli at the time. Hence, seeing his self as a descending hunger, a soul muncher, one of the 100.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

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« Reply #74 on: December 21, 2017, 12:22:28 pm »
Could it be that we are conflating the idea of Kellhus being "special" and Kellhus being "exceptional?"

Kellhus is clearly "special," in that he is an Anisurimbor, he is one of the Few, he was a "prodigy" among the Dunyain (whatever that means).  I don't think every Dunyain is all of those, although many probably are a couple of those.  In this sense, I do think Kellhus is not an "average" Dunyain.  Surely Dunyain abilities would most probably follow a bell curve?  Certainly then, Kellhus would inhabit the right side, whether or not he is at the top or only near the top is probably irrelevant in the grand scheme of things though.

However, this doesn't preclude that Kellhus is exceptional in every case.  Clearly Dunyain training fails to prepare him for a great deal of things, even right off the bat Kellhus nearly dies in the wilderness.  Is that a weakness of Kellhus himself, or his training?  We don't know, probably some of both though.  So, was Kellhus exceptionally suited to achieve Moe's goal?  There is no way to prove one way or the other.  Kellhus is flawed and has weaknesses.  What we are left to wonder then is about what the average ability level of the average Dunyain is.  And then ask, would that be sufficient to achieve what Kellhus achieved?

I don't think the average Dunyain would have been able to achieve what Kellhus did.  I think one would have had to have been in the top, say, 15 to 20% in terms of raw mental ability, not to mention physical ability too.  Since we can only guess that the variance, I'd guess that their selective breeding would have yielded a very tall (and so narrow) bell curve.  This means that the tails will be correspondingly shorter.  So, there are few below-average Dunyain, but also few above-average (at least significantly so) if we presume that Dunyain breeding was working (and we probably should).  We also have to consider that there is (presumably) a "right wall" of literal human limit, but (and this might go right back to the point of Anisurimbors being special) that might be confounded with the mixture (and possibly selection for) Nonman blood.

TL;DR: Kellhus was a prodigy and was probably somewhat exceptional, but this doesn't mean he is exceptional in all ways.  The average Dunyan could probably have come close, but not as close as Kellhus did.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira