Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Fractalfire

theory
Speculum de daemonium: Odium's Intent, Shardic Flaws, and Splintering

28 posts in this topic

[Note: Reposted from older thread, which originally asked us to speculate about Odium's method of shattering shards.]

My theory is that Odium's advantage and ability to shatter other shards is tied very tightly to his intent.

Consider:

1. Odium's Intent Allows him to Perceive Evil and Flaws in Others

Odium (at one point named “Anger”) appears to be an aspect of divine wrath. Divine wrath is not merely objectless anger or hatred, however, it is specifically hatred of evil (E.g. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, etc.)

We know that Odium’s wrath is “separated from the virtues that gave it context” – so mercy, justice, and even the principles of “lex talionis” (“eye for an eye”) do not bar his anger.

However, to be able to be wrathful about something, you must still have some conception of where it has gone wrong. Odium isn't just wrathful against anything and everything - his wrath has a focus. 

Whenever I think of Odium, I am reminded of the Demon’s Mirror from the “Snow Queen” fairy tale, described here:

 
Quote

 

One day the devil was in a very good humor because he had just finished a mirror which had this peculiar power: everything good and beautiful that was reflected in it seemed to dwindle to almost nothing at all, while everything that was worthless and ugly became most conspicuous and even uglier than ever. In this mirror the loveliest landscapes looked like boiled spinach, and the very best people became hideous, or stood on their heads and had no stomachs. Their faces were distorted beyond any recognition, and if a person had a freckle it was sure to spread until it covered both nose and mouth.

"That's very funny!" said the devil. If a good, pious thought passed through anyone's mind, it showed in the mirror as a carnal grin, and the devil laughed aloud at his ingenious invention.

All those who went to the hobgoblin's school-for he had a school of his own-told everyone that a miracle had come to pass. Now, they asserted, for the very first time you could see how the world and its people really looked. They scurried about with the mirror until there was not a person alive nor a land on earth that had not been distorted.

Then they wanted to fly up to heaven itself, to scoff at the angels, and our Lord. The higher they flew with the mirror, the wider it grinned. They could hardly manage to hold it. Higher they flew, and higher still, nearer to heaven and the angels. Then the grinning mirror trembled with such violence that it slipped from their hands and fell to the earth, where it shattered into hundreds of millions of billions of bits, or perhaps even more. And now it caused more trouble than it did before it was broken, because some of the fragments were smaller than a grain of sand and these went flying throughout the wide world. Once they got in people's eyes they would stay there. These bits of glass distorted everything the people saw, and made them see only the bad side of things, for every little bit of glass kept the same power that the whole mirror had possessed.

A few people even got a glass splinter in their hearts, and that was a terrible thing, for it turned their hearts into lumps of ice. Some of the fragments were so large that they were used as window panes-but not the kind of window through which you should look at your friends. Other pieces were made into spectacles, and evil things came to pass when people put them on to see clearly and to see justice done.


 

 

I think Odium’s intent makes him see both people and shards in their most negative, evil aspects. He compares them to perfection, and, in so doing, is filled with hatred towards their flaws and vices. It is this which makes him despise and hate the other shards, for he sees the ways in which they fail the people and cause misery and suffering.

We see, I think, a hint of this in Odium’s conversation with Dalinar in chapter 57. Odium states that

 
Quote

 

“Honor cared only for bonds, not the meaning of bonds and oaths, merely that they were kept. Cultivation only wants to see transformation, growth. It can be good or bad for all she cares. The pain of men is nothing to her. Only I understand it. Only I care Dalinar.

If you could see the result of Honor’s influence, you would not be so quick to name me a god of Anger. Separate the emotion from men and you have creatures like Nale and his skybreakers. That is what Honor would have given you.

Ask that for Cultivation, if you see her. Ask what she’d want for Roshar. I think you’d find me to be the better choice.”


 

I think he is aware of how the other Shards are flawed and that this leads him to hate them. This explains both his desire to destroy them and his desire to remain unalloyed with their power, which from his perspective would be corrupting.

We also see a little bit of Odium’s nature in his choice of allies: he fights with the party first injured in the desolation, the ancient Singers who were forced out of their land by humanity. He sees the evil the humans have done and he hates and despises it, but his hatred has no proportionality or mercy. He is willing to completely destroy even generations which have no knowledge of the crime and wipe them from the face of Roshar. I suspect, even should he succeed, Odium’s wrath would merely turn upon the victors (since they would have killed innocents in the process of victory).  In fact, I suspect this has already happened once. I think Odium led the first desolation where the humans attacked the voidbringers, probably in response to some sort of wrong, then promptly switched sides to avenge the attacked party and punish the sins on the human side. In this way, his wrath is an example of the saying “an eye for an eye makes the world blind.” Evil begets evil and so Odium’s wrath is never satiated – he sees all the flaws and will always be supporting a twisted sort of vengeance till eternity end. 

2. The Ability to See Flaws allows Odium to See Weaknesses in Shards

Seeing the flaws of both mortal and Shard however, would provide Odium with a distinct advantage. It means he can see where a Shard is in conflict with their intent, or where their intent is flawed. He is aware of their Hamartia (fatal flaws). Since all of the Shards are pieces of a complete unity, they each have weaknesses that make them blind to their own particular evils – none of them are perfectly “good” or can act perfectly in align with their intent. 

My theory is that shattering specifically occurs when a shard is forced into a position where it acts against its own intent or else is forced to face the flaw in its own intent in a major way. In Honor’s case, I suspect he was shattered either upon breaking one of his own Oaths or upon realizing that Oaths were fundamentally flawed. (I think the Herald’s betrayal is strongly tied into this in some way and that it either forced him to go against one of his oaths or else made him realize that Odium was correct and oaths were imperfect.)

Hypothetically then, any Shard forced into a position that goes against its own intent would be shattered. Preservation, for example, might be shattered by either getting its power to cause an act of great destruction, or else demonstrating that, by preserving things, it is in fact ruining them by making their natures fundamentally different. Cultivation might be shattered by either forcing it to “burn” its “gardens” or else revealing a flaw in its methods of “cultivation”. Ambition might have been shattered by forcing it into a position of subservience and so on and so forth. I don’t know enough about most of the other shards to speculate, but I think given enough information a flaw in each of their intents could be found.)

If true, Odium could potentially be shattered in one of several ways:

1)     Forcing him into a position where his wrath is turned inward to attack his own flaws.*

2)     Forcing him to confront a being of perfect good which has no flaws.

3)     Forcing him to confront one of the virtues which wrath is supposed to be associated with (i.e. mercy), something good which takes into account error/sin and forgives or heals it.

