askthepaperclip

Theory: Adonalsium Proliferation

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So, this is a theory that I came up with in response to the Shardic Lens theory, and posted in rough form on that thread. I will restate it here, so that it is a little easier to find (plus I don't want to hijack that thread).

 

So, based on my understanding of the Shardic Lens theory, Adonalsium is basically a wide-band filter for the power of Creation. Upon shattering, we were left with 16 (at first) narrower-band filters, the spectrum of each being defined by the Shardic Intent.

 

This implies that Adonalsium(and the Shards) is not a power unto itself, but rather a means of accessing a power. This is consistent with I believe all the magic systems we have seen as well. Metal, Stormlight, Aons...they aren't the source of the power, but rather a means of accessing it or channeling it.

 

This is important, because it means that the true source of the various powers of the Cosmere is still intact, only the access key is shattered.

 

I believe the AonDor is a very good example of this, in that we are told quite directly that the Aons act as a filter on the power of the Dor, allowing only the desired power through. This makes perfect sense if the Aons are splinters of Aona, and thus an even narrower-band filter on the power of Creation.

 

Which brings me to the theory: I think Hoid's mission is to travel the Cosmere, collecting a sample of each of the various waveforms/powers, in order to reverse engineer the complete "wide-band filter" and enable one to tap into the "full spectrum" of the power of Creation. Because Adonalsium was not the source of the power, but rather just a tool, it is not necessary to reforge Adonalsium. Instead, Hoid is actually trying to replicate that tool, which can be done as many times as desired! Thus the term "Adonalsium Proliferation."

 

What, you want proof?? Well, I don't have any. But how's this: one thing that always bothered me about The Letter was the fact that the recipient disagreed with Hoid's plan. I had always assumed (like many of us) that Hoid was trying to restore Adonalsium/The Cosmere to its previous state, which seems like a good idea. Why would someone disagree with that? However, if Hoid is in fact going for a nuclear-deterrence style proliferation, I can see how that could be terrifying, causing the 17th Shard to try to shut him down. (In this Cold War analogy, the 17th Shard folks represent the Nuclear Disarmament mindset, while Hoid is of the Mutually Assured Destruction mindset).

 

That's it for now! Thanks for Isomere, Senor Freesh, and WeiryWriter for laying the groundwork on this for me! (and any others who I haven't read yet...)

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This is a very unique and interesting theory. I like it but given how little we know about Hoid's plans I'm not certain it is the most plausible theory.

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Oh, I totally agree...I'm playing the long game here  :D

 

Maybe I should change "Theory" to "Hypothesis"... 

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I like the theory.  It would explain Hoid's bead of Lerasium and why he's avoiding the 17th shard.  

 

Another possibility is that he's trying to find a way to gain access to the investiture Adonalsium would grant (the equivalent of Allomancy rather than of the full powers of Preservation).  Maybe by combining the Lerasium with equivalent things from the other shards Adonalsium's investiture could be gained.

 

Certainly something to think about.

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Interesting. Your saying that if Hoid managed to collect a bit of investiture from each Shard he could melt them up, merge them together and get a "clear" lens that can access the original powers of Adonalsium? A terrifying thought if Odium could get a hold of something like that.

I like the theory. It would explain Hoid's bead of Lerasium

I'm assuming you mean that once he had the merged investiture he would have to change his Identity to allow him to use it. Lerasium seems to be able to change identity, so that could work out...

Edited by Isomere
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Interesting. Your saying that if Hoid managed to collect a bit of investiture from each Shard he could melt them up, merge them together and get a "clear" lens that can access the original powers of Adonalsium? A terrifying thought if Odium could get a hold of something like that.

I'm assuming you mean that once he had the merged investiture he would have to change his Identity to allow him to use it. Lerasium seems to be able to change identity, so that could work out...

