Grytorm

Could Odium be Reinterpreted as Impulse?

18 posts in this topic

Hello again. When I read Oathbringer I found Odiums argument that he was mpre than divine hatred to be spmewhat convincing. But at the same time his claim that his shard represents all emotions, all Passions to be lackluster.

Since then I have wanted to come up with a convincing way to rebrand Odium to better show his scope without obscuring the darker aspects of the intent. And a day or two ago a word came to me, Impulse. Impulse referring to well impulses. Fight or Flight. Lust and Greed. All the darker instinctual parts of the mind. It isn't entirely negative though and can include things like the passionate defense of your loved ones. But Impulse is still a dangerous intent to embrace.

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It's a good theory, but Odium is actually hatred. This is confirmed by Frost, Syl, the Stormfather, and Brandon. We never see him manifest anything that would be passionate, only hatred and consuming void. Rayse is lying--to himself and to others--when he claims that he's Passion.

Quote

Questioner

In universe, all the intents and charts and names, who names them? Do they name themselves?

Brandon Sanderson

I have kind of imagined this is one of those things that they certainly have influence over. But obviously Odium thinks that he's named something other than what he is, and I feel like these are intrinsic things that the sixteen all knew. Like, "I am missing this part of me, it is this." And it was less we went around the names more like this is just what it is. And various shards are resisting that, but the others are all like this is what you represent. 

Billy Todd, Moderator

Follow-up question there. Would the entity that we call Odium refer to itself as Odium when it's honest with itself?

Brandon Sanderson

Ehhh, I don't think Odium is capable of being honest with himself. [laughter] There are times where Odium has called himself Odium. That is more out of convenience and the fact that everyone calls you by a name. But Odium is determined to change that perception. 

Billy Todd, Moderator

So, does he genuinely believe in characterizing himself as Passion?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Part of him does.

Billy Todd, Moderator

Has he always ever been Odium since the Shattering?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

JordanCon 2018 (April 21, 2018)

 

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I like your train of though but Im not sure I like Impulse, just because it feels more of a reaction method than what Id call an Intent. To me it's like trying to call Instinct an intent, but I dont think that enough in the way of..Direction? Does that make any sense?  So far he's has been described as Odium (defined in WOB as "the feeling of strong hatred, and that which provokes hatred from others"), Divine Hatred (by Frost), and Passion by himself (which I think is an example him having a blind spot for all the more positive types of Passion that wouldnt jive with Divine Hatred).  

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Those are really good points, especiallythe Word of Brandon. Mostly what had made me think that Odium wasnt completely wrong is because of some of the Unmade. Mostly Nergaoul and Ashertman which weren't pure hatred.

As for Impulse being not a good name for an Intent. I see the point that it doesn't provide an obvious direction because it suggests action without thought. I think at least one other Shard (Devotion) seems to not come with a clear direction though I haven't looked for that much information about (her?). For a definition, it might be something like, "The Intent to act without restraint (which could include things like better judgement and respect for others)". Which still doesn't work that well. It could weirdly work as some sort of alternate take on Autonomy.

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Devotion is meant to be a synonym for Love/Compassion. As in, the Shard is Love/Compassion but Brandon decided Devotion fit the feel/naming convention better.

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To add to what RShara said, one other thing about Odium is that Brandon originally intended that Shard to be named Hatred. He mentioned separately that the reason he picked that word was quite simply that it sounded cooler. Between that, what Brandon has said about Rayse not being honest with himself and Frost's very clear description of him being 'God's divine hatred' I think it's safe to say that any reinterpretation of that Shard's nature has to account for the fact that deep down, it really is primarily about hate.

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He may call himself "Passion" and walk around with a golden scepter, but when One Who Ought To Know like Frost calls him "God's divine hatred", I always picture him like this:

god-at-his-computer-gary-larsen-far-side

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I really liked that idea! So far everyone under Odium's influence has been impulsive.

I feel like Spite could be a alternate name as well.

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Posted (edited)

2 minutes ago, Steel Inquisitive said:

I feel like Spite could be a alternate name as well.

Spite sounds less dangerous.  If Hoid took up Odium do you think it would tern into the shard Grudge?

Edited by Karger
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Probably Vendetta.

 

So,  I do not think Rayse can get away from Hatred. 

 

Hatred would be different based on society however,  if he is embodying that which causes Hate. So,  i'm not really sure,  ...other than synonyms.  

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Had another thought not really about the Impulse thing but more about Intents in general. The Intent of each Shard is mostly set by its inherent nature, however the Holder still has some infuence on excactly how it manifests. Ive always interpreted each Shards Intent as a line and the Hoders influence drawing it away from its natural resting point.

But anway, my thought was this: how do we know that the shards as we know them are true to that center line? If a Holder pushed a Shard in a certain direction was replaced by someone who pushed in the opposite direction we could see a more dramatic change than it might be expected.

I consider this fairly hypothetical when we look at the Shards who have been onscreen. Ati pushed very hard against Ruin and was brished aside by the Intent. But it still seems a possibility.

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14 minutes ago, Grytorm said:

 

But anway, my thought was this: how do we know that the shards as we know them are true to that center line? If a Holder pushed a Shard in a certain direction was replaced by someone who pushed in the opposite direction we could see a more dramatic change than it might be expected.

 

A vessel cannot permanently change a shard.  Their interpretation influences the shard to some degree while they hold it but they eventually loose the battle of wills between themselves and the shardic intent.

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I was not trying to suggest permanent change. I was siggesting that if a Shard was askew from its core Intent and a replacement is also off center but in a different way then it could seem like a Shard had changed further than cam be expected.

