AFdooda

What about another Shard - Unity?

75 posts in this topic

This entire topic is kind of a spoiler so be warned all who have not read Oathbringer and Dawnshard!

Oh and by the way their both really good so read them :).

Chunky explanation time:

Oathbringer Spoilers:

Spoiler

At the end of Oathbringer we get a test of wills between Dalinar and Odium.

Dalinar says, 'I am Unity'

Odium has a fit saying, 'We killed you!'

Who or what is this Unity that Odium is so afraid of? is this a power that could unite the shards into one again, thus taking Rayse's power?

Now that's mega suspicious when considered alongside the events of Dawnshard.

Dawnshard Spoilers:

Spoiler

In Dawnshard we get explanations into what Dawnshards are and how they are used.

As far as I can tell they are mostly all powerful.

They are also the remnants of the weapon used to shatter Adonalsium.

And thus this theory boiled over and I had to ask on these forums after reading Dawnshard.

 SOOO... this weird theory has been kicking about in my head for about a year.

Can't remember where I got it from.

Theory question: Were the Dawnshards used to shatter Adonalsium by removing/destroying the god-being's 'unity'?

What do you wise peoples of the forums say?

This is my first actual post so if I've done anything wrong please educate this new user! :)

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Hm... the capital U Unity referenced in Oathbringer does seem like it's something more than just simple old "unity". The idea that Unity is a fundamental concept of the Cosmere, like Connection or Identity, seems likely to me.

Your idea that Unity was something that Adonalsium used to hold themselves (itself?) together seems really likely to me. Maybe all beings in the Cosmere have some kind of Unity, a kind of Connection that holds them together from the inside. Or maybe not, this is all just theorizing.

The interesting thing is, that if Adonalsium needed this Unity to hold himself (herself?) together, then maybe it means the distinction between the Shards was already there, and the Dawnshard(s) just split them. Like a piece of ceramic breaking along weakened lines. So how Unified was Adonalsium before the Shattering, really...

Interesting thought! 

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Posted (edited)

21 hours ago, The Bookwyrm said:

Hm... the capital U Unity referenced in Oathbringer does seem like it's something more than just simple old "unity". The idea that Unity is a fundamental concept of the Cosmere, like Connection or Identity, seems likely to me.

Your idea that Unity was something that Adonalsium used to hold themselves (itself?) together seems really likely to me. Maybe all beings in the Cosmere have some kind of Unity, a kind of Connection that holds them together from the inside. Or maybe not, this is all just theorizing.

The interesting thing is, that if Adonalsium needed this Unity to hold himself (herself?) together, then maybe it means the distinction between the Shards was already there, and the Dawnshard(s) just split them. Like a piece of ceramic breaking along weakened lines. So how Unified was Adonalsium before the Shattering, really...

Interesting thought! 

The distinction between shards is kinda exactly what I'm thinking of (although I didn't know it when I put up this post :) ).

So does that just make it a massive coincidence that the word unity was given a capital 'U'?
Or could perhaps a 'Unity' shard still hold some influence, enough to perhaps guide some people.

Spoiler

Like Dalinar when he says 'Unity' capital U.

This is even more speculative than the original post!

Edited by AFdooda
I put C loads instead of U for some reason.
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Posted (edited)

Unity (capital "U") is definitely something, but I don't believe that it is at a level above the Shards (so, not Adonalsium), nor that it's a fundamental element of the Cosmere like Connection or Identity. The idea that it's a Dawnshard is intriguing though.

I think that it's a possible "form" of Honor's Shard, in the same way that Sazed became Harmony when he could have become Discord upon taking up Ruin and Preservation. Honor is already all about binding things, hence his enthusiasm for oaths. Unity is another angle on the same idea: not on binding things together via promises, but on things being bound together into one thing.

We know from WoB that the Shards of Adonalsium that exist are not the only ones that could have existed, and that there could have been fewer or more Shards than 16, and that we could have had 16 totally different Shards than exist in the Cosmere. My suspicion is that Honor being Splintered would make it easier for someone to shift to another manifestation of the Shard itself if it were reconstituted, and when Dalinar briefly ascended he channeled that Shard's power in that way-- as Unity, not Honor. So I agree with you 100% that Unity is probably a Shard, but not a "new" one; rather, it would be a replacement for Honor.

You're definitely on to something that the capital "U" is significant, but I think that the significance isn't clear yet. Passion is often capitalized when Odium says the word, and once when Ruin said it, but that's not a Shard (maybe a Dawnshard?). And across all of the Cosmere we are starting to get flooded with words that are officially capitalized. It's confusing!