* I can’t help but wonder if this hasn’t already happened to a certain degree. We know the Unmade are, at least in some respect, Shards of Odium. Perhaps he is confronting evil aspects inherent in all men (including himself) and intentionally removing these “flaws” from the Shard, spinning them off as separate evil entities and thus making himself “the Broken one”. Alternatively, they might be “distorted reflections” of the evil in either men or Shards that he uses to accomplish his attacks.

Cultivation would probably be in a good position to pull something like this off, probably by guiding the people of Roshar, both Singer and human, to rally against him and reject their mutual hatred in a larger version of Dalinar’s refusal to let Odium “have his pain” (i.e. his flaw).

However, if Odium were shattered, I think the result would likely be tragedy. Consider the above quote with the Demon’s Mirror. If he is shattered, Odium would become even worse, because his splinters would enter into the hearts of men, Singer, Spren, and (perhaps) Shard and begin to destroy them. Instead of one locus of hatred, there would be many.

3. Possible Objections:

Objection 1: An enhanced ability to see flaws may in fact be part of Odium’s nature, but the shattering may still be done by corrupting investiture.  Odium would probably be better at corrupting investiture under this theory than other Shards, because he would see the “flaws” in the magic be able to take advantage of this, twisting the investiture towards his own use.

Response 1: This is likely true. However, to destroy a shard, Odium would most probably have to corrupt a large portion of their investiture (perhaps close to half) to be able to overpower them. It seems unlikely that he would be able to corrupt such a large portion of their nature, particularly if they found out and resisted.

Response 2: In corrupting investiture, Odium must exert some of his power. He will thus weaken himself proportionally to how much he invests. He might, if clever, be able to use this to destroy one Shard if he outfought them. However, if he must use so much power, how can he possibly destroy two? (Which he has done once and is attempting to do again.) In attacking one Shard, Odium would leave himself vulnerable to the other, who has their investiture free and now knows how he shattered the first shard. I think the shattering must instead be something that can be swift and not readily accomplished by the other shard.

Response 3: If the corrupted investiture is formed by the power of two shards, why can the other Shard not attack Odium through the same route? You say because the other shard has invested more in the world. But if Odium is investing some power in the other Shard’s magic, why can that Shard not turn the corruption against him?

Response 4: Some of the suggested corruptions do not seem to be influenced by Honor. The unmade in particular do not appear to have anything honorable about them. I do not see any good reason to believe they are large chunks of Honor’s power that have been corrupted (at this time). The voidsurges DO seem to be corruptions of the Nahel bond, but this bond was first formed by Spren, who figured out how to mimic what Honor did with the Honorblades. Though I suppose it’s possible that the formation of the voidish surges was a corruption of Honor’s investiture, I’m not sure of this.

Response 5: If Odium uses the corruption method, then Honor should have been unraveling ever since Odium first formed the corrupted voidlight. However, since they seem to have been around a long time and Honor seems to have shattered relatively abruptly, I do not see how they can be the weapon that did it.

Objection 2: Odium names himself Passion and, although Brandon implies he is partially deceiving himself, his words and methods seem to imply that there is in fact some truth to this.

Response 1: Odium does in fact feel emotion besides anger. Anger is powerful precisely in so far as it mourns the loss of what is good. He thus does experience the positive emotions he states – joy, happiness, etc. etc. – because he must first appreciate these things before he can be wrathful for their loss. He must first love innocence before he can hate evil for defiling it. His interpretation thus is in some ways closer to the truth than the interpretation that he is mere “anger,” but it also misses the mark in that he is not just raw emotion (else his emotion would not be weighted towards vengeance).

Response 2: Odium is represented in Dalinar’s vision as a flame. This is similar, interestingly, to the Altar of the Saints described in Revelation, which is fed by the tears and mourning of the oppressed:

“I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had upheld. And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?”

The altar is fueled by injustice – by passion, by weeping, by joys lost, by sorrows and fear – but it burns at the foot of the throne of God, bringing their prayers and mourning into his presence, and fuels his wrath towards the wicked. Metaphorically, I think Odium’s flame is similar. The weeping and prayers of the people, their emotions, feed his wrath. In fact, now that I think of it, the burning of glyph wards may in fact be an aspect of Vorinism that originated in the old world and once was (or perhaps still is) of Odium.

Response 3: I believe Odium may be using the interpretation of himself as emotion to avoid his own fatal flaw -- the fact that he is wrath unbound by virtue. He thus interprets all the evil emotions inside himself as simply part of a vast "Passion," which of course must contain these negative emotions. In this way, he bears no guilt for anything he does that is evil and need not confront his own flaws. 

Response 4: Both Ruin and Odium discuss passion, and, we are told, so would other shards.

 

Quote

 

Valhalla

Ruin and Odium, they both talked about their passion, and it was italicized both times. Would any other Shards talk about passion in that same italicized way?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes they would.

Valhalla

Would any of them not talk about it that way?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Excellent, good questions.

Idaho Falls signing (July 21, 2018)


 

I think "Passion" is probably something Brandon has used to divide shards into categories, much as with the metals in Allomancy. Ruin and Odium possess Passion as it is part of their intent (and apparently the intent of other shards), but they are not passion itself

This was originally posted in the Cosmere forum, but some people recommended that I make it into its own topic and I think it fits better in the Stormlight Forum since I am mostly discussing Odium. 

Original post: 

I welcome any criticism and particularly any insight into Brandon's comments that may be relevant to this conversation. 

 

10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the general idea, even though I don't really agree on the details.

16 minutes ago, Fractalfire said:

My theory is that shattering specifically occurs when a shard is forced into a position where it acts against its own intent or else is forced to face the flaw in its own intent in a major way. In Honor’s case, I suspect he was shattered either upon breaking one of his own Oaths or upon realizing that Oaths were fundamentally flawed. (I think the Herald’s betrayal is strongly tied into this in some way and that it either forced him to go against one of his oaths or else made him realize that Odium was correct and oaths were imperfect.)

Odium definitely has this kind of impact on humans. For Shards? I don't think so. I can totally see him exploiting Shards' flaws, but I would bet on a more subtle way.

19 minutes ago, Fractalfire said:

This is likely true. However, to destroy a shard, Odium would most probably have to corrupt a large portion of their investiture (perhaps close to half) to be able to overpower them. It seems unlikely that he would be able to corrupt such a large portion of their nature, particularly if they found out and resisted.

This would be extremely dangerous to Odium. Splintering a Shard takes a long time. Honor was still able to talk to Knights Radiant before he died.

