Amanuensis

Jaddeth and Domi are Cognitive Shadows

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Background

Just before the 10th Anniversary Leatherbound Elantris was released, @Yata had been conceiving a theory regarding the nature of the Dor, which prompted me to ask Brandon a question in an attempt to gather some information that might aid him. When I received my signed copy in the mail, I shared the results with him immediately, and had intended to post about it shortly after, but for one reason or another never got to it. After finishing work this morning, I had found one of my coworkers had read the Stormlight Archive, and decided to lend him my copy of Elantris so that I could open his eyes up to the whole Cosmere... but first, I decided, I would finally take the picture and post it for all to see. This inevitably led me to getting in a discussion about the Dor with another member of this forums, @The Young Bard. During our conversation, I had a thought that I'm genuinely surprised has not been mentioned before (it's possible it has, but after some searching I've yet to find anything that matches it exactly).

Personalized Leatherbound

For those interested, my question and a picture of Brandon's answer will be in the following spoiler:

Spoiler
 
 
 
 
 

Q: "Is the Dor a Splintered Devotion and Dominion coalesced into a single shard?"

1st RAFO.jpg

Theory

As the title states, I now believe that specifically Jaddeth, and potentially Domi, are the Cognitive Shadows of Skai and Aona respectively. The theory began when I read this exerpt from the Coppermind about Jaddeth:

Quote
 
 
 
 
 

Jaddeth is the name of the Derethi God. He is said to slumber in the earth, waiting for a time when the whole world worships him to return and rule the world. Wyrn acts as Jaddeth's prophet, and is the only Derethi said to directly speak to him.

Emphasis mine.

Immediately two separate thoughts crossed my mind upon reading this statement. First, that "the Skaze have a large amount of influence on most politics and most working in Fjordell." Second, that "the Stormfather is the Cognitive Shadow of Honor." Exploring those thoughts further, we know that the Skaze are Splinters, similar to the Honorspren on Roshar. We know that the Honorspren are loyal to the Stormfather, due to him being a cognitive remnant of their original (whole) form. We also know that through Honor's Intent, the Stormfather is required to bestow visions upon a man that meets a certain set of requirements (most recently, Dalinar). As a result, I suspect that Jaddeth is Skai's Cognitive Shadow, and that Wyrn is Jaddeth's Dalinar; a "prophet" who's purpose is to fulfill Dominion's last wishes, along with his Cognitive Shadow and subsequent Splinters.

Just this morning, I read @VirtuousTraveller's theory about The Origin of the Dor, and I'm starting to believe that this might be true. From Bands of Mourning, we know that when a person dies, their spiritual aspect (innate investiture) returns to its original source to be distributed again, while their cognitive aspect moves on to the Beyond. When Odium Splinters another Shard, we know that their Cognitive Aspect is broken into many tiny pieces (Spren, Seons, Skaze), which end up being manifested in the Physical Realm. In the case of Devotion and Dominion, I believe all of their Spiritual Essence culminated in the Cognitive Realm, due to the nature of their relationship, and inevitably fused together, creating the shard of Unity. Meanwhile, their individual Cognitive Aspects became their respective Splinters, and a Cognitive Shadow was left behind. These Cognitive Shadows would then become altered by the two branches of the Shu-Keseg religion (Dereth and Korath, aka unity through domination and unity through love). Both of these Cognitive Shadows wish to achieve the same thing; unity. Except without Skai and Aona's personalities to control them, they seek a means to achieve those goals through their own specific intents, and sadly, as of Elantris, it's clear that Dominion is winning.

It has been discussed before that all Elantrians are chosen because they are "devoted" to something in some way, yet it still appears random because not everyone who is devoted is affected by the Sheod. Though I never made the connection before, this reminds me a lot of Endowment and the Returned. We know that Endowment specifically asks people who sacrifice their lives for a cause to become Returned. However, given how few Returned there are, I imagine that not everyone who dies in a heroic way gets this offer. Perhaps a lot of them refuse it, but I am sure that if given the chance, most people who would earn that gift in the first place would be the type to take on the responsibility of stopping a future (cataclysmic) event. I believe that Domi, the Cognitive Shadow of Aona, is doing the same thing, except instead of asking she is thrusting the power upon those she deems worthy. This likewise matches what Nightwatcher, who is thought to be a Spren of Cultivation, is doing by granting her boons and curses. It also would serve to explain why only certain races are able to become Elantrians; Arelon, Teod, and Duladel are the last countries in the world to believe in her (or in Duladel's case, the idea of a unified Overspirit?).