 

Also, welcome!

Edited by Returned
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Posted (edited)

14 hours ago, AFdooda said:

Oathbringer Spoilers:

  Hide contents

At the end of Oathbringer we get a test of wills between Dalinar and Odium.

Dalinar says, 'I am Unity'

Odium has a fit saying, 'We killed you!'

Who or what is this Unity that Odium is so afraid of? is this a power that could unite the shards into one again, thus taking Rayse's power?

Now that's mega suspicious when considered alongside the events of Dawnshard.

 

Words of Brandon (WoB) on Unity

We also know that after calling himself "Unity" Dalinar was able to temporarily reform Honor's Perpendicularity, and that the statement was "Accepted" as a Bondsmith Oath by Stormfather.

See below (in answer to the question) for my thoughts on this.

Quote

Dawnshard Spoilers:

  Hide contents

In Dawnshard we get explanations into what Dawnshards are and how they are used.

As far as I can tell they are mostly all powerful.

They are also the remnants of the weapon used to shatter Adonalsium.

And thus this theory boiled over and I had to ask on these forums after reading Dawnshard.

Your wording (especially the bolded part) is a bit suspect.

Dawnshard Ch 19

Spoiler

Nikli laughed. “Mere words cannot explain. The Dawnshards are Commands, Rysn. The will of a god.”

“I feel what you say is right, but . . . I had always imagined the Dawnshards as weapons, like the mythical Honorblades.” To be honest, she’d rarely heard the term “Dawnshard,” but she was pretty sure she’d always conflated them with Honorblades.

“The most powerful forms of Surgebinding transcend traditional mortal understanding,” Nikli said. His body began to re-form, hordelings crawling back into place. “All their greatest applications require Intent and a Command. Demands on a level no person could ever manage alone. To make such Commands, one must have the reasoning—the breadth of understanding—of a deity. And so, the Dawnshards. The four primal Commands that created all things.” He paused. “And then eventually, they were used to undo Adonalsium itself. . . .”

They are never called weapons, or even remnants of weapons. In fact, the implication seems to be that they are not a "weapon" in any traditional sense.

We only know that they were part of whatever happened to Adonalsium. Also, keep in mind this is an unreliable narrator. We know Nikli was not alive for the Shattering; we don't even know if any Sleepless in the Cosmere is that old. . . so what role the Dawnshards may have played in the Shattering is very suspect.

Quote

Theory question: Were the Dawnshards used to shatter Adonalsium by removing/destroying the god-being's 'unity'?

What do you wise peoples of the forums say?

I doubt it. The context of the event, and its aftermath, makes it rather doubtful that Dalinar had/has either a Shard or Dawnshard. After all, we've had viewpoints from Dalinar since this event and he never noticed the same things Rysn did less than a day after her experience. (Warbreaker Spoilers)

Spoiler

The Heightening-like effects of Perfect Pitch and Perfect Color Recognition, that indicate that the amount of investiture in a Dawnshard holder is at least equivalent of an Awakener of the Third Heightening.

So, knowing Rayse's response, we know:

  • He Splintered (or at least wounded shy of splintering) Ambition and that the fight happened in the Threnody system, but she finally Splintered elsewhere
  • He Splintered Dominion and Devotion on Sel (and their power is stuck in the CR)
  • He Splintered Honor in the Rosharan system, but was bound during the confrontation and remains "stuck" there

So, his outburst of “No, we killed you. WE KILLED YOU!” (OB Ch 119 - see below), and his use of the plural "We" likely means either the Shard and its vessel (we) Splintering Honor; or possibly refer to the group (we) from the Shattering (and it's effects). But without further information, it could be something entirely different.

Either way, it seems doubtful that Unity refers to a Shard or Dawnshard.

Quote

Oathbringer Ch 119 excerpt

Spoiler

 

Dalinar opened his eyes, and knew what the parshwoman saw in him. Swirling clouds, glowing light, thunder and lightning.

“I am Unity.”

He slammed both hands together.

And combined three realms into one.

* * *

“No!” Odium screamed. He stepped forward. “No, we killed you. WE KILLED YOU!”

Dalinar stood within a pillar of light and spinning gloryspren, one hand to each side, clutching the realms that made up reality.

Forgiven. The pain he’d so recently insisted that he would keep started to fade away on its own.

These Words … are accepted, the Stormfather said, sounding stunned. How? What have you done?

Quote

This is my first actual post so if I've done anything wrong please educate this new user

Welcome to the Forums.

Post seems fine, though you may want to consider adding links to relevant Coppermind pages and WoBs.