22 minutes ago, Fractalfire said:

Odium does in fact feel emotion besides anger. Anger is powerful precisely in so far as it mourns the loss of what is good. He thus does experience the positive emotions he states – joy, happiness, etc. etc. – because he must first appreciate these things before he can be wrathful for their loss. He

I think he generally represent egoistic emotions - so, for example, lust instead of joy or happiness

24 minutes ago, Fractalfire said:

I think "Passion" is probably something Brandon has used to divide shards into categories, much as with the metals in Allomancy. Ruin and Odium possess Passion as it is part of their intent (and apparently the intent of other shards), but they are not passion itself

I agree, Passion could be some underlying Cosmere mechanism, like Connection or Identity.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the problem with this theory is that Odium in OB does the opposite of what your theory would suggest. He is, in fact, the villain of this story and thus, he surrounds himself with other villains. If Odium's intent really was an uncontrolled hatred of everything, as a result of the various flaws of humanity and shards, then why does he ally with the likes of Amaram or the murderously insane Fused? Why does Odium, for example, try for an entire book to manipulate the mass-murderer and warlord Dalinar? He is the most flawed person, i.e. the one Odium should hate most, if I understood your theory correctly. Again and again, Odium has decided to ally with the most flawed and/or despicable people on Roshar (Amaram, Venli, Moash, Taravingian), whereas those who oppose him tend to be the more heroic and benevolent people (Kaladin, Syl, Shallan, Adolin, Lift). The entire Modus Operandi of Odium is to find a person's flaws and darker impulses and encourage them to embrace them - which I find difficult to combine with your characterisation.

As for the splintering of the shards - we know that Preservation can do acts more compatible with Ruin when they serve the concept of Presevation on a larger scale. Remember his actions in the finale of WoA, where Preservation tried to manipulate Vin into a "preservative" action by commiting a "ruinous" action himself. 

Spoiler

I am talking about the mist spirit stabbing Elend here.

I think it is relatively easy for a shard to justify actions this way. Honor for example could probably break an oath if doing so would serve a higher purpose that was compatible with his intent. I think Honor would encourage that a person tries to follow morality and duties and try to be a honourable person, even if doing so would require them to abandon previous oaths. Like Venli, for example. She was allied to Odium, now she betrayed him. Not very honourable, and yet I doubt Honor would object. What a shard can or cannot do seems to be affected not only by intent but also by one's individual interpretation of this intent. If Honor has to choose between to options, he will choose what he considers more honourable, and that in turn depends on his definition of the word "Honor". I think, it would be difficult for Odium to accurately predict Honor's weaknesses. For Odium, Honor is restriction, being bound by rules; his interpretation of Honor might be closer to "Slavery". For Tanavast, Honor is closer to "Discipline" or "Duty". It's difficult to turn a shard's intent against them, when you cannot fully agree on what that intent actually is.

Edited by bxcnch
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

Remember his actions in the finale of WoA, where Preservation tried to manipulate Vin into a "preservative" action by commiting a "ruinous" action himself. 

Mistborn Secret History spoiler:

Spoiler

That was Kelsier.

 

11 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

Honor for example could probably break an oath if doing so would serve a higher purpose that was compatible with his intent.

Probably not, after holding the Shard for so long. To quote Hero of Ages chapter 56 epigraph:

Spoiler

Gone were the days when Preservation could turn away an Inquisitor with a bare gesture, gone—even—were the days when he could strike a man down to bleed and die.

 

Edited by KandraAllomancer
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

I think the problem with this theory is that Odium in OB does the opposite of what your theory would suggest. He is, in fact, the villain of this story and thus, he surrounds himself with other villains. If Odium's intent really was an uncontrolled hatred of everything, as a result of the various flaws of humanity and shards, then why does he ally with the likes of Amaram or the murderously insane Fused? Why does Odium, for example, try for an entire book to manipulate the mass-murderer and warlord Dalinar? He is the most flawed person, i.e. the one Odium should hate most, if I understood your theory correctly. Again and again, Odium has decided to ally with the most flawed and/or despicable people on Roshar (Amaram, Venli, Moash, Taravingian), whereas those who oppose him tend to be the more heroic and benevolent people (Kaladin, Syl, Shallan, Adolin, Lift). The entire Modus Operandi of Odium is to find a person's flaws and darker impulses and encourage them to embrace them - which I find difficult to combine with your characterisation.

As for the splintering of the shards - we know that Preservation can do acts more compatible with Ruin when they serve the concept of Presevation on a larger scale. Remember his actions in the finale of WoA, where Preservation tried to manipulate Vin into a "preservative" action by commiting a "ruinous" action himself. 

  Hide contents

I am talking about the mist spirit stabbing Elend here.

I think it is relatively easy for a shard to justify actions this way. Honor for example could probably break an oath if doing so would serve a higher purpose that was compatible with his intent. I think Honor would encourage that a person tries to follow morality and duties and try to be a honourable person, even if doing so would require them to abandon previous oaths. Like Venli, for example. She was allied to Odium, now she betrayed him. Not very honourable, and yet I doubt Honor would object. What a shard can or cannot do seems to be affected not only by intent but also by one's individual interpretation of this intent. If Honor has to choose between to options, he will choose what he considers more honourable, and that in turn depends on his definition of the word "Honor". I think, it would be difficult for Odium to accurately predict Honor's weaknesses. For Odium, Honor is restriction, being bound by rules; his interpretation of Honor might be closer to "Slavery". For Tanavast, Honor is closer to "Discipline" or "Duty". It's difficult to turn a shard's intent against them, when you cannot fully agree on what that intent actually is.

I'm not sure if that's a problem as long as Odiums intent with his "allies" is to use them and then destroy them as well. The corruption of an individual is simply something he is good at because of his nature, rather than in spite of it if that is the case. Remember, shards tend to think long term. I wouldnt be surprised if Odium's entire army were disposable and/or intended to be disposed of.

P.S. You should read Mistborn: Secret History, it might change your mind about something.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Lunu’anaki said:

I'm not sure if that's a problem as long as Odiums intent with his "allies" is to use them and then destroy them as well. The corruption of an individual is simply something he is good at because of his nature, rather than in spite of it if that is the case. Remember, shards tend to think long term. I wouldnt be surprised if Odium's entire army were disposable and/or intended to be disposed of.

P.S. You should read Mistborn: Secret History, it might change your mind about something.

Ah, storm it, I think I somehow actually used to know that thing with the mist-spirit at some point, but forgot about it later. I really intend to read Secret History, but I never seem to get around to getting it. And last time I checked it was only available in English as well. (And sadly, I'm also at least somewhat spoilered by now)

I see how Odium would be willing to just kill everyone, including his allies, because the whole point of KandraAllomancer's post was that Odium is incapable of seeing anyone as anything but "imperfect". What I don't understand is why Odium would not only ally with the worse of the two groups first - shouldn't the destruction of the even more flawed and imperfect Fused have priority over the destruction of the Alethi? Especially because - and this is the second problem - most of the Alethi's big flaws are results of their exposure to Nergaoul. If Odium hates humanity because of their flaws, then why does his every action serve to make these flaws worse? I can see how Odium could say "they are too flawed, they cannot be helped" and not try to improve the situation - but what Odium is doing is something else. He actively works to corrupt people. If he is driven by hatred of imperfection, then that is completely counterproductive. That's like intentionally emptying your garbage bin in your living room before you want to tidy up. All of the big problems of Roshar can be traced back to Odium - and yet those problems are supposed to be the reason he hates Roshar?

