FortC

Hoid and his power (spoilers)

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One thing that I have found interesting while rereading the Cosmere books is that Hoid, while immensely powerful, never actually takes power. The first example is him not becoming a shard after the shattering. However, this trend continues. The way I saw it, even as Hoid acquired more power, bot magical and political, he never sought to take control. One example was how he was the wit in court, but he never tried to rise to any higher position while all of the other aristocrats tried to climb the latter, he just kept doing his thing. This gets to my question. What does Hoid want? He clearly has goals, as he, unlike Frost, refuses to stand aside and let time pass him by. His methods, however, strongly contrast many other characters’, like Dalinar. While Dalinar ultimately takes power, essentially removing Elhokar, Hoid never does anything like it. Even though he encourages Dalinar to take power, as he insinuates that Dalinar knows better than his peers, Hoid never takes his own advice. Even though he surely knows better than most how to resist evil, he never seizes power to force people to his will. I think this is what makes him a compelling character, and I was wondering what everyone else thinks; why does Hoid do what he does, both why does he use the methods he uses and what are his ultimate goals?

Edited by FortC
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I guess a powerful position on one single little planet (i.e. Roshar) at a specific point in time wouldn't mean a lot for him. And he would become more visible to other players, which doesn't seem to be beneficial for him...

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Yeah, from what I know many Shards and people in general are against him, like Rayse (Odium) and maybe the Seventeenth Shard organization. I'm sure there is more too. Part of it could be that Hoid cannot hurt people. I don't know extent of that though. Does ordering an army to fight another army count? But maybe he does not want to risk something bad happening because he can't hurt others.

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Part of it, like @SpaceGodPerson said, is that leadership on pretty much all the worlds would require someone getting hurt and he gets nauseous even thinking about hurting someone, including himself, much less ordering executions or armies to march, which probably would count.

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19 hours ago, FortC said:

One thing that I have found interesting while rereading the Cosmere books is that Hoid, while immensely powerful, never actually takes power. The first example is him not becoming a shard after the shattering. However, this trend continues. The way I saw it, even as Hoid acquired more power, bot magical and political, he never sought to take control. One example was how he was the wit in court, but he never tried to rise to any higher position while all of the other aristocrats tried to climb the latter, he just kept doing his thing. This gets to my question. What does Hoid want? He clearly has goals, as he, unlike Frost, refuses to stand aside and let time pass him by. His methods, however, strongly contrast many other characters’, like Dalinar. While Dalinar ultimately takes power, essentially removing Elhokar, Hoid never does anything like it. Even though he encourages Dalinar to take power, as he insinuates that Dalinar knows better than his peers, Hoid never takes his own advice. Even though he surely knows better than most how to resist evil, he never seizes power to force people to his will. I think this is what makes him a compelling character, and I was wondering what everyone else thinks; why does Hoid do what he does, both why does he use the methods he uses and what are his ultimate goals?

Not true! In Mistborn: Secret History, Hoid takes the bead of lurasium which can turn people into a mistborn.

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14 hours ago, John Flamesinger said:

Not true! In Mistborn: Secret History, Hoid takes the bead of lurasium which can turn people into a mistborn.

FortC is drawing a distinction between magical power and political power. Hoid is very definitely interested in the former but shows absolutely none in the latter.

On 11/24/2018 at 11:24 PM, FortC said:

One example was how he was the wit in court, but he never tried to rise to any higher position while all of the other aristocrats tried to climb the latter, he just kept doing his thing.

Setting aside the general reasons others have provided why Hoid doesn't ever take political power, there's also massive social hurdles that would prevent him from doing so in Alethi society. He's not descended from the Sunmaker so he can't claim any legitimacy that way and the other way the Alethi decide who's fit to rule is nixed because that would conflict with his 'no causing harm' deal.

Quote

I think this is what makes him a compelling character, and I was wondering what everyone else thinks; why does Hoid do what he does, both why does he use the methods he uses and what are his ultimate goals?

All very good questions. Needless to say, we have no definite answers. Brandon's danced around this by mentioning that it looks like Hoid is trying to reassemble Adonalsium but that seems far too obvious. Brandon was asked at one point where he fits on a D&D alignment chart and (caveats aside) he put him literally all over the map depending on who in-universe you asked. From that, we know that Hoid's motivations could be considered selfish rather than selfless, or at least some of what's motivating him is selfish. We know he's got a grudge of some kind with both Rayse and Bavadin but while the former has standing 'try to kill on sight, massive collateral damage is totally fine' orders regarding Hoid, the latter is willing to work with Hoid under certain conditions and at least some of her avatars are more favorably disposed towards him. So... whatever this grudge is about, it seems more one-sided on Hoid's part with Bavadin.

If you assume that The Traveler is completely canonical then we get the implication that at least part of his motivation has to do with someone (or multiple people) who died and Hoid is trying to bring them back. He thinks that for some reason 'the old rules no longer hold' and brushes off Frost's clam that what he seeks is impossible. He also mentions that he's heard of 'a place' which seems connected to this, but we haven't a clue what that's referring to. He does however deny that his motivations are just about the dead, so he's got multiple things driving him.

One possibility that would be very Brandon is that while Hoid is sort of being presented as the Cosmere's hidden protagonist, he could wind up playing more of an antagonist's role in the final stories. We know he's going to be a major character in the final Mistborn trilogy (ie the Big Crossover Climax) and I wouldn't be at all surprised if he winds up at cross-purposes to some of the other protagonists of that time period in the pursuit of whatever his ultimate goal is.

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3 hours ago, Ookla the Gralsritter said:

Brandon's danced around this by mentioning that it looks like Hoid is trying to reassemble Adonalsium but that seems far too obvious.