Edited by Treamayne
SPAG
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on a side note, could Autonomy be the shard of personal choice?

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The idea of Unity being a version of Honor seems possible.

Guess it's all coming down to not knowing enough.

Maybe in the second story ark for Stormlight we'll get a little more shard lore.

Thanks everyone!

This idea's been kicking around for so long it's good to experience the forum wisdom on it.

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Posted (edited)

@Treamayne, I think Dawnshards can be viewed as a weapon, at least from a Rosharan perspective. Honor raved that humanity destroyed Ashyn with the Dawnshards (you can fact check me on this one. This is Oathbringer ch. 113, my copy is in storage at the moment) and in the visions Honor worried that they wouldn't be able to defeat Odium without them, so they can be viewed as tools to oppose Odium. Weaponry may not have been their primary purpose, but they likely can be used as such if you know what you're doing.

@AFdooda, I think I've seen that theory that Dawnshards were used in the Shattering, but I'm not sure where. Cool idea regardless! Maybe I saw it on the Shardcast episode on Dawnshards? I don't know if I want to trawl through 2 hours of audio just to fact check if it's a preexisting theory though. On that note, if you are caught up or don't mind spoilers, that Shardcast is a good place to hear what has been discussed on Dawnshards.

 

 

I'll throw this in here, Dalinar is the one who claimed the name Unity, so it may not be of particular Cosmere relevance, though this was directly after swearing his third Bondsmith Oath and just before opening the Perpendicularity, so he did have an much stronger Connection to the Spiritual Realm right at that moment and may have been speaking truths he himself was unaware of.

I'd guess that if Unity was Shard name level relevant, it's because Dalinar's oaths tying him to the Stormfather and the diminished remnants of Honor's power are to unite instead of divide. Because of that, I would say that Dalinar most likely cannot act in opposition to that Intent, regardless of if Unity could be a normal expression of the Shardic power and Intent of Honor. If Dalinar were to Ascend to a full Shard using the oaths binding him to the Stormfather as a foundation to do so (no this not a hypothesis for the 5th Bondsmith oath, this is just hypothetical), then I would guess that he would have to continue operating under those oaths and could very well end up called Unity at that point. I don't know if this would change the Intent of the Shard or if he would be crippled, unable to access or utilize all of his Power compared with another Shard that didn't have to use such a roundabout method to Ascend. A bunch of hypotheticals that would get RAFO'd so fast (Read and Find Out, a card that Brandon gives to people who ask him a question that he doesn't want to answer yet).

Edited by Duxredux
clarity
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1 hour ago, Duxredux said:

@Treamayne, I think Dawnshards can be viewed as a weapon, at least from a Rosharan perspective. Honor raved that humanity destroyed Ashyn with the Dawnshards (you can fact check me on this one. This is Oathbringer ch. 113, my copy is in storage at the moment) and in the visions Honor worried that they wouldn't be able to defeat Odium without them, so they can be viewed as tools to oppose Odium. Weaponry may not have been their primary purpose, but they likely can be used as such if you know what you're doing.

Nearly anything can be used as a weapon, or viewed as such after it causes harm. I had an Art Teacher who actually (like all young students are told; but never believe) lost his eye when a paper airplane hit him in the face. That does not mean that "Paper Airplanes are weapons."

I wasn't quibbling that a Dawnshard, especially used incorrectly, wouldn't/couldn't cause harm - I was merely pointing out that the quote being referenced (which I provided in my post) did not reference them as weapons or even pieces of a weapon when discussing how they were involved in the Shattering. I believe that imprecise wording like that, espcialy when quoted and repeated, leads to false assumptions and inhibits theory discussion.

Here's the relevant section from Oathbringer Ch 113 (with the non-conversation part trimmed out)

Spoiler


Quote

“The Almighty kept this from his Radiants,” Dalinar said. “When they discovered it, they abandoned their vows.”

It is more than that. My memory of all this is … strange. First, I was not fully awake; I was but the spren of a storm. Then I was like a child. Changed and shaped during the frantic last days of a dying god.

But I do remember. It was not only the truth of humankind’s origin that caused the Recreance. It was the distinct, powerful fear that they would destroy this world, as men like them had destroyed the one before. The Radiants abandoned their vows for that reason, as will you.

. . .

In the past, Honor was able to guard against this, the Stormfather told him. He convinced the Radiants they were righteous, even if this land hadn’t originally been theirs. Who cares what your ancestors did, when the enemy is trying to kill you right now?