 Besides, if Odium is driven by a hatred for everything imperfect - i.e. a hatred for everything - then why is Odium trying to destroy Roshar but not Sel? He had a shardworld full of despicable, flawed and imperfect humans without any shards left to protect them. Instead he goes off to kill Honor first. That seems to go against his supposed intent. And last but not least - If that cynism and dissatisfaction with everything really is his motivation, then why does Odium - a shard whose splinters, the Unmade, basically pieces of his own being torn out and given individuality, are spending their entire existence doing nothing but spreading and reinforcing the very same imperfection Odium hates - how can a being that is that intrinsically tied to the concept of corruption and moral decay - be so convinced that itself is somehow better than those it fights against? Sure, Odium IS lying to itself - but I cannot believe that a shard that is basically the personification of seeing things worse than they really are, would be able to deceive itself into believing itself good. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bxcnch said:

I think the problem with this theory is that Odium in OB does the opposite of what your theory would suggest. He is, in fact, the villain of this story and thus, he surrounds himself with other villains. If Odium's intent really was an uncontrolled hatred of everything, as a result of the various flaws of humanity and shards, then why does he ally with the likes of Amaram or the murderously insane Fused? Why does Odium, for example, try for an entire book to manipulate the mass-murderer and warlord Dalinar? He is the most flawed person, i.e. the one Odium should hate most, if I understood your theory correctly. Again and again, Odium has decided to ally with the most flawed and/or despicable people on Roshar (Amaram, Venli, Moash, Taravingian), whereas those who oppose him tend to be the more heroic and benevolent people (Kaladin, Syl, Shallan, Adolin, Lift). The entire Modus Operandi of Odium is to find a person's flaws and darker impulses and encourage them to embrace them - which I find difficult to combine with your characterisation.As for the splintering of the shards - we know that Preservation can do acts more compatible with Ruin when they serve the concept of Presevation on a larger scale. Remember his actions in the finale of WoA, where Preservation tried to manipulate Vin into a "preservative" action by commiting a "ruinous" action himself. 

 

Yes, yes indeed. He does intentionally ally himself with, or attempt to ally himself with, many most deserving of wrath like Taravangian, Amaram, and Dalinar. I would argue that this is actually a specific manifestation of wrath that has parallels in ancient texts and religions that describe the wrath of God.

However, before I explain my reasoning, I must protest your inclusion of certain characters in your list. Odium allies with Moash, Venli, and the fused for different reasons than say, Amaram. In these cases, he is allying with those who have themselves been wronged and lust for vengeance (the fused have had their lands taken from them, Venli has had her people nearly destroyed, and Moash hates the oppression of the darkeyes). He is encouraging them to embrace their hatred and desires for vengeance. In a sense, he is taking their side in his war of wrath. (Mind you, as I explained earlier, Odium’s wrath is insatiable and I suspect would turn him against them the moment they actually achieved victory. For now, however, he is on their side because they have been wronged.)

Secondly, I would like to point out that hatred of something doesn’t mean you are unwilling to use it. Odium is probably perfectly willing to use something he despises as a tool and in fact, this is likely why he treats those who serve him with such disdain and forces them to cower before him. He despises them, but he still needs tools. If he were unwilling to use anything but himself, he would have long ago been destroyed by other shards, I suspect. In fact, I would be completely shocked if he does not intend to completely destroy the fused the moment he achieves victory.

However, I think you fail to take into account one of the main weapons ascribed to divine wrath – often, in ancient texts, the punishment just IS the crime. Rather than simply destroying them, the guilty party is permitted to experience the full evil of their sins – their own faults consume them. It is, often, the most terrible punishment of all.

If you have ever watched the Prince of Egypt, you can hear in the song the following from the evil pharaoh

Quote

“So let my heart be hardened and never mind how high the cost may grow. This shall still be so. I will never let your people go!”

The pharaoh explicitly asks for his pride and hardness of heart to be enhanced – and the wrath of YHWH grants his request, hardening his heart, leaving him to more fully succumb to his sins. It is this, the enhancing of his flaw, that ultimately brings about his tragedy. Sometimes, all that wrath has to do to punish a flaw is to make it worse.

The thrill acts similarly – those who have bloodlust will enhance the thrill within themselves, giving into it and letting it consume them. It will make them more and more bloodthirsty till eventually, in their thirst for war, they destroy themselves.

Numerous parallels abound in ancient texts where “the people are given over to their sins” or else “God withdraws from them and gave them over to their lusts.” In this way, the only punishment they inflict upon themselves is the punishment the crime itself brings. (ie. “as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.”)

Thus, of course Odium wants Dalinar, Amaram, and Mr. T to succumb to their flaws! Of course he wants them as pawns on his side! He does not want Dalinar to accept his guilt because he is not a Shard of mercy. He does not want repentance or forgiveness, he does not want the evil to turn aside and avoid wrath – he wants them to fall more deeply into it and in so doing, allow their evil to destroy them. So yes, he is very happy to let Amaram have want he wants, because what he wants is precisely that which is worst for him (and if it happens to serve his purposes at the same time, then so much the better for Odium). In serving him, they are destroyed and that is precisely what Odium with want and thus not against his intent at all (recall also that in many texts evil countries or peoples, like Babylon, are used to bring about the wrath of God, so there are other parallels too). 

Quote

I think it is relatively easy for a shard to justify actions this way. Honor for example could probably break an oath if doing so would serve a higher purpose that was compatible with his intent. I think Honor would encourage that a person tries to follow morality and duties and try to be a honourable person, even if doing so would require them to abandon previous oaths. Like Venli, for example. She was allied to Odium, now she betrayed him. Not very honourable, and yet I doubt Honor would object. What a shard can or cannot do seems to be affected not only by intent but also by one's individual interpretation of this intent. If Honor has to choose between to options, he will choose what he considers more honourable, and that in turn depends on his definition of the word "Honor". I think, it would be difficult for Odium to accurately predict Honor's weaknesses. For Odium, Honor is restriction, being bound by rules; his interpretation of Honor might be closer to "Slavery". For Tanavast, Honor is closer to "Discipline" or "Duty". It's difficult to turn a shard's intent against them, when you cannot fully agree on what that intent actually is.

