WalksIntoMordor

[OB] The Dagger

31 posts in this topic

As a note, I had this theory before listening to Shardcast's reactions to the book, but credit where credit is due - they pointed out a colorscheme element I missed, and reminded me of perfect gems.

So the Dagger: it was made of a white-gold metal (colors we see associated with Odium in his appearances, as Shardcast pointed out), with a sapphire on the end, and was used to kill the Herald Jezrien.  The manner of death, it is pointed out in the book, felt to Jez like it was taking him somewhere.  It wasn't a normal death - somehow done in a way that wouldn't allow him to go back to Damnation and lock it with the Oathpact again (or so we can infer, since it was Odium's idea).

The knife itself is strangely Invested - it managed to leave a smoking, blackened wound, like a certain sword we know, though unlike Nightblood it doesn't seem to feed on the user's life force.  And, after the kill, it caused the gem to glow.  However, the kill wasn't instant, the way a shardblade or Nightblood cut would be.  It took a few moments for him to die, enough for a short dialogue between Jez and Moash.

So, I have a few theories.  Some of these may not add up, but these are my theories all the same:

1. The gold-white metal is, as Shardcast theorizes due to the color similarities, Odium's godmetal.  This may explain the smoking as well - invested metal does odd things to victims.

2. The knife is a variant hemalurgical spike, used to draw Jezrien's essence, or some part of it, out of him and into the gemstone (possibly whatever made him a Herald/bound him to the Oathpact - Brandon has said that hemalurgy is really flexible and can be used to steal almost anything).

3. There will be ten knives total - one for each Herald.  This is based on the sapphire - a stone associated with Jezrien and the Windrunners founded in his honor.  Odium will create (or at least try to create) nine others, each with the proper polestone.

4. The hardest sell/biggest leap: this hemalurgy is different than Scadrial's.  Normal hemalurgical spikes leak power outside a host, though blood can significantly slow the leak down.  Something about this version, though, allows the power to last longer.  Perhaps it is because it isn't directly fueled by Ruin, thus changing its nature somewhat; or, perhaps, because the gem on the pommel is a perfect gemstone, and whatever was stolen isn't stored inside the dagger (as hemalurgy usually stores in the spike) but rather in a gem that can't leak it out into the world.

As I said, these are just theories, but I am curious as to others' thoughts - what do you think was up with the dagger?

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Hemalurgy is a promising way to look at it. The only thing that gives me pause is that Hemalurgic spikes normally have to be placed precisely. It may not matter for Heralds, because they are so invested. 

They are probably not concerned with transferring the spiked quality, as much as removing it from Jezrien. They would be most interested in just destroying what he had. 

And if the spike had some nightblood-type properties, all the better. Would we need different metal pieces to spike all the Heralds? 

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These daggers don't kill the Heralds.  They trap them in the gem on the handle.  I discount the hemalurgic spike theory because Moash was not given specific directions on how or where to stab Jezrien, which argues against hemalurgy, unless Odium'so god metal works VERY differently  from anything we have seen so far.

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5 minutes ago, Brgst13 said:

These daggers don't kill the Heralds.  They trap them in the gem on the handle.  I discount the hemalurgic spike theory because Moash was not given specific directions on how or where to stab Jezrien, which argues against hemalurgy, unless Odium'so god metal works VERY differently  from anything we have seen so far.

I knew I was forgetting something.  I forgot about that flaw in the theory - the part about the location of the stabbing.

It's not a total theory killer, for as ZenBossanova mentions it could be that they are so full of Investiture that anywhere would work, but it was the one thing that made the theory a bit off.

That does bring up another point about the dagger though - the whole detail about "why use Moash?"  They were willing to handle the dagger to give it to him, but not to use it.

In another thread, someone pointed out that maybe it is a way around the Oathpact (besides trapping him in the dagger or gem).  Perhaps the pact required that they die at Odium's hand, a voidbringer's doing, or the Herald's own hand (to fulfill the pact).  Perhaps it is possible that, if a human kills of his own free will, the Herald isn't able to go back - they didn't die for the pact.

This is probably wrong, but it is a related issue to this topic so I felt like bringing it up.

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It occurs to me, that on Scadrial, metal is used for spiking. Would gems be used for spiking on Roshar? 

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I can't speak to the metal or Godmetal used to in the blade, but I do believe that the sapphire is the most important element to the weapon. I believe it is mentioned somewhere that the Elsecallers were the keepers of the "perfect gems", this would suggest a significance to them outside of not leaking stormlight (in addition to Odium's insistence on capturing the perfect Ruby).

There is obviously also a significance in the fact that the stone was a sapphire for Jezrien the Ars Arcanum states that the Sapphire is associated with Jes, the essence of Zephyr. 