But in the days leading to the Recreance, Honor was dying. When that generation of knights learned the truth, Honor did not support them. He raved, speaking of the Dawnshards, ancient weapons used to destroy the Tranquiline Halls. Honor … promised that Surgebinders would do the same to Roshar.

“Odium claimed the same thing.”

He can see the future, though only cloudily. Regardless, I … understand now as I never did before. The ancient Radiants didn’t abandon their oaths out of pettiness. They tried to protect the world. I blame them for their weakness, their broken oaths. But I also understand. You have cursed me, human, with this capacity.


 

 

However, notice it's not that "Honor called them weapons;" it's that a mad and dying Honor referenced them being used as weapons, which we discussed above.

So, it's obvious they can be viewed as a weapon (because they can cause harm - especially when misused); but unlikely that they *are* a weapon in any traditional sense. We also know that Tanavast was afraid they would be used to destroy Roshar. One thing I have been considering lately:

Spoiler

Fuzz was supposedly killed over 1000 years before the body of Leras fell into the Ash during HoA/SH. However, Preservation wasn't splintered, though Ruin attempted to do so in the time between Leras dying and Kel taking up the (most of) the Shard.
So, if the last mad death-roes of Tanavast came around the recreance; does that mean the vessel "died" 1000+ years earlier and it took that long to "unravel"? Is that why his mental state was so discombobulated near the end?

Just a thought

Quote

I'll throw this in here, Dalinar is the one who claimed the name Unity, so it may not be of particular Cosmere relevance, though this was directly after swearing his third Bondsmith Oath and just before opening the Perpendicularity, so he did have an much stronger Connection to the Spiritual Realm right at that moment and may have been speaking truths he himself was unaware of.

Agreed, Brandon RAFOs any question about why Unity was capitalized in Dalinar's Statement. But note that it wasn't "directly after swearing his third Bondsmith Oath" it was his third Bondsmith Oath.
However there was one WoB odd exchange that might help theorize:

Spoiler


 

Quote

 

Questioner

Dalinar Ascends, right? Like, right then, there.

Brandon Sanderson

I have RAFO'd that. Whether he is Ascending or not is a RAFO.

Questioner

Okay, because I know he kind of mentions from that, I don't know how to say his name but the older guy who has the Diagram--

Brandon Sanderson

Taravangian, yeah. Whether that deserves to be a capital "A" or not is a matter of argument. It can be disputed.

Questioner

I guess my main question would just be Dalinar's now able to pull Stormlight and give it to people now.

Brandon Sanderson

He definitely can. That is a Bondsmith power, so.

Questioner

That is a Bondsmith power, okay.

Brandon Sanderson

That is specifically a Bondsmith power.

Questioner

Because my roommate was saying well, the Stormfather was surprised he could do that or was the Stormfather surprised that he was able to bridge--

Brandon Sanderson

He was surprised by what was happening to Dalinar as a whole.

Questioner

Oh okay, that's what I thought because I was like, because I felt like the Stormlight, that power would be a Bondsmith power.

Brandon Sanderson

Let's say that the Stormfather and Odium were seeing something in Dalinar that, perhaps, the average person watching even who is knowledgeable about Surges would not completely understand... But he will be able to use that power and Bondsmiths in the past have used that same power.

 


 

Just some of the wording and evasiveness there makes me think it is partially BS answering a question slightly different from the one that was asked (which he admits happens sometimes when he is rushing or doesn't quite understand what is being asked - so the question and answer don't quite line up)

From that, I would guess that "he will be able to use that power and Bondsmiths in the past have used that same power" refers to pulling Investiture from the SR to recharge spheres - not the part about opening a perpendicularity.

 

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AAAAhhh!

I see now.

There is already a bit of RAFO with the anomalies surrounding Bondsmiths, particularly Dalinar (the Bondsmith after the death of Tanavast).

And if the Capital U for Unity is an RAFO then this anomaly just gets bigger.

The evasiveness of the Sanderson implies that there is something here at least.

Hmm...

Most interesting indeed.

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Posted (edited)

@Treamayne, your explanation about Dawnshards not necessarily being weapons makes sense, but I sure didn't get that from your initial post. Thanks for clarifying.

35 minutes ago, Treamayne said:

Agreed, Brandon RAFOs any question about why Unity was capitalized in Dalinar's Statement. But note that it wasn't "directly after swearing his third Bondsmith Oath" it was his third Bondsmith Oath.

Wait, have I been reading Oathbringer wrong this whole time? I thought Dalinar's 3rd ideal was something along the lines of "I will take responsibility for what I have done. If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man" and that was what the Stormfather accepted as an appropriate Oath with some confusion by saying "these words are accepted". If "I am Unity" was his oath, I've been getting this wrong for years. Ah... I wish I had my books...