I do want to stress that I think it has to be something major that goes against the intent. In Preservation’s case, sacrificing one human who would die anyway would probably only stress him, not shatter him under my theory. It would have to be a major, irrevocable split between the action and the intent of the shard (like say, performing an act he knew would cause great destruction in the long run). The disconnect between intent and action, or the realization of one’s own flaws would have to be fairly large and significant, not minor, under my theory. Honor forgiving someone for breaking an oath would probably not be significant enough. Honor breaking his own, most important and most powerful oath or else coming to believe that oaths are flawed, would be significant enough.

I think Odium sees the bad parts, the flaws of another shard, correctly and better than they themselves do. As to whether this renders him somehow incapable of seeing their goodness, I don’t have much of an opinion either way. I think, based on some statements of his, that he does also see their good sides, but I’m not bound to that. Regardless, I argue that just knowing what the flaw IS is enough to give Odium an advantage over them, particularly as they themselves are blind to it and cannot see his flaws. From there, all you have to do is manipulate them correctly to shatter them.

I don’t think, at any rate, that he misunderstands their intents that badly, though perhaps he may see the flaws more easily than the strengths (which might explain, now that I think of it, how Honor was able to outmaneuver and imprison him).

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

I see how Odium would be willing to just kill everyone, including his allies, because the whole point of KandraAllomancer's post was that Odium is incapable of seeing anyone as anything but "imperfect".

Not really my point. I like @Fractalfire's idea:

3 hours ago, Fractalfire said:

My theory is that Odium's advantage and ability to shatter other shards is tied very tightly to his intent.

but I only think that exploiting others' flaws is key to understanding Odium's behavior. But, as I said, he's not about positive emotions, or loss, or justice - he's egotistic to the core. He wants to be the only god in Cosmere and everyone else is just a tool for him. The more imperfect, the better - they're easier to corrupt.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

Ah, storm it, I think I somehow actually used to know that thing with the mist-spirit at some point, but forgot about it later. I really intend to read Secret History, but I never seem to get around to getting it. And last time I checked it was only available in English as well. (And sadly, I'm also at least somewhat spoilered by now)

---

 Besides, if Odium is driven by a hatred for everything imperfect - i.e. a hatred for everything - then why is Odium trying to destroy Roshar but not Sel? He had a shardworld full of despicable, flawed and imperfect humans without any shards left to protect them. Instead he goes off to kill Honor first. That seems to go against his supposed intent. And last but not least - If that cynism and dissatisfaction with everything really is his motivation, then why does Odium - a shard whose splinters, the Unmade, basically pieces of his own being torn out and given individuality, are spending their entire existence doing nothing but spreading and reinforcing the very same imperfection Odium hates - how can a being that is that intrinsically tied to the concept of corruption and moral decay - be so convinced that itself is somehow better than those it fights against? Sure, Odium IS lying to itself - but I cannot believe that a shard that is basically the personification of seeing things worse than they really are, would be able to deceive itself into believing itself good. 

It really is good. One of Brandon's best short stories if I do say so myself. I'm not sure what languages it is available in, unfortunately.

---

I'm not sure honestly. There might be something more to it. A lot of this depends on what Odiums end game is. Perhaps he wants to eliminate the rest of the Shards and isn't all that worried about how many people survive before he does so. If all 15 shards besides himself are destroyed first, he can easily do a clean sweep of the universe and transform the rest of it in his image, or just destroy it all together.

The other thing is, I think Odium doesn't necessarily care who dies first, or who is more/less worthy of destruction. He just wants it all gone and is taking the path he sees as most efficient. Also, if his main goal is the other Shards then he doesnt really care about the people on the ground and might use whatever methods are most readily available to help free him from Braize.

Concerning the unmade... I'm not sure that they are splinters of Odium. I could be wrong, but I havn't heard any WoB's on that and personally I find it more likely that the Unmade are corrupted splinters of another shard, either Ambition, Honor, or both.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

I see how Odium would be willing to just kill everyone, including his allies, because the whole point of KandraAllomancer's post was that Odium is incapable of seeing anyone as anything but "imperfect". What I don't understand is why Odium would not only ally with the worse of the two groups first - shouldn't the destruction of the even more flawed and imperfect Fused have priority over the destruction of the Alethi? 

No, because they were first harmed in the war by humanity. He likely doesn't judge them "worse," he judges them "victims." He'll kill them later for their sins, have no fear. (In fact, serving him is arguably punishment enough, given how it slowly destroys them... if Odium would ever come to the conclusion that there has been "enough punishment"... which he won't.)

4 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

Especially because - and this is the second problem - most of the Alethi's big flaws are results of their exposure to Nergaoul. If Odium hates humanity because of their flaws, then why does his every action serve to make these flaws worse? I can see how Odium could say "they are too flawed, they cannot be helped" and not try to improve the situation - but what Odium is doing is something else. He actively works to corrupt people. If he is driven by hatred of imperfection, then that is completely counterproductive. That's like intentionally emptying your garbage bin in your living room before you want to tidy up. All of the big problems of Roshar can be traced back to Odium - and yet those problems are supposed to be the reason he hates Roshar?

He doesn't want them to get better. He is wrath, not mercy. He wants them to succumb to their flaws and die. Remember, he is separated from any virtue that would lead him to actually try to improve things and make people better. He would rather just punish eternally and let their flaws destroy them, than have one ounce of pardon or clemency granted. 

Odium's response to ruined room wouldn't be to clean it up -- it would be to pile it full of filth as punishment (let them wallow in their own folly)  and then set it on fire. Serves them right, after all! 

So enhancing their flaws IS the punishment and is inline with his intent (see above for more thorough explanation).

Note: I don't think ALL the big problems can be traced back to him. He just made them worse, but the root flaws were still there. 

4 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

 Besides, if Odium is driven by a hatred for everything imperfect - i.e. a hatred for everything - then why is Odium trying to destroy Roshar but not Sel? He had a shardworld full of despicable, flawed and imperfect humans without any shards left to protect them. Instead he goes off to kill Honor first. That seems to go against his supposed intent. And last but not least - If that cynism and dissatisfaction with everything really is his motivation, then why does Odium - a shard whose splinters, the Unmade, basically pieces of his own being torn out and given individuality, are spending their entire existence doing nothing but spreading and reinforcing the very same imperfection Odium hates - how can a being that is that intrinsically tied to the concept of corruption and moral decay - be so convinced that itself is somehow better than those it fights against? Sure, Odium IS lying to itself - but I cannot believe that a shard that is basically the personification of seeing things worse than they really are, would be able to deceive itself into believing itself good. 