I would not be surprised if this has been discussed before, or at least some variation of it, but in the case of Jaddeth and Wyrn for sure, this is my headcannon for what's going down. I would love to hear what others think, positive or negative, and likewise would appreciate it if someone asked one of the following questions in the future, or something akin to them.

  1. Is Wyrn to Jaddeth what Dalinar is to the Stormfather?
  2. Is Jaddeth the Cognitive Shadow of Skai?
  3. Does Aona's Cognitive Shadow decide who becomes an Elantrian?
  4. Is the voice Raoden hears when he enters the Lake / Pool Aona's Cognitive Shadow?
Edited by Amanuensis
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@Amanuensis I have to be completely honest with you, I hadn't ever considered the possibility of Jaddeth being a Cognitive Shadow like the Stormfather is.  It would be awfully strange for a shard like Honor to be capable of setting up a scenario like he did with the Stormfather and the visions to help after his death, but somehow shards like Devotion and Dominion could not.  The intents of Jaddeth and the skaze and Wyrn (as corresponding the "Bondsmith") match up pretty closely together and would appear to fit an intent like Dominion - perhaps the Cognitive Shadow of Skai is hopeful that by unifying all of creation he could somehow get Aona back?

My only correction that I'd throw into your theory is the idea that Domi is the Cognitive Shadow of Aona.  Domi seems connected to Dominion, as does Jaddeth.  The voice in the shardpool, however, I believe is the voice of Aona's Cognitive Shadow, but I'm not sure how her presence is expressed in Elantris.  I agree that she may play a part in selecting who becomes an Elantrian, much like Endowment does on Nalthis, but in terms of the collective memory of the culture expressing her name in a curse or blessing, I don't see it anywhere.

In my opinion, this is a great working theory!  Upvote for you! =)

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First of all thanks for sharing this WoB :)

I have to say that your idea about Jaddeth have merit, I like it...the only problem I may see to it is about the timeline. Why would Skai wait so long before began to act ?

I have another point to express because reading your post made me think you misunderstood a little what happen when a Shard is Splintered.

When a Shard's Vessel die and his/her Shard is Splintered. What happen is this:

1) The Vessel is killed and his/her body re-appear from nothing. He/She and the Shard are now completely separated.

2) The Vessel as everyone else, travel to the Cognitive Realm before reach the Beyond. But as formal Ascended being he/she may stop the Beyond's pull and remain forever as Cognitive Shadow.

3) Its Investiture is pulled down into the Cognitive Realm (based on the only 3 Splintering we see) and ripped apart....now there are a tons of Splinters.

If we may uses Stormlight event as guide....Maybe Skai as a Cognitive Shadow decide to remain in the Realms. But you have to notice that now Skai is no more driven by Dominion's Mandate and is quite a man (well a ghost) with free will.

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1 hour ago, Amanuensis said:

This likewise matches what Nightwatcher, who is theorized to be a Cognitive Shadow of Cultivation

Cultivation's holder is alive though, and I don't think someone can have a cognitive shadow and still be considered alive. [WoB] Doesn't impact the overall theory, but just pointing out the flaw there.

42 minutes ago, VirtuousTraveller said:

My only correction that I'd throw into your theory is the idea that Domi is the Cognitive Shadow of Aona.  Domi seems connected to Dominion, as does Jaddeth.

Domi is more connected to Devotion though, if you look at the origin of the name. Domi was formed using the Aon Omi as a base. Omi means love. 

 

Moving past the corrections. It is an interesting theory. However, I have read a WoB which seems to counter the idea that there are cognitive shadows on Sel. As the WoB states, the investiture on Sel is mostly raw and uncontrolled. In other words, there are no greater cognitive entities to control it. On the other hand, if Domi and Jaddeth were the cognitive shadows of Aona and Skai, then I feel like at least one of them, or both, would have a role similar to the Stormfather's where they would be controlling the investiture. While there is still the difference between Sel and Roshar where the number of lesser cognitive entities (spren, seons, and skaze) is still relevant, I think there would still be some control. However, as Brandon said, there is a general lack of controlling entity for the Dor. 