Edited by Duxredux
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@DuxreduxI think when Dalinar says 'I am Unity' the Stormfather accepts the words as an oath.

That'll need checking, I too do not have access to the holy books :)

Dalinar's Bondsmith oaths are all about uniting instead of dividing, to quote the oaths themselves.

I am Unity would make sense as an oath, as well as provide a suitable number of questions about it.

 

On a side note, this is the first time Dalinar opens Honor's Perpendicularity and it is part of a powerful battle of wills at the end of Oathbringer.

Maybe this unique moment in the Bondsmith oaths and the fact that Dalinar is a bit of a special case is, for some reason, why we get the capital U?

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Posted (edited)

Duh, I should have checked Coppermind.

https://coppermind.net/wiki/Order_of_Bondsmiths#The_Third_Ideal

Quote

The Third Ideal[edit]

I will take responsibility for what I have done. If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man. 

—The Third Ideal of the Bondsmiths, as sworn by Dalinar Kholin.[11]

The main focus of this Ideal is becoming a better person over time.[12] There may be other interpretation of this Ideal that have yet to be explored.

If this isn't the Third Ideal, then we need to bring it up with the Moderators and make it a point of discussion. Huh. Got the exact wording.

@AFdooda If you can't tell, there is a lot of debate that happens here at 17th Shard.

Edited by Duxredux
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Posted (edited)

@AFdooda @Duxredux

Maybe I screwed up on that first post. Dalinar's sentence "I am Unity" immediately precede's Stormfather's "These words are accepted." Here's the full sequence:

Spoiler

Oathbringer Ch 119:

Spoiler

 

“Dalinar,” Odium said. “What do you hope to gain, keeping this burden?”

Dalinar sneered at the god. “If I pretend … If I pretend I didn’t do those things, it means that I can’t have grown to become someone else.”

“A failure.”

Something stirred inside of Dalinar. A warmth that he had known once before. A warm, calming light.

Unite them.

“Journey before destination,” Dalinar said. “It cannot be a journey if it doesn’t have a beginning.”

A thunderclap sounded in his mind. Suddenly, awareness poured back into him. The Stormfather, distant, feeling frightened—but also surprised.

Dalinar?

“I will take responsibility for what I have done,” Dalinar whispered. “If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man.”

*   *   *

Renarin POV

*   *   *

Unite them!

Gloryspren streamed around Dalinar. Thousands of golden spheres, more spren than he’d ever seen in one place. They swirled around him in a column of golden light.

Beyond it, Odium stumbled back.

So small, Dalinar thought. Has he always looked that small?

*   *   *

Syl POV

*   *   *

UNITE THEM!

Dalinar thrust his left hand to the side, plunging it between realms, grabbing hold of the very fabric of existence. The world of minds, the realm of thought.

He thrust his right hand to the other side, touching something vast, something that wasn’t a place—it was all places in one. He’d seen this before, in the moment when Odium had let him glimpse the Spiritual Realm.

Today, he held it in his hand.

The Fused scrambled away. Amaram pushed down his faceplate, but that wasn’t enough. He stumbled back, arm raised. Only one person remained in place. A young parshwoman, the one that Dalinar had visited in the visions.

“What are you?” she whispered as he stood with arms outstretched, holding to the lands of mind and spirit.

He closed his eyes, breathing out, listening to a sudden stillness. And within it a simple, quiet voice. A woman’s voice, so familiar to him.

I forgive you.

Dalinar opened his eyes, and knew what the parshwoman saw in him. Swirling clouds, glowing light, thunder and lightning.

“I am Unity.”

He slammed both hands together.

And combined three realms into one.

*   *   *

Kal POV

*   *   *

Ash POV

*   *   *

Teft POV

*   *   *

Renarin POV

*   *   *

Navani POV

*   *   *

“No!” Odium screamed. He stepped forward. “No, we killed you. WE KILLED YOU!”

Dalinar stood within a pillar of light and spinning gloryspren, one hand to each side, clutching the realms that made up reality.

Forgiven. The pain he’d so recently insisted that he would keep started to fade away on its own.

These Words … are accepted, the Stormfather said, sounding stunned. How? What have you done?

Odium stumbled back. “Kill him! Attack him!”

 

 

So, reading through it again now. . . New Theory. 