Because the Shards are the major threats to him and he hates them most in accordance with their greater power. Wrath is strongest against those who are supposed to be most powerful and most good. An evil spirit deserves greater wrath than an evil man, who deserves greater wrath than an evil animal. A human left to do evil can only do so much. A shard, however... Well, we've seen the misery they can bring. Once he gets done with Roshar, he would leave it in flames, but them move on to the next "great evil" -- probably Harmony. 

Now that last bit is an interesting objection. Perhaps, as I said earlier, he does see the flaws in himself and that is why he is the broken one -- he is constantly breaking off "imperfections." Maybe he has in fact come to hate himself, but still thinks his mission is necessary. I do think a great lack of self-reflection and intentional self-deception comes into it.

However, this objection would be hold whether or not Odium has the ability to see flaws well. (I.e. If he is the Shard of hate, then why does he not hate himself?) 

 

 

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Lunu’anaki said:

I'm not sure honestly. There might be something more to it. A lot of this depends on what Odiums end game is. Perhaps he wants to eliminate the rest of the Shards and isn't all that worried about how many people survive before he does so. If all 15 shards besides himself are destroyed first, he can easily do a clean sweep of the universe and transform the rest of it in his image, or just destroy it all together.

The former seems to be suggested by Oathbringer chapter 57 (Dalinar's first meeting with Odium). But when Dalinar sees Odium's true essence, he fears for the latter.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, KandraAllomancer said:

The former seems to be suggested by Oathbringer chapter 57 (Dalinar's first meeting with Odium). But when Dalinar sees Odium's true essence, he fears for the latter.

I wouldn't be surprised by either, but I think it's probably the latter. I don't think Raize truely likes himself or his shard, but is consistently telling himself that he does so he can live with himself. If he got his way and eliminated everyone I'd have to guess that his last step would be eliminating himself.

Another weird thought I keep having is that he might actually regret the shattering of Adolnasium and be attempting to eliminate the rest of the shards in order to spread enough investiture out in hopes that over time it comes together to form a singular god again. Wouldn't that be a trippy reveal? Odium was in fact just trying to bring god back to life? edit: (at the very least it would be interesting if he were punishing the shards for the murder of god in the first place, something he himself took part in.)

Edited by Lunu’anaki
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Lunu’anaki said:

Another weird thought I keep having is that he might actually regret the shattering of Adolnasium and be attempting to eliminate the rest of the shards in order to spread enough investiture out in hopes that over time it comes together to form a singular god again. Wouldn't that be a trippy reveal? Odium was in fact just trying to bring god back to life?

Not consciously, I think. But I could believe that Rayse getting this particular Shard is part of Adonalsium's plan for Cosmere's future.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, KandraAllomancer said:

Not consciously, I think. But I could believe that Rayse getting this particular Shard is part of Adonalsium's plan for Cosmere's future.

Now there is a theory I would love to hear more on! Adonalsium's plans ;)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still not really convinced, especially because Odium never really seems to consider the "Passion" that he is corrupting and/or reinforcing to be something that needs to be punished, nor does he ever suggest that his manipulation of them is somehow meant to be a punishment. He always seems to consider them something good. By the way, Fractalfire, where do you get the impression from that the Pre-Nergaoul Alethi were somehow more bloodthirsty than the other peoples of Roshar? Because I always thought that Nergaoul was solely responsible for that.

But anyway, there is one thing that this theory admittedly explains rather well: Rayse. I mean, we need a person who is picked to be the host for a shard like Odium, who is furthermore also happy with his new state of being and who nevertheless was not so amoral that Hoid would have disliked him. According to WOB they used to be friends after all, and while Hoid might not be perfectly moral, he certainly wouldn't befriend the "Pure Evil" that what we know about Rayse would imply he was. This interpretation of Odium as someone who basically hates people because of their flaws suggests that Rayse might just have been a deeply pessimistic cynic who only ever sees the worst in people. That would explain why he got the shard Odium and the idea that his corruption is "punishment" would explain why he would want to keep the shard. It also would explain why Hoid would have been a friend of his - and if you think that everyone around you is amoral scum you are of course more inclined to be egotistical yourself, or at least can justify your egotism. It would certainly make Rayse/Odium a more interesting character than he seems to be now. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't read replies, but my initial responses are that splintering and killing a shard is not the same thing. For example, the Dor only exists because Odium does not inherently know how to splinter shards, and shoving them into the Cognitive Realm was his stopgap fix to ensure no one could pick them up. 

However Odium killed Honor, he'd been mortally wounded for a long time and was dying slowly. That's the very reason for his changes prior to the Recreance, and why he made the visions for a future Bondsmith. 

A Shard that is dropped without a person to pick it up can splinter on its own... But it can also work towards finding a new Vessel, or beginning developing a mind of its own. 

We know of four shards that Odium has killed. But only two of those were properly splintered, and while I think he did, we don't necessarily know that he splintered the Shards directly after they were dropped. 

Your hypothesis may work for a manner in which Odium finds weaknesses that he exploits to kill a Vessel, but I don't see it being connected to splintering. 

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is becoming clear that I should have clarified more when I explained how I think Odium, as an incarnation of wrath, feeds off of, is connected to, and produces emotion. I should have added this in the original post, but it was quite long already.

Kandra notes, astutely, that “I think he generally represent egoistic emotions - so, for example, lust instead of joy or happiness

Others have expressed similar concerns.

I think this is a valid point, but one which I think supports rather than detracts from my thesis. The egotistical, wrathful, and corrupted emotions we see from Odium are primarily seen in the investiture he either creates or (possibly) corrupts and then uses against people. 

The first glimpse we see is in the new Rhythms he provides the singers with -- almost all are negative: Abashment, Agony, Conceit, Craving, Destruction, Fury, Spite, Subservience, and Withdrawal are those listed by Coppermind. We see manifestations of hatred or war (spite, destruction, Fury), manifestations of torture (agony), and manifestations of enslavement (subservience, withdrawal, abashment). The one we see that is perhaps closest to passion is "craving," but you are correct that it has a mostly negative context. 

The other glimpse, of course, is of the unmade, which are said to be splinters of Odium in some respect.  The most well-known seem somewhat similar to the deadly sins:

- Ashertmarn : heart of revel, associated with debauchery and excess

- Nergaoul: battle rage, the thrill

- Sja-anat: Corruption of spren (though in what way is unclear)

- Re-Shephir: mimics mankind and their evils through the Midnight Essence. 

Frustratingly, we simply do not have enough information to determine if each unmade has a dark emotion associated with them and if so, what those are. Any attempt at identifying a coherent pattern will, I think, lead mostly to speculation. However, we definitely do see within some egotistical emotions, notably "Ashertmarn," who feeds off a type of lust.

I would like to clarify one thing about how I think wrath works in relation to emotion. Think of it as a devouring flame. In fact, think on Odium's flame: 

Quote

“You’ve seen me have you? Curious.”

