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mathwin

Who names the shards?

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In Oathbringer, we get numerous instances of Odium and the unmade influencing people to either give in to passion or give up responsibility.  According to this WoB, we know that Odium is not the name that Rayse would have chosen for his shard, and would have instead preferred Passion.  This implies that the shards don't get to choose their own names.  This is somewhat backed up by this WoB, which suggests that Sazed did get to choose what he called himself, but that the Intent of the new shard influenced the decision.

Taking the example of Odium specifically, he seems to expend a not-insignificant amount of effort on trying to convince people that he's not what the name Odium would imply (God's divine hatred without the virtues to give it context) but instead the more neutral-if-still-dangerous Passion.  There is the obvious reasoning for trying to make this distinction, that convincing people to follow or work for someone whose name is only a short step away from "I am evil" but it seems to be mostly the case that Odium just prefers the association with Passion.  The characters' knowledge of the name Odium comes primarily from Honor himself and from Honor's cognitive shadow, but some of the fused refer to him by that name as well, and he uses it himself.  The fact that a godlike entity can't simply change his name and call himself whatever he wants would indicate that he's stuck with the name Odium by some mechanism.

So we know that the name Odium is not derived from the Intent of the shard, because if that were the case then after so much time Odium would not still be trying to be Passion, and we also know that for some reason the name Odium is indelible.  That begs the question of who named the original shards (let's be honest, it's probably Hoid), and what form of power prevents the shards from changing their names to match their Intent or their perception of it?

Is it as simple as Hoid passing out name cards at the Shattering?  Why would Rayse and his closest agents use the name given to him by his enemies if he prefers a different one?

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2 hours ago, mathwin said:

Is it as simple as Hoid passing out name cards at the Shattering?  Why would Rayse and his closest agents use the name given to him by his enemies if he prefers a different one?

Well Odium does not want to call himself Odium despite that being what basically every source of objective information calls him.  The name just sort of stuck I guess.  Harmony named himself that based on what he though of the intents he was wielding and it caught on.  Odium can try to change his name but I suppose people are not buying.  Remember each shard has a nature associated with it based on its intent and that intent interacts with the world in a certain way.  Endowment likely got her name because the people who know about her felt the gift of breath and returned from her.  I imagine similar patterns were followed with the other shards.

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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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aaannd Rshara with the WoB.

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I think with the base 16 Shards it’s a get what you get situation.  When you combine them, as with Harmony, the vessel’s intent comes into play.

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20 hours ago, RShara said:

Obviously Odium thinks that he's named something other than what he is ... but the others are all like this is what you represent.

But Odium is determined to change that perception.

So we've established that the majority of the vessels chose their names and have no wish to change them, that others do wish to change their names, and that the latter group is still called by the old names from the Shattering due to mutual consensus among the vessels.

That still begs the question of why Odium's own followers would refer to him by a name he doesn't like (can anyone find a citation of a fused using the name Odium?) and why he introduces himself that way to people like Dalinar and Taravangian.  Why would a god be unwilling or unable to tell people that they should call him by a different name when Toyotomi Hideoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu changed names like a half-dozen times each through their lives?

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3 hours ago, mathwin said:

 

That still begs the question of why Odium's own followers would refer to him by a name he doesn't like (can anyone find a citation of a fused using the name Odium?

They call him passion actually.

3 hours ago, mathwin said:

and why he introduces himself that way to people like Dalinar and Taravangian

Ease of identification.

3 hours ago, mathwin said:

Why would a god be unwilling or unable to tell people that they should call him by a different name

He is not.  He gets his followers to call him passion but he also seams to enjoy being called Odium.

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4 hours ago, mathwin said:

So we've established that the majority of the vessels chose their names and have no wish to change them, that others do wish to change their names, and that the latter group is still called by the old names from the Shattering due to mutual consensus among the vessels.

That is not what I got from the WOB. My understanding is that each Shard is intrinsically bound up, summarized by, and identified with the concept that names them. The Vessels were able to feel or identify the Shardic intent before they took up the Shards and the vessels applied the word in their language that best described that Intent. To a limited extent, the vessels of the shards are able to interpret the Shards in such a way that informs their actions, but over time the Shardic nature will come through. For an example from Scadrial: 

Spoiler

Ati, who was considered a kind man by Hoid, tried to interpret his Shard (Ruin), as benignly as possible. He may even have been somewhat successful at this. However, over thousands of years the Shardic intent overpowered his personality. By the time we see him in Mistborn Era 1, Ruin is largely a force of nature/entropy that desires to end all life on Scadrial.

If we take Odium's statements at face value, he has interpreted his Shardic intent to be broader than "Divine Hatred" and thinks he is actually Passion. However, we have numerous in-world descriptions from other characters the contradict this. Also, Brandon says that Odium is not being honest with himself about his name and that he has always ever been Odium since the Shattering. I don't think it is accurate to think of Shardic intents as changeable, even by the Vessels.

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On 8/15/2019 at 11:27 AM, Karger said:

They call him passion actually.

Ease of identification.

He is not.  He gets his followers to call him passion but he also seams to enjoy being called Odium.

They do call him Odium at times. When Venli first meets the Fused and she begs for her friend to be brought back the leader says

“Nothing, not Regrowth, or act of Odium, can bring him back now.” I-6 

He does prefer Passion. But if he truly is Passion why does he need people to give him theirs? 

Moash and a Fused:

“I have no passion, only numbness.”

 “You have given him your pain. He will return it to you, human, when you need it.” Ch. 121 OB

He’s the void that sucks in emotion, as the Eila Stele says, but he names himself after the things he sucks in.

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4 hours ago, Child of Hodor said:

They do call him Odium at times. When Venli first meets the Fused and she begs for her friend to be brought back the leader says

Good point

4 hours ago, Child of Hodor said:

He’s the void that sucks in emotion, as the Eila Stele says, but he names himself after the things he sucks in.

I never said he was passion.

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