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Wow! My first big theory! Feels good! I can't wait to see how Book 4 disproves all of this with a single paragraph. So, let's get into things.

Some Background

Most of this speculation comes from a small argument I had on our lovely Discord about magic systems and methods of access. Yknow, stuff like Bonds and Oaths and breathing in Stormlight. So, at the tail end of this discussion, I had a thought. What is Voidbinding's method of access? Well, you might say Voidlight, but I don't believe the Fused are Voidbinding (yet). But even if that's the case, I assume Voidlight would only be a key, similarly to Stormlight. Not everyone can Surgebind, you need to have a Nahel bond with a Radiant Spren, and you need to say Oaths. So that's what I'm going to call a "method of access" for this theory. With that, let's begin!

The Nightwatcher, the Unmade, and providing external powers

So, two big parts of my theory are these two nuggets of information. First up is the information that Voidbinding usually originates with the Unmade. The second nugget is that Voidbinding and the Old Magic are "cousins", as stated by Khriss in the Ars Arcanum:

Quote

I'm not sure how the ten levels of Voidbinding or its cousin the Old Magic fit into this paradigm, if indeed they can

So, how does the Old Magic work? As far as we know, it's just the Nightwatcher chucking Investiture at people to facilitate a change. So, if Voidbinding and the Old Magic can be considered "cousins", perhaps the similarities lie here. The Unmade provide an external form of Investiture, either in the form the ability to use Voids/Surges/Voidsurges (terminology unclear), Voidlight, or both. But unlike the Old Magic, Voidbinding seems to be a much more rigid magic system standard of Brandon. It was used (at least in some form, since we can assume that Voidbinding has not been fully explored) frequently enough that the Vorins were able to make a (probably incorrect) chart for it. So, if it's a rigid, Sanderson-brand magic system, how's it work? What's the key? The focus? The method of access? Well...

The empty pit that sucks in emotion

I can't fully confirm what Voidbinding does once it's activated, whether it's Surges used in a crazy new light, to simply corrupted Surgebinding, to something entirely out of left field. But I can ask you a question: why does Surgebinding love bonds so much? I'd think it's because Honor likes bonds and oaths. It's his "thing". Gravitation even works the way it does in Surgebinding because Honor loves bonds. He likes to make them, he sticks by them, and he uses them for all his crazy magic (sealing away Odium, establishing the Oathpact, etc). So what's Odium's "thing"? What does he do? From what we've seen in Oathbringer, and that ominous quote from the Eila Stele I put before this paragraph, Odium "takes away pain". His followers (this is especially apparent in Moash) throw the blame on someone else. They relieve themselves of their pain, and as a result they feel a depressive void. When Dalinar abuses the Thrill, he becomes unable to be sated by anything but Thrill-infused carnage. There is no emotion unless he is accessing Odium's power. While this is obviously a metaphor for drug/alcohol abuse, I do think it still relates to Odium magically. 

So, how does this relate to Voidbinding? Well, if we go forward with the idea that the method of access for magic systems is related to the Modus Operandi of their Shard of origin, than perhaps in order to use Voidbinding, you have to drain yourself. Possibly of emotion, possibly of a variety of things that the Unmade ask of you, maybe both, but I believe that Voidbinding requires the user to drain themselves of something. Once they give up their "pain", the Unmade can step in, and provide that internal Investiture source, whatever that may be. I'm not quite sure how it works, but one possible way might be like this:

Some person has Voidlight. They breathe in the Voidlight, and focus on their "pain". The Voidlight gets to work and takes the person's pain. Some Unmade steps in, and forges a quick connection with the person, filling them up with Voidy Juice. Ta-da! You've got yourself a Voidbinder! This might not be exactly how things work, and it might not even need Voidlight at all, but that remains to be seen.

I will give you my sorrow

There's still a chasmfiend in the room: Renarin. He's obviously related in some way to the Void, due to Brandon's chart-pointing and the fact that his Spren is "Enlightened" by Sja-Anat. Since he seems unable to produce illusions (this remains to be seen, but he does seem to have an abnormally difficult time producing them, even accidentally), many people have considered the idea that his Surge of Illumination has been coopted and replaced with the Void/Voidsurge of Illumination. But Voidbinding originates with the Unmade, right? Well, only usually, whatever that means.

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dvoraen

"To see the future originates with the Unmade..." "Voidbinding is a dark and evil thing, and the soul of it was to try to divine the future." Is it therefore safe to say that Voidbinding, by extension, also originates with the Unmade?

