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Tri

Seon Origins

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Hi All,

 

First time poster here. Think I've read through all the Cosmere books at this point. Love reading through all the theories of whats actually happening. So I've been a quiet stalker the past year or so here.

 

Been searching to see if anyone has confirmed where the Seon's have originated from, but so far I haven't had any luck finding that information.

 

Did see that the Aons inside are splinters of devotion, but that's about it.

 

Got thinking of this while reading the theories of where Elantris original inhabitants actually went/were.

 

So forgive me if my theory has already been discussed, or seems ludicrous. But could Seons be the original inhabitants? Maybe that's was Odium did to them? Tried turning their "devotion" into a curse by making them "slaves" as Sarene thought originally as a child (you know, the whole foreshadowing thing Sanderson loves to do).

 

And if wrong, could someone please enlighten me?

Edited by Tri
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First, welcome.

 

Second, good catch on the difference between the Aons in the center being the splinter, not the Seons themselves. It's a subtlety many miss.

 

Third, I don't personally buy your theory, but it's not without merit. This link has some minor spoilers for other works, but to summarize, it refers to Seons as "power which has become self-aware", so I'd suspect that, like other things we've seen in the Cosmere, they simply grew into self-awareness. But that's simply my interpretation; your theory is as good as any I've seen.

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Ah, thanks for that link. Definitely seems to contradict that theory quite a bit then.

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Eh, not entirely.

 

Warbreaker

What about the Returned? The Divine Breath there seems to be guided by the cognitive aspect of the recently deceased. Is this truly the case? It's basically an example of exactly what you're talking about; a Splinter, a dead human, combining to make a single entity. It happened once, it can happen again. Maybe that's part of what he means when he says, "has become self-aware"

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Now I'm realizing that I need to do a heck of a lot more research before jumping into posting theories.

 

Thanks for the information though. This stuff is so interesting.

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No no! Posting theories is great. You're not trying to post conclusively-proven things (I mean, a few of us try that sometimes, but for the most part we just spitball). We are all your academic peers. Post hypotheses, people will (mostly) be nice in supporting or rebutting. Let us help you find facts that either aid or contradict your ideas.

 

Honestly, if nothing else, you've made me think about Seons and other related entities in new ways. I don't necessarily think you're wrong, and you've given me much to think about. I, for one, am very happy you posted this idea.

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I could be mis-remembering, but don't Seons that were "bonded" to Elantrians that underwent the Seod go "insane"? That Seons can be bonded and the corruption/severance of that bond affects them seems to relate them to the (following is from Stormlight Archives)

Spern of Roshar. I doubt it's an exact duplicate, but they probably have some similar Cognitive make-up

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Spern of Roshar. I doubt it's an exact duplicate, but they probably have some similar Cognitive make-up

 

Stormlight Archive:

Spren and Seons are both Splinters, and as per the WoB below, we know that a Seon's bond would act just like a Nahel bond if they were to travel to Roshar. 

OUTIS
If an Elantrian bonded to a Seon and traveled to Roshar, would that act as a Nahel bond?
BRANDON SANDERSON
It would act very very similarly, yes. But it would be like… it wouldn't necesarily do the exact same things. It would be treated the exact same way, but wouldn't grant the same powers.

(source)

In essence, Spren, Seons, and Nightblood are the different manifestations of the same underlying principle. They're each Splinters of a Shard, but their nature is influenced by  the local Investiture and the Intent of that Shard.

Edited by Lindel
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Warbreaker

Nightblood is not a Splinter.

 

Thank you for providing your own reference, but I think you mischaracterize the bond by saying it "would act just like" the other thing.

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Has it actually been confirmed yet Oudeis? 

 

Only because i recall the WoB saying that Nightblood is practically a broken shardblade and another saying it is much stronger (by "orders of magnitude" but no actual WoB on whether it is a Splinter either way...in fact i don't think the question has ever been asked? Can anyone possibly confirm this? This might be something to ask actually if it hasn't

 

On-topic: A few WoBs, some a bit dated so uncertain if information is still as accurate

 

 


MI'CHELLE

I think you've said, no it isn't.
BRANDON SANDERSON
The Seons existed before the earthquake.
MI'CHELLE
But was the earthquake caused by Odium?
BRANDON SANDERSON
When Odium visited there were no Seons.
JOSH
Okay.
MI'CHELLE
But that doesn't answer the question about the earthquake, so that's interesting to note.
BRANDON SANDERSON
See what I'm saying?
 

