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On Roshar, the people believe seeing the future is evil. The few instances we've seen of foresight are associated with Odium. At a recent signing, Brandon said this: I find the bolded part where he trails off to be amazingly fascinating. Given the rest of the conversation, I propose that seeing the future is dangerous because of the following possibilities: 1. It draws the attention of the Shard (or its agents as explained below) that is powering the foresight. 2. It is heavily influenced by the intent or motives of the Shard that's powering it. 3. It's an ability granted by the Shard on purpose in order to manipulate events toward a future that the Shard (or its agents) desires. 4. It aligns you to the intent or motives of the Shard. This can be short-term (see atium below) or long-term. Repeated uses may cause a more lasting efect. 5. There's also the always-present conundrum of trying to change the future after you've seen it. Without context, you have no idea if changing your actions will cause that future or if not changing your actions will cause that future. The true answer could be any of the above, none of the above, or some combination of the options I've given. In order to evaluate possibilities, I've discussed the instances we've seen of people seeing the future, either as a summary, or as specific text, or links. Atium: We know how atium fuels Allomancy. It lets you see a few moments into the future. It also increases your mental and physical capabilities in order to take advantage of that knowledge. Sazed speculates in one of the HoA epigraphs that This appears to correlate to possibility 4--That seeing the future via atium temporarily aligned a person toward Ruin, the essence of entropy toward destruction. It might also explain why, after using atium as a metal mind and burning it for so long, TLR had such Ruinous impulses--mass slaughters, willingness to let the nobility destroy each other, etc, etc. After a thousand years of compounding atium, it's likely that he was very Connected to Ruin. It might also tie into possibility 3, assuming the possibility of Ruin wanting Rashek to become such a despot that he's overthrown just as the Well is about to fill, opening the way for Vin to take and release the power. Endowment: Endowment appears to be able to see some of the future, and sometimes her Splinters, the Returned, can pick up on this as well. We see this in Warbreaker, when Lightsong has his dreams and visions of T'Telir burning. She appears to send her Returned back in order to do a specific task (or set of tasks) based on what she sees, giving rise to possibility 3. Endowment apparently wanted the Hallandren and Idrians to persist, and sent back some of her Returned to help prevent the coming destruction. She probably has multiple contingency plans for if one of them dies before his or her task is accomplished. Wyrn: In the Elantris Annotations Brandon says: And Given that the Seons are Splinters of Devotion, (Love) and the Skaze are Splinters of Dominion, it seems like the Skaze are manipulating Wyrn in order to achieve their goals (Goals hinted at in the new epilogue in the 10th Anniversary Edition of Elantris) , tying back to possibility 3. Devotion and Dominion are both splintered, but the Skaze may retain enough of Dominion's intent to want to have complete dominion over the world (or maybe re-assemble Dominion?). And we come to the Stormlight Archive! We have more examples of foresight in SA than we have in any other book. There are three primary examples of it: Moelach: On the bridge between life and death, Moelach grants visions of the future, that the person utters in a cryptic and strange way, a phenomenon coined as Death Rattle. We don't really understand much about how this works, but the Death Rattles have been startlingly accurate, if incredibly obscure, so far. However. Moelach is a Splinter of Odium (along with the other Unmade). The Death Rattles we've seen so far all seem to be related either to the conflict between Odium and most of Roshar, or related to the people that are in that struggle. I have no absolute proof of this, but it's not a wild assumption (imo) to think that Odium, via Moelach, is using the Death Rattles to affect people's behavior. I realize this is putting conclusion before evidence, but I feel that it's a credible conclusion. Moelach is one of the mindless Unmade, as far as we know, so he's unlikely to have motives of his own. As a Splinter of Odium, Odium must have created him for a reason. We know Odium has a pretty good grasp of possible futures. Creating an Unmade to give people glimpses of the future (in a rather morbid way) to get them serving his purposes isn't beyond the realm of possibility. Renarin: We know very little about how Renarin's abilities work, and what types of things he can see, or how they will affect events. We know that his spren, Glys, is a Truthwatcher spren corrupted by Sja-Anat, another Splinter of Odium, and that Glys is likely what grants Renarin the ability to see the future. Renarin has seen Jasnah killing him. This would end him as a Radiant and as a Kholin. I confess, I am unsure what purpose his death would serve in Odium's cause. However, Renarin also saw Dalinar turning into Odium's champion. This would obviously be quite a desirable outcome for Odium. Given that Renarin has done a few things in order to try and warn about or prevent the things he sees, did he, consciously, or subconsciously, take actions that helped to bring that set of events into reality? We don't know yet what effects this might have, so I'm unsure which of the above categories this could fit into. The Diagram: Taravangian believes that he wrong the Diagram out of pure human capability and insight, rather than foresight. However, according to this WoB: As we know, in the Spiritual Realm, all times and places are essentially one. Seeing into the future in all other instances has been seeing into the Spiritual Realm. If Taravangian was closer to the Spiritual Realm than the Cognitive Realm, then he's likely incorporating at least some parts of what he sees in the Spiritual Realm into the Diagram. What we've seen him do so far has seemed to align him toward Odium's desires and motives. However, he was granted this ability by Cultivation, who is at odds with Odium. There was a lively discussion in this thread about the Diagram being a plant (pun intended) put in place by Cultivation. That T's actions, although they seem at odds with Dalinar+co, actually are meant to help them; and that T himself is unaware of this. As you can tell, I subscribe to this theory myself. This would fit in with possibilities 2, 3 and 4 above. Cultivation seems very crafty and careful, playing the long game with Dalinar, with Lift, and probably with T. And finally, we have Hoid. He has an ability to know where he needs to be at any given time. We don't really know most of his motives, so there's no way to determine what "where he needs to be" means, exactly. We're also very unsure as to how he knows to be in those places. We do know he uses something similar to Chromium Feruchemy in order to tap Fortune, but possibly isn't Feruchemy itself. We don't know what Shard he draws on, what intent that Shard might have, or if it's even a Shard at all. If someone can manage to tap directly into the Spiritual Realm without intervention from a Shard, it seems like Hoid would be the one. I'm also sure he's self-aware enough to know when/if he's being manipulated by whatever power he's using. So in short, I have no conclusions to draw about Hoid's abilities, other than a reiteration of his own speech to Shallan: There's always the risk, in seeing the future, of bringing about the exact consequence you want to prevent. That might be the simple answer to this entire question. Won't my face be red if it is! So, there is my long winded theory about the dangers of seeing the future. Please feel free to add to it or rip it to pieces, and thanks for reading!