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Lost Mistling

Theory on Trell

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First time posting, so sorry if this is the wrong thread.  Some spoilers for Misborn Era 2, RoW, and other cosmere books.  Crackpot theories developed around 2 am ahead, so please take with a grain of salt and give honest feedback.

In Mistborn Era 2, we are given some information of Trell, the strange entity that is corrupting kandra and being worshiped by the Set.  Debates with friends have led us to a few theories, and I was hoping for community feedback on them.

Sanderson confirmed in book signing that Trell was a shard we already knew.  At the time of the signing, only 9 Shards were known: Devotion, Dominion, Odium, Honor, Cultivation, Autonomy, Endowment, Preservation, Ruin.  We saw many people on here with the theory that Autonomy would be Trell, or that Trell would be an avatar of Autonomy.  This doesnt feel like their motivation or Intent.  Trell seems to be about control of the planet, or sphere as the kandra phrased it.  Autonomy does not feel like one to actively control or rule a planet.  If they did, why would Taldain not be the first taken over?

Ba-Ado-Mishram was a name that came to mind early in the talks.  Her manipulation during the False Desolation sparked the idea that she could be manipulating the kandra.  Her ability to give huge amounts of Investiture to the Singers along with her tricky nature was what led to that idea.  However, despite her being missing from a long time on Roshar, we found no connection that would lead to her being on Scadrial.

The next idea was another popular one, Odium.  Due to a timeline confirmed in another signing, Era 2 takes place in the time skip between Stormlight 5 and 6. In RoW, Taravangians deal with Dalinar would allow the Odium shard to finally leave, if Dalinar can not win the challenge in Stormlight 5.  The sneakier manipulation of the planet feels far more akin to the planning shown by Taravangian, rather than the violence Rayse used.  Again however, control does not appear to be part of the Odium Intent.  Perhaps it was just Rayse himself, but Odium never seemed conserned about the people, just the Shards on the worlds.  If he cared to rule or destroy them, Sel and Threnody would be ruled or extinct.  

The final thought that was brought up was a strange one.  The Dor, the mash up of Devotion and Dominion, left broken by Odium.  Trells desire to be worshiped and control a planet seems to fit both Intents of the shards.  Sanderson talks about the Dor gaining emotions in a Q&A from 2015, along with the Arcanum Unbound mentioning that the Sel landscape, effected by the Dor, seems to becoming self aware.  This would also be oddly connected to the Kelsier memory seen at the end of Mistborn 6, as Kelsier is aware of the Ire past attention on Scadrial.  The Ire are a group of Sel based world hoppers, seen in Mistborn: Secret History, where they had goals of stealing Preservations Investiture.  A strange connection of Sel and Scadrial.

All of these were simply ideas thrown around by a grouo of friends.  We are looking for more community ideas.  Hopefully this thread can become a Trell theory board.  We think Sanderson has given enough hints or clues to prove who it is, if we look carefully enough.

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I want to add the theory that it is "disharmony" or discord. It is the idea that there are two personalities to the shard. One of them is the harmony we see, and the other is the more ruin dominated part of the shard which is discord. The theory goes that Sazed is simply do this all, and he doesn't know because it is something like two personalities. This hits a couple of the requirements. Since it is the same shard, it would be a shard we have seen before (we have seen the shard harmony). It would explain the problem of Harmony's unbalance (1). Harmony either doesn't realize that he is creating discord, or he doesn't remember doing it (similar to Shallan's different personalities). I don't think this is true (I am an Autonomy believer), but I thought I would add it here just in case. 

 

(1) https://wob.coppermind.net/events/105/#e1155

Below are some theories that I found on 17th shard about discord. 

 

Edited by lukaash
Edit for the links to discord theories
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Previous relevant discussion:

 

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On 1/15/2022 at 1:42 AM, Lost Mistling said:

We saw many people on here with the theory that Autonomy would be Trell, or that Trell would be an avatar of Autonomy.  This doesnt feel like their motivation or Intent.

I do disagree with this, Trell’s spikes free kandra from Harmony’s control, and hide people from him, giving them autonomy. And if Paalm’s intentions are similar to Trell, which I’m guessing is the case since she has that spike, well she was very focused on freeing the people from Harmony and giving them autonomy. Plus there’s the foreman on Taldain named Trell, which is significant.

