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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.
RadiantFox posted a topic in Stormlight ArchiveLooking around I found Sanderson doesn't like to write pregnant characters, but had thought about how his magic systems would affect pregnancy. Stating at least that hemalergy would be bad, and stormlight would be likely better than without it. But that's honestly really vague and made me even more curious. I imagine edgedancers and truth watchers could easily use growth to speed a pregnancy along. But that also makes me wonder if they can do the same to an adult, if they could just be aged to dust etc. But that's less relevant here. I'm mostly just looking at the personal healing aspect of stormlight. Pregnancy could be considered as being invaded by parasites, just as alcohol is seen as poison. So if someone views it in that way, would stormlight end the pregnancy? Kaladin kept his brand and couldn't get a tattoo for the longest time. It just didn't feel right, or like he was ready yet. But more like, Shallan (as an example) not seeing herself as capable of or ready to be a mother, making it so pregnancy can't really happen or last long after implantation once she's using stormlight for anything else. Or would it just mask the pains and limitations normally associated with it? Would stormlight healing prevent developmental issues in the fetus, such as from consuming the wrong things (caffeine, alcohol etc)? Do the radiants get to choose on a conscious level, or does the investiture just so what it decides it best? It seems to do nothing for menstruation (which I have to agree with shallan, is very unfair) so possibly reproductive issues are considered differently, even before any "alien" DNA is introduced into the equation.
Honorless posted a topic in Cosmere DiscussionWould it be possible to use Investiture to side-step pregnancy? I mean, Investiture can create life: not just Cognitive Entities like spren but also humans. That's how Preservation and Ruin did it on Scadrial. No boinking required (sorry, Comatose). Surely human beings are less Invested than spren? Surely it wouldn't take as much Investiture as Awakening Nightblood. If a Lifeless can be Awakened with a single Breath and a Drab have a little less spark than ordinary Cosmere folk then human beings probably aren't too Invested. We're impeding some Invested Arts but not that much. Assembling the body would require a bit more Investiture but it should be possible. Maybe the Nightwatcher has given people babies to people as Boons. Some Shard somewhere has to have thought "well, this is messy, here's something better!" and added something like this to their Invested Art "There you go girl, no 9 months of labour! There you go gay couples, your own baby!" I know there'll be social consequences from this but I don't think it'll be bad things unlike all those speculative sci-fi books. I don't think this would devalue women (also seriously, feminism? You of all people should not be saying that! People's worth isn't determined by their reproductive worth. In primeval nature, sure, but now? Def not, that's the whole point of development. Though there is something to be said about the whole process of motherhood being the part of their identity for a lot of women) So, is this plausible? Do you think we might see something like this in the Cosmere?