  1. "I am Unity" could be Dalinar's 5th Oath as a Bondsmith (in the way that Nale's 5th Oath was "I am Law"). If this is the case, then we are missing an oath somewhere. . -or-
  2. It could be his 4th Bondsmith Oath, by the way he "calls" Gloryspren the way Kal calls windspren as he nears his Fourth Oath in OB and actually swears the Fourth Oath in RoW. 

For 1:

  • Stormfather replies that the words are accepted after "I am Unity" 
  • The Gloryspren gather after the "I will . . . better man" Oath, as if that was the Fourth Oath
  • We don't know if Dalinar will gain Plate (the same way he doesn't get a Shardblade) - so using Gloryspren to pierce the realms may be what the Fourth Oath gives to Bondsmiths instead of (in addition to?) Plate
  • He pulled power from Stormfather, like a Shardblade, to work the Oathgate long before the "I will . . . better man" Oath; which could mean he said the third Oath some time before that scene.
  • We have already seen Dalinar swear two oaths at once before

For 2:

  • We know "I will . . . better man" Oath is the third Oath we have seen (or recognized for what it is)
  • Odium was somehow keeping Stormfather from contacting Dalinar, so we may not have "heard" the acceptance of the "I will . . . better man" Oath, or it was delayed until Dalinar could hear "hear" him again - which just happened to be after the "I am Unity"
    • In which case, Stormfather's Lines - "These Words … are accepted," and "How? What have you done?" are referencing the  "I will . . . better man" oath and "I am Unity" conundrum respectively
  • Dalinar doesn't act in RoW as if he knows he's already sworn the Fifth Oath
  • We have already seen Dalinar swear two oaths at once before

TCBGCs?

Edited by Treamayne
SPAG / Clarification
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I'll have to do a degree in Brandon Sanderson Literature and become a full time forum-surfer.

Best job ever.

Or maybe a I'll just study Hoid, that's probably the best I could do in reality :)

 

Anyhoo

If 'I am Unity' is not a Bondsmith Ideal that probably raises more questions than it answers.

A lot of emphasis is put on that little line and when Dalinar recovers from his memories 'Unite Them' is whispered in his head.

Now I'm wondering who whispered this? Honor, or at least the remnants of Tanavast.

The similarity between 'I am Unity' and Nale's Fifth Skybreaker Oath 'I am Law' is suspicious.

But you're right @TreamayneDalinar does not seem to act like he's sworn a fifth oath in RoW. As we have discovered from  the skybreakers the last oath of each Radiant Order seems to be a serious thing. It seems unlikely that Dalinar would be wandering around during RoW with a fifth oath sworn.

Thus the idea that the Stormfather accepting the words 'I will ... a better man' oath but being delayed by Odium in telling Dalinar seems like a solid theory.

Of course, if that is true then the question of 'I am Unity' comes back down to having kinda only one lead, Nale's fifth oath.

Guess I'll also need to get a degree in forensic science for the forums too :) 

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Posted (edited)

I've never seen "I am Unity" as being Dalinar's 3rd Oath. To me its always been "If I must fall, I shall rise each time a better man" because that's the moment when he's no longer under Odium's control. "I am Unity" to me was Dalinar speaking from the Spiritual Realm or something. I do like the idea that Unity is a potential Shard that could be made from the remnants of Honor and that would explain "We killed you" and "I didn't plan for him to Ascend."

But, I could also see it as Dalinar speaking his 5th Oath before he's done 4, which is technically possible I think. It just doesn't do anything magical.

OKAY WAIT. I think I have an explanation if that was his 5th Ideal. His 4th would have been "If I must fall I shall rise each time a better man" and his 3rd would have been his marriage Oath with Navani. It was an Oath he made to the Stormfather, after all. Then again, the SF doesn't say "THESE WORDS ARE ACCEPTED" he just says "SO BE IT," but Kaladin didn't hear the SF say anything when he said his 2rd Ideal and the Skybreakers Accept each other's Ideals so maybe the rules on that are more fast and loose than we expect.

Edited by Wandering Shade
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Posted (edited)

I think that one of the most significant reasons to think that Dalinar has not achieved his 5th oath is the observation of the Fused, especially Raboniel. They are pretty certain that Jasnah has achieved the fourth ideal (which is why they need her out of the tower at Urithiru), and think that Kaladin may be close. If they were so concerned about Radiants with 4+ oaths, and were able to discern that Jasnah had reached it (despite not having much apparent surveillance of her), they would have been very concerned about Dalinar as well. But they never mention him at all in those deliberations, despite having tons of witnesses to his "I am Unity" moment.