Odium smiled again. Then everything went white. Dalinar found himself standing on a speck of nothingness that was the entire world, looking up at an eternal, all-embracing flame. It stretched in every direction, starting as red, moving to orange, then changing to blazing white. Then, somehow, the flame seemed to burn into a deep blackness, violet and angry. This was something so terrible that it consumed light itself. It was hot, a radiance indescribable, intense heat and black fire, colored violet at the outside. Burning. Overwhelming. Power.

It was the screams of a thousand warriors on the battlefield. It was the moment of most sensual touch and ecstasy. It was the sorrow of loss, the joy of victory. And it was hatred. Deep pulsing hatred with the pressure to turn all things molten. It was the heat of a thousand suns. It was the bliss of every kiss. It was the lives of all men wrapped up in one defined by everything they felt. Even taking in the smallest fraction of it terrified Dalinar.”

 

I believe the flame is fueled by strong emotions that would provoke wrath – sorrow, the rage of war, ecstasy, etc. It is related to more positive emotions only insofar as their destruction is a defilement, an evil that provides fuel for the flame of wrath; the “tears of the saints” cast upon the altar are fuel for the flame, but are not themselves the flame. These emotions prompt the wrath of god towards evil. However, the wrath does not just sit there being angry – it is vengeful, a devouring flame with purpose and intent to destroy evil. Thus, in its wrath, it creates and stirs up other emotions to serve its purposes.

You will, most likely, have heard of the plagues of Egypt. What most people don’t know, or often forget, is that most of the plagues were specifically mockeries of Egypt’s gods. YHWH was essentially saying “You think your sun god is so great – well, have some darkness. You think the Nile compares to my power – have some blood.” Each and every one of the plagues (save the last) seems to be a specific mockery of one of Egypt’s gods.

The unmade may perhaps be similar corruptions of the “gods” the people worship (i.e. the things they care about most that draw them towards evil).

You think debauchery is so great – here, have some, have ALL OF IT, says Odium, and so Ashertmarn is made.

You think war is so great? – Have all of it you want! And so he creates Nergaoul.

Even if the unmade don’t work exactly like this, the point remains – Odium can use negative emotions to fulfill his purposes. In fact, I would go so far to say that they are logically part of his intent and not merely accidental byproducts that could have been different had he willed it.

Odium feeds off negative emotions – the weeping of the people, their fear and destruction, the corruption of the innocent, and the tears of the dispossessed. (The red and orange flame)

It builds to the flame of his anger and wrath for destruction, his hatred. (The white flame).

And in hating, he sends forth an outpouring of corrupted emotion, to destroy, to consume, to devour. Let evil devour itself; let the shadow be blinded by its own darkness; let lust beget the consequences of lust; let anger burn and bring destruction. So he makes their dark emotions all the darker, so that he may destroy them entirely. The curse is the crime. The punishment is the sin. (The black flame. The void that consumes light.)

These dark, egotistical emotions are thus Odium’s weapons, his wrath made manifest to destroy men. He takes their flaws and uses them to shatter mortals. He cares not for their repentance. He cares not for healing wrongs. He merely wishes their complete and utter destruction.

And what more poetic way to destroy them than to let them destroy themselves?

Edited by Fractalfire
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

I'm still not really convinced, especially because Odium never really seems to consider the "Passion" that he is corrupting and/or reinforcing to be something that needs to be punished, nor does he ever suggest that his manipulation of them is somehow meant to be a punishment. He always seems to consider them something good. By the way, Fractalfire, where do you get the impression from that the Pre-Nergaoul Alethi were somehow more bloodthirsty than the other peoples of Roshar? Because I always thought that Nergaoul was solely responsible for that.

Well, recall that he is also deceiving himself . His understanding of the intent and the correct understanding will not be the same. I also think he most praises emotions that are wrathful (like the Recreance, where the Knights Radiant destroyed the spren in their anger). 

I do not know if they were more bloodthirsty, but it is probable they were more warlike. 

Recall from the coppermind:

Quote

Although the orders of Knights Radiant were centered in Urithiru, Alethela was their home, and Radiants lived in cities throughout the nation, crossing borders to fight.[1] The Order of Windrunners was particularly prominent there.[6] Alethela was considered to be dedicated to the arts of war so that no other kingdom had to do so. They consider it their duty to protect all the other nations. People went to Alethela if they could fight or wanted to be trained. Those who had fought the Ten Deaths could go to Alethela and be trained so that the changes wrought in them by fighting the Ten Deaths would not destroy them.[1]

Nergaoul most likely exploited a flaw common in soldiers, which is why he chose Alethela to be his residence. 

 

5 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

But anyway, there is one thing that this theory admittedly explains rather well: Rayse. I mean, we need a person who is picked to be the host for a shard like Odium, who is furthermore also happy with his new state of being and who nevertheless was not so amoral that Hoid would have disliked him. According to WOB they used to be friends after all, and while Hoid might not be perfectly moral, he certainly wouldn't befriend the "Pure Evil" that what we know about Rayse would imply he was. This interpretation of Odium as someone who basically hates people because of their flaws suggests that Rayse might just have been a deeply pessimistic cynic who only ever sees the worst in people. That would explain why he got the shard Odium and the idea that his corruption is "punishment" would explain why he would want to keep the shard. It also would explain why Hoid would have been a friend of his - and if you think that everyone around you is amoral scum you are of course more inclined to be egotistical yourself, or at least can justify your egotism. It would certainly make Rayse/Odium a more interesting character than he seems to be now. 

I expect Rayse was the person who saw best the "flaws" (if indeed they were real and not merely imagined due to the limitations of mortals) in Adonalsium and most hated him for his failure as a god. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Calderis said:

Haven't read replies, but my initial responses are that splintering and killing a shard is not the same thing. For example, the Dor only exists because Odium does not inherently know how to splinter shards, and shoving them into the Cognitive Realm was his stopgap fix to ensure no one could pick them up. 

However Odium killed Honor, he'd been mortally wounded for a long time and was dying slowly. That's the very reason for his changes prior to the Recreance, and why he made the visions for a future Bondsmith. 

A Shard that is dropped without a person to pick it up can splinter on its own... But it can also work towards finding a new Vessel, or beginning developing a mind of its own. 

We know of four shards that Odium has killed. But only two of those were properly splintered, and while I think he did, we don't necessarily know that he splintered the Shards directly after they were dropped. 

Your hypothesis may work for a manner in which Odium finds weaknesses that he exploits to kill a Vessel, but I don't see it being connected to splintering. 

Yes, I see what you mean. Killing them by exploiting a flaw and "dividing their power into tiny pieces" is probably not quite the same. Further, preservation clearly dies without splintering so the connection is not a necessary one. However, their IS something rather appropriate about exploiting a flaw to "shatter" something, you have to admit. 

