Curiosity

The Letters and What We Can Learn From Them

13 posts in this topic

As I was reading around the forums, it struck me that we could probably, through analysis of the letters from the epigraphs of Part 2 of tWoK and Part 4 of WoR that we could probably deduce several things. Although the vast majority of you have probably already read them, the full text can be found here, on the Coppermind.

 

It is already fairly widely speculated that the recipient of the first letter is a Shardholder and a dragon. I have also heard it said that Brandon confirmed that the recipient is originally from Yolen (haven't found the original source on this one though). 

 

That is a little bit basic, however, and we could learn more. For example:

  • The unnamed Shard's Intent
    • Hoid knows this person and their Shard's Intent. He therefore must have crafted his letter to specifically reason with this Intent to get the recipient to help him on Roshar. Likewise, his old friend would have argued and convinced himself of his own position with his own Shard's Intent.
  • The origins of the 17th Shard
    • Obviously, we can't figure everything out, but Hoid does mention that the recipient is associated with the 17th Shard. Maybe the 17th Shard was formed after the Shattering by a certain Shard, or it was originally part of the group/force that Shattered Adonalsium and then shifted goals and names after the Shattering and its leader Ascended.
  • The purpose of Hoid
    • Hoid, several times, refers to the urgency of his mission and, obliquely, its nature. Again, every mystery won't be unraveled, but we do get some hints.

 

Of course, you, being the enterprising and brilliant fellows of the 17th Shard, can probably deduce much more if you put your minds to it. I've come to a shaky conclusion that the Shard's Intent is probably close to Protection or something like that. However, it just seems to be too similar to Preservation, just a little more personal. 

 

Discuss all of the above (and more, if I know you guys :P).

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I actually don't think the Dragon is a shardholder, I think he is involved somehow with the Seventeenth Shard (which is the name of the worldhopping organization, to differentiate from 17th Shard, which is us) and I don't think they were formed by a shard.  (And him being a Dragon is confirmed by the way)

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I always got the impression that the Dragon was in charge of the seventeenth shard. The way Hoid asked for the Dragon to call them off or assign them another task seems to imply such.

 

I also don't think the Dragon is a shardholder. I dont know of any evidence that would lead to that conclusion.

 

The second letter also seems to imply that Hoid, the Dragon, and others were present at the Shattering, and may have even had something to do with it.

 

 

He is what we made him to be, old friend.

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I also don't think the Dragon is a shardholder. I dont know of any evidence that would lead to that conclusion.

 

The first letter says this:

Old friend, I hope this missive finds you well. Though, as you are now essentially immortal, I would guess that wellness on your part is something of a given.

 

The easiest path to immortality that we know of is through obtaining a Shard. I'm not sure how else the dragon would have managed it, though there's probably quite a few ways.

Edited by Moogle
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Hoid is basically immortal now. TLR was basically immortal. Vasher is more-or-less immortal. We actually know of a fair number of non-shard immortals, and how they got that way.

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Dang. GreyPilgrim joined almost a year before I did and I passed him in rep just a week or two ago.......

 

 

Sorry, off topic.

 

Um. Is the quote that he gives actually reliable? I mean, I hate to be a huge cynic, but do we have any other confirmation?

As a dragon I can't imagine its that hard to become "practically immortal".

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Not to be nit-picky, but how many immortal dragons have you met?   :)

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Just to be further nitpicky, there's a difference between immortality and agelessness. TLR, Elantrians, Vasher, anyone else with 2000 Breaths, etc. might be ageless, but they can be killed relatively easily. A Shard, on the other hand, seems to require another Shard to do them in. We don't know where Hoid sits on the spectrum, but I would guess he's much closer to agelessness than true immortality. 

Edited by 11thorderknight
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Just to be further nitpicky, there's a difference between immortality and agelessness. TLR, Elantrians, Vasher, anyone else with 2000 Breaths, etc. might be ageless, but they can be killed relatively easily. A Shard, on the other hand, seems to require another Shard to do them in. We don't know where Hoid sits on the spectrum, but I would guess he's much closer to agelessness than true immortality. 

 

TLR was actually very hard to kill. It took Vin sucking in a bunch of mist so she could get a huge boost of investiture to be able to be able to pull on his bands and take his power. And he only had Feruchemy and Allomancy.

 

Hoid... we dont even know all he has. And as Brandon says, Hoid is really, really, really hard to kill. http://theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=1044#9 (Brandon basically calls him immortal)

 

I understand your point and I don't disagree. However, because the letter says "as you are now essentially immortal" to me it sounds different than full-on immortal of Shardness, and more like Hoid's state.

Edited by lyht
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Hmm.

Listing all known methods of effective immortality that I can think of:

Being a Shardholder

Being an Elantrian

Holding large amounts of breath

Atium compounding (possibly hemalurgically stolen)

Being Returned

Being a Herald

Being a spren

Being a kandra

Whatever Hoid does/is

As a dragon, I think he's unlikely to be an Elantrian, kandra, or spren. Being Returned would be more likely than those, but still not super-likely; but maybe Endowment likes him. He seems to have been around from before the Shattering, so unless Adonalsium made atium for some reason or Ati started making it immediately afterwards, not likely that he'd have enough of it to compound- not even considering the requisite abilities. Ditto for Breath. We don't know the deal with the Heralds, so that's about equally as likely to be what's happening as whatever Hoid is doing, using, or has innately. And then there's always a possibility of it being something we haven't heard of yet.

Tl;dr: He could be a Shardholder, or he could be using the same unknown method(s) as the Heralds and/or Hoid, or something else entirely.

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Put enough investure into him and he's fine. He probably went around on a quest after the shattering gathering up splinters and crap to give him enough to become immortal.

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I think the most significant evidence that the dragon has a shard is the fact that Hoid thinks the dragon can help fight against Odium.  

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Or just that he can exert influence in the right circles. It's possible that Hoid just wants to get the seventeenth shard off his back.

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