 

INTERVIEW: Feb 16th, 2013

VIPER

Ok real quick then I'll get back in line again. There's a bunch of people who follow this stuff online ... I just found out about it ... I don't want to call them a cult, but ... So anyway, at one point someone asked you if Seons were shards of—

BRANDON SANDERSON

Aona.

VIPER

Devotion ... yeah Aona, and you said that was close. My question is: are the Aons at the HEART of the Seons shards of Devotion?

BRANDON SANDERSON

No, but close.

VIPER

But ... I was sure ... the floating Aon at the heart, that's not a shard ...

BRANDON SANDERSON

(taking pity on me) You're close but a word is wrong. You're using the wrong terminology.

VIPER

SPLINTER. Are the Aons at the heart of Seons SPLINTERS of Aona?

BRANDON SANDERSON

Yes.

VIPER

Can I post that online?

BRANDON SANDERSON

. . . Ok. That's fine. It's been long enough, they've earned it.

 

 

  INTERVIEW: May 17th, 2013KOGIOPSIS

How long before the events of Elantris did Odium kill Aona/Devotion and Skai/Dominion?

BRANDON SANDERSON

Same time as the origins of the Seons.

All from Theoryland (seems to be my go to for the minute >.>)
Edited by ParadoxSpren
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Well... I believe the definition of a Splinter is "something that was part of a larger whole and was broken off", and the other thing we're talking about was a lot of little bits all formed together into one, bigger thing. I suppose my definition of Splinter could be wrong; I'll do a quick Theoryland search and see if I can find a formal definition.

 

Hrm. References (there are spoilers for other books). I cannot find a single, formal definition, but many things strongly suggest that a Splintering only goes one way, from bigger to smaller. At this point, it might be a pedantic case of semantics... but it also might not.

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Just in case you're interested, there's a deleted scene from Elantris showing that Seons were created by Elantrians using AonDor. That scene is no longer canon (and parts of it are contradicted by the book), but Brandon indicated there in his commentary that he intends to explain the origin of Seons in the Elantris sequel.

I don't know the chances of him changing the "made by Elantrians" part, but even if he doesn't, a major detail of the Elantrian experiments would have to change (i.e. the mini-Seons and their role in illuminating the city walls).

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That element already did change... there was a fungus or something that fed on the light, died, and turned into slime.

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That element already did change... there was a fungus or something that fed on the light, died, and turned into slime.

Um, that's what I meant, Oudeis. Canon says the illumination was fungal in nature, so Brandon will have to change the "mini-Seons reproducing and sticking to the walls" part of the origin story. Perhaps he'll just change it so that there were no mini-Seons at all, and that the first successful experiment on "contained Aons" already produced full-fledged Seons as we know them.

We don't know for sure how he'll change the Seon origin story. All we know is that he'll have to change it because of the fungus explanation.

Edit: Actually, he might not need to change the mini-Seon thing, after all.

I read the part where he replaced the deleted scene with the fungus talk, and the replacement didn't explain one thing:

"...I know why Elantris is covered with slime."

Karata and Galladon perked up. "Really?" Karata asked, looking down at the open book. "Does it explain that here?"

"No, it’s a combination of several things," Raoden said. "The key element, however, is right here." He pointed to an illustration.

"Aon Ashe?" Galladon asked.

"Correct," Raoden said. "You know that Elantrian skin was so silvery that some people claimed it glowed."

"It did," Galladon said. "Not brightly, but when my father walked into a dark room, you could see his outline."

"Well, the Dor was behind it," Raoden explained. "Every Elantrian’s body is connected constantly to the Dor. The same link existed between Elantris itself and the Dor, though the scholars don’t know why. The Dor infused the entire city, making stone and wood shine as if some quiet flame were burning within."

"It must have been difficult to sleep," Karata noted.