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Because the Dor is in the end "A lot of Splinters without a central control" if also there is a Cognitive Shadow of a ex-Vessel. This would be only a Ghost in the Ravaging Dor (good luck to survive there). Maybe Skai or Aona may try the same trick Tanavast Did (merging with a Splinter) but in the end on Sel there aren't Splinter of greater magnitude. Skai would be merge with a Skaze and we may have a little more than an average Skage. The Stormfather was a Greater Spren also before He merged with Tanavast's cognitive Shadow (probably equal to Nightwatcher)

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8 hours ago, VirtuousTraveller said:
 
 
 

My only correction that I'd throw into your theory is the idea that Domi is the Cognitive Shadow of Aona.  Domi seems connected to Dominion, as does Jaddeth.  The voice in the shardpool, however, I believe is the voice of Aona's Cognitive Shadow, but I'm not sure how her presence is expressed in Elantris.  I agree that she may play a part in selecting who becomes an Elantrian, much like Endowment does on Nalthis, but in terms of the collective memory of the culture expressing her name in a curse or blessing, I don't see it anywhere.

I think that the Domi being short for Dominion was a bit of a Red Herring on Brandon's part. Either way, in the context of the story, I believe that the Cognitive Shadows did not choose those names. Those names were attributed to them by the beliefs of the ordinary people. In both Jaddeth and Domi's case, they don't appear to have a physical form like the Seons or Skaze do (or, at least, we see nothing that suggests it), but if this theory is right (as well as if you accept the voice in the Lake / Pool was Aona's Cognitive Shadow) then they have to be paying some attention to things, and in Jaddeth's case, directly influencing them.

8 hours ago, Yata said:
 
 
 

I have to say that your idea about Jaddeth have merit, I like it...the only problem I may see to it is about the timeline. Why would Skai wait so long before began to act?

Well, while I believe they're Cognitive Shadows, it doesn't necessarily mean either of them merged with any Splinters. If they did, they'd likely have a physical presence, like the Stormfather, which we have no reason to believe right now. Even so... when I imagine Shattering or Splintering, I literally picture taking a plate and throwing it on the ground. The plate doesn't break evenly, and likewise, I don't think each Shard and Splinter would be born with an equal amount of Investiture. It doesn't really seem that way, since there's never a mention of Seons or Honorspren coming in different sizes, but I wouldn't really surprised if there were "bigger" Seons on Sel doing their own thing, just like the Stormfather is technically a bigger Splinter of Honor fused with his Cognitive Shadow. Assuming that these Cognitive Shadows did NOT fuse with any Splinters, which I believe is the case, then they would technically exist only Cognitively; they would be able to affect the people in the Physical Realm in a similar way that Kelsier stops Vin from speaking to Hoid. I suspect that both Jaddeth and Domi "touched" people in this manner, leading them to believe those feelings came from God. Because Jaddeth managed to select a "Prophet" who fit the idea of Dominion rather well and then used him to begin conquering the world, Shu-Dereth's influence spread much faster than Domi's, which with every conversion makes Jaddeth himself more powerful. Then, when the entire world believes in Jaddeth, he will be able to manifest himself in a similar way that Spren can manifest on Roshar. Hence "He is said to slumber in the earth, waiting for a time when the whole world worships him to return and rule the world."

8 hours ago, Yata said:
 
 
 

I have another point to express because reading your post made me think you misunderstood a little what happen when a Shard is Splintered.

When a Shard's Vessel die and his/her Shard is Splintered. What happen is this:

1) The Vessel is killed and his/her body re-appear from nothing. He/She and the Shard are now completely separated.

2) The Vessel as everyone else, travel to the Cognitive Realm before reach the Beyond. But as formal Ascended being he/she may stop the Beyond's pull and remain forever as Cognitive Shadow.

3) Its Investiture is pulled down into the Cognitive Realm (based on the only 3 Splintering we see) and ripped apart....now there are a tons of Splinters.

If we may uses Stormlight event as guide....Maybe Skai as a Cognitive Shadow decide to remain in the Realms. But you have to notice that now Skai is no more driven by Dominion's Mandate and is quite a man (well a ghost) with free will.

Well, by the time Skaze was killed by Odium, I imagined he would have been affected enough by Dominion that his Cognitive Shadow could be considered "domineering." It is also possible that in the beginning Jaddeth wasn't that cruel and controlling, but as he gained power, more people (maybe those who had recently been conquered, or those who were watching Wyrn conquer from the outside, fearing him turning on them) began to perceive Jaddeth in that light, which subsequently affected his personality. If I recall correctly, what people believe as a collective can have a huge impact on this sort of thing, and I'd imagine this would be especially true on a planet who's Cognitive Realm is as chaotic as Sel's.

