ShardShaper

Can we discuss the Elephant in the room? (Hoid)

37 posts in this topic

Most of us are familiar with Hoid, but there is still one VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION!

What on earth in the cosmere is he trying to do?

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Pretty sure he's trying to bring someone back from the Beyond, but I don't have much to base it on. The source is the non-canon The Traveler excerpt.

Quote

“Did you… find what you were seeking?” the elder man finally asked.  

The Traveler shrugged, picking at another seed and nibbling on it. 

You will not find a way to restore what you have lost, old friend,” the aged man said softly. ”It is impossible.” 

“You don’t know that. The old rules no longer hold.” The Traveler turned the pomegranate over in his fingers. “Besides, I’ve heard of a place… It doesn’t matter. I don’t care. This isn’t about the dead… or it’s not JUST about the dead, at least.” He dropped the fruit to the ground, wiping his fingers on his riding coat.

“So it’s a simple vendetta, then,” the aged man said, sighing. “How many years have you lived, and you still can’t learn the wisdom of just letting go?”

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/332/#e9518

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Very little unfortunately..

We know he is trying to collect types of magic from all over, although we don't know if this is a side hobby, a step towards a goal, or the goal itself. He might be trying to reform Adonalisum some how, although that seems a little cliche to me.

Quote

Questioner

So, Hoid was there during the Shattering of Adonalsium. Odium is going around, like, destroying other Shards. We know that Hoid is collecting and has pieces of some of the other Shards.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Since Hoid was there at the original Shattering of Adonalsium. Is there an echo image of the original Adonalsium in Hoid?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, that's a RAFO. Here's your card. But it is a valid theory.

Questioner

I have a two-parter on that.

Brandon Sanderson

You can ask me the next part, but it is a RAFO.

Questioner

Is his end goal trying to join as many pieces of Adonalsium together to *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Um, that, I will give a "that's a very good guess." And that is what the books seem to indicate is happening.

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 (Sept. 21, 2017)

The other possible mission we know about is the one RShara pointed out. Hoid may be trying to reform/revive someone from his past.

But its really just a big mystery at this point.

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...You quoted the link. lol

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So, wait, if he's trying to find pieces of Adonalism and bring them together, maybe he's trying to create his own shard? Then he might be planning to use it to bring back someone from the dead, as implied from "The Traveller"

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My personal theory (a bit aluminum foil I admit) is that Hoid is in fact the 17th shard.  At least a piece of the original Adolansium perhaps a splinter of it who is going around trying to resemble some of what was destroyed.

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26 minutes ago, Karger said:

My personal theory (a bit aluminum foil I admit) is that Hoid is in fact the 17th shard.  At least a piece of the original Adolansium perhaps a splinter of it who is going around trying to resemble some of what was destroyed.

His letter to Frost pretty soundly rules out him being a member of the 17th Shard.

Quote

I am being chased. Your friends of the Seventeenth Shard, I suspect. I believe they're still lost, following a false trail I left for them

 

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23 minutes ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

His letter to Frost pretty soundly rules out him being a member of the 17th Shard.

I meant a literal 17th shard

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7 hours ago, Karger said:

I meant a literal 17th shard

Brandon confirmed that there's only 16. But out of all the living things we've seen that are (seemingly) not directly related to a specific Shard, Hoid seems to be closest to one, so I see where you are coming from.

Quote

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So, the sixteen Shards. Is it possible that there are more than sixteen, yet they do not know of them?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

This would be possible but I'll just go ahead and tell you no there aren't. *laughter* That'll stop a lot of theorizing, though it is possible that Shards have been divided and things like this. And so you can call two subsets-- But it's kind of like there are twelve tribes of Israel. They became twelve other tribes of Israel. There were still twelve because two were the sons of one. Yeah, stuff like that.

Footnote: Brandon was referring to Ephraim and Manasseh, sons of Joseph. The land of Israel was divided among twelve tribes that were slightly different from the original twelve, as Joseph's was replaced by those of his sons and Levi's was not a landed tribe.
Skyward San Diego signing (Nov. 7, 2018)

 

Edited by Elegy
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On 4/11/2019 at 8:39 PM, Karger said:

I meant a literal 17th shard

I don't think that its possible for there to be a seventeenth shard. Brandon has confirmed that there isn't, like @Elegy said. However, I do think that there may be like a fraction of Adonalsiums' power in Hoid. My personal theory is that Hoid has power from Adonalsium, but not enough to elevate him to Shard status.