However, I think you are incorrect about two not being splintered, though so far as I know we don't know if they were splintered at death. Both Dominion and Devotion have been splintered, as has Ambition.

 

Quote

 

IslayThePeaty

Does Ambition factor into Sel, either in the events we've seen on-planet or in terms of where Uli Da was ultimately spintered?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll RAFO this for now. Suffice it to say that this specific splintering has had far-reaching effects.

 

 

General Reddit 2017 (Dec. 6, 2017)

From the letter:

Quote

 

"In case you have turned a blind eye to that disaster, know that Aona and Skai are both dead, and that which they held has been Splintered. Presumably to prevent anyone from rising up to challenge Rayse."

 

 

So 4/4 appear to have been splintered, though how this is related to their deaths is uncertain.

I do think Odium's method is only "relatively fast". It may take some time for the damage caused to a Shard to actually kill it, on human timescales. 

 

Edited by Fractalfire
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Lunu’anaki said:

Now there is a theory I would love to hear more on! Adonalsium's plans ;)

First of all, I believe Adonalsium allowed themselves (himself? herself? itself?) to be Shattered (or at least predicted it). I find it hard to believe such a powerful being could be killed by mere mortals. Why? It might be part of a plan to create a better god, as you mentioned.

We know that Cosmere was inspired by Asimov's Foundation series (and Robots as well). This might provide a few clues:

  • Seldon's plan is basically to let the Empire fall and guide it to a new, better version in the future. The same could apply to Adonalsium. Unity and reconstitution are a recurring theme in Cosmere works
  •  I believe in this theory that Sel is becoming an equivalent of Asimov's Gaia
  • In "Foundation and Earth", humans try to locate their planet of origin. I would be surprised if this didn't happen in space-age Cosmere
  • Finally, humanity's ultimate fate is Galaxia (galaxy-scale Gaia) rather than Seldon's plan, because of potential alien life threat. Fain life is this for Cosmere

The problem with that plan is that it needs time, and in Cosmere it would be very easy to create a technological singularity (definitely on Scadrial, very likely on Roshar) that would essentially end history (not to mention, make a very poor plot). So how do you slow things down? By assigning particular Shards to particular Vessels. Some are nicely paired and keep each other in check. For others, you need Shards that would stop things from progressing too quickly - and Odium and Autonomy are quite good at that.

Edited by KandraAllomancer
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, KandraAllomancer said:

First of all, I believe Adonalsium allowed themselves (himself? herself? itself?) to be Shattered (or at least predicted it). I find it hard to believe such a powerful being could be killed by mere mortals. Why? It might be part of a plan to create a better god, as you mentioned.

We know that Cosmere was inspired by Asimov's Foundation series (and Robots as well). This might provide a few clues:

  • Seldon's plan is basically to let the Empire fall and guide it to a new, better version in the future. The same could apply to Adonalsium. Unity and reconstitution are a recurring theme in Cosmere works
  •  I believe in this theory that Sel is becoming an equivalent of Asimov's Gaia
  • In "Foundation and Earth", humans try to locate their planet of origin. I would be surprised if this didn't happen in space-age Cosmere
  • Finally, humanity's ultimate fate is Galaxia (galaxy-scale Gaia) rather than Seldon's plan, because of potential alien life threat. Fain life is this for Cosmere

The problem with that plan is that it needs time, and in Cosmere it would be very easy to create a technological singularity (definitely on Scadrial, very likely on Roshar) that would essentially end history (not to mention, make a very poor plot). So how do you slow things down? By assigning particular Shards to particular Vessels. Some are nicely paired and keep each other in check. For others, you need Shards that would stop things from progressing too quickly - and Odium and Autonomy are quite good at that.

Interesting, I can’t say I agree on the Sel-Gaia theory because as someone in that thread pointed out, Odium locked them in the cognitive to avoid the powers gaining sentience. It’s possible that won’t work over time though.

I agree that Adonalsium has to have seen it coming in the very least, and had plans for a future after he was gone so the rest of your theory makes a lot of sense.

Have you seen this one? 
Hoid becomes Adonalsium

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Lunu’anaki said:

Have you seen this one? 
Hoid becomes Adonalsium

This is so foreshadowed and so simple that a large part of me doesn't want to believe it :) I think there will be some twist here, but I can't imagine what it could be

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

He bears the weight of God's own divine hatred, separated from the virtues that gave it context. He is what we have made him to be, old friend. And that is what he, unfortunately, wished to become.

This is the letter to Hoid at the beginning of chapter 71 of WoR. Odium is divine anger, in that Adonalsium was divine, and it is his anger. You can't have righteous anger without knowing who or what it is that is worthy of it. If Odium picked up Honor, he would become righteous anger, and if he picked up preservation, he would become preserving anger. As Odium stands, he does not have the context to do anything except hate everything and everyone.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Fractalfire while yes, D&D count as splintered because if the state that they are in, they are in the state specifically because Odium didn't know how to splinter them properly.

Quote

Argent

...The reason Odium dealt with the Selish Shards in the way that he did, whether that was primarily because he was inexperienced in Splintering and so he knew that he wanted nobody to take the Shards--

Brandon Sanderson

There were better ways he could have done what he did.

Argent

And he then learned at least a little bit better?

Brandon Sanderson

He learned at least a little bit better.

JordanCon 2018 (April 22, 2018)
Quote

Argent

I thought, like, at one of the signings you told me that when Odium was on Sel and Splintered the Shards there, the reason he did the Cognitive Realm hack was because he was not yet experienced in Splintering stuff.

Brandon Sanderson

Right. He did not want what happened to happen, but he didn't know that he didn't want what happened to happen.

Argent

What I was getting at is, I could never find a recording of you saying "He was not experienced. He didn't want the power to be taken by anyone, and that's the only solution he could figure out." Does that sound like something you would say?

Brandon Sanderson

That is something I would say, yes... There are better ways to do what he wanted to do, which he later did a better job with. But there's not a lot of experimenting he could do.

Argent

Limited number of subjects, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Mmhmm.

JordanCon 2018 (April 20, 2018)

The problems that the Dor has with being location dependent are a direct result of his stopgap fix. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I think the usage of "divine" in divine hatred is quantitative, not qualitative. I don't think we know enough about Adonalsium as a person to be able to say he was divine in a holy way. All we really know is Adonalsium was the biggest baddest power on the block, and Odium as a Shard is going to reflect Adonalsium's hatred/anger/whatever. That hatred had context, yes, and even a "vessel" more capable of steering it than I think our Shards do, but that doesn't necessarily make it a holy/righteous type of hatred.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.