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I can't back this up with direct quotes, although some of the theorizing done in this thread, which is also pretty light on evidence. I'm sure this is unoriginal but I wanted to pound it into steel so that my brain doesn't Ruin it later. I think that pre-Shattered Adonalsium was devoid of consciousness, or at least devoid of any express personality traits or intents. It's motivation (or I guess technically intent, although that's shaky) was to create. If he were a shard, his intent would be "Creation," but there would be no subjectivity to it (unlike "Honor" which is an invented concept. Why then, if Adonalsium lacked personality and intent before, do its Shards have such varied and often fanatical personalities now? I believe that this is a bit like a reverse-Harmony effect. When Ruin and Preservation were "merged, but not completely merged, but still pretty much merged" (relevant thread exists, but theory author is too lazy to find link), Harmony became hard pressed to do anything consequential, since he had opposing intents. Now while we have WoB stating that not all shards form opposite pairings, it is safe to assume that even if Adonalsium consisted only of currently known shards (Honor, Cultivation, Odium, Autonomy, Dominion, Devotion, Endowment, Ambition, Ruin, Preservation, and/or Harmony) they would have a pretty hard time doing anything, let alone CREATING anything, that would suit all of their intents in equal measure. So, when Adonalsium was composed, presumably in equal parts, of all of different intents, they could have cancelled out and created an emotion- and personality-neutral being that simply existed and brought new things into existence. There IS an obvious problem with this, which is that according to my own logic, Adonalsium would have been incapable of creating almost anything because of his internal conflict, but there are explanations that I'm sure could handwave this problem away.