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Confused

Kill the Mind to Kill the Shard (Take 2)

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I believe a Shard’s greatest weakness is its consciousness – the mind that directs the power. Sazed tells us that power exists regardless of who controls it, that “thoughts and personalities” are not part of a Shard’s power and are unnecessary to its exercise. (See “The Shattering: Origin, Power and Nature of the Shards.”) Although a Shard’s mandate limits what the power can do when exercised, the decision when and how to exercise the power belongs entirely to the mind that wields it.

 

Killing the Shard is killing WHO the Shard is, since its power remains. That is precisely how Vin killed Ruin, in a single cataclysmic moment:

 

“Her consciousness…moved to touch that of Ruin…And, with a surge of power, Vin…pulled Ruin into the Abyss with her.

 

Their two minds puffed away, like mist under a hot sun.”

 

- HoA, Kindle, p. 712.

 

Vin destroyed both Ruin’s and her own mind, leaving Sazed to take up the power of each Shard, forming Harmony. Kill the mind, the power is insensate (for at least some time) and cannot be used. This is an especially good tactic for Odium, whose greatest strength is his Aggressive mind. (See “Mandates of the Known Shards.”)

 

The strongest proof that this is Odium’s tactic is the splinters on Sel and Roshar. For a splinter to exist, the Shard’s mind must be dead or at least unavailable to that splinter. Otherwise the splinter wouldn’t need to acquire sentience; the Shard’s own mind would provide it.

 

I’m still working on how precisely splintering occurs. My basic thesis is that thoughts can kill. But that’s another post…

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I think you've got an interesting idea (heh) here... It's almost like a large-scale version of Awakening. The Shards each have a 'Breath' (spiritual aspect), 'color' (physical aspect), and 'Command' (cognitive aspect). The spiritual state of each seems to be the strongest, and the most intertwined with Investiture. The body, we've seen, sort of sublimates, at least temporarily, so it would be hard or impossible to attack, so that leaves their cognitive aspect. I'll need to reread HoA (oh dear me) but even Ruin was sort of 'drawn out' so he could be attacked, right? It was only then that Ati could be shuffled off. 

Perhaps this is related to why Dalinar is told to force Oduim to choose a champion? To enact a similar gambit?

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I believe a Shard’s greatest weakness is its consciousness – the mind that directs the power. Sazed tells us that power exists regardless of who controls it, that “thoughts and personalities” are not part of a Shard’s power and are unnecessary to its exercise. (See “The Shattering: Origin, Power and Nature of the Shards.”) Although a Shard’s mandate limits what the power can do when exercised, the decision when and how to exercise the power belongs entirely to the mind that wields it.

 

Killing the Shard is killing WHO the Shard is, since its power remains. That is precisely how Vin killed Ruin, in a single cataclysmic moment:

 

“Her consciousness…moved to touch that of Ruin…And, with a surge of power, Vin…pulled Ruin into the Abyss with her.

 

Their two minds puffed away, like mist under a hot sun.”

 

- HoA, Kindle, p. 712.

 

Vin destroyed both Ruin’s and her own mind, leaving Sazed to take up the power of each Shard, forming Harmony. Kill the mind, the power is insensate (for at least some time) and cannot be used. This is an especially good tactic for Odium, whose greatest strength is his Aggressive mind. (See “Mandates of the Known Shards.”)

 

The strongest proof that this is Odium’s tactic is the splinters on Sel and Roshar. For a splinter to exist, the Shard’s mind must be dead or at least unavailable to that splinter. Otherwise the splinter wouldn’t need to acquire sentience; the Shard’s own mind would provide it.

 

I’m still working on how precisely splintering occurs. My basic thesis is that thoughts can kill. But that’s another post…

When Vin does this, she speaks of how it hurts, obviously because the two powers are exact opposites. So for this specific incident she was only able to kill Ati if she killed herself in the process. 

 

But I have a question, why didn't Ati just run? just try to get away, obviously Vin could have just followed him but why did he feel it his only option to push back? 

 

There are manifestations of the Shard's investiture that I assume are out of the person holding the power's influence (the formation of atium and the filling of the Well) But does it come down to will power? the Shardholder's ability to choose how much power exactly they put into their action? In HoA it talks about how Marsh's willpower was strong enough to resist Ruin's power, even for a brief moment. 