That said, he's clearly close to the fourth ideal in Oathbringer before that moment, as he nearly manifests Shardplate while interacting with Venli in the Nohadon vision. He's not the only Radiant to get close, with the prismatic outlines of light around their bodies, but close is all it is.

Edited by Returned
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7 hours ago, Wandering Shade said:

Kaladin didn't hear the SF say anything when he said his 2rd Ideal

Keep in mind we were not in Kaladin's POV for the aftermath of the Second Oath, so we can't know if he heard Stormfather or not.

TWoK Ch 67

Spoiler

 

The Words, a voice said, urgent, as if directly into his mind. In that moment, Kaladin was amazed to realize that he knew them, though they’d never been told to him.

“I will protect those who cannot protect themselves,” he whispered.

The Second Ideal of the Knights Radiant.

*****

A crack shook the air, like an enormous clap of thunder, though the sky was completely clear. Teft stumbled back—having just set the bridge in place—and found himself gaping with the rest of Bridge Four. Kaladin exploded with energy.

A burst of whiteness washed out from him, a wave of white smoke. Stormlight. The force of it slammed into the first rank of Parshendi, tossing them backward, and Teft had to hold his hand up against the vibrancy of the light.

 

 

2 hours ago, Returned said:

I think that one of the most significant reasons to think that Dalinar has not achieved his 5th oath is the observation of the Fused, especially Raboniel.

Great point

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16 hours ago, Wandering Shade said:

 "I am Unity" to me was Dalinar speaking from the Spiritual Realm or something. I do like the idea that Unity is a potential Shard that could be made from the remnants of Honor and that would explain "We killed you" and "I didn't plan for him to Ascend."

 

I see what you mean when you say 'speaking from the SR'.

Dalinar is literally using his power to unite all three realms temporarily.

he is also drawing on the largest remnant of Honor's power, the Stormfather.

Combine those two points and the theory of a new shard, Unity makes a little more sense.

I would almost go so far as to say that if Dalinar had said more oaths by the time we get the 'I am Unity' scene then something more could have happened.

What do you guys think of the idea that 'Unity' was partially formed by Dalinar for a brief time before breaking apart into the shattered remains of Honor again.

We do, afterall, spend most of the Stormlight Archive with the Stormfather going on about Dalinar is doing things that have never been done before as Honor is no longer limiting the power of the Bondsmiths AND Dalinar, a Bondsmith, is using the remnant power of said Honor.

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There's two conversations here, that may or may not be related. The first is what Ideal Dalinar is on. The second is if Unity as a Shard makes sense.

I agree that Dalinar is likely on the 3rd Ideal, for the other reasons mentioned, that he doesn't have Plate and because the only known 4th Ideal Radiants that Raboniel was worried about was Jasnah and Kaladin. Shardhood may or may not be related to what level Dalinar has sworn to.

For the second, what would be considered a Shard? Could Dalinar and the Stormfather jointly be considered a proto-Shard when they are operating together using their power? Dalinar clearly has not vaporized and so we can assume that he has not Ascended, but he's a person with ties to all three Realms that has joint access with the Stormfather who holds a large portion of Honor's power. I'd guess Dalinar hasn't Ascended for the reason that he doesn't normally hold the bulk of the power and he hasn't been overloaded enough to vaporize. That's a question that I'm not sure the answer to, can multiple Vessels control a single Shard? If it is possible, I'd guess it would be really tricky for the Vessels to be united enough to not cause conflicting agendas within the Shard, which I assume would be bad. Dalinar at the end of Oathbringer was worrying enough that Rayse ran, and that should be an indication that the level of power that Dalinar has is on level with a Shard I think. So... maybe when they are working together as Bondsmith, they are in a limited fashion functionally a Shard? If they are, then they are definitely restricted to following Dalinar's Oaths of unity, and might rightly be called Unity.

My guess for "We killed you!" is that Dalinar and the Stormfather, possibly as Dalinar touches the Spiritual Realm while swearing his Ideal, looked like Honor's Shard to Odium (maybe even a zombie/Frankenstein Shard, I dunno, this is a weird roundabout hacked way to become a Shard if that is indeed what they are together). I don't think that the Shard Unity came together momentarily before splintering again, rather they may functionally be a Shard when united and working together, but that doesn't happen that often so they aren't utilizing that power very effectively compared to a typical Shard. The power and Vessel are separate beings, which is weird and very unstable. It's actually kind of worrying, because Dalinar can make decisions such as accepting Oaths with limited access to the mind and senses of the Stormfather. Imagine having a Shard's power but without a Shard's senses or knowledge to know the actual effects of what you were doing.

