Storyspren

Shard of Hope

15 posts in this topic

Hi,

I tried looking for this theory somewhere but I only saw one half joking mention of it, which I therefore upvoted.

Theory: There is a shard of Hope. 

It had something to do with Kelsier snapping into a mistborn, which is not fully explained by preservation commanding him to survive. 

I take it Kelsier should have already snapped but hadn't and was made to snap by some external force. We've seen preservation make someone a mistborn, Elend, via feeding him lerasium. We've also seen Kelsier command Spook to survive and Spook not becoming mistborn at that time. It seems like you need both ruin to make the cracks and preservation to rush in with power to make a misting/mistborn in the typical case, else feed lerasium.

Kelsier never gives up. And when he distills his message down to one word to get through to Spook, the word is Hope. Also obviously "I am that thing you cannot kill." Hope. 

Also a good candidate for a shard that is just trying to survive but whose intent isn't strictly speaking survival per se. Hope... Just the kind of thing that you can't kill even if you think you did. 

 

OK apologies for the abbreviated defense of theory. Got a bum arm atm. Also apologies if I missed this particular permutation of Kelsier is/will be/take up a shard. 

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So, I have thought of this a decent amount, and mainly settled on the fact that we really will just have to RAFO for this. I think I may have semi seriously mentioned this in a different thread, no idea if that is what you are talking about, but yes, I do think that Hope could be a shard, but a lot of things could definitely be shards.

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For Kelsier to be a mistborn, he absolutely needs to have a Connection to Preservation. That's literally what lerasium does when consumed by someone who isn't already a mistborn, makes that Connection. Ruin isn't involved at all; the 'cracks' in the spiritweb are a Cosmere-wide phenomenon and are especially obvious on Roshar. Since the power comes from Preservation, there really isn't room for Kelsier to be influenced by another non-Scadrian Shard.

Plus, Secret History gives us Kelsier's recollection of his snapping. It was Leras' voice he heard, telling him to 'SURVIVE', a fact confirmed by Leras himself as literally the last thing he does before dying. There may be an unanswered question as to why Kelsier didn't snap earlier (it's entirely possible that Leras arranged things just so because his plan required Kelsier in order for everything to work at the end) but there isn't room for a third Shard to be meddling.

Edited by Weltall
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Kelsier's late snapping came mainly from two factors:

- he is a powerful Allomancers and it seems that a greater trauma is usually needed to snap those.

- he is a sociopath, so he is able to disconnect from emotion. It's hard to emotional traumatize someone who is able to shout down his emotion at will ... There was need of something really huge to shake him

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Firstly, I agree with Weltall and Yata; I don't think a third Shard was involved, and Kelsier was a special case with regards to Snapping.  Secondly, I've been going through the Hero of Ages chapter annotations, and I came across some info which may help to further explain why Kelsier didn't Snap earlier in life:

Quote

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Seventy

The Reason for the Mistsickness

[edited out, not as relevant]

... Allomantic potential is a little like a supersaturated solution. You can suspend a great deal of something like sugar in a liquid when it is hot, then cool it down and the sugar remains suspended. Drop one bit of sugar in there as a catalyst, however, and the rest will fall out as a precipitate.

Allomancy is the same. It's in there, but it takes a reaction—in this case, physical anguish—to trigger it and bring it out. That's because the Allomantic power comes from the extra bit of Preservation inside of humans, that same extra bit that gives us free will. This bit is trapped between the opposing forces of Preservation and Ruin, and to come out and allow it the power to access metals and draw forth energy, it needs to fight its way through the piece of Ruin that is also there inside. 

As has been established, Ruin's control over creatures—and, indeed, an Allomancer's control over them—grows weaker when that creature is going through some extreme emotions. (Like the koloss blood frenzy.) This has to do with the relationship between the Cognitive Realm, the Physical Realm, and the Spiritual Realm—of which I don't have time to speak right now.  ...

source

From Mistborn: Secret History we know that Kelsier was more aligned with Ruin than the average person, which was why he couldn't really access the power of Preservation's Shard.  According to the above, that alignment with Ruin could have made it harder for him to Snap.  Extreme emotional trauma was needed (in addition to the usual physical trauma) to weaken Ruin's hold on Kelsier's soul/spiritweb/whatever before he could Snap into a Mistborn.