Lastly Odium and the Fused seem to have made a very special effort not to coerce or influence Moash in any way. Possibly a stipulation of the oathpact? Possibly a way for Odium to free himself outside of the Champion route that Dalinar has offered?

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I believe the blade is to Odium what the Honorblades were to Honor: a physical peice of him. Now, the Honorblades were invested with Honor,  which binds things, allowing surgebinding. An Odiumblade would be invested with the void, which draws things in. The gem is obviously a perfect gem,  required to make a better prison as they do not leak, like the big ruby of 200 year old stormlight. The sapphire is probably relevant to exactly how Jezerezah is invested. Only time will tell.

What we should be asking is why Odium deems this necessary. Preventing herald death and oathpact reinstatement is not likely. J is already broken and would likely just immediately cave to the torture. So, theories:

1. Herald link shares power, Odium wants to unlink every herald except one, probably Nale, to have a fully powered champion.

2. Odium wants remove possible sources of knowledge from his enemies

3. Odium wants to remove possible champions from his enemies

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7 minutes ago, Mahoka said:

I believe the blade is to Odium what the Honorblades were to Honor: a physical peice of him. Now, the Honorblades were invested with Honor,  which binds things, allowing surgebinding. An Odiumblade would be invested with the void, which draws things in. The gem is obviously a perfect gem,  required to make a better prison as they do not leak, like the big ruby of 200 year old stormlight. The sapphire is probably relevant to exactly how Jezerezah is invested. Only time will tell.

What we should be asking is why Odium deems this necessary. Preventing herald death and oathpact reinstatement is not likely. J is already broken and would likely just immediately cave to the torture. So, theories:

1. Herald link shares power, Odium wants to unlink every herald except one, probably Nale, to have a fully powered champion.

2. Odium wants remove possible sources of knowledge from his enemies

3. Odium wants to remove possible champions from his enemies

I agree with you on certain points, namely the sapphire being relevant to Jezrian. However I disagree with the intent behind the imprisonment.

1. I think the fact that Moash, a human free from Odium's direct influence, was required to commit the murder is very significant. Great pains seem to have been taken to cultivate Moash to be favorable to their cause yet free from any compromising of free will.

2. I just can't see the Jezrian's death being simply the removal of a potential enemy or potential damning information. The King of the Heralds didn't seem to be much use or danger to anyone.

 

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1 hour ago, ZenBossanova said:

It occurs to me, that on Scadrial, metal is used for spiking. Would gems be used for spiking on Roshar? 

I don't believe so. We've been told that metals would be used on a non-scadrian world for non-scadrian powers. 

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/135/#e3347

Quote

Questioner (paraphrased)

If I wanted to Hemalurgically acquire a power from First of the Sun, which metal would the spike need to be?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

This is going to be pretty complicated, but several metals would work.

Questioner (paraphrased)

Would it involve Connection between the person being spiked and the bird?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Well it would be even harder than on Roshar, where you need to somehow spike the spren and also the Radiant. You would need to spike the bird and steal the power, but also spike the person and steal Connection.

So I think metal is universal. 

18 minutes ago, Sprendiferous said:

2. I just can't see the Jezrian's death being simply the removal of a potential enemy or potential damning information. The King of the Heralds didn't seem to be much use or danger to anyone

The Heralds were not free of the Oathpact, despite what they believed. The Oathpact still existed and even with the Everstorm, may have served to bind Odium if the Heralds returned to damnation. 

I agree with you that Moash wielding the blade is significant, but I think the gemstone ripped the piece of investiture that made Jezrien a Herald from his soul, and he is truly dead and gone. 

Also, I'd like to again point back to the Poem of Ista for my reasoning behind the dagger as a Dawnshard. 

Quote
Taking the Dawnshard, known to bind any creature voidish or mortal, he crawled up the steps crafted forHeralds, ten strides tall apiece, toward the grand temple above. 
—A quote from The Poem of Istanoted by Jasnah Kholin for mentioning Dawnshards[1]
The Poem of Ista. I have found no modern explanation of what these "Dawnshards" are. They seem ignored by scholars, though talk of them was obviously prevalent among those recording the early mythologies. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Ookla, the Incalculable said:

I don't believe so. We've been told that metals would be used on a non-scadrian world for non-scadrian powers. 

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/135/#e3347

So I think metal is universal. 

The Heralds were not free of the Oathpact, despite what they believed. The Oathpact still existed and even with the Everstorm, may have served to bind Odium if the Heralds returned to damnation. 

I agree with you that Moash wielding the blade is significant, but I think the gemstone ripped the piece of investiture that made Jezrien a Herald from his soul, and he is truly dead and gone. 

Also, I'd like to again point back to the Poem of Ista for my reasoning behind the dagger as a Dawnshard. 