Also I know about the basic idea of the vessel (just remembered the word) being changed by the intent. I had thought that vessels could hold onto their interpretation long term. Its just that Ati tried to do the impossible by being against the intent.

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On 7/17/2019 at 11:54 AM, RShara said:

It's a good theory, but Odium is actually hatred. This is confirmed by Frost, Syl, the Stormfather, and Brandon. We never see him manifest anything that would be passionate, only hatred and consuming void. Rayse is lying--to himself and to others--when he claims that he's Passion.

 

I don't know that we've -never- seen him manifest anything that is other than hatred or consuming void.  When he talks with people, he is compassionate and kind to them.  He offers to (and genuinely does) take away their emotional suffering.  Yes, he does have ulterior motives for doing it, but it hardly seems like something someone who is only consumed with hate would do.  Compare and contrast Odium with Ruin and Preservation.  Ruin never does anything other than advance the goals of destruction.  In every scene that he appears, he is destroying or changing something.  Preservation is always working with the goal of preserving things though he does once harm someone for the greater good.  Odium has done things numerous times that could be described as friendly and compassionate.  If he was fully hateful, I think you would see him acting that way in every scene.  Rather than trying to console Dalinar and coax him into joining his side, Odium could have simply killed and tortured his friends and family until he did.

I guess the point is - I do think Odium is different than just "hate".  He has done things on screen that were not hateful.  I think the "divine hatred" concept makes more sense - the hatred of a god for human/mortal failures, the judgment that comes from a perfect being that expects imperfect beings to live to his standards.  That kind of hatred has some room or even an obligation for some level of kindness and compassion.  It's almost like Odium tries to trick or seduce people to "sin" in a certain way so he can judge them harshly for their crimes, but until they do sin he is not able to let loose on them directly.  Dalinar has obviously sinned in the past but Odium still plays nice.  Odium seems to specifically try to get Dalinar to break his promises and commitments, so maybe that is the trigger for punishment?  Either way, I don't think that Odium is hatred in the same way as Ruin is destruction.

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3 minutes ago, agrabes said:

I don't know that we've -never- seen him manifest anything that is other than hatred or consuming void.  When he talks with people, he is compassionate and kind to them.  He offers to (and genuinely does) take away their emotional suffering.  Yes, he does have ulterior motives for doing it, but it hardly seems like something someone who is only consumed with hate would do.  Compare and contrast Odium with Ruin and Preservation.  Ruin never does anything other than advance the goals of destruction.  In every scene that he appears, he is destroying or changing something.  Preservation is always working with the goal of preserving things though he does once harm someone for the greater good.  Odium has done things numerous times that could be described as friendly and compassionate.  If he was fully hateful, I think you would see him acting that way in every scene.  Rather than trying to console Dalinar and coax him into joining his side, Odium could have simply killed and tortured his friends and family until he did.

I guess the point is - I do think Odium is different than just "hate".  He has done things on screen that were not hateful.  I think the "divine hatred" concept makes more sense - the hatred of a god for human/mortal failures, the judgment that comes from a perfect being that expects imperfect beings to live to his standards.  That kind of hatred has some room or even an obligation for some level of kindness and compassion.  It's almost like Odium tries to trick or seduce people to "sin" in a certain way so he can judge them harshly for their crimes, but until they do sin he is not able to let loose on them directly.  Dalinar has obviously sinned in the past but Odium still plays nice.  Odium seems to specifically try to get Dalinar to break his promises and commitments, so maybe that is the trigger for punishment?  Either way, I don't think that Odium is hatred in the same way as Ruin is destruction.

If he's in full control of the Shard, or even moderate control of the Shard, he can certainly present any face or form that he chooses. I mean, if you look at Endowment's letter to Hoid, she wasn't particularly interested in "Endowing" him with anything, either.

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There's an archaic use of the word "passion" that would fit with Odium's known nature, though not necessarily for Odium's explanation for his use of the term. Also, it's a use that, though archaic, Sanderson has a pretty good chance of knowing (the example I'm thinking of is a peculiar section from Pilgrim's Progress), although whether he really does and really applied that knowledge, here, I can speculate on and not much more for now...

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On 7/18/2019 at 5:01 PM, RShara said:

If he's in full control of the Shard, or even moderate control of the Shard, he can certainly present any face or form that he chooses. I mean, if you look at Endowment's letter to Hoid, she wasn't particularly interested in "Endowing" him with anything, either.

That's true - but I think the key difference is that he is displaying (and doing) things opposite of "hatred".  For example, Ruin doesn't preserve or create in order to destroy.  Preservation doesn't destroy things in order to preserve them.  I don't remember really any details of the Endowment letter to Hoid, but I assume she wasn't taking things away (or whatever the opposite of Endowment could be).  

I honestly do think there is more to Odium than just basic "hatred."  And maybe, like you say, it's just that Rayse has enough control over the Odium shard to delay the hatred (be nice for now, you'll get to really be hateful to them and make them hate you later on if they think you're their friend now).  That could easily be the case, but I personally like the idea of  Odium really being more like the concept of Divine Hatred or Righteous Fury than plain old hate.

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I tend to agree with all the interpretations where is his "Odium" anyways, but to address the original idea, I'm not sure I see the point.

 

Passion leads to impulse.  I feel like trying to change the name is splitting hairs.  There is a reason that an impromptu, angry murder is a crime of passion.  It's not thought out, it happens because of passion.  So trying to argue to change the name feels like splitting hairs.

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