Confused

[OB] Spren Wars, Re-Shephir and Taln, the Fused, Gavilar’s Sphere, and the Origin

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Some pre-publication observations and predictions:

Spren Wars

I think Syl and the yellow-white spren Yixli both personify the “protection” ideal. Yixli shepherds the listeners to Revolar, warns them of Kaladin, and then recommends Kaladin (Mr. Protection himself) to other listeners. Yixli’s spren type overflies the crowds and inspects buildings, like a police force. But Yixli appears to be a stone spren.

I interpret this to mean listeners personify stone as “protection,” not the wind like humans do. This represents a different cultural perspective and relationship with their environment. Just as humans enslaved the listeners, I think human ideas (personified as spren) banished listener ideas (also personified as spren) from Roshar’s subastral (its place in the Cognitive Realm) to Braize’s. Brandon’s message: Colonization eradicates native cultures.

Brandon says Braize is “like a prison.” Odium’s Invested and “captive” there. I think Braize is also a prison for the listener spren. IMO, the Oathpact bars the Cognitive Realm bridge between Roshar and Braize. When the Herald’s “break,” listener spren pour across the bridge; then into Roshar’s Physical Realm as listeners (and other lifeforms) assume their symbiotic forms.

I bet Braize’s subastral holds gemstones instead of glass beads. IMO, that’s how listeners perceive ideas.

Re-Shephir and Taln

Quote

“She’d felt isolation and loneliness from Re-Shephir, a sense of being torn away while the others escaped.” Chapter 32.

This reminds me of Taln left behind in Damnation while the other Heralds escaped. (I may have missed someone else first suggesting this.) It parallels the WoK Chapter 54 Epigraph’s death rattle:

Quote

“The burdens of nine become mine. Why must I carry the madness of them all? Oh, Almighty, release me.”

Posters think this epigraph refers to Taln (and it may). But what if it refers to Re-Shephir? It says the burdens of nine, not ten. Taln bears the burdens of ten, since he’s part of the Oathpact. Maybe Re-Shephir says, “Almighty, release me,” because she was glued to Urithiru’s Stormlightning Rod by massive amounts of Stormlight?

Other questions: What were the Unmade doing in Urithiru’s basement when Desolation ended? Could this be the same moment as the Heralds’ Aharietiam “triumph?” Why weren’t the Heralds and Unmade fighting each other? Was Re-Shephir abandoned because Taln was abandoned?

The Fused

I’ve said for a long time that Odium’s magic can’t form bonds. Instead, Odium severs Connections. I think the Fused prove this. IMO, voidspren act like viruses and change the Spiritual DNA of a target spren. The “infused” voidspren mutates the “natural” spren, giving Odium control of the natural spren’s bonded host. The voidspren itself doesn’t bond the host. I think Syl hissed at the Fused-Spren because she sensed the corrupted natural spren that’s part of it.

If the Fused can direct Odium’s power without a bond, then bonds can’t be Roshar’s Focus. (Sorry, @Calderis.) “Fusion” may turn out to be a form of bond, but the word implies a full joining, a union, not merely a symbiotic Connection.

Gavilar’s Sphere

@Pagerunner and others view Chapter 31 as proving Gavilar’s Sphere holds only Voidlight and not an Unmade. I think the Sphere holds both. Fabrial gemstones hold both Stormlight and a spren. I think this type of parallelism is important and intentional.

I continue to believe there must be an “Everstormfather.” Just as the Stormfather personifies the highstorms and distributes Stormlight, the Everstormfather is a giant Odium spren that personifies the Everstorm and distributes Voidlight. (I agree the Everstorm is Odium’s Rosharan perpendicularity.)

The Fused infuse themselves with (IMO) bond-breaking Voidlight. The Fused use the energy from their internal broken bonds to summon the Surges. I think the Urithiru Fused looks wasted and incomplete because his body breaks down to make his magic.

The Origin

As a total guess, I think the Origin may be the entrance to the Cognitive Realm bridge between Roshar and Yolen. Yolen is the “origin.” I’m unsure how this squares with our knowledge of perpendicularities, but I’ll throw this possibility out there…

Edited by Confused
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13 minutes ago, Confused said:

If the Fused can direct Odium’s power without a bond, then bonds can’t be Roshar’s Focus. (Sorry, @Calderis.) “Fusion” may turn out to be a form of bond, but the word implies a full joining, a union, not merely a symbiotic Connection.

Prior to the prerelease I proposed stormform, and by extension any "fused" (then Voidform), as a parasitic bond. I haven't seen anything in book to dissuade me yet. 

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Great post! The Midnight Mother's attempt to break Shallan and Pattern's bond lends itself to your "connection severing" idea.

2 hours ago, Confused said:

The burdens of nine become mine. Why must I carry the madness of them all? Oh, Almighty, release me.”

Before the the Oathbringer chapters were released I assumed this was from Taln's perspective. However, given the fact (like you said) that there are nine Unmade and the description of Odium's Champion in Oathbringer, I put forward the possibility that this deathrattle is in reference to Odium's champion. The Midnight Mother Idea is also very interesting, especially considering its symmetry with Taln, but I didn't get the impression that the Midnight Mother was one of the Unmade that could speak or even think like a person(though, of course, we know that some could).  

As an aside, there is something I do not quite understand. How were the Stormform Parshendi able to summon lightning and something as powerful as the Everstorm with no Voidlight(presumably)?

Edited by Varenus
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I'm pretty convinced that bonds are a focus. Beyond the fact based evidence for it, bonds are very important thematically in SA. 

As for the rest, I have a hard time seeing Re-Shepir refer to the Almighty, or even think/speak in that form. 

