AndrewStirlingMacDonald

[M:SH, BoM Spoilers] Theory: Survivorism and Scadrian Shades

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I always tag stuff of interest as I do my first read-through of a Cosmere work (part of why I love my kindle is how easy it is to pull everything up in one place and do instant cross-referencing, something that has definitely helped me tease out some hints I would've missed otherwise.)

 

Here's two paragraphs I tagged on my first read-through, before I read Secret History (before I even read the end of BoM):

 

It was like he wanted people to recognize the contradiction in his religion. He commanded that people survive, yet the death imagery associated with him was a cruel reminder that they'd eventually fail in that task. Survivorism therefore was not about winning, but about lasting as long as you could before you lost.

The Survivor himself, of course, broke the rules. He always had. Doctrine explained that he was not dead, but surviving - and planning to return in their time of greatest need. But if the end of the world hadn't been enough to get him to return in his glory, then what could possibly be so?

 

 

This jumped out at me on the first readthrough, and now it seems even more glaring considering what we now know about Kel's state as a voluntary cognitive shadow. Until now I've assumed that the Church of the Survivor was just a sort of Cosmeric joke on Kelsier, worshipping someone who would totes hate being worshiped. But now we see that the church actually got some facts about Kelsier shockingly correct. It makes me think (especially since we now have a WoB that he has a whole sequence of Secret Histories planned) that Kel is actually using his church as a tool. He is selecting his most dedicated followers, and having them survive the same way he did. He greets them as they enter Scadesmar (sorry, couldn't help it, but you know what I mean, Scadrial Cognitive Realm) and before they have a chance to move on, he gives them a chance to Survive - survive the same way he did. It seems likely he even has a way (or at least a plan) to reinhabit the physical realm someday.

​This also makes it suddenly make more sense - to me, at least - why Demoux, of all people, is (Way of Kings Spoilers) 

popping up elsewhere in the Cosmere.

 

He was the ORIGINAL Survivorist. He was espousing Kelsier's ideals waaaay before it was cool. He makes perfect sense to be the first of Kelsier's followers to follow his example, even in death.

 

So, my question is - why is the Survivor building an army of cognitive shadows? 

​I don't know the answer, (I suspect we won't find out the answer until the sci-fi Mistborn series) but I do know that when the Ire thought there might be an army of cognitive shadows coming their way from Threnody, they kind of freaked out. And those cognitive shadows we're (as far as we know) united in purpose and following an incredibly charismatic and psychopathic leader. Just sayin'.

Edited by AndrewStirlingMacDonald
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This makes a disturbing amount of sense, but I can't imagine that Sazed would be okay with it. Unless Kelsier found a work around, which I wouldn't put past him.

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Honestly I'd be shocked if Kelsier doesn't have multiple ways to work around Harmony by now. And I guarantee you that the centuries he and Sazed have spent together have revealed some pretty huge ideological differences between them (especial since Harmony must, by his own nature, embody Ruin these days). Kelsier definitely is going to have an agenda that Harmony is not a fan of.

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Well, it's hard for the Church to not get those facts about him surviving correct. As per Marasi being exasperated that MeLaan doesn't know doctrine in SoS, Sazed apparently wrote it into the Words of Founding.

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The fact that Demoux in his appearance seems more substantial in form than a cognitive shadow would in the physical (a la Threnody) and is working in tandem with the other individuals from a group whose policy could be extended to nonintervention, which doesn"'t seem a very Kelsier thing to do

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The fact that Demoux in his appearance seems more substantial in form than a cognitive shadow would in the physical (a la Threnody) and is working in tandem with the other individuals from a group whose policy could be extended to nonintervention, which doesn"'t seem a very Kelsier thing to do

Yeah, but Demoux's group is hunting Hoid - someone Kelsier might/probably have a grudge against - and for all we know Kelsier instructed Demoux to align himself with the 17th Shard folks to act on that grudge. [punchy, punchy :ph34r:]

Edited by KidWayne
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