Brandon Sanderson

Not always. But usually.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA (Oct. 22, 2018)

So, Renarin bonding a corrupted spren. That might be one of the less common methods of obtaining Voidbinding. Now, according to Brandon, Renarin is "weird' and not really fully Voidbinding. What does he mean by this? Well, there are a lot of theories, but one I think works is that Renarin isn't really doing much - Glys is facilitating everything. It's definitely possible for spren to access Surges. Syl does a bit of it, and Fabrials obviously work that way in some form. And now, this might be a stretch, but consider, Right before Renarin sees his final vision in OB, this little line shows up :

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He will not be resisted, Glys said. My sorrow, Renarin. I will give you my sorrow.

"I will give you my sorrow". And then the next time we see Renarin, boom. Vision time. I might be completely reading too far into this, but if Voidbinding does require giving up "pain" or emotions, than perhaps to use Voidish Illumination, one must give up their sorrow. And since Renarin either doesn't want to or doesn't know how, Glys has been facilitating it for the time being? Can Renarin Voidbind on his own? Does he need an Unmade, or will his strange bond suffice? That remains to be seen.

Ending

And with that, all my weird speculation comes to a wrap! Thanks for reading, and feel free to tear into this in the replies. I think it holds some water, and even if I'm mostly wrong, this might be a piece to a larger puzzle. See you all soon! 

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Great theory @Inky!

An interesting quote here is that Sja-anat mentions this to Shallan:

Spoiler

Shallan regarded the figure in the mirror. It had spoken. “What are you?”

They call me the Taker of Secrets, the figure said. Or they once did.

“One of the Unmade. Our enemies.”

We were made, then unmade, she agreed. But no, not an enemy!

The figure turned humanlike again, though the eyes remained glowing white. It pressed its hands against the glass. Ask my son. Please.

“You’re of him. Odium.”

The figure glanced to the sides, as if frightened. No. I am of me. Now, only of me.

Shallan considered, then looked at the keyhole. By using Pattern in that, she could initiate the Oathgate.

Don’t do it, Sja-anat pled. Listen, Radiant. Listen to my plea. Ashertmarn fled on purpose. It is a trap. I was compelled to touch the spren of this device, so it will not function as you wish.

I took the "my son" as Glys, and that "Now, I'm only of me" fits awfully well with Renarin's name.

Edited by TheFoxQR
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Personally, ever since I read the "I will give you my sorrow" line (and also "you cannot have my pain!" from Dalinar) I've believed that Odium's proper Invested Art involves an emotional void in some way. It would be interesting then, if there are 10 (or perhaps 9, i'm not sure) emotions that... were... wait a moment.

We have seen emotions tied to the 10 Orders before. The emotional fabrial bracelet has gems in the shape of the Double Eye, and they light up according to what emotions are being felt by the wearer.

If we zoom in on the actual labels of which spot is which emotion... we geeeet...

https://imgur.com/a/but0vQx

Interesting setup. But the problem is that "sorrow" (Sadness) is aligned in the Lightweavers' position, and Hate is in the position of the Truthwatchers. But we know those are arranged accurately because the light-patterns are dictated by the Spren inside the fabrial, not by human decision.

Ah. The Spren dictates the light pattern. Perhaps there lies a solution to this. Perhaps, and I'm starting to really reach here, but what if the Spren of this emotionrial (i guess) needed to be Enlightened by Sja-Anat to reconfigure the light patterns to be accurate to Voidbinding? After all, Glys is also Enlightened. If that's the case, then let's say for the moment that all the emotions shift counterclockwise by 1 position, putting Sadness into the place of Truthwatchers. Now what? We now have a very roundabout way of determining the needed emotional void for other Orders with Enlightened Spren? Sure, maybe. I'm just trying to lay down the foundations here.

My only question is would Dalinar have given up his Joy if he were to be corrupted by Odium? That is what would follow the pattern I've set up so far, but perhaps I'm thinking about this wrong. What if it's not neccesarily the Order being associated with an emotion, but a Surge/Void that would be associated? then it would suddenly add up for Renarin to need Sadness to use his Illumination for future-sight, as that is the signature surge of the Lightweavers, in a manner of speaking. Does that make sense?

Sorry, I just had an epiphany there with the emotions being linked to the Double Eye pattern, and had to run with it for a couple paragraphs.

Edited by Halyo_Alex
Storm it, I'm just putting an imgur link there
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3 hours ago, Inky said:

I can't wait to see how Book 4 disproves all of this with a single paragraph.

Or an Arcanist does :P

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4 hours ago, Inky said:

Voidsurge

That's a cool storming word.