 

Could Odium use a similar tactic to what Vin did to Ati? The only reasons as to why he doesn't die when he does it are: 

 

1) his will and desire to destroy is stronger than the other shard's ability to live or defend themselves

2) They are not exact opposites, which allows him to kill the Shardholder and not die as it isn't a perfect rebuff. Also, the other shards are invested into their worlds.

 

But wasn't it said that killing other Shards leaves Odium weakened for a time, or at least he needs time to recover? that would be explained by the fact that the touching of the Shards still hurts him, but his will to destroy gives him the edge he needs.

 

Also, it is said that he was a bad guy before he had the Shard, which would explain why he has such a strong will to destroy. Strong enough to overpower other Shardholders' will to live

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I believe a Shard’s greatest weakness is its consciousness – the mind that directs the power. Sazed tells us that power exists regardless of who controls it, that “thoughts and personalities” are not part of a Shard’s power and are unnecessary to its exercise. (See “The Shattering: Origin, Power and Nature of the Shards.”) Although a Shard’s mandate limits what the power can do when exercised, the decision when and how to exercise the power belongs entirely to the mind that wields it.

 

Killing the Shard is killing WHO the Shard is, since its power remains. That is precisely how Vin killed Ruin, in a single cataclysmic moment:

 

“Her consciousness…moved to touch that of Ruin…And, with a surge of power, Vin…pulled Ruin into the Abyss with her.

 

Their two minds puffed away, like mist under a hot sun.”

 

- HoA, Kindle, p. 712.

 

Vin destroyed both Ruin’s and her own mind, leaving Sazed to take up the power of each Shard, forming Harmony. Kill the mind, the power is insensate (for at least some time) and cannot be used. This is an especially good tactic for Odium, whose greatest strength is his Aggressive mind. (See “Mandates of the Known Shards.”)

 

The strongest proof that this is Odium’s tactic is the splinters on Sel and Roshar. For a splinter to exist, the Shard’s mind must be dead or at least unavailable to that splinter. Otherwise the splinter wouldn’t need to acquire sentience; the Shard’s own mind would provide it.

 

I’m still working on how precisely splintering occurs. My basic thesis is that thoughts can kill. But that’s another post…

 

You are at least a little incorrect in your statement in the second to last paragraph. Endowment deliberately splinters its own power, (to create the Returned) so it is absolutely possible for a splinter to exist while a Shard still does.

 

That said, every shard we've seen that hasn't been held by a mind has been splintered, but this seems more to be related to WoB that if nobody holds the shard, Bad/Chaotic Things Happen due to the power gaining its own sentience.

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My main problem with this is that Ruin and Preservation are something of a special case. Certainly they were able to destroy each other's minds. However, this WoB implies that you don't need to kill the holder of the Shard before Splintering it:

Wetlander
Did the Splintering happen before the Recreance?

Brandon Sanderson
I will reveal this as we go. However, be aware that in the past, when a Shard was killed, the person holding it, it is a slow burn to actually kill someone; because power cannot be destroyed. So, what it means to be killed means something a little different in these cases.

hoser
Did Tanavast survive Honor's splintering?

Brandon Sanderson
Tanavast is dead. Good question. However, that is as of the start of The Way of Kings.

hoser
So he could have survived the Splintering...

Brandon Sanderson
He could have survived the Splintering.

hoser
...as a mortal...

Brandon Sanderson
Well, he could have survived for a time, but then he could not have then...

hoser
...passed away in his sleep...

Brandon Sanderson
Right.
(source)

 

It's also not clear to me how one Shard can "attack" another one. Ruin and Preservation's very natures made them anathema to each other - but what would Odium do? Why is it that a Shard couldn't protect itself from Splintering, if it were just as powerful as its opponent?

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In HoA I think, it talks about how Preservation had to trust in his sentient creations to beat Ruin because he could not directly do so. Tanavast tells them that they can't beat him unless they do the whole champion thing. 

Perhaps Honour realised that he couldn't beat Odium directly, and maybe cultivation told him of things that were to come and so he allowed himself to be killed and in essence, die a hero was he will then give his creations the chance to win rather than save himself... it's a matter of Honor 

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Corax, you’re exactly right – Sazed says a Shard’s mind occupies its power like human minds occupy flesh and blood (or something like that…) But I have a different view of realmatic theory than you and many other Forum posters.