7 hours ago, Spoolofwhool said:
 
 
 

Cultivation's holder is alive though, and I don't think someone can have a cognitive shadow and still be considered alive. [WoB] Doesn't impact the overall theory, but just pointing out the flaw there.

Ah, yes. That was a mistake on my part. I have since edited it to say "Spren of Cultivation."

7 hours ago, Spoolofwhool said:
 
 
 

Moving past the corrections. It is an interesting theory. However, I have read a WoB which seems to counter the idea that there are cognitive shadows on Sel. As the WoB states, the investiture on Sel is mostly raw and uncontrolled. In other words, there are no greater cognitive entities to control it. On the other hand, if Domi and Jaddeth were the cognitive shadows of Aona and Skai, then I feel like at least one of them, or both, would have a role similar to the Stormfather's where they would be controlling the investiture. While there is still the difference between Sel and Roshar where the number of lesser cognitive entities (spren, seons, and skaze) is still relevant, I think there would still be some control. However, as Brandon said, there is a general lack of controlling entity for the Dor. 

My theory isn't that Jaddeth or Domi have control over the Dor; they were probably too weak, or unable to reach it, when their Splintering first occurred. I only believe that they're Cognitive Shadows who are affecting individual people and events to fulfill the Shard's last wishes. I don't think either are necessarily powerful beings. But as the belief in them spreads, they simply become able to affect a greater number of individuals, and if the dictations of Shu-Dereth are slightly accurate, it's possible they might be able to manifest themselves someday.

39 minutes ago, Green Hoodie Mistborn said:

Did Tanavast consciously "merge with a splinter"? 

I'm actually not sure if it was intentional or not. Does anyone else know?

Edited by Amanuensis
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34 minutes ago, Amanuensis said:

My theory isn't that Jaddeth or Domi have control over the Dor; they were probably too weak, or unable to reach it, when their Splintering first occurred. I only believe that they're Cognitive Shadows who are affecting individual people and events to fulfill the Shard's last wishes. I don't think either are necessarily powerful beings. But as the belief in them spreads, they simply become able to affect a greater number of individuals, and if the dictations of Shu-Dereth are slightly accurate, it's possible they might be able to manifest themselves someday.

My point though was that if there were cognitive shadow(s), there would be more control of the Dor, especially since for either of them to be cognitive shadows they would have to be anchored to a large pool of investiture. Since, as far as we are aware, the only large pool of investiture on Sel is the Dor, it would make sense for the cognitive shadows to be anchored to it. While it is true that just because they are anchored to it, they may not have control over it, I don't think this would be the case. We've already seen one case where a cognitive shadow of a shardholder is able to manipulate the investiture that they are connected to. The Stormfather can manipulate the highstorms. While it's true that it's a weak example, since we know there were other factors likely at play, I think it's still likely that if there were cognitive shadows, they would be controlling the Dor so it wouldn't be as wild. 

1 hour ago, Amanuensis said:

If I recall correctly, what people believe as a collective can have a huge impact on this sort of thing, and I'd imagine this would be especially true on a planet who's Cognitive Realm is as chaotic as Sel's.

Do you have an example of a collective belief affecting a shard or something of the like?

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We are starting to mix thinks together:

first of all we don't know if Stormlight is Honor's Investiture (and I actually don't thinks so) or if the Rider of the Storm was an Honor's Spren. Anyway the Rider was a Storm's manager from before Honor's death....it's not something he gain merging with Tanavast (probably he gain only a stable mind that allow him to be in the physical without the need of a bond).

 @Amanuensis

Another confusion is about what is a Cognitive Shadow...It's simply a ghost. It not carry any special power, if you read SH (I avoided to quote part of it early because I was afraid to spoiler you...but you quote the story, therefore no problem).