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12 hours ago, Halyo_Alex said:

We have seen emotions tied to the 10 Orders before. The emotional fabrial bracelet has gems in the shape of the Double Eye, and they light up according to what emotions are being felt by the wearer.

If we zoom in on the actual labels of which spot is which emotion... we geeeet...

https://imgur.com/a/but0vQx

Interesting setup. But the problem is that "sorrow" (Sadness) is aligned in the Lightweavers' position, and Hate is in the position of the Truthwatchers. But we know those are arranged accurately because the light-patterns are dictated by the Spren inside the fabrial, not by human decision.

While this is an amazing idea, the page explicitly states that the bracelet is made of 10 separate fabrials. So the correspondence doesn't have to be too strict.

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4 hours ago, TheFoxQR said:

While this is an amazing idea, the page explicitly states that the bracelet is made of 10 separate fabrials. So the correspondence doesn't have to be too strict.

Well it's still a spren detecting a human emotion and indicating when that emotion is felt, but you're right, that does mean the position of the emotions are decided by humans, then.

Interesting that I didn't notice that, and the other images on the page for the emotion-fabrial seem to suggest that there's a central gemstone that glows in different directions to light up the gems in the shape of the Double Eye.

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Well since Odium means “general or widespread hatred or disgust directed toward someone as a result of their actions” that might be a clue into how Voidbinding works.

So far from the ones on Odium’s side we have:

the Fused- Hatred towards humanity

Moash- Hatred/disgust at the Lighteyes

Amaram- he did have a certain rationale to avoid thinking about how he hated Darkeyes

I’m sure there’s others but those are the ones I can readily think of who easily got swayed to Odium’s side or corrupted by the Unmade.

Now where does Renarin fit in? He doesn’t and that could be why he’s weird since everything we know of him hatred and disgust towards others is something he doesn’t have. He could be a Surgebinder bonded with a Voidbinding spren and the bond is trying to compensate for the differences in the mechanics but it makes Renarin unable to access Stormlight because he doesn’t have a Surgebinding spren and Glys has to work all the Voidbinding because Renarin isn’t of Odium.

This makes the most sense of how it could work since both systems seem to work similarly but very differently (almost like matter and antimatter when you think of it)

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4 hours ago, Draginon said:

Well since Odium means “general or widespread hatred or disgust directed toward someone as a result of their actions” that might be a clue into how Voidbinding works.

Odium doesn't have to be hatred in that specific sense, although that definition would certainly be included. It could be Hatred in the sense that it motivates you to act in a certain way, but it's so intense and all consuming - burning you out from the inside. Like, the way we think of Anger in a philosophical sense as a motivator, but it's that in excess. That's where the "consuming Void" aspect comes in - Odium isn't completely wrong in saying he's Passion, he's just a little more than that. Specifically, he is intense passion that drowns out everything else in its wake, that burns you out and leaves a black, empty husk that lives only for the feeling of some particular flavor of said "passion." An addicting, burning, intense, consuming Passion - Hatred.

Edited by TheFoxQR
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2 hours ago, TheFoxQR said:

Odium doesn't have to be hatred in that specific sense, although that definition would certainly be included. It could be Hatred in the sense that it motivates you to act in a certain way, but it's so intense and all consuming - burning you out from the inside. Like, the way we think of Anger in a philosophical sense as a motivator, but it's that in excess. That's where the "consuming Void" aspect comes in - Odium isn't completely wrong in saying he's Passion, he's just a little more than that. Specifically, he is intense passion that drowns out everything else in its wake, that burns you out and leaves a black, empty husk that lives only for the feeling of some particular flavor of said "passion." An addicting, burning, intense, consuming Passion - Hatred.

Well the definition I used came from the Oxford Dictionary for the basis of my thought.

But the Magic systems do kind of follow the definitions of what each Shard stands for: Honor being obsessed with bonds and oaths, forming the Bonds for Surges and the Oaths, fits because when you think of knights the most honorable thing they can do is follow through with the oaths they pledge to their lord. Endowment endowing life to the lifeless through Breaths. Ruin ruining Spiritwebs to fuel Hermalurgy. Preservation preserving the Spiritweb to activate Allomancy. Devotion and Dominion are hard to figure out since the Dor is both but still fits because the different forms of the Dor are linked to your Dominion and also devoting yourself to your land. Autonomy gives autonomous life to sand (if it can do that with anything else is unknown). The only ones we don’t know how their magic works are Ambition (since we’ve not seen it) and Cultivation since we still don’t fully understand what the Old Magic is, if it’s the actual Investiture or just something Nightwatcher can do.

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