 

I believe all things – including Shards and their investiture – exist simultaneously in all three realms. (See “The Origin of the Cosmere.”) There is no “strongest and most intertwined with investiture.” That’s like saying humans exist more in their souls than in their bodies or in their minds. We are neither more one than another – we exist simultaneously as all three (in my understanding of Brandon’s cosmology).

 

Shadowspren, I can’t tell you why Ati didn’t run – narrative necessity? Arrogance? Paralysis? IMO the filling of the Well of Ascension and the formation of atium have nothing to do with Ati’s or Leras’s “thoughts and personalities” – who they were. Each act seems compelled by the Shards’ mandates (intents). I think the same events would have happened regardless of who became these Shards, with only some slight variations due to personality differences.

 

Nor do I think “willpower” is a relevant consideration, except to the extent a greater mind should be capable of wielding greater power. In Ruin and Preservation’s case, their powers exactly balanced at the time Vin killed them both. Otherwise, I believe one would have survived (Ruin’s plan all along).

 

Odium would not use Vin’s tactic. He is not suicidal. Vin was, after Elend died.

 

Ari, my statement allowed for deliberate or incidental self-splintering. I said “the Shard’s mind must be dead or at least unavailable to that splinter.” I intended this last clause to address those situations where the Shard does continue to exist, specifically contemplating Endowment and Divine Breath.

 

Moogle, Ruin and Preservation are “a special case” among the five dead Shards we’ve seen only because neither power was splintered when the Shards died. Sazed picked them up whole almost immediately. In each of the five cases, however, the person who became the Shard died – the mind directing the power – though the Shard’s power continued in some other form.

 

I read your WoB as supporting my position. Brandon simply describes a brain-dead body that’s been placed on life support. The Shard’s power sustains the body for some time after its mind is gone. But the power slowly leaks away, seeking another mind to direct it. In essence, the Shard’s brain-dead “body” – its power – decays over time. If these bits of investiture cannot find another mind to direct them, they may become splinters, acquiring sentience on their own.

 

I agree the precise mechanism for how a Shard kills is unclear. This is the part I’m still working on – that Odium’s Aggressive ideas attack the other Shards’ minds almost like aggressive cancer cells attack a human brain.

 

There are only three ways to kill a Shard – destroy its body (its Physical Realm power), destroy its mind (who the Shard is), or destroy its Spirit (by disrupting its Spiritual Realm connections). The first seems almost impossible, since investiture cannot be destroyed (although it can undergo state changes). It might be possible to disrupt Spiritual Realm connections, but that seems like it would make the Shard into something other than a Shard, rather than just splintering it. That leaves destroying the mind, which seems to me the easiest route to Shard murder.

Edited by Confused
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Cobfused, I'd say Ruin and Preservation are a special cause by virtue if their intents, no matter if they wete splintered or not. The powers they hold naturaly oppose and complete the other, and that was why they ended in the same world. That was why Ati could trick the mists into snaping people. And I suspect that was why he couldn't evade Vin's strike, or even why it could even work. Their powers push against one another perfectly up to a certain energy level, but past this threshold they colapse into one another with explosive force, like two atoms fusing into one.

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My main problem with this is that Ruin and Preservation are something of a special case. Certainly they were able to destroy each other's minds. However, this WoB implies that you don't need to kill the holder of the Shard before Splintering it:

 

It's also not clear to me how one Shard can "attack" another one. Ruin and Preservation's very natures made them anathema to each other - but what would Odium do? Why is it that a Shard couldn't protect itself from Splintering, if it were just as powerful as its opponent?

 

The same way Preservation/Leras trapped Ruin in the first place: They can attack or sacrifice the mind of their shardholder.

 

Ruin and Preservation were perfectly matched. Part of this is likely due to them being such a neatly opposed pair. I expect, however, it probably also means that any Shard trying to attack a forewarned enemy Shard would be at risk of a similar situation of mutal annihilation.

 

That Odium has managed this at least three times says something very scary about him. Maybe he has a way to ambush other Shards and kill their minds, maybe he actually convinced the Shards somehow to let him kill them, or lured them out of their power. I suspect it would be some combination of the two- he ambushed Devotion and Dominion somehow, and Honour he manouvred into a position where his Intent would require him to sacrifice his power or mind to oppose Odium.

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