You may see how the Shard's influence over the ex-vessel fade with an incredible rate. Ati was no more Ruin driven and the same Kelsier with Preservation (One of his first actions was to hit a poor Ati after all). Therefore if (for hypotesis) Skai was keeping to enfore a global domininion on Sel....It's just his fault/decision, no Shardic Influence there and in the end we may notice how the Cognitive Shadow are "setted" there are not reflection of human mind or anything else..and probably also the Splinter once developed are quite mind-indipendant (just see how the Stormfather don't think to be Jezrien also if for a thousand of years at least entire nations think to him as Jezrien)

Edited by Yata
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That, and my WoB from SoS London signing says the Dor is a mixture of Devotion and Dominion

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Considering how hard it can be for a cognitive shadow to communicate with the living I'd guess that, if you are correct, there are some MAJOR misunderstandings going on. Also some deliberate misinterpretations. 

I doubt the Skaze are loyal to Skai. Honorspren have that as their major atribute. Seons are devoted. Skaze seek to dominate which does not always lend itself to loyalty.

i also disagree with devotion and dominion becoming Unity. I think it more likely that they would form Kingship, which requires one to both dominate and be devoted. I think Unity is actually Adonalsium complete, as Unity can also mean wholeness or Completion. (As opposed to harmony, which is just disparate elements working together.) But that's just me.

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On 9/26/2016 at 8:23 PM, Kingsdaughter613 said:

i also disagree with devotion and dominion becoming Unity. I think it more likely that they would form Kingship, which requires one to both dominate and be devoted. I think Unity is actually Adonalsium complete, as Unity can also mean wholeness or Completion. (As opposed to harmony, which is just disparate elements working together.) But that's just me.

That's an interesting theory!  Kingship as a name doesn't fit with the other Shards, but perhaps… Leadership, or something of that ilk?  Even that doesn't quite fit, but I like the way you're going with that.  Have an upvote!

jW

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Possible. Frankly, the main thing that makes me doubt it is that Brandon dont tend to do the samething in many books, that he should copy a plot element from Elantris in Stormlght archive, even f its a behind the scene plot thing, seems... doubtful to me.

But yes, it sounds resonable. It would give a reason for how elantrians are picked, wich I ahve been wondered about, and it would make sence to have it done simular to how the stormfather picks who gets to see the visions.

I always thought Wyrn was a splinter of some sort, or the beta version of the dakhor monks but with focus on prophetic things rather then phsyical like most monks.

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Kingship is actually a godly attribute in real life, which is where I was getting it from. The Jewish new year, which is next week, is actually all about that attribute. I believe that the at least some Shardic attributes are taken from RL Godly ones, though I could be wrong.

How about Majesty as a potential Shard name? It fits in more with the others.

Edited by Kingsdaughter613
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1 hour ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Kingship is actually a godly attribute in real life, which is where I was getting it from. The Jewish new year, which is next week, is actually all about that attribute. I believe that the at least some Shardic attributes are taken from RL Godly ones, though I could be wrong.

How about Majesty as a potential Shard name? It fits in more with the others.

Fair enough, but yeah, Majesty seems to fit better.  I think you're right on the Shardic attributes, not only coming from RL ones, but specifically the Jewish/Christian God (with emphasis on the Jewish traditions, I think).  Dominion, I believe, is more related to the idea of Adam and Eve being given dominion over the earth, for instance, than the idea of dominating a people or nation.

jW

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Or God's dominion over us as a king, which is usually where the concept crops up. If your right about it following more closely to the Jewish tradition it's worth noting that Kingship and parenthood are twinned concepts. That actually indicates to me that Aona and Skai played a very parent like role to the people of Sel.

On a similar note, I'm pretty sure Honor is very close to Rightousness as a Godly attribute and Endowment to Kindness (that one does not translate well from Hebrew.)

Ruin and Preservation strike me more as universal concepts than a particular Godly one. Cultivation currently feels more like a pagan deific concept, but it really depends on how it is interpreted. (It may actually be closer to Creation, as it pairs well with Ruin and Preservation. I suspect the three together would form a Creation Shard.) 

Autonomy fits two ways: as our ability to choose; and as God being the ultimate authority (i.e. No one commands God.) 

Odium feels like God's wrath or his role as punisher. (Actually, that would make Endowment a good compliment to Odium, as she would be the 'rewarder' to his 'punisher.' If Brandon ever visits NY I'll have to ask him that.)

this is getting really off topic though, so I'm going to stop now.

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I'd call a Devotion/Dominion combo Sovereignty. personally. I always felt that Unity and Harmony were too similar in too many ways, couldn't see Brandon going that route even if he did make another merged Shard on Sel. But like others have said, I'm not convinced a merged Shard is where the Sel storylines are headed.

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