A Shard works on such a large scale that it gets hard to control at different points. It seems like you would get better at control as you went on, but you'd never be able to work on the small scale as well as others could.

Spoiler

When Vin Ascended, it seemed like she gained power/knowledge in the split second, but she lost influence. She was killing tons of Inquisitors, and then she Ascended and she had so much power that it got hard to control. Everything that she did was on such a huge scale that it meant huge consequences. 

I feel like Hoid wouldn't want the limitations, boundaries, or rules that being a Shard means. I think that Hoid would rather work on the small scale, than on the humongo-Shard scale.

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11 hours ago, TheBeast22846 said:

I feel like Hoid wouldn't want the limitations, boundaries, or rules that being a Shard means. I think that Hoid would rather work on the small scale, than on the humongo-Shard scale.

I don't think he is a full scale shard like Ruin, Preservation or Honor.  I think he is a bit of sentient investiture that was created before the shattering by the big A himself.

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23 minutes ago, Karger said:

I don't think he is a full scale shard like Ruin, Preservation or Honor.  I think he is a bit of sentient investiture that was created before the shattering by the big A himself.

Hoid was human originally, which rules out sapient Investiture.

Quote

Axies (paraphrased)

Is Hoid human?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes... but. Hoid is... you can say that he is still human, but his DNA have changed. Now he is human but you wouldn't call him Homo sapiens anymore. It happens something similar with the Steel Inquisitors

Barcelona signing (Nov. 3, 2016)

And this WoB is somewhat narrower but could be read to rule out various flavors of 'created agent of Adonalsium'

Quote

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Is Hoid an avatar from Autonomy?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No. Good question. He is independent.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

He's human, but he's more than human? He's changed from all the places he's been?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Even before that he's not exactly one hundred percent human anymore. But he's his own agent. He's not an avatar of somebody.

Oathbringer San Diego signing (Nov. 14, 2017)

 

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12 hours ago, TheBeast22846 said:

I don't think that its possible for there to be a seventeenth shard. Brandon has confirmed that there isn't, like @Elegy said. However, I do think that there may be like a fraction of Adonalsiums' power in Hoid. My personal theory is that Hoid has power from Adonalsium, but not enough to elevate him to Shard status.

A Shard works on such a large scale that it gets hard to control at different points. It seems like you would get better at control as you went on, but you'd never be able to work on the small scale as well as others could.

  Reveal hidden contents

When Vin Ascended, it seemed like she gained power/knowledge in the split second, but she lost influence. She was killing tons of Inquisitors, and then she Ascended and she had so much power that it got hard to control. Everything that she did was on such a huge scale that it meant huge consequences. 

I feel like Hoid wouldn't want the limitations, boundaries, or rules that being a Shard means. I think that Hoid would rather work on the small scale, than on the humongo-Shard scale.

In reference to the Mistborn stuff in the spoiler tag.

Spoiler

The limitations you're talking about are the result of Ruin acting against her. Remember that her first few actions were to remove the ash from the sky and flatten the ashmounts. She then spins the planet around to protect the people from the Sun. Ruin knew that she would make some early mistakes and so he let her do it. Once he saw her learning from her mistakes he stepped in to stop her, and let her mistakes cause mass death.

As for Hoid being a Shard/QuasiShard/Other, The Letter gives us a pretty good clue as to his feeling about being a Shard, specifically, Egli's response.

Quote

Dearest Cephandrius,

I received your communication, of course. I noticed its arrival immediately, just as I noticed your many intrusions into my land. You think yourself so clever, but my eyes are not those of some petty noble, to be clouded by a false nose and some dirt on the cheeks. You mustn't worry yourself about Rayse. It is a pity about Aona and Skai, but they were foolish--violating our pact from the very beginning. Your skills are admirable, but you are merely a man. You had your chance to be more, and refused it. No good can come of two Shards settling in one location. It was agreed that we would not interfere with one another, and it disappoints me that so few of the Shards have kept to this original agreement. As for Uli Da, it was obvious from the outset that she was going to be a problem. Good riddance. Regardless, this is not your concern. You turned your back on divinity. If Rayse becomes an issue, he will be dealt with.