. What I'm saying is that instead of combining pieces of the different shards to make a new clear lens of adonalsium, what if you could combine pieces of investiture (such as the bead of lerasium) to make something which would give someone investiture like that which would come from adonalsium. Presumably this investiture would change the person in all three realms, and I would expect the powers granted to work fully well on all shardworlds.
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It WOULD explain a lot about Hoid, but it doesn't explain why he stays around at all after he gets his sample. (I think he got the Lerasium b4 the final Mistborn book, but he was there in one of his disguises, not using the alias Hoid.) Maybe he is just a general good guy who tries to help the overall worlds without directly interfering as long as he can still get his samples?

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Waldo and Carmen San Diego wish they had the kind of reputation Hoid has.

But for real. I like this theory. It's a good enough guess given the amount of information we have. We know Hoid is up to something that will upset some very Cosmere-aware people. I would assume he has some other Shard important items too.

Guess we'll have to RAFO. XD

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What would this mean about the supposed "anti-Adonalsium" then?  Another clear-lens nuke that's already built?  One that was built during Adonalsium's time?

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Wow, imagine my surprise this morning to find this thread active again! :-)

Rade: I think you are on the right track about Hoid. I also suspect he is acting on some guilt as well; my guess is that he was closely involved in the original shattering, and is now trying to fix what he now sees as a mistake.

Gamma: Thanks! Glad you like it :-)

Pechvarry: I think the "anti Adonalsium" was the group that worked to shatter Adonalsium "with intent" (see my post from the NYC signing), of which Hoid may have been a part. How they did it, I have no idea.

One interesting detail to add: Brandon has said that if Hoid were to be tempted by a shard, it would be Endowment. That fits in nicely with my theory that Hoid is trying to bring the power to the people, so to speak. :-D

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One interesting detail to add: Brandon has said that if Hoid were to be tempted by a shard, it would be Endowment. That fits in nicely with my theory that Hoid is trying to bring the power to the people, so to speak. :-D

OR. Mr. Sanderson was making a very innappropriate joke.

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Oh that Endowment. She sure has nice...eyes.

Oh yes. her eyes and smile are very well.... endowed....

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Oh yes. her eyes and smile are very well.... endowed....

I think you might be ever so slightly missing the joke xD

 

Also, remember that we have no confirmation about Endowment's gender. We might very well be talking about a well Endowed male here.

Edited by Aether
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I think you might be ever so slightly missing the joke xD

 

Also, remember that we have no confirmation about Endowment's gender. We might very well be talking about a well Endowed male here.

Yeah, but can you imagine a universe with a man called endowment?

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Yeah, but can you imagine a universe with a man called endowment?

I most certainly can. And it is a glorious one!

Edited by Aether
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You know... it's interesting that so far in the Cosmere, we haven't seen much life that isn't Shardicly influenced. I wonder if the recipient of the Letter might disagree with reassembling Adonalsium because it would limit the variety of life in the Cosmere. On a secondary note, I've always assumed that whom or whatever Hoid was writing too, it holds a Shard. With that in mind, it makes a lot of sense that the person would be opposed to Hoid's plan, since it could require a sacrifice of the holder's own personal power.

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We know that the Hoid is writing to a dragon who is a character in the Dragonsteel series (yet to be written in any canonical form), whether that person is a shardholder is uncertain but I've always assumed that they probably were probably a significant power but closer to a splinter than a full shard (although not a splinter because they existed pre-shattering).

 

That said, I know of nothing that gives any evidence either way.

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Yeah, but can you imagine a universe with a man called endowment?

 

Endowment was my college nickname.

 

We know that the Hoid is writing to a dragon who is a character in the Dragonsteel series (yet to be written in any canonical form), whether that person is a shardholder is uncertain but I've always assumed that they probably were probably a significant power but closer to a splinter than a full shard (although not a splinter because they existed pre-shattering).

 

That said, I know of nothing that gives any evidence either way.

 

Hoid specifically says,

 

Though, as you are now essentially immortal, I would guess that wellness on your part is something of a given.