I can defenitely see Yixli as a Protection-spren though.

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21 hours ago, Confused said:

Re-Shephir and Taln

This reminds me of Taln left behind in Damnation while the other Heralds escaped. (I may have missed someone else first suggesting this.) It parallels the WoK Chapter 54 Epigraph’s death rattle:

Posters think this epigraph refers to Taln (and it may). But what if it refers to Re-Shephir? It says the burdens of nine, not ten. Taln bears the burdens of ten, since he’s part of the Oathpact. Maybe Re-Shephir says, “Almighty, release me,” because she was glued to Urithiru’s Stormlightning Rod by massive amounts of Stormlight?

 

The wording of the quote that i have no idea how to copy "the burdens of nine become mine" implies that said nine burdens were not originally burdens of the bearer, so it could be Taln, the burdens of the other nine become his, IMO this leans towards Taln as opposed to Re-Shephir. 

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@Confused I would also like to point out that the term "Fused" is a synonym of bonded. It may imply a more physical nature to the bond, but it is still a bond. 

 

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On 11/10/2017 at 10:12 PM, Calderis said:

Prior to the prerelease I proposed stormform, and by extension any "fused" (then Voidform), as a parasitic bond. I haven't seen anything in book to dissuade me yet. 

 

13 hours ago, Calderis said:

I would also like to point out that the term "Fused" is a synonym of bonded. It may imply a more physical nature to the bond, but it is still a bond. 

Online dictionaries define bond as "a thing used to tie something or to fasten things together." To fuse is to "join or blend to form a single entity." I see this as the difference between the magics. The Nahel bond "fastens" Syl to Kaladin. "Fusing" causes the Fused-Spren to "form a single entity" with the Fused. That's not a bond.

Also, "cosmere bond" (to me) is symbiotic and connotes mutual benefit. A "parasitic" bond seems contrary to mutual benefit. To my mind, parasitic bonds "shouldn't" be a form of cosmere bond, even for Odium or more appropriately Ruin (FWIW).

17 hours ago, Blacksmithki said:

The wording of the quote that i have no idea how to copy "the burdens of nine become mine" implies that said nine burdens were not originally burdens of the bearer, so it could be Taln, the burdens of the other nine become his, IMO this leans towards Taln as opposed to Re-Shephir. 

I can see it either way and raise the question rather than answer it. Posters have debated this epigraph before, and many agree with you. The debate seems to pivot on the meaning of "become." One side equates "become" with "assume" the burdens. I don't think the words are synonyms, but people can differ.

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Definitely agree with @Calderis on this. Fused is obviously a synonym of "bonded," and just linguistically requires two distinct subjects to be coherent. Something can't be fused with nothing. If anything, this supports the idea of a parasitic bond, because there are two original entities, but one has dominated the other. The word "fused" also connotes some degree of violence, as well as irreversibility, which "bonded" does not. This would fit thematically with the difference between Honorbonds and Odiumbonds (for lack of better terms). However, "bond" on its own is value-neutral (see below). It makes sense to me that there can be multiple forms of cosmere-bonds, as @Confused called them: symbiotic bonds, and parasitic bonds (and probably a whole host of other possibilities). What basis do we have for suggesting that Realmatically-speaking, a "bond" has to be a mutally beneficial thing?

I'd also point out that Odium as an Intent does not preclude bonding or Connection. I mean, you can  interpret it that way for sure. But you can also interpret hatred as a unifying (if destructive) force. Historically, one of the most common ways of unifying a nation is to use a common enemy or scapegoat. It is a twisted, awful kind of unity, but it is still a bond. "Bond" is not an inherently good or positive force. I think we are falling into the trap of assuming that Honor and Odium are polar opposites, like Preservation and Ruin. Thus, because Honor is all about bonds, Odium has to be about the breaking of bonds. But while the Shards themselves were opposed to one another (in the sense that they fought), it does not necessarily follow that their Intents are opposed. After all, Odium went after Ambition, Devotion, and Domination before taking out Honor. And it would be difficult to argue that Odium as an Intent was opposed to all of those (Domination and Ambition, in fact, seem like pretty good fits).

All of this is a long way of saying that I don't think there is necessarily a contradiction in Odium's powers being able to forge bonds and Connections. I think insisting that there is something weird or impossible about that is based on the assumption that Odium = evil/destruction, when in fact I think the Shardic Intent is more complex than that (and therefore scarier and more interesting as well). 

Edited by Naerin
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6 hours ago, Naerin said:

Odium went after Ambition, Devotion, and Domination before taking out Honor. And it would be difficult to argue that Odium as an Intent was opposed to all of those (Domination and Ambition, in fact, seem like pretty good fits).

I think Odium went after these shards because their intents could be inclined to recombine the shards.

Ambition > wants to be greater than it is

Devotion > devoted to Adonalsium

Dominion > wants to dominate the other shards and rule over / possess their power

Honor > wants to bind everything (possibly including other shards) 

Cultivation > probable next victim > wants to produce something, perhaps by joining some shards and pruning others

Note that Odium joins forces (or is at a minimum tolerant of) Bavadin/Autonomy which would be the least likely to want to recombine the shards.

--------------------

Odium = hate

So, hate causes relationships to deteriorate. There's nothing like contempt to destroy relationships. Hate separates in the sense that hate between two people will cause them to either fight or flee. So hate = murder (fight) or separation due to irreconcilable differences (flee). It forces people into either conflict or avoidance. So, how would the forces of nature be affected by such an intent? 

My guess is that the fused are the equivalent of a battered wife. They have been cowed into submission by a hostile force. They probably access the surges in a similar manner: by dominating them.

Edited by KidWayne
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