And of course there's this, which Yata almost certainly had in mind in the above post: 

Quote

Brandon Sanderson

Kelsier's Snapping

Why didn't Kelsier Snap before he went to the Pits? I don't have an answer for you, not even in spoilers. He did live a hard life and it is odd that he wouldn't have Snapped until that moment when he saw his wife beaten to death.

They say that the more powerful a person is, the more trauma it takes to get them to Snap and the more dangerous that Snapping is.

source

There's also this:

Quote

Brandon Sanderson

The Sliding Scale of Allomantic Potential

[edited out, not as relevant]

...the mistsickness is also awakening Allomantic potential that would otherwise be too subtle to be brought out. Pretend there's a sliding scale of Allomantic potential. 100% means you're an Allomancer—in this series, only two people have hit 100%—Vin and Elend. [Vin because she was uniquely aligned with Preservation due to Leras' plan for her to Ascend (I think) and Elend because of Lerasium]  Buried within a lot of people, however, is enough of a touch of Preservation's power to hit, say, 50% on the relative scale of Allomantic power. These people, when beaten and made to pass through something traumatic, awaken to their Allomantic abilities.

There are a lot of people out there, however, with something more like 20% to 30%. These are the people the mists are Snapping—since the mists are, themselves, partially the power of Preservation, they can touch people and increase their Allomantic potential slightly and then bring it to the forefront.

source

If Kelsier only had 20% to 30% potential to become an Allomancer, that could explain why he didn't Snap until later in life.  I personally don't think so, however, because this annotation is talking specifically about the mistsickness, and that wasn't around at the time Kelsier was imprisoned at the Pits of Hathsin.  I suppose Leras might have been able to bend the rules and increase Kelsier's potential without using the mistsickness; Leras has shown a certain disregard for playing by the rules in the past. ;)  

In any case, all of this makes me disagree with you about a Shard of Hope having something to do with Kelsier Snapping.  That said, it certainly doesn't disprove the existence of the Shard Hope somewhere in the Cosmere. 

Hmm... I wonder if the Shard Ambition could have been Hope, if it had had an appropriate Vessel...  Haha, wouldn't Kelsier be the perfect Vessel for Ambition? :lol:  (Sorry, I'm straying off-topic. ;))

Edited by Zath
Clarification
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On 2018-08-21 at 9:03 AM, Yata said:

he is a sociopath, so he is able to disconnect from emotion. It's hard to emotional traumatize someone who is able to shout down his emotion at will ... There was need of something really huge to shake him

That’s way too strong a word, at least after one has read Secret History. Kelsier may be callous, hyper-pragmatic, and unforgiving toward those he perceives as enemies (almost all of whom this is entirely justified) but we have still seen him able to empathize with others on more than one occasion. There’s a big difference between someone who is driven by a desire for vengeance and someone who completely lacks a conscience and a moral code; the latter does not apply to Kelsier. At worst he’s just an extremist who fanatically looks out for those he perceives as his ‘people’.

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48 minutes ago, Fanghur Rahl said:

That’s way too strong a word, at least after one has read Secret History. Kelsier may be callous, hyper-pragmatic, and unforgiving toward those he perceives as enemies (almost all of whom this is entirely justified) but we have still seen him able to empathize with others on more than one occasion. There’s a big difference between someone who is driven by a desire for vengeance and someone who completely lacks a conscience and a moral code; the latter does not apply to Kelsier. At worst he’s just an extremist who fanatically looks out for those he perceives as his ‘people’.

No it's not. Kelsier is an actual sociopath, a clinical one for Brandon's words.

We have the Kelsier we know only because for a luckly case, his purpose was aganist a "bad guy". But Kelsier in most of the other stories will be the bad guy.

And don't make you fool by the media rappresentation of sociopaths. They are not evil people or such... simply like I said they are able to disconnect from emotions and without those as a stop...they are more likely in doing stuffs the average person will be inibited in doing.

Kelsier cared for the crew... But don't let you believe he would spare Braize if he ever discovered he is a full noble

 

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Kelsier is not now and never was a sociopath. His disregard for the laws of his society are for a good reasons, some related to his upbringing and societal station, but also to the hideousness of the laws themselves. Not only doesn't he lack empathy, but he resolves to get himself killed, on purpose at least to some extent OUT of empathy. Vin's question to him at the end of Secret History is a fair question, but doesn't imply that even Vin thinks Kelsier doesn't care about others. 