Also should this be in the cosmere board or is it fine?

Edited by #1 Taln Fan
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My biggest issue with the theory that Trell is Autonomy/an Avatar of Autonomy is this:

Spoiler

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

*With a smirk* Trell is not native to Yolen.

Shadows of Self San Diego signing (Oct. 8, 2015)

And since Bavadin is both the current AND original Vessel of Autonomy...

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53 minutes ago, CryoZenith said:

My biggest issue with the theory that Trell is Autonomy/an Avatar of Autonomy is this:

  Reveal hidden contents

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

*With a smirk* Trell is not native to Yolen.

Shadows of Self San Diego signing (Oct. 8, 2015)

And since Bavadin is both the current AND original Vessel of Autonomy...

I think that would all still line up if Trell was an Avatar of Autonomy. For instance we have confirmed that:

Spoiler

 

Pajit is an avatar of autonomy. Below is a very long and very confusing WoB that might help lol

 

ReadAndFindOut

In 2014, Brandon said First of the Sun - the planet in Sixth of the Dusk - is a minor Shardworld, in that it does not have a Shard present (https://wob.coppermind.net/events/103-salt-lake-city-comic-con-2014/#e1010). However, we've now gotten a WoB saying that Patji - the Father island - IS a Shard (https://wob.coppermind.net/events/256-oathbringer-london-signing/#e8606). Patji was a Shard, but isn't during SotD? Or did we finally get confirmation on that elusive "Survival Shard"? What do you guys think?

Brandon Sanderson

I stand by them. Though, as always, quotes and WoBs at signings aren't always as deliberately thought out as I'd like them to be. Answering questions on the fly can be challenging, and my phrasing can be bad in retrospect.

But no Shard was in residence on First of the Sun during the events of that story. The Investiture on that planet is residue, normal Investiture from Adonalsium. Everything happening there could happen with or without a Shard present. Indeed, I would say that no Shard was ever "in residence" on First of the Sun.

The being called Patji still exists, and is a Shard of Adonalsium. Shards in the past have been interested in First of the Sun, and have meddled in small ways there. (Like they have on a lot of Shardworlds.)

Note that I might have been a little misleading in the first quote by bringing up Threnody, which is a real corner case in the cosmere because of uncommon events there.

That said, I'm sure that every story I write about a planet will bring up the quirks and unusual interactions of the magic there, because that's kind of what I do. (First of the Sun has its own oddities, as mentioned in Arcanum Unbounded.) Every planet is likely to end up as a corner case in some way, just like every person is distinctive in their own way, and never fully fits expectations.

I still consider one of the major dividing lines between "major" and "minor" Shardworlds (other than Shard residence) to be in strength of access to the magic, and control over it. I intend the minor Shardworlds to involve interactions with the magic as setting--coming back to spren, you could have a minor Shardworld with people who use, befriend, even bond spren. (Or the local equivalent--Seon, Aviar, etc.) But you'd never see power on the level of the city of Elantris, the actions of a Bondsmith, or even the broad power suite of a Mistborn.

But, as ever, the cosmere is a work in progress. The needs of telling a great story trump things I've said about what I'm planning. (I do try as much as I can to avoid having two texts contradict one another. And when they do, that's often a lapse on my part.)

Oversleep

Wait.

I'm confused.

So the Investiture on First of the Sun is associated with a Shard or is it residue, normal Investiture from Adonalsium?

Cause the question was a follow up (on this) where you revealed that all Investiture in Cosmere got assigned to a Shard even if it wasn't part of a Shard.

And then you said that the one on First of the Sun is directly associated with one of the Shards (and since later you revealed Patji to be an avatar of Autonomy (also, what are avatars and how do they work?)) we took it to mean that at one point Autonomy Invested in First of the Sun.

But now you're saying it didn't?

If there was no Shard ever on First of the Sun but Patji is a Shard/avatar of a Shard then where is Patji, actually?

Could you please clarify all that?

Brandon Sanderson

So the Investiture on First of the Sun is associated with a Shard or is it residue, normal Investiture from Adonalsium?"