 

Oh I totally agree that his Investiture, or possibly his soul, was important to the reason he was so bound. Just not because he was a potential champion or was some repository of lost knowledge. And wow, yeah, I'm really on board with your Dawnshard theory. Just have to do some thinking on what that means exactly.

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2 hours ago, ZenBossanova said:

Would we need different metal pieces to spike all the Heralds? 

I think the same metal as already used (Dawnshard or Rayseium) would work. The thing they need to change is the gemstone, I believe. 

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Can that investiture be transferred to an Unmade, essentially binding the Oathpact to it?

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What if Odium's end goal is to take out Cultivation? Would the dagger have enough power if it had killed all 10 Heralds? 

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I think that the reason they couldn't just kill Jesrien the ordinary way is that he would come back immediately, as soon as he broke under the torture. Clearly the sapphire gemstone is important, perhaps breaking it would free Jesriens soul the way it frees a spren. 

I theorize that the reason the fused didn't want to stab Jesrien themselves is that before the breaking of the oathpact the heralds had defenses against that type of attack. If they weren't sure these defenses still existed and didn't want to risk tripping them the logical thing would be to recruit someone they wouldn't be so broken up about losing and send him to do it without mentioning how dangerous it was. This explanation is supported by the fact that Moash thought they were afraid of killing Jesrien rather than excited that they had recruited someone they knew could kill Jesrien.

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9 hours ago, Master OoklaJack said:

What if Odium's end goal is to take out Cultivation? Would the dagger have enough power if it had killed all 10 Heralds? 

Considering that Nightblood taking out a Shard isn't a guarantee, I doubt this fancy dagger would be.

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New WoB! 

Quote

Me: Have we seen any instances of hemalurgy on Roshar before, and given the end of Oathbringer, related question: is what happened to Jezrien hemalurgy? 

Brandon: There are certain philosophers in the cosmere who would class what happened as hemalurgy, but I am on the fence and am unsure, there is something slightly different going on. 

From here: 

 

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2 hours ago, physicskid said:

I think that the reason they couldn't just kill Jesrien the ordinary way is that he would come back immediately, as soon as he broke under the torture. Clearly the sapphire gemstone is important, perhaps breaking it would free Jesriens soul the way it frees a spren. 

I theorize that the reason the fused didn't want to stab Jesrien themselves is that before the breaking of the oathpact the heralds had defenses against that type of attack. If they weren't sure these defenses still existed and didn't want to risk tripping them the logical thing would be to recruit someone they wouldn't be so broken up about losing and send him to do it without mentioning how dangerous it was. This explanation is supported by the fact that Moash thought they were afraid of killing Jesrien rather than excited that they had recruited someone they knew could kill Jesrien.

The part about sending Moash because he is 'disposable' doesn't really track here. He's presumably given a Dawnshard and has been carefully cultivated. There is no contention that they didn't kill in a normal way because it would be less than useless. The real questions now are what can they do with is investiture, and why did the oathpact demand that it be someone like Moash?

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Since nobody else has brought it up in this thread, I'll do it. From a prior discussion about this, it was noted that the Fused didn't kill Jezrien out of fear. This person(whom I'd credit if i could find the topic) felt that the Fused were as afraid of the knife as they were of Jezrien.

Fused and Heralds are Deathless(reborn-when-killed style immortals, but I like my reference). They go to Damnation when they die, and are released upon the next Desolation. The dagger prevents this from happening to Jezrien, so why shouldn't it prevent it from happening to the Fused too?


As for the question of "Why Moash?" we have a thread with that exact title, ya know. I see it as a combination of the Fused being wary of the dagger and what it represents, Moash being expendable if Jezrien pulled some Heraldic trickery and took his killer out with him, and as a loyalty test for Moash for Odium's future plans. I doubt it had anything to do with the Oathpact beyond preventing Jezrien from partaking in it.

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I agree Moash was important. I feel like Honor either tricked (oh the irony) or forced Odium into some kind of agreement regarding the heralds that falls under the "we are bound by some rules" thing. He can't directly or via agents do this to Jezerezah. I just wonder why specifically Moash. Odium could have accomplished this with another. Grooming a champion, maybe? Or because Kaladin is too emo to stop Moash?

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I think they felt that Moash was reliable but of limited long-term utility because he is mortal. Killing/Capturing Jesrien will put him at a serious advantage for as long as it takes for him to win, whether that's 10 years or 1000. Moash is useful because he is easy to manipulate but losing him isn't a long-term loss. H would be dead in 50-80 years if he dies of old age and he is likely to be killed in combat in the near future anyway. 

 

Edit just saw the why Moash thread and it seems like we've been thinking along similar lines. most of the same viewpoints etc.

Edited by physicskid
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Perhaps with some weird procedures, the dagger can make someone the new Herald, and the killer will be best candidate. The Listeners obviously cannot become Heralds, and Odium do want more on his side.

