Hello everyone! Welcome to another “Theory that feels right based on limited information” by OJ!
For those that don’t listen to the Shardcast, we recently discussed Aimia and managed to spend the majority of the runtime talking about the Dawnshards. I went into that podcast having never connected the two, but based on the discussions we had (And they were some good discussions, I do recommend listening to it!) I have come out fully believing Aimia’s history and fate are tied to the Dawnshards.
Warning, this theory has a basis in theories. I am going to outline the initial theories that have evidence for them, then follow them with theories based on those theories.
First things first:
1. The Dawnshards were involved in the destruction of Ashyn.
- Oathbringer, Chapter 113
In his dying days, Honor spoke of the Dawnshards. Due to the wording of this quote, I can’t tell if this is a claim by dying Honor or something the Stormfather is adding himself. Either way, it is claimed they were the weapons used to destroy the Tranquiline Halls. As we know, the Vorin Tranquilline Halls are Ashyn (Although culturally I believe they were originally Roshar). This matches up with one of the few other quotes we have about the Dawnshards (Did you know they’ve only been mentioned 4 times in the whole of SLA so far?):
- Way of Kings, Chapter 75
Honor clearly wishes that the current crop of Radiants had access to the Dawnshards. One interpretation of this quote, which I am using in this theory, is that they are something which grants great power.
This interpretation is supported by another quote about the Dawnshards:
- Way of Kings, Chapter 36 Epigraph
Emphasis mine. Whatever they are, if this legend is correct, the Dawnshards sound like something that is very powerful.
So, this is my first statement. I then believe the Dawnshards were brought to Roshar by the Ashynites.
2. The Dawnshards were brought to Roshar by the Ashynites
More specifically, the Dawnshards were brought to Roshar by the Ashynites and somehow ended up in Aimia.
This one is a little more shaky, but check out this Kaza interlude quote:
- Oathbringer, Interlude I-04
Emphasis mine. Oh boy, this Aimian sure does want to protect Aimia real bad. What secret could possibly be so great as to end worlds? Well, how about the items used to end a world? I believe the secret that this Aimian is trying to protect is the existence/location of the Dawnshards. This is the most explicit link, but in my opinion there are two other things that link Aimia and the Dawnshards.
First is what I believe to be Brandon trickery. The Oathbringer quote above (The one from the Stormfather about Honor) from Chapter 113, the epigraph for that chapter? It’s this:
- Oathbringer, Chapter 113, Epigraph
So again, we have 4 mentions of Dawnshards total in 3 books. The epigraph for the chapter that tells us the most we’ve heard about the Dawnshards so far explicitly mentions Aimia.
This isn’t the only one.
Less likely to be Brandon trickery and might just be a coincidence is Way of Kings Chapter 36. This is the chapter with the “Bind any creature voidish or mortal” epigraph. In this chapter, Aimia is mentioned again. This one is just an offhand remark from Jasnah so seems less likely:
- Way of Kings, Chapter 36
This one I’m less keen on Brandon messing with us, but it’s there.
My second link between Dawnshards and Aimia is actually my third theory (I did warn you about theories in theories).
3. The Dawnshards were used to create the ancient fabrials
This is based on Jofwus idea about ancient fabrials. For a quick rundown, ancient fabrials like Soulcasters and Oathgates seem to use willing, sentient spren whilst modern fabrials use trapped spren against their will. Please check out Jofwus theory on ancient vs modern fabrials for more information.
Please note, before I continue, I do not consider Shardplate as part of the classification of “ancient fabrial” as I believe they are part of the Radiant system.
So, Soulcasters and Oathgates Spren seem to be quite happy to go about their functions. But the Oathgate spren talk about being bound:
- Oathbringer, Chapter 116
Bound to obey. The Dawnshards were said to be able to “Bind any creature voidish or mortal”. I believe this is how the ancient fabrials were created.
The mention of Honor does not discount this, we have absolutely no idea what Honors relationship with the Dawnshards was once they reached Roshar. His words on the subject makes me think he wasn’t exactly against using them. In fact at this point he seems to be their greatest advocate.
This is where I think the link between Aimia and the Dawnshards comes in. Kazas interlude mentions:
- Oathbringer, Interlude I-04
So Soulcasters were made in Aimia. There are links between Aimians and the Dawnshards. It’s implied the Dawnshards can bind things. Ancient fabrials appear to be made with spren that are bound but willing unlike modern fabrials. This is why I believe the Dawnshards were used by the Aimians to create the ancient fabrials.
Oh and as a quick note to end on, here’s a wob for your troubles:
This leads me to my final point:
4. Aimias scouring was related to the Dawnshards
This is based on all the above theories. We know the Dawnshards are capable of extremely powerful destruction. With the above links between Aimia and the Dawnshards, I cannot see how the scouring could NOT be related to the extremely powerful tools that can be found there. They could have done it to themselves, it could have been a result of a fight, Dai-Gonarthis may have done it all himself. Either way, I think the Scouring and the Dawnshards are intrinsically linked.
I hope you enjoyed this theory, I had a ton of fun making it and again, I recommend you listen to the Aimia Shardcast to hear where the first few ideas starting to come from. There are definitely issues when it comes to the timing of things (The Dawnshards being unavailable seems to be unrelated to the Scouring as Honor recorded his visions 2000 years ago and the Scouring seems to have happened much more recent than that) but I think the links between Aimia and the Dawnshards is extremely strong.
Disclaimer: I have no idea what the Dawnshards are. They could be shardblades that gift powers, tools like fabrials, spren, people, a horde of cremlings, or chulls. There could be one that grants super powerful Division and one that grants super powerful spiritual Adhesion. The details of what the Dawnshards are and how they operate is a mystery at the moment. Searching “Dawnshards” on wob.coppermind.net returns a wall of RAFOs as this is clearly something Brandon does not want to talk about just yet (The only thing we can infer from his answers is that there’s more than one). This is why I have referred to them as tools or things.
Let me know what you guys think. Please poke holes wherever you see them!