"You could cover it up," Raoden said. "But the effect of the lighted city was so spectacular that many Elantrians accepted it as natural, learning to sleep even with the glow."

"Fascinating," Galladon said indifferently. "So, what does this have to do with slime?"

"There are fungi and molds that live on light, Galladon," Raoden explained. "The Dor’s illumination was different from regular light, however, and it attracted a different kind of fungus. Apparently, a thin translucent film grew on most things. The Elantrians didn’t bother to clean it off—it was practically imperceptible, and it actually enhanced the radiance. The mold was tough, and it didn’t make much mess. Until it died."

"The light faded..." Karata said.

"And the fungi rotted," Raoden said with a nod. "Since the mold once covered the entire city, now the slime does as well."

As you can see (check the lines in blue), the fungi only explained the slime. It did not explain why the walls glowed. Also, it appears that the fungal explanation was only Raoden's theory, not something verified. So it could still be the mini-Seons thing.

The only problem (see the line in red) is that according to Raoden, the Elantrian scholars themselves didn't know why the walls glowed. If so, then there are three possibilities I could think of:

  • The Elantrian who performed the mini-Seon experiments kept it secret, so his fellow Elantrians never knew about it and the truth behind the glowing walls was never recorded.

     

  • The walls glowed (whether or not via mini-Seon light) even before the first Elantrians came, so it wasn't caused by Elantrians, whatever its cause may be.

     

  • Raoden was wrong. The Elantrians knew why the walls glowed. Raoden just hasn't read the right book yet.
Edited by skaa
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  • Raoden just hasn't read the right book yet.

 

This is entirely possible. Remember Denth, and his claims about Awakening? He offered Vivenna lots of information that was given as 'This is the truth', yet the book expressly contradicted most of what he said.

 

So, it wouldn't be the first time we've been given false information offered from the perspective of a character that believes it.

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I was under the impression that the walls of Elantris glowed because they were acting as a portion of a gigantic Aon (Rao, I think..?), serving to focus the Dor in the area, making it more powerful.

 

I mean, we know that normal Aons glow, as do (I believe) Aons carved into stone or sculpted out of metal, right? It could stand to reason that a similar phenomena is happening with Elantris' giant Aon-shaped walls

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I was under the impression that the walls of Elantris glowed because they were acting as a portion of a gigantic Aon (Rao, I think..?), serving to focus the Dor in the area, making it more powerful.

 

I mean, we know that normal Aons glow, as do (I believe) Aons carved into stone or sculpted out of metal, right? It could stand to reason that a similar phenomena is happening with Elantris' giant Aon-shaped walls

Yes the reason of the Glowing Walls of Elantris are quite exactly beeing a gigantic Aon Rao.

 

This "peculiar glowing" mutated a fungus that could live with the "peculiar glow" (as a food) and this fungus covered everything on Elantris.

When the Reod came, the glowing was turning off and the fungus began to die, the black slime of Elantris are just the died corps of the Fungus.

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I was under the impression that the walls of Elantris glowed because they were acting as a portion of a gigantic Aon (Rao, I think..?)

 

This, basically. The fact that the city used to glow is one more clue that it's an Aon. I didn't understand that skaa was saying he didn't understand why the walls glow; I thought we were all on the same page.

 

This is entirely possible. Remember Denth, and his claims about Awakening? He offered Vivenna lots of information that was given as 'This is the truth', yet the book expressly contradicted most of what he said.

 

So, it wouldn't be the first time we've been given false information offered from the perspective of a character that believes it.

 

Well, that's a different scenario. Denth knew a lot of what he was saying was wrong, and was lying to her. I thought it was expressly stated in the annotations but I cannot find it right now...

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Well, that's a different scenario. Denth knew a lot of what he was saying was wrong, and was lying to her. I thought it was expressly stated in the annotations but I cannot find it right now...

 

Entirely possible, but that was just an example. There are others in Brandon's other books where information is given and presented as 'fact', only to be revealed that it wasn't.

 

Mistborn Spoilers.

Only 10 allomantic metals. Gold and atium being paired. Damnation, but even the identity of the Lord Ruler.

 

Just as a few minor examples.

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