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So Ruin&Preservation was just some weird opposites attract thing where one can't just be alone without the other interfering so that makes sense. Honor&Cultivation settled together because they're romantically involved so that one is quite obvious. However how did Aona and Skai end up together settling on the same planet when the shards they held don't seem to gel well by concept ? Do you guys think it is personal like they personally know each other enough that they trust each other to settle together ? Are they previously romantically involved as well ( tho Sanderson did say they were just business partners of sort but I think I read some wob there was something more) ? Or after picking up the shards did with their warped personality both made a conscious agreed decision together as they foresaw they would work out well for their personal shard intents ? It feels like their settling on the same planet together like how two friends/strangers who have different personalities just decide to become roommates or something. Their case is a curious as if I think about it Dominion and Devotion sounds almost as disastrous as R&P. Any relevant wobs ? Speculations ? Thoughts
This WoB suggests Rayse had multiple motives for killing Shards. (Source.) Argent: So, did Rayse choose those Shards [to splinter] because - Brandon Sanderson: He went after Ambition first, but didn’t find Ambition until after going after Devotion and Dominion. But Ambition was number one on his hit list. Argent: Was it because of the Shard or because of the Vessel, or the person? Brandon Sanderson: In this case it was the Shard primarily. He was afraid that this was a Shard that would rival him. But he then got trapped in the Rosharan system. “In this case”? Did Odium have other motives than Shard “rivalry” in other cases? I speculate that Rayse detoured from Ambition to kill his parents Aona and Skai. I characterize Devotion and Dominion’s Mandates (Intents) as “Love” and “Control.” That strikes me as a typical “parenting” combo – one parent keeps the kids under control while the other nurtures and loves them unconditionally. I believe Brandon intended this parenting combination. Devotion and Dominion had a pre-Shattering relationship and came to Sel together. Devotion’s love wanted to grant mortals the gift of magic. Dominion agreed, but only under tight controls. Hence, Sel’s “programmatic” form-based magic. It’s understandable why Odium sought Ambition first. It’s understandable why he later sought Honor, his magical antithesis. (Honor binds; Odium severs.) But why Devotion? Dominion maybe, but both of them? And so early in his killing spree? What kind of threat could they pose to chase them down first? Compared to his other killings, Odium murdered Skai and Aona in a particularly vicious way. It was personal. Odium wasn’t content to just kill them. He stomped on their souls and stuffed them into the Cognitive Realm. It’s the Shardic equivalent of cutting up your victim and hiding the pieces in the basement. Hoid in the First Letter describes Rayse as “among the most loathsome, crafty and dangerous individuals I had ever met.” That makes you wonder what the criteria were for participating in the Shattering.
*After reflecting on this, I've changed the name of this theory from "Why the Dor Exists in the Cognitive Realm" to "The Origin of the Dor." I think this better captures the Intent of my post! In a conversation over on Yata's Theory about the splintering and death of Aona (Devotion) and Skai (Dominion), I've realized that I would like to propose a theory about the Dor and why it exists in the Cognitive Realm. I believe that the Dor has always existed, intentionally (not the result of splintering). Aona and Skai were lovers, whose relationship was a perfect example of "unity." When they took up the power of the shards Devotion and Dominion, this relationship remained, and they went to Sel together. While we see Preservation and Ruin working in direct opposition to one another on Scadrial, Devotion and Dominion were fused together in perfect unity, guided by the relationship of their Vessels. Aona and Skai created all things together on Sel, placing Innate Investiture in all things in the form of the Dor (similar to Preservation). Jesker is the most ancient religion we know about on Sel, and per Galladon it teaches that the Dor exists in everything. To me, this predates any information we otherwise have about Shu-Korath or Shu-Dereth, which only appeared within the last few centuries or so on Sel (by the influence of Keshu, a possible worldhopper). By why would the Dor, this divine force of power, exist in the Cognitive Realm? Because, like so many things in life, it's all about RELATIONSHIPS! When two people come together, entering a state of intimacy with one another, they remain two separate individuals, yet create a third, new thing called a relationship. The relationship is a separate entity from both parties, and yet they are both actively participating in it. This new "thing" is the cognitive creation of both people involved, the fusion of shared hopes, dreams, goals, plans, etc. While you can't touch a relationship, it is absolutely a real thing, with power and influence that exists even after someone dies or the relationship ends. This is what I propose occurred with Aona and Skai. They fused the divine power of Devotion and Dominion (which exists in the Spiritual Realm separately) into one new power/shard we understand as the Dor/Unity. This Unity shard never existed in the Spiritual or Physical Realms, yet just like a relationship, it was completely real. It makes sense to me that something like this would have to exist in the Cognitive Realm, as it was made reality by Aona and Skai - the example of perfect, unified love. Brandon, writing from the Christian influence of his own life, would be very familiar with the Biblical concepts of the origin of relationships when God spoke to Adam and Eve: Aona and Skai, bound together as one, created the "one flesh" that we know as the Dor. This was all well and good until Rayse (Odium) stepped in and killed them. *Pause for moment of sadness :*( While the participants in the relationship died (Aona and Skai), the relationship itself (Unity) lived on, albiet very messily because now, that power resting in the Cognitive Realm, originally unified and guided by two divine Identities, has no divine Identity other than the original Intents of Devotion and Dominion to guide it. Plus, whatever effect splintering a shard has on said Intents is also affecting it. There it is! =) I know much of this is speculation, but until we learn more from an Elantris sequel/prequel, this is how I understand it!
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: 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: 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. Is Wyrn to Jaddeth what Dalinar is to the Stormfather? Is Jaddeth the Cognitive Shadow of Skai? Does Aona's Cognitive Shadow decide who becomes an Elantrian? Is the voice Raoden hears when he enters the Lake / Pool Aona's Cognitive Shadow?