The reason I have so much trouble answering these questions (and you'll see me struggling to get an answer in the 10-15 seconds I have when someone asks me in a signing line) is because this isn't an either or. Is this computer I'm using matter associated with Earth, the Big Bang, or such-and-such star that went supernova long ago? Well, it's probably all three.

When people ask, "What Shard is this Investiture associated with" it gets very complicated. Shards influence and tweak certain Investiture, giving it a kind of spin or magnetism, but all Investiture ever predates the Shattering--and in the cosmere matter, energy, and Investiture are one thing.

I always imagine Investiture having certain states, certain magnetisms if you will, associated with certain aspects of Adonalsium. So it's all "assigned" to a Shard--because it's always been associated with that Shard. To Investiture, Adonalsium's Shattering meant everything and nothing at the same time.

We generally mean the term "Invested" to mean a Shard has taken permanent residence in a location, a kind of base of operations--but at the same time, this is meaningless, since distance has no meaning on the Spiritual Realm, where most Shards are. So imprisonment of a Shard like Ruin or Odium is a crude expression--but the best we have.

Autonomy never "Invested" on First of the Sun. But even answering (as someone else asked) if they created an avatar without visiting is a difficult thing to explain--because even explaining how a Shard travels (when motion is irrelevant) is difficult to manage. It's a subject that I intend to be up for debate, discussion, and argument by in-world philosophers and arcanists.

You can see why I have such troubles explaining these things at signings--and why I fail when I try to, considering the time limitations and (often) fatigue limitations placed upon me. These are concepts I intend to spend entire, lengthy epic volumes explaining and exploring.

Let's say you were Autonomy, and you have--through expanding and exploring your understanding--found a gathering of Investiture that has always been there, you always knew about, but still didn't actually recognize until the moment you considered and explored it. (Because even though your power is infinite, accessing and using that infinity is beyond your reach.) Were you "Invested" there? No, no more than you're Invested on Roshar, where parts of what were Adonalsium still exist that are associated with you (in the very fabric of matter and existence.) But suddenly, you have a chance to tweak, influence, and do things that were always possible, but which you never could do because you knew, but didn't know, at the same time.

And...I'm already into WAY more than I want to be typing this out right now. If it's confusing, it's because it's practically impossible for me to explain these things in a short span of time.

I'm going to leave it here, understanding that no, I haven't fully explained your question. (I didn't even get into what avatars are, what Patji was, and what happened to Patji the being--and how that relates to Patji the island.) But hopefully this kind of starts to point the right direction, though I probably should have just left this question alone because I bet this post is going to raise more questions than it answers...

Overlord Jebus

You've confused things so much now. We thought we had a pretty good grasp of this whole Patji situation (Autonomy visited the planet at some point, got themselves all Invested and created an avatar which is called Patji by the locals).

Now you're saying no Shard has ever visited there? And that the pool would have existed if no Shard had ever interfered? But that Patji still exists and is a Shard?

Does that mean Autonomy edited First of the Sun from afar without actually going there? And that the pool would have already existed without any intervention? Does this mean it was associated with Autonomy from the beginning? I'm really confused now.

Brandon Sanderson

I don't believe I said no Shard had visited. I said no Shard was there during the events of the story.

Investiture on First of the Sun predates any Shards fiddling with it.

Shards have fiddled with it by the time of the story.

I think fandom might be going down too far a rabbit hole on this one.

Chaos

Are you saying here that Patji is an avatar of Autonomy, or is it a separate Shard and not an avatar of Autonomy?

Brandon Sanderson

When I said Patji was a Shard, I was meaning Automony--but it is not quite that simple.

Take this post to mean "no, you should not be looking toward another Shard for Patji's origins. Autonomy is the one relevant." But Autonomy's relationships with entities like this (not sure entity is the right word, even) is complex. I'm not trying to confuse the issue, though.

General Reddit 2018 (March 18, 2018)

 

 

 

Edited by Pathfinder
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Yeah nvm, you're right. If Trell is an Avatar she is arguably native to wherever she was created, not native to the same place as Bavadin. Good catch!

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Yeah, I think Trell = Avatar of Autonomy is the leading hypothesis. (And Trell is a human name on Taldain, so possibly Taldain-native.)

Though I used to think Trell might be one or more Skaze, since we see a Dor conduit to Scadrial in Secret History.

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