He spared Elend man. And not just once. 

OK that out of the way.

His connection to Ruin is the best argument against some kind of interference by another shard. However, I'd argue that prior to the Pits, his connection wasn't actually that strong. It was only after that that Kelsier began tearing apart society wholesale. Doing Ruin's work for real as it were. 

So it's not a case of an all but immovable object (Kelsier's connection to Ruin and low allomantic potential) being moved by an almost unstoppable force (the horror of the Pits). Indeed. There's a world of space between Kelsier's pre-pit connection and post-Pit connection. And low allomantic potential I think we can rule out due to the simple face that Brandon acknowledges the mystery in the footnotes. 

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14 minutes ago, Storyspren said:

Kelsier is not now and never was a sociopath.

I'm sorry, but he is. 

Quote

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I think Kelsier is one of the best-crafted fantasy characters I've seen in the world. He resonates with me on new levels. What exactly were your influences in the character when you were constructing him?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Two big influences for Kelsier. The first is, I wanted to do kind of the classic rogue archetype guy, but someone who had had something so fundamentally life-shaking in his life that he had to look deep within and become somebody else. But it's mixed with the other big inspiration, which is, there's kind of some psychopathic tendencies to him, and he would be a villain in many other books. But in this one, he's what the world needed. And those two combinations created for me a really nice tension inside a character.

source

You can be a sociopath without being a psychopath, but you can't be a psychopath without being a sociopath. 

That said, sociopath does not mean he's a Hollywood serial killer. As much as 10% of the population has some level of sociopathic traits. 

Kelsier fits it well. 

Quote

i_are_pant

1. Which of your protagonist characters do you dislike the most as a person? Taking into account that you know all of their inner secrets and motivations.2. On the flip side. Which of your antagonists do you connect with the most? The Lord Ruler seems an obvious choice as he was misunderstood by everybody for so long. But still, I'm curious.

Brandon Sanderson

 

  • This is a tough one, as while I'm writing, I HAVE to like everyone. However, the most disturbing of them is probably Kelsier. He's a psychopath--meaning the actual, technical term. Lack of empathy, egotism, lack of fear. If his life had gone differently, he could have been a very, very evil dude.

  • Elend. I see myself as an idealist like him.

 

source

 

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Well be might technically fit the medical definition, and loosely at that, but he certainly doesn’t fit the colloquial definition, anymore than Batman, Robin Hood, or the Green Arrow do.

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7 hours ago, Fanghur Rahl said:

Well be might technically fit the medical definition, and loosely at that, but he certainly doesn’t fit the colloquial definition, anymore than Batman, Robin Hood, or the Green Arrow do.

And I'm sorry to have to say it, but the colloquial version is wrong and needs to end. Sociopath does not mean "evil." 

It does not mean you are some emotionless or sadistic monster. It just means that empathy is difficult. And like all other mental conditions it's not an all or nothing thing. Empathy can be much more difficult to achieve but it's not impossible. And they sure as hell aren't "incapable of love" as the media likes to portray. That's a harmful stereotype. 

There are a large number of people who have sociopathic traits that help them do their jobs in ways that are actually necessary, many of which aren't aware of it. One of the jobs that has a higher than normal rate of drawing and retaining them is surgeons, not because of any bloodthirst or sadism, but just because of the nature of typical people being bothered by cutting into someone. 

Sorry, but this is a personal issue for me. 

Edited by Calderis
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Well, to be fair Calderis, I’ve even seen it described more or less like that in some of my university textbooks, that broadly speaking a sociopath/psychopath (as opposed to someone who is borderline) is someone who is generally incapable of genuine compassion or empathy towards other people. So it’s not just the media or common parlance that portrays it that way, but actual university textbooks of psychology as well.

 

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@Fanghur Rahl for a full blown end of the spectrum, total sociopath sure.

That's remarkably rare though, and Kel is obviously not that. 

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I work in a rest home where most employees have some degree of sociopathy (including myself), mostly because anyone who doesn't can't handle making friends with people who die, or slip into senility, or get kicked out because their kids stop paying their bills every month. Being able to emotionally distance myself while still caring for people is a valuable skill. (And the reason I like Lirin so much as a character.)

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