And so will you.

 

Edited by SwordNimiForPresident
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On 4/11/2019 at 6:58 PM, RShara said:

Pretty sure he's trying to bring someone back from the Beyond, but I don't have much to base it on. The source is the non-canon The Traveler excerpt.

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/332/#e9518

I think the long ago shared first couple chapters of Liar of Partinel gave this away (Spoilers, non-canon and old, probably revised, etc.):

Spoiler

LoP was set pre-Shattering of Adonalsium as Hoid's origin story. 

There is a magical spirit (rather like a spren) of a charming woman stored inside a magical gem.  It is implied that her power wanes each time she changes owners and she has almost faded completely from existance.  Someone other than Hoid holds her stone at the start of the story, but I could certainly imagine Hoid falling for the spren-lady, then losing her when the gem is passed to him. I think this helps link up a lot of other references:

Have you given up on the gemstone, now that it is dead? - Frost to Hoid in WoR letter

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

“You will not find a way to restore what you have lost, old friend,” the aged man said softly. ”It is impossible.” 

“You don’t know that. The old rules no longer hold.” The Traveler turned the pomegranate over in his fingers. “Besides, I’ve heard of a place… It doesn’t matter. I don’t care. This isn’t about the dead… or it’s not JUST about the dead, at least.” - from the Traveler excerpt you posted

(Notice Frost says "what", not "who", likely due to the not quite human nature of the gemstone.)

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

"Cephandrius, bearer of the First Gem" - Autonomy's letter to Hoid

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

"Another time, I was named for a rock.”
“A pretty one, I hope.”
“A beautiful one,” the man said. “And one that became completely worthless for my wearing it." - Hoid and Kaladin in WoK bantering about Wit's previous names

 

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1 hour ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I think the long ago shared first couple chapters of Liar of Partinel gave this away (Spoilers, non-canon and old, probably revised, etc.):

Spoiler

There is a magical spirit (rather like a spren) of a charming woman stored inside a magical gem.  It is implied that her power wanes each time she changes owners and she has almost faded completely from existance.  Someone other than Hoid holds her stone at the start of the story, but I could certainly imagine Hoid falling for the spren-lady, then losing her when the gem is passed to him. I think this helps link up a lot of other references:

 

Where are you getting this? I'm pretty sure that's nowhere in the Liar of Partinel excerpts and the reference to the gem refers to something from Dragonsteel Prime (not having read it, I have no clue if it's even explained there, but it's mentioned in the shared chapters) which happens at some point after Liar.

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1 minute ago, Weltall said:

Where are you getting this? I'm pretty sure that's nowhere in the Liar of Partinel excerpts and the reference to the gem refers to something from Dragonsteel Prime (not having read it, I have no clue if it's even explained there, but it's mentioned in the shared chapters) which happens at some point after Liar.

I have it on a laptop at home.  I think there's actually 2 samples online of LoP, one is just 2 chapters, the other is 6?  It's a simple word document of like 6 chapters that Brandon briefly shared on a forum but I don't think it's available anywhere at the moment.  Or I might be hallucinating it, also a distinct possibility.

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25 minutes ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I have it on a laptop at home.  I think there's actually 2 samples online of LoP, one is just 2 chapters, the other is 6?  It's a simple word document of like 6 chapters that Brandon briefly shared on a forum but I don't think it's available anywhere at the moment.  Or I might be hallucinating it, also a distinct possibility.

I have that part and I think you're misreading it. That part was basically the beginnings of Aethers and maybe spren.

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10 minutes ago, RShara said:

I have that part and I think you're misreading it. That part was basically the beginnings of Aethers and maybe spren.

Sure, but Yolen magics can be replicated in other settings: see Lightweaving.  I think the gemstone clue seems intentional.

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10 minutes ago, Subvisual Haze said:

Sure, but Yolen magics can be replicated in other settings: see Lightweaving.  I think the gemstone clue seems intentional.

The gemstone was an Aether, is my point. No one was actually trapped in it. Have you read Aether of Night?

