One thing that has always struck me as odd is that Brandon said that Ruin and Preservation are the only Shards with directly opposing intents. It seems odd to me that there would only be one pair out of all the 16 Shards. And then I got an idea. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Brandon has never refuted that all Shards are paired, just that they all have an opposite. So if they are all paired, then what defines the pairs? I'm going to fall back to Ruin and Preservation again. Yes they were opposites, but when Sazed used them together he came to a realization. They are complements too. They were two halves of the same power, and they belonged together. Now, if we accept this idea that complements, not opposites, are what's important in Shard pairs, then patterns become clear. Devotion and Dominion are one for certain. The way I look at it, it is the central conflict between Shu-Korath and Shu-Dereth, unity by love, or unity by force. I also think Endowment and Cultivation are a pair. They seem like two sides of a coin to me, either giving something what it needs, or guiding it through growth so it can get what it needs on it's own.
Now you may ask, if there are Shard pairs, why aren't Endowment and Cultivation on the same world? Brandon has said that Ruin and Preservation were together because opposites attract. But all the other Shard pairs aren't opposites, just complements, so they don't necessarily have to have arrived on the same world.
Another idea about Shards and their interaction. The idea behind the balance magic Feruchemy has fascinated me, and I tried to answer the some questions about it here. Anyway the basic idea that I have about balance magic, which fits with the aforementioned theory is that the Shard's intents both are represented in the a balance magic, although the way I believe it to work in Feruchemy may be wrong. In order for a balance magic to form, the Shards have to be complements, and work together, (not consciously) to create it. That's why on Sel there is a third balance magic, with just two Shards. That is also the reason there aren't like seven separate magic systems on Roshar, just the three that are there. Odium, Honor, and Cultivation aren't complements.
Another, much more murky idea I've had has to do with intents. I wonder if perhaps Shards can somehow affect other Shards using their intent. That is why Odium didn't instantly destroy Honor, and instead abided by the rules of the Oathpact until the Heralds broke them. (I have another theory on this to be posted tomorrow) Odium had not choice because, for lack of a better term, Honor was "using" his intent on Odium. That is also possibly how Odium defeated both Devotion and Dominion. He "used" Odium on them, and got them to weaken each other by fighting. Then he swooped in for the kill.
I realize that last idea was out there, I'm not even sure I like it yet. What does everyone else think of my ideas in general?
Edited by Windrunner, 10 March 2012 - 03:48 PM.