I've thought that Hoid isn't trying to recreate Adonalsium, he's trying to make his own shard that doesn't have an Intent. That by taking from all different forms of Investiture and combining them, he avoids subsuming his own personality to the Intent of the Shard(s). A pinch of glowing sand, a Cryptic, a bead of Lerasium, and so on. When his collection is complete, or balanced, or whatever, he'll try to merge them all into one piece of Investiture all his own that won't control him.

He's trying to ascend to godhood on his own terms, and without losing himself to the power of the shard. He's not trying to restore what was broken in its entirety, rather simply recreating a part for himself.

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20 hours ago, Rainier said:

I've thought that Hoid isn't trying to recreate Adonalsium, he's trying to make his own shard that doesn't have an Intent. That by taking from all different forms of Investiture and combining them, he avoids subsuming his own personality to the Intent of the Shard(s). A pinch of glowing sand, a Cryptic, a bead of Lerasium, and so on. When his collection is complete, or balanced, or whatever, he'll try to merge them all into one piece of Investiture all his own that won't control him.

He's trying to ascend to godhood on his own terms, and without losing himself to the power of the shard. He's not trying to restore what was broken in its entirety, rather simply recreating a part for himself.

All of those items combined would only amount to a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the power of a Shard, not enough for him to actually become a Shard.  

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1 hour ago, Scion of the Mists said:

All of those items combined would only amount to a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the power of a Shard, not enough for him to actually become a Shard.  

Unless, he can use the same trick the Lord Ruler used in compounding his power. The Lord Ruler was able to compound because he could play off the interactions of two shardic magic systems. 

Now, imagine you can access all 16 shards, the number of possible was to compound increases at least factorially (that is, hyper-exponentially). 

Further, you would not have the weaknesses and blindspots that any individual Shard has. 

 

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For what it's worth, there is a strong theory (and I think now a WOB?) that says the true purpose of Lerasium is to permanently forge a Connection to the shard of whatever Godmetal it is alloyed with, and that the reason WOB says that making a Mistborn is a side effect is because when it has no other Shard's investiture to alloy with it will simply reinforce the Connection with itself (ie. Preservation) and make a Mistborn (or Misting in the case of Atium since Ruin's already Invested in the Metallic Arts).  It's also been implied several times that Hoid took the bead but didnt burn it to become a Mistborn.  Those two things open up a lot of possibility for Hoid saving it to Connect to other magic systems like being able to actually Awaken with his apparent store of Breaths, maaaaybe getting Dor off-world, etc. 

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Okay, so all those pieces are a fraction of the amount of investiture Hoid would need. But say he got hold of an investiture vacuum. Such as our old pal Nightblood...

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15 minutes ago, Ookla the Bearded said:

Okay, so all those pieces are a fraction of the amount of investiture Hoid would need. But say he got hold of an investiture vacuum. Such as our old pal Nightblood...

He wouldn't touch Nightblood with a 10 foot pole, regardless of reasoning. 

Quote

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

What would happen if Hoid held Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Uh, Hoid would not do that. Hoid would stay very far away.

Stormlightning [PENDING REVIEW]

Not even hold it??

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

He would stay really far away. There are very few things in the Cosmere that Hoid is afraid of, and Nightblood is one of them.

Stormlightning [PENDING REVIEW]

I thought he'd be afraid of the blade end.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So let's just say if very very very few things in the Cosmere had a chance of destroying you, you wouldn't even pick one up. You'd try to be in a different room entirely.

R'Shara and Sunbird and JoyBlu [PENDING REVIEW]

*Whispering about Nightblood being able to destroy Hoid*

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I didn't say, I said theoretically. I said "had a chance of", I did not confirm. Hoid doesn't know. But there's a chance, and so he is not going to risk that.

source

 

Edited by Invocation
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Oh that's right. Hrmmmmm. Not sure then.

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Well if larasium forms a connection to whichever shards god metal that it’s alloyed with then could it stand to reason that Hoid is saving it to form a connection to odium? Odium is very unlikely himself to allow Hoid to have access to his investiture willingly, and that probably rules out him gaining it through normal means (BAM?) That said there is a lot we don’t know about in how Odium grants access and under what parameters. 

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depending on the size of the bead of lerasium couldn't Hoid technically split it into smaller pieces and become slightly connected to multiple shards? That would definitely go along with his whole collecting investure from everywhere

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In a conversation  with dalinar in WoR, his ultimate  goal seems to be protecting the cosmere.  I dont jave the exact quote, and honestly i am not fimiliar with hoid other than what he does in mistborn and  stormlight archive.

But it seems to me he is simply an agent or embodiment of chaos and change. This is distinct  from ruin  as a force or odium.

Chaos cannot play if everything is consumed  or destroyed.

 

We know that odium came from another place in the cosmere. and a god that can move from  place to place like thay, wanting to consume is obviously  a big threat to the rest of the cosmere.

 To paraphrase  what hoid says, he tells dalinar  their goals are similar, but not the same, and he is willing to let roshar  burn if he has to.

  As an agent of chaos it would be against his nature to take a direct hand in things, especially  in matters of order.

So in the end, he pushes  and nudges where he needs to.  Using chaos theory to achive what he wants. This   supports and is supported by the talk he gives shallan about changing the world.

 

Of course i could be wayyyyy off. But these are my thoughts.

 

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On 11/28/2018 at 1:59 PM, Ookla the Bearded said:

Oh that's right. Hrmmmmm. Not sure then.

For what it;'s worth a Larkin can also do that.  And since they are called "Dragon Bugs" I suspect dragons can as well. 

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Just moved this thread since it’s not only talking about Stormlight.  Carry on. 

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