 

The wording is odd yet specific. Essentially immortal. There are few enough things that fit that. And "as you are now essentially immortal," clearly indicating that this was not always the case. A Shard would fit the bill. So, technically, would a Herald or anyone at the fifth Heightening (though not really a Returned, though I could see someone making the case. It's not a very stable immortality). I don't think either of those fit cuz I doubt either of them could (or at least do) apply to a dragon, but we have proof that systems of Investiture allow for "essential immortality" of those who aren't Shards, or even Slivers or Splinters.

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Endowment was my college nickname.

Nice try, Darnam. Though if it just so happen - against all odds - to be true what you said, good for you, Brother!

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I'd love to know what Hoid meant with "essentially immortal".

The Heralds on Roshar could be called "essentially" immortal though they are not really immortal but ageless. Same works for the Returned, they, too, are only ageless (they die if they don't get their weekly breath and they can be killed (see Warbreaker Chapter 53)).

I believe that a Shard(person) of Adonalsium is only "essentially" immortal, too (see Aona, Skai and Tanavast).

Aside from this I can see a dragon holding a Shard(power) of Adonalsium, because I believe that Dragons are sentient beings. I'm sure I've read a quote from Mr. Sanderson where he said, that he calls sentient beings a person (heavily paraphrased). But, unfortunately, I can't find that quote now.

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Same works for the Returned, they, too, are only ageless (they die if they don't get their weekly breath and they can be killed (see Warbreaker Chapter 53)).

 

 

I actually think that anyone at the Fifth Heightening is more "essentially immortal" than a Returned, as their Breaths will keep them eternally alive without any upkeep, while a Returned is basically staying alive by feeding off a specific, depletable resource. It's a fine point of distinction, I'll grant, and you're absolutely right in that they can be beheaded as easily as anyone else.

 

Actually, I'm going to argue with you on Heralds. Yes, they can be killed. They just don't seem to die. I'm going to say that it's believable that Hoid would consider "eternal re-spawning" to be "essential immortality". So they're more than simply ageless.

 

I still agree that a Shard makes the most sense. They barely need a qualifier for their immortality. No random happenstance or natural part of their life-cycle will ever result in their demise, and if you wish to engineer their death, being omnipotent is only the first step of what you must accomplish. In a world where you know that Shards exist, it'd be hard to call just about anything else "essentially immortal".

 

How was the Letter delivered, anywho? Cos-mail?

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Actually, I'm going to argue with you on Heralds. Yes, they can be killed. They just don't seem to die. I'm going to say that it's believable that Hoid would consider "eternal re-spawning" to be "essential immortality". So they're more than simply ageless.

Point taken :). I left the "eternal re-spawning" totally out of my thoughts.

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Actually, I'm going to argue with you on Heralds. Yes, they can be killed. They just don't seem to die. I'm going to say that it's believable that Hoid would consider "eternal re-spawning" to be "essential immortality". So they're more than simply ageless.

 

Although it is unclear what the current condition of the nine is.  As to delivery, how does one deliver a message to a Shard?  As to the means of delivery, my making a great bid text message and using "the Phone Company". :P

 

Seriously though, Hoid could use a currier.  He must have some allies in what he is doing.

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Seriously though, Hoid could use a currier.  He must have some allies in what he is doing.

 

I see what you mean, though I propose an impartial third party would work better than an ally. Whoever delivers the message will presumably be put under scrutiny in case Hoid ever contacts him again, making him less useful to Hoid. Is it possible there are worldhoppers out there non-vital to the cosmere-wide story? People who just travel from world to world because they can, who have nothing to do with Odium or Adonalsium at all?

 

Personally I think Hoid must have some mechanic or magic that allows him to send the message in some manner that cannot be traced, leaving it where the recipient was sure to find it, or some Shadesmar equivalent of "tieing it to a rock and chucking it through your window".

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