Trusk'our

My theory on Why you can't retrieve breaths used to awaken a Lifeless

4 posts in this topic

When you awaken a type two invested entity (clothes, rope, or the like), it doesn’t have enough of a mind or Identity of their own to count as a “living” thing. However, Lifeless seem to have some awareness of what’s going on, as per WoB, and they also can understand more complex commands than a type two entity can. Because of this, I believe that they develop an Identity of their own, which prevents the breaths used to awaken them from being retrieved.

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On 12/27/2021 at 8:54 PM, Trusk'our said:

When you awaken a type two invested entity (clothes, rope, or the like), it doesn’t have enough of a mind or Identity of their own to count as a “living” thing. However, Lifeless seem to have some awareness of what’s going on, as per WoB, and they also can understand more complex commands than a type two entity can. Because of this, I believe that they develop an Identity of their own, which prevents the breaths used to awaken them from being retrieved.

Well, I think that this quote will also help reinforce my idea.

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Djarskublar

I'd like confirmation/denial of a theory of mine. Is the reason people can recall breaths from objects but not Lifeless or sentient awakened objects because they no longer have the same Identity as the awakener?

Brandon Sanderson

You are on the right track.

 

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TurtletheFlsh

What would happen if you created a Lifeless with more Breath then is necessary? Would they be more or completely human or just a Lifeless that's holding more Breath?

Brandon Sanderson

Lifeless with more Breath are an interesting situation. It's quite possible for the BREATH to start taking on a personality, much like a Cognitive Shadow, related to the individual. Whether or not it is actually them, though, is a big question. Note, this doesn't always happen. Often, dumping a lot of Breath in them is like sticking it in an inanimate object with no Command.

/r/books AMA 2015 (June 24, 2015)

There's also this:

Spoiler

Oudeis16

If Bob the Awakener Awakened fifty straw men to dance around, then died, then Returned as FormerBob the Appropriately Named, would FormerBob be able to reclaim the Breath from the straw men in the normal fashion (once he learned the "Your Breath to Mine" Command)?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. He has enough of his original Identity, and the spiritual connection would remain.

sonofstannis

What if he instead were reincarnated as a lifeless? Is there a way he could reclaim it then?

Brandon Sanderson

Lifeless have someone else's investiture replacing their own. (As opposed to Returned, who are augmented.) Depends on how much of them is left, and if they can achieve sapience again, but I'd say this is unlikely.

WeiryWriter

What if the Lifeless is Awakened with their own Breath? (i.e. they gave it away right before they died and the person they gave it to then used it in the Awakening)

Brandon Sanderson

This has happened already in the world, and it does help.

-Nayrb

Did this happen "on screen"?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

/r/books AMA 2015 (July 30, 2015)

This situation seemed to have happened to Arsteel / Clod

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Joeh42

In Warbreaker, is Clod the Lifeless body of Arsteel? I like this idea because Arsteel would have had some Breaths within him when he died, as this is how Vashir defeated him and Denth, and this could help explain why he seems to be a little more self-aware than most Lifeless. Could you respond to this idea?

Brandon Sanderson

I confirmed in the Warbreaker annotations that Clod is Arsteel.

Clod is more self-aware than most Lifeless. There is something left of Arsteel within Clod. The Breaths that Vasher gave him when he killed him do have an effect on this.

Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson (Jan. 10, 2011)

So, yeah that's the current theory

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