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6 hours ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

In reference to the Mistborn stuff in the spoiler tag.

  Hide contents

The limitations you're talking about are the result of Ruin acting against her. Remember that her first few actions were to remove the ash from the sky and flatten the ashmounts. She then spins the planet around to protect the people from the Sun. Ruin knew that she would make some early mistakes and so he let her do it. Once he saw her learning from her mistakes he stepped in to stop her, and let her mistakes cause mass death.

 

Spoiler

Well when I said limitations I was really referring to the time before when Ruin stops her. Shes able to do way more than before, and has way more power, but its harder to control, and it has WAY bigger consequences. I think that it would get easier as you got more experience, but I don't know that Vin would ever be able to do things on the small scale as well as she could during that fight with the Steel Inquisitors.

 

Then again, as I think about it I'm doubting myself, but idk.

I'm realizing that I'm almost picturing Shards as the earthquake Epics in the Reckoners. They work on such a large scale that they're not super effective. I know that Shards have more power than that consciously, but this is my subconscious thought process.

In the end, I don't know. It was an idea I had off the top of my head that made sense in the moment.

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Personally, I think Hoid is trying to get revenge because of a personal vendetta. At every possible moment in The Stormlight Archive, Hoid is going against Odium by helping Shallan, Dalinar, and even Kaladin to an extent. He helps Jasnah when she gets back from her visit to Shadesmar, and it is possible that he helped Lift, seeing as how she remembers a crazy old man who jumps into a greatshells mouth - Hoid fits the profile. Also

On 4/11/2019 at 5:58 PM, RShara said:

This isn’t about the dead… or it’s not JUST about the dead, at least.

It makes sense that Odium would've killed someone close to Hoid. After all, he's sort of almost like maybe half a Shard.

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Randomish Comment

In Edgedancer Lift makes an offhand comment about a White Haired man that philosophies on art then jumps into a Marabethian (I think) Greatshells mouth shocking the crowd. At the end of Words of Radiance Hoid makes an offhand comment saying that he spent the better half of a year being digested to Jasnah. I'm convinced that Hoid was the one who jumped into the Greatshells mouth. it makes perfect sense that if Hoid jumped into a Greatshells mouth that he would spend at least some time being digested, and if it doesn't make sense...well it's Hoid. 

Or is it just me trying to find Hoid and looking too hard?

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24 minutes ago, Hoid/Wit said:

Randomish Comment

In Edgedancer Lift makes an offhand comment about a White Haired man that philosophies on art then jumps into a Marabethian (I think) Greatshells mouth shocking the crowd. At the end of Words of Radiance Hoid makes an offhand comment saying that he spent the better half of a year being digested to Jasnah. I'm convinced that Hoid was the one who jumped into the Greatshells mouth. it makes perfect sense that if Hoid jumped into a Greatshells mouth that he would spend at least some time being digested, and if it doesn't make sense...well it's Hoid. 

Or is it just me trying to find Hoid and looking too hard?

I think this was actually confirmed via WoB though i need to check to be sure. 

 

edit: certainly an odd way of answering, but this does confirm the person Lift was talking about was Hoid

 

Questioner

<Did the man Lift met is Hoid>?

Brandon Sanderson

It is Hoid.

In book three, right? In book three.

Oh *inaudible* Lift? *inaudible* No, that's not Hoid. So she references having talked to him but it's not someone she meets in this. In the beginning, she mentions him but he's not specifically in this. Right? Sorry, I thought you meant *inaudible*.

Questioner

*Inaudible*.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, of course, that makes sense. But yes, so, she met him - but she talks about him, she didn't - it's not him on the street.

(From my notes:

In Edgedancer, Lift references talking to Hoid but he doesn’t show up himself there. She met him, she talks about him but he doesn't appear in Edgedancer.)

Warsaw signing (March 18, 2017) Edited by Pathfinder
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He probably assumed the question was about the 'philosopher' that Lift meets in Edgedancer and was mentally backtracking while still talking, hence the awkward phrasing. But yeah, that's Hoid that Lift was remembering. Given that story was true, one wonders just what happened to cause a god to start worshipping him by accident, like he mentions to Shallan in Oathbringer. :D

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