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silver-the-ridgerunner posted a topic in Cosmere DiscussionSpoilers for Rhythm of War and also for the entire Cosmere, literally all of it, if you ain't caught up then pretend this post is Aimia and sail right the hell away plzkthx I just posted this as a comment on Reddit. Reposting here as its own thread in case its of interest to y'all :-) This post was inspired by the recent episode of Shardcast. What a great podcast. Absolutely love it. The most recent episode is about Jasnah, in particular her asexuality as it related to her having a sexual relationship with Hoid in Rhythm of War. On the surface, this relationship is BOGGLING. I totally agree. And one interpretation of this is that Brandon Sanderson has done some very bad writing around an asexual character. This sure is possible. However, I don't think that is the case here. I think that Jasnah/Hoid is meant to be boggling. We are supposed to say to ourselves this does not make sense! And then we are supposed to ask, well, under what circumstances could this make sense? I tried to do this, and I think I have an interesting answer. We are told that Jasnah is not interested in sex for pleasure, and that she does not reciprocate Hoid's interest in a romantic relationship with her. How can she be in this sexual relationship if not for sexual pleasure and not for romance? I think the Shardcasters are forgetting that there can be other reasons for a relationship, particularly a cis/het sexual relationship in an (essentially) medieval context. I can think of two possible reasons. The first reason is for the sharing of power through a union, such as marriage. This doesn't seem likely here. What power could a Queen gain from union with a Wit? This would be my conclusion if they had proclaimed a union publicly but not acted on it privately. They are doing the exact opposite. So this doesn't seem likely at all. As a result, I think it's the second reason: procreation. They are having sex in order to produce a child. This is the only reason that I can think of for a person who is not interested in sex in general, not interested in romance with this person in specific, and has nothing to gain from the relationship being public, to engage in a private sexual relationship. Why does Jasnah want to have a baby with Hoid? Merciful Domi but idk. Maybe she wants to give Hoid something to live for (we WoT fans call this "the Veins of Gold"). Or maybe the answer is "magic stuff." Maybe she wants her child to have Connection to a Dawnshard. Maybe she wants her child to be a Mistborn - Hoid's a Lerasium Mistborn so his child will probably be full Mistborn too. Maybe she wants her child to be a Lightweaver apart from the Radiant Surges. Maybe she wants her child to have Connection to Yolen. Or, hell, maybe she just wants to raise a child alone, and in the incorrigibly patriarchal Alethi society, the only way to do this is to hook up with the literally least dependable man in the Cosmere. I don't know Jasnah's reasons - all I know is, this is Jasnah, and so she has 'em. This brings up one more question: if procreation is Jasnah's reason for their sexual relationship, is it also Hoid's? Hoid's behavior might be a clue. His attempts to sexually interest an asexual person suggest that he's unaware of her asexuality; doesn't understand it; or is deliberately ignoring it. If someone agrees to have a sexual relationship with an asexual person for purposes entirely apart from pleasure or romance, maybe their subsequent attempts to interest the asexual person in sexual pleasure result from their guilt at experiencing pleasure in the sexual act which their partner does not. In other words, Hoid is making misguided attempts to resolve a dissonance. This... isn't great. This seems like how an alien would think human empathy works. But Hoid could be that alien just as easily as Brandon. Alternatively, Hoid is just an asshole. This is entirely within the realm of possibility, because, y'know, Hoid. But I don't think this is likely. First, Hoid is not a dumb person. Moreover, he seems to be quite empathetic when he wants to be - and his statements about wanting a romantic relationship with Jasnah suggest that this is a person for whom he'd be empathetic. But most importantly, Jasnah is kind of the freaking patron saint of telling people how it is. If she told Hoid she was ace, I can't imagine she wouldn't explain to him exactly what that means to her & set boundaries clearly and effectively. As a result, I think the most likely answer is that Hoid is unaware of Jasnah's asexuality. This would would imply that Jasnah is pretending to be interested in sex - or at least, allowing him to assume that she is and not correcting him - in order to entice him into a sexual relationship. This would imply that it is her desire to get pregnant - but not his. It wouldn't surprise me if Jasnah has learned a way for cognitive shadows to be involved in conceiving children that is unknown to Hoid. Further, I bet she learned this as a result of things that her father Gavilor Kholin did with the Sons of Honor in an attempt to create 'Fused Heralds' - magical experiments that resulted both in Jasnah's childhood 'lunacy,' and later, Shallan's identity complexities. See https://old.reddit.com/r/Stormlight_Archive/comments/qyctcp/shardcast_jasnah/hlouize/?context=3. But that's theories upon theories. But that's why I love the Stormlight Archive In a greatshell: I think that Jasnah has allowed Hoid to believe their sexual relationship is one of pleasure/romance purely in order to concienve a child with him. Further, I think Hoid believes himself incapable of getting someone pregnant - and as a result is going to be mad surprised when Jasnah hands him the sonogram.