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On 11/28/2017 at 5:29 AM, Ookla, the Incalculable said:

Also, I'd like to again point back to the Poem of Ista for my reasoning behind the dagger as a Dawnshard. 

 

On 11/28/2017 at 5:37 AM, Sprendiferous said:

And wow, yeah, I'm really on board with your Dawnshard theory. Just have to do some thinking on what that means exactly.

Sorry to be the bearer of theory-breaking WoBs.

I got this in Glasgow yesterday (audio in the Arcanum, pending trannscription for referencing)

Hoidonalsium
Is the Sapphire in the white-gold dagger specific to Jezrien?

Brandon
Yes

Hoidonalsium
Do the gems swap out or are there more weapons?

Brandon
Er - I'll RAFO that one.

Hoidonalsium
Are they Dawnshards, or blades of Odium, like the Honourblades?

Brandon
Those are not Dawnshards, good question.

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On 11/27/2017 at 10:42 PM, Mahoka said:

What we should be asking is why Odium deems this necessary. Preventing herald death and oathpact reinstatement is not likely. J is already broken and would likely just immediately cave to the torture. So, theories:

1. Herald link shares power, Odium wants to unlink every herald except one, probably Nale, to have a fully powered champion.

2. Odium wants remove possible sources of knowledge from his enemies

3. Odium wants to remove possible champions from his enemies

An alternate take on opinion 1 is Odium is weakening Taln who is definitely still upholding the oathpact. Each Herald is connected and can share pain which helped them through their time on Braize.

However, I doubt Odium really cared about what Jezrien offered humanity and was more concerned with acquiring Jezriens investiture. If I remember correctly the stormfather mentions that Heralds could do surgebinding because it was part of what they were and they did not receive it through the honorblades. I am guessing Odium took that ability and made an Odiumblade with it. Additionally, because Odium made the blade I am guessing it will work off of the same investiture as fused and not necessarily stormlight.

Side thought/theory do the honorblades get their power from their herald, and if so will Jezriens honorblade be affected by his death? Guess I'll have to wait and see what Mr. T and Odium do with it.

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I think the salient point here is that Moash killed Jezrein, and then was given a new name. I think this signifies something important. I think the Heralds are being UNMADE. I think that Moash might not be Odium's champion, but he is symptomatic of a new stratagem by team Odium to divest team honor of the direct vessels of Honor's investiture, so that the honorblades become less powerful, and so that whatever additional benefits the Heralds derived from their heraldry (for lack of a better term) comes to Odium instead.

We know that the Honorblades themselves are splinters of honor, but we also know that the heralds have other specific (yet unspecified) powers that they derive from the fact that they are heralds. They obviously can't take the investiture from the actual splinters of honor (the blades) with this strategem, but they can probably gain access, fabrial technology style, to the other perks that the heralds got from their previous relationship with honor. So my guess is that there will be 9 of these blades (as that is an important number to Odium) and all of the Heralds, with the exception of Taln because he seems pivotal to the narrative, will be killed by these blades, and possibly the nine shadows of Odium will use these blades in the final assault. I think that Ishar and Nale are pretty squarely on team Odium, but from the Venli POV chapter where she sees what her reward is, the spoils with an Odium victory won't necessarily go to the victors. I think Nale's indecision about what the purpose of his life is (how he has to talk to Ishar to get a sense of purpose) is particularly disturbing because he has sworn the 5th ideal and has become law, but he is quite obviously broken. He might even kill some heralds before the tailor made Odium blade comes for him. So I think the scene where he and Ishar are killed by Odium blades will be particularly dramatic.

Edited by hoiditthroughthegrapevine
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Okay, so here's my theory.

We have WoB that Honor's number, 10 is important to the greater Rosharan system, except Braize, where the number is 9, Odium's. I take this as evidence Odium has invested Braize. I think it likely that the voidspren are a part of this. Now, since the voidspren are invested by Odium, and they are bound by the oathpact, I think this means Odium isn't able to divest, which is how the oathpact tangentially traps Odium. As long as the oathpact is maintained he cannot leave, and killing the heralds doesn't end it, they just get reborn on Braize in an endless cycle of nobody achieving anything. So to end the oathpact he needs to trap the heralds, without killing them, hence the dagger with the gemstone to prevent their being reborn on Braize.

Now, I know what you're thinking, the everstorm bypasses the oathpact. The everstorm is also Odium investing though. It might allow him to divest Braize, but he's still stuck investing Roshar. He could probably divest both, but then he couldn't achieve his goal of splintering cultivation. So he's in a bit of a pickle. He needs to move forward with his plan for cultivation, and at the same time plan for the eventual divesting of both Braize and Roshar.

 

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