Further thought and spoilers for Mistborn Secret History

Spoiler

We know that to really be an effect Vessel of a Shard, you need to have ties to all three Realms, that simply a Cognitive Shadow won't have the same power as a full Vessel. I think the Stormfather may fit into a similar weight category as Kelsier as Preservation did, and while Kelsier could resist and cause problems for Ruin, he got pushed around and kicked out of the power without too much trouble on Ruin's part. It's why Odium wasn't too worried about the Stormfather holding the remnants of Honor's power. Dalinar's bond gives the Stormfather ties to all three Realms beyond his manifestation as the Highstorm.

What does everyone think?

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I think we have disproved the idea that there was originally another shard, Unity.

I also think that the confusion over Dalinar's ideal stems from how powerful he sometimes is.

He is on the third ideal, we know that for certain, but because he is an un-Honor-limited Bondsmith he can sometimes be significantly more powerful than what you might expect (i.e. acting like he's on the Fourth or even Fifth ideal at times.)

This links into @Duxredux's idea of the Dalinar-Stormfather 'protoshard'. It is only when the two work together that the truly crazy things happen and it's this that Odium is afraid of.

New Theory then: Dalinar is, in conjunction with the Stormfather, drawing directly on the power of Honor to essentially 'boost' himself. I say this because the Stormfather is the entity that currently holds the majority of Honor's power. This gives the Stormfather Shard-like qualities (as he holds Honor's power) and Dalinar Vessel like qualities (being the one bonded to the Stormfather).

Whad'ya peoples think of that?

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Brandon actually says in one of his book signings that Dalinar is only on the 3rd oath at the end of Oathbringer, and I don't remember him swearing any additional oaths in Rhythm of War, so I think it is safe to say he has only made the third oath. However, (spoiler for Mistborn era 1)

Spoiler

Sazed picks up the shards of Ruin and Preservation after they die, so in the future, if someone could find Honor's real body, they might be able to get his power back, though it might involve killing the Stormfather. Unity seems like a name that could be giving to someone who picked up Honor's shard, as well as an additional shard. Brandon avoiding the questions seems like it might be important in the future. Perhaps Dalinar absorbed some of Honor's power, like what Vin does with the mist when she kills the Lord Ruler. That might be the origin of Dalinar's sudden power to open up Honor's perpendicularity. 

 

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Here is Dalinar is on Oath #3

Spoiler

Hoidonalsium
In that one long rejection of Odium, how many Oaths did Dalinar swear before merging the Realms? And is "I am Unity" the fifth.

Brandon Sanderson
No, that is not an Oath. He swore one ideal in that experience.

Hoidonalsium
Okay. How many Oaths is he on?

Brandon Sanderson
The number you think. So, he should have just finished three, right? Or maybe four. I'll have to go look. It's the number that you think it is. I'm not being sneaky on you. There's nothing sneaky there. He doesn't get armor, so I can't remember where he is... He should be at three. "Life before death." "I will unite instead of divide." "I will stand up each time I fall." Yeah, so he's done three.

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/262/#e8803

And here's a bonus one on Unity

Spoiler

Questioner
Is Dalinar Unity because he's the combination of all three Shards, through the Thrill, the boon and curse, and the Stormfather?

Brandon Sanderson
So, I'm leaving that as a RAFO, Read and Find Out, but that's a very good theory.

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/377/#e12293

 

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So three oaths as a Bondsmith (at least in Dalinar's case) = Merge all realms.

And if, as @Fezzik proved with his WoB the Unity thing may be to do with Dalinar being under the influence of all Rosharan shards.

In that case I guess we look to how much influence those shards have had on Dalinar, and how he may be connected to them, both connected small c and capital C.

Dalinar is the Bondsmith who has access to the largest remnant of Honor.

He was groomed to be the Champion of Odium and has often been under the influence of the Thrill. This is also how Odium tries to break Dalinar in Oathbringer.

Dalinar went to the Nightwatcher and has been a part of Cultivation's plans for some time.

I wouldn't say Dalinar's connection to each shard is equal but I guess he does have some measure of connection to each. I'd say it's fair to say that Dalinar is a key player in all three shard's plans. Honor's last hope, Cultivation's agent in the mortal world and Odium's Cosmere Champion. The RAFO part of this may be that Dalinar will have more interactions with the shards and so somehow balance his connection to each?

Dalinar's 'I am Unity' is not about being another shard made from the remnants of Honor, I'd say that's been established.

If anyone can think of other instances of Dalinar being under the influence of shards apart from his curse/boon, the Thrill and being a Bondsmith do say.

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